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THE PERFECTIONS OF GOD
PHENOMENA OF THE YEAR.
REV. HENRY DUNCAN, D. D.
"Thou crownest the year with thy goodness, and thy paths drop fatness.
PSALMS OF DAVID.
WILLIAM OLIPHANT AND SON;
WILLIAM COLLINS, GLASGOW; W. CURRY & CO. DUBLIN;
In this Volume, the argument for the Divine perfections from the works of Nature, entered upon in the two preceding volumes of "Winter" and
Spring," is continued. Organized life has now passed, or is rapidly passing, from a state of development to a state of perfection; and, Winter having been considered as the period of gestation, and Spring as that of production, Summer is here viewed as the season of maturity. This is not, indeed, strictly true; for many of our fruits, and all the cereal plants, are, in our climate, still only in progress, and do not ripen till the autumnal months numbers of the animal tribes are, at present, but in the early stage of their existence; and, in this respect, to man all seasons are alike. It is, however, the general character of the season that is to be considered; and classification is more important, in a work of this kind, than a strict attention to dates.
In this, as in the other volumes, I have commenced with a view of the various cosmical arrangements by which the season is distinguished and rendered salutary, and have thence passed to the consideration of vegetable life; and thence again to that of the va
rious powers and functions of animal life,-keeping always in view the reference which every thing evidently bears to the only rational being whom it has pleased the Eternal to place in this lower world, or, at all events, to subject to the operation of the senses. The Volume next contains some notices of Man himself, as regard his physical, intellectual, and moral powers; and closes with a summary of the argument which this analysis of Nature has exhibited, with special attention to the peculiar modifications of that system of providential administration, under which the fall of our First Parents has placed terrestrial things.
In thus ranging through the whole bounds of creation, where the materials are so unlimited in their extent and variety, I have ever found it much more difficult to determine what might without prejudice to the argument be rejected, than what might be usefully chosen. All Nature, in its various kingdoms, in all its orders, in all its species, in every individual modification, proclaims the perfections of the Creator. In such superabundance, however, I have had the advantage of easily avoiding what was abstruse and recondite; while my object has been to select what was most interesting and most easily understood, as well as important, striking, and conclusive.