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ment were such as to exclude youths | Mr. Burke, in his famous “ Reflections of little property from enjoying the on the French Revolution,” spread benefits of the foundation; and as to the alarm from one end of the kingdom eleemosynary tuition, it was out of the to the other; insomuch, that numbers, question altogether. Again, the bur- whose doctrinal opinions coincided den attached to the preceptorial chairs with those inculcated at Hackney, soon became too heavy for the very drew back from countenancing the learned persons who filled those situa- academical establishment there, lest tions; especially as the salaries and they should be suspected of repubperquisites were far from proving an licanism. adequate remuneration for the sacri- Further than this,- it cannot be fice of so much time and labour. In denied, that the religious principles the endowed schools and colleges con- of the dissenters, speaking of them nected with the established church, as a general body, were now underthe masters and professors are made | going a very material change; or raeasy, by the assurance, that their latter ther, reverting fast to the doctrinal days will be rendered comfortable, by standard of the old Puritans and Nona provision legally secured for them. conformists. About the time when They are further stimulated to perse- the college at Hackney was projectverance by the prospect of advance-ing, some writers of powerful intellect ment in the church; few instances had accused the dissenters with hayhaving occurred, in which the conduc. ing abandoned the faith of their foretors of great schools, after spending fathers. This occasioned some warm some years in the honourable dis discussion; and particular congregacharge of their painful office, have tions, in various districts, were adbeen passed over without some produced as proofs that the principles of motion. But in the present case, the the dissenters remained the same. tutors at Hackney were doomed to In reply, it was observed, that these incessant fatigue, without the least insulated societies were so far from chance of realizing a fund for their fu- furnishing a refutation of the charge, ture support.
that, on the contrary, they strengthenEvery thing here. was capricious; ed and proved it; especially when it and the instability of the fabric soon appeared, that the fountains of knowbecame apparent in the declension of ledge were entirely under the direction subscribers, the paucity of scholars,and of Arians or Socinians. The agitathe secession of instructors. Dr. Kip- tion of this question was far from bepis, who was now far advanced in years, ing favourable to the New College at left Hackney to be near his congrega- | Hackney; and while the institution tion in Westminster; and Dr. Priest- was in this stage of decay, the death of ley, who, after his settlement as the Dr. Kippis put an end to it entirely. successor of Dr. Price, had taken an On this melancholy loss, Dr. Rees active part in the management of the preached a sermon at the meeting in college, quitted the kingdom in dis- | the Old Jewry ; in which discourse he gust, to end his days in America. drew the character of Dr. Kippis very Thus Dr. Rees, having now passed ably, and then concluded as follows: the meridian of life, was left almost "Such are the general outlines of alone, surrounded with difficulties, the character and labours of our deoppressed by labours, and perplexed ceased friend. The portrait, I am by anxieties. It should also be ob- sensible, is not sufficiently just to the served, that the period was remark- original. In delineating a character ably gloomy, and the aspect of the which exhibits so many excellencies, times very unfavourable to an institu- and so few defects, none can suspect tion of this description. The horrors me of approaching to adulation. My of the French revolution had filled the respect for him was great. I honoured minds of many dissenters, as well as him as a father. I loved him as a of other members of the community, brother. But my affection, I am conwith the dread of witnessing similar fident, has not misled my judgment. scenes in England. The political By the favour of Providence, which sentiments avowed by Dr. Price, in marks the bounds of our habitation, I his famous revolutionary sermon, in- was led in early life into an intimate creased the apprehension; and the acquaintance with bim. Our acquaintadvantage taken of that discourse by ance, as co-tutors and coadjutors ip. public business, ripened into an estab- was led to conceive the idea of a more lished friendship; and our friendship comprehensive and general dictionary continued, without so much as a mo- of science. Having formed bis plan, mentary interruption, and with in he quitted the counter, to devote bimcreasing attachment, for more than self entirely to the execution of his thirty-two years, to the day of his project, and in 1728 appeared the first death. It must have been my own edition of the Cyclopædia, in two sofault, if I have not derived advantage lio volumes, dedicated to the king. from his extensive literary knowledge, The reputation which the author gain. from the wisdom of his counsels, and ed by this performance, procured bis from the exemplariness of his conduct. election into the Royal Society; and No apology, I trust, will be thought in 1738 a new edition came out, which necessary for introducing myself on sold so rapidly, that the very next this occasion. As it was my ambition year a third impression was called for; to cultivate the friendship I enjoyed, which was almost as quickly followed it is my pride to have it publicly | by a fourth in 1741; and a fifth in known, that I valued that friendship 1746. After this, and while a sixth as one of the chief honours and plea edition was in contemplation, the prosures of my life. The friend I have prietors thought it might be supplied lost cannot be easily replaced.” by a supplement in two more volumes,
Having thus brought the bistory of for which purpose, Mr. George Lewis this short-lived, but once noted, insti-Scott, mathematical tutor to his late tution to a termination; we must now majesty, and the indefatigable Dr. notice the literary career of Dr. Rees, John Hill, were selected as the comwhich many probably will be disposed pilers. In this state, the Cyclopædia to regret, with us, was ever so inter continued some years, when the prorupted.
prietors formed the resolution of blendAbout the year 1776 or 1777, the ing the original and supplement togeproprietors of Chambers's Cyclopædiather in one alphabet, with additions. having been disappointed in procuring To execute this design, Owen Ruffa qualified person to superintend a head was engaged: but he had not new edition of that important and proceeded far, when he died; and the valuable compilation, were recom-work stood still for a considerable mended to employ Dr. Rees, who un- time. Dr. Kippis was the next perdertook the Herculean labour; and in son, we believe, to whom the intended the course of the following year, the new edition was intrusted; but finding first weekly number made its appear- the labour above his strength, he reance. The publication took up near linquished it, and was succeeded by nine years, being completed, in four Dr. Rees. folio volumes, in 1786; about wbich In the Biographia Britannica, under time, the learned editor was chosen a the article Chambers, Dr. Kippis pays member of the Royal Society. As this just compliment to his friend:this undertaking forms an interesting “It would have been difficult to have feature in the history of general litera- found a single person more equal to ture, we trust to be excused for giving the completing of the Cyclopædia than a brief sketch of the origin of the Dic Dr. Rees; who, to a capacious mind, tionary, with some account of its im- to a large compass of general knowprovements, and the imitations to ledge, and an unremitting application, which it has given rise.
unites that intimate acquaintance with The first performance of the kind, all the branches of mathematics and was the “Lexicon Technicum” of philosophy, without which the other Dr. John Harris, which appeared in qualifications would be ineffectual. the year 1708, in two volumes folio ; The success of the work, thus improvand was afterwards enlarged by a ed, and digested into one alphabet, in supplemental volume; the last edition four volumes folio, bath exceeded the being in 1735. This Dictionary pos-most sanguine expectations. This sesses great merit, and may, even last and best edition of the Cyclopædia now, as far as relates to the mathema- began to be published in weekly numtics, be consulted with advantage. It bers in 1778, and at the time of writing was by frequently consulting this work this article, 1783] the third volume in the shop of his master, Senex, the was finished. The sale is at the rate globe-maker, that Ephraim Chambers of four or five thousand numbers in a
week, and the demand is continually | tegrity of mind, in the execution of it. increasing. The names, therefore, of Instead of this, they made their DicChambers and Rees will be handed tionary a vehicle for the promulgation down with great reputation to poste of principles destructive of public and rity; the first as the original author, private happiness; but these tenets and the second as the compiler, of this are so artfully blended with practical grand undertaking.”
information and reasoning on scientific When the popularity of the work is subjects, as to escape the observation of considered, it is not surprising that it general readers, whose minds, without should give rise to imitations. The suspecting any such thing, thus beprincipal of these were, “Barrow's come tainted, and drawn unawares to Dictionary of Arts and Sciences," in infidelity. two volumes folio, 1751; “A new Notwithstanding this radical defect and complete Dictionary of Arts and in the Encyclopedie, yet, as a magaSciences,” in four large octavo VO-zine of practical knowledge, its merits lumes, published without a name, but are unquestionably very great; and compiled chiefly by Benjamin Martin, the success which it met with stimuin 1763; “ The Complete Dictionary | lated the proprietors of the English of Arts and Sciences, by Temple Cyclopædia, after a lapse of fourteen Croker and others, three volumes fo- years, to enlarge their work in a similio, in the same year; “The Encyclo- lar manner. For this purpose, though pædia Britannica,” originally publish- Dr. Rees was employed to superined in 3 volumes, quarto, at Edinburgh, tend the undertaking, several other in 1773; and progressively extended persons were engaged to discuss and to above twenty volumes. Since that explain those subjects with which they time, the number of rival publications, were supposed, from their professional in different forms, has multiplied to pursuits and peculiar babits, to be an amazing extent. But by far the eminently conversant. Of this vast most celebrated work of all that has and expensive undertaking, we shall hitherto arisen upon the model of not here venture to enter into a critiChambers, is the “Encyclopedié ou cal examination; but, with respect to Dictionnaire Raisonné des Sciences,” such voluminous compilations in gebegun at Paris in 1743, by Diderot, neral, it does appear to us, that, with whom, soon afterwards, was as- whether English or French, they have sociated D'Alembert; the latter a ma- all departed widely from the true detheniatician of the first order, and the sign of a Lexicon, which is simple other a second-rate mataphysician; / utility. A dictionary of science, like but both sceptics, if not indeed posi- that of language, should be a mere tiye atheists. From translating the book of reference, for definition and English dictionary, they proceeded to explanation only; instead of which, form an entire new one, and at the compilers of nearly all the modern length procured other aid in the dif- Encyclopædias have, in imitation of ferent branches of literature, by whose the French illuminati, rendered their united efforts the work grew to the works inaccessible to the mass of the enormous magnitude of twenty-one public, who stand in most need of infolio volumes, without reckoning those formation, by loading their collections which contain the plates. The third with hypothetic dissertations on abedition, in thirty-six quarto volumes, struse questions, details of history, appeared at Geneva in 1779; after and prolix treatises upon elementary which, another, still more extended, subjects. Diderot himself became was begun at Paris, the joint labour convinced of their incongruity, and he of Lalande, Condorcet, Monge, and was well aware that the simple plan other distinguished literary and scien of Chambers was better than the one tific characters.
which had been followed as an imThus the old saying, that the French provement. invent and the English improve, was The conjunction also of various tareversed; for here, the Encyclope- lents in the formation of the French dists were certainly the copiers of an Encyclopedie, though apparently of original design; and it is only to be great benefit, was not without disadregretted, that, when they adopted vantages. This also is admitted, and the plan of Chambers, they did not frankly stated, by Diderot, who says, at the same time observe the like in-“We had not time to be very scrupur lous in the choice of the coadjutors. of reference and lucid in the arrangeAmong some excellent persons, there ment. The main cause of this differwere others weak, indifferent, andence between the two works, is asaltogether bad. Hence that motley signable to the very same error of tppearance of the work, where we see which Diderot complained ; and hence the rude attempt of a schoolboy by the English, like the French dictionthe side of a piece from the hand of a ary of science, exhibits a heterogenemaster; and a piece of nonsense next ous mixture of good, bad, and indifneighbour to a sublime performance. | ferent articles, characteristic of the Some working for no pay, soon lost labourers, who, without a proper distheir first fervor ; others badly recom crimination, were employed from time pensed, served us accordingly. The to time in this most expensive and Encyclopedié was a gulf, into which important concern. Although Dr. all kinds of scribblers promiscuously Rees was not responsible for the defithrew their contributions; their pieces ciencies of this great undertaking, he were ill-conceived, and worse digest certainly, in many instances, fell into ed; good, bad, contemptible, true, an awkward predicament, on account false, uncertain, and always incohe- of its excrescences; and as his name rent and unequal; the references that stood in the front of the Cyclopædia, belonged to the very parts assigned to it surprised and grieved many, that a person, were never filled up by him; the pruning knife had not been more a refutation is often found, where we freely exercised by him, in his capashould naturally expect a proof; and city of editor and reviser. there was no exact correspondence Employed, as the Doctor was, for so between the letter-press and the many years, in engagements of such plates. To remedy this defect, re- a magnitude, it is not to be wondered course was had to long explications. that he should have favoured the world But how many unintelligible machines with comparatively but few other publiwere there, for want of letters to denote cations. The strength and variety of his the parts !”
powers must be sought for in his first The imperfections, thus candidly and capital edition of Chambers, where allowed to have injured the French will be found many valuable essays work, have, more or less, marred al- on theoretical and practical science. most the whole of the English Ency- In his professional character as a clopædias, in one of which we remem- divine, the Doctor printed, besides the ber to have seen, under the word two discourses already noticed, “A “ Farriery,” a reference to “Horse," Sermon on the Obligation and Imporand, on turning to that article, were tance of searching the Scriptures ;" sent to the end of the alphabet, but on two funeral sermons, one on the death arriving at the classical term of “ Ve- of Mr. R. Robinson of Cambridge, and terinary Art;" instead of the expected the other on that of Dr. Flexman of information, we were directed to go Rotherhithe ; two sermons entitled, back again to “Farriery," under which “ Economy illustrated and recomgood old English word, not a syllable mended ;" another at the opening of was to be found! This is not a solitary the chapel in Jewin-street; and two instance, for in opening some of these volumes of “ Practical Sermons." ponderous volumes, instead of meeting Throughout life, Dr. Rees never with what we want, under the appro- engaged in any controversy till the priate head, we are very often refer- / year 1813, when he printed an octavo red backwards and forwards to nine, pamphlet, with the title of “The Printen, or a dozen other articles, scatter-ciples of Protestant Dissenters stated ed at remote distances from each and vindicated.” But here he may be other; and yet all necessary to be said to have acted defensively; and it read, in order to make the primary is not known that he any where apdefinition clear and intelligible. peared as an opponent, except it was
The last extensive Cyclopædia of in'writing the article of “Polygamy," Dr. Rees is not free from this cumbers in his folio Dictionary. some arrangement; and herein con- Just at that time, the reverend Marsists one of its capital defects; which tin Madan, of the Lock Chapel, pubis the more remarkable, because the lished his famous work, entitled, Doctor's edition of Chambers, in four “ Thelypthora ;" in which he mainvolumes, is, in comparison, really easy tained the position, that whosoever se
Aphorisms, from the Writings of the Rev. R. Hall.
duces a young woman, is bound by the divine law to make her his wife, even | AJ
| APHORISMS, EXTRACTED FROM THE though he may be already a married
WRITINGS OF THE REV. R. HALL. man. This strange doctrine, though far
(Continued from col. 696.) from being a new one, gave general 15.-Popery-a heap of unmeaning offence to serious persons of all par- ceremonies, adapted to fascinate the ties, and, of course, excited a warm | imagination, and engage the senses ; controversy. Dr. Rees took no other implicit faith in human authority, part in the dispute, than that of no- combined with the utter neglect of ticing it in strong terms, under the divine teaching; ignorance the most head of “ Polygamy," in the Cyclo profound, joined to dogmatism the pædia; which so irritated the au most presumptuous; a vigilant excluthor of “ Thelypthora," that he ad sion of biblical knowledge, together dressed “ Five Letters" to the editor, with a total extinction of free inquiry ; whom he accused of unfair dealing, | present the spectacle of religion lying and particularly with writing criticisms in state, surrounded with the silent on bis book in the Monthly Review. pomp of death. Those strictures, however, were not 16.-Ignorance gives a sort of eterthe production of Dr. Rees, but of Mr. nity to prejudice, and perpetuity to Samuel Badcock, one of the acutest error. and most learned controvertists of the 17.—Though there may be many day. Dr. Rees, indeed, was an oc rich, many virtuous, many wise men, casional writer in the Monthly Review, fame must necessarily be the portion in conjunction with Dr. Kippis, which of but few. circumstance probably led Mr. Madan 18.-The humility of a noble mind to believe that the critiques upon his scarcely dares to approve of itself, work proceeded from the editor of the until it has secured the approbation Cyclopædia.
of others. Dr. Rees was one of the oldest mem- 19.-The portion of time and attenbers of the Linnæan Society; and with- tion mankind are willing to spare from in a few months of his death, he was their avocations and pleasures, to dedistinguished by being elected an vote to the admiration of each other, honorary fellow of the Royal Society | is so small, that every successful adof Literature.
venturer is felt to have impaired the The Doctor was, for several years, at public stock. the head of the Presbyterian board in 20.--Extended benevolence is the London, as a trustee of the fund es- last and most perfect fruit of the pritablished by Dr. Daniel Williams; andvate affections. manager of the library in Redcross-st.: 21.--As the object of worship will he was also a principal director of the always be, in a degree, the object of “ Working Orphan School," in the imitation, hence arises a fixed standCity-road; and belonged to most of ard of moral excellence; by the conthe charitable institutions belonging templation of wbich, the tendencies to to the Dissenters. In his politics, he corruption are counteracted, the conwas a Whig upon principle; but though tagion of bad example is checked, and firmly attached to the cause of civil human nature rises above its level. and religious liberty, he was a decided 22.- Domestic society is the semienemy to faction, and never engaged nary of social affections, the cradle of in the contentions of parties. In his sensibility, where the first elements theological opinions, he followed the are acquired of that tenderness and Unitarians of the old school, and, like humanity which cement mankind tohis friend Dr. Price, believed the pre-gether; and which, were they entirely existence of Christ, though he denied extinguished, the whole fabric of social the doctrine of his essential divinity. institutions would be dissolved.
Dr. Rees suffered a severe loss in 23.-Religion is the final centre of 1798, by the death of his son, Mr. repose; a goal to which all things Philip Lewis Rees, in a consumption, tend, which gives to time all its imat the age of twenty-two. The Doctor's portance, to eternity all its glory ; health had long been very vigorous, apart from which, man is a shadow, and his activity uncommon, till a few his very existence a riddle; and the months before his dissolution, which stupendous scenes which surround event took place June 9, 1825.
him, as incoherent and unmeaning as