« VorigeDoorgaan »
A BRIrish Opinion of Jon ATHAN Edwards. —The most elaborate treatise on original sin is, confessedly, that of President Edwards, of America. It is not only the most elaborate, but the most complete. There was every thing in the intellectual character, the devout habits, and the long practice of this powerful reasoner, to bring his gigantic specimens of theological argument as near to perfection as we may expect any human composition to approach ; unless we except, and even this exception is not in all respects a disadvantage to so abstract a reasoner, his comparative deficiency in theological learning. We are not aware that any other human compositions exhibit, in the same degree as his, the love of truth, mental independence, grasp of intellect, power of consecrating all his strength on a difficult inquiry, reverence for God, calm self-possession, superiority to all polemical unfairness, benevolent regard for the highest interests of man, keen analysis of arguments, and the irresistible force of ratiocination. He reminds us of the scene described by Sir Walter Scott, between Richard and Saladin, uniting in himself the sharpness of the scimitar with the strength of the battle-axe. To the doctrine of original sin, he brings his experience as a polemical writer, sanctified by his ripening devotion as a Christian. With the accomplishments which have won the admiration of the greatest philosophers, he has, in this treatise, joined the comprehensive survey of facts, the facility in reducing these facts to a general
rinciple, and the dignified sobriety in explaining and applying texts of Scripture, which place him high in the first order of Christian theologians. His piety is so exalted, his reasonings are so lucid, that we feel, in studying this production, that we are dealing with a man whom it is hardly possible to charge either with an unsound principle, or with a fallacious argument. His style of language, indeed, though not wanting in perspecuity and fitness for his purpose, is cumbrous, involved, and far from being elegant; but what he wants in gracefulness, he more than compensates by vigor .#. the statue of Hercules, that strikes our feeling of strength rather than of beauty.
His one simple object is, to convince: with this object nothing interferes—neither feeling, nor learning, nor fancy. He seems to live in a region where there is no element but light, and no o but the perception of truth; the light is felt to be from heaven, the truth relating to God and man and immortality. It is the genius of o in the temple, laying the richest offering of intellect on the altar of God, confessing in the name of all humanity the common sin, and adoring the Holy One as the spring, not of being only, but of goodness to his creatures. We know not whether it be possible to select any other human writing of the same length, in which the proposed object is so steadily kept in view, and attained by stages so natural, and so logically certain ; with nothing superficial, nothing irrelevant, nothing obscure, nothing to disturb the calmest intellect, or to shock the purest heart. Comparing it with the works of Jeremy Taylor on the same subject, we should say the flowing eloquence of the learned bishop cannot conceal his shallowness from the reader of any experiand-forty hours after death—before the grim conqueror has had time, in most cases, to “ hang his ensign there "— Ere yet decay's effacing fingers Have swept the lines where beauty lingers,
ence in controversy; while there is a depth, a fulness, a cogency in the arguments of Edwards which we think it would not be possible for the unbiased understanding to resist.—Quart. Rev.
Burying Alive.—The custom of premature burial in France—or rather the law, for we believe it is matter of police regulation—whatever arguments of sound policy it may have to recommend it, is opposed by one of such overwhelming force, that the continued maintenance of the practice, in defiance of that, is one of those curious social problems, our satire against which is only disarmed by remembering how many such obstinate errors there are amongst ourselves. There is in this neglected argument an analogy, which seems to us terrible and striking, with that which we have always held to be the one unanswerable reason (supposing there to be no other,) against the infliction of death as a punishment for crime—the uncertainty of human testimony, the fallacy of human inference, and the irrevocable nature of the penalty if a wrong be done at the instigation of the one or of the other. One single discovery of the kind should have been enough to arrest the sword in the hand of the executioner for ever after—a number such, make every subsequent execution, in a doubtful case, surround it by what rules and formalities you will—a murder. So, when we consider the many cases in which life puts on the temporary aspect of death—brought prominently before the public notice, too, as the instances have been by recent discussions—it might be supposed that the Frenchman would shrink from the mere speculative chance of being buried alive; but if the speculation were borne out by a single fact, we can scarcely conceive of any sanitory or other arguments strong enough or inevitable enough to maintain the practice for a day longer. What, then, by those who know how men's fears and tenderness ordinarily operate, shall be said of its continued assertion in the face of such fearful statistics (official) as the following? The number of living interments that have been interrupted by accidental circumstances alone, in France, since 1833, amounts to 94 Ninety-four attested cases, in which the living have narrowly escaped being laid amongst the dead!—the wrong of the premature death being nothing to the horror of that inconceivable awakening in the grave In the eye of common sense, judged by the rules of the most ordinary inference, each one of these cases, not so escaped, would have been a murder; because the plea of non-intention cannot be allowed to a law which risks it against such evidence as this. Of these ninety-four cases, 35 persons recovered spontaneously from their lethargy at the moment when the funeral ceremonies were about taking place; 13 were aroused under the stimulus of the busy love and j. them; 7 by the fall of the coffin which enclosed them; 9 by the pricking of their flesh in sewing up the shroud : 5 by the sense of suffocation in their coffins; 19 by accidental delays which occurred in the interment (how significant is this item') and 6 by vol. untary delays suggested by doubts as to the death 1 These, then, are they who have escaped : now, think of the whole numerous family of trances and epilepsies, and remember that the population of France are habitually huddled into their narrow
homes within four-and-twenty, or at most eight.
And then calculate, if you dare, the numbers whom no such intervening angel came to rescue from this inconceivable horror On that head the statistics, of course, are silent, but suggestive. Of all but these 94, the grave keeps the sccret : but remember that of all who, since 1833, were about to be buried alive, these are the favored of accident : then take to your Tables of Chances, and tremble before the resulting relative figure which they present —And for all this amount of horror the cure is easy. In England no man is laid in the grave, till signs have set in of that coming corruption, which, however the heart may shrink from it, relieves at least from this most terrible fear of all. In France, if the dead must be put away so soon, it should be by fire, as of old–or, at least, the surgeon should operate, in mercy, before the coffin-lid be closed.— .dthenaeum.
The TRANSF on MAtion of the Locust.—In the summer evenings it is common to see upon the trunks of trees, reeds, or any upright object, a heavy-looking, lump-backed, brown beetle, an inch and a half long, with a scaly coat, clawed lobster-like legs, and a somewhat dirty aspect; which latter is easily accounted for by the little hole visible in the turf at the foot of the tree, whence he has lately crept. I have sometimes carried them home and watched with great interest the poor locust' shuffle off his mortal, or rather earthly ‘coil,' and emerge into a new world. The first symptom is the opening of a small slit which appears in the back of his coat, between the shoulders, through which, as it slowly gapes wider, a pale, sickly-looking texture is seen, throbbing, and heaving backwards and forwards. Presently a fine square head with two light red eyes, has disengaged itself, and in process of time (for the transformation goes on almost imperceptibly) this is followed by the liberation of a portly body and a conclusion; after which the brown legings are pulled off like boots, and a pale cream-colored, weak, soft creature very tenderly walks away from its former self, which remains standing entire, like the coat of mail of a warrior of old—the shelly plates of the eyes that are fo looking after their lost contents with sad ack of ‘speculation in them. On the back of the new-born creature lie two small bits of membrane, doubled and crumpled up in a thousand puckers, like a Limerick glove in a walnut-shell; these now begin to unfold themselves, and gradually spread sinoothly out in two large beautiful opal-colored wings, which by the following morning, have become clearly transparent, while the body has a quired its proper hard consistency and dark color; and when placed on a tree, the happy thing soon begins its whirring, creaking chirruping song, which continues with little intermission, as song as its harmless happy life.— Meredith’s New South Wales.
A REApy Pen.—Alexander Dumas, the celebrated novelist, has, it is said, obtained permission to erect a new theatre, of which he is to be the manager. The idea of turning theatrical manaEarly MAP or the World.—Mr. Wright exhibited a fac-simile engraving of the early ma of the world preserved in Hereford Cathedral, and gave orally a series of explanations and observations, which occupied a large portion of the evening. He stated that the original of this map was drawn on vellum, mounted on a wood frame with folding doors, and that it had served as an altar-piece. A copy had been made some years ago for the Geographical Society ; but our general notions of antiquarian science being then not much advanced, and the Society thinking it undeserving of publication, it remained in the possession of the Society, until a copy was made from that copy for M. Jomard, the distinguished keeper of the map-department of the Royal Library at Paris, who had had it engraved at a great expense, to form one of a series of monuments of the history of geography, but it was not yet published. Mr. Wright observed, that at all periods of history since the times of the Romans, we find, more or less, allusions to the existence of maps. One of the earliest in the middle ages was that possessed by St. Gall, who founded in the sixth century the monastery which has since borne his name. Charlemagne is said to have had a map of the world engraved on three large tables of silver, which his grandson Lothaire broke up to make into money when his troops murmured for want of pay. One of the earliest maps of the world we now possess is an Anglo-Saxon one of the end of the tenth century, in a Cottonian Ms. in the British Museum. In the twelfth and thirteenth century they become more numerous. The earlier maps appear to have been copied from Roman models; but after the eleventh century they were evidently constructed by the person who drew them, and who placed ...is his notions of geographical localities as near as he could in the position they ought to hold. Thus, by the le. gends, and figures of animals, and men, and towns, &c., one of these medieval maps is a ve. fitable pictorial treatise on geography. A map of the thirteenth century in the British Museum
ger, no doubt, came into his head from his not knowing what to do with his time, he being under an engagement not to write more than eighteen volumes of original romances per annuin. To an ordinary mind eighteen volumes of original matter is a prodigious year's work ; but to Dumas it is nothing : he has written, and can write, three times as much. His theatrical management will, no doubt, be distinguished by several daring novelties. The first is to be the production of a melo-drama, written by himself, in eleven acts, to take two nights' performing :
Curious LEGA cy.—The late John Orr, Esquire, of Madras, in addition to £1000 left to the Montrose Infirmary, has also left £1000 to the neighboring parish of St. Cyrus, the interest of which is to be annually distributed a cording to the fol. lowing rather whimsical terms —Interest of £200 to be distributed among the poor in tea, sugar, &c., at Christmas; interest of £300 in equal proportions, to the “tallest married woman in the paish, the shortest married woman in the parish,
the oldest married woman in the parish, and the
youngest married girl in the parish, for the year.'
Thus, in addition to a substantial benefit, the in
habitants are furnished with a subject for a little
mirthful gossip annually.—North British -?drer
AFR1c An Exploration.—The following is from the Malta Times of the 27th ult.—“There are letters in town from Mr. James Richardson, dated the 23d November, from Ghadames, in the Great Desert, where he had been residing for three months, and whence he was to start on the following day, equipped in the Moorish dress, in order to make his way, along with a negro and a Moor, through the wild tribes en route to Soudan; and should he succeed in reaching that place in safety, he seems inclined to proceed to 1 imbuetoo, and other parts of the southern interior. The road is very dangerous ; for on the 20th they had news of the capture of a caravan belonging to Ghadames in its way to Sonat. Mr. Richardson had purchased a camel and had prepared biscuits, dried meat, dates, oil, and a few other luxuries for his support. His negro he stole at Jerbay, where, finding him in slavery, he coaxed him to run away, and made a free man of him. His Moorish servant is a Ghadameite—a sort of jockey—an African genius, who understands camels and things of that sort. Their route is due south through Ghat, Aheer, Damerghon, the first negro city of Soudan, Karnac, and then to Juckaton, the capital of Soudan, and the Sultan's head-quarters—a trip of three months' duration. Should Mr. Richardson resolve at this city to return, his way back will be through Bornou and Fezzan. The people of Ghadames were very kind to the intrepid traveller, esp. cially the Governor, who showed the Christian (he had never seen one before) all sorts of attention and civilities. A letter from Tripoli looks upon Mr. Richardson's enterprise as more than courageous or resolute, in fact, as foolhardy and desperate, seeing that he has no guarantee from the English or Ottoman Governments. He has been advised by every one to return ; but go he would, and much fear is entertained that he may fall a sacrifice to one of two dire enemies, savage cruelty, or the climate."
contains a curious enumeration to the four maps of chief authority at that time in England, which were, the map of Robert de Melkelcia, the ma in the abbey of Waltham, the map in the king's chamber at Westminster, and the map of Matthew Paris. The Hereford map now before the meeting appeared, by the fac-simile, to be of the beginning of the thirteenth century. At the top was figured the Saviour sitting in judgment on the quick and the dead. On the left-hand corner, at the bottom, was a picture taken from the commencement of Ethicus and the common medieval cosmographies, representing Augustus Caesar sending three philosophers to measure the earth; one of whom measured the north, the other the east, and the third the south. It is a legend sounded on a passage in the Gospel of St. Luke. Augustus Caesar is here represented delivering a writ, signed with his seal, to the three philosophers. A figure in the other corner seems to represent Richard of Heldingham and Lafford, who, as we learn from an inscription in NormanFrench verse, caused this map to be made; but of this personage we appear to know nothing.
IncrustAtion of Boilers or STEAM ENa 1N Es---In the Institution of Civil Engineers, *ir J. Renni, president, in the chair. The discussion upon the incrustation of boilers was renewed, and it was attempted to be shown, that, viewed chemically, the muriate of ammonia might act prejudicially upon the copper and iron of boilers; that the two metals in combination with a saline solution would induce a powerful galvanic effect, and if aided by the unequal action of heat on the different parts of the boiler, producing a thermo-galvanic circuit, considerable deterioration of the boiler would ensuo. It was instanced that on applying a small !". of the muriate of ammonia in a locomotive boiler, the incrustation was immediately removed from the tubes, hence it was argued o a chemical action upon the metal must have taken place. On the other hand, after contesting the correctness of the