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are fross violations of one of the first rules of syntax ; • that the inflammable or spirituous parts of the liquor is detained; &c. the fatal effects of excess in drinking has long been,' &c. • che low laments was heard,'
• My art thre' many a yearly round
Have kept the reliques free from harm.' The dedication to the Marchioness of Downshire begins thus:
• It might s-em arrogance in me, or the result of a design, too often imputed to dedications, to prefix your Ladyship's Name, though by permission, to those trifles, had not the circumstances that led to it gave it a distinction,' &c. Vertere stylum in tabulis is a trite but important critical precept, which no writer ever neglected with impunity, but which Mr. Boyd seems to have treated with unwise contumacy.
Art. IX. The Society of Friends, or People commonly called Quakers, examineil. By John Bristed, of the Honourable Society of the
Inner Temple. 8vo. pp. 359. 6s. Boards Mawman. l .no emotions of the liveliest gratitude will be excited among
the Friends by this examination of their principles and proceedings, they must read it with much more pleasure than dissatisfaction, with much more approbation than dissent, It is probable that Mr. Bristed's arguments on the peculiarities of the Quaker system will not be very successful : but the estimable society to which they are addressed will not fail to approve the great liberality, purity, and amiableness of mind, with which he writes, and to give him full credit for the very best intentions. Respect guides his pen; and while he endeayours to convince the Friends that in some instances their system is capable of amendment, he is not silent on the excelJence of their general character, but holds up their morality to universal imitation. He endeavours to persuade them to consider the subject of Tithes in a political rather than in a religious light; to review their objections to the ordinances of Baptism and the Communion ; to give more encouragement to public preaching in their assemblies ; to compound with their consciences in the use of the plural pronoun; to abate of the extreme singularity of their garb; to enlarge their plan of education; to allow of innocent amusements; and to conquer their prejudices against the use of January, February, &c. and of Sunday and Monday, &c. as the common names of the months of the year, and the days of the week. All his objections and expostulations, however, are lost in the warm encomium which he bestows on them for the christian simplicity of their worship,
and the exemplariness of their moral conduct. Their abhor. rence of oaths, and their aversion from gaming and field sports, are noticed with praise; while the tendency of their plan of education to generate amiable qualities, and of their whole system to form valuable members of society, are just grounds for Mr. B.'s extreme partiality to the society of Friends : of whom he says, I have no words sufhciently forcible to represent the swelling sensations of my soul, when I contemplate the high standard of morality erected by the Society of Friends. Honesty, decency, sobriety, moral restraint, abhorrence of all violence and blood, charity, kindness, benevolence, and a long catalogue of other virtues, claim the applause and the approbation of all the human race to be poured in one full tide of tributary gratitude and admiration towards the disciples of Barclay. To this warm testimony of applause, he adds, “Let my life be the life of the Friends, and let my last end be like theirs.'
Into this Essay, which professes in the title to be merely an examination of the principles of a particular society, Mr. Bristed has introduced subjects of general interest, and discussed them at considerable length. Distinct dissertations are inserted on the fatal effects of Ignorance, and on the importance of Knowlege. These are followed by a detailed plan of Education, and by remarks on our Poor Laws. Mr. Bristed's observations are so manly and sational, that we wishi he had assigned these parts of the present volume to a separate publication. His hints on the subject of education are deseru, ing of general attention, for if young persons could be trained up on bis plan, they could not fail of becoming valuable men. The following remarks on the necessity of application are not only just, but cannot be too often enforced ; since habits of industry are essential to the improvement, virtue, and comfort of the individual.
* The pupil should be early taught that industry is the foundation of all power, both national and individual; that the weight of mighty empires rests entirely upon the shoulders of productive labour, But, in order to bring it more home to liis own business and bosom, let it be earnestly inculcated on his mind, that no enjoyment or ad. vantage on earth can be obtained without long continued, and steadily directed previous exertion.
• This truth is the more necessary to be enforced, hecause, unfortunately for the interests of humanity, it is a too generaliy received opinion, that it is only incumbent on comparatively slow and weak minds, to labour and to toil, and that men of quick and of brilliant ialents can perform whatsoever they list by mere tits and starts of ex. ertion, without having recourse to patient industry But it is now full time that such a dangerous mistake should be swept away, and ob..
Literated from the tablets of recorded error, and that men should be taught to know, that without undivided and vigorous application, nothing is great, nothing is strong ; that men of genius have no other way of acquiring knowledge than by that of attention and observation, and that without labour and diligence, without directing all the efforts and all the exertions of intellect to one great point, the brightest abilities spend their fires to no purpose, and the most exalted understandings shine only as momentary meteors, whose feeble and divergescent rays shed a faint and a feeting gleam, and are then for ever shrouded in the thickest night, and involved in tile most impenetrable darkness.'
We shall subjoin to this extract Mr. B.'s comment on History, as it is and as it ought to be written, not because it is new, but because it exhibits a trait of the bencvolence of his mind.
• It were much to be wished, that history could be somewhat diverted from her present course into her proper channel, namely, the consideration of the manners and condition of the great mass of the people at different periods of time; marking out the causes which have retarded or accelerated the progressive inarch of the human intellect towards a higher degree of perfection; and dwelling more slightly upon the atrocities of those who “wade througlı slaughter to a throne, and shut the gates of mercy on mankind," who **
cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war," whose steps are traced in the blood of myriads of their fellow creatures, and whose progress is ' marked only by the desolation of the fairest provinces of the earth. These horrible transactions, which are a libel on the understanding and the virtue of mankind, should be passed over rapidly, and with expressions of abhorrent ; while onr chief attention should be directed by the historian to those means by which the knowledge, the happiness, and the virtues of mankind, have been augmented and advanced
• Put is this the line of condnet which historians pursue ? No. They are continually endeavouring to instil into our minds an admiration and envy of the honour and the glory of warlike nations ; that is, in other words, the butchery and murder of mighty empires Read the histories of Greece, of Rome, of Fravce, of England, and you will read little else but one continued scries of bloodshed and of murder. And these are célebrated by their historians as splendid, brilliant, powerful nations ; but where does the phrase happy nation occur in the records of these sages of literature ? Happiness dwelleth only in the tents of peace and of virtue: she is frightened from those spois where the sounding of the clarion to battle, and the trampling of armed hoofs is heard, where the blood-red banner of milicary de. solation is seen ta float upon the wings of the wind.
•Where are the historians who have been influenced by this hallowed and sacred truth? Have not all been chiefly intenton describing battles, and victories, and armies, and triumphs; rather seeking to afix the Dames of great and gloricus, than of just an:1 good, to kingdoms and to empires? Have thicy not bequeathed to posterity a mass of gorge. bus arisery, and in sustriously varnished over the evils and the horrors
of sanguinary and tumultuous revolutions? Have they not hidden the deformity of vice from our eyes, by throwing over it the splendid veil of genius?
On the topics of mathematics and philosophy, Mr. B. sometimes goes out of his depth. At p. 206, he says:
• Perhaps one of the greatest errors into which mankind have fallen, is the application of the mere mathematical method of reasoning to physics ; from which must inevitably result a partial conclusion from partial premises : as if a mau should reason thus :-animals have cars -but a fish is an animal, therefore fishes hear: he would be miserably mistaken in his mode of argumentation, because he totally dis. regards the difference of the mediums in which land animals and fishes live, their different structures, and the different purposes which they were intended to serve in the æconomy of nature.'
What is here meant by a mathematical method of reasoning, it is difficult to conceive. The argument is logical, but it is bad logic, and the conclusion which Mr. B. would resist is philosophically correct. If fish possess any parts analogous to our organs of hearing, and they live in a medium capable of vibrations, similar to the air with which we are surrounded, it is very natural to believe that fish enjoy the faculty of hearing.
These pages are besprinkled with poetic extracts; and Beattie's Minstrel in particular is laid under heavy contribution. The whole, we are informed, was written between the hours of twelve at midnight and two in the morning, after toilsome days spent in a special-pleader's office, with a frame enfeebled hy disease, and with a heart saddened and depressed. Indeed, Mr. B. gives so affecting a picture of himself, that it is impossible not to pity him. By the deepest contrition, he amply atones for the sweeping satire and personal sarcasm which he indulged in a former publication, called the Adviser ; (see Rev.Vol. xliii. N.S. p. 334) of which work a friend of Mr. B. was reported to be the author, but to which, it afterward appeared, he was only a partial contributor; Mr. Bristed being in fact the writer of it.
ART. X. The Reports of the Society for bettering the Condition and
increasing the Comforts of the Poor. Vol. IV. - or Nos. XIX XXIV. 8vo. 18. each Number. Harchard, Becket, &c.
in tures of the civil and religious institutions under which Providence has given them birth; and their sentiments and habits are moulded by the faith, laws, and usages of their
For our account of Vol. III. see M. R. Vol. xlv. N. S. p. 422.
country. Hence arises the difference observable between people of different nations, and hence we may account for their traits of moral character. Exceptions may be made to all general rules: but causes, which universally operate on the great mass of the people, as regularly produce their effects as any cause in the physical world. If, therefore, the institutioos of society possess any radical defects, and the general system pervading any of its departments be faulty, the efforts of individuals to resist it can be merely local and temporary. The force with which the system acts is steady and constant on every part of the vast machine ; while the individual opposing force acts only as a solitary impulse, or at most as detached impulses, and not on the spring or master-wheel, but on the remote and subordinate parts of the machinery. Whenever,consequently, private persons form themselves into societies, and endeavour either to stem the torrent of national vice or to remove the causes of national misery, it is always found that the good which they accomplish is very circumscribed, and that the momentum of evil ultimately overpowers the enthusiasm of the virtuous. On this ground, much as we applaud the Society for bettering the Condition and increasing the Comforts of the Poor, and willing as we are to afford them our assistance in their benevolent occupations, we cannot foster any sanguine expectation that the general condition of the Poor will be bettered by their limited exertions. To a certain extent, and indeed, in some places, good will be effected; and to the Christian this thought will be a source of pleasing reflection, while he may despair of mending the world, or of driving poverty and vice out of it.
In an introductory letter to this volume, addressed to Mr. Addington (now Lord Sidmouth), Mr. Bernard proposes to benefit the Poor, by the prevention of vice and contagion, by the promotion of virtue and industry, and by the diffusion of moral and religious education. Under the first of these heads, he notices the pernicious effects which the general sale of ardent spirits, annual lotteries, and the unmeasured and unregulated extension of manufactures, have on the morals and condition of the Poor: but, while the laws encourage these pests, and the government derives a profit from ardent spirits and lotteries, the established evil will continue to operate generally, though an individual may succeed in preventing the sale of ardent spirits in a country village over which his power extends. A clergyman, by uncommon assiduity, may reform the poor of his parish, and render their condition comfortable: buc if the Law does not favor the poor, the general scale of their morality and happiness will be low.' A lottery not only lega8+