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great difference appeared, in the nature of Insufficiency of these claims demonstrathe country, from that which they had for- ble. First,-from their total want of coinmerly inhabited. Description of the soil cidence with the universal history of manand climate, &c. of Egypt.–Of the Nile kind; there being no appearance that the and its phenomena: This country ill suited earth was inhabited previous to the time to the pastoral state, from the overflowing assigned by Moses. Secondly,—from their of the river, but favourable peculiarly to want of correspondence with our uniform agriculture. Impossible that they should experience of the manner in which populanot perceive the fruitfulness of the soil, and tion is extended; men being always found the supply it afforded for the wants of men. to increase in proportion to the means of Agriculture rendered them stationary ; in- subsistence, and to spread themselves, in a troduced the idea of property in land ; af- much shorter portion of time than the Egypforded the means of subsistence to a far tian chronology arrogates, round the comgreater number of men than the same por- mon centre from which they sprang. If the tion of territory in pasturage.

Egyptian claims, therefore, were true, the The increase of population led to the whole earth ought to have been fully peodivision of employments, and opened a wide pled many thousand years before the first field for invention in the arts. Hence, the æra of history commences. The real hisfoundation of cities, the division of ranks, tory of the population of the earth, on the (introduced by the inequalities of property), contrary, accords perfectly well with the the beginning of commerce, and the great period of the deluge, and affords a strong outlines of regular government. While the proof that a more distant æra cannot be rest of the inhabitants of the globe, in this true. Thirdly, — from the history of arts, early period, were wandering in hordes sciences, &c. which, upon the Egyptian supthrough Arabia, the citizens of Egypt were position, ought to have made great progress, led, by the nature of their soil and climate, and to have been generally diffused among to establish themselves in a fixed territory, mankind, long before we know that they to cultivate the ground, instead of living by Fourthly, from the progress of the their flocks; and in consequence of this dif- Egyptians themselves in the sciences and arts, ference of situation and employment, were which, however great, is no more than gradually advancing in improvement, in might naturally have taken place in the long population, in subordination, and in laying period that intervenes between the æra of the foundations of future greatness. Egypt the deluge, and the first certain accounts we was, therefore, naturally the mother-country have from other nations, oft heir policy and of improvement, because it was the country institutions. These arguments may be whicho first led men to settle; in which thought sufficiently conclusive against the agriculture was first practised ; in which the Egyptian pretensions in particular. number and the diversities of property It may still, however, be urged in their among men, first called for the establish. favour, that other nations have made the ment of regular government; and in which same pretensions; and that, therefore, there the extent of population first gave rise to the is a general concurrence of opinion, which, various arts which an extensive population as it hath prevailed in different ages and in requires. The nature of the climate and different countries, may be thought to milisoil of Egypt may therefore be considered tate against the Mosaic system. It is, thereas the cause of its being the mother of civi- fore, necessary to subjoin a brief confutation lization, and of its taking the lead in the of these opinions, which may, perhaps, be history of human improvements.

classed under these three heads. First,Though we can thus perhaps, with some the opinion of those who rest their arguprobability, assign the cause of the early ments on ancient records, such as Sanco. civilization of Egypt, yet we are altogether niatho, Berosus, the Chinese, and Indians. at a loss when we inquire into the period Secondly,—of those who argue from the when this improvement began. The first advanced state of the arts in particular ages of the history of this country are cover- countries, as in Peru. And, Thirdly,-of ed with impenetrable darkness; and so far those who argue from the appearances of from being able to trace the progress of im- nature, as Brydone. provement in it, the first credible accounts The confutation of these pretensions, and which are come down to us, commence with particularly of the Egyptian, supplies a prothe period of its greatest refinement. We per basis, in which we may establish the say, the first credible accounts, because truth of the Mosaic history; and, in the prothere are not wanting writers, who ascribe secution of this inquiry, we shall find that, to Egypt an antiquity utterly incredible.- as the former betray evident marks of falseAccount of the Egyptian claims to antiquity. hood and imposture, whether we consider



131 their internal or external evidence, so the Hydrogen gas, a substance included in latter is recommended by every argument of the first creation, is the lightest of all ponderwhich the subject is capable.--Summary able matter ; but here we have a substance view of the arguments in favour of the separately and distinctly created, so exquiMosaic æra of the creation and of the sitely subtile, that of its specific gravity we deluge.

are utterly incapable of taking the least cognizance: we cannot, therefore, compare

it with hydrogen, nor indeed with any porIn essay No. 1, page 15, we left the atoms tion of ponderable matter, because we can of this universe in a fluid state, one huge neither analyze its substance, nor construct a unformed mass in the centre of the system, test so to act upon it in mass, as to cause its and upon the face of this vast abyss was real nature to stand confest before us; and darkness; action was being induced therein the word by which it is expressed in the by the tremulous brooding motion of the sacred volume, although it frequently occurs, Holy Spirit upon its face, and these undula- is no where expressive of the essence, but tions pervaded all its parts; concocting the always of the properties, of this universal whole mass, and inducing therein the ener. substance, viz. Jight, beat, fire, &c. Light gies of activity. It was yet the first day, was the first distinct entity in the creation; creation was not completed; the matter and its entity at this moment is as distinct as already called into existence was inert and it was on the first day. opaque, its only motion arose out of the im. The beauty of light transcends every other mediate action of the Holy Spirit upon and substance in creation; and the decomposiwithin it, and chaotic darkness pervaded the tion of its rays by liquids, or transparent universe. An energetic agent was lacking; solids, such as rain on forming the rainbow, one which in the hands of the Creator would a prism on separating the rays, &c. forms obbecome the spirit of this inert matter, giving jects splendid in the extreme. Indeed, aland continuing thereto consistence and ac- most, if not all the objects in creation, anition. Infinite wisdom beheld no such agent mate and inanimate, are beautiful or not, in amidst the matter which omnipotent power accordance with the action and decomposihad already created; or, doubtless, such is tion of the rays of light upon their several the economy of the Infinite in all His works, surfaces. Light is therefore the crown of He would have called it forth—and therefore matter, the grandeur of visible creation, and, recourse is had to a new creation.

although faint, an emblem of that glory Elohim pronounced, “Let the light be, which surrounds the throne of Him who and the light was !” The word is spoken, created all. The velocity of light is inconand, like a flash of lightning, the light ceivable; 200,000 miles in a second of time, stands forth. How wonderful is this ! how is stated to be the rate of its flight from the sublime! This first recorded speech bursts sun to our sphere; and in electric experiupon us from the great Master of the sen- ments, no lapse of time can be observed betences, with a solemnity which has excited tween its entrance upon, and exit from, a astonishment throughout the ages of time, wire of great length; the experiment has and which will continue to excite astonish- been made along a wire of even three miles ment until time is no more. Once begun, in length, but no perceptible time elapsed the omnific word ceases not, until creation during the passage of the flame from end to in all its lovely forms is hailed in “ beauty end. and perfection !” Thus rescued from the It is to us, who are incarnated in, and abyss of chaotic darkness, creation amidst surrounded by matter, while all our organs its first day arises, robed in light, while are material, and we can only receive and beams of glory, shed from its present God, communicate through the medium of matecrown it with a radiance erewhile unknown. rial agency, it is to us, I say, inconceivable

Light, unlike the atoms of the universe, how spirit, whose essence is spiritual, can which in their primitive state were crude act instantaneously and with such rapidity and chaotic, was created perfect; for, on an upon 'gross matter of immense bulk and corimmediate survey, Elohim pronounced it to respondent density with such amazing effect be “beautifully perfect." This inestima- as we know it really does. But, whoever ble substance is an independent essence, has attended experiments in electricity upon distributed throughout the universe in the a large scale, and beheld the instant rush of richest plenitude; it is every thing which we that powerful emblem of spirit, light; or call calorific—fire, in all its modes of light, whoever has coolly surveyed the progress of, of heat, of combustion, of disseveration, of and critically examined the devastations association, of genial warmth, and of invigo- wrought by thunder-storms, will not easily rating and renovating power.

divest himself of that awe which ever accom

ance !"

panies an approach to the works of the polar winter breathes, and lives, while all is Great Spiru, while the lesson will raise him death around. The summit of the highest one step at least, if not more, in the progres- mountain, the bottom of the lowest cavern, sion of evidence, that what is impossible with the floor of the deepest mine, all evince that man is possible, yea, easy with God. With light is there; resort on each to the accussuch a powerful agent as light, universally tomed means, and instantly an answer comes ; present and perfectly under the command of Light rises up, and cries, “ Behold my radiJehovah, the visible creation, throughout all its parts, lies in jeopardy every hour; and That powerful principle which is diffused were it not well known that the goodness of in and acts upon every object, however miGod is equal to His power, and that His nute or however vast, throughout the unieyes go to and fro throughout creation, be- verse, called attraction, is in continual coholding and watching over all His hands operation with light: perhaps light is the have made, terror, instead of security and immediate agent in the hands of the Infinite, peace, would pervade mankind.

and attraction the sub-agent of light; for Notwithstanding the astonishing velocity rarefaction and condensation, the effects and terrific fury of light in action, this sub- which arise from the receiving in and giving tịle substance is in general latent, and certain out of light, are ever in abeyance upon atportions thereof have even continued latent traction, and multitudes of its effects arise from the æra of creation to the present mo- out of this cause. Many of the substances, ment. The phosphorescence of minerals, which are solids in the ordinary temperature extracted from the greatest depths beneath of the atmosphere, are fluids when treated the earth's surface ever explored by miners, with fire. Several simple bodies, on being from the bosom of regular and unbroken brought into contact with other simple bodies strata, which evidently retained the positions and treated with heat, become fixed comthey occupied at the moment of creation, pound bodies, and cannot be restored to until the moment they were thus disturbed simple bodies except by a like treatment; by the hand of man, and which instantly, on and numerous compound bodies found in being thus released, displayed in contact with and upon the earth, can only be resolved heat all the brilliant beauty, activity, and into simple substances by the action of fire. energy of pristine light, evinces this position Polarity, attraction, and repulsion in electribeyond all contradiction. What a power is city, and affinity, cohesion, the polarity of this, which, after a latent existence of nearly particles in the act of crystallization, elective six thousand years, amidst the dark and attraction, &c. in chemistry, bear such a gedank dungeons of the earth's strata, hundreds nial subjection to light, that the relation is of yards beneath the surface, springs up, and apparent on most occasions. The attraction instantly shines forth with all the energy of of gravitation and of the magnetic needle youth !

to the north, seem however more remote in Light is capable of an union with every their subjection to the general agency of light, substance in the visible creation, both in an and more independent on second causes. active and in a latent state ; and it does per- To vegetation, light is the balm of life, vade the atmospheres and all the substances the spirit-invigorating principle, which conof the whole solar system, above, beneath, tinues to each plant its entity, and crowns and around. No heights were ever attained the whole with that peculiar grandeur which by man, where light, latent and active, was foliage, buds, blossoms, flowers, and fruits, not ; no depths were ever explored, where display to the gazing millions of mankind. latent it was not more or less, à component The verdure of the meads, the golden hues part of the earth, and where it was not capable of harvests, the richness of the clusters of of action the moment it was released there autumn, the luxuriant vegetation of spring, from; and no where has man yet voyaged the full-grown leaves of summer, and the or travelled upon the earth's surface, where yellow hues of the declining season, alike light was a stranger to his path. Faithful to owe their loveliness to the ever-streaming the stroke of fint on steel, even amidst the light, which beams from year to year to polar regions, where all around is ice and renew the earth, snow, and quicksilver itself, yielding to the Nor do the rarefying energies of this powstern decree of all-binding frost, becomes a erful agent less contribute to the verdant solid metal ; faithful, I repeat it, to the stroke, feast. Vapours exhaled from oceans, lakes, even there the spark springs forth, the tinder pools, and streams, arise in subtle forms, feels its genial glow, and the well-tipped become mists and clouds, and descend in match communicates the flame; and man, dew's and rains; yet re-arise, and fall again erst frozen man, invigorated, yet endures the and again, furnishing nutritive moisture to absence of the sun ; through the long night of plants, to beasts, and men. Mountains re



ceive these rains, and, through long sinuous EXPERIMENTS ON MAGNETISM. streams, water the ravines and vales as well An interesting and very important discovery as plains below.

in magnetic variation, has been lately made To animation, light is the genial pabulum by Professor Barlow, at Woolwich. Of the of existence, for while warmth is hailed as several discoveries in this department of the sign of life, its opposite, cold, since sin science, the last is of no less importance than introduced into the world death with all its the preceding. It was found that an iron horrors, is pronounced to be the sign of dis- wire, while conducting an electric fluid, was solution. Nor do the beauteous hues and in a state of magnetic induction, or that it loveliness of animals depend less upon light was then magnetic. than those of vegetables. What produces It occurred to Professor Barlow, to try the these but the powers of certain portions of effect of various currents of electric fluid on their exteriors to decompose the solar beams, a magnetic needle; and that his experiment and send back to that wonderful structure, might have some relation to the globe, he the eye, light in various shades, associated obtained a wooden globe of 10 inches 'diainto loveliness, and fraught with charms ! meter. On the surface of this he cut various

Light, I conceive, is a simple substance; grooves, in the direction of the meridians, and because with whatever intensity heat is push- parallels of latitude, at every ten degrees : ed, it never fails, never exhausts itself, or be- and each of these he filled with an iron wire. comes decomposed or dissipated. Water is The poles of the meridians he placed in the decomposed at a certain heat, being then position assigned to them by Captain Parry, resolved into its primitive gases, and ceases in his northern voyages, and a belt round to be water; but light is always light, how- the equator in the line of no variation. ever intensely pressed, and it cannot be push. The geographic position of London he ed by any extremity into either concretion or then placed in the zenith, and a magnetic dissipation, or a change of nature. It re- needle, suspended immediately over it, was mains amidst the rush of ages unaltered, and exposed to an electric current passing along by human means light is unalterable. This the wires from pole to pole. The needle imperishable substance is reserved to be- immediately assumed a position answering come the executioner of this sphere ; for, to the variation and dip, as it is now found “The earth, and the works that are therein, at London, and on bringing the north and shall be burnt up.”

south poles of the globe to the zenith, the Thus did the great Creator lay the founda- needle became vertical, with the same ends tions of this portion of creation, purify the pointing downwards.

Over the equator, matter created, and fill the space allotted to when placed in the zenith also, it assumed a this universe in rich abundance with the love- horizontal position, all of which coincides liness of light. Not only do we behold in with the observations of terrestrial magnetcreation the substantial and the useful, but ism. also, in equal proportions, the delicious and Mr. Barlow is of opinion, that a globe of the beautiful. Glory is inseparable from the different metals, under the same circumSelf-existent, and its radiance sheds loveliness stances as his, would produce similar results, throughout His works. The beauty of holi- He also attributes the phænomenon of magness cannot be beheld by mortal eye, the ex- netisin to the agency of caloric; having seen cess of glory could not be seen but at the a metal globe, when in a heated state, beexpense of life : but the lovely emblems of come highly magnetic. He then arrives at these, dispersed throughout creation, may be the conclusion, that there is no such thing as beheld with delight, for they are suited to the magnetism as a single quality, without elecorgans, and associated with the faculties of tricity; but that it depends on it, and that man. Who that beholds these can withhold the heat of the sun produces the magnetism praise! Who that contemplates them in of the earth. their original uses and perpetuity, can with- It would appear then, that there remains, hold adoration to the benign Creator ! Glo- now, but one particular to be explained in rious art Thou, O Jehovah, and lovely are this extraordinary phonomenon ; which will thy works! We also are the workmanship also involve the consideration of magnetic of Thine hands; 0, touch our souls with a variation as it now is. This is, the constant live coal from thine altar, and teach us ado- change which is taking place in the variaration and praise. For Thine is the king- tion of the compass, by the shifting of the dom, Thine is the power, Thine is the glory, magnetic poles ; the reason for this, and for ever and ever, Amen.

what law it obeys in receding from its maxiWM. COLDWELL.

mum quantity, is the desideratum ; or, in

other words, the law which assigns the range King Square, Junuary, 1831.

of the magnetic poles of the earth.


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In the year 1580, at London, the magne. A DESCRIPTION OF THE AURORA BOREALIS, tic variation was 11° 15' easterly. It gra- SEEN AT CHATTERIS, IN TAL ISLE OP dually decreased till 1657, when there was ELY, ON THE EVENING OF THE 7TI OF no variation at London. Since that period JANUARY, 1831. it has gone on increasing till 1819, when it arrived at its maximum, 24° 37' of westerly The inhabitants of the Isle of Ely were, on variation at London. So that the northern the above evening, entertained with a view magnetic pole has been constantly shifting of that splendid meteor, the Aurora Boreits position to the west, since the year 1580, alis : and, as it may be interesting to the and consequently the southern one to the general reader to peruse an account of the east. This at present remains a mystery; principal features of this surprising phenobut the dip and variation were equally so, menon; as, also, the observations here, comuntil Professor Barlow succeeded in explain- pared with observations in other places, and ing them; and he will, it is to be hoped, with those of an earlier date, may elucidate arrive at this, with that perseverance and the natural history of the Aurora, the obdeliberate investigation which he evinces in server will faithfully relate the appearances those his favourite pursuits.

he saw, endeavour to classify them, and Mr. Barlow is not the only labourer at offer a few remarks thereon. work in this field of science. The celebrated The writer laments that he did not observe traveller Humboldt has also been pursuing the commencement of this Aurora; but from it with ardour during his last travels in the the accounts he could gather, he believes it north of Asia ; although not with that undi- was seen soon after sun-set. The first intivided attention which it has received from mation he received of it was about half-past Mr. Barlow. The observations made by him, five, when he immediately went to his door, in different parts of America, have been suc- which nearly faces the south. The atmocessively confirmed by Professor Hanstein, sphere was free from clouds, and the first to whom we are indebted for the discovery thing that struck his attention was, a bright which led Mr. Barlow to make his experi- streak, or body of luminous matter, stretchments.

ing across the constellation Orion, rather The daily variation, or the amount of the above his belt, and parallel to the horizon; excess to which the needle oscillates on each its length being about the same as that of side of the on, is another among the the constellation across which it was thrown, inquiries of M. de Humboldt; and, since Its form was similar to two cones united at his return, he has established an observatory the base, the extremities ending in a point. at Berlin, which is constructed without a There was a similar appearance to the west particle of iron, and in which these observa- of south, but the form was rather different. tions are made. The amount of daily varia- The light of these meteors was perfectly tion was very successfully observed by Cap- white, and possessed not the slightest aptain Foster, at Port Bowen, during one of proximation to a coloured hue; the lustre of Captain Parry's northern expeditions, and them was equal to the appearance of the found to amount to 7 and 8 degrees on each moon, when emerging from behind a side of the true variation; so that an obser- cloud. vation for the magnetic variation would be These appearances were not associated so much in error at different times of the with that quick, shooting motion, observed day. But M. de Humboldt still following in some of the perpendicular coruscations of up this subject, has established simultaneous this meteor, but were accompanied with an observations in many parts of the globe. horizontal motion of a moderate rapidity, in The Russian missionaries at Pekin are the direction of west by south to east. making these observations, as well as others The contemplation of these laminæ, which in the Cordilleras of the Andes, at his sug- the observer would propose to call them, gestion. And with a view of discovering occupied but an instant or two; for he hastthe effect of heat in producing the daily vari- ened to a church-yard adjoining his house, ation, M de Humboldt has instituted these which commanded a view of the northern observations also at the bottom of wells, in horizon, that he might notice the appearance consequence of their being out of the in- in that quarter of the heavens; and here a fluence of the solar rays. This will in a most splendid scene awaited him. great measure show the effect of the sun's One half of the horizon, from a point a heat in producing the daily variation, and little to the south of west, to a little to the no doubi, with observations made outside north of east, appeared of a very bright the well at the same time, some curious re- crepusculum, which formed an arch of consults will be obtained, from which science siderable elevation, and which was intermay ultimately reap great advantages. spersed with numerous coruscations. These

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