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PREFACE.

The origin of these Lectures on the Harmony of Learning and Revelation may be seen in the following correspondence.

New-York, 7th Feb. 1843. Rev. DR. MATHEWS,

DEAR SIR, During your administration of the affairs of the University, and when maturing the enlarg. ed system of instruction designed for the Institution, you introduced a Professorship of Sacred Literature. One object of the proposed Professorship was to vindicate the Sacred Scriptures from the objections often supposed to arise from various discoveries in Science and Letters. That part of the design has not yet been carried into effect; but we believe that it has become pculiarly desirable at the present time, to afford increased opportunities of gaining information on these important questions; and as you have now released yourself from some of your former multiplied labors, we would inquire whether you would not undertake to prepare a course of public Lectures on the prominent subjects which such a department of instruction should embrace.

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The origin of these Lectures on the Harmony of Learning and Revelation may be seën in the following correspondence.

New-York, 7th Feb. 1843. Rev. DR. MATHEWS,

DEAR SIR, During your administration of the affairs of the University, and when maturing the enlarg. ed system of instruction designed for the Institution, you introduced a Professorship of Sacred Literature. One object of the proposed Professorship was to vindicate the Sacred Scriptures from the objections often supposed to. arise from various discoveries in Science and Letters. That part of the design has not yet been carried into effect; but we believe that it has become culiarly desirable at the present time, to afford increased opportunities of gaining information on these important questions; and as you have now released yourself from some of your former multiplied labors, we would inquire whether

you

would not undertake to prepare a course of public Lectures on the prominent subjects which such a department of instruction should embrace.

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discoveries: another thinks the history of the dispersions incoinpatible with the number of dissimilar languages now existing: a third considers it extremely difficult to explain the origin of all mankind from one common parentage.

So far, therefore, from considering Religion, or its Science .Theology, as entitled to sisterhood with other sciences, it i is supposed to move on a distinct plane, and to preserve

a perpetual parallelism with them; which, though it preį vents them from clashing, yet deprives them of mutual .. support."

But this unwarrantable severance of Religion from Learning is not the only evil suffered from some of our

learned men. Scepticism is always assuming new forms. Among men of education and refinement it now seldom ventures openly and avowedly to assail Christianity. But the venom is not the less dangerous because concealed, and the minds of educated young men are too frequently poisoned before they are aware of it, i by the manner and connection in which facts and theorems in science are presented to them. It is chiefly in this way that in our day learning has not only been perverted, but also subjected to unmerited suspicion in the minds of religious men. Such a reproach should be wiped away; and recent discoveries show more and more plainly how triumphantly this may be done. I am persuaded there is not one among all the sciences which have been tortured into a shape adapted to the purposes of infidelity, which may not be made to rescue itself from such an injurious per

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New-York, 14th February, 1843.
To Messrs. JAMES TALLMADGE, 'Taumas J. OAKLEY, George Woop,

John Johnston, THEODORE. FreLINGHUYSEN, VALENTINĖ MOTT
WILLIAM KENT, Esquires, &c. &c.

GENTLEMEN,

I have received your kind communication of the 7th instant, and have given it the more careful attention, as it comes from friends to whom my memory will always recur with sentiments of grateful regard.

It is very true that I have long been desirous to see the Branch of Learning, to' which you refer, introduced more fully into our Literary Institutions. The aspect of the times, and opinions recently promulgated, have also greatly strengthened my convictions of its importance. An impetus has been given to the minds of men within the last thirty or forty years, which has rendered progress in Science rapid beyond example. Nature, in her whole varied extent, is fast yielding up her secrets. But the harmony and connection of these discoveries with the leading truths of the Scriptures do not yet seem to be rightly understood, or fully appreciated.

To use the words of an able reasoner on this subject: "Some men in their writings, and many in their discoveries, go so far as to suppose that they may enjoy a dualisin of opinions; holding one set, which they may believe as Christians, and another whereof they are convinced as Philosophers. One does not see how it is possible to make accordance between the Mosaic Creation and Cuvicr's

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