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The following is the author's view of the internal state of France, at the end of the year VIII. (Sept. 1800.) .. Of all the states in Europe, France is at present that whose po. pulation is the most numerous and the most warlike: her persevering resistance has shewn that no nation was more advantageously situated. The loss of her external trade has proved that, for a series of years, she could sufficiently satisfy her own wants; the continuance of her efforts, and her successes during the interruption of her commercial relations, has demonstrated that the impulse and correspondences of her internal commerce were sufficiently active, multiplied, and fruitful, to maintain in her bosom the principle of this great correspondence of social moveinents, that reproduces by the labour of every class, and distributes for their wants the mass of objects necessary to the subsiseance and to the propagation of the citizens. These conclusions are strong, since the results are facts that strike every eye.
• How has it happened that the destruction of the war, that the decay and the loss of several branches of industry, have not sensibly affected the principle of the social organisation of France, and the spring of its political power? It is, I believe, what it would be idle to dive into, and rashness to attempt to explain. I will state, however, but I will only give to what I am going to say the value that may belong to plausible conjectures, I will state, that during the revolution agriculture has been very considerably extended in France, and that circumstances have in some degree favoured the means of its being brought to perfection; that the scarcity wi:h which the nation was aflicted in the third year suggested the idea of cultivating the waste lands; that two measures of government, which never can be too much censured, viz, the law of the maximum, and the creation of paper-money, had nevertheless the effect of inducing the major part of ihe landholders to increase the cattle, thereby turning rural industry to a species of cultivation which hitherto had been too much neglected.
I will maintain, that if ihe var has very nearly annihilated a vast number of trades, war itself has become a trade of a very active kind, for which the preparations and the supplies over the whole of the French territory have given scope to an infinite variety of speculations, which have opened a channel to the capitalists, and procured a maintenance to that numerous class of labourers who, by the interruption of commerce, were driven from their former industrious pursuits.
Though we have already extended this article to some length, we must not withhold from our readers the author's strictures on the comparison which some have attempted to institute bee tween Bonaparte and C.esar :
• On examining this parallel, in the manner of Plutarch-- who in those he makes always takes care to bring in opposition, or to draw near him, the scene of life in which the men whom he compares have appeared, while he investigates the analogy that subsists between their characters and abilities—I am free to confess, that with regard to all the gifts of nature, in point of genins, and the moral qualities that spring from an elevated mind, the first consul and Cæsas-may be the
object object of a comparison on a biographic scale. But from the admitting these similarities, have these declaimers any right to conclude tha: there exists the same identity in their views, in the object of their ambition, in the nature of their destiny? Those who do not see the absurdity of such an inference, are entirely ignorant of the difference which marks the career that has opened before those two great men, the scene of their social life in a military and political point of view, together with the accession of local and national circumstances of their situation.
• As merely military men, Cæsar and Bonaparte may be compared: both have vanquished in all the battles which they fought; both have carried their triumpbaut arms into Europe, Africa, and Asia ; both added the discoveries of their genius to the deep resources of art. In the history of the illustrious chiefs both in ancient and modern times, the Roman and the French general can alone be contrasted in a scale of glory, in the greatness and the extent of their plans, in the wonderful celerity of their execution : both ever insured the success of the boldest expeditions by mcasures of wisdom which seemed to com. mand future events, and supplied the accidental checks of fortune by an inexhaustible stock of resources, which created new means of action against the effects of unforeseen obstacles: these are the features of similarity which exist between Cæsar and Bonaparte. The only disparity, and which must strike us at first sight, is, that the glory of the one has shone in all its splendor before his attaining the age in ; which the other was deploring, before the statue of Alexander, his not yet having done any thing to raise his fame. Bonaparte, before attaining the age of thirty years, proved himself the first man of his age; and Cæsar at the age of thirty years was only the first among the inen of faction in the forum, and the first debauchee of Rome. Cæsar spent twenty-five years in the fatigues of war and in accomplishing his successes before he established his reputation; the fame of Bonaparte, as rapid as it was early, was gained in less than five years. In short, Cæsar had only to contend when from Rome with generals of no celebrity, with barbarous people and nations unknown, and was indebted for his power solely to the victories he gained over his fellow citizens : on the contrary, it has been the destiny of Bonaparte to subdue nations the most warlike, to vanquish the best disciplined armies, and to overcome the first generals in Europe, and never to have fought but against the enemies of his country.
But although the military glory of those two generals were pere fectly equal and similar, what deduction can be drawn as to an iden. rity in their views ? Is not their respective situations immensely different? Are not the passions of the one directly opposite to the temper and the spirit of moderation of the other? Besides, can any comparison be made between the knowledge of the respective ages and the social state of the two countries ? Can any analogy exist between the Roman republic, just emerged from the proscriptions of Marius and of Sylla - quite bereit, after the death of Cato, of all that bore thc stamp of a Roman character, innundated with soldiers and slaves, unable to repel the numberless hordes of barbarians who every day threatened to invade her provinces, and still more unable to como mand over the numerous armies which were insufficient to maintain
the dominion of Rome over the immense extent of her territory_ Can any degree of similarity be said to exist between such a republic and the French republic, well organised and circumscribed as to her proper limits; for whom a revenue 'by far inferior to that which France had before the revolution will be adequate to her expences; who requires a military establishment comparatively less than that of all her neighbours; who is neither oppressed by dignified casts, nor agitated by factions; who has a population enjoying an identity of rights, without slaves or oppressors ; whose citizens have a high sense of honour, and just and enlightened ideas of liberty and of laws; and to whom peace only is wanting to resume all the pursuits of industry, to enjoy the advantages which they have gained, and to appreciate all the merit of those wise and liberal institutions which they have framed for themselvesi'
This work is uniformly flattering to France, and gloomily prophetic with regard to England: but it evinces such an extent of knowlege, and is written with so much philosophical temper, that it ought not to be treated with indifference. As it may now probably be in contemplation to open some commercial intercourse with France, it behoves us to be well informed respecting her teal character, views, and internal state ; and though her own account should be received with abatements, it is a species of evidence which ought not to be lightiy and contemptuously rejected.
Mo-y. Art. XIV. An Essay on the Unreasonableness of Scepticism. By
the Rev. J. Hare, A.M. Rector of Coln St. Denys, Gloucestershire, &c. Small 8vo. pp. 300. (No Price marked.) Riving.
tons, &c. 1801. TINDER a dispensation of religion which professes to exercise
our Faith, a degree of doubt may be supposed at times to operate on the mind. Bishop Butler, indeed, considers doubting as a species of belief, and any other person may with equal jus. cice regard it as a species of Scepticism. The distressed parent rer corded in the Gospel, who prayed in these words, “Lord! I believe, help thou mine unbelief,” manifested a kind of conviction which perhaps is by no means unusual. Divines often assign reasons. (as Blair in particular has done in his sermon on “ the Imper fect Knowlege of a Future State") for our religious faith being dimmed with surmises; and at others times they urge the necessity of a sacred order, to bring forwards the evidences of Tevelation, of which they speak as “ remote and receding:"
If these principles be generally admitted, certain tendencies to unbelief will inevitably discover themselves : yet constant Scepticism, or Pyrrhonism, in the strict sense of the word, may be said to be unreasonable, since the imperfection of faith and knowlege will not authorize us to cherish a state of
universal and inveterate doubt. Puzzling difficulties may ate tach to revealed religion, without proving that it is an idle fable; and if it exhibits the evidence and demonstration which belong to its character and circumstances, we ought so far to be satisfied. Mr. Hare endeavours to shew that this is completely effected; he meets the objector openly; and he discusses those arguments which have been so often adduced by infidels, in justification of their rejection of the Scriptures.
This ingenious and (we hope) useful tract was composed to refute some objections on the subject of revealed religion, which a gentleman suggested to the author in the course of conversation. These objections are classed under four distinct heads. Ist, It was denied that the philosophical and theological knowlege of the Heathen was so defective as to render a particular revelation necessary. IIdly, It was contended to be derogatory to the dignity and majesty of the Deity, to make any such particular revelativn: IIIdly. It was doubted whether what is called the Scripture and the word of God was not forged, to answer the sinister views and purposes of man. IVihly, A disbelief was expressed, respecting the possibility of adducing evidence of the truth of revealed religion, sufficient to satisfy the mind of a man whose reason was unprejudiced, pand whose understanding was improved and cultivated. The defence of revealed religion, in opposition to these objections, occupies ten chapters. Mr. Hare first particularly examines the philosophy and theology of the Heathens, in order to show that, after every fair compliment has been paid to them, they evince their inefficiency, and prove the necessity of revelation. He next maintains that the circumstance of a particular revelation involves nothing dishonourable to the Deity, who is not to be considered as governing the moral and natural world only by general laws. He endeavours to prove the insufficiency of man's reason and conscience for perfect information and guidance in spiritual concerns; and the absurdity, since the religion of Christ supplies this defect, of objecting to and rejecting it, because its doctrines are not universally disseminated. He farther contends that it was impossible that any forgery should have been made, or even attempted to be made, in the Scriptures; that these cannot be made to bend to the sinister views and purposes of man ;-and, lastly, that the evidence of revealed religion is such as ought to satisfy the mind of every man whose reason is unprejudiced, however highly tis understanding may be improved.
The substance of the last and most important chapter is contained in the following propositions:
$ First First; that revealed religion contains a series of facts of the highest importance necessary for man to know, and yet impossible for him by any exertion of his reason to discover.
Secondly, that the miracles and prophecies recorded in this revelation possess an evidence calculated to induce a belief in their truth. ." Thirdly, that what is affirmed to be the revealed will of God is propounded to man in that awful and authoritative manner, which might reasonably be expected, if it proceeded from God..
Fourthly, that the definition given by revelation of the attributes of the Deity is more to the glory of God's great and holy name, and infinitely more satisfactory to the human mind, than that which pre. vailed in the world previous to the promulgation of the Scriptures. ; • Fifthly, that its doctrines have produced that strong and bene. ficial effect on the minds and manners of those to whom it has been revealed, and who believe in its truth, which it might be supposed a religion proceeding from God would produce.'
This essay displays a considerable degree of reading and ingenuity, and it is agreeably written. Mr. Hare has borrowed much from Dr. Warburton's Divine Legation, and acknowleges his obligations : but he differs from Warburton in referring the passage in Job, I know that my Redeemer liveth, &c. to Christ and the Resurrection. We consider the work as a pleasing compilation, which, if insufficient to convince every infidel, will be perused with satisfaction by the Christian, and will induce him to prize the treasures of wisdom and knowlege which are contained in the books of the Old and New Testament. It is elegantly printed, at the Oxford University Press.
Art. XV. The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift, D.D. Dean of
St. Patrick's, Dublin, arranged by Thomas Sheridan, A.M. with Notes Historical and Critical. A New Edition in Nineteen Volumes ; corrected and revised by John Nichols, F. S. A. Edinburgh and Perth. 8vo. 71. 128. (Large Paper, 11l. 8s.) Boards.
Johnson, &c. &c. 1801. It was obserred in a volume published in the year 1789 *,
and which was intended as a supplement to Mr. Sheridan's edition of Dean Swifi's works t, that " whenever a COMPLETE EDITION shall be formed of Swift's writings, it must be by an accurate comparison of the seventeen volumes published by Mr. Sheridan, with the twenty-five volumes in the editions of Dr. Hawkesworth and Mr. Nichols. When that is done, the present volume will form an interesting part, and till then it may be considered either as an eighteenth volume of the one edition, or as a twenty-sixth of the other.”-Much use of this volume has
* M. R. N. S. vol. i. p. 1. + M. R. vol. Ixxii. p. 321. Rev. FEB. 1802.