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upon venturing, at the peril of her own life, to maintain her imprisoned and condemned mother in so unusual a manner! For what was ever heard of more strange, than a mother fucking the breasts of her own daughter? It might even seem so unnatural, as to render it doubtful, whether it might not be, in some fort, wrong, if it were not, that duty to parents is the first law of nature. [Val. Max. Plin.]

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LUCIUS CATILINE, by birth a Pa

trician, was, by nature, endowed with fuperior advantages both bodily and mental : but his dispositions were corrupt and wicked. From his youth, his fupreme delight was in violence, k Naughter, rapine, and intestine confusions; and such works were the employment of his earliest years. His constitution qualified him for bearing hunger, cold, and want of sleep, to a degree exceeding belief. His mind was daring, subtle, unsteady. There was no charakter which he could not asume and put off at pleasure. Rapacious of what belonged to others ; prodigal of his ownl; violently bent on




* Enumeration requires a short pause between the particulars.


whatever became the object of his pursuit. He possessed a considerable share of eloquence ; but little folid knowledge. His insatiable temper was ever pushing him to grasp at what was immoderate, romantic, and out of his reach.

About the time of the disturbances raised by NARRASylla, Catiline was seized with a violent luft of power ; nor did he at all hesitate about the means, so he could but attain his purpose of raising himself to supreme dominion. His restless Spirit was in HORROR. a continual ferment, occasioned by the confusion of his own private affairs, and by the horrors of his guilty conscience; both which he had brought upon himself by living the life above described. He was Aversion. encouraged in his ambitious projects by the general corruption of manners, which then prevailed ámongst a people infected with two vices, not less opposite to one another in their natures, than mischievous in their tendencies, I mean, luxury, and avarice. [Sal. Bell. CATILINAR.]



O one, who has made the smallest progress

in mathematics, can avoid observing, that mathematical demonstrations are accompanied with fuch a kind of evidence, as overcoines obstinacy,

insuperable . See, in the Essay, the articles Arguing, Teaching, &c. page 19

E 4

insuperable by many other kinds of reasoning, Hence it is, that so many learned men have laboured to illustrate other sciences with this fort of evidence; and it is certain, that the study of mathematics has given light to fciences very little conneEted with them. But what will not wrong. headed men abuse ! This advantage, which mathematical reasoning has, for discovering truth, has given occasion to come to reject truth itself, though supported by the most unexceptionable arguments. Contending, that nothing is to be taken for truth, but what is proved by matbematical demonstration, they, in many cases, take away all criterion of truth, while they boast, that they defend the only infallible one.

But how easy is it to shew the absurdity of such a way of philosophising? Ask those gentlemen, whether they have any more doubt, that there were, in former times, such men, as Alexander and Cæfar, than whether all the angles of a plain triangle amount to the sum of one hundred and eighty degrees? they cannot pretend, that they believe the latter at all more firmly than the former. Yet they have geometrical demonstration for the latter, and nothing more than mere moral evidence for the former. Does not this shew, that many things are to be received, are actually received, even by themselves, for truth, for certain truth, which are not capable of mathematical demonstration ?


There is, therefore, an evidence, different from mathematical, to which we cannot deny our asent; and it is called by latter philosophers, moral evidence, as the persuasion arising from it is called moral certainty; a certainty as real, and as much to be depended upon, as matbematical, though of a different species. Nor is there any more difficulty in conceiving how this may be, than in conceiving, that two buildings may be both sufficiently fubftantial, and, to all the intents and purposes of buildings, equally so, though one be of marble, and the other of Portland stone.

The object of mathematics is quantity. The geometrician measures extension; the mechanic compares forces. Divinity, ethics, ontology, and history, are naturally incapable of mathematical disquisition or demonstration. Yet moral subjeEts are capable of being enquired into, and truths concerning them determined in that way, which is proper to them, as well as mathematical in theirs ; in the same manner, as money is reckoned by tale, bullion by weight, and liquors by measure, &c. [Graves. Orat, conc. Evid. Mathem, ELEM, Nat. PHIL.]




HE regularity of the motions and revolutions

of the heavens, the sun, the moon, and numa berless stars "; with the distin&tion, variety, beauty and order of celestial obječts ; the sightest observation of which seems sufficient to convince every beholder, that they cannot be the effect of chance ; these afford a proof of a Deity, which seems irrefragable. If he, who surveys an academy, a palace, or a court of justice, and observes regularity, order, and æconomy prevailing in them, is immediately convinced, that this regularity must be the effect of authority, and discipline, supported by persons properly qualified; how much more reason has he who finds himself

surrounded by so many and such Stupendous bodies, performing their various motions and revolutions, without the least deviation from perfect regularity, through the innumerable ages of past duration ; how much more reason has he to conclude, that such amazing revolutions are governed by superior wisdom and power!



* Every body knows, that all the antients from Aristotle's time, held the Ptolemaic system, viz. of the earth's being unn.wveable in the centre of the universe, and the whole heavens turning round her.

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