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believed that they have made no solid additions to human knowledge. The earliest, and among the most distinguished, is David Hume, already commemorated as a historian. In 1738 he published a Treatise on Human Nature ; in 1742, Essays, Moral, Political, and Literary; and subsequently a Natural History of Religion ; to which were added in 1779, after his death, Dialogues concerning Natural Religion. His philosophy, as it has been called, was an attack upon all formerly conceded principles of knowledge and belief; maintaining, in short, that through the fallaciousness of the human

faculties, and even of the senses, it is impossible to ascertain or believe any thing. In 1749, DAVID HARTLEY, an English physician, published his celebrated Observations on Man, his Frame, his Duty, and his Expectations ; in which an attempt was made to explain all the phenomena of mind by the single principle of association of ideas, and to account for this principle by vibrations in the substance of the brain ; a system which he alleged to be perfectly consistent with the doctrines of both natural and revealed religion. Soon after, a System of Moral Philosophy, by Dr. Francis HUTCHESon, a native of Ireland, who long occupied the chair of moral science in the University of Glasgow, was published posthumously, and attracted much notice. The leading doctrine is, all that our moral ideas are derived from a moral sense implanted in our natures, and which, independently of all consideration as to the advantage of any good action, leads us to perform such ourselves, and to approve them when done by others. Dr. ADAM SMITH, professor of logic in the same college, and one of the boldest and most original thinkers of the age, published, in 1759, his Theory of Moral Sentiments, which is founded on the principle of sympathy, as the source of our feelings concerning the propriety or impropriety of actions, and their good or ill desert. This was followed by an Enquiry into the Human Mind on the Principles of Common Sense, published in 1764 by DR. THOMAS REID (1710–1796), professor of moral philosophy at Glasgow; a man of powerful and comprehensive intellect. His work was intended to refute the philosophy of Locke and Hartley, by disproving the connexions

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175 which they supposed to subsist between the several phenomena, powers, and operations of the mind, and by accounting for the foundation of all knowledge on a system of instinctive principles. It was completed about twenty years after by the publication of Essays on the Intellectual and Active Powers. In 1752, HENRY HOME (1696–1782), an advocate at the Scottish bar, (subsequently a judge, with the designation of Lord Kames.) published Essays on the Principles of Morality and Natural Religion; which, opposing those theories of human nature which deduce all actions from some single principle, endeavoured to establish several general principles of action. He afterwards wrote An Introduction to the Art of Thinking, which continues to be esteemed as an useful book for young persons, and Elements of Criticism, a truly original performance, which, discarding all arbitrary rules of composition, establishes a new theory upon the principles of human nature. In 1773, Lord Kames produced his Sketches of the History of Man, a work of much ingenuity and entertainment, and comprising many important views of society, though fanciful throughout, and based in some places on facts of suspected authority. About this time DR. JAMES BEATTIE, professor of moral philosophy at Aberdeen, and who has already been mentioned as one of the most eminent poets of the period, entered the field of controversy against Hume, with an Essay on Truth, which, assuming instinctive perception of truth in the human mind, and combating the inferences of his countryman respecting religion, was much applauded at the time, and procured a royal pension for the author, but has since been very generally pronounced a superficial and undignified performance. In 1775, the doctrines of Reid and Beattie were attacked by DR. JOSEPH PRIESTLEY, an English dissenting clergyman of singularly varied accomplishments, who had adopted Hartley's theory of the mind. Besides the work published on this occasion, which bore the title of An Examination of the Doctrine of Common Sense, the same author gave to the world a simplification of Hartley's theory, for popular use, and, in 1777, a series of Disquisitions on Matter and Spirit, which exposed him to much obloquy, on account of their inconsistency with the more commonly received views of Christianity. Dr. Priestley, who belonged to the class called Unitarians, and is generally allowed to have shown great philosophical acuteness in these publications, in consequence of the odium which they had concected with his name, was in 1794 obliged to leave his native land, and settle in America. It is a fact not unworthy of remark, that, with the exception of Hartley, Hutcheson, and Priestly, all the speculators in moral science already mentioned, were natives of Scotland; a country of which it has been said, that the genius of the people is peculiarly fitted for the cultivation of this department of human knowledge.

No man, during the eighteenth century, was more distinguished by his metaphysical writings, than JONATHAN EDWARDS, a native of East Windsor, Connecticut, (1703-1758). He possessed an inquisitive, acute, and profound intellect, and was one of the closest and most accurate thinkers that ever lived. His Essay on the Freedom of the Will, has been pronounced to be one of the greatest efforts of the human mind. It constitutes an era in investigations of this nature—having given a direction of the most important character to metaphysical enquiries, and produced a change in human opinions, which will affect all future time. In the view of many of the ablest psychological writers, it has settled points of the greatest moment respecting the Will. Indeed, after the investigations of Locke and others, in illustrating the principles of the intellectual part of man, something was wanting to complete our views of his moral nature. This desideratum_was supplied by Edwards. In the language of the Edinburgh Review, he is one of the acutest, most powerful, and of all reasoners, the most conscientious and sincere. His closeness and candour are alike admirable. .... There is not a trick, a subterfuge, a verbal sophism in the whole book."*


In religious literature, the eighteenth will bear no comparison with the seventeenth century, so far as Great Britain is concerned. The Church is allowed to

* AM. ED.



1977 have been, in this age, less zealous in its duties than it was before, or has been since ; and when the clergy employed their pens, it generally was rather to attack or defend sorne point in divinity, than to pour forth those eloquent appeals to the minds of men, which so much enrich the former period. The two greatest clerical writers by many degrees were Warburton and Butler, both of whom reached the episcopal dignity in consequence of their services in this capacity. WILLIAM WARBURTON (1698-1779), Bishop of Gloucester, exerted his genius in early life as editor of Shakspeare and Pope. In 1738 he began to publish his Divine Legation of Moses, which was completed some years afterwards in six volumes, and is one of the most extraordinary works in the language, being a wonderful collection of uncommon learning, applied in the support of original and often paradoxical views. He wrote many other books; but the subject which he chiefly endeavoured to illustrate was that of miracles. He was a man of vigorous faculties, indefatigable in inquiry, and possessed

of a vast fund of knowledge; but personally was harsh, arrogant, and overbearing, and his writings are strongly tinctured with these qualities. JOSEPH BUTLER (1692– 1752), the son of a dissenting shopkeeper at Wantage in Berkshire, rose through a series of church preferments to the lucrative bishopric of Durham. His great work, The Analogy of Religion, Natural and Revealed, to the Constitution and Course of Nature, published in 1736, is still considered a masterpiece of reasoning in behalf of Christianity, and is almost universally recommended to youth. Its object is, by drawing an analogy between religion and the constitution and course of nature, to show that both must have had the same origin ; an argument which may be expected to have great power, after it is admitted that nature must have been derived from a divine and supreme Being.

ROBERT Lowth (1710-1787), son of Dr. Lowth, mentioned in the preceding section of this work, rose to the bishopric of London, and distinguished himself by his intimate acquaintance with Hebrew literature, of which he gave examples to the world, in his Lectures on the Sacred Poetry of the Jews, and his commentary on

the book of Isaiah. He also wrote an admired work on English grammar.

Much of the talent and learning of the established clergy of this period was exerted in discussing the doctrines embraced by the standards of the Church, and in defending the fundamental doctrines of Christianity from infidel writers. In 1730, Dr. Matthew Tindal, Fellow of All Souls' College, Oxford, published his celebrated treatise entitled Christianity as Old as the Creation, the object of which was to show that there neither has been nor can be, any external revelation distinct from what he terms the internal revelation of the law of nature in the hearts of all mankind.' It was attacked by Dr. Waterland and others, and gave rise to a long-continued controversy. Dr. Conybeare obtained high church preferment in consequence of a defence of revelation against Tindal. Another of the opponents of this writer was Dr. ConYERS MIDDLETON (1683–1750), librarian of the University of Cambridge ; a man whose personal and literary character somewhat resembled that of Warburton. Middleton was also the author of two standard religious works, in one of which an endeavour is made to show that the ceremonies of the Catholic Church are founded upon those of paganism; the other, entitled. A Free Enquiry into the Miraculous Powers which are supposed to have subsisted in the Christian Church from the Earliest Ages, through several successive Centuries, attempts to prove that all the miracles alleged to have been worked after the time of the apostles, are untrue. He also wrote an elaborate Life of Cicero,which has been discovered, however, to be chiefly derived from an obscure work by a Scottish author named Bellenden. The opinions of Dr. Middleton were of such a general tendency as to draw down upon him much censure from what was called the orthodox party of the Church, that is, the party who are scrupulous in adhering to its original doctrines. Another eminent advocate for free enquiry and liberal views, but more amiable as a private individual, was Dr. John JORTIN (1698-1770), author of Discourses concerning the Truth of the Christian Revelation, which have obtained a high reputation for the solidity of argument and soundness of erudition which


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