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moved or stood still, yet would the same violence cast a body from it equally far. That I may the plainer express my meaning, I will set down this diagram.
Suppose this earth were A, which was to move in the circle C, D, and let the bullet be supposed at B, within its proper verge; I say, whether this earth did stand still, or move swiftly towards D, yet the bullet would still keep at the same distance, by reason of that magnetic virtue of the centre (if I may so speak) whereby all things within its sphere are attracted with it. So that the violence to the bullet, being nothing else but that whereby it is removed from its centre, therefore an equal violence can carry a body from its proper place but at an equal distance, whether or to this earth where its centre is, does stand still or move.
The inpartial reader may find sufficient satisfaction for this and such other arguments as may be urged against the motion oi that earth, in the writings of Copernicus and his followers unto whom, for brevity sake, I will refer them.
That there are high mountains, deep vallies, and spacious
plains in the body of the Moon.
HOUGH there are some who think mountains to be
a deformity to the earth, as if they were either beat up by the flood, or else cast up like so many heaps of rubbish left at the creation ; yet if well considered, they will be found as much to conduce to the beauty and conveniency of the universe, as any of the other parts. Nature (saith Pliny *) purposely framed them for many excellent uses ; partly to tame the violence of greater rivers, to strengthen certain joints within the veins and bowels of the earth, to break the force of the sea's inundation, and for the safety of the earth's inhabitants, whether beasts or men. That they make much for the protection of beasts, the Psalmist testifies t; The highest hills are a refuge for the wild goats, and the rocks for conies. The kingly prophet had likewise learned the safety of these by his own experience, when he also was fain to make a mountain his refuge from the fury of his master Saul, who persecuted him in the wilderness.
True indeed, such places as these keep their neighbours poor, as being most barren, but yet they preserve them safe, as being most strong; witness our unconquered Wales and Scotland, whose greatest protection hath been the natural strength of their country; so fortified with mountains, that these have always been unto them sure retreats from the violence and oppression of others. Wherefore a good author doth rightly call them nature's bulwarks, cast up at God Almighty's own charges, the scorns and curbs of victorious armies. Which made the Barbarians in Curtius so confident of their own safety, when they
* Nat. Hist. 1. 36. c. 5.
* Psal. ciy, ver. 18.
were once retired to an inaccessible mountain; that when Alexander's legate had brought them to a parley, and persuading them to yield, told them of his master's victories, what seas and wildernesses he had passed ; they replied, that all that might be, but could Alexander fly too? Over the seas he might have ships, and over the land horses, but he must have wings before he could get up thither. Such safety did those barbarous nations conceive in the mountains whereunto they were retired. Certainly then such useful parts were not the effect of man's sin, or produced by the world's curse, the flood; but rather at the first created by the goodness and providence of the Almighty.
This truth is usually concluded from these and the like arguments.
1. Because the scripture itself, in the description of that general deluge, tells us, it overflowed the highest mountains.
2. Because Moses who writ long after the flood, does yet give the same description of places and rivers, as they had before ; which could not well have been if this had made so strange an alteration.
3. It is evident that the trees did stand as before. For otherwise, Noah could not so well have concluded, that the waters were abated, from this reason, because the dove brought an olive leaf in her mouth, when she was sent forth a second time: whereas had the trees been rooted up, she might have taken it the first time, from one of them as it was floating on the top of the waters. Now if the motion of the water was not so violent as to subvert the trees, much less was it able to cast up such vast heaps as the mountains.
4. When the scripture doth set forth unto us the power and immensity of God by the variety or usefulness of the creatures which he hath made; amongst the rest it doth often mention the mountains. Psal. civ. 8. item, cviii. 9 Isa. xl. 12. And therefore it is probable they were created at the first. Unto this I might add that in other places,
divine wisdom in shewing of its own antiquity; saith that he was from the beginning, before the earth or the mountains were brought forth *.
5. If we may trust the relations of antiquity t, there were many monuments left undefaced after the flood.
So that if I intend to prove that the moon is such a habitable world as this is ; it is requisite that I shew it to have the same conveniences of habitation as this hath. And here if some Rabbi or Chymic were to handle the point, they would first prove it out of scripture, from that place in Moses his blessing, where he speaks of the ancient mountains and lasting hills, Deut. 33. niya 272 ingot phy for having immediately before mentioned those blessings which should happen unto Joseph by the influence of the moon, he does presently exegetically iterate them, in blessing him with the chief things of the ancient mountains and lasting hills; you may also see the same expression used in Jacob's blessing of Joseph I.
But however we may deal pro or con in philosophy, yet we must not be too bold with divine truths, or bring scripture to patronize any fancy of our own; though, (perhaps) it be a truth. I am not of their mind, who think it a good course to confirm philosophical secrets from the letter of the scripture, or by abusing some obscure text in it. Methinks it favours too much of that melancholy humour of the chymics, who, aiming in all their studies at the making of gold, do persuade themselves, that the most learned and subtile of the ancient authors, in all their obscure places do mean some such sense as may make to
And hence it is that they derive such strange mysteries from the fables of the poets; and can tell you what great secret it was, that antiquity did hide under the fiction of Jupiter being turned into a shower of gold: of Mercury's being made the interpreter of the Gods: of the Moon's descending to the earth for the love
of Endymion : with such ridiculous interpretations of these and the like fables, which any reasonable considering man cannot conceive to proceed from any but such as are distracted. No less fantastical in this kind are the Jewish Rabbies ; amongst whom, is not any opinion, whether in nature or policy, whether true or false, but some of them, by a cabalistical interpretation can father it upon a dark place of scripture, or (if need be) upon a text that is clean contrary. There being not any absurdity so gross and incredible, for which these abusers of the text, will not find out an argument. Whereas, it is the more natural way, and should be observed in all controversies, to apply unto every thing the proper proofs of it; and when we deal with philosophical truths, to keep ourselves within the bounds of human reason and authority.
But this by the way. For the better proof of this proposition, I might here cite the testimony of Diodorus, who thought the moon to be full of rugged places, velut terrestribus tumulis superciliosam; but he erred much in some circumstances of this opinion, especially where he says, there is an island amongst the Hyperboreans, wherein those hills may to the eye be plainly discovered ; and for this reason Cælius * calls him a fabulous writer. But you may see more express authority for the proof of this in the opinions of Anaxagoras and Democritus t, who held that this planet was full of champion grounds, mountains and vallies. And this seemed likewise probable unto Augustinus Nisus I, whose words are these: Forsitan non est remotum dicere lunæ partes esse diversas, veluti sunt partes terræ, quarum aliæ sunt vallosa, alia montosæ, ex quarum differentia effici potest facies illa lunæ, nec est rationi dissonum, nam luna est corpus imperfecte sphæricum, cum sit corpus ab ultimo cælo elongatum, ut supra dirit Aristoteles. Perhaps, it would not be amiss to say that the
parts of the moon were divers, as the parts of this
* Lect, aut. l. 1.c. 15.
De Celo. l. 2. part. 49.
+ Plut. de plac. I. 2. c. 85.