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He has divided his work into a number of Dissertations, of which fix are now published in this first volume, and the remainder resérved for future publication.
The first Dissertation contains a Preliminary Discourse on the Infuence of Religion on States in general, and on the Influence of Christianity in particular. Among the Romans, religion operated rather on the constitution of the state than on private laws. The Romans separated morality and religious rites, and considered the Jatter as the bands of civil Society, The Christians, on the contrary, regarded morality preferably to rites. Hence the aversion of the Romans to the Christians.
The second Differtation treats of such laws enacted by Constantine the Great, and his successors, as did, or did not, originate in Cbriftianity.
The alterations fuccessively made in' the laws, from religious principles, were sometimes dictated by such different opinions concerning morality and church-discipline, as happened then to prevail ; sometimes by retrospects on the former fate of the Christians; and sometimes by political views, concealed by the emperors under the mask of religious purposes.
When the seat of the empire was transferred to Conftantinople, that new metropolis was, by degrees, infected with Persian mana ners; and the emperors were, after the falhion of the Persian court, adored, and styled divinities. Christianity was indeed at Constanti. nople more able to counteract the despotism then prevailing, than it had formerly been at Rome, where the influence of the Christian religion was more confined ; yet that religion could not prevent or mitigate the feverity of the penal laws increased by despotism. It even happened to increase the rigour of some punilhments, as the clergy applied the laws of Moses to Christianity. Some spe. cies of punishment, such as crucifixion, and gladiatory combats, were abolished or commuted by Christianity. The laws against aftrologers, thieves who robbed graves, and thofe concerning the mitigation of imprisonment, arose from historical reasons derived from Christianity. Constantine increased the authority of the clergy; and mitigated the power of fathers over their children, from political views. The emperors often founded their laws on that of Moses, or on other parts of the Bible, and often expressed them in fcriptural words.
The third Dissertation treats of the Power of the Clergy, and of its Influence on Legislation. It is remarkable, that the laws were not inserted by the emperors into their codes, till after they had been revised and amended by fynods. The Christian clergy had therefore a more powerful influence on civil government than the clergy of any other religion. They applied the ecclefiaftical conftitution of the Jews to themselves, and clained some peculiar prerogatives as granted them by God. Their authority was supported by prevailing ignorance and superstition. Onr author thinks with Montesquieu, the authority of the clergy hurtful to republics, but very useful to monarchies bordering on despotisin. Thus the clergy, in the Roman empire, fupply the want of fundamental laws, as appears from the instar.ce of Ambrosius, and the insurrection at Thessalonica ; yet the clergy have unjustly been charged with every evil and mischief, though it ought rather to have been revered for having interwoven the love due to our fellow-creatures with the fyftem of civil laws. Neither were the clergy so ignorant in point
of politics, as it has often been imagined. They have, indeed, hy degrees, substituted Christian simplicity to political refinements, and thus made civil government more consonant to the spirit of Christianity. Their jurisdiction often prevented bad designs of fovereigns and their ministers. By their censura morum, they purged the Roman law of the remains of paganismi, such as brothels, prohibited books, magical arts, games, &c. If from a prejudice of the unlawfulness of hedding blood, they often screened criminals from capital punishment, their intercession as often supported the poor and weak against the powerful and great.
The fourth -Dissertation treats of that natural Equality of Men and Citizens, introduced by Christianity into the Roman Law. No part of Christian ethics has had a greater influence on those laws, than that concerning our duties to our fellow-creatures, and espea cially the love we owe them. This appears from the laws of Christian fovereigns; hence the rise of the laws in favour of the poor, the fick, and orphans ; laws procured by the clergy: to widows too, and minors, several inmunities were granted. Servitude was miti gated; emancipation promoted by the clergy; the rights of the female sex, regarding hereditary successions, marriage, &c. were increased : but whether illegitimate children were gainers or losers by these revolutions, is ftill matter of doubt. The limitation of paternal power was rather effected by ethics than by Christianity.
The fifth Dissertation treats of the Civil State of those who dira sented from the prevailing Religion both among the Romans and the Christians. The religion of the Romans was interwoven with their political constitution, and rather regarded their temporal in terests ; they thought that every nation ought to have her own national gods, who were occasionally worshipped even by the Romans themselves on their journies. They considered their own gods as benefactors, whom they obtruded on no other nation or individual, They tolerated all men, except atheifts, whom they deemed bad and dangerous citizens. The Christians having no such national gods, were mistaken for atheists by the Romans, and persecuted accordingly. The Christians, in their turn, afterwards adopted the fame principles, and persecuted heretics. The Romans, in to. lerating other religions, considered whether the votary of any
fo. reign religon performed the duties of an honest man ; which, they fupposed would be done by every worshipper of any national gods. The Christians, on the contrary, thought none but Christians acquainted with the duties of an honelt man. As Christianity spread farther, the hatred to all heresies increased, and was zealously in. famed by the clergy. When virtue afterwards became an object of civil laws, religious and civil duties were confounded. The chief objects of the Roman law, were Jews, Heathens, and Heretics. The Jews were treated with greater severity under Christian Tovereigns; and many laws, relating to marriage, adultery, incapacity for public employments, were enacted to their prejudice. The ecclesiastical laws were yet more severe. They were, however, suffered to retain their own fabbath, their own judges, and patriarchs. Before the reign of Justinian, it was already thought lawful entirely to extirpate heathenism, though many secret heathens remained even at court. Justinian forbade them to teach philosophy. Heretics were first mentioned by the Christian Roman legislation ; but herefy was, under different emperors, very differently defined. Thelaws enacted by such emperors as were themselves
deemed heretics, were expunged in both codes. Heresy was punished as a crime of offended divine and human majesty; and every transgression of the will or laws of the sovereign were referred to this head The principle of the Jewith polity were applied to the determination of the punishment of heresy; the heretics were accused of ledition and witchcraft, and burnt, together with their books. The hatred against them was encreased by the commotions and trouble which arose from differences concerning religious tenets. The state was yet further embroiled, when the chiefs of the church began to employ the force of arms. Heretics were confidered as aliens and strangers, and of course excluded from all the rights of citizens.
The fixth Differtation treats of the Influence of Christianity on Marriage Lavis. Here our author enters on the confideration of the Jaws relating to particular objects. The Romans bad confidered marriage as a mere civil inftitution ; the Christian fovereigns on the çontrary, referred it to religion : the influence of the clergy on these laws proved afterwards hurtful. Betrothings became now perfectly obligatory, and marriage more sacred and more indissoluble,
The prorogatives attributed by the clergy to celibacy, induced the Christian sovereigns to repeal the ancient penal laws against celibacy, at the perfuation of the interested clergy. Widowhood be. came more respected, and second marriages became odious to the legislature. With regard to the prohibited degrees, the Christian legiflators adopted bock the Mosaic and the Roman laws. As both thefe laws happened to coincide on this lead, the Christian legifJators had no occasion to change the Roman lains in this respect. Eivorces were only more linited by Constantine ; and persons of unequal ranks were allowed to intermarry.
Though all these observations cannot be pronounced new and original, they are here judiciously collecter, digested, and arranged. The ityle is frequently dry, and sometimes obscure.
La Richese de Hollande. 2 Vols. 4to. Londres. THE THE first volume of this useful work treats of the commerce and
navigation of Holland, and their progress from the earliest times to the peace of Westphalia, when they had arrived at an amazing height; of the present state of the Dutch commerce, and the causes of its former uncommon extent and prosperity. The second volume contains a ininute and accurate enquiry into the causes of the decline of that commerce in latter times, and into the means by which it might be recovered.
The extent and importance of the commerce of Holland during its first period, seem rather to have been exaggerated by our author, who attempts to prove, that Holland was already a flourishing trading nation before it became'a sovereign republic. In the next section he di plays the rapid increase of its commerce and navigation, therise of its powerful, East India Company, the acquillion of their dittat fettlements, and the spreading of the Dutch flag over all the feas.
The most flourishing period of their East India Company was the time of the conclusion of the peace of Westphalia. At that time. the stock of the proprietors yielded them annually 22 per cent. on an average. But these dividends almolt continually decreased in
latter times. From 1649 to 1684, they yielded only 1734 ;-from 1721 to 1756, they rose to 204; and from 1756 to 1774, they fell to 15 per cent.
The number of Dutch vessels employed in the herring-fishery, amounted in 1601 to 1500 ; in 1735 it had decreased 10 250; in 1747 to 100; in 1773 to 163 ; and in 1775 tbis branch of fishery would have been entirely abandoned, if the Itates general had not decreed a bounty of 500 florins to exery vessel employed in it.
The whale-fishery is here very minn tly described. In former times from 160 to 200 vesels were employed in it. It now employs about 150 ; 27 other vefieds are fitted oui for killing fea-dogs. 'The. profit of this fishery is often very precarious. The common ex. pence of fitting out a velel for the whale-fishery, amounts to 10,000 forins, or, by other accounts, to 12,600 fiorins. If it returns with only two or three whales, the employer lofes 3500 forins.
Here we also meet with a minute account of the ancient faces of; the settlement at Surinam, and of the frequent insurrections of the Negroe slaves there; but lets accurate and fatisfactory as to fie present state, population, and trade of that country. Coffee was first planted there hy one Hansbach, a German. Its other pro. duce consists in sugar, cacao, coiton, and tobacco of a quality in., ferior to that of Virginia. In 1775, fifty four fail entered itere from Holland, ten of thein imported 2356 Aaves. During rise fame year, lixty-three sail returned from Surinam to Holanii, with a cargo of 18 millions pound weight of coiite, 15,200,000 pound weight of sugar, 600,000 pound of cacao, and 150,000 pound of cotton,
The settlement of Berbice appears to be in a very confused state: those of Demerary and Effequebo are slightly mentioned, and those at Curafiao and St. Euftacia are entirely omitted. Bervice was in 1724 already declining, when a company in Holland resolved to collect a stock of 1600 shares, of 2000 forins each, in order to afliit that settlement: but their design proceeded so flowly that in 1974, no more than 943 of these shares were collected; whole price is accordingly now luok to 200 forins.
The account of the trade of Hoiland with the other countries of. Europe, is very short; that of the decay of many Duch manufactures appears to be more complete. The trade with Rhenith oak timber has ceased, from the walte of the foreits on ibe Rhine. Hold land, however, still imports soine timber from the Neckar. The once extensive trade of the Buich in books and paper, has likewise been greatly hurt by the great number of paper mills erccted of late, years in France and Brabant Zaandam is laid to have lost about. one hundred saw mills within thirty years : as a great quantity of timber is now imported froin Norway and Sweden, in planks and boards ready fawed.
The Dutch trade in tobacco bas also greatly declined. Holland formerly manufactured from 5 to 7000 rolls (from 350 to 400 pounds weight each) of Brazil-tobacco only; that lort is now almost un. known in Holland. Its trade with Trance has a dangerous rivalia the city of Hainburgh. Of ail the coffee, fugar, and indigo exported. in 1776 from Bourdeaux, three-fourths were hipped for Hamburgh, and one-fourth only for Hollanıl,
Vol. II. The decline of the Dutch trade is by our author chiefly ascribed, 1. To the competition and rivalship of other nations, espés gially the Englila, 2. To the great number and variety of taxes and
duties, imposed during the war with Spain, and ever since increased; by which, commerce was hurt, and several of its branches actually Loft. 3. To the change of the constitution of the republic. 4. To the wars waged by Holland with other powers during the latter fifty years of the last century; especially to those with Cromwell and Charles II. That with Cromwell in particular is said to have coftthe Dutch more than their eighty year's war with Spain. 5. To the neglect of their military establishment in their colonies. But for the active zeal of his highness duke Lewis of Brunswic, the Naves in Berbice would, in 1763, have, like the Brasilians formerly, entirely freed themselves from the domination of the Dutch. 6. To the Jeffening the revenue by smuggling, which has also contributed towards the decline of trade; for as these duties are appro. priated to defray the expence of the fleet, their continual decrease could not but disable the navy from effectually protecting commerce. 7. To the excessive credit given by the Dutch to foreigners ; to the bad management and frauds of the inferior servants of the respective commercial companies; to the increase of expence and luxury; to the frauds of Itock.jobbers; to the support given by Holland to foreign colonies; and to the ease with which Dutch planters may procure the greatest loans in the mother country, Those in Surinam formerly used to rate their plantations at three or even four times their actual value ; and, while an inventory was making, to borrow a number of Naves from neighbouring plants ations: and instead of sending their productions to the director of the colony or to Holland, to tell them privately to the English, to the great detriment of their Dutch creditors.
The means proposed for reltoring the Dutch trade to its former flourishing state, are chiefly borrowed from Mr. de Witt's Memoirs, from the Political Transactions of the years 1751 and 1757, on this subject, and from the Memoirs of Meff. Rogge und Van dem Heuvel, which have obtained the prize proposed by the Dutch ŞQciety of Sciences at Harlem.
FOREIGN LITERARY INTELLIGENCE.
accurate description of the famous canal of Languedoc, the master-piece of French industry; of the canal de Briare, the most ancient and most useful in France: of that of Burgundy, which is actually carrying on; an account of the projects of a canal by which ihe Rhone is to have a communication with the Rwine, and consequently the Mediterranean, with the North Sea. From these and many other actually existing, begun, or projected canals in several provinces of France, the indefatigable author proceeds to those in Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Holland, England, Switzerland, Germany, Poland, Sweden, Russia, and Turky, and even to those in China ; and at last completes and concludes his History of navigable canals with an account of these undertaken and ex., ecuted by the ancients ; such as that from the Tigris to the Euphrates, Auguftus' canal at Ravenna ; these of Drusus and Corbulo; and especially that of the Egyptian kings, by which the Nile and the Mediterranean Sea were joined with the Red and the Indian Seas,