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by Dr Branson of Sheffield. In a paper on this subject, communicated by him to the Society of Arts in 1851, he says :-"Having taken in gutta percha some impressions of ferns, the singularly beautiful manner in which the exact character of the plant was transferred to the gum suggested to me the possibility of printing from the gutta percha itself, so as to produce on paper a fac-simile of the plant. That experiment partially succeeded, and curiously tested the elasticity of the substance; for the impression remained uninjured after being subjected to the great pressure of a copperplate roller. I say that it partially succeeded; for the printer found it utterly impossible so thoroughly to cleanse the ink from the margin around the impression, as not when printed to leave a dirty stain on the paper. The impressions thus produced were very accurate; but the process was valueless as regards multiplication of the prints.”
Dr Branson's experiments, though thus only partially successful in the gutta percha process, were productive of a most important suggestion; namely, the use of the electrotype in the multiplication of prints from the first impression. This is now one main feature of the art.
Another illustration of the possibility of obtaining copies of patterns, impressed on substances capable of receiving them, was afforded by Mr R. F. Sturge of Birmingham in 1852. He patented a process by which he obtained, on plates of steel, brass, lead, and tin, copies of lace, perforated paper, &c.
In 1852, a series of experiments in Nature Printing, which had for some time engaged the attention of the officials in the Imperial Printing-office at Vienna, were
brought to an end, and a patent was taken out by Andrew Worring, the overseer, in which the exclusive privilege of the application of it, to obtaining copies of objects in nature and art, was secured to him.
In 1855 Nature Printing was first employed at Vienna, to illustrate botanical science, by the publication of a work on mosses, illustrated according to this method. In 1855 the first English work in this style appeared. This
“Moore's Ferns of Great Britain and Ireland.” The progress of this art may be briefly stated. The first hint must have been obtained from observing, that natural objects under pressure leave, distinctly or otherwise, according to the material on which they are laid, their impressions on different substances. Then we have Dr Branson's application of gutta percha, and this is succeeded by the use of plates of lead, and afterwards by plates of steel and copper. These, in connexion with the electrotype process, have brought the art to the point of excellence to which it has now attained. We believe that yet greater triumphs for it are in the future, and that it will become yet more, not only a handmaid in the useful arts, but also the means by which copies of those “ things of beauty," which meet us everywhere in the outward world, will be multiplied, and so cheapened, as to bring them within the reach of the poor as well as the rich. We can see, too, of how much use it may become for illustrating books of foreign travel. At present we are mainly dependent on the word-descriptions of the traveller for our ideas of the luxuriant beauty of tropical plants. Let us hope that the time is not far distant when, without any material rise in the price, our books of foreign travel shall come to be indebted to Nature Printing, for some of the attractiveness and interest attached to them.
WHEN the Hebrew patriarch sent the child of his tender partiality and affectionate regard to visit his brethren, to see whether or no it was well with them, and well with their flocks, we are told that he found they had removed from Shechem and gone to Dothan (Gen. xxxvii.) The incident seems simple enough, when looked at without reference to the after-history of Joseph. But, when we discover that but for this he would not have been in the way of those “Midianitish merchantmen” who passed Dothan on their journey down to Egypt, we can see what great events, for the Church and for the world, depended upon the shepherd sons of Jacob driving their flocks from Shechem, to a place lying in the route of the caravan proceeding to Egypt.* There would have been no Ishmaelite traders passing by Shechem, to the land of the Pharaohs, where they had a ready market for their slaves. Then, we may allow our imaginations to take free scope in trying to realise what would have been the wholly changed after-history of Israel. Joseph's trials in that land where, recording his first experiences, he could say, I heard a language that I understood not (Ps. Ixxxi.)—his elevation to the second place in the kingdom—the after-history of Israel there—the raising up of Moses—the deliverance of the Hebrew nation from bondage—the glorious march through the great wilderness—the possession of Canaanand all the lessons of grace and promises of the Messiah, and preparations for his appearing—were made by God to stand out in connexion with that change from Shechem to Dothan. The removal of the flocks by the sons of Jacob, was thus one great link in that wonderful chain of incidents to which we have referred, which were guided by God in order to bring out many of His great purposes
* “Dothan lies in what is still one of the principal roads from the Haouran and Mount Gilead to Egypt."-Kitto.
of grace for the world. We believe it will be found, that this feature in the moral government of God is linked up with the lives of most of the men, whom He has signally blessed as instruments of good for His Church. knew them intimately, we might generally find some seemingly trifling incident made use of to introduce them to great acts, and the Church and the world to great blessing. The special and particular providence of God finds thus its most striking illustrations, in what man is ready to overlook as trivial and uninteresting. The reader will no doubt be able, from his own knowledge of Christian biography, to refer to many examples of this in the personal history of those whom God has signally blessed in his cause and work. Seldom, however, has this feature in the government of God found such a marked illustration, as in the case of the well-known, devoted, and successful missionary to the Burmese-Dr Adoniram Judson.
“When about fourteen years of age, his studies were
interrupted by a serious attack of illness, by which he was reduced to a state of extreme weakness, and for a long time his recovery was doubtful. It was more than a year before he was able to resume his customary occupations. Previous to this he had been too actively engaged to devote much time to thought; but as soon as the violence of the disease subsided, he spent many long days and nights in reflecting on his future course. His plans were of the most extravagantly ambitious character. Now he was an orator, now a poet, now a statesman; but whatever his character or profession, he was sure in his castle-building to attain to the highest eminence. After a time, one thought crept into his mind, and embittered all his musings. Suppose he should attain to the very highest pinnacle of which human nature is capable; what then? Could he hold his honours for ever ? His favourites of other
ages had long since been turned to dust, and what was it to them that the world still praised them ? What would it be to him, when a hundred years had gone by, that America had never known his equal ? He did not wonder that Alexander wept when at the summit of his ambition; he felt very sure that he should have wept too. Then he would become alarmed at the extent of his own wicked soarings, and try to comfort himself with the idea that it was all the result of the fever in his brain.
“One day his mind reverted to religious pursuits. Yes, an eminent divine was very well, though he should of course prefer something more brilliant. Gradually, and without bis being aware of his own train of thought, his mind instituted a comparison between the great worldly divine, toiling for the same perishable objects as his other