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the university fhould be calculated for their use. If a few other persons, who were not designed for holy orders, offered themselves for education, it could not be expected that a course of studies should be provided for them only. And, indeed, as all those persons who fuperintended the business of education were of the clerical order, and had themselves been taught nothing but the rhetoric, logic, and school-divinity which comprized the whole compass of human learning for feveral centuries; it could not be expected that they should entertain larger or more liberal views of education, and still less, that they Thould strike out à course of study for the use of men who were universally thought to have no need of study; and, of whom, few were lo sensible of their own wants as to desire any such advantage.

. Besides, in those days, the great ends of human society feem to have been but little understood, Men of the greatest rank, fortune, and influence; and who took the lead in all affairs of ftate, had no idea of the great objects of wise and extensive policy; and therefore never apprehended that any fund of knowlege was requisite for the most eminent stations in the community. Few persons imagined what were the true sources of wealth, power, and happiness in a nation. Commerce was little understood, or even attended to; and so flight was the connection of the different nations of Europe, that general politics were very contracted. And thus, men's views being narrow, little previous furniture of mind was requisite to conduct them.' A man who was capable of managing a private estate, in the poor manner in which estates were then managed, had understanding enough to conduct the affairs of a nation.

The consequence of all this was, that the advances which were made to a more perfect and improved state of society were very flow; and the present happier state of things was brought about, rather by an accidental concurrence of circumstances, than by any efforts of human wisdom and foresight. We see the hånd of divine providence in those revolutions which have gradually given a happier turn to affairs, while men have been the paffive and blind instruments of their own felicity.

But the situation of things at present is vastly different from what it was two or three centuries ago. The objects of human attention are prodigiously multiplied; the connections of states are extended; a reflection upon our present advantages, and the steps by which we have arrived to the degree of power and han piness we now enjoy, has fhewn us the true sources of them so thoroughlyawakened are all theftates of Europe to a sense of true interests, that we are convinced, the same supine in with which affairs were formerly conducted is no and that, without superior degrees of wisdom and tical measures, every thing we have hitherto gat

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libly be loft, and be quickly transferred to our more intelligent and vigilant neighbours. In this critical posture of affairs, more lights and superior industry are requisite, both to minifters of state, and to all persons who have any influence in schemes of public and national advantage ; and consequently a different and a better furniture of mind is requisite to be brought into the bufincfs of life.'

To effe& this desirable purpose, and furnish the minds of youth with the necessary qualifications for a life of activity and business, is the laudable end of this essay; the Author's general design being, as he himself fays, beautifully expressed in the following lines, of Mr. Thomson, describing the future happy fate of Great Britain :

Instead of barren heads,
Barbarian pedants, wrangling fons of pride,
And truth-perplexing metaphysic' wits,

Men, patriots, chiefs and eitizens are formid.
To prevent the Reader, however, from being led into any
mistake by the title of this performance, it is not improper to
apprize him, that he is not to expect from it, the entire method
of conducting the education of a young gentleman designed to
fill any station in civil and active life, much less the methods
which are peculiarly adapted to each separate department of
such education. The Author's intention is confessedly

, to point out one capital defect in the usual method of educating young gentlemen who are not designed for any of the learned profesions; and at the same time, in some measure to supply that defect, by giving a delineation of a set of lectures equally useful for any department of active life; such as hath a nearer connection with their conduct in it, and therefore may fairer, both to engage their attention and be of real use to them, than any branch of learning to which they have hitherto been made to apply, after they have left the grammar-school.

It would afford little entertainment or instruction to our readers for us to trace the outlines here laid down; especially as iney are indeed baie outlines; being little more than a mere fyllabus or table of contents. It must be confessed at the same time, however, that even these outlines form a well-grounded presumption that the ingenious Author is very capable of executing what he hath so well planned.

With regard to his remarks on Dr. Brown's proposed code of education, the manner of them is too bold and spirited, and the matter of them too interesting, to be palled slightly over. Di, Prown had advanced, · That the first and best security of civil liberty confifts, in impresing the infant mind with such habits of thought and action, as may correspond with, and promote the

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appoin:ments of public law*' Hence he inferred the expedience, and even neceffity, of a prescribed code of education, or

a fyftern of principles, religious, moral and political, whose tendency may be the preservation of the blessings of society, as they are enjoyed in a free state, to be instilled effectually into the infant and growing minds of the community, for the great end of publick bappiness ta'

Thus Dr. Brown pleads for a plan of education established by the legislature, and maintained or kept up by the civil magistrate, And this he affirms to be the only effe&tual method of preventing faction in the state, and securing the perpetuity of our excellent conftitution, ecclefiaftical and civil.

Dr. Priestley, on the other hand, objects to the interposition, or, as he calls it, interference, of the legislature, in the business of education ; affirming such interposition to be not only prejudicial to the very end and defign of education, but also to the great ends of civil societies with respect to their present utility. He maintains farther, that such interposition hath a direct tens dency to prevent all future improvement in fociety; and lastly, that it would be absolutely inconsistent with the true principles of the English government, and could not be carried into execution, to any purpose, without the ruin of our present constitution.

Our Author considers these four articles in distinct and separate sections. . With regard to the first, he doth by no means agree with Dr. Brown, that the proper design, or only object, of education is the tranquillity of the state. The immediate end of education, he obferves, is the forming of wise and virtuous men ; which is ultimately an object of the greatest importance in every ftate. If the constitution, says he, be a good one, • such men will be the greatest bulwarks of it; if it be a bad one, they will be the most able and ready to contribute to its reformation ; in either of which cases they will render it the greatest service.'

• Education, continues he, is as much an art (founded, as all arts are, upon science) as husbandry, as architecture, or as shipbuilding. In all these cases we have a practical problein proposed to us, which must be performed by the help of data with which experience and observation furnish us. The end of shipbuilding is to make the best ships, of architecture the bust houses, and of education, the best men. Now, of all arts, those stand

In his Thoughts on Civil Liberty, Licentiousness and Fa&tion:for our thoughts on which work, the Reader may turn to Vol. XXXII. Page 161.

+ In an appendix, relative to a proposed code of education, subjoined to a fermon on the female character and education.


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the fairest chance of being brought to perfection, in which there is opportunity of making the most experiments and trials, and in which there are the greatest number and variety of persons employed in making them. History and experience show, that, cæteris paribus, those arts have always, in fact, been brought the {oonelt, or the nearest to perfection, which have been placed in those favourable circumstances. The reason is, that the operations of the human mind are flow, a number of false hypotheses and conclusions always lead to the right one; and in every art, manual or liberal, a number of awkward attempts are made, before we are able to execute any thing which will bear to be fhown as a master-piece in the art; so that to establish the methods and processes of any art, before it have arrived to a state of perfection (of which no man can be a judge) is to fix it in its infancy, to perpetuate every thing that is inconvenient and awkward adhering to it, and to cut off its future growth and improvement.'

(To shew this scheme of an eftablished method of education in a clearer point of light, let us imagine, says Dr. Priestly, that what is now proposed had been carried into execution some cen. turies ago. For no reason can be assigned for fixing any mode of education at present, which might not have been made use of, with the same appearance of reason, for fixing another approved method a thousand years ago. Suppose Alfred, when he founded the university of Oxford, had made it impoffible, that the method of instruction used in his time could ever have been altered. Excellent as that method might have been, for the time in which it was instituted, it would now have been the worst method that is practised in the world. Suppose the number of the arts and fciences, with the manner of teaching them, had been fixed in this kingdom, before the revival of letters and of the arts, it is plain they could never have arrived at their present advanced atate among us. We should not have had the honour to lead the way in the most noble discoveries, in the mathematics, philofophy, astronomy, and I may add divinity to. And for the same reason, were such an establishment to take place in the present age, it would prevent all great improvements in futurity.'

With respect to the second point, our Author observes, that the great object of civil society is the happiness of the members of it, in the perfect and undisturbed enjoyment of the more imporkant of their natural rights; for the sake of which, we voluntarily give up others of less consequence to us. But, says he, whatever be the blessings of civil society, they may be bought too dear. It is cerjainly possible to sacrifice too much, at least more than is necessary to be sacrificed for them, in order to proluce the greatest sum of happiness in the community. Elle why o we complain of tyrannical and oppressive governments? Is it

pot not the meaning of all complaints of this kind, that, in such governments, the subjects are deprived of their most important natural rights, without an equivalent recompense; that all the vaJuable ends of civil government might be effectually secured, and the members of particular states be much happier upon the whole, if they did not lie under those restrictions.

• Now, of all the sources of happiness and enjoyment in human life, the domestic relations are the most constant and copious. With our wives and children we necessarily pass the greatest part of our lives. The connections of friendship are flight in comparison of this intimate domestic union. Views of interest or ambition may divide the nearest friends, but our wives and children are, in general, inseparably connected with us, and attached to us : with them all our joys are doubled, and in their affection and assiduity we find consolation under all the troubles and disquietudes of life. For the enjoyments which result from this most delightful intercourse, all mankind, in all ages, have been ready to sacrifice every thing; and for the interruption of this intercourse no compensation whatever can be made by man. What then can be more justly alarming to a man who has a true taste for happiness, than, either that the choice of his wife, or the education of his children should be under the direction of persons who had no particular knowlege of him, or particular affection for him, and whose views and maxims he might utterly disikę? What prospect of happiness could a man have with such a wife, or such children ?

• It is possible, indeed, that the preservation of some civil ro. cieties, such as that of Sparta, may require this sacrifice; but that civil society must be wretchedly constituted to stand in need of it, and had better be utterly diffolved.'

In difcufling the third article, our Author joins with Dr. Brown, in his encomiums on the British constitution, when it is compared with that of any other in the world. But, though he thinks it the best actual scheme of civil polity, he conceives there are many imperfections in it, and would be sorry to see them made perpetual.

• Dr. Brown, says he, will urge me with the authority of Plutarch, who largely extols the regulations of Egypt and of Sparta, and censures the Roman legislators for adopting nothing fimilar to them. But I beg leave to appeal from the authority of Plutarch, and of all the ancients, as by no means competent judges in this case. Imperfect as the science of government is at present, it is certainly much more perfect than it was in their time; else, the world has grown so much older to little purpose. On the authority of the ancients, Dr. Brown might as well contend for another institution of the famed Egyptians; viz. their obliging all persons to follow the occupations of their


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