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The profody of the antients, at the origin of languages, being extremely various and uncertain, every inflexion of the voice was natural to it: confequently they could not avoid falling now and then upon fome tones, with which the ear was pleased: and fuch was the firft idea they entertained of harmony or mufic.
The Diatonic order, in which founds fucceed each other by tones and femi-tones, appears at prefent fo natural, that one would imagine it to have been difcovered before the rest ; but if there are founds whofe relations are more perceptible, it is reasonable to conclude, that these were first obferved.
The progreffion by a Tierce, a Fifth, or an Octave, immediately depends on the principle whence harmony is derived, that is, on the Refonance of fonorous bodies; and the Diatonic order arifes from this progreffion. It neceffarily follows, therefore, that, in the harmonic fucceffion, the relations of founds must be far more perceptible, than in the Diatonic order. The harmonic intervals were, therefore, the first taken notice of; and the Diatonic order was discovered only by degrees, and not till after many fruitless attempts.
As the progrefs of mufic was fo very flow, it must be a long time before the antients had any thoughts of feparating it from the words; for, viewed in fuch circumftance, it would appear to them void of expreffion. Befides, as their profody had regulated the several tones of the human voice, and alone had furnifhed the occafion of obferving their harmony, it was natural for them to look upon mufic only as an art capable of adding more energy or ornament to fpeech; and hence the prejudice of the antients against separating the mufic from the words.
Meanwhile this art improved; and having by degrees equalled words in expreffion, at laft ftrove to furpafs them. Then was it perceived to be of itself fufceptible of infinite expreffion; and confequently it could no longer appear ridiculous to divorce it from the words.
As the profody of the primitive languages fell very little fhort of melody, fo the ftyle of thofe languages, affecting to imitate the fenfible images of the mode of fpeaking by action, adopted all forts of figures and metaphors, and became extremely picturefque.
Thus the ftyle of all languages was originally poetical, depicting the moft fenfible images, and ftrictly conforming to measure. But as languages became more copious, the mode of speaking by action was abolished by degrees, the voice re
laxed its tones, the relish for figures and metaphors inferifibly diminished, and style began to resemble profe.
As the profody and ftyle of languages became more fimple, profe began to differ more and more from verfe: and, on the other hand, the human mind improving, poetry decked itself with fresher images, deviated farther from common language, and became less proper for the inftruction of the vulgar.
The diffimilarity arifing between poetic ftyle and common language, opened a middle way, from which eloquence derived its origin.
When mankind had once acquired the art of communicating their conceptions by founds, they began to feel the neceffity of inventing new figns, for perpetuating them, and for making them known at a distance. To exprefs, therefore, the idea of a man, or horfe, they delineated the form of each of these animals: fo that the firft effay towards writing was a mere picture.
It is, in all probability, to the neceffity of thus delineating our thoughts, that the art of painting owes its original.
But the inconveniency arifing from the enormous bulk of pictured volumes, induced them afterwards to ufe one fingle figure to denote various things or fignifications. Thus it was that writing, which before that time was a fimple picture, became both picture and character, which is what properly conftitutes the nature of hieroglyphics.
Yet this exact manner of delineation proved ftill too tedious and voluminous, they therefore by degrees perfected another character, formed from the outlines of each figure, and refembling the Chinese writing; which we may call the Running-hand of hieroglyphics.
Thus have we brought down the general hiftory of writing, by a gradual and eafy defcent, from a picture to a letter: for Chinese marks, which participate of the nature of Egyptian hieroglyphics on the one hand, and of letters on the other, juft as thefe hieroglyphics equally partook of that of Mexican pictures, and of the Chinefe characters, are on the very borders of letters; an alphabet being only a compendious abridgment of that troublefome multiplicity.
The immediately preceding paragraph, with which we fhall conclude our fummary of the fecond part of this Effay, is a quotation from Mr. Warburton's Divine Legation of Moses; to which the Abbé Condillac pays his acknowlegements for almost every thing he has advanced concerning the invention and improvement of picturefque, emblematic, and literal figns.
Our philofophic and difcerning Abbè, who in his researches after Truth, reveres authority, without implicitly submitting to it, will allow us the fame privilege.
We entirely agree with our Author, that an inaccurate ufe of words is the occafion of much error, and vain debate among mankind; and that it is of very great importance with respect to the discovery, as well as communication of Truth, to speak with precifion. We also agree with the Abbé in this, that the mind may, upon fome occafionis, recollect a word when it cannot recollect the idea, or ideas, of which that word is the fign; and reverfely, may recollect an idea, or ideas, without recollecting the word, or words, which denominate them and the Abbé may, if he pleases, call the recollection of words, Memory; and the recollection of ideas, Imagination. Yet as recollection, whatever be the object of it, is ftill but one and the fame operation of mind, just as fight is but one and the fame power of fenfation, whether the object of it be red or blue; and as we call the organ of fight, hotwithstanding the diverfity of its objects, and upon which foever of them it be employed, the eye; fo ought we, one would think, to call the retentive faculty, which ministers to recollection, as the eye does to feeing, however various its objects, and upon whatever exerted, by one, and not by many names; and if one name will do, Memory feems to be a word as proper as any other to denote fuch a power. Thus much in defence of our countryman Locke, whom the Abbé reprehends upon this occafion.
But we cannot conclude without doing this learned foreigner the justice of acknowleging to our Readers, that we have, in our fummary of the first part of his work, entirely paffed over his Introduction, his first chapter relating to the Difference between Soul and Body, a chapter concerning the Origin of Principles, another of the Defects and Advantages of the Imagination, another concerning the operation by which we give Signs to our Ideas, and a chapter of Facts confirming the preceding, together with a chapter on Abftraction,
And in the fecond part we have wholly omitted his Comparison between musical and plain Declamation, his Inquiry concerning the most perfect Profody, two chapters concerning Words, another concerning their Signification; one concerning their Tranfpofition; and feveral others; as of the Origin of Fable, &c. of the Character of Languages, of the Caufe of Error, of the Manner of Determining Ideas or their Names, of the Order we ought to follow in the Investigation REV. Aug. 1756. I
of Truth, and of that we ought to purfue in the Expofition of it. These we paffed over as fubordinate parts, but recom mend the whole to the perufal of the Rational Enquirer.
A free and candid Examination of the Principles advanced in the Right Rev. the Lord Bishop of London's very elegant Sermons, lately published; and in his very ingenious Difcourfes on Prophecy. Wherein the commonly received Syftem, concerning the Natures of the Jewish and Chriftian Difpenfations, is particularly confidered: With occafional Obfervations on fome late Explanations of the Doctrines therein contained. By the Author of the Critical Enquiry into the Opinions and Practice of the antient Philofophers, &c. 8vo. 5s. Davis.
HE ingenious Author's defign in this piece, is to fhew, that the common fyftem, which makes Redemption and a Future State, a popular doctrine amongst the ancient Jews, abounds with abfurdities and inconfiftencies. He warmly efpoufes Dr. Warburton's fcheme upon the fubject; seems to be well acquainted with what has been urged on both fides of the queftion; and has made feveral juft obfervations on what has been advanced upon it by the Bishop of London, and the Doctors Leland, Stebbing, Sykes, Law, &c. His principal view, indeed, feems to be, to get the queftion thoroughly examined, and the Jewish law-freed from the many perplexities in which those who plead in defence of the common system, have involved it.
The preface to his performance is written with great fpirit, and very much in the ftyle and manner of the Author of the Divine Legation: on whom, in the courfe of the work, the highest praises are beftowed. It is levelled at a Sermon, called the Chriftian Apology, &c. by Dr. Patten. (See Review for January, 1756; for May, p. 392, feq. and for July, p. 79.) The Author introduces it with obferving, that Reafon, in religious matters, ftands but an ill chance of being heard, when one part of the public attention is engaged in the gratifications of fenfe; another bufied in the vifionary purfuits of an over-heated fancy; and the reft fecurely repofing in the cool and venerable fhade of AUTHORITY.
In the tumultuous fcenes of life, it is faid, the voice of Reafon is too weak to be heard, or too difficult to be underftood in the indulgent anarchy of fancy, her language is too fimple, or too fevere, to perfuade; but where AUTHORITY
bears fway, fhe is enjoined compliance, or reduced to filence. Thus we fee in one quarter she is stared at as a stranger; in another, she alarms as an enemy; and in the third, fhe is treated as a flave. Here, indeed, her cafe is at the worst. She may familiarize herself to the sensual man; fhe may be reconciled to the vifionary; but, with AUTHORITY, fhe can come to no compofition; tho' fhe be unable to withstand its power. And yet it is against this laft FOE TO REASON that the following fheets are chiefly directed.
But, to vindicate the rights of Reafon in Religion,' continues the Author, appears now fo defperate an adventure to the learned of Oxford, that in a fudden fit of defpair, as it fhould feem, they are for giving up the caufe at once, and ridding us of all labour at a blow. The fcheme is to expel REASON Out of the province of FAITH: and to believe on no other account but because it is thus written: that the DATA for the truths of Revelation are so flender, that the application of human Reafon to it, only makes it totter the more; for that all which human Reafon can do, is to furnifh out TOPICAL arguments; which as they have two • handles, two faces, and two edges, are laid hold on equally by the two parties; who, with the fame eafe and facility, ⚫ turn them against one another, till the conflict ends in an • univerfal fcepticism.'
But our Prefacer afks, why fuch refentment against Reafon, at this juncture? There is not, fays he, fo much of it as to be troublesome to any body: and what there is, is not fo well received as to excite envy. But this fhews the difinterestednefs of Dr. Patten, And if he may appear ungenerous to take advantage of her prefent low defencelefs condition, to exclude her from her pretended rights, it is all for the public good. Be this as it may,' adds the Author, for my own part, I cannot but with his project good fuccefs. Reafon has fo little befriended me, and I fuppofe it is the case of many others, that I am ready to cry out (as a certain perfon • did against something he thought her enemy) would we were well rid of it. But this fhews us we ought to do nothing · rafhly. In my mind, thefe two projects fhould go hand in ⚫ hand; that when we have driven Reafon out of Religion, we may take care to leave none of those abfurdities behind, which afford her fo plaufible a pretence for staying where the is, to prevent matters from growing worfe, when the can
• make them no better.
This appears to me, a defect in the learned Doctor's fcheme; but not the only one. He would have us lay afide I 2