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tions and conduct.' --The fermon was preached on Trinity Sunday; he might think there was a kind of propriety in at. tending to the distinction by which the day has been marked ; but the subject of his discourse, wisely chosen in our view, is that of doing justice, &c. in recommendation of which duty he principally addresses his audience.

In his preface, we observe that Mr. Stockdale expresses an approbation of authorizing and guarding, by the law, what he calls the essential doctrines of Christianityyet we perceive, with pleasure, that however strenuous he may be for such extensions of power, his disposition, and his religion, are wholly abhorrent from persecution*:- Those,' he tells us, who have been appointed the guardians and explainers of the scriptures, have, perhaps, in ancient, as well as in modern times, done more injury both to them, and to religion, than any other class or description of men; by making the facred oracles the instruments of their secular or intellectual ambition :'-He proceeds to censure those acrimonious and unchristian zealots,

who have excited furious and scurrilous disputes ; and have set on foot cruel and sanguinary persecutiops, because they could not prevail on those whom they should have treated as brethren, to accept their jargon for a clear and full interpretacion of the secrets of heaven. These men totally lost fight of the fubflance of Christianity; they surely forgot that all our doings without charity, are nothing worth.' -Once more, he argues, Of all the enemies to the celestial morality of the gospel (i do not mean with a cold and timid caution, to restrain my remark to the church of Rome) the most mischievous foes to this divine morality, have always been priests who are licentious in their manners, or ambitious in their schemes.' This breathes the true spirit of the old Reformers ! On another occasion, we find him not so biaffed in favour of the ecclesiastical constitution of his own country, as not to allow of some defects : -No human inftitutions, (he says,) were ever perfect: therefore I fatter myself, that it will not be thought illiberal and invidious 10 observe, that we are apt to praise the rights, the privileges, the laws, and the customs of England, with too partial and indiscriminate an eulogium. Our laws are, in general, equi. table and excellent, their administration is, undoubtedly, in fome refpests exceptionable. Even the noble right of being tried by our peers, is not without its inconveniencies : juries are sometimes warped, and sometimes intimidated ; fimple and honest witnesses are embarrassed, and confounded, by selfith and venal lawyers; and we pay dearly even for justice, which

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ought ought to be as free and unexpensive as the air : hence a poor man is often legally injured, oppressed, and ruined by the malignant and tyrannical opposition of a rich and powerful antagonist.'-There is both justice and generosity in this remark.

Oliver Cromwell, however, falls under Mr. Stockdale's feverest lah: with him he contrasts his son Richard, and concludes with Voltaire's reflection ;-" the life of the son was a life of health, virtue, felf-fatisfaction; while the father knew nothing but folicitude and torment."-The preacher might, no doubt, if he had chosen it, have found instances, equally, or more familiarly adapted, for cautioning his audience against an unjuftifiable love of the world, than that on which he has here fixed. We are somewhat inclined to number this among the eccentricities by which this Gentleman's writings have, in some in.

stances, been distinguished: but which more seldom occur in the present than in his former publications.

On the whole, we have perused this volume with fatisfaction; the subjects are proper; the remarks are often sensible and Atriking; and the exhortations are delivered with energy: yet there is still fomewhat desultory and wandering, at times, in his manner : but there are also certain evidences of ability, of inquiry, and of knowlege, together with appearances of an honest mind, which wishes for truth, and can but reluctantly be shackled by the dogmas and commandments of men. We might select passages which would be acceptable in point of composition, and yet more for their juft display and recommendation of religion and virtue. It gives us pleasure to observe a steady endeavour to render people easy and contented in their stations, and to lead them to regard the practice of righteousness, founded on real piety, as the sure method for present peace and enjoyment; at the same time that it tends to their future rest and happiness. We must suppose that if Mr. Stockdale's naval hearers did not duly profit by his discourses, the fault must have been in themselves : but this remark will, indeed, equally apply to audiences of every other description,

ART. XVIII. Sermons ; now first published from the original Ma.

nuscripts of John Wallis, D.D. fome Time Savilian Profeffor of Geometry in the University of Oxford, Keeper of the Archives, Member of the Royal Society, and Chaplain in Ordinary to King Charles 11. 8vo. PP. 623. 65. Boards.

Robin. fons. These discourses

are very properly introduced by memoirs of the author; a man of great ability, learning, worth, and celebrity, in his day; although, as it must happen, in the pro

gress

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gress of years, to numbers who, like Dr. Wallis, merit a fa. vourable report, his memory has been too much disregarded. He lived during a remarkable period of the British history; being born in the year 1616, and dying, at the age of eightyseven, A. D. 1703. In what manner he conducted himself, amid the discords and confusions with which regal oppression and ecclesiastic insolence marked so large a portion of this time, does not distinctly appear. On the one hand, we learn that he was an episcopalian, and a friend to the royal party; and on the other, we find him, in 1644, one of the secretaries to the Assembly of Divines then convened at Westminster; during his attendance on which, we also observe him an officiating minister in Fenchurch-ftreet, and afterward in Ironmongerlane; where, he himself says, he continued till his removal to Oxford, in 1649; for then it was, that he became public professor of geometry, on the foundation of Sir Henry Savile;' and he passed the remainder of his days in the cultivation of those sciences, which, he has so much improved to the honour of his country, as well as of himself. He had been early and deeply grounded in grammatical learning; and was verled in the languages before he went to Cambridge, where he spent some years : but it is remarkable, that though he was afterward so great a proficient in geometrical science, the whole of what he learned of it in his youth was during a fortnight's vacation which he spent at his mother's house, when he was only fourteen years of age. At that time he obtained some instruction in this respect from one of his younger brothers :

• This (says he was my first entry into mathematics, and all the teaching I had; but did afterwards prosecute it as a pleasing diversion at spare hours, as books of arithmetic or other mathematical Subjects fell occasionally in my way; for mathematies were not at that time looked on as academical learning, but the bufiness of traders, merchants, seamen, carpenters, land-measurers, or the like, or perhaps some almanac-makers in London ; and of more than two hundred fudents at that time in our college, I do not know of any two that bad more mathematics than myself, which was but very little, having never made it my serious ftudy till some time before I was defigned for a profeffor in it.'

Though Dr. Wallis did not apply to this science, as a businefs, until he was upward of forty years of age, it presently appeared that he had a genius particularly fitted for the pursuit

. He soon became eminent: of which he gave proof by the works that he published *. One accidental testimony of this, is his Commercium Epiftolicum,' occasioned by a challenge given by

• He was allowed to be the first mathematician of the time in which he lived, next to Sir Isaac Newton.

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Mr. Fermate (a Frenchman,) to the English, Dutch, and French mathematicians (except those of Paris,) to answer a numerical question. The Doctor accomplished it with great applause, and received, among other commendations, in a letter addressed to Sir Kenelm Digby, the farther acknowlegement, • Now must Holland yield to England, and Paris to Oxford.'

In connection, it is proper to mention his acuteness as a decypherer ; in which art he was employed for several years, with great success, although for some time with but inconfia derable emolument to himself. His attention to this busipess also seems to have been accidental. One night, as they were sitting down to supper, at Lady Vere's, about the beginning of the year 1643, the Doctor informs us, that a chaplain of Sir William Waller shewed him, as a curiosity, an intercepted letter in cypher, the first thing he had ever seen of the kind; and, between jest and earnest, asked if he could make any thing of it. Before he went to bed, he discovered it to be an alphabet. This instance of penetration introduced him to a variety of employment of this kind, often very difficult and laborious. The account here given is chiefly confined to his engagements with the Earl of Nottingham and the Earl of Shrewsbury, fucceffively secretaries to K. William the Third. His painful affiduities were handsomely acknowleged in words: but, as may be expected from courts and courtiers, (of past times, we mean, not of the present,) other rewards were iņa considerable: nor was he better treated by the elector of Brandenburgh; to whom he seems to have rendered some important services. It must, however, be added, that, after delays, he did at length obtain something more like a suitable acknowlegement from each. In 1700, King Williain settled on him an annual pension of one hundred pounds, with survivorfhip to his grandson, Mr. William Blencowe. The elector of Brandenburgh, in a course of time, also sent him a rich gold medal and chain of near seventeen ounces; with suitable embellishments. The editor of this volume adds, and we read ic with some concern, that after this medal had been for many years in the family, he disposed of it as old gold; having first offered it for sale to the Oxford and British Museums, and to several antiquaries.

The Doctor exhibited other proofs of his learning and ability in different ways : in his Tractus de Loquelâ GrammaticoPhysicus, published in 1653, and fiące often reprinted, he para ticularly describes the physical or mechanical formation of sounds used in speech, or expressed by the letters of several languages; and informs us farther, that, in agreement to this plan, he undertook, with success, to teach dumb persons to

Speak.

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speak. His method was, by directing them to apply the tongue, lips, and other organs of speech, to such postures and motions as are proper for such and such sounds, whether the person speaking do hear himself or not; according, it is said, to the Doctor's own words, extracted from the Philosophical Transactions for the year 1666.

He was not only a member of the Royal Society, but one of the gentlemen who first occafioned its establishment. The relation here given of his numerous works is also said to have been drawn from the memoirs of that learned body. The remark made in one of them, concerning K. Richard the Third, may be new to fome readers, or may at least serve to confirm an opinion which has been occasionally advanced, though not generally admitted.

It appears, in his Latin Grammar of the English tongue, for the use of foreigners *; speaking of words which begin with cr, as if, says he, they took their meaning from the cross-among other illustrations, he adds, Richard III. formerly king of England, was called, Crouched-back, not because his back was crooked, but because he wore on his back the form of the cross.

After Dr. Wallis entered on his Savilian professorship, his attention was principally directed to those mathematical inquiries, which, in former years, he had regarded only as an amusement: for, certainly, regular minifters, of real piety, benevolence, and virtue, find other more important cares connected with their stations, if they would be useful, and comport with the design of their office : but to these, the Profeffor now ably and profitably applied for his future days: he translated several ancient Greek authors, connected with the subject, befide the volumes which he composed and published.

On the whole, Dr. W. must be regarded as a man who fands high in the learned world. As a theologian, he ranked

* Of this valuable work, a new handsome edition was printed, in 1765, at the expence of the late Mr. THOMAS HoLLis, who was remarkable for appropriating a considerable part of his large fortune to acts of peculiar benevolence, particularly to the patriotic purpose of reprinting scarce and valuable publications. Of his impreffions of these, he usually gave away great numbers, especially to seminaries of learning, in most parts of the globe, as well as to private persons, whom he deemed friends to liberty and science ; and such presents were often clothed in the most elegant and expensive binding. He caused a Gne portrait of Dr. Wallis to be prefixed to his edition of the Latin Grammar, from a drawing by Cypriani ; which print is well copied, and placed as a frontispiece to these fermons. For a more particulated account of Mr. Hollis's edition of the Grammar, and of the utility of the work itself, fee Monthly Review, vol. xxxii. P. 305. IL

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