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sigment is forced upon us by experience. He that reads many books, must compare one opinion, or one
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T has often been debated, and with some persons is still pro.
blematical, whether the advantages or disadvantages, attend ing the general circulation of knowledge, are the most considerable. Those who have pleaded the cause of ignorance, , seem to have supposed, that the mass of mankind should be treated like those feathered songsters, who are doomed by their inhuman captors to perpetual darkness, in order to improve their notes: but to us it appears, that the question turns, in great measure, upon the kind or degree of knowledge which may be intended, and the manner in which it is pursued. That some knowledge is essential to perform the common business of life is indisputable-that a knowledge of the world has a tendency to refine and improve the manners is also certain ;-and no christian will deny, that a knowledge of God and of himself is necessary to qualify him for the duties of the present state, and to prepare himn for the enjoyments of a future.
It is true that knowledge has been, in too many instances, abused; and so has every bestowment of heaven: but, is the fear of abuse to deter us from all enjoyment? If not, the objection is of as little force in this respect, as when applied to the comforts and conveniencies of life.
survey the circle of human knowledge, we shall find no part of it, but may be made subservient to purposes of high importance. Man is born as ignorant as the brute ; and whatever powers of mind may be conferred on an individual, it is by reading and reflection that they must be expanded. It is by entering into the labours of others, and by incorporating the experience and discoveries of former ages and distant countries with our own, that knowledge is accumulated. Hence arises the importance of History, Geography, and the collateral brarches of these Sciences, to form the Scholar and the Politician; and hence the difference