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can be clearer than that children have, by the law of nature, à right to expect that property, which the dictates of affection, and the obligations of conscience prompt parents to transmit to thiem : however, political institutions may be necessary to carry such right into pollifion.

The learned writer having gone through his inquiry into the natüre and origin of property, proceeds in the two following chapters to consider the several kinds of real property, under the general heads of corporeal and incorporeal hereditaments: and in the 4th chapter, he treats of the foedal system, a subject too. interesting to be paffed slightly over, and of too great extent to fall within the compass of the present article; we must therefore réserve the confideration of it, to some future occasion.

[To be continued.]

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The IV ay to Things by Words, and to Words by Things ; being a

Sketch of an Attempt at the Retrieval of the antient Celtic, or, primitive Language of Europe. To which is added, a succinct Account of the Sanscort, or learned Language of the Bramins. Alfo. two Esays, the one on the Origin of the musical Waits at Christinas : the other on the real Secret of the Free-masons. 8vo. 2s.6d

fewed. Davis and Reymers. Ć

HE abruptness of the beginning of the first of these

essays, the confusedness of the sketch, the inaccuracies and repetitions in it, the incoherence of the whole, [as the Author alledges in an advertisement prefixed) will easily satisfy the readers, that it was not originally intended for the press,

The Author confiders the Celtic, as the universal elementary language of Europe ; some branches of which are only now to be seen, while the root remains deeply covered :-and amongst those branches, he reckons the Greek, Latin, Teutonic, and other languages, with all their numberless subdivisions. He has also given, by way of specimen, the etymologies of a few words in (what he calls) our actual current language,' deduced from the Celtic origin.

Nothing, in general, (according to him) is more false, or more forced, than the derivations we adopt, at second hand, from the French. For instance ; – They will tell you, that curate is derived from the cure or care of souls. But in that case, would it not be as cheap to say curantes, which has some sense, as curati, which has none, or a contrary one ? No: curate comes from curaith, which literally signifies, in the Celtic, a preacher.

. Nor are we ourselves clear of having lost the true original fense of some words now in ufe.'-The word " holy-days-derives from yol or yule-days : the days of celebrating the feast of yule, or

the

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the grove, in May or December, (in the times of druidism] now gereralized and extended to other Chriftian festivals.'

What the learned may say to his fufpicion that the Hiad and Odyssey are no other than Ćeltic poems, tranflated into Greek, we shall not pretend to guess: but, however, he has produced jome kind of reasons for such fufpicion; which may be seen at p. 20, & seq.

He derives the word oyez, used for proclamation in a court of justice, not (as usually done) from the Norman oyez, hear: but Lays, that it lignifies in the Celtic-this is the time for justice. -Oy, ey, is.- Vow is justice.

Many o her of his erymologies are equally curious : but as the subject is coníelsedly dry, most of our Readers, we presume, will excuse the brevity of this article.

The origin of the mufical Waits at Christmas, he thinks, is to be sought for amongst the ancient druids, who generally chose the dead of night for the celebration of their greatest solemnities and festivals. Such assemblies then, whether of religion, ceremony, or merriment, were promiscuously called wakes, from their being no&urnal.'. But at the antient Yule, (in December especially) the drearinefs of the weather, and jength of the night, would naturally require fomething extraordinary, to wake and rouse men from their inclination to rest and a warm bed, at that hour. The summons then to the zvakes of that season were given by music, going the pounds of invitation to the mirth of festivals which were awaiting them. In this there was fome propriety, fome obje&t; but where is there any in such a solemn piece of banter as that of music (now) going the rounds, and disturbing people in vain??-- But such is ih power of custom to perpetuate absurditjes.'-However, the music was called the wakeths, and, by the usual tendency of language to euphony, softened into waits.'

Druidism is so much in favour with our Author, that from it he also derives the origin of the free-mason's secret. For when the votaries of that religion were dwindled to a small number, by the conquests of the Romans, and the introduction of Chrif tianity; then it was, that they had recourse to the usual confolation of the unhappy, the affembling, and making a kind of fociety, at once, of amiction and religion. Their common calamity and oppr flion naturally formed a bond of union among them, and laid the foundation of that principle of mutual benevolence and aid, which has traditionally, together with the oath, and other formularies of affociation, fubfifted, long after the original cause of an indispensable secrecy had ceased, and was even buried in oblivion.

For as, in a course of years, the prejudices against Chrif. tianity vanished, and the antient adherents to the druid.cal fyl

tem were either dead, or became converts to the established religion ; the original cause of those meetings, and consequently of their secresy, was annihilated. Yet, as the tradition of the oath and of the custom of assembling, had survived the extinction of the danger, and even the memory of that danger ; that instinct of an affociating fpirit, natural to mankind, became the foundation of a new institution, in which the cementative principles of mutual benevolence and friendship preferved their place, without the least tincture of that religious diflent, which thad been the firft foundation of those secret meetings.'

Thus our Author thinks that the dread of persecution, amongft fuch of the druidical votaries as held out against the new religion, probably produced the oath of inviolable secrecy, in nearly the form it is now administered to the initiates of freemasonry.'-The ancient adherents to druidism, it seems, had various names; amongst others, that of May’s-ons : and as the May (Maypole) was eminently the great sign of druidism; this writer apprehends there is nothing forced in the conjecture that the adherents to druidifin should take the name of Men of the May, or May's-ons; and that the more modern society having loft fight of the origin and design of their antient institution, might distort into the • Spurious word majon, the genuine appellation of May's-on.'.

6s.

Wh

even

Moral and Religious Essays, upon various important Subjects. By W. Green, A, B. and John Penn. 12mo.

2 vois. Robson.

THEN ftriplings rufh forth, enter the lists, and

boldly engage with subjects, which have foiled the Goliahs of philosophy and polemic divinity, need we be surprised to see them ftaggering and borne down in the unequal conflict ? - But let our Efsayists speak their own apology for so hardy an undertaking:

“ All are not equally blessed, say they, with penetration and sagacity, and very few enjoy the benefits of their real intrinsic merit; but where there is a dawn of genius, there is a prospect of fill brighter knowledge, which being totally eclip{ed by the just corrugal frowns of the learned, or the borrowed remarks of the illiterate, scarce ever shines forth in that unfullied lustre, which time might otherwise have naturally produced. Wife and just men will, we hope, give this a thought, and not being guided arbitrio popularis aurą, wiil be moderate in their opinion, and friendly overlook fome little mistakes, which want of nice distinction, or the inadvertency of the most accurate, lenve unguarded. We are none of us infallible, and the most curious diligence and exact caré,

· may

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may still be placed within the grasp of ill-natured censure, and be subject to the tyrannous insults of relentless criticism. Youth and an honourable employment of our time, will perhaps have some weight with the major part, and be a fufficient foundation for an apology: but yet it must most certainly shock any Soul Jusceptible of human feelings, thus precipitately to fall in his pursuit after honour, and during his whole life grovel upon the ground with out a posilility of rising. The task is arduous, our abilities are young, the world for the most part is too apt to censure without knowledge, and to give opinion without any ground: and indeed were there not some impartial men who defended the province of learning, some men of strici integrity and renown, who espoused this important cause, it would loon droop for want of proper encouragement, and for fear of the execution of malice, incited by dire envy, and impelled by popular fury. Were there not some critical judges of literature, whose refined taste, and penetrating judgment in reviewing, rendered them the oracles of the nation, the pen of many a towering genius would lie dormant, and many noble sentiments through diffident modesty, would be lost to the world *. To the patronage of thefe, therefore, we must beg leave to intrust our early productions, hoping, that after having paft their scrutiny, they will be able intimidly to cope with ignorance, and struggle with captious virulence. Publications now-a-days meet with a poor, unwelcome reception, for nothing can be advanced, nothing even conceived, but what has occurred to preceding authors; so that if there is any merit left for the plodding genius, it consists chiefly in elegance of expression, in a refined phrasezlogy, and in a pretiy modification of language."-Without making any observations on the language, propriety, confiftency, or sufficiency of this apology, we shall introduce our readers to the Essays themfelves.

Volume the first contains, 1. An essay on the being of a God.--2. On the advantages of religion.-3. On the adyan tages of the Christian religion.—4. On redemption.-5: On enthusiasm.-6. Upon infidelity.- Volume the second. J. On moral obligation.-2. On government.--3. On the abuse of the tongue.-4. On gaming.---5. On marriage.-6. On intrinsic excellence.

Some of these eflays, our readers will observe, are on fub je&is of a more easy, tractable nature; while others have repeatedly employed the full strength of the acutest philosophers and the abicit divines, and after all have proved rather obfti

* Thus it is with the poor Reviewers :--while fome during the paroxysins of their outrage are eager to knock us on the head, there are others it feems who are as ready to accommodate us with a nauseous plaiilor,

nare

nate and unmanageable.—But let us fee how our present champions acquit themselves. In the essay on the advantages of religion, they distinguish themselves in the following manner.-" The dispo!al of all things are so immutably fixed in the hand of divine providence, that we cannot be infallibly certain of any thing but death and the discoveries of revedation; if therefore the possibility of a contrary event has any weight with us in our transactions, we may lie dormant and become perfectly inactive creatures : so far we ought to regard contingencies, as to act with submissive relignation to the Al-, mighty's will, but not with despair. Indeed if every proposition was confirmed by such invincible demonftration as to ne. cessitate an affent, what merit would there be in such a belief, what virtue, what praise, what room for reward or punishment? For virtue which is peculiar to free agents only, must be the result of choice, and in the preference, and abhorrence of the contrary, consists true merit. Therefore faith is a virtue, being a propensity and aptness to consider of matters of importance; for as the two extremes, credulity and incredulity, are vices or things that ought not to be, the mean must be something that ought to be, and a virtue ; and if faith be a virtue, though the evidence of things not feen, and though built upon uncertainty, therefore fiepticism as repugnant to faith, must be a vice, and a very palpable one."— Very cleverly, and threwdly urged! and simple scepticism is fairly caught in the trap of syllogism.

Are we sure however that we comprehend our authors ? They begin by informing us, “ That the disposal of all things is so immutably fixed in the hand of divine providence, that we cannot be infallibly certain of any thing but death and the dircoveries of revelation;"-Do our authors suppose, that if things were less immutably fixed in the hands of providence, human certainty would increase in proportion ?-We are further informed, “ That faith is a virtue, being a propensity and aptness to consider of matters of importance."- We apprebend this definition of faith will hardly prove an adequa:e one : for if we look abroad into the world, we shall find many

who have a strong propensity and aptness to consider matters of importance, and yet have much less faith than their less thinking neignbours. But what signifies plain inatter of fact when we can oppose to it, the clearest definitions and the foundeft reasonings? -Our authors however proceed ftill further to inform US,

" that faith is built upon uncertainty, and that if every proposition was confirmed by such invincible demonliration as to neceffitate an allent. what merit woulj there be in such a belief, what virtue, what praise, what room for reward or pu

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