ページの画像
PDF
ePub

· Art. IX. Observations on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gar

dening. Including some remarks on Grecian and Gothic Agriculture, collected from various Manuscripts, in the Possession of the different Noblemen and Gentlemen, for whose Use they were Originally written; the whole tending to establish fixed Principles in the respective Arts. By H. Repton, Esq. Second Edition. Large 4to.

pp. 240. Price 51.55. Taylor, London, 1806. OF this work the first Edition was almost wholly sold by

subscription, it has therefore received a considerable share of attention, from those whom it more immediately concerns; and as most of our brother journalists have favoured the public with their opinions on its merits, we shall in the present instance do little more than announce and recommend it, in general terms.

Nothing is so congenial to the disposition of man, as attentive cultivation and embellishment of the earth. It was the science of paradise, it still is the delight of the master of the globe: who is both rationally and honourably employed, in arranging, adorna ing, and fertilising his possession.

We rarely behold a moderately extensive surface, which is incapable of improvement by inventive genius and experienced art. Nature presents objects, the beauty of which she defies ouringenuity to increase ; no labour can render thein more striking to the eye, or more interesting to the imagination. She also presents scenes, whose almost unlimited vastness derides the puny efforts of human improvement. But there is, notwithstanding; an infinite variety of picturesque combinations, and sites, which are sketched rather than finished by Nature, and which require the eve and the hand of taste to augment and develope their attractions.

Every country has its appropriate style of landscape. The verdure of Britain has nothing in common with the savage rocks of some climates, nor any resemblance to the wild heaths, or sunburnt plains of others. Our business therefore, as Britons, is, to make the most of our advantages; and happily, late years have

seen this duty accomplished with great skill, by professional ·artists; and with great liberality, by proprietors of demesnes, whose spirited improvements have been proportionate to the increase of their wealth. This has produced that style of laying out grounds, which foreigners call the English park or garden; and of which the chief principle is, not to counteract nature, but to assist her, by departing as little as may be from the char racter she has fixed on the scenery around us; yet with a steady aim directed by masterly skill, to introduce every improvement the propriety of which can be satisfactorily ascertained. . Among the Artists of the present day, whose studies are thus

directed, Mr. Repton occupies a distinguished place: he has had many opportunities of examining the peculiarities of G g ?

grounds grounds, and has displayed much ingenuity in overcoming their difficulties. The work before us, which is compiled from his Reports made, on such occasions, to his patrons, demonstrates that Mr. R. has not been influenced by caprice, but has had substantial reasons for whatever alterations he has proposed. He has had much to consider; convenience, appearance, necessity, propriety, and locality; not only what objects would please theeye, but what would harmonize with their associates: the art of putting proper things in proper places. His principles are usually just, and his reasonings ingenious: but they are so intimately combined with their subjects, that we know not how to abstract them, for the advantage of our readers. The following rules form the basis of his practice.-Not to forin many small fields into one lawn, by taking away the hedges, till better plantations are substituted. Not to exclude plantations from the neighbourhood of a gentleman's house, merely for the sake of an extensive grass-plat. An approach which does not evidently lead to the house, or which does not take the shortest (apparent) course, 'cannot be right. A poor 'man's cottage, divided into what is called a pair of lodges, is a mistaken expedient for marking importance in the entrance to a park.* The entrance gate should not be visible from the mansion, unless it opens into a courtyard. Mr. R. never advises the plantation called a belt; nor a path, completely round the verge of a park. Groups of trees, rather than single ones. The proper place for water is a valley; not the side of a hill, and still less the top of an eminence. Deception may be allowed in imitating works of nature, {this, in our opinion, must be adopted with great caution] but in works of art every trick ought to be avoided. Sham churches, sham ruins, sham bridges, and every thing which appears what it is not, excites disgust, when the deception is discovered. In buildings of every kind, character should be strictly observed. To add Grecian 10 Gothic, or Gothic to Grecian, is absurd. Tlie perfection of landscape gardening consists in the fullest attention to these principles, utility, proportion, and unity.

This volume is embellished and illustrated by many plates; a considerable number of them are colouréd; and by means of slides shew the original state of a place, and the intended effect of proposed improvements. These are extremely useful; they may be multiplied ad libitum, in practice; and afford opportunities of choice to meet the fancy of individuals. A reader may also judge, from these examples, of the probable effect of alterations; and froin seeing what has been accomplished, may estimate capabilities' with tolerable accuracy.

* Mr. R. mentions a lady who compared a pair of lodges to a tea-caddy; and advised the owner to write on one, green, on the other, bohea.' . . ,

Art. Art. X. Discourses on various Topics; relating to Doctrine and Prac

tice; by the late Rev. T. Ķenrick, in 2 vols. 8vo. pp. 790. Price 16s. Johnson, 1805. IVINE truth is the wholesome food of the soul; error is its

deadly poison. In our arduous office of reviewers we are called upon to inform our readers, what will nourish, and improve, and likewise what will prove injurious to the public mind. If there be a mixture of these in the same work, industry is to analyse the various ingredients, and then to say, which is good, and which is bad. In the present instance, the task is perfectly easy ; and we may read the publications of many years without meeting with one so diametrically opposite to the pure religion of the New Testament.

The writer was one of the ministers who presided over the united congregations of Protestant Dissenters, at Exeter; a society usually denominated Presbyterian. He died in the year 1804 ; and, according to his own apprehension, is gone to take a long sound sleep with Dr. Priestley, till the morning of the day of Judgement, when he will be recalled, it seems, to life and consciousness,

It is at the unanimous request of the congregation, that these sermons were committed to the press. In a letter to the author's widow on the subject, they mention by way of recomiendation of the Discourses, that Mr. K. did think for Himself. Whoever reads these volymes, will acknowledge the truth of their assertion. He did indeed think for himself, and would not allow even God to think for him : for he might safely have adopted as a motto,ʻmy ways are not thy ways, nor my thoughts as thy thoughts.

The following are the topics which he sets himself to discuss, The value of truth, and the danger of error-The state of the dead-The character of Paul, and the Epistleş, vindicated from the charges of Mr. PaineThe destruction of the seven nations of Canaan–The religious instruction of children-On giving the Lord's supper to children- The best method of communicating religious knowledge to young men-An address to young men at the close of a course of Lectures-Natural and moral evil considered, in reference to the infinite benevolence of the DeityThe inaccuracy of the phrase, remission of sins--On Gospel motives—On the observance of the Sabbath-On the humanity of Christ-On public worship-On the fear of the Lord-On the moral law-Indifference to religious truih-Christians, the salt of the earth-On the phraseology of the Epistles-Repentance and Reformation only required to acceptance with God-The design of the death of Christ- The design of the sacrifices of the Mosaic law. The figurative language applied to the death of Christ

Doctrine

Doctrine of Christ's alonement inconsistent with reason. Inferences from its falshood-On a subsistence for public instructors

Against persecution - On the future existence of infants-On the value of life-On bad company-Before the western Unitarian Association-Paul's valedictory prayer.

In this long list of subjects the author takes occasion to present to our view nearly all the peculiarities of the Socinian creed, in the newest fashion. Instead of entering particularly into the various topics, which must produce a controversy, rather than a review, we shall present a specimen from the 14th Sermon, in the first volume, on the meaning of the phrase remission of sins, Matt. xxvi. 27, 28. Plain illiterate pious persons, who read the New Testament for their spiritual instruction and comfort, find no difficulty here, and are not at a loss for an explanation. It is, they will say, 'God's freeing us from the punishment of our transgressions :' and the ablest divines will approve their definition. But it seems we are all in the wrong. Mr. K. has made the notable discovery, and is generous enough to point out our mistake: Sin here does not mean moral evil-remmission does not mean freeing froin punishinent-aby sinners is not meant men of immoral conductand by-but the reader shall have it in Mr. K.'s own words.

It appears from hence, that the Gentiles are called sinners, both by Christ, and his apostles. The Children of Israel were selected from the rest of mankind, to enjoy the benefit of a divine revelation, and many religious institutions, in consequence of which they are called a holy nation and saints. The rest of mankind must of course be denominated unholy and sinners; and he'who brought them out of that state, might very properly in correspondence with the above language, be said to remove their sins, or procure the remission of them. Christ therefore who died to establish the truth of the new covenant, which introduced Gentiles, the many, or the great body of mankind, into the state of privilege that the Jews before occupied, says of himself, “ that he shed his blood for many for the remission of sins.” By this covenant every heathen, who believed and embraced the gospel, was entitled to the benefits of divine worship and religious instruction, and what was of principal value, to the hope of eternal life; which were great advantages for moral improvement, though they did not absolutely secure it. The moral guilt which he had before contracted was still imputed to him, and his sins, if not repented ot and forsaken, would prove his ruir. All that he had acquired by faith in Christ was, the privileges of a christian, which were no more than what has been just stated.-In Acts xxvi. 18, we have Christ commenting upon his own words, and explaining what he means by remission of sins in our text; not deliverance from the penal effects of sin in a future world, not ap immediate qualification for the happiness of heaven, as many suppose ; but a lot among the covenanted and privileged people of God, the believing Jews and Gentiles, or as it is here expressed, an inheritance among those which are sanctified. This is all that the remission of sins, which is the consequence of faith, will procure for men !!!

From what has been said, I conceive it appears, that the death of Christ has no efficacy in removing moral guilt, but that whenever it is spoken of as producing the forgiveness of sin, it relates entirely to restoration to a sanctified or privileged state, which in the language of both the Cld and the New Testament, on many occasions, is expressed by the forgiveness of sins. From this subject we may learn what little ground they have for their confidence, who trust entirely for the removal of their past sins, and for final acceptance with God, to the death of Christ; and how little reason for their censure of others, who have not the same dependance. They trust to a ground of sanctification which had no relation but to the first professors of Christianity, except indeed to the case of the apostates, and to them only in a ceremonial, not in a moral sense. The real ground of forgiveness to christians, ancient or modern, is repentance for sin, and reformation of conduct : and of acceptance with God, personal righteousness of heart and life. So that all we have to depend upon, is the degree of virtue we have in ourselves, and the mercy of God, who is pleased in his great goodness to accept of imperfect obedience to his laws from his frail creatures, when a more perfect obedience was due.'

To every mind which has derived its sentiments of religion from the pure doctrine of Jesus Christ, this extract cannot fail to convey instruction, and to serve as an antidote against Socinian, ism. For certainly, if a person were to sit down with the express design to contrive how he could explain away to nothing the invaluable blessings of the gospel, and bring it into contempt; and how he could most flatly contradict the Sacred Scriptures, and set up a system in direct opposition to them, he would follow the very course which Mr. K. has chosen.

In the sermon preached before the Unitarian Society in the west of England, in 1793, we find the following passage. i

• We appear to be come to the beginning of a new era in the christian church, the commencement of a reformation as remarkable and important, as the reformation from popery, and which will in the course of time eclipse the glory of that event; the first rescuing us from the errors of Rome, only partially; the other entirely : the one being the dawn of day, the other the meridian light. Let every one hasten to apply his hand to so important a work, and endeavour to share in the honour which will arise from it.'

Should we not suppose from this fervid zeal, that great things were on the anvil, and that in the space of thirteen years, great things must have been achieved ? that a society has been formed for propagating Socinianism among the heathen: or, at least, as the people of England are in general so ignorant of this system, which we are told is the puré Truth, that effeciual measures have been taken for propagating it at home: and that we shall find self-denying persevering Socinians labouring, from village to village, to deliver their misguided countrymen from the delusions of error, and to lead them to the knowledge and belief of their

« 前へ次へ »