« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »
certainty of his life, in which respect he is below many of his fellow creatures, as may be manifested from these four comparisons.
1. From the earth, which though it seem to be but as the sediment of the world, as the rubbish of the creation ; yet is this better than man in respect of his lastingness; for one generation passeth away, and another cometh; but the earth that abideth for ever, ver. 4.
2. From the sun; who though he seem frequently to go down, yet he constantly seems to rise again, and shines with the same glory*, ver. 5. but man dieth, and wasteth away, yea, man giveth up the ghost, and where is he? he lieth down, and riseth not till the heavens be no more.
3. From the wind, the common emblem of uncertainty; yet it is more constant than man, for that knows its circuits, and whirleth about continually, ver. 6. whereas our life passeth away as doth the wind, but returneth not again t.
4. From the sea; though it be as uncertain as the moon, by whom it is governed, yet it is more durable than man and his happiness. For though the rivers run into it, and from it, yet it is still of the same quantity that it was at the beginning, ver. 7. but man grows worse as he grows older, and still nearer to a decay, So that in this respect he is much inferior to many other of his fellow creatures.
From whence it is manifest, that this constancy, or standing of the earth, is not opposed to its local motion, but to the changing or passing away of divers men in their several generations. And therefore thence to conclude the earth's immobility were as weak and ridiculous as if one should argue thus: one miller goes, and another comes, but the mill remains still; ergo, the mill hath no motion 1.
Or thus: one pilate goes, and another comes, but the ship remains still ; ergo, the ship does not stir.
R. Moses || tells us, how that many of the Jews did from this place conclude, that Solomon thought the earth to be
* Job xiv. 10, 12. * Psal. lxxviii. 39.
Mr. Carpenter's Geog. 1. 1. c. 4. ll Perplex. I. 2. c. 29.
eternal, because he saith it abideth boys for ever; and questionless, if we examine it impartially, we shall find that the phrase seems more to favour this absurdity, than that which our adversaries would collect from hence, that it is without motion.
But Mr. Fuller urging this text against Copernicus, tells us, if any should interpret these phrases concerning the earth's standing still, ver. 4. and the sun's motion, ver. 5. in reference only to appearance, and common opinion; he must necessarily also understand those two other verses which mention the motion of the wind and rivers in the same sense. As if he should say; because some things appear otherwise than they are, therefore every thing is otherwise than it appears: or, because scripture speaks of some natural things, as they are esteemed according to man's false conceit, therefore it is necessary that every natural thing mentioned in scripture must be interpreted in the like sense: or, because in one place we read of the ends of a staff, 1 Kings viü. 8. and in many other places of the ends of the earth, and the ends of heaven; therefore the earth and heavens have as properly ends as a staff. It is the very same consequence of that in the objection. Because in this place of Ecclesiastes we read with the rest of the earth, and the motion of the sun; therefore these phrases must needs be understood in the same proper construction as those afterwards, where motion was attributed to the wind and rivers.. Which inference you see is so weak, that the objector need 'not triumph so much in its strength as he doth.
Another proof like unto this is taken from St. Peter, Epist. 2. cap. iii. ver. 5. where he speaks of the earth standing out of the water, and in the water, yn GUVEOT WOU, and therefore the earth is immoveable.
I answer: it is evident that the word here is equivalent with fuit; and the scope of the apostle is to sliew, that God made all the earth, both that which was above the water, and that which was under it. So that from this expression, to collect the rest and immobility of the earth, would be
such an argument as this other. Such a man made that part of a mill-wheel, or a ship, which stands below the water, and that part which stands above the water; therefore those things are immoveable.
To such vain and idle consequences does the heat of opposition drive our adversaries.
A third argument stronger than either of the former, they conceive may be collected from those scriptures *, where it is said, the world is established, that it cannot be moved.
To which I answer: these places speak of the world in general, and not particularly of our earth; and therefore may as well prove the immobility of the heavens, they being the greatest part of the world; in comparison to which, our earth is but as an insensible point.
If you reply, that the word in these places is to be understood by a synechdoche, as being meant only of this habitable world, the earth;
I answer: first, this is only said, not proved: secondly, David but a little before seems to make a difference between the world and the earth, Psal. xc. 2. where he says, before thou hadst formed the earth and the world. But thirdly, in another place there is the same original word applied expressly to the heavens; and which is yet more, the same place does likewise mention this supposed settledness of the earth, Prov. iii. 19. The Lord by wisdom hath founded the carth; and by understanding hath he established the heayens. So that these places can no more prove an immobility in the earth than in the heavens.
If you yet reply, that by the heavens there is meant the seat of the blessed, which does not move with the rest:
I answer: though by such an evasion a man might possibly avoid the force of this place; yet, first, it is but a groundless shift, because then that verse will not contain a full enumeration of the parts in the world, as may seem more agreeable to the intention of it; but only shew, that God created this earth where we live, and the heaven of
heavens. So that the heaven of the stars and planets shall be shifted out from the number of the other creatures.
Secondly, there is another place which cannot be so avoided, Psal. lxxxix. 37. where the Psalmist uses this expression, 793 it shall be established as the moon. So Psal. viii. 4. the moon and the stars, nga UN which thou hast established, Thus likewise, Prov. viii. 27. when he established the heavens: and in the next verse, our English translation reads it, when he established the clouds. And yet our adversaries will affirm the moon, and stars, and clouds to be subject unto natural motions: why then should the very same expressions be counted as sufficient arguments to take it away from the earth? · If it be replied, that by establishing the heavens, is meant only the holding of them up, that they do not fall down to us (as Lorinus* explains that in the eighth psalm, and quotes Euthymius for the same interpretation;) fundand' i verbum significat decidere non posse, aut dimoveri a loco ubi collocata sunt. I answer, why may not we as well interpret the words thus of the earth; so that by establishing of it, is meant only the keeping of it up in the vast places of the open air, without falling to any other place.
From hence it is plain, that these scriptures are to be understood of such an immobility in the earth, as may likewise agree with the heavens: the same original word being so promiscuously applied to both.
Ay, but (you will say) there are some other places which do more peculiarly apply this settledness and establishment to the earth. So Psal. cxix. 90. Thy faithfulness is unto all generations: Thou hast established the earth, and it abideth. Thus likewise, Psal. civ. 5. Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be moved for ever. The latter of which, being well weighed in its original (saith Mr. Fullert) does in three emphatical words strongly conclude the earth's immobility.
As first, when he says 90° fundavit, he hath founded it;
Lorinus Comment. in Psal. vij.
t Miscel. I. 1. cap. 15.
which מוט from the root בל תמוט The third expression is
wherein it is implied, that it does not change his place. To which may be added all those texts, which so frequently speak of the foundations of the earth; as also that expression of the Psalmist, where he mentions the pillars of the earth, Psal. lxxv. 3.
The second word is in translated basis; and by the Septuagint, &ni TMV AT POLMELcv euius; that is, he hath founded it upon its own firmness; and therefore it is altogether without motion.
signifies, declinare; implying, that it could not wag with the least kind of declination.
To these I answer severally:
First, for the word, D fundavit, it cannot be understood properly, as if the natural frame of the earth, like other artificial buildings, did need any bottom to uphold it; for he hangeth the earth upon nothing, Job xxvi. 7. But it is a metaphor, and signifies God's placing or situating this globe of land and water. As David tells us of the pillars of the earth; so Job mentions pillars of the heavens, Job xxvi. 11. and yet that will not prove them to be immoveable.
True indeed, we read often concerning the foundations of the earth: but so we do likewise of the ends, sides, and corners of the earth; and yet these scriptures will not prove it to be of a long or square form. Besides, we read also of the foundations of heaven, 119012, 2 Sam. xxii. 8. And yet we must not hence infer, that they are without all motion: as also of the planting of the heavens, Isa. li. 6. which may as well prove them to be immoveable, as that which follows in the same verse concerning the foundations of the earth.
Which phrase (if I have observed right) in several places of scripture, is to be understood according to these three interpretations.
1. It is taken sometimes for the lower parts of the earth, as appears by that place, 2 Sam. xxii. 16. The channels of the sea appeared, the foundations of the world were discovered *.
* So Psal. xvii. 15.