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Page 185 - Religion, whether natural or revealed, has always the same beneficial influence on the mind. In youth, in health and prosperity, it awakens feelings of gratitude and sublime love, and purifies at the same time that it exalts. But it is in misfortune, in sickness...
Page 344 - When the unlocked for association of such rare phenomena is witnessed in the present course of nature, it scarcely ever fails to excite a suspicion of the preternatural in those minds which are not firmly convinced of the uniform agency of secondary causes ; — as if the death of some individual in whose fate they are interested, happens to be accompanied by the appearance of a luminous meteor, or a comet, or the shock of an earthquake. It would be only necessary to multiply such coincidences indefinitely,...
Page 60 - Those intellectual qualifications, which give birth to new principles or to new methods, are of quite a different order from those which are necessary for their practical application. At the time of the discovery of the beautiful theorem of Huygens, it required in its author not merely a complete knowledge of the mathematical science of his age, but a genius to enlarge its boundaries by new creations of his own. Such talents are not always united with a quick perception of the details, and of the...
Page 348 - Dr Wollaston was endowed with bodily senses of extraordinary acuteness and accuracy, and with great general vigour of understanding. Trained in the discipline of the exact sciences, he had acquired a powerful command over his attention, and had habituated himself to the most rigid correctness, both of thought and of language.
Page 349 - ... sometimes prevented him from reaching at once to the most sublime truths, yet rendered every step of his ascent a secure station, from which it was easy to rise to higher and more enlarged inductions. Thus these illustrious men, though differing essentially in their natural powers and acquired habits, and moving, independently of each other, in different paths, contributed to accomplish the same great ends — the evolving new elements ; the combining matter into new forms ; the increase of human...
Page 344 - The discovery of other systems in the boundless regions of space was the triumph of astronomy — to trace the same system through various transformations — to behold it at successive eras adorned with different hills and valleys, lakes and seas, and peopled with new inhabitants, was the delightful meed of geological research. By the geometer were measured the regions of space, and the relative distances of the heavenly bodies — by the geologist myriads of ages were reckoned, not by arithmetical...
Page 185 - North sea, or as the green and dewy spot gushing with fountains to the exhausted and thirsty traveller in the midst of the desert. Its influence outlives all earthly enjoyments, and becomes stronger as the organs decay and the frame dissolves ; it appears as that evening star of light in the horizon of life, which we are sure is to become in another season a morning star, and it throws its radiance through the gloom and shadow of death.
Page 348 - It is impossible to direct our views to the future improvement of this wide field of science, without deeply lamenting the privation which we have lately sustained of two of its most successful cultivators — Sir Humphry Davy and Dr. Wollaston; at a period of life, too, when it seemed reasonable to have expected from each of them, a much longer continuance of his invaluable labours. To those high gifts of nature which are the...
Page 181 - ... which appear to have belonged to a period when the whole globe possessed a much higher temperature. I have likewise often been led from the remarkable phenomena surrounding me in that spot, to compare the works of man with those of nature. The baths, erected there nearly twenty centuries ago, present only heaps of ruins, and even the bricks of which they were built, though hardened by fire, are crumbled into dust, whilst the masses of travertine around it, though formed by a variable source from...