Obrázky stránek
PDF
ePub

nobler motive of a hope of useful- the particular subject of his studies. ness, for even the self complacen. The testimony and the practice of cy of an author cannot conceal other learned men and successful from himself that on such a topick, students, are in favour of such a he is adding nothing to what all the method of research. The attempt world already knows,and that every to explain and state our knowledge thing he can say has been at least must naturally bring its accuracy as well said a thousand times be- and extent to the test. Dr. P.'s fore. We will go no farther with employment as a teacher required our conjectures, lest we should be him to compose elementary trealed to imagine that tbis propensity tises. In these he certainly excelto publish may proceed from a led. His works of this kind are childish vanity of seeing one's-self distinguished by a simplicity of in print, from which we would will- statement, and aptness of illustraingly believe our clergy to be ex- tion, and plainness of style. He empt.

never forgets that the pupil is to In these remarks we express be supposed ignorant of the subour general opinion on the subject, ject on which instruction is given. though we would by no means be He wrote an English grammar, understood to say, that there are wbich was published just before no instances to which they will not that of Dr. Lowth, and, after sey. apply. The sernion before us we eral editions, was superseded by doubt not was heard and deserved the latter ; its author, Mr. Cooper to be heard with much pleasure, observes,having at that time (in the but we must think, that the world year 1772) more literary reputation would have lost little, if the au- than Dr. P. The editor says that thor had resisted the solicitations the last edition of this grammar of his friends and forborne to give was in 1772. We have seen a it to the press.

new edition, corrected and pub

Jished, London, 1789, by the Rev. ARTICLE 23.

Mr. Bretland, of Exeter, entitled (Concluded.)

the Rudiments of English GramMemoirs of Dr. Joseph Priestley, to

mar, adapted to the use of schools, the year 1795, written by himself; with examples of English compowith a continuation to the time of

sition.' He thinks the publick This decease, by his son, Joseph obliged by his getting a work rePriestley : and observations on

printed, which he says has been his writings, by Thomas Cooper, always justly celebrated for the president judge of the 4th district peculiar simplicity of its plan, and of Pennsylvania : and the Rev. though frequently inquired for, William Christie. Northumber

was no longer to be procured. land, Peny. printed by J. Binns.

What peculiarity there is in this 1806.

work, consists principally in re

jecting the distribution and techThe Appendix No. 4, contains nical terms of the Latin grammar; an account of Dr. Priestley's writ- an absurdity, which the author adings on miscellaneous literature. mits had much gone out of fashIt has been said, that he found it ion ; but were still so much retaina convenient way of learning a ed as to injure the uniformity and science, to undertake to teach it, usefulness of English grammars. or to make a book or treatise upon A little reflection (he says) may, I

think, suffice to convince any pers and successful application of Hartson, that we have no more business ley's theory of association to the with a future tense in our langnage, phenomena of taste. The lectures than we have with the whole sys- of the same author, on history and tem of Latin moods and tenses general, policy, make all valuable because we have no modification and pleasing introduction to the of our verbs to correspond to it; study of history." - A new edition and if we had never heard of a fu- of this work has been published in ture tense in some other language, Philadelphia, with the addition' of we should no more have given a a chapter on the constitution of the particular name to the combination United States. An extract is giv. of the verb with the auxiliary shall en, in which the doctrine of the or will, than to those that are cosmopolitan statesmen is defendmade with the auxiliaries do, have, ed, that war is never justifiable to can, must, or any other.' He gives secure the exercise of commercial his opinion on English composi- rights; because it is favouring one tion as an exercise of schools. class of the citizens more than an

" To obviate this inconvenience, other; especially the merchant [ignorance of our mother tongue] more than the farmer. If the merwe must introduce into our schools chant finds his business a losing English grammar, English composi- one, (say they) let him give it up, tions, and frequent English trans- or do something else, or do nothlations from authors in other lan- ing ; but not urge his country to guages. The common objection hazard her blood and treasure to to English compositions, that it is enable him to prosecute his trade. requiring brick to be made with. We believe this book contains no out straw, (boys not being suppos- other principle advanced as a state ed to be capable of so much reflec- maxim, so weak and so pernicious tion as is necessary to treat any as this. The interest of the parts subject with propriety) is a very is the interest of the whole. "The frivolousone; since it is so very easy farmer is directly concerned in the to contrive a variety of exercises, protection and prosperity of the introductory to themes upon mor- merchant. If force may never be al and scientifical subjects ; in employed to defend commercial many of which the whole attention rights, it is vain and ridiculous to may be employed upon language pretend to have them. It is not only; and from thence youth may the justice of our claims, but; the be led on in a regular series of power to enforce them, and to recompositions, in which the tran- pel aggression, which gives them sition from language to sentiment value. Till nations have agreed may be as gradual and easy as upon some common judge to depossible.'

cide their differences, there must There is a copious analysis of be occasional war. Dr. P.'s lectures on the theory of The chart of biography is a map language and universal grammar, invented by Dr. P., which shows by printed at Warrington, in 1762, a glance of the eye the duration of and delivered to the students, but any eminent individual's life, and never fully published.

that of all his contemporaries. It · The lectures on oratory and has been engraved in this country, criticism have been much com- and deserves to make a part of the mended as exhibiting an ingenious furniture of every literary room

The chart of history, an ime every action and event on some provement on a French plan, exo other preceding, as its cause, till hibits at one view the most im- 'we arrive at the Deity himself, portant general facts of bisiory, in the first, the great, the efficient connection with one another, and cause of all?

I: is a good historical compend for He conceived, that the light of occasional reference.

- nature afforded but imperfect eviAfter several fugitive pieces on dence of a future state, and rested politicks ; a vindication of Dr. it principally on positive revelation. Franklin ; and an accusation of He believed in the occasional inMr. Burke, for not continuing the terposition of the Deity from the friend of Dr. P. to the last, even beginning, by teachers supernatuafter he had espoused the French rally endowed, to give a true revolution, we come to the theo- knowledge of God, and of men's logical part of the book.

duties to him and one another, and No.5 is a summary of Dr.P.'sreli. to enforce them by authority and gious opinions. It is well known that motives. í. He received the books Dr. P. was at the head of the sect of the Old and New Testament, denominated Unitarians, or Socin- as containing the history of these jans, who profess to believe that dispensations of religion, and the Jesus of Nazareth was a man, di- circumstances attending them, so vinely commissioned as a teacher far as it is nesessary for us to be of truth and righteousness; and made acquainted with the facts. that having been publickly crucifi- He admitted that there is convinced by his enemies, he was raised ing evidence of the accuracy and from the dead the third day. They fidelity of the writers of these books, believe that he was nothing more and their substantial truth, though than a man, possessed of extraor- he conceived that they had suffer. dinary powers, and invested with a ed in passages of no great moment particular commission, and that he . by frequent transcription and interhad no existence previous to his polation ; and that the sauthors birth. The summary under re- might commit mistakes, and differ view is, we believe, as far as it from each other in things of minor goes, a just account of the Doc- import, not affecting the objects of tor's opinions upon most subjects their mission. He rejected the of theology. He believed in op- doctrines of original singatonement, timism ; that the system of the and of election and reprobation, as universe is the best that could have taught by the system of Calvinisbeen devised by infinite goodness tick theology. Future punishand wisdom, and executed by in- ment he considered to be of that fuite power ; that the moral and sort, which a parent inflicts on a physical: evil, observable in the child, in its nature and operation system, are necessary parts of a corrective ; and therefore he did great plans, all tending ultimately not admit the eternal duration of to produce the greatest sum of future punishment. His opinion happiness upon the whole ; not respecting the soul, of course led only with respect to the system in him to reject the doctrine of an general, but to each individual, ac, intermediate state. In church cording to the station he occupies. government he was an Indepen

This system, (he considered) in. dent. He believed the keeping of plies the necessary dependence of the sabbath to be incumbent on all

christians; was a friend to publick of Divine. Revelation, 3 vols. 8vo. worship, infant baptism, observance y delivered in: Pbiladelphia; were of the Lord's suppers and family heard with attention by a respectprayer. His religious sentiments, 1:able assembly land state the arwhether true or false, appeared to gument for the truth of the scripbe in him a source of comfort and lure history, with clearness and hope, and the foundation of a force. The defence of the reality highly pious and virtuous temper. of the miracles wrought by Moses, and behaviour. A future state was and of the history of supernatural to him a subject of firm and joyful events in the Old Testament is expectation.

able and satisfactory, The MoAppendix, No 6, is a review of saick history of the Jewish scrip. Dr. Priestley's numerous theolog- tures generally, he treated with ical works,with occasional extracts, much more respect, than Dr. Ged. &c. expressive of his sentiments des in England, and professor Eiand opinions, and observations on chorn in Germany ;- one or both

his character and conduct as a of whom passed for orthodox upchristiani minister. 1

on other points ; and with more Those, who wish to know what than other criticks and commen- he published on these subjects, tators, who profess an entire be1.-may consult the catalogue of all lief in the New Testament and the - his works, at the end of the vol- divine mission of Christ. Dr. P.'s .: umes under review. To give an Discourse on the Evidence of the opinion upon the value and im- Resurrection has been called one portance, the good or evil of his of the best argumentative sermons labours in this department of in the English language. It states knowledge; to say how far the the proof for the fact, in a very luworld are interested in the perusalcid and satisfactory manner, and * and study, or the neglect and dis- answers objections with great inregard of his writings upon these genuity. He says, it appears subjects, is not necessary nor pro- that the circumstances attending per : We think, however, that a the resurrection of Jesus were so divine at least ought to include ordered by divine providence, that several of his theological publica- it is not in the power of man to tions in his course of reading. imagine any change in them, that,

He wrote much on the evidences as according to the known laws of . well as doctrines of the Christian evidence, would make it more revelation. The book, entitled In- credible than it is with respect to stitutes of Natural and Revealed distant ages.' If he has been able Religion, in 2 vols. 8vo. is design- to make good this position in the

ed to give a general view of relig- discourse, it must be valuable inrious truth and duty, suited to in- deed. If we have all the evidence struct and interest common chris- which we can have, that Jesus tians. It consists of the lectures, rose from the dead, surely we have which the author delivered to the enough to beat down all the strong young persons of his congrega- holds of infidelity, and put an end tion.

The greater part of the to doubt or cavil. work is free from his peculiarities The Letters to a philosophical of thinking, and is adapted to edi- unbeliever, 2 vols. 8vo. deserve fy persons of different sentiments. the attention of all, who have difHis Discourses on the Eridenges ficulties on the subject of natural

religion. The Comparison of the learned work upon this subject. institutions of Moses with those of It remained for a considerable time the Hindoos and other oriental na- without any formal answer of imtions ; of the doctrine of heathen portance till the work of Dr.Jamephilosophy with christianity ; his

son. Answers to Paine and to Volney, In the history of early opinions are certainly works to be read with the argument is in a great degree benefit and pleasure.

original.* • Former theologians The controversy with Dr. Linn, have appealed to the fathers as adin which the latter was thought by vocates for the doctrines which his friends and by the orthodox they themselves espoused, and have publick to have acquired honour, endeavoured to support the credit began from a little pamphlet of of their respective systems by the Dr. P. entitled, Socrates and Jesus authority of the venerable confescompared ; written with a view to sors of the primiuve church. Dr. confute the Deists.

Priestley has chosen very different The Tracts in defence of Uni- ground. He is the first controvertarianism and of doctrines connec- sial writer who has ventured opented with it, make no small part of ly to declare, that his doctrine is Dr. P.'s writings.

in direct opposition to that of the In the first place the argument great names to whose authority he is compressed into small books appeals, and who have hitherto and pamphlets ; one ha general been generally regarded as the auview of the arguments for the uni- thorised expositors of the christian ty of God, and against the divinity faith. He allows that very few, if and pre-existence of Christ, from any, of these eminent men were, reason, from the scriptures, and properly speaking, Unitarians in from history ;' then various de- principle. Nay, that they even fences of Unitarianism, from 1786 beld the doctrine of the proper lo 1789 ; "an appeal to the serious humanity of Christ in contempt and candid professors of christian- and abhorrence, and that they opity;' and a familiar illustration of posed it to the utmost of their certain passages of scripture relat- power. He nevertheless contends, ing to the same subject. His op- that the great body of christians, ponents were Dr. Horne, Dr. both Jews and heathens, for the Price, and Mr. Parkhurst ; Dr. three first centuries, were strenuGeddes, Mr. Howe, Messrs. Bar- ous advocates for the proper unity nard, Knowles, Hawkins, and oth- of God, and that they zealously ers. This subject occupies a large opposed the gnostick, the platonpart of the history of the corrup- ick, and the arian doctrines, as tions of christianity,'..2 vols. 8vo., they were successively introduced, which led to the acute, and and all the other speculations of interesting controversy between the philosophising christians,which Dr. P. and Dr. Horseley, and final- were invented to shelter themly to his publication of the history selves from the disgrace of being of early opinions concerning Jesus the disciples of a low-born Jew, Christ, compiled from original who had been ignominiously exewriters, proving that the christian cuted as a common malefactor. church was at first Unitarian,' 4 He aims to show that this alarm vols. 8vo. This is Dr. P,'s great. est effort, and most elaborate and * Belsham's Reply to Smith.

« PředchozíPokračovat »