Imágenes de página

Thall order him to be prosecuted at the aflizes, where he may be deprived of his houle and land by the verdict of a jury. He may plead sickness, or for mer bad treatment from the farmer who complains against him ; for it is always to be understood, that he has the same protection of the law as any other subject. Old

age should exempt hirn from work, or at least from forfciture, or the punishment of idleness.'

23. Refle&tions on Inland Navigations : and a New Method proposed for executing the intended Navigation betwixt the Forth and the

Clyde, in a complete Manner, at an Expence a Third less than what that Work has hitherto been estimated at. The fame Merbod applied to almost all Rivers and Rivulets, by wbich Great Britain and Ireland might bave, at a very easy Expence, above 5,000 Miles of New Inland Navigations. Svo. Pr. 15. Cadell,

We have already congratulated our country * upon the noble spirit which distinguishes his present majesty's reign, for introducing inland navigation into his doninions. The coinmunication for sea-vefsels between the Forth and the Clyde is un. doubtedly the most national, and, when executed, will be the most extensive, of any that ever was attempted in Great Britain, or perhaps in Europe ; because, as this author (Mr. Gray) well observes, . it will bring Ireland and America on the one hand, and Germany and the nations of the Baltic on the other, reciprocally 300 miles nearer each other.'

He admits that ' Mr. Smeaton has, with much folidity and discernment, given a distinct and accurate detail of the requifites for compleating a navigation, upon the supposition of digging an artificial canal from sea to sea.' Mr. Gray, in this publication, offers a method different from that of Mr. Smeaton, which he thinks is much more natural, more simple, and founded on the plaineit principles of hydrostatics ; and, though it would be equally effectual, would require far less expence in the execution. The reader may form fome idea of his general plan from the following quotation, which we here give, as being extremely important to the public.

• When water is confined on every fide, it naturally places itself upon a level; but if any one part of the confining bank be made lower than the furface, the water will immediately descend by that breach till it meets with some other obstacle ; for its gravitation makes it always feek to approach the center of the earth, and its fluidity gives it an easy opportunity of

[ocr errors]
[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

escaping ; for a declivity in one part affects the whole surface. Let us suppose a quantity of water, of an equal depth, contained in an oblong veffel, with two sides and two ends, the fides and ends will have an equal pressure upon

them ; and were the breadth and length to be augmented never so much, yet if the depth be not augmenied, the pressure upon the sides and ends is no more in the greater furface than in the smaller ; for it is an established principle, that water does not press against its banks according to its surface, but according to irs perpe' dicular heght or depth. A canal or a river made navigable by art, is nothing else between lock and lock than this oblong vefiel, and the fame banks that will contain a small millítream ten feet broad, will suffice to contain a canal 100 feet broad, if the depth in both be equal ; and hould an overflowing happen, it is altogether indifferent whether the super. abundant water escape by the fides or by the end ; nay, by the construction which I shall propose, its escaping by the end is attended with particular advantages. I think therefore, that in numberless cases, it may be deemed labour thrown away to carry canals along the sides of rivers at a great expence of dig ging, extra banking, aqueduct-br dges, tunnels, sluices, . when ofien at a less expence, and to a much better effect, the rivers themselves might be made navigable, without the last cause of apprehension of any excess of water, as in the very construction of the canal the danger of an overflowing inay be provided against The great rapidity and violer ce of rivers during a flood, has no doubt been the reason that deterred the constructors of canals from riiking any communication with them. But though a body of water running down a declivity be a furious giant overturning every thing before him. yet, if this said giant be laid flat upon his back, he loses all his force, and become, en irely passive, whatever be his fize. If they had reflected on this principle, they might have casily feen, that they had it in their power, by banks and dams of a particular construction, to bring almost every river requiring art to render it navigable to this passive state ; I say almost every riyer, because direct cataracts, and perpendicular water-falls must be excepted. Some other rivers also, consisting of a large body of water running down a steep descent, ought to be neg. lefted, because it could hardly be expected, that the profit arising from the navigation could repay the expence of making it.

• But that is far from being the case with the two small rivụlets that have their course in the tract of the intended navigation. They are both very inconsiderable, are almoft' dry in fummer, and run very gently to the different feas, excepting

in one place, where one of them has a cataract, which

may be easily avoided. The reader, who has not an opportunity of viewing the tract upon the spot, may iinagine to himself a narrow valley running transversly for thirty miles from sea to sea, and bounded on the south and north by high and mountainous ground. The middle of this valley is almost a dead level for about ten miles ; and twò finall brooks that rise there form a strait line by running in opposite directions into different seas. The current of those brooks is extremely gentle ; for the place where they take their rise has been found by measurement, not to be inore than 147 feet above the level of the sea, an idea of which descent may be conceived, by supposing a rope fastened to the top of a steeple 147 feet high, and extended about nine miles before it reaches the ground.'

We have given a place to the above passage, because it is applicable not only to the communication between the Forth and the Cl, de, but to other inland navigations. As preference which either plan ought to enjoy over the other, it cannot be determined without being upon the spot. We cannot, however, help thinking, that Mr. Gray supports his plan with great plausibility; and that, if his calculations are just, it may be practicable, as it certainly will be less expensive than the other,

24. The Bastard Child, or a Feal for the Churcb-Wardens, a Dramatick Sasire, of two A&s; as it is acted every Day, within the Bills of Mortality. By Sir Daniel Downright. Svo. Pr. 6d. Serjeant.

A wretched parody upon the common complaint of churchwardens eating children; that is, devouring in treats and entertainments, between themselves and the justices, all the compofition-money they receive for the use of the parish on account of bastards.

[ocr errors]

25. Elogy on Prince Henry of Prussia. Composed by his Majesty the King of Prussia ; and read by his Order in an extraordinary Asembly of obe Academy of Sciences at Berlin. 8vo. Pr. 15. 6. Elmlly.

This performance inspires us with no very high opinion of the royal author's eloquence, even in the original.

It is composed with all the air of an academical exercise ; but the translation before us finks it below contempt. Its true elogy is, that it is printed with Mr. Baskerville's best letter and paper.


26. Phi.

26. Philosophia Vera, or a new System of Philosophy, Natural,

Moral, and Divine; very concise, but comprehensive; much defired by, and very interesting to Mankind in general. By Elias Newman, Gent

8vo. Pr. Is. By this pompous and oftentatious title-page, we find, that Mr. Newman has a most exalted opinion of his philosophical fystem. Some of the notions he has advanced are certainly new; but we can never be persuaded to think, that the world will look upon this performance in the fame advantageous light in which it is viewed by the author.

1. One

27. Letters to the Author of a Free Enquiry into the Nature and Origin of Evil. To which are added three Discourses. Conscience. 2. On Inspiration. 3. On a Paradisiacal State. By the Rev. R. Shepherd, Fellow of C. C. C. Oxford. 8vo, Pr. 3s. Flexney.

A considerable part of this work was published some time firce.

With respect to the general question, the author tells us, that the do&rine of the origin of evil, as revealed in fcripture, appears to him more confonant to reason, and more conliftent with the attributes of God, than any other scheme human ingenuity has suggested, even the plausible solution urged by the Free Enquirer.

The performance of that ingenious and adventurous author certainly abounds with many fprightly fallies of imagination, and acute observations, but is open to many objections. This letter-writer treats it with great freedom, and, we must confess, feeins to have pointed out some contradictions, inconsiste encies, and false conclusions.

In the first discourse annexed to these Letters, the author enquires, how far conscience is, or is not, a full and sufficient rule of action.

The Free Enquirer having made it a doubt, whether any one can possibly know when he himself is inspired; and having fupp-led it utterly impracticable, that he should ever produce indubitable credentials of his divine coinmision to others who are uninspired (there being no marks by which the fact can be ascurtained, 'nor any faculties in the human mind which are able to distinguish it) this writer, in his second discourse, en, deavours to Thew, that it implies no contradi&ion to fuppose, that God can instantaneously enlarge the faculties of the human mind, whenever he sees good; that such instantaneous enlargement of the intellectual faculties may be very well sup


pored perceptible by the person himself, on whom such effect is wrought; that such perception is to himself fufficient conviction of his inspiration; and that certain criteria may be er. tablished, by which real inspiration will be sufficiently diftinguished from all false pretentes to it.

In the third discourse, which is in Latin, he attempts to prove, that the do&rine of a primæval state of innocence and happiness has not only the fanction of fcripture, but was a received opinion among the Egyptians, and adopted by the Greeks and Romans; and also, that such a notion is most con. fiftent with reason, most agreeable to the attributes of God, and to the nature of man. The probability, or even the poffibility of such a state having existed, our author thinks, will greatly contribute to the demolition of the fabric which the Free Enquirer has erected; for, says he, if there ever was such a state, that is, if the nature of man will adınit of such a ftate, what hinders but that such a state might have continued ? Whereas the theory in question proceeds upon a fuppofition that it is impossible such a state should ever have existed, and entirely rests on this hypothesis.'

Adam and Eve, we can easily suppose, were innocent and happy, at their first introduction into the world; but we do not see any consequences arising from hence which are sufficient to subvert the Enquirer's hypothefis; and it is certain, that the speculations of some writers on this topic, are no better than amusing dreams.

[ocr errors]

28. Letters concerning Confeffions of Faith, and Suhferiprians 10_Ar

ricles of Religion in Proteflant Churches ; occasioned by Perufal of the Confesional. 8vo. Pr. 25. White.

This is one of the best answers that has appeared to the Confessional, but, like the rest, contains several frivolous and inconclufive arguments in behalf of systematical confeflions. The author has in some places run into a difagreeable and unnecessary prolixiry, by taking notice of minute circumstances which do not affe& the principal question. But battologies and logomachias are the chief ingredients of controversial writings; otherwise two hundred pages would be re. duced to twenty; and authors lose some of their importance by appearing in the character of pamphleteers.

As we may reasonably fuppose that the generality of our readers are pretty well satiated with the controversy occafioned by the Confessional, we hall not trouble thein with a particular account of this production; but refer those to the work itself, who have leisure and inclination to puşsue the subject.

ay. A

« AnteriorContinuar »