« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
remarkable institution has been upon manners, is a subject upon which I have not been able to collect much information from English authors; and the History of the Revival of Classical Learning, although a topic of the strongest interest to every man of letters, has never been fully treated by any writer, with whose works I am acquainted.
Many of my Quotations are selected from such works, 'as, either from their size, number of volumes, or scarceness, do not frequently come within the reach of young men. If some of them are borrowed from more obvious and popular works, their peculiar beauty, strength, and appositeness, it is presumed, will justify their introduction. But elegant as my quotations may be in point of style, conclusive as to reasoning, or striking as to the impression they are calculated to make; they will not completely answer the intended purpose, if, while they raise a high opinion of the merit of their authors, they do not excite an eager cu. riosity to peruse more of their works.
If I should be fortunate enough to succeed in procuring for eminent writers any additional degree of, regard ; if I should excite a more ardent and more active attention to any branches of useful knowledge; and if the variety of my topics should contribute to diffuse more widely the light of general information and useful truth; I shall have the satisfaction to reflect that my
time has not been sacrificed to a frivolous purpose by thus endeavouring, in conformity with the occupations of the most valuable portion of my life, to instruct the rising generation.
Trinity College, Oxford,
May 12, 1802.
TO THE FOURTH EDITION
The increasing demand for my
work calls upon me for adequate endeavours to merit the public approbation. I have therefore revised the whole, and made some useful alterations and additions. Trinity College, Oxford,
May 20, 1803.
TO THE AMERICAN EDITION.
A few paragraphs and notes have been omitted in this edition, which seem to have been written for a particular purpose, but would not be useful or interest. ing to the American reader.
By the advice of competent judges the Appendix, containing a long list of books, has been omitted, because it would increase the size and price of the work, and would not be generally useful in this country. A considerable part of the list consists of Greek and Latin books, of which a complete account may be found in Dibdin's Introduction to the Classics, 8vo, or the Bibliographical Dictionary, 7 vols, 12mo. Both these works are said to have merit, and will be acceptable to those who desire to know the characters of the various editions of the Greek and Roman Classics. A list of
the best professional books can always be obtained from professors and professional men.
A few paragraphs have been supplied in the second volume from books of merit.
The publishers have no intention to bestow indiscriminate praise upon this' work. They know that it contains some imperfections. But still they believe that it will be useful to the generality of readers, and especially to those who are designed for business, and have not received what is commonly termed a liberal education. It will be useful to all as an outline or plan of study, which may be more conveniently prosecuted by the assistance of such a guide.
Few books have been so favourably received in Britain as this, five editions having been published from May 12, 1802, to some time in 1803. This edition is printed from the fifth English edition.
GENERAL TABLE OF CONTENTS.
The design of the work. The various branches of literature and science considered with reference to young men in the higher classes of life, as they are, I. Christians; II. as Students, who enjoy the advantages of a liberal education; III. as Members of the British constitution. The consideration of these important relations in which they stand to society, has suggested the choice of the following subjects. The pursuit of them, carried to such an extent as is compatible with due attention to professional studies, is calculated to improve the faculties of the mind, to inform the understanding, strengthen the judgment, engage the memory in an agreeable exercise, and prepare a young man for the best performance of his various duties in life.
THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION
The reasonableness of instructing children in the principles of religion at an early age. The superior excellence of Chris. tian knowledge. Six of the leading proofs of the truth of Christianity stated. I. Authenticity of the books of the New Testament, II. The character of our Lord and Saviour. III. The prophecies of which he was the subject, and those which he pronounced. IV. His miracles. V. His precepts, or Christian ethics. VI. The rapid and extensive propagation of the gospel at its first preaching, under circumstances the most hostile to its success.
THE SUBJECT CONTINUED.
Reasons why the doctrines and precepts of christianity have been attacked by infidels of all ages. Their cavils shown to be weak, and their arguments proved to be inconclusive.
The character and conduct of modern infidels furnish additional evidence to the truth of christianity, as they are plainly foretold in scripture. Genuine christianity has produced the happiest effects upon the opinions, conduct, and institutions of mankind. It was darkened by superstition, and intermixed with error by the Papists, but was refined and brought back more nearly to the apostolical standard by the reformation, particularly by the Protestant establishment of the Church of England. Summary of the sublime truths of christianity. It comprehends the last revelation of the divine will to mankind; establishes the certainty of a future state; reconciles man to the dispensations of Providence, and qualifies him by a life of faith and obedience for the rewards of eternity.
LANGUAGE IN GENERAL.
Advantages resulting from a knowledge of various languages. The theories of lord Monboddo and Adam Smith relative to their origin examined. All languages derived from one original source. The most rational system of the origin of speech accords with the scriptural account of Moses. Alpha.