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causes which impede general improvement.' It abounds with judicious observations on a variety of topics, and deserves to be read with particular attention. .
On reviewing the account which we have given of these volumes, we feel as if we had awarded to their Author something less than the praise which this last effort of her pen appears to us pre-eminently to merit. To mete out the commendation or the dispraise which the Author might deserve, has not, however, been the object which has chiefly employed our solicitude. But we have very inadequately fulfilled our duty and our intention, if we have not given that character of the work, which will induce our readers to do their utmost in aiding in its circulation We do not expect that it will attain the popularity of some of Mrs. More's former productions ; it is of a less inviting title and character : but those persons, on whom her iniluence has, through her foriner works, been beneficially exerted, will esteem the Essay on St. Paul as, perhaps, the most valuable of her labours. We consider Mrs. More as addressing herself, in this instance, more particularly to the religious public, to whom her reputation will ultimately be found to be indebted for its permanence; and to whom these volumes will be, we think, peculiariy acceptable.
We had intended to notice very briefly a few colloquialisms and verbal improprieties, which we earnestly wish to see moved from such a work : e. g. 'clubbed their opinions ;'
patched up a code;" • tally with a dovetail correspondence; did not it (such a state) pant for the blood of Christ;'—and, as liable to a graver objection, deified humanity. These, and some rather excessive redundancies of expression, (as at p. 28.) we only advert to, as blemishes of style of easy avoidance, which detract nothing from the excellence of the work itself.
Art. IX. Memorial on Behalf of the Native Irish. With a View to
their Improvement in Moral and Religious Knowledge, through the Medium of their own Language. 8vo. pp. 80. Price 3s. Gale and
Co., Conder, London. 1815. NO chieftain was ever more worthy of the gratitude of the
Celtic tribes, than the amiable and excellent Author of this Memorial. We do not indeed trace his affinity by having the Mac, or the 0, or the Ap, prefixed to his name;
but we entertain, notwithstanding, very little doubt of his relationship, since he presents to our view all the peculiarities of the Celtic character, purified by religion, cultivated by literature, and rendered subservient to the happiness of man by an enlarged philanthropy. Were the Celtic tribes to erect monuments to the memory of their benefactors, the Welsh would no doubt fix upon Jones and Charles; the Highlanders, upon Lord Chatham and Dr. Samuel Johnson ;--the former, for maintaining their political rights,—the latter, for being the means of giving them the Scriptures in their own language :*_but both the Ir sh and the Highlanders, with the enthusiasm by which they are distinguished, will unite in regarding Mr. Anderson as one of their first and firmest friends.
It cannot be denied, that the operations of the Society for the support of Gaelic schools, bave given an impulse to the mental pow. ers of the Highlanders, as in point of education, which it does not seem they had obtained at any former period. These schools present one of the most gratifying scenes we have ever witnessed ; and we have known a confirmed opponent-a proprietor of extensive estates, become a warm and steady friend by the argument which he himself deduced from the happy effects of one of the schools situated on his own lands. Nor does this present any thing wonderful ; for, by teaching the Highlanders to read the Scriptures in their own language instead of disgusting them with unintelligible sounds, they are delighted with the knowledge which they acquire, and the warmth of feeling and acuteness of mind by which they are naturally characterized, are discovered in the ardour and rapidity with which they receive instructions of their teacher.
It is more than time that the public should be awakened to a full sense of the singular absurdity of that preposterous system of education, which has been tried in Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, the professed object of which is to communicate knowledge, while its direct tendency and effect are to retain the human mind in perfect ignorance; and which bears the semblance of charitable exertion, by the thousands of pounds that are expended in its support, but which really accomplishes no other end than that of persuading the community to believe that much is done towards enlightening their neighbours, when they are all the while walking in thick darkness. If Mr. Anderson was not the first to discover the palpable absurdity of a system, which has imposed on the understandings of very wise men, he has had the credit of inducing the public to pursue in the Highlands a very different plan; and though this gentleman, in his beneficent labours, does not seek the praise of men, we cannot forbear expressing the gratitude which he has merited from the Highlanders, from the native Irish, and from all who are anxious for the progress of knowledge.
The Memorial before us is a very interesting pamphlet; containing a statement of what has been done towards the instruc. tion of the native Irish, through the medium of their own
* See a letter of Dr. Johnson's in the Memorial.
language, chiefly by means of the press : including an account of the translation of the Scriptures into Irish, their printing and circulation; of the present extent of the Irish language, and of the counties or districts in which it is spoken ; answers to the most prevalent and plausible objections against teaching the Irish language ; a plan recommended for adoption ; and encouragements to proceed on the plan recommended.
On the first of these particulars, Mr. Anderson has collected some curious information : but in place of illustrating the wisdom and beneficence of mankind, it only confirms an opinion, which we had been previously compelled to entertain, that the most simple and direct plan of doing good to our fel low creatures, is that which is generally the last thought of by the children of this world ; and which, when it is recommended, will meet with much opposition. It is truly melan'choly to think, that during past centuries, millions of our brethren in Ireland were industriously secluded from the sources of knowledge : they have been abused as wild and barbarous, by those whose unchristian policy contributed to make them so ;-and, as if we had been entitled to gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles, we have looked for the fruits of righteousness, without having used the proper means for their production.
There is something pleasing as well as painful, suggested by the subject before us; for while it fixes our view on the deplorable condition of Ireland, it helps to confirm the expectations which we entertain respecting the ultimate progress of knowledge.
In the various branches of political economy, truths, which twenty years ago, were received only by a few philosophers, have now become elementary principles, influencing the decisions of popular assemblies. With regard to Ireland in particular, it is most gratifying to observe the importance its claims have gradually acquired on the public mind. It is not more than eight years since the grossest ignorance prevailed, and the greatest indifference was shewn on this interesting subject. It seemed scarcely possible to awaken the feelings of the inhabitants of this country, to commiserate the situation of our Irish brethren. Ireland, however, has now become the object of universal attention; and the various classes of the community are anxious to be informed how they can most effectually promote its interests. We are no longer solitary in raising our voice for the duty and necessity of instructing the native Irish in the language which they understand, as well as of giving them the Oracles of the Living God in the same tongue.
It is, indeed, gratifying to observe the wonderful change that has been produced in the course of a few years in Ireland,
Superstition is there gradually losing its hold on the human mind ;---the Scriptures are in full circulation in the Irish language;-teachers of youth are preparing the people for the reception of the Living Oracles: they are going before the face of the Lord to prepare his way in the desert, and to make his path straight. The mighty work has been begun, which will avance in renovating and enlightening the neighbouring isle, and which, while it will moralize and sanctify its interesting population, will bring to the aid of this country a powerful auxiliary in diffusing the knowledge of everlasting salvation. It is then that the Douglas and the Percy united, will be proof against the world in arms; and Ireland, rising from that long night of darkness with which it has been covered, will reflect the light that now falls on its shores, and will itself in its turn become a luminary for theenlightening of other nations, directing their views to the salvation which God has prepared before the face of all people,-a light to lighten the Gentiles, and to be the glory of his people Israel.
The Pamphlet before us well deserves the consideration of the public. It clearly points out the means by which these important ends may be attained. To take a full view of its contents, and of the various subjects to which they are allied, would oblige us to assign a larger space to this article than our limits permit. We carnestly recommend its attentive .perusal to all who wish to be well informed on a subject which, till of late, has been greatly misunderstood. We shall only add the very forcible observations of Dr. Johnson on the state of the Highlands, and wbich are no less applicable to the state of Ireland at the present moment.
These observations are contained in a letter addressed to a gentleman in Edinburgh.
• I did not expect to hear that it could be, in an assembly convened for the propagation of Christian knowledge, a question, whether any nation uninstructed in religion, should receive
nstruction; or whether that instruction should be imparted to them by a translation of the holy books into their own language. If obedience to the will of God be necessary to happiness, and knowledge of his will be necessary to obedience, I know not how he' that withholds this knowledge, or delays it, can be said to love his neighbour as himself. He that voluntarily continues in ignorance, is guilty of all the crimes which ignorance produces; as to him that should extinguish the tapers of a lighthouse, might justly be imputed the calamities of shipwreck. Christianity is the highest perfection of humanity; and as no man is good, but as he wishes the good of others, no man can be good in the highest degree, who wishes not to others the largest measure of the greatest good. To omit for a year, or for a day, the most efficacious methods of advancing Christianity, in compliance with any purposes that terminate on this side of the grave, is a crime of which I know not that the world has yet
had an example, except in the practice of the planters in America, a race of mortals whom, I suppose, no other man wishes to resemble.
• When the Highlanders read the Bible, they will natur:lly wish to have its obscurities cleared, and to now the history, collateral or dependent Knowledge always desires increase : it is like fire which must be kindled by some external agent, but which will afterwards propagate itself.
When they once desire to learn, they will naturally have recourse to the nearest language by which that desire can be gratilied ; and one will tell another, that if he would attain knowledge, he must learn English.'
Art. X. Remarks on an Article in the Edinburgh Review, in which
the Doctrine of Hume on Miracles is maintained. By the Rev. James Somerville, Minister of Drumelzier. 8vo. pp 34. price ls.
Edinburgh, Oliphant, and Co.; London, Hatchard, 1815. WHEN we noticed, in our Number for last December, the
strange revival and recommendation, by an Edinburgh Reviewer, of Hume's repeatedly exploded tenets respecting miracles, we felt persuaded that the vigilant defenders of the Christian religion, north of the Tweed, would, no more than ourselves, suffer so censurable and dangerous an attack upon established doctrines, to pass without animadversion. We have not been disappointed. Two papers, in refutation of the Edinburgh Reviewer's reasonings, have appeared in a very respectable magazine, “ The Edinburgh Christian Instructor;" one of which, with a little enlargement, is now laid before the public in a separate pamphlet.
This masterly production, for such in truth it is, is divided into three sections. In the first, the Author examines the reasoning of Laplace. He shows, decisively, that that distinguished mathematician reasons from false premises; that he deals in mere assertion without proof, and not only without proof, but without foundation ; that when Laplace says, we should not believe extraordinary or miraculous occurrences on any testimony whatever," he is contradicted by the whole his
tory of mankind; for it is the unquestionable fact, that man• kind have, in all ages, believed the most extraordinary occur
rences on what they considered as good testimony.' He shews, that the first of Laplace's premises, is no other than his conclusion ;-that he assumes the very question in dispute, and makes that assumption the medium of proving it; --thus proving the thing by itself !--The Author terminat s this section by an observation, which, as it proves that when a geometer pretends to settle this question definitively, he wanders out of his appropriate province, we shall quote at length.