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Of the Elafticity and
the noxious and peftilential qualities of damps and fufficating exhalations, fo fatally experienced in mines and other fubterranean places.
That the different velocities, with which heavy and light bodies defcend in the air, is owing to the air's refiftance only, is manifeft from the equal velocity or fwiftnels with which all bodies defcend in an exhausted receiver, as is fhewn in the experiment of a guinea and a feather.
That fermentation and putrefaction depend on the air, and are promoted by it, is fhewn by preferving fruit in their natural bloom and perfection through the winter in an exhaufted glafs
The fpring of the air is most evidently concerned in that chirurgical operation called cupping: for which a vacuum is made by a syringe in the cupping glafs applied to that part, where the fpring of the air in the flesh under the glass does ftrongly act, and by that means caufes the flesh to diftend and fwell into the glafs; while the preffure of the air, on the parts without the glass, accelerates the motion of the blood and fluids towards the part, where it is diminished, or taken off by the glass.
But not to ennumerate inftances, we may, from what has been already taid, understand many curious appearances and properties of this great element.
Firft, air, as a fluid body, is the vehicle of the effluvia of all odorous bodies to the organs of fmelling; and as a ponderous fluid, it prefles them on the nerves of thofe organs with a force fufficient to make them fenfible. It also impreffes fapid fubftances upon the organs of tafte, and renders them obfervable by the fenfes. It is alfe the inftrument of found: for the undulations, caufed in it by bodies moved by various directions, ftrike apon the external ear, which, by a fingular mechanism, communicates
this notice to the nerves, expanded upon the internal air. This weight of the air alfo, by preffing upon the furface of animals and vegetables, prevents a rupture of their veffels, from the force neceflary to circulate their juices, to which it is, as it were, a counter-balance. All thefe things are evident, becaufe on the tops of July, 1769.
Gravity of the Air.
353 mountains, where the air is very rare, the fenfes of tafting, fmelling, and hearing, are very languid. On the tops of mountains alfo the blood-veffels are very fubject to burst, whence frequent hæmorrhages happen to those who travel on their fummits.
If we confider the air in all its lights, we fhall find, that every alte ration it undergoes must induce fome great change on the animal machine. Thus when it is very heavy, it must prefs upon the furface of our bodies, and the internal part of the lungs, with a greater force than when it is light. It has been proved by curious obfervations, that the difference of weight with which our bodies are preffed by the atmosphere, in the greateft degree of its natural gravity from that which we fuftain, when it is higheft, amounts to 3982 troy weight, now as this difference is very confiderable, the effects must be confiderable alfo.
The different degrees of heat and elasticity in the air muft have effects proportionable to the causes upon the bodies of animals. The various contents muft of course induce great changes, as it fome way or other finds means to communicate the qualities it borrows from them to the blood and juices of animals. Hence it becomes the vehicle of contagion, and the propagator of diseases, both epidemical and endemical, which admit of infinite variety; because the alterations of the air, with refpect to its properties, and to the innumerable combinations of bodies contained in it, are infinite. However, we may venture to conclude that the most healthful, which is ferene and dry, and confequently ponderous and replete with the acid vital spirit.
To the AUTHOR of the LONDON MAGAZINE.
HAVING read in feveral of your late Magazines fome differing opinions about the afcenfion body of Chrift, I beg leave, through the fame channel, to convey a few thoughts on the fubject.
That flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; is the language of fcripture. That Chrift afcended into beaven with a body of firib and
354 Further Confiderations on the Afcenfion Body of Chrift. July
bones; the country curate tells me is the language of a church article. By the former, I understand that the human body, in its prefent modification, is abfolutely excluded that state into which we expect to pass, on quitting thefe fcenes. And by the latter, it fhould feem that Chrift did carry into that state a body thus modified.
Two contradictory propofitions are here prefented, on which I humbly apprehend, we have only to confider the weight of the two authorities; and thereupon to admit and reject.
At leaft, fo would the matter decide itfelf with me; were it not, that the article, though difproved by the text above quoted, feems to have much fupport from another text, Luke xxiv. 39.a fpirit hath not flesh and bones as ye fee me have this latter being an appeal made by Jefus to the fenfes of his difciples, after his refurrection; when his body is fuppofed to have undergone the change needful to his ad. miffion into heaven: i. e. the corruptible had put on incorruption, the mortal immortality.
Now, if it was in this body, fo-modified, that Chrift afcended into heaven; then certainly, he did afcend in a body of flesh and bones, by his own testimony; to the juftification of the article: but at the fame time putting a downright negative upon the affertion of St. Paul, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God. Here then arifes a contradiction upon the face of the fcriptures themfelves; which in my humble opinion cannot be removed, but by fuppofing a modal change to take place on the body of Christ, after the appeal, previous to his entrance into heaven: and I apprehend we are under an equal neceffity of difcarding the notion of any change, previous to the appeal; which notion appears to me to be a prejudice that has thrown much obfcurity upon the fubject. Let us confider it. Had the body of Chrift, in the inftant of refurrection, undergone the immortalizing change; it could not, I thould fuppofe, have been fitted for farther converfe with this fyftem of groffer matter. At least, not admitting the human touch, it could not have held up, to the tenfes of beings yet clothed in fleb, the plaineft poffible evidence of his iden
tity. This evidence was what be chofe to give them; for when they imagined they faw a fpirit, to prevent their refting in fuch conclufion, he propofes the tangibility of his body. A spirit hath not flesh and boxes as ze fer me have: or, as ye may be convinced, I have by touch; handle me and fee; as if he had faid, "A fpirit actuating an ethereal body; though it may be rendered visible to the human eye; as were the bodies of Mofes, and Elias; cannot, as I do, fubmit to the grasp of the human hand."
Once more; that bis was yet a fiefly body, he gives them ftill farther conviction of, by eating before them.
Thefe, I thould fuppofe, are the infallible proofs of his being alive after bis paffion, to which St. Luke refers, Acts i. 3.
Upon the whole then, I cannot regard the refurrection of Jefus, but upon the fame principle with that of Lazarus and the widow's fon; and with that of those faints who are said to have arifen with him; even a miraculous revival of the natural body, a body that did in its nature exclude them from the kingdom of heaven. That was yet, upon a mortal construction, flesh and blood; and must be thrown off; elfe, pafs under fome capital change or refinement, in order to its entering that kingdom.
This only difference, in the refurrection of Jefus, that his was effected by a power invefted in himself. I have power to lay it down, and I bave power to take it again. By the way; what did he lay down? The animal life, the fleshly body. And what did he take again, but that which he lay down?
Should any be enquiring into the how of this operation, on a body that had been pierced through the feat of animal life, let him be referred to the raised body of Lazarus, after he had been dead four days; and to other miracles performed by Jefus. Such as do not credit thefe, have no part in this controversy.
Again. Does e city minifter infer the fpirituality of Chrift's body from his entrance with his difciples when the doors were fhut? I am obliged to differ from him in this particular; fince the hiftory does not appear to me to warrant fuch inference. It is true, St. John tells us, that it was when
1769: Further Confiderations on the Afcenfion Body of Chrift. 355
the difciples were affembled, the doors being fout, that Jefus came and ftood = in the midft. But it is poffible he might be there before the fhutting of the doors. His coming and fand in the midft, I should fuppofe to exprefs his putting himself forward, in a place most favourable to the addrefs he was going to make them, Or if he did come after the doors were fhut, might be not open, or cause them to be opened? The circumftance of the Jbut doors, may only be to exprefs, that he chofe to vifit his difciples in their private affembly, and not in the ftreets of the city. And their confternation is very naturally excited at his appearance, who they knew had been crucified; and of whom it is faid, they knew not the fcriptures, that he muft rife from the dead.
But thould we fuppofe, that the doors being fhut, did confirm their apprehenfion that they faw a fpirit: our Lord certainly takes the most effectual method to convince them, that it was not fo: and the power he had exercifed over his own body, and over nature, before his crucinction, was enough to reconcile them to the prefent miracle, without concluding a Spiritual body.
In short, I humbly apprehend, we are obliged to fuppofe the body of Jefus unchanged in its modification at the time of this interview: unless the fpiritual body be a body of flesh and bones, which I own would confound all my ideas: for by flesh and bones I can underftand no other, than this grofs, decaying ftructure of the human body; the matter of which may, or may not, compofe the fpiritual or incorruptible. But when ever it does; there muft of neceffity be that change of the natural into the fpiritual, the mortal into the immortal; which St. Paul has fhewn us, fhall take place on that generation of men, who hall be found on this earth at the finishing period, even, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, &c. 1 Cor. XV. 52.
From the view taken, I apprehend we are brought to the neceffity of concluding, that a modal change did pafs on the body of Christ, at the inftant in which he was parted from his difciples, and a cloud received him out of their fight.
Allow me to notice very briefly, the attempt of T. G. in your last
Magazine, to reconcile the church article with St. Paul, by reading him thus: "Flesh and blood (having the qualities and properties they now have) cannot inherit the kingdom of God," which appears to me extremely abfurd; for flesh and blood furely exprefs the mode, not the matter of our bodies. Diveft the matter of its qualities, and properties, and it is no longer fresh and blood. Let T. G. but give the fubject a fecond thought, and I am of opinion he will not pronounce the afcenfion body of Chrift, to confift of flesh and blood; as (he fays) was evident to the fenfes of his difciples.
Thongh by the way, T. G. is to be convinced of error; only as we maintain the modal diftinction between the affenfion and refurrection body, which distinction, I humbly apprehend, is warranted by the fcriptures; nay, is even necessary to preferve their confiftence. In short, it appears to me to give precifion to our ideas, which without it are confufed and unfatisfactory. But I must own, it leaves the church article in a very defenceless state. We can only allow the numerical lameness, which is all that Bishop Burnet feems to do, in what is offered as a comment, but which appears to me more properly a refutation. (See city minifter's letter in the Mag. for Nov.) at leaft his philofophical remarks upon the varied modification, has enabled me, more easily, to give up the article.
To conclude all, the queftion, in what body did Chrift afcend? I cannot but confider, as in itself improper, the bodily change being, with me, the afcenfion; and the afcenfion, properly speaking, nothing more than a refinement of body, to a degree, that excludes all the unchanged from any farther communion with it.
Should this paper afford any fatisfaction to the country curate; it is offered him in return for the pleasure he has given me, by his motive of inquiry. Though the fubject be in itfelf of little importance, yet, as a regard to confcience, particularly engaging; when appearing under an establishment, whofe impofition of articles must be more generally confidered, as fhutting the door against the honeft, and opening it to the unprincipled of mankind.
The foregoing remarks are also fubmitted to the confideration of the city minifier. If the peculiar fentiment Y y 2
Of the Prefervation of Honey and Bees.
has not been delivered with that modify hich becomes inferior character, it is hoped the candour of the learned will fupply it.
Have tried feveral experiments for
the winter, and though, in general, with little fuccefs, yet I think I have reafon to continue, and to advife others to follow what I practifed last winter: the method is very imple, and not expensive for it is no other than keeping the bees in a cold and dark place.
My reafon for trying this experiment was, my having obferved that a certain degree of cold brought upon the bees a ftupor; and that the fame degree of cold continued, kept them in the fame state till they were brought into a warmer fituation, which imimediately restored their life and vigour*.
With this view I kept two hives fhut up in a dark cold out-houfe, from the middle of September last, to the middle of April; without ever letting them fee light upon their being fer out in the warmer air, they recovered immediately, and fhewed an appearance of more frength, than the hives did which had been kept out in the ufual way. This appearance of ftrength continued during the fummer, and they multiplied fatter than I had ever oblerved them to do before.
They were rather later in fwarning
this year, than in fome former fummers, but this was the cafe with many hives in this neighbourhood; and even though this thould always happen, yet I think other advantages will do more than over balance it. Could I go into the country early in the fpring, to look after the bees myself, I would bring them into the open air fome weeks fooner, carefully attend to the changes of the weather, and fhut
up the doors of the hive on a bad day but this degree of care can scarcely be expected from fervants and gar. deners, who have many other things to attend to.
I intend to have four hives put up this feafon, in the coldeft dark place I can find; and as an ice-house is the steadiest and greatest cold we have, one or two of my friends, who have
hive upon the ice. By all accounts, the cold in Siberia does not kill the bees there, and in Roffia, where the winters are extremely fevere, bess produce much honey: fo I think there is not any danger to be feared from any degree of cold we can expofe the bees to.
If fuccefs continues to attend this experiment of keeping the bees asleep all the winter and spring, without confuming their honey, a great point will be gained: efpecially as Mr. Wildman has taught us to take the honey without killing the bees: for by what I have obferved in this country, our bees are loft chiefly by being tempted to go out by a clear fun in the fpring; though, perhaps, a frofty wind blows and chills them, fo as to prevent their being able to return to the hive; or an early warmth induces the queen to lay eggs, and a num ber of young bees are bred, which confume the little provision left, before the fields can afford any supply.
To the AUTHOR of the LONDON MAGAZINE.
converfation was written for my HE following fhort brothers, to give them fome proper notions of air, wind, vapours, &c. Thefe, like many other young people, are glad to gain just ideas of thefe things, but without the trouble of much reading and thinking; and indeed it must be confefied, we have very few books of this nature fit for fuch, they generally run out to tedious lengths, and are laid down far
Mr. White fays, in confirmation of Cedde's obfervation, that “bees which fand on the north file of a building, whofe height intercepts the fun's beams all the winter, will wafe less of their provifions, almoft by half, than others which fand in the fun; for feldom coming forth, they eat little, and yet in the spring are as forward to work and fwarm, as thofe which had twice as much honey in the autumn before.” See the Rev. Mr. White's Method of preferving Bees, third edition, price 15.