ページの画像
PDF
ePub

Art. XVII. The Trial of Richard Patch for the wilful Murder of

Isaac Blight; at Rotherhithe, on the 23d. of September 1805; at the Session-House, Newington, Surrey; on Saturday the 5th of April, 1806; taken in Short-hand, by Joseph Gurney, & W. B. Gurney. 8vo. pp. 300. Price 5s. Gurney, 1906. THE feelings of the public have been strongly excited by the

melancholy event which is here recorded. Almost universally acknowledging the prisoner's guilt, they bave yet scrupled to admit the conclusiveness of the evidence against bim; and wbile they were desirous that condign punishment should fall on an individual, whose crime was marked with every aggravation of atrocity, they dreaded increasing precedents of conviction, on the construction of circumstances. The subsequent behaviour of the unhappy criminal,confirmed the evidence on which the verdict was founded. We understand that he never protested his innocence afier the trial, though he would not explicitly confess his guilt; and we have also been informed, that, excepting this persevering silence, he exhibited every mark of contrition. A consideration of this dreadful occurrence should excite our gratitude to Divine Providence;—for ordering that detection which murder rarely escapes, and for preserving us individually from the access and dominion of temptation. . . · This report of such an interesting trial is well printed, and has the advantage of an index to the evidence, pleadings, &c. and a distinct plan of the premises, at Rotherbithe. Messrs. Gurneys' well-known abilities are a sufficient voucher for its accuracy.

Art. XVIII. Memoirs of a Female Vagrant; Written by herself. With · Illustrations. 12mo.. pp. 90. Price 1s. 6d. Burditt, 1806. THIS interesting, and authentic narrative records the immoIrality, distress, and conversion of the writer; with some account of the happy effect her religious profession produced on several of her near relations. The memoirs are introduced by a prefatory letter from the Rev. S. Greatheed, who prepared them for the press, to Joseph Wilson, Esq. of Highbury-Hill; from which we transcribe the following remarks. ; . The display which is here afforded, of the vices and miseries of a vagrant life, may prompt the active beneficence of the present age, to regard the wandering classes of the poor, with that attention which is needful for their relief and reformation. It will, I hope, excite some thankfulness to divine Providence, in the hearts of those who are mercifully exempted from the wants and temptations of so deplorable a state

of society; and some concern to rescue them, if possible, from immi. nent, and otherwise irretrievable ruin.' A ray of light is here thrown on

the different shades of their obscure condition; from the vagabond huck.. ster,, down to the ballad-singer, the beggar, and the gipsy. These out

casts

casts are a reproach to our nation, a pest to the country, and too often a fatal snare to unsteady and unwary youth. Should the worthy members of the · Society for bettering the condition of the Poor,' be induced, by this pamphlet, to extend their humane and patriotic care to these numerous bands of semi-savages dispersed amidst our highly civilized couritrymen, I shall rejoice in the accomplishment of so important an object.

To those, however, who duly prize the blessings of Christianity, the facts which are here detailed, will be contemplated in a still more affecting point of view. They will regard them as so many trophies in honour of Him, who came to seek and save that which was lost.' They will consider the writer of this narrative, as a wandering sheep, whom the great and good Shepherd pursued far from the fold, and carried back to it rejoicing. They will figure to themselves the angels of God exulting in the repentance of so hopeless a sinner, and will esteem it a privilege to join in the hymns of praise. Pref. pp. 5–7.

The'notes intended to illustrate or correct particular passáges in this narrative, are pertinent and rational; and as we think the publication likely to be useful and entertaining to marious classes of the community, and the profits are assigned to the distressed daughter of the deceased, we cheerfully recommend it to the notice of our readers. It affords another instance of eventual restoration from deep depravity, by the influence of early relia, gious instruction.

Art. XIX. Sermon occasioned by the Death of the Rev. Abraham Booth ;

preached in Little Prescot-Street, Goodman's-Fields, by James Dore : and a short Memoir of the Deceased, incorporated with the Address delivered at his Interment, in Maze-Pond; by John Rippon, D. D.

pp. 98. Price 28. Button, Burditt, 1806. THE venerable man, whose lamented death at the age of seventya

two occasioned these discourses, was pastor of the Particular Bape tist Church, in Goodman's-Fields, for thirty-seven years. Originally in an obscure situation, he had not the opportunity of acquiring classical learning, till he arrived at maturity ; by diligent and persevering exertion he afterwards attained a respectable knowledge of the languages, and an extensive acquaintance with ecclesiastical and theological writers, of antient and modern times. As an author he is well known in the serious world; his public services were eminently useful and devout; and his merits were generally acknowledged as a sensible, upright, pious, como passionate and amiable christian. Humility was a remarkable feature in bis character; he constantly declined a diploma of D. D. which a foreign University would have presented; he never would consent to sitting for his picture, and in his will he particularly ordered that nothing should be said of him, in a funeral discourse.

This request affords Mr. Dore a singular and ingenious exordium to his sermon, and thoughi, perhaps, he has not complied with it to the full extent of his friend's intention, yet he has not been guilty of any deviation that may not readily be pardoned. From the words of Balaam, 'the homage of vice to virtue', Let me die the death of the righteous, Mr. D. has raised a very sensible ingenious and impressive disHh2

Course

course. As we hope it will be extensively read, we shall not make any extract, although there are several pages ihat we could willingly trạns. cribe.

The style of this sermon is correct, energetic, and even eloquent; the tone of thought is animated, and the expression glowing. We can easily account for a few pardonable luxuriances, considering how much the ernotions of the friend, superadded to the warmth of the writer, must have relaxed the severity of revision.

Dr. Rippon, we think, does not appear before the public in very happy circumstances; his brief memoir' commences and concludes with an address to the spectators of the interment; and this double character of his performance renders it very awkward under any consideration. If the author thought it necessary to print his address, he might have composed a memoir separately, as his predecessors have done; the plan here adopted has the merit of singularity, but no other, The Account, however, of Mr. Booth's life, character and last moments, will be found very interesting, and the address to the church is suitable and striking. Dr. R. has fully availed bimself of the silence to which the preacher was restrained; he has delineated the portrait of his friend with some minuteness, and has indulged his feelings in a lively strain of panegyrić.

This Memoir is not ushered into our notice very auspiciously; a short advertisement prefixed, is yet long enough to contain the following curious sentence. After stating his apprehension that the address had not been enlarged sufficiently to meet the wish or gratify the expecta-, tions of Mr. Booth's friends, the Dr. writes, “However, affection has more in reserve, which may be laid at the feet of candour, when friendship has imparted additional lights, and leisure shall hear the voice of requisition. We do not recollect ever to have discovered, in three lines of advertisement, such a group of personifications. Another instance ofmowe scarcely know what to call it-is Dr. R.'s exhortation to the survivors, not to build any hopes upon their recent connexion with so excellent a pastor Think not thus to say within yourselves, we have ABRAHAM to our father,' &c.! The charms of this unlucky coincidence were irresistible; Dr. Rippon introduced it into his pulpit, and preached a funeral discourse from Galatians iii. 19. • So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.' — As the word Boot occurs in several passages of the Old Testament, we trust that the ingenious author, in justice, took occasion to notice them also in the course of his sermon. Monumental durability, we shall have the candour to consider as a press error, for a durable monument. We might fairly object to several quaintuesses, to the awkward, and needless running titles, and to the inconsistency of retaining the epithet Reverend in some parts of this publication and omitting it in others; but these oversights, though they blemish a valuable pamphlet, cannot affect its usefulness to the reader. Into his hands we commit it, with the assurance, that his time will not be misemployed in the perusal.

We understand that some posthumous works of Mr. Booth will shortly be published, and that a uniform edition of his Theological Writings, many of which are out of print, is also in contemplation.

Art. XX. Poetic Sketches ; by T. Gent, (Yarmouth) 12mo. pp. 120.

Price 4s. 6d. Rivingtons, 1806.
M R. Gent sometimes attempts the pathetic and sometimes the

IV ludicrous; we are sorry that he cannot be complimented on more
than a moderate share of poetical genius; and that the beef and beer,
for which he professes a partiality, is not likely to reward his lahours.
Much worse poems, however, have certainly been printed, and if the
author were more vigilantly to consult the grammar, the spelling dic-
tionary, and the rules of decorum, he might escape reproach, though we
fear he would not obtain admiration.

[ocr errors][merged small]

Art. XXI. Rudiments of Reason, or the Young Experimental Philoso

pher : being a Series of Family Dialogues in which the Causes and Effects of the various Phænomena of Nature are rationally and familiarly explained. A new Edition carefully revised and enlarged; by

the Rev. Thomas Smith. 12mo. pp. 386. Price 5s. Harris, 1805. W E can scarcely account, on any principle sufficiently respectful to

VV the Reverend gentleman, whose name is prefixed to this volume, for its antiquated and erroneous doctrines. The philosophy of Newton,. a system of demonstrable propositions, which has endured the scrutiny and received the approbation of successive generations, is stated in a manner sufficiently accurate and explicit ; but the design of the work required that it should not be limited to this subject; and we are sorry to observe that the majority of the author's explanations of those phænomena which require the aid of recent discoveries, is either involved in the mysteries of alchemy and occult qualities, or referred to a gratuitous and inadequate hypothesis.

On the subject of fire, our young Philosophers will, perhaps, be sure prised, but certainly not much instructed, by the following quotations which are to be found within the compass of a few pages;

Lady Caroline. The bamboo, a sort of Indian cane, when we rub two pieces of it together produces fire in the same manner as flint and steel. Give me the reason of this, Elizabeth. · Elizabeth. The friction excites the sulphur which this body contains in great quantity, and breaks the little inclosures in which it is packed up.'

Farther : • The essential oils of plants are very inflammable liquors which chemists consider as a large quantity of sulphur introduced through a small portion of phlegm.'

Phlogiston itself were surely preferable to this visionary sulphur, of which no particle is discovered in most of these inflammable bodies. ' Lady Caroline. When spirits of nitre are poured over mercury, why Fanny, do they produce an effervescence or ebullition, and a sensible heat ?

Fanny. Because the acids of the spirits of pitre are introduced with vigour into the pores of the mercury, strike violently against the sides of the vessel, and expel the igneous particles !

Lady

Lady Caroline. Can you, Elizabeth explain to me the nature and substance of thunder?

· Elizabeth. It is a mixture of exhalations, subject to inflammation by fermentation, or through the shock and pressure of the clouds which the winds agitate and violently impel against eaeh other!

Surely the author or reviser of these dialogues must have some singular antipathy to Franklinian electricity and modern discoveries, of such exploded fermentations would never have been revived.

We would by no means discountenance any rational attempt to dissemipate useful knowledge, and especially to accommodate it to the taste and capacity of youth, but it is unpardonable in the year 1805 to inform them that • Mercury or Spirit is the great principle of all metals, the first of fluids or flowing bodies and only second of heavy ones, as gold alone is heavier.'.

Again that'' Sulphur or Oil is a mixed inflammable body made up of fire, oil, water, and earth!' ..Salt, a mixed body, of which earth is the predominant or first principle, water the second and fire the third,' &c. &c.

The book contains a large quantity of instructive and interesting matter, and in its former shape obtained an extensive circulation. We are sorry to say, that it is so contaminated by error as to be utterly improper for the use of children; and before we can excuse the editor or reviser for suffering such a work to reoccupy the press, we expect him to make affidavit that he has taken a nap for half a century in the cave of Epimenides.

Art. XXII. The Metaphysic of Man; or the Pure Part of the Physio

logy of Man. Translated from the German (recently published) of J. C. Goldbeck; by S. F. Waddington, M. D. 8vo. pp. 181. price

55. Highley, 1806. W E should not deem it necessary to notice this queer book, but for

V the purpose of warning the reader against an idea, which might be suggested, by its imposing title, that it contains any useful or interesting discussion. It ascribes active agency to unorganised matter, in a manner perfectly mysterious and gratuitous; and derives from its inherent powers and appetencies, every process of animate and inanimate nature; it tends, consequently, to supersede the idea of an efficient supporter, and even Creator, of the world. This speculation which the Dr. Las made in his German travels, we are willing he should engross to himself unmolested; it might else have the same effect on our intellects which it unfortunately appears to have produced on his own. It is a cobweb of subtile obscurity, spun a la Kant; and is doubtless destined to repose in congenial darkness.-A work which few will regard, and still fewer understand, must quickly drop into oblivion.

As á praxis, however, for the reader's ingenuity, we subjoin an extract from the dedication to his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, who, the translator is confident, will find leisure to peruse the work ! It is, we presume, one of those passages, on which, in compliment to our feeble powers, Dr. W. flatters us with the hope of explanatory prelections !

: May

« 前へ次へ »