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The Right Rev!DAJOHN BUTLER LORD BISHOP of OXFORD. decurately Draum z Crngraved from an original
Picture taken from the life?
Published by Alex? Hogg N. 16) Paternoster Row, Dec? +1788
OF THE LIFE OF THE
REV. MR. JAMES ABBADIE, DEAN OF KILALO, IN IRELAND. THOUGH this philosopher en
joyed a great reputation, we know but little of his manner of living. His life must have been very obscure and quiet, a circumstance which does honour to his character. The authors of the memoirs of illustrious men, have faid but very little respecting him, however they esteem his merit. They were, doubtless, unable to get better information, and we are not more happy than they ;
no great events therefore are to be expected, or additions to the memoirs already given respecting hims; but the most authentic are here chosen, as history of this sort ought not only to con
tribute to the reader's tranfient amusement, but also to his real in struction.
Mr. James Abbadie was born in the year 1654, at Nai, a town in France, about four leagues from Pau in the territory of Bern.
His parents are unknown; but we are assured that the famous M. de Plan cette, minister of Nai, took care of his education, and himself di. rected his first studies; after which he sent him fucceffively to PuyLaurens, Saumur, and Sedan, to ftudy philofophy and divinity. He was admitted a doctor in the aca. demy of this last city. Some writers, tell us that his firit voyage was to Holland. But father Niceron, on the contrary, says that he went to , Paris, where he became acquainted with the count d'Espence, master of the horse to the elector of Branden. burgh, who engaged him to follow
him to Berlin, and on his arrival, procured him the place of minifter to the elector in the French church of Berlin, which he held for some years. During his stay in this city, he went several times to Holland, as well to get printed the works he had composed, as on other affairs. The first of his works appeared in 1689: consisting of Sermons on diverse texts of Scripture, and a Panegyric upon the Elector.
Four years after he published a “ Treatise of the truth of the Christian, Re. ligion,” in two volumes, which gained universal approbation. Emboldened by this success, in the year 1685, he gave out some “ Reflexions upon the real presence of the body of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist :” This production had not the fame fate with the foregoing, and several divines found it hardly intelligible. This, however did not prevent his reputation from gaining new lustre from it. His name reached the marshal de Schomberg, who on being informed of his great fagacity, resolved to omit nothing to attach him to him; and at length his folicitations and his learning determined our philosopher to follow him to Ireland, towards the latter end of the summer of 1689; but the marMal being killed at the battle of Boyne, July 22, 1690, Mr. Abba. die quitted Ireland, and came to London. Here he was received suitably to his merit. At first he officiated at the French church in the Savoy, as minifter; and soon after, he deanery of Killalo in Ireland being vacant, he was promoted to that dignity, which he enjoyed till his death.
he went to Holland, and published an edition of his works, which appeared in the following order : 'I. * The art of knowing one's self, or an inquiry into the source of morali:y, two parts, 12mo. This book met with universal er. téem; and has been frequently reprinted, and translated into various
languages. II.“ I he defence of the British nature, wherein the laws of God, of nature, and of fociety are clearly established, with respect to the revolution in England, against the author of The important advice to refugees,” London, 1692. III. A panegyric on the queen of England,” Hague, 1695. IV.“ An history of the last conspiracy in England,
&c.” London, 1695. This history was composed by order of king William, from the original papers communicated to him by the secretary of ftale.
V. 66 The truth of the reformed religion :" Rotterdam, 1718. And VI." The triumph of providence and religion, with avery evident demonstration of the Chriftian religion.” Amsterdam, 1723. His voyages
and travelling greatly affected his health, already enfeebled by age: he died of fick. nefs, at Marybone, September 25, 1727, aged seventy-three years.
No one, perhaps, ever had fo prodigious a memory as Mr. Abbadie.
He composed his works from his own ideas and memory, and wrote them only as he printed them off. This extraordinary ad. vantage of retaining the whole plan of a composition, has deprived us of two important books; namely, “ A new method of proving the immortality of the foul;" and, “ Notes upon Mr. Bayle's philosophical commentary." This celebrated metaphysician was entirely master of the learned languages, and the classics ; well skilled in hirtory, both ecclesiastical and
profane; and had particularly a very piercing wit, vast elevation of soul, and a manly eloquence.
Our materials for the life of this great man are so fort, that we doubt not it will be agreeable to see more closely his character, as it appears in his System on the art of fe!-knowledge.
" The firit principle fays he, of self-knowledge, is, that man is a
very little thing; all his ages bring with them some peculiar wrakness or misery. Childhood is only a forgetfulness and ignorance of itself, youth a mere transport, and age but a languishing death, with the appearances of life ; so closely is it attended with infirmities. The body of man is the centre of infirmities : his mind is filled with errors, and his heart with unruly affections. He suffers by the confideration of the past, which cannot be recalled, and by that of the future, which is unavoidable. His mind continually wishes to know, and his heart is incessantly craving.
When in poverty, his prayers are only to have the necessary : when that necessary to nature is enjoyed, he requires the necessary to rank and condition. Does he reach this state? Hethen seeks what may gratify his appetites; and when he has obtained all that his heart feems able to desire : contrary to reason, he then forms new desires.
Such is the man in general. To know him particularly we must know what are his natural duties and obligations. This knowledge is founded upon two principles. The firit is, that we naturally love ourselves, being sensible of pleasure, defirous of good, and taking care for our preservation. The second, that together with this propensity to love ourselves, we have also reason to conduct us.
That we naturally love ourselves is a truth of sentiment: that we are capable of reason, is a truth of fact. Nature inclines us to make use of reason to direct this love of self; because we cannot truly love ourselves, without employing our understanding in the learch after that which is suitable to us.
This natural law, or law of natyre, is divided into four others, which are particular species. : The firit is the law of Temperance, caufing us to shun excess and debauchery, which ruin our bodies,
and injure our souls. The second is the law of Justice, which engages us to render to every one his own, and to treat him as he would wish him to treat us.
The law of Mon deration is the third, which forbids us to revenge, by convincing us, that we cannot do this but at our own expence ; and that, in this particular, to respect the laws of God, is to take care of ourselves. The last is called the law of Benea ficence, and leads us to do good to our neighbours. Alfthis
may be reduced to these two faculties in man, sensation and reason. 'Reason is the foul's counsellor : Sensation is, as it were, the force or weight which determines it... In onr actions we compare one with the other. The foul considers not only what gives it pleasure at the instant, but also what may give it in future. It compares pleasure with pain ; present good with remote good; the advantage which it hopes, with the dangers it is to rum; and determines itself agreeably to the inftruction it receives in it's different researches : its liberty being only the extension of its knowledge, and the obligation which it lies under not to chuse till after having fully examined. Thus we
not avaritious, when afraid of injuring our honour by the meannesses of interest. We are not prodigal if afraid of ruin. ing our affairs, though we fould aspire to make ourselves esteemed of others for our liberality. The fear of diseases makes us resist the temptations to voluptuousness; self-love renders us moderate and circumfpect; and we appear modest and humble out of pride.
Pleasure and gloryare the two general advantages, which give a zeft to all others. They are,as it were, their fpirit and falt. There is this difference, however, between them, that the understanding makes itself beloved and desired, out of love to itself; whereas glory makes itself
felt, in the fatisfaction attending it. This satisfaction confifts in our gaining the esteem of others, and in the esteem of others for us, confirming, the good opinion which we have of ourselves. Thus, however we may acquire this esteem, whether real or seeming, our self-love is flattered. Hence arise presumption, vanity, ambition and haughtiness.
The exceffive desire we have of making ourselves esteemed by other men, occasions is passionately to defire to be endued with estimable qualities, and to be extremely afraid of such defects as may injure us in the minds of men, or of betraying ourselves by not giving a fufficiently good opinion of us. Now, as we are perfuaded of what we too strongly desire “and fear, we either conceive a too good opinion, or fall into an excefSve mustrust, of ourselves. The firit of ghole faults is called presumption ; theticond timidity. Presumption is at 'infident pride, and timidity a pride Wich is afraid of being betrayed.
Vanity is a disposition to atrribute to ourselves advantages which we have not, or to extol those we have. It's most common food is luxury ; embroidery and lace are particular causes of esteem: a man well-dressed meets with less opposition than another. We give efteem and consideration to horses, equipages, furniture, liveries, &c. and the trappings of the body, partake of that glory, which seems io us the most brilliant decoration of the soul. Cicero called a man who forgot the glory of his profesion,
" Virin dicendis caufis bené vestitus.'
Vanity is also fed by oftentation. We pique ourselves on our wit, and we do all we can to persuade ouro selves that we really have it. We contradict others, that we may be thought to have more understanding than they. We disdain those who know more than we, that they may not humble us. We speak in a tone of confidence of things which we know not but very superficially, that we may be thought to understand chem perfect. In a word, both in our discourses and actions, we incess fantly give ourselves the lie ; that is to say, we endeavour to persuade others that we possess qualities, which we well know we have not.
Ambition is a desire of lifting ourfelves above others. A defire which produces envy, an implacable sensarion which lives
as long as merit fubafts. A person fhall pardon you the utmost injuries he has received from you ; but he will never pardon you your good qualities.
Haughtiness and pride are a sort of drunkenness of the soul, as hatred, envy and malignity are the madness of it,
This sensation is pretty nearly the same in all men ; in some it manifests itself more openly; in others it is more concealed. Pride lives in the error of others, and in delusions which it puts
To be cured of these delusions, we should moderate that love of esteem, which reigns in our hearts.
Thus, by knowing ourselves, we shall be able to overcome our faults, and to acquire perfections.
CHRISTIAN, JEWISH, AND ROMAN ANTIQUITIES.
of Antioch, the capital of Syria,
fided, was amicted with a very great THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH DUR earthquake, the cause of which was, ING THE SECOND CENTURY. by their magicians, imputed to the [Continued from page 157.]
Christians: the emperor upon this
account, decreed against them the THE history of the church in molt capital punishments. This is
this century, is still the hiitory what is commonly called the third of the perfecutions to which it was