Imágenes de página


and increase our happiness through endless duration.

This great science, therefore, must be inculcated with care and assiduity, such as its importance ought to incite in reasonable minds; and for the prosecution of this design, fit opportunities are always at hand. As the importance of logick is to be shewn by detecting false arguments, the excellence of morality is to be displayed by proving the deformity, the reproach, and the misery of all deviations from it. Yet it is to be remembered, that the laws of mere morality are no coercive power ; and, however they may by conviction of their fitness please the reasoner in the shade, when the passions stagnate without impulse, and the appetites are cluded from their objects, they will be of little force against the ardour of desire, or the vehemence of rage, amidst the pleasures and tumults of the world. To counteract the power of temptations, hope must be excited by the prospect of rewards and fear by the expectation of punishment; and virtue may owe her panegyricks to morality, but must derive her authority from religion.

When therefore the obligations of morality are taught, let the sanctions of christianity never be forgotten ; by which it will be shewn, that they give strength and lustre to each other ; religion will appear to be the voice of reason, and morality the will of God. Under this article must be recommended Tully's Offices, Grotius, Puffendorf, Cumberland's Laws of Nature, and the excellent Mr. Addison's Moral and Religious Essays.

X. Thus far the work is composed for the use of scholars, merely as they are men.

But it was thought necessary to introduce something that might be particularly adapted to that country for which it is designed ; and therefore a discourse has been added upon trade and commerce, of which it becomes every man of this nation to understand at least the general principles, as it is impossible that any should be high or low enough not to be in some degree affected by their declension or prosperity. It is therefore necessary that it should be universally known among us, what changes of property are advantageous, or when the balance of trade is on our side: what are the products or manufactures of other countries; and how far one nation may in any species of traffick obtain or preserve superiority over another. The theory of trade is yet but little understood, and therefore the practice is often without real advantage to the publick; but it might be carried on with more general success, if its principles were better considered ; and to excite that attention is our chief design. To the perusal of this book may succeed that of Mun upon foreign Trade, Sir Josiah Child, Locke upon Coin, Davenant's treatises, the British Merchant, Dictionnaire de Commerce, and, for an abstract or compendium, Gee, and an improvement that may hereafter be made upon his plan.

XI. The principles of laws and government come next to be considered ; by which men are taught to whom obedience is due, for what it is paid, and in what degree it may be justly required. This knowledge, by peculiar necessity, constitutes a part of the education of an Englishman, who professes to obey his prince according to the law, and who is himself a secondary legislator, as he gives his consent, by his representative, to all the laws by which he is bound, and has a right to petition the great council of the nation, whenever he thinks they are deliberating upon an act detrimental to the interest of the community. This is therefore a subject to which the thoughts of a young man ought to be directed; and that he may obtain such knowledge as may qualify him to act and judge as one of a free people, let him be directed to add to this introduction Fortescue's Treatises, N. Bacon's Historical Discourse on the Laws and Government of England, Temple's Introduction, Locke on Government, Zouch’s Elementa Juris Civilis, Plato Redivivus, Gurdon's History of Parliaments, and Hooker's Ecclesiastical Polity.

XII. Having thus supplied the young student with knowledge, it remains now that he learns its application; and that thus qualified to act his part, he be at last taught to chuse it. For this purpose a section is added upon human life and manners ; in which he is cautioned against the danger of indulging his passions, of vitiating his habits, and depraving his sentiments. He is instructed in these points by three fables, two of which were of the highest authority in the ancient Pagan world. But at this he is not to rest; for if he expects to be wise and happy, he must diligently study the SCRIPTURES of GOD.

Such is the book now proposed, as the first initiation into the knowledge of things, which has been thought by many to be too long delayed in the present forms of education.

Whether the complaints be not often ill-grounded, may perhaps be disputed ; but it is at least reasonable to believe, that greater proficiency might sometimes be made; that real knowledge might be more early communicated; and that children might be allowed, without injury to health, to spend many of those hours upon useful employments, which are generally lost in idleness and play; therefore the publick will surely encourage an experiment, by which, if it fails, nobody is hurt; and if it succeeds, all the future ages of the world may find advantage; which may eradicate or prevent vice, by turning to a better use those moments in which it is learned or indulged; and in some sense lengthen life, by teaching posterity to enjoy those years which have hitherto been lost. The success, and even the 'trial of this experiment, will depend upon those to whom the care of our youth is committed; and a due sense of the importance of their trust will easily prevail upon them to encourage a work which pursues the design of improving education. If any part of the following performance shall upon trial be found capable of amendment; if any thing can be added or altered, so as to render the attainment of knowledge more easy ; the Editor will be extremely obliged to any gentleman, particularly those who are engaged in the business of teaching, for such hints or observations as may tend towards the improvement, and will spare neither expence nor trouble in making the best use of their information.




No expectation is more fallacious than that which authors form of the reception which their labours will find among mankind. Scarcely any man publishes a book, whatever it be, without believing that he has caught the moment when the publick attention is vacant to his call, and the world is disposed in a particular manner to learn the art which he undertakes to teach.

The writers of this volume are not so far exempt from epidemical prejudices, but that they likewise please themselves with imagining, that they have reserved their labours to a propitious conjuncture, and that this is the proper time for the publication of a Dictionary of Commerce.

The predictions of an author are very far from infallibility ; but in justification of some degree of con

* A new Dictionary of Trade and Commerce, compiled from the Information of the most eminent Merchants, and from the Works of the best Writers on commercial Subjects in all Languages, by Mr. Rolt. Folio, 1757. VOL. X.


« AnteriorContinuar »