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Source global Wall Street Journal     time 2022-01-14 21:22:17
Typefacelarge in Small
The various acid airs (e.g., marine acid air, vitriolic acid air, etc.) consist of the peculiar acids as vapours combined with phlogiston.

The only kind of air that he thinks to be properly elementary, and to consist of a simple substance, is dephlogisticated air, with possibly the addition of the principle of heat, which, as it is not probable that it adds to the weight of bodies, can hardly be called an element in their composition.

Not less charming is the testimony of Henry Crabb Robinson, who, in 1805, wrote:—

For the last four years of his life he lived under an administration, the principles and practice of which he perfectly approved, and with Mr Jefferson, the head of that administration, he frequently corresponded, and they had for each other a mutual regard and esteem. He enjoyed the esteem of the wisest and best men in the country, particularly at Philadelphia, where his religion and his politics did not prevent his being kindly and cheerfully received by great numbers of opposite opinions in both, who thus paid homage to his knowledge and virtue.”

or of something capable of being converted into phlogisticated air.... That water enters into the composition of alkaline air seems necessary to be admitted, because it is decomposed into inflammable air, which I cannot help thinking necessarily requires water. It seems, however, clearly to be inferred ... that there is no occasion to admit the alkaline principle into the 222 number of elements; the alkalinity, as I may say, some way or other, arising from phlogiston, or phlogisticated air, as acidity arises from dephlogisticated air.”

Priestley’s time in Birmingham was not, however, wholly devoted to science and the social joys of the Lunar Society. Much of it was given to his beloved theology and to editing the Theological Repository, which he revived some time after he had settled there. A few months after his arrival he was invited to take charge of the congregation of the New Meeting. With the consent of the congregation his services were mainly confined to Sunday duty and to catechising and lecturing.


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