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the nation at large. It is perhaps impossible to come pute the full amount of the benefits that fociety would derive from this measure ; but taken in this point of view, it is obvious it must be very great.
With regard to debtors of note, who are in general greatly more culpable than those in lower rank, as they attract the attention of the people, the spirit of the times affords them a proiection, against suffering undue severities in prison.-But such debtors would find it a much more difficult matter than they now do, to shake theniselves free from the effects of a bankruptcy, and afterwards to live in affluence and splendor, while many of their creditors were, through their means, reduced to poverty and want. Further explanations on this subject will be given in our
next. gr Anderson
For the Bee.
• On the Prevalence of Error. Truth is reality; error is nonentity. The one is the fource of good, the other of evil to the human race.In proportion to the detestation of honest men towards every species of delusion, deception, and falsehood, so should be their efforts in removing ignorance, inconfideration, undue prejudice, precipitance of judgment, and unjust discrimination as to the respectiveimportance of different subjects and pursuits ; all of which give countenance and support to the prevalence of error among mankind.
Whatever be the subject under confideration, a due knowledge of it is an indispenfible requisite, towards a true judgment thereof. Mankind, therefore, should endeavour to balance the value of knowledge, against the temptations to ignorance, peculiar to their respective fi.' tuations in life. Thus, in high rank, the allurements to inferior plcasure, would more often lose their influ
ence in the contemplation of the more solid joys of reafon : Secular care and an anxiety for riches, would in the middle class, be less generally put in competition with an enlightened understanding while those in the lower walks of human life, would be more apt to grasp at every opportunity of instruction, which had a ten-, dency to elevate their minds, and to enable them the better to exercise their own faculties. : The habits of men are greatly formed by education and circumstances. Often the one is deficient, and the other unfavourable towards mental improvement. Often too, the persons themselves, are insensible of their loss in both, and thus rest satisfied. Ignorance and error in there, are more to be lamented than blamed.
There are others however, who have been early taught more enlarged ideas and better sentiments, who have also met with due encouragement to improve them, but nevertheless, discover an insensibility to the worth of knowledge and truth, that can only be accounted for, from an inattention to their importance. Some favourite passion, pursuit, or external circumstance, or all of these, engross their whole thoughts. Hence arise contracted sentiments, false conclufions, and misapplication of talents. A reflecting mind will not so allow itself to waste its powers upon inferior considerations, to the neglect of the noblest of all pursuits, that of truth. Would men duly contemplate the value of wisdom, they would grasp at the means of it.
Írath is one unchangeable thing ; but almost every country has established truths of its own, and each looks upon the other as poffeffed of error. Nay, there is something peculiar that belongs to the mode of thinking and judging of every individual; and hence the fame thing will appear to different men in a different point of view. As soon as mankind come to years of understanding, they are initiated into the principles of their parents, or of the country where they chance to live j.. and early impressions are generally permanent and laft
ing. To the ideas we have picked up in early life, how apt are we to cherish a fond affection? When these chance to be founded on truth, the prejudice in their favour becomes useful, but if on error, extremely pero nicious. Often in both cases however, they are more the effect of feeling and education, than the result of our own inquiry and investigation. Hence people often ve- nerate what they do not sufficiently know, and make a great ado, about what they are unable to give a reason for. To hear the truth of their principles called in question, starties and astonishes them; and as they are not aware of objections, they will often admit none. They are hot and. impatient under contradiction, and often uncharitable in their treatment. Thus it is that undue prejudice narrows and contracts the mind, that it stops the progress of truth and virtue in the world, and cherishes hatred and malevolence among mankind. A man devoid of it, and poffeffed of true liberality of mind, who regards truth above every other confideration, sets to work in order to
find it out for himself, perfectly regardless where it may be found, whether among the many or the few, or where it may lead him, providing he discover it. This is buying the truth; and after he has thus bought it, he will not sell it, nor make any mean compliances with the world inconsistent therewith. He knows that from various confiJerations, mankind must differ in opinion: this teaches him candour and modeity, well knowįng that truth exists; and that in however varied shapes it may appear in the world, it will finally prevail and exhibit its own native lustre.
Precipitance of judgment, is unfavourable to the interests of truth. When a man is impatient in his ina, quiries ; when he will not be at pains to procure the requisite information ; when he will not coolly and deliberately weigh and digest arguments; when he infers general conclusions from particular cases; when he allows his mind to dwell too much on one side of an ar. gument, to the neglect of every other confideration
' which relate to the subject in hand; when he retails as truth, what he picks up from doubtful report and general conversation; when he is much prepossessed by new external appearances and circumstances; when he is carried away by a love of novelty, or a propenfity to fingularity; when the fear of deviating from beaten paths retards the progress of his enquiries; be it froin these, or whatever cause, when a man fully decides upon any one thing, so as to make it a principle of his own, previous to his giving it a complete investigation, he runs ar eminent rilk of falling into error, and of being the mean of diffusing it in some degree or other. »
Man being an imperfect being, he often stamps a fitperior value upon inferior objects. Prone to imitation, he frequently values and pursues things frivolous in themselves, from no other reason than because they are customary, fashionable, or generally adopted. There are many, who are much more folicitous to ornament their bodies than their ininds ; who prefer unprofitable amusement, to those which enrich the understanding; who place their chief happiness in the acquisition of riches; and who, in short, are anxiously careful about trifles, while important matters are by them much neglected. Not that worldly enjoyments are to be despised; they *elaim our gratitude: but it is a preposterous way of judging, to give them that place in our attention and regard, to which from their nature they are not entitled. «Error, falfe maxims and conclusions, in this case, usurp that place, due to the search of truth and propriety. Ideas are easily transferred from one case to another'; their prevalence increases; habit renders them so familia "ar, as that their unsuitable station is scarce perceived; and thus the means of wisdom are weakened and undermined. It is the business of reason, to value every object according to its real worth in the scale of importance, and amidst vcried pursuits, to give the prefer ence to those which in their nature challenge it.
Many more causes might be ashigned for the prevalence of error ; but it is more properly the bufmefs of. the preacher than the moralist to point them out. 16,6.40
Of Gypsum or Plafter of Paris as a Manure. It is about a dozen of years since this substance was discovered to operate as a powerful manure, in certain circunistances, in France : But since the noise it made at the beginning, we have heard little more of it. Most of our readers have of late heard from the public papers, of the wonderful effects that have resulted from the use of it in North America. Some trials of gypsum, as a manure, have been made in England, without the desired success; one by Mr. Arthur Young, and two other experiments by Sir Richard Sutton. But though these failed, there seems to be no reason to doubt, from the facts stated below, that in certain circumstances, this substance acts in a most powerful manner as a manure. It is of much importance to the practical farmer, to know what are the peculiarities of soil, and circum'stances of crop that will insure him success; but these can only be ascertained by fair and accurateexperiments, made with care, and reported with fidelity. In the mean time, from what has already happened, let our young farmers be warned to moderate their expectations of success, until they shall have tried it on their own fields in small quantities, so as that the failure cannot materially affect their interest: But the accounts that fol. low are so well attefted, as to prove a sufficient inducement, I should imaginie, to make every fpirited farmer try it on his own soil, without trusting to the report of any other person
In agriculture, perhaps, more than any other science, men ought to be extremely cautious in drawing general conclusions from particular facts, as our knowledge is