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whole of our paffage through this) as ftill more fixed, and indisposed to any change for the better or worse. Confequently, our happiness or mifery for the whole of our existence depends, in a great measure, on the manner in which we begin our progress through it.
The effects of religious impreffions made upon the mind in early life may be overpowered for a time by impreffions of an oppofite nature, but there will always be a poffibility of their reviving in favourable circumftances, i. e. in circumftances in which ideas formerly connected with religious impreffions will neceffarily be prefented to the mind, and detained there. Let a man be ever so profligate, his friends may always have hopes of his being reclaimed, if he had a religious education, and his religious impreffions were not effaced very early. But if no foundation of religion has been laid in early life, many of the most favourable opportunities of being brought to a fenfe of their duty are loft upon them. For in the minds of fuch perfons there are no religious impreffions, not even in a dormant fate, and capable of being revived by circumstances that have the most natural, and the strongest connections with them. Alfo ideas of religion, like thofe of other objects with which we form an acquaintance too late in life, will never make much impreffion; and being foreign, and diffimilar to all the other impreffions with which the mind has been occupied, they will never be able to take place for a fufficient length of time; other affociations continually taking place to the exclufion of thefe.
Befides, as the objects about which we are much converfant are apt to become magnified in our minds, as perfons unavoidably value their own profeffions and purfuits, and the more in proportion as they have lefs knowledge of others; habits and practices that are really vicious, ultimately pernicious in fociety, and quite oppofite to every thing of a religious nature, will have formed unnatural affociations with ideas of bonour, Spirit, and other things of a fimilar kind; fo that fome virtues and religious duties, as humility, modefly, temperance, chastity, &c. will never appear to them refpectable and engaging; and, on account of the connection of thefe virtues with others, every thing belonging to ftrict morals and religion will be regarded with averfion and contempt. This turn of thinking may, for want of early religious impreffions, be fo confirmed, that nothing in the ufual courfe of human life shall be able to change it. The very things that are the means and incitements to religion and devotion in previously well-difpofed minds have the very oppofite effect on others. Thus we fee that the reading of the devotional parts of fcripture, of incidents in the life of Chrift and the apostles, the meditation upon which fills the minds of fome with reverence and devotion, even to extacy, are read by others with ridicule or difguft. No argument can be of any ufe to fuch perfons, because the thing that is wanting is a proper fet of afficiated feelings, arifing from actual impreffions, the feafon for which is over, and will never return. The contempt of religion in fuch perfons is only increased by endeavours to perfuade them of its value; fo that it is much more advisable, when perfons are got to a certain pitch of infidelity and profligacy, to let them alone, and entirely cease to remonftrate with them on the fubject. The very difcourfing about religion only re
vives fuch ideas as they have formerly connected with it, and which render the fubject odious to them.'
We shall make no apology for the length of this extract; fuch of our Readers as feel the importance of the fubject, and are capable of entering into the force of our Author's reafoning upon it, will not think any apology neceffary.
The other fubjects treated of by our Author are chiefly these following-The Objects of Education, and their relative Importance-The Latin and Greek Languages-Private and public Education-The Knowledge of the World, with refpect to the Follies and Vices of it-Correction-Submiffion to Authority-Courage-Filial and parental Affection-Inftruction in the Principles of Morals and Religion-The Education of Perfons of Rank and Fortune-The Attendance of Servants on young Perfons-Foreign Travel, &c.
On each of these subjects the Reader will find many reflections, which well deferve the attentive confideration of all those who are engaged in the important bufinefs of education.
The Obfervations on Education are followed by Confiderations for the Ufe of young Men, which were published fome years ago in a cheap and small form, for the convenience of a more eafy and general circulation. They relate to a fubject of the utmost importance to youth, and fhew the fatal confequences of the irregular commerce of the fexes. The Confiderations are followed by an Essay on a Courfe of liberal Education for civil and active Life, which was first published in 1760, together with Remarks on Dr. Browne's propofed Code of Education.
ART. VII. A Free Difcuffion of the Doctrines of Materialism, and Philifophical Neceffity, in a Correfpondence between Dr. Price and Dr. Priestley: To which are added by Dr. Priestley, an Introduction explaining the Nature of the Controverfy, and Letters to feveral Writers who have aninadverted on his Difquifitions, &c. 8vo. 6s. boards. Johnson. 1778.
N this publication the world is prefented with the edifying, though not very common, fpectacle of two philofophersnay divines-maintaining different and even oppofite opinions, on fundamental points efteemed to be of the greatest importance; and yet conducting the controverfy with a degree of mutual complacency and candour not often obferved in difputes in which religion is, or is thought to be, concerned ;-in fhort, preferving their temper, and efteem for each other, to the laft, though at the fame time urging their respective arguments with a freedom, fometimes kindling into zeal, that becomes every fincere inquirer after truth.
The method adopted on this occafion by our two friendly difputants was, that Dr. Price fhould make remarks on, or propofe his objections to, the doctrines or opinions contained in P 4 Dr.
Dr. Priestley's two late metaphyfical publications; that Dr. Priestley fhould reply to these obfervations diftinctly, article by. article; that Dr. Price fhould confider these replies, and make fuch fresh remarks on them, or propofe fuch queries relating to them, as should occur to him; to which Dr. Priestley should in his turn reply; till they fhould both be fatisfied that they had done all the juftice in their power to their respective arguments, and it fhould appear unneceffary to advance any farther.
In propofing this fcheme, fays Dr. Priestley, I had in view the advantage of fecuring a friendly opponent among so many angry antagonists as I expected ;-and at the fame time one who could not but be acknowledged to be as capable of doing ample juftice to his argument as any writer of the age. I had pledged myself to go through with this bufinefs, replying to every thing that fhould appear deferving of notice; and it was much more agreeable to me to urge all that I had to fay, in letters to a candid friend, than in tart replies to an angry difputant. And I thought that, according to the law of arms, and modern honour, when I had fairly engaged with one antagonist on this score, I should be more eafily excufed encountering another. The reader, however, will find that I have not intirely availed myself of this privilege; for though I have not entered minutely into the argument, which would have been mere tautology, I have noticed fuch other opponents as have appeared fince the publication of my work.'-The Doctor here alludes to Drs. Kenrick, Horfley, and Mr. Whitehead, to each of whom he has here addreffed a letter, in answer to their refpective obfervations on different parts of his former publications.
In the review of a work of this nature, in which the fame fubject is frequently and alternately difcuffed by the two controvertists, we must content ourselves with giving a fingle specimen of the controverfy; and fhall for that purpose felect from different parts of it fome of the obfervations relating to the doctrine of Neceffity; on which, after fome difcuffion in preceding communications, Dr. Price animadverts in the following animated and yet friendly manner:
• Dr. Priestley's arguments, in the fixth fection of his Additional Illustrations, plainly lead to, and imply, the following conclufions:-that, fince no action or event could poffibly have been different from what it has been, is, or will be; and fince there is but one caufe, one will, one fole agent in nature; our proneness to look off from this one caufe, and to refer our actions to ourselves, is an inftance of vicious weakness in us, leading us to idolize ourselves and others; and that, had we fortitude enough to conquer this weaknefs, and wisdom enough to Jay afide all fallacious views, or were perfect philofophers and neceffarians, we should alcribe to God our evil difpofitions no less
than our good ones, and confider ourselves as fellow-workers with him in our vices as well as our virtues; and, therefore, fhould never reproach ourselves for having done wrong, never think we have need of repentance, and never pray to God for pardon and mercy, or addrefs him in any of the forms of confeffion and fupplication.'
If this is a just account, and Dr. Prieftley really means to acknowledge thefe to be proper inferences from his doctrine; I muft fay that he cannot be fufficiently admired for his fairness in the purfuit of truth. He believes he has found it in the doctrine (the great and glorious doctrine, as he calls it) of neceffity; and he follows it into all its confequences, however frightful, without attempting to evade or palliate them. For my own part, I feel here my own weakness. I fhudder at these confequences, and cannot help flying from them. I think it impoffible a doctrine fhould be true, from which fuch an apology for vice can be fairly deduced; and which opposes so strongly the conftitution of nature and our neceffary feelings, as not to be capable of being applied to practice, or even of being believed, without particular fortitude. I am fully perfuaded, however, that fo found is Dr. Prieftley's conftitution of mind, and fo excellent his heart, that he can drink this deadly potion, and find it falutary. But fuch powers and fuch integrity are given to
I muft farther confefs to Dr. Prieftley, that I am in fome degree rendered averfe to his doctrine, by my pride. I had been uled to think of my foul as fo real and substantial, as to be the very principle that gives reality to the fenfible qualities of bodies, and confequently to the whole drefs of the external world; as an effence of heavenly origin, incorporeal, uncompounded, felfdetermining, immortal, and indeftructible, except by the power that created it; poffeffed of faculties which (however the exercise of them may be fubject to interruptions) make it an image of the Deity, and render it capable of acting by the fame rule with him, of participating of his happiness, and of living for ever, and improving for ever, under his eye and care. But if Dr. Priestley is right, my foul is literally the offspring of the earth; a compofition of duft, incapable of all agency; a piece of machinery moved by mechanical springs, and chained to the foot of fate; all whose powers of thought, imagination, reflection, volition, and reason, are no more than a refult from the arrangement and play of a fet of atoms, all unthinking and fenfelefs.'-What can be more humiliating than this account?-How low does it bring the dignity of man!-I cannot help feeling myfelf degraded by it unfpeakably!-Were it to be received univerfally, it would, I am afraid, operate like a dead weight on the creation, breaking every afpiring effort, and producing univerfal abjectness. The
natural effect of believing that nothing is left to depend on ourfelves, and that we can do nothing, muft be concluding that we have nothing to do; and refolving to leave every thing to that Being who (as Dr. Prieftley fays, page 303, 314) works every thing in us, by us, and for us.'
In giving his answer to these remarks Dr. Priestley proceeds thus. Dr. Price calls the doctrine of neceffity, according to which all events, moral as well as natural, are ultimately afcribed to God, a deadly potion; and yet he hesitates not to fay' (in a preceding paffage which we have omitted) that he believes 66 no event comes to pass which it would have been proper to exclude; and that, relatively to the divine plan and adminiftration, all is right."-Now, between this doctrine, and those naked views of the doctrine of neceffity at which Dr. Price is fo much alarmed, I fee no real difference. When a person can once bring himself to think that there is no wickedness of man which it would have been proper to exclude, and that the divine plan requires this wickedness, as well as every thing else that actually takes place (which is the purport of what Dr. Price advances, and very nearly his own words), I wonder much that he fhould hefitate to admit that the Divine Being might expressly appoint what it would have been improper to exclude, what his plan abfolutely required, and that without which the fcheme could not have been right, but must have been wrong.'
May not this view of the subject, as given by Dr. Price, be reprefented as an apology for vice, and a thing to be fhuddered at, and to be fled from, which is the language that he uses with refpect to the doctrine of neceffity? If to make vice necessary be deadly poifon, can that doctrine be innocent which confiders it as a thing that is proper, and, relatively to the divine plan and administration, right? The two opinions, if not the fame, are certainly very near akin, and must have the same kind of operation and effect.'
If Dr. Price will attend to facts, he may be fatisfied that it cannot require that great ftrength and foundness of conftitution that he charitably afcribes to me, to convert the doctrine of neceffity, poifon as he thinks it to be, into wholesome nourishment; and that he must have feen it in fome very unfair and injurious light. I am far from being fingular in my belief of this doctrine. There are thousands, I doubt not, who believe it as firmly as I do. A great majority of the more intelligent, ferious, and virtuous of my acquaintance among men of letters, are neceffarians (as, with refpect to feveral of them, Dr. Price himself very well knows), and we all think ourselves the better for it. Can we all have, this peculiar ftrength of conftitution? It cannot furely be deadly poison which so many perfons take, not only without injury,