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scribe curves in all respects similar to those in which they now move; and the system might be successively reduced to the smallest sensible dimensions, and still exhibit the same appearances. We learn by experience that a very different law of attraction prevails when the particles of matter are placed within inappreciable distances from each other, as in chemical and capillary attraction and the attraction of cohesion: whether it be a modification of gravity, or that some new and unknown power comes into action, does not appear; but as a change in the law of the force takes place at one end of the scale, it is possible that gravitation may not remain the same throughout every part of space. Perhaps the day may
come when even gravitation, no longer regarded as an ultimate principle, may be resolved into a yet more genenral cause, embracing every law that regulates the material world.
The action of the gravitating force is not impeded by the intervention even of the densest substances. If the attraction of the sun for the centre of the earth, and of the hemisphere diametrically opposite to him, were diminished by a difficulty in penetrating the interposed matter, the tides would be more obviously affected. Its attraction is the same also, whatever the substances of the celestial bodies may be; for if the action of the sun upon the earth differed by a millionth part from his action upon the moon, the difference would occasion a periodical variation in the moon's parallax whose maximum would be the of a second, and also a variation in her longitude amounting to several seconds, a supposition proved to be impossible, by the agreement of theory with observation. Thus all matter is pervious to gravitation, and is equally attracted by it.
As far as human knowledge extends, the intensity of gravitation has never varied within the limits of the solar system; nor does even analogy lead us to expect that it should; on the contrary, there is every reason to be assured that the great laws of the universe are immutable, like their Author. Not only the sun and planets, but the minutest particles, in all the varieties of their attractions and repulsions,-nay, even the imponderable matter of the electric, galvanic, or magnetic fluid,-are all obedient to permanent laws, though we may not be able in every case to resolve their phenomena into general principles. Nor can we suppose the structure of the globe alone to be exempt from the universal fiat, though ages may pass before the changes it has undergone, or that are now in progress, can be referred to existing causes with the same certainty with which the motions of the planets, and all their periodic and secular variations, are referrible to the law of gravitation. The traces of extreme antiquity perpetually occurring to the geologist give that information as to the origin of things in vain looked for in the other parts of the universe. They date the beginning of time with regard to our system; since there is ground to believe that the formation of the earth was contemporaneous with that of the rest of the planets; but they show that creation is the work of Him with whom 'a thousand years are as one day, and one day as a thousand years.'
It thus appears that the theory of dynamics, founded upon terrestrial phenomena, is indispensable for acquiring a knowledge of the revolutions of the celestial bodies and their reciprocal influences. The motions of the satellites are affected by the forms of their primaries, and the figures of the planets themselves depend upon their rotations.
The symmetry of their internal structure proves the stability of these rotatory motions, and the immutability of the length of the day, which furnishes an invariable standard of time; and the actual size of the terrestrial spheroid affords the means of ascertaining the dimensions of the solar system, and provides an invariable foundation for a system of weights and measures. The mutual attraction of the celestial bodies disturbs the fluids at their surfaces, whence the theory of the tides and oscillations of the atmosphere. The density and elasticity of the air, varying with every alternation of temperature, lead to the consideration of barometrical changes, the measurement of heights, and capillary attraction; and the doctrine of sound, including the theory of music, is to be referred to the small undulations of the aerial medium. A knowledge of the action of matter upon light is requisite for tracing the curved path of its rays through the atmosphere, by which the true places of distant objects. are determined, whether in the heavens or on the earth. By this we learn the nature and properties of the sunbeam, the mode of its propagation through the etherial fluid, or in the interior of material bodies, and the origin of color. By the eclipses of Jupiter's satellites, the velocity of light is ascertained, and that velocity, in the aberration of the fixed stars, furnishes the only direct proof of the real motion of the earth. The effects of the invisible rays of light are immediately connected with chemical action; and heat, forming a part of the solar ray, so essential to animated and inanimated existence, whether considered as invisible light or as a distinct quality, is too important an agent in the economy of creation not to hold a principal place in the order of physical science.
Whence follows its distribution over the surface of the globe, its power on the geological convulsions of our planet, its influence on the atmosphere and on climate, and its effects on vegetable and animal life, evinced in the localities of organized beings on the earth, in the waters, and in the air. The connection of heat with electrical phenomena, and the electricity of the atmosphere, together with all its energetic effects, its identity with magnetism and the phenomena of terrestrial polarity, can only be understood from the theories of these invisible agents, and are probably principal causes of chemical affinities. Innumerable instances might be given in illustration of the immediate connection of the physical sciences, most of which are united still more closely by the common bond of analysis which is daily extending its empire, and will ultimately embrace almost every subject in nature in its formulæ.
These formulæ, emblematic of Omniscience, condense into a few symbols the immutable laws of the universe. This mighty instrument of human power itself originates in the primitive constitution of the human mind, and rests upon a few fundamental axioms which have eternally existed in Him who implanted them in the breast of man when He created him after His own image.