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gion, more properly considered under Revelation; as receiving
ib. Arguments for its Truth, firfl
, from Reason, as from the Ne-
the Natural World
457 Best established by Revelation
459 The Difficulties relating to the Effects of the Fall, upen the Species in general, considered
461 Of the general Deluge Of the Fallen Angels of the Incarnation and Humiliation of Christ Of the Efficacy of his Death for the Restoration of Mankind
470 Of the Resurrection of the Body
472 Of the future general Judgment
474 SECT. IV. Considerations on the Credibility of Scripture Requisites for thoroughly examining the various kinds of Evidence for Revelation
497 No satisfactory Account to be given of the Prevalence, and
Establishment, of Christianity, but its being really a Divine
512. That Christ must have either been truly the Son of God and Saviour of the World, or an Impostor, or Madman
513 That he could not be either of the latter shewn
514 That the Christian Religion is not a pious Fraud pewn 518 Presumptions in Favour of Christianity from the Conduct of
those, who lived at the Time of its first appearancem of the
519. The Character and Condućt of Christ himself considered mors particularly, as a Presumption in Favour of his Religion 522
484 491 496
DIGNITY OF HUMAN NATURE.
HEN a Writer has distinguished himself by
ably maintaining the Digniry of Hilman Nature in his compositions, it is natural to enquire, whether he supported it equally well in his own life. If he has exhibited the example with the rule, the practice with the theory, it may then be fairly pronounced of him, that he is a consummate teacher, a worthy character, a benefactor to the community. James Burgh, if he were alive, might, perhaps, be reluctant to claim this praise, because the claim would be inconfiftent with that delicacy which adds a grace to virtue. But he is dead; and the praise must be bestowed by his survivors, as a just tribute to his memory. A life of useful labour, spent not only in the innocent pursuits of speculative science, but in rendering real services to Mankind, by the instruction of youth, and the diffusion of knowledge among all, ought, for the sake of Mankind, to whom it affords a good exainple, to be rewarded with
an honourable memorial. If Prudence, Knowledge, Virtue, and Religion, constitute the dignity of human nature, be it recorded, that Burgh was prudent, *A
learned, virtuous, and religious. A review of his life will evince that he practised the lesson which he taught, and, by his conduct, vindicated the dignity of man from the detraction of minute and malevolent philosophy.
He was a North Briton, and born in the close of the year 1714, at Madderty, in Perthshire. He had greater honours than those which the accident of birth can confer; but yet it must be related, that his parents were respectable. His father was the Minister of the parish in which he was born, and his mother, aunt to Professor Robertson, the Historian of Scotland and of Charles the Fifth. It is possible that this circunstance might inspire him with some degree of emulation to distinguish himself by a life devoted to literature. Very trifling causes produce early affociations of ideas that influence the mind in all its future predilections.
Little is known of his early education. As parents and associates cannot foresee future eminence in a boy, it frequently happens that the earlier periods of distinguished lives are little regarded, and soon lost in oblivion. It is said, that he displayed such docility at the little school of his native place, that the master feared all his own sources of instruction would be foon exhausted. Here, however, he acquired the elements of grammar, and such introductory knowledge, as qualified him for admission, in due time, at the University of St. Andrew's. Thither he went, with a design 10 prosecute such studies as might qualify him for the profession of a Clergyman in the Church of Scotland. But his residence at College was thort: his health obliged him to relinquish his academical pursuits, and with them he laid aside his intentions of studying divinity as a profession. But his subsequent improvements prove, notwithstanding this dereliction of academical and clerical views, that he did not abandon learning
and the essential business of a scholar. Place is of little consequence to those whose ardour and industry can render the tumult of the active world, and even the cares of commerce, compatible with literary contemplation.
Prudence, being a distinguishing part of his character, and a fair opportunity offering, he did not suffer his love of books to prevent his engaging in trade. He had now become poffefsed of a moderate property by the death of his elder brother; and he employed it in purchasing a sufficient stock to set
in the business of a linen-draper. But Nature had intended hin for higher employments. In trade he was unsuccessful. It is said that, whether from undervaluing money, (as scholars and philosophers are apt to be unthrifty) or from mistaken speculation, he gave credit where there was too much hazard, and, in consequence, lost nearly the whole of his little fortune.
But he had internal resources. Adversity could not deprive him of his abilities and virtue. He hastened to London, the grand theatre for the display of ingenuity; where excellence stands the best chance to be seen, and when seen, rewarded.
The commencement of his career was not very aus. picious. He, at first, submitted to an employment, highly useful indeed, but which is seldom rewarded either with honour or profit. He became Corrector of the Press to an eminent Printer; and in the intervals of that engagement, sought variety in the no less toilsome work of forming indexes. One year was spent in this painful labour; and it is no wonder that a man of his knowledge and abilities relinquished it, as soon as he could find one more agreeable.
Perhaps the transition from correcting the press and making indexes to the business of an usher at a board. ing-school, was not attended with any great addition either to his case or his affluence. He was engaged in this capacity at the free school at Great Marlow, in Buckinghamshire. He seems not to have been much delighted with his situation; as he complains that he found but one companion of disposition congenial with his own, a man of a serious religious turn, and not versed in the classics so much as in divinity. Mr. Burgh formed a particular friendship with him, for his own disposition was also serious, and his own ftudies, in great measure, theological.
While he was at Marlow, he commenced his career as an Author, by the publishing of a pamphlet, entitled, “ Britain's Remembrancer.'
It made its appear. ance about the year 1745, soon after the Rebellion broke out.
Its purpose was to enumerate the blessings and deliverances which the nation had experienced, and to exhort to the right improvement of them by piety and virtue. It went through five editions in little more than two years, and was highly esteemed by all who favoured the cause of religion. Mr. Barker, one of the most eminent of the dissenting Ministers, publicly thanked the Author for it, in a sermon preached at Salter's-Hall.
The want of Society, at Marlow, perfectly agreeable to Mr. BURCH's caite, induced him to remove to the school of Mr. Kenross, at Enfield. Mr. Kenross soon discerned his superior ability, and advised him no longer to submit to the office of an assistant, when he was so well qualified for a Principal. Mr. Kenross urged him to open a school, and offered to accommodate him with a sum of money to facilitate the enterprize.