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colours are to be discerned in the rain-bow?
Can you, in general, clearly distinguish them? Why not?
Which are the primitive or original colours ?
Can you, from these, trace the formation of the other colours ?
Which colour do you observe on the outside of the arch? And which next? And next?
How then is the orange situated with respect to the red and the yellow?
Observe that it is the union of two colours which forms a third.
What colour is between the yellow and the blue ?
Of what two colours then is the green com
What is between the blue and the violet?
The violet appears like a fainter tinge of the indigo.
Do you know what will be produced by the union or admixture of colours ?
If you were to mix together in certain proportions all the colours of which we have been speaking, you would produce a dirty white; in proportion to the perfection of the colours employed would be the clearness of the white.
What is the source of colours, and the agent in producing them?
What colours are contained in the light? How is it that we do not distinguish these colours?
[The bright emanation we call Light is a colourless unity, which manifests things, but is not itself manifested by them; though the seven colours are contained in the light they are undivided, and indiscernible except by refraction and reflection--coloured bodies are more or less dense, light is composed of particles inconceivably fine.]
But is it possible to distinguish the different colours in the light?
By means of the prism, each ray will be divided, and may be exhibited in its own colour upon a sheet of white paper.
Go into the garden, and find amongst the flowers, specimens of as many colours as you
Name to me some objects of different colours.
How is it that different objects appear of different colours ?
[The Instructor may tell the children, that the difference of colour is supposed to be chiefly occasioned by the absorption and reflection of different rays of light : he must explain to them the meaning of the two terms-that to absorb, means to draw in or swallow up; to reflect, means to bend or throw back. He should also explain the difference between reflecting and transmitting : snow reflects the rays of light; glass transmits them.-As white is formed by the union of all the colours in the light; black is occasioned by the absorption of every colour.]
In a green leaf, or any other object which appears green, what do we suppose to take place with respect to the different rays of light? [Six of the rays must be absorbed, the green alone be reflected.]
What must take place in objects which appear red, blue? &c.
Can you tell the reason why different objects absorb and reflect different rays?
It is supposed that the difference of their texture is the cause : but must not the difference be almost imperceptible?
In the white and red rose, in the heart's-ease and tulip, for instance, we see different colours : we suppose then a difference of texture in different flowers, and in parts of the same flower.
[The pupil may be convinced by means of a good microscope that a difference is to be discerned in the texture of those parts of flowers which reflect one colour, from the texture of those which reflect another.*]
Could you have conceived this? Would you not have said there was no difference of texture
Learn then how ready we should be to distrust our own knowledge. We see but a part
It is known that some blind persons have been able to feel colours: this fact throws light upon the cause of the difference of colours--it is probable that in these persons, owing to the deprivation of the sense of sight, that of feeling has become more acute, and that they have been enabled to perceive a difference of texture so minute, as not to be dis. cerned by those in whoin the sense of feeling has been less strongly developed.
of the works of God, a little portion of His wonders !
Different lessons may be given, according to the different ages and capacities of the pupils, and the subject may illustrate some interesting truths.
Let us consider the natural visible light as a representation of the inward light of truth. Truth is light. Did we say that the light consisted of one part, or of many parts?
But would common observation discover this?
May there not be many colours in the inward truth, or light,—that is to say, many parts or rays of truth, all distinct in themselves, yet all harmonizing, and forming a perfect whole ?
Let us consider God as Light, (and He is the very brightness and essence of Light) as Truth - let us regard all the different rays or portions of truth as emanating from Him and united in Him :-each portion of truth has its distinct colour and beauty, yet ray unites with ray, and blending imperceptibly, the united rays form a glorious body of light.
The mind of the Christian under the illumi*nation of the Spirit, will act in two ways; it will act as a prism; it will act as a lens : as the prism divides the rays of light and shews each in its distinct colour, so will the renewed soul receive and exhibit each ray of truth in its own peculiar force and beauty again it will concentrate the beams of truth, and manifest
as one effulgence, the transmitted light of the divine presence.
* If we may venture to refer to so sacred a subject as any illustration of what has been said, we would mention the description given, Rev. x. l. The angel has a rainbow upon his head, which may indicate portions of the divine light in distinction ; his face, is “ as it were the sun"-exemplifying the union of those rays in a glorious body of light ; and if the illustration be pursued, his feet of fire may represent the divine love (inseparable from the true ligbt) animating the outward powers to “run in the way of God's commandments," and fulfil all His will.
We will only farther remark, that the number of rainbow colours beautifully corresponds with many other instances of the same number in Scripture; the frequent recurrence of the number seven is too obvious to be overlooked ; and we are led to conclude it has an inward signification, a reference to heavenly things not yet fully unfolded. In the glorious de. scription given Rev. iv. it is said, “ there was a rainbow round about the throne"-it is also said “ there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throue, which are the seven spirits of God.”—Such wonders are manifested to us as objects, not of sight, not of reason, but of faith. Glimpses of glory are given us, earnests of what shall be clearly revealed, when we shall see. “ face to face :"_they should have the effect of drawing us to the pursuit of the eternal realities.