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Art. X. Sermons on Interesting Subjects. By George Campbell, Minis, ter of the Gospel, Stockbridge, near Dunbar. 12mo. pp. 4>79. 1816.
IN character and value, this collection of discourses more "nearly resembles the second volume of Mr. More's sermons, reviewed in our Number for Sept. 1817, thau any other work of a similar kind which has come under our notice. The seriousness, and plainness, and useful tendency, which we recognised in the latter publication, belong* equally to the former; they both, in nearly equal proportions, include doctrinal and practical subjects. Mr. Campbell has been induced to venture the publication of his discourses from ' a desire and hope, that 'by this means he'might be more extensively useful;'—a laudable wish, for the gratification of which, he looks not to the fastidious in taste, or the admirers of a spurious eloquence, but to the sober minded Christian concerned for his own spiritual edification, and desirous of promoting the best interests of mankind.
The subjects included in this volume, are the following. God's Expostulation with Sinners. Jer. xliv. 4—Salvation freely offered. Rev. xxii. 17—Reconciliation by Christ. Colos. i. 21-22. The end of reconciliation. Colos. i. 21-22 —The Complaint of Christ. Matth. xxvii. 46—Invitation to Communion—Canticles ii. 14—The Nature of Communion 1 John. i. 3—The Success of Christ in his work. Isaiah liii. 10—The Solemn Engagement. Jer. i. 5—Fruitfulness. John. xv. 8—Progressive Improvement. Philip, iii. 14—The Fulness of the Promise. . Philip, iv. 19—The Security of the Promise, Ileb. x. 23—Heavenly Mindedness. Colos. iii. 1, 2—Heavenly Conversation. Philip, iii. 20— Victory over Death. Isaiah, xxv. 3—The Consummation of Bliss. I John. iii. 2.
As a specimen of the manner in which the Preacher addresses his hearers and readers, we give the following extract from the Xlth Sermon 'On Progressive Improvement.'
• Seeking after greater degrees of divine and spiritual knowledge, is one of the ways in which Christians are to press along the course for the prize of the high calling of God. The new man which be- _ lievers put on, is " renewed in knowledge after the image of him "that created him." This knowledge is imperfect at first, but it is destined to increase, and shall be perfected in that state where -the saints are said to see God " face to face," and " know even as they *' are known." The means of increasing our religious knowledge have been furnished us in a very liberal manner by God, and it is our duty to improve them for that purpose. But who of us can say we have been so diligent in this respect as we ought to have been? It is not owing to the want of opportunities of information, but the neglect of them, that so many, who are far advanced in life, are yet children in understand
ing. To what, Christians, will you ascribe that imperfection of knowledge of which you have so much to complain? Have you not from your youth, had full and free access to the word of God? Have you not had frequent opportunities of hearing the Gospel preached, and the advantage of many judicious helps for understanding its important doctrines? Has your progress in knowledge been in any measure suitable to these means of information? Or is it now so great, as to render strenuous exertion after farther improvement unnecessary? Are you as well acquainted with the doctrines of faith and the rules of practice, and with the influence of the one upon the other, as you might or ought to have been? Have you that holy prudence which is necessary to discover the path of duty in all the various circumstances and relations of life? Can you readily discern and avoid the snares to which you are exposed in an evil world? And are you able to give every man a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear? Do you understand the dark and intricate dispensations of Providence? And have you nothing farther to learn of the mysteries of redemption?
Art- XI. An Essay on the best Means of promoting the Spread of Divine Truth in the unenlightened Villages of Great Britain. By J. Thornton, of Billericay. 12mo. pp. 97.
'A premium of twenty guineas for the best Essay on the •**• 'means of spreading Divine Truth in the unenlightened * Villages of Britain,' having been offered by some benevolent person through the medium of tlte Evangelical Magazine, soon after the attention of Mr. Thornton had been invited to the subject by a Christian friend, induced him to prepare the present tract for publication. It is entitled to the most serious consideration of every person alive to the spiritual interests of mankind, and cannot fail of procuring for the Author the respect and gratitude of every Christian philanthropist. The claims which this Essay possesses, in its subjects, and in the manner in which the discussions of them is conducted, are such as to impose on us the duty of warmly recommending it to the public.
Art. XII. An Essay on the Origin and Operation of the Dry Rot, voith a Vieio to its Prevention or Cu*e. To which are annexed, Suggestions on the cultivation of Forest Trees, and an Abstract of the several Forest Laws, from the Reign of Canute to the Present Time. By Robert Me William, Architect and Surveyor.. 4tO' pp. 440. 1818.
''T'HE utility and importance of timber,' says Mr. Me W. 'adapted in different forms to the comforts, convenien'ces, and even the necessities of civilized life, render the means 'of preserving it from decay an object highly interesting to all; 'claims the special attention of those who are studious to pro'mote the welfare of their country.' . That peculiar species of decay, termed the Dry Rot, to which timber is subject, has of 4ate become familiar, at least in its baneful effects, to every one conversant with building. Not only is it more general thun in former times, but, in this country, its ravages have increased beyond proportioa to what has taken place in other parts of Europe. Many of our ships of war, and numerous public works as well as private houses of modern erection, are daily found to be infected with it. The destructive consequences of this insidious evil, have occasioned various investigations and complaints, and given rise to many highly vaunted but iitciU-ciii.il remedies.
Aware »!' the mistakes of those who have treated this disease in an empirical or superficial manner, the Author of the work before us very properly endeavours to trace its operations to their remotest source, and to counteract the causes thai promote its mischievous activity. With these views he applies himself to investigate generally the economy of vegetation, examining minutely the structure of the fir and of the oak, which constitute the most important part of the timber used in British buildings, and bestows a considerable degree of observation on the rise and progress of the sap Ascribing its motion to the. change of temperature, he contends, in opposition to most preceeding writers on the subject, that no specific effect is produced in vegetation from the agency of light; and, from a number of experiments which he states, maintains that in all cases where effects have been supposed to arise from the operation of light alone, they have proceeded from a change of temperature produced by a variation in the solar rays, aud that if an equal variation of temperature, with an equal supply of fresh air, could be afforded by artificial means, though light remained unvaried or even excluded, the consequences would in all these cases, with the exception of colour, be the same. In this argument, as well as in his opinion regarding the direction of the roots of trees, the present Author opposes the principles laid down by Mr. Knight, and supported by Sir Humphry Davy. He differs also materially from the hitter, in his representation of the texture of the oak; as is evident from the engraving be has given of a section of a branch of that tree, compared with tlie plate of a section of the oak th-l accompanies Sir H.Davy's Agricultural Chemistry.
The minuter varieties of Fungi, being the immediate agents in promoting the decomposition of timber, engage the close attention of the Author; and bis ideas concerning them, which are also illustrated by engravings, are curious and entertaining. He denies that there is so vast a number of species as many Naturalists attempt to describe, and contends that one and the same kind will, under different circumstances, assume very different shapes and colons; and he shews, by reference to a variety of xperiments, that they are frequently the effects as well as the
uuses of the Dry Rot. In tracing the means by which the causes of decay are introduced in the interior of buildings, he finds the mischief often proceeding from improper foundations, piling, or planking, and most frequently from drains and cess-poois. In one instance he discovered the original source between two or three hundred feet, and in another above two or three hundred yards, from the building which it ultimately destroyed, in these cases he considers the mischief to have been first occasioned by the effluvia from corrupting vegetable matter, such as carbonic acid gas, or hydrogen, and carburretted hydrogen gas; and other cases are referred to, in which the disease was conveyed into buildings, with saw dust, and even wiih the corks of bottles. Examples of the latter mode of introduction he adduces in two houses near Berkeley Square, the occupiers of which had purchased wine from a merchant whose cellars were affected with the inoculating matter; from which he takes occasion satirically to remark, in a note, what the public may find it their advantage to remember, that 'this disease is very advantageous to wine'merchants, as it soon covers the bottles with its mouldy 'appearance, and consumes the external parts of the corks, so 'that with a trifling operation on the bottles after they are filled 'and then deposited in cellars pretty strongly affected with the
* Dry Rot, they can send out wine as having been bottled in
* their cellars for seven or eight years, before it has in fact been 'there so many months.' Such an artifice as this ought not to be lightly regarded. By a means of no greater magnitude than this, a stately ship of war may become infected with a malady that may prove fatal to itself and its crew, and the most noble edifice may be prematurely reduced to ruin. Apparently harmless as the fungus, like a piece of leather, may, in a dormant state, remain for almost any length of time, a slight change or accident may give it life and destructive action. 'On 'the side of an oak tenon, or scarf,' says the present Writer, 'it has been known to remain for ages, without the least injury 'to the timber when kept dry, but immediately resumed its
* work of decomposition the moment it was furnished with 'moisture.'
After an elaborate investigation of the causes and nature of the disease, which occupies nine chapters of the work, the Author proceeds to that important part of the inquiry which relates to the proper modes of cure. The common error of seeking a specific or universal remedy, is judiciously avoided and exposed; and such a mode of treatment is suggested, as would be adopted by a philosophic practitioner, in seeking to remedy the diseases to which the human frame is subjeet. The
Vol.x. N. S. G
source of the disease is first of all to Ik- investigated; and then endeavours roust be made to remove the .evils it has caused, and to prevent tlicir recurrence. When the disease originates in any infected materials introduced into the building, such as old timber or bricks that had been taken from a structure in a state of decay, Mr. M. recommends the removal of all the infected parts, and the washing tho adjoining materials with a strong solution of oxyd of iron, copper, or zinc, previous to the introduction of any fresh and sound materials; and those parts of the fresh timber which may be liable to receive infection from the old, he further advises to be charred. Where the cause is putrescent vapour from other corrupting matter, such matter must be removed, and the situation thoroughly cleansed, and the air rendered pure, dry, and susceptible of continual motion, or of passing in a current through every part of the building. It is of the first importance, he adds, that, in all cases, edifices be constructed in such a manner as to admit of the common air shifting its place with facility, that it may not, by being stagnant, acquire a fermenting heat, or accumulate vapour impregnated with particles of the surrounding materials.
To promote a uniform circulation of air, the attention of builders is directed to the position of the fire places, and especially in the lower parts of buildings ; and for the purpose of removing stagnant air, a flue is recommended to be made beneath the floor, and pass behind the grate to open at any part about the building' where the air is found most pure and dry. With the same view, an apparatus is suggested as proper to be used on ship board, which appears to merit attention. Immediately behind the galley an air-tight vessel of metal is proposed to be placed to which pipes are to be affixed that are to reach to the hold of the ship. By the galley fire, which is used for the culinary purposes of the crew, the vessel behind it must become heated, and the air which it contains must become rarefied und made to pass off like smoke up a flue, or rather funnel, prepared for its passage. The foul air from the hold is then forced up to occupy the space from which the other is expelled, and in its turn made to pass away; and tin; air of the ship is rendered pure and wholesome so as greatly to promote the health and comfort of the crew, as well as to preserve the ship from the ravages of the Dry Rot. In describing some experiments made with such an apparatus, the Author remarks, that 'when lighted candles were put to the end 'of the tubes in the hold, the flame was immediately sucked in, 'though the ends of some of them were more than twenty yards 'distant from the furnace; and this motion was observable at the 'distance of twelve hours after the fire was out of the furnace.' That a machine so simple, so little cumbersome, and so cheaply constructed and maintained, should not be generally adopted, at