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than they have been. Is it not also rence to such allies in the pursuits of true, that a more explicit reference philosophy, led the same author to might have been made to the authen- expunge from subsequent editions of ticity and validity of the Mosaic chro- his Theory of Moral Sentiments a panology, if any reference was made at ragraph, which would have done more all ? There can exist no doubt, in any to ennoble and endear his philosophic unprejudiced mind, of Dr Robertson's character in the eye of the Christian belief of the truths of revealed religion; moralist, than the most ingenious reaand although, in a disquisition upon sonings which he has adduced in supIndia, he was perhaps not necessitated port of his truly fascinating and eleto vindicate the Mosaic chronology gant theory. Without, however, enfrom the speculations of sceptical geo- larging on the imperceptible, but no logists, or professed infidels, yet it is less dangerous, influence to which all not the less desirable that he had.ex- are exposed who make intellectual supressed his decided conviction of this periority the exclusive object of their important truth, and thus added his reverence, it is surely more charitable unequivocal testimony to those of

pre- to trace any defects in Dr Robertson's ceding inquirers.

statements to such feelings, than to As to Dr Robertson's correspond- any premeditated design. We cannot ence with Mr Gibbon, if it does not but regret, however, that he has not excite the emotion of shame (which is contemplated the Divinity more frea very complex feeling), it certainly quently, in all the extent of His preought to occasion regret.

In these siding and controlling energy, We letters, it is indeed to be lamented cannot but regret, that, amidst his. that Dr Robertson did not assume a anxiety to trace effects to their causes, firmer and more decisive aspect, and and his wonderful penetration in asthus shew, that while they were con- certaining them, he has not brought nected by the ties of friendship (a more prominently before the eye of friendship mutually resulting from the contemplation the agency of the Eteraffinity of their literary pursuits), they nal Mind subordinating alike the great were widely dissimilar in their views and the little to the immutable arrangeof Christian truth and moral obliga- ments of perfect wisdom. All this Dr tion. Is it not possible that this dis- Robertson might have done, without tinguished and amiable writer was in- lessening his character either as a histimidated, in some degree, from inva- torian or a philosopher, while his works riably expressing his own sentiments, would have been appealed to by disby the apprehension of encountering tant posterity, as combining every the opposition or the sneer of these quality which can endear the scholar and similar contemporaries? What- and the Christian. But more than ever be in this, it is evident, that too enough has been advanced, to shew much intercourse with the enemies of that Mr W. has not in the least de the truth exposes a man to peculiar tracted from the talents or the worth temptations, and if, in the present of our illustrious countryman, and condition of humanity, it requires the that the remarks which have called most unremitting vigilance to rise su- forth so much indignation on the part perior to the common evils “ which of Euthus amount merely to this, that flesh is heir to," a still harder conflict Dr Robertson's memory would, in the must be endured for the ascendancy opinion of Mr Wilberforce, have been of Christian principle, when it comes encircled with a still more resplendent in frequent contact with genius and lustre, if he had recognised the paratalent devoted to the support of so- mount authority of Christianity more phistry and irreligion. What, but an uniformly in his writings and his indistinct or feeble perception of the friendships. grand and distinguishing features of The attack of Euthus on Mr Foster Christian morality, together with a is equally unjust.“ This able writer,” blind veneration for the character of says Euthus, “ has devoted one of his his friend, could have induced the essays to shew that evangelical religion profound and ingenious Dr Adam has at all times been despised by men Smith to identify the historian of of taste and genius.” It is not intended England with all that is attainable in to fill your pages with quotations from human perfectibility? There can be Mr Foster ; but when your readers little doubt, that an excessive defe- refer to the essays of this profound


writer, they will be somewhat sur. turning to the instructions of Jesus prised to find that there is no such Christ and his apostles, would feel assertion in the book. Mr Foster, in estrangement or disgust; and he has the course of a disquisition on the more explicit and solemn references to dislike of men of taste to evangelical the grand purpose of human life, to a religion, and the circumstances which future judgment, and to eternity, than have operated to produce and strength- almost any other of our elegant moralen it, adverts to the influence of the ists has had the piety or the courage common systems of education on the to make.” So much for the candour general character, and takes occasion of Euthus. to contrast the schools of polite litera- The ascendancy which such authors ture with the school of Christ and his as Addison and Johnson have so geneapostles (if the expression may be rally obtained over the public mind, so used), and to reprobate with manly far from forming a barrier against the indignation, but at the same time with subjection of their principles to a rigid great discernment, the highly unchris- examination, seems to furnish the best tian ethics of some of our most ad- apology for any attempt to invalidate mired writers. He has not been de- their claims to this superiority. To a terred by the high and merited fame believer in revealed religion it is suof even. Addison and Johnson, from perfluous to say, that there is one and pointing out what he conceived to be but one standard, from which there defective in both. And what, we can be no appeal. All the speculations would ask, is so very reprehensible in of moralists, however ingenious or all this? Mr Foster, assuming, as he sublime, if, when weighed in the well deserves to do, the lofty tone of a balance of the sanctuary, they are Christian moralist, shews, that the pe- found wanting, must be rejected as culiar and prominent features which unscriptural, and consequently as undistinguish the religion of the New safe. A man in possession of an auTestament from every human system thenticated communication from “ the have been often thrown into the shade, Father of Light” is not at liberty to while a superstructure has been reared pay an undue deference to any human of elements which neither reflect the authority, even though it may have light nor diffuse the warmth of “ a obtained the unqualified approbation hope full of immortality.” And is of the proudest names in the records there no truth in this statement? of science and wisdom. He may, and Have Addison and Johnson invari- if he has any susceptibility of taste or ably discovered that sublime simpli- of feeling, he must, venerate superior city of Christian sentiment and feeling talent, and yield to the “ inspirations throughout their writings, which it is of genius," and feel grateful, that the grand prerogative of the religion while he is forced to contemplate in of the Bible to excite and cherish ? the world the baseness of some pure We are quite aware of the uncommon suits and the insignificance of others, excellence which distinguishes both his beclouded vision may be relieved these writers, and conceive that the by surveying the luminaries of the man who does not appreciate their la- world—those men of vigorous intelbours and revere their memory is un- lects and elevated views, who, preworthy to be reasoned with. Yet eminent in the pursuits “to which these men are heathens, Euthus exult- the charms of lofty contemplation have ingly exclaims, in the opinion of Mr allured” them, have illustrated what John Foster! This is a gross mis- was formerly obscure, evinced a magstatement. Of Mr Addison Mr Foster nanimous contempt of whatever is says, that he wrote a book expressly associated with meanness or vice, and in defence of the religion of Christ, diffused over their appropriated de(Query, Is this to be a heathen?) partments of investigation the concenthough it is added, with great pro- trated rays of genius and learning. It priety, “ but to be the dignified advo- must not be forgotten, however, that cate of a cause, and to be its humble there are assigned limits, beyond which disciple, may be very different things.” we must not venture. It is possible, With regard to Dr Johnson it is said, that after we have made great advances “ But few of his speculations compa- toward an appropriation of sentiment, ratively tend to beguile the reader and and feel that our moral perceptions are admirer into that spirit which, on on the very verge of a sympathetic Vol. III.


coalescence with our favourite authors, and depending on so many tutelary the solemn announcement, “ Hitherto sources, as the Bible or Missionary shalt thou come, but no farther," must Society, can remain stationary. It be distinctly recognised and attended must either take a progressive or a reto. Now these are precisely what we trograde movement; and the impulse conceive to be Mr Foster's sentiments communicated will be analogous to with regard to the majority of our that which is observable in all moving elegant writers. So far from thinking, bodies,--either a gradual exhaustion, with Euthus, that his essays cannot or an increased velocity. If the sobear comparison with the “ Evidences cieties that exist throughout a great of Addison,” (which is a good enough part of the civilized world were the book of its kind, though never to be effect of any capricious or indefinable brought in competition with such excitement of the passions, communitreatises as those of Clarke and Butler, cated by a kind of instantaneous imof Paley or Chalmers,) there are many pulse, they might assume, to a dis(and probably just as good judges of passionate observer, a very questionthese matters as Euthus) who consider able aspect. He might, in vindication them vastly superior, in originality of his peculiar sentiments, refer to the and grandeur of conception, to any history of mankind, and clearly estabthing ever Mr Addison produced. lish the rationality of his doubts up

After his now-refuted attack on on the subject. He might remind his Wilberforce and Foster, Euthus con- antagonist of the crusades to the Holy cludes his letter with some vague and Land, which the nobles and princes of ill-digested objections to all those as- Europe considered it not merely their sociations of Christians, whose pro- duty to patronise, but their privilege fessed object is to spread, by all the to accompany; and to shew the futimeans in their power, the light of re- lity of invariably reasoning from exvelation over the world. To vindicate perience, he might ask, if ever a comexisting societies for the diffusion of bination of concurrent circumstances, revealed religion, is become less neces- more apparently adapted to secure the sary than it was a few years ago. The object, could be presented to the mind? most successful mode of philosophis- The religious feelings, he might contiing is, doubtless, the induction of nue, were at that time not only wrought general principles from ascertained up to the highest pitch of intensity, facts; and the more numerous and but were so intimately connected with accessible these are, the more confi- the exercise of political authority, and dence we repose in the inferences that so congenial with a religion, the fulare deduced from them. The Christian minations of which could awe the world has of late been engaged in a hardiest into silence, that the very succession of experiments; and though idea of failure was little short of imoccasional failures have occurred, as piety. It is not, therefore, upon the will always happen when the applica- principle of the general support which tion of any principle requires a degree has been afforded to Bible and Misof skill superior to what is demanded sionary Societies, that we would found by objects where its efficiency is no any argument for their necessary conlonger uncertain, yet there must be tinuance. The expediency of intersome unaccountable prejudice lurking esting the community in objects of about that mind, which, so far from general benevolence; the subserviency congratulating the world upon the of such feelings to the firmer ascendtrophies which have been reared to the ancy of a particular system of politics; efficacy of the Christian religion in with many other considerations undistant lands, can apparently feel an necessary to specify, might be adduced emotion of joy at the prospect of the in support of such schemes, without most dismal calamity that can befall any explicit reference to the sanctions any age or people. Every one who of Heaven. It is but a very partial has been the least attentive to the view of the subject, in all its bearings, constitutional elements of the societies that can induce the friends of religion we allude to, cannot have failed to to rest their claims upon public supremark, that they involve whatever port, on arguments which at best are will tend ultimately either to accele- addressed to the feelings more than rate or to overthrow their object. No to the understanding.

Much good, plan so complicated in its operations, doubtless, may result from eloquent

and impassioned appeals to the bene- easy to prove what has been just advolent; and when the variety of ar- vanced. We might even argue, from guments, which the diversity of minds universally acknowledged principles, renders it expedient to employ, is con- that the more productive and permasidered, there is surely no improprietynent the benefit we confer, the subin advocating what is known to be a limer is our charity; and it would not good cause, in a manner which a phi- be difficult to show, that an object is losophic mind would intuitively de- always best attained, in proportion as clare to be inconclusive, provided truth it is removed from the operation of be not sacrificed. Comparatively few the selfish passions. Euthus has forare capable of such a concentration of gotten that we can produce the auintellect, as to distinguish what is in- thority of a writer in opposition to his herent from what is merely adventi- views of things, for whom he professtious; and, therefore, until a race of es the most cordial veneration, whose men shall arise, better fitted to under- remarks on the subject are distinguishstand and appreciate demonstrative ed by all that acuteness and depth of reasoning, there is little hope of gain- reflection which characterise his writing much ground in this way. In- ings in general. deed, it is perhaps just as well that I did not expect (says Dr Johnson) things continue as they are. They that it could be a question, whether any nawho knew the “reason of the hope

tion, uninstructed in religion, should receive that is in them,” have an evidence for

instruction ; or whether that instruction the propriety of their conduct, which

should be imputed to them by a translation

of the holy books into their own language. the cold and speculative moralist may If obedience to the will of God be necessary despise as the visionary impulse of a

to happiness, and knowledge of his will be feeble mind; but it is not necessary necessary to obedience, I know not how he that all men should be mere reasoners; that withholds this knowledge, or delays it, nor would we hail with much sympa- can be said to love his neighbour as himself. thy the prospect of every amiable, af- He that voluntarily continues ignorant, is fectionate, and pious daughter of sen- guilty of all the crimes which ignorance sibility, resigning her “ works of faith produces ; as to him that should extinguish and labours of love," until she had the tapers of a lighthouse, might justly be (to use the established phraseology) tianity is the highest perfection of humani

imputed the calamities of shipwrecks. Chris. made out the reasonableness of the

ty; and as no man is good but as he wishes thing. With these abatements, how- the good of others, no man can be good, ever, which it is at present unneces- in the highest degree, who wishes not to sary to amplify, and which necessarily others the largest measures of the greatest result from the very condition of hu- good. To omit, for a year or for a day, the man nature, it may be remarked, that

most efficacious method of advancing Chrisall our hopes of the ultimate success

tianity, in compliance with any purposes

that terminate on this side of the grave, is of these and similar institutions, must a crime of which I know not that the world rest upon their accordance with the has yet had an example, except in the pracintentions of Heaven. “If this coun

tice of the planters of America, a race of sel or this work be of men, it will mortals whom I suppose no other man wishcome to nought; but if it be of God, es to resemble.”-Letter to Mr Drummond. ye cannot overthrow it.” This is the

J. S. ground every ingenuous mind must occupy ; for it is here the materials exist, which will render either prosperous or abortive every scheme which

ANECDOTES OF THE FIFE GYPSIES, proposes the renovation and felicity of a human being in his connexion with

No IV. immortality. If revelation discloses the prescribed and “ exclusive mode

MR EDITOR, of restoration to purity and happiness, In my last communication on this sub-and if the same revelation has not ject, to which you forgot to affix the left the extension of its principles to date, I gave you some idea of the manarbitrary arrangements of men, but ner in which the gypsies were, from has defined and enforced the duty of their very infancy, painfully trained to imparting to others the benefits it an- theft and robbery, the leading features nounces, and the hopes it inspires - in the general character of that race; then the question is at rest. It were

and which traits will have their own

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weight, however light they may be, last answered him in the affirmative, when I come to speak of the origin of adding, that “ he would not deny these curious people. The following himself, his name was really Brown. particulars are descriptive of the man- He had, in all likelihood, been travelner and style in which single gypsies ling under a borrowed name. When of rank, at one period, traversed this he found himself thus discovered, and country ;-they assumed characters of detected in his impositions, and seeing no small importance, very opposite to no danger to be apprehended from this the mean and sorry appearance which accidental meeting, he very shrewdly they exhibited while they travelled in shewed great marks of kindness and hordes.

attention to his acquaintance. Being Within these forty-five years, an quite free from embarrassment, he in acquaintance of mine, yet living in a little time began to display, as was Fife, happened to be at a smithy in the gypsey custom, extraordinary feats the neighbourhood of Carlisle, getting of his bodily strength, by twisting the shoes of his riding-horse roughed asunder with his hands strong pieces on a frosty day in winter, to enable of iron in the smithy, taking bets rehim to proceed on his journey, when garding his power and abilities in these a gentleman on horseback called at the athletic practices with those who would same smithy for the like purpose. venture to wager against him. Before He was mounted on a handsome and parting with my acquaintance, he very beautiful English blood horse, which kindly insisted upon treating him with was sadd

and bridled in a superior a share of a bottle of any kind of li

The equestrian was himself quor he would choose to drink. dressed in superfine clothes, having a At some wild sequestered station of riding-whip in his hand.

He was his own tribe, on his road home to booted and spurred, with saddle-bags Scotland, the equestrian tinkler would on his croupe behind him, and had unmask himself

, pack up his fine altogether, man and horse, the equip- clothes, dispose of his riding horse, ment and appearance of a smart Eng- and assume his leathern apron, ragged lish traveller, riding on a mercantile coat, and budget, before he would ven

ture to make his appearance among the There being several horses in the people of the country who were acshop, he, in a haughty and consequen- quainted with his real character. Here tial manner, inquired at the smith at once an haughty overbearing highvery particularly about whose turn it way robber, sheathed in the scabbard of was to get his horse shod first, indi- excellent apparel, mounted on a good cating, at the same time, a strong de- steed, metamorphoses himself in an sire to be first served, although he was instant into a poor pitiful wandering the last who had arrived at the smithy. beggarly gypsey. This bold assurance made my acquaint- This ambassador or spy was at last ance take a steady look of the intru- hanged in Edinburgh, to expiate the sive stranger, surveying him with his many crimes which he had from time eye from head to foot. But what was to time committed on the public. His his astonishment, after having closely brother-in-law, of the name of Wilson, examined him, when he found this was hanged along with him on the mighty fictitious gentleman to be no same day, being also guilty of a numother than “Sandie Brown the tinkler's ber of crimes. These two men, conson, in the neighbourhood of Crief,” junctly, carried on a considerable trade whom he had often seen strolling over in horse-stealing between Scotland and the country in a troop of gypsies, and England. The horses which were who had frequently been in his father's stolen in the south were brought to house. He could scarcely believe his Scotland and sold there ; and the own eyes, and, to prevent any dis- Scotch horses were, on the other hand, agreeable mistake from taking place, disposed of in the south, by English he politely asked him if his name was gypsies. The crime of horse-stealing, not Brown, observing, at the same I believe, has brought a great number time, that he thought he had seen him of these vagrants to an untimely end somewhere before. The surprised on the gallows. tinkler hesitated considerably at this While these unhappy men were unexpected question, but, after having shivering in the winds of Heaven in put some queries on his part, he at the convulsive throes of death, Mars


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