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which struck us for its singularity; But while I thus speak of Mr. Fox, says he, I by no means forget the errors of his public or his private life; for these have done his country more mischief, than those of any other individual ever did in the present times. If the people had not mistrusted him, they could never so long have been duped by his rival and opponent.'

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Art. 51. Observations on the National Debt, and an Inquiry into its real Connection with the general Prosperity. 8vo. 6d. Jordan. The characteristic opinion of this argumentative writer appears to us well-founded: he maintains that the sums invested by foreigners in the English funds are not a source of annual loss but of gain to the nation. He thus argues:

The principal object for thus particularly stating the degree of debt, held by foreigners, is to correct a mistaken and prevalent prejudice, that the paying to them so considerable a portion of the interest of the national debt, constitutes its chief injury, supported by a false opinion, that the general prosperity is to be attributed wholly to the circulation of the interest among ourselves.

To comprehend the just operation of the debt held by foreigners, it requires to be most particularly remembered, that all the sums lent by them are so much actual addition to our commercial capital; and although the nation parts with the interest upon it, it is of similar be nefit as a capital borrowed by individuals to improve in their private trades, and may in this view be multiplied and increased to any supposable extent, which the nation can employ beyond what can be procured at home.

The taxes requisite to pay this part of the interest are amply repaid by the increase of national credit, labor, and profit, which the employment of the capital furnishes; whereas that proportion of the interest which is paid to the public creditor, though as just an engagement, supplies no new or productive capital, but that which is first collected from the labour or individual capital of the community; yet this fancied benefit of its re-circulation has been by most, and by some later writers especially, held up as the source of our general prosperity.

By the foreign debt, a large productive capital is brought into the nation, and improved by commerce. By the domestic debt, a very large interest is drawn from the public without any capital.'

In the conclusion of this little tract, the sensible writer offers a few remarks on taxation and reformation; which lead, we think, to a fair inference, viz. That as taxation is so much increased, representation should also be extended.'


Reports principally concerning the Effects of the Nitrous Acid in the Venereal Disease, by the Surgeons of the Royal Hospital at Plymouth, and by other Practitioners. Published by Thomas Beddoes, M.D. 8vo. 2s. 6d. Johnson. 1797.

Though few attempts at medical improvement appear to have been built on a slighter basis of theory than the employment of the nitrous acid in the venereal disease, yet, as a respectable body of fact bas al



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ready been brought before the public in proof of the efficacy of this remedy, it has become really interesting to ascertain with exactness its actual powers, and how far its use may supersede the common modes of practice. The certainty of the cure of this disease by mercury has indeed been commonly adduced as one of the principal triumphs of the medical art; and no pains have been spared to obviate the ha zards and inconveniencies attending it; yet every candid practitioner will confess that, with respect both to certainty and safety, more abatements must be made than a sanguine admirer of the art would either expect or wish. We do not hesitate, therefore, in bestowing praise rather than censure on an attempt to introduce a new method of cure; which, if equally certain, has obviously the advantage of less probable injury to the constitution, and less evil of every kind attendant on it. At the same time, considering the dreadful consequence of a venereal virus lurking in the habit, repressed but not subdued, we think that the utmost caution is necessary to prevent the mistake of a temporary cessation of symptoms for radical cure. Every one who is conversant in the history of this disease and its remedies must have lamented the frequency of such a delusion, and will probably be apt to think that the speedy removal of symptoms, and the perfect eradication of the distemper, are in some measure in an inverse ratio to each other. The effects of the more active preparations of mercury itself, such as corrosive sublimate, compared with those of the milder, seem to confirm this opinion.

The great force of the evidence adduced in this pamphlet consists in the cases from Plymouth Hospital, communicated by Mr. Ham mick, jun. and confirmed by Dr. Geach. From these it appears that a number of the very worst venereal affections, of different degrees of standing, some with and some without the previous use of mercury, had given way to the use of the nitrous acid, without the least injury to the constitution; and, as far as is hitherto known, without relapse. None of them, indeed, date farther back than April in the present year; and as the patients were seamen, dismissed on cure to their respective ships, their subsequent history could not be traced. The immediate effects, however, have been extraordinary and decisive, and leave no room to doubt of singular powers in the acid, Nor do we see that any suspicion of either delusion or misrepresentation can possibly rest on the narrators, one of whom is well known to the public as a careful and experienced observer, little likely to catch enthusiasm from a new proposal. There is some reason, indeed, from the prodigious superiority of success in these cases above those communicated by other correspondents, to suspect something peculiar in the constitution or circumstances of seamen, which will prevent the medical practice, with respect to them, from being a standard of general practice; and, in particular, the scorbutic taint, which they all seem to acquire from a continued use of ship provisions, seems to render them very unfavourable subjects for a mercurial course, and to indicate peculiar advantages from acids in their complaints; and it appears that Dr. Geach, probably induced by these considerations, has long been in the habit of giving lemon-juice to patients labouring


under phagedenic venereal ulcers, after the exhibition of mercury, with happy effects.

It is not, however, by any means our intention to prejudge this matter; and we most cordially recommend the careful perusal of all that is brought forwards in this pamphlet to those who feel themselves properly interested in its subject. Dr. Beddoes has never, in any of his reports concerning new medicines, shewn himself deficient in candour and caution; and in the present publication he has, with the greatest fairness, given results that were unfavourable as well as those which were favourable. He has concluded with a circular letter, by which he has taken on himself the troublesome office of serving as the centre of communication of all future information on this topic. Due attention to this call may, as he justly observes, in a very moderate period, produce as complete a decision of this point, as ages have done with respect to others. It is the particular advantage of the present time, that, from the general diffusion of knowlege, the freedom from prejudice, and the easy correspondence among the faculty, practical points may be settled with infinitely greater ease and certainty than in any former periods; and, on the proper use of this opportunity, all real improvement in the healing art must materially depend.

Art. 53. The Anatomy of the Human Body, Vol. II. containing the Heart and Arteries. By John Bell, Surgeon. Large 8vo. with plates. 128. Boards. Cadell jun. and Davies. 1797. Our account of the first volume of this work is contained in our. 14th vol. N. S. p. 334. We have little to add to what is there said of the character of the work; and the nature of its subject renders extracts unfit for our purpose. As in the former volume, there are in this much useful matter and much sagacious remark, but with too great a mixture of personal sarcasm, often expressed in coarse language, with a misplaced affectation of jocularity. This, however, does not affect the real utility of the work, which to a student may be very considerable, and such as may supersede more expensive publications. The plates are numerous, and better executed than those which we have generally seen from Edinburgh. Several points of the author's physiology might admit of controversy; but his description is clear and accurate. The third volume of Mr. Bell's production is advertised: but it has not yet fallen into our hands. Art. 54. A few Remarks on the Nature and Cure of Colds. By T. M. Kelson. Svo. Is. 6d. Murray. 1797.

The leading idea in this short work is that the disease called a cold is, fui generis, depending upon the application of a specific matter,' and not owing to the mere suppression, partial or general, of perspiration. The negative arguments in this case are pretty obvious, and have been frequently repeated; yet, in fact, we cannot better understand the nature and action of this supposed virus or specific matter producing a cold, than we can the manner in which suppressed perspiration induces a discase of a particular organ. As we conceive it to be sufficiently proved, on the one hand, that those epidemics, which under the name of infiuenzas or catarrhs occa


sionally prevail with the general symptoms of a cold, spread by means of a specific contagion;30, on the other, we think it cannot be Coubted that casual or sporadic colds are really, as they are supposed, for the most part the consequence of partial draughts of air, wet feet, damp rooms, &c. without the least suspicion of contagious ef fluvia. The existence of general indisposition in the first case, and its absence in the second, form probably the chief practical distinction.


Art. 55. A Vindication of the Lord Bishop of Landaff's Apology for the Bible; in a Series of Letters addressed to Mr. Macleod. By John Jones. 8vo. 18. Chapman.

For such a vindication as this, we apprehend, the Bishop of Landaff will not be very warm in his acknowlegements. Though Mr. Jones clearly sees certain points at which Mr. Macleod may be attacked with advantage, he does not conduct the attack with ability; and he seems more desirous of making a display of classical and mathematical learning, than of considering the precise meaning of his words and the real force of his argument. We will not pretend to estimate the depth of his researches in science and literature: but we could have wished that he had not talked of the sun being reflected by the transparent quality of the moon;' that he had quoted Origen in the common way; that he had not pedantically marked the figure of the particular syllogism that he used p. 12, (Cam-es-tres); and that he had explained what he meant by a rocky and volcanic mind,' p. 50, &c. The several important subjects to which Mr. J. adverts cannot be discussed with satisfaction, and in such a manner as to produce the conviction of an infidel, within the narrow limits of 58 small pages,

Art. 56.

Layman's Protest against the profane Blasphemy, false Charges, and illiberal Invective of Thomas Paine, Author of a Book intitled "The Age of Reason, Part I. and IL, being an Investigation of true and fabulous Theology." By I. Padman, jun. 12mo. pp. 441. 35. Boards. Symonds.

This Layman publishes his thoughts on "the Age of Reason," because they are those of a Layman, in order to destroy Mr. Paine's boast that he had by his deistical pamphlets only provoked the resente ment of interested priests. Mr. Paine's boast, on this score, is destitute of foundation; for though Deism be prevalent, there are certainly many laymen as zealous for revelation as any of the clergy. Mr. Padman is of this number; and though he traverses ground often trodden before in this controversy, and contends for doctrines and principles which the general defence of revelation does not require, he endeavours, we think, to argue fairly: but he cannot resist some transitions from calm argument into invective and warm declamation, which he possibly deems the most spirited and brilliant parts of his performOn the whole, Mr. Padman's protest evinces considerable knowlege and dexterity, and may serve in the hands of laymen as a shield, to ward off the blows aimed by Mr. Paine against the sacred religion of our country.



Art. 57. Purity of Christian Communion recommended as an Antidote against the Perils of the latter Days; in three Discourses delivered to a Church of Christ in Richmond-court, Edinburgh. 8vo. pp. 92. Chapman.


Allowing for some Scotticisms, these letters are not, on the whole, ill-written. The author declares, concerning himself and his connections, that they form a just estimate of the value of civil and religious liberty:' but that their principles do not permit them, in any supposable case, to resist the civil powers by violent means, or join any association in opposition to government.' With these concessions, he unites a warm plea for what he terms purity of Christian commumion; or, if we understand him rightly, an entire separation of those who are Christians in reality, from those who are such merely by name or external form.

While we cordially admit the right which private persons, or societies, have to prescribe and judge for themselves, as long as they interfere not with the public peace, we must yet say that surely it is, in many cases, very difficult if not impossible for fallible men to determine on the application of the rule above laid down; should it be a criterion, as appears intended in this publication, that believers of the truth only should unite with them, where is the man who shall authoritatively decide for another as to what is truth? Had it indeed been urged that a reception of the New Testament, as containing divine truth, is a requisite to Christian communion, it must gain a ready assent but, when our author proceeds farther than this, though he appears to discard written creeds and articles of faith, does he not mentally at least prescribe what is human, when he regards it as necessary that there should be a correspondence, in some points at least, with certain explications or conceptions concerning the meaning of Scripture?


In addition to the three discourses, we find an appendix, consisting of two numbers, the first containing thoughts on the weekly celebration of the Lord's supper, a practice which this writer apprehends to be recommended by the accounts which we have of the primitive church-the second is on the nature and tendency of human standards of religion. On these it is pronounced, and not without argument to support it, that they are not merely useless, but also hurtful and dangerous. Some of them, the writer observes, maintain that the Scriptures are the only rule, while they are in the very act of establishing another. It would' (he farther remarks) require a volume to shew the evils which arise from human standards of religion. The reformers in the sixteenth century did a most essential service to mankind, when they were instruments in the hand of God of bringing the Scriptures to light, and publishing them in the different languages of the nations: but they prevented the full effect of that light, by placing human standards of doctrine between it and the people, and their example has been hitherto faithfully imitated by Protestants of almost all denominations. These uninspired traditions are not now held in such high veneration as they formerly were; sooner or later, they must sink into oblivion, but "the word of our God shall stand for ever."


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