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sess is the restraining of his pallions, should fit, with his mind fixed on one object alone, in the exercise of his devotion for the purification of his soul, keeping his head, his neck, and body, Heady without motion, his eyes fixed on the point of his nose, looking at no other place around. The peaceful foul, re, lealed from fear, who would keep in the path of one who fotlowerh God, fould restrain the mind, and, fixing it on me, depend on me alone. The Yogee of an humbled mind, who thus conitantly exerciseth his soul, obtaineth happiness incorporeal and supreme in me.'. Mr. Hastings, in his letter (page 8.), informs us that he was himself once a witness of a man employed in this species of devotion at the principal temple of Ba. naris, His right hand and arm were enclored in a loose sleeve or bay of red cloth, within which he passed the heads of his rosary, one after another, through his fingers, repeating with the touch of each (as I was informed) one of the names of God, wbile his mind laboured to catch and dwell on the idea of the quality which appertained to it, and thewed the violence of its exertion to attain this purpote by the convu! Gve movements of all his features, his eyes being at the fame time closed, doubtless to alfix the abstraction.'
The great object of Plato's philosophy was to raise the mind to the contemplation of the divine nature. With this view he frequently recommends an abitraéiion from sensible objects, not altogether unlike that which the Geeta prescribes, though he is less ridiculous in the means by which he thinks this abstraction is to be attained. In the Phædon, Socrates is represented as speaking thus of the soul-209.02ET 21 ds YE TTE TOTE xandisse ctar αυτην τεταν μηδεν παραλυπη, μητε ακοή, μήλε οψις, μητε αλγηδων, unte TiS nãown, and oto pan15% oculn xoaut nu glyuntah, EWIX xxoρειν το σωμα, και καθ' όσον δυναται, μη κοινωνασα αυτω, μηδ' απτομενη, 0287NTO Tovios. Phæd. p. 86. Edit. Cantab. Again, p. 89. Εν ω αν ζωμεν, ως επικεν, εγυτατως εσομεθα τα ειδεναι, εαν ότι μαλισα μηδεν ομιλωμεν τω σωματι, μηδε κοινωνωμεν (ότι μη πασα αναγκη) μηδε ανατιμπλωμεθα της τότε φυσεως, αλλα καθαρευωμεν an' autý, śws avó Els aulos atroauon nues.
The mernod which Plato recommends, in order to arrive at this degree of abfiraction, is this. He is every where careful to distinguish between sensibles and intelligibles. The latter only he thinks worthy to be denominated real beings ; che former he confiders merely as Madows of them. This policion is elegantly illustrated in the beginuing of the seventh book of the Republic, where Socrates compares those who mistake the objects of lense for real beings, 10 persons bound neck and heels in a cave, in such a diluation as to see nothing but lhadows. The great end of education, he lays, is to turn the intellectual eye to the perception of its proper objects, to raile it by a gradual alcent
through the various classes of intelligibles, tilt at length it be en: abled to contemplate the supreme good. Of the various parts of learning, those which conduce most to this end are arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, and music. Even these, however, are to be considered only as the handmaids to the first and highest philosophy.
And here we would observe, by the way, that Plato has been often exposed to unmerited abuse for his notions on this subject. He never thought that this contemplative humour should be indulged so as to obstruct the duties of social or civil life. In the first Alcibiades the knowledge of God is considered as the means of knowing ourselves; and in the Republic the practical use of the same sublime theology is said to consist in regulating our con. duct by a perfect model."
[To be concluded in our next.]
ART. III. A New and General Biographical Dictionary; containing
an historical and critical Account of the Lives and Writings of the most eminent Persons in every Nation, particularly the British and Irish; from the earliest Account of Time to the present Period. A new Edition, greatly enlarged and improved. 8vo. 12 Vols.
31. 125. Boards. Payne, &c. IN the 28th volume of our Review, we gave an account of
the first impression of this useful and judicious compilation, which we then thought was as well executed as the plan would admit. It now comes to our hands in a very improved ftate, containing upwards of 600 new lives, chiefly of such illustrious men as have died since the year 1761, when the first edition * of this work was published; or of such as had been overlooked and omitted by the former editors. From the nature of the performance it must be acknowledged, that a state of perfection cannot be expected, especially in the lives of persons lately deceased. Want of proper information, the prejudices of friends or admirers, the calumnies of enemies, and the suggestions of envy, to which illustrious characters are peculiarly liable, all contribute to augment the difficulty under which the biographer labours. Time overcomes most of these impediments, except the first, which it evidently, in many cases at least, increases; and thus the more distant part of biography stands in frequent need of emendations and corrections, for retrenching superfluities, supplying deficiencies, and rectifying the mistakes which may unintentionally have been committed. Of this we have several proofs in the work before us. We may give an instance in the life of Calvin,
Thinking it a great object of the biographer's attention, to select such actions as are most characteristic of the genius and disposi
· * It first appeared in 11 Vols, the 12th was afterwards added.
tion of the man whose life he is writing, we * reprehended the compilers for having omicted the detail of a fact, which, considered in every point of view, hath been estemed, by many, as the truest index to that famous reformer's just character. We now find that the present editors have inserted, circumftantially, and properly, the history of Calvin's crueliy and violence, in the persecution of Seruetus.
A fimilar instance of omisfion we observed in the life of Laud, where we expected an account of the inhuman treatment of the Rev. Mr. (or Dr.) Leighton: but we are sorry to find the present edition totally filent wich respect to the cruelties exercised on that zealous but unfortunate writer. Leighton was a remarkable character; and the perfecution he suffered, exhibits a most striking picture of the times in which he lived, when cruelty, pride, and bigotry triumphed over humanity, meekness, and the rigbes of conscience. This Scotoh divine wrote an appeal to Pars liament, against the oppressions of the prelates of those days, in the Spiritual Court and Star Chamber ; for which, at the instigation of Laud, he was sentenced to pay a fine of ten thousand pounds to be degraded from his ministry,--to be set on the pillory at Westminster, and there whipped, while the court was fitring,- to be pilloried a second time, and have one of his ears cut off, one side of his nose nit, and be branded on the face with S. S. (lower of sedition),--a few days after to be pilloried again in Cheapside, there to be whipped, have his other ear cut off, and the other side of his nose fit, and afterwards to be shut up in a close dungeon, for life. After this sentence was pronounced, the revengeful Archbishop pulled off his cap, and with fervent zeal thanked God for so just a judgment! a transaction, which gives us so remarkable trait of Laud's disposition, ought surely to have been noticed by his biographer. We have been induced to mention this circumstance a second time, in hopes, that, as our former hints were in part regarded, when this publication goes through another edition, the compilers may, if they agree with us in sentiment, have an opportunity of supplying the omisfion.
The size and limits of this compilement, notwithstanding the number of volumes, muft of necessity exclude many of the minutiæ that are to be met with in larger works of a like kind; which circumstance obliges the compilers to be cautious in selecting the materials for their biographical Dictionary; for these are lo diffuse, dissimilar, and numerous, that they require great judyment in the choice, rejection, and advantageous arrangement.
With what success our authors have executed their task would best appear from a variety of specimens ; but, for such ample evidence we have not sufficient room, though we want not in.
* See Review, Vol. xxviii, page 32.
clination clination to do juftice to the merit of the work, which is by no means inconsiderable. We chall, however, give our readers the brief account which we here meet with, of a person, who deferves to be better known to the world than he has hitherto been, or, perhaps, ever might have been, had not a niche been provided íor him in this temple of fame.
DE MOIVRE (ABRAHAM) an illustrious Mathematician, of French origin, was born at Vitri in Champagne, May 1667. The revocation of the edict of Nantz, in 1635, determined him to fy into England, fooner than abandon the religion of his fathers. He laid the founda. tion of his mathematical studies in France, and perfected himself at London ; where a mediocrity of fortune obliged him to employ his talent in this way, and read public lectures, for his better support. The Principia Methmatica of Newton, which chance is faid to have Chrown in his way, made him comprehend, at once, how little he had advanced in the science he profesied. He fell hard to work: he succeeded as he went along; and he soon became connected with, and celebrated among, the first-rate mathematicians. His eminence and abilities foon opened to him an entrance into the Royal Society a. London, and afterwards into the Academy of Sciences at Paris, His merit was so we!! known, and acknowledged, by the former, that they judged him a fit person to decide the famous contest between Newcon and Leibnitz. The collection of the Academy a: Paris con. tains no memoir of this Author; who died at London, in November 1754 *, soon after his admission into it; but the philofophical transastions of London have several, and all of them interesting t. He published also some capital works, such as “ Miscellanea Analytica, de fericbus et quadraturis, in 1730. 400.” But perhaps he has been more generally known by his “ Doctrine of Chances ; or Method of calculating the Probabilities of Events at Play.” This work was firit printed in 1718, in quarto, and dedicated to Sir Isaac Newton it was reprinted in 17:8 with great additions and improvements : a third edition with additions and a “ Treatise on Annuities" was dedicated to Lord Carpenter.- Pope did not overlook this Mathemalician ;
“ Sure as De Moivre.”_ O this very eminent man we know but litile, except from his writings: his being appointed by the Royal Society to determine the contest between two of the greatest men in the world, at that lime, is a fufficient proof of the eleem in which he was held by
* We supply the Day: November 27.
+ Our biographers might have observed, that hi first paper in the Philosophical Transactions, lo early as March 1605, is a inolt learned production. It contains the method for the quadrature of curvilinear figures, the dimensions of folids generated by them, and also the ap. plication of fuxions to many other important purposes. We always looked upon this paper as a remarkable effort of genius in (we believe) a felf-taught young mathematician, who had not yet filled his 28th year.
that learned body; the particulars of that contest, with Demoivre's decision of it, might afford matter of satisfaction to the mathematicians of the present day: a future edition of the work before us, may, perhaps, supply this defect.
A uniform tenor, and consistency, is effentially necessary in works of this kind, not only with respect to facts, but to fentiments of things, and general principles. The reader who is anxious with regard to the abovementioned decision of Demoi. vre's, and who wishes to be informed how that great controversy, which engaged the attention of all the mathematicians in Europe. was finally determined, might expect to find it here recorded, either in the life of Newton, or of Leibnitz, or of Demoivre : nothing, however, appears on the subject, in the present edition : unless it is to be found in some other article, which we have nor perused.
We mean not, by the foregoing little exceptions, to depreciate the general merit of this useful publication, which may be confidered as a store-house of valuable materials for the information and entertainment of its readers, -many articles of which are not ellewhere, collectively, to be met with.-In a word we cannot. but look on the work as a very accepłable addition to the public stock of biographical literature.
Art. IV. An Efimate of the comparative Strength of Great Britain,
during the present, and four preceeding Reigns, and of the Losses of her Trade from every War since the Revolution. By George Chalmers. 8vo. 35. od. Stockdale. 1786.
R . Chalmers is well known by his laborious and accurate IVI investigations of historical, political, and commercial subjects. He here putsues the same line of inquiry, and maintains the same principles which he laid down in his former works. He combats the gloomy and desponding notions (as he deems them] adopted by Dr. Price and his followers; and, by a chain of facts, corroborated by many collateral circumstances, he proves, we think, in as clear a manner as the nature of the subject admits, that ever since the revolution, Great Britain has been in a continually progressive state with regard to population and industry; and he adduces very probable reasons 10 Thew, that at the present moment, the manufactures and trade of this country are, perhaps, in a more flourilhing Itate, upon the whole, than at any former period.
The facts stated in this publication are so numerous and im. portant, that we cannot attempt to do justice to the author by abridging them, but muft refer the curious reader to the work jisell, which will úfford a rich fund of valuable materials to every political speculator. We cannot, however, avoid taking notice,