LAVOISIER, ANTOINE LAURENT (ante). the son of a rich merchant, had the advan tages of a very liberal early training. He studied astronomy with La Caine, chemistry with RoueHe, and was a pupil of the celebrated botanist Jussieu. At the ageof 23 he won the prize of the academy of sciences by his Memoire stir la Meillure Maniere d'celairer les Rues (rune Grande Ville. This, and his Memoire cur lee Conches des ..liontognes procured his admission to the academy of sciences. He was elected in 1787 to the provincial assembly of Orleans. He was appointed one of the trustees of the hank of discount in 1788, and made an adinimble report upon the condition of that institution in 1789, as assistant deputy of the constituent assembly. In 1790, as a member of the commission 071 weights and measures, he was active in the preparation of the new decimal system. In 1791, as one of the commissioners of the treasury, he puhlished his essay Dela Rcelieste Nationale de la France, a paper which made him take rank as one of the first political economists of the age. But chemistry was the absorbing subject of his life, and lie pursued it for nearly a quarter of a century, living only to the age of 51. He wrote many essays and memoirs, but his greatest work is his Trade ILTemen fain ale Chivie (2 vols. 8vo, 17S9). It is to Lavoisier that chemistry owes its first well-founded scientific steps. His adoption of the method of weighing chemical constituents led to the overthrow of the phlogiston theory,' which was one of the great stumbling-blocks in the way of advance ment. The increase in of a metal when oxidized had, indeed, been known by Stahl, but it had been apributed to other causes than that of combination with oxygen. It is a remarkable fact that the discoverer of oxygen, Priestley, was the last adherent of the phlogistah theory, while his discovered element was one of the most potent argu ments against this theory in the hands of Lavoisier. The discovery by Cavendish that hydrogen when burned forms water furnished Lavoisier with an explanation of the solutic;n of metals in acids. He saw at once that water was in this operation decom posed, the hydrogen being liberated, but the oxygen, the other element, uniting with the element to form an oxide. One of Lavoisier's most important works was, in conjunc tion with Guyton de Morvean, Berthollet, and Fourcroy, to devise a system of chemical nomenclature, a work which was commenced by Guyton de Morveau.
LAW, in theology, a term variously used. In the Bible it often includes the whole of revelation, doctrinal as well as preceptive; but it is often also used, in a more restricted and somewhat conventional sense, to signify the books of Moses, the whole Jewish Scriptures being comprehended under the twofold designation of "the law and the prophets." A very natural and common use of the term 'law is to denote the pre ceptive part. of revelation, in contradistinction to the doctrinal. the one being designated as the law, and the other as the gospel. When employed in Scripture with exclusive ref erence to the preceptive part of revelation, the term law sometimes signifies the Jewish code of precepts as to rites and ceremonies, called by theologians the CEREMONIAL LAW, and which is regarded as having been abrogated when the Jewish dispensation gave place to the Christian. The ceremonial law is also regarded as having in its rites and ceremonies—" a shadow of good things to come"—symbolized the great doctrines which form the system of Christianity.—The MORAL LAW is that preceptive revelation of the divine will which is of perpetual and universal obligation. It is commonly regarded by theologians as summed up in the Ten Commandments; and, according to our Savior's own statement, as still more briefly and comprehensively summed up in the two com mandments of loving God with all our heart, and soul, and strength, and mind, and loving our neighbors as ourselves. Although the Ten Commandments were given to the Jews at Mount Sinai, it is not therefore held that they were intended for the Jews alone, or were then first promulgated; the moral law being regarded as really the/aloof nature, written on the heart of man at his creation, although to fallen man a clear and express revelation of it has become necessary. One of the chief contested points in connec tion with this subject is that of the Sabbath (q.v.). Another relates to the law of nature, and the value which ought to be practically assigned to the deeisiOns of the judgment and conscience of man, apart from express revelation.—The obligation of the moral law on the consciences of Christians is admitted by all except Antinomians (q. v.).