Page images
[ocr errors][merged small][graphic][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]



A PRIL 1794




(WITH A PORTRAIT.) · THIS Gentleman, to whom thc Pub. would have been a very laborious one,

lic has already been indebted for was probably laid aside on Mr. Croft's feveral useful and entertaining works, abandoning the profession of the Law and to whom (should the present times and devoting himself to the Church. continuc in their unaccountable negle&t) On this occasion he removed with his potcrity alone will have to

family 10 Oxford, and entered himself ihanks for a moft claborate and in. of University College. During his reportant display of the English language fidence there he pursued with unabated in an improved edition of Johnson's vigour, “ unpatronized and unsupportDictionary, is, we believe, descended ed," his improvement of Dr. Johnson's from, or at least related tó, a Bishop of Dictionary, which in the ycar 1792 lie Hereford bearing both ḥis names, who proposed to publish by subscription., lived in the last century. Mr. Croft That these Proposals have not been rewas born about the year 1752. His fa- ceived with the encouragement that ther, if we mistake not, held an office might have been expected, we believe in the Court of Chancery, and he him. to be certain. We do not, however, self was brought up to the Law, was pretend to account for the neglect of so regularly called to the Bar, and prac. valuable a work, and we cannot forbcar siled some time in Westminster Hail expresling our regret at it. with a degree of success which might While Mr. Croft continued at the Warrant him to look forwards both to Bar, he enjoyed an intimacy with one the honours and emoluments of the pro. whose patronage was expected by many feffion.

of his friends to ensure him preferment. As most of Mr. Croft's literary per Whether he had any expectations him. formances have been anonymous, we

self we know not. It is less doubtful do not profess to give a complcat account that he has had no obligations from that. of them. The first, if we are not mis. quarter. taken, was published in 1775, and was When Mr. Croft's great work the entitled, “: Å Brother's Advice to his English Dictionary was lo far completed Sisters."

In 1780 he published "Love as to be ready for the press, he quitted and Madness,"containing many curious Oxford, and soon afterwards loft his wife, anccdotes of the unfortunate Chatter. not only the mother of his children, ton. He also was the author of “ The but the laborious affiftant in his exten. Literary Fly," and in the same year, five work, and in less than two months 1780, published a pamphlet on the rives afterwards two of his children;" events eatitled, “ Fanaticisin and Treason, or which he notices very pathetically in a Difpaffiorate History of the Rise, his Proposals. Since ihat period he is Progress, and Suppression of the rebel become porfesed of some prefermeno at lious Infurrcctions in June 1780." Quebec, which 'we understand does

In 1781 he furnished Dr. Johnson not require his attendance. What he with the Life of Dr. Edward Young, has resolved upon in relation to his Dic. which was published in that author's tionary has not transpired, but we hope edition of the Lives of the English Poets; it will yet meet with that encourageand in 1782 he printed a pamphlet en,

ment which fo useful, fo accurate, and, titled " Some Account of an intended according to the character we have Publication of the Statutes on a Plan en- heard of it, so perfect a performance of tirely new.” The exccution of this its kind has a right to claim from a just, Hork, which from the nature of it a liberal, and an opulent nation.


K k 2


HAS man a foul or has he not? I have we feed on bread it is formed of corr

always been strongly disposed to which sprung from the earth : we feed think that men differ in their opinions on meat—it is severed from an animal muchéless than is generally conceived: who fed, who grew, who flourished, The discussion of the proposed question upon the herbage which sprung from will illustrate and support my per- the earth : to the earth we may trace fuasion.

whatever we consume; and when we The materialist and immaterialist ap. die, when the animating principle is pear to disagree toto calo; I apprehend, filed, we moulder away to earth again, however, we lball find that in reality to matter composed like all other mat. they differ in a trifle, perhaps in no ter, of innumerable atoms, extended, thing. It is only in an admission of impenetrable, weighty, and possessed of facts, and in their judgment upon those that sturdy principle of inactivity which facts, that men can differ; there is no equally refifts a change, either from reft other object upon which diversity of to motion, or from motion to reft. Take sentiment can possibly arise. Now in then two hundred weight of this matter, the present question the facts admitted and dispose and combine and by both parties must be precisely, the as you please: mould it, in imagination fame. Each party must acknowledge mould it, into the figure of man: form that man consists of a mass of organized out of it a heart, and brain, and lungs, matter, possessed of all the common pro- and arteries, and veins, and muscles ; perties of other matter; and, in addi. let a Auid be compelled to circulate like tion to this, of a power of perceiving, blood, to flow through twenty thousand of thinking, and of acting, of a some channels, and recruit by a perpetual thing and of every thing which, in the distribution of adapted aliinent, the in. eye of abstraction, distinguishes a living cessant wear and decay of every part of person from a vegetating carcase. Some the machine : do this, do all that fancy may confound, and others may, divide, can perform with matter will there those two principles in the composition result a sentient, a rational, and an acof man which my subject has led me to tive being, full of life, and vigour, and separate ; but all who are not insane energy, who can explore the annals of must, in some shape or other, admit time, measure the remoteft regions of their existence. Thus far both parties space, and controul the discordant pafare agreed: In what then do they dif- fions of twenty millions of his equals : fer? As far as I can discover they differ The supposition is a mockery of fcnfe ; only in this, That the materialist consi- and we might as reasonably expect to ders the intellectual powers as merely arouse a mind from the construction of property fuperadded to the matter the simplest of the mechanical powers, whichi compuies the body; whilst the im- of a lever, a pulley, or a screw, as from materialist esteems them the property the most elaborate and complex machine, of a substance totally diflin&t from, and, that conceprion can create. in point of existence, independent of The mental powers then exist: the the corporeal machine. of this sub. immaterialist knows nothing of what ftance, however, the immaterialist pro. they are attached to, and acknowledges fesses to know nothing; the most accu that they are connected with the body: rate investigation of others, the most the materialist perceives that they are minute attention to what passes within connected with the body, and acknow, ourselves, is incapable of affording us ledges that there is nothing in the can. the remotest traces of its nature, iis ftruction of the body to which they can qualities, or its effccts. The materialist, ' be ascribed : In what then do these men on the other hand, is compelled to ac differ! Wil the one party maintzin knowledge that there is nothing in the that the body and the mind are totally construction of the human frame to independent of each other, and the which the encrgics of the mind can por other that they are totally dependent ! fibly be ascribed. We are formed of As far as I can see, this is the only cirgross terrestrial substance : our bodies cumitance which is left to diftinguish are perpctually wearing away, and we them; but I believe that neither party draw the fubfiftence by which they are will contend for either of these positions renewed from the bowels of the earth; in their fullest extçut, It will nee ve


contended that they are totally depen, by means of the body, by means of in dent: it has been already conceded that numerable fibres which radiate from the powers of the mind result not from the brain to the eyes, the ears, the nose, the construction of the body; fall we the tongue, and every part of the body,' say then that they entirely depend, foć that we obtain all that external infor, their existence and their exercise, upon mation, all those materials for the opean arrangement of particles, between ration of the mind, without which the which and those powers we are unable intellccts of a Newton would languilk to discover the remotest relation ? We in hopeless inaction. Why indeed a know not, to be sures we know not, filament of nerves connected with the what may be the hidden connections and brain at one extremity, and attached to dependencies on a subject so immeasur- its organ at the other ; why a portion of ably obscure; it is however certainly ordinary matter, arranged in such a unsafe, and repugnant to all just princi- particular form, and acted upon like all ples of reasoning, to assume a greater other inarter by contact or collision, degree of dependency than experience Should convey to my mind


sensation, juftiíy, where, without experience, any image, any conception, of what is we could discover no dependency at all. transacting abroad in the material world, Now such a dependency (an entire is a circumstance for which I cannot dependency) is not warranted bythe fact. pofsibly account : I am justified, howIf the pou ers of the mind be absolutely ever, by the wisdom of nature in afiertdependent on the body, they must fiuc- ing, that all this apparatus is not formed tuare with every change which the in vain; and I know in fact, that if any body undergoes. But the body is in a part of it is impaired, I am deprived of a state of rapid and perpetual change : it source of intelligence of which I was has been calculated, and with great ap. before possessed, and which it is not pearance of truth, that in the lapse of a within the compass of human invention few years not an original particle re to supply. Without doubt there is an mains in the composition of the human eternal diftin&tion between the power, frame : by a change of diet, a silent and the organ, of perception ; without alteration must take place in the texture doubt it is not the eye that fees, nor the of every part of the machine ; and a ear that hears, nor the hand that feels, paroxysm of disease frequently difturbs but that it is I who see, and hear, and like an earthquake the little world of feel, by the intervention of these organs, man; yet we feel, and are sure, that our and to whom, as to a common centre and independent reason survives this gradual a common point of reference, all their or this sudden revolution ; we feel that communicacions are directed ; big we are the same beings to-day that we still it is through them that I am were twenty, or forty, or fixty years affected, and without them it is not casily ago; and an event which occurred conceivable how I could acquire any while our organs and our faculties were perception at all. But it is not only for young, will tart upon us, during the last our perceptions that we are indebted to moments of age, with all the vivid the body : a strict and a frightful condiftin&tness of the most recent impreffior. nection is frequently discovered befwecn In those last moments, too, when the the body and the mind in the exercise of rigid and contracted muscles are become those faculties which appear particularly almof incapable of action, when the capable of fubfifing in perpetual energy, blood languithes into stagnation, when detached from any material organ what all the organs are decayed, and every cver : the intelle&ual operations of the part of the machine is actually worn memory, the fancy, and the judgment, up, we fometimes see, we do not always, should seem to disdain the aid of any we do not frequently, but we sometimes corporeal instrument; and while we fee, the vital Ipark Hill pure ard lucid, enjoy the sweet calin of health and vithe memory retentive, the judgment gour, our feelings corroborate our reason clear, and the imagination warm, with in rejecting the connection : but a Night all the luxuriant vigour of youth.

contufion in the brair, or the burning These symptoms do not certainly indi- access of a fever, foon convinces us of cate an entire dependency of the mental our error; we then behold the most powers upon the precarious texture of awful and affecting spectacle that desothis fugitive machine. It will not, on lation can exhibit; we see the human the other hand, be contended, that they mind, the source and seat of our immor. are absolutely independent of it. It is tal hopes, in hidcous anarchy-the


« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »