Page images
PDF
EPUB

"A man of a genius as active, and of acquirements as universal almost as those which are ascribed to the famous Pico, prjice of Mi ran do la. His philosopny was nor, however,the cool and temperate reasoning of Boyle.—It was mingled too much with imagination, and his superstitious zeal in favour of his " Sympathetic Powder,'' which was to be a cure for almost. all diseases, has sixed a blot on his character, which has rendered his philosophical publications less objects of general attention.than they deserve.

"Sir William Petty is chiefly known for his great and acknowledged (kill in political arithmetic; yet, even this was one of the least of his accomplishments. Perhaps, no man, not excepting..the late Dr. Franklin, ever possessed a mind so happily adapted to practical and useful science; and, indeed, he was not only one of the most extraordinary men of his age, but that Biitain ever produced. Like the man, whom, in mo, oern times, he moil resembled, Franklin, he was the son of a plain tradesman, and was born at Rumsey in Hampshire. At a very early age he displayed an uncommon genius for mechanics; but after his grammar education, and some subsequent instruction at the university of Caen in Normandy, he was appointed to a situation, in the navy.—But before he had arrived at the age of twenty, having saved about sixty pounds, upon the strength of tins sum he set out to travel for his improvement; and after spending three years abroad, and maintaining all the time his younger brother, such was his great epeonomy and industry, that he returned to England with tea pounds more than lie took with him. About this time he invented an instrument for double writing, by which the operator was enabled to produce an accurate copy of a manuscript, while in the act of writing the original. This instrument has since been more successfully employed in the art of drawing and designing. After this, he removed to Oxford, and in 1649 was created a doctor of physic. He was soon after appointed physician to the army, and was also physician to three successive lord-lieutenants of Ireland. This profession, however, he afterwards abandoned, and, on the division of the foifcited estates in Ireland, was appointed to take the surveys, which he did with singular accuracy, and gained considerable property by his services on this occasion. 'After the restoration, he wai in considerable favour with government,

received received the honour of knighthood, and was a member both in the English and Irish parliaments.—The object which rnoft engaged his attention at this period was, how to improve the arts of ship-building and navigation; and he constructed a -vessel to sail against wind and tide. To enumerate his various experiments and discoveries would occupy more of the volume than we usually appropriate to this division of our work. He was one of the founders and one of the most active members of the Royal Society; and yet, while so much of his time was devoted to science, his private business was more than most men would be able to conduct: it consisted in the management of a large estate, both in lands and buildings, in working of mines, and a considerable trade in lead, iron, and sith. His labours were crowned with extraordinary success.—He died at the age of sixty-sive, pasiefledof- immense property, and was ihe sounder of a noble family, in which genius as well as patriotism seems to be hereditary.

"Among the philosophers of this age we may class most of those who have been already noticed as the founders of the Royal Society, particularly bishop Wilkins, and Mr. Hooke, the friend and assistant of the illustrious Boyle.

<* It may, perhaps, be information to those of the prese/it day, who assume a name, of the real import of which they are essentially ignorant, that these real philosophers were Christians. Their learning was unitedwith its natural concomitant, modesty. They did not apologize for vice and impiety, because they loved to practise them; they did not cavil at the, Scriptures, while ignorant of the very languages in which these scriptures were composed; or deny the God of Nature, while they were totally unacquainted with all Nature's operations. Their philosophy was not rhapsody and wild conjecture j it was the philosophy of sact and experiment. Their labours were directed to the welfare of society, and not to its undoing; they were the sriends of religion, of order and good government, because they were the friends of virtue and of truth *.

* Sprat's History of the Royal Society; Birch's History of the same; Rapm's History of England; Biographia Brit.; Biographical Dict. &c. &c.

Thus

Thus we sind that the Royal SocieJy was established by the most learned men of the age, and that their labours are intended to scrutiniie and lay open the wonders of.creation. The fame great object should stifl engage our attention ; the progress of science amongst us ihouid be always a matter of rejoicing—we art thereby freed from the terrors of superstition—seel an ardent curiosity gratisied, and become assimilated to that great Being; by whose power and wisdom all tiling? were formed. Knowledge, steadily acquired, and properly improved, constitutes the glory and dignity of the intelligent creation.

The above account of the Royal Society, will enable the young reader rationally to interpret the three famous initials F. R. S. fellow of the Royal Society, by which the names of the learned are often decorated.

The Utility of Religious Associations, ASermon preached before an Association of Ministers at Chalfont, St. Giles, in the County of Bucks. By Hugh Worthington. Published by Request. Printed by C. Whittingham. Dean Street, Fetter Lane. Price $d. or 3s. bd. J>er Dozen.

TT is usual for the Dissenters of different denomina* tions to hold, among themselves, these associations, where the explication and enforcement of an appointed subject become particularly usesul and impressive. The utility of such assemblies is here sully,explained and ably recommended.

Among many other advantages resulting from these associations, the ingenious author thus states the following benesit with energy and effect—^" These ser"vices," fays he, " bring together members of dis"serent churches, and thus tend to diminijh bigotry and "to promote brotherly love and a Christian temper. '.' That these objects ate desirable, e,yery enlightened \ "1 ipUower "follower of the blessed Jesus must allow, for next to "absolute vice, there is nothing more dishonourable to "our creed, more displeasing to our Master, more ruin"ous to the Church of God on earth, or more un"suitable to the spirit, employment, and selicity of "heaven, than—Bigotry.'i

A Chronological Table on a new Plan, comprising Articles of an Historical, Biographical, and Miscellaneous Nature, for Daily Use; to 111 Inch are subjoined an Explanation of the several Subdivisions of Time; the Origin of the Names of the Days of the Weeks and Months of the Year; an Account of the Correspondence of the latter with the New French Calendar, and a Copious Index to the Work, designed for the Use of Young Ladies. By William Butler, Teacher of Writing, Accounts, and Geography, in Ladies Schools and in Private Families. Second Edition, enlarged. 5s. Dilly.

AN immense number of events stands inscribed upon the ample scroll of history, which it is the province of Chronology to arrange and concentrate, for the. purposes of instruction. Hence its unspeakable utility; and we ought to seel obliged to every individual whose efforts are directed to the improvement of this important branch of learning.

Mr. Butler has here selected some of the most interesting events of modern history; and arranged them according to the days of the year on which they happened. This is an excellent mode of impressing the memory, and must prove highly benesicial to the young mind. We add January by way of specimen:

1 " JANUARY.

Jan.

I, 1067. William the Conqueror was crowned at Westminster. He was bora at Falaise, aud buried at Caen, Vol, VIU. P d now

r

JAN.

now in the department of Calvados, France. See battle of Hastings, Arith. Quest.

— 1515. Expired Lewis XII. King of France, in the 53d

year of his age, to the extreme regret of the French nation, who, sensible of his tender concern for their welsare, gave him, with one voice, the honourable appellation of father os his people, sec October 9, 1514.

— 1651. Charles II. was crowned at Scone, Perthshire,

Scotland.

z, 17. Ovid, one of the sinest poets of the Augustan age,

expired at Tomi, near Varna,on the western coast of the Black Sea, whither ho had been banished by the Emperor Augustus, but for what reason it is not now knowu His poetical talents have justly ranked him among the sirst of Roman poets, but his works have a very immoral tendency. Ovid's death is faid to have happened 0:1 the fame day with that of LIvy,the celebrated Roman historian, who was born at Padua, 59. years, B. C.

3, 107 B. C. Cicero, one of the greatest orators, states

men, and philosophers of antiquity, was born. Sec December 7, 43 B. C.

— 1670. Died General Monk, Duke of Alhermarle, a

principal instrument in restoring Charles II. after he had been an exile almost nine years.

4, 1568. Died Roger Ascham, who had been Latin secre

tary and tutor in the learned languages to Queen Elizabeth, by whom he was much lamented. He wai born near Northalleiton in Yorkshire, about the year

— 17it. Prince Eugene,of Savoy, arrived in England. On

his audience of leave, March 13, 171z, Queen Amic presented him with a sword, valued at-5000l. He had rendered eminent services to the country in conjunction with the Duke os Mailborough. — 17-4* Philip V. King of Spain, resigned his crown to his son, and retired to his palace of St. Udesonso. It is somewhat remarkable, that in less than %o years four sovereigns abdicated their thrones j namely, Christiana, Queen of Sweden, in 1654; Casimir, King os Poland, iu 1667 j Philip, King ot Spam, in 17z4; and Anu

deuSi

« PreviousContinue »