Page images
PDF

themes of boundless invective; and scarcely hesitate to believe : the rest many are so strangely infatuated, as are not to be pitied any more than a to make them arguments for dilbee family, which, having unjustly got. lief in revelation. The facts can- ten possesion of an estate, is comnot be doubted nor denied, that the pelled to restore it to the right heir. Israelites attacked Palestine, subducd The right of a people to change it, made slaves of many, drove away its form of government will not be some, and destroyed myriads of the doubled by any one who considers other inhabitants of the country. the theory of government, or has That this has been frequently done any acquaintance with history. The in the history of mankind it is well wildom and propriety of their choice knowo, but in the case of the 11. may be often called in question. The raelites a divine authority is urged, government of the Israelites differed and this is supposed to be incompa: originally from any thai had ever or tible with the attributes of Deity. has since exified. In the great con. The cruelty exercised upon this oc- vention of the people, they had casion, and the injustice of driving chosen, with loud acclamations, God people from their homes, are much to be their king; and they thus pofdwelt upon; but it is not considered fessed a privilege beyond that of any that God is the master of the earth, nacion upon carth.' In confequence and he has a right to do what he they received a code of laws, which chooses with his own. Some hun has never been equalled, much less dred years before, he had allotted surpailcu, by that of any other na. this land to the descendants of an tion. From the people arose many individual, when the land was thinly violations of the compact : they freinhabited, and the divine command quently broke their oaths of alle. was not a secret. For forty years, giance; yet their sovereign did not that the children of Israel were in throw them off, but hadcompallion on the wilderness, their intentions were their failings. At last, they are tired declared of taking poffeffion of what of the best mode of government; they confidered as their own; and and, instead of appiying for the re. during this time the inhabitants of dress of grievances in a conititutional the country had full opportunity of manner, they run headlong into ex. examining their pretensions. On the tremes, and will deltroy entirely the one hand were niraculous posers, form of their government. How and a most wonderful preservation of much is this like the conduct of mon a numerous body of people in a de- in later days, and how difficult it is fert, which ought to have convinced to inspire them with prudence and the possessors of their power, and that resolution ; and, if men will overthey were preserved for some great throw the best form of government, and mighty end: and in no country we are not to be lurpriled at inferior whatsoever will posTellion be deemed instances of this revolutionary spirit sufficient, if the poffeflors cannot jul- in the history of mankind. Among tify their claimn. The right lay with the various inodes of electing a king, the children of Israel, and, instead of that by lot must in these times appear ipvectives on the cruelty with which extraordinary: but the history of it was at last enforced, we should rather mankind does not irrefragably condwell on the long forbearance of God, fure the propriety of this singular which afforded an opportunity of forty miode of election. . years for those families on whom the. The deposing of Saul's family, miracles of his power had produced a and electing of that of David, are suitable effect, and induced them proofs of God's sovereignty over the to remove, with their property, to whole earth. This is the great point other regions of the earth. That at which human pride continually re. a few may have done this, we can coils. Plans are contrived to vest the sovereignty in one family, yet Templars ; the murder of Becker, nothing can preserve it there but a and the death of Richard the Firs. line of conduct which is founded The first epoch mentioned in this upon wisdom: and hence perpetual period, or the death of William the change accompanies the history of Second, happened at a time which the fovereignty in every nation. Saul makes it easy to be retained in the was raised from an humble station to memory, and thus to connect the be king over Israel; but he was not events in the history of England with a fit instrument for the purposes of those of other naticns. He was Providence: he was therefore re- killed in one of the monuments of moved, and another placed in his Norman rapide and cruelty,--- Hampsoom. Thus it is with all fove- shire forest, on the second of August reigns; and however they may think eleven hundred, and left behind him their exaltation due to some personal no regret for his memory. His fa. prowess or virtue, they are placed ther's reign had been distinguished by there, and can retain their station the introduction of the feudal fyltem, only as long as their conduct answers the erecting of castles, and the briog. the purposes of superior wisdom. But ing into subjection the whole body of in the raising of David to the throne the English nation : the fon policid we are all more interested, for he no qualities to render himn estimable, was a particular object of God's pro. and he found na difficulty in retailvidence, and through him is raised ing his father's conquests. Happily a throne superior to all the thrones of for him who had no right to the the earth. An heir was promised to crown, the religious madness had him, to whom all nations should pay broken out, which carried numbers willing obedience. We have seen from Europe on an idle enterprile the prophecy in part fulfilled; we into the Holy Land; and thus, by have seen the end of this dynasty in easing one part of the world of a band him who was barbarously perfecuted, of profligate robbers, made way for and put to death; and yet, through a degree of civilization among those the power of God, enabled to rise who were left behind. The elder from the dead, and to send to all brother was thus carried away, and quarters of the earth messengers to William the Second seized his throne; proclaim his power. The time is but every one who wishes to have not yet come for the manifestation of an idea of this island or of Europe at his person, and universal obedience to this period should be particularly at. his kingdom ; yet every one who has tentive to the history of the Crusades. been attentive to the course of the di The second epoch is the founda. vine government cannot doubt, that, tion of the order of Knights Tem. as surely as David succeeded to ise plars, which took place in the year throne of Israel, in consequence of eleven hundred and twenty-two, and the divine appointment made known had for its object the preservation of by the prophet Samuel, fo surely the sepulchire and temple arched Thall the universal dominion of our over it at Jerusalem. From the Saviour be a consequence of his re- foundation of such an order, and the surrection from the dead.

idle object it had in view, we may Quest III. Which are the most judge of the folly and fuperftition of important epochs between the inva. mankind. The order, however, af. sion of this kingdom by William the forded means of getting rid of many Norman, and the signing of Magna wild and furious fpirits, who by tra. Charta by John ?

velling from homne had an opportu. These epochs are, the death of nity of secing their own defects, and Willam the Second; the foun. bringing back some improvements dation of the order of Knights into their country. The stories told

of the depravity of this order on its : land for their amusement. The diffolution are scarcely credible: it fpirit is not, even in these days, engrew rich, and, from the nature of tirely extinct, though a greater de. its institution, was difTolute; more gree of civilization, and the imopenlo fo than the orders of monks,provements of agriculture and comwhich were contined entirely to re- merce, have left less fcope for its ligious duives. The order of Maita exertion. The Game Laws remain, aroie into inondour out o: its lup- however, a disgrace to the country, prefion; and that illand is now en- and serve more to perpetuate din tirely our own, and not likely to be putes among country'Iquires, and again ceded into the hands of mili- to increase the price of game, than tary eccleíiaftics. Curiolity will lead to benefit the lords of the manors, us to become acquainted with the to whom this nearly last remain of hiltory of these orders.

the feudal lyfiem is attached. Tua The third epoch is the death few years this veftige of antient of Archbishop Becket, which took bondage will probably be abolished; place in the year 1172. His whole and when partridges are fold in lifc, froin the time of his promotion the market, the squire will find to the archiepiscopal xrone, had that his amusement is not dimibeen marked by a fixed determina- nihed, nor the peace of his mind tion to raise the spiritual above the harassed by his puny warfare again it civil power; and it is not therefore poachers.

furprising that he became a fajnt at The foundation of the order of • his death, that miracles were faid Knights Templars will lead to many

to have been worked at his tomb, reflections on the nature of superand that the church at Canterbury lition, and the ease with which it was enriched by the offerings inade adapts itself to the manners of the at his thrive.

times. The age was an age of vioThe last cpoch mentioned is the lence. Fighting and praying were death of Richard the Firít, and the two trades held in the highest accellion of John to the crown, estimation. The chevaliers of old which took place in the year 1199, took op arms; those inclined to an or one year less than twelve hun- ealer life took up the cowl, as the dred; thus making an easy date means of advancing iheinfelves in for the memory. This prince was the world, and battening on the tirongly intected with the religious fruits of more honourable induftry. Madness of the times, and.according To unite there two arts gave trengil to the then prevailing notions, was to both, and the chains of the inteesteemed a great and glorious prince, rior orders in society were more for watting his firength in idle en- closely rivetted. The fighting orterprises in the eatt, and fortaking ders of monks were an excellent the talk which it became him to resource for the younger fons of perform the good government of families. Celibacy was an artful his kingdom.

restraint to prevent too great a des Quelt. IV. To what reflections mand on the paternal estate ; and do thiese epochs give rise ?

profligacy and debauchery were The death of William the Second the natural consequences. An ayc, in llampihne forest, leadsus to re- when such a vicious fociety could flect on the abject flavery of those be permitted to exilt, mult be netimes, and the nature of the Forest celiarily very depraved and ignorant; Laws. The banghty barons of Nor- yet these orders have probably a mandy held the life of a man in lefs great effect in throwing fome light eitimation than the beasts which into the gloom of dark ages. Barwere to be kept on vast tracts of barous as these praying foldiers were, thiev could not travel into ra. this character affords much food rious countries without fonne new for reficctiun. He was one of the ideas farting in their minds; and heroes of antient chivalry; that, they would probably be among the a being little better than a lavare, first to laugh at the supertition or a modern boxer, who placed bs which they had sworn to detend. glory in running after adventures,

The murderof Archbishop Becket and fighting, without any ratiood! leads us to many reflections on the pretext for a practice, which, untis life of this extraordinary man, and it is inevitable, is a disgrace to a m. the abominable pretentions of the tional being. From this idle tacy prieits of those days. We have ob- he left his kingdom, and was terved, that the life of Dunftan ought from his proper pofi far livinicu ile to be well liudied, to give an idea of greater part of his reign: 147 the power of the monks at a former life cannot be considered as wills period. The life of Bechet contains lle carried out of the kingdom":"ın• the great points in the history of bers as mad-brained as hinteli; atid prieltcraft. It is the more import- opportunities were offered for colli ant, because the contest was not vating a degree of spirit, which was carried ou between the church and manifested in the succeeding tech a weak prince: the fovereign was a About this time the people began high-spirited prince, pofletting the to rise from their depretiion; and, fagacity of the statesman, and the contemptible as was the object of courage of the warrior. The peo- the crusades, in their end ther affe ple, however, were too degraded to afgreat use to the nations of Europe. allilt his efforts: the power of the Quest. V. It is faid that Dr. O!. church was too great to be reGlied: bers has discovered a planet at the men did not dare to think, nor bad diliance of three tliouland and iorty. they courage to ask, what preten- feren millions of iniles from the Gons a set of vagabonds, owning the fun, about which it moves round pre-eminence of a prieit at Rome, in 211 years; that the sun would had to lord it over their foverciso appear to us ftuated in the lanet and theinselves. In thole times, the of the fize only of a fixed liar, and little learning there was, was en- that the planet is three times the giofled almost entirely by the cler- fize of Jupiter. Now, fuppoling that gy: religions services were offered the planet is at the distance from the 11) an unknown tongue; the Bible fun laid down, it is required to de was not translated into the language termine its periodical ume; allo, of of the country. Little do numbers what lize the fun would appear to reflect on the inestimable advantages us, if we were in the planet; and derived merely from the latter cir- what is the proportion of heal in cumtiance. A kingof England found the planet to ours on this earth, it neceilary to make a pilgrimage when the sun is at the faine altitude to the tomb of a man, who had re- in both planets? peatedly covered bim with infults; If the planet's mean distance and to new still more lirongly the were as it is laid down in the quel. arrogance and height of the spiritual tion, it would move round the lo power, he was compelled to l'ubmit in one hundred and eighty-one to a disgraceiul punishment, and to wears, two hundred and thirty-fix expiate his supposed crime by abject days nearly, from the well-known fubjection tu the most contempuble law of the heavenly bodies. By of human beings.

this law, if the proportion of the The death of Richard the First we distances of any two bodies from mentioned only as an æra for the the sun is kuonn, the proportion of fake of the memory; but the life of their years is known. Thus the distance of the new planet being the fun at the fupposed planet is said to be three thousand and little more than a tenth of the apforty-seven millions of miles, and parent diaineter of the moon to us, that of the earth being ninety- it by no means follows that the retive millions of miles, the pro- tio of the heat in the planet to our portion of their distances is that of heat can be ascertained. We are one thousand and forty-seven to not fufficiently acqnainted with the ninety-five. But the law of the nature of beat to determine this heavenly bodies is, that the Square point. As far as it depends merely of the time of revolution of one on the sun's beains, the heat at the planet is to the square of the time planet must be very inconsiderable of revolution of the other planet, as when compared with that on the the cube of the distance of the first earth': but, if heat is neceffary, there planet to the cube of the distance may be causes within the planet itof the second planet. Hence, by self that may compensate for the the rule of three, the square of the deficiency of power in the solar periodic time of the new planet is beams, and make the planet as haequal to one year multiplied into bitable as our own. the cube of -07:?; or the log. of this Quest. VI. Is there any wellperiodic time is equal to three-halfs grounded probability that many of the logarithm of 10:17 diminished more plinets inay be discovered by the logarithiin of 95.' Whence moving round thic fun, and whence the year of the new planet is found did it arise that this planet has not to be as above stated, one hundred been seen at any other time? and eighty-one of our years, and two Every thing that we see around bundred and thirty-six days. us gives us reaton to believe that · The apparent magnitude of the the vast space between the sun and fun at the new planet is discovered the orbit of Herschell contains many by anotherand easy proportion. The planets hitherto indiscovered. The diameier of the sun is about 883217 telescope is only a modern discomiles; and the planet's distance being very, and the higher powers of it supposed to be known, the angle have been used with advantage only fubtended by the sun's diameter within a very few years. The new will be equal to the angle of an arc planet is pretended to deviate far in a circle, whofe radius is a thoufand from the zodiac, and of course has and forty-feven millions of miles, been in regions that have less occuand tangent 883217. Or, by loga- pied the attention of astronomers. rithins, the log, tangent of the But, from what has been already angle is equal to the logarithmic observed on this subject, the probaradius, added to the logarithm of biliiv is that the whole is a fiction. 883217, diminited by the loga. We have feen that the account is rithm of 1047000000, or to 10+ by no means consistent, and it 5,9160674. - 9,0199467; that is, to does not appear that any of the 6,9261207, which is the logarithmic aftronoiners in England have retanyent of an angle of two minutes drived from authority any account filiyofur seconds. Consequently the of this phænomenon. If it is merely, ailiertion relative to the size of the as we suppose, a fiction, we hope fun, as it appears at this supposed that fonic one will give himself the plonet, is totally unfounded; and we trouble of tracing the origin of it. may therefore be allured that the ac- It appeared in several newspapers, count circulated in the English pa- and there will be therefore no diffipers never came from Dr. Olbers. culty in ascertaining in which it was

Though the apparent diameter of first inserted. The newspaper editor

« PreviousContinue »