Page images
[ocr errors]

least in our ships of war, might appear surprising; for its utility as the Author remarks, cannot be doubted, without denying all the doctrines of pneumatics. For the necessity of adopting it in tlie navy, the great increase of the Dry Rot in our ships of war might be a reason sufficiently weighty. The increase of the disease in sbips of that class, Mr. M. supposes, and we think bis conjecture is just, to be occasioned in a great measure even by the improvements that bave been made in the art of ship-building: Ships of war are now so tightly constructed as not to collect as heretofore much bilge water. When bilge water was frequently collected, the necessity that existed of frequently pumping it off, gave occasion for the stagnant air of the hold to be pumped off with it; and our Author alleges that no instance can be adduced of any ship that collected much bilge water that was affected in any great degree with the dry rot, or was unhealthy to the crew.

The various means which Mr. M. suggests for preventing the introduction, and for arresting the progress of the Dry Rot, occupies só large a portion of the volume before us, that our limits will not allow us to do that justice to those parts of the work to which their obvious utility lays claiin. The advantages of charring timber, where that process is admissible, the impregnation of it with oleaginous and resinous matter, with many of the neutral salts, and with such of the metallic oxyds as readily unite with the juices of the plant, the extraction of the native juices, the immersion of the timber in water, and in peat-moss, the felling of it at a proper time, and the seasoning of it in a proper manner, are all treated in a manner which proves the writer to be well acquainted with his subject, and which cannot fail to furnish the reader, who feels interested in the subject, with much satisfactory information and practical aid. Passing over this portion of the work, we proceed to notice what the Author terms the Appendix, and which occupies nearly one half of the volume.

The Author's object, in this part, is not less important than in the preceding. He endeavours to promote the cultivation of what, in the first portion, he has been anxious to preserve; and, while he shews from the increase of our population, and commerce, as well as from the increase of the causes of the decay of . timber, that the demand for timber has been continually increasing, he proves from historic documents, as well as from tradition, that the quantity produced in Great Britain has been most unwisely suffered to diminish, alınost in an in verse ratio 10 the demand. The annual value of timber cut down in the United Kingdom, Mr. M. states, to amount to about three millions of pounds sterling ; and, according to the Custom House Returns,

the annual value of timber imported, exceeds the other amount; yet, though the consumption is such as to cause the balance of trade with certain countries to be considerably against us, no efforts have been made to raise a sufficiency of native supply. Many parts of the kingdom, on the contrary, which have been cleared of their native woods, have been only given up to barrenness; and many parts of Scotland as well as of England, which were known to bear, or which still retaiu the names of forest land, capnot now boast of a tree or a shrub, vor are they worth the expence of tillage. Yet our Author proves by various references, that in all climates, from the equator to the arctic regions, timber trees may be produced, and there appears no reason to doubt that wood will grow on any soil, from the sea beach to the mountain top, on the almost rock, on the quagmire, under the glowing rays of a vertical sun, till we approach the regions of ice and snow. The selection of the trees for the various soils and situations, appears to be the principal object which the cultivator has to study. The opportunity of planting in Great Britain appears to be as ample as can be desired. About twenty millions of acres of land are lying in a state of waste. Since the reign of Queen Anne, 3,646 acts of parliament have indeed been passed, by which 6,450,104 acres have been allowed to be enclosed, and put into a state of cultivation. Of these, a large proportion, however, are still only fit for bearing timber trees; and for the purpose of planting them, there is unquestionably a supply of people to be found who would be content to be employed at very moderate wages.

The inducements which the Author holds out for planting on inferior lands, are rational and powerful, and instances are ad-' duced where land not worth a shilling an acre per annum, before it was planted, had produced an average profit, from the time of planting, of ten and twelve pounds a year, per acre, and in

. However extravagant it may appear, yet facts sufficiently prove, that the value of the fee simple, . even of good land, bears but a diminutive proportion to that of

wood of fifty or sixty years growth, or even less than half that • time, after planting on the most sterile soil.'

The suggestions offered respecting the propagation of trees, the choice of soil, and the mode of training, may be read with advantage by country gentlemen who are disposed to embellish, or to improve their lands. The section respecting the forest laws contains much curious matter; and that which concludes the work, on the policy of building ships in India, is of peculiar and immediate national interest.

Uninviting as the title and the topics may appear, and limited as the interest of the general subjeets may be, we do not besi,

some cases even niore,

tate to assert that the collateral materials with which the volume abounds, will be found to afford an unexpected gratification even to general readers who may be induced to peruse it.

The Author has accomplished his task with indefatigable industry, and with much ingenuity and intelligence. The princi. ples on which he reasons as to the causes and preventives of the decay of timber, appear to be perspicuous and sound, and his aim in endeavouring to rescue the treatment of the subject from the hands of the ignorant or designing empiric is highly worthy of praise.

Art. XIII. A Letter on the Principles of the Christian Faith. Written

by Hannah Sinclair, Eldest Daughter of the Right Hon. Sir John
Sinclair, Bart. who died on the 22d of May, 1818. 8vo. pp. 25.
Price ls. 6d. London, 1818.
E are very glad that this “Letter" has not been confined to

a private circulation : it is adapted to be extensively useful. It will interest on account of the circumstances under which it was written; it has, however, the merit of not only being dictated by an affectionate spirit, but of conveying, with peculiar clearness, simplicity, and accuracy, the principles of what we denominate evangelical religion. The Apostle would not have women speak in the churches; he did not suffer them to teach in public; but as parlour-ipstructors, as private monitors, there are none equal to mothers and sisters, inasmuch as their counsels, imparted in the tone of persuasion, find a readier access to the heart. Besides which, truth in the female mind, exists, perhaps, in more uniform and intimate combination with the feelings, than in the minds of men in general; and religious truth more especially, when intelligently embraced, occupies more habitually the affections of women as a practical reality; it is to them not only the subject of belief, but a source of real delight. Where this is the case, there will be the freshness of life in the representation given of its doctrines; the style of address will be regulated by the “ law of kindness;" and it will have the charm of an earnestness not easily to be withstood.

The Writer of this letter was in the habit of instructing her younger brothers and sisters in the knowledge of religion; it was her great delight to be thus occupied. The wish expressed by one of her sisters, that she should put down in writing, the substance of some of the conversations which had passed between them, was the occasion of this letter, which, it is almost needless to state, was never intended for the public eye. The death of this amiable and exemplary young lady, only seven months after the date of the letter, has set upon the production, however, the additional value of a memorial, which those who knew her, will doubtless be peculiarly happy to possess. In recommending it to our readers, we need only transcribe a short passage as a specimen.

• But, first let me remind you, that sanctification is a gradual work. The change I am describing, from sin to holiness, from the love of the world, to the love of God, is not instantaneous, “ but resembles the

morning light, which shines more and more unto the perfect day." An established Christian, differs in many respects from a young convert, and, generally speaking, that difference is in no respect more visible, than in their feelings and experience relative to the pleasures of Religion. A young convert, is usually beset with doubts, fears, and anxieties. He feels, and knows himself to be a sinner; is de. pressed by a sense of his own guilt and infirmities; and has not yet learned to rejoice in Christ Jesus, and to cast all the burden of his sins upon him. But, by degrees, more light is communicated to his mind;-he perceives how God can be just, and yet the justifier of him who believes in Jesus ;-he applies all the promises of the Gospel to himself; he looks to Jesus, not merely as the Saviour of sinners, but as his own Saviour ; and believes, not merely that he died for man. kind in general, but for himself in particular :-and thus he learns to look forward to Heaven, as his own certain portion and inheritance ; not for any works of righteousness which he has done, but solely be: cause he his united by faith, to the all sufficient Saviour.

• Some perhaps may tell you, that this is not consistent with humility; but they mistake the nature of Christian humility; which does not consist in believing that we are going to hell, but that we deserve to go there. Who was ever more humble than St. Paul? He disparages himself in almost every page of his writings; yet he speaks of his own salvation with the utmost confidence-expresses a wish to be absent from the body, that he might be present with the Lord;says, that he had a desire to depart, and to be with Christ, which is far better ;--and that to him, to live is Christ, and to die is gain;and he describes Christians in general,as those, “who rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh, or in themselves,"--plainly shewing that these two feelings are no way inconsistent with each other. A criminal may believe himself to be worthy of death, yet if he receives a pardon, he no longer fears death ;-thus it is with Christians ---they

believe themselves to be pardoned for Christ's sake.' Art. XIV. The Character and Success of Barnabas ; or the Connexion

between eminent Piety and distinguished Usefulness : A Sermon, preached on Acts xi. 24. By Thomas Durant, 8vo. pp. 48. Price Is. 6d. London. 1818.

IF to serve and enjoy God were the grand purposes for which

man was brought into existence, and for which he holds bis present rank in the scale of being, (and to what other purposes consistent with the character of God, can we ascribe bis being and intellectual power ?) it must be obvious to every reflecting person, that the world has not yet answered the end of its creation. A man does not purchase a house, or an estate, to allow it to remain unoccupied ; nor does a master hire a servant to waste his property and disobey his orders. It is impossible to look at the history of the past, or to contemplate the present, and suppose for a moment that God bas no higher ends to answer by this world, than we have already witnessed. Is the wealth of the world employed in the service of God? Are piety and obedience to the Divine law the leading character of its inhabitants ? Are men generally employed in doing justice, loving mercy, and walking humbly with God? To these questions it is unnecessary to wait for an answer.

Is not the reverse of all this the case? How just the description of the Apostle, “ All that is in the world, “ is the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life!" Is it reasonable to suppose that things are always to remain in this state? Are iniquity and irreligion always to prevail ? Are the authority, the laws, and the goodness of God, to be always trampled in the dust?

There are only two principles on which the supposition is admissible; and these principles are as repugnant to reason as they are to the doctrines of Revelation. There must exist either power or inclination in the Almighty to make things otherwise. Power be cannot want: He who has all power in Heaven and on Earth, and who raised up the fishermen of Galilee, gave them the qualifications which they possessed, sent them forth as his messengers, and blessed their labours to the conversion of the pations, cannot be at a loss for means to accomplish his purposes. Paganism and Popery were once in as full possession of the high places of our country, as they now are of Africa and Spain. Both were successively attacked by the arins of Divine truth, and these heavenly weapons have lost none of their temper, but are as mighty, through God, to the pulling down of strong holds and every thing that exalteth itself against the truth, as ever.

To say that God wants inclination to make bis creatures good, and happy, is blasphemy. “ He bath no pleasure in” the misery or “the death of the sinner." He delighteth in mercy.

[ocr errors]
« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »