« ElőzőTovább »
in the Speech,' Mr. Ranby assumes the time from which the increase is supposed to commence, to be within the last twenty years, that is from 1790. Now without being at the trouble to scrutinize the accuracy of the calculations and averages, by which the inferences from this assumption are supported, it is enough for us 10 point out the absurdity of taking a poiut of time when influence had probably reached its height, and then proving by an appeal to selected documents that it has not, in any subsequent instance, exceeded that amount. The question, fairly stated, includes the origin and history of Parliament-the successive changes in our constitution--the just claims of the crown and the inviolabe rights of the people: and the attempt to meet it by a bald reference to the debates and divisions of the last twenty years' is perfectly absurd.
Art. XVI. An Attempt to estimate the Increase of the Number of Poor during
the Interval of 1785 and 1803, and to point out the Causes of it. Io. cluding some Observations on the Depreciation of the Currency. 8vo. Murray. 1811, THIS writer sets out with referring to the Journals of the House of
Commons, for the alarming fact, that in 1803, out of the resident population, nearly 13 in 100 were actually receiving parochial relief ; that the number of paupers then amounted to 1,040,716 ; and that the pumber in 1785, only 18 years before, did not exceed 862,544; and then proceeds to refer this excess to the obvious sources,-increased population, war, and taxes; but, above all, to the depreciation of the currency, which he attributes principally to the Restriction Act, and the consequent excessive issue of Bank paper. The pamphlet is evidently the production of a sensible and clear headed man. He sometimes repeats himself; and sometimes propounds in many words what had better have been said in few. But his statements are, on the whole, distinct, and his inferences judi. cious.
Art. XVII. The New Pocket Encyclopædia ; or Elements of useful
Knowledge, methodically arranged ; designed for the higher classes in Schools, and for Young Persons in General. By John Millard, Assistant Librarian of the Surry Institution, 12mo. pp. xi. 640. Price 85,
bds. Sherwood, Neely and Jones, 1811. OF all the books lately published under titles similar to the above, this
is, in our estimation, by far the best. We can scarcely point to any book of equal size, into which so great a variety of useful and interesting matter is compressed. The author seems to have taken great pains to draw his information from the best sources; and what he has here collected for his youthful readers, is, generally speaking, correct. His work is divided into nine parts, of which the first relates to Literature in general, including language, grammar, logic, rhetoric, poetry, taste, mythology, and improvement of the memory ; the second, to geography; the third, to chronology; the fourth, to history; the fifth, to manufactures ; the sixth, 10 the fine arts; the seventh, to philosophy, arts and sciences; the eighth, to physics and natural history; and the ninth, to theology. The subjects included under these heads are of course extremely various, and get all things considered, they are by no means defectively treated. Through the whole of the work the author evinces a considerable talent at systematic and clear arrangement, such as is best calculated to assist the memory while it enlarges the understanding of his young readers. In most cases, too, his book will be peculiarly serviceable on account of the judicious references to other works in which the respective subjects are handled more at large. : Since no man knows every thing, it would be unreasonable to expect that, in a work embracing so great a variety of topics, there should be no errors. We can truly say, however, that we have, as yet, detected very few, and these, for the most part, extremely unimportant. Perhaps the author will think it worth while to correct one into which he has fallen, under the head of geometry. He asserts that 'till these few years there could not be found a regular treatise on this subject in the English language.' While, in fact, there have been regular, and valuable treatises too, in constant succession, from that of Billingsley in the 16th century down to the present year.
On the whole, however, as our readers will perceive, we think very highly the volume before us. We shall therefore merely say, in conclusion, that, in the approaching season for making Christmas presents and new year's gifts' to young persons, we know of no literary performance of similar size and price, we should be more inclined to recommend to the munificent patrons of the ingenious and inquisitive part of the juvenile community, than this New Pocket Encyclopedia.'
Art. XVIII. A serious Investigation on the Nature and Effects of Pa
rochial Assessments being charged on Places of Religious Worship, protected by the Act of Toleration, &c. By Rowland Hill, A. M. 8vo.
pp. 76. Kent, High Holborn. Button, &c. 1811. W E collect from this pamphlet, that an inhabitant of the parish in which : Mr. Hill's chapel is situated, lately appealed against a poor-rate, on the ground that Mr. Hill's chapel was not rated ; and that the appeal was dismissed on some point of form, which left the question of liability undecided. It would seem that this appeal originated in motives not very honourable: and that the argument of the counsel in support of it was conducted in a spirit the most illiberal, and a style of eloquence' the most ridiculous. The author evidently writes a good deal under the influence of personal feeling. He animadverts rather severely, yet perhaps not too. severely, on the individuals of whom he has reason to complain ; repre. sents the attempt made to assess his chapel, as part of a new scheme for persecuting seceders from the church ; and declares his own attachment to the forms and devotions of the established religion, while he condemns Vol. VII.
the conduct of many of its ministers, and the abuses in its system of patronage. He contends that places exclusively appropriated to public worship, and protected by the Toleration Act, have not hitherto been considered as rateable to the poor; and that, as such, they ought to be exempt. We have always understood the turning point in questions of this sort, to be, whether there were any persons upon whom the rate could attach as occupiers, under the statute of the 43rd of Elizabeth. It has been decided, we believe, that mere trustees of a chapel who receive no rent or income from the pews, are not rateable as occupiers: but it has been commonly supposed they would be, if any profit were actually received, without regard to the purpose to which it might be applied. If this supposition is correct, and the trustees in this case are occupiers, it seems to follow of course that the individuals who hold the pews are not occupiers : indeed, this, we believe, has never been pretended; so that where no income is derived from the pews, no person can be rateable. In the same way, hospitals are exempt.
There may be a difficulty sometimes, to decide whether subscriptions to defray the expence of a chapel and provide for the minister, are to be considered as voluntary contributions (which clearly are not rateable) or as in the nature of rent for pews: and the particular plan adopted at Mr. Hill's chapel, does not very distinctly appear. We quite agree with him that if a claim of this sort could be maintained, even upon trustees for receiving pew rents, it must in many cases bear exceedingly hard on some of the poorest and most meritorious persons in the community; and that there would be strong ground to apply to parliament for relief. If any thing ought to be exempted from taxation, it surely is public worship. Ministers of the establishment, who derive the whole or any part of their income from the rent of pews, undoubtedly stand on the same footing as the dissenters.
The pamphlet discovers many traces of that warmth and benevolence of character, which both the friends and the enemies of the author concur in ascribing to him : and part of it is disposed in that sort of dialogue with which his readers must be already familiar,
Art. XIX. Inducements to promote the Fine Arts in Great Britain, by ex
citing native Genius to independent Effort and original Designations.
By John Cranch. 4to, pp. 40. Longman and Co. 1811. IT might be enough to say of this important essay, that it is rich in
common-place rant, that the paper is excellent, and that the printing is well executed by the Crockers.” But we cannot persuade ourselves to close this protracted article without citing Mr. Cranch's opinion, that Sir Joshua Reynolds was a great artist ; and that some solitary Corregio may, at this instant, be pining in our next village.': Art. XX. Literary Information. Consisting of instructive Anecdotes,
Explanations, and Derivations : calculated to interest and improve the opening Mind. By Mrs. Hedgeland. 12mo. pp. 200. Cradock and
Joy, 1811. THIS is, on the whole, a useful and agreeable miscellany, and contains,
in a convenient form and compass, a good deal of literary informa
tion, which will be found to interest young readers, while it may relieve them from many little difficulties which they are likely to meet with in their early studies. In the event, however, of being called on to revise this little compilation, we would suggest the propriety of expunging the nonsensical, and not very delicate story about the Camao, and of correcting several errors, which we have observed in a cursory perusal. In what map does Mrs. H. find that the Rio Tinto falls into the Mediterranean? The isle of Oleron is twice called Oberon; and the celebrated maritime code, copied from that of Barcelona, which is distinguished by the name of the laws of Oleron, is, peremptorily ascribed to Richard the First, when it is more than ques. tionable whether that monarch ever had the slightest share, either in their composition or promulgation. It is an error of less consequence that Argine is called the apagram of Argina, which is, with the difference of a single letter, precisely the same unaltered word. It is clearly the anagram of Regina.
It is of indispensable importance, publications written for the use of learners be correct; and it is for this reason, certainly not from any general disapprobation of Mrs. Hedgeland's book, that we have thought it necessary to point out these defects.
Art. XXI. Parental Duties and Encouragement, a Sermon, 'preached at
Newport, Isle of Wight. By John Bruce. pp. 36. 8vo. price ls. Williams, Conder. 1810. THIS discourse possesses a merit and importance which raises it much
above the rank to which single sermons must usually be assigned. A prefixed notice informs us, that it was preached on the public baptism of the author's infant daughter ; but its deserts are superior to any claiins of local and temporary interest. From the divine precept in Prov. xxii. 6. the preacher exhorts to the performance of parental duties, under the heads of discipline, instruction, example, and prayer: the encouragement held out in his text he considers, not as an invariable rule, but as a general principle ; and, in this view, he confirms it by observations on the force of mental habits, the promises of the divine word, and the testimony of observation and experience. After having discussed these topics with much tenderness, pathos, and energy, and in a manner which indicates no small degree of knowledge and sagacity, Mr. B. closes his very useful discourse with an impressive address to parents, under the two classes of the profane and the truly religious. A brief citation, and the sermon throughout appears to us possessed of equal merit, shall vouch for the jus. tice of our recommendation. .6 - Strong as is the principle of natural affection which God has implanted in your bosoms, it cannot stimulate you to promote the salvation of your children, while you are living in the awful neglect of your own salvation. Let this affecting consideration be an additional motive to you, to seek a personal interest in the Lord Jesus Christ, Your time of probation is drawing near to its close. Like a rapid stream, it is bearing you along to the land of forgetfulness. The sound of mercy reaches not to the regions of the dead; those who die before they are reconciled to God, die under the load of their sins, and perish for ever. The present is the only season in which you can flee from the wrath to come. Miser. able, indeed, will be your condition, if, persisting in a course of rebellion against God, and wilful neglect of the Saviour, your own personal guilt should be aggravated by the criminal part which you have taken in the sins of your offspring. Can the power of language describe, or the human mind conceive, the poignant anguish of the soul of that parent who shall read in the piercing looks of his children, as they stand at the left hand of their judge, this keen reproach : “ There is the man who was the instrument of bringing us into being only to sacrifice us. With unremitting care he sustained and protected our lives, till the season of safety was elapsed, till we became accountable and criminal, and then left us to the government of our own depraved dispositions, and the force of surrounding temptations, when he might have known that our death would be attended with our damnation! And, as if it were not sufficient to expose us to danger, unfortified by good principles, both by the tendency of his advice and example, he hastened on our final doom! Oh that we had given up the ghost, and no eye had seen us! We should have been as though we had not been ; we should have been carried from the womb to the grave.” Men, brethren, and fathers ! escape this dreadful censure. With all the importunity of effectual prayer, seek pardon and acceptance through the blood of the cross. Let the merciful nature of the Deity encourage your application. “ He waiteth, that he may be gracious unto you. He delighteth in mercy. The blood of Jesus Christ, His son, cleanseth us from all sim, Him that cometh to me I will, in no wise, cast
Art. XXII. An Address on the excellency and facility of the Hebrew Lan.
guage : intended as a Motive to the Study of the original Scriptures. By John Shoveller. 8vo. pp. 61. price 1s. 6d. Longman and Co. 1811. THE design of this pamphlet is unquestionably good, and the author's
earnestness in pressing his point is commendable. His manner is desultory and declaiming, with an apparent fondness of display, and some avmotoms of superficial and incorrect acquaintance with the topics which he introduces. He thinks that Hebrew was the primeval language of man: he boldly reproaches the Masoretic punctuation as an imposition ; he seems to exercise a simple credulity in the Pseudo-Aristean fable of the miraculous origin of the Septuagint; he illustrates the meaning of the term root as applied to the Hebrew language, by adducing the word content as an English primitive; he maintains the wonderful ease with which a competency of Hebrew lore may be acquired; he advises it to be the first article in school education, &c. &c. &c. However, Mr. Shoveller appears to be a worthy and well meaning man; and as his book recognizes good principles, and tends to advance a most desireable object, -valeat, quantum valere potest,