« AnteriorContinuar »
of conduct, in trying and difficult circumstances, to which general directions could not be applied with equal advantage.
• An express command tells us what is our duty, but does not point out the circumftances in which we must practise it. Now, in order to form a proper character, we must wait for these, and observe them. To pray to God with an audible voice in the midst of a Crowd ; to put ourselves in the way of danger without occalion ; or to give profusely where donations are not particularly useful; are the actions of one who is but just entering on a right course. He who has long imbibed a principle of piety and virtue, and has been accufcomed to act from it, waits for proper opportunities of exercicing the feveral graces of the Christian life, and cheerfully embraces them. If interfering circumstances, at one time, prevent his improving the particular good habit upon which his attention is bent, he exercises some other virtue, suited to the present occasion. A character ma-, tured in goodness, is guided by an uniform regard to rectitude, and expresses the inward fincerity and uprightness of the heart, by those acts of bumility, of conteniment, of fortitude, of benevolence, or of pious devotion, wbich every changing variety of life calls upon him to perform. The constant aim of a good man is, to discharge each separate duty in its proper season, and to adapt his temper and behaviour to all the vicisitudes of human condition. And memoirs of a worthy character manifest how this is done. The gospels par. ticularly display this, in the whole life of Christ. They ihow how he exemplified every virtue that became him, as a divine teacher, and as a man, in the several circumstances he was in.'
Thus does our Author, somewhat diffufely indeed, but in an intelligent and satisfactory manner, vindicate the historical form in which Christianity is conveyed. The work cannot fail of being acceptable to the rational and liberal friends of Christianity.
ART. XVI. A Letter to bis Grate the Arcbbishop of Canterbury. By Richard Lord Bihop of Landaff. 410. Evans. 1783
Generous effort to relieve fome ecclefiaftical grievances, by
an honest and free-speaking churchman, who is not discouraged from doing good by the dread of flander or ridicule. It is from such men that reformation must be looked for ;-men who are not the slaves of custom and authority; who are not to be beaten back in the pursuit of worthy designs by the insults of rude and vulgar prejudice ; nor diverted from it by the infinuations of interested policy; but who, having made up their minds (as the phrase is) on one grand subject, fo direct their attention towards it, as never to quit it till the end originally proposed be actually accomplished.
This excellent prelate to whom it hath long been our pride to pay that tribute of respect and veneration which his merits juftly claimed from the friends of learning, liberty, and religion) confines his address to two proposals. The first respects the re
venues of the Bishops ; the other those of the inferior clergy: both of them tending to the same end ;- not a parity of prefer. ments, but a better apportioned diribution of what the state a)lows for the maintenance of the established clergy.
The first proposal submitted to the deliberation of the [late] Archbishop is, the utility of bringing a bill into parliament, to render the bishoprics more equal to each other, both in respect to income and patronage, by annexing part of the estates, and part of the preferments of the richer bishopricks, as they become vacant, to the poorer. By a bill of this kind, the poorer Bishops would be freed from the necessity of holding ecclefiaftical preferments in commendam with their bishoprics; a practice which bears hard upon the rights and expectations of the rest of the clergy. A second consequence of the bill proposed would be a greater independence of the Bishops in the House of Lords. third probable effect of the proposed plan, would be a longer refidence of the Bilhops in their respective dioceses; from which the best consequences might be expected.
The second thing recommended to the attention of his Grace is, the introduction of a bill into parliament for appropriating, as they become vacant, one third, or some other definite part of the income of every deanery, prebend, or canonry, of the churches of Westminster, Windsor, Christ-church, Canterbury, Worcester, Durham, Norwich, Ely, Peterborough, Carlisle, &c. to the same purposes, mutatis mutandis, as the first fruits and tenths were appropriated by the Act passed in the 5th of Queen Anne. Dignities which, after this deduction, would not yield one hundred a year should not be meddled with.
The following observations deserve particular notice, as they tend to correct some very great mistakes into which people run with respect to the revenues of the church, from partial estimates arising from some of the richer preferments:
• The revenue of the church of England is not, I think, well understood, in general : at least, I have met with a great many very sensible men, of all profesions and ranks, who did not understand it. They have exprefied a surprise, bordering on disbelief, when I have ventured to assure them, that the whole income of the church, including bishoprics, deans and chapters, rectories, vicarages, dignities, and benefices of all kinds, and even the two universities, with their respective colleges, which, being lay corporations, ought not to be taken into the account, did not amount, upon the most liberal calculation, to 1,500,000l. a year.' Putting out of the government of the church, all the Bishops, Deans, Prebends, &c. and reducing to a level the whole clergy of England, it would be found, that on the computacion of ten thousand (the general estimate for the number of offciating clergy), the ecclefiaftical revenue would produce for Apo
tach minister, on an average, about 150l. per annum. thecaries (says the Bishop) and attornies, in very moderate prac. tice, make as much by their respective profefions, without having been at the same expences with the clergy in their educations, and without being, like them, prohibited by the laws of their country from bettering their circumstances, by uniting to the emoluments of their profeflions, the profits resulting from farming, or any kind of trade.'
The Bishop proceeds to illustrate his plan, and to answer objections to it: and through the whole he discovers a penetration that does credit to his understanding, and, above all, a benevolence that confers lasting honour on his heart.
ART. XVII. A System of Vegetables, according to their classes, Ore
ders, Genera, and Species, with their Characters and Differencer. Transiated from the Tbirteenth Edition (as published by Dr. Murray) of the Systema Vegetabilium of the late Profillor Linnæus: and from the Supplementum Plantarum of the prejèn Prof fir Linnæus. By a Botanical Society, at Litchfield. 8vo. No.l. 58. sewed. Leigh, &c. 1782. N attempt to extend the knowledge of a science so useful
as botany, cannot fail of meeting with the approbation of the Public. The present performance is only a part (confifting of 176 pages) of a literal translation into our language of the last edition of that most elaborate work, the Systema Vegetabilium of Linnæus ; published by Dr. Murray from the papers of that great man, and containing 119 additional genera, and variety of species and alterations :'-of that system, lay our zealous Translators, which hitherto, like the Bible in Catholic countries, has been locked up in a foreign language, accesible only to the learned few, the priests of Flora; whilst the gardener, the herb-gatherer, the druggilt, the farmer, and all who are concerned in cultivating the various tribes of vegetation, in detecting their native habitations, or in vending or consuming their products, could by no industry arrive at that system, wbicb they wished to attain, and were capable of enlarging.'
The Translators have been favoured with a part of a new work, now publishing by the present Dr. Linnæus, termed Supplementum Plantarum, which will describe 94 new genera, with many additional species : the cffential characters of which they have interwoven in their translation, in the proper places. They have inserted too into this work the botanic terms and definitions, tranflated from the thefis of Dr. Elmgren; and have subjoined the plates from the Philosophia Botanica.
in giving an account of their motives for undertaking this version, the Translators observe, that Mr. Lee, indeed, in his
Introduction to Botany, has well translated and explained many parts of the Philosophia Botanica; that Dr. Berkenbout has given a Lexicon of terms, extracted from the same work; and that Mr. Milne has disposed a great part of it, with other botanical knowledge, in the form of a dictionary. All these labours,' say they, have their merit; but why should not the works themselves be tranflated into our language? The concise and beautiful arrangement, for which they are so remarkable, is Joft in these diffuse explanations of them.'
• Dr. Withering, they add, has given a Flora Anglica under the title of Botannical Arrangements, and in this has translated parts of the Genera and Species Plantarum of Linnæus; but has intirely omitted the sexual distinctions, which are essential to the philosophy of the system ; and has introduced a number of Englith generic names, which either bear no analogy to those of Linnæus, or are derived from such as he has rejected; or has applied to other genera, and has thus rendered many parts of his work unintelligible to the Latin botanist; equally difficult to the English scholar; and loaded the science with an addition of new words.'
The Translators, in their Preface, enumerate and exemplify the confiderable difficulties obviously attending the translation of the numerous Latin and Greek terms and epithets invented by Linnæus into the English language ; more particularly with refpect to those numerous compound words conftructed by him, in fo artful a manner, as to paint, as it were, such a variety of forms of leaves, fruits, flowers, stems, seeds, &c. as no language was before ever made to describe. To the construction of these difficult compound words, they have, however, experimentally found the English language to be as well adapted as the Latin, and perhaps not much less so than the Greek; and it appears that they have been benefited by the advice of that great master of the English tongue, Dr. S. Johnson, in the formation of this new botanic language. · A person not acquainted with the Linnæan phraseology, and the reasons on which that concise language, formed by the great Swedish Botanist, is constructed, will perhaps be Ihocked at cere tain peculiar and seemingly inelegant modes of speech, which occur in every page, we may almoft say line, of this tranflation. -To give only examples of two different kinds, as explanatory of the reft-we here read of leaves two'd and three'd; and of forms, or figures, not only oval and elliptic, but likewife.obo long-egg’d,' and ' egg-oblong. This may appear strange language; but it is the language of instruction, and indeed of necesity: if conciseness, and precision or discrimination, be required or defireable.
With respect to the first of these examples, the Translators, as themselves observe, were under a necessity of forming participles from our numerical adjectives, using the words twod, three'd, four'd, five’d, eighted, for the words binata, ternata, quaternata, quinata, octonata * ; because bina, terna, quaterna, &c. had previously been trandated by the words twofold, threefold, fourfold, &c.
Ás to our second example, the most evident utility fully juftifies the seeming awkwardness of the phraseology. Linnæus, say the translators, has taken words expressive of well known figures, as the words oblong and egg, and by compounding these, has given a form between them both; which new form partakes. more of the egg, if that word precedes in the compound, as eggoblong ; or more of the oblong, if that word precedes, as oblongegg’d. Hence these two words are made to represent forms of four kinds very nearly allied : but to these he has added oval, and elliptic, and again compounded these with oblong, and egg ; and bas thus, as it were, conjured up before our eyes the outlines of forms as numerous and as accurate, by the magic of a few words, as the pencil alone was thought capable of producing.'-On this occasion, our Translators, with some degree of exultation, observe, that to equal all these niceties of combination with precision and conciseness, in their trandation, 'was an undertaking that required some degree of hardiness: this was the gorgon-feature, that had hitherto frozen the designs, or blafted the progress of all who looked upon this giant naturalist, and deterrred them from the encounter.'
We learn that a second number of this work has been pub. lifhed.-We shall probably return to the confideration of it, when it is completed.
• By an overlight at the press, these five words are misprinted,
bina, terna, &c.;' the three following have likewise been mila priated binata, ternata, &c.?
ART. XVIII. Nummorum
Nummorum Veterum Populorum et Urbium, qui in Mufæo Gulielmi Hunter asservantur, Descriptio figuris illuftrata. Opera et Studio Caroli Combe, S. R. et S. A. Londini Socio. 4to. 21. 15 s. boards, Cadell, &c. 1782.
HE study of ancient coins and medals has often been re
have applied themselves to it, have, by men of wit and pleasantry, been honoured with the title of critics in ruft, and drudges in the lowest walks of literature. It may be proper, however, to observe, with submission to such witry gentlemen, that many writers, eminently distinguilhed by their taste and 9