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And so with the other metals, they each give when examined with the spectroscope one or more distinct bright bands or lines by which they inay always be recognized. So fixed and regular are these bright bands, that when you see them you may say at once there is iron or potash, or gold or copper in the substance that is being burned, or you may say that there are several together, for the lines will appear even when the substances are mixed. Indeed this method, under the name of spectral analysis, is now pursued in detecting the presence of various chemical elements, and seems to exceed in delicacy and certainty any means hitherto employed.
A mixture of many different metals will give a large number of bright bands and lines crossing over the spectrum at various points. Some will be very bright, others faint, some broad, others fine. At one part they will be crowded together, at another scattered. Any one who saw them would at once say how much these bright lines remind one of the dark lines in the solar spectrum.
And so it is, these bright lines do correspond exactly with those dark lines, band for band, line for line. The more metals and elements you investigate, and the more accurately you measure, the more you will be convinced that the bright lines and the dark lines are connected, that the one set is as it were the negative photograph of the other.
The dark lines are as we know part and parcel of the sunlight, and must be caused by something going on at the sun. What is that something? What has it to do with the metals that we find on our earth? For it must have to do with them if the seeming connection between the bright lines and the dark lines is a real one. To answer this question we have to solve this problem, How to change the bright lines into dark ones? And luckily this can be done very easily. Imagine yourself looking through the telescope at a sodium spectrum produced by burning salt in a flame of very feeble light. You see the bright sodium line and nothing more. Now arrange a very bright light, such as the electric one, in such a way that its
that its rays shall pass through the soda flame, through the slit, prism and telescope, and so fall upon your eye. In an instant the whole spectrum with all its colours will fash upon you, but if you look for your sodium line you will find it gone and in its place there is a dark band. And yet
the sodium flame is still burning. But it absorbs from the electric light just that part, and that part only, which it gives forth itself; so that the part of the electro-spectrum that corresponds to the sodium spectrum is wanting. And the electric spectrum is so bright that where you see only the sodium spectrum, only the sodium line, there you seem to see only a dark line. The brighter the electric light and the feebler" the sodium flame the more distinctly does the dark line come out.
And as with
adium so with the other metals; if you send the rays of a bright white light through a feebly luminous flame in which they are burning, you can change the bright lines into darker ones ; and if you pass it through a mixture of them you will get an artificial spectrum with many dark lines. It is true that we cannot at present bring out the change from bright to dark in the taxe of all the metals, but we can in many, and there is every Teason to believe that with increased nicety of apparatus it may
be accomplished in all.
Enough has been said to show that there is an exceedingly great probability of the dark lines in the solar spectrum being caused by the white light of the sun passing in its course to the earth through a feeble fame in which many metals or elements are being burnt, or what answers the same purpose, through a space filled with the vapours of these bodies in a state of volatilization. But this flame, these vapours, cannot be on the earth or in the expanse between the celestial bodies. They must therefore be round the sun itself. In fact
, we have just to conceive of the sun (and there are many reasons for such an hypothesis) as being composed first of a fiery white hot mass which gives the light; secondly, of an atmosphere all around of vapours caused by the volatilization of the bodies that are always being burnt in the fiery mass itself. " The first being a white hot incandescent globe gives us a continuous spectrum, which passing through the second suffers absorption in certain parts, and is therefore afterwards marked by dark lines.
If there is sodium in the molten nucleus, there will be the vapour of sodium in the atmosphere around, and therefore a dark (sodium) line in the spectrum. If there be iron there will be dark (iron) lines, and so on. All these dark lines are just so many scores to tell the presence of this or that body in the sun. Wherever the sunlight falls, there this tale is told, which he that has a spectroscope can always read. It only remains to decide how many, and which of our terrestrial elements, can be recognized as existing in the sun. Further researches may doubtless modify the list as at present dressed, but as far as we know yet we may say, that while there are present iron, sodium, calcium (or lime), magnesium, chromium, nickel, barium, copper, zinc, we have reason to believe that gold, silver, mercury, aluminum, tin, lead, antimony, strontium and arsenic are absent.
The light of the moon being borrowed from the sun nothing of course can be learnt in this way concerning that luminary, but the study of the light of the fixed stars will probably lead to curious
RECOLLECTIONS OF MR. SIMEON'S CONVERSATION
It is nearly thirty years since Mr. Simeon was laid to rest in the Fellows' Vault in King's College Chapel, having been for fifty-four years vicar of the parish in which stands that wonderful monument of ancient and imperishable genius. The memorials which he left behind him were his gigantic Horce Homileticce in twenty-one volumes, and, it may be added, the great modern evangelical party of the clergy of the Church of England; for to no other individual can be attributed an equal share in the training and organization of that powerful body of ministers in the Establishment During a long course of years, extending over ten or twelve university generations, he was in the habit of opening his rooms every Friday evening for the reception of piously disposed undergraduates
, for the purpose of instructing by conversation and discussion all who might resort thither, with a view to preparation for the work of the gospel ministry. Mr. Brown, the author of the volume referred to at the head of this paper, was one of the young men who thus sat at Mr. Simeon's feet, and now, after so long an interval, he has published his notes and recollections of some of those memorable assemblies. It is a book which is very likely to gain for itself a permanent niche in English church biography, as throwing light upon the character and opinions of a man of great influence and deserved renown, both within and without the pale of his own communion. The free-churchman will find in it some things to which he will be unable to assent; but as a whole it is well-fitted to obtain the respectful regard of all who value Christianity abore churchmanship of any description. It abounds in wise commonsense criticisms on Scripture and on human life, and we should be sorry to meet with the Nonconformist minister who professed himself unable to gain instruction from its pages. The personal peculiarities of Mr. Simeon are depicted with graphic distinctness and impartial fidelity; the weakness and the strength are pourtrayed with equal truth; and the general effect is to raise in the reader great affection and veneration for a man who, although he regarded secession as an unmixed evil, and the Prayer-Book as an unmixed good, lived a life so noble in its aims, so laborious in its details, and so holy in its spirit, that you are disposed to forget your dissent from many of his ecclesiastical ideas in your admiration of his indomitable character.
Mr. Brown opens his volume with four introductory chapters,
By the Rev. Abner W. Brown, M.A. Hamilton, Adams & Co.,
in which, we think unhappily, the principal object seems to be, in accordance with the Bicentenary tastes of his section, to propitiate the high-church party of the present time, by proving how devoted a churchman Mr. Simeon himself was in his day. A long dissertation on the reciprocal relations of outward and inward religion is made the groundwork of a good deal of very disagreeable and trivil tattle of this description. The genuine evangelical churchman derer succeeds in enacting the part of a stickler for forms with grace or dignity. It requires a hardened formalist to do this thing with propriety. Great zeal for the rubric is rather ornamental in a functionary who knows nothing higher in Christianity. We look for it in one who has never beheld the vision of God revealing Himself by His Spirit. But when a man of sincere piety and some true insight, drawn by an unworthy desire to win the applause of the merely decorative clergy, takes on himself the airs of a rubrician, and begins in effect to denounce such Christians as Howe, Robert Hall and Chalmers, as deficient in attention to the externals of religion, the only result is to move the friendly laughter of his Nonconformist brethren. Mr. Brown does not succeed in this line at all; and when he endeavours to drag in Mr. Simeon as an example, he only renders the good old man ridiculous. Thus in page 85 he says, that Mr. Simeon “ being good-naturedly reminded in later life, by a friend, of his having preached in a barn at early morning to the laborers before they went to their work, he turned his face aside, lifted up both hands to hide it, and said, “O spare me! spare me! I was a young man then.'” If Mr. Simeon ever uttered this ungodly exclamation, we can only say that he had grown in old age, through “churchmanship,” to be ashamed of resemblance in his younger days to his Lord and Master, who did not restrict
preaching to the temple or the synagogue. Another illustration of the ill-success which attends an evangelical clergyman in assuming the tone of the strict formalist is furnished by Mr. Brown in his remarks even upon a practice which dissenters themselves would condemn. He tells us that he has beard of evangelical clergymen in the days of rubrical laxity, who in "administering baptism, occasionally finding no water in the font, have performed the ceremony without any, merely going through the form of pouring water on the child, though from an empty font or basin." * After having used the prayer to sanctify this water," ways Mr. Brown," how nearly does such a pretence approach to a profane and sacrilegious lie, even in those who deem the external institution of Christ to be of no moment." Very true, Mr. Brown :—but what follows? If it be a near approach to a profane and sacrilegious lie to pretend to use water when there is nout, what shall we think of the habit of evangelical clergymen pretending in the same form of prayer that the Holy Spirit is conferred in spiritual regeneration, when, in fact, there is no su benefit attending the celebration, either with or without water, al it is the distinctive mark of their party that they do not belie that there is any such benefit? Is not this a much nearer approa to a profane and sacrilegious lie?” The genuine High Churchma who believes literally what he says in the prayer, would assi Mr. Brown to the right answer to such an inquiry. Mr. Sime himself made a greater show of zeal for the baptismal service tha most of his friends, for strange to say, he strenuously battles for i Scriptural character. But even he explains these prayers an thanksgivings utterly away. He maintains that “the Reforme used the word regeneration as meaning baptism, which changes of state, not conversion, which changes our nature” (p. 233). But tl service teaches the priest to give thanks that God hath bestowed the baptised infant “His Holy Spirit," and this is in exact accor ance with the patristic doctrine of regeneration in baptism, whic undoubtedly was understood of old to intend, not, indeed, conve sion, as Mr. Simeon somewhat absurdly supposes, for that term proper only to adults, but that change of nature, the passing fro death unto life, on which salvation depends. And this, let M Simeon and the new evangelical party assert the contrary as the may, was the design of our Reformers, and was the doctrine alike Lather, of Cranmer, and antiquity. Mr. Fisher has settled th question for ever. The evangelical party uses only a “pretence" affecting to give the Holy Spirit in infant baptism, and to than God for it, for they do not believe in the plain meaning of the wore which they employ. And this is far worse than pretending to u water when there is none. Here, then, is an example of the retr bution which awaits a gentleman of the school to which Mr. Brow belongs, when he begins to celebrate the praises of formalism. H drops expressions which become the instrument of his own chastis ment.
Having said thus much, we have ended our differences with th worthy author, and the more pleasant task remains of affordin some insight into the real worth of his valuable production. An here let us premise that although the chief contents of the volum appear to be transcribed from the note-books of Mr. Brown college days, when a judicious admiration for Mr. Simeon led t an easy reception of nearly all he heard from the Master, th marks of this admiration on the one hand are only evidences o the sound judgment of the youthful note-taker, and the introduc tory chapters written in mature life furnish, on the other hand abundant evidence that the compiler now regards his old instructo through the critical medium of a very vigorous and independen intelligence.
The three chapters following the introduction consist of speci