His way for others to this reality is likewise plain and level to the comprehension of the unlearned and of children.
Soon his discourses exercised a potent influence on learned and unlearned alike; and, although he restricted himself, as indeed was principally his custom through life, to the inculcation of practical righteousness, and the censure of clamant abuses, a rumour of his heretical tendencies reached the bishop of Ely, who resolved to become unexpectedly one of his audience.
The book will contain four essays, all in French, with the general title of Project of a Universal science, capable of raising our nature to its highest perfection; also Dioptrics, Meteors and Geometry, wherein the most curious matters which the author could select as a proof of the universal science which he proposes are explained in such a way that even the unlearned may understand them.'
And in regard to Reid's favourite proof of the principles in question by reference to "the consent of ages and nations, of the learned and unlearned," it is only fair to observe that this argument assumes a much more scientific form in the Essays, where it is almost identified with an appeal to "the structure and grammar of all languages."
The mole-hills and serrated ridges of medieval maps were still in almost general use at the close of the 18th century, and are occasionally met with at the present day, being cheaply produced, readily understood by the unlearned, and in reality preferable to the uncouth and misleading hatchings still to be seen on many maps.