Abbildungen der Seite
PDF

On the Great Abuse os ihe Sabbat R. 17J But alas, here, as is but too fathers, and had a great hand in the

fall.

often the cafe, among medical writers, is a plain contradiction.

For if Mufa used them, who lived before Galen, who says it happened in his own time, Galen must be mistaken; and the more so, as Areteus, a predecessor to Galen, with but little variation, mentions the fame story; and moreover fays, "Thatit was a tale not very certain, although not altogether incredible." Celsus seems, likewise, to allude to the same story, as the learned Dr. Heberden, in his note on his brother's account •of the cure of the leprosy in Madeira, informs us, in article zd of the new Medical Transactions.

But, after all, it seems a mere fable, as there are too many such attending our art, unless our ancestors were superior to those of our own days in wisdom and virtue. Besides, it is much more likely a serpent would ihun, than be allured to such strong liquor as wine, to which most animals have a natural aversion. Not to dwell on the improbability of a single viper containing so much virtue as to effect the stubborn leprosy in so sliort a time.

In sliort, whether we consider the history, or mystery, of the serpent as the instrumental introducer of fin, sickness, and death, into these sublunary regions, (and let him invent a fitter causethat can) it seems most unnatural, and repugnant to all fense and reason, to apply to him for health and long life, who was the original cause of our misery and death; and it looks as if the devil himself herein also imposed upon our ignorant fore

deception. The volatile salt of vipers, which I have paid two guineas an ounce for, is reckoned, because so costly, very choice accordingly; when, in my humble opinion, there is really no material difference, between salt of vipers, and any other volatile salt so extracted by chymistry. For as it is a mere creature of the fire in that form, it retains no more virtue than what is common to all salts of that fort. And as to viper broth, so* much recommended, plain veal, and cock broth, are much cheaper, pleasanter, and more nourishing and natural by far. Indeed, they join these with the other, as well they may, both to cover the nauseousnefs, and add virtue to the fame.

Wherefore as whim introduced vipers among the Latins first into practice* credulity continued their use, and craft made a trade of them, no deference at all is due to the authority of antient writers thereon. Not to mention the great price of dried vipers, and their little efficacy after brought from so far and exposed to the air.

To conclude, the frequent disappointments of cure therefrom; their great dearness; the disagreeable idea attending the preparation, and use of them, together with the strong aversion of swallowing serpents, I think may be reasons sufficient for us honestly to undervalue such unnatural drugs, and to prevail for the antient and ugly use of vipers to be totally laid aide. Yours,

J Cook.

On the Great Abuse os the Sabbath.

IT is really surprising and shameful to see to what an height of abuse and profanation the sabbath is now brought.—A day sanctified and ordained by God himself, for rest and

prayer.—But alas! this command of the great Creator of the universe isfin some places, almost eradicated.— Cities and corporate towns, places one would think (from the great Z 2 gaiety gaiety which they generally abound -with) would be the first for profaning this day; but, on the contrary, the country (that is, the villages, &c. interspersed throughout the country) is moil addicted to this vice. This day, ordained for rest and devotion, is, by the junior inhabitants of these places, generally made a day of sport and diveriir.11: nothing is more common than to sec in these villages, on the sabbath day, twenty or thirty youths (and sometimes aged men) gathered together, the major part of

which, perhaps, never go to their place of public worship, or if they do, the moment it is over, away they run to a place appointed for their meeting; there foot-ball, wrestling, cricket, jumping, fighting, and aa enormous use of oaths, is made their exercise: and the clergy os these places generally take too little pain» for restraining this vice of profaning the Lord's day—which, that time may effect, is the sincere wishes of Lincoln, Od. 12,

1768. J. B. Ashtok.

To the Editors of the OXFORD MAGAZINE.

Gentlemen,

As you have favoured me with an insertion of my answer to the first theological query, I am encouraged to send you my answer to the second, which if you think fit to insert, you will confer an additional obligation on,

Gentlemen, your's, Wadhamensis. On the Difference Between Men and Brutes,

THAT the difference between men and brutes may be exactly ascertained, it will be necessary to explain the'r several powers and properties, that we may observe what powers they possess in common with each other, and wherein they differ. That brutes are actuated by an immaterial principle is most certain, since it is impossible that mere matter can perform those operations that are conspicuous in the brute creation, as will appear by an enumeration of the essential properties of matter, which are these, solidity, extension, divisibility, a capacity of being moved from place to place, and a passiveness or inactivity, otherwise called, the Vis inertia. None of these can be assigned as sufficient causes of the operations of brutes. The locomotive powers they possess in common with men, and some brutes exert those powers in a more transcendent degree in proportion to their superior agility: these locomotive powers are contrary to one cf the

primary properties' of matter, namely, the -vis inertia, or inclination to rest. No being can be endued with contrary powers, for then they would destroy each other. Since they are possessed of the locomotive powers, they must be void of the w inertia, and consequently have some principle distinct from matter. It will be in vain to object that they may possess a refined species of matter, for matter, however refined, is the fame in its nature and properties. Different modifications may alter its form and magnitude, but its characteristical properties will remain immutable. God is a God of order, he has fixed the laws of the universe on a firm basis: he has classed the different systems of creation with the utmoif regularity, and has assigned to each its separate department. Spiritual things are not confounded with material, nor material things with spiritual. It may seem derogatory to the dignity of human nature to plead for an immaterial principle in brutes:

but but it should be considered, that if we deny an immaterial principle in brutes, we (hall be induced to deny an immaterial principle in men. For if we allow that mere matter is sufficient to produce the operations of brutes, why may it not produce the operations of men ? Since the operations of brutes, in their kind and degree, are as contrary to the properties of matter as the operations of men. An immaterial principle in brutes, is an argument to prove an immaterial principle in men; for if brutes have immaterial principles, men mull have them likewise, being their superiors in the scale of existence.

Having thus endeavoured to prove an immaterial principle in brutes, lac us now proceed to a more direct answer to the question proposed. As matter is diversified in innumerable forms, and is endued with various qualities, if we may reason from analogy, spirit is diversified in various modes of existence, and possesses numerous powers of operation. All material bodies have some fundamental laws by which they are united to each other, and spiritual substances may be joined in the fame manner, by some bond of union to us unknown. Passiveness is a quality inseparable from matter of every kind, and activity seems to be a quality inseparable from spirit. The immaterial principle in brutes is different from the immaterial principle in men in some respects, and similar to it in others. The brutes are endued with the fame powers of sensation, and their appetites are congenial to the human. Some of them are very docible, and display great sagacity in their operations. The powers of instinct resemble reason in so great a degree, that it has been said,

"Man differs more from man, thap "man from beast."

The in waid essence of instinct can

m

not be understood by a. creature who is ignorant of the inward essence even of material substances, mucb. more of those that are spiritual and immaterial: yet we are fully convinced of its influence, which is regular and uniform, and is exempt from those commotions that are the effects of free-agency.

Whatever imitations of reafo brutes may exhibit, yet the author of nature has fixed a specific difference between them and men. The organs of sense are the sources from \vhich they derive their internal perceptions; and they are incapable of abstract reflection. As their bodies are prone to the earth; so their minds are confined to carnal sensations, and they have no taste for any refined and sublime pleasure. Their appetites are under no restraint; and they readily obey every impulse of nature. How different is man in whom reason fits enthroned, and whose appetites and pasiions are placed as vassals subject to the controul of the inward monarch! Let man, then, be careful to vindicate his sovereignty in moderating his sensitive appetites, by which he is allied to inferior animals; and cultivating. his intellectual and moral powers, by which he is allied to superior beings, and to the Deity himself. It is probable, that all created spirits have some connexion more or less with matter, and that the Deity alone is a pure and refined spirit entirely free from any alloy.

Among the distinguishing privileges of men above brutes, we may place a foresight of futurity, by which the distant consequences of things are penetrated with a piercing eye; and they become, in some degree, partakers of the divine prescience. Yet it may be made a queCtion, whether men have any reason

boast of thejr sagacity in anticipating things to com-. The pleasures and pains of brutes arise from

present

present perceptions: future pleasures and future pains are equally unknown. From this ignorance of futurity they are enabled to enjoy the present moment with the highest relish; whereas man launches forth into the ocean of futurity, in which he loses himself amidst a multiplicity of hopes and fears. Ignorance of religion distinguishes them likewise from man: they may mimic man in respect to reason, but in respect to religion, the pre-eminence of man shines forth with undiministied lustre. It is his peculiar prerogative to know and adore the author of his being: let him be jealous of his noble privilege with a godly jealousy.

Thus have we considered the powers which brutes and men possess in common with each other, and wherein they differ: and from these

distinct powers we may conclude, that the subjects in which those powerJ subsist, are distinct and different from each other. It is impossible to shew the precise difference of their immaterial principles taken abstractedly: we can only judge concerning them by their effects, which effects are certain and evident. The best method of investigating truth is by visible phœnomena, rather than from imaginary hypotheses.

To conclude. Let us not exercise a wanton cruelty over the brutes, but reflect that they are our fellow-creatures, partakers with us of the fame carnal nature. Remember, O man, "who makes thee to differ: what "hast thou which thou hast not re"ceived? Therefore do not glory as "if thou hadst not- received it.'*

To tie Editojis of the OXFORD MAGAZINE.

Gentlemen,

THO the Gentleman's Magazine has been my favourite for several years, I think I shall greatly indulge my taste, by taking and recommending, likewise, the Oxford; picturesque in material colours, as it is an universal language, and unites in one point the quintessence of an extensive literary production, when combined, as in your literary production, with useful and entertaining literature, bids fair to engage all forts and conditions of men as your purchasers. That lively and interesting satire, the Rising of the Inferior Clergy, gave me a hint, that the present provision for schoolmasters, on perpetuities, might afford the public as quaint an occasion for mirth and pity. The following letter, being actually sent to a leading alderman of a midland corporation, and obtaining no redress, is finally re

fered to you, to make what use of it you may. Yours,

Leicestriensis.

The Address of a Schoolmaster, to a leading Alderman, of an ancient, large, and opulent Borough.

Sir, L r, Jan.. I r, 1767.

THOUGH I have greater obligations to Mr. B. and his friends, than to Mr. D. and his; yet am I firmly resolved to observe a strict neutrality; and shall for the future, neither write nor vote for party, unless provoked by personal hostility. As to kindnesses—Candor must own, I owe —very—very little gratitude to any. That the nature of obligation may not be mistaken, I thus define it.— Obligation is a favour conferred, bat not retaliated, or answered, by an equivalent, and something more; a person retains you, at five shillings for a certain business, and a certain

time,

[ocr errors][graphic]
« ZurückWeiter »