Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub

sphere of another, although it illuminate something more than half of a lesser, according unto the doctrine of the opticks.

His wisdom is again discernible, not only in that it moveth at all

, and in its bare motion, but wonderful in contriving the line of its revolution which is so prudently effected, that by a vicissitude in one body and light it sufficeth the whole earth affording thereby a possible or pleasurable habitation in every part thereof, and that is the line ecliptick, all which to effect by any other circle it had been impossible. For first, if we imagine the sun to make its course out of the ecliptick, and upon a line without any obliquity, let it be conceived within that circle that is either on the equator, or else on either side; for if we should place it either in the meridian or colours, beside the subversion of its course from east to west, there would ensue the like incommodities. Now if we conceive the sun to move between the obliquity of this ecliptick in a line

upon one side of the equator, then would the sun be visible but unto one pole, that is the same which was nearest unto it. So that unto the one it would be perpetual day, unto the other perpetual night; the one would be oppressed with constant heat, the other with insufferable cold, and so the defect of alternation would utterly impugn the generation of all things, which naturally require a vicissitude of heat to their production, and no less to their increase and conservation.

But if we conceive it to move in the equator, first unto a parallel sphere, or such as have the pole for their zenith, it would have made neither perfect day nor night. For being in the equator it would intersect their horizon, and be half above and half beneath it, or rather it would have made perpetual night to both; for though in regard of the rational horizon, which bisecteth the globe into equal parts, the sun in the equator would intersect the horizon; yet in respect of the sensible horizon, which is defined by the eye, the sun would be visible unto neither. For if as ocular witnesses report, and some also write, by reason of the convexity of the earth, the eye of man under the equator cannot discover both the poles, neither would the eye under the poles dis

cover the sun in the equator.

Thus would there nothing fructify either near or under them, the sun being horizontal to the poles, and of no considerable altitude unto parts a reasonable distance from them. Again, unto a right sphere, or such as dwell under the equator, although it made a difference in day and night, yet would it not make any distinction of seasons; for unto them it would be constant summer, it being always vertical, and never deflecting from them. So had there been no fructification at all, and the countries subjected would be as unhabitable, as indeed antiquity conceived them.

Lastly, it moving thus upon the equator, unto what position soever, although it had made a day, yet could it have made no year, for it could not have had those two motions' now ascribed unto it, that is, from east to west, whereby it makes the day, and likewise from west to east, whereby the year is computed. For according to received astronomy, the poles of the equator are the same with those of the primum mobile. Now it is impossible that on the same circle, having the same poles, both these motions, from opposite terms, should be at the same time performed, all which is salved, if we allow an obliquity in his annual motion, and conceive him to move upon the poles of the zodiack, distant from those of the world, twenty-three degrees and an half. Thus may we discern

[ocr errors]

3 two motions.] The motion from east makes his angels, or has he made his to west is cald the motion of the world, owne bodye in his ascention, or as he bycause by itt all the whole frame of the makes the lightning or the light itself. universe is caryed round every 24 howres, The compass of the earth, which is and among the rest of the cælestial lights 21600 miles divided by 24 leaves in the the sun alsoe, to whom this motion does

quotient 937 i. e. of miles, and soe not belong but passively onlye, and therefore heere was noe feare of crossing that many the Copernicans thinke the earth undoubted principle which unavoydably

turnes every howre; that is above 15 recoyls upon the Copernicans, who to make miles every minute of an houre, and good their hypothesis, fancye a rotation of about of a mile every second,'i. e. dinetical, that is, a whirlinge rapture of the swifter then the natural motion of the earthe about his owne axe every 24

heart. Proculdubio loca terræ sub polis houres, that is, 900 miles every howre, sita, nequeunt ab æquatoris subjectis which is more impossible then for the cerni : cum horison terrestris nusquam heaven which wee call the primum mobile in ipso oceano tranquillo 60 miliarium visu to turne about 400,000 miles every

terminetur: at polos cæli posse ab iisdem houre; unless they thinke that he who

terræ incolis simul conspici, manifestum made itt soe inf lye vast in com

ex rarefactione quæ sydera attollit ultra passe and in distance from us, could not distantiam horizontis rationalis.— Hr. make itt as swift in motion alsoe, as be

* circle.] Globe. -Wr.

the necessity of its obliquity, and how inconvenient its motion had been upon a circle parallel to the equator, or upon the equator itself.

Now with what providence this obliquity is determined, we shall perceive upon the ensuing inconveniences from any deviation. For first, if its obliquity had been less (as instead of twenty-three degrees, twelve or the half thereof) the vicissitude of seasons appointed for the generation of all things would surely have been too short; for different seasons would have huddled upon each other, and unto some it had not been much better than if it had moved on the equator. But had the obliquity been greater than now it is, as double, or of 40 degrees, several parts of the earth had not been able to endure the disproportionable differences of seasons, occasioned by the great recess, and distance of the sun. For unto some habitations the summer would have been extreme hot, and the winter extreme cold; likewise the summer temperate unto some, but excessive and in extremity unto others, as unto those who should dwell under the tropick of Cancer, as then would do some part of Spain, or ten degrees beyond, as Germany, and some part of England, who would have summers as now the Moors of Africa. For the sun would sometime be vertical unto them; but they would have winters like those beyond the arctic circle, for in that season the sun would be removed above 80 degrees from them. Again, it would be temperate to some habitations in the summer, but very extreme in the winter; temperate to those in two or three degrees beyond the arctic circle, as now it is unto us, for they would be equidistant from that tropic, even as we are from this at present. But the winter would be extreme, the sun being removed above an hundred degrees, and so consequently would not be visible in their horizon, no position of sphere discovering any star distant above 90 degrees, which is the distance of every zenith from the horizon. And thus, if the obliquity of this circle had been less, the vicissitude of seasons had been so small as not to be distinguished ; if greater, so large and disportionable as not to be endured.

Now for its situation, although it held this ecliptic line, yet

had it been seated in any other orb,5 inconveniences would ensue of condition unlike the former; for had it been placed in the lowest sphere of the moon, the year would have consisted but of one month, for in that space of time it would have passed through every part of the ecliptic; so would there have been no reasonable distinction of seasons required for the generation and fructifying of all things, contrary seasons which destroy the effects of one another so suddenly succeeding. Besides, by this vicinity unto the earth, its heat had been intolerable; for if, as many affirm, there is a different sense of heat from the different points of its proper orb, and that in the apogeum or highest point, which happeneth in Cancer, it is not so hot under that tropic, on this side the equator, as unto the other side in the perigeum or lowest part

of the eccentric, which happeneth in Capricornus, surely, being placed in an orb far lower, its heat would be unsufferable, nor needed we a fable to set the world on fire.

But had it been placed in the highest orb, or that of the eighth sphere, there had been none but Plato's year, and a far less distinction of seasons; for one year had then been many, and according unto the slow revolution of that orb which absolveth not his course in

many
thousand

years, no man had lived to attain the account thereof. These are the inconveniences ensuing upon its situation in the extreme orbs, and had it been placed in the middle orbs of the planets, there would have ensued absurdities of a middle nature unto them.

Now whether we adhere unto the hypothesis of Copernicus," affirming the earth to move and the sun to stand still; or whether we hold, as some of late have concluded, from the spots in the sun, which appear and disappear again, that

6

5 orb.] Orbit.

was ever supposed to be, in a middle as many affirm.] Especially Scaliger, orbe between Venus and Mars; the in that admirable work of his exercitations second not a motion of declination from upon Cardan de Subtilitate. Exercit. the æquator to bothe the iropicks onlye, 99, § 2, p. 342.-Wr.

causinge the different seasons of the 7 Copernicus.] Copernicus, to make yeare, but more properlye a motion of good his hypothe is forced to ascribe inclination likewise to the sonne, hich a triple motion to the earthe; the first supposes also the poles of the earth to bee annuall, round about the sonne, which mooved, and the third motion is that hee places in the midst of the universe, called dineticall, or rotation upon his and the earthe to bee caryed, as the sonne owne axis, causing day and night.-Wr.

besides the revolution it maketh with its orbs, it hath also a dinetical motion, and rolls upon its own poles; whether I say we affirm these or no, the illations before mentioned are not thereby infringed. We therefore conclude this contemplation, and are not afraid to believe it may be literally said of the wisdom of God, what men will have but figuratively spoken of the works of Christ, that if the wonders thereof were duly described, the whole world, that is, all within the last circumference, would not contain them. For as his wisdom is infinite, so cannot the due expressions thereof be finite, and if the world comprise him not, neither can it comprehend the story of him.

CHAPTER VI.

Concerning the vulgar opinion, that the earth was slenderly

peopled before the flood.

BESIDE the slender consideration, men of latter times do hold of the first ages, it is commonly opinioned, and at first thought generally imagined, that the earth was thinly inhabited, at least not remotely planted, before the flood, whereof there being two opinions, which seem to be of some extremity, the one too largely extending, the other too narrowly contracting the populosity of those times, we shall not pass over this point without some enquiry into it. 9

8 dinetical.] Signifies whirlinge, from is not only injurious to the text, human dim, which in the Greeke is a whirlpole, history, and common reason, but also soe that the dineticall motion of the son derogatory to the great work of God, is such, in their opinion, as that of the

the universal inundation, it will be needmateriall globes, which wee make to turne

ful to make some further inquisition ; upon their axis in a frame.- Il'r. and although predetermined by opinion,

* whereof, fc.) Instead of this passage, whether many might not suffer in the the tirst five editions have the following: first flood, as they shall in the last flame, "So that some conceiving it needless to

that is who knew not Adam nor his be universal, have made the deluge par- offence, and many perish in the deluge, ticular, and about those parts where Noah who never heard of Noah or the ark of built his ark; which opinion, because it his preservation.”

« НазадПродовжити »