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MINERAL AND MOSAICAL
REVISED, AND ENLARGED WITH RELATION TO THE
· LATEST PUBLICATIONS ON GEOLOGY.
PRINTED FOR JAMES DUNCAN;
BRADFUTE, EDINBURGH; AND M. OGLE, GLASGOW.
“ Singulare remedium antidotumque exhibet PHILOSOPHIA contra “ infidelitatem et errores. Nam Salvator noster inquit, - Erratis o nescientes SCRIPTURAS et POTENTIAM DEI. Ubi duos libros, ne “ in errores incidamus, proponit nobis evolvendos : primo, VOLUMEN “ SCRIPTURARUM, quæ voluntatem Dei, dein, VOLUMEN CREATURARUM, “ quæ potentiam revelant.”
Bacon, DE AUGMENT. SCIENT. lib. i. tom. iv. p. 40. PREFACE
THE FIRST EDITION.
I Am sensible that the first use which I ought to make of this preface, is to apologise for troubling the world again, so soon after submitting to its judgment my observations on
The Primary Argument of the Iliad. The best apology which I can offer, is the assurance, that neither of these tracts has been newly or hastily taken into hand; but, that they have lain by me for many years, and have been occasionally revised, extended, or curtailed, according as later materials have fallen in my way.
When Varro published his treatise upon Agriculture, he alleged; “ annus octogesimus “ admonet me, ut sarcinas colligam antequam “ proficiscar de vita.” No one of common sense, will wait in the expectation of such a monitor. Short of the term of the vivacious Varro, every reflecting person will be sensible of a period, in which it is prudent to begin sarcinas colligere. This motive has induced me to allow treatises, upon subjects so widely different, to follow each other so soon ; and I request, that the same motive may be favourably received as a general apology, should the present tract not be the last thus adventurously put forward.
With respect to the argument of the present work, it is my wish not to anticipate it in a preface; but, to leave it to unfold itself to the reader in the perusal. I shall, therefore, only briefly and summarily state; that the FIRST and SECOND PARTS treat, separately, of the MODE of the FIRST FORMATIONS of the Earth, according to the Mineral, and the Mosaical
Geologies; and, that the THIRD PART considers the MODE of the CHANGES OF REVOLUTIONS which the Earth has undergone, according to both Geologies.
The results of these several investigations, will be found combined in the Conclusion, with which the treatise is terminated.
I have endeavoured, by keeping the thread of the argument simple and compressed, to avoid all superfluous dilatation and digression; in which endeavour, I hope I shall be found to have succeeded. It was originally designed, and it has been solely prepared, for such earnest and sincere inquirers as are anxious to relieve their minds from perplexity, or to disengage them from error, in the high and important subjects of which it treats; and who are willing to advance in the prosecution of the truth respecting them, as far as the principles of that truth, actively pursued, are capable of conducting them. Such advance is entirely frustrated by the practice which, in similar discussions, has too frequently prevailed, of