« AnteriorContinua »
acknowledge ourselves to have has, with great judgment, made mistaken the language, and the use of the discoveries of Horne spirit of the sacred voluine. But Tooke, in his Diversions of Purif Christian duiy be such, as has ley. The labours of this grambeen stated, we must think that marian have thrown- nyuch light • Dr. R. has given a very vague on the principles of language, and unsatisfactory, if not errone- and are of such a nature as to ous, view of the subject.
enrich a General Dictionary. With respect to minor obser- Qur countryman, Mr. Webster, vations on this discourse, we have is engaged with ardour in pursufew to make. The arrangement, ing the same plan; and we hope, though perhaps not so distinctly at some future time, the public announced, or so formally mark- will be benefited by his labours. ed, as could be wished, is not ob- ABEL, the name of a great jectionable. The style, though stone mentioned in the scripture sometimes chargeable with re- history, is added in the Ameridundancy and diffuseness, and in can edition. a few instances with inaccuracy, Those, who are pleased with is simple, perspicuous, smooth the lives of military worthies, and generally correct. Dr. R. will derive satisfaction from the writes like a gentleman and a account of the late Sir Ralph scholar. It would give us cor. Abercromby, in a neat, well writdial pleasure, if we were able to ten article, which is added by the declare ourselves as well pleased American editors. with the matter, as with the A BERNETHY, John. Concernform.
ing this article we have already expressed our opinion and our
regret at some of the omissions DR. REES' CYCLOPEDIA', vol. 1. of the American editors. We PART 1.
think it proper to add a few re
marks on this article, which has Continued from page 134. excited such warmth of feelABBADIE. We are happy to ing and strong disapprobation in observe, that the American Edi- the Boston reviewers. tors, in a subjoined paragraph, Some of our readers, perhaps, have rescued this able defender need to be informed, that the of the faith, as once delivered to Rev. Mr. Abernethy was a disthe saints, from the influence of tinguished Presbyterian minisan assertion, in his character, as ter settled first at Antrim, and afgiven by the English editors, terwards at Dublin, in Ireland ; that his judgment was inferior to that he became obnoxious to the his imagination, learning, &c. synod of which he was a memBut as Abbadie was a distinguish- ber, on account of some opinions, ed advocate for the doctrine of which he expressed and defendthe Trinity, it is not difficult to as- ed with respect to religious freesign the cause of such an assertion. dom ; and that he was finally ex
Under the articles Abbrevia- cluded from the synod; which tion, Adverb, and Adversative, proceeding was called, by his Dr. Rees, (for him we name to save needless circumlocution) See p. 132. Vol. III. for August
friends, an act of persecution, dom and candour in adopting a and by the advocates of the synod, different plau of conducting the an act of discipline. Dr. Rees work. has given him a very excellent If the English Life was true character, which he professes to and just, such a subtraction from quote from the Biographia Bri- it is highly censurable ; if the tannica. The American editors, subject is praised more than truth conceiving, probably, that some will warrant, better have fairly parts were the offspring of too shewn it, and openly taken it fond a partiality for a friend, and away. If the spirit of party has that others savoured of party heaped deceitful panegyric upon spirit, simply omitted all such a favourite, let this be made to passages, and left his character appear, and the error corrected ; to stand on its merits, after fairly and let us know also to whom we stating facts. The following are are indebted for the discovery the most important omissions. and correction. It is not im
“ He was much respected not only probable that the American editby his brethren in the ministry, but by ors considered Mr. Abernethy as many of the laity, who were pleased a latitudinarian divine ; (whether with the urbanity of his manners. His truly or not, is not now the ques. talents and virtues gave him a considerable ascendency in the synod, so
tion) and that they were desir that he had a large share in the man.
ous his character should have no agement of public affairs.
more than its due weight and inspeaker he was considered as their fluence against the cause of evanchief ornament; and he maintained bis character in these respects, and his gelical truth ; and therefore left interest in their esteem to the last, it to stand on the facts and incieven when a change of his religious dents of his life, which they have sentiments had excited the opposition given exactly from Dr. Rees. of many violent antagonists."
But, though friends to evangelic“For this event (his death) he was fully prepared, and he met' it with
al truth ourselves, we cannot congreat composure and firmness of mind, ceal, that we deem this mode of à cheerful acquiescence in the will, accomplishing their object es.. and a fixed trust in the power and tremely unfortunate. It is ungoodness, of the Almighty."
“ His two volumes of discourses of fortunate, as it throws doubt and the Divine Attributes are still held in distrust over every religious arthe highest estcem by those, who ticle in their voluminous publiare disposed to approve the most lib. cation. Suppose the life of the eral and manly sentiments on the venerable President Edwards great subject of natural religion.” should be written in this country,
However well intended may by some person of a kindred feelbave been these omissions, and ing, with that glow of afection though much may be said in jus- and admiration, which those who tification of the motives of the are fond of his writings are apt editors, we still think they have to feel ; and suppose it should be furnished a dangerous example republished in England by a Soto others, which by designing cinian, who should, without 110men might be improved to the tice, and without authority, (for injury of historical and religious every man is considered destitute truth. Honesty is ever the best of authority till he produces it) policy. We applaud their wis- leave out all those · passages
which expressed how much he miraculous, here arises a contest of was loved by his friends, respect. two opposite experiences, or proof
Now a miracle is ed by the clergy, and revered by violation of the laws of nature ; and as all; how sedulously he examined, a firm and unalterable experience has how firmly he defended the truth; · established these laws, the proof a. with what benevolence he lived, gainst a miracle, from the very na.
ture of the fact, is as complete as any with what humble confidence he
argument from experience can possi. died! What would be said of bly be imagined ; and if so, it is an such a publisher ? But what is undeniable consequence, that it can. past can easily be forgiven, as not be surmounted by any proof what. the editors have now explicitly
ever derived from human testimony."
In Dr. Campbell's Dissertation on informed their readers what is to
Miracles, the anthor's principal aim be received under the sanction of is to shew the fallacy of Mr. Hume's Dr. Rees' responsibility, and what argument; which he has most sucunder that of their own.
cessfully done, by another single argu. The article ABORTION bas
ment, in the following manner ;
“ The evidence arising from human been enlarged with a number of testimony is not solely derived from observations on the causes and experience ; on the contrary, testimo. prevention of this misfortune, ny bath a natural influence on belief either when habitual or accident
antecedent to experience. The early al, with some advice on the
and unlimited assent given to testi
mony by children gradually contracts, proper treatment of the patient
as they advance in life : it is, there. in such circumstances.
fore, more consonant tò truth to say, Under the article Abridgment, that our diffidence in testimony is the the practice of abridging books
result of experience, than that our
in it has this foundation. faith
Bethat are read, or the lectures of sides, the uniformity of experience in public professors in the various vour of any fact, is not a proof a. departments of science, is recom- gainst its being reversed in a particu. mended as highly useful to assist
lar instance. The evidence arising both the judgment and memory.
from the single testimony of a man of
known veracity, will go far to estab. Two excellent specimens of the lish a belief in its being actually re. kind of abridgment recommend- versed. If his testimony be confirm. ed, are subjoined, and which we ed by a few others of the same char. have extracted for the use of our
acter, we cannot withhold our assent
to the truth of it. readers.
Now, though the
operations of nature are governed by In the Essay on Miracles, Mr.
uniform laws, and though we have not Hume's design is
the testimony of our senses in favour of
prove, that miracles, which have not been the inme.
any violation of them ; still, if in par. diate objects of our
ticular instances we have the testimo,
senses, cannot reasonably be believed upon the testi.
ny of thousands of our feilow-crea. mony of others. His argument is,
tures, and those too men of strict in “ That experience, which in some
tegrity, swayed by no motives of am, things is variable, in others uniform, principles of common sense, that they
bition or interest, and governed by the is our only guide in reasoning concerning matters of fact Variable ex
were actually witnesses of these vió. perience gives rise to probability only; obliges us to believe them.”
lations, the constitution of our nature an uniform experience amounts proof. Our belief of any fact from
These two examples contain the the testimony of eye witnesses is de
substance of about 400 pages. rived from no other principle than our
The article Absorbents, is en. experience of the veracity of human larged in such a manner as to testimony. If the fact attested be suggest several new thoughts to
the medical student on the doc- deliberately composed a palliatrine of cutaneous absorption. tion, which is admitted into Dr.
Acacia, in Botany, has receive Rees' work. The reader of ed a valuable addition from Dr. Homer knows that a more savage Mitchell.
destroyer of the lives and happiUnder the word Academy has ness of men, a more zealous bigot been introduced an account of to cruelty and revenge, than the Academy of Fine Arts in Achilles, rarely, if ever, existed, Pennsylvania, of the Academy
in imagination. The of Medicine in Philadelphia, and tendency of such an example, of the American Academy of operating on the corrupt inclinaArts in New York. The account tions of men,ought to be counterof the Massachusetts Academy acted by every possible means ; of Arts and Sciences has been so that, though we admire the advantageously enlarged. We genius of Homer, we may be hope the editors will assiduously taught to detest the character of endeavour to supply all deficien- his heroes, and be no more in dancies of the English edition on ger of imitating them, than of American subjects.
throwing ourselves into a conACCOMMODATION, in Theology. flagration, on which we gaze at a A great part of this, as it appear- distance, with sublime astonished in the English edition, has ment. For a just criticism on been omitted in the American Homer, ahd his favourite Achiledition without giving notice to les, see Foster's Essays, a' work the reader, or mentioning the rea- which will give great pleasure to sons for the omissions. Thongh every Christian reader of taste. we do not think subscribers have Short, but useful additions have lost any thing valuable under this been made to the articles ACID article, yet for the reasons alrea- and ACORUS. dy mentioned we disapprove of Action, in Oratory, is a* any alteration of a work given to blundering article, in which the the public as the Cyclopedia of writer comes to a conclusion Dr. Rees, without explicit marks directly contrary to all his reasonof such alteration.
ings. His arguments tend to ACHILLES. We confess our- show the impropriety of using selves not well pleased that Chris- action in public speaking at all, tian critics, and Christian edi. while his conclusion is, that, if tors, should contribute to raise properly conducted, it“ gives to still higher the admiration of the speaker in the senate, at the Homer's hero, when it is already bar, and in the pulpit, very great more than sufficiently excited by advantage in enforcing his arguthe charms of poetry.
The ment and impressing an audicharacter which Horace gives of ence.” Can it be doubted by a this mad warrior, Impiger, ir- grave and learned man especially, acundus, &c. though spirited, is whether action be allowable ? As very far short of what he might well might it be doubted, whethhave said in truth ; but it seems er a man should be suffered to even this is too much in the speak in public. The best methopinion of Dr. Blair, who has ed, undoubtedly, will be followed
by those public speakers, who promote each other's happiness. endeavour to speak to purpose, As to their moral character, beand who use all the powers fore the fall, they truly and exact. which God has given them to ly resembled their Maker. It gain attention, and produce would have been well, if more useconviction. Much damage to ful knowledge, with respect to the the cause of religion has been first of mankind, had been collectdone by the opinion propagated ed and inserted in place of the fa. by some pious and well meaning bles of Rabbins,and Mabometans. divines, that there should be no In ADAM, MELCHIOR, is an action in the pulpit ; as though error of the press, which is mena dull, uniform manner of read- tioned not so much on account of ing sermons were the most effec- its importance, as that the Editual way of influencing men to tors, if they should see this reattend to their most important view, may be cautious of errors interests. The rule for public in quotations from the learned speakers, which embraces all oth- languages; this not being the first er rules, is “ Act as though you we have seen. Books in general were earnest in your business.' are very faulty in this respect. Adam, in Biography, is defi- Instead of Vitæ
Vitæ illustriorum cient in several important par- virorum, it should be illustriticulars. The reader ought to We ought in justice, how. be informed, what has generally ever, to say, that this work is been the opinion of divines, as to more free from errors of the the meaning of the threatening, press, than any similar one we In the day that thou eatest thereof have known. thou shall surely die, or, as it is in We are pleased to see that the Hebrew, dying thou shalt dic. revolutionary patriot, SAMUEL It is certainly important, that this Adams, introduced into this portion of scripture should be work. A person desirous of interpreted rightly. We are not obtaining a good knowledge of backward to express our convic- American Biography will be sortion, that the denunciation im. ry however to find the article so plied death temporal and eternal short and imperfect. We unDying thou shalt die forever. derstand that voluminous and When the editors say, “there is valuable papers of Mr. Adams', a certain dignity of intellect, as which throw much light on the well as rectitude of will, that is history of the American Rev. probably implied in the expres-olution, are in possession of sions our image and our likeness," his heirs. We hope some pat. they do not sufficiently explain riotic and enterprising bookthe nature of that dignity and seller will cheerfully lend his rectitude, with which Adam was aid in their publication. The endued by his Creator. Our first American editors will contribute parents bore the moral image of much to the gratification of the God; it was impossible they public by paying peculiar attenshould bear any other image of tion to the Biography of our him. They were perfectly holy, eminent countrymen. Of these pure, and benevolent, and every there are many whose lives have way disposed to serve God, and never been written, except in a