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Art. XII. Selections from the Works of John Owen, D. D. To which is prefixed, a brief Sketch of his Life. By the Rev. W. Wilson, D.D. Rector of Church Oakley, Hampshire, &c. 2 vols. 24mo. Price 78. London. 1826.
WE E are glad to find that the favourable reception given to the Editor's Selections from Archbishop Leighton, has induced him to extend his plan to other authors; and a very large class of theological readers will warmly applaud his choice of Owen in the present instance. His voluminous writings are justly represented as a mine of inexhaustible "theological wealth; but it is not every one who has time to toil in that mine. These golden specimens, therefore, will be, an acceptable and valuable accession to the Christian's private cabinet. We may recommend these volumes to two classes of readers; first, to those who are unacquainted with the writings of Dr. Owen; secondly, to those who are attached to them. The latter will be pleased to possess these beauties' of their favourite Author as a sort of manual; while the former may be induced to cultivate a profitable intimacy, by this medium, with works that in their collective form have appeared to them unattractive.
We should hope that Howe may next obtain Mr. Wilson's attention; and we earnestly recommend him to pay particular attention to the correction of the numberless typographical errors which disfigure the pages of every edition of his works. Gurnall, too, would furnish some rich selections.
ART. XIII. SELECT LITERARY INFORMATION.
The Amulet; or Christian and Lite rary Remembrancer, for the Year 1827, will be published early in the month of November next. It will be embellished by twelve beautiful and interesting Engravings of the very highest character, from Paintings by many of the most eminent Artists of the age, including Howard, R. A., Stothard, R.A., Wright, Stephanoff, Corbould, Westall, R. A., Farrer, &c. &c. The Literary portion of the work, consisting of nearly a hundred original Tales, Essays, Descriptions, and Poems, has been contributed by "above fifty of our most popular living Authors-among others, by Mr. Montgomery, Mrs. Hemans, Mrs. Opie, B. Barton, Miss Edgeworth, Miss Mitford, Rev. Dr. Walsh, Mrs. Hofland, Miss Landon, the Author of "May you like
it," Rev. T. Dalé, Josiah Conder, Mr. Jerdan, Rev. W. S. Gilly, John Anster, LL D. &c. &c. A new type has been cast especially for the publication and every exertion has been used to make the volume worthy of the advanced state of Literature and the Arts.
In the press, a second edition, in demy 8vo., illustrated with 12 Engravings, Dartmoor, a Poem. By N. T. Carring
The History of the Council of Trent, compiled from the best Authorities, will be shortly published.
press, Memoirs of the Life and Writings of Lindley Murray; in a Series of Letters, written by Himself, with Portrait, and Fac-simile of his Writing. 8vo.
ART. XIV. LIST OF WORKS RECENTLY PUBLISHED.
Memoirs of the Rev. Andrew Fuller, of Kettering. By J. W. Morris. A new and improved edition. 8vo. 7s. 6d.
sons in a Mass to the Poors Rates, and some Inquiry as to what Law there exists wherewith to support his Lordship's Recommendation. 8vo. 1s. 6d.
The Genius and Design of the Domestic Constitution, with its Untrans! ferrable Obligations and Peculiar Advant tages. By Christopher Anderson, Post 8vo. 10s. 6d.
Sermons on the Sublime Doctrines, the Moral Precepts, and Religious Dat ties of Christianity. By the Rev. Wi Andrew, M.A. 8vo. 9s.
A Summary of Christian Instruction, consisting of Readings and Parallel Past sages on the
Christianity. 8vo Doctrines of
The Divine Authority of the Sabbath Vindicated. By Benjamin Hopkins, BA F.C.P.S. 8vo. 1s. 6d. sewed.
The History and Antiquities, &c. of the Town of Ludlow, By Thomas Wright. 12mo. 4s, 6d.
FOR OCTOBER, 1826.
Art. 1. Personal Narrative of Travels to the Equinoctial Regions of
the New Continent, during the Years 1799-1804 : by Alexander de Humboldt and Aimé Bonpland. With Maps, Plans, &c. Written in French by Alexander' de Humboldt, and translated into English by Helen Maria Williams. Vol. VI. Parts I. and II.
8vo. pp. 846. London. 1826. TWEI "WELVE years have elapsed since the public were favoured
with the first volume of this extended work, and it was then announced that the whole would soon be ready. Of the unaccountable and vexatious delay that has taken place in the publication, no other explanation is given, than that it has been Occasioned by circumstances over which the Translator has had no control. The succeeding portion, however, is stated to be now in the press, and proceeding with all possible expe. dition ;' so that at length, within three or four and twenty years from the Author's return to Europe, we shall have complete the personal narrative' of his journey. In the meantime, the interest which would have attached to that narrative, had it been made public within a reasonable time after the return of the Travellers, has been in a great measure destroyed by the descriptions and recitals furnished by persons who have subsequently visited those countries; and the stupendous political changes which have taken place in the Spanish colonies, render much of the information collected by M. Humboldt in the year 1800, well nigh obsolete. In fact, this delay would have been fatal to any work of less intrinsic value and importance than that which is now brought before us. But whatever reason the public may have to complain of the accomplished Author's tardiness in furnishing his promised instalments, they will receive with gratitude these late fruits of his labours; for though, as a narrative of personal adventures, the work has extremely small claims to distinction, the multifarious dissertations and digressions of all kinds with which it abounds, renVOL. XXVI. N.S.
der it altogether the most valuable book of Travels that has perhaps ever been put forward.
The title of the work is, in fact, a complete misnomer; it is any thing rather than a personal narrative.' The slender thread of narration by which the Author has attempted to con nect the various heterogeneous portions of the work, is continually snapt asunder. The reader who should take up the volumes with the idea of perusing a book of travels, would be apt to grow not a little impatient at the long stoppages which he will find himself obliged to make at every stage of the interminable journey. At the conclusion of the first volume, he will find himself no further on his voyage to the New Continent, than Teneriffe. The second volume, which ends with Chapter V., carries him only to the coast of Cumana. It is not before Chapter XII. near the close of Vol. III., that he reaches Carac
In the fourth volume, we actually advance from Caraccas to La Victoria, and thence southward to the banks of the Orinoco. The fifth volume is wholly devoted to a description of that gigantic stream and the Rio Negro. The present volume contains merely a description of the eastern part of the Llanos of Venezuela, and an account of the Author's second residence at Cumana, which extend to 127 pages; the remainder of this portion of the work being occupied with dissertations and notes. An account of the Author's journey into the cordillera of the Andes, of which scraps and fragments have been given in his “ Researches,” is reserved for the seventh volume. The whole narrative might with ease have been comprised in a single volume, (and a most delightful one it would have formed,) which M. Humboldt would have found it more advantageous to draw up twenty years ago, when the scenes were as yet fresh in his recollection ; reserving for separate publication the geographical, historical, and scientific researches which form the bulk of these volumes. The arrangement which he has adopted is singularly injudicious, being alike annoying to the general reader, and inconvenient to those whom it may be supposed he has chiefly sought to please. • The Author,' we are told, in the Advertisement to the present portion, 'having, in the course
of the work, brought under his review almost all branches of the Sciences,' purposes to give, at the conclusion of the whole,
à classed table of contents or methodical index for the facility • of reference. But we must say, that it is very inconvenient
' to wait more than twelve years for either a table of contents or an index to a work of this description ;. and though, we do not mean to lay the whole blame on the Translator, the slovenly manner in wbich the several sections have been put forth, without either general map, index, or glossary of terms, detracts not a
little from the value of the English edition as a library book.* The unequal size of the volumes is also an unsightly feature in the publication. The first and second volumes do not together contain more than two thirds of the matter comprised in the fifth volume. In short, the whole work is got up in a style very unworthy of the intrinsic merit of the composition.
Before we proceed to notice the contents of the volumes immediately before us, our readers may be gratified by having presented to them a brief account of their distinguished Author.
Alexander Von Humboldt was born at Berlin, on the 14th of September, 1769. After having studied at Gottingen and Frankfort on the Oder, he attended the commercial academy of Professor Büsch at Hamburgh; and in the spring of 1790, visited Holland and England. In the same year appeared his first work, the fruit of his observations in travelling through Germany, entitled " Observations on the Basalts of the Rhine," printed at Brunswick. In 1791, he attended the lectures of the celebrated Werner at Freiberg, where he diligently prosecuted the study of botany and mineralogy, the result of which he gave to the public in his " Specimen Flora Freibergensis Subterrance" Berlin 1793. In the meantime, he had been ap-. pointed (in 1792) to the office of assessor of the council of mines at Berlin; and soon after, he was made director-general of the mines in the principality of Bayreuth and Anspach. In this capacity, he appears to have exerted himself with considerable success in promoting the formation of scientific establishments; but in 1795, he resigned his employments in order to indulge that ardent spirit of research and discovery, which seems to be his ruling passion, and travelled into Italy and Switzerland. In 1796, we find him publishing at Berlin, an account of some Galvanic experiments which he had the courage to make upon himself, to which were appended, notes and observations by the celebrated Blumenbach. In 1797, accompanied by his brother, he repaired by way of Vienna to Paris,
*The original work is designed to accompany the Geographical and Picturesque Atlas; but the English Translation, which appears as a distinct and independent work, ought to have been rendered, so far as possible, complete in itself. The Geognostical Essay on the Superposition of Rocks, is published in a form absolutely discreditable to all parties, being without index, table of contents, or any key whatever to its forty sections, while many of the terms are perfectly unintelligible to an English reader.
Vol. I. contains pp. 344; Vol. II. contains pp. 300; Vol. V. 870 pages.