« FöregåendeFortsätt »
powerfully influential upon the conduct, and evinced their complete and undisputed energy upon his.
In extracting from the Works of Dr. Good in the Second Section, I have been guided principally by motives of utility. A few quotations will be found connected with matters of taste; but the greater proportion of them are devoted to purposes of instruction. The diversity of pursuits towards which Dr. Good directed his powerful talents, has enabled me, without neglecting to do justice to my Friend, to present a corresponding variety in the passages selected; and several of them will, I trust, be read with considerable interest and profit. I have drawn most largely from the works which, from their magnitude and nature, seemed least likely to have met with a very general perusal. I should, however, have quoted more from the Medical works, which are as entertaining, as I am assured they are instructive and valuable, were it not that I was afraid of giving wider scope to a judgment, of necessity ill-informed upon topics of medical science and practice. I shall be thankful, if, in the little which I have ventured to say on these subjects, I may have given no cause to Dr. Good's numerous medical friends to complain that his professional character has been incorrectly pourtrayed : that it has been sketched inadequately, notwithstanding the suggestions with which I have been favoured, I am quite aware.
The extent of my quotations from Dr. Good's preliminary dissertation to his Translation of the Book of Job, will probably be regarded by some as of questionable propriety. Yet his account of the nature, scope, and intention of this most curious portion of Sacred Writ, seemed at once so valuable and so unsusceptible of satisfactory abridgment, that I thought it better to present it with slight omissions, than to run the risk of rendering it useless by an imperfect abstract. It has this peculiar advantage, that it will serve equally well as an instructive introduction to any translation of the book of Job; its references not being necessarily restricted to Dr. Good's own translation.*
Since the following sheets were printed, I perceive that the Editors of the “ Encyclo. pædia Metropolitana,” in their account of Job, have quoted more fully than I have, from Dr. Good's Preliminary Dissertation. It is ratifying to have my estimate of its value thus confirmed by theirs; and I do not think that the circumstance of the similarity of their extracts to those which I have made, in works of such different magnitudes, and designed for such different classes of readers, need occasion any regret.
While I have been anxious to do justice to the intellectual and literary character of my deceased Friend, and to invite the young and the aspiring to an imitation of his varied excellencies in these respects; I have kept in view another object, which to me seems infinitely higher. If the right direction of the mental powers be momentous, the right direction of the heart and the affections is greatly more momentous; and the world will never be so happy as it is capable of becoming, nor, in my judgment, the intellectual powers so completely exfoliated, or so extensively applied, as they are susceptible of being, until this great truth is felt, and reduced to universal operation. The verities of things are fixed, and many of them so positively and irrevocably fixed, that no station can be found, on which to invent or to! declare a supposed intermediate truth. The alternatives must be taken, whether we will or not. Either there is a God, or there is no God:–Either man is fallen from his primitive state, or he is not :-Either our souls are immortal, or they are not :Either human creatures are accountable, or they are not :Either the Scriptures constitute a revelation from God, or they are impostures :-Either we must believe and obey them, or we must take all the consequences of a deliberate rejection :-Either religion is supreme in the heart, or it has not produced its announced effect, and we have no right to anticipate its announced rewards and privileges, either here or hereafter. The Bible presents itself as God's Book : of which, amongst others, there is this evidence, that it tells us, with a consistent, rational authority, what He is doing, has been doing, and will do, and for what purpose ;-what we must do, what we must believe, nay, whom we must believe, and on whom we must alone rely; where we must look for strength and consolation ; and what is the necessary, the inevitable consequence of rejecting that which abounds, which glows, with proofs that it is a communication from heaven for man's good. On these, and many connected points, we submit to a voluntary descent below the dignity of reasonable beings, if we remain content in a state of fluctuation, or in any thing short of that position of stability, which, by the grace of God, every man may
attain. are the excursions of intellect, rich as are the discoveries and
conquests of genius, and delightful as are the fruits and flowers that may be gathered in the fields of literature and science; still it is a man's own fault, if he does not know more of what it is essential for him to know with regard to religion, than he can of any subject of merely human research ; and if he does not arrive at a more exalted as well as more durable enjoyment. The sooner he is convinced of this, the wiser and the happier he will be.
From these considerations, and others which are intimately interwoven with them, I have given greatest prominency to that which appeared to me of paramount interest, by tracing the religious character of my deceased Friend : I have not attempted to embody it in a single sketch; but have aimed to mark its most striking features, and have made his own language, as preserved in numerous letters and other papers, throughout subservient to the delineation. As I have proceeded, I have unhesitatingly avowed my own opinions on this most important of all subjects; being fully persuaded, that in a matter of such immense moment, candour is especially desirable. The reader will the more readily determine how much or how little the sentiments of the author may have affected his narrative; or how far, with a prevailing desire to be sincere, correct, and faithful, he may deserve entire credit.
On three or four occasions I have entered into disquisition : not, however, I hope, in a way that will draw the thoughts of the reader from the topics which have respectively suggested the inquiries; but rather with a view to invite attention (even where I may not have been so fortunate as to scatter any fresh light) to subjects of importance, in reference to which serious errors have prevailed. If, by the perusal of these Memoirs, a single individual who has been careless as to intellectual or religious improvement, shall be excited to the appropriate love and pursuit of knowledge in its various departments, valuing most, and most ardently pursuing, that which is most elevated and transforming, I shall not have written in vain.
Royal Military Academy,
January 29th, 1828.
Mr. Bosworth in the Panto-
11 Mr. Good contributes to the
Dr. Good's account of its nature Metrical translation of Psalm
225 Correspondence with his mi-
Physiological Nosology, 232 Extract from an essay on Hap-
Quotation, on distortion of the The Resting Place, .
Another, on Paropsis Cataracta, 255 Bible,
288 Selections from his Occasional
superiority of the religious to On, And as he reasoned of
Notes extracted from his inter Appendix to Sect. III. Dr.
357 Good's Sketch of the Charac-