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other principle which has been lately diftinguished by the appellation of Fixed Air. As we are heartily inclined to fecond the Jaudable defign which the Author of this pamphlet had in view, in applying to use the difcoveries which have lately been made in relation to this laft-mentioned principle; we fhall, on account of the importance of the matter, allot more room to the confideration of this little performance, than we ufually allow to publications of the fame fize: premifing a fhort hiftorical account of the progrefs which had before been made with respect to this fubject, and a view of the principles on which the practical directions here given are founded.
Many experiments and obfervations were made on the quantity, and on fome of the properties, of the factitious air difcovered in a variety of fubftances, by that excellent experimental philofopher, the late Dr. Hales. But though, in many of his experiments, fixed air was long kept in contact with water, and though he frequently fpeaks of its returning to a non-elaftic ftate, we do not recollect that he ever confidered, or even fufpected, that the water acquired any fenfible impregnation from it. Dr. Brownrigg was, we believe, the first who obferved that the elastic aerial fluid extricated, by means of heat, from the Pouhon and other waters of the fame kind, was of the fame nature with the mephitic air that produces the choak-damp in mines, and with that which arifes from beer or other liquors in a ftate of fermentation; and particularly, that to its combination with these waters, independent of their earthy, faline, and metallic contents, they owed their brifk and gratefully pungent tafte, and the virtues which they are known to poffefs in the cure of various difeafes.
After a confiderable interval, the Hon. Mr. Cavendish favoured the public with feveral curious experiments relating to this fubitance, and its varieties; and particularly obferved its ready abforption into water expofed to it. Still more lately Mr. Lane (a pretty large account of whofe experiments we gave in our 44th volume, April 1771, page 323, &c.) combined this principle with distilled water; with a view principally to demonstrate that it was the real folvent 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 difcovery of a most interesting property of this conftituent element of moft bodies. From his ingenious and well conducted experiments it appears highly probable that the fweetnefs and foundnefs, or cohefion of animal and vegetable fub
* See Philof. Tranf. vol. Ivi, and our 37th volume, December 1767, page 440.
ftances depends on the union of this principle, in a fixed or unelaftic ftate, with the other particles that conftitute them. From them, at least, it evidently appears that the putrefaction or decompofition of thefe fubftances, if it be not abfolutely 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 reftoring to them this grand antifeptic principle, which may easily be obtained in great quantities from fermentable bodies, or ftill more readily from a mixture of acids with alcaline fubftances, or earths.
In confequence of the light hereby thrown on the nature of putrefaction, and putrid difeafes, and on the mode of action of antifeptics in curing or preventing them, he naturally applied this theory to the cure of the fea fcurvy; and accordingly recommended the exhibition of wort in that disease, as a commodious fubftitute to fresh vegetables: like them, readily running into fermentation, and thereby equally capable of throwing a large quantity of fixed air into the fyftem, and of restoring the putrefcent animal fluids to their former ftate of foundnefs. The fuccefs which has attended the trials that have hitherto been made of this liquor, in this particular difeafe, appears to confirm the juftice of the theory, and to evince the propriety of the curative indication founded upon it; at the fame time furnishing fufficient incitements to extend it to other diseases, in which there is a putrefactive diathefis, and to exhibit this antifeptic principle in other forms.
To accomplish this laft-mentioned purpose, the Author of the prefent effay here defcribes a cheap and eafy method of combining a large portion of this antifeptic 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 circumftances, are moft expofed to the want of this anti-putrefcent principle, Dr. Prieftley has properly addreffed his propofal, to impregnate occafionally the water ufed at fea with a large portion of it, to the Lords of the Admiralty; who, on a favourable report received from the College of Phyficians, to whom the scheme was referred, have ordered trials to be made of it on board some of his Majefty's fhips. The directions which are here given for this purpose are plain, circumftantial, effectual, and eafily practicable, at fea as well as on fhore. For the particulars of the procefs we muft recommend to our medical and philofophical Readers the perufal of the pamphlet itself: obferving only, that the Author has found the ftrong spirit or oil of vitriol, and chalk, to be the cheapest and most effectual materials; and that fo fmall a quantity as a tea fpoonful of the REV. Sept. 1772.
former will expel from the chalk a quantity of fixed air fufficient to faturate three pints of water; which will then contain more than its cwn bulk of this principle; that is, more than has appeared to be contained in the fame quantity of the best Pyrmont water.
Towards the clofe of this pamphlet, the Author fuggefts fuch hints as have occurred to himfelf or his friends, relative to the more extenfive application of this antifeptic principle, and which certainly claim the attention of the faculty. In fome cafes of the ulcercus fore throat, the air expelled in the effervefcence of falt of wormwood with juice of lemons, has been directed to the part, without inconvenience, and with manifeft advantage. Even the fanies of cancers, as Dr. Percival' has informed the Author, has been much fweetened by the application of fixed air; the pain has been thereby mitigated, and a better digeftion produced; fo that a cure is almost expected.' We think there is great reafon to believe that the correction of the foetor, and the eafe, which we have obferved to follow the application of the carrot poultice to fome fœtid and painful ulcers, have been produced by the fixed air extricated from the fermentation of that fubftance *.
We fhall only add, on this interefting fubject, that the Author, being fatisfied that fixed air is not noxious per fe, had hinted to fome phyficians of eminence the probable benefit to be expected, if thofe who labour under that deplorable diforder, 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 cafes, in which trial had been made, it appeared to have been of great fervice, and that one of the perfons intirely recovered. Experiment alone can afcertain what particular fpecies of putrefactive acrimony fixed air is beft adapted to correct. We fcarce need to add, however, that experiments of this laft kind require confiderable caution in the conducting them, on account of the violent and hitherto unaccounted for effects which that fubftance is known to pra duce on that particular organ.
*The Reader may fee fome notable inftances of the antifeptic power of this application, in the fourth volume of the Medical ObJervations and Inquiries, Articles 14 and 31.
ART. XI. Sermons on various Subjects. By Gregory Sharpe, LL. D. late Mafter of the Temple, Chaplain in Ordinary to his Majesty, and Fellow of the Royal and Antiquarian Societies. 8vo.
fewed. Cadell. 1772.
TH HE late Dr. Gregory Sharpe was a man of confider able rank in the learned world; a great Orientalist, a fa gacious Critic, and a rational Preacher. A volume of pulpit difcourfes, therefore, from fo able a divine cannot but prove highly acceptable, in particular, to all who are acquainted with his uncommon abilities and merit.
This volume confifts of eighteen fermons, fixteen of which are published in confequence of the Author's defire. Twelve of this number, we are informed by the advertisement, were preached before their Majefties in the Chapel-Royal at St. James's, but were not originally written for that purpofe The third, fourth, and eleventh, we are farther told, were preached on three feveral faft-days, in 1757, 1758, and 1759; the two laft, which are charity fermons, were published foon after they were preached, but being now fearce, are reprinted.: The refpectable name which is affixed to them, renders it al moft unneceflary to fay that they are fenfible and ingenious compofitions; they are alfo ferious, pious, and practical. They bear no other titles than thofe of the texts of fcripture on which they are feparately founded, and fometimes the obferva, tions in the difcourfe are different from what would at first view have been expected from the text; a circumstance which may render them the more ftriking and agreeable.
In the fecond fermon, from John iii. 18, 19. He that believeth on him, is not condemned; but he that believeth not is condemned already, &c. towards the conclufion the Author thus proceeds:
We hear of objections to miracles and prophecy, but of none to practical Chriftianity; and yet if men were really to live up to the rules of the gofpel, we fhould feldom hear of any objections at all. For it is not likely the evidences would be fo often difputed, if the things to be proved by them were never denied.
He that confiders miracles and prophecy as impoffible, fhould at leaft account for the origin of man without them; otherwise it will be fuppofed, that they might be as neceffary at the restoration, as the creation of our fpecies. But is 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 himfelf, he must have perifhed on the very spot, on which he was produced. Nor could he well have been trufted with himself, till he was informed of the confequences
fequences of his actions, and this information is equal to prophecy. But without extending our thoughts fo far back as to the origin of man, there are many prophecies in the New Teftament, concerning the ftate of the Church in latter times, fo very explicit, that they, who are guilty of thefe corruptions, have thought proper to fhut up the Bible and forbid it to be read; "commanding to abftain from certain meats, forbidding to marry, worshipping of faints or angels, vainly intruding into what they have not feen, making merchandize of the fouls and bodies of men," by purgatory and reliques. Thefe fuperftitions and frauds were not known in the Chriftian world, till fome hundred years after the death of Chrift, and yet they are foretold as corruptions of the latter times; and whether they are yet revealed, let him judge who hath eyes to fee or ears to hear.
The cafe of infidelity is very different now from what it was in the first ages of Chriftianity. 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 diftance too late to deny them. They who lived nearest to the times when these things were done had no evidence against them, and only difputed whether they were performed by divine power or by magic. If we look into the old writings of the Jews, we fhall find in them feveral circumstances relating to the hiftory of Jefus and his difciples. They mention a miracle done in the name of Jefus, not taken notice of in the gospel, and an offer of St. James to a man juft expiring, to cure him, but he refused to be healed in the name of Jefus.
Is it to be imagined that of all the enemies to Christianity the Jews fhould bear their teftimony to the miracles of our Lord and his difciples, if they were not real? No, furely they would not have owned this power, if it had not been too manifest to be difowned. And if the old Jews admitted these extraordinary works, and the Heathens, who in early times oppofed Chriftianity, did not deny them, is this a time to difpute them? Have we any new evidence to produce against them, or the religion fupported by them? No, in point of fact the distance is too great; and the old adverfary Celfus is as much beyond the modern infidel in point of argument as in diftance of time. Christianity has almoft extinguished Paganism, and the present ftate 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 fhall hear him confefs "Jefus to be the Son of Mary-ordained for a fign unto men and a mercy from God." Though he doubts the miracles of his own prophet, he believes thofe of Chrift, and many more done by him than are recorded in the gofpels. Turks and Perfians expect the fecond coming of our