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tion, always preserves its rectilinear course; neither is it possible by any art whatever to make it pass on in the segment of a circle, ellipsis, or other curve. From some observations on the eclipses of Jupiter's Satelites, and also on the aberration of the fixed stars, it appears that the particles of light move at the rate of little less than 200,000 miles in a second of time.*
There have been many objections made to these theories, and many ingenious replies. See the article on light in the Encyclopedia Britannica.
Mr. Morgan, in the 75th volume of the Philosophical Transactions, treats on the subject of Light at some length; and, as a foundation for his reasoning, assumes the following data. 1. That light is a body, and, like all others, subject to the laws of attraction. 2. That light is a heterogeneous body, and that some attractive power operates with different degrees of force on its different parts. 3. That the light which escapes from combustibles, when decomposed by heat, or by any other means, was, previous to its escape, a component part of these substances. I might state many other opinions on this subject, but I shall now take the liberty of stating mine upon those I have mentioned, and my views of the subject.
* See Encyclopedia Britannica, Vol. X. art. Light, and Astronomy, Iudex.
The opinion of Pythagoras, that objects become visible by the particles proceeding from external objects and entering the pupil of the eye, is in unison with the arguments of Locke and Hume for material impressions, and equally involved in mystery.
In the Cartesian opinion there is a glimmering of light-"An invisible fluid, present at all times and in all places, but which requires to be set in motion by an ignited or otherwise qualified body, in order to make objects visible to us.' Had electric city been as well known in his time as at this period, he would have gone farther and had clearer ideas on the subject.
The Newtonian opinion, “ that light consists of particles shaken off from a luminous body by a repulsive power," has nothing in common with Newton's demonstration in optics.
CREDULITY is boundless in its capacity --and reason seldom leads to truth, when prejudice prevails. The bigot of any sect, or party, cannot be argued with dispassionately; the worst feelings of the human heart are excited, when his opinions are interfered with, and he hesitates not to shew bis malevolence in vituperation and misrepresentation.
To enlightened inquirers after truth I address myself in this essay, as they alone can appreciate the feelings which would dictate a philosophical examination of popular opinions, and have charity for those deductions from disputed premises they cannot subscribe to.
Natural evil may be the means of producing moral good, and may be looked upon as an instrument under the controul of the Deity; but it is repulsive to our feelings to believe that He is the source of moral evil, and the various miseries it entails on humanity. Religion leads us to look for some cause, separate from the object of our adoration and affection, for effects which are inconsistent with the attributes of an allgood, wise, just, beneficent, powerful, compassionate, merciful God and Father. The scriptures of the Old and New Testament call this cause“ corruption" and " earthly," which a knowledge of nature explains and corroborates. The superstitious and atheistical, however, will oppose this principle ; the one in advocating mystery, the other in confusion-but truth differs from both; and by exalting the perfections and beneficence of our heavenly Parent, prevents, by any deductions from reason, the conclusion that he is capricious and tyrannical; or the atheistical hypothesis, that it is a nothing we speculate upon.-Would it exalt God, to consider him the author of moral evil, or the fountain from whence it proceeded? Would it lessen our veneration, adoration, and love to Him, if we should say in the language of Job, " Far be it from God that he should do wickedness, and from the Almighty that he should commit iniquity”? If to the latter question we say it would not, we must, in condemning moral evil as displeasing to Deity, and injurious to man, separate it from God, and consider it to arise from some other cause than the volition of his power.--Here it may be argued, How! Separate it from God! Is He not the author of every thing? and if the author of every thing, is not every thing agreeable to His will ?-The irreligious Deist may argue thus, but the believer in Revelation must answer, No. « God wills not the death of the sinner, and hates all manner of iniquity." If He was the author of moral evil, could he be called good ? but being not its author, He designates it earthly, sensual, and corrupt; or, in other language, that which