Gambar halaman

The Enquirer. No. VIII.

621 for public business, he delivered popu- Jewish populace to reformation of manlar precepts of morality *; and that after- ners, and taught different classes of men wards, at Crotona, in Magna Græcia, he their respective duties. Jesus Christ excollected citizens about him i distinct hibited a new and excellent pattern of classes, and by his moral Lectures produced public teaching; and it was a peculiar such an entire change in the manners of proof of his benevolent spirit, that he the citizens, that from extreme luxury preached to the poor. His mode of conthey were converted to strict fobriety and veying moral instruction in the vehicle frugality t. But the accounts of Pytha- of fable, or parable, was fingularly imgoras are involved in obscurity; and of pressive; and it was adapted, with the his lectures we have no other remains, highest wisdom, to the circumstances of than a few dark layings, and a brief his auditories, which were alınost unisummary of his popular doctrines, in the versally composed of persons of confined " Golden Vertés" commonly ascribed education, more accessible through the to him, but probably drawn up by one medium of the imagination, than by diof his disciples. Concerning the mode rect addresses to the understanding. of instruction adopted by Socrates, we

It is much to be lamented that the are better informed: in that valuable method of moral instruction, introduced treasure of ancient morals, Xenophon's by the grcat “ preacher of righteous. Memorabilia, are preserved many of ness,” was not more religiously adhered those conversations, in which this great

to by his successors. From the time, man inftructed the people of Athens in however, when the metaphysical subtlethe duties of life. Socrates had unquestion- ties of the Platonic schools were incorably the merit which Cicero ascribes to porated with the simple doctrines of him, of bringing down philosophy from Christianity-an event which seems to heaven to earth, and introducing her into have taken place, in some measure, even the public walks and domestic retirements within the first century--it must be owned, of men, and his method of teaching by that the Christian modes of public ina series of questions, leading impercep

struction lost a great part of their practibly to the conclusion he had in view, tical utility. The abftrufe tenets and was admirably calculated to produce mo- technical language of the Alexandrine ral conviction; but this mode was less schools, were interwoven with the lefsuited to the purpose of general informa.. fons of Christian morals; the fanciful tion, and was, obviously, inapplicable to method of interpreting scripture, which public instruction.

had been in usc among the Jewish docIf we search for precedents on the tors, were adopted by the Christian fa. present subject, among the ancient Jews, thers; and preaching took a polemic and we Thall find no appearance of popular

scholastic turn, which impaired its useinstruction, in the early period of their

fulness, as an instrument of moral imhistory, but the daily reading of the law, provement. The evil continued and enand occasional admonitions and warnings

creased, through many centuries; and, from their prophets, delivered with a de- till the reformation, fermons, instead of gree of obscurity, which will not permit being intelligible and useful lectures on us to consider them as models for our imi- moral topics, were authoritative declara. țation. At a later period, explanations tions of the doctrines and institutions of both of the written and traditionary law the church; rhaplodical harangues on the were introduced; but they abounded holy mysteries; and uninteresting, often with allegorical fancies and cabalistic ridiculous, panegyrics on the Virgin mysteries, much more likely to confuuid Mary and other saints. than illuminate the understandiny. No Even the reformation, though it shook one, in the present day, would think of the foundation of the ancient edifice of looking into the Mishna of Jehuda, or superstition, did not entirely abolish the the Jezirah of Akibhah, to learn the best mystical and scholastic method of preachmethod of enlightening the world.

ing. The reformers themselves were as The æra of popular instruction may, deeply immersed in theological subtleties, perhaps, be said to have commenced with

as the church from which they separated, that of the Christian religion. John, with a very few excepțions, among the precursor of Christ, cxhorted the which may be particularly mentioned

that bold castigator of the vices of h's

times, the good bishop Latimer, and, af* Jamblich. Vit. Pyth. c. v.

terwards, bishop Taylor and Dr. Bar+ Jufrin, lib. xx, 6.4,

Tow, preachers still continued to envel. 4 K a


[ocr errors]

apes of

lope their doctrine in thick clouds of thoritative decision of a dogmatica mystery. Thar illustrious ornament of preacher, for a proof of the doctrine the English church, Archbishop Tillot- which he professes to teach. To teach, son, did more than all his predecessors is not to assert and declare, but to exto restore the fimplicity of Christian in- plain and prove. Men are instructed at struction : and since his time, many church, not when they are led, like pareminent preachers have appeared. whole rots, to repeat a leffon by rote, but when fermens explain with perspicuity the ge- they receive some new information, or neral principles of religion, and enforce, are enabled, by the legitimate exercise of with energy, the practice of good mo- their reason, to gain a satisfactory conrals. Such practical preaching, support- viction of some interesting truth. How ed, as it is, by its obvious utility, and re- much more useful would pulpit instruccommended, as it has been, by a long tion become, if, instead of the present train of distinguished names, will not be desultory and unconnected method of brought into discredit, by the injudicious preaching, were introduced regular zeal or petulant invective, of modern en- courses of lectures on religious and mothufialts, or by the high-toned decision ral subjects! Of this kind, are the folwhich has, é caibedrâ, declared moral lowing: A View of the Grounds of preaching “ destitute of the genuine fpi- Religious Belief; in which the whole rit and favour of Christianity," and de- argument is fairly stated to the hearers, nounced moral preachers as

not to bias or guide their judgment, but Epictetus."

to give them an opportunity of judging It must, however, be owned, that the for themfelves :-A Review of the Hile present mode of popular instruction by tory of Religion, Pagan, Jewish, Mahopreaching, even in the most able and ju- metan, and Christian; to inform the heardicious handis, is less productive of mo- ers of the mischievous effects of superral effect than might be expected. Of ftition, intolerance, and fanaticism., and this it is unnecessary to allege any other to enable them to distinguish, in religious proof, than the negligence and indiffe- opinions and practises, that which is imrence with which these public lectures portant and useful, from that which is are commonly attended. In order to trivial or pernicious :-Lectures on Mo. discover the causes of this fact, as far as rals ; in which the general foundation of it is to be imputed to any defect in the moral obligation should be ascertained, method of preaching, let us advert to the and the feveral branches of morals should acknowledged end and purpose of preach- be diftinctly defined, their obligation ing, which is, to lcad men to the practice established, and their importance illusof virtue. This end is only to be ac- trated by facts collected from history and complished, either by communicating to biography :-A Popular Survey of Nathe hearers such information as will ture, its more obvious Laws, and its mutuenable thein to form for themselves good al Relations and Dependencies; to illurprinciples and rules of conduct; or by trate the universal adaptation of means exhibiting truths and facts, already ad. to ends, and herein exhibit a proof, obmitted, in such a strong light, as fhall vious to every capacity, and richly fraught tend to inspire just sentiments, and in- with rational entertainment, of the exvigorate virtuous refolution. Prea ning, istence of a first intelligent and designing in order to be useful, must be instructive cause. and impresive.

In order more effe&tually to answer the As far as concerns instructi'n, it is evi- second purpose of preaching, that of fordent that little effect is to be expected cibly impressing upon the minds of the from loose and fimiy declarations on hearers truths already known and adgeneral topics, in which much is af- mitted, several expedients might be fumed and nothing proved ; from a con- adopted. The first is, in addresses of fident assertion of doctrints and facts, this kind, to study and exercise all the unsupported by satisfactory argument energies of manly eloquence. From this and evidence; or from a dull repetition point, that flimiy oratory, examples of of precepts, of which neither the mean- which abound in the French fchool ; and ng is diftin&tly explained, nor the obli- those frigid harangues, which are so gation clearly established. People, in commonly read, with infipid monotony, the present inquisitive age, are less like. by the Englith preacher, from his velvet ly, than forinerly, to be charmed into cushion, are equally diftant. This class belief by the periodical repetition of a set of serions can only become powerfully of propositions, or to mistake the au- impreflive, and practically useful, when



[ocr errors]

The Enquirer. No. VIII.

623 acknowledged truths are rendered per- plans might be proposed, for affording fonally interesting by being “ brought the common people information upon home to men's business and bofoms ;” many other subjects intimately connected when accurate. portraits of characters, with their personal and social interests.-as they exist in real life, are delineated ; And, independently of those circumand when a strong representation is given stances which have hitherto fo injuriof the actual effects of different princi- ously cut off the general mass of manples, and different modes of conduct, on kind from intellectual pursuits and enthe happiness of individuals and of fo- joyments, no good reason can be alligned ciety. Excellent specimens of this im- why the public instruction of the lower preílive kind of pulpit eloquence will be classes of the people should be confined to found in the volumes of Sermons lately religion. It is perfectly confonant to published by Mr. Fawcett. As farther reason and found policy, that they should methods of improving this branch of enjoy an opportunity of acquiring every public instruction, it may be fuggested, kind of knowledge, which will enable that a more free use might be made of them to fill up their station in society citations from the poets, in illustration of with greater publie utility, to prosecute moral sentiments ; that maxims.or apho- their several occupations with greater risins, from various writers, might be benefit to themselves, or to enjoy their digefted into diftin&t lessons, and read in · moments of leisure with greater comconnection with the subject of discourse ; fort. Provision, for example, should be and that historical or biographical anec- made for their instruction in the rights dotes, illustrative of moral truths, might and duties of citizens: in the municipal be more frequently and largely intro- laws which they are bound to obey; in duced. With the high example of the the proper management of themselves parables of the New Testament before us, and their families with respect to health; will it be thought too bold, to add, that in their relation to mankind at large, so considerable advantage might be expected far as it may be learned from general from the cccasional introduction of an views of the history and present state of allegory, a fable, or a tale ?

the world ; in the general laws of nature; If it should be apprehended, that such in short, in whatever may qualify them innovations as these would in some de- to be something more and better than gree incroach upon the dignity of the mere passive machines in the social pulpit, it may be remarked, that the in- system. How far the state ought to inconvenience would be abundantly over- terfere in providing public instruction ? is balanced by an increase of the imprellive a difficult question. Perhaps, the same effect, and consequent utility of preach- arguments which lie againīt their intering.

ference in education ( see Enquirer, No. Several of the proposed improvements Il] mày render it expedient that this would require, that the practice of read- provision should be made by private, ing sermons be abandoned, and that pub- rather than by public exertions. Conlic instructors address their audiences, cerning the wisdom of the provisions, either extempore or memoriter. Should there can, however, be no question. Were this be thought an insuperable difficulty, proper seasons and places (distinct from by those who have been long habituated chole devoted to religion) every where to rely upon their manuscripts, it may be allotted for popular instruction; were found necessary, henceforwards, to make fuitable persons engaged to undertake the acquisition of the power of sp.ak- the charge; and were the common people, ing in public from memory, or immediate by an equitable advance of their wages conception, an essential part of academic of labour, put into a condition to avail discipline. It may not be long, before themselves of such provision ; it is imour regular clergy, of every description, pouble to say what important benefits may find the neceffity of adopting this, inight not accrue to society from the and every other fair expedient, to save rapid progress of knowledge. themselves the mortification of “ reada But this view of the subject deinands a ing their weekly lectures to the walls of fuller discussion than can be given it in deferted churches.”

this place. Those who are smitten with Befides the improvements suggested the dread of innovation will think, that above, with respect to popular instruction projects more than fufficient have been in religion and morals, it' will be easily already started in this paper: others may, perceived, that, if the question was ex- perhaps, agree with the Enquirer in reamined upon a more extended scale, gretting, that an apprehension, fo irre




[ocr errors]


concilcable with the genuine fpirit of tice not being co-extenfive with the philanthropy, should place such power- maxim, this absurdity does not seem to ful obstructions in the way of improve- be much, if at all, taken notice of. The.

tribe of Levi was one of twelve, therefore we may reckon one priest to eleven

laymen among the Jews. This too To the Editor of the Monthly Magazine. would appear absurd, but for the confi

deration that their religion was a certIN a note of p. 280, of the Life of Mr. monial one. At the establishment of tithes

Robinson, I have laid, W. C. Un- for the Levites, the government was a win was a student, and, if I mistake nor, theocracy, and, consequently, much of the afterwards a fellow of Christ College, civil administration would fall within the Cambridge. He became tutor to the province of the priesthood, and require children of Cowper, thie ingenious au- fome remuneration, which, with the exthor of the Talk.”

traordinary expence of facrifices, , will Having since been repeatedly inform- serve to account for the difference beed that I was mistaken relative to Mr. tween the Levite's one-tenth, and the Cowper, who is not married, and has no layman's one-eleventh of nine-tenths. children ; and having been called on by Durham, June 15, 1796. WM. DRUTHIN. his friends at Olney, to make a public declaration of my mistake, I requeft the

To the Editor of tbe Monthly Magazine. favour of you to permit me to rectify this error through the medium of your Magazine. I was led into it by Mr. Cow


TAKE the liberty to enclofe a query, per's dedication of a Poem to Mr. Un- which I am anxious should receive a win, called Tirocinium, in which I am brief answer from some of the able corinformed the education of bis children, respondents of the Monthly Magazine, means Mr. Unwin's children.

by the insertion of which you will oblige, I am, sir, your’s, &c.

your's, &c.

J. P. W. Clifford's Inn, GEORGE DYER. Sept. 12, 1796.

Query. Can the term

New Manufactures" (which, for the sake of argument, I

will allow comprehends all necu mechanic To the Editor of ibe Montbly Magazine.

instruments) under these words include all new applications, possible applications,

practicable applications, of principlís, beTHE following remark may ferve to

fore thought of, but not reduced to pracshow to what mischievous absurdities

tice, and of the instruments which are to a blind adherence to precedents will lead :

be the subjects of these principles, not There are scarcely any who are not con

aciually organized, and certified in an orn vinced, either by personal experience, or

ganized forin? the general complaints of their neigh

Curlisle, S. 2, 1796. bours, that tiibes have long remained an inveterate grievance, without hope of redress; and there can be no doubt of their having been adopted as a mode of cle

To the Editor of tbe Monthly Magazine. rical maintenance, from the provision by SIR, Moses for the Levites: By the funda- NOTHING is more common in times mental maxim of the English tithc-law, of , than it appears, that the priesthood have a for those who are in possession of the adright to one-tenth of the annual produce ministration of public affairs, to call loud. of the kingdom. The other citizens, then, ly for unanimity. " In less critical times have, by natural equity, a reciprocal (lay they) opposition may have its use, claiin to an equal share of instruction ; a and men are free to maintain what system number of teachers proportioned to the they choose ; but in emergencies like the division of maintenance ; that is, one present, that man cannot be a friend to priest to nine laymen. This would be a his country who impedes the measures preposterous arrangement for the support ’emploved for the security of the whole. of a docirinal religion ; but it is a fair de- All difference in opinion ought now to duction from the principle. The prac. be funk in attention to the general wel.

fare, and all the members of the com* See 2 Black. Com. 24. munity ihould unite heart and hand in






1796) Proof of the Existence of a reasonable Woman.

625 the preservation of every thing dear to tach persons to their party by nourishing them."

old prejudices, and to throw all possible But there are cases in which this lan- odium and suspicion on those who have guage, plausible as it may appear, is the emancipated themselves from their auheight of impudence and absurdity:— thority. They may (such is the weakSuppose, for instance, that the persons ness of human nature) fucceed in their who use it are convicted of having be- attempts, and may strike off from the trayed their trust—of having systemati- list of brethren a large and respectable cally preferred private or partial interests number of their fellow-subjects. But to those of the general body--of having can they hope for the co-operation of conducted without capacity, plans which these rejected relatives, when a great they entered into without principle-of part of the object is to preserve them in being the authors of all the calamities the posseflion of a power they have used they deprecate—have thev a right to ex. so unkindly? pect that confidence in the wisdom and In fine, national unanimity can have rectitude of their conduct, on which alone no other folid basis than national wisdom, unanimity can realonably be founded > Is justice, and benevolence. Circumstances it not obviously the first step towards a of distress alone never have produced, melioration of the state of affairs to re- and never will produce it; and they who move such men from any share in the have occasioned that distress are of all inanagement of them ? ard if they will men the most unfit to be the medium of not retire voluntarily, must not a deter- union. mined opposition to their measures be Sept. 5.

N. N. employed, to force them to a resignation?

Again, it may have been the constant policy of a set of ralers to augment and

To the Editor of the Monthly Magazine. perpetuate those differences between dif- SIR, ferent orders of the community, which THE late earl of Chesterfield, though he consist in diversity of privilege and emo

was sufficiently complimentary to the lument--which place one part over the ladies in his conversations with them, yet, heads of another, though equally deserv- in his private letters to his fon, denied ing in every point of civic merit. They

the existence of any reasonable woman : may have refifted every application for and, in one of his letters, is the followthe levelling of these offensive inequa- ing passage : “ Women are only children lities, though founded on the clearest of a larger growth; they have an enter. principles of equity; and have encou- taining tattle, and sometimes wit; but raged that infolence of a triumphant for solid, reasoning, good sense, I never party which adds contumely to oppref- in nıy life knew one that had it, or who sion :-they may ftudiously have made reasoned or acted consequentially for four use of the support they have given to

and twenty hours together.” Such is usurped prerogatives, for the purpose of the statement of this celebrated nobleprocuring reciprocal support to them- man ; but you and I, Mr. Editor, I dare Telves:-they may have avowed their say, among our female acquaintance and resolution to oppose all future connections, have met with reasonable tempts for the rectification of abuses, women ; or, at least

, women approachupon the mere ground of keeping things ing very nearly to that character : and as as they are ; and thus have reduced to

I have now before me evidence of the absolute despair all hopes of amendment existence of a reasonable woman, in the by the quiet progress of reason and juf- reign of king James I, I have thought tice :—and after this, can it be expected, it not improper to transmit it to you.that a little cant of civility and modera- The reasonable lady to whom I refer, tion can conciliate the injured with the

was Lady COMPTON, who wrote the injurers, or give to those who have been following letter to her husband, which is taught to consider themselves as aliens, now preserved in the British Museum, as all the feelings of citizens ?

a curiosity : There may exist in a state a body of “ My sweet life, men whose privileges and emoluments « Now I have declared to you my are founded on pretensions which will mind for the settling of your state, I sup: not bear examination. Conscious of this, posed that it were best for me to bethink they may make it the grand point of their and consider within myself, what allowpolicy to check all tree enquiry, to at- ance were meetest for me : for consider





« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »