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other principle which has been lately diftinguished by the appellation of Fixed Air. As we are heartily inclined to second the Jaudable design which the Author of this pamphlet bad in view, in applying to use the discoveries which have lately been made in relation to this last-mentioned principle; we shall, on account of the importance of the matter, allot more room to the confideration of this little persormance, than we usually allow to publications of the fame fize : premising a short historical account of the progress which had before been made with respect to this subject, and a view of the principles on which the practical directions here given are founded.
Many experiments and observations were made on the quantity, and on some of the properties, of the factitious air discovered in a variety of substances, by that excellent experimental philosopher, the late Dr. Hales. But though, in many of his experiments, fixed air was long kept in contact with water, and though he frequently speaks of its returning to a non-elastic ftate, we do not recollect that he ever considered, or even sus. pected, that the water acquired any sensible impregnation from
Dr. Brownrigg was, we believe, the firft who observed that the elastic aerial fluid extricated, by means of heat, from the Pouhon and other waters of the same kind, was of the same nature with the mephitic air that produces the cheak-damp in mines, and with that which arises from beer or other liquors in a state of fermentation ; and particularly, that to its combination with these waters, independent of their earthy, saline, and metallic contents, they owed their brisk and gratefully pungent taste, and the virtues which they are known to poffels in the cure of various diseases.
After a considerable interval, the Hon. Mr. Cavendith fa. voured the public with several curious experiments relating to this substance, and its varieties; and particularly observed its ready absorption into water exposed to it * Still more lately Mr. Lane (a pretty large account of whose experiments we gave in our 44th volume, April 1771, page 323, &c.) combined this principle with distilled water; with a view principally to demonitrate that it was the real solvent of the iron contained in the waters of Pyrmont, and of all the chalybeate springs of that class.
But it is to Dr. Macbride that the public are indebted for the discovery of a most interesting property of this conftituent element of most bodies. From his ingenious and well conducted experiments it appears highly probable that the sweetnels and foundnets, or cohesion of animal and vegetable fab
* See Philos. Trans, vol. Ivi, and our 37th volume, December 1767, page 440. 1
ftances depends on the union of this principle, in a fixed or unelastic itate, with the other particles that constitute them. From them, at least, it evidently appears that the putrefaction or decomposition of these substances, if it be not absolutely caused by, is at least attended with, the escape of this element; and, which is of the utmost importance, that even after they have become actually putrid, they may be recovered to a state of foundness, by restoring to them this grand antiseptic principle, which may easily be obtained in great quantities from fermentable bodies, or ftill more readily from a mixture of acids with alcaline substances, or earths.
In consequence of the light hereby thrown on the nature of putrefaction, and putrid diseases, and on the mode of action of antiseptics in curing or preventing them, he naturally applied this theory to the cure of the sea scurvy; and accordingly recommended the exhibition of wort in that disease, as a commodious substitute to fresh vegetables : like them, readily running into fermentation, and thereby equally capable of throwing a large quantity of fixed air into the system, and of restoring the putrescent animal fluids to their former state of foundness. The success which has attended the trials that have hitherto been made of this liquor, in this particular disease, appears to confirm the justice of the theory, and to evince the propriety of the curative indication founded upon it; at the same time furnishing sufficient incitements to extend it to other diseases, in which there is a putrefa&ive diathefis, and to exhibit this antiseptic principle in other forms.
To accomplish this last-mentioned purpose, the Author of the present essay here describes a cheap and easy method of combining a large portion of this antiseptic element with water. With a particular view to the health of that valuable order of men who, from the nature of their diet and other circumstances, are most exposed to the want of this anti-putrescent principle, Dr. Priestley has properly addressed his proposal, to impregnate occasionally the water used at sea with a large portion of it, to the Lords of the Admiralty; who, on a favourable report received from the College of Physicians, to whom the scheme was referred, have ordered trials to be made of it on board some of his Majesty's ships. The directions which are here given for this purpose are plain, circumstantial, effectual, and easily practicable, at fea as well as on shore. For the particulars of the process we must recommend to our medical and philosophical Readers the perusal of the pamphlet itself: observing only, that the Author has found the ftrong spirit or oil of vitriol, and chalk, to be the cheapest and moit effectual materials; and that so small a quantity as a tea spoonful of the
Rev. Sept. 17720
former will expel from the chalk a quantity of fixed air sufficient to saturate three pints of water; which will then contain more than its own bulk of this principle; that is, more than has appeared to be contained in the same quantity of the best Pyrmont water.
Towards the close of this pamphlet, the Author suggests such hints as have occurred to himself or his friends, relative to the more extensive application of this antiseptic principle, and which certainly claim the attention of the faculty. In some cases of the ulcerous fore throat, the air expelled in the effervescence of salt of wormwood with juice of lemons, has been directed to the part, without inconvenience, and with manifest advantage. Even the Janics of cancers, as Dr. Percival' has informed the Author, has been much sweetened by the application of fixed air; the pain has been thereby mitigated, and a better digestion produced; so that a cure is almost expected.' We think there is great reason to believe that the correction of the foetor, and the ease, which we have observed to follow the application of the carrot poultice to some foetid and painful ulcers, have been produced by the fixed air extricated from the fermentation of that substance *.
We shall only add, on this interesting subject, that the Author, being satisfied that fixed air is not noxious per fis' had hinted to fome physicians of eminence the probable benefit to be expected, if those who labour under that deplorable disorder, ulcerated lungs, were to breathe as much of it as they could well bear; and that he has been informed by Dr. Percival that, in three cases, in which trial had been made, it apo peared to have been of great service, and that one of the perfons intirely recovered. Experiment alone can ascertain what particular species of putrefactive acrimony fixed air is best adapted to correct. We scarce need to add, however, that experiments of this last kind require considerable caution in the conducting them, on account of the violent and hitherto unaccounted for effects which that substance is known to pra. duce on that particular organ.
* The Reader may fee fome notable instances of the antiseptic power of this application, in the fourth volume of the Medical Obfervations and Inquiries, Articles 14 and 31.
Art. XI. Sermons on various Subjects. By Gregory Sharpa, LL.D.
late Master of the Temple, Chaplain in Ordinary to his Majesty, and Fellow of the Royal and Antiquarian Societies. 8vo. 45.
fewed. Cadell. 1772. THE late Dr. Gregory Sharpe was a man of very confider
able rank in the learned world; a great Orientalist, a fa. gacious Critic, and a rational Preacher. A volume of pulpit discourses, therefore, from so able a divine cannot but prove highly acceptable, in particular, to all who are acquainted with his uncommon abilities and merit.
This volume consists of eighteen sermons, fixteen of which are published in consequence of the Author's desire, Twelve of this number, we are informed by the advertisement, were preached before their Majesties in the Chapel-Royal at St. James's, but were not criginally written for that purpose. The third, fourth, and eleventh, we are farther told, were preached on three several fatt-days, in 1757, 1758, and 1759 : the two last, which are charity sermons, were published foon after they were preached, but being now scarce, are reprinted.
The respectable name which is affixed to them, renders at almost unneceilary to say that they are sensible and ingenious compositions; they are also serious, pious, and practical. They bear no other titles than those of the texts of scripture on which they are separately founded, and sometimes the observar tions in the discourse are different from what would at first view have been expected from the text; a circumstance which may render them the more striking and agreeable,
In the second sermon, from John iii, 18, 19. He that btlieveth on him, is not condemned; but he that believeth not is condemned already, &c. towards the conclusion the Author thus proceeds :
6 We hear of objections to miracles and prophecy, but of none to practical Christianity; and yet if men were really to live up to the rules of the gospel, we should seidom hear of any objections at all. For it is not likely the evidences would be so often disputed, if the things to be proved by them were . never denied.
« He that considers miracles and prophecy as impoffible, should at least account for the origin of man without them; otherwise it will be supposed, that they might be as necessary at the restoration, as the creation of our species.
Butie there any miracle contended for that is greater than creation ? And if every thing was not done for the first formed of men, when he could do nothing for himself, he must have perished on the very spot, on which he was produced. Nor could he well have been trusted with himself, till he was informed of the con
sequences of his actions, and this information is equal to pro. phecy. But without extending our thoughts so far back as to the origin of man, there are many prophecies in the New Testament, concerning the state of the Church in latter times, lo very explicít, that they, who are guilty of these corruptions, have thought proper to shut up the Bible and forbid it to be read; “ commanding to abstain from certain meats, forbidding to marry, worshipping of faints or angels, vainly intruding into what they have not seen, making merchandize of the souls and bodies of men,” by purgatory and reliques. These superstitions and frauds were not known in the Christian world, till some hundred years after the death of Christ, and yet they are foretold as corruptions of the latter times; and whether they are yet revealed, let him judge who hath eyes to see or ears to hear.
· The case of infidelity is very different now from what it was in the first ages of Christianity. To deny the miracles recorded in fcripture is a new thing. The most ancient enemies of our holy religion admitted them; and it is now at this great distance too late to deny them. They who lived nearest to the times when these things were done had no evidence againft them, and only disputed whether they were performed by divine power or by magic. If we look into the old writings of the Jews, we shall find in them several circumstances relating to the history of Jesus and his disciples. They mention a miracle done in the name of Jesus, not taken notice of in the gospel, and an offer of St. James to a man just expiring, to cure him, but he refused to be healed in the name of Jesus.
• Is it to be imagined that of all the enemies to Christianity the Jews fhould bear their testimony to the miracles of our Lord and his disciples, if they were not real? No, surely they would not have owned this power, if ic had not been too manifest to be disowned. And if the old Jews admitted these extraordinary works, and the Heathens, who in early times opposed Chrifti anity, did not deny them, is this a time to difpute them? Have we any new evidence to produce against them, or the religion supported by them? No, in point of fact the distance is too great; and the old adversary Celsus is as much beyond tho modern infidel in point of argument as in distance of time. Christianity has almost extinguished Paganism, and the present state and continuance of the Jews, is a real miracle foretold by the writers of the Old and New Scriptures, which are therefore confirmed by it. And if we examine the Mohammedan, we Mall hear him confess " Jesus to be the Son of Mary-ordained for a sign unto men and a mercy from God." Though he doubts the miracles of his own prophet, he believes those of Christ, and many more done by him than are recorded in the gospels. Turks and Perlians expect the second coming of our 8