Imatges de pÓgina
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or woman; for, till that is proved, ancient world, especially the easta the question of wiichcraft stands ern parts thereof, -wise politici. ụnconcerned.” (P. 60.) The fol. ans, famous in their generations, lowing manner of accounting for and very well experienced in the the strange fact, that persons nature of man,” who“ promoted “ have really believed themselves these fears of the people, and im. witches,” is more creditable to the proved them for the designs of goauthor's judgment.

vernment;" till “these actions of Nor is it to be wondered at the priests and grand politicians of by any one that considers the the world began to be imitated by strange effects of melancholy, ks. private persons,” who “ deluded pecially if it hath been beightened the people with magic cleats. So by poverty, or want of goud diel, also did the heathen divines their by ignorance, solitariness and old pretended philosophers, men full age. For 'hat such kind of people of words and beards, with whom take iheir very dreams to be real Lacian makes very good sport in visions and truths, I ani suie, rot his dialogue, entitled Lovers of only by consequences drawn from Lyes,” a translation of which is their actions anu reporied in books, annexed to this work. “ This but by the experience also of my opiniun of witches quickly came own acquaintance The truth is, into the west, and there, at length, want of knowledge in the art of very much prevailed by reason of physic, makes men attribute unto the Platonic philosopbers. Nor spirits mere natural wisten pers; is it to be wondered at if Chrisnay, physicians themselves, who tian authors have too much exo have excellently labour. d in ana. ceeded on such subjects,” consitomy and chemistry, perhaps have dering • how much the primitive added little or nothing to the ulay. Christians admired the Platonic nostic part of diseases, so happily sect. Nor is it unlikely that in begun by Hippocrates. Hence it their frequent exercising and code is that we are still in the dark as jurations, they did but imitate the to the abstruser distempers of hu. Platonics, who themselves did man bodies, especially such as therein but tread the steps of the arise from melancholy, which are ancient Egyptian priests." (P.77.) of so many sorts, and have such The seventh and last chapter wondertul effects, that whosoever shortly recapitulates the precedshould rightly describe them and ing The author, probably con. make them plainly manifest, be templating the sanguinary conse. would discover unto us an un- quences of the option he had known world, full of unheard of, combated, as exhibited on bis own prodigious monsters.” (P. 67.) time, thus soleindly coniludes :

The sixth chapter is designed to “ Surely the blood of men ought shew how the opinion of uitches not to be so cheap, nur so «asily came at first into the world. The to be shed by such wbu, un'is pihe author argues that melancholy name of God, do gially exurbiand bodily disorder must 6 often. tant passions and selfish ends; for times present apparitions unto without question, under this side men," which “ was well enough heaven, there is nothing so sacred known to those who governed the as the life of map, for the preses.

VOL. VII.

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Russia.- Letters to a Student Letter VI.

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vation whereof all policies or forms

Russia. of government, all laws and magis. How much soever we may de. trates are most especially ordained. plore the conquests of Buonaparte Wherefore I presume that this dis- in the north of Europe, no one course of mine, attempting to can affect to doubt the desirable. prove the vanity and impossibility ness of a change in the state of the of witchcraft, is so far from any immense population of those redeserved censure and blame, that

gions. The Russian boor is a it rather deserves commendation complete slave. The following and praise, if I can but in the extract of a private letter from least' measure contribute to the the French papers, dated Neroc, saving of the lives of men.”

August 31, 1812, and published I have ventured to make so in the Morning Chronicle of many extracts from this small September 26, will affect the hu. publication, to give your readers mane reader with any sentiment an opportunity of adjusting the but admiration of the present author's claim to priority, by order of things in Russia :a comparison with later writers

I have lately been witness of on the same subject; also, from a fact, which much amused me an opinion of the book's rareness, and my companions in arms. We having never met with a copy slept in a castle, in which we reexcept in the public library, to marked about sixty men collected whose liberal arrangements I am in the corner of the court; they indebted for the present use of it. were peasants which the lord had

The censure which my author gained at play, and which had deprecated, he appears not to just been sent him from the banks have wholly escaped. Of his op- of the Wolga. Men won at play!” ponent, except that he is called a

If the writer of this paragraph, learned man, or of the title of his probably a gay slave of the haughwork I am ignorant, but The ty ruler of France, could allow Question of Witchcraft was de himself to mark such a circum. fended against his criticisms, by stance with a note of astonishment, the anonymous author of The surely it may be permitted to a Doctrine of Devils, &c. published Briton, to express the indignation in 1676, which shall be noticed in which it raises in his bosom. a following number. He describes

HOMO. the present work as a judicious book, that contains more good rea.

Letters to a Student, son, true religion and right Chris

LETTER VI. tianity, than all those lumps and cartloads of luggage, that hath DEAR EUGENIUS, been fardled up, by all the fag Every hint suggested, every geters of demonologistical winter. reflection offered in the preced. tales, and witchcraftical legenda- ing letters, has its particular use ries, since they first begun to foul in the place and connection in clean paper.”

which it stands : but they have VERMICULUS.

all a further and more remote use than to form you into the diligent, virtuous and ingenuous student.

They have a tendency that regards demon. It is important and valu. your whole character and your able, but the importance of it con. future life. They will fall short sists in its furnishing us with greater of their end, if they have not some means and powers of usefulness. efficacy in producing an excellent “ It is the use we make of it, or character ; comprehending under the superstructure we raise upon that term, piety to the Divine it, that must render it an advan. Being and religious regard to the tage and a hlessing. It will ren. author of Christianity. Should der us more honourable or more the foregoing hints carry weight to deformed, just as we apply it: your mind, should they meet your and the luwest degree of it, when approbation, should they be re. attended with suitable practice, garded as maxims, to which you will turn to infinitely more acwill seriously and strictly adhere, count than the highest degree of they cannot fail to make you a it, without suitable practice. It better, as well as a wiser man. It is better, unspeakably, to be even is a fact, that not only the happi. the silliest creature upon earth, ness, but the character in every and at the same time virtuously successive period of human life, disposed, than to be the finest wit depends in a great measure on our or first scholar in the world, and conduct in the preceding periods. at the same time proud, ill.na.

Your bosom glows with a laud. tured or envious. able ambition to leave the semi “ Those who are above vulgar nary, into which you have entered, errors and prejudices ought also to with a more improved understand. be above vulgar passions and vices; ing, with a more cultivated mind and if they are not, they are more than you possessed at your ad. contemptible than the most igno. mittance into it. It is to be ear- rant mechanics or beggars. nestly wished that you would “Every man will soon find, that carry your views still further; the want of reason is much better namely, to come from it with a than reason abused : and that to stronger sense of virtue, with live and die the poorest ideot, is more solid habits of goodness. Be more desirable than to possess this object continually kept in knowledge, without applying it view,

to the practice of righteousness. One good disposition in the soul “The practice of righteousness is infinitely preferable to the finest is the first businness of life. It parts, or the most brilliant wit. was for this we were stationed in One virtue in the life is more the present world, and not so much valuable than a million of truths for any of the purposes of specu. floating in the head, or any arts lation and literary improvement. and sciences, with which the un- The only science worth pursuing derstanding can be stocked.

with anxiety, is that which leads “ There is, indeed, an excellence to the amendment of the heart, in knowledge ; but it is founded, and helps us to establish our souls principally, on its connection in purity and tranquillity*" with practice. There is a great. ness in it; but, when separated

Price's Sermon, on the “ Vanity, from a virtuous character, it is Infamy and Misery of Knowledge

, with

out suitable Practice." 1770, p. 15, 10, nothing but the greatness of a 17, 18, 19, 24.

624

Letters to a Student Letter VI. A life regulated by piety and even here, caution and self-denial virtue, united to an understanding should be recommended. For improved by science; superior attendance on th:m, regarded in talents of judgment and learning, this light merely, will divert the directed by candour, benevolence mind from a more essential object, and goodness; these include all your religious edification, and that is noble and respectable in a will lead you to seek, too intensely, character.

the gratification of curiosity and These reflections resemble' ma. a mental taste ; and to give a thematical axioms; they carry disproportioned attention to the their own evidence with them: study of elocution. It will be an and with the conviction they con- exercise of religious prudence to vey to the mind, they address it confine yourself as a hearer to one with the most serious force. Im. or two ministers only, and to at. portant as are the objects of atten. tend their preaching with regulari. tion exhibited in the preceding ty; as one who seeks not to be letters, here is still a more impor. amused, but to be edified; not to tant and valuable objịct of regard; hear the orator, but to worsbip separated from which all the rest his Maker; not to be instructed must lose their value and glory, in the art of speaking, but to be Whatever else, then, you neglec, built up in righteousness of lite. attend to your moral improve. A diligent and frequert reading ment: let the righ: ano pious cul. of sermons recommends itself to ture of your heart be the leading you as an useful practice, not and daily aim of your thoughis only to direct and form your taste and pursuits: as the first ibing in with respect to such compositions, excellence, most extensive in its but as means of mural and infiuence, and of the highest mo. pious improvement. This, we are ment, in the final results of all informed, was a course of reading acquisitions and of lite itself. to wbich an eminent physician of

To enter into a vull detail of modern times. paid great attention. the means, by which this culture “ Independently of their theologi. of the heart may be advanced, cal ment, which should have great would be foreigu from the nature weight with you, in explaming and design of this address. It the doctrines of natural and re. will be

very

obvious that devotj. vealed religion and throwing light onal exercises are in this view of on passages of scriplure, we shall main service; and ought to be scarcely any where meet with a attended to with regularity, con. richer treasure of practical obser. stancy and fervour.

vations, and with reflections on life It will be highly beneficial, as and manners, that are better cal. it is indeed, the genuine and proper culated to improve the understandemployment of the Lord's Day, ing, mend the heart and regulate to give it to your religious and the conduct.moral improvement. Desirable, The great and amiable Dr. as on some accounts it may be, to Doddridge is said, when an aca. avail yourself of the opportunity, demical student, io bave laid it it may afford, to hear the most down as an inviolable rule. (and celebrated preachers and eminent * Dr. Kippists “Life of Sir John models of pulpit oratory; yet, Pringle,” P: 75, 76, prefixed to his“ Sis

Discourses."

a

herein, says his biographer, he you must consider yourself placed was an excellent model for stue in a select society, where there is dents) to read some practical more virtuous restraint felt, and divinity every day. If you pay a more purity of manners preserved, constant regard to the culture and than you will find in any circle improvement of your mural and of the same number, taken indis. religious character, you will find criminately from the world at nothing more serviceable, in this large. It may be added, that respect, than the chapter on "The the authority under which you Rule of Life,” in Dr. Hartley's are placed, is an authority, the Theory of the Mind. It abounds exertions of which are particuwith philosophical observations larly directed to lavour virtue and and deep reflections, which can. religion : and it acts with a more not fail strongly to affect the powerful and engaging force, beenlightened reader, and with im- cause it is exercised by those who portant directions, that will greal. would not have been called to the ly assisi virtuous attainments. posts they fill, had not their own

Be it, indeed, your chief study moral character stood fair, and to seek virtue; to follow after even high, in the estimation of rightevusness; you will not be at the public. a loss for means to gain the end. So propitious is your situation The great point to be carried, is to virtue, should a youth educated to engage you to make this your in it, though not destined for the principal object, and to leave on ministry, turn out, not to say a the mind a deep impression of the vicious character, but merely inimportance of attending to it different to piety, and not a proamid-t the fascinauons of youth. ficient in virtue, every one will In that period of life the heart is say, that he shews himself very very susceptible of impressions, unworthy of the advantages and either good or bad: the character culture which he has enjoyed. begins then to form and settle for But this, my Eugenius, will not lise: and no future staye of your be your dishonour and shame. existence, probably, will be more favourable, or so favourable, to Quaker Ministers. the acquisition of good dispositions

London institution, as is your present. The discipline

16, ix. 1812. of the seminary, where you are, There are not many, if any, pesecludes you from many snares and riodical publications, on our table, temptations; the studies, in which which it gives me greater pleayou are engaged are ail mental sure, from time to time, 10 peruse, and innocent; and most of them 'than thy Monthly Collection. have a good moral tendency : you

Oh! it is important to humanity are led, in the course of them, to that the persecutor be exposed, converse with moral writers, to however sanctimonious may be contemplate the best characters, the mask wherewith his Gehennic and to study the great command- visage is concealed. My soul ing principles of natural religion sickens in reflecting on the case of and revelation. After every al. Servetus ; and, scarcely less so, lowance for the difference in cha. in remembering hiw the fond racters amongst those around you, hopes of the excellent Boerhaave

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