« AnteriorContinuar »
and of others scarcely less sanguinary in their experiments on living animals.
We shall only add the following extract from Mr. Wood's account of the Rostrated Chwiodon. :“ This expert marksman was first introduced to our notice, by Mr. Hommel, governor of the hospital at Batavia, who informis us that it frequents the sides of rivers in India, in search of food; and the manner in which it takes its prey is most singular. When it sees a fly on the plants which border the stream, it approaches in a very slow and cautious manner, till it arrives within four, five, or six feet of the object, and there rests. for a moment, perfectly still, with its eyes directed towards the fly. When the fatal aim is taken, the fish shoots a single diop of water from its mouth, with such dexterity, that it never fails to strike the fly into the water, where it soon becomes its prey. The fish never exposes any part of its mouth 'out of the water, though it frequently shoots à great many drops, one after another, without leaving its place.' Art. XI. Lectures on Experimental Philosophy, Astronomy, and Chemistry ; intended chiefly for the Use of Students and young Per
By G. Gregory, D. D. Doctor in Philoscphy and the Arts, &c. Vicar of West-Ham, &c. Author of the Economy of Nature, &c. 2 vols. 12mo. with many Plates.
Price 13s. bds. Phillips. 1808. A FEW months ago the Editors of certain newspapers very fortunately
discovered, and very laudably proclaimed, that the late excellent and lamented Dr. Gregory left behind him, as a legacy to the public, two valuable works,” one of which is now before us, and the cther, intitled “ Letters on Composition” is soon to follow. Dúly thankful for this disinterested intimation, we waited with a proper degree of in patience for the payment of the legacy ; but what was our surprize to find, that the. portion of it which we have just reccived was no longer the property of the testator, having been sold, long before his death, to our childien and their school-fellows !, Asit is probable our readers are not much accustomed to this singular species of benuest, we proceed explain the statement, About eight years ago, an useful periodical work made its appearance, under the title of The Monthly Preceptor;" and was continued in monthly numbers, consisting of miscellaneous information, scientific and literary, prize essays, &c. till, at the expiration of three years, it extended to six volumes, and received the appellation of the “ Juvenile Library, On comparing the Lectures' on Natural and Experimental Philosephy inserted in this work, with those which now appear under the respectable name of Dr. Gregory, we'found that by far the greater number of the Lectures were copied from the former publication, with a few omissions of sentences and paragraphs, but with scarcely even a verbal alteration in the matter that is retained ; that most of the others were principally ex. tracted from the same work, with various transpositions, alterations, and additions, to adapt them to the present of raiher the more recent state science ; and that not more than five Lecturcs, out of thirty-four, belong exclusively to the republication. We are indeed told in the Preface, that • Some parts of these Lectures were formerly presented to the world in a periodical publication ; but the majority of them have been re-written,”
&c. ; but we leave our readers to decide whether this is the kind of avowa, al, either in form or substance, which ought, under the circumstances we have stated, to have been presented to the public.
Of the Lectures themselves we are disposed to speak generally with approbation : 'they exhibit, on the whole, a clear view, though necessarily a superficial and somewhat imperfect one, of the respective subjects on
they treat. In the original composition, they display a degree of talent quite sufficient to justify their re-appearance in the present form. Taken altogether, they are certainly improved : though there are some omissions (as Aberration) for which we cannot account, and a few passages are even now retained that would admit of correction. In both: editions we find the following apostrophe appended to some reflections on the minuteness and velocity of light; “ O Philosophy, it is thou alone that canst teach mankind humility. We should be sorry to believe that this was the deliberate sentiment of the Vicar of West-bám. A note in the new Edition contains this needful and luminous commentary on what is called a stop-cock."
- A stop.cock is exactly like the common cocks used in beer barrels, &c. When turned one way there is an orifice through the stopple, which if we turn one way it then admits the air, or any fuid ; when turned the other way it is solid, and stops the passage." Vol. I, p: 71.
Is it possible that the author of Essays, Historical and Moral, The. Life of Chatterton, The Economy of Nature, and especially the bequeather of “ Letters on Composition," should be chargeable with such gross violations of good taste and perspicuity?
A new series of the Monthly receptor is announced for publication, and Sir Richard Phillips assures us, in the Monthly Magazine, that the so same Editors" are engaged to conduct it. Yet a very material part of the former series is now ascribed to the lamented Dr. Gregory."
What are we to understand, or to conjecture, from comparing these . declarations ?--that a cheat has been put upon the public? that these Lectures are the fabrication of some anonymous literary drudge, and that the imposing name of G. Gregory, D. D. Doctor in Philosophy and the Arts, &c. &c. &c. &c. has been disgracefully purchased, or iniquitously stolen ? Surely not ; for if it were
possible to imagine that this has been the case in the present instance, it would be a natural consequence to suspect the genuineness of several other works, attributed to Dr. Gregory, , aş for instance, the " Dictionary of Arts and Sciences,” and even the valuable legacy, intitled, “ Letters on Composition !" Art. XII. On the Propriety of preaching the Calvinistic Doctrines, and the Authorities for that Practice. A Sermon preached at Leicester, May 20th, 1807, at the Visitation of the Archdeacon. By the Hon. ourable and Rev. H. Ryder, A. M. Rector of Lutterworth.. 8vo. pp.
36. Price ! $. 6d. Payne, 1807. THIS discourse is founded upon Titus ii. 11, 12, 13. The grace
of God which brings Salvation, &c. from which Mr. R. proposes to consider, what it is to preach the Gospel? He is of opinion, that a complete model of preaching cannot be found in the discourses of our Lord, the Acts of the Apostles, or the general epistles of the New Testament,
on account of the difference between the circumstances of the parties whom? Christ and his apostles addressed, and those of the members of our established church, whom he considers as regenerated by baptism. “A more general and practical rule of preaching," he thinks, " may be ob. tained from the epistles of Paul to Timothy and Titus." The practice of preaching on the doctrine of predestination he disapproves, and he does not consider the 17th article of the Church as Calvinistic ; but he wishes his brethren « to make their hearers sensible of their need of a Re.' deemer ; to expatiate on the wonders of redeeming love ; to represent our conditional admission, through-faith and repentance, to 'a share in the merits of Christ's atonement ; and to shew that our ability to fulfil these conditions is only by the aid of the Holy Spirit.” In support of his 'views he appeals to some of “the fathers of the primitive church," Clement of Rome, Cyprian, and Chrysostom, and to the book of Homilies set forth by the English Reformers, which he recommends as a pattern of preaching. The author delivers his opinions calmly, and without invective against those who differ from him. It is not necessary for us to engage in any discussion of them, or to separate those parts of the performance which truly deserve commendation from others that are exceptionable. His apprehension of evil tendency in the preaching of other clergymen seems to us in a great degree founded in misconception ; who are they, we ask, whom the author by implication charges with “ administering the balm of comfort and security, by suggesting the idea of irrespective predestination, or striking terror by raising the spectre of reprobation ?" We could 'wish Mr: R. to make himself better acquainted with the practice of those whom we apprehend he condemns ; if to his seriousness and good intentions he were to add a little diligence of investigation on this and some other points, the prejudices he seems to entertain against his Calvinistic brethren might be a little diminished, though he should incur po hazard of conversion to their system. Art. XIII. An Essay on the Inspiration of the Holy Scriptures, and a
Short Dissertation" on Family Worship. By William Nelson ; with Notes, by Alexander Bower, Author of the Life of Dr. Beattie: 12mo.
pp. 102. Price 1s. 6d. Williams and Smith, 1808. AS this is a posthumous publication, Mr. Bower prefixés some account of
the author, who was a medical gentleman at Edinburgh. In the early part of his life, he was a professed Deist
, « who talked of morality, as he says, “ in high strains, and practised immorality with a high hand." While “ he was diligently reading the Scripture with a design to overthrow it, he was convinced of the truth of Revelation,” and associated, for some time, with the followers of the late Mr. Whitfield in London.
The object of the Essay before us is to establish the plenary inspiration of the Scriptures. The view Mr. N. maintains is, « That the prophets and apostles were inspired with the knowledge of every fact they record, every prediction, doctrine, and precept, they were to publish, and with the language in which they were to be delivered.” This position, which is more than Christians in general would think it necessary to contend for, is defended by a reference to the promise of inspiration given to the prophets and apostles, to their own testimony on the subject, and to the nature and importance of the mission with which they were charged. The author has
stated his ideas with perspicuity and force; and, without entering deeply or critically into the subject, has produced such solid and indubitable proofs of the inspiration of the word of God, as are well suited to establish the faith of certain readers who have not opportunities to pursue more learned investigations. Adverting to the objection urged from the various readings, the author justly observes that the variances are exceedingly trivial. His remarks on this subject remarkably accord with those of the learned Bentley in his reply to Collins, though it does not appear that Mr. N. had seen that valuable tract.
The Dissertation on Family Worship is sensible and striking. The Notes to the Essay, by, Mr. Bower, discover his acquaintance with theological and philosophical subjects, and will assist the views of
young readers. to whose perusal we may safely recommend this cheap publication.
Art. XIV. Olservations respecting the Grub: a paper read to the Hol
derness Agricultural Society, by William Stickney. pp. 22. Price Is.Cd.
Harding Art. XV., On the Improvement of Poor Soils, read in the Holderness
Agricultural Society, with an Appendix and Notes. By John Alder
son, M. D). pp. 34. Price 2s. Harding 1807. THESE pamphlets, though they do not present much information or no
velty, are pleasing specimens of the laudable spirit of improvement and inquiry that prevails among the more enlightened of our agriculturists. The grub is the fly known by the common names of Tom Taylor, or Father Long-legs, in its vermicular state. Mr. Stickney details various experiments to ascertain the season and stage of its growth, voracity, and maturity; as well as the means best adapted for diminishing its ravages. It was not found, however, that any substance which could be applied to the soil on a large scale, would destroy the grub; and the best preventative seems to be early sowing," for the plants of early sown wheat generally acquire such a degree of strength, before the grubs are in being, which is about the first month of the year, that they will not be in danger of sustaining much injury, even should these vermin be numerous.”
« It is a happy circumstance for the community that man is not the only animal that seeks the destruction of the grub; it has other enemies, and of these rooks are the principal. The jack daw, che lap-wing, and some of the gull tribe, are likewise considerable enemies to the grub; as is also the starling, for which it is food not only in the grub, but likewise in the fly
Dr. Alderson's essay, being necessarily compressed into the compass of a discourse delivered at the meeting of a society, could not embrace the great variety of argumentation and experiment of which his subject would admit; but we are surprised that, in his enumeration of the methods best, calculated for the improvement
poor soils where lime and manure cana not be had, he has said nothing of the simple but useful operation of paring and burning especially as he illustrates the propriety of a due mixture of earths by an inference from the process of fusion. "If I put pure clay, chalk, or flint * into a crucible, and place it in the hottest part of a
* Dr. A.'uses this word here, and throughout the pamphlet, as signifying sand, the latter being considered as flint divided into minute particles; this is very improper,, we conceive, because unintelligible to the farmer.
* All the pro
furnace, no alteration or change takes place ; it will indeed lose the water or air that was attached to it, but the earth will remain the same, for it is perfectly irreducible : if, however, I mix them in certain proportions, and then apply the same degree of heat, they will liquify, and their particles, intimately combined, will form a mixed mass with properties distinct from each in its simple state. Now the operations of vegetable life resen.bling the chemical processes of combustion, may not a due mixture of those earths, when presented to the mouths or radicles of plants, render them equally capable of being absorbed and converted into food, as they are of being fused or rendered liquid by fire ?--for if the contact of these different particles of earth be alone pecessary to enable the tire to produce the wonderful difference between a fluid and a solid, is it difficult to be conceived, that the principle of life, so analogous to fire, should be able to exhibit similar effects in similar circumstances ?" The Essay is
the whole ingenious and valuable, as far as it goes ; and will be read with interest by those who desire the improvement of land, remote from the usual means of procuring fertility.
We cannot forbear, however, to notice a passage which tends directly to what is called materialism, the introduction of which, unless it was by inadvertence, is exceedingly disgraceful to the writer. ducts of nature," says Dr. A. “ seem destined to perpetual change and alteration ; and the fibrous roots of plants appear intended by providence to produce the first stage in the transmutation of inert matter into life. Thus by decomposition and absorption, earth becomes vegetable ; vegetable matter is no sooner decomposed in the stomach of animals, than it is capable of being converted into animal matter ; and when further purified by the delicate organs of the human hody reaches the utmost perfection of created intelligence." This phrase, “ perfection of created intelligence, " can only be applied here with any propriety to the soul; and this, we are to be told by an agricultural lecturer, is essentially the same as cabbages and turnips Art. XVI. The Propriety of the Time of Christ's Appearance in the World:
with Reflections on the Nature and Utility of Public Worship. A Sermon, preached May 23, 1808, at the Opening of the new General Baptist Meeting-House, Cranbrook, in Kent. By John Evans, A. M. Svo.
pp. 33. price. Is. Symonds. 1808. AS this sermon makes no pretensions to originality of sentiment or force
of writing, it should not on these points be too rigidly examined. is most obviously chargeable with one glaring defect, the violation of unity. The two subjects assumed for discussion are completely distinct. One of them is truly appropriate to the occasion, but is not in the slightest degree connected with the text, and is thrown in at the end, either as a sort of “ ingrain," over and above the strict obligation of the preacher, or else as the hasty discharge of a duty, the neglect of which had but just laid hold on his conscience. This however is fully atoned for, by the elaborate discussion of a subject sufficiently connected with the text, but not at all connected with the occasion. This text we should have said is Gal. iv. 4, “ When the fulness of time was come, God sent" forth his. Son”we should like to know why the preacher stopped at these words! If the auditory resembled other rural congregations, we should have thought it