Bertrand, Elias

, an ingenious Swiss writer, long known by his labours in various branches of philosophy and literature, and especially in natural history and political and rural economy, was born at Orbe in Swisserland, in 1712. In 1739 he was pastor of that village, and in 1744 preacher at Bern, whence he was called by the late king of Poland, to preside at a board of commerce, agriculture, and useful arts, the operations of which (and, if we are not mistaken, its very existence) were suppressed by the subsequent troubles of that unhappy country. He was also a member of the academies of Stockholm, Berlin, Florence, Lyons, &c. His principal works are, 1. “Sermons prononcés a Berne a l‘occasion de la decouverte d’une CoiTspiration centre Petat,1749, 8vo. Two of these are by Bertrand, the third by J. J. Altmann. 2. “Memoires sur la Structure interieure de la Terre,1752, 8vo. 3. “Essais sur les usages des montagnes, avec un lettre sur la Nil,1754, 4to a work which Denina styles excellent. His object is to prove that divine wisdom is strongly manifested in the creation of mountains and that they are not, as many authors have asserted, imperfections of the terrestrial globe, much less the effects of a ruined world. This he proves with considerable skill, but in some respects is rather fanciful. 4. “Memoires pour servir a | s’instruire des tremblements de terre de la Suisse, principalement pour l’annee 1755, avec quatre Sermons prononcées a cette occasion,” 1756, 8vo. 5. The same “Memoires,” published separately, 1757, 8vo, and much enlarged, a work embracing all that was known before on the subject, and enriched with many candid and able illustrations by the author. 6. “Le Philanthrope,1758, 2 vols. 12mo, 7. “Recherches sur les langues anciennes et modernes de la Suisse, et principalement du pays de Vaud,1758, 8vo. 8. A translation of Derham’s Astro-theology and of Bullinger’s Confession of Faith, both in 1760. 9. “Museum,1763. 10. “Dictionnaire Universel des Fossiles propres, etdes Fossils accidentels,1763, 2 vols. 8vo. 11.“Recueil de divers traités sur l’histoire naturelle de la Terre etdes Fossiles,1766, 4to. 12. “Morale de l’Evangile,1775, 7 vols. 8vo. 13. “Le Thevenon, ou les Journees de la Montagne, 1777, 12mo, 1780, 2 vols. 8vo. 14.” Essai philosophique et moral sur le Plaisir,“1778, 12mo, an excellent work, which, from the account given of it in the Monthly Review, seems highly deserving of a translation. 15.” Le solitaire du Mont-Jure, recreations d’un philosophe," 1782, 12mo. The time of this writer’s death is not ascertained, but he was considerably advanced in years at the period of this last publication. 1


Biog. Univ. Month, Rev. vol. LVIII.