« PreviousContinue »
whom they find passing, one after another, through the change called death, about which their curiosity will not be at all satisfied by merely learning its name. These inqui.. ries will often begin to interest them, and therefore these doctrines and sanctions of religion may be beneficially introduced into their minds, sooner a great deal than our anthor seems willing they should hear any thing about God as a Judge, or a future state of retribution. Besides, we do not know what the economy may be at Edgeworth's Town, but in a family where there is any avowed attention to religion, where the children are made acquainted with even only select portions of the Scriptures, where there are any visible acts of devotion, and where it is a practice to attend public worship, it is quite impossible to preveni them from acquiring the ideas in question in some form; and therefore, unless parents will adopt systematically, and maintain with the most vigilant care, the practical habits of atheists, in order to keep the children's minds clear of these ideas, there is an absolute necessity of presenting these ideas in a correct though inadequate form as early as possible to the mind, to prevent their being fixed there in a form that, shall be absurd and injurious...
The Essay proceeds to indicate the practical discipline for cultirating, or rather creating, the virtues of economy, charity, tolerance, and firmness of mind. Here we meet with one of the many instances of compromise between absolute principle and convenience.
In marking the difference between education for different profes.. siops, we may observe that a clergyman's should essentially differ from a lawyer's in one respect. A boy intended for the bar may be, in some degree, indulged in that pertinacious temper, which glories in supporting an opinion by all the arguments that can be adduced in its favour : but a boy designed for the church should never be encouraged to argue for victory; he should never be applauded for pleading his cause well, for supporting his own opinion, or for decrying or expósing to ridicule that of his opponent.' p. 88.
It seems quite a settled principle of our author's morality, thus to make the character of the man not only secondary to the professional character, but a sacrifice to it. Nor can we know where the operation of this principle is to be limited, nor whether it has any limits. If, as in the case before us, the love of truth, and, by infallible consequence, the practical love of justice, may thus be exploded, by a formal sanction to the love of victory, and to a pertinacity regardless of right and wrong, for the sake of producing professional expertness,—what other virtue should we hesitate to sacrifice to the same object? Thus expli
better of the worne says, that they håndk
of an illusory diction, and frankly avow, that, as to the point of virtue and matter of conscience involved in the honesty enjoined on the clergyman, that is all a joke ; but that the plain thing is, there is a professional propriety in the clergyman's cultivating the quality in question, and a professional contenience in the lawyer's despising it.
The remainder of the essay briefly traces, without affecting any novelty of system, the proper course of a young clergy man's studies, previously to his going to college, ‘at college, and in his subsequent years. The Frenth and English modes of eloquence are contrasted, and the latter, for very good reasons, preferred. There are some - plain and usefül søggestions of methods of disciplide, by wbich the preacher should accomplish himself as a good speaker. He is advised to study the pulpit manners of living preachers, not for so poor and absurd an object as the imitation of even the best of them, but to perfect his abstract idea of excellence by means of a consideration of various examples; better and worse, for be recommends the student to hear some of the worst specimens as well as the best. Among the vilest sort, he says, should be classed all those cleri. cal coxcombs, tho show, that they are niore intent on the nice management of a cambric bandkerchiet, or the display of a brilliant ring on their white hands, than upon the . truths of the Gospel, or the salvation of their auditors.' The following is an useful caution.
• It is of greater consequence to him than it may at first sight appear, to avoid, while he is young, aby peculiarities of accent or gesture, or any habitual tricks while he is studying or thinking earnestly, because these habits may recur in public when he is speaking with earnestness, and when he is so far engrossed by his subject as to speak as he would do in private conversation. Nothing therefore should be considered as trio vial which may lessen the effect of that earpestness, that total forgetful. Dess of self, which is the greatest charm of eloquence. A preacher should be able, without apprehension, to let his natural gestures appear, and his auditors, when they are mored by his earnestness, should not be in danger of having their feelings checked or changed by any thing in his manner or accent that would raise any disagreeable or ludicrous ideas.' p. 103.
He concludes by recommending the clergyman to acquaint himself accurately with the various modes of faith, worsbip, and religious establishment, in our own and other countries, in order to keep himself clear of bigotry and party violence, and to become qualified to act the part of a wise and libee ral moderator among others..
On taking leare of the clerical profession, the author apa pears to take a final and willing leave of religion. The
word is admitted, indeed, two or three times, in enumerating the requisite instructions for the other professions ; it is in troduced just as a notice that the subject has been duly disposed of already ; and the writer appears glad to be thus left at full liberty to sketch the whole scheme of the education of the soldier, physician, lawyer, and statesman, without formally including this ungracious article. Suci a thing as a solemn regard to the Governor of the world, and a rigorous adherence to his revealed laws, was deemed too trifling or too fanatical to be brought forwards in each of the delineations of professional excellence, as a purifier of ini. tives, as a prescriber of ends, and a regulator in the choice of means, in every department of human action. It was not that
the author was anxious to avoid repetition; for most of the • other requisite brauches of instruction, and qualities of cha
racter, which have been illustrated and enforced as indispensable or highly useful for one profession, are again fully in sisted on with reference to another, and still another. Nor do we complain of this repetition. The value of what may be called a philosophical memory, of a most carefully cultivated reasoning faculty, of intellectual and moral self-command, of a certain portion of learning and science, and of extensive knowledge of mankind, is obviously so great to all persons employed iu important concerns, that the reader is willing and pleased to have thein brought again in view, in order to its being shewn in what manner they are indispensable in the education of the physician, or the lawyer, or the statesman. But, while such ample liberty is taken of enlarging again, iti the successive divisions of the work, on several qualifications which are not merely professional, but are indispensable to professional men, just because they are indispensable to all enlightened and useful men, we own we cannot help receiving an unfavourable impression of the moral quality of a work, from seeing so careful an omission, (except in the part where it was unavoidably to be noticed as professionally necessary,) of that one qualiñcation of human character, which is the only secure basis of any virtue, and gives the purest lustre to every talent.
i. (To be concluded in the next Number.). Art III. A Treatise on Plane and Spherical Trigonometry. By Robert
Woodhouse, A. M.F. R. S. Fellow of Caius College, Cambridge, 8vo..
guage that has proceeded from the mouth of maliy an aggrieved mortal, since the time when it was first used by the afflicted Job ; and we can readily imagine that se
veral of the unhappy wights, who have smarted under the severity of Mr. Woodhouse's critical Jasb, in the Monthly and Critical Reviews, * have more than once adopted this exclamation. We can perceive, too, that when an old reviewer publishes a book, many authors, who have real or fancied ground for complaint, very clieerfully become volunteer reviewers, and contribute to the several journals the result of their disinterested, candid, apd dispassionate examinations, . We have not yet, however, received any communications of this kind; and, as we think it a point of courtesy to treat our brother reviewer with all possible respeet, civility, and kindness, we have used our utmost diligence to get the start of our correspondents, and lay before the public our own impartial, unbiassed opinion of Mr. Woodhouse's Treatise.
This performance is intended to communicate something more than the mere elements of the science, in the sense to which they have usually been restricted. Besides the resolution of triangles, Mr, W. proposes to develope a variety of trigonometrical formulæ, having especial regard to such aş may be preparatory to the study of Mathematical Philosophy, and particularly of Physical Astronomy; all inquiries into which having been conducted, since the time of Newton, as our author reinarks, by trigonometrical symbols. 17
« If we would understand these enquiries, we must subnrit previously to learn the language in which they are made. Complaints are free quently heard against the abstruseness of foreign mathematical writings : but the abstruseness arises perhaps more from the strangeness of the lans guage than the real intricacy of the subject of investigation; foreign mathematicians suppose their readers to be acquainted with the former ; and is it strange, if they embarrass those who are obliged, at the rame time, to attend to the peculiar nature of the subject, and the meaning of terms and phrases, that is, obliged at once to learn a language and a science ?"
The treatise commences with the division of the circle into degrees, &c. the definitions of sinès, cosines, tangents, and other linear-angular quantities: expressions for these quantities are given, first, when the radius of the circle is supposed equal to unity, and then when radius =r, is introduced. Then the sine and cosine of an angle of a plane triangle are expressed in terms of the sides, the proportin onality of the sides of triangles to the sines of their oppo. site angles is shewn, expressions are deduced for the area of a triangle, and several of the most useful formulæ for the sine anil cosine of the sum of two arcs. The author then