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By describing with minuteness and scriptural accuracy, the sources, qualities, and degrees of spiritual comfort,' as distinguished from the joy of the hypocrite and of the self-deceiver, the Author has accomplished a task which will be highly acceptabl to those of his readers, who are desirous of ascertaining the sincerity of their religion; and may prove useful to some who have been misled by the false raptures of the mind.' By pointing out the way in which, for the most part, Christians lose their spiritual comfort, and the unhappy consequences which frequently result from the loss of their former consolations, he has indirectly furnished them with the most powerful incentives to unremitting vigilance, to habitual devotion, and to orñamental piety. By judiciously distinguishing between those mental depressions which arise from constitutional maladies, and those which are purely religious, by defining the sym o.us and degrees of religious melancholy, and by suggesting the most probable means of cure, he has acted the part of a skilful spiritual physician, and has vindicated religion from the fals accusations and calumnies of its enemies. And, finally, by directing Christians to the certain means of obtaining the restoration, increase, and establishment of their spiritual comfort, he has aimed at co-operating with his Divine Master in the delightful employment of healing the broken in heart, and binding up their wounds
The many despicable attempts made by the opponents of Christianity, to charge upon religion, so replete with Divine consolatios, the gloom and mental depressions with which some of its sincere professors have been affected, and which are clearly attributable to physical causes, have rendered it in employment not unworthy a Christian Divine, to en leavour to wipe off the reproach, and to prove, by the most convincing evidence, that such a system of religiou, belief can never either produce or cherish this morbid state of feeling, but, on the contrary, that it is the best, and, in many cases, the only eifi ctual remedy for what is frequently, though rather incorrectly styled, religious melancholy. When it is boldly affirmed, by the enemies of truth and piety, that the darkness which shrouded, and the mental sorrows which imbittered the last days of the revered author of the "Task," were occasioned by the ' gloomy doctrines of his creed,' and the austerities of his religious associates,' it is desirable not only that this specific charge should be disproved, but that it should be demonstrated-a demonstration by no means difficult-that those very doctrines which they caluniate, when rightly understood, open the purest sources of consolation; and that the devotional habits, which they pronounce austere, are capable of yielding the most refined and exquisite enjoyment. Such a conviction, we con
VOL. II. N. S.
ceive, the work before us is eminently calculated to produce on an impartial and unprejudiced mind; though it may not be foun soin ly argumentative to m.et the objections, or bear dows the calumbies of determined adversaries and old blasphemers There are, we doubt not, many Christians, whose feelings w lead them to peruse these pages with much b nefit to themselves, and with corresponding sentiments of gratitude to the benevolent Author.
Art. VIII. 1. The Miscellaneous Papers of John Smeaton, Civi Engineer, &c. F.R S. Comprising his Communications to the Royal Society printed in the Philosophical Transactions, forming a 4th Volume to his Reports 4to. pp. viii 208. with 12 plates. Price 1l. 11s. 6d. London. Long an and Co. 814.
2. Recherches Expérimentales sur l'Eau et le Vent. Considérés comme Forces Motrices applicables aux Moulins et autres Machines à mouvement circulaire, &c. Suivies d'Expériences sur la transmission du Mouvement et la Collision des Corps.. Par M J. Smeaton, de la Société Royale de ondres. Ouvrage traduit de l' inglais, et précédé d'une Introduction Par M P. S Girard, Ingénieur en Chef des Ponts et haussées, Directeur du Canal du l'Ourcq et des Eaux de Paris, Membre de l'Institut d Egypte, &c. 4to. pp. xxviii. 104. avec 5 planches Paris Courcier. London. Dulau and Co. 1810.
SMEATON was an excellent civil engineer, and had a very happy knack at devising and making experiments; but he was defective in habits of abstraction, and had far too limited an acquaintance with mathematics, to allow of his attaining eminence as a natural philosopher. It happened, therefore, that when he was called into action in the line of his profession, he generally succeeded; while, on the other hand, when he sat down to speculate in his closet, and to give a digest of his thoughts on paper, he frequently failed. This, indeed, is almost an inevitable consequence of the structure of the human mind, and the organization of society. Scarcely any man is so circumstanced as to share his time equally between the pursuits of active life, and those of the contem, laive or investigating philosopher; it therefore happens either that habits of business, of habits of meditation, obtain an undue ascendency, and that a character is produced of limited powers fitted only for particular exertions Let it not, then, be imagined that we mean to complain because we cannot class Smeaton with Newton, ant Leibnitz, and Dalen.bert; it would equally unreason to regret, that Newton cannot be classe Sith Arkwright and orind ley. They have all contributed either to the extension of human knowledge, or to the multiplication of human comforts
and advantages; yet, certainly, in different ways, and doubtless, we may add, to augment the aggregate of good.
It would be unfair to regard the volume before us as an object of minute criticism. Many of the papers it contains, were published more than forty years ago. They are well known to all who are moderately acquainted with the inventions and discoveries of the last century; so that the principal necessity for the publication of the present volume, seems to arise from the circumstance of the papers they comprise being scattered through several volumes of the Philosophical Transactions, often diffi cult of attainment, and always expensive in the purchase
The Reports of this excellent engineer were published a few years ago, in three quarto volumes and the miscellaneous papers are now collected into a fourth, which, with the well known »ccount of the Eddystone Light-house, will constitute a compl te and uniform edition of his works. The papers now brought together amount to eighteen, of which we need do little more than express the titles, as below.
1. A letter from Mr Smeaton to Mr. John Ellicott, F.R.S. con. cerning some improvements made by himself in the air-pump.
2. A description of an engine for raising water by fire, invented by Mr De oura.
3 n account of some experiments upon a machine for measuring the way of a ship at sea.
4 An account of some improvements of the mariner's compass. 5 An experimental enquiry concerning the natural powers of water and wind to turn mills and other machines, depending on a circular motion.
. 6. An experimental examination of the quantity and proportion of mechanic power necessary to be employed, in giving different degrees of velocity to heavy bodies from a state of rest.
7 New fundamental experiments upon the collision of bodies.
8 A description of a new tackle or combination of pulleys.
9 A discourse concerning the menstrual parallax arising from the mutual gravitation of the earth and moon, and its influence on the observation of the sun and planets.
10. A description of a new method of observing the heavenly bodies out of the meridian.
- 11. An observation of a solar eclipse, June 4th, 1769, at Austhorpe
12 An account of the right ascension and declination of Mercury out of the meridian, near his greatest elongation, September, 1786, made by Mr. Smeaton, with an equatorial micrometer of his
awn invention and workmanship: with the investigation of a method of allowing for refraction in such kind of observations
13. A description of an improvement in the application of the quadrant of altitude to a celestial globe.
14. A description of a new pyrometer, with a table of experi
15. A description of a new hygrometer.
16 Observations on the graduation of astronomical instruments, with an explanation of the method of the late Mr. Henry Hindley's dividing circles into any given number of parts.
17. Remarks on the different temperature of the air at Eddystone, from that observed at Plymouth, between the 7th and 8th of July, 1757.
n account of the effects of lightning upon the steeple and church of Lestwithiel, in Cornwall.'
These papers vary nearly as much in their importance and merit, as they do in reference to the subjects on which they treat. Most of the instruments therein described are ingenious, although they are now in great measure superseded by subsequent improvements. They are, nevertheless, interesting to all who wish to trace the order of inventions. The paper in which our Author describes Hindley's dividing instrument, is peculiarly interesting. We have often felt surprised, that it has never been inserted among the additions to the Nautical Almanac. Such a disquisition ought to be circulated as widely as possible, that it may fall within the reach of all who are engaged in the manufacture of astronomical and mathematical instruments.
But the most valuable paper in this volume is, doubtless, the fifth, in the order of the preceding enumeration. Our Author, it is true, assumes a vague, inadequate, and improper measure of mechanic power at the outset of this inquiry; yet his mistake is easily corrected by the judicious theorist, who can at once apply the true measure, i. e. the quantity of motion extinguished or produced, to his principal results, and thus make safe deductions from them. Altogether, these experiments on the force of wind and water, and their efficacy in moving mills, are extremely important. They have tended greatly to improve the construction of mills of both kinds; and we do not hesitate to say, that after the lapse of half a century, they are superior in point of correctness and utility to any that have been made, the admirable experiments of M Bossut not excepted.
In the experimental examination of the quantity and proportion of mech nic power, Mr Smeaton has employed much talent and ingenuity to little purpose, by reason of inadequate conceptions of the things under discussion. He does not mean to indicate by mechanical power what Newton intends by momentum; and then, for want of distinguishing between what he
really meant, and what he fancied he meant, involves himself and his readers in needless perplexity
So again, in the paper on the collision of bodies, our Author bewilders himself for want of a due comprehension of the laws of collision, and the mathematical formulæ in which they are included. The paper exhibits an ingenious apparatus for making experiments in reference to this subject; and that alone renders it of any value.
On the whole, therefore, we are of opinion that the reputation of Mr. Smeaton would have been better consulted by a judicious abridgement of these papers, in which errors had been suppressed, and any valuable hints or arguments retained, than by an entire republication. There may be some, however, who may be anxious to possess all that this excellent engineer has written; to such the present volume will be very acceptable.
Of M. Girard's translation we need say but little It is faithful, but neither critical nor scientific. In the Introduction the Translator has drawn together, and compared, the principal results of Smeaton, Pareut, Borda, Bossut, and Coulomb. In the m in they mutually confirm each other; and, altogether, are admirably calculated to furnish practical men with useful and safe maxims.
Art. IX. A Voyage to the Isle of Elba; with Notices of other Islands in the Tyrrhenian Sea. Translated from the French of Arsenne Thiébaut de Berneaud, Emeritus Secretary of the Class of Literature, History and Antiquities of the Italian Academy, &c. By William Jerdan. London. Longman. Hurst, and Co. 8vo. P. 183.
BUONAPARTE in exile, and the Bourbons at Paris! Among the many marvellous events of the times in which we live, the termination of the late dreadful contest, in respect to the individual who figured as the principal character in the great drama, cannot be consid red the least remarkable. That man, at whose nod empires shook to their foundations; by whose fiat kings were created out of nothing, and made to return to nothing with equal ase and rapidity; who caused the whole continent of Europe to turn pale before him, and even, at times, infused a degree of fear into some of the stout-hearted sons of Britain; that man, in a word, who seemed to rule the destiny of half the globe, is now the ruler of a petty island, the circuit of which he could make in a single day; and which would scarcely have proved sufficiently extensive to satisfy the moderate desires of the renowned Sancho Panza.
In fact, the whole life, character, and behaviour,' of the hero in question, has, throughout, presented to the observer au