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posed in the process, it occurred to Mr. D. that if the fusible substance was distilled with an additional quantity of potassium, a larger quantity would disappear; and a comparison of the results of several experiments proves, that the proportion of nitrogen to the hydrogen is much smaller when potassium is added than when it is distilled alone, and more of the potassium is converted into potash; but the disappearance of nitrogen, and the formation of potash, are sufficiently evident in both cases. To avoid the uncertainty which might arise from the presence of any oxide in the iron, Mr. D. repeated the experiment in a tube of copper bored out of a solid piece, the treat being applied slowly. In these experiments, the potassium 'rerived was never less than four grains, and the proportion of nitrogen to the mydrogen was greater than when iron tubes were used, and the heat given more rapidly, but the whole quantity of elastic matter was considerably less ; circumstances which Mr. D. thinks may be attributed to the affinity of copper for potassium being greater than that of iron, and to the attraction of ammonia for the oxide of copper. The first of these affinities, by diminishing the volatility of potassium, might weaken its action upon the nascent nitrogen': and the latter may occasion a combination of the fusible substance with the copper which might not be completely des troyed by the distillation. · As Mr. Davy is preparing to repeat these experiments in tubes of solid platina, and other metals, we may soon hope for additional light on this difficult and interesting subject.
• The question of ammonia being analogous to other salifiable bases' in its constitution, is determined by the phænomena presented by the amalgam of that alkali, and if the conversion of nitrogene into oxygene and hydrogene should be established, it would appear that both hydrogen and nitrogen must be different combinations of ammonium with oxygene, or with water.' p. 461.
2. Further Inquiries réspecting Sulphur and Phosphorus. The experiments on these substances detailed in the Bakerian Lecture, render it highly probable that they contain oxygen; and it was natural to conclude, that when combined with potas. sium, and separated by an acid, they would be found in a new state, de-oxygenated, so far at least as is compatible with their separation in contact with water. A few grains of each were combined with their weight of potassium, and exposed to the action of strong muriatic acid...
• The substance which separated from the sulphuret, was of a dark grey colour, and was harsh to the touch; it had no taste, and at common temperatures ao smell, but when heated, it emitted the peculiar
odour of sulphur., Its specific gravity was rather less than that of sul phur. It softened at a low heat, 80 as to be moulded like wax be tween the fingers. It was a non-conductor of electricity. When heated upon a surface of glass, it soon fused, entered into ebullition, took fire, and burnt with the same light blue flame as sulphur. A small particle of it, made to combine with silver, presented the same phænomena as sulphur.'
• The substance from the phosphuret was of an amber colour, and opaque. It could not be examined in the air, in the form in which it was collected (that of a loose powder), for as soon as it was wiped dry, it took fire, and burnt in the same manner as phosphorus ; when melted under naphtha, it was found to differ from phosphorus, in being much deeper coloured, perfectly opaque, and very brittle. Its fusibility was nearly the same, and like common phosphorus, it was perfectly nonconducting.' p. 463.
There seems to be no reason to conclude, that the sulphur obtained in this experiment is in a state analogous to that of the hydrogenated sulphur of Berthollet, or the alcohol of sulphur of Lampadius. In experiments inade by Mr. John Davy, on the action of sulphur on charcoal, the products were found to vary with the nature of the charcoal. When it was imperfectly made, the fluid which passed over left on inflammation a residuum having all the properties of carbonaceous matter; but when the charcoal had been well burnt it afforded no residuum. The charcoal, it was found, mnight be employed till it was totally consumed ; and the sulphur which had not been rendered liquid, might be used for several operations, sulphuretted hydrogen and hydrocarbonate being in all cases evolved. The liquid was a non-conductor, and did not evolve gas with greater rapidity. than sulphur. It absorbed oxymuriatic acid, crystals of sulphur were deposited, and the liquid became similar to the sulphuretted muriatic acid ; but when water was added, hydrated sulphur was deposited, and muriatic acid gas evolved. The quantity of carbonic acid formed by the combustion of the carburetted hydrogen, the non-formation of any hydrat of sul. phur, or muriatic acid gas, by the action of oxymuriatic acid, and the precipitation of sulphur in its common state, favour the conclusion, in Mr. Davy's opinion, that the sul. phur in this liquid contains less oxygen than in its common state.
3. Further Inquiries respecting Carbonaceous Matter. The idea, that the diamond may consist of carbonaceous matter combined with a little oxygen, suggested the application of carbonaceous matter in the experiments here related. Char. coal, prepared with great care, was kept in a state of intense ignition by. Voltaic electricity in contact with nitro
gén; but no change was produced upon the gas, except an increase in volume of about , owing to the evolution of car. buretted bydrogen from the charcoal ; the nitrogen remaining unchanged both in quantity and quality. Charcoal in a state of intense ignition, brought into contact with oxymuriatic acid gas, was immediately extinguished; two pieces were, however, kept in a state of intense ignition by Voltaic electricity in that gas. At first some white fumes appeared, probably from the action of hydrogen evolved from the charcoal upon the oxymuriatic acid gas, and the combination of the gas so produced with aqueous vapour, in the vessel ; but, at the end of the experiment, the oxymuriatic acid was found unchanged in its properties, and copper leaf burnt in it with a vivid light. The charcoal did not differ perceptibly from that which had been used in the experiment with nitrogen, of which the points were merely a little hardened.
4. Further Inquiries respecting Muriatic Acid. The recent endeavours of Mr. Davy to procure this acid in an un. , combined state, have not been more successful than his former ones, Silex in a state of minute division was heated intensely in an iron tube with muriat of soda which had been fused; but no gas was disengaged, though the employment of silex in its ordinary state, or the admission of aqueous vapour, occasioned it to be evolved. Mr. Davy thought it probable that dry muriatic acid might be separated during the combustion of the olive coloured oxide of boracium in oxymuriatic acid; but the sublimate formed was found to be a compound of the boracic and muriatic acids, similar to that of the mu. riatic and phosphoric acids. Recently sublimed muriat of ammonia was heated with potassium, with no better success.
When the quantities were equal, as much hydrogen was i evolved as would have been given by the same quantity of
potassium with water ; ammonia was evolved, and muriat of potash formed. When the potassium was to the niuriat as 4 to 1, less. hydrogen was given out, and a triple compound of muriatic acid, aminonia, and potassium or its protoxide, was formed ; but there was not the slighest evidence of the decomposition of the acid. The decomposition of this acid Mr. D. thinks most likely to be effected, by the combustion of potassium in the phosphuretted muriatic acid, deprired as much as possible of phosphorus by simple distillation : an experiment, which he is preparing to make in a way from which some interesting conclusions may be anticipated.
Art. IV. Sermons on several Subjects, from the Old Testament. By John
Hampson, M. A. Rector of Sunderland, and Curate of St. John's
Chapel, 8vo. pp. 415. Price 9s. Longman and Co. 1809. WHATEVER may have been the ingenuity or success
of certain philosophers, in maintaining that man possesses the power of choosing without or even contrary to motives, it cannot be questioned that authors are a part of the species that have absolutely lost this invaluable faculty. The labours, throes, and anxieties, attending the production of the most trivial book, are surely such as no man in his senses would endure, without the constraint of motives that were absolutely irresistible. Some authors, indeed, too conscious of their own talents, or too sensible of their own merit, to disclose their motives, leave them to be conjectured, with a greater or less degree of certainty, from the general texture of their performancès. Others, aware how much their success depends on the good opinion of their readers, make use of all the resources of their genius to induce a persuasion that they are actuated with honourable intentions; while a third class detail, with great simplicity and honesty, the considerations to which we are in reality indebted for their respective publications. To this class belongs the worthy rector, whose sermons are now before us. His ingenuousness certainly merits commendation; but the causes, that have given rise to the appearance of this volume, are calculated, we think, in a high degree, tó excite alarm in the reading public. '
• Sermons delivered from the pulpit, except in some few instances, soon slip from the memory, and the impression they once made, from the intervention of other objects imperceptibly vanishes away. Having now laboured among you, during nearly twenty-three years, as I am entering on the decline of life, and as it is probable that the period is approaching, when my 'strength will not admit of such constant exertions as those to which I have been hitherto accustomed, I would gladly make up the deficiency from the press.' p. iv..
Not from an itch for scribbling, nor for the vapour of popular applause; but from a desire of doing good, by stemming the torrent of impiety and infidelity, and by assailing with lawful weapons, and rebuking with just severity, by arguments from reason and Revelation, the licentiousness that so deplorably prevails. It is my object, on this occa. sion, to join my efforts to those of my more able and experienced brethren, in the best of all causes, the cause of piety and virtue; and to leave some testimony behind me, of my unalterable conviction of the truth and authenticity of the Gospel, which however disregarded by many, is the power of God unto salvation to them that believe.' pp. v. vi.
All this is plain and candid. It is, however, rather difficult to believe, that Mr, Hampson's parishioners are more
deficient in recollection than those of other clergymen. If this circumstance be sufficient to justify publishing the present volume, it will also justify the publication of at least twelve thousand volumes; since it would be extremely illiberal, not to say unjust, to insinuate that any of the clergy deliver discourses which they wish to be forgotten, or which it would not be for the edification of their hearers to remember. This is not all; there is a numerous body of dis. senting teachers, who, it is probable, entertain a very high opinion of their own sermons, and imagine it would very much promote the interests of piety if their preachments were entirely treasured up in the minds of their different congregations. The number of these dissentients is not exactly ascertained; but it is not immoderate to suppose they could furnish three thousand volumes. Besides, it should .. be considered that few teachers of religion can be expected to be so excessively modest, as to make public between twenty and thirty only of their sermons, when they have by them several hundreds which have cost them the same labour, and equally deserve to be preserved from oblivion. If the public, therefore, should betray the least symptom of satisfaction with the principal motive of the present work, we must without any exaggeration inform them, that they may expect, in a very short time, to be treated with between thirty and forty thousand additional volumes of sermons !
We are perfectly at a loss to conceive why Mr. H. should have thought it necessary to leave bebind a volume of sermons, as a monument of his faith in the truth and authenticity of the gospel.' All the clergy, we thought, had given such open and explicit proofs, not only of a general belief of the gospel, but also of faith in those principles that distinguish the Christian religion from all other moral and religious systems, that a contrary, supposition would expose a man to the charge of insanity. It it should be known, ten or twenty, or even a hundred years after this, that a John Hampson was rector of Sunderland in 1809, no one, in the least acquainted with the character of our present clergy, can be so bereft of common sense as even to imagine that he was void of faith in the evangelical history or apostolical
letters. The very fact of his being rector, will always secure · him from the suspicion of infidel pravity. .
The advocates for Christianity have often introduced the names of Bacon, of Locke, and of Newton, in their reasonings, not indeed as an evidence that the gospel is true, so much as to remove the prejudices which the names of its enemies might have created, and gain a fair and patient hearing for those arguments in its favour, which are always