Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

a

Experimental Chemistry; the extraordinary disclosures with which it abounds will immediately lead the student to an acknowledgment of the power and goodness of God.

The science of Chemistry will lead the student to search the Scriptures, and thus to imitate the example of the best and greatest philosophers, for Newton esteemed The Bible “ the most authentic of all histories ;" Hale said, none was like unto it for excellent wisdom, learning, and use;" Boyle considered it “ matchless volume, impossible to be too much studied or too highly esteemed ;” and Locke pronounced it as

consisting of Truth without any mixture of Error for its matter."

I have humbly endeavoured to select a few of the beautiful passages of Holy Writ which refer to Natural Phenomena, and to interpret these through the medium of the science that it is my delight to follow, a science-to employ the words of Davy," which has its moral and intellectual, as well as its common uses ; its object is not only to apply the different substances in nature for the advantages, comfort, and benefit of man, but likewise to set forth that wonderful history of Wisdom and Intelligence which is written in legible characters both in the heavens and on the earth."

To those who have not studied the science of Chemistry, I may say, in the words of the same philosopher, “its beginning is pleasure ;” and when they have mastered its rudiments they will find, that “its progress is knowledge;" and lastly, when they have attained its higher combinations and laws, and can venture

upon the application of these to the interpretation of natural phenomena, they will confess that " its objects are truth and utility," and eminently calculated to inculcate feelings of thankfulness, gratitude, and reverence, towards The Great Creator, “He that is excellent in power and in judgment."

a

In this Essay it will be found, that in addition to the interpretation of a few of the phenomena of The Four Seasons, through the medium of Chemistry, I have introduced a variety of other miscellaneous, and I hope both interesting and useful information ; all the experimental illustrations are of the simplest character, and do not involve the necessity of costly apparatus ; and I have given explicit directions for their performance, so that the student may be certain of their

success.

Chemical experiments are often unsuccessful on account of some apparently trifling matters having been neglected; I have endeavoured to point out all these, and yet I find, that in the experiment at page 343, I have omitted to state, that in pouring the various solutions through the long funnel, care should be taken to pour them so gently, that no bubbles of air be carried down the pipe of the funnel, as these would disturb the levels of the respective liquids; and in removing the funnel, care should be also taken to lift its pipe very slowly, to the level of each liquid, holding it at each for two or three seconds.

For the arrangement of this experiment, I am indebted to my friend Mr. T. S. Dick, who affords me his valuable assistance in the Chemical Laboratory at St. Bartholomew's Hospital.

At page 104, line 2 from the bottom, I must request the reader to insert the following paragraph, which I find has been accidentally omitted.

“ An equal portion of the clay containing moisture, after being heated to 88 degrees, was exposed in a temperature of 55 degrees; in less than a quarter of an hour it was found to have gained the temperature of the room.”

[ocr errors]

gen, when combined, produce five poisons; but when

mingled, they constitute the chief volume of the Atmo-

sphere throughout all the changes of the Seasons, 11.

Rigid examination or analysis of the atmosphere proves it

to contain small proportions of the compounds called water

and carbonic acid, 12. Total weight of the atmosphere,

and of its elementary and compound constituents. No

other medium fit for the support of life, 14. Lavish abun-

dance of water as presented throughout Nature. Water ne-

ver absolutely pure, or solely consistent of the two elements

Oxygen and Hydrogen, from whose union it may be

formed, 15. The Earths popularly so called, viz. Lime,

Clay, Sand, and Magnesia, are truly rusts of metals or

metallic oxides, 16. Earthy substances, viz. Limestone,

Marble, Gypsum, and Bone-earth, are compounds of the

foregoing with various acids, 17. General statement re-

garding the constituents of soils, as preparatory to more

particular examination, 18. Importance of chemistry to

agriculture, ib. Chemical analysis extends to organic bo-

dies, and discloses extraordinary facts. Elements of organic

bodies are few in number, viz. Oxygen, Nitrogen, Carbon,

and Hydrogen, 19. All organic bodies may be submitted

to analysis, but synthesis is impossible, 20. Tabular state-

ment regarding proximate organic compounds, and the

definite weights of their three or four ultimate elements,

21. Solar light necessary for the welfare of the animated

creation, 22. The rainbow displays the seven coloured

rays of solar light, 23. Colours of terrestrial surfaces, 24.

Beneficial agency of heat, 25. Habitudes of various forms

of matter with heat, more particularly Earth, Air, and

« PreviousContinue »