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in what time precisely the apogeum absolveth one degree, as Petavius hath also delivered.
Lastly, however these or other difficulties intervene, and that we cannot satisfy ourselves in the exact compute of time, yet may we sit down with the common and usual account; nor are these differences derogatory unto the advent or passion of Christ, unto which indeed they all do seem to point, for the prophecies concerning our Saviour were indefinitely delivered before that of Daniel; so was that pronounced unto Eve in Paradise, that after of Balaam, those of Isaiah and the prophets, and that memorable one of Jacob, “the sceptre shall not depart from Israel until Shilo come;" which time notwithstanding it did not define at all. In what year therefore soever, either from the destruction of the temple, from the re-edifying thereof, from the flood, or from the creation, he appeared, certain it is, that in the fulness of time
When he therefore came, is not so considerable, as that he is come: in the one there is consolation, in the other no satisfaction. The greater query is, when he will come again ; and yet indeed it is no query at all; for that is never to be known, and therefore vainly enquired : t’is a professed and authentick obscurity, unknown to all but to the omniscience of the Almighty. Certainly the ends of things are wrapt up in the hands of God, he that undertakes the knowledge thereof forgets his own beginning, and disclaims his principles of earth. No man knows the end of the world, nor assuredly of any thing in it: God sees it, because unto his eternity it is present; he knoweth the ends of us, but not of himself; and because he knows not this, he knoweth all things, and his knowledge is endless, even in the object of himself.
• De Doctrina Temporum, l. 4.
Of Men's Enquiries in what season or point of the Zodiack
it began, that, as they are generally made, they are in
vain, and as particularly, uncertain. CONCERNING the seasons, that is, the quarters of the year, some are ready to enquire, others to determine, in what season, whether in the autumn, spring, winter, or summer, the world had its beginning. Wherein we affirm, that, as the question is generally and in respect of the whole earth proposed, it is with manifest injury unto reason in any particular determined; because whenever the world had its beginning it was created in all these four. For, as we have elsewhere delivered, whatsoever sign the sun possesseth (whose recess or vicinity defineth the quarters of the year) those four seasons were actually existent; it being the nature of that luminary to distinguish the several seasons of the year; all which it maketh at one time in the whole earth, and successively in any part thereof. Thus if we suppose the sun created in Libra, in which sign unto some it maketh autumn ; at the same time it had been winter unto the northern pole, for unto them at that time the sun beginneth to be invisible, and to shew itself again unto the pole of the south. Unto the position of a right sphere, or directly under the equator, it had been summer; for unto that situation the sun is at that time vertical. Unto the latitude of Capricorn, or the winter solstice, it had been spring; for unto that position it had been in a middle point, and that of ascent, or
thereof.] According as he makes the tropicks, over whose heads he passes, his access too, or recess from the several have their summer, and those on the (parts ] of the earthe : now in that his ac- other side beyond the tropicke towards cesse to the one is a recess from the other, whome hee goes have their new spring it followes, that those from whom he beginning in exchange of their former, partes have their autumne, those within causd by his absence. -Wr.
approximation; but unto the latitude of Cancer, or the summer solstice, it had been autumn; for then had it been placed in a middle point, and that of descent, or elongation.
And if we shall take literally what Moses describeth popularly, this was also the constitution of the first day. For when it was evening unto one longitude, it was morning unto another; when night unto one, day unto another. And there. fore that question, whether our Saviour shall come again in the twilight (as is conceived he arose) or whether he shall come upon us in the night, according to the comparison of a thief, or the Jewish tradition, that he will come about the time of their departure out of Egypt, when they eat the passover, and the angel passed by the doors of their houses ; this query I say needeth not further dispute. For if the earth be almost every where inhabited, and his coming (as divinity affirmeth) must needs be unto all; then must the time of his appearance be both in the day and night. For if unto Jerusalem, or what part of the world soever he shall appear in the night, at the same time unto the antipodes it must be day; if twilight unto them, broad day unto the Indians: if noon unto them, yet night unto the Americans ; and so with variety according unto various habitations, or different positions of the sphere, as will be easily conceived by those who understand the affections of different habitations, and the conditions of Antoci, Pericci, and Antipodes. And so, although he appear in the night, yet may the day of judgment or dooms-day well retain that name ;* for that implieth one revolution of the sun, which maketh the day and night, and that one natural day. And yet to speak strictly, if (as the apostle affirmeth) we shall be changed in the twinkling of an eye, and (as the schools determine) the destruction
s twinkling, fc.] Taking this for under him round the world perpetuallye: granted (which noe man dare denye] soe in what parte of the world that yet it is most truly sayde, that doomes course shal bee determind (and the day day is the last daye, i. e. the last daye of therewith] is noe waye considerable, the sons circling this lower world by his and much lesse in what parte of the daylye course : which as itt hath [in itt daye of 24 houres, that sodaine instant selse] noc rising or settinge, but caryeth of change shall bee; which of necessity he daye and midnoone always directly must bee to some inhabitants of the
of the world shall not be successive but in an instant, we cannot properly apply thereto the usual distinctions of time; calling that twelve hours, which admits not the parts thereof, or use at all the name of time, when the nature thereof shall perish.
But if the enquiry be made unto a particular place, and the question determined unto some certain meridian; as namely, unto Mesopotamiaộ wherein the seat of Paradise is presumed, the query becomes more reasonable, and is indeed in nature also determinable. Yet positively to define that season, there is no slender difficulty; for some contend that it began in the spring; as, (beside Eusebius, Ambrose, Bede, and Theodoret,) some few years past, Henrico Philippi in his chronology of the Scripture. Others are altogether for autumn; and from hence do our chronologers commence their compute; as may be observed in Helvicus, Jo. Scaliger, Calvisius, and Petavius.7
world at the time of his risinge, to others of the son.-Wr. at midnoone, to others at his sittinge, 6 Mesopotamia] Most thinke the valand to others at midnight: for all these ley of Jehosaphat.-Wr. are all at once, and in the very same in The valley of Jehoshaphat was situated stant, every day, in several partes of the east-ward of Jerusalem, between that worlde: as for example : in April when city of the Mount of Olives; and through tis midday at London ; 't is just sonrise which ran the brook Kedron :- Mesopoat Virginia; and just sonset at the tamia was a province between the Euhithermost partes of Nova Guinea, and phrates and Tigris. yet itt is the same daye to all these 3 7 Petavius.] And yet itt must bee parcels of the world at once. But when confest, that the spring, or sonns entrance that greate doome shall come, the course into Aries is verum caput et naturale of the son shall instantly cease, and con- Principium Anni, renewing and reviving sequently the natural and usual course all things, as of old in Paradise, æqualof day and night with itt: yet there ling dayes and nights in all places, shall bee noe want of lighte in that parte within the pole circles especially : and as of the aire, or that parte of the earthe to this all astronomers agree, soe, consounder the place, where the sonn of man nant thereto, all geographers consent, shall call the world before his judgment that Paradise was neere under the Æ. seate; unless any man bee soe simple to quinoctiall, or on this side of itt, under thinke that in the presence of God there rise of the spring with the sonn.-Wr. shall be lesse light then in the presence
Of the Divisions of the Seasons and Four Quarters of the
Year, according unto Astronomers and Physcians; that the common compute of the Ancients, and which is still retained by some, is very questionable.
As for the divisions of the year, and the quartering out this remarkable standard of time, there have passed especially two distinctions. The first in frequent use with astronomers according to the cardinal intersections of the zodiack, that is, the two æquinoctials and both the solstitial points, defining that time to be the spring of the year, wherein the sun doth pass from the equinox of Aries unto the solstice of Cancer; the time between the solstice and the equinox of Libra, summer; from thence unto the solstice of Capricornus, autumn; and from thence unto the equinox of Aries again, winter. Now this division, although it be regular and equal, is not universal; for it includeth not those latitudes which have the seasons of the year double ; as have the inhabitants under the equator, or else between the tropicks. For unto them the sun is vertical twice a year, making two distinct summers in the different points of verticality. So unto those which live under the equator, when the sun is in the equinox, it is summer, in which points it maketh spring or autumn unto us; and unto them it is also winter when the sun is in either tropick, whereas unto us it maketh always summer in the one. And the like will happen unto those habitations, which are between the tropicks and the equator.
A second and more sensible division there is observed by Hippocrates, and most of the ancient Greeks, according to the rising and setting of divers stars; dividing the year, and