תמונות בעמוד
PDF
ePub

through Chrift:-the dead all rise through Chrift first: i. e. before the living are caught up. There is an opposition between apwTov and ETEITU. Ev hath frequently this sense. See John xiii. 35.

The learned Reader, from this specimen, will form no unfavourable opinion of the Author's abilities for the talk he hath undertaken. We think, however, that he might have selected, with more propriety some other Epistle of St. Paul, in order to have given more substantial proofs of his critical skill and acute. ness. In the Epiltle he hath chosen the difficulties are so few, that they may be surmounted without any extraordinary efforts, of ingenuity, learning, or judgment.

Mr. Wakefield's scrupulous attention to the Greek Articles is frequently affected : and it often gives the appearance of stiff: ness and formality to his translation. Nothing is gained by is in point of sense : and something is often lost in point of ease and fimplicity. Paul and Sylvanus, and Timothy, unto che Church of Theslalonians' - instead of the Thessalonians, is an aukward expression. The pretence of precision will not recom. pense for the omillion of the common particle. We feel the defect; the verse limps, and the ear is disatisfied. o.

In the Epiftle ben proofs of his critical and in order

Art. V. An Esay on the Nature and Existence of the Material World.

8vo. 3 s. sewed. Becket. 1781. THIS controversy, though for a time it engaged the atten,

[ tion of the Public, chiefly through the popular name and great abilities of Dr. Priestley, yet being of a nature too abstruie to entertain, and too equivocal to be decided, hath sunk into neglect; nor do we imagine it in the power of wit, ingenuity, or learning, to revive its consequence, or again awaken the curiofity which it at first excited.

Metaphysics have no charms for the “ million.A strange paradox may raise a foolish wonder; and when it was given out, that Dr. Priestley had written a very learned treatise to prove that man had no foul, many were eager to see how he established his doctrine ; but, having purchased his book, could not com, prehend his reasonings, or found them so abstruse as to require more study than they had either time or inclination to bestow on them. As some were tired of the “ Disquisitions” be, cause they yielded no amusement to the idle and frivolous ; lo others were disappointed by them, because they afforded no sanction for vice, and no consolation for infidelity. Though Dr. Priestley's metaphysics made him bold, they did not make him sceptical: and though they induced him to reject the dog; mas of the schools, they did not make him fight the discoveries of the Gospel.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Ee 3

- The

The very ingenious and acute Author of the present Essay is a warm advocate for metaphysical studies; and hopes, from the popularity which these studies have lately gained, that the disa grace which generally attends them will be wiped off.- But notwithstanding the Author hath enlivened the subject by a vein of wit, and cloathed it in very agreeable language, yet we are persuaded that even his Essay will have the fate of most of the other pieces that have been published in this inauspicious controversy.

It is the purpose of this essay to set aside matter as one great source of confusion. The ideal system,' says the Writer, is accounted an hypothesis unsupported by facts. I adopt it from the opinion, that it is the only system of metaphysics that contains nothing hypothetical; and give it my support because of the modesty of iis pretenfions : never outstepping experience, and remaining in ignorance and doubt where this fails.'

This Essay is addressed to Dr. Priestley and Dr. Price, and the opinions of both, concerning MATTER, are combated with great Ihrewdnefs and ingenuity.

In attempting to expose the absurdity and contradiction of Dr. Prientf's hypothesis, he remarks, that according to the genuine principles of it, when fairly examined, and fifted to the bottom, it contains the following conclusions, viz. That the subjects on which motion operates are physical points; that the bodies to be moved are motion itself; and that the external matter he lo ftrenuously contends for, is no more than fyftems of agency without a subject whereon to act. On the impossibility of reconciling these contradictions, our Author pushes Dr. Priestley with this alternative, viz, either to admit the real existence and folidity of matter; or that there is no matter at all. • The dilemma, iays he, is unavoidable.'

We will sum up the Author's arguments in support of his immaterial scheme, by the following analysis of them, founded on the nature of sensation, which may be considered as the basis of bis reasonings against the existence of a material world.

I. No property of matter can resemble sensation, otherwise such property of matter would possess sensation.

11. It appears in fact that they do not possess it.

(1.) Scents and founds do not resemble their respective causes, but are referable to motion. (2.) Colour is reduceable to the Same; and likewise (3.) solidity, or hardness. (4.) Figure, as discernible either by fight or touch, is known only by a variety of ideas or impreffions being included in one perception.

In the conclufion, the Author says, Like a true fage, I have endeavoured to point out the truth; to place it on an immoveable basis, and separate it from the idle fancies by which mankind are led astray. But though it belovgs to the fage to utter

thc

the documents of truth, conviction depends upon capacity, and this the fage. hath not to beflow. Like every metaphysician, I am certain and clear in my opinions ; yet I greatly fear, that together with many other discourses on the emptiness of the world, all I have said will be in vain. They will go every man a wandering after his own imagination. One will go to find perfume - in a rose, independent of perception ; a second to find coolness in the brook : another to find solidity in the oak: this to find found in a fiddle-string: and that to fee colours in an eveninga sky. None will believe the word of a philosopher, that these things are not what they seem : that it is in the mind only where sensation dwells ; and that they ought to look up to this as the fole source of pleasure and pain.

On this Essay we can only bestow the general praise of great acuteness; and a vivacity feldom to be met with in metaphysical writings. We will not risque a farther opinion of its merits : because in points so subtle it is hard to determine on which side truth may be found, or whether it may be found on either. a

Rol...

[ocr errors]

Art. VI. The Library. A Poem?" 410. 28. Dodfley. 1781.
IN the reflections with which this well-written poem com-

I mences, the Author observes the insufficiency of reason, or retirement, to alleviate the heavier affli&tions of human life ; and he proceeds:

Nor Hope herself, with her old Hattering art,
Can cure this stubborn fickness of the heart;
The Soul disdains each comfort the prepares,
And anxious searches for congenial cares;
Those leoient cares, which, with our own combin'd,
By mixt sensations cafe ch' aflied mind,
And feal our grief away, and leave their own bebind;
A lighter grief! which feeling hearts endure
Without regret, nor ev'n demand a cure.

But what ftrange art, what magic can dispose
The troubled mind to change its dative woes
Or lead us willing from ourselves, to see
Others more wretched, more undone than we?
This Books can do-oor this alone; they give
New views to life, and teach us how to live;
They soothe the griey'd, the stubborn they chattise,
Fools they admonish, and confirm the wise.
Their aid they yield to all; they never thun
The man of sorrow, nor the wretch undone :
Unlike the hard, the selbth, and the proud,

They fy not fullen from the suppliant crowd ;
Nor tell to various people various things,
Bur Thew to subjects what they shew to Kings.

Come then, and entering view this spacious sc
This sacred dome, this noble magazine ;
Ee 4

Where

*

loritten by the Rev. George

Grabber

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

....T

Where mental wealth the poor in thought may find,
And mental pbyfic the diseas'd in mind;
See here the balms that pallion's wounds aftwage,
See coolers here, that damp the fire of rage;
Here ali'ratives by flow degrees controul
The chronic habits of the fickly foul;
And round the heart, and o’er the aching head,

Mild opiares here their sober influence thed.'
To follow this agreeable and intelligent guide through all the
departments of the Library, would trespass too much upon that
time which we are compelled to give to less grateful pursuits.
Palling by, therefore, the regions of Philosophy, Phyfic, and
Law, we Thall make a short stop with the polemical and contro-
versial divines :

• Now turn from these, to view yon ampler space,
There rests a sacred, grave, and folemn race;
There the devout an awful ftation keep,
Vigils advise, and yet dispose to sleep;
There might they long in lasting peace abide,
But controversial authors lie beside,
Who friend from friend and fire from ron divide :
· Endless disputes around the world they cause,

Creating now, and now controuling laws;
Dull though impatient, peevith though devout,
With wit disgusting, and defpis'd without;
Saints in design, in execution men,
Peace in their looks, and vengeance in their pen.

Methioks I fee, and ficken at the fight,
Spirits of spleen from yonder pile alighe;
Spirits that prompied every damning page,
With pontif pride and facerdotal rage;
Lo! how they stretch their gloomy wings around,
And lath with furious Itroke the trembling ground!
They pray, they fight, they murder, and they weep,
Wolves in their vengeance, in their manners sheep;
Too well they act the Prophet's fatal part,
Denouncing evil with a zealous heart,
And each, like Jonas, is displeas'd, if God

Repent his anger, or with-hold his rod.'
There is another race of beings to whom the Reader will like
to be introduced :

• But wbo are these? Methinks a noble mien,
And awful grandeur in their form are feen,
Now in disgrace: What tho' neglect has shed
Polluting duft on every reverend head;
What though beneath yon gilded tribe they lie,
And dull observers pass insulting by ;
Forbid it Mame, forbid it decent awe,
What seems so grave should no attention draw:
Come let us then with reverend ttep advance,
And greet- the ancient worthies of Romance,

• Hence,

[ocr errors]

• Hence, ye prophane! I feel a former dread,
A thousand vilons Hoat around my head; “
Hark! hollow blasts through empty courts resound,
And shadowy forms with taring eyes Italk round;
See! moats and bridges, walls and castles rife,
Ghosts, fairies, dæmons, dance before our eyes ;
Lo! magic verse inscribid on golden gate,
And bloody hand that beckons on to fate :
“ And who are thou, thou little page, unfold?
o Say doth thy Lord my Claribel with hold?
" Go tell him ftrait, Sir Knight, thou must refign
" Thy captive Queen- for Claribel is mine."
Away he Aies; and now for bloody deeds,
Black suits of armour, maiks, and foaming steeds ;
The Giant falls-bis recreant throat I seize,
And from his collet take the mally keys;
Dukes, Lords and Knights in long proceffion move,
Released from bondage with my virgin love;
She comes, she comes in all the charms of youth,
Unequall'd love and unsuspected truth!

"Ah! happy he who chos in magic themes,
O'er worlds bewitch’d, in early rapture dreams,
Where wild Enchantment waves her potent wand,
And Fancy's beauties fill her fairy land;
Where doubtful objects strange deGres excite,
And fear and ignorance'affords delight.

• But loft, for ever lost, to me these joys,
Which Reason scatters, and which Time destroys;
Too dearly boughe, maturer Judgment calls
My bufied mind from tales and madrigals;
My doughty Giants all are Nain or fed,
And all my Knights, blue, green, and yellow, dead;
No more the midnight Fairy tribe I view
All in the merry moonshine cipling dew;
Ev'n the last lingering fillion of the brain,
The church-yard Ghost, is now at rest again ;
And all these wayward wanderings of my youth,
Fly Reason's power, and thun the light of Truth.

* With Fizion then does real joy reside,
And is our Reason the delusive guide?
Is it then right to dream the Syrens fing?
Or mount enraptur’d on the Dragon's wing?
No, 'is the infant mind, to care unknown,
That makes th’imagined paradise its own;
Soon as reflections in the bosom rise,
Light Numbers vanish from the clouded eyes;
The tear and smile, that once togerber rose,
Are then divorc'd ; the head and heart are foes ;
Enchantment bows to Wisdom's sericus plan,

And pain and prudence make and mar the man,'
After the specimens that have been given, to say what our
sentiments are of this performance would be needless. The
Reader will perceive it is the production of no common pen.

[ocr errors]
« הקודםהמשך »