Sidor som bilder

dérant cette passion comme le germe du savoir, je pense qu'on er secüeilli plus d'excellens que de mauvais fruits.

ASTRE E. Thalie paroit n'être pas persuadée de ceci.

THALIE. Qui peut, en effet, refléchir sur les maux dans lesquels nos pré. miers parens nous ont plongés fans blamer la curiosité?

AG I A E. Helas! leur tentation fut bien grande!

JAN V S. Et leur crime ne consistat pas dans le defir de devenir savans, mais dans leur desobeillance au coinmandement divin.

E UP HROS Y N E. Tout bien consideré, la curiofité peut être comparée à un coursier indompié, auquel il faut un cavalier ausfi fort qu'adroit." ..

PHILEMON. Et qu'on ne fauroit confier à la main foible d'une femme, témoin la defaitreuse Pandore.

BAUCIS. On accuse injustement Pandore, pour avoir le plaisir de parler mat de noire sexe ; puisque ce fut son mari Epimethée qui ouvroit le boëre fatale, d'où se répandirent sur la terre tous les maux qui nous affligent.

EUPHROS Y N E. Et au fond de laquelle, quoi qu'on en dise, l'espérance ne resta pas ; car heureusement le genre humain en poffede une bonne doze.

ASTREE. On apperçoit aisément dans cette fable, ainsi que dans plusieurs autres des païens, la vénérable tradition de la vérité, ce qui doit nous convaincre que la curiosité est la premiére cause de nos malheurs. ,

JANUS. Je nic pas que la curiosité n'entraine quelque fois de grands maux après-clle, mais je foutiens qu'elle donne à l'esprit la force de les fupporter ; ce que je pourrois prouver par une fable, qui n'est pas dénouée de sens mysterieux si elle n'eroit si fort connue qu'elle en a perdù les charmes de la nouveauté.”

The second volume contains Dialogues-On Friendship, exemplified in the history of an Athenian and of a Roman familyOn Anger, illustrated by a Frenchman of quality retired from the world-On Cruelty, an Eastern tale-On Avarice; the history of two Genoese merchants-On Sloth; the two Islands.

Of the English part of this work, we thall select the introduction to the last tale.


ASTREA. We have traced the passions inherent in us to their sources, and taken a review of the muddy channels which have been drawn froin


shem ; but where shall we find the origin of Sloth Shall we ascribe it to the weak construction of our material form ? this would lead us to the very opposite conclusion ; for, who can see man so helpless against want, to defenceless against aflaults, so disabled for attack, and, in short, one of the most destitute of all creatures in respect of bodily qualifications, without concluding, that the mental power which moves and directs such a machine ought to be perpetually exerted ? It is, in fact, to supply these necessities peculiar to our being, that we are endued with Itronger faculties and a clearer reason than the beasts, and possess, unrivalled by them, 'the gift of an imagination which knows no bounds. Who, then, after having conlidered all this, can say whence Sloth springs i

POLLUX. It must be from the reasons hinted at by Thalia ; that is to say, from the disgust and fear which seize on an honest and timorous mind in reflecting upon the odious excesses of the pallions.

BAUCIS. You speak as if reason was not given to us as a ruler over these paflions.

E U PH ROSYNE, As reason seems to be a very weak sovereign, I do not know if it would not be better that she should contrive to lull asleep her turbu. lent subjects, instead of endeavouring to keep them under a yoke which they so often shake off, to the great detriment of mankind.

And what would then fill the annals of the world?

Τ Η Α Ι 1 Α. I would rather find every page of them a blank, than the records of all sorts of wickedness.

JANUS. I am so far from being of your opinion, that I would chuse to be branded by posteriry as one of the most cruel tyrants, rather than have the nameful epithet of Nuggard added to my name, as a whole race of kings have had, who nepr on the throne of France.

AGLAIA. This, Janus, is a flight of your pride, in which we are not obliged to foltow you, when we are seeking for the firm ground of good sense.

CASTOR. The defire of being remeinbered after our death is so universal, that I cannot help thinking it must have some purpose.

ASTRE A. It is undoubtedly given us as a syur to accelerate our pace in the snad to that immortality which is attained by great and laudable actions. :

PHILEMON. And, consequently, as an antidole against the subile poison of Sloth. Yes; this pride of being spoken of in future ages, which, however, Janus carries ico far, tas its principle in nature. We are lo conscious that Sloth degrides our beingthat we cannot help looking on those we sufpect of that vice with contempt, and glorying in an active life. To this involuntary difpofition of our mind we muft ascribe the scorn and rebuke that poverty meets with, when equity and charity' come not to her help; when infenfibility is left in full power to judge, and to call that idleness which is very often only misfortune."


On the whole, we may recommend these Dialogues, as being. what they are expressly called, truly moral and entertaining.

A Theological Survey of the Human Understanding. Intended as an - Antidote against Modern Deism. 8vo. 5. Hodson, Salisbury:

Wallis and Stonehouse, London. :: To this survey is prefixed the following Proem, setting forth its general design, and the manner in which that design is executed.

. p R o E M. . "The doctrine of divine grace communicated to the mind of man, by the Almighty, being rejected of those who disbelieve written revelation; it is the design of this piece, è contrà, to investigare and deiend such docirine, on certain known principles of reason; to die veft it of every wild entbutiaftic inference; and to delineate the religion of reason and nature (including grab,) in' a muhod as nearly synthetical as pothble, and on å plan entirely new; the whole being interspersed with various reflections. Many passages are drawn from scripture, as concurrenr: these are thrown into large parenthelisus, after the manner of Scholia; the lines of which, each, at its 'begioning, is pointed úith an alterisk, to the votent that the reader from rime to time may perteire by his eye, when he is reading the main Cargumeot; and when only a comment. It is intended likewise, that the syllogisms, which the reader will find in this piece, Thail quadrate, in point of utility and clearness, with the algebraic equations of mathematicians. · From this promise of peculiar precision, the reader will of course expect much casuiftical nicety in the course of the work.

Indeed, the writer does not want dexterity in the artificial me'thod of splitting the hair-breadth differences of theological

controversy. He appears, however, to be a little wanting in that natural funplicity of argument, which leads the philosopher back to the genuine first principles of huma: krowledge. The subjects treated of, are, nevertheless, on the whole, as.cųrious in themselves as thcy are curiously handled; although we klo not deem the writer's arguments fo convincing and conclufive as they are ingenious and singular.



· The work is divided into four chapters, under the following heads: the first on Nature and Interpofitions.-Second, on Divine Love,- Third, on the true Foundation of Theology.-Fourth, on Human Nature. To which is added, what the author calls, a Psychological Stricture.-Referring the logical and theological reader to the work itself, for the particulars of what is advanced in the three first chapters, we shall give a spev cimen of the author's force and mode of ratiocination from the fourth chapter on hunian nature; being persuaded that, with respect to readers in general at least, the poet is in the right, who says

** The proper study of mankind is man? To the right understanding of even this chapter, however, it is previously necessary to mention the general design of the preceding; which is briefly summed up at the end of the third, in the following corollary.

COROLLA RY III. << Seeing the generality of mankind, have ever assented to the doc. trine of the existence of a God, and the immortality of the soul, in a manner inuch stronger than could be expected, were they guided principally by oral or written tradition; by hope or fear; by ratiocina. tion; or even by all these conjointly; they are therefore influenced thus to affent, by a spiritual senjation, organ, or medium in the mind ; adapted to che perception of those celestial objects; in like manner, as is the eye to colours, and the ear to sounds. And it appears, finally, that this divine energy in the human understanding, is, THE TRUE FOUNDATION OF THEOLOGY." • It is this “ divine energy, spiritual sensation, organ or me« dium in the mind,” which our author denominates a supernatural something in man, which answers the end of what some other writers stile the efficacy of divine grace.-As to the natural part of man, he makes it out to be fomething infernatural indeed. But it is impossible to do this writer justice in any other words than his own.

“ In my laît chapter, I fully demonstrated a divine principle in the mind of map : but, alas ! in adjusting the question above recited, a scene of another kind will open to our view ; nothing less, than the corruption of the world; the depravation of human nature; and the eviction of an evil principle in the mind likewise; at perpetual strife with the good, for the empire of the human understanding: the discusfion of these articles being inevitably blended with my principal Lubject; I shall, therefore, speak of them, as occasion offers. And First; * $. 2. The corruption of the world, is so evident, that it scarcely Vol. V.


needs a description. The ancient heathen were fu sensible of the depravity of human nature, that their poets, under the fi&tion of the goldcn, the filver, the brazen, and the iron ages, have pointed out, in The most beautiful language, the gradual lapse of the aborigines of mankind, from a life of perfect ipnocence and felicity, into a ilate of wickedoefs and misery. Indeed, we fee, from dismal experience, that the greater part of mankind, are fo far from being good and vir: tuows, that they don't fo much as defire or intend to be fo.

" If we take a survey of wild and barbarous nations; the blackest vices offend our eyes : revenge, there, with all its cruel arts, trium. phaot reigos; accompanied with fraud and violence of cvery kind, continually to rouse it: and liberty, the birth-right of every mortal! is wrested from whole empires at once, for ayes foger her,

so But we need not travel to diftant climes, in quet of human de. pravity ; there is abundant evidence of it nearer home, in civilized nations; and nearer Bill, reader;-eyen in thine own breaft.-And yer as wicked az the actions of mankind are; it is probably but a small portion of what might be expected, were the restraint of the magis frate's sword removed; which, like a dam, prevents a mighty inun dation of iniquity from overflowing the worl},

" But would we know human nature without restraint? we must visit the palaces of arbitrary princes, and lawless grandees: generally, of all men living, the most abandoned. Nera, and certain other Roman Emperors, I pass over in tilunce, as being well known : but shall, however, instance Muley Abdollah, late Emperor of Morocca, with his father Muley Ismael, the preceding Emperor ; both of whom, from mere wantonness, flew thousands of their subjects, with their own hands; and seem in all their actions, to have subitituted whim for reason.-Nor thall I omit the Popes of Rome ; who, glutted with the blood of millions, and fill thirfting after more ; have ne. vertheless the assurance to call themfelves the Vicars of that meek and lowly personage, whn, so far from spilling the blood of others, shed his own ; for the advantage and exaltation even of his enemies.These, reader, are but a few instances amongst a multitude ; if we may credit history. ." From this brief but dismal draught of human nature, 'ris easy to be perceived where the evil lies : namely; in the beart of man. 'For in vain would temptation folicit us from witbout, were there no trai. for withim. And yes, we are not to suppose, that 'tis merely the intellect that is thus treacherous to us; but some evil principle connected with it: for, if it were tbe intellect merely of itselt, i he poison would be essential to it; which is not the case ; seeing the mind may, with the urmoit easę, be considered as existing ápart from it. - ' In iis relation, therefore, to the intellect, it is a mode of the inherent kind; and being of itself subjected to other modes, is á spiritual fubftance :--thus vitalita, and all the vicious tempers with which it is curit, are the attributes of

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Of this writer's manner of applying scripture to his philofon phy, we dhall give an instance in the following parenthesis,


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