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has been employed by many in perplexing and confounding the evidence of truth and knowledge, Dr. Price has displayed in explaining and confirming it: and, by a rare union of a faculty for abttraction, with the ardour of enterprize, applies the result of his inquiries into truth, to the advancement of human happiness, which he is fully convinced is in a state of rapid improvement. In this opinion he is encouraged and confirmed whether he contemplates the progress of science or the prophesics and promises of the word of God: and sees the course of nature and providence harmoniously corresponding with that of grace. Though Christianity has its difficulties as well as natural religion, and many things in the conduct both of providence and grace, which is indeed a part of providence, appear mysterious in the present period of divine government, he does not on that account reject what he cannot fully comprehend. He patiently waits for the developement of the divine plan, for the bursting forth of that light which shall stop every mouth before God, and bend every knee before the redeemer of the world. In the mean time, from the Christian religion, which recom: mends universal benevolence, and inculcates the purest morality, he draws encouragement and support in the firm belief, however other truths may be involved in obfcurity, ** that the practice of virtue is the duty and dignity of man, and in all events his wiseft and safest course."

To no liberal mind can any production of such a man appear indifferent: to the American States, fo long his care, the publication under review must seemn, as it is, peculiarly interesting

It is prefaced by the following advertisement.

• Having reason to hope I ihould be attended to in the American States, and thinking I saw an opening there favourable to the improvement and best interests of mankind, I have been induced to convey thither the sentiments and advice contained in the following observations. They were, therefore, originally intended only for. America. The danger of a spurious edition has now obliged me to publis them in my own country.

• I should be inexcusable did I not take this opportunity to express my gratitude to a distinguished writer (the Count de Mirabeau) for his translation of these obiervations into French, and for the support and kind civility with which it has been accompanied.

• Mr. Turgot's letter formed a part of this tract when it was conveyed to America. I have now given a translation of it.

I think it necessary to add that I have expressed myself in fome respects too strongly in the conclusion of the following observations. By accounts from persons the best informed, I have lately been afsured that no such diffentions exist among the American States as have been given out in this country ; that the new governments are in general well settled, and the people happy under them; and that, in particular, a conviction is becoming universal of the necessity of giving more itrength to that power which forms and which is to conduct and maintain their union.'

Our author having expressed with great warmth and cordiality his joy at the revolution which has established the independence of the American States, makes various obfervations on the importance of that great event, in which ho thinks he sees the hand of providence working for the general good.

• Reason, as well as tradition and revelation, lead us to expect that a more improved and happy state of human affairs will take place before the consummation of all things. The world has hitherto been gradually improving. Light and knowledge have been gaining ground, and human life at present compared with what it once was, is much the fame that a youth approaching to manhood is coinpared with an infant.

• Such are the natures of things that this progress must continue. During particular intervals it may be interrupted, but it cannot be destroyed. Every pr fent advance prepares the way for farther advances ; and a single experiment or discovery may sometimes give rise to so many more as suddenly to raise the species higher, and to resemble the effects of opening a new sense, or of the fall of a spark on a train that springs a mine. For this reafon, mankind may at last arrive at degrees of improvement which we cannot now even suspect to be pollible. A dark age may follow an enlightened age ; but, in this case, the light, after being smothered for a time, will break out again with a brighter lustre. The prelent age of increased light, considered as succeeding the ages of Greece and Rome and an intermediate period of thick darkness, furnishes a proof of the truth of this observation. There are certain kinds of improvement which, when once made, cannot be entirely lost. During the dark ages, the improvements made in the ages that preceded them remained fó far as to be recovered immediately at the refurrection of letters, and to produce afterwards that more rapid progress in improvement which has distinguished modern times.

• There can scarcely be a more pleasing and encouraging object of reflection than this. An accidental observation of the effects of gravity in a garden has been the means of discovering the laws that govern the folas system, and of enabling us to look down with pity on the ignorance of the most enlightened times among the antients. What new dignity has been given to man, and what additions have been inade to his powers, by the invention of optical glasses, printing, gun-powder, Sic. and by the late discoveries in navigation, mathematics, natural philofophy, &c.

• But among the events in modern times tending to the elevation of mankind, there are none probably of so much consequence as the recent one which occasions thefe obfervations. Perhaps, I do not go too far when I say that, next to the introduction of Christianity among mankind, the American revolution may prove the moit important step in the progreisive course of human improvement. It is an event which may produce a general diffufion of the princi,

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ples of humanity, and become the means of setting free mankind from the shackles of superstition and tyranny, by leading them to see and know " that nothing is fundamental but impartial enquiry, an

honest mind, and virtuous practice-----that state policy ought not

to be applied to the support of speculative opinions and formularies “ of taith."-". That the members of a civil cominunity are conu federates, not fubjeéts; and their rulers, servants, not masters,

-And that all legitimate government consists in the dominion of

equal laws made with common consent; that is, in the dominion $ of men over themselves; and not in the dominion of communities over communities, or of any men over other men.”

Happy will the world be when these truths shall be every where acknowledged and practised upon. Religious bigotry, that cruel demon, will be then laid afleep. Slavish governments and flavish Hierarchies will then fink; and the old prophecies be verified, " that the last universal einpire upon earth shall be the empire of

reason and virtue, under which the gospel of peace (better under" Itood) shall have free course and be glorified, many will run to and

fro and knowledge be increased, the wolf dwell with the lamb and

leopard with the kid, and nation no more lift up a fiord against 6 nation."

• It is a conviction I cannot refift, that the independence of the English colonies in America is one of the steps ordained by Provi. dence to introduce these times ; and I can scarcely be deceived in this conviction, if the United States should escape fame dangers which threaten them, and will take proper care to throw themselves open to future improvements, and to make the most of the advantages of their present situation. Should this happen, it will be true of them as it was of the people of the Jews, that in them all the familes of the earth shall be blessed. It is scarcely possible they should think too, highly of their own consequence. Perhaps, there never existed a peopie on whose wisdom and virtue more depended; or to whom a itation of more importance in the plan of Providence has been af. figned. They have begun nobly. They have fought with success for themselves and for the world, and, in the midit of invasion and carnage, established forms of government favourable in the highest degree to the rights of mankind.

But the United States of America, he proceeds, have more to do; more indeed than it is possible properly to represent. In this address therefore his design is only to take notice of a few great points, which seem particularly to require their attention, in order to render them permanently happy in themfelves and useful to mankind. As the means of promoting human improvement and happiness in the United States, Dr. Price recommends in the first place the redemption of their debts, for which they have a vast resource peculiar to themselves, in a continent of unallotted lands, poffeffing every advantage of foil and climate. By disposing of these to the

and to emigrants, the greatest part of the debts of the United States may probably, he thinks, be įmmediately ex

tinguished.

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tinguished. But had they no such resource, they are very capable of bearing taxes sufficient for the purpose of a gradual redemption. For the fake of mankind our author withes to fee every measure adopted that can have a tendency to preserve peace in America, and to make it an open and fair stage for discussion and the seat of perfect liberty. For which ends the Doctor fuggests many useful hints. On the subject of religious toleration he tempers ait honeft indignation againft the despotism of tyrants and priests, with the calinest reasoning and with perfect discretion.

In the publication before us we are favoured with some excellent remarks on education, in which the author has often thought there may be a secret remaining to be discovered, which will caule future generations to grow up virtuous and happy, and accelerate human improvement to a greater degree than can at present be imagined. In general he thinks the business of education should be to teach how to think, rather than what to think; or to lead into the best way of searching for truth, rather than to instruct in truth itself. Hitherto, he obferves, education has been conducted on a contrary plan; it has been a contraction, not an enlargement of the intellectual faculties, an injection of false principles hardening them in error, not a discipline enlightening and improving them,

Dr. Price proceeds to forewarn the American States of the dangers to which they are exposed ; debts and internal wars; an unequal distribution of property; trade, banks, and paper-credit. Speaking of an unequal' diftribution of property, he obferves, that there are THREE enemies to equality against which America ought to guard; first, granting hereditary honours and titles of nobility. Let there be honours to encouragement, but let them die with the men who have earned them, Let them not descend to posterity to foster a spirit of domination, and to produce a proud and tyrannical aristocracy. In a word, let the United States continue for ever what it is now their glory to be a confederation of states prosperous and happy, without LORDS, without Bishops * and without KINGS.

* "I do not mean by Bishops any officers among Christians merely Spiritual; but Lords spiritual, or Clergymen raised to pre-eminence, and invested with civil honours and authority, by a State establishment.

" I must add, that by what is here faid I do not mean to ress general preference of a republican constitution of government. There is a degree of political degeneracy which unfits for such a constitution. BRITAIN, in particular, confifts too much of the high and the low, (of fcum and dregs) to admit of it. Nor will it suit AmeȚica, should it ever become equally corrupt.

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The other two enemies, which are here mentioned by our author, to equality, are the right of primogeniture and foreign trade. But this latter operates unfavourably to a state in fo many more ways than by destroying that equality which is the basis of liberty, that he takes more particular notice of it,

" There is no part of mankind to which these uses of trade are of less consequence than the American States. They are spread over a great continent, and make a world within themselves. The country they inhabit incļudes foils and climates of all sorts, producing nog only every necessary, but every convenience of life. And the vast rivers and wide-spread lakes which interscEt it, create such an inland çommunication between its different parts, as is unknown in any other region of the earth. They possess then within themselves the best means of the most profitable traffic, and the amplest scope for it. Why should they look much farther? What occafion have they for being anxious about pushing foreign trade; or even about raising a great naval force ?-Britain, indeed, confifting as it does of unarmed inhabitants, and threatened as it is by ambitious and pows erful neighboours, cannot hope to maintain its existence long after becoming open to invafion by Sofing its naval fuperiority. But this is not the case with the American States. They have no pow. erful neighbours to dread. The vast Atlantic must be crofled before they can be attacked. They are all a well-trained militia; and the fucccfsful refiitance which, in their infancy and without a naval force, they have made to the invasion of the first European power, will probably discourage and prevent all future ir vafions. Thus fingularly happy, fwhy should they seek connexions with Europe, and expose themselves to the danger of being involved in its quarrels - Is there any thing very important to them which they can draw from thence-except INFECTION ?-Indeed, I tremble when I think of that rage for trade which is likely to prevail among them. It may, do them infinite mischief. All nations are spreading fnares for them, and courting them to a dangerous intercourse. Their best interest requires them to guard themselves by all proper means; and, particularly, by laying heavy duties on importations. But in no case will any means fucceed unless aided by MANNERS. In this instance, particularly, there is reason to fear that an increasing paffion for foreign frippery will render all the best regulations ineffectual. fhould this happen, that fimplicity of character, that manliness of {pirit, that disdain of tinsel in which true dignity consists, will difappear. Effeminacy, fervility and venality will enter; and liberty and virtue be swallowed up in the gulph of corruption. Such may be the course of events in the American States. Better infinitely will it be for them to consist of bodies of plain and honest fariners, than of opulent and splendid merchants.- Where in these States do the purest manners prevail ? Where do the inhabitants live most on an equality, and most at their eafe? Is it not in those inland parts where agriculture gives health and plenty, and trade is scarcely known ?-Where, on the contrary, are the inhabitants most felfish, ļuxurious, loose, and vicious; and at the same time most unhappy? Is it not along the fea-coafts, and in the great towns, where trade

flourishes

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