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ILLUSTRATION OF PSALM XV. 3.
He that back-biteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour.
voo's by 597 x5 lo regal al leshono," he foots not upon his tongue.” He is one who treats his neighbour with respect. He says nothing that might injure him in his character, person, or property ;-he forges no calumny,-he is author of no slander,-he insinuates nothing by which his neighbour may be injured. The tongue, because of its slanderous conversation, is represented in the nervous original, as kicking about the character of an absent person ; a very common vice, and as destructive as it is common: but the man who expects to see God abhors it, and backbites not with his tongue. The words backbite and backbiter come from the Anglo-Saxon bac, the back, and bican, to bite. How it came to be used in the sense it has in our language, seems at first view unaccountable : but it was intended to convey the treble sense of knavishness, cowardice, and brutality. He is a knave who would rob you of your good name ;-he is a coward, that would speak
absence what he dared not to do in your presence; --and only an ill-conditioned dog would fly at and bite your back when your face was turned. All these three ideas are included in the term ; and they all meet in the detractor and calumniator. His tongue is the tongue of a knave, a coward and a dog. Such a person, of course, has no right to the privileges of the church militant, and none of his disposition can ever see God.
He not only avoids evil speaking, but he avoids also evil acting, towards his neighbour. He speaks no evil of him ;-he does no evil to him ;-he does him no harm ;-he occasions him no wrong. On the contrary, he gives him his due.
The word non cherophah, which we here translate a reproach, comes from 99 charaph to strip or make bare, to deprive one of his garments : hence n chareph the winter, because it strips the fields of their clothing, and the trees of their foilage. nature appears to be dishonoured and disgraced. The application is easy man, for instance, of a good character, is reported to have done something wrong ;-the tale is spread, and the slanderers and backbiters carry it about ;-and thus the man is stripped of his fair character, of his clothing of righteousness, truth and honesty. All may be false ; or the man, in an hour of the power of darkness, may have been tempted and overcome ;-may have been wounded in the cloudy and dark day, and deeply mourns his fall before God. Who that had not the heart of a devil would not strive rather to cover, than make bare, the fault? Those who
By this feel, as the proverb says, like the flies, passing over all a man's whole parts to light upon his wounds, will take up the tale, and carry it about. Such, in the course of their diabolic work, carry the story of scandal to the righteous man ;-to him who loves his God and his neighbour. But what reception has the tale-bearer? The good man taketh it not up; NUINS lo nasa, he will not bear it ;-it shall not be propagated from him. He cannot prevent the detractor from laying it down ; but it is in his power not to take it up: and thus the progress of the slander may be arrested. He taketh not up a reproach against his neighbour; and the talebearer is probably discouraged from carrying it to another door. Reader, drive the slanderer of your neighbour far away
from ever remembering that, in the law of God, as well as in the law of the land, “the receiver is as bad as the thief."-Clarke's Com
REFLECTIONS ON VOLCANOS.
(Continued from page 27.) UPON the second hypothesis which we laid down, that the principal cause of volcanic phænomena is a very strong and as yet unneutralized affinity existing between certain substances, and capable of being called into action by fortuitous contact, it is necessary to suppose that the water meets, in the interior of the earth, substances with which it has an affinity so strong as to affect its decomposition and to disengage a considerable quantity of heat.
Now the, lavas ejected by volcanos are essentially composed of silica, alumina, lime, soda, and oxide of iron ;-bodies which, being all oxides and incapable of acting upon water, cannot be supposed to have originally existed in their present state in volcanos; and from the knowledge which has been obtained of the true nature of these substances, by the admirable discoveries of Sir Humphrey Davy, it is probable that the greatest part, if not all of them, may exist in a metallic state. There is no difficulty in conceiving that by their contact with water they might decompose it, become changed into lava, and produce sufficient heat to account for the greater part of the volcanic phænomena. But as my object is not to construct a system; but, on the contrary, to examine the probability of the two hypotheses under consideration, and to direct the attention of future observers towards those facts which are most likely to throw light upon the causes of volcanos, I shall proceed to point out the consequences which must result from the adoption of the latter hypothesis. If water be really the agent which sustains the volcanic fires by means of its
oxygen, we must admit, as a necessary and very important consequence, that an enormous quantity of hydrogen, either free or combined with some other principle, would be disengaged through the craters of volcanos. Nevertheless it does not appear that the disengagement of hydrogen is very frequent in volcanos. Although, during my residence at Naples in 1805, with my friends M. Alexander de Humboldt, and M. Leopold de Buck, I witnessed frequent explosions of Vesuvius, which threw up melted lava to the height of more than two hundred metres; I never perceived any inflammation of hydrogen. Every explosion was followed by columns (tourbillons) of a thick and black smoke, which must have ignited if they had been composed of hydrogen, being traversed by bodies leading to a temperature higher than was necessary to cause their inflammation.
This smoke, the evident cause of the explosions, contained therefore other Auids than hydrogen. But what was its true nature ? If we admit that it is water which furnishes oxygen to volcanos, it will follow, that, as its hydrogen does not disengage itself, in a free state, it must enter into some combination. It cannot enter into any compound inflammable by means of heat at its contact with the air; it is however very possible that it unites with chlorine to form hydrochloric acid.
A great many observations have in fact been recently given to the world on the presence of this acid in the vapours of Vesuvius; and, according to that excellent observer M. Breislack, it is at least as abundant in them as sulphurous acid. M. Menard de la Groye (whose conclusions on volcanos 1 however think too precipitate to be adopted,) and M. Monticelli, to whom the public is indebted for some excellent observations on Vesuvius, also regard the presence of hydrochloric acid in its vapours as incontestible. I have myself no longer any doubt on this fact, though during my stay in the neighbourhood of Vesuvius, I could never distinguish by the smell any thing but sulphurous acid; it is, however, very possible, that the extraneous substances mixed with the hydrochloric acid disguised its odour.
It is very much to be wished that M. Monticelli, who is so favourably situated for observing Mount Vesuvius, would place some water, containing a little potass, in open vessels on different parts of this volcano; the water would gradually become charged with acid vapours, and after some time it would be easy to determine their nature.
If the whole of the hydrogen furnished by water to the combustible substances contained in volcanic furnaces becomes combined with chlorine, the quantity of hydrochloric acid disengaged by volcanos ought to be enormous.
It would then become a mate ! ter of surprise, that the existence of this acid had not been observed sooner. Besides, the chlorine must enter into combination with the metal of cilica, alumina, lime and oxide of iron; Vol. VII.
and in order to explain the high temperature of volcanos, we must suppose that the contact of the chlorides of silicium and aluminium with water produces a great evolution of heat. Such a supposition is by no means improbable; but even if we admit it, we are still in want of a great many data, before we can render its application to volcanic phænomena satisfactory.
If the combustible metals are not in the state of chlorides, hydrochloric acid is then a secondary result; it must proceed from the action of the water upon some chloride (probably that of sodium,) an action which is favoured by the mutual affinity of oxides. M. Thenard and I have already shown that if perfectly dry sea salt and sand are both heated red hot, no hydrochloric acid is evolved : we found also, that sea salt undergoes no alteration from the agency of water alone; but if aqueous vapour is suffered to pass over a mixture of sand or of clay with sea salt, hydrochloric acid is immediately disengaged in great abundance.
Now the production of this acid by the conjoint action of water and some oxide upon a chloride, must be very frequent in volcanos. Lava contains chlorides, since it gives them out abundantly when it comes in contact with the air. M. M. Monticelli and Covelli extracted, merely by repeated washings with boiling water, more than nine per cent. of sea salt from the lava of Vesuvius in 1822. It is exhaled through the mouths of volcanos; for very beautiful crystals of it are found in the scoria covering incandescent lava. If, therefore, lava comes in contact with water, either in the interior of the volcano, or at the surface of the earth by means of air, hydrochloric acid must necessarily be produced.
Messrs. Monticelli and Covelli have, in fact, observed the production of acid vapours in crevices nearly incandescent, but they took them for sulphurous acid. I am, on the contrary, convinced that they were essentially composed of hydrochloric acid. It is allowable to doubt the accuracy of their investigation, since they have expressed considerable uncertainty as to the nature of these acid vapours, whether they were sulphurous or muriatic.
It is well known that lava, especially when it is spongy, contains a good deal of specular iron. În 1805, on inspecting with M. de Humboldt and M. de Buck, a gallery formed on Vesuvius by the lava of the preceding year, which after encrusting the surface, had gradually sunk below it, I saw so great a quantity of specular iron, that it formed what I may be allowed to call a vein : its beauttful, micaceous crystals covered the walls of this gallery, in which the temperature was still too high to permit us to stay long. Now the peroxide of iron being in a high degree fixed at a temperature much higher than that of lava, it is not probable that it was volatilized in that state : it is very probable that it was primitively in the state of chloride.
If, indeed, we take protochloride of iron which has been melted, and expose it to a dull red heat in a glass tube, and then pass over its surface a current of steam, we shall obtain a great quantity of hydrochloric acid and of hydrogen gas; and black dentoxide of iron will remain in the tube. If, instead of steam, we use dry oxygen, we shall obtain chloride and peroxide of iron. This experiment is easily made by mixing chloride of iron with dry chlorate of potass; at a very moderate temperature chlorine disengages itself in abundance. If we suffer a stream of moist air to pass over the chloride at the temperature above mentioned, approaching to a red heat, we obtain chlorine, hydrochloric acid, and deroxide of iron. The effects observed with perchloride of iron are the same. If it be exposed to moisture, hydrochloric acid is immediately obtained, or chlorine if it be exposed to oxygen; in either case peroxide of iron is formed.
I can imagine, therefore, that iron in the state of chloride exists in the smoke exhaled by volcanos, or by their lava at its contact with the air, and that by means of heat of water, and of the oxygen of the air, it is changed into peroxide, which collects and assumes a crystalline form during precipitation. If we suffer a stream of chlorine at the temperature of 400° to pass over a steel harpsicorde-wire, the wire immediately becomes incandescent, but not nearly so soon as with oxygen. The perchloride of iron is very volatile; it crystallizes on cooling into very small light flakes, which instantly fall into deliquescence on exposure to the air. It heats so strongly with water, that I should not be surprised, if, in a large mass, and with a proportional quantity of water, it should become incandescent. I make this observation in order to suggest to my readers, that if silicium and aluminium really existed in the bowels of the earth in the state of chloride, they might produce a much higher temperature upon coming in contact with water, since their affinity for oxygen is much greater than that of iron.
If, as can hardly be doubted, sulphurous acid be really disengaged from volcanos, it is very difficult to form an opinion of its true origin. Whence should it derive the oxygen necessary to its formation, unless it be the result of the decomposition of some sulphates by the action of heat; and of the affinity of their bases for other bodies? This opinion appears to me to be the most probable; for I cannot conceive, from what is known of the properties of sulphur, that it is an agent in volcanic fires.
(To be continued.)
INFIDELITY PUNISHED. The following Anécdote is related by MADAME LA COMTESSE DE GENLís. 5 MORVEL, an actor, sat in the Pulpit of the Cathedral of Notre-Dame, at Paris, during the French Revolution, as High-Priest of Reason; and, eight years afterwards, he died in the most dreadful state of raving madness!"