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possible with the great outlines of the different branches of science; with the most important conclusions which have hitherto been formed in them, and with the most iinportant desiderata which remain to be supplied. By such general vies alone we can prevent ourselves from being lost amidst a labyrinth of particulars, or can engage in a course of extensive and various reading, with an enlightened and discriminating attention.-STEWART.
Questions.-1. By what method may our acquired knowledge be put on a level with our original speculations ? 2. What reasonings is it important to commit to writing? 3. What plan of reading is coinmonly followed ?, 4. What are its disadvantages ? 5. Why should a proper selection be made of the objects of knowledge? 6. What is useful before engaging in any particular pursuits ? 7. What will an acquaintance with the great outlines of science prevent ?
Hymn to Science.
Schoʻliast, a writer of explanatory notes.
SCIENCE! thou fair effusive ray
Free, gen'rous, and refined,
And bless my lab’ring mind.
Those mimic shades of thee,
The monk's philosophy.
Devoted to thy sway;
Where reason points the way.
Give me to learn each secret cause;
Reveal'd before me stand ;
Disclose her working hand.
Through ev'ry maze pursue ;
And all their changes view.
In all her treasures drest;
To truth's severest test.
That range beyond control,
And strain to grasp the whole ?
And equal steps be trod,
In the divine abyss;
And light the way to bliss.
And social Nature's ties
The plan, the genius, of each state,
Its fortunes and its rise.
And means and motives weigh;
Propitious Pow'r! impart;
The master of my heart.
And all life that's mean :
Through ev'ry varying scene.
Sweet refuge of distress!
Prosperity its grace.
Of arts inventress thou !
Their joys how mean, how few !
On fortune's faithless sea :
And sit in peace with thee.
Usefulness of Mathematical Studies.
their various appearances, affections, motions, operations, &c. Of all the sciences which serve to call forth the spirit of enterprise and inquiry, there is none more eminently useful than mathematics. By an early attachment to these elegant and sublime studies we acquire a habit of reasoning, and an elevation of thought, which_fixes the mind, and prepares it for every other pursuit. From a few simple axioms, and evident principles, we proceed gradually to the most general propositions, and remote analogies : deducing one truth from another in a chain of argument well connected and logically pursued; which brings us at last, in the most satisfactory manner, to the conclusion, and serves as a general direction in all our inquiries after truth.
Mathematical learning is likewise equally estimable for its practical utility. Almost all the works of art and devices of man, have a dependence upon its principles, and are indebted to it for their origin and perfection. The cultivation of these admirable sciences is therefore a thing of the utmost importance, and ought to be considered as a principal part of every well regulated plan of education. They are the guide of our youth, the perfection of our reason, and the foundation of every great and noble undertaking.
Mathematics are very properly recommended as the best remedy to cure an unsteady and volatile disposition. They teach us to reason in a clear and methodical manner. They give a manly vigour to our understanding, and free us from doubt and uncertainty on the one hand, and credulity and rash presumption on the other. These studies are calculated to teach exactness and perspicuity in definition, connexion and conclusiveness in argument, carefulness in observation, patience in meditation; and from no exercises can the scholar go better prepared and disciplined to the pursuit of the higher branches of knowledge. The benefit to be derived from them is thus stated by Mr. Locke: “I have mentioned mathematics as a way to settle in the mind a
habit of reasoning closely, and in train; not that I think it necessary that all men should be deep mathematicians; but that having got the way of reasoning, to which tnat study necessarily brings the mind, they might be able to transfer it to other parts of knowledge, as they shill have occasion."
Mathematics, according to their proper definition, constitutė the science of quantity, either as subject to measure or number. They are pure and mixed. The former consider quantity abstractedly, without any regard to matter or particular bodies; the latter treat of quantity as subsisting in bodies, and consequently they are intermixed with the consideration of physics, or experimental philosophy.
Kert's Elements of General Knowledge. QUESTIONS.-1. What habit does an early attention to mathematical studies produce ? 2. What is said of their practical utility ? 3. What are they calculated to teach ? 4. How is the benefit to be derived from them stated by Mr. Locke? 5. Give a definition of mathematics. 6. How do pure mathematics consider quantity ? 7. Mixed ?
Note. Pure mathematics are arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and fluxions : mized consist chiefly of mechanics, pneumatics, hydrostatics, optics, and astronomy.
Imagination We do not merely perceive objects, and conceive or remember them simply as they were, but we have the power of combining them in various new assemblages,-of forming at our will, with a sort of delegated omnipotence, not a single universe merely, but a new and varied universe, with every succession of our thought. The materials of which we form them are, indeed, materials that exist in every mind; but they exist in every mind only as the stones exist shapelessly in the quarry, that require little more than mechanic labour to convert them into common dwellings, but that rise into palaces and temples only at the command of architectural genius. This power of combining our conceptions or remembrances in new assemblages is termed imagination.
The most sublime exertions of imagination are made by