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posed these pieces and ascribed them to Christ? Beside all other incredibilities in this account, I answer with Dr. Jortin, that they could not do it. No specimens of composition which the Christians of the first century have left us, au. thorise us to believe that they were equal to the task. And how little qualified the Jews, the countrymen and companions of Christ, were to assist him in the undertaking, may be judged of from the traditions and writings of theirs, which were the nearest to that age. The whole collection of the Talmud is one continued proof into what follies they fell, whenever they left their bible, and how little capable they were of furnishing out such lessons as Christ delivered !"
WAS termed not unfrequently the Colossus of Literature - his character therefore, drawn by the hand of a master who knew him personally, must be acceptable.
“ The expanse of matter which Johnson had found room for in his intellectual storehouse, the correctness with which he had assorted it, and the readiness with which he could turn any article that he wanted to make present use of, were the properties in him which I contem. plated with most admiration. As a Poet, his translations of · Juvenal' gave him a name in the world, and gained him the applause of Pope. He was a writer of tragedy, but his *Irene' gives him no conspicuous rank in that department. As an essayist he merits more consideration ; his “ Ramblers' are in every body's hands; about them, opinions vary, and I rather
believe the style of these essays is not now considered as a good model ; this he corrected in his more advanced age, as may be seen in his " Lives of the Poets' where his diction, though occasionally elaborate, and highly metaphori. cal, is not nearly so inflated and ponderous, as in the • Ramblers.' He was an acute and able critic; the enthusiastic admirers of Milton and the friends of Gray, will have something to complain of, but criticism is a task which no man executes to all men's satisfaction. In works professedly of fancy he is not very copious, yet in his Rasselas' we have much to admire, and enough to make us wish for more. It is the work of an illumipated mind, and offers many wise and deep reflections, cloathed in beautiful and harmonious diction. We are not indeed familiar with such personages as Johnson has imagined for the characters of his fable, but if we are not exceedingly interested in their story, we are infinitely gratified with their conversations and remarks. In conclusion, John. son's era was not wanting in men, to be distinguished for their talents, yet if one was to be . selected out as the first great literary character of the time, I believe all voices would concur in naming him.".--Cumberland.
THE METHODS OF IMPROVEMENT
Are five ; Dr. Watts has very fully explained them in his incomparable work, entitled, “The Improvement of the mind.”
“ THERE are five eminent means or methods, whereby the mind is improved in knowledge ; and these are, Observation, Reading, Instruc. tion by Lectures, Conversation, and Meditation;
the last of which is in a more peculiar manner called Study.
“ Observation is the notice that we take of all occurrences in human life, whether they be sensible or intellectual ; whether relating to persons or things, to ourselves or to others. It is this that furnishes us even from our infancy with a rich variety of ideas, propositions, words, and phrases. It is by this we know that fire will burn, that the sun gives light, that a horse eats grass, that an acorn produces an oak, that man is a being capable of reasoning and discourse, that our bodies die and are carried to the grave, and that one generation succeeds another. All those things which we see, which we hear or feel, which we perceive by sense or consciousness, or which we know in a direct manner with scarcely any exercise of our re. fiecting faculties or our reasoning powers, may be included under the general name of observation.
“Reading is that mean whereby we acquaint ourselves with what other men have published to the world in their compositions. These arts of reading and writing are ofinfinite advantage, for by them we are made partakers of the sen. timents, observations, reasonings, and improvements, of all the learned world, in the most re. mote, nations, and in former ages, almost from the beginning of mankind.
“ Public or private lectures are such verbal instructions as are given by a teacher, while the learners attend in silence. We learn in this manner religion from the pulpit ; philosophy or theology from the professor's chair ; and ma. thematics, by a teacher shewing us various theorems or problems, that is, speculations or practices, by demonstration and operation with
all the instruments of art necessary to these operations:
“ Conversation is another method of im. proving our minds, wherein, hy mútual dis. course and enquiry, we learn the sentiments of others, as well as communicate our sentiments to others in the same manner. Sometimes, in. deed, the advantage is only on one side ; as when a teacher and a learner meet and dis. course together; but frequently the profit is mutual. Under the head of conversation we rank disputations of various kinds.
“ Meditation, or study, includes those exer. cises of the mind whereby we render all the former methods useful for our increase in true knowledge and wisdom. It is by meditation we confirm our remembrance of things, of our own experience, and of the observations we make. It is by meditation that we draw various inferences, and establish in our minds ge. neral principles of knowledge. It is by medi. tation that we fix in our memory whatever we learn, and form our own judgment of the truth or falsehood, the strength or weakness, of what others speak or write. It is meditation, or study, that draws out long chains of argument, and searches and finds deep and difficult truths, which before lay concealed in darkness.
“ Each of these five methods has its peculiar advantages, by which it materially assists the others; and its peculiar defects, which have need to be supplied by the assistance of the rest.”.- Watts.
AN EARLY TASTE FOR READING
a most desirable acquisition; and it pro: bably makes the distinction of character which is so observable in society.
“ The dull man goes strait forward; he has so many furlongs to traverse. He observes whether he meets any of his acquaintance ; he enquires respecting their health and their family. He glances his eye, perhaps, at the shops as he passes ; he admires, perchance, the fashion of a buckle, and the metal of a tea-urn. If he experience any flights of fancy, they are of a short extent; of the same nature as the flights of a forest bird clipped of his wings, and con. demnned to pass the remainder of his life in a farm-yard.
“ On the other hand, the man of talent gives full scope to his imagination. Unindebted to the suggestions of surronnding objects, his whole soul is employed. He enters into nice calcu. lations ; he digests sagacious reasonings. In imagination he declaims or describes, impressed with the deepest sympathy, or elevated to the loftiest rapture. He makes a thousand new and admirable combinations. He passes through a thousand imaginary scenes, tries his courage, tasks his ingenuity, and thus becomes gradually prepared to meet almost any of the many.co. loured events of human life. If he observe the passengers, he reads their countenances, conjectures their past history, and forms a superficial notion of their wisdom or folly, their virtue or vice, their satisfaction or misery. If he observe the scenes that occur, it is with the eyes