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me-And if they were to drill in Militia; though on such workingthe afternoon; what with cleaning days they might be much more protheir arms and brushing up their fitably employed both for themaccoutrements and preparing them- selves and their country. And that selves by a hearty dinner, they no religious pretence should be lest could not have any leisure before- for opposing the progress and exehand for public worship. So it is cution of the bill; proper clauses much better for them to think of were inserted for the relief of Quakone thing instead of two: and to se- ers.” (8vo. ed. of 1800. vol. iv. p. cond the wishes of the legislature by 46.) Between ourselves, Mr. Editor, making the most of Sunday. Be- I have since thought that if the sides," added he, “ Papists beyond Scotch Apothecary had had his wits sea make no difficulty about such about him, he might have done things, nor about playing at cards something towards standing his on Sundays: and why are we to be ground by denying that the day was more superstitious than they?” In- spent in his country in the manner dced he could not bear persons who described; and by asking his oppointimated an opinion that it might nent whether Sunday drilling was have been as well to select a week- the best way of curing such evils day for drilling. He told me with here: great delight and triumph how he It is true that I should return from had silenced a Scotch apothecary of this Parson to my own Rector. the place, who had shewn himself Whenever I met him, which I never of that way of thinking, and had did willingly, he really looked so boasted of the compliment paid in kindly, though I had left his church Parliament to his nation when Sun- and was threatening him with a day drilling was ordered, by pro- law suit; that I could scarcely help ducing to him a passage in a Scotch feeling at the moment some little historian, one Doctor Sinollet, where- regard for him.
Then he was so in that worthy divine, as no doubt attentive to the poor, especially if he was, writes as if he had pur- they were sick, and so liberal among posely tried to make his modern them; that, although I was concountrymen ashamed of their scru. vinced that all was hollow at the ples. As yon may like to have the bottom, I could hardly bring mypassage ready upon occasion, I will self to think quite so ill of his projust observe (the clergyman having ceedings as I was satisfied that I provided me with a copy of it) that ought. The parish too became beit is where the reverend Doctor is yond dispute more orderly through giving an account of the year 1757,
means. Less damage was done and trimming a parcel of Dissenters to my plantations: and the depreand Churchmen who were afraid dations on my game seemed less that Parliament might order the Mi- extensive. There was one circumlitia to drill on Sundays, and there- stance however, which strongly atfore petitioned against it. “Though tracted my notice. A beautiful litnothing," he goes on,
“ could be tle river runs through my estate, more ridiculously fanatic and im- and the Rector was frequently obpertinent than a declaration of such served taking a solitary walk along a scruple against a practice so lauda- its banks: sometimes standing still, ble and necessary, in a country as if he was thinking about somewhere that day of the week is gene- thing; sometimes looking at the rally spent in merry-making, riot, water; sometimes bringing out a and debanchery: the House paid so snug pocket book and fumbling in much regard to the squeamish con- it and then putting it back again. sciences of those puritanical peti. People fancied that he was pondertioners, that Monday was pitched ing about his sermons: but for my upon for the day of exercise to the own part I shrewdly suspected that
he was watching his opportunities been exchanged, he began of himto wire a pike or tickle a trout. One self upon the subject of his sermon, day after dinner I was walking and told me that he had been much down to this river, as I was accus- concerned to understand that I had tomed often to do, with a general taken his preaching amiss. I asked eye to the protection of its inhabi. him abruptly, whether he thought tants for my own angle-rod and any person liked being preached at? casting net. All at once I saw a He replied, certainly not: but dedark coloured coat lying at a little sired solemnly to assure me that he distance from me on the bank; and had never preached at myself nor heard a rustling among the long at any one else. As I knew that he grass and weeds on the margin of was aware that I could make nothing the stream. I stole nearer; and of a prosecution and had therefore there I discovered the Rector, in laid aside all thoughts of it; and behis waistcoat, lying flat on his breast, ing also mollified by his manner, close to the water, on the root of an and by finding that he had enteralder, where I had been that very tained no designs against the great morning for half an hour watching chub; I gave some degree of crea chub of three pounds, and twist- dit to this declaration respecting ing myself into all sorts of postures myself. And as to his preaching at among the branches for the sake of other people, I never had seriously becoming thoroughly acquainted suspected him of it. He went on with its hold. There, Sir, lay the to say that, in preaching a set of Rector, with his shirt-sleeve tucked afternoon sermons on the early chaup to his shoulder, and groping with racters described in the Bible, he his naked arm under the bushes. had taken Nimrod among the rest, My first impulse, and I am astonished as shewing the effects of violence that I did not follow it, was to rush and tyranny; but certainly without forward and tumble him headlong the most remote idea that any rein. But a thought struck me, that semblance would be supposed beI would deliberately enjoy his con- tween that character and mine. fusion on detection. So I crept And he appealed to my own recolnearer still. And just when I was lection whether he had not preached got up to him, he was withdrawing for several Sundays before, sermons his arm from the bottom; and at the on the characters prior to Nimrod, same instant I perceived below the beginning with Adam: and added surface that yellow gleam, which, that, though I had left the church, if you were a fisherman, you would I should learn, if I would enquire of often have seen glancing from the others, that he had gone on regularly side of a trout in high season, when with his plan, and was now got bringing out of the water. I could down to Rehoboam. I had nothing scarcely contain myself: when all to say against this statement, but in a moment, springing nimbly up, told him that, if he intended to do he turned round, perceived me, step- good, he should make such sermons ped up to me, and putting into my as no person could think were meant hand my gold watch, assured me against him. He answered mothat he thought himself fortunate destly, that whatever good might be in having chanced to see it in the thought likely to be the consewater and to recover it. The con- quence, to proceed on such a plan fusion, Mr. Editor, was now all on would be, he believed, impossible. my side. I thanked him in much “ For how, Sir," said he, “ could I embarrassment: he put on his coat: preach at all? Were I to discourse and we walked homewards silently on pride, some of my hearers, whom together. At last, after three or I need not name to you, might four short sentences, separated from think the sermon was meant against each other by long intervals, had them. Were drunkenness noticed,
the case would be the same with cause an individual to be singled others. A third set might equally out by others as a person aimed at. suppose themselves designed, were But I hope that I should cherish as I speaking of profaneness." He en- great anxiety in every case so to larged also on other instances of a preach as to cause, if it may please doctrinal nature. I really thought God, that individual to feel as comall this sounded reasonable: and I ing home to himself every part of asked him what method he con- the sermon which is suited to his ceived that he must pursue. “I state. I wish not to make him known think, Sir," he replied, that the to others. But unless I am enabled only method which I can pursue
to make him known to himself, my consistently with my duty as a mi- preaching and his hearing are nister of Christ, and with any hope thrown away.” This conversation of being made useful to my parish- brought us to my door; and I rejoners, is that which I now endea- joiced at his acceptance of my invivour to follow. My aim is to press tation to come in. Our discourse upon my people the only appointed during the remainder of the evening method of salvation for fallen man contributed, I trust, to make me betthrough the atonement and grace of ter acquainted with myself. We our incarnate Redeemer: to de now see each other frequently: and scribe all sin in its nature, in its the parting is on my side always heinousness, and in its consequen- with regret. And it was not withces, faithfully, as it is described in out satisfaction that I yesterday the word of God: and to guide the overheard a very worthless man, understandings and consciences of with whose sneers and slanders reall persons present to apply what specting the Rector I am ashamed they have heard, every one for him- to say that I have heretofore been self to his own case. I preach against pleased, declare that he believed sins, not against persons. I would the Squire would be, after all, a mein every case most anxiously avoid thodist. preaching in such a manner as to
REVIEW OF NEW PUBLICATIONS.
The Principles of Moral Science, by to discuss all the metaphysical ques.
Robert Forsyth, Esq. Advocate. tions which the perusal of this book Vol. 1. Edinburgh, Bell and Brad- may be apt to suggest. But, es fute ; London, Longman, 1805. cepting as far as relates to the au8vo. pp. 520.
thor's idea of the ultimate object of Critique on Forsyth's Principles of human actions, we intend to consider
Moral Science in the Edinburgh his opinions morally rather than Revier, No. 14, p. 413.
metaphysically; to examine them, Having, in a late number, entered with a reference, not to the philointo some very abstruse speculations suphy of the human mind, but to the on the origin of moral evil, we are Holy Scriptures. almost fearful of surfeiting our Entirely as we disapprove of Mr. readers with metaphysics ; nor Forsyth's philosophy, we must alshould we now molesť them with low him to possess vigour and oriany strictures on Mr. Forsyth's ginality of thought. His vigour book, did we suppose it necessary however, if not consili crpers, is at
least exceedingly mismanaged; and, have forgotten, a fact which we in estimating the intellectual cha- have hitherto supposed to be famiracter of his writings, we should liarly known to a very large proporascribe thein to a mind of unlimited tion of the fifteen millions, that self-confidence, considerable rapidi- constitute the population of this ty, tolerable acuteness, and no accu- united Kingdom : --we mean, that racy. If it be true, according to this several of the most distinguished of author's favourite dogma, that virtue the ancient philosophers (Socrates, consists in improving our own intel- Plato, Pythagoras, Aristotle, Cicero) lect, and that of others, then he is disapproved of suicide, and that certainly a man of virtue, though not some of them have left this fact atsuperlatively virtuous. That he has tested under their own hands. Any exercised his own mental powers, of the numerous common-placehis work itself testifies; and we books which are at once the offspring will venture to predict that he will and the destroyers of modern litealso improve the wisdom of his rature will inform him of this fact, readers: but it will be much in the and also, we believe, that some of same manner in which he himself the ancient legislators punished declares that poisonous plants im- suicide, as our laws punish it, with prove the wisdom of mankind, -by posthumous disgrace. If the same “ teaching them caution ;” and his assertion cannot be made of the work will henceforth class with Jewish Scriptures(which, we should lions, whom Mr. Forsyth defines to observe, very seldom descend into be“ valuable instruments of provie the details of casuistry), and if the dence for promoting intellectual crime in question is, for whatever improvement !" The Arabic lan- reasons, no where prohibited in the guage is said to contain some hun. Mosaic law, still we submit that its dreds of different appellatives for a unlawfulness is deducible from the lion; but we do not believe this noble Old Testament on principles someanimal has ever before been desig- what similar to those which Dr. nated as a promoter of intellectual im- Paley so ably, and we think so fairly, provement.
applies in collecting the same inBut we wish there were nothing ference from the New. in this publication, calculated to ex- The very second sentence in Mr. cite more painful feelings than Forsyth's book contains another of those that express themselves by a his careloss positions. « The scismile. Before however we point ence of morals (he very arbitrarily out the reprehensible parts of the affirms) differs from every other scisystem which it maintains, it may ence in this, that it is not occupied be observed that the precipitancy in the investigation of what is, or of with which this author dogmatises, what actually exists in the world ; and the daring serenity with which but in the discovery of what ought he hammers very positive conclu- to be, or of what ought to exist.” sions out of the most imperfect data, Surely a minute's reilection would are conspicuous in some instances have suggested to a man of Mr. Fornot immediately connected with the syth's acuteness, that this distincpeculiarities of his philosophy. tion is purely imaginary. The Speaking of suicide, for example, science of morals, like all other scihe says ; "it is a singular circum- ences, is, strictly speaking, converstance, that no ancient writer, among sant only about what is, that is, the Greeks, the Romans, or the about facts; but again, all other Jews, has expressed any disappro- sciences, like the science of morals, bation of it.” Possibly this might in their application to practice, lead be singular, if it were true ; but is it to directions about what ought to not still more singular that Mr. Forbe, or rather what ought to be syth should act have heard, or should done, that is, they lead to rules,
Moral science, therefore, may be because in improving their faculcontrasted with practical morals, or ties, we facilitate the improvement ethics, precisely as astronomical or of our own, by providing ourselves physical science, may be contrasted both with a field of exertion and with practical astronomy, or prace with fellow-labourers ; and because tical mechanics. It is curious that mind is the most excellent thing in Mr. Forsyth had made this discovery, the universe, and therefore the difwhen he wrote his chapter entitled fusion of mind must be the most exA speculative and active life com- cellent object of action. pared, where he, in effect, com- Most other systems of moral phipletely contradicts his unlucky doc- losophy, the author of the present trine about the distinction between system asserts, err in two ways. the science of morals and other “ So far as they represent happiness sciences.
as the proper object of human purThese specimens may prove that, suit, they send us upon a vain cha se in censuring our author as a preci- to catch a rainbow.”-“ So far as pitate reasoner, we are not ourselves they represent propriety or reaprecipitate. And now, without far- sonableness of conduct as the great ther loss of time, let us proceed to rule of moral action, they are defecgive a compendious account of his tive, inasmuch as they afford no philosophy
precise measure by which this proThe ultimate object of human priety or reasonableness can be judge pursuit, ought, this author thinks, ed of.” Some philosophers have reto be the improvement, first, of our garded benevolence, and others have own intellectual faculties, and, next, set up sympathy, as the great moral of those of mankind in general. In-law of conduct ; but' “ neither betellectual excellence consists in a nevolence nor sympathy, nor any capacity to judge clearly, and a ca- other involuntary feeling, can ever pacity to act vigorously ; or in wise be justly regarded as a rule of condom and self-command. Wisdom duet ;" since such feelings require, discerns proper objects of pursuit, in a thousand instances, to be trained and proper means of pursuing them; and set right by reason, and nothing self-command or fortitude pursues can be an ultimate rule, which itself these objects with steadiness. To requires to be ruled. promote the progressive advance
But though, in speculation, hapment of ourselves and others towards piness has been generally considerthe perfection of intellectual excel ed as the most valuable object of lence, is virtue.
human pursuit, yet in practice, we The desire of happiness has been find that men seldom approve, eigenerally regarded as the primum ther in themselves or in others, mobile of human actions : Mr. For- actions performed on this principle; syth thinks, improperly. Our ulti- and on the contrary, that they greatmate object ought not, he says, to ly admire a heroic contempt of be happiness, but intellectual im- pain, and a vigorous prosecution of provement ; because we cannot ma- enterprises attended with hazard terially increase our happiness, and toil, and issuing in misery. while iutellectual advancement is Thus the feeling of mankind, Mr. without limit; and because such Forsyth contends, is, after all, in seems to have been the design of his favour. providence in forming the world, The Deity neither wills the hapwhich is full of natural evils, hos- piness of mankind nor their misetile to perfect happiness, but admi- ry. His sale object is to promote, rably adapted to sharpen our facul- by every method, their intellectual ties. As we should improve our improvement. Pain and pleasure own intellect, so ought we to im- are instruments in his hands for this prove, if possible, those of others ; purpose, and instruments wbich he