By Thomas Chalmers
In 1817 the Scottish mathematician and churchman Thomas Chalmers (1780-1847), who used to be later invited to jot down one of many Bridgewater Treatises (also reissued during this sequence) released this booklet, in keeping with weekday sermons preached via him in Glasgow. His major objective is to refute the 'infidel' argument that as the earth and humanity are such insignificant elements of the universe, God - if he existed - wouldn't care approximately them. besides the fact that, he's additionally addressing the 'narrow and illiberal professors' who 'take an alarm' on the proposal of philosophy instead of incorporating technological know-how into their Christian preaching. Chalmers writes from the perspective of an admirer of technological know-how and glossy astronomy. even if, he additionally argues that ask yourself on the beauty of construction or even acknowledging it as God's paintings isn't adequate, and really ethical Christian lifestyles is key for salvation.
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Additional resources for A Series of Discourses on the Christian Revelation, Viewed in Connection with the Modern Astronomy
Why not extend this principle to the still more distant parts of the universe? What though, from this remote point of observation, we can see nothing but the naked roundness of yon planetary orbs? Are we therefore to say, that they are so many vast and unpeopled solitudes; that desolation reigns in every part of the universe but ours; that the whole energy of the divine attributes is expended on one insignificant corner of these mighty wt>rks; and that to this earth alone, belongs the bloom of vegetation, or the blessedness of life, or the dignity of rational and immortal existence?
The day may yet be coming, when our instruments of observation shall be inconceivably more powerful. They may ascertain still more decisive points of resemblance. They may resolve the same question by the evidence of sense which is now so abundantly convincing by the evidence of analogy. They may lay open to us the unquestionable vestiges of art, and industry, and intelligence. We may see summer throwing its green mantle over these mighty tracts, and we may see them left naked and 32 colourless after the flush of vegetation has disappeared.
Or conceive, that silence and solitude reign throughout the mighty empire of nature; that the greater part of creation is an empty parade; and that not a worshipper of the Divinity is to be found 30 through the wide extent of yon vast and immeasurable regions? It lends a delightful confirmation to the argument, when, from the growing perfection of our instruments, we can discover a new point of resemblance between our Earth and the other bodies of the planetary system. It is now ascertained, not merely that all of them have their day and night, and that all of them have their vicissitudes of seasons, and that some of them have their moons to rule their night and alleviate the darkness of it— We can see of one, that its surface rises into inequalities, that it swells into mountains and stretches into valleys; of another, that it is surrounded by an atmosphere which may support the respiration of animals j of a third, that clouds are formed and suspended over it, which may minister to it all the bloom and luxuriance of vegetation; and of a fourth, that a white colour spreads over its northern regions, as its winter advances, and that on the approach of summer this whiteness is dissipated—giving room to suppose, that the element of water abounds in it, that it rises by evaporation into its 31 atmosphere, that it freezes upon the application of cold, that it is precipitated in the form of snow, that it covers the ground with a fleecy mantle, which melts away from the heat of a more vertical sun; and that other worlds bear a resemblance to our own, in the same yearly round of beneficent and interesting changes.