Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

wacke and clay slate, contain excellent observations on the necessity of adopting some uniform principle of nomenclature to distinguish the various rocks.

We are not at liberty in the nomenclature of mineralogy, to derive our terms sometimes from the appearance of the species, and sometimes from the accidental circumstances which are found to belong to it. This is to acknowledge two distinct principles of nomenclature, and to claim a privilege of using that which happens to suit any particular hypothesis which we may wish to support, The accurate description of mineralogical species, must be the base of all geological reasonings ; but if we intermix characters derived from geological circumstances, with true mineralogical characters, we set out upon a petitio principii, and end by reasoning in a circle.' p. 143.

We act correctly according to this rule, when we term rocks, composed of carbonate of lime in a certain state, limestone; and describe their geological accidents by the terms--primitive, transition, and slute : but we violate it when we term the same substance clay slate, in a country which we deem primitive, and grauwacke slate, in those which go by the name of transition. The term greywacke, which has served as 'a convenient repository of rocks for which no other name was

at band, Dr. Mac C. wishes to confine to those in which fragments or grains, mechanically altered, are cemented together by clay slate, or perhaps also by mica slate, between which he suspects that a true gradation exists. Indeed, he concludes the first of these papers, with expressing the suspi· cion that

No real and well defined line of distinction exists between the transition and primitive rocks, but that they form a graduating series of one single furmation ; a series so gradual as to render it expedient once more to return to the most simple division of rocks into primary and secondary.'

This idea gains additional strength from his remarks on quartz rock, which appears in some situations alternating with mica slate, while in others it contains mechanical deposites. XX. Notice relative to the Geology of the Coast of La

brador. By the Rev. H. Steinhauer. From the verbal accounts and specimens sent over by the Missionaries of the United Brethren, the only settlers on this inhospitable coast, it appears to be composed of rocks of granite, syenite, schist, and serpentine, containing lapis ollaris. The irridescent felspar and hyperstène or Labrador horn-blend, peculiar to the coast, are well known among mineralogists.

XXI. Memoranda relative to Clovelly, North Devon. By

the Rev. I. I. Conybeare. This paper contains an account of some singular contortions in the schistose strata of that coast, elucidated by sketches of their appearance; and concludes with some ingenious observations on the propriety of separating the rocks called, in Devonshire, dunstone and shillat, from the kellas or metalliferous schist immediately incumbent on the granite of Cornwall and Dartmoor.

XXI. On Staffa. By J. Mac Culloch. The most remarkable circůmstance here noted, is, that the basaltic stratum, composing the cliffs, and forming the columnar façades of Fingal's cave, is covered by a bed of rolled fragments of granite, gveiss, micaceous schistus, quartz, and red sandstone, resembling the rocks of Iona, Coll, Tiree; and of the coasts of Lorn, Appin, Morven, and Ardnamuschan. This urges the question irresistibly,- Did the ocean once stand above the summit of Staffa, while it formed a part of its continagus bed, or has the island been elevated with the shingle on its surface from the bottom of the present sea ? Stupendous as must appear to the intutored traveller, the power

which hollowed the cave of Fingal, and submerged in the • depths of ocean those columns which seemed destined for ' eternity,'-to the mind that can read their language, the pebbles on its roof suggest revolutions, compared with which the form on of the former is no more than the downfall of a castle of cards.

XXIII. Oni Vegetuble Remains preserved in Chalcedony.

By J. Mac Culloch. It appears that some of the elegant arborisations which add so much to the beauty and value of some chalcedonies and mochoas, must really be referred to the organic origin to which formerly they were all attributed. Daubenton has described some as referrible to known species ; and even Blumenbach has retracted his incredulity on this subject. The specimens engraved in elucidation, from real organic remains, and from inctallic dendrites closely resembling them, are elegant and instructive.

XXIV. On the Vitreous Tube8 found near to Drigg, in

Cumberland. Compiled by the Secretaries . Three hollow tubes of a vitrified substance, were observed projecting from the surface of a sand hill on the sea coast.

577 One of them was traced downward to the depth o about thirty feet, without coming to a termination, though its cameter was contracted to half an inch. The substance of thes tubes, which are longitudinally corrugated, appears to be theelted sand of the coast, but is extremely difficult of fusion. agent which appears sufficient to account for this producon, is the electric fluid.

'he only

cian

Art. IV. Sermons: By the Rev. John Venn, M. A. Recur & Clap

ham, 2 vols. 8vo. pp. lii. 778. Price 11. ls, boards London,

Hatchard, 1814. HOW strange soever the declaration may and will oubless be

thought by many of the fraternity of critics, w nevertheless confess, that there is no character on which we reflect with so much complacency, as on that of a faitful minister of Jesus Christ. The fame of the conqueror ma be borne to the very ends of the earth, perhaps wafted thithr in sighs ; but the remembrance of the Minister of Christ will ascend to heaven, and will there be cherished eternally. 'he metaphysician

may improve the intellect, the logician and th mathemati

may teach the arts of reasoning and of investigaon, the poet may warm the feelings and charm the imagination, but the judicious and successful divine, is the honoured instrumnt by which the Father of mercies often awakens the consciece, enlightens tbe understanding, and sanctifies the heart. Of such a servant of God, thus employed and thus blessed, w are now to speak.

The Rev. John Venn, the Author of the “Serions” before us, was born at Clapham, on the 9th of March, 17). He was the son of the Rev. Henry Venn, well-known as pious, zealous, apd active clergyman, and as the Author é a popular work, “ The Complete Duty of Man.” By ths excellent parent he was placed under Mr. Shute, of Leeds, to receive the early part of bis education.

• He was then removed to Hippasholme School, were he was well grounded in classics by the care of Mr. Sutcliffe. Le had after*wards the benefit of the Rev. Joseph Milner's instrution, at the Grammar School at Hull; and of the Rev. Thomas Rbinson's and the Rev. William Ludlam's, the last an eminent mathmatician, at Leicester. He was admitted a member of Sidney Susex College, Cambridge, where he took the degree of A. B. in 1781. In Septem, ber, 1787, he was ordained deacon, as curate to his fathe : le entered into priest's orders, in March 1789, and two days aftervarls was instituted to the living of Little Dunham, in Norfolk. On the 22d of October, 1784, he married Miss Catherine King, of Hill, who died April 13, 1803, leaving a family of seven children. h June, 1792,

on the dath of Sir J. Stonehouse, the former rector, he was insti. tuted to be living of Clapham. In August, 1812, he married Miss Turton, aughter of John Turton, Esq. of Clapham. At this place he residd, with little intermission, from the beginning of the year 1793, tohe day of his death. After several weeks of great suffering, he finishd his course on the morning of the 1st of July, 1813.”

nc of of t's T

pp. vii, vi.

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

Thiss, in truth, a meagre account of the life of such a man as Mr. 'enn appears to have been ; but it is nearly all which the prefacete his posthumous sermons furnishes. We could have wished to learn something as to the discipline, by which, under God, hs baracter was formed ; but, in this respect, we collect nothing mre than can be conjectured from the circumstance of his havingbeen a pupil of a man of such originality of thinking and such epth of piety, as the Rev. Joseph Milner, of Hull

. We could eso have wished to trace the history of his habits and pursuits, aber bis character was formed, and he was thrown into active fe: but here again, we learn little more than that he was a coscientious, kind, and faithful parish-priest. This, however, is phenomenon of easy solution. Mr. Venn seems to have bee a person of retired manners, who courted no publicity, sougt no honour but that “which cometh from God;" had little deire to be known beyond the precincts of his own parish ; an was not, it would seem, much seen in it, except in his pulpi in the cottage of the indigent, and by the bedside of the Micted. How cordially should we rejoice if every parish in Geat Britain possessed such a minister !

Mr. Ven prepared no sermons for the press, but left a considerable nmber in manuscript, from which those published in these volurs have been selected, by some friends to whom he assigned tb task. The first volume comprehends twenty-two sermons; de second twenty-three.

If we were called upon to answer the question · What under any particular circumstances, is the best sermon ?? we should reply,—That is the best which makes the deepest impresion, and produces the greatest religious effect upon the auditory. And assuming this as an

accurate description we do not hesitate to say that the Sermons of Mr. Venn, at least, if the manner of delivery bore any adequate relation to he structure and composition, deserve to class very high. The parish of Clapham, we have always understood, comprises a rather more than usual proportion of affluent and well-informed persons, and, at the same time, a great many inhabitaits that are both poor and illiterate. In these sermons, we meet with nothing, on the one hand, that can disgust a person ol the most refined and cultivated intellect; nothing, on the other, but wbat is on a level with the capacity of the most igno. rant person, provided he yield his attention. The prevailing cha

racteristics are, simplicity of style, purity of taste, earnestness of manner, freedom from pomp and parade, from extravagance of expression, from pedantry, and from all extreme notions. Usually they are contemplative, touching, and heavenly-minded. Their general tenor, though marked, as we have just said, by great simplicity, indicates an elevation of sentiment, and continuity of thinking, without elaborate discussion : and, frequently, there is a stream of eloquence, which flows, not from effort, but from an adequate feeling of the subject,-from a heart alive to its supreme importance.

In the construction of his discourses, the preacher seems often to have had in his mind George Herbert's “ Priest to the

Temple”, giving, ‘First, a plain and evident declaration of ' the meaning; and, secondly, some choice observations, drawn s out of the whole text, as it lies entire and unbroken in the * Scripture itself. This he thinks natural, and sweet, and

grave. Whereas, the other way, of crumbling a text into 6 small parts (as the person speaking, or spoken to, the subject, ! and object, and the like) hath neither in it sweetness, nor

gravity, nor variety; since the words apart are not Scripture, « but a Dictionary.'

Mr. Venu's “ Sermons” are very seldom defective in exhortation; nor do we recollect one, in which that essential requisite in our estimation-a more or less copious development of the plan of Salvation-is not to be found. It is, in fact, (says Mr. Venn, p. 219, vol. ii.) the grand object of my preaching to explain the just foundation of human hope, and to press it upon your

consideration.' We beg to recommend this example to the imitation of all young Clergymen and Dissenting Ministers who peruse these pages.

But it is time that we endeavour to justify this high commendation, by a few references and quotations. By way of reference, we would point to the 6th, 7th, 11th, 17th, and 19th sermons in the first volume ; and to the 3d, 4th, 6th, 9th, 11th, 16th, 18th, and 20th, of the second, as perhaps, altogether, the inost striking and valuable. We have witnessed the strong impression made by several of these when they have been read aloud in the family : have observed the feelings both of the reader and the hearers, evincing unequivocal testimony of the deep interest of the subject, and of the natural and touching eloquence with which it has been invested by the pious writer.

One of the sermons which we found productive of these happy effects, was the 6th in Vol. I. Our readers shall judge of its merits by a few extracts.

"" I beheld,” says the Apostle, (admitted, for the consolation of the church, to witness and record the happiness of the saints in hea

[ocr errors]
« ForrigeFortsett »