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III. Extract of a Memoir on the Salt Springs of the Departments ■ of La Meurthe, Jura, Doubs, and Mont-Blanc. By Nicolas. This extensive paper consists partly of description and partly of project; It enters also into large details concerning the implements requisite in the manufacture of common salt.
A number of pieces then follow, concerning the new republican weights and measures; these are fitter for a place in a general physical collection, like the Journal de Physique, than in a strictly chemical journal:—but it would seem, from their appearance here, and from some other circumstances, that the authors found a difficulty in completing the present two volumes.
Notice of the extraordinary Quantity of Saltpetre obtained in France during the second and third Years of the Republic, by C. A. Prieur. '■ ■ • •
The present is a document illustrative of the prodigious efforts made to furnish the French armies with weapons and ammunition. Every district was required to send two intelligent cannoneers to Paris. This convocation, amounting to nearly eleven hundred individuals, received regular instruction from Guyton, Fourcroy, Dufourny, Berthollet, Carny, Pluvinet, •Mongt, Hassenfratz, and Perrier, partly concerning the manufacture of cannon, partly concerning that of saltpetre. This body of pupils was afterward distributed among the different establishments, in proportion to their abilities.
To the above notice is subjoined an essay on the Formation of Saltpetre, and on the Establishment of artificial Nitre Beds, by J. A. CHAPTALi—with Instructions concerning the Mode of refining Saltpetre newly adopted in the National Manufactories. These, with the other papers, will be of great value to European nations, when cut off from all foreign supply of nitre.
A favourable Report concerning the artificial Pencils of Conte, and Extracts from Crell, conclude the volume.
In our next Appendix, we hope to present a fuller report of the numbers of the Annates de Chimie up to the latest date; the work having assumed a more strictly philosophical and more generally interesting aspect.
Art. XXIII. Luise, &c. '%. e. Louisa, a Pastoral (or rather Rural) Poem, in three Idyls. By J. H. Voss. 8vo. Konigsberg. >795
*tthis is one of those foreign works which we had intended * to notice much earlier, but which we were disappointed in our endeavours to procure. We mention it now, however, because it ranks among those original productions which impress
their their character on the literature of the era in which they appear.
M. Voss's Poem is not one of those which are remote from life and human nature, and of which a former age heard so much under the title of Pastoral Poetry . —nor is it conceived in the more natural and more agreeable manner of Gesner. It comes as much nearer to the actual state of manners than Gesner, as Gesner did than Ambrose Phillips. It is in fact a faithful picture of rural life in Germany.
The characters are a parish priest, his wife, their only daughter, and the suitor to whom that daughter is betrothed; together with some persons of inferior interest.
The first idyl is the Feast in the Wood. The above-mentioned parties make a short summer-afternoon's excursion, and regale themselves in the shade on the border of a lake:— the ride, the preparations, and even the boiling of the coffee, are described with the utmost minuteness; and the solemn is very happily blended with the familiar throughout. M. Voss caught the idea of his manner from Homer, whom he is thought by his countrymen to have very successfully translated into hexameter verse; which is also the measure of the poem before us.
The second idyl is the Visit:—-the third, the Bridal Evening.
None of the incidents rise above the level of simple life :— but, particularly in the third idyl, they are managed with much greater address than in former pastoral narrations. In those, all was dull and dead. The present is full of motion and vivacity, as well in its portraitures as its fable.
Po translate this elegant jeu d'esprit would be no easy undertaking; and if it were less difficult, it would scarcely be >dviseable. A thousand little allusions make it entirely national :— these are so many ties which bind the poem to its native language:—to loose them would require more thought and labour than to write an equal poem \—and to break them would disfigure the whole composition.
Art. XXIV. Von Gottes Sohn, der Welt Heiland, l$e. i.e. Of the Son of God, the Saviour of the World: according to the Gospel of John. Together with a Rule for harmonizing our Gospels from their Origin and Order. By J. G. Herder. Small 8vo. pp.416. Riga. 1707.
Tf Erder may be characterised as the Plato of the Christian world. His blooming and ardent diction, and his graceful imagination, uniformly cling in devout ecstasy about those passages of the sacred writings, which are adapted to command
Qjl 3 onr our loftiest veneration, or to sympathise with our finest feelings. Yet he employs them rather like the mythological allusions and parabolic instructions of an eloquent moralist, than as lessons of experience or dogmata of revelation. He almost professes to conceal, beneath the enthusiasm of a Wesley, the scepticism of a Hume. He binds his brow, indeed, with the clusters of Engedi, strews along his path the roses of Sharon, and culls the sweetest lilies of the valley of Tirzah: but he cmploys them rather as the gift of human than of angelic hands, rather as the luxuries of taste than of faith. With him, Magdalena, Salome, and the younger Maria, rather resemble the clad Graces pursuing Apollo in the dance, and scattering perfumes in his way; or the Gopia listening with mingled love and devotion to the hymnings of Krishen; while Cama strains his cany bow, and mixes for the nuptial feast his cup of fivefold joy —than those simple, innocent, pure, and holy, but somewhat awful forms, in which we are accustomed to embody the saints of our church. His erudition, classical and oriental, gives a weight—and his almost voluptuously poetical imagery imparts a fascination—to his points of view, which disarm Philosophy of her spear and Superstition of her shield. He seems inclined to institute a paganised antinomian Christianity; and to make the feared gods of the vulgar into the beloved divinities of the cultivated. Had Sir William jones been the founder of a new sect, he would have taught the religion of HERDER". - - If our time and space would permit, we could with pleasure translate this little book throughout. Under that impossibility, however, we must reluctantly content ourselves with heartily recommending the undertaking to any person who feels himself capable of it: but it requires no inferior knowlege and aptitude, in both languages, to adapt the work itself to the perusal of all who wish to know, at last, if not already informed, what “ Humanizing Christianity” means. A few passages of introductory matter, , to the following effect, present themselves on opening the book: • Simplicity with deep import is the highest beauty of the human character, and of human writings. They attract with irresistible charms, not only by what they communicate, but by their inherent nature and manner. A nameless quality hovers round them, the silent magic of their own existence. - - • That the gospel of John bears this character, the Christian history of all ages has clearly shewn. The coldest dogmatizer and
* This celebrated author was born in 1742 at Mohrungen in Prussia, and is now superintendant (or bishop) of the reformed church the hottest mystic have both equally found in him what they sought. The rich simplicity of the words of John were to them the text of copious commentaries.
in Weimar. - . . . - the
• It was natural that in these they should often deliver their own tentiments, wishes, and fancies. John, in his time, must have said, or at least implied, what they wished him to have said for their time, for their heart, or their pen.
'Yet his simplicity demands the purest representation:—his gold will not mix with baser metals;—and has he been the only author, who, with the greatest perspicuity of design, has been obliged to re* main misunderstood?
* Truth must spontaneously present herself. If my representation be true, then a multitude of artificial opinions concerning this gospel immediately disappear, as foreign to it; nay, his creed of Christianity is unsuitable to any sect. Light remains light, into whatever place it may shine.
'If I have clearly delineated this clear conception of John, and should find but one who acknowlegrd it with me; O! my brother, what would all party spirit, all hypocrisy, all obscurity, be thenceforth to us?
« But this gospel has also a sentimental side; nay, it is properly all heart and soul. Truth, love, and a holy bond of communion, are with him the grand medium which links the Deity with man and mankind in intimate and active union. Intelligence and sentiment in him are one; his expressions are the most comprehensive wisdom in the strictest application :—his epos becomes eclogue; his eclogue it epos. ,
'If it be possible, let my book be read without prejudice and with a sober mind; and then the gospel itself. What a beautiful radiant form, from the ruinfc of Palestine, will guide our steps! No antiquated foreign form; she is closely retired within us, acting in every human heart, in every human soul.
« Of semblance, much can be said; of pure existence, little. When 1 had finished my book upon John, I felt myself at the beginning, laid down my pen, and said: " I am no painter."
'I conclude my preface, as John concluded his first epistle: "Keep yourselves from idols 1"
Partial extracts from a work of this nature would be of little use towards characterising the whole. The importance of the subjects on which it treats might be seen from the table of contents: but even this is too long for our transcription.
The scheme for harmonizing the several gospels, we think-, must meet with general approbation.
^rt. XXV. Vom Geist des Cbristentbums, &c /. e. Of the Spirit of Christianity. With some Treatises on Subjects relating to it. By J. G. Herder. Small 8vo. pp.312. Leipzig. 1798.
A Few passages from this work, as well as from the pre** ceding production, may not be unacceptable to our readers.
0^.q ^ * Spirit
'Spirit (says M. H.) is neither to be written nor painted; it lives, it acts. So, of the spirit of Christianity, less should be written and more practised: for by writing, and by controversy, Christianity wai not founded.
* If, however, concerning this spirit, misunderstandings and their numerous relations (abuses) prevail, why should not the true meaning of the matter be shewn, that a true practice of it may ensue? It should be shewn whether the abuses be hurtful, and whether the primitive use be almost entirely lost beneath them. We should say : *' Not this, but that, is the spirit of Christianity: this was its salutary aim, this its original tendency and design." We should particularly speak clearly and frankly on the points in which, by gross misunderstandings and abuses, Christianity itself is become a mis-christianity; a perplexity to the human mind, a corruption of human manners, a false psychagogy or guide of souls.
* Wherein it is become so, this little piece, at least in part, may shew.
4 It is written in short sentences, but certainly they were not made so short from superficial levity: since many of the sentences contain matter for a whole book, and are the result of long experience and %f long consideration.'
The reasons which determined M. Herder to write in this manner are thus stated:
* Nobody is inclined to read long theological writings and deductions. It is conceived that every thing which could be said has long ago been said, and that the suit is over, that is, lost. Therefore, whoever now would venture to open his mouth in behalf of Christianity, let him be brief- Felix and Drusilla have no time to read, zdly, Even authors themselves are fatigued with long theological writings. The words have been so often heard, used, and misapplied, that it is difficult to pick out a few, with which a man can keep from falling into the old slumber. ' Or we glide into a preaching tone; and at sermons, they say, it is delicious sleeping. '3dly, However agreeable it may be to the reader to think after his author; that is, slowly to follow his preconceptions; yet it is more profitable for him that the author should oblige him to think for himself, and not lead him in bit trammels, At these abrupt sentences, he must ask himself: "How came the author by this?, why does he not carry it farther?" At each misunderstanding pointed out, he will ask; "What is the consequence of this? what am I next to demolish, alter, or reject: what another host of misunderstandings and abuses does this which is now pointed out draw after it?" Thus will this short book, ftay many single sentences of it, be to him the text of a wide field of commentary; especially if he introduce it into ecclesiastical history and the commerce of life. The author has then attained the noblest aim: " he has created, he has occasioned, true and better sentiments." j.
* But to true and better sentiments, necessarily, though even slowly and imperceptibly, better dispositions must succeed. We learn to see the matter on another side; we accustom ourselves to