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is ingenioufly proved in the feventh Difcourfe, and the existence of final caufes, is maintained against the Atheist in the difcourfe preceding. If gravitation (fays our Author) does not cease to operate in a bomb, when it mounts in the air, though it operates invifibly, fo neither does goodnefs ceafe to be the natural propenfity of man, though it be often counteracted by accidental impreffions.

The fubject of the eighth Difcourfe is, the epiftolary form under which the work before us appears;-but this has been already confidered. The ninth treats of toleration, to which fubject our Author was led, by confidering the adverfaries his book and fyftem might fet in array against him, and the fpirit of candour, decency, and forbearance, that ought to guide those who are engaged in controverfy, whatever may be its object, or the points in difpute. This is an excellent piece. The tenth treats of the nature of man, and the knowledge acquired by the first men who studied themselves. The eleventh, of the properties of fubftances, and more especially, of the properties of matter. In the twelfth, our Author returns to the nature of man, and afcertains particularly the difference between perception and its inftruments, or, in his own words, between the being, which perceives, and its organs. This difcourfe, which contains 114 pages, is a very ingenious refutation of materialism in general; and the difcourfe, which follows, is a very full and masterly answer to the materialifm of Dr. PRIESTLEY in particular. He endeavours to fhew, that the reafonings of the Doctor have no fort of force, unless it be against those scholaftic Spiritualifts of former times, and their followers, who maintain, that the foul and the body have no property in common, no reciprocal point of conformity, or concurrence, and that, nevertheless, they are capable of an intimate communication with, and a reciprocal action on each other: he fhews, that the more rational fpiritualifts (who do not difdain matter, but acknowledge that it must have an immediate relation to SPIRIT, though in confequence of properties, in these two substances, as yet unknown to us) have palpable advantages over Dr. Priestley. He obferves, that (notwithstanding the profeffion the Doctor makes of his attachment to the philofophy of Newton) nothing can be more anti Newtonian, than his idea of matter, and (what is more to the point) that no idea of matter is fo palpably infufficient to account for fenfation and intelligence, as that which reduces it to a mere unfubftantial power of attraction and repulfion. The pureft logic of reafon and common sense, undefiled by fcholaftic jargon, reigns in this and the two preceding Difcourfes. Our Author coincides with the ideas of Dr PRICE, on this fubject, more than once; but thefe difcourfes, as he tells us himfelf, were compofed before the publication of Dr. Price's Conference.


The fourteenth Difcourfe, which concludes the first part of M. DE LUC's work, may be confidered by fome as a hors d'œuvre; but it is a very interefting one. Indeed, as these Difcourfes are preliminary in part, and partake more or less of the nature of a preface, it comes in with propriety in that point of view. Its object is of the utmost importance, but also, of the moft nice and delicate nature; for it treats of the liberty of writ ing on philofophical fubjects, and thus places an author between a Scylla and Charybdis of a momentous fort. Here again M. Dâ Luc has, in view, Dr. PRIESTLEY, who lays it down as a principle, that every man ought to publish with the utmost freedom, bis fentiments (whatever they may be) on the most important fubjeels, and refute, with the fame freedom, whatever he may think falfe and erroneous in the opinions of the public. M. DE LUC is of opinion, that a wife and good man ought to be cautious and prudent in the fe of this liberty, as truth may, and public felicity muft, lofe much by the indifcriminate employment of it on all forts of fubjects. Whether our Author be in the right or in the wrong, we fhall leave it to the candid and judicious reader to determine ;-but this we can affirm, without difficulty, that he deferves to be heard, and that the confiderations he offers on the fubject, are important and refpectable: they have, moreover, one undoubted title to an attentive hearing, which is, that they come from an ardent friend both to civil and religious liberty, who treats the fubject with the spirit of a philosopher, and of a friend to man, and not with the narrow fpirit of any kind of party.

That the reader may be fenfible of the importance of the objects that are prefented to him in this work, M. DE Luc advifes him to pafs from the first to the eleventh part; as he will find in this latter, all the facts and principles that the Author defigns to afcertain by the materials, obfervations, and reason. ings, contained in the intervening parts. We, however, shall proceed in the ftraight line.

The fecond part of this great work contains, in eight letters, an examination of all the fyftems of cofmology, in which the prefent state of the furface of the earth is confidered, as the effect of the general deluge. This examination leads our Author into prodigious details, as the fcience of cofmology comprehends not only the principles of phyfics, and requires all the materials of geography and natural hiftory to form its ftupendous edifice, or to overturn thofe that have been erroneously raised under its name, but also extends to the hiftory of man, of his origin, nature, and deftination, as connected with the ftate and revolu tions of the globe, which he inhabits. For (according to our Author's excellent and truly philofophical principle) all things in nature concur in the accomplishment of one great end, and that end is


happiness; and the universe is the work of an intelligent Being, who has not left MAN in a total ignorance, either of his origin or of his end. Accordingly, in the close and circumftantial examination of the fystems of Burnet, Whifton, Woodward, Leibnitz, Scheuchzer, Pluche, and Engel, which we meet with in this fecond part, there is a rich treasure of obfervations and phyfical knowledge. The natural hiftorian will find here, among other things, curious difcuffions relative to the cohesion of bodies, their fall or descent in water, the mechanism of petrification, the formation of gritts, and chryftallizations in the cavities of foffiis, the state of the beds or firata at the earth's furface, confidered with respect to the fpecific gravities of the fubftances which they contain, the vitrefcible, but not vitrified fubftances, that compose the earth, and the existence of inhabited continents,: while the marine bodies depofited themselves on thofe continents (formerly covered with water) which we now inhabit. After a refutation of the fyftems of the learned men already mentioned, M. DE LUC fhews, that, in general, all the fyftems, that derive the prefent form of the earth from a violent change or revolution, are contradicted by the regularity of the dry furface of our globe. He acknowledges, that the confufed heaps of terreftrial and marine bodies, that are almost every where buried in the bowels of mountains, prove that our globe did not proceed, in the ftate in which it now is, from the hands of the Creator; but he obferves juftly, that it is only the heterogeneous nature of these bodies, or their incongruity with the places where they are found, that can lead us to deduce from them the fuppofition of a general revolution in our globe: fuch a revolution having no veftiges or proofs but to the eye of reafon. Nothing certainly can be more ingenious, than the arguments by which M. DE Luc proves the regularity of the prefent continents, in the letter that terminates this fecond part.

In the third part, our Author treats of the cofmological fyftems, in which the prefent ftate of the furface of our globe is fuppofed to have been produced by SLOW OPERATIONS, or the gradual influence of the WATERS. He fhews particularly, that the motion of the waters from eaft to weft, to which M. BUFFON, and others, have attributed the change of land into fea, and fea into land, and the prefent form of our continents, has not produced fuch effects, and could not produce them, in the nature of things.

In the fourth part, with which the SECOND VOLUME COMmences, M. DE LUC, examines the hypothefis of those, who confider the rivers as the cause of the prefent ftate of the earth's furface; and he proves, with the utmolt perip.cuity and evidence, that the actual form of our continents is in direct oppofition to this fyftem. The abettors of this hypothefis, which is become a favourite one, allege, in its fupport, the following fact;,


that our continents are diverfified with mountains, hills, and plains, which are formed by beds or ftrata, and the greatest part of thefe ftrata contain marine bodies: to account for this fact, they obferve, that as the prefent rivers diminish gradually our continents, and produce, from their materials, new ones in the fea, there were ancient rivers which demolished the ancient continents, and out of them formed ours. But our Author attacksthis hypothefis, in order to prove the impoffibility of the formation of our continents from ancient ones deftroyed by the rivers if fuch destruction be allowed to have exifted *. To render his refutation clear, and unanswerable, he examines circumftantially the action of running waters upon the continents, and the causes that maintain the latter, and their mountains, against the influence of this action; these causes are not only phyfical, fuch as moffes, vegetation, &c. for the intervention and labours of men have contributed to the fame end. These causes open to our Author a field for fentimental, as well as inftructive difcuffions; for which we must refer the reader to the work itself. They will certainly please both his understanding and his heart.

In the fifth part, our Author confiders and refutes the fyftems, which attribute the formation of our continents to the SLOW CHANGES that have taken place in the level of the fea. Under this title, various hypothefes come into confideration, and engage him in deep and laborious researches. He combats, by the united powers of aftronomy, geography, phyfics, and natural history, the fyftem of thofe, who attribute the revolutions that have happened on the furface of the earth to the changes of its axis. He overturns the hypothefis of M. Le Cat, that was received with fuch applaufe in the year 1750. According to this, the earth, in its firft ftate, is fupposed to have been a globe, whofe conftituent parts being ranged according to their specific gravities, was of confequence covered with water; and would have remained eternally in that ftate, had not the Creator formed the moon, whose attraction formed the tides, while the violence of the tides fetting the heavy parts of the earth in motion, produced the continents with their mountains and inequalities, and are imperceptibly mining both at prefent, to reproduce them again, and to deftroy them again. Our Au

This M. DE Luc does not believe: he proves, on the contrary. that our continents, by their tendency to undergo fome change, in their form, by the circulation of the waters, tend thereby to their perfection, inftead of being threatened by that caufe with the deftruction, which fome writers have fancied. This is a curious point of natural history, which, though it is not neceffary to our Author's argument, furnishes, nevertheless, a new proof, that our continents are not the effect of ancient rivers.


thor, whose patience and candour keep an equal pace with his penetration and knowledge, difputes the ground inch by inch with this most unphilofophical hypothefis, and fhews its glaring contrariety to the laws of motion, to many of the most invariable laws of nature, and alfo, to the moft undoubted and best afcertained phenomena.

The hypothefis of Telliamed (De Maillet) is the next that receives a mortal blow from our Herculean deliverer of the phyfical world from monfters and chimeras. He follows this ftrange author (who makes the fea the parent of all things), and examines his proofs of the diminution of the fea, and his whimtical opinions concerning the fyftem of the universe, the population of the planets, the origin of plants, terrestrial animals, and man, and finishes thefe difcuffions, by fhewing the infufficiency of natural hiftory and phyfics to account for the exiftence and formation of any living being.

The THIRD VOLUME, in which we find the seventh and eighth parts of the work, contains a relation of two different voyages, made by our Author, into Germany and Holland. The firft, which is the subject of twenty-five letters, exhibits a rich variety of entertainment to the natural hiftorian, and often interefting points of view to the moralift; for few obfervers blend these two spheres of contemplation together, with fuch judgment and fenfibility as M. DE Luc. Among other things, the reader will find here the first lines of our Author's phyfical chronology, deduced from a view of the earth's surface, and other phenomena, and which we look upon, as infinitely fuperior in probability to many other methods of computation, which have been deemed refpectable. The route of our Author through Lower Saxony, Hanover, Zell, Gottingen, Weftphalia, Guelderland, and Over-Yel, furnishes him, in the heaths of these countries, whether cultivated or uncultivated, abundant matter of obfervation. But the chain of mountains at Hartz, and the mines of that district, which were the principal objects of this journey, lead our Author into details, which are fingularly interefting, as they mingle the pleasures of rural defcription with the researches of philofophy. The perfon that can read, without finding his imagination and heart most pleasingly affected, the fixty fecond, and feveral other letters of this volume, muft have a mode of perceiving and feeling very different from that of the author of this article. The defcription of Ofterode, in the neighbourhood of Gottingen, is charming; and, even in the narration of those circumstances that a faftidious critic will look upon as trivial, we difcover the spirit of a philofophical and fentimental obferver; of a man, who, by his good humour and gaiety, must be an excellent companion on a journey. bject efcapes him: nor does he, through an apprehenfion of




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