« הקודםהמשך »
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.
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
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
Art. VI. The Library. A Poem?" 410. 28. Dodfley. 1781.
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,
But what ftrange art, what magic can dispose
They fy not fullen from the suppliant crowd ;
Come then, and entering view this spacious sc
loritten by the Rev. George
Where mental wealth the poor in thought may find,
Mild opiares here their sober influence thed.'
• Now turn from these, to view yon ampler space,
Creating now, and now controuling laws;
Methioks I fee, and ficken at the fight,
Repent his anger, or with-hold his rod.'
• But wbo are these? Methinks a noble mien,
• Hence, ye prophane! I feel a former dread,
"Ah! happy he who chos in magic themes,
• But loft, for ever lost, to me these joys,
* With Fizion then does real joy reside,
And pain and prudence make and mar the man,'