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• From the combination of these different qualities, the reader, oba serving his invincible patience under toils enjoined by circumstances, the rigorous counsels dictated by his foresight, the precautionary steps he took with different people, will be little astonished at the beneficent and temperate yet circumspect conduct of La Pérouse towards them, at the confidence he reposed, and the deference he sometimes paid to his officers, and at the paternal care he exhibited towards his crews. Nothing that could concern them, either in preventing their hardships, or promoting their welfare, escaped his watchfulness and care. Unwilling to convert a scientific enterprize into a mer, cantile speculation, and leaving the profit of all the articles of trade to the crew alone, he reserved for himself the satisfaction of having been useful to his country and to science. Ably seconded in his cares for the preservation of their health, no navigator has made so long a voyage, accomplished such an extensive course, and been exposed to such incessant change of climate, with such healthy crews; since, op their arrival at New Holland, after a voyage of thirty months duration, in which they had sailed more than sixtecn thousand leagues, they were in as good health as on their departure from Brest.

Master of himself, and never suffering himself to be carried away by the first impression, he was capable of practising, particularly in this expedition, the precepts of a sound and humane philosophy. Were I more desirous of composing his eulogy, necessarily isolated and incomplete, than of allowing the reader the pleasure of forming his own judgment of him from facts, with all their concomitant circumstances, and from the whole of what he has written, I should quote a number of passages in his journal, the character and turn of which, scrupulously preserved by me, faithfully depict the man : I should exhibit him particularly careful to follow that article of his instructions, deeply imprinted on his heart, by which he was enjoined to avoid spilling a drop of blood; adhering to it constantly during a long voyage, with a success owing to his principles; and when, in consequence of an attack from a barbarous horde of savages, he had lost his second in command, a naturalist, and ten men of the two crews, notwithstanding the powerful means of vengeance in his hands, and so many excusable motives for employing them, restraining the rage of his people, and fearing to destroy a single innocent victim among thousands of the guilty.

• Not less modest and equitable than he was enlightened, it will be seen with what respect he mentions the immortal Cook, and how he endeavoured to do justice to those great men who had pursued the same career.

Equally just towards all, La Pérouse, in his journal and in his letters, equitably dispenses the praise to which his companions had a claim. Nor is he less miridful of those strangers who received him with friendship, and afforded him assistance, in different parts of the world. If goverument, of wluich there can be no doubt, wish to fulfil the intentions of La Pérouse, it owes to these a testimonial of the public gratitude.

• Justly esteemed by those English Mariners who had opportunities of knowing him, they have uncquivocally tęstified their respect for. himn in their writings.'

The

The most obvious difference between the two editions of this voyage is to be found in their size and price.

The volumes before us form the handsomer library-book for the man of G.2. fortune; and the octavo translation will content the man of moderate income and moderate desires.

Capt. B....y

Art. IX. A Philosophic Discourse on Providence ; addressed to the

Modern Philosophers of Great Britain. By the Rev. Mr. Archard,
Author of the Essay on the French Nobility, &c. 8vo. 15.
Johnson. 1798.
The doctrine of a moral Providence, says this author, is

the dictate of revelation, and not the result of rational investigation. That faculty, which enables man to trace out the Almighty by thinking, is insufficient to the discovery of a moral Governor of the world. This important dogma is the gift of heaven.' Yet he maintains, with an apparent contradic.. tion, that the antient stoics inculcated a system so analogous, in many respects, to the Christian scheme of Providence, that it would be difficult for the most acute reasoner to discover any essential difference between them.

• Both admit (he says ) the existence of an infinite series of events predestined from all eternity: both inculcate a cheerful and unquam lified submission to the various dispensations of heaven. In these their great outlines, the two theories agree ; ir other respects they differ. What is speculation only in the one, is certainty in the other. In stoicism we have only the hypothetical, though sublime, conclusions of philosophy ; in Christianity we have the infallible dictates of revelation. In the one, obedience is recommended from a sense of propriely; in the other it is enforced from the prospect of future rewards and punishments. In a word, the two theories appear similar in their leading principles-dissimilar in their sanctions.'

Whence, it may be naturally inquired, could this system originate? If reason be inadequate to the discovery of a moral Providence, how could so sublime a theory as the system of stoicism be formed ? The author imagines that it was first suggested by the harmony that prevails in the natural world as all, even the smallest, of the co-existent parts of the universe, conspire to form one great harmonious whole. Antoninus, all, even apparently the most insignificant, of the successive events which follow one another, make parts, and necessary parts, of that great chain of causes and effects which had no beginning, and which will have no end.' Excellent as this system seems to have been, however, it was nothing else, says the author,' than a sublime and ingenious fiction.'

• With regard to moral sublimity, the two systems, that of Christa ianity and that of Stoicism, are nearly co-ordinate. But the ChristREY. MAY, 1799.

F

ian

So, says

ian has a superior claim to our approbation, on account of its supe. rior sanctions. On this ground rests its superiority over all human systems; and on this ground, morally and politically speaking, it recommends itself to you, my friends, who should all, for the sake of peace, for the sake of social harmony, in detestation of anarchy, and in imitation of the great examples of antiquity, constantly assert, at all times and in all places-a patribus acceptos Deos placet coli

. Let this Ciceronian principle be your motto ; let it be your polar star as often , as you are engaged inter sylvas Academi querere verum.'

Without discussing the origin of the stoical system, or inquiring how far the powers of reason might exert themselves independently of revelation, and more especially with the assistance which they might have derived from it by means" of tradition, we cannot forbear protesting against the unrestricted and unqualified conclusions suggested by the author in the paragraph last cited ; and which is more particularly deserving of notice, because it is more diffusely inculcated in another part of this discourse. We allow, with him, that the belief of a moral Providence, whencesoever it was derived, very generally prevailed. This belief originating, as some may say, in a false conception of the Divine Omnipotence, and fostered in after-ages by human policy, has spred itself with the spreading of civil society, and maintains, at this day, an undisputed empire over the mind.' Admitting this to be the case, that men entertain erroneous notions of the doctrine of Providence, or of the reasons on which the belief of it is founded, are we prohibited by a rational and laudable policy from a calm and sober discussion of the subject? Mr. Archard seems to intimate that a discussion, which extends itself to the lower orders of society, is dangerous and prejudicial.

« Of the various classes that compose a community, the far greater part, from their very situation and its attendant privations, are doomed to a state of ignorance or moral imbecility. These have no principles; they have only prejudices, which the wise will smile at, orlament, but which the statesman must always respect.'--' It should scem, therefore, viewing man as he really is in society, that there is a certain link in the social chain, beyond which speculative science is not communicable, or cannot be communicated for any good purpose. Where speculative science ends, the empire of religious science begins. Truths or propositions of this latter kind are analogous with the grossness of vulgar intellect; they are palpable ; they are, as it were, tangible, and find their way into the hearts and understandings of those poor individuals, who, involved in even more than Egyptian darkness, must either be coerced or allured to become good citizens, by the servile motives of future rewards and punishments. Hence it is, that religious establishments are coeval with the formation of civil society, and that history has not yet exhibited to our view a people that had not a popular religion. Now to expose the unreasonableness of such

religions,

religions, when their effects are good; or to endeavour to weaken the popular confidence ; would be doing an irreparable injury to the state, and to those poor individuals :-o the individuals, by unhinging their confidence in that system, which alone can administer consolation to their unenlightened and desponding minds,--and to the state, by raising and diffusing a spirit of wild and unprincipled independence.

To much the same purpose, are the sentiments which occur in the following paragraph:

· When the emperor Theodosius proposed to the Roman senate the substitution of Christianity in the place of the religion of their fathers, the proposition was negatived, from the consideration, that Rome had flourished twelve hundred years under the protection of her gods, and had enjoyed, during that period, every kind of sperity. An answer this, which could only have been suggested by the most refined policy, arising from enlarged views of human nature. For what is man but the creature of habit, or of early impressions ; and if the habits, which he has contracted, though originating in false, principles, have a tendency to meliorate the individual, and render him a good member of civil society, what legislator, or legislative body, can, without incurring the imputation of ignorance or impolicy, attempt to weaken or suspend the influence of those habits, by the introduction of a new order of things, which, at best, could only operate the same effects, but which, in its progress towards stability, might expose the state to all the horrors of intestine war. For these reasons Socrates was a Conformist, the Roman Senate were Conformists, and the initiated of all countries and of all ages, have ever been and will be Conformists.'

The reader will indulge his own reflections on this kind of reasoning. To us it seems to be adapted to obstruct every kind of inquiry and improvement, and if mankind in former ages had been influenced by it, Christianity could never have been introduced into the world :—the reformation must have been stifled in its birth ;-and the empire of ignorance and superstition must have been universal and perpetual. Wherever that accommodating spirit prevails, which the author seems to us to vindicate and recommend, integrity can resist no trial, and can have no sufficient encouragement and support. Those who have suffered, in any period of time, or in any nation of the world, on account of attachment to their principles, and who have been generally honoured both by contemporaries and posterity, have been chargeable with a degree of folly which would excite the sneer or the anathema of the initiated. Conformity to the religion of the state, whatsoever it be, and in whatever country our lot is cast, is our wisdom and duty; and we are allowed, nay we are required, to profess the national faith, whatever may be our private sentiments. If we belong to the author's class of initiated persons, we shall have no

scruples

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scruples to perplex and distress our minds. We shall be prepared to make any submission, which convenience or interest may require; and by degrees our supple consciences will raise no obstacles in the way of our conformity to any religious system, however unscriptural or irrational.

In any state of society, it is the duty of the members of it to adopt, for their motto and guide, a maxim of higher autho. rity than that of Cicero which the author recommends; we mean, let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind; and no anarchy nor disorder can be apprehended from the uncontrolled exercise of the understanding in the province of religion; nor even from those alterations and improvements in national creeds and forms, which the progress of inquiry and knowlege

Re.s.

may demand.

Art. X. Flora Bedfordiensis; comprehending such Plants as grow

wild in the County of Bedford, arranged according to the System
of Linnæus ; with occasional Remarks. By Charles Abbot,
M. A. F.L.S. Vicar of Oakley Raynes in Bedfordshire. 8vo.
6s. 6d. Boards. Robinsons. 1798.
OWEVER it may be doubted whether partial Flora, con-

taining an account of those plants only which grow in
a narrow district, can be attended with much general utility,
we believe that there are very few botanists who will not allow
that the natural history of this country is deeply indebted to the
truly valuable Flora Cantabrigiensis, published by the learned
but unfortunate Mr. Relhan, and if we turn. our eyes for a
moment to the books on this subject which hold the highest
rank on the Continent, we shall find few more esteemed than
those of which the limits are bounded by a circle almost as
contracted as that now before us. Bedfordshire, though one of
the smallest among the English counties, contains a wonderful
diversity of soil, and necessarily an almost equal diversity of
plants; the number described by Mr. Abbot being 1225,
whereas the Flora Cantabrigiensis, including its three supple-
ments, comprises only 1211; a difference which, though in
itself trifling, may be considered as very great, when we reflect
that no part of this kingdom has been so thoroughly examined
as the latter, and that, Mr. Abbot has taken ground little
trodden by botanic feet, where he has been almost entirely ob-
liged to rely “ suo marte." The Flora Bedfordiensis, as it is
observed in the preface, is not intended to be a copy of either
Dr. Sibthorpe's or Mr. Relhan's work, but to hold an inter-
mediate place: nothing but the specific descriptions being
given to the plants, except where the author has himself ob-

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