SCOTS
CMSW

Edinburgh Review, No. 1

Author(s): Anonymous

Text

THE
EDINBURGH REVIEW.
NUMB. I.
[To be Publiſhed every Six Months.]
Containing an Account of all the BOOKS and PAMPHLETS
that have been publiſhed in SCOTLAND
from the firſt of January to the firſt of July 1755.
To each Number will be added an APPENDIX,
giving an Account of the Books publiſhed in ENGLAND
and other Countries, that are moſt worthy of
notice.
This NUMBER contains,
I. Hiſtory of PETER THE GREAT.
II. HUTCHESON'S Moral Philoſophy
III MOYSES'S Memoirs of Scottiſh
affairs.
IV.Hiſtory of the Rebellion 1745
and 1746.
V. Mr JOHN M'Laurin's Sermons.
VI. Mr EBEN. ERSKINE'S Sermons
VII. Mr. WIL. ROBERTSON'S Sermon.

VIII. Mr. FORDYCE'S Sermon.
IX. Dr. MARTIN'S Commentary
on Euſtachius's Tables.
X. BARCLAY'S Greek Grammar.
XI. Deciſions of the Court of Seſſion.
XII. Abridgment of the Statutes, &c.
XIII. Mrs. CLELAND's Cookery.
XIV. An Analyſis of the Writings of
SOPHO, & DAVID HUME Eſq;
XV. Obſervations on it.
XVI. Tne Deiſt ſtretch'd on a
Death-bed.
XVII. Moderation without Mercy,
The APPENDIX contains,
I. Bp. SHERLOCK'S Diſcourſes.
II. DODSLEY'S Collection of Poems.
VOL. IV.
III. JOHNSON'S Dictionary.
IV. THERON and ASPASIO.
V. The Centaur not Fabulous.
EDINBURGH:
Printed for G. HAMILTON and J. BALFOUR 1755. Price 1 s.
PREFACE.
THE deſign of this work is, to lay before
the Public, from time to time, a view of
the progreſſive ſtate of learning in this
country.
The great number of performances of
this nature, which, for almoſt a century paſt, have
appeared in every part of Europe where knowledge
is held in eſteem, ſufficiently proves, that they have
been found uſeful.
Upon the firſt revival of letters in Europe, their
progreſs in Scotland was very rapid and very remarkable.
The force of Buchanan's numbers, the
elegance of his manner, and the undaunted ſpirit of
liberty he breathes, intitle him to be named with
the moſt choſen ſpirits of Leo X.'s age, and reflect
a ſplendor upon the riſe of ſcience in the North.
From ſuch a beginning, Scotland might well have
flattered herſelf with hopes of attaining a diſtinguiſhed
rank in the literary world. But thoſe
happy proſpects ſoon gave place to the melancholy
ſcene of diſorder and violence that civil diſſentions
produced. Letters could not be cultivated where
humanity was neglected: the precepts of philoſophy
ſuited ill with the rage of party; nor could the arts
of peace flourish in a country averſe to induſtry and
rent with diviſions. Upon the acceſſion of James VI. to
the crown of England, the minds of men were entirely
occupied with that event. The advancement
of their own fortune became an object of attention
to very many; whilſt the general intereſt of their
country was little regarded. The more unquiet it
remained, the more influence would each particular
ſhare, who had ambitious deſires to gratify. Thus
unfortunately the intereſt of individuals was oppoſite
to the intereſt of the public; and the improvement
of Scotland was not at that time an agreeable idea to
England, jealous and diſguſted with the preference
ſhewn by the Monarch to particular Scotſmen.
From this ſtate of languor and retardation in every
ſpecies of improvement, Scotland ſoon paſſed thro' a
ſeries of more dreadful evils. The devaſtations of
Charles I.'s reign, and the slavery of Cromwel's uſurpation,
were but ill repaired by the tyranny and
oppreſſion of Charles II.'s miniſters, and the arbitrary
rule of James VII. Amidſt all the gloom of
theſe times, there were ſtill ſome men who kept
alive the remains of ſcience, and preſerved the flame
of genius from being altogether extinguiſhed. At
the Revolution, liberty was re-eſtabliſhed, and property
rendered ſecure; the uncertainty and rigor of
the law were corrected and ſoftened: but the
violence of parties was ſcarce abated, nor had induſtry
yet taken place. What the Revolution has
begun, the Union rendered more compleat. The
memory of our ancient ſtate is not ſo much obliterated,
but that, by comparing the paſt with the
preſent, we may clearly ſee the ſuperior advantages
we now enjoy, and readily diſcern from what
ſource they flow, The communication of trade has
awakened induſtry; the equal adminiſtration of
laws produced good manners; and the watchful
care of the government, ſeconded by the public
ſpirit of ſome individuals, has excited, promoted and
encouraged, a diſpoſition to every species of improvement
in the minds of a people naturally active
and intelligent. If countries have their ages with
reſpect to improvement, North-Britain may be conſidered
as in a ſtate of early youth, guided and ſupported
by the more mature ſtrength of her kindred
country. If in any thing her advances have been
ſuch as to mark a more forward ſtate, it is in ſcience.
The progreſs of knowledge depending more upon
genius and application, than upon any external cirumſtance;
where-ever theſe are not repreſſed, they
will exert themſelves. The Opportunities of education,
and the ready means of acquiring-knowledge
in this country, with even a very moderate ſhare
of genius diffuſed thro' the nation, ought to make
it diſtinguiſhed for letters. Two conſiderable obſtacles
have long obſtructed the progreſs of ſcience.
One is, the difficulty of a proper expreſſion in a
country where there is either no ſtandard of language,
or at leaſt one very remote: Some late
inſtances, however, have diſcovered that this difficulty
is not unſurmountable; and that a ſerious endeavour
to conquer it, may acquire, to one born on the
north ſide of the Tweed, a correct and even an elegant
ſtile. Another obſtacle aroſe from the ſlow advances
that the country had made in the art of printing:
No literary improvements can be carried far,
where the means of communication are defective:
But this obſtacle has, of late, been entirely removed;
and the reputation of the Scotch preſs is not confined
to this country alone.
It occurred to ſome Gentlemen, that, at this period,
when no very material difficulties remain to be conquered;
the ſhewing men the gradual advances of
ſcience, would be a means of inciting them to a more
eager purſuit of learning, to distinguiſh themſelves,
and to do honour to their country: With this view)
the preſent work was undertaken; in which it is propoſed,
to give a full account of all books publiſhed in
Scotland within the compaſs of half a year; and to
take ſome notice of ſuch books publiſhed elſewhere,
as are moſt read in this country, or ſeem to have any
title to draw the public attention.
Theſe are the motives and the plan of the preſent
undertaking: The execution of it, the public muſt
judge of. Thoſe who are concerned in carrying it
on, hope, if the public ſhould even judge unfavourably
of the execution, they will not condemn the attempt.
One may judge of other mens writings with talent
much inferior to thofe of the author; and to criticiſe,
is known to be eaſier than to compoſe. They
are only to exerciſe over every book, that right
which the author confers upon the meaneſt of his
readers: They are to judge with candour, but with
freedom: Opinions they are only to relate, not to
combat: Falſhood they will upon all occaſions endeavour
to detect: Immoralities they would rather chuſe
to bury in oblivion: Principles of irreligion or diſaffection
they will always endeavour to expoſe; as a
zeal for the religion and conſtitution of their country,
can never be inconſiſtent with the greateſt candor. It
will be always more agreeable to them to find occaſion
for praiſe, than for cenſure. But as their inclination
leads them powerfully to indulge the one, their duty
to the public will ſometimes require them to exerciſe
the leſs pleaſing office. The authors expect no praiſe
to themſelves for a work, in which, to be uſeful, is
their only deſign in the conducting of it, they hope,
they ſhall merit no blame. The ſucceſs of the work
is what they have principally at heart; as it may poſ
ſibly be attended with a natonal benefit. To advance
this end, they will cheerfully accept of the aſſiſtance
of any Gentleman who will contribute towards it, by
tranſmitting to the publiſher his ſentiments of any
book; or in general, any literary memoirs, criticiſms
or obſervations, he thinks proper to communicate to
the world.
THE
EDINBURGH REVIEW,
From JANUARY to JULY, 1755.
ARTICLE I.
The Hiftory of Peter the Great Emperor of Ruſſia; to
which is prefixed, a ſhort general Hiſtory of the
Country, from the riſe of that Monarchy: and an
Account of the Author's Life, in two Volumes. By
Alexander Gordon of Auchintoul, Eſq; ſeveral Years
a Major-General in the Czar's Service. Aberdeen,
Printed, by Douglaſs and Murray. Price 10s. Vol. I.
contains 352 pages, and Vol. II. 382 pages.
THE attempt of Peter the Great towards civilizing
that vaſt Empire, of which he was the
Sovereign, is perhaps the moſt ſingular and
intereſting object that the hiſtory of mankind preſents
to the view of -a Philoſopher. Commerce,
learning, the art of war and poliſhed manners, have
penetrated into moſt nations by degrees, and have
owed their eſtabliſhment more to the caſual operation
of undeſigned events, than to the regular execution of
any concerted plan. The Grecian republics are the
only exceptions to the truth of this obſervation: among
them we find, in a few admired inſtances, the
idea of a conſtitution firſt formed by a ſingle perſon,
and then with method and conſiſtency reduced into
practice. But even in forming theſe ſmall models of
ſociety, ſome previous culture ſuggeſted to legiſlators,
their ſyſtems of laws and policy; and ſome previous
diſcipline, prepared the people for ſubmitting to
them. The Czar of Muſcovy is the firſt man who,
unenlightened by ſcience, and uninſtructed by example,
conceived the vaſt deſign of civilizing ſixteen
millions of ſavages, and who, by operations the most
amazing and adventrous, introduced armies and
fleets, commerce and ſcience, into an Empire where
they were all unknown.
It is a reproach both to the taſte and virtue of
the age, that a portion of hiſtory ſo worthy the attention
of mankind, ſhouid hitherto remain, in a
great degree, unknown and unadorned. To deſcribe
the deſtructive progreſs of a conqueror, or to unfold
the more pernicious intrigues of a politician, bath employed
authors of the greateſt genius; while ſo great
a benefactor of mankind as Peter the Great, has
found no hiſtorian to do juſtice to his fame. Among
our neighbours the French, ſome homage hath been
paid to the merit of this illuſtrious perſon. Voltaire,
in his hiſtory of Charles XII. and Fontanelle, in his
ſhort, but beautiful eloge of the Czar, have drawn his
character with thoſe maſterly ſtrokes which diſtinguiſh
all their works. In Great Britain it hath been the fate
of the Ruſſian Monarch to fall into very different
hands. Several books have been publiſhed with titles
which promiſed an hiſtory of his life and actions; but
they have been no other than the productions of thoſe
wretched compilers, whom a penſion from a bookſeller
prompts in ſpite of nature to commence authors.
We are far from pretending, that the hiſtory of the
Czar now before us, can in any degree ſupply this defect,
of which we have complained. General Gordon,
according to the account of his life prefixed to the firſt
volume, began ſo early to carry arms, and was after
wards ſo conſtantly engaged in action, that he had no
leiſure, to cultivate thoſe ſciences which inspire taſte
and elegance in compoſition. But as he reſided in Ruſ
ſia from the year 1693 to 1711, and was preſent in
many of the military actions he deſcribes; his account
of theſe, which is always delivered with an air of candor
and exactneſs, will intitle him to ſome attention
from any future hiſtorian of that period. With regard
to civil tranſactions, the merit of our author's performance
is much more inconſiderable. The ſchemes
carried on by the Czar for poliſhing and improving
his Empire, which the reader will eſteem the moſt
intereſting particulars in his hiſtory, make only an inferior
part in Mr. Gordon's plan. Neither his genius
nor information ſeems to have led him into any important
diſcoveries concerning theſe ſubjects. Satiſfied
with relating the progreſs and operations of a
campaign, he has the modeſty ſeldom to enter into
any long detail of other meaſures, which lay wholly
out of his own trade, and upon which he was leſs qualified
to paſs judgement.
The review of the Ruſſian hiſtory, in the two firſt
books, contains nothing remarkable. The third book
opens with an account of the ſiege of Aſoph, where
our author was preſent. This undertaking was the
firſt thing, which made a diſcovery to the world
of the enterprizing and extenſive genius of the young
Czar. By getting that place into his poſſeſſion he
expected to have gained the ſame command of commerce
in the Black Sea, which the building of St. Peterſburg
afterwards acquired him in the Baltic. The
unſkilfulneſs of his generals, and want of diſcipline among
his troops, obliged him, at this time, to raiſe
the ſiege with ſome diſgrace. Next year, the attempt
was renewed with more conduct, and better fortune.
Lieutenant-General Gordon, the author's father-in--
law, had the direction of the ſiege: and the method by
which he carried on his attack, deſerves, on account
of its ſingularity and ſucceſs, the attention of thoſe
who ſtudy the art of war. He contrived a rampart of
earth along the whole front of their approaches. By
the continual labour of 30,000 men, this was thrown
nearer and nearer to the town, and moved gradually
forward; while behind it, the troops were ſcreened
from the enemy's fire. At the end of five weeks, it
was advanced to the walls of the town, over which
it hang like a mountain; and the garriſon, in order
to eſcape being buried under it, were obliged to
ſurrender to the Muſcovites. The method of carrying
on that extraordinary attack, is deſcribed by
our author at ſome length, and as mentioned by other
writers of the Czar's life.
With regard to the Czar's travels into England and
Holland, the motives and effects of which are known
to all Europe, our author furniſhes us with nothing
new or curious. Muſcovy, in which Mr. Gordon
then reſided, was perhaps the country, in all Europe
which knew leaſt of the motions and deſigns of its
own Monarch.
Almoſt the firft action of the Czar, on his return in-to
his own dominions, was, the raiſing a regular army.
Having broke the Strelitzes, a kind of undiſciplined
Janizaries, and the only ſtanding forces in the Em-pire,
he ſubſtituted in their place 40,000 foot, and
20,000 dragoons; and, in leſs than three months,
they were enrolled, cloathed, armed, and ready to
march. The method by which he accomplished
this, was no leſs eaſy than effectual. Every man of
fortune in Ruſſia poſſeſſed a number of ſlaves, who
continued to be the property of his family from one
generation to another, and were treated with the
utmoſt ſeverity. To as many of theſe as would enter
into the army, the Czar proclaimed liberty; and even
among ſuch men, the love of freedom, and
the deſire of a more honourable character in life,
procured him, without noiſe or violence, as many recruits
as were, neceſſary.
The war againſt Sweden opened with the ſiege of
Narva, which occaſioned the famous battle, in which
Charles XII. totally routed the Ruſſian army. Our
author ſerved in this campaign; and his account of
it, is among the moſt curious paſſages in his hiſtory.
In order to exalt his hero, M. de Voltaire hath multiplied
the numbers of the Ruſſians, and raiſed their
army to 100,000 men. Three great bodies of theſe
he ſuppoſes to have been placed in advanced ſtations,
at different diſtances from the camp. Charles, according
to his account, defeated each of theſe;
and after fighting two battles, attacked a fortified
camp, containing nine or ten times the number of his
troops. Our author's narration is adorned with none
of theſe marvellous circumſtances. There were not,
he aſſerts, above 34,000 Ruſſians in the camp before
Narva. Charles met not with the Leaſt oppoſition, until
he attacked them in their trenches. And that the moſt
gallant Prince of the age, at the head of 9,000 veterans,
ſhould defeat ſuch a number of new-raiſed, and
unexperienced Ruſſians, is an event far from being
miraculous, Our author makes judicious obſervations
upon two errors which Charles committed after
this battle. The one, in diſmiſſing 18,000 Ruſſian priſoners,
whom he might have detained with great eaſe.
They were the only troops in the Empire who had
the leaſt tincture of diſcipline, and would at that time
have been an irreparable loſs to the Czar. The other
miſtake was ſtill more fatal. Had Charles marched into
Ruſſia by the way of Novogrod and Plaſkow, there
was neither army, nor place of ſtrength, to have
ſtopt his progreſs even to the capital. From the battle
of Narva, to the year 1708, our author was a priſoner
in Sweden; and, for this reaſon, his account of tranſactions
during that period, differs in few circumſtances
from the common hiſtorians. His reflections upon
the deſperate march of Charles XII. thro' the Ukraine,
and his deſcription of the famous battle of
Pultowa, ſeem to be the reſult both of good obſervation,
and ſkill in his own profeſſion.
The retreat of Charles XII. to Bender, involved the
Czar in a war with the Turks. And it is worthy
our obſervation, that theſe two rival Monarchs, in
ferior in fame and in conduct to no General of that
age, were precipitated into the ſame dangerous ſituation
by an error in military conduct, of which the
moſt unexperienced Commander would ſcarce be
guilty. Without providing magazines for ſubſiſting
his army, or ſecuring a ſingle poſt to favour his retreat,
Charles marched into the heart of the Ruſſian
Empire. With the ſame blind and unprovident impetuoſity,
did the Czar advance into the Turk dominions.
The fate of the two Monarchs was, however,
extremely different. Charles eſteemed it ignominious
to make any conceſſions to an enemy; and
36,000 Swedes, together with the glory of his country,
fell a ſacrifice to his inflexible obſtinacy. The
more fortunate, and more pliant genius of the Czar
aided by the addreſs of the Empreſs Catharine, and
favoured by the venality of the Prime Vizier, extacated
the Ruſſians out of the danger with a facility
which almoſt exceeds belief.
In this negotiation, our author allows to Catharine
leſs merit, than is aſcribed to her by other hiſtorians
and even by the Czar himſelf, in the appointing her
to be his ſucceſſor in the Empire. Mr. Gordon ſeems
to have enjoyed no great ſhare in the friendſhip of
any of the Czar's three principal confidents; and for
that reaſon he gives no very favourable idea of thoſe
extraordinary perſons, whoſe ſingular character and
fortune make ſo diſtinguiſhed a figure in the hiſtory
of that Monarch. The Czar's choice of his favourites
more than any other action of his life, diſcovers a
mind elevated above the views and prejudices of his
ſpecies. Who would have imagined the page of a
Daniſh Ambaſſador, a crier of puff-cakes, and the
wife of a Swediſh Corporal, to have been the moſt
proper inſtruments for beginning, for carrying forward
and for continuing the nobleſt deſign that ever was
undertaken for the benefit of mankind? and yet, under
ſuch circumſtances of obſcurity and diſadvantage, did
Peter the Great, prompted by caprice, or guided perhaps
by that penetrating eye, which is peculiar to true
genius, diſtinguiſh a M. le Fort, a Prince Menzikoff,
and a Catherine; no ſooner did he produce
theſe illuſtrious perſonages into the world, than the
voice of mankind juſtified his choice.
In 1711, our author quitted the Ruſſian ſervice;
and had he (according to a reſolution which he mentions
in his preface) concluded his hiſtory with the
tranſactions of that year, the reader would have had
no reaſon to regret the loſs of a ſecond volume, which
contains indeed ſome of the moſt intereſting events in
the Czar's life, but with regard to which Mr. Gordon's
intelligence has ſupplied him with nothing curious or
uncommon.
Tho' the greater part of our author's book be filled
with the account of military tranſactions, we find interſperſed
ſeveral particulars with regard to the Czar,
which ſerve to illuſtrate his character; in which,
along with the virtues of the patriot and of the hero,
were mingled, and often in extraordinary proportion,
the vices of the man, the violence of the tyrant, and
even, on ſome occaſions, the fierceneſs of the Barbarian.
Perhaps even theſe defects in his character contributed
towards the ſucceſs of his undertaking; and
with leſs impetuoſity, and greater gentleneſs of diſpoſition,
with more refinement, and a nicer ſenſe of
decorum, he might have left his grand enterprize at a
farther diſtance from perfection, Our author is at
great pains to vindicate the Czar from the imputation
of cruelty. One ſtory he relates to this purpoſe is very
remarkable; but whether it manifeſts more clearly
the humane or the furious diſpoſition of the Ruſſian
Monarch, we muſt leave our readers to judge. "A
"Lady, who attended the Empreſs Catharine, had an
"amour, which, at different times, produced three
"children: ſhe had always pleaded ſickneſs; but Peter,
being ſuſpicious, ordered his phyſicians to attend her,
"who ſoon made the diſcovery. It alſo appeared
"that a ſenſe of ſhame had triumphed over her hu"manity,
and that the children had been put to death
"as ſoon as born. Peter inquired, If the father of
"them was privy to the murder: the Lady inſiſted, He
"was innocent; for ſhe had always deceived him, by
"pretending they were ſent to nurſe. Juſtice now
"called on the Emperor to puniſh the offence. The
"Lady was much beloved by the Empreſs, who
"pleaded for her. As to the amour, it would have
"been pardonable, but not the murder. Peter ſent
"her to the Caſtle and went himfelf to vifit her:
"the fact being confeſſed, he pronounced her ſentence
"with tears; telling her, That his duty as a Prince
"and God's vicegerent, called on him for that juſtice
"which her crime rendered indiſpenſably neceſſary;
"and therefore ſhe muſt prepare for death. He at"tended
her alſo upon the ſcaffold, where he embraced
"her with the utmoſt tenderneſs mixed with ſorrow
"and ſome ſay, that when the head was ſtruck off
"he took it up by the ear, while the lips were yet
"trembling, and kiſſed them; a circumſtance of an
"extraordinary nature, and yet not incredible, con"ſidering
the peculiarities of his character."
Several of Mr. Gordon's readers will obſerve with
pleaſure, the eminent rank. to which many of our
country-men roſe, in the ſervice of a Monarch who
knew ſo well how to diſtinguiſh, and to reward merit
While the Czar was employ'd in viſiting the different
courts in Europe, he entruſted the one half of his
forces to Lieutenant-General Patrick Gordon. By his
gallantry and good conduct, was ſuppreſſed a mutiny
of the Strelitzes, who threatened to exclude Peter
from that throne, which he was qualifying himſelf to
fill with more dignity than any of his anceſtors.
Mariſhal Oglivie, who commanded in chief at the
ſecund ſiege of Narva, was of Scots extraction. The
Generals, Bruce, Chambers and many other officers of
rank, were of the ſame nation; and in the Swedish
army too, the names of ſome Scots men occur among
their General Officers.
At the cloſe of this ſecond volume, Mr. Gordon
has inſerted a Latin epitaph in honour of the Czar.
This ſmall piece, the author of which we know not,
is compoſed with ſome ſpirit and elegance. The turn
of the laſt ſentence is peculiarly happy:
Alii ſeliciſſime exercitus duxerunt, hic creavit.
Erubeſce ars!
Hic vir maximus tibi nibil debuit.
Exulta Natura
Hoc ſtupendium tuum eſt.
ARTICLE II.
Syſtem of moral Philoſophy in three books; written by
the late Francis Hutcheſon L. L. D. Profeſſor of Philoſophy
in the Univerſity of Glaſgow. Publiſhed from
the original Manuſcript by his Son Francis Hutcheſon
M. D. To which is prefixed, ſome account of the Life,
Writings and Character of the Author, by the Reverend
William Leechman D. D. Profeſſor of Divinity in the
ſame Univerſity . 2 Vols. 4to. Glaſgow, Printed and
Sold by R. and A. Foulis: and ſold by A. Millar and
F. Longman, London; G. Hamilton and J. Balfour,
Edinburgh. Price in boards, One Guinea. Vol. 1. contains
414 pages, and Vol. II. contains 384 pages.
THIS author, by his former writings, has acquired
ſo juſt a reputation, and merited ſo well of the
lovers of philoſophy, that we cannot doubt but the
preſent work will meet with a favourable reception.
It proceeds on the ſame plan with a ſhort treatiſe
which he publiſhed in 1742, intitled, Philoſophiae
moralis inſtitutio compendiaria. As that was intended for
a text to his ſtudents, this larger work ſeems to contain
the ſum of his letures. And, without derogating
from the many eminent men who have written
on this part of philoſophy, we may venture to aſcribe
to our author the praiſe of having removed a great
deal of rubbiſh rom the ſcience of morals, and of having
treated his ſubject in a very diſtinct and maſterly
manner.
The public is not a little indebted to thoſe who
gratify their curioſity concerning eminent men, by
memoirs of their life and character. This is done to
good purpoſe by the Reverend Profeſſor Leechman,
in his large account of Mr. Hutcheſon, prefixed to this
work. We ſhall give our readers ſome account of the
principal facts contained in it.
Dr. Francis Hutcheſon was born on the 8th.
Auguſt 1694; his father Mr. John Hutcheſon was
Miniſter of a Diſſenting congregation, in the North
of Ireland. In his youth, he gave an early proof of that
generous diſintereſted temper, which diſtinguiſhed
him thro' the whole of his life, by his refuſal of a
ſettlement made in his favour by his grandfather, to
the prejudice of an elder brother. After receiving the
firſt part of his education in a private academy, he
removed to the univerſity of Glaſgow, where he finiſhed
his philoſophical ſtudies, and then applied himſelf
to divinity, which he propoſed to make the ſtudy and
profeſſion of his life. Having ſpent ſix years at this univerſity,
he returned to Ireland, ſubmitted to trials in
order to enter into the miniſtry, and was licenſed to
preach among the diſſenters. He was juſt about to
be ſettled Miniſter in a ſmall diſſenting congregation
in the North of Ireland; when ſome gentlemen, who
knew that his abilities qualified him to be more extenſively
uſeful than he could he in that remote congregation,
prevailed with him to take up an academy
at Dublin. In this ſtation, he continued for ſeven of
eight years, acquitting himſelf with great reputation
and honoured with the friendſhip of the moſt eminent
perſons of all ranks who had any taſte for literature;
ſuch as Lord Granville, then Lord-Lieutenant of
Ireland, Lord Viſcount Molſworth, Archbiſhop King,
and Dr. Synge, now Lord Biſhop of Elphin. During
this period, he publiſhed his inqury into the ideas of
beauty and virtue, his treatiſe on the paſſions, and
ſome philoſophical papers concerning laughter, inſerted
in the collection called Hibernicus's Letters. In
1729, he was called to be a Profeſſor of Philoſophy
in the univerſity of Glaſgow, in room of Mr. Gerſhom
Carmichael. With what capacity, aſſiduity and ſucceſs
he diſcharged all the duties of that office, is well
known. Beſides his conſtant lectures five days of
the week on natural religion, morals, juriſ-prudence
and government; he had another lecture three days
of the week, in which he explained ſome of the fineſt
writers of antiquity, both Greek and Latin, on the
subject of morals; and every Sunday-evening, he
gave a weekly lecture on the truth and excellency of
the Chriſtian religion, to a very crowded auditory.
Fond of well diſpoſed youth, entering into all their
concerns, encouraging and befriending them on all
occaſions, he gained the eſteem and affections of the
ſtudents in a very high degree. To his honour it will
be ever acknowledged, that he raiſed and ſupported
an excellent ſpirit, and a high taſte for literature in
that univerſity; and was particularly happy in reviving
the ſtudy of antient learning; eſpecially the
Greek, which had been much neglected. Such an
ardor for knowledge, and ſuch a ſpirit of inquiry,
did he ſpread every where around him, that, as the
Profeſſor informs us, the uſual converſation of the
ſtudents, at their ſocial walks and viſits, turned with
great keenneſs upon ſubjects of learning and taſte. A
firm conſtitution, and a pretty uniform courſe of
health ſeemed to promiſe a much longer continuance
of ſo uſeful a life; when, after a few days of a fever,
he was cut off in the 53d year of his age, about 16
years after his coming to Glaſgow.
The character given by the Reverend Profeſſor, of
Dr. Hutcheſon, is very full, and bears the impreſſion
of a maſterly hand. Somewhat, no doubt, muſt be
allowed to the zeal and warmth of friendſhip with
which the character is drawn: yet, we apprehend, that
in the chief particulars, it is confirmed by the public
voice; as Mr. Hutchiſon is univerſally acknowledged
to have been both an eminent philoſopher, and a very
worthy man. The moſt remarkable traces of his
character are theſe: a ſuperior genius, joined with
diſintereſted views and public ſpirit; a great fund or
knowledge, and a remarkable facility in communicating
it to others; an uncommon zeal, even to a degree
of enthuſiaſm, for the intereſts of learning, liberty,
and virtue; a warm friendly temper overflowing
with affection, accompanied with openneſs and frankneſs
of manners, and with a perpetual fund of chearfulneſs
and good humour.—" To conclude," ſays the
Profeſſor," he had uncommon abilities, uncommon
"virtues, and ſmall failings, and theſe ariſing from
"good qualities. If he was at any time too much
"or too ſoon heated, it was owing to the quickneſs of
"his parts and ſenſibility of his temper; if his indignation
was ſtrong, it was only provoked by
"ſuch baſeneſs or malignity as his heart abhorred;
"if at any time he was open, when reſerve might
"have been more proper, it proceeded from an ho"neſty
and ſincerity of heart; unaccuſtomed to diſ"ſemble.
Some were diſpleaſed with his honeſt
"freedom; ſome might emulate his reputation; ſome
"traduce him thro' prejudice, ſome thro' bigotry:
"but his parts, his ſpirit and his worth, will be re"membred,
when any prejudices that were raiſed a"gainſt
him will be entirely forgotten."
As to the general character and plan of his philoſophy,
we are acquainted by the Profeſſor, that when
Dr. Clark's celebrated treatiſe on the being and attributes
of God was publiſhed, it led Mr. Hutcheſon to
a very attentive conſideration of the nature and
force of the arguments a priori (as they are
called) commonly uſed on theſe ſubjects: That,
after all his inquiries, he remained extremely
doubtful of the juſtneſs and ſolidity of this metaphyſical
manner of reaſoning; and came at laſt to be
of opinion, that as force ſubjects, from their nature,
are capable of demonſtrative evidence, ſo others admit
only of a probable one; that, to ſeek demonſtration
where probability can only be obtained, is as unreaſonable,
as to demand to ſee ſounds, or to hear
colours; and that to attempt demonſtration on ſuch
ſubjects, is of a very dangerous conſequence to the intereſts
of truth and religion. Theſe views firſt led
him to treat morals, as a matter of fact, and not as
founded on the abſtract relations of things. He had
obſerved, that it was the glory of the preſent age, to
have thrown aſide the method of forming hypotheſes
in natural philoſophy, and to ſet themſelves to
make obſervations and experiments on the material
world itſelf. He was convinced, that, in like manner,
a true ſcheme of morals could not be the product
of genius and invention, or of the greateſt preciſion
in metaphyſical reaſoning; but muſt be drawn
from proper obſervations on the ſeveral powers and
principles which we are conſcious of in our boſoms,
from inquiring into our internal ſtructure, as a conſtitution
or ſyſtem, compoſed of various parts, ranked
in ſubordination to each other; whence we may
diſcover what is the deſign. of the whole, and what the
courſe of action for which we were intended by our
Creator. On theſe principles, Mr. Hutcheſon founded
his plan of philoſophy.
Having given this account of the moſt remarkable
particulars contained in the preface, we proceed now
to the ſyſtem of moral philoſophy itſelf. Our readers,
we believe, will not expect from us a minute detail
of what is contained in ſo large a work; and at the
ſame time to give them no more than a few bare extracts
from different parts of it, would ill anſwer the
end we propoſe, of giving a general idea of an author's
merit, and of the nature of his performance.
We ſhall therefore endeavour to preſent them with
ſuch a view of the plan and conduct of the work
before us, as may give ſome light into the genius and
ſpirit of this philoſophy.
The whole is divided into three books. The firſt
contains what is properly the ethical part; comprehending
the general principles of morals and of natural
religion; with an inquiry into the ſummum bonum,
or chief happineſs of man. The author ſets out with
an account of the ſeveral powers of the human mind.
Beſides the common diviſion of theſe, into the un-derſtanding,
will, and affections, he conſiders ſeveral
internal ſenſes or finer powers of perception; of which
part of the human frame, this author has been a
more curious obſerver than any other philoſopher.
Thoſe internal ſenſes, or natural determinations of the
mind, as he ſometimes calls them, are reduced to the
following heads: a ſenſe of beauty and of harmony;
a perception of pleaſure in imitation and deſign; a
ſympathetic ſenſe, impelling mankind to compaſſion
and congratulation; a natural propenſity to action; a
moral ſenſe; a ſenſe of honour; a ſenſe of decency
and dignity; a ſenſe of the ridiculous; the inſtinct
of love betwixt the ſexes; the inſtinct of parental affection;
a natural impulſe to ſociety; and a tendency
towards religion. Whether all theſe be original in
ſtincts or determinations of the mind, as our author
ſeems to think, or whether ſome of them can be traced
from more general principles in our nature, may
perhaps be queſtioned; but it is certain, that all of
them have place in human nature, and that they juſtly
deſerve to be attended to, in examining the moral
ſtructure of the mind.
In order to point out the ſubordination of thoſe different
powers, our author proceeds next to inquire
into thoſe leading principles of human nature, that are
of higher authority than the reſt. This brings him
to conſider the hypotheſes of ſelf-love and benevolence;
and whether there are any affections that can properly
be called diſintereſted, or that terminate ultimately,
without any farther view, on the good of others.
That there are ſuch, he proves, we apprehend, in a
ſatisfaactory manner; and that it is doing violence to
our nature, to attempt reſolving all the emotions of
the heart into views of ſelf-intereſt. The ſupreme
regulating principle of conduct, is the moral ſenſe;
which our author defines, a natural and immediate
determination to approve certain affections, and actions
conſequent upon them; or a natural ſenſe of immediate
excellence in them. The affedions and actions
approved by this ſenſe he afterwards ſhows to be
all ſuch as tend to the happineſs of others, and to the
moral perfection of our own minds: from which he
draws this great conſequence, that univerſal benevolence
is the law of our nature. What he advances
upon this ſubject, is little elſe than an abridgment of
what he handles more fully in his inquiry into virtue,
and illuſtrations on the moral ſenſe; which muſt be
conſulted by them who would go to the bottom of
this argument. The moral ſenſe and diſintereſted affections,
are the two capital points of Mr. Hutcheſon's
philoſophy, as diſtinguiſhed from the ſyſtems of
thoſe philoſophers, who derive our approbation of
virtue from reaſon, from ſympathy, or from conformity
to truth; or who reſolve all the affections of the heart
into ſelf-love. The ground-work of our author's philoſophy
is the ſame with that of Lord Shaftſbury.
But there is one point, in which it may not be amiſs
to obſetve a remarkable difference in opinion between
Mr. Hutcheſon and that noble author. Both agree in
aſſerting a diſtinct order of kind affections in our nature,
which have ſhe happineſs of others for their ultimate
object, without reference to our own intereſt.-
But when, all paſſions apart, we calmly conſider what
is the wiſeſt regulation of human conduct; when the
queſtion is put, For what reaſon we ought to purſue
virtue, and to cultivate the friendly and benevolence
affections, rather than the ſelfiſh? the anſwer returned
by Lord Shaftſbury is, Becauſe virtue is the chief
happineſs, and vice the ill or miſery of every one;
becauſe we experience the pureſt and ſublimeſt joy in
the gratification of the generous emotions. Thus,
according to that philoſopher, the calm deſire of our
own happineſs, is the leading, the ſupreme principle
of human nature. Whereas, according to our author,
the deſire of our own happineſs is not the ſupreme principle
in the ſoul. But, independent of this, and independent
of all particular affections; there is a calm
deſire of the happineſs of all rational beings; which; is
not only co-ordinate with, but even of ſuperior authority
to, the deſire of our own happineſs: inſomuch
that, ſhould an oppoſition betwixt theſe principles fall
out, the moral ſenſe would declare in favour of the
former; and would authoriſe and require the entire
ſacrifice of our own happineſs to the happineſs of the
rational ſyſtem. This is pointed out in the concluſion
of the preface, as a diſcovery in morals, of which our
author has the ſole merit. It muſt indeed be allowed,
to be the higheſt ſtrain of the benevolent ſyſtem. But,
how far it is conſonant to human nature, is a queſtion
of fact which we ſhall leave to our readers to judge
of for themſelves.
A conſiderable part of the firſt book is ſpent in illuſtrating
the nature of the moral ſenſe, explaining its
connection with the ſenſe of honour and ſhame, and
accounting for the diverſity of ſentiments which prevails
among mankind in their approbation of moral
actions. This diverſity of ſentiment with regard
to morals, is owing, we are told, chiefly to theſe
three cauſes. 1ſt, Different notions of happineſs, and
of the means of promoting it, which obtain among
mankind. 2dly, Larger or more confined ſyſtems,
which men regard in conſidering the tendency of actions.
3dly, Different opinions about what God has
commanded. From this our author proceeds to an
inquiry concerning the ſupreme happineſs of mankind,
which is continued through ſeveral chapters, and abounds
with uſeful and ingenious thoughts. In comparing
our ſeveral enjoyments, he eſtimates their value
by the duration and the dignity, jointly: by dignity,
underſtanding the excellence of the kind, when thoſe
of different kinds are compared; and the intenſeneſs of
the ſenſation, when we compare thoſe of the ſame
kind. The gradations of pleaſure are, firſt and loweſt,
the ſenſual; next, thoſe of the imagination; then,
the pleaſures of the ſympathetic kind: and, in the
higheſt order of all, are the moral and religious; coincident
with which, and ariſing from them, is the
pleaſure of merited honour and eſteem. He inſtitutes
next a compariſon of the different ſorts of pain; which,
though not exactly anſwering to the gradation of pleaſures,
tends to ſhow, that bodily pain is not ſo great
as what ariſes, on many occaſions, from mental ſources:
and then, by a full compariſon of the ſeveral tempers
and characters of men, he ſhows, with the utmoſt
evidence, that the prevalence of virtuous and
regular affections, is the higheſt ſtate of inward enjoyment;
and that all vice, or excels of ſelfiſh affection,
engenders diſorder and miſery.
As eſſentially connected with the foundations of
morality, and neceſſary for aſcertaining the true happineſs
of man, the great principles of natural religion
are next eſtabliſhed by our author: the exiſtence and
perfections of the Deity, and the immortality of the
ſoul. That capital point of the benevolence of the
Deity, is in particular laboured with care; and much
good reaſoning produced in ſupport of it, from analogy
to other minds; from the all-ſufficient nature of
the Deity; from the obvious tendency to general
happineſs which prevails throughout the univerſe;
from the neceſſity of general laws being eſtabliſhed,
altho' theſe may occaſionally produce ſuffering; from
the diverſity of ranks and orders of being which muſt
have place in the ſyſtem of exiſtence; from the ſuperiority
of good to evil on the whole of things. What
the author has advanced on this ſubject ſeems to us not
the leaſt ingenious part of his work; and is concluded
with an excellent flow of devotional ſentiment, in a
ſketch of the affections, duty and worſhip, which we
owe to the ſupreme Being.
Having now explained the conſtitution of human
nature, as it regards morals, and having ſhewed what
courſe of life in general our nature points out and
recommends; the author proceeds, in his ſecond book,
to a deduction of the more ſpecial laws of nature, previous
to civil government and other adventitious
ſtates. As virtue conſiſts, according to his theory, in
benevolence or a deſire of promoting univerſal happineſs,
an inquiry into the particular laws of nature,
is the ſame with an inquiry into the moſt proper,
means of promoting the happineſs of mankind by our
actions. Before entering on this, our author premiſes
ſeveral conſiderations concerning complex moral
ideas; conſiders the caſe of ignorance and an erring
conſcience; and lays down rules for computing the
morality of actions. The morality of an action is in
general eſtimated, according to our author, by the degree
of benevolence or kind affection which is diſcovered
in it. Here, however, we cannot help obſerving,
that Mr. Hutcheſon's ſcheme would have
been more compleat, if he had diſtinguiſhed, in a
more explicit manner, betwixt a ſenſe of duty and a
ſimple approbation of the moral ſenſe. If theſe were
altogether ſynonymous, it would follow, that, in
judging of the morality of actions, where-ever there
was the higheſt approbation of the moral ſenſe, there
would be alſo the ſtrongeſt ſenſe of duty. But nothing
can be more clear, than that this does not hold
in fact. To devote ourſelves to death for our country;
to ſacrifice our own happineſs to that of the
public; are acts of high diſintereſted benevolence,
which receive the greateſt approbation from the moral
ſenſe, but are by no means accompanied with that
ſenſe of ſtrict duty that attends juſtice, truth, fidelity,
obſervance of compact, and thoſe other humbler virtues
that are primary and eſſential to ſociety. To
them we feel ourſelves indiſpenſably obliged; but are
not conſcious of ſuch an obligation with reſpect to univerſal
diſintereſted benevolence; which is indeed
conſidered as the heroiſm, or ſublimity of virtue,
which every man's mind approves and admires; but
which is not bound upon us by the authoritative ſanction
of duty, in ſo ſtrong a manner, as the other virtues
juſt now mentioned. Mr. Hutcheſon, it is true,
ſays, (p. 240. Vol.I.) that "God has ſet in our
"hearts a very high ſtandard of neceſſary goodneſs,
"if we would attend to it; and we muſt be diſplea"ſed
with ourſelves, when we omit any office, how
"burdenſom or hurtful ſoever to ourſelves which on
"the whole would increaſe the public happineſs, after
"all its conſequents are conſidered." But we much
queſtion, whether the diſpleaſure which on ſuch an
occaſion we may feel againſt ourſelves, amounts fully
to the ſenſe of an obligation, that we ought and
are bound in every caſe to make an entire ſacrifice of
our intereſt to that of the public. In general, we
may obſerve, concerning the ſtrain of this part of
our author's philoſophy, that it repreſents virtue rather
in the light of a beautiful and noble object, re-commended
by the inward approbation of our minds
than as a law dictated by conſcience; and may be
thought to be calculated rather for making virtuous
men better, than for teaching the bulk of mankind the
firſt principles of duty.
But, to proceed with our account of the work:
After the conſideration of thoſe general principles that
affect the morality of actions, the reſt of the ſecond
book is employed on the juriſ-prudential part of the
ſyſtem. The author treats largely of private rights,
natural and adventitious, real and perſonal; of property,
the means of acquiring it, and the ways of
transferring it; of the nature and obligation of contracts;
of promiſes, oaths and vows; of rights ariſing
from injuries, and damages done by others: and reaſons
with great preciſion and diſtinctneſs on all the
queſtions of moral caſuiſtry, which fall to be conſidered
under theſe heads. Thro' this part of the
work, it were tedious to follow him; nor, without exceeding
the compaſs which we preſcribe to ourſelves,
would it be poſſible to give our readers any idea of
what he advances on theſe various ſubjects. Towards
the end of the ſecond book, we meet with a curious
chapter on the extraordinary rights ariſing from neceſſity.
One of the moſt nice and delicate queſtions
in morality is here examined, Whether there be any
particular caſes in which we may be juſtified in departing
from the ordinary rules of virtue? whether, for
inſtance, a ſingular neceſſity may not ſuperſede the
law of veracity; as when a perſon by telling a falſehood,
has it in his power to ſave the lives of many
innocent men, or to preſerve, or ſupport, a whole city
or nation, from the rage of ſome tyrant or monſter?
or, whether, to give another inſtance, we can be juſtified
in corrupting the ſecretary of a hoſtile Prince to
betray the ſecrets of his Prince, when the ſafety of
our country requires it, or when we can by ſuch
means prevent the effuſion of much innocent blood?
Our author, after examining the arguments of thoſe
who hold that the common laws of nature ſhould always
be obſerved, whatever evils may enſue, gives his
own opinion in favour of the right of neceſſity, in
ſuch extraordinary caſes as thoſe above noticed.
He is at great pains, by ſeveral cautions, to guard
this doctrine againſt the abuſe that may be made of
it; and ſhows, that the plea of neceſſity can then
only be juft, when, all the conſequences of receding
from the ordinary rule being fairly computed, it appears
that the public intereſt cannot ſuffer by a like
liberty allowed in all caſes of the ſame nature. Having
advanced thus far, a greater difficulty occurs:
How far may this plea be extended? are there not
ſome laws of nature too ſacred to admit any exception?
Moſt Moraliſts allow of ſpeaking againſt our ſentiments
in ſome extraordinary caſes; but what if a
bare aſſertion will not attain the end, ſuppoſe the
preſervation of our country, may we employ perjury
alſo? This will be abhorred by every man of true piety.
If it is allowed lawful to bribe the ſecretary of a
hoſtile Prince to betray his maſter's counſels; what
if we cannot ſave our country, unleſs by bribing him
to poiſon or aſſaſſinate his maſter? This even the ſtatesman
cannot defend. Within what bounds then muſt
the plea of neceſſity be circumſcribed, and what are
thoſe laws that admit no exception? This, ſays our
author, is one of the deſiderata in morals, and muſt
probably remain ſo till our knowledge grows more
perfect in ſome higher ſtate. With the following
juſt and ſenſible reflections, he concludes this ſubject.
"After all we can ſuggeſt on this head, unleſs ſome"thing
more preciſe and accurate be diſcovered, we
"muſt have recourſe to the inward feelings of an
"honeſt heart. A ſenſe which Ariſtotle often tells
"us, muſt make the application of general principles
"to particular caſes: and thus the truly good man,
"and his ſentiments, muſt be the laſt reſort in ſome
"of theſe intricate caſes. Men truly virtuous will
"ſeldom be in danger of abuſing theſe pleas. And
"no rules or rigid tenets and opinions will bind the
"unjuſt, the covetous, the ambitious, or ſelfiſh, or
"bigots in falſe religions. If they allow the pleas of
"neceſſity, in important caſes, they will miſapply
"them. If they do not allow them in opinion, they
"will counteract in practice thoſe very laws which they
"deem ſtrictly univerſal, without any exception."
The third and laſt book treats of thoſe right and
duties that ariſe from what moraliſts call the advertitious
ſtates, that is, the relations which mankind have
formed among themſelves. Theſe relations are either
domeſtic or civil. Our author begins with the firſt.
He deſcribes the nature and duties of the conjugal
ſtate; the riſe and meaſure of parental power, and the
laws of filial ſubjection; and the reciprocal duties of
maſters to ſervants. A vein of great humanity, as
well as good ſenſe, reigns thro' this part of the work.
He next enters on the conſideration of the civil relations.
He inquires into the nature of political
union, and the original of ſtates; and diſcuſſes with
accuracy the ſeveral queſtions concerning the rights or
governors and the privileges of ſubjects. In treating
of theſe topics, our author ſhows himſelf a warm
friend to the cauſe of liberty, and diſcovers a juſt abhorrence
of all ſlaviſh principles. He boldly aſſert
the right of reſiſting in the people, when their fundamental
privileges are invaded; whilſt, at the ſame
time, he inculcates the advantages of regular ſubjection
and due regard to laws, even under a faulty adminiſtration.
Beſides the moral conſideration of government,
our author gives alſo the political view of
it, after the manner of Harrington and Machiavel, in
a compariſon of the different forms and plans of polity,
and of the reſpective advantages and diſadvantages
that attend them. The nature and execution of civil
laws; the laws of peace and war; the rights of ambaſſadors,
and the nature of public treaties, are likewiſe
conſidered. And the work is concluded with
ſerious reflections on thoſe ſeeds of change and decay
:hat are found in all human inſtitutions, even the moſt
perfect; and with an exhortation to look forward to
immortality.
On the whole; whatever objections may be made
to ſome few particularities of Mr. Hutcheſon's ſcheme,
yet, as a ſyſtem of morals, his work deſerves, in our
judgment, conſiderable praiſe: he ſhows a thorough
acquaintance with the ſubject of which he treats. His
philoſophy tends to inſpire generous ſentiments and
amiable views of human nature. It is particularly
calculated to promote the ſocial and friendly affections;
and we cannot but agree with the author of the preface,
that it has the air of being dictated by the heart,
no leſs than the head. As to the ſtile and manner;
no ſyſtems can be expected to be very entertaining,
and allowances are always due to a poſthumous work,
which may be ſuppoſed not to have received the author's
laſt hand. Elegance has not been ſtudied in the
compoſition; but the ſtile, tho' careleſs and neglected,
cannot juſtly be taxed as either mean or obſcure.
ARTICLE III.
Memoirs of the Affairs of Scotland, containing an impartial
account of the moſt remarkable Tranſactions in
that Kingdom, from King James VI. his taking up
the Government in 1577, till his Acceſſion to the
Crown of England in 1603; together with, a Diſcourſe
of the Conſpiracy of the Earl of Gowry. By
David Moyſes, for many years an Officer of the
king's Houſehold, now firſt publiſhed from an original
Manuſcript. Edinburgh, printed by Walter Ruddiman
and Company, and ſold by Gideon Crawfoord
and other Bookſellers. Price 3 s. 12mo; containing
338 pages.
THE latter part of the ſixteenth century, is a very
buſy and intereſting period in the Scotch hiſtory.
The ſubverſion of one ſyſtem of national religion,
and the eſtabliſhment of another, the dethroning, the
impriſonment, the trial and execution of a Sovereign
Queen, the diſſolution of the ancient alliance with
France, which had ſubſiſted almoſt as long as the monarchy,
and the commencement of an union with the
Engliſh, who had been the objects of an enmity no
leſs ancient, are great events crowded into a very narow
ſpace. Nor are they very great events which
excite admiration alone, without producing any laſting
or important effects. During that period, a
from incidents which then fell in, the factions which
ſtill divide the kingdom took their riſe. In England,
thoſe parties, which afterwards acquired the names of
Whig and Tory, can properly be traced no higher that
the Parliament which met in 1621. In Scotland, they
were formed half a century ſooner; and as early as the
Reformation, we find the principles fixed, and the
ends aſcertained, which each party, under different
denominations, hath adhered to, and purſued, through
all the ſucceſſive reigns.
There is not, however, in any nation of Europe,
a period of equal activity and importance, which hath
produced ſo few writers of hiſtory or memoirs. The
Scotch of that age, were more capable of performing,
than of deſcribing great actions. Hence the obſcurity
which covers all the tranfactions of that period, and
the perplexed and undecided controverſies to which
ſome of its capital events have given occaſion. In order
to throw ſome light upon facts of ſo much importance,
ſeveral perſons have employed themſelves
with moſt laudable induſtry, in ſearching for original
papers, and in collecting the ſcattered manuſcripts
and memoirs of thoſe times. With this view, the
memoirs of Mr. Moyſes are now publiſhed.
The author, of whom we can give no fuller account
than what is contained in the preface, was an officer
in King James's houſehold. He ſeems not to have
been of a rank which intitled him to any place in hiſtory,
where his name is altogether unknown. He
appears, however, to be a man of ſome obſervation
and accuracy. His account is digeſted into the form
of a journal or diary, which hath led him to uſe a
more ſimple and unaffected ſtile than was common in
that age.
But with regard to the real objects of hiſtory,
the characters of men and manners, the motives, the
tendency and effects of public councils, the influence
of foreign connections, and the variations of inferior
policy, the author ſeems to have had little information;
and he is modeſt enough, ſeldom to deliver his
opinion upon matters ſo far out of his ſphere. Naked
ſacts alone, without any attempt to trace their cauſes,
or to diſcover their conſequences, are to be found in
Mr. Moyſes's memoirs. In fixing the date and order
of events, the book may be of ſome uſe to thoſe who
inquire into the affair of that period with a critical exactneſs.
But the peruſal of it, we apprehend, will afford
little intertainment to perſons who overlook ſuch nicities,
and expect hiſtory to be ſomething more than a
chronological and unadorned regiſter of facts. One
would have imagined a contemporary writer might
have preſerved, in his journal, ſeveral entertaining occurrences
which had found no place in the greater hiſtorians
of that period. But here the lovers of anecdotes
will meet with almoſt nothing to gratify; their
curioſity. Nor will the reader diſcover in our author,
that ſecure impartiality of which the editors boaſt in
their preface. Mr. Moyſes was a retainer to the court;
and in many paſſages, his narrative hath manifeſtly
received a tincture from his ſituation. Our author
hath inſerted, in his diary, the diſcourſe concerning
the Earl of Gowry's conſpiracy, which was publiſhed
by the King's authority. No fact in the hiſtory of
Scotland hath been more diſputed than this, or ſtill remains
more uncertain and problematical. The King's
narrative is compoſed with ſo much viſible and ſtudied
art, as cannot fail of putting the reader on his guard,
and wakening ſome degree of ſuſpicion and diſtruſt.
The circumſtances it contains with regard to every
ſtep in that dark tranſaction, have in them ſomewhat
of extravagance and improbability, and give little
light into the motives, the contrivance and execution
of ſo ſtrange an attempt. The evidence ſubjoined, is
ſo imperfect, and differs in ſo many particulars from
the narrative in proof of which it is brought, that,
upon the whole matter, it becomes almoſt impoſſible
to form any opinion entirely ſatisfying and concluſive
Among the particulars of the conſpiracy, one circurmſtance
occurs, which diſcovers the ſuperſtition and
credulity of that age, in reſpect to a practice, which
the progreſs of learning and true philoſophy hath now
brought into univerſal and deſerved contempt. When
the Earl of Gowry was killed, the King commanded
to ſearch his pocket for letters, "but nothing
"was found in them but a little cloſs parchment bag,
"full of magical characters, and words of inchantment,
"wherein it ſeemed that he had put his confidence,
"thinking himſelf never ſafe without them, and there"fore
ever carried them about with him; being alſo
"obſerved, that while they were upon him, his
"wound, whereof he died, bled not; but incontinent,
"after the taking of them away, the blood guſhed out
"in great abundance, to the great admiration of all
"beholders:" This extraordinary paragraph, we perſuade
ourſelves, will meet with little credit in the pre-ſent
age; but it may give riſe to a very nice and curious
queſtion concerning hiſtorical evidence. In what proportion
does this one circumſtance, manifeſtly falſe
and incredible, detract from the faith and authority
of the whole narrative.
We cannot, on this occaſion, forbear expreſſing
our wiſhes, that ſome perſon of candor and abilities
would condeſcend to the labour of clearing this myſterious
paſſage in our hiſtory. Among both parties, bigots
are almoſt the only perſons who have hitherto
attempted any critical inquiry into the controverted
points in the Scotch hiſtory; and, circumſcribed by
their prejudices, or blinded by their reſentments, they
have made but little progreſs, and few diſcoveries. A
man of genius would be ſuperior both to ſuch reſtraints,
and to ſuch paſſions; and notwithſtanding
the miſrepreſentations of hiſtorians, and the imperfection
of records, would often diſcover truth, under
all the diſguiſe which the zeal, or the malignity of
factions have thrown over it. On the ſubject now
before us, the Earl of Cromarty publiſhed a diſcourſe
in the year 1713; but, inſtead of ſuperſeding farther
inquiry, his performance will be found to render it
more neceſſary. Before we diſmiſs Mr. Moyſes's book,
it is no more than juſtice to obſerve one thing in commendation
of the author's modeſty. He is perhaps
the only writer of memoirs in any nation or language,
who, throughout his whole book, hath never once
mentioned his own name, nor introduced a ſingle
ſcene wherein himſelf appears as an actor. An example
which we humbly recommend to be imitated, by all
obſcure hiſtorians of illuſtrious tranſactions.
ARTICLE IV.
The Hiſtory of the Rebellion in 1745 and 1746, extracted
from the Scots Magazine: with an Appendix, containing
an account of the Trials of the Rebels;
the Pretender and his Son's Declarations. Aberdeen,
printed by and for F. Douglas and W. Murray, &c.
1755. containing 372 pages price 2 s. 6 d.
THE publiſhers of this work, have intitled it a
hiſtory; but, in our opinion, very improperly:
for the great end and deſign of hiſtory, is the communication
of truth, and the repreſenting things as
they really are and were. But in this performance
(which is no more than a republication offuch news-papers,
journals, declarations, manifeſtos, and tranſactions
concerning the late rebellion, as have been thought
worthy of a place in the Scotch Magazine) the reader
will find ſo many different and contradictory relations
of the ſame facts that it will be impoſſible for him to
diſcern where the truth lies.
This cenſure, we confeſs, would be very unjuſt,
if the publiſhers of the Magazines, or of this extract
from them, had profeſſed no more, than to give to the
public a miſcellanious collection of what was reported
or publiſhed pro and con during that unhappy period.
But, ſurely, when they aſſumed to themſelves the
character of hiſtoriographers, and refer the reader to
this work, as containing, not only a "circumſtanti"ate",
but a "juſt account" of the rebellion, it be-became
them to have ſtated the facts ſo, as that the
reader might have had ſome criterion to enable him to
diſtinguiſh between truth and falſehood, and not be
left to wander in ſuch a maze of confuſed and contradictory
ſtories.
But, however deficient the hiſſtory may be in this
reſpect, we are told by the publiſhers, that it is
very candid and impartial. "The candor and impar-"tiality,
ſay they, with which the publiſhers, of that
"Magazine concluded themſelves in that critical peri"od,
added greatly to the character of a work for"merly
eſteemed, and well received by the public."
&c. Tho' one would be apt to think, that ever
in the moſt critical period, it required no great
ſkill to be impartial in making ſuch a collection;
yet neither in this reſpect does this performance appear
to us to be altogether unexceptionable. For,
throughout the whole of it, one cannot but obſerve a
moſt apparent care and attention to collect and publiſh
treaſonable papers and ſpeeches, and to avoid every
thing that might be offenſive to the Jacobites, or tend
prejudize the reader againſt them or their cauſe.
This ſpecies of candor and impartiality, is abundantly
remarkable in the preface which the publiſhers
have prefixed to it. Not the leaſt mention is there
made of the preſent happy eſtabliſhment. The late rebellion
which muſt appear to every true lover of his
country to have been moſt wicked and unnatural, is
expreſſed by the milder epithet of an "inteſtine com"motion;"
and thoſe who were engaged in that deſperate
attempt to ſubvert our religion and liberties,
are only characterized as "diſturbers of the public
peace."
Their reflexions or obſervations concerning the
deſign, and uſefulneſs of this work, are no leſs cautious
and inoffenſive. To conclude, ſay they, in the
laſt paragraph of their preface, "from a review of the
"miſery and diſtreſs into which a great part of the
"country was involved, and the hardſhips entailed up"on
ſeveral families by the late rebellion, the fatal ef"fects
of civil broils will be very evident. Peace and
"unanimity are among the greateſt bleſſings men can
"enjoy. They make a nation happy in itſelf, and
"formidable to its neighbours."
From theſe few ſpecimens of impartiality in the preface,
the reader may judge what he is to expect in
the hiſtory, to which we refer him; and when he has
taken the trouble to peruſe it, we doubt not but he
will be ready to acknowledge, that the authors have
no where in this performance diſtinguiſhed themſelves
by any "party zeal" in behalf of the preſent government,
or againſt the Jacobites; and that 'tis in this
ſenſe they may be properly ſaid to have done "ſtrict
juſtice to both."
ARTICLE V.
Sermons and Eſſays by the late Reverend Mr. John
M‘Laurin, one of the Miniſters of Glaſgow. Publiſhed
from the Author's Manuſcripts, by John Gillies, one
of the Miniſters of Glaſgow. Glafgow, Printed by
James Knox, price
THE author of theſe ſermons and eſſays (brother
to the late Mr. Colin M'Laurin, one of the
moſt celebrated Mathematicians of the age) was diſtinguiſhed
for piety, zeal, and an aſſiduous diſcharge
of the duties of the paſtoral function. What is now
publiſhed from his manuſcripts by his ſon-in-law Mr.
Gillies, contains three ſermons. The firſt is deſigned
to ſhow, That the ſins of men are not chargeable on
God; from James i. 13. Let no man ſay, when he is
tempted, I am tempted of God; for God cannot be tempted
with evil, neither tempteth he any man. The next ſermon
is, Of glorying in the croſs of Chriſt; from Gal.
vi. 14. God forbid that I ſhould glory, ſave in the croſs,
of our Lord Jeſus Chriſt, by whom the world is crucified
unto me, and I unto the world. And the third is intitled,
Of God's chief mercy; from Rom. viii. 32. He
that ſpared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all,
how ſhall he not with him freely give us all things. They
are plain and ſerious diſcourſes, without warmth in
the compoſition, or ornament in the ſtile; in the ſecond
ſermon, however, there are ſome lively ſtrokes,
which ſhew that the author was not deſtitute of genius
and fancy.
The greater part of the book conſiſts of eſſays on
religious ſubjects. The first of theſe is an Eſſay on the
prejudices againſt the goſpel, in which are conſidered
ſome objections urged by libertines againſt certain
peculiar doctrines of chriſtianity; ſuch as, the demerit
of ſin expoſing men to eternal puniſhment; the inſufificiency
of repentance in order to pardon; the doc-trine
of imputed righteouſneſs; and of the union betwixt
Chriſſt and true believers. The next eſſay is
on chriſtian piety. In this the author treats of thoſe
devout affections which correſpond to the peculiar diſcoveries
of the goſpel; and which he ſhows to be
chiefly comprized in a due acknowledgment of the redemption
and of the bleſſings that flow from it. This
eſſay is unfiniſhed.
The moſt conſiderable of the tracts here publiſhed,
is an eſſay in defence of the ſcripture-doctrine of grace;
in which our author has taken an accurate view of
the ſubject, and diſcovers no mean talent for abſtract
reaſoning. His ſcope is to ſhow, That there is ſuch a
thing as an internal influence of the Spirit of God on
the minds of good men; in oppoſition to them who
make God the author of holineſs and virtue, only as
he is the beſtower of the outward means which lead
men to true religion. His manner of writing is dry
and tedious; but there are not wanting ſeveral pertinent
reflections on this ſubject. He removes the ambiguity
which ariſes from the expreſſion of divine
grace being irreſiſtible. He ſhows that the operations
of grace are fitted to the frame of our nature, both as
to the effects they produce, and the manner of producing
them; and are far from reverſing thoſe wiſe
and good laws of nature of which God himſelf is the
author. As divine love is the chief effect of ſuper-natural
influence, the latter part of the eſſay is employed
in deſcribing the excellencies of this grace, and
recommending a devotional ſpirit in religion. The
author obſerves, That the rational and the affectionate
manner of devotion are too often without any due explication
or reſtriction, diſtinguiſhed, or rather oppoſed
to one another; that all affectionate devotion, it is
true, is not wiſe and rational; but that all wiſe and
rational devotion, muſt be affectionate. He then
proceeds to ſhow the uſefulneſs and propriety of devout
affections in religion; and guards againſt ſeveral
miſtakes concerning them, to the end of the eſſay.
ARTICLE VI.
A Collection of Sermons, moſtly preached at Sacramental
Occaſions, by the late Reverend Mr. Ebenezer Erſkine
Miniſter of the Goſpel at Stirling. The Manuſcript
reviſed by the Author before his death, never before
printed. Edinburgh, printed by T. Lumiſden and
Company, for Mr. David Erſkine, Son to the Reverend
Author, 1755. contains 507 pages 12mo. Price 3s.
THIS collection of ſermons is publiſhed by the
author's ſon, and by him dedicated to the Coun-teſs
of Northumberland; who, as he informs us in
the dedication, "was pleaſed to afford generous aſſiſt"ance
for publiſhing them, and condeſcended to ac"cept
a dedication of them. I have preſumed, ſay
"he, to preſent to your Ladyſhip the following ſer"mons;
which, tho' otherwiſe a work that will be
"coeval with Chriſtrianity, yet muſt receive an ad"ditional
recommendation, by being patronize by
"one whoſe piety and virtue are an ornament-to re"ligion,
and an honour to greatneſs." in the laſt
paragraph of this dedication, he tells her, "that 'tis
"unneceſſary to act the paraſite, in order to be e"ſteemed
ingenuous;" And therefore, inſtead of
enlarging any further in praiſe of his religious
Patroneſs, he chuſes to expreſs his "ſincereſt grati"tude,
by beſeeching the ſupreme Diſpoſer of men
"and events, that her Ladyſhip may be bleſſed wit of
"feeling ſenſe of the important truths contained in
"theſe ſermons; and, after a ſteady courſe of integri"ty
and virtue, flowing from vital union with Jeſus
"Chriſt, and imputation of his righteouſneſs, at laſt
"be placed in the regions of bliſs and immortality.
"where her happineſs ſhall be commenſurate to the
"duration of eternity." &c.
After this dedication, follows a ſhort preface, in
which the ſon gives the following character of his
father's ſermons. The ſubjects of the following
"ſemons are no leſs ſerious than intereſting; the
"ſtile is eaſy, clear, and intelligible; and the ſcope
"of the whole obvious to the meaneſt capacity."
He likewiſe informs us, that he had "prepared a
"larger preface," in which it would ſeem he intended
to give a fuller "encomium" of the Author and
his performances; but finding himſelf "unequal to this
"ſubject, he has emitted them with no other recom"mendation
than their title." He aſſures us, (and
we make no doubt of the truth of it,) that he has
"done all the juſtice in his power to this ſmall part
"of his father's ſacred remains, that was intruſted to
"his care; having ſcrupulouſly adhered to the direc"tions
he gave before his death, as to the title that
"ſhould be prefixed to each ſermon, and even to the
"very order in which he injoined them to be
"printed."
There are twelve different ſubjects diſcourſed of in
this volume; ſome of which afford matter for ſeveral
ſermons, under one title. The ſubject entitled "the
"new teſtament ark opened againſt the deluge of
"divine wrath," is handled in ſix ſermons. Under
the title of "Chriſt as the breaker, opening all paſſes
"to glory, that were unpaſſable," the reader
will find three ſermons, &c.
Tho' it appears, from the liſt of ſubſcribers prefixed
to this book, and the advertiſement ſubjoined at the
end of it, that many copies of it have been printed;
yet 'tis probable there are not a few of our readers,
who never ſaw or heard of it: And as the author was
generally allowed to have been one of the moſt eminent
of the Seceding teachers, we have therefore
thought it proper to abſtract a few paſſages of theſe
ſermons, as ſpecimens of the theology, eloquence,and
ſpirit of the Seceders.
In the fourth ſermon, entitled, "the wife virgins
"going furth to meet the bridegroom," p. 160, the
author addreſſes what he calls an "uſe of reproof and
"terror, to thoſe who are married to the law as a
"huſband," which he tells us, "is the caſe with all
"legaliſts, and ſelf-righteous perſons, that are ſeeking
"life, righteouſneſs and acceptance with God, by
"their own perſonal obedience, their prayers, and re"pentance
and mortification, &c." In order to reprove
and terrify all ſuch, he tells them, p. 162, 163.
"that they are married to a very rigorous huſband,
"— to a curſing huſband, — to a weak huſband, —
"and, laſtly, to a dead huſband;" and he aſſures them,
that while thus married to the law, i. e. while they
ſeek life, righteouſneſs, and acceptance with God by
their own. perſonal obedience, prayers, and repentance,
&c. "they are farther off from heaven than
"the groſſeſt of ſinners."
In another diſcourſe, entitled, "God's dove flying to
"his windows," from Iſa. 60. 8. p. 284. after premiſing
four things, which he ſays "are conſiderable" in the text,
he obſerves, by way of doctrinal propoſition, "That
"the flight of ſinners to a Saviour, is a ſweet and ſur"priſing
ſight," Who are theſe that fly as a cloud, &c.
This he propoſes to diſcourſe of in the following method:
"1ſt, To ſpeak a little of this flight of the ſin"ner
to Chriſt, and ſhew what it imports; 2dly, Iwould
"ſpeak a little, ſays he, of the manner of their flight;
"They fly as a cloud, and as doves; what may be
"couched in theſe metophors. 3dly, ſpeak a little
"of theſe windows, to which they fly; 4thly, ſhew
"that this is a ſweet and ſurprizing ſight; 5thly, apply
"the whole.
If the reader will take the trouble to follow our
author in the proſecution of this method, he will find
his manner of explaining "what may be couched in
"theſe metaphors" to be very ſingular, and in our
opinion, very abſurd; for inſtead of endeavouring to
aſcertain their meaning in plain, and proper words,
which it required no great art to do, he ſtarts one
metaphor after another, purſues them till he has forced
out of them, all the different meanings and theories,
that occurred to his own fancy: e.g. Theſe
who are ſaid in the text to fly, are "believers", and
their flying as a cloud, denotes their "multitude," and
likewiſe their "unanimity. The cloud flies upon the
"wings of the wind; and what airth ſoever the wind.
"carries them, thither do they go." This intimates
"how believers are carried by the wind of the influ"ences
of the Spirit. "Clouds are ſaid to be God's
"chariots, and God's chariots cannot be ſtopt;'' therefore
to fly as a cloud, is made to ſignify "the ſove"reignty
of God, and the irreſiſtibility of his grace; —
"Tis uſual in ſcripture to expreſs dark and myſterious
"diſpenſations by a cloud; therefore to fly as a cloud,
"implies likewiſe that God's work of grace, is of a
"ſacred and myſterious nature, &c. &c."
In the ſame manner he goes on to ſhow how they
may be ſaid to fly as doves. And here he inſtances in
eight particulars: "The dove is a timorous creature: —
"the wings of a dove are its only weapons: — theſe
"wings are very beautiful: — the dove is a mournful
"creature; — a ſimple creature; — a cleanly creature; —
"a ſocial creature; — a harmleſs creature." If the reader
is at a loſs to conceive how a believer may be ſaid to reſemble
a dove in all theſe reſpects, let him look into
p. 291, 292, and 293, where he will find, what the
author ſuppoſes "to be couched in theſe metaphors."
The third thing in the method, ſays he, was "to
"offer a few thoughts anent the windows to which the
"believer flees. And there are, theſe few things I
"offer on this head: firſt, That God has provided a
houſe for his doves; for windows belong to a houſe
"2dly, I remark, that there is bield in this houſe, &c.
"3dly, I remark, there is light in the houſe that
"God has provided for his doves; for one great uſe
"of windows in a houſe, is for letting in the light,
"&c. 4thly, That the windows of this houſe are o"pen;
for the doves don't fly into the windows
"of a houſe that are ſhut. O ſirs! God keeps open
"doors and open windows in his houſe for all ſin"ners,"
&c. 5thly, he remarks, "that ſinners have a
"claim and title to fly into thoſe windows; for they
"are ſaid to be their windows: and, laſtly, as it is not
"expreſſed window, in the ſingular number, but win"dows
in the plural," this ſignifies "that in God's
"houſe of mercy, or in the church of Chriſt, there are
"variety of ordinances, &c.
This laſt obſervation leads him to give a more particular
account of theſe windows; "of which there
"are ſix that are more private and ſecret, viz. the ſe-"cret
windows of meditation, — the privy window of
"ſecret prayer;—the windows of praiſe and thankſgi"ving:
— the private window of reading the ſcriptures;
"the private window of perſonal or family faſting and
"humiliation; — and the private window of chriſtian
"communion." There are likewiſe ſix more open
"and public windows, viz. "the large open window
"of preaching the everlaſting goſpel; — the public win"dow
of baptiſm; — the public window of the ſacra"ment
of the Lord's ſupper, the window of public
"praiſe, — and public faſting.
Under the title, "of the breaker's opening up all
"impaſſable paſſes to glory," p. 413, the reader will
find the following catalogue of the "breaker's break"ing
engines." He has a breaking arm, — a breaking
countenance; — a breaking word; — a breaking voice; —
a breaking wind, — breaking bolts of thunder, — and
many breaking armies of angels, ſtars and plagues,
&c.
The publiſher ſays in his preface, that the ſtile of
theſe ſermons is very eaſy; he might have added, and
very familiar, and in our opinion moſt indecently
familiar in many places. We ſhall only inſtance in
one paſſage out of many, which evidently falls under
this cenſure, viz. in p. 100. Where the author repreſents
our bleſſed Saviour as making the following parody
on Pſalms xl. 8. I delight to do thy will, &c. "q. d.
"I conſent to it, and am heartily willing and content;
"a bargain be it; let it be regiſtred in the volume of
"thy book; i. e. let it be entered into the records of
"Heaven, and an extract thereof be given out in the
"ſcriptures of truth unto ſinners of mankind, that they
"may have their thoughts about it."
We ſhall next extract a paſſage or two, as a
ſpecimen of the ſpirit of the Seceders, which,
appears to differ ſomewhat from the genuine temper
and ſpirit of chriſtianity. "O ſirs!" ſays he by way
of lamentation p. 279. "if the Plant of Renown
"were flouriſhing in the land, there would not be ſo
"many unſavory plants allowed to grow, or come
"up in his vineyard as there are at this day. The
"plant of Popiſh idolatry is connived at, and the
"plant of Prelacy, error and ſuperſtition, tolerate, &c.
"The plant of unſound Profeſſors of divinity, poiſon
"ing our fountains of learning, &c. The plant of lax
"erroneous Miniſters and Preachers, &c." After
mentioning theſe and ſome other plants, that are growing
up, he comes at laſt to "the plant of Eccleſiaſti"cal
tyranny, which, ſays he, ſeemed to be nipt a
"little theſe two years bygone, * but is ſprouting a"gain
as faſt as ever, notwithſtanding of the great cries
"of a pretended reformation that we heard among a
"great many Miniſters and Profeſſors of the eſtabliſh"ed
church; witneſs the proceedings of the laſt Aſ"ſembly
in the caſe of Dennie and Traquair, and the
"entertainment of the petition of the pariſh of Stow.
* The Sermon intitled the Plant of Renown from which this,
and the two following abſtracts are made, was preached 1735.
"Alas! ſays he in another part of this ſermon,
"p. 269,) we heard a noiſe of great reformation of
"late; but where is it, or what doth it amount to?
"What is there done for Chriſt? Is there any plant
"plucked up that he hath not planted? Any intruders
"upon chriſtian congregations by preſentations
"or ſham-calls turned out? Is there any thing
"done with erroneous profeſſors of divinity, when
"error is running thro' the land? O! there are
"few to ſtand up for the truth this day, when ſuch
"perſons are let go without rebuke, &c. civil and
"eccleſiaſtical authority are ſtudying to bear down
"Chriſt; but this Plant will be upon them, let them
"tread upon him, and his members as they will.
"Theſe miniſters, ſays he, p. 267. muſt be the
"devil's miniſters, and not the miniſters of Chriſt,
"who, inſtead of preaching a crucified Chriſt, enter"tain
their hearers with harangues of heathen mo"rality,
flouriſhes of rhetoric, the doctrines of ſelf"love,
as the principles of religious actions, and the
"like ſtuff."
In p. 429, amongſt other advices he gives his hearers,
this is one: "Seeing Jehovah, ſays he, is on your
"head, &c. let never his ſtandard fall, if you can
"keep it up; Jehovah has lifted up his ſtandard in
"Scotland beyond many nations of the earth, &c.
"Attempts are made at this day to pull down this
"ſtandard, &c. Some are attempting to pull down the
"ſtandard of doctrine, particularly by denying the
"ſelf-exiſtence and ſupreme deity, of the Son of God,
"our renowned king and head; others are attemp"ting
to ſtrike at the government of the church, by
"a tyrannical and lordly uſurpation upon the rights
"of the Lord's people in chuſing their own paſtors;
"and ſome talk of a bill preparing in the parliament
"of Britain, whereby a deeper wound is yet to be
"given to the church of God in this matter; and
"ſome ſay, that the hand of I—b is in it."
Such are the ſentiments, ſuch the ſtile and manner
of theſe diſcourſes, which, however acceptable they
may be to ſuch readers as are more apt to be catched
with ſound than ſenſe; are in our opinion but little
calculated to promote that reformation of manners,
which ought to be one great object of every preacher's
attention: On the contrary, they are ſo full of
childiſh conceits and fancies; the ſublime doctrines
of chriſtianity are treated of, in ſuch a low and
ludicrous manner, and are ſo disfigured with obſcure
and ſometimes indecent allegories; there is ſo little
morality, and ſuch a peeviſh and ill-natured ſpirit to be
found in them; that we are ſorry to ſay, they ſeem to
be rather calculated to do harm than good; to expoſe
religion to contempt and ridicule, inſtead of recommending
the love and practice of it.
ARTICLE VIII.
The ſituation of the World at the time of Chriſt's Appearance,
and its connection with the Succeſs of his Religion
conſidered. A Sermon preached before the Society in
Scotland for propagating Chriſtian Knowledge, at their
Aniverſary meeting, in the High Church of Edinburgh,
on Monday January 6th. 1755. (Publiſhed at their
deſire,) by William Robertſon Miniſter of the Goſpel at
Gladſmuir. To which is ſubjoined a ſhort account of
the preſent ſtate of that Society, Edinburgh, Printed by
Hamilton, Balfour and Neill, 1755. 47 pages,8vo.
Price 6 pence.
THE deſign of this excellent diſcourſe, on Coloſſ.
i. 26. Even the myſtery, which hath been hid from
ages and generations, but now is made manifeſt to his ſaints,
is to ſhew, that chriſtianity was introduced into the
world, at ſuch a particular juncture, as rendered the
diſcovery of it moſt neceſſary, and its propagation
moſt ſucceſsful, when the world ſtood moſt in need of
revelation, and was beſt prepared for receiving it.
This, the author argues, 1ſt. From the general expectation
of an extraordinary meſſenger from Heaven,
that univerſally prevailed at the time of our Saviour's
appearance, "while the eyes of men (ſays he, p. 9.)
"were employed in the ſearch of the promiſed Meſſiah;
"while they watched every ſign that could indicate
"his coming, and obſerv'd and calculated every cir"cumſtance
which could lead them to diſcover him;
"while the earneſt expectation of all creatures waited
"for the revelation of God; at that happy and favour-"able
juncture, was the myſtery hid from ages mani"feſted
to the world."
2dly, He argues from the particular ſituation of the
world at that time, in reſpect of its political, moral,
religious and domeſtic ſtate; and ſhews, that the advantages
which the world, in each of theſe views,
derived from chriſtianity, were many and ſeaſonable.
'Tis true, that the general argument which runs
through the diſcourſe has been often touched at by other
writers; but it muſt be owned that his illuſtrations
of it are uncommonly accurate and elegant; and that
he throws ſuch a new and ſtriking light upon his ſubject,
as diſtinguiſhes the author's genius and ſkill in
compoſition. As a ſpecimen of his manner of writing
and reaſoning, we ſhall ſet before the reader the following
paſſage.
"The abolition of domeſtic ſlavery was the occa"ſion
of another change in the manners of men,
"which is no leſs remarkable. Captives taken in war,
"were in all probability, the firſt perſons ſubjected
"to perpetual ſervitude: And when the neceſſities or
"luxury of mankind increaſed the demand for ſlaves,
"every new war recruited their number, by reducing
"the vanquiſhed to that wretched condition. Hence
"proceeded the fierce and deſperate ſpirit, with which
"wars were carried on among antient nations. While
"chains and ſlavery were the certain lot of the con"quered,
battles were fought, and towns defended,
"with a rage and obſtinacy, which nothing but the
"horror at ſuch a fate could have inſpired: Bat by
"patting an end to the cruel inſtitution of ſlavery,
"chriſtianity extended its mild influences to the pra"ctice
of war; and that barbarous art, ſoftened by its
"humane ſpirit, ceaſed to be ſo deſtructive. Secure,
"in every event, of perſonal liberty, the reſiſtance
"of the vanquiſhed became leſs obſtinate, and the
"triumph of the victor leſs cruel. Thus humanity
"was introduced into the trade of war, with which
"it appears to be almoſt incompatible; and it is to
"the merciful maxims of chriſtianity, much more
"than to any other cauſe, that we muſt: aſcribe the
"little ſerocity and blood-ſhed which accompany mo"dern
victories. Even where the paſſions of men are
"fierceſt, and moſt highly inflamed, the powerful ge"nius
of our religion interpofes, and redrains the fury
"of war, and ſets bounds to its deſtroying rage. The
"benevolent ſpirit of the goſpel, delivereth the cap"tive
from his fetters, looſeth thoſe who were appointed
"to death, and ſaith to the ſword which is ready to de"vour,
Return into thy ſcabbard, and be ſtill.
"It hath become a faſhionable topic among political
"reaſoners, to celebrate the mildneſs and humanity of
"modern manners, and to prefer the character of pre"ſent
times before the antient: To what cauſe ſhall
"we aſcribe this important revolution, in the ſenti"ments
and diſpoſitions of mankind? Not to the in"fluence
of better inſtituted governments; for in le"giſlative
wiſdom the ancients far excelled us: Not to
"the effects of a better-directed education; that duty,
"ſhamefully neglected by us, was among them an ob"ject
of chief attention: Not to our ſuperiour refine"ments
in elegant and polite arts; there we muſt be
content to equal, without pretending to ſurpaſs the
"antients. The Chriſtian religion, hid from ages,
"but now manifejled to the world, is the only cauſe
"capable to produce ſo great an effect. That wiſdom
"which is from above, is pure, and peaceable, gentle,
"eaſy to be intreated, full of mercy. Genuine chriſtiani"ty
is diſtinguiſhed above all other religions by the
"mildneſs of its ſpirit: The enemy of every practice
"which hardens the heart: The encourager of every
"virtue, which renders the character humane.
"ever it hath been eſtabliſhed in purity, and practi"ſed
with zeal; kindneſs,long-ſuffering, meekneſs, bowels
"of mercies, charity, are the graces which accompany
"it. Even the vices and inventions of men, which
"have mingled themſelves with the truths of God,
"have not been able intirely to deſtroy their effects.
"Under all diſadvantages, the genius of the goſpel
"exerts itſelf, civilizing the fierceſt and moſt bar"barous
nations, and inſpiring a gentleneſs of diſpo"ſition,
unknown to any other religion: Along
"with the beſt ſpiritual bleſſings, the moſt valuable
"temporal mercies have been communicated to the
"world, by chriſtianity. It not only ſanctifies our
"ſouls, but refines our manners; and while it gives
"the promiſes of the next life, it improves and a"dorns
the preſent: That happy change, which the
"wiſdom of man could not effect, God in his good
"time accompliſhed by manifeſting to the world the
"myſtery hid from ages and generations.
We cannot conclude without obſerving, that, conſidering
how much this age has abounded with writings
in favours of infidelity, diſcourſes of this kind muſt
needs be very ſeaſonable; and that this diſcourſe partitularly,
in which the reverend author has done ſo
much juſtice to his argument in behalf of chriſtianity,
diſerves the ſerious conſideration of our modern freethinkers.
We are likewiſe perſuaded that to every
reader of taſte and judgment, this diſcourſe will appear
to be a very proper ſpecimen of the great improvement
that has been made in the art of preaching in
this part of the united kingdoms.
ARTICLE VIII.
The methods of promotingEdification by public Inſtitutions:
an Ordination Sermon. To which is added, a Charge;
By James Fordyce Miniſter at Aloa. Glaſgow:
Printed for R. Banks in Stirling. Price 6 d.
THIS ſermon was delivered at the ordination of
Mr. John Gibſon Miniſter at St. Ninian's. It
is wholly addreſſed to the clergy: and the ſcope of
it is to ſhow how the public inſtitutions that are committed
to their care, may be ſo concluded, as effectually
to anſwer the great ends of religion and virtue.
With this view, the author firſt conſiders the management
of the public devotions of the church; and
makes ſeveral obſervations on the manner in which
the duties of prayer and praiſe ſhould be performed.
He next gives his opinion concerning the moſt proper
method of lecturing and preaching. Under each
of theſe heads he points out ſeveral things that appear
to him to be amiſs; and ſuggeſts ſeveral reformations
that might be introduced. His obſervations appear
to us very worthy the attention of that reverend
body to whom they are addreſſed. He delivers his
ſentiments with becoming freedom and earneſtneſs;
and in a lively and animated ſtile. The charge is not
equal to the ſermon.
ARTICLE IX.
Georgii Martinii, M. D. in Bartholomœi Euſtachii Tabulas
Anaiomicas Commentaria. Edinburgi: Typis W.
Sands, A. Murray, & J. Cochran. Impenſis A. Kincaid
& A. Donaldſon 1755. 8vo. Price. 6 s. bound.
IN a ſhort preface, writen by Mr. A. Monro ſenior,
we are told that when the author began to study
Anatomy at Edinburgh in the year 1720, he exerciſed
himſelf in correcting and ſupplying Lanciſi's explication
of Euſtachius's tables; compared the figures
with the writings of anatomiſts; and carefully noted
down whatever he found to his purpoſe. Being thus
at length poſſeſſed of materials, he reſolved on the
preſent work: to ſupply, as far as he could, the loſs
of Euſtachius's commentary on anatomical diſſenſion
and controverſies (which was the text to his tables,
he continued to labour on this, as his great work, till
the year 1740; and then delivered it finiſh'd, in his
own hand-writing, to his brother, before he embarked,
to go abroad phyſician to the American expedition.
Mr. Monro remarks, that our author's
plan is far more extenſive than that of Albinus; and
concludes the preface with a ſtrong recommendation
of the book, to all who are poſſeſſed of the tables, as a
very neceſſary appendix to the maſterly explication of
the ſame tables by Albinus, and an accurate epitome of
the hiſtory of anatomy. And, no doubt, the opinion
of ſo good a judge will ſufficiently recommend it
to the attention of the public.
The work itſelf conſiſts of 420 pages, of which the
firſt 47 are introductory. In theſe, after a very ſhort
ſketch of the hiſtory of anatomy down to Euſtachius,
our author gives a more particular account of that
great man, and of his contemporary anatomiſts.
He obſerves, that anatomy, which had lain neglected
from the days of Galen, began to revive in the
middle of the 14th century, and was truly reſtored in
the beginning of the 16th. It was then the great
Veſalius appeared; and, attaining the firſt place among
anatomiſts, called Galen's authority in queſtion;
detected many errors in his writings; alledged
more; and concluded he was ignorant of the human
anatomy, and had diſſected only the bodies of apes
and other brutes. This raiſed ſhameful diviſions among
anatomiſts. The young generally took part
with Veſalius; while the old men adhered to Galen,
whom they had been accuſtomed to revere as an oracle.
The diſpute ran ſo high, that Jacobus Sylvius, an old
maſter of Veſalius, rather than quit the field, laboured
ſore, in the fury of his zeal, to demonſtrate, that, in
Greece and Aſia, in Galen's time, the fabric of the
human body was different from what Veſalius found
it in thoſe latter days in Europe. Our author proceeds
to give ſome account of Columbus, Valverda,
Fallopius, Puteus; and laſtly, celebrates his favourite
Euſtachius, as the moſt accompliſhed phyſician, and
moſt ingenius anatomiſt of thoſe times. He obſerves,
that he was very learned in the languages, a great admirer
of Galen, ſtudied his works much, and undertook
his defence in a more rational way than Sylvius
had done. That he left his commentaries and tables
unpubliſhed: The commentaries have never yet appeared;
the tables lay concealed near a century and
a half, and were at length diſcovered, after great ſearch,
by Lanciſi, and publiſhed by him in the year 1714,
with a preface and notes of his own. Dr. Martin
ſpeaks of this author with great reverence, and very
candidly excuſes the many faults and imperfections of
his work, in conſideration of his infirm old age, and
multiplicity of affairs.
From a view of the ſtate of anatomy in that age,
and of the works of Veſalius compared with what
Euſtachius publiſhed in his own life time, and with
theſe poſthumous tables, our author infers, that what
Euſtachius had particularly in view, beſides the advancement
of anatomical knowledge, was to defend
Galen, and to correct Veſailius. To illuſtrate this, is
the deſign of the commentary before us; as well as to
explain how far Euſtachius agrees with other anatomiſts;
how far he has prevented later diſcoveries;
and how much he has inriched anatomy by his own
diſcoveries; and likewiſe to improve the hiſtory of
anatomy. And we agree with Mr. Monro, that
our author will not diſappoint his readers.
This work neither ſuperſedes, nor is ſuperſeded by,
that of Albinus. The work of Albinus is an explication
of the figures, very full indeed, and particular;
nothing is omitted that can be obſerved in them;
every thing is explained with great penetration and
judgment, in a manner worthy of Euſtachius, and
worthy of Albinus; and with the moſt minute and
ſcrupulous accuracy But to explain, is all that is aimed
at. Martin takes a more general view of a figure,
without deſcending to ſo particular an explication of
its parts; he comments on the part whoſe figure he is
examining; on his author's particular ſcope in that
figure; and on all other noted anatomiſts, who have
treated the ſame ſubject. He acquaints his readers,
(p. 284.) that he does not intend to make an index
of the figures, for he had heard that Albinus had undertaken
a work of that kind: But his purpoſe is, to
take notice of whatever is moſt important; and
chiefly of thoſe things which tend moſt to illuſtrate
the ſcope of Euſtachius, and the hiſtory of anatomy
and which ſeem to be more dictinctly marked, as if
particularly meant by Euſtachius to be the ſubject
his own commentary.
We find, every where throughout the work, ſufficient
evidence of the author's ſkill in anatomy, as well
as of his care in peruſing the writings of others, and of
his judgment in comparing them with one another
and with nature. His own ſkill appears moſt in treating
of queſtions that had been controverted, eſpecially
ſuch as concern the blood-veſſels. Tis evident
from his other writings, that he had beſtowed a good
deal of attention on this part of anatomy; and in the.
preſent work, pretty full on the proportion between
the wideneſs of the arteries and of their correſponding
veins, on the communication of the mammary
and hypogaſtric veſſels; and claims ſome merit
from having determined, by his own diſſections,
the queſtion about the anaſtomoſes of the ſpermatic
blood-veſſels.
ARTICLE X.
Rudiments of the Greek Tongue, by Mr. James Barclay,
School-maſter at Dalkeith. Edinburgh; printed by
Ruddiman, and Company. Price 3 s. 8 vo containing
260 pages.
THE ſtudy of the Greek tongue, which had
long been neglected, has of late begun to revive
in this country. Glaſgow firſt ſhowed the example;
and other places have not been ſlow to follow it.
The only Grammar uſed for the teaching of Greek,
is the late Profeſſor Dunlop's: The accuracy and the.
conciſeneſs of it, are both very remarkable; but in
teaching a language to children, a more plain and
familiar grammar was certainly wanting. Mr. Barclay,
to whoſe merit as a School-maſter, we are glad to bear
teſtimony, has thought it his duty to endeavour to
ſupply this want. It is his practice to teach his pupils
Greek at a much earlier period than is uſual in other
places. The ſucceſs of this method ſufficiently appears
in the progreſs ſeveral of his ſcholars have
made, who frequently come from his ſchool better
Greek ſcholars than many of thoſe who have been
three years at an Univerſity. This Grammar, as the
preface informs us, is compoſed upon the ſame plan
with Mr. Ruddiman's Rudiments of the Latin Tongue:
The deſign of it is to inſtruct children; the language
of it ought therefore to be familiar to them, and the
method ſuch as they have formerly been acquainted
with. Theſe circumſtances, therefore, that it is in
Engliſh, and follows the method of Mr. Ruddiman's
Rudiments, are ſufficient to give it the preference of
any Grammar for the inſtruction of children; and in
proportion as the Greek language becomes more a
part of ſchool-education, this Grammar will come
more into uſe.
ARTICLE XI.
Deciſions of the Court of Seſſion, from the 1 ſt of February,
1752, to the 9th of March 1754, collected by
appointment of the Faculty of Advocates. Folio; printed
for Hamilton and Balfour, price 7 s. containing
156 pages.
THE colleting the deciſions of the ſupreme
Court with faithfulneſs and perſpicuity, is a
matter of the greateſt importance to the law of a
country. The Faculty of Advocates has appointed
four of its number for that duty, by whom this collection
has been made. As it is a performance which
cannot come into the hands of any but thoſe who are
in ſome meaſure qualified to judge of its merit, it
would be improper to be very particular upon this
article. In general, it appears to us, that the Gentlemen
have done honour to their appointment, by the
manner in which they have diſcharged the truſt repoſed
in them. The moſt proper method of ſtating
deciſion, ſeems to be, to relate the fact clearly, but
conciſely; and to point out as much of the argument
as ſerves to ſhew the grounds of the determination,
which may then be expreſſed with great brevity.
simple and ſelf-evident as this method appears, it
has not been always obſerved in former collections;
and perhaps it may be difficult in ſome caſes to adhere
ſtrictly to it, Lords Dirleton and Durie, in their deciſions
have mixed the argument with the fact, and
ſometimes begun by ſtating the determination.
The method here mentioned has been very happily
obſerved in the preſerit collection; and it were unjuſt
not to take particular notice of the correctneſs of language,
and even elegance of ſtile, by which force de
ciſions are diſtinguiſhed.
It is the more agreeable to remark this, as it ſeems
to be a vulgar error, That in law and phyſic, an
author need only attend to the goodneſs of his matter,
and not to his manner of expreſſion.
As ſeveral of the caſes in this collection have been
carried by appeal to the houſe of Lords, it is imagined
the public will not be diſpleaſed to learn, from time
to time, their final determination. This muſt be acknowledged
to exceed the limits we have preſcribed to
ourſelves. But, ſhould it be thought uſeful, the excuſe
is obvious; if otherwiſe, the fault may be corected
in the next number.
In the caſe of Captain John Gordon againſt his Majeſty's
Advocate, page 3. the deciſion of the court of
Seſſion was reverſed by the houſe of Lord's.
The deciſion, in the caſe, Sir Kenneth M'kenie againſt
John Stewart, Eſq; page 37. was reverſed alſo.
In the caſe of William Douglas againſt Mrs. Iſobel
Douglas of Kirkneſs, page 14. the deciſion was affirmed.
The deciſion, in the caſe, His Majeſty's Advocate againſt
the Reverend Mr. Robert Dick, page 104. was
reverſed.
In the ſuit of the eſtate of Pitrichie, page 133 Major
Forbes prevailed, as well in the houſe of Lords,
as in the court of Seſſion, and, upon the ſame point,
the conſtruction of a clauſe in the entails.
The deciſion in the caſe of the Duke of Douglas againſt
Lockhart, page 140. was reverted.
ARTICLE XII.
An Abridgment of the public Statutes in force and uſe, relative
to Scotland, from the Union in the 5th year of
Queen Anne to the 27th year of his preſent majeſty
George II. incluſivè in two Volumes 8vo. price 12 s.
Printed for Kincaid and Donaldſon. Vol 1. containing
44 pages, and Vol. 2. 438 pages.
THE public is very much indebted to the author
of this performance. The number and bulk of
the ſtatutes was ſo much increaſed, that an abridgment
of them became indiſpenſably neceſſary. The knowlege
of as of parliament, cannot be confined to thoſe
alone who make the law their profeſſion, but muſt frequently
be of importance to every man, and is almoſt
of daily uſe to Country-Gentlemen, Juſtices of Peace,
Merchants, and traders. To all thoſe, this abridg-ment
will greatly recommend itſelf, by the clearneſs
of its method, and the exactneſs of its execution. The
ſtatutes are digeſted in an alphabetical order, under
proper titles. In each title they are ranged according
to the order of time, the ſubſtance of them is faithfully
excerpted, and always expreſſed in the ſtatutory
words, only omiting the redundancies.
It may alſo be proper to obſerve upon this article,
That the Act 24. Geo. II. c. 44. §. i. (I Juſtices of
Peace) relating to complaints againſt Juſtices for malverſation
in their office, which is ſaid to extend to
Scotland upon the authority of a deciſion of the Court
of Seſſion, has been ſince adjudged by the houſe
Lords not to extend to Scotland.
ARTICLE XIII.
A new and eaſy Method of Cookery, treating, 1 ſt, of Gravies,
Soups, Broths, &c. 2dly, of fiſh and their ſauces,
&c. 3dly, to pot and make Hams, &c. 4thly, of
Pies, Paſties, &c. 5thly, of Pickling and Preſerving.
6thly of made Wines, Diſtilling and Brewing, &c.
Elizabeth Cleland, chiefly intended for the benefit
of the young Ladies who attend her School. 8vo. contains
216 p. publiſhed by W. Gordon and C. Wright.
Price 3 s. 6 d.
THO' this book contains about 700 receipts, &c.
yet if we compare it with other treatiſes that
have been lately publiſhed on the ſame ſubject, it
will appear to be little more than a compend. But
compendious tho' it be, we believe, it may contain
as much intſruction, as is neceſſary to qualify an
induſtrious ſtudent of the art of Cookery to dreſs a
very good dinner. We ſhall not attempt to give a
particular account or character of this performance;
for it treats of an art we are not well-ſkilled in.
"The beſt proof of a pudding," ſays the proverb, "is
"the eating of it." We leave it therefore to the
reader, to take this practical method of judging for
himſelf, concerning the merits of this work.
We ſhall only obſerve, that as it ſeems to be chiefly
deſigned for the benefit of our fair country-women,
it is therefore to be wiſhed, that the receipts had been
better digeſted, and more clearly expreſſed; for in
both theſe reſpects, it appears to us to be very deficient.
But tho' Mrs. Elizabeth Cleland is far from being
a good author, we make no doubt of her being a
moſt excellent cook; and therefore tho' her ſcholars
may happen to be at a lots to underſtand her writings,
yet we hope they ſhall profit much, from ſeeing and
attending to her practice.
ARTICLE XIV.
An Analyſis of the moral and religious Sentiments contain
ed in the Writings of Sopho and David Hume, Eſq;
addreſſed to the conſideration of the Reverend and Ho-nourable
Members of the General .Aſſembly of the Church
of Scotland. Edinburgh, price 6 d.
THIS piece was publiſhed about the opening of
the laſt General Aſſembly, with a view to en-.
gage the Church into a particular diſcuſſion of the
opinions contained in the writings of two late authors.
The method which the author of this Analyſis
follows, is, firſt to lay down certain propoſition$
which he affirms them to hold, and then to verify
there propoſitions by extras from their books;
which extracts he profeſſes to give in their own words,
and refers to the edition and the page: this method,
he ſays, being ſuch as theſe Gentlemen themſelves
muſt allow to be the moſt fair and candid. All that
was to be required or expected of him in proſecution
of this plan, was fidelity and exactneſs in his quotations.

In this, however, he is accuſed of having failed;
as appears from the following article.
ARTICLE XV.
Obſervations on a Pamphlet, intitled, An Analiſis of the
Moral and Religious Sentiments contained in the Writings
of Sopho and David Hume Ely; &c. Edinburgh,
price 6 d.
THE deſign of this pamphlet is ſolely to examine,
Whether the writer of the Analyſis has not
done injuſtice to the authors whom he would expoſe
cenſure, by quoting their books unfairly. This
is the charge brought againſt him: in ſupport of
which, it is alledged, that, in ſeveral inſtances, he
has miſrepreſented the meaning of theſe authors by
mangled quotations; he has cited one part of a paragraph,
and omitted another which declares or explains
the meaning of the author, ſometimes in direct
contradiction to the propoſition which the writer of
the Analyſis aſcribes to him; and, in one or two inſtances,
has cited paſſages as from theſe authors, and
referred to the page, tho' neither the words nor the
ſenſe are to be found in the book which he cites.
ARTICLE XVI.
The Deiſt ſtretched on a Death-bed, or a lively Portraiture
of a dying Infidel. Edinburgh printed for the author,
and ſold by Yair and Fleeming, 1755. 8vo.
contains 31 pages. Price 6 d.
THIS is a moſt extraordinary performance. The
hero of it, is an infidel, "a humorous youth;" as
the author deſcribes him, ''a youth whoſe life was one
"ſucceſſive ſcene of pleaſantry and humour; who laugh'd
"at revelation, and called religion prieſtcraft and gri"mace.
A gay and ſprightly freethinker. But yeſterday,
"ſays he, this fine and heedleſs youth revell'd his uſual
"round of gallantry and pleaſure, till ſatiated at length,
"he ſtagger'd to bed devoid of ſtrength and reaſon."
We ſuppoſe the author's meaning is, he went to bed very
drunk. "But ſcarce were his torpid limbs ſtretch'd up"on
the bed, or his languid eye-balls cloſed in peace"ful
ſlumbers," i. e. he was ſcarce fallen aſleep,
"when death's relentlefs harbinger accoſted him, diſ"pelled
the liquoriſh fumes, and quickly made him
ſober. And diſtracted ever ſince," adds he, "with
"guilt and fear, he roars and bellows, conſcious of
his doom." We believe few of our readers ever
heard of ſuch a quick tranſition, from drunkenneſs to
ſobriety, and from infidelity to a firm belief of all the
doctrines of religion. But he will be the leſs ſurpriſed
at this, and the many other groſs abſurdities that are
to be found in this performance, when he conſiders
the declaration which the author makes in the introduction.
"I hope," ſays he, "this humble eſſay"
(a very humble eſſay indeed!) "cannot miſs being a"greeable
to you, as there is not one word in the rea"ſoning
way, from beginning to end of it." To do
him juſtice, we muſt obſerve, he has been as good as
his word. For the whole of this performance, is
ſuch a rhapſody of bombaſt nonſenſe, ſuch an abſurd
compilation of ſonorous words, and pompous metaphors,
extracted from play-books and Young's poems,
&c. without meaning, taſte, or judgment, that it
ſeems to be a deſigned burleſque on the authors he
has pillaged; as will appear from the following abſtracts.

In p. 9. the reader will find the Infidel thus addreſſing
himſelf; "Cannot thou try to terrify thyſelf out of
"exiſtence, or give eternity the ſlip, by ſtealing out
"of being." This experiment being ſomewhat difficult,
the next recourſe he betakes himſelf to, is to wiſh,
"that his body were impal'd upon a burning ſpear
"his head compreſs'd, his fleſh pinched off by piece"meal,
till his heart were expoſed to open view, and
"his whole carcaſe drench'd and broil'd in lakes
"of liquid fire, for millions of ages, and God would
"then reduce him to nothing. But ah! my wiſhes
"are all in vain," ſays he, "my damnation muſt be
"commenſurate with my duration." In another place
he ſpeaks of the "malice of fiery fiends, belching out
"thundering cataracts of burning ſulphur, — of knot"ted
whips of burning ſteel, — of wounds ſear'd with
"corroding fire amidſt the livid ſteams of ſulphu"reous
ſtench, and ſuffocating ſmoke, &c."
But the author's talent in writing nonſenſe, is no
here ſo conſpicuous as in the deſcription he gives of
what he calls the "conſummating ſcene," p. 26. 27.
where we have firſt, " the bowels of the ſun convul"ſed
with fiery agonies, burſting aſunder; — then
"the moon affrighted, aſſumes a bloody hue, catches
"the flame, and makes haſte to die." After this,
"O what hideous craſhes! fiery comets burſting from
"their orbits, and ſpreading flames and terror; burn"ing
worlds daſhing upon each other, and vomit"ing
expanded ſheets of fire, through the regions of
"the air." But what will ſurprize the reader moſt
of all, is, that, in the midſt of this confuſion, while the
"burning worlds are thus daſhing and vomiting," &c.
he is called upon to ſee "the very towering mountains,
"reclining their lofty ſummits, and with irreſiſtible
"impetuoſity leaping from their baſe." The author
goes on to deſcribe as parts of the ſame ſcene, "a
"throne, whoſe ſuperb pillars are ſupported on the
"wings of cherubims, and a ſtrong-lunged angel, the
"ſound of whoſe trumpet makes the heavens to ring
"with awful din, and hell to reverberate with the
"dreadful echo;" and concludes all with the follow-ing
group of "thunders roaring, lightnings flaſhing,
"the heavens blazing, the earth trembling, cities
"flaming, mountains reeling, angels flying, men
"crying, devils howling, and all nature expiring!
We might likewiſe have obſerved, that in order
to enliven this portraiture of nonſenſe he has thought
it neceſſary, in many places, to make his hero utter
downright blaſphemy: but as the reader will have the
misfortune to meet with this author again in the following
article, we ſhall ſay no more of him here.
ARTICLE XVII.
Moderation without mercy; or, Animadverſions on the
conduct of the Reverend Preſbytery of Edinburgh, in
their proceedings againſt the writer of a Pamphlet,
intitled, A Letter to the Author of the Eccleſiaſtical
Characteriſticks, by the Author of the Letter, &c.
Edinburgh, printed for the Author, &c. 1755. price
3d. containing 23 pages
OUR plan is to take ſome notice of every book
or pamphlet publiſhed in this country. This
we beg leave to remind our readers of, by way of apo-logy
for allowing this article a place in the Review.
The author of this performance is one Andrew
Moir, who was a ſtudent of divinity, and, at the ſame
time, an under-teacher of a country-ſchool, till he
was expelled the Univerſity, and excommunicated by
the Preſbytery of Edinburgh, for writing and publiſhing
a falſe and calumnious pamphlet, which he intitled,
A letter to the author, &c.
Soon after this paper of Animadverſions was publiſhed,
he cauſed it to be advertifed in the News-papers,
that he was likeways the author of the "Portraiture
"of the dying Infidel;" by which he has unhappily
forfeited the only merit he could claim on account of that
performance, viz. the modeſty of concealing his name.
We are almoſt aſhamed to ſay, we have read this
pamphlet. 'Tis ſuch a low ſcurrilous libel, that even,
the moſt neceſſitous Printer or Bookſeller muſt be
at a loſs to find a decent excuſe for publiſhing it. And
therefore we hope our readers will excuſe our giving
any extract of ſuch a thing as it is. We ſhall only
add, that, in our opinion, both the Univerſity and
Preſbytery did wrong, in taking ſo much notice of
ſuch a criminal; for it was impoſſible for them to inflict
a more, ſevere ſentence, than that which he has
brought upon himſelf, and from which 'tis not in their
power to abſolve him, viz. Univerſal contempts.
APPENDIX.
ARTICLE I.
Several Diſcourſes preached at the Temple Church, by
Tho. Sherlock, D. D. late Maſter of the Temple,
now Lord Biſhop of London. 2 vols 8vo. Printed for
J Whiſton and B. White at Boyle's head; W. Owen
at Homer's head; and E. Baker at Tunbridge, 1755,
Price 11 s.
THE ſermons publiſhed by the Divines of the
church of England, are remarkable for a ſpecies
of eloquence peculiar to themſelves. Among other
nations, all the ornaments and figures of rhetoric
are admitted into the eloquence of the pulpit.
Among the French even the boldeſt and moſt ſublime
flights of poetry find a place in their ſermons and fu-neral
orations. The practice of reading ſermons,
gave a different turn to the Engliſh genius; and or-der,
perſpicuity, and ſimplicity, have become the
characteriſties of their compoſitions. Were we to
conſider the diſcourſes of the Biſhop of London merely
as pieces of eloquence executed upon this plan, we
would recommend them as finiſhed models in the kind:
But they deſerve to be viewed in another and more
uſeful light. They contain admirable defences of the
truth of religion, and powerful incitements to the
practice of it. They rouſe the virtue of Chriſtians
by proper motives, and put to ſilence the doubts and
cavils of Infidels by moſt convincing arguments.
And it muſt afford the friends of religion great pleaſure
to obſerve, from the extraordinary ſale of ſuch a
book, that the ſpirit of the age, notwithſtanding
many ſymptoms of degeneracy is ſtill far from being
altogether irreligious.
ARTICLE II.
A Collection of Poems, in four Volumes, by ſeveral Hands,
vol. 4. London, printed by J. Hughs, for R. and J.
Dodſley, 1755. 3, 6 d.
THE three former volumes of miſcellany-poems,
publiſhed by Mr. Dodſley, are already known
to all perſons of taſte. The care which hath been
taken to admit nothing into this collection, which
was not recommended either by its own merit, or
by the name of its author, hath rendered the book
much more valuable than any other of the ſame kind.
Nor are they the ſcraps and gleanings of his former
entertainment which are now ſet before the reader.
Mr. Dodſley has patiently waited till time ripened
new productions, and with theſe he has filled a vo-lume,
which merits from the public the ſame favourable
reception with thoſe which went before it.
The famous Elegy on a country church-yard, and an
Hymn to Adverſity by the ſame author, are the firſt
poems in this volume. Could our ſuffrage add any
thing to the ſame of ſo excellent a writer, we might
obſerve, that, in ſtrength of poetic imagination, in
truth and tenderneſs of ſentiment. in vigour and elegance
of expreſſion, Mr. Gray is inferior to no poet
in the Engliſh language. But in this part of the
Iſland, that Gentleman's performances have met with
ſuch univerſal and deſerved applauſe, that our teſtimony
can neither make them to be better known,
nor more eſteemed. One defect in ſo fine a genius
we cannot help regretting.
Sic raro ſcribit, ut toto non quater anno
Membranam poſcat. —
But with regard to authors whoſe names and merit
are already known to the world, the brevity which
we ſtudy in this part of our plan, will allow no farther
remarks. It may be of more uſe to point out
the beauties, and peculiar manner of compoſition,
which diſtinguiſh ſome new performances publiſhed in
this volume. Among-theſe, the poems of Mr. Skenſtone,
particularly his paſtoral Ballad, hold the
firſt place. Eloquence of expreſſion, with tenderneſs
and ſimplicity of ſentiment, are the characteriſtical
beauties of paſtoral poetry. According to their propenſity
towards one or other of theſe, the modern
writers of paſtorals have run into two oppoſite extremes:
Some labouring after elegance, have refined
their compoſitions into conceit and inſipidity; others,
while they ſtudied to preſerve ſimplicity, have degenerated
into ruſticity and groſſneſs. Mr. Skenſtone
ſeems to have diſcovered the happy medium, equally
removed from both theſe extremes. Sentiments the
moſt innocent and tender he hath adorned with beauty
and elegance of expreſſion. He is at the ſame time ſimple
without ruſticity, and poliſhed without affectation.
Mr. Jago, in his two elegies, the Goldfinches and
the Blackbirds, diſcovers the ſpirit of poetry; which
pleaſes both on account of its novelty and its elegance.
Mr. Thomſon was the firſt who introduced the feathered
tribe into any conſiderable place in poetry,
and
——— Touch'd a theme
Unknown to fame, the paſſion of the groves.
Mr. Jago's ſubject is the ſame; but he views it in
a different light, and paints the diſtreſſes of that beautiful
and helpleſs part of the creation in ſuch colours,
as produce every fine poetical effect, and add an agreeable
ſimplicity and innocence to the tenderneſs of
elegiac verſe.
In the Tears of old May-day, an elegy occaſioned by
the late alteration in the ſtile, every circumſtance is
the creation of the poet's fancy. And both the perſonage
he introduces, and the diſtreſs he bewails, are
merely imaginary. But, among many proofs of the
ſurprizing and beautiful forms which an unpromiſing
ſubject will aſſume in the hands of a man or ingenuity,
this is one. By an happy choice or the incident,
by the illuſion of poetic colouring, the author de-ceives
his readers into thoſe ſentiments which he
would raiſe; the Tears of old May-day touch our hearts,
and we wonder, when, for a diſtreſs ſo whimſical,
we feel ourſelves betrayed into a kind of real ſor-row.

In Britain, it hath been the complaint for ſome
time, that the ſpirit of poetry is viſibly on the decline.
We can at preſent boaſt of few poets who equal
the ſame and merit of Addiſon, Pope, Swift,
Congreve, Parnell, and ſeveral others in the age before
us. But whatever be the ſtate of national genius,
we may flatter ourſelves from the performances
in this collection, that the national taſte ſtill remains
genuine and pure. The firſt poets in the Engliſh
language, poſſeſſed an aſtoniſhing vigour of genius,
but were defective in correctneſs of thought, in elegance
of numbers and expreſſion. By degrees, critical
obſervation refined their ſentiments, their language
became chaſte, and their numbers full and harmonious:
But no ſooner does taſte arrive to this degree
of perfection, than the ſymptoms of decay are
ready to appear. Refinement, becomes exceſſive:
quaint conceits, pointed atitheſis, unnatural metaphors,
the glare of imagery; and the play of words,
grows to be in vogue. That amiable ſimplicity,
which is the chief ornament of compoſition, is deſpiſed
and loſt. By theſe ſteps did the Roman taſte
go to ruin. And the age of Nero followed ſoon after
the age of Auguſtus. Such a period we hope to be
ſtill far diſtant from Britain. The authors we have
mentioned, and ſeveral others of whom our plan
would not allow us to take notice, are remarkable for
the utmoſt ſimplicity both of ſentiment and expreſſion.
Their compoſitions are in the ſtile of the moſt
perfect maſters, and are worthy of a pure age. If
therefore we muſt acknowledge ourſelves to be inferior
to the paſt generation in genius, we may fairly
contend to be equal with them in taſte. From this
circumſtance we may draw preſages of a very flattering
nature. National genius may lie dormant for a
ſeaſon; it may ſuſpend for a little, and intermit its
force: but if once taſte be corrupted and loſt among
my people, there is no inſtance of its reviving and
flouriſhing in the ſame place.
ARTICLE III.
A Dictionary of the Engliſh Language, by Samuel
Johnſon, A. M. Knapton 2 Vols. Folio, L. 4, 15 s.
THE preſent undertaking is very extenſive. A
dictionary of the Engliſh language, however
uſeful, or rather neceſſary, has new- been hitherto
attempted with the leaſt degree of ſucceſs. To explain
hard words and terms of art ſeems to have been
the chief purpoſe of all the former compoſitions which
have borne the title of Engliſh dictionaries. Mr.
Johnſon has extended his views much farther, and has
made a very full collection of all the different meanings
of each English word, juſtified by examples from
authors of good reputation. When we compare this
book with other dictionaries, the merit of its author
appears very extraordinary. Thoſe which in modern
languages have gained the moſt eſteem, are that of
the French academy, and that of the academy Della
Cruſca. Both theſe were compoſed by a numerous
ſociety of learned men, and took up a longer time in
the compoſition, than the life of a ſingle perſon could
well have afforded. The dictionary of the Engliſh
language is the work of a ſingle perſon, and compoſed
in a period of time very inconſiderable, when compared
with the extent of the work. The collection
of words appears to be very accurate, and muſt be
allowed to be very ample. Moſt words, we believe,
are to be found in the dictionary that ever were almoſt
ſuſpected to be Engliſh; but we cannot help
wiſhing, that the author had truſted leſs to the judgment
of thoſe who may conſult him, and had oftener
paſſed his own cenſure upon thoſe words which,
are not of approved uſe, tho' ſometimes to be met
with in authors of no mean name. Where a work
is admitted to be highly uſeful, and the execution of
it intitled to praiſe; the adding, that it might have
been more uſeful, can ſcarcely, we hope, be deemed
a cenſure of it. The merit of Mr. Johnſon's dictionary
is ſo great, that it cannot detract from it to
take notice of ſome defects, the ſupplying which,
would, in our judgment, add a conſiderable ſhare of
merit to that which it already poſſeſſes. Thoſe
defects conſiſt chiefly in the plan, which appears
to us not to be ſufficiently grammatical. The different
ſignifications of a word are indeed collected; but
they are ſeldom digeſted into general claſſes, or ranged
under the meaning which the word principally expreſſes.
And ſufficient care has not been taken to
diſtinguiſh the words apparently ſynonomous. The
only method of explaining what we intend, is by inſerting
an article or two from Mr. Johnſon, and by
oppoſing to them the ſame articles, digeſted in the
manner which we would have wiſhed him to have
followed.
BUT conjunct. [buze, buzan, Saxon.]
1. Except.
An emiſſion of immateriate virtues we are a little
doubtful to propound, it is ſo prodigious: but that
it is ſo conſtantly avouched by many. Bacon.
Who can it. be, ye gods! but perjur'd Lycon?
Who can inſpire ſuch ſtorms of rage, but Lycon?
Where has my ſword left one ſo black, but Lycon?
Smith's Phœdra and Hippolitus.
Your poem hath been printed, and we have no objection
but the obſcurity of ſeveral paſſages, by our
ignorance in facts and perſons. Swift.
2. Yet; nevertheleſs. It ſometimes only enforces yet.
Then let him ſpeak, and any that ſhall ſtand without,
ſhall hear his voice plainly; but yet made extreme
ſharp and exile, like the voice of puppets:
and yet the articulate ſounds of the words will not
be confounded. Bacon's Nat. Hiſt. No 155.
Our wants are many, and grievous to be borne, but
quite of another kind. Swift.
3. The particle which introduces the minor of a ſyllogiſm;
now.
If there be a liberty and poſſibility for a man to
kill himſelf to-day, then it is not abſolutely neceſſary
that he ſhall live till tomorrow; but there is ſuch a
liberty, therefore no ſuch neceſſity.
Bramhall againſt Hobbes.
God will one time or another make a difference
between the good and the evil. But there is little
or no difference made in this world: therefore there
muſt be another world, wherein this difference ſhall
be made. Watt's Logic, Introduct.
4. Only; nothing more than.
It my offence be of mortal kind,
That not my ſervice, paſt or preſent ſorrows,
Can ranſom me into his love again;
But to knew ſo, muſt be my benefit. Shakeſp. Othello.
And but infirmity,
Which waits upon worn times, hath ſomething ſeiz'd
His wiſh'd ability, he had himſelf
The lands and waters meaſur'd. Shak. Winter's Tale.
What nymph ſoe'er his voice but hears,
Will be my rival, tho' ſhe have but ears. Ben. Johnſon.
No, Aurengzebe, you merit all my heart,
And I'm too noble but to give a part. Dryden.
Did but men conſider the true notion of God, he
would appear to be full of goodneſs. Tillotſon.
If we do but put virtue and vice in equal circumſtances,
the advantages of eaſe and pleaſure will be
found to be on the ſide of religion. Tillotſon.
The miſchiefs or harms that come by play, inadvertency,
or ignorance, are not at all, or but very gently,
to be taken notice of. Locke on Education.
If a reader examines Horace's art of poetry, he will
find but very few precepts in it, which he may not
meet with in Ariſtotle. Addiſon.Spectator.
Prepar'd I ſtand: he was but born to try
The lot of man, to ſuffer and to die. Pope's Odyſſey.
5. Than.
The full moon was no ſooner up, and ſhining in all
its brightneſs, but he privately opened the gate of paradiſe.
Guardian, No 167.
6. But that; without this conſequence that.
Froſts that conſtrain the ground,
Do ſeldom their uſurping power withdraw,
But raging floods purſue their haſty hand. Dryden.
7. Otherwiſe than that.
It cannot be but nature hath ſome director, of infinite
power, to guide her in all her ways. Hocker, b. i. §3.
Who ſhall believe,
But you miſuſe the reverence of your place? Shakeſp.
8. Not otherwiſe than.
A genius ſo elevated and unconfined as Mr. Cowley's,
was but neceſſary to make Pindar ſpeak Enliſh.
Dryden.
9. By any other means than.
Out of that will I cauſe thoſe of Cyprus to mutiny:
whoſe qualification ſhall come into no true taſte again,
but by tranſplanting of Caſſio. Shakeſp. Othello.
10. If it were not for this; if this were not.
Believe me, I had rather have loſt my purſe
Full of cruzades. And but my noble Moor
Is true of mind, and made of no ſuch baſeneſs,
As jealous creatures are, it were enough
To put him to ill-thinking. Shakeſp. Othello.
I here do give thee that with all my heart,
Which, but thou haſt already, with all my heart
I would keep from thee. Shakeſp. Othello.
11. However; howbeit.
I do not doubt but I have been to blame;
But, to purſue the end for which I came,
Unite your ſubjects firſt, then let us go,
And pour their common rage upon the foe. Dryden.
12. It is uſed after no doubt, no queſtion, and ſuch
words, and ſignifies the ſame with that. It ſometimes
is joined with that.
They made no account, but that the navy ſhould
be abſolutely maſter of the ſeas. Bacon'sWar with Spain.
I fancied to myſelf a kind of eaſe in the change of
the paroxyſm; never ſuſpecting but that the humour
would have waſted itſelf. Dryden.
There is no queſtion but the king of Spain will
reform moſt of the abuſes. Addiſon on Italy
13. That. This ſeems no proper ſenſe in this place
It is not therefore impoſſible, but I may alter the
complexion of my play, to reſtore myſelf into the
good graces of my fair criticks.
Dryden's Aurengzebe, Preface.
14. Otherwiſe than.
I ſhould ſin
To think but nobly of my grandmother.
Shakeſp. Tempeſt.
15. Even; not longer ago than.
Beroe but now I left; whom, pin'd with pain,
Her age and anguiſh from theſe rites detain. Dryden.
It is evident, in the inſtance I gave but now, the
conſciouſneſs went along. Locke.
16. A particle by which the meaning of the foregoing
ſentence is bounded or restrained.
Thus fights Ulyſſes, thus his fame extends,
A formidable man, but to his friends. Dryden.
17. An objective particle; yet it may be objected.
18. But yet, madam ——
I do not like but yet; it does allay
The good precedence; fie upon but yet!
But yet is as a jaylour, to bring forth
Some monſtrous malefactor. Shak. Antony and Cleop.
Muſt the heart then have been formed and conſtituted,
before the blood was in being? But here again,
the ſubſtance of the heart itſelf moſt certainly
made and nouriſhed by the blood, which is conveyed
to it by the coronary arteries. Bentl.
19. But for; without; had not this been.
Raſh man! forbear, but for ſome unbelief,
My joy had been as fatal as my grief. Waller.
Her head was bare,
But for her native ornament of hair,
Which in a ſimple knot was ty'd above.
Dryden' s Fables.
When the fair boy receiv'd the gift of right,
And, but for miſchief, you had dy'd for ſpight.
Dryden.
BUT, an Engliſh particle which denotes oppoſition,
and which, according to the different modifications
of the general ſenſe of oppoſition, ſometimes
holds the place of an adverb, ſometimes of a prepoſition,
ſometimes of a conjunction, and ſometimes even
of an interjection. It ſerves as a conjunction of four
different ſpecies, as an adverſitive, as an alternative,
as a conductive, and as a tranſitive conjunction. In
its original and moſt proper meaning, however, it
ſeems to be an adverſitive conjunction, in the ſenſe in
which it is ſynonomous with however; and in which it
is expreſſed in Latin by ſed, in French by mais.
ſhould have done this, but was prevented: I ſhould
have done this; I was however prevented. The difference
betwixt theſe two particles ſeems to conſiſt
chiefly in this, That but muſt always ſtand at the
winning of the fentence whole oppoſition it marks to
what went before; whereas however is introduced
more gracefully after the beginning of the oppoſed ſentence:
and that the conſtruction may often be continued,
when we make uſe of but; whereas, it muſt
always be interrupted when we make uſe of however.
The uſe of but, upon this account, ſeems often to
mark a more precipitate keenneſs in denoting the oppoſition,
than the uſe of however. If, in talking of a
quarrel, a perſon ſhould ſay, I ſhould have made ſome
apology for my conduct, but was prevented by his inſolence;
he would ſeem to expreſs more paſſion and
keenneſs than if he had ſaid, I ſhould have made ſome
apology for my conduct, I was however prevented
by his inſolence.
2. But is likewiſe an alternative conjunction in the
ſenſe in which it is nearly ſynonomous with the
English unleſs, and except, with the Latin niſi, and
with the French ſinon.
The people are not to be ſatisfied, but by remitting
them ſome of their taxes.
Unleſs by remitting them, &c.
Except by remitting them, &c.
The firſt expreſſion ſeems to mark more peculiarly
the inſufficiency of every other means to pacify the
people, but that which is propoſed. The ſecond ſeems
to mark more peculiarly, that either this means muſt
be employed, or the public diſturbances will go on,
and is therefore more alternative than the firſt. The
third expreſſion ſeems to mark the ſenſe of one who
out of all the means that can be propoſed, chuſes that.
which is moſl effectual. When we make uſe of unleſs,
we do not mark that we have conſidered of any other
means beſides that which is propoſed. Whereas,
when we make uſe of but or except, we ſhow that we
have conſidered of ſome other means. But marks a
negative rejection of every other means, but thoſe
propoſed. Except a poſitive choice of the means propoſed.
Unleſs marks neither the one nor the other;
and merely denotes an alternative, that either this
muſt be done, or that will follow.
3. But is likewiſe a conductive conjunction in the
ſenſe in which it is nearly ſynonomous with the Latin
quin, with the French que, and with the Engliſh than
or that, when the firſt is preceded and the other followed
by the particles of negation no or not.
The full moon was no ſooner up, than he privately
opened the gate of paradiſe.
But be privately opened, &c.
It cannot be doubted, that the king of Spain will
not reform moſt of the abuſes.
But the king of Spain will reform, &c.
Who ſhall believe, but you miſuſe the reverence
of your place.
That you do not miſuſe, &c.
It cannot be but nature hath ſome director, &c.
It cannot be that nature has not ſome director.
4. But is likeways a tranſitive conjunction in the ſenſe
in which it is ſynonomous with the Latin ſed, and
with the French or.
All animals are mortal, but all men are animals, &c.
5. But is likewiſe an adverb of quantity, and ſignifies
no more than, and is nearly ſynonomous with the
Latin tantum, and with the Engliſh only.
I ſaw no more than three plants.
I ſaw but three plants.
I ſaw three plants only.
A genius ſo elevated and unconfined as Mr. Cowley's
was no more than neceſſary to make Pindar
ſpeak Engliſh.
Was but neceſſary, &c.
Was only neceſſary, &c.
This laſt expreſſion might here, perhaps, be thought
improper, becauſe it might give occaſion to an ambiguity;
and might either ſignify, that nothing leſs than
ſuch a genius was capable of making Pindar ſpeak Enliſh,
or that nothing more was requiſite for this purpoſe.
Saving this ambiguity, the expreſſion is, in
every other reſpect, perfectly proper.
I ſhould ſin to think but nobly of my grandmother.
No more than nobly, &c
Only nobly, &c.
Ulyſſes was formidable, but to his friends.
To his friends only.
Did but men conſider the true notion of God.
Did men only conſider, &c.
Beroe but now I left.
Beroe I left now only.
6. But is alſo a prepoſition, in which uſe it is ſynonomous
with except, and would be expreſſed in Latin
by prœter, in French by hors.
They are all dead but three.
They are all dead except three.
Who can it be ye gods but perjur'd Lycon?
Except perjur'd Lycon, &c.
7. But is alſo uſed as an interjection, tho' not frequently;
as in this phraſe,
Good God, but ſhe is handſom!
HUMOUR. n. ſ. [humeur, French; humor, Latin.]
Moiſture.
The aqueous humour of the eye will not freeze;
Which is very admirable, ſeeing it hath the perſpicuity
and fluidity of common water.
Ray on the Creation.
2. The different kind of moiſture in man's body,
reckoned by the old phyſicians to be phlegm, blood,
choler, and melancholy, which, as they predominated,
were ſuppoſed to determine the temper of
mind.
Believe not theſe ſuggeſtions, which proceed
From anguiſh of the mind and humours black,
That mingle with thy fancy. Milton's Agoniſtes.
3. General turn or temper of mind.
As there is no humour, to which impudent poverty
cannot make itſelf ſerviceable; ſo were there enow
of thoſe of deſperate ambition, who would build
their houſes upon others ruin. Sidney, b. ii.
There came with her a young lord, led hither with
the humour of youth, which ever thinks that good
whoſe goodneſs he ſees not. Sidney.
King James, as he was a prince of great judgment,
ſo he was a prince of a marvellous pleaſant humour:
as he was going through Luſen by Greenwich, he
aſked what town it was; they ſaid Luſen. He aſked,
a good while after, what town is this we are now
in? They ſaid ſtill it was Luſen: ſaid the King, I
will be king of Luſen. Bacon's Apophthegms.
Examine how your humour is inclin'd,
And which the ruling paſſion of your mind. Roſcom.
They, who were acquainted with him, know his humour
to be ſuch, that he would never conſtrain himſelf.
Dryden.
In caſes where it is neceſſary to make examples, it
is the humour of the multitude to forget the crime, and
to remember the puniſhment. Addiſon's Freeholder.
Good humour only teaches charms to laſt,
Still makes new conqueſts, and maintains the paſt.
Pope.
4. Preſent diſpoſition.
It is the curſe of kings to be attended
By ſlaves, that take their humour for a warrant
To break into the blood-houſe of life. Shak. K. John.
Another thought her nobler humour fed.
Fairfax, b. ii
Their humours are not to be won,
But when they are impos'd upon. Hudibras, p. iii
Tempt not his heavy hand;
But one ſubmiſſive word which you let fall,
Will make him in good humour with us all. Dryden.
5. Groteſque imagery; jocularity; merriment.
6. Diſeaſed or morbid diſpoſition.
He was a man frank and generous; when well, denied
himſelf nothing that he had a mind to eat or
drink, which gave him a body full of humours, and
made his fits of the gout frequent and violent. Temple.
6. Petulance; peeviſhneſs.
Is my friend all perfection, all virtue and diſcretion?
Has he not humours to be endured, as well as kindneſs
to be enjoyed? South's Sermons.
7. A trick; a practice.
I like not the humour of lying: he hath wronged
me in ſome humours: I ſhould have borne the humour'd
letter to her. Shak. Merry Wives of Windſor.
8. Caprice; whim; predominant inclination.
In private, men are more bold in their own humours;
and in conſort, men are more obnoxious to other humours;
therefore it is good to take both.
Bacon's Eſſays.
HUMOUR, from the Latin humor, in its original
ſignification, ſtands for moiſture in general; from
whence it has been reſtrained to ſignify the moiſture
of animal bodies, or thoſe fluids which circulate thro'
them.
It is diſtinguiſhed from moiſture in general in this,
that humours properly expreſs the fluids of the body,
when, in a vitiated ſtate, it would not be improper to
ſay, that the fluids of ſuch a perſon's body were full
of humours.
The only fluids of the body, which, in their natural
and healthful ſtate, are called humours, are thoſe in
the eye; we talk of the aqueous humour, the cry
humour, without meaning any thing that if, morbid or
diſeaſed: yet, when we ſay in general, that ſuch a
perſon has got a humour in his eye, we underſtand
in the uſual ſenſe of a vitiated fluid.
As the temper of the mind is ſuppoſed to depend
upon the ſtate of the fluids in the body, humour has
come to be ſynonomous with temper and diſpoſition.
A perſon's humour however is different from his diſpoſition
in this, that humour kerns to be the diſeaſe
of a diſpoſition; it would be proper to ſay that perſons
of a ſerious temper or diſpoſition of mind, were ſubject
to melancholy humours; that thoſe of a delicate
and tender diſpoſition, were ſubject to peeviſh humours.
Humour may be agreeable, or diſagreeable; but it
is ſtil1 humour, ſomething that is whimſical, capricious,
and not to be depended upon an ill-natur'd man
may have fits of good humour, which ſeem to come
upon him accidentally, without any regard to the
common moral caſes of happineſs or miſery.
A fit of chearfulneſs conſtitutes the whole of good
humour; and a man who has many ſuch fits, is a good
humour'd man: yet he may not be good-natur'd;
which is a character that ſuppoſes ſomething more conſtant,
equable, and uniform, than what was requiſite
to conſtitute good humour.
Humour is often made uſe of to expreſs the quality
of the imagination which bears a conſiderable reſemblance
to wit.
Wit expreſſes ſomething that is more deſigned,
concerted, regular, and artificial; humour, ſomething
that is more wild, looſe, extravagant, and fantaſtical;
ſomething which comes upon a man by fits, which he
can neither command nor reſtrain, and which is not
perfectly conſiſtant with true politeneſs. Humour, it
has been ſaid, is often more diverting than wit; yet
a man of wit is as much above a man of humour, as
a gentleman is above a buffoon; a buffoon however
will often divert more than a gentleman.
Theſe inſtances may ſerve to explain the plan of
a Dictionary which ſuggeſted itſelf to us. It can
import no reflection upon Mr. Johnſons Dictionary
that the ſubject has been viewed in a different light by
others; and it is at leaſt a matter of curioſity to conſider
the different views in which it appears. Any
man who was about to compoſe a dictionary or rather
a grammar of the Engliſh language, muſt acknowledge
himſelf indebted to Mr. Johnſon for abridging at leaſt
one half of his labour. All thoſe who are under any
difficulty with reſpect to a particular word or phraſe,
are in the ſame ſituation. The dictionary preſents
them a full collection of examples; from whence indeed
they are left to determine, but by which the
determination is rendered eaſy. In this country,
the uſefulneſs of it will be ſoon felt, as there is no
ſtandard of correct language in converſation; if our
recommendation could in any degree incite to the peruſal
of it, we would earneſtly recommend it to all
thoſe who are deſirous to improve and correct their
language, frequently to conſult the dictionary. Its
merit muſt be determined by the frequent reſort that
is had to it. This is the moſt unerring teſt of its value:
criticiſms may be falſe, private judgments ill--
founded; but if a work of this nature be much in uſe,
it has received the ſanction of the public approbation.
ARTICLE IV.
Theron and Aſpaſio: or, A ſeries of Dialogues and Letters
upon the moſt important and intereſting ſubjects; in
three volumes; by James Harvey A. M. Rector of
Weſton Favil in Northamptonſhire. London. Rivingtons.
price 10 s. 6 d.
GREAT piety and goodneſs of heart, a luxuriant
fancy, and ſplendid ſtyle, characteriſe this
author: talents juſtly popular, and which can never
fail of drawing many admirers. The principal ſubject
of this work, is the imputed righteouſneſs of Chriſt;
which Mr. Harvey conſidering with reaſon as one of
the fundamental doctrines of chriſtianity, illuſtrates at
great length, and defends to good purpoſe by a variety
of arguments from ſcripture. But as a good cauſe
in hazard of ſuffering, when reſted in any degree on
a feeble ſupport; we could have wiſhed, that Mr.
Harvey's zeal had not led him to preſs into the ſervice
of his argument, almoſt all the paſſages both in the
Old and New Teſtament, where any mention occurs
of the righteouſneſs of God; which cannot, on every
occaſion, be underſtood, without ſome violence, to ſignify
the imputed rightcouſneſs of Chriſt. Certain
peculiar ways of thinking too, might be remarked in
this author. Particularly in his ſixteenth dialogue,
where he explains the nature of faith, he adopts a ſett
of opinions which have been generally condemned by
the beſt writers on theſe ſubjects. In place of the
received account of faith, as a perſuaſion that Chriſt
has died for all ſuch, as, embracing the terms of the
goſpel, have recourſe to him for ſalvation; he defines
faith to conſiſt in a "real perſuaſion that Chriſt has
"died for me, and fulfilled all righteouſneſs in my ſtead."
The method of trying our faith, and of ſeeking peace
and aſſurance by examining our hearts, and inquiring
after the marks of regeneration and holineſs in our
lives, he diſapproves, as ſerving to cheriſh doubts. "Let
"the marks, ſays he, be what you pleaſe, a love of the
"brethren, or a love of all righteouſneſs; a change of
"heart, or an alteration of life; theſe marks are ſome"times
not eaſily, if at all, diſcernible." Inſtead therefore
"of poring on our own hearts (as he terms it) to
"diſcover by inherent qualities our intereſt in Chriſt,"
he exhorts us to aſſert our title to it, by reaſoning thus:
"Pardon is mine, grace is mine, Chriſt and all his
"ſpiritual bleſſings are mine; why? Becauſe, I am
"conſcious of ſanctifying operations in my own breaſt
"rather; becauſe all theſe privileges are conſigned
"over to me in the everlaſting goſpel with unqueſtionable
clearneſs and certainty." As this method
of reaſoning, we apprehend, will not be found ſo clear
and ſatisfactory, nor ſo favourable to the intereſts of
virtue, as the common method, which directs us to
conſider holineſs as the only ſure criterion and evidence
of true faith, we would recommend to Mr,
Harvey's admirers, rather to imbibe and imitate the
pious and benevolent ſpirit which runs thro' his work,
than to follow him implicitly in ſuch particularities of
opinion.
With theological reafonings our author has mixed
a great many agreeable views of nature. Every dialogue
opens with a landſcape; the reader travels as
thro' enchanted ſcenes; groves, arbours, gardens,
terraſſes, caſcades, every where ſurround him. If the
deſcriptions are often too diffuſe and looſe, and ſometimes
tedious thro' the uniformity of the ſcenes, the
author's modeſty has precluded any cenſure on this
head; beſpeaking, in his preface, the reader's indulgence
for what he calls his favourite foible. The
bulk of his readers, we believe, will think no apology
was needful for this part of his work. As the flowry
imagination of the author muſt generally pleaſe; ſo
the moral and religious improvement which he makes
of all the beauties of nature, certainly deſerves the
higheſt praiſe. And to the honour of our author's
deſcriptive genius, we muſt obſerve that the view of
the ſtructure of the human body in the ſecond volume,
and the ſketch of natural philoſophy which
takes up a conſiderable part of the third, are very entertaining
and beautiful. As every popular author creates
imitators; and as authors of genius are more eaſily
imitated in their faults than their beauties; we ſhall con-

clude with admoniſhing the imitators of Mr. Harvey's
manner, to beware of miſtaking the tinſel of a glittering
ſtyle for the native beauty of imagination, or the froth
of looſe declamation for the manly ſpirit of eloquence.
ARTICLE V.
The Centaur not Fabulous. In five letters to a friend, on the
life in vogue. London, Millar and Dodſley. Price 5 S. 6 d,
"THE men of pleaſure," ſays the anonymous
author in his dedication to an anonymous lady,
"the licentious and the profligate, are the ſubject of
"theſe letters; and in ſuch as in the fabled Centaur,
"the brute runs away with the man: therefore I call
"them Centaurs. And farther, I call them Centaurs
"not fabulous, becauſe by their ſcarce half-human con"duct
and character, that enigmatical and purely ideal
"figure of the antients, is not unriddled only, but rea"lized."
There are few readers of any taſte but will eaſily
diſcover to whom they are indebted for this work.
The bold imagination and the brilliant ſtile, the pointed
turn and the auſtere morality, ſufficiently diſtinguiſh
the author of the Night-thoughts, The admirers of theſe,
will not be diſappointed of entertainment here. The ſame
dark and melancholy views of human life, the ſame contempt
of gaiety and amuſement and of every thing below
immortality, the ſame ſtrong and high colouring
applied to embelliſh the ſentiments and oft to raiſe
them beyond nature. Pleaſure and infidelity are the
two great objects of the author's ſatyre and indignation.
To reprove and to expoſe, ſeems more his talent, than
to argue: and in ſo licentious an age, the laſh, it
muſt be allowed, cannot be applied with too great
ſeverity. The fire of his imagination frequently betrays
him into irregular ſallies: yet ſtill it is the extravagance
of genius and ſpirit; and fire ſhines thro'
the ſmoke. In all the compoſitions of this author, a
certain wild and eccentric character appears: but
in the work now before us, this peculiarity of manner
is rendered more ſenſible, by a groteſque alliance which
he endeavours to form betwixt the deeply ſerious and
the comic ſtrain. After many grave expoſtulations,
tragical deſcriptions, and death-bed ſcenes; we are preſented
with a ſort of farce in what he calls the Centaur's
reſtoration to humanity: where, purſuing the al-luſion
of his fabulous title, he deſcribes his men of
pleaſure gradually ſhaking off the quadrupede, that is,
returning to virtue, under the form of one ſhedding a
mane, another dropping a tail; the hoofs of ſome
ſprouting into fingers; others crying out, Brother,
to the firſt man they ſee; who ſtarts at his new relation,
with a hide ſtill ſticking to his heels. This unſeaſonable
and aukward pleaſantry, which is continued
thro' ſeveral pages, disfigures the book; which in other
reſpects, like every production of this author,
wants not merit. Were we to paſs a general cenſure
on the author's manner of writing, it would be
this; that a more ſimple and natural ſtyle, tho' it dazzled
leſs, yet would have pleaſed longer; and that
ſentiments overſtrained, tho' they may ſeize the affections
at firſt, yet keep not ſuch hold of the mind, nor
make ſuch laſting impreſſion, as thoſe which coincide
with more reaſonable and moderate views of human
life,
FINIS.
THE
EDINBURGH REVIEW,
From JULY 1755 to JANUARY 1756.
ARTICLE I.
The Hiſtory of Crœſus King of Lydia, in four parts;
containing, Obſervations on the antient Notion of
Deſtiny, on Dreams, on the Origin and Credit of
Oracles, and the Principles upon which their Reſponſes
were defended againſt any attack. Edinburgh, Printed
by Hamilton, Balfour and Neill, 1755. Price 2 S. 6 d.
CRŒSUS King of Lydia is a Prince whom we
never expected to have met with, as the hero
of a ſerious hiſtory. Mankind ſeem at laſt to
feel the neceſſity of contracting, rather than enlarging
that period of hiſtory, which ought to be the object
of their inquiry and attention. If this ſentiment be
juſt, how unfortunate and how ill timed is our author's
attempt, to recal from oblivion, the name and
adventures of a Monarch of ſuch diſtant and dubious
fame. He himſelf has been aware of this objection
to his work; and it is but juſt to hear what he can
plead in his own defence. "The enthuſiaſtic prin"ciples
of ages ſo long paſt, and the artificial devices
"then uſed to work upon the paſſions of men, may
"appear to ſome, a ſubject of hiſtory not enough in"tereſting
in theſe times. But, if the moſt eſſen"tial
part of knowledge, derived from hiſtory, be
"that of mankind, it ſurely cannot well be learned,
"without thoroughly conſidering the various ſenti"ments
and opinions embraced by them, in different
"ages of the world. Our views of human nature
"muſt be partial and confined, if they be only direct"ed
to ſome of its late and preſent appearances. By
"carrying our thoughts back into antient times, we
"may ſee reaſon for abating much of the amazement
"or diſlike which is apt to ariſe in our minds, when
"we read the religious or political violences marked
"out in modern hiſtory."
If the reader ſhall ſuſtain this apology for the ſubject,
(which we by no means require him to do) we
can aſſure him, that he will find our author, neither
deſtitute of ſkill in compoſition, nor a ſtranger to
propriety and neatneſs of language. He has treated
his ſubject with abundance of erudition, and, by his
manner of relating it, renders an odd tale, ſomewhat
tolerable.
We cannot however imagine our readers to be ſo
much intereſted in the Lydian Monarch, as to make
it neceſſary for us, to enter into any detail of his actions.
We approve of our author's choice of Herodotus
rather than Xenophon for his guide. The latter a-ſcribes
to the perſons he introduces, particularly to
Cyrus and his Perſians, ſuch cultivated virtue, and
ſuch poliſhed manners, as were worthy of the Socratic
ſchool. The former draws them fierce, impetuous,
and cruel, like what men really were in the
early and uncivilized ages of the world. But, at the
ſame time, our author's hiſtory has derived, from Herodotus,
an air and character which will appear uncouth
to a modern reader, oracles, dreams, prodigies,
miraculous interpoſitions of the gods, and no leſs miraculous
inſtances of credulity and folly among men,
are the objects perpetually before him. The rage of
reading novels, which has ſpread ſo wonderfully over
Britain, may perhaps have accuſtomed the public ear
to ſuch improbabilities. To all true lovers of the
marvellous, we therefore recommend our author's hero.
His adventures, tho' related in a better ſtile, are as
far removed from truth, and very near as much connected
with inſtruction, as moſt of thoſe which of
late years have been ſo diligently ſtudied by a great
part of the nation.
We conclude this article, with an admonition to
the author. In any future performance, we adviſe him
either to venture into the region of pure fiction, or
to confine himſelf within the precincts of real hiſtory.
In the former, by his talents for compoſition, he may
become an agreeable writer; in the latter, his induſtry
may render him an inſtructive one.
ARTICLE II.
An Enquiry after Philoſophy and Theology; tending
to ſhow when and whence Mankind came at the
Knowledge of theſe two important Points. Edinburgh,
Printed by Sands, Donaldſon, Murray and
Cochran; ſold by A. Kincaid and A. Donaldſon, 1755.
Price 5 s. 425 pages.
SYSTEMS of philoſophy riſe and fall without
detriment to mankind. Errors are detected; and
the experiments and reaſonings of one age improve
on another. Human ingenuity is in the mean time
uſefully employed; and philoſophers differ, without
diſturbing the peace of ſociety. This is the caſe,
ſo long as reaſon and philoſophy are the only inſtruments
employed. But when theology is brought
into the queſtion; when philoſophical ſyſtems are ſet
forth to the world as derived immediately from thoſe
ſacred books, which are the rule of our faith; the
controverſy becomes more delicate and important.
Articles of faith are they connected with principles of
philoſophy. Such a connection ought never to be
formed, without the cleareſt evidence, leſt, if conjectures
be raſhly hazarded, and an attempt be made
to found chimerical ſpeculations on revelation, it ſhall
tend rather to diſcredit religion, than to advance philoſophy.
This reflection, which is abundantly
obvious, deſerved to have been weighed with care
by the writers on the Hutchinſonian ſcheme, before
they proceeded to attack the Newtonian philoſophy,
and to erect a new ſyſtem of natural knowledge
on the writings of the Old Teſtament. Of this ſect
of Philoſophers is the author now before us.
He is anonymous, and to us unknown. But as
he appears to be a man of letters, and well acquainted
with the ſubject of which he writes, our
readers may perhaps expect from us, on this occaſion,
ſome account of the genius and ſtrain of a philoſophy
which has of late made ſo much noiſe in the world.
According to this author, the Scriptures were intended
to inſtruct mankind in natural philoſophy, no
leſs than in the great points of faith and obedience.
So much was this the ſcope of the divine Spirit, that
as he tells us, the paſſages in Scripture which treat of,
or relate to philoſophical ſubjects, make one half, or
near two thirds of the Bible. In his introduction, he
ſeverely cenſures the vanity of modern philoſophers,
for imagining that they have diſcovered ſo much of
the true ſyſtem of the univerſe, which mankind had
never before diſcovered. He thinks it abſurd to ſuppoſe,
that for ſo many ages reaſon ſhould have been
racked and tortured in vain, in the inveſtigation of
theſe truths; and that, after five thouſand years,
reaſon ſhould ſtumble on them as by chance; ſince
the enquirers of all ages had the ſame powers and faculties,
the ſame light of nature to aſſiſt them, and
many of them ſpared no time or pains to complete
their enquiries. Is it not ſtrange that it ſhould never
have occurred to our author, as a much more ſurpriſing
phœnomenon, that the intention of the divine Spirit
to inſtruct mankind in natural philoſophy, by means
of the books of the Old Teſtment, ſhould have ſo
long remained an entire ſecret to Jews and Chriſtians,
to Fathers and Doctors, to all who enjoyed thoſe
ſacred oracles; till the great Mr. Hutchinſon aroſe,
and, thro' his ænigmatical glaſs (to uſe our author's
phraſe), diſcovered a new world, unto which mortal
eye could never before penetrate?
As Sir Iſaac Newton is conſidered as the moſt formidable
rival of this new philoſophy, our author cenſures
him with much ſeverity. His boaſted diſcoveries,
we are told, amount to nothing; why? becauſe
he has only diſcovered certain operations or actions in
the ſyſtem of nature, without diſcovering the agents;
effects, without being able to aſſign the cauſes. To
have ſhown that gravitation or attraction is an univerſal
law in the material ſyſtem, is, in our author's
judgment, no improvement in philoſophy; ſo long
as the principle, or cauſe of attraction, remains unknown.
Sir Iſaac's laws of motion are but words;
an entire miſtake of the effects for the cauſe; "becauſe
(ſays he) the laws of motion are thoſe cauſes,
"powers or agents which move and carry bodies, or
"by which they are moved and carried. What theſe
"are, is the thing in queſtion. The preſent philo"ſophy
picks up a few appearances, and would pin
"them upon us for the laws or cauſes of motion."
With what ſucceſs our author endeavours to extend
our knowledge from effects to cauſes, ſhall by and by
be ſhown. But ſure no one who ever looked into Sir
Iſaac Newton's writings with the leaſt degree of candor,
can miſtake what he means by the laws of motion,
or imagine, that, in laying down theſe, he pretended
to aſſign the cauſes of motion. By laws, he
means no more than the regular eſtabliſhed courſe of
things; whether owing to the immediate agency of
the Supreme Being, or to any intermediate principles
or cauſes, his modeſty, which was as great as his
learning, forbade him to determine.
But ignorance and futility is not the only charge
brought againſt Sir Iſaac's philoſophy. Our author
repreſents him as contriving his ſyſtem, with a view
to corrupt the faith and ſubvert the doctrine of the
Trinity; craftily to impoſe on mankind the actions
in nature, in place of the agents, to overthrow the
inſpired accounts of the creation; in ſhort, to pave
the way for all irreligion and atheiſm; in which (ſays
he) he acts as neither the man, the philoſopher, nor the
chriſtian. Yet this ſame Sir Iſaac Newton, when our
author finds it for his purpoſe to adopt any of his diſcoveries,
or to uſe any of his reaſonings, is a great
man, and a very great man, with whom he is happy
to coincide.
To give our reader a diſtinct idea of the Hutchinſonian
philoſophy were no eaſy taſk; for ſurely it is
not the province of diſtinct ideas. However, we ſhall
attempt to gratify his curioſity, as far as we can,
concerning a ſyſtem which pretends to be derived
from the ſacred writings, and to aſſign the cauſes of all
the grand operations in nature.
According to this ſyſtem, then, there is an univerſal
plenum. The air is the great agent that performs
the operation of nature, under the threefold form
of fire, light and ſpirit. The airs neareſt to the
ſun, the central fire, are rare and pure: thoſe towards
the circumference of the ſyſtem more thick and
denſe. The purer and more etherial part, when in
motion, is called light; the more denſe is called ſpirit.
From the centre to the circumference of the ſyſtem
there is a perpetual circulation of air, melted by the
fire into light, flowing out from the ſun; and of more
denſe air or ſpirit returning from the circumference to
the ſun, and then changing its condition into light.
The matter of the heavens was firſt put into this action
of tire by the immediate power of God: but
now kept up by the machine itſelf; by the mechanical
operations of light and ſpirit, that is, of purer and denſer
air, in their flux and reflux to and from the centre
and circumference. By this one ſimple proceſs, the
machine performs all the œconomical operations of
nature: the groſſer air or ſpirit being preſſed in from
the circumference of the ſyſtem among the finer ether
or light about the ſun, and by that means expanding
it; and the finer ether or light being preſſed out among
the groſſer parts in its way towards the circumference,
and by that means expanding theſe:
and this action and reaction, is mutual and reciprocal,
equal and contrary.
The manner in which theſe agents move the earth,
in its annual courſe and diurnal rotation, we chuſe
to give in the author's own words; both that we
may do no injuſtice to his argument, and that we
may give our reader a ſpecimen of the ſtile and manner
of theſe philoſophers.
"The body or ſphere of the earth intercepts a
"column of light and darkneſs: and by that inter"ception
puts each into a condition different from
"the reſt of the air or firmament where the earth is
"not; for it thereby divides the light from the
"darkneſs, or to uſe the more emphatical Hebrew
"phraſe ךשחה ניב רואה ניב between the light and between
the darkneſs, taking from one and giving to
"the other, which before this interruption were mix"ed
each with the other: and the light thereby be-"comes
more agitated and active, and the ſpirit
"more compreſſed and ready to ruſh with greater
"force into the light where it is thineſt, or in the
"greateſt agitation. And as the body of the earth
"is ſo large, ſolid and thick, as to reſiſt and reflect
"perhaps as much or more light than what pervades
"it, and has a ſurface ſo broad, that the ſpirit on
"each ſide cannot break in, the force or action of
"each will be increaſed and their condition altered
"from what it is in the other parts of the firmament.
"The parts of light which do not pervade or enter
"the pores of the earth will be reverberated, and
"put into that degree of agitation or buſtle which
"we call day; which forms what Mr. Hutchinſon
"calls a cap of light, which will be deepeſt in the
"middle and thinneſt at each edge. Now, the ſpirit
"can only puſh into the light at one of the edges
"of the cap of light, becauſe it cannot pervade or
"paſs thro' the body of the earth: and as the
"earth's motion is from weſt to eaſt, this ſhews that
"the force or impulſe of the ſpirit is exerted at the
"weſtern or evening edge. There are therefore two
"forces or impulſes, as I conceive, of the matter con"cerned
in the diurnal and annual motion of the
" earth, or in its rotation round its axis and its pro"greſſion
round the ſun; or, if you pleaſe, the impulſe
"of the ſpirit is exerted in two different directions
"the grains of the ſpirit, in their deſcent to the ſun
"from the circumference, turn, or are ſucked in by
"the light at the evening edge of the line which
"divides light and darkneſs at the cap of light,
"and thereby pull the weſtern edge from the ſun and
"turn the eaſtern edge towards the ſun; and ſo roll
"the earth round from weſt to eaſt, and give a rota"tion
round its axis, while the ſpirit at the evening
"ſide of the earth puſhes in a lateral direction parallel
"to the circle which divides the enlightned hemiſ"phere
from the dark one, and in the direction of
"the plane which divides light and darkneſs, and lb
" impells it forward in that plane, and gives it a pro"
grelfive motion,"
If the reader ſhall now inquire, as he will very naturally
do, where is the foundation of all this wonderful
ſyſtem, (which ſeems to reſemble the vortices of
Deſcartes more than any other ſyſtem that ever was
hatched by human fancy) our anſwer is at hand. It
is clearly founded, ſays our author, in the words of
Solomon, Eccleſ. i. 4. One generation paſſeth away,
and another generation cometh, but the earth abideth for
ever. The ſun alſo ariſeth and the ſun goeth down, and
haſteth to his place where he aroſe. The wind goeth
towards the ſouth, and turneth about into the north:
it whirleth about continually; and the wind returneth
againg according to its circuit. But, leſt the reader
who is not initiated, ſhould be unable to diſcover the
profound ſecrets of the Hutchinſonian philoſophy from
our common tranſlation of this paſſage, we ſhall alſo
give him our author's tranſlation; and if he can find
them there, we congratulate him on the diſcovery,
and ſhall leave him to improve it. רור Generation
ךהל comes on, רורו and generation אב goes of: צראהו
but the earth םלעול to the end תךמע endures. חרזו
שמשה For which purpoſe the ſolar light ſprings up,
שמשה אבו and the ſolar light goes off; ומוקמ לאו and
at (or into) its place (or ſtation) drawing in the
ſpirit םש אוה חרוז ſpringing up thence, (or giving
way to what is ſucked in, viz. to the ſpirit): ךלוה
coming on to the ſouth, בבוסו and circuiting
round ןופצ לא to the north; בבס בבוםו circuiting in a
circuit, or going its round), חורה ךלוה the ſpirit is
ſuccſſively coming on, ויתביבס לעו and upon (or in)
it (the light's) circuits חורה בש the ſpirit reverts.
Next to Scripture, the author whom this enquirer
after philoſophy and theology builds the moſt upon
(who would think it)? is Lucretius. Of Ovid's authority
too he avails himſelf. But Lucretius is ſo expreſs
on certain points, that, were an Hutchinſonian
to write in Latin, our author ſays, he could ſcarcely
expreſs his ſentiments more fully. This circumſtance
one would think, might teach theſe writers a little
more candor in their way of treating others on the
head of religion. Since, had the authority of ſo noted
an atheiſt as Lucretius been employed by their
antagoniſts againſt them, every one muſt ſee what
ſort of inſinuations it would have led them to throw
out. The fondneſs of an hypotheſis blinds men
ſtrangely. They object to the Newtonian philoſophy
as no ſmall crime, that it ſeems to withdraw the world
from the immediate influence of Jehovah; and repreſents
the operations of nature as performed by
means of qualities impreſſed on matter. Yet theſe
very men have given us a ſyſtem which repreſents the
world as pure mechaniſm; and removes the divine agency
much further from view. They aſcribe indeed
to the Deity the firſt impulſe or cauſe of motion; and
did not Sir Iſaac Newton expreſsly do the ſame? Nothing
but the moſt groſs partiality and prejudice,
could have made them tax that philoſopher with irreligion;
who is ſo eminently diſtinguiſhed in all his
writings for his regard both to natural religion, and
to the cauſe of revelation.
Having given a ſpecimen of the ſtrain of this philoſophy,
it remains next that we take ſome notice of
the theology connected with it. The uſe and deſign
of philoſophy, our author tells us, is "to exhibit
"ideas of what we could not otherways come at, viz.
"the mode of exiſtence and manner of acting of the
"perſons in Jehovah; which will prove to demon"ſtration
the fundamental point of chriſtianity, I
"mean, the Trinity; of which philoſophers have ſo
"often called upon us for ideas, and of which they
"have ſo induſtriouſly laboured to deſtroy the evi"dence,
by emptying the heavens of that fluid
"which is the glaſs. that reflects it to us". The reader
will probably be puzzled to comprehend what this
points at, till he is let into the ſecret, That fire, light
and ſpirt, the three great agents in the material univerſe,
are types and proofs of the Trinity. Our author's
doctrine is, That natural things are ſimulacra or
images of things ſpiritual and inviſible; that if they
be images of them, they muſt have been framed by
God the Creator for this end and deſign; and that,
ſince we find in Scripture God and ſpiritual things
repreſented under the ideas and names of viſible things,
this is a fall demonſtration, that God framed them to
repreſent himfelf, and what he preintended to reveal
of himſelf and his ways to mankind. Proceeding on
this plan, the author diſcovers firſt, that the Hebrew
word which ſignifies the Heavens is plural; here is one
clear proof of a plurality of perſons in the Godhead.
Next he diſcovers, that fire is a metaphor or type ſometimes
uſed to repreſent the firſt perſon in the Trinity;
as when it is ſaid, His anger is poured out as fire;
then, that light is a metaphor very commonly uſed to
to deſcribe the ſecond perſon of the Trinity; who,
for inſtance, is called a light to lighten the gentiles; and
laſtly, that ſpirit is the name generally given to the
third perſon of the Trinity. From theſe premiſes the
author draws several concluſions concerning the Trinity;
and from the properties and actions of fire,
light and ſpirit, as exiſting in the heavens, collects
the perſonality, the properties and manner of exiſtence
of the Father, the Son and Holy Spirit. By and by,
the Cherubim and flaming ſword exibited to our firſt
Parents at their expulſion from Paradiſe, are found to be
types ſignificant of high myſteries relating to the Trinity,
the covenant of Grace, and the whole diſpenſation
of the Goſpel. Having once applied Mr. Hutchinſon's
hieroglyphical key (to uſe the author's own expreſſion),
diſcoveries open every where in ſuch abundance,
that at laſt he roundly aſſerts the Trinity, the
incarnation, the whole conduct and myſtery of the
covenant of Grace, to be much more fully revealed
in the Old Teſtament, than in the New; nay, that,
to ſearch for theſe doctrines in the New Teſtament,
is a fruitleſs inquiry; it is to ſearch for them where
they are not, and to overlook them where they really
are, that is, in the books of the Old Teſtament.
Nothing can be imagined more vague and unſatiſfactory
than ſuch reaſonings as theſe from ſuppoſed
types. Nor, as it appears to us, could a concealed
adverſary of religion have deviſed any more effectual
way of throwing all its doctrines looſe, and opening a
door to every wild imagination. Types can never be a
proof of any truth, or doctrine, or fact, unleſs
when the ſacred writers have expreſsly told us that
one thing was deſigned to typify or repreſent another.
Even then the greateſt circumſpection muſt be uſed,
not to carry our reaſonings and concluſions beyond the
preciſe points to which the typical reſemblance is
confined. But, to invent types at pleaſure, or at beſt
to ſqueeze them from ſome alluſions and metaphors
found in Scripture; and from ſuch types to form concluſions
concerning the antitype, or thing ſuppoſed
to be typified, is a moſt dangerous and unjuſtifiable
method of reaſoning, if it deſerves the name of reaſoning
at all. It is in truth the art of making any
thing out of any thing, and gives full ſcope to the
moſt unbounded range of fancy, in ſubjects where,
above all others, fancy ſhould be moſt reſtrained.
Afraid of having already tired our readers, we avoid
carying them farther into thorny details of the
perplexed and bewildered theology of this author.
Thoſe who are fond of ſurpriſing allegories, and of
myſteries drawn from Hebrew words and derivations,
will here find abundance of that ſort; and to ſuch as
chuſe to make an excurſion from the territories of
plain reaſon and ſenſe, to the airy unſubſtantial regions
of emblems, hieroglyphics and ænigmas, we moſt
heartily reccommend the ſtudy of the Hutchinſonian
philoſophy.
ARTICLE III.
A large new Catalogue of the Biſhops of the ſeveral Sees
within the Kingdoms of Scotland, down to the year
688, inſtructed by proper and authentic Vouchers:
together with ſome other things, neceſſary to the
better Knowledge of the Eccleſiaſtical State of this
Kingdom in former times; as alſo a brief preface
concerning the firſt planting of Chriſtianity in Scotland
and the State of that Church in the earlier
Ages. Edinburgh, Printed by T. & W. Ruddimans,
1755. 316 pages 4to. Price ſtitch'd 6 s.
THE induſtry of this author, and his great knowledge
in the antiquities of his country, are
already well known to the public, by the Hiſtory of the
affairs of Church and State in Scotland. The ſame
labour and accuracy appear in this work, but are applied
to a ſubject much leſs intereſting. Archbiſhop
Spotiſwoode, in the ſecond book of his hiſtory, has
attempted to give a catalogue of Biſhops in the different
Sees in Scotland. But that Prelate having taken
for his guides the ancient writers of chronicles, whoſe
accounts are often imperfect and inaccurate, has been
guilty of many omiſſions, and committed conſiderable
miſtakes. Our author has not been ſatisfied with
ſuch incompleat and dubious evidence. He has conſulted
thoſe records of dioceſes and monaſtries which
were ſaved from the havoc of the Reformation; he
has examined the papers belonging to many of the
moſt ancient families in the kingdom; he has ſearched
the charters and regiſters to be found either in public
repoſitories, or in the cuſtody of private perſons; and,
by the aid of all theſe, he has been enabled to ſettle
the order of ſucceſſion in the different ſees, and the
dates of the conſecration, tranſlation, and death of
Biſhops, with great accuracy.
The labour employed in executing this plan, is incredible.
Scarce a Biſhop has ſubſcribed as a witneſs
to a charter for 600 years paſt, but our author has
traced him and made it public. Thoſe who conſider
an uninterrupted line of Biſhops down from the Apoſtolic
age, to be eſſential to the validity of ordination,
may reckon all this induſtry well beſtowed. They
may be pleaſed perhaps to find that Foudactchè was the
ſecond, and Macdowny Makillanderis the eight Biſhop
of St. Andrew's. They may eſteem it a diſcovery of
importance, that in the year 1155 or 1156 the initial
letter of the Biſhop of Brechin's name was T; and that
in 1424 Dominus G. ſat in the ſame See. The generality
of our readers we are perſuaded will receive but
little entertainment or inſtruction from all this erudition,
and may be apt to rank it among the difficiles
nugœ and the labor ineptiarum of Martial.
It is to be regreted, that our author did not embelliſh
a ſubject which in its own nature is ſo dry and
unentertaining, with force of thoſe anecdotes which
his great knowledge in Scotch hiſtory could have eaſily
ſupplied. There occur but few things of this kind
worthy of any notice.
Thefirſt is an original letter of Roſs the laſt Biſhop
of Edinburgh. No ſooner were the Scotch Biſhops
informed that the Prince of Orange had landed in England,
than they appointed two of their number to repair
to Court, with freſh declarations of their fidelity
to James II.: Roſs was one of theſe; but before his
arrival in London, James had retired into France;
and, ſoon after the convention, ſettled the crown on
the Prince and Princeſs of Orange. King William
(according to his account) ſoon became ſenſible that
Epiſcopacy was the form of government moſt acceptable
to the Nobility and Gentry of Scotland, and expreſſed
an inclination to maintain the church at that
time eſtabliſhed, on condition the Epiſcopal clergy
would imitate their brethren in England, by acknowledging
his right to the Crown, and ſubmitting to his
government. Roſs with great boldneſs declared his
own reſolution, not to ſave the church on theſe terms,
and intimated that the ſentiment of his brethren would
be altogether agreeable to his. Duke Hamilton, on
his Majeſty's authority, made the ſame propoſals to
ſome others of the Scotch Prelates, and found them
equally inflexible. And to this, if we may believe
the Biſhop, is owing the eſtabliſhment of Preſbytery
in Scotland. The conduct of the Scotch Prelates
at this juncture does honour to their integrity, but at
the ſame time affords a ſtrong proof of what has been
often aſſerted, that in Scotland, Epiſcopacy is rather
the badge of a political faction, than the diſtinction of
a religious ſect.
To the catalogue of the Biſhops of Aberdeen, is
ſubjoined a paper containing an inventory of the ſilver
plate, &c. belonging to the Cathedral, and delivered
by the Biſhop in the year 1559 to ſeveral perſons, who
found ſurety for their reſtoring it again to the church.
The terror occaſioned by the violent proceedings of
the Reformers, ſeems to have put the Biſhop upon
this expedient for its preſervation. The weight of
each piece of plate is mentioned; and, if we make
allowance for the different value of ſilver at that time,
which was at leaſt 7 to 1, the bullion belonging to
the Cathedral, without including the price of workmanſhip,
will amount to L. 5,7 95 ſterling; a conſiderable
ſum in a nation where riches and the ſources
whence they are derived were little known. There
is added a long liſt of veſtments, ornaments for the
altar, &c. almoſt all of velvet, or the .richeſt ſilks
embroidered with gold and ſilver, and ſome of them
enriched with precious ſtones. From theſe the reader
will form a notion of the pomp and ſplendor of the
Popiſh worſhip, even in thoſe nations which were
leaſt remarkable for wealth.
The epitaph of Traill Biſhop of St. Andrew's, who
died A. D. 1401 is a rich Monkiſh conceit, and may
poſſibly divert ſome of our readers.
Hic fuit Eccleſiœ directa columna, feneſtra
Lucida, thuribulum redolens, campana ſonora.
To the catalogue of Scotch Biſhops, our author
has added a liſt of Scotch Saints and has mentioned the
days conſecrated to their memory, which may be of
uſe in fixing the dates of antient events. Some of our
countrymen too may be pleaſed with ſuch an ample
monument of the piety of their anceſtors. Scotland,
altho' no conſiderable perſecution be mentioned by our
antient writers, has enriched the Kalender with more
than an hundred Saints and Martyrs of its native
growth. St. Guthagen, the moſt antient of theſe
worthies, is ſaid to be a Confeſſor under Diocleſian.
There is a miſtake with regard to the year of his
death, owing, we preſume, to an error in the preſs.
Inſtead of A. C. 99. it ought to be 299. Diocleſian
reſigned the empire, A. C. 304 and the violence of his
perſecution commenced ſome years before that event.
St. Duthake, A. D. 1249, is the lateſt Confeſſor in
the roll. But how he came to be ranked among the
ſufferers for religion, ſo long after the eſtabliſhment
of Chriſtianity in Scotland, is beyond our ſkill in
legendary hiſtory to explain.
The large catalogue of religious houſes in Scotland,
with which the work concludes, is in our opinion the
moſt curious and inſtructive part of it. The author
deſcribes the ſituation of each houſe, gives the hiſtory
of its foundation, mentions the religious order to which
it belongs, and frequently informs us on whom it
lands and revenues were beſtowed after the Reformation.
The vaſt progreſs which ſuperſtition had made
among our anceſtors, may be eſtimated by the number
of monaſtries throughout the kingdom. No fewer
than 120 belonged to the various orders of Monks;
23 were poſſeſſed by Nuns. Thoſe which were the
property of the Templars and Knights of St. John are
not taken into the account.
Our author has prefixed to his work a long preface
concerning a controverſy of no great importance.
Some writers in defence of Preſbytery had aſſerted,
that the Scots were converted to Chriſtianity by certain
preachers from Aſia, and not by any member of
the Romiſh church: that the order of Biſhops was
unknown in Scotland till the tenth century, and that
the ancient eccleſiaſtic government by Culdees, reſembled
the Preſbyterian model. The difference betwixt
the Roman and ancient Scotch church with regard to
the time of obſerving Eaſter, is the chief foundation
of this opinion.
But our author, by ſeveral reaſons extremely plauſible,
and which our readers will eaſily excuſe us for
omitting, makes it evident, that the Scots did not imitate
the Aſiatics, but obſerved the ſame rule for finding
Eaſter which was followed in the church of Rome
for ſome centuries. With regard to the Culdees, he
contends, that, inſtead of being enemies to Epiſcopal
government, they were the very perſons in whom the
right of electing Biſhops was vetted. An argument
may be advanced in favour of the early introduction of
Epiſcopal hierarchy into Scotland, more convincing
than any aſſertion of Monks or Chronicle-writers.
The arrival of diſciples from Aſia in an age ſo early as
ſome of our Hiſtorians pretend, may without heſitation
be pronounced fabulous; and, were it true, it
does not affect the preſent argument. It is almoſt impoſſible
that the knowledge of chriſtianity ſhould have
penetrated into Scotland in any other way than through
the Roman province in England. If that be the caſe,
reaſon can be aſſigned for ſuch an early difference
betwixt the Scots and other churches in doctrine, ceremonies,
or government. Ambition and the love of
power began early to infect the clergy; credulity and
ſuperſtition prevailed among the people; and the ſame
cauſes did not fail of producing every where the ſame
effects.
ARTICLE IV.
Lettres de Louis XIV. aux Princes de l'Europe, à
ſes Généraux, ſes Miniſtres, &c. recuillies par Mr.
Roſe Secretaire du Cabinet, &c. Edinburgh, Hamilton
and Balfour, 235 Pages. Price 3 s.
IF the Siecle de Louis XIV. had not awakened the curioſity
of the public ſo much as to render every particular
of the reign of that prince intereſting, this collection
of letters had remained for ever in the cabinet
where it was lodged. They are of a very public nature,
neither containing any important particulars with
regard to affairs of State, nor gratifying the love
of Anccdot. It was ſcarcely to be expected indeed,
that they ſhould have informed us of any thing
that was not commonly known, or preſented us with
a different view of any of the characters of that age.
Had they done fo, there might have ariſen a juſt ſuſpicion
that they were not genuine letters. Moſt of
them, we may ſuppoſe, are the work of a Secretary,
tho' ſeveral may have been wrote by the King's
own hand. The ſtile is very ſuitable to letters
of buſineſs, or complement, for ſuch they generally
are; grave, conciſe, and ſometimes expreſſive of
great dignity. The collection begins in the 1661 with
letters wrote upon the death of Cardinal Mazarin,
and from that period there are ſome letters in each
year down to the 1678. The period of hiſtory is
full of events that are ſufficiently intereſting, and
have had very conſiderable conſequences, but are
generally pretty well known. The quarrel with the
Pope, upon occaſion of the attack made upon the
French Ambaſſador at Rome by the Corſican guards,
and the expedition againſt the Corſairs in Africa, are
the affairs of which we find the greateſt detail in theſe
letters. Both of them contributed greatly to eſtabliſh
the perſonal dignity of Louis. His character is known
to have been ſufficiently devout. But even devotion
and bigotry itſelf could not make him ſubmit the majeſty
of a prince, to that power to which he had already
ſacrificed the reaſon of a man. Rome had been
accuſtomed for ages to excrciſe a deſpotic empire over
the conſciences of men, and by means of that had reduced
the ſovereignty of princes to a ſubordination
to the Papal power; that dependence had by degrees
worn off, and beſides that many nations had freed
themſelves from the Papal yoke, Rome, that had dethroned
Monarchs, and laid kingdoms under its interdictions,
had in the former century been beſieged,
ſtormed and plundered by a Catholic army. But
theſe were regarded by moſt Papiſts as the effects of
impiety or violence, and Rome, by artfully inflaming
the zeal which animated Papifts againſt Proteſtants,
had reſumed a conſiderable authority over all that acknowledged
her tenets. The political ſyſtem of Europe
had varied very much from the beginning of the
7th century. The conſideration which the Proteſtant
powers, England, Sweden and Holland, had acquired,
diminiſhed greatly the implicit reverence paid
to the See of Rome; but the ſubtle genius of the court
of Rome had accommodated its meaſures to the change
of ſituation, and, by mediating, negotiating, intrigue
and delay, ſtill preſerved in the Catholic courts that
authority which it had formerly maintained by the
terrors of Eccleſiaſtical power. Louis XIV. was
the firſt prince who deliberately and without force,
in ſpite of all ſhuffling or delays, obliged the See
of Rome to ſtoop to this authority, and compelled
that power to aſk him pardon for an affront,
from whoſe authority he at the ſame time received
abſolution for all his offences. A few years more
preſented a very different ſcene to Europe. Louis
obliged the ſpiritual authority to ſubmit to the laws
of nations, and ſhewed that he underſtood the rights
of a Monarch. James weakly endeavoured to make
a free people embrace the antient ſuperſticion that
had formerly exploded and ſtill abhorred, and ſtoop to
the ſlavery that it had combated and diſdained; ſhewing
himſelf equally ignorant of the maxims of prudence,
the rights of the people, or the duties of the
prince. The conſequence was, Louis was reſpected
by his enemies and reverenced by his ſubjects, whilſt
James became formidable to his friends, contemptible
to his enemies, and hateful to his ſubjects. By them
he was driven from the throne which he was unfit to
fill; he was neglected by Rome to which he had ſacrificed
himſelf; and he was ſupported, pitied and deſpiſed
by Louis. There is a letter in this collection
wrote by Louis to the Pope. It is expreſſed with a
firmneſs and reſolution that proved in the event ſuperior
to Italian policy.
"Moſt holy father, our couſin the Duke de Crequi,
"our Ambaſſador-Extraordinary, having acquainted
"us of the aſſaſſination committed upon his perſon,
"that of our Ambaſſadreſſs, and of all the French
"who were on the 20th current on the ſtreets of
"Rome, by the attack of the Corſican militia of your
"Holineſs; we have directly ordered our ſaid couſin
"to quit the eccleſiaſtical ſtate, that his perſon and
"our dignity remain no longer expoſed to attempts
"of which hitherto there are no examples even among
"barbarians; and we have at the ſame time ordered the
"Sicur de Bourlemont, Auditor of the Rota, to know
"if your Holineſs inclines to approve what that ſoldi"ery
has done, and if you intend or not to make us
"a ſatisfaction ſuitable to the greatneſs of the offence,
"which has not only violated, but unworthily over"turned
the law of nations. We aſk nothing of
"your Holineſs upon this occaſion. You have been
"ſo long accuſtomed to refuſe us every thing, and
"have teſtified hitherto ſo much averſion for what
"regards our perſon and our crown, that we believe
"it is better to refer to your own prudence your re"ſolutions,
upon which ours ſhall be regulated; we
"only wiſh that thoſe of your Holineſs may be ſuch,
"that they may oblige us to continue to pray God
"that he may preſerve, moſt holy Father, your Holineſs
to the government of our mother the holy church.
"At St. Germain in Laye. 30th Auguſt 1662."
This letter appeared to be a pretty remarkable one;
and the tranſlation, which is almoſt literal, may ſerve
to ſhew the ſentiments of it, tho' it can but imperfectly
expreſs the dignity with which the original is
wrote. The hiſtory of this affair is intirely foreign
to the purpoſe of a Review, and beſides it is generally
known.
The expedition againſt the Corſairs is but very
ſlightly mentioned in the Siecle de Louis XIV. and,
to ſay truth, it is but an inconſiderable event in hiſtory.
The deſign, however, was worthy of a prince,
beneficial to his country, and uſeful to mankind.
The piratical ſtates upon the coaſt of Africa, are,
not conſiderable enough to be dangerous to great
cities, or formidable to ſtates, but they are often the
cauſe of infinite diſtreſs to particulars. Hence to ſuppreſs
their power of doing milſchief, is rather an act of
humanity, than of political prudence: but it is an
act becoming a Monarch who conſults the good of his
ſubjects, expoſed to their attacks; and worthy of a
free ſtate, which has a more particular intereſt to
protect the common rights of mankind.
Thoſe who are deſirous to know the particulars of
this expedition, and the reaſons why it miſcarried, will
find ſome ſatisfaction in conſulting theſe letters.
ARTICLE V.
Second Diſſertation on Quick-lime and Lime-water; by
Charles Alſton, M. D. the King's Botaniſt in Scotland,
Fellow of the Royal College of Phyſicians, and
Profeſſor of Medicine and Botany in the Univerſity of
Edinburgh. Printed by Sands, Murray and Cochran,
64 pages. Price 1 s.
THIS is the laſt piece in a controverſy betwixt
Doctor Alſton and Doctor Whytt, about ſome
of the properties and medicinal uſes of Quick-lime and
Lime-water. It has ſuch connection with the ſame
author's firſt Differtation, and with Doctor Whytt's
Eſſay, that no diſtinct account can be given of it ſeparately.
But we believe all of our readers, who attend
to ſubjects of this kind, have already had ſo much
of the diſpute, that they will excuſe us from reviving
it: eſpecially as we ſhall have a better opportunity,
to entertain them on Quick-lime, when we come to
conſider Doctor Black's experiments, which are now
in the preſs.
We cannot, however, diſmiſs this little piece,
without taking notice of the author's candour, in
acknowledging his own miſtakes. On reviewing
the firſt diſſertation, "I obſerved, ſays he, ſome
"paſſages in it, which want to be explained or cor"rected."
Then follow about two pages of corrections
on the firſt diſſertation. And he writes a preface
to the ſecond, on purpoſe to ſupply and correct ſome
defects and errors which he obſerved in it, after it was
printed off. And, at the end of this preface, he ſpeaks
of his antagoniſt in theſe terms: "I cannot conclude,
"without again owning, in juſtice to the Eſſay, and
"to my worthy friend the author, that I ſtill eſteem
"it as a moſt uſeful and laborious performance,
"which has done more good in the ſtone and gravel,
"than any thing formerly written on the ſubject. It
"was the Eſſay chiefly that determined me to drink
"Lime-water, as well as directed to not a few of the
"experiments; which I made with a view to im"prove
the Doctor's plan, and to confirm the ex"tenſive
uſe and virtues of Quick-lime and its water.
ARTICLE VI.
The Qualifications and Decorum of a Teacher of Chriſtianity
conſidered, with a View to the Temper of the
preſent Age, reſpecting Religion, and to ſome late
Attacks which have been made upon it. A Sermon
preached before the Synod of Aberdeen; at
Aberdeen, April 8. 1755. By Robert Traill
Miniſter of Banff. Publiſhed by deſire of the Synod.
Aberdeen, Printed by J. Chalmers, 1755. Price 6 d.
46 pages.
THIS is a ſenſible and ſpirited diſcourſe; and
the author diſcovers himſelf to be a man of genius
and of reflection. His ſcope is, to conſider the
virtues and endowments of which a Miniſter ſhould
be poſſeſſed, as ariſing from the decency of his charader.
This leads him to give a view of the nature
and ſpirit of true religion, and to vindicate it from
ſome aſperſions which have been caſt on it; where
he takes occaſion to animadvert pretty ſmartly on the
author of a late Eſſay concerning miracles. As a ſpecimen
of the Reverend author's manner of writing,
we ſhall ſelect his obſervations on the uſe and conduct
of the imagination in diſcourſes from the pulpit.
"As in morals, ſo in eloquence, the right con"duct
of the imagination is an affair of capital impor"tance,
but difficult and delicate execution. If we
"are careful however never to loſs ſight of the great
"end of all our inſtructions, which is to make men
"wiſer and better, we ſhall be moſt effectually ſecured
"from the more prejudicial and unſeemly errors rela"ting
to the management of that faculty. When we
"would perſuade men to the love and practice
"holineſs and virtue, it is purely a very proper uſe and
"divine objects to their minds in their own intire
"native ſplendor and beauty; by making an exact
"evolution, ſo to ſpeak, of their interior moſt
"engaging qualities; exhibiting their principal pro"perties
and powers in one compleat and regular e"numeration,
and unfolding them in full expanſion
"before our hearers, ſo as to arreſt, occupy and ra"viſh
the whole ſoul. Is not all this abſolutely ne"ceſſary
in order to convey the object whole to the
"mind, make it ſtrike with its full force, and inſure
"its compleat effect? or would it be an infraction of
"any law of juſt criticiſm to advance a ſtep further,
"and by availing ourſelves of the analogy which ſub"ſiſts
between the material and moral, the ſenſible
"and ſpiritual world, to aid our conceptions of the
"latter, by images and illuſtrations drawn from the
"former? I apprehend not. Wherein conſiſts, then
"the abuſe of imagination in eloquence? chiefly,
"ſuppoſe, in employing it for its own ſake, inſtread
"of uſing it as an engine to reach the heart, to ſeize
"the conſcience, and rouſe the paſſions; in employ"ing
it to play and tickle, to amuſe and diver without
"any ulterior determination. This is make it ſerve
"withdraw the hearers attention from the great object
"you would recommend to his affection and purſuit,
"and to lead him only to gaze upon its brilliant lu"ſture,
and to admire its ſprightly ſallies. This is
"truly to obſtruct, inſtead of forwarding any ſolid
"conviction or true pathetic emotion in the minds of
"the hearers: and the imagination thus perverted, is
"really no better than thoſe wandering meteors which
"perplex, inſtead of directing the devious traveller,
"by their bewildering luſture. Whereas, if we really
"meant to inſtruct and perſuade and move effectually,
"and knew how to accompliſh our purpoſe, we would
"ſtudy as much as poſſible to diſappear ourſelves,
"and frame and alter our ſermons in ſuch a manner,
"that the ſubject, and not the ſpeaker, ſhould arreſt
"the attention of the hearers, and ingroſs their
"whole regard and affection. In a word, we are to
"view the imagination chiefly as an avenue to the
"heart, and to the conſcience, and employ it to in"fuſe
warmth into the former, and impreſs conviction
"upon the latter. All gaudy and ſuperfluous decora"tions
which contribute nothing to the juſt and en"tire
effect of the piece, are juſtly exploded even in
"thoſe inferior arts, whoſe end is more immediately
"to pleaſe: how much more ought thoſe ambitious
"ornaments to be retrenched, in inculcating the ſo"lemn
and weighty truths of religion? Here let it be
"ever remembred, that nothing but what is natural
"can pleaſe, and that affectation and grace are in a
"ſtate of irreconcileable oppoſition; let us never loſe
"ſight of nature. Follow the bent of your own ge"nius,
if you are defirous of pleating. Let each en"deavour
to find out his own vein, and draw from
"that ſource, rather than copy after a model furniſhed
"by another, however excellent. Not that every
"kind and degree of ſecondary imitation is altogether
"to be exploded: but, till theſe inferior patterns be e"ſtimated
wholly by their likeneſs to nature itſelf,
"and employed only as helps to aſſiſt us in drawing
"after this true and ultimate original; let the ſenti"ments
be derived from our own genuine ſenſe of
"things, from our own nature and moſt intimate
"feelings; and the whole manner be the pure emana"tions
of nature improved, if you will, and matured,
"but not ſhackled and diſtorted, by art and culture. A
"perſon who moves in trammels, will moſt certainly
"not be able to walk gracefully."
ARTICLE VII.
The Redeemer's Ability to ſave Sinners to the uttermoſt,
illuſtrated in two Sermons, preached in the
Tolbooth Church of Edinburgh, at the Celebration
of the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, March 1755.,
by Thomas Boſton Miniſter at Oxnam. Edinburgh,
Printed by Lumſden, &c. for Gray and Peter, 48
pages. Price 3d.
THE text is Heb. vii. 25. Wherefore he is able to
ſave them to the uttermoſt that come unto God by
him. As for the diſcourſes themſelves, we can ſay no
more of them, than that they appear to be ſerious and
well meant performances. It were needleſs to give
any extracts from them; for the ſubject has been often
handled by others, and we do not find that it has been
placed in any new or better light by our author. On
the contrary, we think it incumbent on us to obſerve,
that there are ſome expreſſions and alluſions in theſe
ſermons, which, however acceptable they may be to the
loweſt claſs of readers, yet to every perſon of judgment,
and who has any regard for religion, they muſt appear
to be mean and unworthy the dignity of the ſubject:
E.g. In p. 14. the author, ſpeaking of our Saviour's
incarnation, ſays, "He needed not to have a heart pre"pared
him, his heart was prepared from all eterni"ty;
but he wanted a body, a ſuit of fleſh and blood,
"ſuch as divine nature never wore before; and God
"himſelf was at the whole coſt of making it." The
indecency and impropriety of this alluſion, is obvious
at firſt ſight. In p. 15. he introduces the following
ſimile: "If we look ſtraight to the ſun, we are ſtruck
" blind, and can ſee nothing at all;" which he thus
applies. "So, if we look to the divine eſſence, the
"very light of it ſtrikes us blind; but the rays of it
"are refracted and broken by the human nature, which
"is like a back to the Godhead." This back to the
Godhead is a phraſe we don't remember to have ſeen
or heard before. And indeed we ſhould rather
have expected to have found it in ſuch a performance
as the Preſbyterian eloquence, than in a ſermon publiſhed
with the author's name prefixed to it, and ſaid to be
preached in one of the churches of this city. In p. 22.
after mentioning " the abſurdity of a creature's merit"ing
at the hands of a Creator," he adds, "the
"ſuppoſition of it, puts an affront upon the Son of
"God, as if his merit were not ſufficient; 'tis no leſs
"than an attempt to eik and patch up that glorious
"robe of righteouſneſs woven out of the blood and
"bowels of the Redeeme, as if it were a torn
"and imperfect thing." In another place, ſpeaking
of Satan under the charader of a ſerpent
p. 37. he repreſents him "as lying nibbling at the
"heels of the Saints, &c." Many other phraſes of the
ſame kind are to be found in theſe diſcourſes; ſuch as,
"the ſoul's minting to depart out of the ſpiritual E"gypt,
the Redeemer's paying the dyver's debt, &c."
Such vulgariſms as there, are indecent even in converſation,
but much more ſo in a ſolemn diſcourſe
from the pulpit, on the moſt important article of our
holy religion. What pity is it, that a Miniſter of the
Goſpel, who has had the advantage (as we preſume) of
a regular education, ſhould, in order to edify, we
ſhall not ſay pleaſe the common people, deſcend to ſuch
meanneſs of expreſſion, and have recourſe to ſuch extravagant
alluſions, as muſt diſguſt every reader of
taſte, and even tend to expoſe religion itſelf, to the
ridicule and contempt of the wicked and profane.
ARTICLE VIII.
The Nature and Extent of Unity ſtated and explained,
and the fitneſs there of ſhewn. A Sermon preached before
the provincial Synod of Dumfries, at their Meeting
in April 1755, on Pſal. cxxxiii. 1. by Edward
Johnſton, M. A. Miniſter at Moffat. Edinburgh,
printed by Sands, Murray and Cochran, for Lauchlan
Hunter, Price 6 d. 39 pages.
THE title prefixed to this ſermon is fo indefinite,
and the ſermon itſelf ſo perplexed and obſcure,
that we were under the neceſſity of peruſing many
pages, before we could perceive it to be the author's
deſign, to diſcourſe of that union and mutual agreement
among Chriſtians, which is founded on reaſon and
ſtrictly enjoined by Revelation. The text which he
has choſen for this ſubject, is Pſalm cxxxiii. v. 1.
Behold how good and pleaſant it is for brethren to dwell
together in unity. The method he propoſes, is, firſt,
"to explain the nature of unity, and to conſider its
"extent in the preſent condition of mankind; ſecondly,
"To ſhew the fitneſs of it; and thirdly, To make
"ſome improvement ſuitable to the ſubject, &c." In
order to explain the nature of unity, he firſt premiſes
ſome general "obſervations," as he afterwards ſtyles
them p. 8. which, he ſays, have a "connexion" with
the ſubject. In the first of theſe obſervations, we
have a ſpecimen of his profound knowledge in phyſics.
"The material world (ſays he) p. 5. is evidently
"governed by certain great and comprehenſive laws,
"among which the law of union, or attraction, may
"be ſaid to hold the firſt place, This is that order
"of nature whereby its author has connected or united
"as it were the parts thereof one to another, and all to
"himſelf. The influence of this law among material
"objects is unqueſtionably diſcernible; there being
"ſno part of matter within the compaſs of our obſer"vation
that is not irreſiſtibly ſubjected to its power;
"the parts of each material ſyſtem, being inclined to
"their proper centre, while that again," (viz. each
proper centre,) "holds an unavoidable reſpect unto
"ſome other; all in regular ſubordination uniting
"at that great ſource, from whence this law is de"rived
and impreſſed on the creatures, upon which
"their beauty, their reciprocal uſefulneſs, nay their
"very being, in its preſent ſtate ſo abſolutely depends."
After making a few more obſervations of the ſame kind
by way of introduction, he proceeds next to diſcourſe of
the fall of man, and the conſequences of it, — his inability
to recover himſelf, — the neceſſity of an "actu"al
interpoſition" of a divine perſon for this purpoſe —
and divers other matters. This part of the diſcourſe he
calls "Remarks." Relying on theſe remarks, &c. ſays he,
p. 11 . let us examine wherein unity "may now conſiſt,
"conſidered in a religious ſenſe, and as implying a
"conduct which may tend towards our recovery,
"furniſhed as we are with ſuperior aids. In anſwer
"to which, it is plain, that it cannot now be under"ſtood,
whatever once it might have been, of an
"univerſal ſameneſs or likeneſs of ſentiment, &c. and
"therefore" adds he "what alone can now in any
"tolerable ſenſe, deſerve the name of unity, muſt
"ſhew itſelf by ſuch diſpoſitions as theſe which follow,
"namely, where there is, or ſhall be among men, a
"pretty general or prevailing endeavour to remove the
"cauſes of diſcord, and to reſtore the means which
"lead to union and true harmony, by ſtudying, viz.
"to acquire true knowledge, to eſtabliſh an upright
"practice, and to recommend extenſive good will.
"Theſe (viz. the means above mentioned which lead
to union) are the very firſt principles of rational
"union, without which it cannot exiſt, &c. It belongs
"to unity alſo, that we try now to cultivate a forbear"ance,
as much as poſſible, univerſal." After enlarging
for two or three pages on the cultivation of
unity, he concludes this head of diſcourſe, "with
"pointing out the true method of promoting unity."
"It begins (ſays he p. 17.) in perſonal reformation or
"ſelf-government, &c. and where this has been
"ſcarried to any comfortable height," it begins likeways
"in a farther endeavour to make other ſharers
"in the gain of your recovery from ignorance and
"error, &c. and finally it conſiſts in ſhewing a bene"volence
not confined to any one party or profeſ"ſion,
&c."
Such are the oberſvations, remarks, firſt principles,
means and methods, &c. by which the author endeavours,
in his firſt head, to explain the nature and
extent of this abſtract term, unity.
The author proceeds, 2dly, To ſhew the fitneſs of
unity: But here there is ſuch variety of things, ſo
ſtrangely intermixed, that the ſhorteſt abſtract we could
give of them, would extend this article too far; and
whether it would contribute much to the reader's edification,
may be queſtioned. We than only ſelect one paſſage
as a ſpecimen of the author's talent in making ſimilies.
Where unity of deſign (ſays he p. 23.) and har"mony
in action, prevail thro' all the different or"ders
of a great community; it is like a large and
"yet well-proportioned natural conſtitution,* where
"all the vital actions are done with ſtrength, and
"wondrous facility: whereas violence and diviſion
"are like diſproportioned or convulſed members, un"ſightly,
unfit for action or defence. Where, fierce
"contentions and implacable diſcords have entered,
"they act like the withering north-eaſt wind among
"the vegetable kingdoms, which blaſt the tender
* By this large and well-proportioned natural conſtitution,
we ſuppoſe our author means a large human body.
"herbage, and diſappoints the morning dew; or as
"a burning fever among animals, which apace leſ"ſens,
and, at laſt without a remedy, totally ex"tinguiſhes
the lamp of life."
The application or practical improvement of this
diſcourſe, is of a piece with the doctrinal part of it;
and for this reaſon we hope the reader will forgive us,
if we take no further notice of it, and conclude this
article with a ſhort word of admonition to thoſe
gentlemen, to whoſe ſerious conſideration the reverend
author himſelf, has particularly addreſſed this ſermon,
viz. let them learn to avoid obſcurity and affectation,
and ſtudy plainneſs and perſpicuity in their compoſitions,
before they adventure to publiſh them to the world.
ARTICLE IX.
Several Diſcourſes preached at the Temple Church by
Thomas Sherlock, D. D. late Maſter of the Temple,
now Biſhop of London, vol. iii. London, Printed for
White, Owen, and Baker. 396 pages.
HAVING mentioned in our former Review
the two firſt volumes of this Prelate's ſermons,
we need ſay no more of this, except that we find in
it the ſame ſtrain of good ſenſe and elegant writing.
The diſcourſes in this volume are practical; and moſt
of them pointed againſt the prevailing diſorders of the
age. The ſubjects are generally treated in a new
and uncommon manner. Extracts were needleſs to
give from a book, which we are glad to find is ſo
generally known and read in this country. We ſhall
adventure it, as our opinion, that, among the many
good ſermons which are to be found in the Engliſh
language, there are none that better deſerve to be conſidered
as a model of the ſtyle ſuited to the pulpit.
They are free from low metaphors and from falſe
tinſel; ſimple, with dignity; animated, on occaſions,
without being ſtrained; ornate, without affectation.
If they riſe not to that ſublime and pathetic eloquence,
which in this country ſeems in a great meaſure unknown,
in compoſitions of this kind; they poſſeſs
in a high degree the more attainable beauties of neatneſs
and purity; which, if they do not elevate and
tranſport, yet fix the reader's attention, and convey
inſtruction in an agreeable manner.
ARTICLE X.
Lucius and Celadon: or a Dialogue on the Exiſtence
and Immortality of the Soul. Newcaſtle upon Tyne,
Printed by J. Thomſon and Company, for Thomas
Slack 1755 .68 pages. Price I S.
THE doctrine of the ſoul's immortality has been
the delight of mankind in all ages of the world.
A ſubject ſo intereſting and important, is always
worthy of attention; and the public is ſurely indebted
to thoſe who, in this ſceptical and licentious age,
employ themſelves in illuſtrating it. In this view
the performance before us merits praiſe. It is a collection
of the common arguments on this ſubject,
put together in a looſe and florid manner. But, tho'
it has the air of a juvenile performance, the author
diſcovers a good deal of acquaintance with the beſt
things that have been writ on this head. We ſhall
lay before our readers what he ſays on the ſtate of the
ſoul during ſleep; from which the objector, in his
dialogue, had raiſed a doubt concerning the ſeparate
exiſtence of the ſoul. He obſerves in anſwer, That
"our bodies, like all other material ſyſtems, are not
"deſigned for eternal duration, are ever variable, and
"ſo ordered as to ſtand in need of daily recruits of
"food, ſleep &c. During ſleep, a ſwoon, a violent
"illneſs, or any ſimilar cauſe, the ſoul being imbaraſ"ſed
and clogged up as it were, is in a ſtate of
"delirium; at leaſt, if it does think, its actions are ſo
"incongruous, as not to be traced on our waking, or
"the recovery of our health: notwithſtanding which,
"we are not to ſuppoſe that the ſoul is in reality more
"defective in them, than at any other time: but the
"organs, through which it is obliged to at being ob"ſtructed,
its faculties are conſequently impeded.
"If, Celadon, we loſe our ſight or hearing, the ſoul
"is not in the leaſt maimed thereby: it has but loſt
"its inſtrument or bodily organ; its original power
"is ſtill the fame; and were our optical or auditory
"faculties reduced to order, the ſoul would re-exert
"its uſual faculty. Thus, as Biſhop Berkely obſerves,
"the Muſician cannot, if his inſtrument be diſorder"ed,
bring forth any harmony: his ſkill neverthe"leſs
remains; which, on the inſtrument's being re"put
into order, he again exhibits. Idiotiſm, for"getfulneſs,
dotage, &c. are not weakneſſes of the
"foul, but of the ſenſes; and we are not to ſuppoſe
"our immaterial principle in ſuch caſes, loſes its fa"culties,
more than the ſun loſes its brightneſs when
"hid from us, by dark clouds interveening. Thus,
"during ſleep, which is abſolutely neceſſary to the
"refreſhment of our bodily part, we muſt ſuppoſe
"there is ſuch a relaxation of our material organs,
"that our whole ſyſtem becomes too languid for the
"ſoul to be capable of exerting its active faculties:
"but when the body is recruited with proper ſtrength,
"the ſoul recovers its priſtine power; it again dic"tates
to and governs the body; and we may per"ceive
'tis the ſame thinking principle, the very
"ſame ſoul, that actuated us before ſleep." A fit of
illneſs, our author proceeds to obſerve, may incapacitate
our ſenſes and organs, thro' which the ſoul acts,
from performing their functions, and by conſequence,
may ſubject the ſoul to ſome diſorder; but in death,
ſays he "the caſe is quite reverſed: the ſoul, inſtead
"of being clogged and imbaraſſed by bodily impedi"ments,
is abſolutely and intirely freed from them,
" — ſo that, in ſleep or illneſs, the ſoul's ſituation
"directly contrary to what it muſt be in death. In
"the firſt caſe, it is by material influence prevented
"from exerting its proper powers; whereas in death,
"that is, on its enlargement from this material bodily
"clog, it finds itſelf for the firſt time at full liberty,
"and in full power of expanding and exerting them
"to the utmoſt."
ARTICLE. XI.
Summary, Hiſtorical and Political, of the ,firſt Plant.
ings, progreſſive Improvements, and preſents State of
the Britiſh Settlements in North-America. By Willam
Douglas, M. D. 2 vols. 8vo. Boſton, New--
England, printed. London reprinted for R. Baldwin
in Pater-Noſter-row, 1755.
THIS Summary firſt appeared at Boſton in occaonal
ſheets; and being well received in that
place, where every perſon could judge of the truth
of the facts which it contains, was afterwards publiſhed
in two volumes. It ſtill retains ſtrong marks
of its original and indigeſted form. "This looſe
"way of writing (ſays the author) ought not to be
"confined to Lyric poetry: it ſeems to be more a"greeable
by its turns and variety, than a rigid, dry,
"connected account of things. Some, perhaps, of
"no taſte may blame me for want of method; and,
"on the other lay, a ſtrict obſervance of the pro"priety
of words, they call pedantry." Whoever
reads his work, we are perſuaded, will be far from
accuſing Dr. Douglas of any ſuch pedantry. And
whoever attends to the number, variety, and extravagance
of his digreſſions, will allow, that he writes
not only with a Lyric liberty, but with a Pindaric
wildneſs. It is indeed amazing, that an author, who
appears to be ſo converſant in the beſt books, and
who diſcovers ſo much knowledge and ingenuity,
ſhould himſelf be ſuch an utter ſtranger to the art
and method of compoſition. Senſible of this defect
he acknowledges with great candour, that "his
"time allowed him only to lay in the materials: a
"good artificer may with eaſe erect the edifice."
With all its imperfections, the book, in our opinion,
has much merit, and diſcovers Dr. Douglas,
not only to be a writer of conſiderable knowledge,
but a man of great integrity. The Britiſh empire
in America has become a great and intereſting object
in hiſtory. The firſt accounts of this continent were
very inaccurate: theſe have been ſervilely copied by
ſubſequent writers. Oldmixon and Salmon, each of
them the reproach of the party to which they adhered,
are the authors of greateſt note on this ſubject.
Few perſons of learning ſettle in America. The commercial
life affords little leiſure for ſpeculation or inquiry.
For all theſe reaſons, an authentic and rational
account of the Britiſh colonies, is yet a deſideratum
in hiſtory. Out author, by his long reſidence
in America, by his extenſive knowledge and great
accuracy, by his capacity to obſerve with judgment,
and his diſpoſition to relate with fidelity, will be of
great uſe to ſupply this want.
Beſides a general account of antient and modern
colonies, of the firſt diſcoveries and ſettlements of the
Engliſh in America, with ſome remarks on the adjacent
poſſeſſions of the French and Spaniards; this
ſummary contains a particular hiſtory of the Britiſh
colonies, which lie north of Carolina. It would be
impoſſible, in a work of this nature, to give our readers
any uſeful abſtract of the whole performance;
we ſhall therefore confine our obſervations to two
articles.
Firſt, The Hiſtory of New-England. Our author
reſides in this colony, and, by conſequence, his account
of it may be eſteemed the moſt accurate part
of his work. That gallant militia, which has done
ſo much honour to the Britiſh arms in America, was
raiſed in this country, and, on that account, whatever
relates to it, merits the public attention.
New-England is divided into four diſtinct governments.

Maſſachuſets-bay, the eldeſt and moſt powerful
colony, owes its beginning to the ſuperſtition of
the Engliſh, and the enthuſiaſm of its firſt planters.
The rigour with which James I. preſſed conformity
to the ceremonies of the church, obliged many perſons
to leave the kingdom. A ſmall number of theſe
formed themſelves into a congregation at Leyden.
They were known by the name of Browniſts, and
were diſtinguiſhed by the wildeſt and moſt enthuſiaſtic
tenets and practices. Diſguſted with the errors
and impiety of mankind, they longed to be ſeparated
from ſuch impure ſociety, and to fly from the
infection into ſome ſolitary country. One hundred
and twenty perſons ſet ſail September 9th 1620, and
arrived in the Province of Maſſachuſets-bay. Several
circumſtances facilitated their firſt ſettlement
in this country. The natives of America, who ſubſiſt
chiefly by hunting, were at no time numerous. An
epidemical diſtemper, which raged immediately before
the arrival of the Europeans, had almoſt depopulated
the country. The ſmall tribes, into which the Americans
are divided, waſte one another by perpetual wars.
The Europeans, in reward for the aſſiſtance which
they gave to ſome of theſe tribes, were allowed to fix
themſelves in the country, and by degrees extended
their territories at pleaſure. In 1624, when they
obtained their firſt patent, their numbers, notwithſtanding
a mortality which carried off many of the
firſt planters, were increaſed to 180. In 1640, they
had grown to 4000; during the enſuing twenty
years, the colony diminiſhed rather than augmented.
The ſame religious opinions which prevailed in New--
England, were in high vogue thro'out Britain: and
many returned thither to ſhare with their brethern
in their proſperity and triumphs. Soon after the
Reſtoration, penal laws were enacted againſt all Diſſenters.
The ſeverity of theſe obliged many to ſeek
an aſylum in America. New-England became once
more a flouriſhing colony; and in twenty years, its
numbers were immenſely increaſed. But the ſame
violent methods, which were uſed to deprive many
corporations in England of their privileges, were employed
againſt this infant ſettlement. They were required
in 1683 to ſurrender their charter to the King;
and, when that was refuſed by a vote of the General--
Aſſembly, a writ of quo warranto was iſſued; and, by
a judgment in Chancery, their charter was vacated.
The whole power, both legiſlative and executive,
fell into the hands of the Governor appointed by the
King; and New-England was ſubjected for two
years to the worſt of all oppreſſions, the uncontrolled
and inſolent tyranny of a Viceroy. The Revolution
produced the ſame happy change there as in the reſt
of the Britiſh dominions. New-England recovered
the liberties which it had loſt. On the firſt news of
the great tranſactions in England, the people roſe in
arms, ſeized their Governor, and ſent him home a
priſoner. Soon after King William granted the colony
a new charter.
To this hiſtory of the riſe and progreſs of the
colony, our author adds a geographical deſcription
of it; but this part of his work, from its nature,
ill admit of no abridgment. It is of more importance
to conſider the account he gives of the political
conſtitution of the country.
In their form of government, all colonies endeayour
to imitate the laws and conſtitution of their native
country, which mankind naturally love and admire.
For this reaſon, our colonies are all free
ſtates. The ſupreme power is veſted in an Aſſembly,
which nearly reſembles a Britiſh Parliament. It conſiſts
of three diſtict powers, or, as the author calls
them, Negatives.
1. The Governor. In Maſſachuſets-bay, he is nominated
by the King, and holds his commiſſion during
pleaſure. The whole military government by ſea
and land is in his hands. All civil officers receive
their commiſſions from him. He calls, adjourns, and
prorogues the houſe of repreſentatives. Without his
approbation, no ſpeaker, tho' choſen by the Aſſembly,
can take the chair. He may reject any perſon elected
to be a counſellor. His aſſent is requiſite to give any
bill the authority of law. His fixed ſalary is a L. l000,
but he enjoys conſiderable perquiſites.
2. The Council. It conſiſts of 28 perſons, who are
annually choſen, by a joint vote of laſt year's council
and the new houſe of repreſentatives; their aſſent is
neceſſary to every new law. In many things the
Governor cannot act without their concurrence; they
judge of all thoſe cauſes which in Scotland are determined
by the Commiſſaries, and in England by the
ſpiritual courts; their ſalary is 5s. per day.
It is obvious to obſerve, that a Governor exerciſing
a delegated and precarious power, and a council
elected annually, cannot poſſeſs the ſame dignity
or weight in the conſtitution, with a King and hereditary
Nobles, and by conſequence, that the
3. Body, or houſe of repreſentatives, beſides all the
powers and privileges of a Britiſh houſe of commons,
muſt have ingroſſed greater authority than is exerciſed
even by that great Aſſembly: from each of the
townſhips, into which the colony is divided, two
members may be choſen. Whoever poſſeſſes 4o s.
yearly rent, or L.40 property, has a right to vote;
the number of townſhips to whom writs are iſſued,
is 85. But as the members, according to the practice
which antiently obtained in Britain, are ſubſiſted
by their conſtituents, ſeveral poor townſhips never
uſe that privilege. An 101 is the greateſt number of
members who have been choſen at one time. The
allowance for their ſubſiſtance is 3 s per day.
The courts of juſtice and inferior civil officers, reſemble
as nearly as the ſituation of the country will
permit, thoſe which are eſtabliſhed and employed in
Britain.
By an induction which ſeems to be accurate, our
author reckons the number of acres in this colony to
be 3.760,000.
As a poll-tax is impoſed upon all white men, above
16 years of age, this makes all calculations with regard
to the number of inhabitants (a curious and important
article in hiſtory) to be much more accurate
than any thing of that kind in Europe. In 1742,
the number of perſons taxed were 41,000. Our author
makes an allowance for concealments, &c. and
aſſerts, that we may compute 50,000 men capable of
bearing arms, and, by applying Dr. Halley's rule, the
whole number of inhabitants will amount to
200,000.
Our author's account of the finances is curious.
But, to render it intelligible, would require a diſcourſe
concerning paper-currency and exchange-,
which would exceed the bounds alloted to this article.
The commodities furniſhed by this colony, are
well known; timber, naval ſtores of all kinds,
corn, fiſh, &c. In order to give us ſome notion of
the ſtate of their trade, our author obſerves, that,
from Chriſtmaſs 1747 to Chriſtmavs 1748, there were
cleared from the port of Boſton, veſſels on foreign
voyages 540, entered in 430. In the ſame year, from
Salem, cleared out 131, entered 96, excluſive in both
places of fiſhing and coaſting veſſels *.
With regard to religion, our author obſerves, that
an unlimited toleration of all Chriſtians, Papiſts alone
excepted, is properly the eccleſiaſtical conſtitution of
America. The Independents are by far the moſt
numerous party in Maſſachuſets-bay. The wildeſt
fanaticiſm prevailed among them for many years.
Time, and the progreſs of learning, hath by degrees
abated their evtravagancies; and "now (ſays Dr.
"Douglas) they may be eſteemed amongſt the moſt
"moderate and charitable of Chriſtian profeſſions."
Beſides Independents, may be found in this colony,
all the different ſects of Chriſtians that ever appeared
in Europe, and many never known in this part of the
world.
II. New Hampſhire was many years under the juriſdiction
of Maſſachuſets-bay, and was disjoined
from that powerful ſettlement, by the prudent jealouſy
of the mother country. Its political conſtitution
nearly reſembles that which we have already deſcribed;
with this difference, that the power of the Governor
is ſomewhat greater, and the authority of the
houſe of repreſentatives more limited. In 1742, the
number of perſons capable of bearing arms was 6000;
of the whole inhabitants 24,000. Commodities are
much the ſame with thoſe in Maſſachuſets-bay and
the ſtate of their trade betwixt Chriſtmaſs 1747 and
Chriſtmaſs 1748, was this; Cleared veſſels, 121;
entered, 73.
II. Rhode-Iſland. "This colony was not ori"ginally
from England, but proceeded from the
"neighbouring ſettlement of Maſſachuſets-bay, and
* There is ſcarce any ſort of Britiſh manufactures (ſays Mr.
Poſtlewhays p. 367.) whether for uſe, ornament, or luxury, but is
imported into New-England; ſo that the exports from Great
Britain and Ireland, have been computed by ſome, to be no leſs
than L 300,000 a-year.
"was made up of emigrants and perſons baniſhed
"to from thence on account of their religious opinions
"thefe emigrants were Puritans of Puritans, and by
"degrees refined ſo much, that all their religion
"was almoſt vaniſhed; afterwards it became a recep"tacle
of any people, without regard to religion".
The firſt ſettlement in Rhode-Iſland was made by a
few wild Enthuſiaſts in 1637. In 1643, Sir Henry
Vane, a proper patron for ſuch a ſociety, obtained for
them, a charter of incorporation, whereby liberty was
granted them to eſtabliſh whatever form of government
ſhould be agreeable to the free men in the colony.
Suitable to the genius of the men, and of the age,
this form of government was perfectly republican;
and ſtill ſubſiſts among them: the people retain the
ſupreme power in their own hand. The free men
of the province, i. e. thoſe who poſſeſs'd an eſtate to
the value of L. 400 currency, elect annually a Governor,
Deputy-Governor, ten aſſiſtants, Recorder,
Treaſurer, and Attorney, and at the ſame time chuſe
their repreſentatives. Neither the Governor, nor
board of aſſiſtants, can put a negative upon any vote
or bill, which paſſes in the houſe of repreſentatives.
All officers, civil and military, are named by a
joint vote of the repreſentatives and board of aſſiſtants.
The Governor is merely the ſervant of the
people, and enjoys little power, and no great dignity.
In 1748 the number of free men who voted was 888;
they choſe 58 repreſentatives; the whole number of
people 28,439. The flouriſhing condition of this colony
may be eſteemed by one circumſtance. During
the laſt eighteen years, the number of inhabitants has
increaſed conſiderably more than one third part. The
country is more proper for paſture than corn. They
export great quantities of live-ſtock to the Sugar--
iſlands. During war, their chief trade is privateering.
From 25th March 1749, entered at Newport, veſſels
75; — cleared 160. — Almoſt every extravagance, that
ever appeared in the world, under the ſacred name
of religion, may be found in this colony. Our author
takes this occaſion to give a general hiſtory of
the ſects which prevail in America; and tho' his opinions
be often ſingular and whimſical, tho' he appears
fond of many strange conceits which we by no means
approve, yet this part of his work will be very entertaining
to the curious.
IV. Connecticut. This colony owes its riſe partly
to a ſeceſſion from Maſſachuſets-bay occaſioned by religious
diſputes, partly to a ſupply from Britain. The
conſtitution of government nearly reſembles that of
Rhode-Iſland. This is a plantation of induſtrious
huſbandmen, who diſpoſe of the fruits of their labour,
in the neighbouring provinces, and have little foreign
commerce; our author eſteems it the moſt flouriſhing
and happy of all New-England provinces, and reckons
its inhabitants to be 100,000.
From theſe ſurveys of the number of people, the ſum
total in New-England amounts, according to our author,
to 354,000. "One fourth of theſe is nearly
"90,000 ſencible marching men, ſufficient (ſays he),
"to ſwallow up the French in America at few meals
or encounters."
In more places than one, he aſſerts, that throughout
the whole French ſettlements, which extend above
800 miles, there are not more than 12,000 men
capable of bearing arms.
The ſecond thing we propoſe to conſider, is our author's
account of the Indian nations. The war in
America has accuſtomed us to the names of theſe people;
but the generality of our readers, are, we believe,
but little acquainted with their character,
government and numbers. Former accounts of them
"(ſays Dr. Douglas) have been credulouſly copied
"from credulous authors." America in his opinion,
may be called the youngeſt brother, and meaneſt of
mankind. The Americans are defective both in conſtitution
of body, and in qualities of the mind. They
are tender and ſhort-lived; ſimple and ignorant.
New Negroes from Guinea are generally ſuperior to
them both in bodily ſtrength and in acuteneſs of underſtanding.
They do not cultivate the earth, either by
planting or grazing. A ſmall quantity of maize and kidney-beans,
is ſometimes ſown by their women; but the
greateſt part of their precarious ſubſiſtance, depends
upon their ſucceſs in hunting. They are a people of no
faith nor honeſty; in revenge, barbarous and implacable.
If one perſon happens to kill another, he knows
that he never can be forgiven, and for that reaſon
leaves the tribe, and goes into a voluntary and perpetual
baniſhment. * Their wars are carried on with
the ſame unrelenting ſpirit, and never end till one of
the contending tribes be deſtroyed or enſlaved. Their
fortitude is incredible; they face death, and ſuffer
torture, without any appearance of fear or concern.
They ſeem to have no form of government, and no
laws; and are cemented only by friendſhip and good
neighbourhood; every individual is really independent,
and as at pleaſure. Where-ever government is eſtabliſhed,
a ſupreme compulſive power is lodged ſomewhere,
and exerted in ſome manner. The Americans
know nothing of this. When a tribe treats with any
other body of men, their delegates muſt carry back
the articles agreed upon, and perſuade their young
men to conſent to them.
The feeble conſtitution of the Indians is remark*
Similar cauſes always produce ſimilar effects. "Among the
"Malayans, where the forgiveneſs of injuries is unknown, who"ever
kills any one, is certain of being aſſaſſinated himſelf, by
"the relations and friends of the deceased, becomes perfectly fu"rious,
and wounds or kills every perſon who comes in his way."
De l'eſrit des loix, lib. xxiv. c. 17. Among the Japaneſe, where
the unrelenting genius of the laws never pardons a criminal, the
unfortunate offender, who, from the ſituation of the country, cannot
poſſibly eſcape, grows wild with deſpair, and, after committing
all the outrages in his power, rips up his own belly.
able; and the ſame thing is obſervable of the deſcendants
of Europeans born in America. Neither the one
nor other, can bear tranfplantation. The Spaniſh Indians
taken in 1702, and ſold in New-England, almoſt
all died of conſumptions. Of 500 men ſent from
Maſſachuſets-bay, on the expedition to Carthagena,
not above 50 ſurvived. Of 3000 employed in the
expedition to Cape-Briton, near one half died at
Louisbourg. Our author imputes this to the climate,
to the violent extremes of heat and cold, and the
ſudden tranſition from the one to the other, without
any temperate interval. The immoderate uſe of ſpirituous
liquors, has conſiderably ſhortned the lives of
Indians.
The Americans are almoſt utter ſtrangers to religion;
and have neither temples, altars, images,
nor ſet-time of worſhip. On occaſion of any extraordinary
calamity, their Pow-wowers, or prieſts, call
them to obſerve ſome religious rites extremely abſurd.
Chriſtianity has hitherto made little progreſs among
the Americans, for which our author aſſigns ſeveral
reaſons. He obſerves that the Miſſionaries employed
by the ſociety in England for propagating the goſpel,
pervert the deſign of that noble charity. Inſtead of
labouring to convert the Indians, they employ themſelves
in making proſelytes of the Diſſenters.
Our author endeavours, to compute the number of
fighting men in the Indian nations, which border or
our ſettlements. His calculations ſeem to be in
great meaſure conjectural. According to him
their numbers are far from being conſiderable. A
country entirely covered with wood, and frozen up
for a great part of the year, cannot ſubſiſt many inhabitants

ARTICLE XII.
Six Diſſertations upon different Subjects. London, Printed
for J. Whiſton and B. White, in Fleetſtreet. 324
pages.
THE author of theſe diſſertations is the reverend
Mr. John Jortin, already known to the public
as a learned and agreeable writer. The ſubjects are
of a mixt nature, theological and moral, hiſtorical and
critical. The author's ſtyle is natural and eaſy; his
manner, entertaining; his thoughts ingenious, rather
than profound.
The two firſt diſſertations relate to the controverſies
concerning grace and predeſtination; controverſies
which have been agitated ſo long, that it is
not eaſy to advance any thing new on the ſubject;
and agitated with ſo little benefit to mankind, that
their revival is not to be deſired. However, as they
have often been the entertainment of ſpeculative and
curious men, perſons of this turn may perhaps be gratified
by our author's diſſertations. The firſt contains
an account of his own ſentiments; the ſecond gives a
pretty full hiſtory of the controverſy, eſpecially as it
ſubſiſted betwixt Auguſtin and Pelagius. As the author
declares himſelf warmly on the ſide of free will,
againſt the doctrines of predeſtination and irreſiſtible
grace, it may eaſily be imagined that he is no friend
to Auguſtin. Accordingly, he paſſes this ſevere
cenſure on him, that he fell into his predeſtinarian
notions, firſt, by retaining ſome of his Manicheiſm;
ſecondly, by meditating upon the epiſtles of St.
Paul, which he underſtood not, having only a ſlender
knowledge of the Greek tongue, and of the antient
fathers; and thirdly, by a ſpecial grace and illumination, which he fancied to have been conferred upon
himſelf. Of Pelagius he ſeems to have a more favourable
opinion. He thinks his doctrines concerning
grace and human liberty were miſrepreſented by his
adverſaries; and that what is called Semipelagianiſm,
was undeniably the doctrine of the antient Greek
fathers, from Juſtin Martyr down to Chryſoſtom,
and the writers of the fifth century. His hiſtory is
moſtly extracted from Le Clerc, Fleury, and Dupin,
and intermixed with ſome remarks of his own. Of
the juſtneſs of his ſentiments on theſe controverted
points, we leave to Divines to judge.
The third diſſertation is on the duty of judging
candidly and favourably of others, and of human nature.
The author here diſcovers a propenſity, which
muſt be acknowledged to be of the amiable kind, to
think well of his fellow creatures, and to believe that
injuſtice is done them by ſome ſour and rigid moraliſts.
Let us hear ſome of his obſervations on this
head, which will ſerve as a ſpecimen of his manner
of writing. After comparing the motives which
men have to do good, and to do evil, he proceeds thus.
"Now from all theſe motives to good and to evil,
"it muſt follow, that man will uſually and generally
"be a ſfickle and changeable creature, not ſteady ei"ther
to good or to evil, but paſſing from the one
"to the other, and often blending both together;
"yet, however, upon the whole, performing more
"actions which are good, or innocent at leaſt, than
"bad ones; becauſe he hath far more inducements to
"the former than to the latter. Such kind of rea"ſoning,
it may be replied, is deceitful and unſatiſ"factory;
and it is experience at laſt that muſt
"decide the queſtion, and not arguments drawn
"from the nature of man and from the motives
"which may be ſuppoſed to influence him. Be it
"ſo: To experience we will appeal and to matter of
"fact, and we ſhall ſoon find, that more good than
"evil is done in the world, elſe the world could not
"ſubſiſt, and civil ſociety muſt diſband. Let us
"take for example one of a middle ſtation, who
"paſſeth his days quietly in all appearance, and lives
"in tolerable credit and repute; for of ſuch perſons
"the bulk of ſociety conſiſts. He hath then a cal"ling
or occupation, in which he ſpends at leaſt half
"of the walking hours of his life. Thus at the firſt
"account which we take of him, we muſt ſet down
"half of his actions good, at leaſt not bad. I will
"not ſay that theſe are what we call virtuous or re"ligious
deeds; and yet ſo far as they are done
"honeſtly, in obedience to God and to ſociety, and
"with a view to live reputably and without being a
"burden to others, ſo far they undoubtedly partake
"of the nature of virtue: he has a family, a wife,
"and children, and ſervants, and he takes care of
"them. A thouſand good actions are neceſſary to
"perform this, and to live orderly and decently at
"home, which muſt be added to the account. He
"has dealings with others, who employ him and
"truſt him; conſequently he is in all probability
"honeſt in his dealings. Here likewiſe many
"good actions are to be ſuppoſed. He has friends,
"and acquaintances, and relations, who eſteem him,
"and are willing to do him ſervice; conſequently he
"behaves himſelf well towards them, elſe he would
"be deſerted and ſlighted. We may add to this,
"that he performs ſome acts of charity; that his
"heart has aked for the miſeries of others, and
"his hand has relieved them. That he has under"taken
offices expenſive and troubleſome to himſelf,
"thro' friendſhip, or gratitude, or pity, or good
"nature, or honour. Add to this, that he has reli"gion,
that he frequents the public ſervice of God;
"that when he commits faults he condemns himſelf,
"and is ſenſible of his deviations, and ſorry for his
"Since the generality of men are nearly ſuch
"we have repreſented, and perform many more
"good than bad actions, not only humanity and
"charity, but juſtice and common honeſty forbid us
"to ſay of mankind in general, that they do far
"more evil than good. He who doth far more evil
"than good, muſt be remarkably and ſcandalouſly
"wicked.
"It may be ſaid, that both writers of morality
"and the scriptures themſelves repreſent mankind in
"general as ſinners and prone to evil, and, in a
"word, worſe than we have deſcribed them. But
"then it muſt be obſerved, that they conſider men
"in quite another view, namely, as obliged to live
"according to the rules of right reaſon, and to the
"precepts of God; which, when they do not,
"they become ſinners. For it is not the perform"ing
more good than bad actions that denominates
"a man good in the moral and religious ſenſe; and
"tho' he may frequently practiſe what is right and
"honeſt, and humane, and honourable, and reaſon"able;
yet if he perſiſts in any one evil habit, and
"is wilfully deficient in any one moral duty, he is
"conſidered in a state of enmity with virtue and
"religion, till repentance and reformation reſtores
"him to the condition whence he is fallen. If he
"be a ſtubborn or a deliberate tranſgreſſor, he is
"conſidered as a violator of the law, and a deſpiſer
"of the authority of the lawgiver. As in civil
"ſociety, if a man commits a capital crime, his
"having obſerved all the reſt of the law will not
"exempt him from puniſhment."
In the fourth diſſertation, which is a plain ſenſible
diſcourſe on the love of praiſe and reputation, and
the proper bounds and degrees of that love, we find
nothing very remarkable.
The fifth is on the hiſtory and character of
Balaam. As to the moral character of Balaam and
the inſtructions which it affords, our author coincides
pretty much with the train of thought which Biſhop
Butler has purſued in his excellent diſcourſe on this
ſubject. As to the incident of the aſs being endowed
with ſpeech, and the prophet's behaviour on that
occaſion, the author remarking the difficulties that
attend the common account of that miracle, propoſes
a ſolution of his own, viz. That Balaam ſaw and did
theſe things in a trance or viſion; in ſuch a viſion as
other prophets frequently had on other occaſions.
The laſt diſſertation, which is the longeſt in the
book, is wholly of the philological kind; it is on
the ſtate, of the dead, as deſcribed by Homer and
Virgil. The ſubject is curious; and, tho' our author
affects not to make any new or great diſcoveries,
yet he treats it in an agreeable manner. With regard
to Homer, he obſerves very juſtly, that, as he
is a writer of great ſimplicity, we may expect to find
in him an account of the popular doctrines in Greece
concerning the ſtate of the dead, with a few poetical
embelliſhments. He adds, a few; becauſe, in his
days, the popular and poetical religions ſeem to have
been nearly one and the ſame. After collecting all
the paſſages in the Iliad and Odyſſey which relate to
this ſubject, he concludes with remarking, that, as
Homer wrote before -the Greek philoſophy was cultivated,
we find in his doctrine of the ſoul no metaphyſical
ſpeculations; nothing concerning the immateriality
of the ſoul, or its pre-exiſtence, or its eternity
or its tranſmigration, or its being a portion of the ſoul
of the world, or of the Deity. His notions of the ſoul
ſeem not to be the reſult of reaſoning upon the nature
of God or of man, but the remains of an old
tradition delivered down in all probability from the
beginning of the world, and ſpread thro' all nations.
His ſtate of the dead is not a ſtate of retribution.
We find, in his writings, puniſhments threatened expreſsly
only to the perjured, and indiredly to the
wicked in general. But of pleaſures and rewards to
the virtuous he has made ſmall proviſion. The ſouls.
in a ſtate of ſeparation ſeem in ſome few reſpects to
approach nearer to the divine nature, than when they
inhabited the body. They move with the ſwiftneſs
of a Deity; and they ſubſiſt, and act, and converſe,
without ſtanding in need of raiment, food,
drink, or ſleep. But on the whole, his Hades is a
gloomy uncomfortable ſtate, where there is no joy
and contentment, and where even his heroes are diſconſolate
and out of humour with their condition:
ſo much, that he makes Achilles in theſe regions declare
to Ulyſſes, that he would rather chuſe to be a
ſlave on earth, than to reign as monarch over all the
dead. Homer's Elyſium is indeed no melancholy place;
but our author warns us not to confound this with
his Hades or regions of the dead. The only paſſage
Homer's writings where it is mentioned, is in the
fourth book of the Odyſſey; where Proteus, conſulted
by Menelaus concerning his future fortunes, thus
concludes:
But oh! belov'd by heaven! reſerv'd to thee
A happier lot the ſmiling Fates decree:
Free from that law, beneath whoſe mortal ſway
Matter is chang'd, and varying forms decay.
Elyſium ſhall be thine, the bliſsful plains
Of utmoſt earth where Rhadamanthus reigns.
Joys ever young, unmix'd with pain or fear,
Fill the wide circle of th' eternal year.
Stern winter ſmiles on that auſpicious clime:
The fields are florid with unfading prime.
From the bleak pole no winds inclement blow,
Mould the round hail, or flake the fleecy ſnow.
But from the breezy deep, the bleſt inhale
The fragrant murmurs of the weſtern gale.
This grace peculiar will the gods afford,
To thee, the ſon of Jove, and beauteous Helen's lord
From this account, our author concludes, that they
were men and not ghoſts who were the inhabitants
,of this happy region: and, from Horace and Heſiod,
collects, that it was a privilege conferred on the
heroes, and ſome of their poſterity, who flouriſhed
in the firſt and golden ages, to be tranſlated to
hoſe iſlands of the bleſſed, which were ſituated in
the uttermoſt bounds of the earth beyond the ſea.
Our author proceeds to obſerve, that, as Homer's
deſcription of the dead is ſo obſcure and uncomfortable,
and not calculated to inſpire either courage or
virtue, in proportion as philoſophy improved among
the Greeks, this part of their ſyſtem was gradually
mended. In Pindar and Euripides, we find clear
hints of a ſtate of retribution prepared after death
both for the good and for the bad. And at laſt
Virgil, in whoſe time philoſophy was at its height,
gives a full and elegant account of the ſtate of the
dead, according to the Pythagorean and Platonic
ſyſtem. In his Hades, there are rewards for virtue
and puniſhments for vice; a ſtate of purgation for
thoſe who are not incorrigible, and moſt of whom
are to tranſmigrate into new bodies; an Elyſium for
thoſe who are eminently good, and who are to tranſmigrate
no more; a Tartarus for thoſe who are very
wicked; and a ſtate of Introdudion for thoſe who
are left for the preſent (the poet hath not told us
how long) to the natural reſult of their ſeparation
from the body, and with a continuance of the ſame
paſſions and affections which they had on earth.
Among theſe latter are, the infants, the unjuſtly
condemned, the ſelf-murderers, the lovers, and the
warriors. All theſe particulars the author illuſtrates
by paſſages from the ſixth Æneid; and, after ſeveral
critical remarks on the paſſages he quotes, concludes
with regreting, that, after having ſhone out with ſuch
full ſplendor thro' this Æneid, the poet ſhould ſet in
a cloud: that his Epicurean ſyſtem ſhould lead him
to conclude his beautiful deſcription of the ſtate of the
dead with an intimation, that the whole was a lying
fable; in the noted circumſtance of his diſmiſſing
Æneas from the infernal regions by the ivory gate of
ſleep, which lets forth falſe dreams.
ARTICLE. XIII.
A Diſſertation on the Senſible and Irritable Parts of
Animals; by M. A. Haller, M. D. Preſident of
the Royal Society of Sciences at Gottingen; Member
of the Royal Academy of Sciences at Paris. Tranſlated
from the Latin. 180 Pages. London, printed
for J. Nourſe. Price 1 s. 6 d.
THE knowledge of the animal œconomy has
been conſiderably enlarged by the modern improvements
in natural philoſophy. As the human
body is endowed with the common properties of
matter; as it conſiſts of fluids moving in pipes; as
ſome of its organs are fitted for motion, ſome adapted
to light, and others to ſound: ſo its œconomy
cannot be underſtood without the aſſiſtance of
the mechanical philoſophy in all its branches. In
another view, the ſame body is compounded of heterogeneous
ſubſtances, whoſe peculiar properties and
mutual relations diſpoſe them to form various combinations,
and to undergo perpetual changes: aliment
is converted into chyle, and chyle into the ſeveral
humours and ſolid parts. And hence 'tis evident,
that chemiſtry muſt have a conſiderable ſhare in explaining
many of the functions. A third principle
of the phyſiology is derived from the influence of the
mind, to which the body is ſo cloſely united. Theſe
different kinds of principles are ſo complicated, that
there is not perhaps to be found one of the many
motions perpetually going on in our bodies, which is
not the effect of the joint operation of all three, or
of two at leaſt: but phyſicians have differed widely
in aſſigning to each its proper ſhare.
In ſome of their ſyſtems, the mind is conſidered
as regulating the whole œconomy; in others, ſubordinate
animated principles are likeways aſſumed;
while mechanicks and chemiſtry are almoſt quite
overlooked. In form, the body appears as a laboratory,
where every thing is carried on by ſolutions
and precipitations, fermentations and efferveſcences:
in others, the abſurdity of this is demonſtrated, and
all is reduced to mechaniſm. Dr. Boerhaave acquired
very great and well deſerved reputation, by
uniting into one ſyſtem the principles of all theſe
different ſects. The merit of his theory conſiſts in
this, more than in a juſt explication of the phenomena
from their true principles. His doctrine, ſo far
as concerns our preſent purpoſe, is this: The nerves
proceed from the brain in larger trunks, and, in their
courſe to the ſeveral parts, are divided and ſubdivided
into branches ſmaller and ſmaller, till at laſt they come
to be diſtributed over the whole body in filaments
too fine to be traced by human art. They ſerve for
ſenſation and muſcular motion; and, by means of
theſe two, the mind carries on all its correſpondence
with external objects. Senſations are excited in the
mind by impreſſions made on the nerves in the organs
of ſenſe; and the action of the nerves is the
cauſe of muſcular motion. The muſcular fibres are
either hollow cylinders or chains of veſicles. Their
action conſiſts in their being ſo filled with a thin
watery fluid from the nerves, as to be ſtretched out
in wideneſs and contracted in length. This fluid,
called animal ſpirits, is propelled at the origin of the
nerves by the blood, from which it is there ſecreted;
and eſcapes from the extremities of the nerves,
and the cavities of the muſcular fibres into veſſels,
which return it again, in part, to the maſs of
blood. Thus the animal ſpirits are circulated continually
with a gentle motion ſufficient to keep the
muſcles from being flaccid, and to give firmneſs to
the joints; but that a muſcle may exert its force, it
is neceſſary there be an additional impulſe at the
origin of the nerves. The mind can at pleaſure make
the animal ſpirits move with a greater velocity in all
thoſe nerves which are diſtributed to the instruments
of voluntary motion; and over theſe only is its government
extended. The involuntary motions are,
in this ſyſtem, deduced from the circulation of the
blood and of the animal ſpirits, and from the mechaniſm
of the parts, without regard to any influence
of the mind. This laſt article of Boerhaave's doctrine
is evidently inconſiſtent with the principles of
mechanicks. It ſoon came to be controverted among
his diſciples, and is now generally exploded. What
ſhall ſupply its place, is the point in diſpute.
Dr. Porterfield, in his celebrated eſſay on the motions
of the eyes, contends for the government of
the mind over the motions of all the muscles, as well
thoſe which are involuntary and of which we are
not conſcious, as thoſe which are ſubjected to the
moſt arbitrary rule of the will; and we find the ſame
principles applied to a variety of caſes in Dr. Whytt's
ingenious eſſay on the vital and other involuntary
motions.
It is remarkable, that amongſt the cauſes of the
action of the muſcles, Boerhaave finds himſelf obliged
to aſſume a power, increaſing the celerity of the
ſpirits in the origin of the nerves, which to him appears
inexplicable. This however he forgets, when
he comes to particulars: for we find him, without
any ſuch aſſiſtance, accounting for the ſyſtole and
diaſtole of the heart, the alternate motions of reſpiration,
the periſtaltic motion of the ſtomach and inteſtines,
&c. On the other hand, from a variety of
inſtances of the mind's exerting an involuntary influence,
of which it is. not always conſcious, it is argued,
that all the muſcular motions are ſubjected to
its government: and the circumſtances are condeſcended
on, with which the exertions of that influence
are connected.
The learned author of the treatiſe, of which we
are now to give ſome account, does not conceive this
ſyſtem to be conſiſtent with itſelf. According to his
view, thoſe who aſſert it "are obliged to intro"duce
an inſenſible ſenſation and involuntary acts
"of the will, that is to ſay, to admit contra"dictory
propoſitions." He thinks the defect in
his maſter's theory, may be better ſupplied by irritability.
"I call that part, ſays he, of the human
"body, irritable, which becomes ſhorter on being
"touched; very irritable, if it contrasts upon a
"ſlight touch, and the contrary, if by a violent
"touch, it contrasts but little." We ſhall give a
view of his doctrine in a few extracts, without regard
to the order in which they lie in the treatiſe.
He diſtinguiſhes the moſt ſimple parts of the human
body into "nerves, arteries, veins, the ſmaller veſ"ſels,
membranes, the muſcular, tendinous, liga"mentous,
and bonny fibres, and the cellular mem"brane:"
and, after a great many trials, to diſcover
which are irritable, and which not, he thus ſums up
the whole.
"From all theſe experiments collected together, it
"appears, that there is nothing irritable in the ani"mal
body but the muſcular fibre, and that the fa"culty
of endeavouring to ſhorten itſelf when we
"touch it, is proper to this fibre. From the ſame
experiments it likewiſe follows, that the vital parts
"are the moſt irritable; the diaphragm frequently
"moves after all the other muſcles have ceaſed, the
"inteſtines and ſtomach move ſtill longer, and laſtly
"the heart continues its motions after all the other
"parts are quiet. This furniſhes us with a diſtinct
"character between the vital organs and the others;
"viz. the firſt, being extremely irritable, require
"only a weak ſtimulus to put them in motion, where"as
the others, which are endowed with very little
"irritability, are not to be moved but by the deter"minations
to the will, or by very ſtrong irritations,
"the application of which is capable of producing in
"them violent commotions, known by the name of
"convulſions.
"I ſhall eaſily prove, that this power of producing
"motion is different from all the other properties of
''bodies. Elaſticity, which ſeems to have the moſt
"reſemblance to the other, differs from it in this,
"that it is proper to dry fibres, in which ſtate they
"are deprived of all irritability, as eaſily appears up"on
drying a frog. Beſides elaſticity is the property
"of hard bodies, and irritability of the ſofteſt. The
"polypus is ſo irritable, that though it has no eyes,
"the light affects it very ſenſibly. Gelatinous animals
"are extremely irritable, but far from being elaſtic.
"Dr. Whytt adds, that the motion of the heart
"ceaſes and is renewed ſpontaneouſly, which is not
"obſerved in any elaſtic fibre, and upon pricking
"ſteel with a needle you produce no irritation in it.
"Dr. Battie has obſerved, that Irritability is leſs
"conſiderable in old ſubjects than in young, although
"the fibres of the former are more elaſtic than of the
"latter.
"But the muſcular fibres being compoſed of earthy
"particles and a glutinous mucus, it may be aſked in
"which of theſe Irritability reſides. It appears moſt
"probably to reſide in the latter, becauſe this when
"it is pulled endeavours to ſhorten itſelf; whereas on
"the contrary, dry earth never changes its figure of
"itſelf, and being extremely brittle, when its parts
"are ſeparated, they conſtantly remain ſo. This
"opinion is strengthened by obſerving, that children,
"in whom the mucus predominates, are much more
"irritable than adults; which is evidently proved
"from the quickneſs of their pulſe, which vibrates
"one hundred and forty times in a minute, whereas
"in old perſons the vibrations are not above ſixty or
"ſixty-five in the ſame ſpace of time. Farther, the
"moſt ſolid and earthy parts of our body, viz. the
"bones, teeth and cartilages, are void of Irritability,
"and the moſt irritable parts are deprived of that
"quality, only by robbing them of their mucus by
"drying."
"We ſhould next inquire how this mucus, pro"duced
from inſenſible lymph, can become irritable.
D. WHYTT, and the followers of STHAL, alledge
"that it is owing to the ſoul, which being ſenſible of
"the touch, contracts the fibres that are touched,
"and pulls them back, to prevent their being in"jured."

"However ſimple this theory may be, and how"ever
commodious for diſembarraſſing us from ſeveral
"difficulties, yet it is not agreeable to the phæno"mena
which are obſerved. For in the firſt place,
"Irritability differs intirely from Senſibility, and the
"moſt irritable parts are theſe which are not ſub"ject
to the command of the ſoul, which ought to
"be quite the reverſe if the ſoul was the principle of
"Irritability. In the ſecond place, Irritability con"tinues
after death; and parts quite ſeparated from
"the body, and intirely inſenſible, after the heart
"is taken out, and the head is cut off, remain ſtill
"irritable. There is nothing more common than to
"ſee the heart of a frog beat, and the muſcles remain
"irritable, after the head has been cut off, and the
"ſpinal marrow taken out. Dr. WHYTT ſhuns this
"difficulty with great addreſs, by ſaying, that the
"time of death is very uncertain, and that frequent"ly
an animal has life ſtill remaining, after it has
"been looked upon as dead for ſome time; and this
"he proves by the example of perſons who have
"been drowned, and thoſe who fall into ſyncopes.
"But as it is certain that the ſeat of the ſoul is in
"the head, and that it has no command over the
"reſt of the body, after the nerves have been cut or
"deſtroyed; and farther, as the Irritability remains
"intire after the head is lopped off, or the nerves cut
"through, it appears that this quality ſtill ſubſiſts
"after the ſeat of the ſoul is removed, or its com"merce
with the body quite intercepted, and there"fore
it does not depend upon the ſoul. This is ſo
"ſevident, that it is needleſs to add, that Irritability
"acts without the ſoul being ſenſible of it, and that
"it is not ſubject to the command of the will; both
"which are proved by the example of the heart.
"What therefore ſhould hinder us from granting
"Irritability to be a property of the animal gluten,
"the ſame as we acknowledge attraction and gravity
"to be properties of matter in general, without be"ing
able to determine the cauſe of them. Experi"ments
have taught us the exiſtence of this property,
"and doubtleſs it is owing to a phyſical cauſe which
"depends upon the arangement of the ultimate
"particles, though the experiments that we can
"make are too groſs to inveſtigate them."
In another place, we find him reaſoning in this
manner.
"If therefore we ſay that an animal only feels,
"when any external impreſſion is repreſented to the
"mind, certainly that part of the body muſt be void
"of ſenſation, whoſe communication with the brain
"is deſtroyed by the nerve being cut, or the part
"being taken quite out of the body. In aſſerting
"that there was no motion of our body but by the
"ſoul, Dr. WHYTT has found himſelf obliged to
"admit the diviſibility of the ſoul, which he be"lieves
to be ſeparable into as many parts as the body.
"The ſoul is a being which is conſcious of itſelf,
"repreſents to itſelf the body to which it belongs,
" and by means of that body the whole univerſe. I
"am myſelf, and not another, becauſe that which is
"called I, is changed by every thing that happens
"to my body and the parts belonging to it. If there
"is a muſcle, or an inteſtine, whoſe ſuffering makes
"impreſſions upon another ſoul, and not upon mine,
"the ſoul of that muſcle or inteſtine is not mine, it
"does not belong to me. But a finger cut off from
"my hand, or a bit of fleſh from my leg, has no
"connection with me; I am not ſenſible of any of
"its changes; they can neither communicate to me
"idea nor ſenſation; wherefore it is not inhabited
"by my ſoul nor by any part of it; if it was, I ſhould
"certainly be ſenſible of its changes. I am therefore
"not at all in that part that is cut off; it is intirely
"ſeparated both from my ſoul, which remains as en"tire
as ever, and from thoſe of all other men. The
"amputation of it has not occaſioned the leaſt harm
"to my will, which remains quite entire, and my
"ſoul has loſt nothing at all of its force; but it has
"no more command over that amputated part, which
"in the mean while continues ſtill to be irritable.
"Irritability therefore is independent of the ſoul and
"the will.
"The ſame experiments farther prove, that the
"whole force of the muſcles does not depend upon
"the nerves; becauſe after theſe have been tied or
"cut, the muſcular fibres are ſtill capable of irrita"bility
and contraction; and ſome time or another
"perhaps, the uſe of the nerves with regard to the
"muſcles will be reduced to convey to them the
"commands of the ſoul, and to increaſe and excite
"that natural tendency which the fibres have of
"themſelves to contract, in whatever manner that is
"brought about.
Some of the principal facts here mentioned had
been obſerved by many writers, both antient and
modern, before Dr. Haller, which is not diſguiſed by
him; but none before him ever made ſuch a variety
of experiments. He informs his readers, that he has
made a great many ſince the year 1746; "and (adds
"he) ſince the beginning of 1751, I have examined
"ſeveral different ways, one hundred and ninety
"animals." It is alſo well known that theories have
been contrived to account for theſe facts. Dr. Haller
is indeed the firſt who has conſidered Irritability as a
property of the matter, or of any part of the matter,
of which muſcular fibres are made; in the ſame ſenſe,
in which elaſticity is conſidered as a property of
bodies. But, in our judgement, the proof he brings
to ſupport his opinion, is by no means ſufficient to
eſtabliſh it. His arguments ſeem to have no further
tendency, than to prove that irritability is independent
of the ſoul. And for this purpoſe he aſſumes that
the ſoul can exert no influence, but what is voluntary,
and of which it is conſcious. He is puzzled
however in one inſtance, where he is obliged to acknowledge
ideas as a ſtimulus: and many other inſtances
might be given, if this were a proper place.
"The irritability of the genitals, ſeems to be of a par"titular
nature, in ſo far as voluptuous ideas are the
"moſt proper ſtimulus to put them in motion." For
the ſame purpoſe he likewiſe boldy aſſumes, that the
ſeat of the ſoul is in the head; and therefore, that
when any part of the body, is ſeparated from the
head, it is ſeparated from the ſoul. But who has defined
the relation of the human ſoul to ſpace? Some
great philoſophers, particularly Bacon, if we rightly
remember, have ſuſpected, from certain phenomena,
that the imaginations of men influence one another,
without any communication by the bodily organs;
and after all the theories that have been formed, the
union of the ſoul and body, and their operation on
each other, remain to this day an entire myſtery.
Laſtly, after our author has called irritability a property,
he ſays "experiments have taught us the ex"iſtence
of this property." But experiments have
in truth taught us only the exiſtence of irritability,
not that it is, in his ſenſe, a property of the muſcular
fibres.
Dr. Tiſſot writes a pretty long preface to this diſſertation,
in which his firſt aim is to aſcertain the
diſcovery of irritability to Dr. Haller: he likeways aſſerts
the certainty of the doctrine, extols its importance,
"ventures ſome thoughts on the practical
"uſes of irritability; and finiſhes with ſome general
"reflections upon the objections which may be made,
"or have already been made to it." His fondneſs
for the ſubject, prompts him to write in too high a
ſtrain, and makes him entertain extravagant expectations
from it. "The great diſcovery of the preſent
"age is, IRRITABILITY. — — As the force of at"traction
will be tranſmitted to the lateſt poſterity,
"under Sir Iſaac Newton's name; ſo irritability will
"be diſtinguiſhed for the future by the epithet of
"HALLERIAN. — — The whole animal œconomy
"rolling on this principle, it is eaſy to imagine what
"a change this diſcovery muſt produce in explaining
"of facts. To England we owe Philoſophy, and to
"Switzerland we ſhall owe Phyſiology, the immove"able
baſes of which, will be the treatiſe on irrita"bility."
Among other things, on the practical
uſe of this principle, he ventures to explain the manner
in which opium acts; the true cauſe of vapours,
or hyſterics; the cauſes and cure of convulſive
orders; the phœnomena of the apoplexy; and the
theory of fevers. Nor does he ſtop here, but expects
from the ſame ſource, to ſee "a new light thrown
"on the whole practice and baſis of morality."
When any principle of philoſophy makes its firſt appearance,
there generally prevails among the learned,
a diſpoſition to uſe it like a new garment: which is
not to be put on along with the old, but to ſupply
the place of what is worn out; and which ſometimes
tempts people to throw away what is fitter for ſervice.
Surely this diſpoſition would not be ſo common, unleſs
it tended to ſome good end: by applying a new
principle to every thing, men the ſooner find out to
what it is truly applicable.
Tho' we differ from Dr. Haller in opinion, we
mean not to detract from his reputation. his induſtry
and abilities are well known, and his writings deſervedly
eſteemed. The treatiſe now before us, is valuable,
becauſe of the facts and experiments which
contains, and deſerves, on account of theſe, to be
carefully peruſal by all who ſtudy medicine. It is a
common complaint among phyſicians, that too many
undertake to build theories, without taking care firſt
to ſecure a foundation; facts collected from experiments
and obſervations, afford the only ſolid foundation
on which true theory can be built.
We have not room to add any more here: but we
intend to take notice in our next number of the other
part of this piece, which treats of Senſibility
and likewiſe of two phyſiological eſſays by Dr. Whytt,
one of which was occaſioned by this diſſertation.
OF the letters which have been ſent us by our learned
Correſpondents, we have room to publiſh no more
in this number, except the following. It is long;
but we are ſure the public will reckon themſelves indebted
to us for it. We hope this ingenious and
learned Gentleman, will continue to favour us with his
aſſiſtance, for enlarging our plan in the manner which
he propoſes, and which we very much approve. We
ſhall always acknowledge our obligations to any who
favour us with literary memoirs, obſervations or criticiſms,
and take the firſt proper opportunity of tranſmitting
them to the world.
A LETTER to the Authors of the
Edinburgh Review.
GENTLEMEN,
IT gives me pleaſure to fee a work ſo generally uſeful,
as that which you have undertaken, likely to
be ſo well executed in this country. I am afraid,
however, you will find it impoſſible to ſupport it with
any degree of ſpirit, while you confine yourſelves almoſt
entirely to an account of the books publiſhed in
Scotland. This country, which is but juſt begining
to attempt figuring in the learned world, produces
as yet ſo few works of reputation, that it is
ſcarce poſſible a paper which criticiſes upon them
chiefly, ſhould intereſt the public for any conſiderable
time. The ſingular abſurdity of ſome performances
which you have ſo well repreſented in your firſt number,
might divert your readers for once: But no eloquence
could ſupport a paper which conſiſted chiefly
of accounts of ſuch performances.
It is upon this account, that I take upon me, in the
name of ſeveral of your readers, to propoſe to you,
that you ſhould enlarge your plan; that you ſhould
ſtill continue to take notice, with the ſame humanity
and candour, of every Scotch production that is tolerably
decent. But that you ſhould obſerve with regard
to Europe in general the ſame plan which you
followed with regard to England, examining ſuch performances
only, as, tho' they may not go down to
the remoteſt poſterity, have yet a chance of being remembered
for thirty or forty years to come, and
ſeem in the mean time to add ſomething to that ſtock
of literary amuſement with which the world is at preſent
provided. You will thus be able to give all proper
encouragement to ſuch efforts as this country is
likely to make towards acquiring a reputation in the
learned world, which I imagine it was the well-natured
deſign of your work to ſupport; and you will
oblige the public much more, by giving them an account
of ſuch books as are worthy of their regard,
than by filling your paper with all the inſignificant
literary news of the times, of which not an article in
a hundred is likely to be thought of a fortnight after
the publication of the work that gave occaſion to it.
Nor will this talk be ſo very laborious as at firſt one
might be apt to imagine. For tho' learning is cultivated
in force degree in almoſt every part of Europe,
it is in France and England only that it is cultivated
with ſuch ſucceſs or reputation as to excite the attention
of foreign nations. In Italy, the country in
which it was firſt revived, it has been almoſt totally
extinguiſhed. In Spain, the country in which, after
Italy, the firſt dawnings of modern genius appeared,
it has been extinguiſhed altogether. Even the art of
printing ſeems to have been almoſt neglected in thoſe
two countries, from the little demand, I ſuppoſe,
which there was for books: and tho' it has of late
been revived in Italy, yet the expenſive editions which
have been publiſhed there of the Italian claſſics are
plainly calculated for the libraries of Princes and
monaſteries, not to anſwer the demand of private
perſons. The Germans have never cultivated their
own language; and while the learned accuſtom themſelves
to think and write in a language different from
their own, it is ſcarce poſſible that they ſhould either
think or write, upon any delicate or nice ſubject,
with happineſs and preciſion. In medicine, chemiſtry,
aſtronomy, and mathematics, ſciences which require
only plain judgment joined to labour and aſſiduity,
without demanding a great deal of what is called
either taſte or genius; the Germans have been,
and ſtill continue to be ſucceſsful. The works of the
Academics, indeed, both in Germany and Italy, and
even in Ruſſia, are the objects of ſome curioſity every
where; but it is ſeldom that the works of any particular
man are inquired for out of his own country. On
the contrary, the works of many particular men both
in France and England are more inquired for among
foreign nations than thoſe of any of their academics.
If we may paſs any general judgment concerning
the literary merit of thoſe two great rivals in learning,
trade, government and war: Imagination, genius
and invention, ſeem to be the talents of the Engliſh;
taſte, judgment, propriety and order, of the French.
In the old Engliſh poets, in Shakeſpear, Spencer and
Milton, there often appears, amidſt ſome irregularities
and extravagancies, a ſtrength of imagination ſo vaſt,
ſo gigantic and ſupernatural, as aſtoniſhes and confounds
their reader into that admiration of their
genius, which makes him deſpiſe, as mean and inſignificant,
all criticiſm upon the inequalities in their writings.
In the eminent French writers, ſuch ſallies of
genius are more rarely to be met with; but inſtead of
them, a juſt arrangement, an exact propriety and decorum,
joined to an equal and ſtudied elegance of ſentiment
and diction, which, as it never ſtrikes the
heart like thoſe violent and momentary flaſhes of imagination,
ſo it never revolts the judgment by any
thing that is abſurd or unnatural, nor ever wearies the
attention by any groſs inequality in the ſtile, or want
of connection in the method, but entertains the mind
with a regular ſucceſſion of agreeable, intereſting and
connected objects.
In natural philoſophy, the ſcience which in modern
times has been moſt happily cultivated, almoſt
all the great diſcoveries, which have not come from
Italy or Germany, have been made in England.
France has ſcarce produced any thing very conſiderable
in that way. When that ſcience was firſt revived
in Europe, a fanciful, an ingenious and elegant,
tho' fallacious, ſyſtem was generally embraced
in that country: nor can we with reaſon wonder
that it was ſo. It may well be ſaid of the Carteſian
philoſophy, now when it is almoſt univerſally exploded,
that, in the ſimplicity, preciſion and perſpicuity
of its principles and concluſions, it had the
ſame ſuperiority over the Peripatetic ſyſtem, which
the Newtonian philoſophy has over it. A philoſophy,
which, upon its firſt appearance, had ſo many advantages
over its rival ſyſtem, was regarded by the French
with peculiar fondneſs and admiration, when they
conſidered it as the production of their own countryman,
whoſe renown added new glory to their nation;
and their attachment to it ſeems among them to have
retarded and incumbered the real advancement of the
ſcience of nature. They ſeem now however to be
pretty generally diſengaged from the enchantment of
that illuſive philoſophy; and it is with pleaſure that I
obſerve in the new French Encyclopedia, the ideas of
Bacon, Boyle, and Newton, explained with that order,
perſpicuity and good judgment, which diſtinguiſh all
the eminent writers of that nation. As, ſince the union,-
we are apt to regard ourſelves in ſome meaſure as the
countrymen of thoſe great men, it flattered my vanity,
as a Briton; to obſerve the ſuperiority of the
Engliſh philoſophy thus acknowledged by their rival
nation. The two principal authors of that vaſt collection
of every ſort of literature, Mr. Diderot and
Mr. Alembert, expreſs every where the greateſt paſſion
for the ſcience and learning of England, and inſert
into their work not only the diſcoveries and obſervations
of thoſe renowned philoſophers I juſt now
mentioned, but of many inferior Engliſh writers,
whoſe names are now almoſt unknown, and whoſe
works have been long diſregarded in their own country.
It mortified me, at the ſame time, to conſider
that poſterity and foreign nations are more likely to
be made acquainted with the Engliſh philoſophy by
the writings of others, than by thoſe of the Engliſh
themſelves. It ſeems to be the peculiar talent of
the French nation, to arrange every ſubject in that
natural and ſimple order, which carries the attention,
without any effort, along with it. The Engliſh
ſeem to have employed themſelves entirely in
inventing, and to have diſdained the more inglorious
but not leſs uſeful labour of arranging and methodizing
their diſcoveries, and of expreſſing them in the
moſt ſimple and natural manner. There is not only
no tolerable ſyſtem of natural philoſophy in the Engliſh
language, but there is not even any tolerable ſyſtem
of any part of it. The Latin treatiſes of Keil and
Gregory, two Scotſmen, upon the principles of mechanics
and aſtronomy, may he regarded as the beſt
things that have been written in this way by any native
of Great Britain, tho' in many reſpects confuſed,
inaccurate and ſuperficial. In Dr. Smith's Optics, all
the great diſcoveries which had before been made in
that ſcience are very compleatly recorded, along
with many conſiderable corrections and improvements
by that Gentleman himſelf. But if, in the knowledge
of his ſcience, he appears much ſuperior to the two
Scotſmen above mentioned, he is inferior even to
them, who are far from being perfect, in the order
and diſpoſition of his work. It will not I hope be imputed
to any mean motive, that I take notice of this
fault, which in theſe ſubjects is not of the higheſt
importance, and which that Gentleman himſelf would,
I dare ſay, be willing to acknowledge; for whoſe
knowledge and capacity I have the higheſt eſteem,
whoſe book has every other quality to recommend
it, and who is himſelf, along with Dr. Bradley,
almoſt the only perſon now remaining in England
to put us in mind of their illuſtrious predeceſſors.
The learned world has been highly inſtructed
by the labours and ingenuity of both theſe
Gentlemen, and I will venture to ſay would have
been much more ſo, if in their own country they had
had more rivals and more judges. But the Engliſh of
the preſent age, deſpairing perhaps to ſurpaſs the inventions,
or to equal the renown of their forefathers,
have diſdained to hold the ſecond place in a ſcience in
which they could not arrive at the firſt, and ſeem to
have abandoned the ſtudy of it altogether.
The French work which I juſt now mentioned,
promiſes to be the moſt compleat of the kind which
has ever been publiſhed or attempted in any language.
It will conſiſt of many volumes in folio, illuſtrated
with above ſix hundred plates, which make two volumes
a part. There are above twenty Gentlemen engaged
in it, all of them very eminent in their ſeveral
profeſſions, and many of them already known to foreign
nations by the valuable works which they have
publiſhed, particularly Mr. Alembert, Mr. Diderot,
Mr. Daubenton, Mr. Rouſſeau of Geneva, Mr. Formey
Secretary to the academy at Berlin, and many others.
In the preliminary diſcourſe, Mr. Alembert
gives an account of the connection of the different arts
and ſciences, their genealogy and filiation as he calls
it; which, a few alterations and corrections excepted,
is nearly the ſame with that of my Lord Bacon. In
the body of the work, it is conſtantly marked, to
what art or ſcience, and to what branch of that art or
ſcience each particular article belongs. In the articles
themſelves, the reader will not find, as in other works
of the ſame kind, a dry abſtract of what is commonly
known by the moſt ſuperficial ſtudent of any ſcience,
but a compleat, reaſoned and even critical examination
of each ſubject. Scarce any thing ſeems to be omitted.
Not only mathematics, natural philoſophy and natural
hiſtory, which commonly fill up the greater part of
works of this kind, are compleatly treated of; but all
the mechanical arts are fully deſcribed, with the ſeveral
machines which they make uſe of. Theology, morals,
metaphyſics, the art of criticiſm, the hiſtory of the
belles lettres, philosophy, the literary hiſtory of ſects,
opinions and ſyſtems of all kinds, the chief doctrines
of antient and modern juriſprudence, nay all the niceſt
ſubtleties of grammar, are explained in a detail that
is altogether ſurpriſing. There are few men to learned
in the ſcience which they have peculiarly cultivated,
as not to find in this work ſomething even
with regard to it which will both inſtruct and entertain
them; and with regard to every other, they will
ſeldom fail of finding all the ſatisfaction which they
could deſire. It promiſes indeed to be in every reſpect
worthy of that magnificent eulogy which Mr.
Voltaire beſtows upon it, when, in the concluſion of
his account of the artiſts who lived in the time of
Louis the fourteeth, he tells us, "That the laſt age
"has put the preſent in which we live in a condition
"to aſſemble into one body, and to tranſmit to po"ſterity,
to be by them delivered down to remoter
"ages, the ſacred repoſitory of all the arts and all
"the ſciences, all of them puſhed as far as human
"induſtry can go. This, continues he, " is what
" a ſociety of learned men, fraught with genius and
"knowledge, are now labouring upon: an immenſe
"and immortal work, which ſeems to accuſe the
"ſhortneſs of human life."
This work, which has ſeveral times been diſagreeably
interrupted by ſome jealouſy either of the civil
or of the eccleſiaſtical government of France, to neither
of which however the authors ſeem to have given
any juſt occaſion of ſuſpicion, is not yet finiſhed.
The volumes of it which are yet to be publiſhed, will
deſerve, as they ſucceſſively appear, to be particularly
taken notice of in your future periodical reviews.
You will obſerve, that tho' none of the authors of this
collection appear to be mean or contemptible, yet they
are not all equal. That the ſtyle of ſome of them
is more declamatory, than is proper for a Dictionary;
in which not only declamation, but any looſe compoſition
is, more than any where, out of its place. That
they ſeem too to have inſerted ſome articles which
might have been left out, and of which the infection
can ſerve only to throw a ridicule upon a work calculated
for the propagation of every part of uſeful
knowledge. The article of Amour, for example, will
tend little to the edification either of the learned or
unlearned reader, and might, one ſhould think, have
been omitted even in an Encyclopedia of all arts, ſciences
and trades. Theſe cenſures however fall but upon
a few articles, and thoſe of no great importance. The
remaining parts of the work may give occaſion to
many other obſervations of more conſequence, upon
the candour or partiality with which they repreſent
the different ſyſtems of philoſophy or theology, antient
or modern; the juſtneſs of their criticiſms upon
the celebrated authors of their own and of foreign nations;
how far they have obſerved or neglecled the
juſt proportion betwixt the length of each article and
the importance of the matter contained in it, and
its fitneſs to be explained in a work of that kind;
as well as many other obſervations of the ſame nature.
Nor is this the only great collection of ſcience
and literature at preſent carrying on in that country,
to merit the attention of foreign nations. The deſcription
of the cabinet of the King, which promiſes to
comprehend a compleat ſyſtem of natural hiſtory, is a
work almoſt equally extenſive. It was begun by the
command of a miniſter whom France has long deſired
to ſee reſtored to the direction of the marine, and all
Europe to that of the ſciences, the Count de Maurepas.
It is executed by two Gentlemen of moſt univerſally
acknowledged merit, Mr. Buffon and Mr.
Danbenton. A ſmall part only of this work is yet
publiſhed. The reaſoning and philoſophical part concerning
the formation of plants, the generation of
animals, the formation of the fœtus, the development
of the ſenſes &c. is by Mr. Buffon. The ſyſtem indeed
of this Gentleman, it may be thought, is almoſt
entirely hypothetical; and with regard to the cauſes
of generation ſuch, that it is ſcarce poſſible to form any
very determinate idea of it. It muſt be acknowledged,
however, that it is explained in an agreeable, copious,
and natural eloquence, and that he has ſupported
or connected it with many ſingular and curious obſervations
and experiments of his own. The neatneſs,
diſtinctneſs and propriety of all Mr. Danbenton's deſcriptions,
ſeem to leave no room for criticiſm upon his
part, which, tho' the leaſt pompous, is by far the
moſt important of the work.
None of the ſciences indeed ſeem to be cultivated in
France with more eagerneſs than natural hiſtory. Perſpicuous
deſcription and juſt arrangement conſtitute a
great part of the merit of a natural hiſtorian; and this
ſtudy is perhaps upon that account peculiarly ſuited to
the genius of that nation. In Mr. Reaumur's hiſtory
of infects, a work of which we are ſtill to expect
ſome volumes, your readers will find both theſe in
the higheſt perfection, as well as the moſt attentive
obſervation aſſiſted by the moſt artful contrivances for
inſpecting into ſuch things in the œconomy and management
of thoſe little animals, as one would have
imagined it impoſſible that he ever ſhould have diſcovered.
Thoſe who complain of his tediouſneſs,
have never entered regularly upon his work, but have
contented themſelves with dipping into ſome parts of
it. As mean as the ſubject may appear, he never fails
to carry our attention along with him, and we follow
him thro' all his obſervations and experiments with
the ſame innocent curioſity and ſimple-hearted pleaſure
with which he appears to have made them. It will
ſurpriſe your readers to find, that this Gentleman, amidſt
many other laborious ſtudies and occupations,
while he was compoſing, from his own experiments
too, many other curious and valuable works, could
find time to fill eight volumes in quarto with his own
obſervations upon this ſubject, without ever once having
had recourſe to the vain parade of erudition and
quotation. Theſe, and all other ſuch works as theſe,
which either ſeem to add ſomething to the public
ſtock of obſervations, if I may ſay ſo, or which collect
more compleatly, or arrange in a better order, the obſervations
that have already been made, the public
will be pleaſed to ſee pointed out to them in your periodical
Review, and will liſten with attention to your
criticiſms upon the defects and perfections of what ſo
well deſerves to be criticiſed in general. As the works
of all the academies in the different parts of Europe,
are the objects of a pretty univerſal curioſity, tho' it
would be impoſſible for you to give an account of every
thing that is contained in them; it will not be
very difficult to point out what are the moſt conſiderable
improvements and obſervations which thoſe ſocieties
have communicated to the public during the ſix
months which preceed the publication of every
Review.
The original and inventive genius of the Engliſh has
not only diſcovered itſelf in natural philoſophy, but in
morals, metaphyſics, and part of the abſtract ſciences.
Whatever attempts have been made in modern times
towards improvement in this contentious and unproſperous
philoſophy, beyond what the antients have
left us, have been made in England. The Meditations
of Des Cartes excepted, I know nothing in
French that aims at being original upon theſe ſubjets;
for the philoſophy of Mr. Regis, as well as that of
Father Malbranche, are but refinements upon the Meditations
of Des Cartes. But Mr. Hobbes Mr. Lock,
and Dr. Mandevil, Lord Shaftſbury, Dr. Butler, Dr.
Clarke, and Mr. Hutcheſon, have all of them, according
to their different and inconſiſtent ſyſtems, endeavoured
at leaſt to be, in ſome meaſure, original;
and to add lomething to that stock of obſervations
with which the world had been furniſhed before
them. This branch of the Engliſh philoſophy,
which ſeems now to be intirely neglected by the
English themſelves, has of late been tranſported into
France. I obſerve ſome traces of it, not only in
the Encyclopedia, but in the Theory of agreeable
ſentiments by Mr. De Pouilly, a work that is in many
reſpects original; and above all, in the late Diſcourſe
upon the origin and foundation of the inequality
amongſt mankind by Mr. Rouſſeau of Geneva.
Whoever reads this laft work with attention, will
obſerve, that the ſecond volume of the Fable of
the Bees has given occaſion to the ſyſtem of Mr.
Rouſſeau, in whom however the principles of the
Engliſh author are ſoftened, improved, and embelliſhed,
and ſtript of all that tendency to corruption and licentiouſneſs
which has diſgraced them in their original
author. Dr. Mandeville repreſents the primitive
ſtate of mankind as the moſt wretched and
miſerable that can be imagined: Mr. Rouſſeau, on
the contrary, paints it as the happieſt and moſt
ſuitable to his nature. Both of them however ſuppoſe,
that there is in man no powerful inſtinct which
neceſſarily determines him to ſeek ſociety for its own
ſake: but according to the one, the miſery of his original
ſtate compelled him to have recourſe to this
otherwiſe diſagreeable remedy; according to the
other, ſome unfortunate accidents having given birth
to the unnatural paſſions of ambition and the vain
deſire of ſuperiority, to which he had before been a
ſtranger, produced the ſame fatal effect. Both of
them ſuppoſe the ſame ſlow progreſs and gradual development
of all the talents, habits, and arts which
fit men to live together in ſociety, and they both deſcribe
this progreſs pretty much in the ſame manner.
According to both, thoſe laws of juſtice, which maintain
the preſent inequality amongſt mankind, were
originally the inventions of the cunning and the
powerful, in order to maintain or to acquire an unnatural
and unjuſt ſuperiority over the reſt of their
fellow-creatures. Mr. Rouſſeau however criticiſes
upon Dr. Mandeville: he obſerves, that pity, the only
amiable principle which the Engliſh author allows
to be natural to man, is capable of producing all thoſe
virtues, whoſe reality Dr. Mandeville denies. Mr.
Rouſſeau at the ſame time ſeems to think, that this
principle is in itſelf no virtue, but that it is poſſeſſed
by ſavages and by the moſt profligate of the vulgar,
in a greater degree of perfection than by thoſe of the
moſt poliſhed and cultivated manners; in which he
perfectly agrees with the Engliſh author.
The life of a ſavage, when we take a diſtant view
of it, ſeems to be a life either of profound indolence,
or of great and aſtoniſhing adventures; and both
theſe qualities ſerve to render the deſcription of it
agreeable to the imagination. The paſſion of all
young people for paſtoral poetry, which deſcribes
the amuſements of the indolent life of a ſhepherd; and
for books of chivalry and romance, which deſcribe
the moſt dangerous and extravagant adventures, is
the effect of this natural taſte for theſe two ſeemingly
inconſiſtent objects. In the deſcriptions of the
manners of ſavages, we expect to meet with both
theſe; and no author ever propoſed to treat of this
ſubject who did not excite the public curioſity. Mr.
Rouſſeau, intending to paint the ſavage life as the
happieſt of any, preſents only the indolent ſide of it
to view, which he exhibits indeed with the moſt
beautiful and agreeable colours, in a ſtyle, which,
tho' laboured and ſtudiouſly elegant, is every where
ſufficiently nervous, and ſometimes even ſublime and
pathetic. It is by the help of this ſtyle, together
with a little philoſophical chemiſtry, that the principles
and ideas of the profligate Mandeville ſeem in
him to have all the purity and ſublimity of the morals
of Plato, and to be only the true ſpirit of a republican
carried a little too far. His work is divided into
two parts: in the firſt, he deſcribes the ſolitary ſtate
of mankind; in the ſecond, the firſt beginnings and
gradual progreſs of ſociety. It would be to no purpoſe
to give an analyſis of either; for none could give
any juſt idea of a work which conſiſts almoſt entirely
of rhetoric and deſcription. I ſhall endeavour to preſent
your readers therefore with a ſpecimen of his eloquence,
by tranſlating one or two ſhort paſſages.
"While men," ſays he, p. 117. "contented them"ſelves
with their firſt ruſtic habitations; while their
"induſtry had no object, except to pin together the
"ſkins of wild beaſts for their original cloathing, to
"adorn themſelves with feathers and ſhells, to paint
"their bodies with different colours, to perfect or
"embelliſh their bows and arrows, to cut out with
"ſharp ſtones ſome fiſhing canoes or ſome rude in"ſtruments
of muſic; while they applied themſelves
"to ſuch works as a ſingle perſon could execute, and
"to ſuch arts as required not the concurrence of ſe"veral
hands; they lived free, healthful, humane and
"happy, as far as their nature would permit them,
"and continued to enjoy amongſt themſelves the
"ſweets of an independent ſociety. But from the
"inſtant in which one man had occaſion for the aſ"ſiſtance
of another, from the moment that he per"ceived
that it could be advantageous to a ſingle
"perſon to have proviſions for two, equality diſappear"ed,
property was introduced, labour became neceſ"ſary,
and the vaſt forreſts of nature were changed
"into agreeable plains, which muſt be watered with
"the ſweat of mankind, and in which the world be"held
ſlavery and wretchedneſs begin to grow up and
"bloſom with the harveſt."
"Thus, ſays he, p. 126. are all our faculties unfolded,
"memory and imagination brought into play, ſelf--
"love intereſted, reaſon rendered active, and the
underſtanding advanced almoſt to the term of its
"perfection. Thus are all our natural qualities ex"erted,
the rank and condition of every man eſta"bliſhed,
not only upon the greatneſs of his fortune
"and his power to ſerve or to hurt, but upon his
"genius, his beauty, his ſtrength, or his addreſs,
"upon his merit or his talents; and thoſe qualities
"being alone capable of attracting conſideration, he
"muſt either have them or affect them: he muſt for
"his advantage ſhow himſelf to be one thing, while
"in reality he is another. To be and to appear to
"be, became two things entirely different; and from
"this diſtinction aroſe impoſing oſtentation, deceit"ful
guile, and all the vices which attend them. Thus
"man, from being free and independent, became by
"a multitude of new neceſſities ſubjected in a manner,
"to all nature, and above all to his fellow creatures,
"whoſe ſlave he is in one ſenſe even while he be"comes
their maſter; rich, he has occaſion for
"their ſervices; poor, he ſtands in need of their aſ"ſiſtance;
and even mediocrity does not enable him
"to live without them. He is obliged therefore to
"endeavour to interet them in his ſituation, and to
"make them find, either in reality or in appearance,
"their advantage in labouring for his. It is this
"which renders him falſe and artificial with ſome,
"imperious and unfeeling with others, and lays him
"under a neceſſity of deceiving all thoſe for whom
"he has occaſion, when he cannot terrify them,
"and does not find it for his intereſt to ſerve them
"in reality. To conclude, an inſatiable ambition,
"an ardor to raiſe his relative fortune, not ſo much
"from any real neceſſity, as to ſet himſelf above o"thers,
inſpires all men with a direful propenſity to
"hurt one another: with a ſecret jealouſy, ſo much the
"more dangerous, as to ſtrike its blow more ſurely,
"it often aſſumes the maſk of good will; in ſhort, with
"concurrence and rivalſhip on one ſide; on the o"ther,
with oppoſition of intereſt; and always with
"the concealed deſire of making profit at the ex"pence
of ſome other perſon: All theſe evils are the
"firſt effects of property, and the inſeparable atten"dants
of beginning inequality.
"Man," ſays he afterwards, p. 179. "in his ſavage,
"and man in his civilized ſtate, differ ſo eſſentially in
"their paſſions and inclinations, that what makes
"the ſupreme happineſs of the one, would reduce the
"other to deſpair. The ſavage breathes nothing but
"liberty and repoſe; he deſires only to live and to
"be at leiſure; and the ataraxia of the Stoic does not
"approach to his profound indifference for every o"ther
object. The citizen, on the contrary, toils,
"beſtirs and torments himſelf without end, to obtain
"employments which are ſtill more laborious; he
"labours on till his death, he even haſtens it, in
"order to put himſelf in a condition to live, or re"nounces
life to acquire immortality. He makes his
"court to the great whom he hates, and to the rich
"whom he deſpiſes; he ſpares nothing to obtain the
"honour of ſerving them; he vainly boaſts of his
"own meanneſs and their protection, and, proud of
"his ſlavery, ſpeaks with diſdain of thoſe who have
"not the honour to ſhare it. What a ſpectacle to a
"Caraib would be the painful and envied labours of
"a European miniſter of ſtate? how many cruel
"deaths would not that indolent ſavage prefer to the
"horror of ſuch a life, which is often not even
"ſweetened by the pleaſure of doing well? but to
"ſee the end of ſo many cares, it is neceſſary that the
"words, power and reputation, ſhould have an intel"legible
meaning in his underſtanding; that he ſhould
"be made to comprehend that there is a ſpecies of men
"who count for ſomething the looks of the reſt of the
"univerſe; who can be happy and contented with
"themſelves upon the teſtimony of another, rather
"than upon their own. For ſuch in reality is the
"true cauſe of all thoſe differences: the ſavage lives
"in himſelf; the man of ſociety, always out of him"ſelf;
cannot live but in the opinion of others, and
"it is, if I may ſay ſo, from their judgment alone
"that he derives the ſentinient of his own exiſtence.
"It belongs not to my ſubject to ſhow, how from
"ſuch a diſpoſition ariſes ſo much real indifference
"for good and evil, with ſo many fine diſcourſes of
"ſmorality; how every thing being reduced to ap"pearances,
every thing becomes factitious and act"ed;
honour, friendſhip, virtue, and often even
"vice itſelf, of which we have at laſt found out the
"ſecret of being vain; how in one word always de"manding
of others what we are, and never daring to
"aſk ourſelves the queſtion, in the midſt of ſo much
"philoſophy, ſo much humanity, ſo much politeneſs,
"and ſo many ſublime maxims we have nothing
"but a deceitful and frivolous exterior; honour with"out
virtue, reaſon without wiſdom, and pleaſure
"without happineſs."
I ſhall only add, that the dedication to the republic
of Geneva, of which Mr. Rouſſeau has the honour of
being a citizen, is an agreeable, animated, and I believe
too, a juſt panegyric; and expreſſes that ardent
and paſſionate eſteem which it becomes a good citizen
to entertain for the government of his country and
the character of his countrymen.
It is not my intention, you may believe, to confine
you to an account of the philoſophical works that
are publiſhed either at home or abroad. Tho' the
poets of the preſent age ſeem in general to be inferior
to thoſe of the laſt, there are not however wanting,
in England, France, and even in Italy, ſeveral who repreſent
not unworthily their more renowned predeceſſors.
The works of Metaſtaſio are eſteemed all over
Europe; and Mr. Voltaire, the moſt univerſal genius
perhaps which France has ever produced, is acknowledged
to be, in almoſt every ſpecies of writing, nearly
upon a level with the greateſt authors of the laſt age,
who applied themſelves chiefly to one. The original
and inventive genius of that Gentleman never appeared
more conſpicuous than in his laſt tragedy, the
orphan of China. It is both agreeable and ſurpriſing
to obſerve how the atrocity, if I may ſay ſo, of Chineſe
virtue, and the rudeneſs of Tartar barbarity,
have been introduced upon the French ſtage, without
violating thoſe nice decorums of which that nation
are ſuch delicate and ſcrupulous judges. In a letter
to Mr. Rouſſeau of Geneva, he denies that the hiſtory
of the laſt war, which has been publiſhed under his
name in Holland, is to be regarded as his in the ſtate
in which it has been printed. There are indeed in it
a great number of very groſs miſrepreſentations with
regard to the ſhare which Great Britain had in the laſt
war, for which, Mr. Voltaire, as it was publiſhed
without his conſent, is not anſwerable, and which will
certainly be corrected in the firſt genuine edition
that is publiſhed with the conſent of the author.
I am,
Tour moſt humble Servant, &c.
PROPOSALS for publiſhing by Subſcription,
In one large Volume in Folio, beautifully printed on Imperial Paper,
The HEADS of the ILLUSTRIOUS PERSONS of
Great Britain.
On One Hundred and Eight COPPER PLATES, engraved by Mr.
Houbraken and Mr. Vertue.
With their LIVES and CHARACTERS, by Thomas Birch, D. D.
Secretary of the Royal Society:
*** This Work has obtained great Reputation, by the excellent
Performance of Mr. Houbraken in engraving the Plates; who, for
the Greatneſs of his Style, and the Vivacity of his Expreſſion, is
univerſally admired, and is acknowledged to be without an Equal.
The Heads are copied from Originals of the greateſt Painters, and
are embelliſhed with Ornaments deigned by the beſt Maſters: And
Dr. Birch in his Lives and Characters, has given a judicious Hiſtory
of theſe illuſtrious Perſons, in a Series from the Reign of King
Edward III. to the preſent Time.
The Whole making One large Volume in Folio, on Imperial
paper, muſt be acknowledged to be the cheapeſt Book of the kind,
that ever was propoſed.
CONDITIONS.
I. This Work will he beautifully printed in One Volume in Folio,
on large Imperial Paper, and will be compriſed in Fifty-four Numbers.

II. A Number, containing Two Heads and Two Lives, will be
publiſhed every Week, at the Price of Two Shillings ſtitched.
III. The firſt Number will be publiſhed on Saturday the Twenty--
firſt of February 1756; and the following Numbers regularly
every Saturday, till the whole is finiſhed.
Printed for John Knapton in Ludgate-Street, and ſold by R. Baldwin
in Pater-noſter Row, where Specimens of this Work may be
ſeen.
Subſcriptions taken in by G. Hamilton and J. Balfour.

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Edinburgh Review, No. 1

Document Information

Document ID 134
Title Edinburgh Review, No. 1
Year group 1750-1800
Genre Journalism
Year of publication 1755
Wordcount 50646

Author information: Anonymous

Author ID 480
Surname Anonymous