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IV. Memoir. Concerning the Obfervations of Wind. By (the late) M. LAMBERT. V. Mem. Concerning the Conductors defigned to preferve Buildings from the Effects of Thunder and Lightning. By M. CASTILLON. VI. Mem. New Experiments relative to the dangerous Effects, which the Exhalations of a North American Plant produce upon the human Body. By M GLEDITCH. The Plant here confidered is the Rhus Toxicodendron. VII. Mem. Concerning a very fingular Cafe, of which there is no Example, as yet known, in the Practice of Midwifery. By M. HENCKEL. This is the cafe of a young healthy woman, who, after having contracted, by unfkilful treatment in childbirth, a fchirrofity that ftraitened the vagina to a very great degree, became again pregnant. The fymptoms were alarming, and the ordinary method of delivery impoffible; the head of the child had defcended behind the vagina as far down as the perinæum, and the inteftinum rectum was so violently diftended that it was ready to break. In this deplorable cafe, M HENCKEL performed the Cæfarean section (i. e. the operatio inferior), and here defcribes, circumftantially, his manner of proceeding, with its fuccefsful iffue.
VIII. Memoir. An Extract of the Meteorological Obfervations made at Berlin in the Year 1777. By M. BEGUELIN. IX. Mem. A particular Account of an Aurora Borealis, obferved on the 3d of December, 1777, at Berlin, and read to the Royal Academy of Sciences, &c. By M. SCHULZE.
I. Memoir. Refearches concerning the Determination of the Number of imaginary Roots in literal Equations. By M. de la GRANGE. II. Mem. Concerning fome analytical Problems of Diophantes. By the fame. III. Mem. General Remarks on the Motion of feveral Bodies, which attract each other reciprocally in an inverfe Ratio of the Squares of their Distances. By the fame. IV. Mem. Reflexions on Regulation,-in which the fame Academician confiders the Mechanifm by which the Action of the Weight, or of the main Spring in a Watch, is regulated and modified by the Action of the Pendulum or of the Balance. V. Mem Emerfions of the two first Satellites of Jupiter obferved in the Years 1776 and 1777; together with a new Ejay on the Difference of the Meridians between Paris and Berlin. By M. JOHN BERNOULLI. VI. Mem. Aftronomical Obfervations made in the Course of the Year 1777, at the Royal Obfervatory. By M. SCHULZE. VII. Mem. Concerning the Means of fixing or verifying the Pofition of an Obfervatory. By the fame. VIII. Mem. An Application of the exponential Algorithm to the feeking of Factors of Numbers of the Form 20+i. By M. BECUELIN. IX. Mem. A new and more compendious Method of finding Divifors of Numbers of
the Form 4p+3 and the first Numbers of that Form. By the
II. Memoir. Concerning the Immortality of the Soul, confidered on the Principles of Natural Philofophy. By the late M. SULZER. Thefe are the laft productions of that excellent man, whose name will fhine, with unfading luftre, in the annals of true philofophy, when thofe of many tinfel fophifts, who make at prefent a mighty noife, fhall be buried in oblivion. From the former Memoirs of M. SULZER on this important fubject, fome may perhaps have entertained a fufpicion that he was verging towards materialism; but this fufpicion is entirely groundlefs. M. SULZER told us pofitively, in his firft Memoir, and he repeats the advertisement in thofe now before us, that he fpeaks here as a natural philofopher, and only means to exhibit the arguments, which ought to convince even a materialist of the immortality of his being. " If, fays he, in the execution of this plan I speak the language of a materialift, it must not be concluded from hence, that I adopt his ideas, which I look upon as entirely falfe. I am fo far from embracing the opinion of the Materialifts, that I would rather deny the corporeal effence of matter, than attribute materiality to the foul. I will even go fo far as to affirm, without any fort of hefitation, that we have much more reason to be perfuaded of the immateriality and fimplicity of thinking beings, than of the materiality of the elements of bodies. In effect, we have the teftimony of confcioufness, of internal feeling in favour of the fimplicity of our being, while we have nothing to allege in favour of the materialism of corporeal elements, but inductions, founded on the external fenfes; and this latter teftimony is fo uncertain, with refpect to the true nature of sensible and external objects, that it is aftonishing to fee philofophers eftablishing their fyftems upon proofs of this kind.' This furely is very plain and categorical language, every way adapted to fecure the name of M. SULZER against a place in the clafs of materialifts.
This celebrated academician had fhewn, in his preceding Memoirs (of which our Readers have had ample extracts *), that the animated molecule (the epithet he gives to the foul, confidered phyfically) when feparated from the grofs body, by the diffolution of the latter, does not remain confounded or blended with the general mafs of matter, but follows the particular laws of the fubftances of its own kind, in order to arrive at the place for which it is deftined. In the prefent Memoirs he undertakes to prove, that a fimilar procedure takes place with respect to the first germs of plants and animals, organised ma
See Rev. vol. lviii. p. 521, and vol. Ix. p. 520.
APP. REV. Vol. lxiv.
lecules of a particular kind: these are diffufed and difperfed everywhere; they arrive at the place of their deftination, and confequently our Author attributes nothing to the animated molecule that is not analogous to what really and evidently takes place in nature.-M. SULZER obferves farther, that the foul, after its feparation from the body, which it had animated, will be united to a new body, by the means of which, it will recover its knowledge of the material world, and begin a new life.
The arguments by which he maintains this latter point, are in fubftance as follows:-fince the fmalleft molecule of elementary bodies undergoes, as is well known, a prodigious variety of fucceffive modifications, and has a feries of innumerable parts to act in nature, much, more muft the foul, a molecule infinitely more noble, and endowed with powers infinitely more extenfive, be defigned to act a perpetual fucceffion of parts in the univerfe: confequently, after this prefent life, it will be placed on another theatre, to continue its activity, and display its faculties and powers under new modifications. This fuppofition is entirely conformable to the wisdom of the arrangements which we obferve in this prefent world. But the foul must be united to a new body, in order to resume its activity. Granting this true, and indeed it appears to be fo, where is the difficulty? There is none at all in the case. human fouls (as fo many circumftances confpire to perfuade us) are defigned to appear upon another theatre after their departure from this, the fame caufe that united them here to mortal bodies, can procure them bodies fuited to the new life they are to commence; though we can form no accurate idea of the means by which this shall be effectuated. There are many palpable facts in nature, analogous to this re-union, which furnifa light, fufficient at leaft, to difpel all our doubts on this head.— If it be true (as we think M. Sulzer has abundantly proved it to be), that the foul is not a modification or a refult of the grofs animal body, but a fubftance independent of this body with refpect to its existence, there must be in nature certain laws by or according to which the union of thefe two fubftances is effec tuated, unless we fuppofe perpetual miracles, which is an unphilofophical manner of proceeding: now, if certain laws exift for the firft union of the foul with the animal body, why fhould we doubt of the existence of laws analogous to thefe, by which the foul, on its feparation from the prefent body may be united to another? Nor is this the only analogy that comes in here to perfuade us of the existence of fuch laws: we find another in the natural union of the germ, in organized bodies, with the matter of which thefe bodies are formed. Our Author had before proved that thefe germs are pre-exiftent, and really precede the formation of the bodies to which they are united; that they
are diffused throughout the globe; and that, by established laws, they find their way to the places, where they are to be united to their respective bodies, to the matter deftined for the formation of plants and animals. As this cafe is perfectly analogous to that of the natural re-union of the foul or animated molecule with an organized body, it is evident, that, in fuppofing such a re-union after death, we fuppofe nothing but what is conformable to the known courfe of nature, and therefore, at leaft, highly probable.
III. Memoir. ADDITION to the Memoir of M. SULZER concerning certain Properties of Matter (which was defigned as an Examination of the Syftem of Materialifm), inferted in the New Memoirs (of the Academy at Berlin) for the Year 1771.In this fhort Supplement the ingenious academician proves that the motions of animals are spontaneous, of which we never had the leaft doubt.
IV. Memoir. An Examination of the Que lion; whether ALL TRUTHS are fit to be TOLD? By M. FORMEY. Is there any difficulty in the folution of this queftion? Is it not natural to answer it directly in the affirmative?-For, although a certain degree of light may be painful, or dazzling to weak eyes, yet it is good, in general, that light fhould prevail and abound. Men whofe eyes are too weak, have only to fhut them, or use the means that may tend to render them ftronger. The application of this idea to truth, and the mind, is in favour of the affirmative fide of the queftion; for it is the natural property of truth to ftrengthen the mind.-To render then the question more or leis problematical, it ought to have been propofed under one of the following forms: Are all OPINIONS fit to be published? or,—Is it expedient that every individual fhould propagate and defend what HE LOOKS UPON as truth? When the queftion is thus propofed, we ought, perhaps, to draw in our affirmative. Every real truth is fit to be told, but every opinion that is engendered in the fermentation of a fuperficial head, with an irregular fancy, may not be fit to be told, however plaufible it may be rendered by a tinfel clothing of metaphyfical fophiftry. One of the best criteria that can be given to diftinguish both truth from falsehood and innocent opinions from pernicious cnes, is that laid down by the Model of true wifdom, when teaching his difciples to difcern the falfe and the true prophets he faid; By their fruits ye shall know them.-M. FORMEY certainly propofed the queftion in the fenfe it bears, as we have amended it; and he treats it in a mafterly manner. Candour, good intention, and good fenfe characterife this Memoir; and had he even committed a multitude of philofophical fins in the courfe of his academical labours, we would cover the greateft part of them, if not the whole, with the piece now before us.Kk 2
After having judiciously difcuffed the queftion propofed, as far as it relates to thofe truths which belong to the provinces of the abstract sciences, natural philofophy, natural hiftory, and the arts, our Academician confiders it with refpect to thofe truths (we would rather fay opinions) in which religion, morals, and political fociety are concerned. He fuppofes, that a thinker, travelling through the vaft region of inquiry, finds in his way, affertions in the tafte of Hobbes, Spinoza, Machiavel, and the author of the Syftem of Nature, and that he looks upon thefe affertions as true, neceffary to mankind, and adapted to deliver enflaved mortals from the yoke of fuperftition, &c. &c. M. FORMEY addreffes himself to this Thinker pretty much in the following manner: If you love your fellow-creatures, and have their well-being at heart, how can you fo grofsly misunderftand their true interefts as to imagine that either particular perfons or public focieties will receive any advantage from the knowledge of these pretended truths? Do you not perceive, on the contrary, that they undermine the foundations of all focial comfort and fecurity, break the tendereft and most respectable bonds of union, extinguifh the most amiable affections, and thus blast all the permanent advantages, and rational pleasures of human life? What muft mankind become, when, delivered from, what you call, their fervitude, they acknowledge no invifible fuperior, no moral law, and neither hope nor fear any thing beyond a prefent life? We have often afked thefe pretended fages, who fap the foundations of religious principle and moral virtue, who labour to extinguifh thofe delightful hopes that are the confolation and fupport of humanity under the trials of this its first and infant ftate, we have often asked them, I fay, what they mean? what is their purpose? what advantages and comforts do they offer to mankind, in exchange for the bleffings and profpects of which they labour to deprive them? and we have never once heard of a fatisfactory answer to thefe important queftions.-Cruel philofopher,-you take away my taper, and in its place you give me nothing but thick darknefs!-my habitation is, indeed, but a lowly hut,-yet why beat it down about my ears, only to expofe me to the inclemency of the weather, without any fhelter or covering? You reprefent this life as a scene of mifery ;-and you take from me, at the fame time, the pleafing expectation of a better. You diffolve all domeftic obligations, all civil fubordination, and when your licentious principles engage me to rebel against the fovereign who protects and defends me, your vaunted liberty offers me no privilege but that of hiding myself in the woods, and wandering in the deferts.'
This regards the ideas of J. J. Rouffeau,