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were funk in the most abject superstition, and difgraced by the groffest idolatry. ·
The writers of GREECE and Rome have recorded such numerous and such eminent instances of the genius, valour, and wisdom of their countrymen, as have been the just subjects of the admiration of all succeeding ages; for which reason the accounts of their memorable transactions ought to be carefully inspected before we proceed to survey the HISTORY OF MODERN EUROPE, and or OUR NATIVE COUNTRY.
As Reason is the noblest faculty of the human mind, it is of the highest importance to confider its proper employment, more especially as upon its co-operation with Religion in controlling the fights of the imagination, and abating the violence of the paffions, depends the happiness of life. That system of Logic, therefore, which consists not in abstruse terms, or argumentative subtlety, but in the manly exercise of the rational powers, justly clainis an important place in every system of education.
The various discoveries and improvements in SCIENCE and PHILOSOPHY constitute a peculiar distinction between ancient and modern times. Problems of science, like the arguments of Logic, employ the mind in the vigorous exercise of its powers, and confirm the habits of close application, which are essentially necessary in the prosecution
of every kind of study. Such are the reasons for introducing and recommending due attention to the principles of the MATHEMATICS.
The human mind, not content with speculations upon the properties of matter alone, delights to survey the wonderful works of the GREAT CREATOR, as displayed in the various parts of the universe. This employment is a source of never-failing fatisfaction to perfons of every age. The productions of the animal, the vegetable and the mineral kingdoms are closely connected with the well-being, and are conducive to the fubfiftence of man; to that NATURAL HISTORY claims his particular attention,
And as the elegant Arts poffefs a pleasing influence over the imagination, and furnith a constant variety of amusement and pleasure, it is highly defirable to examine the principles, and confider the application of a correct taste to the beauties of Painting, POETRY, and Music.
In the welfare and prosperity of his native country every Briton is deeply interested. The two great sources of its support, its opulence, and its glary, are: AGRICULTURE and COMMERCE ; to have a knowledge of their leading principles must be allowed to be highly useful and important to every English Gentleman.
Since Since it is a prevailing fashion, particularly among the higher ranks of society, to complete the course of education by visiting foreign countries, it is useful to ascertain the advantages, which may be derived from the practice of TRAVELLING.
As attainments derive their greatest value froin being directed to the purposes of active life, the qualifications requisite for a right conduct in the learned professions of Law, Physic, and DIVINITY, are taken into consideration.
: And lastly, to point out the fources, from which the reader may draw more complete information upon all the preceding subjects, the work is closed with lists of THE MOST APPROVED AND INSTRUCTIVE BOOKS.
The Order, in which my Chapters are difpofed, is adapted to the progress of the faculties of the mind, - the memory, the imagination, and the judgment. The principles of Religion, of Language, and of Hiftory, are first presented to my Readers; and the elements of Science, Natural History, and Tafte, together with the various studies, which relate to the active scenes of life, close the volumes of instruction. The foundations of knowledge are deeply laid, and are composed of the most folid materials; the superstructure, raised to a proper elevation, displays ornament, while it is adapted to convenience.
Such is the sketch of my design, in which it is intended to trace the regular progress of application, from puerile to manly studies-- from elementary knowledge to professional duties. It is sufficiently finished to thew, that the fields of instruction are not only fertile; but the most various in their productions. Some spots bring forth the immortal fruits of Religion, fome the hardy plants of Science, and some the delicate flowers of Taste. Here then the active temper of youth, and their fondness for change, may find ample means of gratification, wherever they choose to wander and expatiate. Light pursuits may divert, after severe studies have fatigued the mind; and he who has been diligent to peruse the records of history, to solve the problems of science, or ascertain the distinctions of logic, may find an agreeable relaxation in surveying the beauties of nature, in charming his ear with the delightful strains of music, pleasing his eye with the fair creations of the pencil, or delighting his fancy with the fi&tions of poetry.
With respect to my choice of Books, I wish it not · to escape the observation of the reader, that I have rejected some works with as much readiness as I have adopted others. Very few Novels will appear in my lifts, as I am well convinced of their pernicious. tendency. If we take the most fuperficial survey of the Circulating Libraries, we may observe, that the ingenuity of our own authors is sufficiently fertile in these flimsy and short-lived publications ; and yet Germany and France contribute their aid
to satisfy the craving appetite of the British public, with such success, that some of their productions are as popular as our own. It is to be lamented, that most Novels do no small injury to the cause of found and wholesome literature, as well as, to that of morality. They vitiate the taste of their readers, destroy their relish for useful books, and make the facts of history, and even the descriptions of poetry, appear dull and infipid. It were well if their bad effects terminated at this point: but as they are generally filled with licentious defcriptions, improbable incidents, false sentiments, and such sophistical arguments, as may serve to justify the most improper actions; they tend to excite a romantic fenfibility, pervert the judgment of the young and inexperienced, inflame the passions, and corrupt the heart,
· Let it likewise be carefully remarked, that I am. under very few obligations to the founders of the new school of Philofophifin in France. So far indeed from withing to direct the attention of my readers to their works, it is my anxious desire to caution them against the insidious arts, the flimsy fophiftry, and the exceffive arrogance of the modern French writers, particularly Voltaire, Rousseau, D'Alembert, Diderot, Helvetius, and Volney; and their imitators and admirers, whoever they may be in our own, or any other country. In direct and decided opposition to their spurious philofophy, their abuse of the powers of reason, their profligate and delufive speculations upon the subjects of Re