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• - I 


VOL. I. 


I, The Discovery of ■"New World: or, 
a Disc jurse tendiog to prove, that it 
}§ probable there may be another 
Habitable World in (he Moon. With 

a Discourse of the Possihility of a 
Passage tluther. 
II. That it is probable our Earth is one 
of the Planets. 


Dtan Street, Fetttr LarUf 




7^ 3 

/ /. 






TTTE was son to Walter Wilkins, citizen and gold- 
smith of Oxford ; yras bom at Fawlsly, near 
Daventry, in Northamptonshire, in the house of the 
reverend and yrell ki;own Mr, John Dod, who 
wrote upon the commandments, he being his 
grandfather by the mother's side. He was taught 
his Latin and Greek by Edward Sylvester, a noted 
Greci?^n, who kept a private school in the parish 
of All Saints in Oxford : his proficiency was suchj, 
that at thirteen years of age he entered a student in 
New-Inn, in Easter-term, 1627. He made no long 
stay there, but was removed to Magdalen-Hall, 
under the tuition of Mr. John Tombes, and there 
Jie took his degrees in arts. He afterwards en- 
tered into orders, and was first chaplain to William 




Lord Say, and then to Charles Count Palatine of 
the Rhine, and Prince Elector of the Empire, with 
vrhom he continued for some time. 

Upon the breaking out of the civil war, he 
joined with the parliament, and took the splemo 
league and covenant. He was afterguards made 
warden of Wadham College by the committee of 
parliament appointed for reforming the university; 
and being created bachelor of divinity, April 12, 
1648, was the day following put in possession of 
his wardenship. Next year he was created doctor 
of divinity, and about that time took the engage- 
ment then enjoined by the powers in being. 

In 1656, he married Robina, the widow of Peter 
French, formerly canon of Christ-Church, sister 
to Oliver, then Lord Protector. In 1659, he was 
by Richard the Protector made head of Trinity 
College in Cambridge, the best preferment in that 

After king Charles the lid's restoration, he was 
ejected from thence, and became preacher to the 
honourable society of Gray's-Inn, and minister of 
St. Lawrence Jury, London, in the room of Dr. 
Ward. About this time he became a member of 
the royal society, was chosen one of their council, 
And proved one of their most eminent members, 
and chief benefactors. Soon after this he was 


■ « 


irtade dean of Rippon, and by the interest of the 
late duke of Buckingham, he was created bishop 
df Chester, and consecrated in the chapel of Ely- 
house in Holborn, the 15th of November, 1668, 
by Dr. Cosin, bishop of Durham; Dr. Laney, 
bishop of Ely; and Dn Ward, bishop of Salisbury ^ 
on which occasion Dr. Tillotson, afterwards arch- 
bishop of Canterbury, preached an excellent 

He was a person of great natural endowments, 
and by his indefatigable study attained to an uni- 
versal insight into all, or at least most parts of use- 
ful learning. He was a great mathematician, and 
very much advanced the study of astronomy, both 
while he was warden of Wadham College in Ox- 
ford, and at London, when he was a member of 
the royal society. He was as well seen in mecha- 
nics and experimental philosophy as any man in 
his time, and was a great promoter of them. In 
divinity, which was his main business, he excelled, 
and was a very able critic ; his talent of preaching 
was admirable, and more suited to profit than to 
please his hearers; he affected an apt and plain 
way of speech, and expressed his conceptions in a 
natural style. In his writings he was judicious 
and plain, and valued not circumstances so much 
as the substance. This appeared evident in what- 
ever subject he undertook, which he always made 
easier for those that came after him. 


He treated sometimes on matters that did not 
properly belong to his profession ; but always with 
a design to make men wiser and better; which 
was his chief end in promoting universal know- 
ledge, and one of the main reasons for his entering 
into the royal society. His virtues and graces 
were very uncommon ; at least as to that degree of 
them to which he attained : his prudence was very 
remarkable, and seldom failed him ; but he was so 
" openhearted and sincere himself, that he was ready 

(except he knew some cause to the contrary) to 
think other men to be so too; by. which he was 
sometimes imposed on. 

His greatness of mind was evident to all that 
knew any thing of him, nor was the depth of his 
judgment less discernible. He never was eager in 
pursuit of dignities; but was advanced to them by 
his merit. He contemned riches as much as others 
admired them; and spent his ecclesiastical reve* 
nues in the service of the church from which he 
received them ; and being secured against want, he 
would often say, that he would be no richer: and 
his conduct made it evident that he was as good 
as his word. 

He was a stranger to revenge, and yet not in- 
f sensible of personal injuries, especially such as re- 

flected on his good name, if they proceeded from 
such as had a good reputation of their own. The 



reproaches of others he despised; but frequently 
wished he had been better understood by the 
former: he bore it, however, patiently, as his mis- 
fortune; never requited them with the like mea- 
sure; but always mentioned them with respect, 
and laid hold on all opportunities to oblige and do 
them good. 

His conversation was profitable and pleasant; 
and his discourse was commonly of useful things; 
without occasioning trouble or weariness in those 
that conversed with him. He cultivated that most 
necessary (but too much neglected) part of friend- 
ship, to give seasonable reproof, and wholesome 
advice, upon occasion. This he did with a great 
deal of freedom ; but with so much calmness and 
prudence, that it seldom gave offence. 

He was particularly careful of the reputati9n of 
his friends; and would suffer no blot to lie upon 
the good name or memory of any of them, if he 
could help it. 

His enemies, who were strangers to moderation 
themselves, made that virtue in which he excelled, 
the chief subject of their reproaches, as if he had 
been a person of unsteady principles, and not fixed 
in matters of religion; this drew severe censures 
upon him from archbishop Sheldon*) bishop Fell, 
and archbishop Dolben, &c. without considering 


that he could not but have a great deal of charity 
for dissenters, by reason of his education under Mr. 
John Dod his grandfather, a truly pious and learned- 
man; who dissented in many things from the 
church of England long before the separation which 
afterwards followed upon archbishop Laud's seve- 
rities and new impositions. 

And as his said grandfather never approved of 
the extremities on the other side, but continued 
loyal to the last, and advised others to continue in 
their allegiance; in like manner Doctor Wilkins, 
• (though he had clearness when the government 
was dissolved, to submit to the powers then in 
being, by which he procured an interest and Jt' 
share in the government of both universities ;) was 
always a friend to those who were loyal, and con- 
tinued well affected to the church of England, and 
protected several of them by the interest he had in 
the then government. 

After the restoration he conformed himself to the 
church of England, and stood up for her govern- 
ment and liturgy ; but disliked vehemence in little 
and unnecessary things, and freely censured it as 
fanatacism on both sides. 

Having thus conformed to the church himself, he 
was very willing to bring over others : in which he 
was not without success, especially in his own 


diocese; where the extremes on both si4es were 
a^ remarkable, as in most parts of the nation. Being 
a person of extensive charity hinrself, he was for 
an indulgence and a comprehension, in order to 
have brought our divisions in matters of religion 
to a conclusion ; which drew upon him the hatred 
and obloquy of those who were for contrary raea- 

His indefatigable pains in study brought the 
stone upon him ; which proved incurable. He had 
for many days a prospect of death; which he 
viewed in its approaches, and gradual advances 
upon him : and a few days before his dissolution, 
he frequently said, that he found a sentence of 
death within himself. But in the height of his 
pain and apprehensions of death, he shewed no 
dismay or surprise, nor was ever heard to utter a 
word unbecoming a wise man, or a true christian. 
And thus he concluded his days with constancy of 
mind, contempt of the world, and cheerful hopes of 
a blessed eternity, through faith in our Lord Jesus 
Christ. He died in the house of his friend Dr. 
Tillotson, in Chancery-lane in London, on the l9th 
of November, 1672; and was buried on the 12th 
of December following, under the north wall of 
the chancel of the church of St. Lawrence Jewry, 
where he had formerly been minister. His funeral 
sermon vvas preached by Dr. William Lloyd, then 
dean of Bangor, (afterward Lord Bishop of Worces- 
ter) at the Guildhall chapel in London ; by which. 


those who are curious may be satisfied, that every 
part of the character here given him, may be jus- 
tified to advantage. 

As a further proof of it, and particularly of hh 
unwearied endeavours to promote universal know- 
ledge, it is proper to subjoin a catalogue of his 

The first was entitled, 

1. The Discovery of a New World; or, a Dis- 
course tending to prove, that it is probable there 
may be another habitable World in the Moon. 
Printed at London, in quarto, 1638, and had four 
editions, the last in 1684. 

2. Discourse concerning the Possibility of a Pas- 
sage to the World in the Moon. Printed with the 

3. Discourse concerning a New Planet ; tending 
to prove, that it is probable our Earth is one of the 
Planets. London, 1640, in octavo. 

The author's name is put to none of the three ; but 
they were so well known to be his, that Lan- 
grenus, in his map of the moon, (dedicated to 
the king of Spain) calls one of the spots of his 
selenographic map after his name. 

4. Mercury; or, the Secret Messenger: shew- 
ing how a Man may with Privacy and Speed com- 


municate his Thoughts to his Friend at any Dis- 
tance. London, 164PP'^The publication of this 
was occasioned by the writing of a little thing, 
called Nuncius Inanimatus, by Francis Goodwin. 

5. Mathematical Magic ; or, the Wonders that 
may be performed by Mechanical Geometry. In 
two books. Printed at London in 1648, and 
1680, in octavo. 

6. Ecclesiastes ; or, A Discourse of the Gift of 
Preaching, as it falls under the Rules of Art. 
London, 1646, 1647, 1651, 1653, and 1675, oc- 

7. Discourse concerning the Beauty of Provi- 
dence, in all the rugged Passages of it. I-ondon, 
1649, in twelves; and in 1677, the fifth edition, in 

8. Discourse concerning the Gift of Prayer ; 
shewing what it is ; wherein it consists ; and how 
far it is . attainable by Industry, Sec. London, 
1653, and 1674, octavo. 

9. Of the Principles and Duties of Natural Re- 
ligion. Two books. London, 1675, octavo. Pub- 
lished by John TiUotson, D. D. 

10. Sermons preached upon several Occasions. 
London, 1682, octavo. They are in number fif- 
teen, published by Dr. TiUotson. 




11. Essay towards a Real Character, and a Phi- 
losophical Language. London, 1668, folio. 

12. An Alphabetical Dictionary: wherein all 
English Words, according to their various Signi- 
fications, are either referred to their Places in the 
Philosophical Tables, or explained by such Words 
as are in those Tables. This is printed with the 





VOL. I. 




Xhat the strangeness of this opinion is no sufficient reason 

"why it should be rejected ; because other certain 

truths have been formerly esteemed ridiculous, and 

great absurdities entertained by .'common consent. 

By way of Preface 3 

XL That a plurality of worlds does not contradict any prin- 
ciple of reason or faith 13 

in. That the heavens do not consist of any fuch pure mat- 
ter whjcb can privilege them from the like change and 
, corruption, as these inferior bodies are liable unto 23 

IV. That the moon is a solid, compacted^ opaceous body 32 

> ■ ... 

V^ That the moon hath not any light of her own 36 

VI. That there is a world in the mo(to, hath been the direct 
opinion of many ancient, withsom^^mpdern mathema- 
ticians ; and may probably be' deduced from the te- 
nets of others .*„..*.!. ...^....v 43 

yW. That those spots and brighter I>arts> yrhich by our sight 
may be distinguished in Uie.moon,. do shew the dif- 
ference betwixt the sea anduuld in that other world ... 51 

■ ■..■■■■;,:. P 

• k. ■ 

• ■'"■.■ ■ ■ . ■ . 

■ . ■„ • . ■ 

• ■■ 

•^ ■ » • . 

• ■ If* f «> 


VIII. That the spots represent the sea, and the brighter parii 

the land SS 

IX. That there are high mountains, deep vallies, and spacious 

plains in the body of the moon dS 

X. That there is an atmosphzra, or an orb of gross vapo- 
rous air, immediately compassing the body of the 
moon 75 

XL That as their world is our moon, so our world is their 

moon 79 

XII. That it is probable there may be such meteors belong- 
ing to that world in the moon^ as there are with us ... 90 

XIII. That it is probable there may be inhabitants in this 

other world ; but of what kind they are is uncertain • • 1 00 

XrV. is possible for some of our posterity to find out 
a conveyance to this other world ; and, if there be 
inhabitants therci to have commerce with them 109 

I • 





That the seeming novelty and singularity of this opinion can 

be no sufficient reason to prove it erroneous 135 

II. That the places of scripture vhich seem to intimate the 
diurnal motion of the sua or heavens, are fairly capable 
of another interpretation 149 

III. That the holy ghost in many places of scripture does ., 

plainly conform his expressions to the error of our con- 
ceits, and does not speak of sundry things as they are 
in themselves, but as they appear unto us 159 

IV. That divers learned men have fallen into great absur- 

dities, Avhilst they have looked for the grounds of phi- 
losophy from the words of scripture 174 

V. That the v^ords of scripture, in their proper and strict 

construction, do not anywhere affirm the immobility 

of the earth 181 

VI. That there is not any argument from the words of scrip- 

ture, principles of nature, or observations in astronomy, 
vrhich can sufficiently evidence the earth to be in the 
centre of the universe 189 

VII. It is probable that the sun is in the centre of the 

world 203 

VIII. That there is not any sufficient reason to prove the 
earth incapable of those motions which Copernicus 
ascribes unto it ..• 205 

IX. That it is more probid|le the earth does move than the 

heavens 231 

X» ^at this hypothesis is exactly agreeable to common ap- 
pearances ..../ , 243 

•-■ ■ 



TF ama-ngst thy leisure haurst thou canst spare am/ for 

the perusal of this Discourse^ and dost look to find some- 
what in it which may serve for thy information and benefit ; 
let me then advise thee to come unto it with an equal mind^ 
Tiet swayed by prejudice^ but indifferently resolved to assent 
unto that truth which upon deliberation shall seem most 
probable unto thy reason ; and then I doubt not, but either 
thou wilt agree with me in this as^ertiont or at lekst not 
think it to be as for from truths as it is from common 

Two cautions there are, which I would willingly, admo* 
nish thee of in the beginning : 

1 • That thou shouldst not here look to find an exact ac-- 
curate treatise ; since this discourse was but the fruit of 
some lighter studies ^ and those too huddled up in a short 
time ; being first thought of and finished in the space qf 
some few weeks ; and therefore you cannot in reason expect 
that it should be so polished^ as perhaps the subject would 
require^or the leisure of the author might have done it. 

2. To remember that /promise only probable arguments 

for the proof of this opinion ; and therefore you must not 

look that every consequence should be of an undeniable de^ 

pendance ; or that the truth qf each argument should be 

measured by its necessity. I grants that some astronomic 

cal appearances may possibly be solved otherwise than here 

they are : but the thing I aim at is this : that probably 

they may so be solved^ as I have here set them down* 

fVhichy if it be granted (as J think it must) then 1 doubt 

TWtf but the indifferent reader mil find some satisfaction in 

the main thing that is to be proved. 


Mary ancient philosophers of the better note have for* 
merly defended this assertion which I have here laid down; 
and it were to be wished^ that same of us would more apply 
our endeavours unto the examinatum of these old opinions; 
which, though they have for a long tinie lain neglected by 
others, yet in them you may find many t^iiths well worthy 
your pains and observation. It is a false conceit, for us to 
think that amongst the ancient variety and search of opi^ 
nions, the best hath still prevailed. Time (saith the learned 
Verulam) seems to be of tl^t nature of a river or stream; 
which carrieth down to us that which is light, or blown up^ 
but sinketh that which is weighty and solid. 

It ii my desire, that by the occasion of this discourse^ I 
may raise up some more active spirit to a search after other 
hidden and unknown truths : since it must needs be a great 
impediment unto the growth of sciences, for men still to plod 
on upon beaten principles, as to be afraid of entertaining 
any thing that inay seem to contradict them. An unwil^ 
lingness to take such things into examination is one of 
those errors of learning, in these times observed by the ju-- 
dicious Verulam. Questionless there are many secret truths 
which the ancients have passed aver, that are yet left to 
make some of our age famous for their discovery. 

If by this occasion I m>ay provoke any reader to an at* 
tempt of this nature, I shall think myself happy, and this 

Work successful. 


, ■'!' 
















■■ i 





That the strangeness of this opinion is no sufficient reason 
why it should be rejected; h^ause other certain truths 
have been formerly esteemed ridiculous^ and great ab^ 
surdities entertained by common consent. 

THERE is an earnestness and hungering after novelty, 
which doth still adhere unto all our natures ; and it 
is part of that primitive image, that wide extent and infinite 
capacity at first created in the heart pf man. For this^ 
since its depravation in Adam, perceiving itself altogether 
emptied of any good, doth now catch after every new things 
conceiving that possibly it may find satisfaction among 
some of its fellow creatures. But our enemy the devil 
(who strives still to pervert our gifts, and beat us with our 
own weapons) hath so contrived it, that any truth doth 
now seem distasteful for that very reason, for which error 
is entertained ; novelty. For let but some upstart heresy 
be set abroach, and present^ there are some out of a 
curious hymour ; others, as if they watched an occasion of 
singularity, will take it up for canonical,. and make it part 
of their creed and profession ; whereas solitary truth can- 
not anywhere find |p ready entertainment ; but the same 
:|jovelty which is esteemed the commendation of error, and 
makes that acceptable, is counted the fault of truth, and 
f:auses that to be rejected. 


How did the incredulous world gaze at Columbus, when 
he promised to discover another part of the earth i Ajid he 
could not for a long time, by his confidence or arguments, 
induce any of the christian princes, either to assent unto 
his opinion, or go to the charges of an experiment. Now 
if he, who had such good grounds for his assertion, could 
find no better entertainment among the wiser sort, and 
upper end of the world ; it is not likely then that this 
opinion which I now deliver,, shall receive any thing fronn 
the men of these days ; especially pur vulgar wits, but 
misbelief or derision. 

It hath always been the unhappiness of new truths in 
philosophy, to be derided by those that are ignorant of the 
causes of things ; and rejected by others, whose perverse- 
ness ties them to the contrary opinion ; men whose envious 
pride will not allow any new thing for trutli, which they 
themselves were not the first inventors of. So that I may 
justly. expect to be accused of a pragmatical ignorance, and 
bold ostentation ; especially, since for this opinion Xeno- 
phanes, a ihan whose authority was able to add some cre- 
dit to his assertion, could not escape the like censure frona 
others. For Natales Comes *, speaking of that philosopher, 
and this his opinion, saith thus : Nonnulli n^ nihil scisse 
videantuVf aliqiia nova monstra in philosophiam iniroducunt^ 
ut alicujus ret inventores fuisse appareant. " Some there 
« are who lest they might seem to know nothing, wilj 
'< bring up monstrous absurdities in philosophy, that so 
" afterward they may be famed for the invention of somer 
"what." The same author doth also in another place f 
accuse Anaxagoras of folly for the same opinion. Est 
enim non ignobilis gradus stultifue, vel si nescias quid dicaSf 
tamen velle de rebus propositis hanc vel illajn partem 
stabilire. " 'Tis none of the worst kinds of folly, boldly 
" to affirm one side or other, when a man knows not what 
« to say." 

If these men were thus censured, I may justly then expec^ ^^ 

•/ w 

* MythoL lib. 3. ci 17. t lib. V. c. 1. 


to be derided by most, and to be believed by few or none ; 
especially since this opinion seems to carry in it so much 
istrangeness, and contradiction to the general consent of 
others. But however, I am resolved that tliis shall not be 
any dikouragemeht, dince I know that it is not common 
bpinion that can either add or detract from the truth. For, 

1. Other truths have been formerly esteemed altogether 
as ridiculous as this can be. 

2. Gross absurdities have beeti entertained by general 

I shall ^ve an instance of each, that so I may the better 
prepare the teader to consider things without a prejudice i 
When he shall see that the common opposition against this 
Which I affirm, cannot anyway derogate from its truth. 

i. Other truths have been formerly accounted as ridi- 
(culous as this. I shall specify that of the Antipodes, which 
have beeii denied, and laughed at by many wise men and 
great scholars; such as were Herodotus, Chrysostom, 
Austin, Lactailtius, the venerable Bede, Lucretius the poet, 
Procopius, and the voluminous Abulensis, together with all 
those fathers or other authors who denied the roundness of 
the heavens*. Herodotus counted it so horrible an ab* 
Surdity, that he could Jlot forbear laughing to think of it. 
FeXu Se o^tav yvig T^ipioisg 7;tf4^«n/rA^, TOhhiS ffi^ nut sieyaySoy 
iXoyrccg ^^yvfrdyi^VQy oi CiKeecyovre ^eivrtt y^af^wn^ Tfj/^ rvpf re 
y>jv twttif xuxAo reqect (oq ttnco roqvu. ** I cannot chuse but 
** laugh, (saith he) to see sd many men venture to describe 
'< the earth's icompass, relating tho^e things that are without 
'* all sense : as that the sea flows about the world, and that 
" the earth itself is round as an orb." But this great^ ig- 
norance is not so much to be admit-ed in him, as in those 
learned men of later times, when all sciences began to 
flourish in the world. Such were St. Chrysostom, who in 
his 14th homily upon the Epistle to the Hebrews, does 
inake a challenge to any man that shall dare to defend that 
•a^the heavens are round, and not rather as a tent. Thus 

^ Vid. ioiep. Acoita, de nat. novi orbU| 1. 1* cap. 1 . 

.. ' 


likewise St. Austin *, who censures that rdation of the 
Antipodes to be an incredible fable ; and with him agrees 
the eloquent Lactantiusf. 2uid illi qui esse contrarios 
vestigiis nostris Antipodes putantf nu7n aliquid loguunturf 
aut est quUpiam tarn ineptus^ qui credat esse homines^ quorum 
vestigia sunt superiora quayn capita ? aut ibi qua apud nos 
jacent inversa pendere f fruges SC arhores deorsum versus 
crescerey pluvias K nives^ H gratidinein sursum versus cadere 
in terram ? H miratur aliquis hortos pensUes inter sepiem 
mira narrari^ quum philosophic Sf agros^ KmariUf K urbest 
K 7nontes pensilesfaciunty fife. *' What (saith he) are they 
that think there are Antipodes, such as walk with their 
feet against ours ? do they speak any likelihood ; or is 
" there any one so foolish as to believe that there are nacn 
" whose heels are higher than their heads ? that things 
** which with us do lie on the ground, do hang there? 
'^ that the plants and trees grow downwards, that the hail, 
'^ and rain, and snow fall upwards to the earth ? and do we 
** admire the hanging orchards amongst the seven wonders, 
<< whereas here the philosophers have made the fields and 
<* seas, the cities and mountains hanging?" What shall we 
think (saith he in Plut.) that men do cling to that place 
like worms, or hang by their claws as cats ? or if we sup- 
pose a man a little beyond the centre, to be digging with a 
spade, is it likely (as it must be according to this opinion) 
that the earth which he loosened, should of itself ascend 
upwards? Or else suppose two men with their middles 
about the centre, the feet of the one being placed where 
the head of the other is, and so two other men cross them ; 
yet all these men thus situated, according to tliis opinion 
should stand upright ; and many other such gross conse- 
quences would follow (saith he) which a false imagination 
is not able to fancy as possible. Upon which considera- 
tions, Bede also denies the being of any Antipodes, Nequt 
enim Antipodaruyn uUatenus est fabulis accornmodandus 

* De civit. Dei, I. 16. cap. 9, f Instiiut. 1. 3. cap. 34. 

THAT The moon a WOULIJ. 7 

nssemas*. "^Nor should we any longer assent to the fable 
" of Antipodes." So also Lucretius the poet speaking of 
the same subject, says, 

Sed vantis stdlidis hiec omnia finxeril error \. 

That some idle fancy feigned these for fools to believe. 
Df this opinion was Procopius Gazaeus J ; but he was per- 
isuaded to it by another kind of reason; for he thought that 
all the earth uiider us was sunk in the water, according to 
the saying of the Psalmist, He hath founded the earth upon 
the seas^ ; and therefore he accounted it not inhabited by 
any* Nay^ Tostatus, a man of later years and general 
learning, doth also confidently deny that there are aily 
such Antipodes, though the reason which he urges for it be 
not so absurd aS the former ; for the apostles, saith he, 
travelled through thie whole habitable world, but they never 
parsed the equinoctial || : and if you answer, that they are 
said to go through all the earth, because they went through 
all the known world • he replied; That this is not sufficient, 
^ince Christ would have all men to be saved, and come to 
th^ knowledge of his truth ^T* and therefore it is requisite 
that they should have travelled thither also, if there had 
been any inhabitants; especially since he did expressly 
command them to go and teach all nations, and preach the 
goispel through the whole world** i and therefore he thinks, 
that as there are no men, so neither are there seas, or 
rivers, or any other conveniency for habitation ft* It is com- 
iiionly related of one Virgilius, that he was excommuni- 
cated and condemned for a heretic by Zachary bishop of 
Rome, because he was not of the same opinion. But 
Barbnius says J J, it was because he thought there was ano- 
ther habitable world within ours. However, you may well 
enough discern in these examples, how confident many of 
these great scholars were in so gross an error ; * how un- 

* De ratione temponim, cap. 32. f De nat. rerum, lib. 1. 

X Comment, in 1 cap. Gen. § Psalm xxiv. 2. 

\\ Comment, in 1 Gen. If I Tim.ii. 4. ** Matt, xxviii. 19. 
tt A ventinus Annal. Boiorum, Ub. 3. Xt Annal, Eccles. A. D. 748. 


likdy, what an incredible thing it $eeroed to them» that 
there should be any Antipodes ; and yet now this truth is 
as certain and plain, as sense or demonstration can make it 
This then which I now deliver, is not to be rejected, though 
it may seem to contradict the common opinion* 

2. Gross absurdities have been entertained by general 
consent. I might instance in many remarkable examples, 
but I will only speak of the supposed labour of the moon 
in her eclipses, because this is nearest to tlie chief matter 
in hand, and was received as a common opinion amongst 
many of the ancients ; insomuch, that from hence they 
stiled eclipses by the name of vftdi), passions, or in the 
phrase of the poets, 

Sohs lufueque labores. 

And therefore Plutarch speaking of a lunary eclipse, relates, 
that at such times it was a custom amongst the Romans, 
(the most civil and learned people in the world) to sound 
brass instruments, and hol^ great torches toward the hea- 
ven*. Twv Is Fuiutiuv («0Tc; eqiu fvo|Euqui£VOv) %ftAK9 tb 
'marofyotg M;«)caA8|Xfv«v to (t>u( M/r^g yuu %vpct xqKXm SaXotg nuu 
iofffftv av«%ovT«v vpog Tov speevov* For by this means they 
supposed the moon was much eased in her labours ; and 
therefore Ovid calls such loud instruments, the auxiliaries 
or helps of the moon, 

Cumfrustra resonant ara atixiliaria lun^\. 

And therefore the satyrist too, describing a loud scold, says. 
She was able to make noise enough to deliver the labouring 

Utia laboranti poterit succurrere lume J. 

Now the reason of all this their ceremony, was, because 
they feared the world would fall asleep, when one of ita 
eyes began to wink, and therefore they would do what they 
could by loud sounds to rouse it from its drowsiness, and 
keep it awake; by bright torches, to bestow that light 
upon it which it began to lose. 

* In vita Paul .£inil. f Metam. lib. 4. % Juveh. Sat. 6. 

..■ 6 

THAT THE m60K MAY B£ A WO&LD. ■ '^ . 


Some of tbem thought hereby to keep the moon in %^ 
orb, whereas otherwise she would have fallen down upon 
the earth, and the world would have lost one of its lights; 
for the credulous people believed that inchanters and witches 
could bring the moon down; which made Virgil say, 

Cantus SC I aelopossunt deducere lunam. 

And those wizards knowing the times of her eclipses, would 
then threaten to shew their skill, by pulling her out of her 
orb. So that when the silly multitude saw that she began 
to look red, they presently feared they should lose the 
benefit of her light, and therefore made a great noise that 
she might not hear the sound of those charms, which 
would otherwise bring her down ; and this is rendered for 
a reason of this custom by Pliny and Propertius * ; 

Cantus SC i curru hmam deducere tentant, 
Et/acererit, si non ttra repuisa soneni, 

Plutarch gives another reasoit of it; and he says, it Is 
because they would hasten the moon out of the dark shade 
wherein she was involved, that so she might bring away 
the souls of those saints that inhabit within her, which cry 
out by reason they are then deprived of their wonted hap- 
piness, and cannot hear the music of the spheres ; but are 
forced to behold the torments and wailings of those damned 
souls which are represented to them as they are tortured 
in the region of the air. But whether this, or whatever 
else was the meaning of this superstition, yet certainly it 
was a very ridiculous custom, and bewrayed a great igno- 
rance of those ancient times ; especially since it was not 
only received by the vulgar, such as were men of less note 
and learning, but believed also by the more famous and 
wiser sort ; such as were those great poets, Stesichorus and 
Pindar : and not only amongst the more sottish heathens, 
who might account that planet to be one of their gods, 
but the primitive christians also were in this kind guilty ; 
which made St. Ambrose so tartly to rebuke those of hi$ 

* Nat, Hist. lib. 2. cap. 117. 


* < ■ ■ 


time, when he said, Tuyn turbatur carminibm globus lunal 
quando calicibiis turbantur 5f oculi. " When your heads 
" are troubled with cups, then you think the moon to be 
** troubled with charms.'* 

And for this reason also did Maximus *^ a bishop, write a 
homily against it, wherein he shewed the absurdity of that 
foolish superstition. I remember that Ludovicus Vives 
relates a more ridiculous story of a people that imprisoned 
an ass for drinking up the moon, whose image appearing 
in the water, was covered with a cloud as the ass Was drink* 
ing ; for which the poor beast was afterward brought to the 
bar, to receive a sentence according to his deserts j where 
the grave senate being set to examine the matter, one of 
the counsel (perhaps wiser than the rest) rises up, and out 
of his deep judgment, thinks it not fit that their town should 
lose its moon, but that rather the ass should be cut up, and 
that taken out of him ; which sentence being approved by 
the rest of those politicians, as the subtilest way for the 
conclusion of the matter, was accordingly performed. But 
whether this tale were true or no, 1 will not question j 
however, there is absurdity enough in that former custom 
of the ancients, that may confirm the truth to be proved^ 
and plainly declare the insufficiency of common opinion to 
add true worth or estimation unto any thing. So that from 
that which I have said, may be gathered thus much^ 

1. That a new truth may seem absurd and impossible^ 
not only to the vulgar, but to those also who are otherwise' 
wise men and excellent scholars : and hence it will follow^ 
that every new thing which seems to oppose common 
principles, is net presently to be rejected, but rather to be 
pryed into with a diligent enquiry, since there are many 
things which are yet hid from us, and reserved for future 

2. That it is not the commonness of an opinion that can 
privilege it for a truth ; the wrong way is sometimes a well 
beaten path, whereas the right way (especially to liidden 
truths) may be less trodden and more obscure. 

* Turinen^. Episc* 


True indeed, the strangeness of this opinion will detract 
touch from its credit ; but yet we should know that nothing 
is in itself strange, since every natural effect has an equal, 
dependance upon its cause, and with the like necessity doth 
follow from it ; so that it is our ignorance which makes 
things appear so : and hence it comes to pass, that many 
more evident truths seem incredible, to such who kndW 
not the causes of things. You may as soon persuade some 
country peasants that the moon is made of green cheese, 
(as we say) as that it is bigger than his cart-wheel, since 
both seem equally to contradict his sight, and he has not 
rea:ison enough to lead him farther than his senses. Nay, 
suppose (saith Plutarch) a philosopher should be educated 
in such a secret pl^e, where he might not see either sea 
or, river, and afterwards should be brought out where one 
might shew him the great ocean, telling him the quality of 
that water, that it is brackish, salt, and not portable, and 
yet there were many vast creatures of all forms living in it, 
which make use of the water as we do of the air ; question^ 
less he would laugh at all this, as being monstrous lies and 
fables, without any colour of truth. Just so will this truth 
which I now deliver appear unto others, because we never 
dreamt of any such matter as a world in the moon ; be- 
cause the state of that place hath as yet been veiled from 
our knowledge, therefore we can scarcely assent to any 
such matter. Things are very hardly received, which are 
altogether strange to our thoughts and our senses. The 
soul may with less difficulty be brought to believe any ab- 
surdity, when as it has formerly, been acquainted with some 
colours and probabilities for it ; but when a new, and sui un- 
heard of truth shall come before it, though it have good 
grounds and reasons, yet the understanding is afraid of it 
as a stranger, and dares not admit it into his belief, without 
a great deal of reluctancy and trial. And besides, things, 
that are not manifested to the senses, are not assented unto 
without someJabour of mind, some travel and discourse of 
the understanding ; and many lazy souls had rather quietly 
repose themselves in an easy error, than take pains to 

is tit AT THE teOOK MAY BE A WOitfi^ 


seaith out the truth. The strangeness then of this opmioi 
which I now deliveri will be a great hindrance to its belief i 
but this is not to be respected^ by reason it cannot be 
helped. I have stood the longer in the Pre&ce, becausfe 
that prejudice which the mere title of the book may bege^ 
cannot easily be removed without a great deal of prepara- 
tion : and I could not tell otherwise how to rectify th6 
thoughts of the reader, for an impartjial survey of the foU 
lowing discourse. 

I must needs confess, though I had ofted thought with 
myself that it was possible there might be a world in the 
moon, yet it seemed such an uncouth opinion, that I nerer 
durst discover it, for fear of being counted singular and 
ridiculous ; but afterward, having read Plutarch, Galileus^ 
Keplar, with some others, and finding many of mine bwii 
thoughts confirmed by such strong authority, I then con^ 
eluded that it was not only possible there might be» but 
probable that there was another habitable world in that 
planet. In the prosecuting of this asserdon, I shall first 
endeavour to clear the way from such doubts asmay hinder 
the speed or ease of farther progress. And because the 
suppositions implied in this opinion, may seem to contra- 
dict the principles of reason or faith, it will be requisite 
that I first remove this scruple, shewing the conformity of 
them to both these, and proving those truths that may 
make way for the rest ; which I shall labour to perform in 
the second, third, fourth, and fifth chapters, and then pro-* 
ceed to confirm such propositions which do more directly 
belong to the main point in»hand« 




That a plurality of worlds doth not contradict any fvin^ 

ciplc of reason or faith. 

r^ is reported of Aristotle, that when he saw the books 
of Moses, he commended them for such a majestic stil^ 
as might become a god ; but withal, he censured that 
manner of writing to be very unfitting for a philosopher ; 
because there was nothing proved in them, but matters 
were deliverer} as if they would rather command than per- 
suade belief. And it is observed, that he sets down nothing 
loimself, but he confirms it by the strongest reasons that 
may be found, there being scarce an argument of force for 
any subject in philosophy, which may not be picked out of 
his writings; and therefore it is likely if there were in 
reason a necessity of one only world, that he would have 
found out some such necessary proof as might confirm it ; 
especially since he labours for it so much in two whole 
(chapters. But now all the arguments which he himself 
urges in this subject, are very weak, and far enough from 
having in them any convincing power*. Therefore it is 
likely that a plurality of worlds doth not contradict any 
principle of reason. However, I will set down the two 
chief of his aiguments from his own works, and from them 
you may guess the force of the other. 

The first is this f : Since every heavy bddy doth naturally 
Itend downwards, and every li^t body upwards, what a 
huddling and confusion must there be, if there were two 
places for gravity, and two places for lightness? For it is 
probable that the earth of that other world would fall down 
to this centre, and so mutually the air and fire here ascend 
to those regions in the other ; which must needs much 
derogate from the provi4ence of nature, and cause a great 
disorder in his works. But ratio^ hac €st minimi firma^ 

* De Caelo, 1. 1 . cap. 8, 9. f I^id. 



(saith Zanchy*.) And if you well consider the nature of 
gravity, you will plainly see there is no ground to fear any 
such confusion ; for heaviness is nothing else but such a 
quality as causes a propension in its subject to tend down- 
wards towards its own centre : so that for some of that earth 
to come hither, would not be said a fall, but an ascension, 
since it is moved from its own place ; and this would be 
impossible (saith Ruvio f) because against nature, and there- 
fore no more to be feared than the falling of the heavens. 

If you reply, that then according to this, there must be 
more centres of gravity than one ; I answer, it is very pro- 
bable there are ; nor can we well conceive what any piece 
of the moon would do, being severed from the rest in the 
free and open air, but only return unto it again. 

Another argument he had from his master Plato J, That 
there is but one world, because there i$ but one first movery 

Infirma eiiam est hac ratio (saith Zanchy) ; and we 
may justly deny the consequence, since a plurality of 
worlds doth not take away the unity of the first Mover, Ut 
enim forma suhstantialis^ sic primurn efficiens apparentem 
solummodo ynultiplickatem induit per signatam materiam 
(saith a countryman of ours §.) As the substantial form, s^ 
the efficient cause hath only an appearing multiplicity froni 
its particular matter. You may see this point more largely 
handled, and these arguments more fully answered by Plu- 
tarch in his book, " Why Oracles are silenV' and Jacob 
Carpentarius in his comment on Alcinous. 

But our opposites, the interpreters thenxselve^y (who too 
often dojurare in verba magistri) will grant that there is 
not any strength in these consequences ; and certainly then 
such weak arguments could not convince that wise philosQ- 
pher, who in his other opinions was wont to be swayed by 
the strength and power of reaso^i;; wherefore I should 
rather think that he had some by-respect, which made him 

^ De operibus Dei, par. 2. lib. 2. cap. 2. f De Cselo, 1. 1. c. 9, q. 1» 
% Metaphys. 1. 12. c. 8. Diog. Laert. lib. 3. 
§ Nic. Hill, de Philosoph. Epic, panic. 379. 



first assent to this opinion, and afterwards strive to prove it. 
Perhaps it was because he feared to displease his scholar 
Alexander* ; of whoni it is related, that he wept to hear a 
disputation of another world, since he had not then attained 
the monarchy of this ; his restless wide heart would have 
esteemed this globe of earth not big enough for him, if 
there had been another ; which made the satyrist say of 

jEsfi4at infcelix angusto limite fnundif. 

f* That he did vex himself, and sweat in his desires, as 
*' being penned up in a narrow room, when he was con- 
f' fined but to one world." Before, he thought to seat 
himself next tlie gods, but now, when he had done his 
best, he must be content with some equal, or perhaps 
superior kings. 

It may be, that Aristotle was moved to this opinion, that 
he might thereby take from Alexander the occasion of this 
fear and discontent ; or else, perhaps, Aristotle himself was 
as loth to hold the possibility of a world which he could not 
discover, as Alexander was to hear of one which he could 
not conquer. It is likely that some such by-respect moved 
him to this opinion, since the arguments he urges for it are 
confessed by his zealous followers and commentators, to 
be very slight and frivolous ; and they themselves grant, 
what I am now to prove, that there is not any evidence in 
the light of natural reason, which can sufficiently manifest 
that there is but one world. 

But however some may object, would it not be incon- 
venient and dangerous to admit of such opinions that do 
destroy those principles of Aristotle which all the world 
hath so long fbUowed ? 

This question is much controverted by some of the 
Romish divines J : Campanella hath writ a treatise in de- 
fence of it, in whom you may see many things worth the 
Reading and notice. 

To it I answer, That this position in philosophy doth 

* Plutarch, de tranq. anim. f JuvenaL J Apologia pro Galileo. 

' • 


not bring any inconveniency to the rest, since it ha&t 
Aristotle, but truth, that should be the rule of our opinioBi; 
and if they be not both found together, we may My to liuii» 
as he said to his master Plato*, 

*^ Though Plato were his friend, yet he would rather 
** adhere to truth than him." 

I must needs grant, that we are all much beholden to the 
industry of the ancient philosophers, and more especially 
to Aristotle, for die greater part of our learning ; but yet it 
is not ingratitude to speak against him* when he opposeth 
truth ; for then many of the fathers would be very guilty, 
especially Justin, who hath writ a treatise purposely against 
him. But suppose this opinion were fake, yet it is not 
against the faith, and so it may serve for the better con- 
firmation of that which is true ; the sparks of error being 
forced out by opposition, as the sparks of fire by the strik- 
ing of the flint and steel. But suppose too that it were 
heretical, and against the faith, yet may it be admitted with 
the same privilege as Aristotle, &om whom many more 
dangerous opinions have proceeded : as that the world is 
eternal ; that God cannot have while to look after these 
inferior things ; that after death there is no reward or 
punishment, and such like blasphemies ; which strike di- 
rectly at the fundamentals of our religion. 

So that it is justly to be wondered, why some should bq 
so superstitious in these days, as to stick closer unto him, 
than unto scripture, as if his philosophy were the only 
foundation of all divine truths. 

Upon these groimds, both St. Vincentius and Seraiinut 
de Firmo (as I have seen them quoted] think that Aristotle 
was the viol of God's wrath, which was poured out upoQ 
the waters of wisdom by the third angel f : but for my part, 
I think the world is much beholden to him for all his 
sciences. But yet it were a shame for these later ages» to 
rest ourselves merely upon the labours of our forefathers, a% 
if they had informed us of all things to be known ; an4 

* Ethic. I. 1 . c. 6. t Rc^« xvi. 4, 





when we are set upon their shoulders, not to see further 
than they themselves did. It were a superstitious, a lazy 
opinion, to think Aristotle's woHcs the bounds and limits of 
all human invention, beyond which there could be no pos- 
6ibDity of reaching. Certainly there are yet many things 
left to discovery, cannot be any inconveniency for 
lis to maintain a new truth, or rectify an ancient errorJ 
But the position (say some) is directly against scripture ; 


1 . Moses tells us but 6f one worlds and his history of the 

Creation had been very imperfect, if God had made 
ahothqr. . ^ 

2. St. John, speaking of God's works, says, he made the 
world, in the singular number, and therefore there is but 
one. It is the argument of Aquinas^, and he thinks that 
none will oppose it, but sdch who with Democritus esteem 
i^bme blind. chance, and not any wise Providence, to be the 
framer.of all things. 

3. Th6. opinion of more worlds ha^ in ancient times been 
accounted a heresy ; and Baronius affirms that for this very 
feason Virgilius was cast out of his bishoprick f, and ex- 
communicated from the church. 

4. A fourth argument there is urged by Aquinas : if there 
be more worlds than one, then they must either be of the 
^ame, or of a diverse nature ; but they are not of the same 
kind ; fqr this Were needless, and would argue an improvi- 
dence, since ohe would have no more perfection than the 
Other J : not of divers kinds; for then one of them could 
not be called the world or universe, since it did not contain 
universal perfection. I liave cited this argument, because 
it is so much stood upon by Julius CsSar la Galla §, one that 
has purposely writ a treatise against this opinion which I 
now deJiver ; but the dilemma is so blunt, that it cannot 
cut on either iide, and the consequences so weak, that I 
dare trust them without an answer : and (by the way) you 

* Part 1. Q. 47. Art.3. f Annal Ecd. A. D. 748. t Ibid, 

§ De Pheno*ii« in Qrb« Luna?. 

VOL. I. "" C 


may see this later author in that place, where he endea* 
vours to prove a necessity of one world, doth leave the chief 
matter in hand, and take much needless pains to dispute 
against Democritus, who thought that the world was made 
by the casual concourse of atoms in a great vacuum. It 
should seem that eitlier his cause or his skill was weak, or 
else he would have ventured upon a stronger adversary. 
These arguments which I have set down are the chiefest 
which I have met with against this subject ; and yet the 
best of these hath not force enough to endanger the truth 
that I have delivered. 

Unto the two first it may be answered, that the negative 
authority of scripture is not prevalent in those things which 
are not the fundamentals of religion. 

But you will reply, though it do not necessarily condudtf 
yet it is probable if there had been another world, we 
should have had some notice of it in scripture. 

I answer, it is as probable that the scripture should haver 
informed us of the planets, they being very remarkable parts 
of the creation ; and yet neither Moses, nor Job, nor the 
Psalms (the places most frequent in astronomical observa- 
tions) nor any other scripture mention any of tlicm but the 
sun and moon. Because the difference betwixt them and 
the other stai-s, was known only to those who were learned 
men, and had skill in astronomy. As for that expression 
in Job ♦, np3 ODD, the stars of the morning, it is in the 
plural number, and therefore cannot properly be applied to 
Venus. And for that in Isaiah, y?»n, it is confessed to be a 
word of obscure interpretation, and therefore is but by 
guess translated in that sense. It being a true and commoM 
rule, that Hebrai rei sideralis vimime curiosi ccelestium 
nominmn penurid laborant. The Jews being but little skil- 
led in astronomy, tlieir language does want proper exprc^ 
sions for tlie heavenly bodies ; and therefore they are fain 

* Job xxxviii. 7. Isa. xiv. 12. Fromond. Vc»ta, t. 3. cap. 2. So 2 Reg. 
xxiii. 5. rxbiO^ vvluch is interpreted both for the pUnjets aad for the 
twehre sgni. 


SOirietimes to attribute the same name unto divers constel- 

Now if the Holy Ghost had intended to teveal unto ui 
toy natural secrets, certainly he would never have omittea 
the mention of the planets; Quorum motu nihil est quod 
de conditorts ^apitntia testatur evidentius apud eos qui ca- 
piunt*. Which do so evidently set forth tlie wisdom of the 
Creator. Add therefore you must know that it is besides 
the scope of the Old Testament or the Nevv, to discover 
anything unto us concei*ning the secrets of philosophy. It 
is not his intent in the New Testament, since we cannot 
conceive how it might anyway belong either to the his- 
torical, exegetical, or prophetical part§ of it: nor is it his 
intent in the Old Testament; as is vtrell observed by our 
countryman Master Wright f. Non Mosis aut prophetaruni v 
institutum fuisie videtifr mathematicas aliquas aut phisicas 
hibiiltates promulgarey sed ad viJdgi captum K loquendi 
^wrem^ qu^madmodurh nutriccs iiifantulis solent^ sese ac^ 
conimodare, " It is not the endeavour of Moses or the 
** prophets to discover any mathematical or philosophical 
*' subtilties; but rather to accommodate themselves to 
" vulgar ca{)acitics, and ordinary Speech, as nurses are wont 
** to use their infants." True indeed, Moses is there to 
handle the history of the creation. But it is certain (saitli 
fcalvid X) that his J)urpose is to treat only of the visible form 
of the world, and those part^ of it which might be most 
easily understood by the ignorant and ruder sort of people, 
and therefore we are not thence to expect thfe discovery of 
any natural secret. Artes retanditas aliunde discat qui 
ix>let; hie spiritus dei omnes simul sine exceptione docere 
voluit. As for more hidden arts, they must be looked for 
elsewhere ; the Holy Ghost did here intend to instruct all 
without exception. And therefore it is observed, that 
Moses does not anywhere meddle with such matters as 
were veiy hard to be conceived ; for being to inform the 

* Keplar. introduct. in Mart. f In Epist. ad Gilbert. 

X Calvin in 1 Gen« 

c 2 


common people as well as others, he does it after a vulgar 
way, as it is commonly noted, declaring the original chiefly 
of those things which are obvious to the sense; and being 
silent of other things which then could not well be appre- 
hended. And therefore Pererius * proposing the question, 
why the creation of plants and herbs is mentioned, but not 
of metals and minerals ? 

Answers : 2ida istarum rerum generatio est vulgo oc- 
culta £C ignota : Because these things are not so commonlj 
known as the other ; and he adds, Moses non ormnoy ^^d 
^nanifesta omnibt^s enarranda suscepit. Moses did not in- 
tend to relate unto us the beginnings of all things, but those 
only which were most evident unto all men. And there- 
fore too, Aquinas observes t, that he writes nothing of the 
air; because that being invisible, the people kncfw not 
whether there were any such body or no. And for this 
very reason St. Jerom % also thinks that there is nothli^ 
exprest concerning the creation of angels ; because the rude 
and ignorant vulgar were not so capable of apprehending 
their natures. And yet notwithstanding, these are as re- 
markable parts of the creation, and as fit to be known as 
another world. And therefore the Holy Ghost too, uses 
such vulgar expressions, which set things forth rather as 
they appear than as they are, as when he calls the moon 
one of the greater lights §, whereas it is the least that we can 
see in the whole heavens. So afterwards speaking of the 
great rain which drowned the world, he says, the win- 
dows of heaven were opened ||, because it seemed to come 
witli that violence, as if it were poured out from windows 
in the firmament 1[. 

And in reference to this, a drowth is described in sundry 
other places ** by the heavens being shut up. So that tho 
phrases which the Holy Ghost uses concerning these things 
are not to be understood in a literal sense ; but rather as 

♦ f Part 1. Q. 68, Art. 3. 

X Epist. 139. ad Cypri. So Pererius in 2 Gen. § Gen. i. 16. 

II Gen. xi. MaK iii. .10. IT Sir Walter Rawl. cap. 7. $ect. 6. 

** Deut.xi. 17. j Reg. iii. 55. Luke iv. 25. 


vulgar exp/essions ; and this rule is set down by St. Austin*, 
where speaking concerning that in the psalm, who stretched 
the earth upon the waters, he notes, that when the words 
of scripture shall seem to contradict common sense or ex- 
perience;, there arc they to be understood in a qualified 
sense, and not according to the letter. And it is observed, 
that for want of this rulet> some of the ancients have fast- 
ened strange absurdities upon the words of the scripture. 
So St. Ambrose esteemed it a heresy to think that the sun 
and stars were not very hot, as being against the words of 
scripture. Psalm xix.6. where the Psalmist says, that there 
is nothing that is hid from the heat of the sun. So others 
s there are that would prove the heavens not to be round, out 
of that place, Psalm civ. 2. He stretched out the heavens 
like a curtain. So Procopius also was of opinion, that the 
earth was founded upon the waters ; nay, he made it part 
of his faith, proving it out of Psalm xxiv. 2. He hathfound- 
ed the earth upon the seas^ and established it upon the floods. 
These and such like absurdities have followed, when men 
look for thegrounds of philosophy in the words of scripture. 
So that, from what hath been said, I may conclude that the 
silence of scripture concerning any other world, is not suf- 
ficient argument to prove that there is none. Thus for the 
two first arguments. 

Unto the third, I may answer, that this very example is 
quoted by others, to shew the ignorance of those primitive 
times, who did sometimes condemn what they did not un- 
derstand ; and have often censured the lawful and undoubt- 
ed parts of mathematics for heretical, because they them- 
selves could not perceive a reason of it. And therefore 
their practice in this particular is no sufficient testimony 
against us. 

But lastly, I answer to all the above-named objections, 
that the term (world) may be taken in a double sense, 
more generally for the whole universe, as it implies in it 

* L. 2. in Gen. Ps. cxxxvi. 6. 

t Hexamer lib. 2. Item Basil. Ilom. 3. in Gen. Wisd. il. 4. xvii. 5. 
^clus. xliii. 3f 4. Com. in c. I Gen. 


the elementary and acthereal bodies, the stars and the earth. 
Secondly, more particularly for an inferior world, consisting^ 
of elements. 

Now the main drift of all these arguments, is to confute 
a plurality of worlds in the first sense ; and if there were 
any such, it might (perhaps) seem strange, that Moses or 
St. John should either not know, or not mention its crea* 
tion. And Yirgilius was condemned for this opinion, be- 
cause he held guod sit alius murutus sub terras aliusque sol 
K lunaj (as Baronius) that within our globe of earth, there 
was another world, another sun and moon, ai])d' so he 
might seem to exclude this froip the number of the other 

But now there is no such danger in this opinion, whicl^ 
is here delivered ; since this world is said to be in the 
raeon, whose creation is particularly expressed. 

So that in the first sense, I yield that there is but one 
Vrorld, which is all that the arguments do prove ; but un- 
derstand it in the second sense, and so I affirm there may 
be more, nor do any of the above-named objections prove 
tlie contrary. 

Neither can this opinion derogate fro(n tlie divine wis- 
dom (as Aquinas thinks) but rather advance it, shewing a 
compendium of Providence, that could make the same 
body a worlds and a moon ; a world for habitation,' and 
a moon for the use of others, and the ornament of the 
whole frame of nature. For as the members of tlie body 
serve not only for the preservation of themselves, but for 
the use and conveniency of the whole, as the hand pro- 
tects the head as well as saves itself* ; so is it in the. 
parts of the universe, where each one may serve as well 
ifor the conservation of that which is within it, as the help 
of others without it. 

Mersennus a late Jesuit f, proposing the question whether 
or no the opinion of more worlds than one, be heretical and 

* Cusanus de Doct. Ignor. 1. 2. c. 12. 
f Comment, in Gen. Qu, 19. Art. 2. 


against the feith ? He answers it negatively ; because it does 
not contradict any express place of scripture, or determina- 
tion of the church. And though (saith he) it seems to be 
a rash opinion, as being against the consent of the fathers; 
yet if this controversy be chiefly philosophical, then their 
authorities are not of such weight. Unto this it may be 
added, that the consent of the fathers is prevalent only in 
such points as were first controverted amongst them, and 
then generally decided one way, and not in such other 
particulars as never fell under their examination and 

I have now in some measure shewed that a plurality of 
worlds does not contradict any principle of reason or place 
of scripture ; and so cleared the first part of that supposi- 
tion which is implied in the opinion. 

It may next be enquired, whether it is possible there 
may be a globe of elements in that which we call the 
asthereal parts of the universe ; for if this (as it is accord- 
ing to the common opinion) be privileged from any 
change err corruption, it will be in vain then to imagine 
any element there ; and if we will have another world, we 
must then seek out some other place for its situation. The 
third proposition therelbre shall be this. 


That the heavens do not consist of any such pure matter^ 
which can privilege them from the like change and cor- 
ruption as these inferior bodies are liable unto. 

IT hath been often questioned amongst the ancient fa- 
thers and philosophers, what kind of matter that 
should be of which the heavens are framed. Some 
think that they consist of a fifth substance distinct from 
the four elements, as Aristotle holds*, and with him 

• De Caelo, lib. 1. cap. 2. 


some of the late schoolmen ; whose subtil brains oouldi 
not be content to attribute to those vast glorious bodies* 
but common materials, and therefore they themselves had 
rather take pains to prefer them to some extraordinary 
nature ; whereas notwithstanding, all the arguments they 
could invent, were not able to convince a necessity of 
any such matter, as is confessed by their own side*. It 
were much to be desired, that these men had not in other 
cases, as well as this, multiplied things without necessity ^ 
and, as if there had not been enough to be known in the 
secrets of nature, have spun out new subjects from their 
own brains, to find more work for future ages. I shall 
not mention their arguments, since it is already confessed, 
that they are none of them of any necessary consequence ; 
and besides, you may see them set dowi; in any of the 
books de Calo. 

Sut it is the general consent of the fathers, aiid the opi- 
nion of Lombard, that the heavens consist of the sam^ 
matter with these sublunary bodies. St. Ambrose is so 
confident of it, that he esteems the contrary a heresy f. 
True indeed, they differ much among themselves, some 
thinking them to be made of fire, others of water, and 
others of both : but herein they generally agree, that they 
are all framed of some element or other ; which Diony- 
sius Carthusianus I collects from that place in Genesis, 
"where the heavens are mentioned in their creation, as di- 
vided only in distance from the elementary bodies, and 
not as being made of aoy new matter. To this purpose 
others cite the derivation of the Hebrew word a»QU^, 
quasi ryD ibi K Q'O aquce or quasi u;w ignis ^ 0*0 aqu^j 
because they are framed out of these elements. But con- 
cerning this, you may see sundry discourses more at large 
in Ludovicus Molina, Eusebius Nirembergius, witli di- 
Vers others. The venerable Bede thought the planets to 
consist of all the four elements § ; and it is likely that the 

* CoUeg. Connimb. de caelo. 1. 1 . c. 2. q. 6. art. 3. f ^^ Hex am . lib. 4, 
1 Enarrat, in Genes, art. 10. § In operc. 6 dierum disput. 5. 




lather parts of it are of an aereous substance/ as will be 
>hewed afterwards* : however, I cannot now stand to re- 
cite the arguments for either ; 1 have only urged these 
authorities to countervail Aristotle and the schoolmen^ 
^d the better to make way for a proof of their corrup* 

The ne^t thing then to be enquired after, is. Whether 
jthey be of a corruptible nature f ; not whether they can 
bjB destroyed by God ; for this scripture puts out of 

Nor whether or no in a long time tliey would wear 
away and grow worse, for from any such fear they have 
been lately privileged!. But whether they are capable of 
such changes and vicissitudes, as this inferior world is liable 

The two chief opinions concerning tliis, have both erred 
jn some extremity, the one side going so far from the 
other; that they have both gone beyond the right ; whilst 
4^ristotle hath opposed the truth as well as the Stoics. 

Some of the ancients have thought, that the heavenly 
bodies haye stood in need of nourishment from the ele- 
ments, by which they were continually fed, and so had 
divers alterations by reason of their food. This is fathered 
on Heraclitus, followed by that great naturalist Pliny, and 
in general attributed to all the Stoicks§. You may see 
ISeneca expressly to this purpose in these words. £x 
■^ . ilia alimenta oynnibus animalibus. omnibus satisy omnibus 
■ . $tellis dividuntur ; hinc profertur quo sustineantur tot si- 
derOf tarn exercitatay tarn avida, per diem^ noctemque^ ut 
in opera^ ita in pastu. Speaking of the earth, he says, 
from thence it is that nourishment is divided to all the 
living creatures, the planets and the ?tars; hence were 
sustained so many constellations, so laborious, so greedy, 

* In lib. de Mundi constit. t 2 Pet. iii. 12. 

X By Debtor Hakewill. Apol. lib. 2. § Plutarch de plac. 

Philos. 1. 2^ c, 17 . Nat. Hist. 1. 2. c. 9. Nat. quest, lib. 2. cap. 5. 

»« >. 


both day and night, as well in their feeding as working. 
Thus also Lucan sings, 

Necnon aceano pasci Phcebumque polunique crcdimus. 

Unto these, Ptoloray also*, that learned Egyptian, 
seemed to agree, when he affirms that the body of the 
moon is moister and cooler than any of the other planets, 
by reason of the earthly vapours that are exhaled unto 
it. You see these ancients thought the heavens to be so 
far from this imagined incorruptibility, that ratlier like the 
weakest bodies they stood in need of some continual nou* 
rishment, Without which they could not subsist. 

But Aristotle and his followers were so far from this f , 
tiiat they thought those glorious bodies could not contain 
in them any such principles as might make tlieni liable to 
the least change or corruption ; and their chief reason was, 
because we could not in so long a space discern any altera- 
tion amongst them. But unto this I answer : 

1 . Supposing we could not, yet would it not hence foHow 
that there were none, as he himself in effect doth confess 
in another place ; for speaking concerning our knowledge 
ef the heavens, he says J, it is very imperfect and difficult, 
by reason of the vast distance of those bodies from us, and 
because the changes which may happen unto them, are 
not either big enough, or frequent enough to fall within 
the apprehension and observation of our senses ; no won- 
der then, if he himself be deceived in his assertions con* 
cerning these particulars. But yet, in this he implies, that 
if a man were nearer to these heavenly bodies, he would 
be a fitter judge to decide this controversy than himself. 
Now it is our advantage, that by the help of Galileus's 
glass, we are advanced nearer unto them, and the heavens 
are made more present to us than they were before. 
Jlowever, as it is with us, where there be many vicissitudes 
and successions of things, though the earth abideth for 

* 1 Apostol. t De Caelo, 1. 1. c. 3. 

i^ De cselo, 1. !3« cap. 5. 


pvcr; SO likewise may it be amongst the planets; in 
which, though there should be clivers alterations, yet they 
themselves may still continue of the same quantity and 

2. Though we could not by our senses see such altera- 
tions, yet our reason might perhaps sufficiently convince 
ps of them. Nor can we well conceive how the sun should 
reflect against the moon, and yet not produce some alte- 
ration of heat. Diogenes the philosopher was hence per- 
suaded, that those scorching heats had burnt tlie moon 
into the form of a pun^ice-stone. 

3. I answer, /That there have been some alterations ob- 
served there ; witness those comets which have been seen 
above the moon ; as also those spots or clouds that encom- 
pass the body of the sun ; amongst which, there is a fre- 
ijuent succession by a corruption of the old, and a genera- 
tion of new. So that though Aristotle's consequence were 
sufficient, when he proved that the heavens were not cor- 
ruptible, because there, have not any changes been disco- 
vered in it ; yet this by the same reason must be as preva- 
lent, that the heavens are corruptible, because there have 
hccn so many alterations observed there. But of these, 
together with a farther confirmation of this proposition, I 
^hall have occasion to speak afterwards : in the mean 
^pace, I will refer the reader to that work of Scheinen, 
a late Jesuit, which he titles his Sosa Urnna *, where he 
may see this point concerning the corruptibility of the hea- 
vens largely handled, and sufficiently confirmed. 

There are some other things, on which I might here 
|ake an occasion to enlarge myself; but because they are 
directly handled by many others, and do not immediately 
belong to the chief matter in hand, I shall therefore refer 
the reader to their authors, and omit any large proof of 
them myself, as desiring all possible brevity. 

1. The first is this: That there are no solid orbs. If 
there be a habitable world in the moon, (which I now afr 

* lib* 4. par« 2. cap. j24. 35. 



firm) it must follow, that her orb is not solid, as Aristotlff 
supposed ; and if not hers, why any of the other ? I ra- 
ther think that they are all of a fluid (perhaps acreous) 
substance. St. Ambrose and St. Basil did endeavour to 
prove this out of that place in Isaiah*, where they are 
compared to smoke, as they are both quoted by Rhodigi- 
nus. Eusebius Nierembergus doth likewise from that 
placet* confute the solidity and incorruptibility of the 
heavens, and cites for the same interpretation the autho- 
rity of Eustachius, of Antioch ; and St. Austin J, I am sure, 
in one place seems to assent unto this opinion, though he 
does often in his other works contradict it. 

If you esteem the testimony of the ancient fathers, to be 
of any great force or consequence in a philosophical dis- 
pute, you may see them to this purpose in Sixtus Senensis, 
lib. 5. Biblioth. annot. 14. The chief reasons that are 
commonly urged for the confirmation of it, are briefly 
these three, 

1. From the altitude of divers comets, which have been 
observed to be above the planets ; through whose orbs (if 
they had been solid) there would not have been any pas- 
sage. To these may be added those lesser planets lately 
discovered about Jupiter and Saturn, for which astrono- 
mers had not yet framed any orbs. 

2. From that uncertainty of all astronomical observa- 
tions, which will follow upon the supposition of such solid 
spheres. For then we should never discern any star, but 
by a multitude of refractions, and so consequently we 
could not possibly find their true situations, either in re- 
spect of us, or in regard of one another : since whatever 
the eye discerns by a refracted beam, it apprehends to be 
in some other place than wherein it is. But now this 
would be 5uch an inconvenience, as would quite subvert 
the grounds and whole art of astronomy, and therefore is 
by no means to be admitted. 

* Isa; li. 1. 6. Ant, lect. 1. 1, c. 4. 

f Hist. nat. L 2. c. 1 1 . 13t^ J In lib. sup. Gen. ad. lit. 



Unto this it is commonly answered, That all those orbs 
are equally diaphanous, though not of a continued quan- 
tity. We reply, Tliat supposing they were, yet this can- 
not hinder them from being the causes of refraction, 
which is produced as well by tlie diversity of superficies^ 
as the different perspicuity of bodies. Two glasses put 
together, will cause a diverse refraction from another single 
one, that is but of equal thickness and perspicuity. 

3. From the different height of the same planet at se- 
veral times. For, if according to the usual hypothesis, 
there should be such distinct, solid orbs, then it would be 
impossible that the planets should intrench upon one an- 
other's orbs, or that two of them at several times should 
be above one another, which notwithstanding hath been 
proved to be so by later experience. Tycho hath ob- 
served, that Venus is sometimes nearer to us than the 
Sun or Mercury, and sometimes farther off than both : 
which appearances Regiomontanus himself does acknow- 
ledge, and withal, does confess that they cannot be recon- 
ciled to the common hypothesis. 

But for your better satisfaction herein, I shall refer you 
to the above-named Scheiner, in his Rosa I/rsi?ia^j in 
whom you may see both authorities and reason very largely 
and distinctly set down for this opinion. For the better 
confirmation of which, he adjoiit^ also some authentical 
epistles of Fredericus Caesius Lynceus, a noble princCg 
written to Bellarmine, containing divers reasons to th© 
same purpose. You may also see the same truth set down 
by Johannes Pena, in his preface to Euclid's Opticks, and 
Christoph. Rothmannus, both who thought the firma- 
ment to be only air ; and though the nyble Tycho do dis- 
pute against themt> yet he himself holds, Suod propius ad 
veritatis penetralia acctdit hac opinio^ qtutvi Jristotelica 
vulgariter approbata, qua caelum pluribus realibus atqite 
impervils orbibtis citra 7 em rephvit. " That this opinion 
" conies nearer to tlie truth, than that common one of 

* lib. 4. p. 11.2. c. 7. ^e. 30. fDestell. 1. 15, 72. 1. I.e. 9. 


'** Aristotle, which hath to no purpose filled the heavehi 
^* with such xeal and impervious orbs. 

2. There is no element of fire, which must be held witH 
this opinion here delivered ; for if we suppose a world iil 
^ the moon, then it will follow, that tlie sphere of fire either 
is not there, where it is usually placed in the concavity of 
his orb, or else that there is tio such thing at all ; which ii 
most probable, since there are not ally such solid orbs^ 
that by their swift modon might heat and enkindle the ad- 
joining air, which is imagined to be the reason of that ele- 
ment. The arguments that are commonly Urged to thtft 
purpose, are these. 

I . That which was before alleged concerning the re- 
fractions which will be caused by a different medium. 
For if the matter of the heavens be of one thickness, and 
the element of fire another, and the upper regioii of air 
distinct ftom both these, and the lower region several 
from all the rest ; there wilF then be such a multiplicity of 
tefractiotis, as must ilecessarily destroy the certainty of 
all astronohiical observations. All wliich inconvenienced 
might be avoided, by supposing (as we do) that there i^ 
6nly one orb of vaporous air which encompasses our earthy 
all the rest being aetbereal, and of the same perspicuity* 

i. The situation of this element does no way agree witli 
Aristotle's own principles^ or that common Providence of 
nature, which v:e may discern in ordinary matters. For 
if the heavens be without all elementary qualities, as i^ 
usually supposed, theii it would be a very incongruous 
thing for the element of fire to be placed immediately 
next unto it ; since the heat of this is the most povfrerfui 
and vigorous Equality that is among all the rest : and na- 
ture in her lYorks, does not join extremes, but by some- 
tliing of a middle dispositiori. , So in the very frame of 
our bodies, the bones which are of a hard substance, and 
the flesh of a 6oft, are not joined together but by the in- 
tercession of membranes and gristles, such as being of at 
middle nature may fitly come betwixt. 


3. It is not conceiveable for what use or benefit there 
should be any such element in that place ; and certain it is, 
that nature does not do any thing in vain. 

4. Betwixt two extremes there can be but one medium ; . .-* 
and therefore between those two opposite elements of 

' earth and water, it hiay seem more convenient to place 
only the air, which shall partake of middle qualities diffe- 
rent from both. 

5. Fire does not seem so properly and directly to be op- 
pcued to any thing as ice ; and if the one be not an ele- 
ment, why should the other ? 

If you object, that the fii*e which we commonly use 
does always tend upwards ; I answer, This cannot proved 
that there is a natural place for such an element, since our 
adversaries themselves do grant, that culinary and elemen-^ 
tary fire are of different kinds. The one does burn, shine, 
and corrupt its subject ; the other disagrees from it in all 
these respects. And therefore from the ascent of the one, 
we cannot properly infer the being or the situation of the 

But for your farther satisfaction herein, you may peruse 
Cardan, Johannes Pena, that learned Frenchman the noble 
Tycho, with divers others who have purposely handled 
this proposition. 

3. I might add a third, viz. That there is no music of 
the spheres ; for if they be not solid, how can their mo- 
tion cause any such sound as is conceived ^ I do the rather 
nleddle with this, because Phitarch speaks as if a man 
xfiighi very conveniently hear that harmony, if he were an 
inhabitant in the moon. But I guess that he said this 
out of incogitancy, and did not well consider those ne- 
cessary consequences which depend upon his opinion. 
However, the world would have no gteat loss in being 
deprived of this music, unless at some times we had the 
privilege to hear it*: then indeed Philo the Jew thinks 
it would save us the charges of diet, and we might live at 

* De somniis. 


an easy rate by feeding at the ear only, and receiving no 

* other nourishment ; and for this very reason, says he, was 
^ Moses enabled to tarry forty days and forty nights in the 

mount without eating any thing, because he there heard 

* the meJody of the heavens. — Risiim ieneatis. I know 
this music hath had great patrons, both sacred and pro- 
fane authors, such as Ambrose, Bede, Boetius, Anselm, 
Plato, Cicero, and others ; but because it is not now, I 
think, affirmed by any, I shall npt therefore bestow eitliec 
{>ains or time in arguing against it. 

It may suffice that t have only named these three last, 
and for the two more necessary, have referred the reader 
to others for satisfaction. I shall. in the next place pro- 
ceed to the nature of the moon^a body, to know whether 
^ that be capable of any siich conditions, as may make it 

• » possible to be inhabited, and what those qualities are 

wherein it more nearly agrees with our earth. 


* PROP. IV. 

Thai the Moon is a soUdy compacted^ opacotis body. 

« ** 

I Shall not need to stand long in the proof of this propo- 
sition, since it is a truth already agreed on by the ge- 
neral consent of the most and the best philosophers. 

It is soKd, in opposition to fluid, as is the air; for how. 
otherwise could it beat back the light which it receives 
from the sun ? 

But here it may be questioned, whether or no the moott 
bestow her light upon us by the reflection of the sun-beams 
from the superficies of her body, or else. by her own illu- 
mination ? Some there are who affirm this latter part. So 
Averroes*, Caelius Rhodiginusf, Julius Caesar J, &c. And 
their reason is, because this light is ^scorned in many 

* De coelo 1. 5. com. 49. f Ant. lection. I. 20. c. 4. 

t De phaenom. luna?. c. 11. 


places, whereas those bodies which give light by teflexion, 
can there only be perceived where the angle of reflexion 
is equal to the angle of incidence, arid this is only in one 
iplacc ; as in a looking-gkss, those beams which are re- 
flected frotti it, cannot be perceived in evety place where 
you may see the glass,- but only thete where your eye ii 
l^laced on the same line whereoti the beanis are reflected. 

But to this I answer, That the argument will not hold 6f 
such bodies whose superficies is full of unequal parts and 
gibbosities, as the moon is. Wherefore it is as well the 
more probable as the more common opinion, that her 
light proceeds from both these causes, from reflexion and 
illumination ; nor doth it herein differ from our earth, 
since that also hath some light by illumination: For how 
otherwise would the parts about us in .a sun-shine day ap- 
pear so bright, when as the rays of reflexion cannot enter 
into our eye ? 

For the better illustration of this, we may consider the 
several ways whereby divers bodies are enlightened. Either 
as water by admitting the beams into its substance ; or as 
air and thin clouds, by transmitting the rays q^iite through 
their bodies ; or as those things that are of an bpacous na- 
ture, and smooth superficies, which teflcct the light only 
in one place ; or else as those things which are of an opa- 
cDus naturcj and rugged superficies, which by a kind of , 
circumfluous reflexion, are at the same time discernible in 
many places, as our earth and the moon. 

2. It is compact, and not a spungy and porous sub- 
stance. iBut this is denied by Diogenes*, Vitelliof, and 
Reinoldus J, and some others, who held the moon to be 
of the same kind of nature as a pumice-stone ; and this, say 
they, is the reason why in the sun's eclipses, there appears 
within her a duskish ruddy, colour, because the sun-beams 
being refracted in passing through the pores of her body, 
must necessarily be represented under such a colour, 

* Plut. de pla. Phil. 1. 2. c. 13. t Opu 1. 4. 

X Com. Furbac. Theo. p. 164. 

VOL. I. D 



But I reply, if this be the cause of her redness, then 
why doth she not appear under the same form when she 
is about a sextile aspect, and the darkened part of her body 
is discernible ? for then also do the same rays pass through 
her, and therefore in all likelihood should produce the 
same effect ; and notwithstanding those beams are then 
diverted from us, that tliey cannot enter into our eyes by 
a straight line, yet must the colour still cemain visible in 
her body. And besides, according to this opinion, the 
spots would not always be the same, but diverse as the va- 
rious distance of the sun requires. Again, if the sun-beams 
did pass through her, why then hath she not a tail (saith 
Scaliger*) as the comets ? Why doth she appear in such an 
exact round ? and not rather attended witli a long flame, 
since it is merely this penetration of the sun-beams that is 
usually attributed to be the cause of beards in blazing stars. 

3. It is opacous, not transparent or diaphanous like crys^ 
tal or glass, as Empedocles thought f, who held the moon 
to be a globe of pure congealed air, like hail inclosed in a 
sphere of fire ; for then, 

1 . Why does she not always appear in the full ? sinca 
the light is dispersed through all her body ? 

2. How can the interposition of her body so darken the 
sun Xi or cause such great eclipses as have turned day into 
night ; that have discovered the stars, and frightened the 
birds with such a sudden darkness, that they fell down 
upon the «arth ? as it is related in divers histories. And 
therefore Herodotus telling of an eclipse which fell in 
Xerxes's time, describes it thus : o ijA<©^ f hA/tijv rtjv ex t* 
BqavseS^viV ci^scvi^g vjv^. The sun leaving his wonted seat in 
the heavens, vanished away ; all which argues such a great 
darkness as could not^ have been, if her body had been 
perspicuous. Yet some there are who interpret all these 
relations to be hyperbolical expressions; and the noble 
Tycho thinks it naturally impossible that any eclipse should 

♦ Scaliger Excrcit. 80. sect. 13. 

{ Thucid. Livii. Plut. de facie lunae. 

f Plut. de facie lunx. 
§ Herodot. I 7. c. 37* 

TttAT tllE MOON MAY BE A WORLb, 35' 

Cause such darkness, because the body of the moon can 
never totally cover the sun. However, in this he is singu- 
lar, all other astronomers (if I may believe Keplar) being 
on the contrary opinion, by reason the diameter of the 
moon does for the most part appear bigger to us than the 
diameter of the sun. 

But here Julius Csesar once more puts in to hinder out 
passage. The moon (saith he*) is not altogether opacous, 
because it is still of the same nature vfiih the heavens, 
which are incapable of total opacity : and his reason is, 
because perspicuity is an inseparable accident of those 
purer bodies ; and this he tliinks must necessarily be 
granted ; for he stops there, and proves no further ; but 
to this I shall defer an answer till he hath made up his 

We may frequently see, that her body does so eclipse 
the sun, as our earth doth the moon^ And besides, the 
mountains that are observed there, do cast a dark shadow 
behind them, as shall be shewed afterwards f. Since then 
the like interposition of them both, doth produce the like 
effect, they must necessarily be of the like natures, that 
is, alike opacous, which is the thing to be shewed ; and 
this was the reason (as the interpreters guess) why Aris- 
totle X affirmed the moon to be of the earth's nature, be- 
cause of their agreement in opacity ; whereas all the other 
elements, save that, are in some measure perspicuous. 

But the greatest difference which may seem to make our 
earth altogether unlike the moon, is, because the one is a 
bright body, and hath light of its own, and the other a 
gross dark body which cannot shine at all. It is requisite 
therefore that in the next place I clear this doubt, and 
shew that the moon hath no more light of her own than 
our earth. 

* De phaenom. lunae, c. 1 1 . f Prop. 9. ij: In lib* 4e animalib* 

X> 2 



That the Moon hath not any light of her own* 

r" was the fancy of some of the Jews, and more espe*- 
cially of Rabbi Simeon*, that the moon was nothing 
else but a contracted sun ; and that both those planets, 
at their first creation, were equal both in light and quan- 
tity. For, because God did then call them both great 
lights, therefore they inferred that they must be both 
equal in bigness. But a while after (as the tradition goes) 
the ambitious moon put up her complaint to God against 
the sun, shewing that it was not fit there should be 
two such great lights in the heavens ; a monarchy would 
best become the place of order and harmony. Upon this, 
God commanded her to contract herself into a narrower 
compass ; but she being much discontented hereat, replies. 
What ! because I have spoken that which is reason and 
equity, must I therefore be diminished ? This sentence 
could not chuse but much trouble her ; and for this reason 
was she in great distress and grief for a long space ; but 
that her sorrow might be some way pacified, God bid her 
be of good cheer, because her privileges and charter should 
be greater than tlie sun's ; he should appear in the day 
time only, she both in the day and night ; but her melan-* 
choly being not satisfied with this, she replied again, That 
that alas was no benefit ; for in the day time she should be 
cither not seen, or not noted. Wherefore, God to com- 
fort her up, promised, that his people the Israelites should 
celebrate all their feasts and holidays by a computation of 
her months ; but this being not able to content her, she 
has looked very melancholy ever since ; however, she hath 
itill reserved much light of her own. 

Others there were, that did think the moon to be a 
round globe ; the one half of whose body was of a bright 
substance, the other half being dark ; and the divers con- 

* Tostatus in 1 Gen. Hyeron. de jancia fide Hebraomait. 1. 2. c. 4* 


versions of those sides towards our eyes, caused the variety 
of her appearances. Of this opinion was Berosus, as he 
is cited by Vitruvius*; and St. Austin f thought it was 
probable enough. But this fancy is almost equally absurd 
with the former, and both of them sound rather like fables, 
than philosophical truths. You may commonly see how 
this latter does contradict frequent and easy experience ; 
for it is observed, that that spot which is perceived about 
her middle when she is in the increase, may be discerned 
in the same place when she is in the full : whence it must 
follow, that the same part which was before darkened, is 
after enlightened, and that the one part is not always 
dark, and the other light of itself But enough of this ; 
I would be loth to make an enemy, that I may after- 
wards overcome him, or bestow time in proving that which 
is already granted ; I suppose now, that neither of them 
hath any patrons, and therefore need no confutation. 

It is agreed upon by all sides, that this planet receives 
most of her light from the sun ; but the chief controversy 
is, whether or no she hath any of her own ? The greater 
multitude affirm this. Cardan J amongst the rest, is very 
confident of it ; and he thinks that if any of us were in the 
moon at the time of her greatest eclipse, lunam aspicere" 
mus non secus ac innumems cereis splendidissimis accensisy 
atque in eas oculis defixis cacutiremus ; ** we should per- 
** ceive so great a brightness of her own, that would blind 
** us with the mere sight, and when she is enlightened by 
** the sun, then no eagle's eye (if there were any there) is 
'* able to look upon her." This Cardan says, and he doth 
but say it, without bringing any proof for its confirmation. 
However, I will set down the arguments that are usually 
urged for this opinion, and tliey are taken either from 
scripture or reason ; from scripture is urged that place, 
1 Cor. XV. where it is said. There is one glory of the sun, 
^nd another glory of the moon. Ulysses Albergettus urges 

* lib. 9. Architect. f Narrat. Psalm, item ep. 119. 

% De subtil. 1. 3, 


that in Matth. xxiv. 29. >j (rsXviVv\y s Imei to (peyyO^ uvT\^Ci 
the moon shall not give her light : therefore (says he) she 
hath some of her own. 

But to these we may easily answer, that the glory and 
light there spoken of, may be said to be hers, though it be 
derived, as you may see in many otlier instances. 

The arguments from reason are taken either, 

1. From that light which is discerned in her, when tliere 
is a total eclipse of her own body, or of the sun. 

2. From the light which is discerned in the darker part 
of her body, when she is but a little distant from the sun. 

1. For when there are any total eclipses, ^here appears 
in her body a great redness, and many times light enough 
to cause a remarkable shade, as common esiperience doth 
sufficiently manifest : but tliis cannot come from the sun, 
^ince at such times either the earth or her own body 
shades her from the sun-beams ; therefore it must pro- 
ceed from her own light. 

2. Two or three days after the new moon, we may per- 
ceive light in her whole body, whereas the rays of the sun 
reflect but upon a small part of that which is visible ; there- 
fore it is likely that there is some light of her own. 

In answering to these objections, I shall first shew, that 
this light cannot be her own ; and then declare that which 
is the true reason of it. 

That it is not her own, appears, 

1 . Because then she would always retain it ; but she has 
been sometimes altogether invisible, when as notwith- 
standing some of the fixed stars of the fourth or fifth mag- 
nitude might easily have been discerned close by her : as 
it was in the year 1620*, 

2.' This may appear likewise from the variety of it at 
fivers times ; for it is commonly observed that sometimes 
it is of a brighter, sometimes of a darker appearance ; now 
redder, and at another time of a more duskish colour. 
The observation of this variety in divers eclipses, you may 

* Keplar ep. Astron. cop. L 6. p. 5. sect. 2. 



4Jce set down by Keplar and many others*. But now this 
could not be, if that light were her own, that being con- 
stantly tl^e same, and without any reason of such an alte-, 
ration : so that thus I may argue. 

If there were any light proper to the moon, then would 
that planet appear brightest when she is eclipsed in her 
perige, being nearest to the earth ; and so consequently 
more obscure and duskish when she is in her apoge or 
farthest from it ; the reason is, because the nearer any en- , 
lightened body comes to the sight, by so much tlie more 
strong are the species, and the better perceived. This 
sequel is granted by some of our adversaries, and they are 
the very words of noble Tycho ; Si Itlna genuino gauderet 
lumine^ utique cum in umbra terra, esset, illud non amii- 
teretysed eo evidentius exerceret; omne enim lumen in tene- 
brisj plus splendet cum alio majore/ulgore non prapediturf. 
If the moon had any light of her own, then would she not 
lose it in the earth's shadow, but rather shine more clearly ; 
since every light appears greater in the dark, when it is 
not hindered by a more conspicuous brightness. 

But now the event falls out clean contrary, (as observa- 
tion doth manifest, and our opposites themselves do grant) 
tlie moon appearing with a more reddish and clear light 
when she is eclipsed, being in her apoge or farthest dis- 
tance, and a more blackish iron colour when she is in her 
perige or nearest to us, therefore she hath not any light 
of her own. Nor may we think that the earth's shadow 
can cloud the proper light of the moon from appearing, 
or take away any thing from her inherent brightness J ; for 
this were to think a shadow to be a body, an opinion alto- 
gether misbecoming a philosopher, as Tycho grants in the 
fore-cited place;. Nee umbra terra corporeum quid est^ aut 
densa aliqua substantia^ ui luna lumen obtenebrare pos- 
sity atque id visui nostro praripere^ sed est quadam priva-- 
tio luminis Solaris^ ob interposituyn opacum corpus terra. 

* Opt. astron. c. 7. num. 3. t ^^ Ti07z. Stella. 1. 1. c. 10. 

% Reinold Commem. in Furb. Theor. p. 164. 


■Nor is the earth's shadow any corporeal thing, or thick 
§ub3tance, that it can cloud the moon's brightness, or take 
it away from our sight ; but it is a mere privation of th^ 
sun's light by reason of the interposition of the earth's 
ppacous body. 

3. If she had any light of her own, then that would 
itself be cither such a ruddy brightness as appears in the 
eclipses, or else such a leaden duskish light, as we se? 
\n the darker p^rts of her body, when she is a little past 
the conjunction. (That it must be one of the$e, may fol- 
low from the opposite arguments;) but it is neither of 
thes^, therefore she hath none of her own. 

1. It is not such a ruddy light as appear? in eclipses; 
for then why can we not see the like redness, when we 
ii^ay discern the obscurer parts of the moon ? 

You will say, perhaps, that tlien the nearness of that 
greater light takes away that appearance. 

I reply. This cannot be. For then, why does Mars shine 
with his wonted redness, when he is near the moon ? Or 
why cannot her greater brightness make him appear white., 
as the other planets ? Nor can there be any reason given, 
\yhy that greater light should represent her body under 4. 
false colour. 

2. It is nqt such a du§kish leaden light, as we see in the 
darker part of her body, when she is about a sextile aspect 
distant from the sun ; for then, why docs she appear red 
in the eclipses; since mere shade cannot cause such a va- 
riety? For it is the nature of darkness, by its opposition^ 
^ther to make things appear of a more white and clear 
brightness, than tliey are in themselves. Or, if it be the 
shade, yet those parts of the mooi\ are then in the shade 
ofher body, and therefore in reason should have the like 
redness. Since» then, neither, of these lights are hers^; 
it follows, that 5he hath none of her own. Nor is this a 
singular opinion, but it hath had many learned patrons: 
such was Macrobius*, who being for this quoted of Rho-*^ 

* Somn. Scip. 1. 1. c 20. Lect, antiq. 1. I.e. 15. 


diginus, he calls him, vir reconditissima scleniia^ a man 
who knew more than ordinary philosophers ; thus comtr 
mending the opinioA in the credit of the author. To him 
assents the venerable Bede *, upon whom the gloss hath 
this comparison : As the looking-glass represents not any 
image within itself, unless it receive some from with- 
out ;'so the moon hath not any light, but what is bestowed 
by the sun. To these agu'ecd Albertus Magnus f^ Sca- 
ligerj, M2BsHn§, Keplar, and more especially Mulapcr- 
tius II ; whose words are more pat to the purpose than 
others, and therefore I shall set them down as you may 
find them in his preface to his treatise concerning the 
Austriaca Sydera : LunUy Venus, el Mercurius, terrestris 
et humida sunt substantice ; idcoque de sua noii lucere, sicui 
nee tert^a. The Moon, Venus, and Mercury (saith he), 
are of an earthly and moist substance ; and therefore have 
no more light of their own, than the earth hath. Nay, 
some there- are who think (though without ground), that 
all the other stars do receive that light whereby they ap- 
pear visible to us, from the sun. So Ptolomy, Isidore His- 
palensis^, Albertus "Magnus**, and Bedeft* much mote 
then, must the moon shine with a borrowed light. 

But enough of this. I have now sufEciently shewed what 
at the first I promised ; that this light is not proper to the 
moon. It remains in the next place, that I tell you the 
true reason of it. And here, I think it is probable, that 
the light which appears in the moon at the eclipses, is no- 
thing else but the second species of the sun's rays, which 
pass through the shadow unto her body : and from a mix- 
lurc of this second light with the shadow, arises that red-' 
ness which at such times appears unto us. I may call it 
lumen creptcsculinum, the Aurora of the moon, or such a 
kind of blushing light that the sun causes when he is near 

^ In lib. de nat. rer. f De 4 Coaevis. Q. 4. Art. 21 . J Exercit. 62, 
- 1 Epitom Astron. 1. 4. p. 2, \\ Epit. Astron. Cop. 1. 6. part 2. sect. 2* 
ir Origin. 1. 3. c. 60. ** De Caelo, 1. 2. 

tt De ratione temp. c. 4. Item Pirn. L 2. c. 6» Hugo de Sancto 
Vktore. Anxiot in G^B* vi. 



his rising, when he bestows some small light upon the 
thicker vapours. Thus we see commonly the sun being 
in the horizon, and the reflection growing weak, how his 
beams make the waters appear very red. 

The Moabites, in Jehoram's time, when they rose early 
in the morning, and beheld the waters afar off, mistook 
them for blood*. Et causa hujus est^ quia radius Solaris in 
aurora contrahit quondam rubedinem^ propter vapor ts corn- 
bustos mancntes circa superficiem Urr^y per qujos radii 
iranstunt I K ideo cum repercutiantur in aqua ad oculos 
nostroSy irahunisecumeundem rubor em ^ K faciunt apparere 
locum aquarum^ in quo est repercussioy esse rubrum ; saith 
Tostatus. The reason is, because of his rays ; which 
being in the lower vapours, those do convey an imperfect 
mixed light upon the waters. Thus the moon being in the 
earth's shadow, and the sun-beams which are round about 
it not being able to come directly unto her body ; yet some 
second rays there are, which passing through the shadow, 
make her appear in that ruddy colour : so that she must 
appear brightest, when she is eclipsed, being in her apoge 
or gre/atest distance from us ; because then the cone of the 
earth's shadow is less, and the refraction is made through a 
narrower medium. So on the contrary, she must be re- 
presented under a more dark and obscure form when she 
15 eclipsed, being in her perige, or nearest to the earth ; 
because then she is involved in a greater shadow, or bigger 
part of the cone ; and so the refraction passing through a 
greater medium, the light must needs be weaker which 
doth proceed from it. If you ask now, What the reason 
imay be of that light which we discern in the darker part of 
the new moon ? I answer ; it is reflected from our earth ; 
which returns as great a brightness to that planet, as it re- 
ceives from it. This I shall have occasion to prove after- 
ward. ^ 

I have nov^ done with these propositions, which were 
set down to clear the passage, and confirm the suppositions 

* U Kii^ lii. 22. 2 Quant, in hoc cap. 

- < 


implied in the opinion. I shall in the next place proceed 
"to a more direct treating of the chief matter in hand. 


That there is a world in the Moon, hath been the direct opi* 
nion of many ancient, with some modern mathemati" 
ciaiis ; and may probably be deduced from the tenets of 

SINCE this opinion may be suspected of singularity, I 
shall therefore first confirm it by sufficient authority of 
divers authors, both ancient and modern ; that so I may 
the better clear it from the prejudice either of an upstart 
fancy, or an obsolete error. This is by some attributed to 
Orpheus, one of the most ancient Greek poets*, who 
speaking of the moon, says thus ; »f toAA' npeu, £%«, toAX* 
ttffT£ct, %oXXct (i€Kct6^X9 that it hath many mountains, and ci-» 
ties, and houses in it. To him assented Anaxagoras, De- 
mocritus, and Heraclides t ; all who thought it to have firm 
solid ground, like to our earth ; containing in it many largt 
fields, champion grounds, and divers inhabitants. 

Of this opinion likewise was XenophanesJ, as he is 
cited for it by Lactantius § ; though that father (perhaps) 
did mistake his meaning, whilst he relates it thus : Dixit 
Xenophanesy intra concavum lun^ esse aliam terram, et 
ibi aliud genus hominum, shnili modo vivere sicut nos in 
hac terra, He. As if he had conceived the moon to be a 
great hollow body, in the midst of whose concavity, there 
should be another globe of sea and land, inhabited by men, 
as our earth is ; whereas, it seems to be more likely by 
the relation of others, that this philosopher's opinion is to 
be understood in the same sense as it is here to be proved. 
True indeed, the father condemns this assertion, as an equal 

♦ Plut. de plac. plul. 1. 2. c* 13. f Ibid. c. 25. 

; Diog. Laert. L S. & Ij^. ^ Div. Imt. 1. 3. c. 13. 


absurdity to that of Anaxagoras, who affirmed the snow to 
be black : but no wonder ; for in the very next chapter it 
is, that he does so much deride the opinion of those who 
thought there were antipodes. So that his ignorance in 
that particular, may perhaps disable him fiom being a 
competent judge in any other the like point of philosophy. 
Unto these agreed Pythagoras, who thought that our eirth 
was bpt one of the planets which moved round about the 
sun, (as Aristotle relates it of him * ;) and the Pythagoreans 
in general did affirm that the moon also was terrestrial, and 
that she was inhabited as this lower world : that those liv- 
ing creatures and plants which are in her, exceed any of 
the like kind with us in the same proportion, as their days 
^re longer than ours, viz. by fifteen times. This Pythago- 
ras t was esteemed by all, of a most divine wit, as appears 
especially by his valuation amongst the Romans; who 
being commanded by the oracle to erect a statue to the 
wisest Grecian J, the senate determined Pythagoras to be 
meant ; preferring him in their judgments before the di- 
vine Socrates, whom their gods pronounced the wisest. 
Some think him a Jew by birth ; but most agree that he 
was much conversant amongst the learneder sort and 
priests of that nation, by whom he was informed of manty 
secrets ; and (perhaps) this opinion which he vented after- 
wards in Greece, where he was much opposed by Aristotle 
in 3ome worded disputations, but never confuted by any 
folid reason. ^ 

Tp this opinion of Pythagoras did Plato also assent, 
when l^e considered that there was the like eclipse made 
by the eqrtl^ ; and this, that it had no light of its own, that 
it was so full of spots §. And therefore we may often read 
in him and his follpwers, of an aiherea terra^ and lunar es 
popuHy an aethereal earth, and inhabiters in the moon ; but 
afterwards this was mixed vi^ith many ridiculous fancies : 
for some of them considering th^ mysteries implied in tlj^c 

* De Coelo, 1. 2. c. 13. f Pl^t- Ibid. cap. 30. 

J Piin. Nat. Hist. 1. 34. cap. 6. 

§ Flat de conviviis. Macrob. Sonin. Scip. 1. 1. c. IK 


number three, concluded that tliere must necessarily be a 
trinity of worlds, whereof the first is this of ours ; the 
second in the moon, whose element of water is represented 
by the sphere of Mercury, the air by Venus, and the fire by 
the sun. And thr.t tl;ic whole universe might the better 
end in earth as it began ; they have contrived it, that Mar:} 
shall be a sphere of the fire, Jupiter of air, Saturn of wa- 
ter ; and above all these, the Klysian fields, spacious and 
pleasant places appointed for the habitation of those un* 
spotted souls, that eitlier never were imprisoned in, or else 
now have freed themselves from any commerce with the 
body. Scaliger * speaking of this Platonic fancy, qua in 
ires trientes viundum quasi assem diiisit, thinks it is confu- 
tation enough to say, it is Plato's. However, for the first 
part of this assertion, it viras assented unto by many others, 
and by reason of the grossness and inequality of this pla- 
net, it was frequently called quasi terra caslestis t, as being 
esteemed the sediment and more imperfect part of those 
purer bodies ; you may see this proved by Plutarch, in that 
delightful work which he properly made for the confirma- 
tion of this particular. Witli him agreed Alcinous and 
Plotinus, later writers J. 

Thus Lucian also in his discourse of a journey to the 
moon, where though he does speak many thhigs out of 
mirth and in a jesting manner; yet in the beginning of it 
he docs intimate that it did contain some serious truths 
concerning the real frame of the universe. 

The cardinal Cusanus and Jornaudus Brunus §, held a 
particular world in every star; and therefore one of them 
defining our eartli, he says, it is stella quadam nobilis, qu/e 
lunajn et calorem et injiuentiavi habet aliavi, et divasam 
ab omnibus aliis siellis \ " a noble star, having ^a distinct 
•* light, heat, and influence from all the rest." Unto this 
** Nicholas Hill ||, a countryman of ours, was inclined^ 

♦ Exerc. 62. t X)e facie Lunae. 

X (nstit. ad ditcip. plat. Cal. Khodig. 1. 1. c. 4. 

§ Cusade doct. ign. 1,2. cap. 12. || Philos. Epicur. par. 434. 

46 THAT THfi MOON MAY l&t A WORLl^. 

when he said, astrea terra naiura probabilis est: " That 
** it is probable the earth hath a starry nature." 

But the opinion which I have here delivered, was more 
directly proved byMasslin*, Kcplarf? and GalilaeusJ ; each 
of them late writers, and famous men for then* singular 
skill in astronomy. Keplar calls this world by the name of 
Levania, from the Hebrew word rQD^ which signifies the 
moon, and our earth by the name of volva^ a 'vohendo; 
because it does by reason of its diurnal revolution appear 
unto them constantly to turn round ; and therefore he stiles 
those who live in that hemisphere which is towards us, by 
the title of Subvolvani, because they enjoy the sight of this 
earth ; and the others Privolvani, quia sunt privati cdnspectu 
voha^ because they are deprived of this privilege. But Julius 
Caesar, whom I have above quoted, speaking of their testi- 
mony whom I cite for this opinion, viz. Keplar and Ga- 
lilseus§, affirms that to his knowledge they did but jest in 
those things which they write concerning this ; and as for 
any such world, he assuredly knows they never so much as 
dreanit of it. But I had rather believe their own words, 
tijan his pretended knowledge. 

It is true indeed, in some things they do but trifle, but 
for the main scope of those discourses, it is as manifest 
they seriously meant it, as any indiflFerent reader may easily 
discern : as for Galilaeus, it is evident that he did set 
down his own judgment and opinion in these things; 
Otherwise sure Campanella (a man as well acquainted with 
his opinion, and perhaps his person, as Caesar was) would 
never have writ. an apology for him. And besides, it is 
very likely if it had been but a jest, Galilaeus would never 
have suffered so much for it, as report saith afterwards he 

And as for Keplar, I will only refer the reader to his 
own words, as they are set down in the preface to the 
fourth book of his Epitom ; where his purpose is to make 

♦ InThesibus. f Dissertatio cum Nunc. 

% Nuifciw Sydereus. Somn. Astr. § De pha^om. Lu&ae, c. 4. 


an apology for the strangeness of those truths that he was 
there to deliver, amongst which there are divers things to 
this purpose concerning the nature of the moon. He pro- 
cesses that he did not publish them either out of a humour 
of contradiction, or a desire of vain-glory, or in a jesting 
way to make himself or o/thers merry, but after a consi- 
derate and solemn manner for the discovery of the truth. 

Now as for the knowledge which Caesar pretends to the 
contrary, you may guess what it was by his strange confi- 
dence in other assertions, and his boldness in them may 
well derogate from his credit in this. For speaking of 
Ptolemy*s Hypothesis*, he pronounces this verdict, Impos-- 
sibile est excentricorum et epicydorum positio^ nee aliquis 
est ex matheviaticis adeo stidtiis qui veram illmn existimet, 
•* The position of excentrics and epicycles is altogether im- 
•* possible, nor is there any mathematician such a fool as 
** to think it true." I should guess he could not have 
knowledge enough to maintain any other hypothesis, who 
was so ignorant in mathematics as to deny that any good 
author held this. For I would fain know whether there 
were never any that thought the heavens to be solid bo- 
dies, and that there were such kinds of motion as is by 
those feigned orbs supplied ; if so,. Caesar la Galla was 
much mistaken. I think liis assertions are equally true, 
that Galilaeus and Keplar did not hold this ; and that there 
were none which ever held that other. Thus much for the 
testimony of those who were directly of this opinion. 

But, in my following discourse, I shall most insist on the 
observation of Galilaeus, the inventor of that famous per- 
6pective, whereby we may discern the heavens hard by us ; 
whereby tliose things which others have formerly guessed 
at, are manifested to the eye, and plainly discovered be- 
yond exception or doubt ; of which admirable invention, 
these latter ages of the world may justly boast, and for this 
expect to be celebrated by posterity. It is related of Eu- 
doxus, that he wished himself burnt with Phaeton, so he 

*^ Cap. 7. 


might stand over the son to contemplate its nature ; hadf 
he lived in tliese days, he might liave enjoyed his wish at 
an easier rate ; and scaling the heavens by this glass, might 
plainly have discerned what he so much desired. Kcplar 
considering those strange discoveries which this perspec- 
tive had made, could not choose but cry out in a tspcccKO- 
TEia and rapture of admiration, multiscium et quovis seep- 
tro preiiosius perspicillum ! an qui ie dextrd tenets ille non 
dorninus constituatur operiim Dei? And Johannes Fabri- 
cius*, an degant writer, speaking of the same glass, and 
for this invention preferring our age before those former 
times of greater ignorance, says thus : Adeo sumus superi- 
orfs veieribus^ ut quam illi camiinis magici pronunciatu de- 
missam representasse pictanHur^ nos non tajitum innocenter 
demittamuSy sed etiamfamiliari qiwdam intuitu ejus quasi 
conditimiem intueamur. " So much arc we above the an- 
** cients, th^t whereas they were fain by their magical 
" charms to represent the moon's approach^ we cannot 
" only bring her lower with a greater innocence, but may 
** also with a more familiar view behold her condition." 
And because you shall have no occasion to question the 
truth of those experiments which I shall afterwarck urge 
from it, I will therefore set down the testimony of an 
enemy ; and such a witness hath always been accounted 
prevalent : you may see it in the above-named Caesar la 
Gallaf, whose words are these. Mcrcurium caduceum 
gestantem, cxlestia nunciare, et mortiwrum animas ab in- 
feris rjevocare sapiens Jinxit antiquitas. Galilaum vero no-' 
vum Jovis interpreiem telescopio caduceo instructum syderd 
aperirCf et veteiixm philosophorum niaiies ad svperos revo^ 
care solers nostra atas videt et adviiraiur, '* Wise anti- 
" quity fabled Mercury carrying a rod in his hand to rc- 
" late news from heaven, and call back the souls of the 
" dead; but it hath been the happiness of our industrious 
'* age, to see and admire GaliljRus (the new ambassador of 
" the gods}, furnished with his perspective to unfold the 

* De macula in sol. obser. f Dcphsnom, cap. 1. 



*< nature of the stars, and awaken the ghosts of the ancient 
«* philosophers.** So worthily and highly did these men 
esteem of this excellent invention. 

Now if you would know what might be done by thit 
glass, in the sight of such things as were nearer at hand, 
the same author will tell you, when he says *, That by it 
those things which could scarce at all be discerned by thl^ 
eye, at the distance of a mile and a half, might plainly and 
distinctly be perceived for sixteen Italian miles, and that as 
they were really in themselves, without any transposition 
or falsifying at all. So that what the ancient poets were 
fain to put in a fable, our more happy age hath found out 
in a truth ; and we may discern as far with these eyes 
which Galilaeus hath bestowed upon us, as Lynceus could 
with those which the podts attributed unto him. But if 
you yet doubt whether all these observations were true, the 
same author may confirm you, when he says they were 
shewed, Non uni aut alterU sed quamplurimiSf nequegrC'' 
gariis hominibm^ sed pracipuis atque disdplinis omnibus^ 
necnon 7nathematicis et optids praceptis optime instruetis 
seduld ac diligenti inspectione'*^* " Not to one or two, but 
•« to very many, and those not ordinary men, but to tlioSe 
** who were well versed in mathematics and optics ; and 
" that not with a mere glance, but with a sedulous and di» 
** ligent inspection." And lest any scruple might remain 
unanswered, or you might think the men who beheld al 
this, though they might be skilful, yet they came with cre- 
dulous minds, and so were more easy to be deluded : He 
adds that it was shewed, Viris qui ad experimenta hac 
contradicendi ammo accesserantf. ** To such as were 
** come with a great deal of prejudice, and an intent of 
" contradiction." Thus you may see the certainty of 
those experiments which were taken by this glass. I have 
spoken the more concerning it, because I shall borrow 
many things in my further discourse, from those discove- 
ries which were made by it. 

* De pha&aom. c. 6. f Cap. 1. t Cap. 5. 

VOL. I. £ 

^ « 


I hive now cited such authors, both ancient and mo- 
dern, who have directly mamtained the same opinion. I 
told you likewise in the proposition, that it might pro- 
bably be deduced from the tenets of others* : such were 
Aristarchus, Philolaus, and Copernicus^ with many other 
kter writers, who assented to their hypothesis ; so Joach. 
Rhelicus, David Origanus Lansbergius, Guii. Gilbert ; and, 
(if I may believe Campanella) innumeri alii Angli et 
GaOS; very many others, both English and French, all 
who affirmed our earth to be one of the planets, and tlie 
aun to be the centre of all, about which the heavenly bo- 
dies did move. And how horrid soever this may seem at 
the first, yet it is likely enough to be true, nor is there any 
maxim or observation in optics (saith Pena) that can dis* 
prove it. 

Now if our earth were one of the planets (as it is accord- 
ing to them) then why may not another of the planets be 
an earth ? 

Thus have I shewed you the truth of this proposition. 
Before I proceed farther, it is requisite that I inform the 
reader what method I shall follow in the proving of this 
assertion. That there is a world in the moon« 

The order by which I shall be guided, will be that which 
Aristotle uses in his book De Mundo (if that book were 

First, npi rSv ev avr^f of those chief parts which are in 
tt; not the elementary and ethereal (as he doth there], 
since this does not belong to the present question, but of 
the sea and land, &c. Secondly, xepi etvrvjy t«^«v, of those 
things which are extrinsical to it, as the seasons, meteors, 
and inhabitants. 

* See the second book, 1 prop. f Apologia pro Galil:eo. 



That those spots and brighter partSt which by our sight 
iimy be distinguished in the Moon^ do 9hew the difference 
betwixt the sea and land in that other world. 

FOR the clear proof of this proposition, I shall firs 
reckon up and refute the opinions of others concern 
ing the matter and form of those spots, and then shew the 
greater probability of this present assertion, and how agree- 
able it is to that truth wliich is most commonly received 
As for the opinions of others concerning these, they have 
b^en very many : I will only reckon up those which are 
common and remarkable. 

Some there are that think those spots do not arise from 
any deformity of the parts, but a deceit of the eye, which 
cannot at such a distance discdm ail equal light in that 
planet ' but these do but only say it, and shew not any 
reason for the proof of their opinion. Others think that 
there are some bodies betwixt the sun and moon^ which 
keeping off the light' in some parts, do by their shadow 
produce these spots which we there discern*. 

Others would have them to be the figure of the seas or 
mountains here below, represented there as in a looking- 
glass. But none of those fancies can be true, because the 
spots are still the same, and not varied according to the 
difference of places ; and besides. Cardan t thinks it is im- 
possible that any image should be conveyed so far, as there 
to be represented unto us at such at a distance. But it is 
commonly related of Pythagoras, that he by writing wha 
he pleased in a glass, by the reflexion of the same species 
would make those letters to appear in the circle of the 
moon, where they should be legible by any other, who 

•* So Bede in 1. de Mund. conitlt. f De subtjl. lib. 3. 

£ 2 


might at that time be some miles distant from him. 
Agrippa * affirms this to be possible, and the way of per- 
forming it not unknown to himself, with some others in . 
his time. It may be, that bishop Godwin did by the like 
means perform those strange conclusions, which he pro- 
fesses in his Nuncius Inanimatus; where he pretends, that 
he can inform his friends of what he pleases, though they 
be an hundred miles distant, ybr/^ etiam^ vet mUliare mU- 
Ushnwn (they are his own words), and perhaps a thou* 
sand ; and all this in a little space, quicker than the sun can 

Now, what conveyance there should be for so speedy a 
{passage, I cannot conceive, unless it be carried with the 
l^t, than which we know not any thing quicker. But of 
this only by the way. However, whether those images 
can be represented so or not, yet certain it is, those spots 
are not such representations. Some think that when God 
had at first created too much earth to make a perfect globe* 
not knowing well where to bestow the rest, he placed it in 
the moon, which ever since hath so darkened it in some 
part3 : but the impiety of this is sufficient confutation, since 
it so much detracts from the divine power and wisdom. 

The stoics f held that planet to be mixed of fire and air ; 
and in their opinion, the variety of its composition caused 
her spots : being not ashamed to stile the same body a 
goddessj calling it Diana, Minerva, &c. and yet affirm it to 
be an impure mixture of flame and smoke, and fuliginous 
air. — But this planet cannot consist of fire, saith Plutarch, 
because there is not any fuel to maintain it. And the poets 
have therefore feigned Vulcan to be lame, because he can 
no more subsist without wood or other fuel, than a lame 
ihan without a staiF. 

Anaxagoras thought all the stars to be of an earthly na* 
ture, mixed with some fire ; and as for the sun, he affirmed 
ijt to be noting else but a fiery stone : for which latter opi- 

• Occulu ttulos. I. I. cap. 6. t Plut. de placit. phiL 1. 2. c. 25. 


nioiiy the Athenians sentenced him to death ^ ; those zeal* 
oud idolaters counting it a great blasphemy to make their 
god a stone ; whereas notwithstanding, tl\ey were so sense- 
less in their adoration of idols, as to make a stone their 
god. This Anaxagoras affirmed the moon to be more ter- 
irestrial than the otlier planets, but of a greater purity than 
anything here below; and the spots he tliought were no- 
thing else but some cloudy parts intermingled with the 
light which belonged to that planet ; but I have above de- 
stroyed the supposition on which this fancy is grounded. 
Pliny t thinks they arise from some drossy stuff, mixed 
with that moisture which the moon attracts unto herself; 
but he was of their opinion who thought the stars were nou- 
rished by some earthly vapours; which you may com- 
monly see refuted in the Commentators on the books De 

Vitellio and ReinoldusJ affirm the spots to be the 
thicker parts of the moon, into which the sun cannot infuse 
much light ; and this (say they) is the reason why in the 
Bun's eclipses the spots and brighter parts are still in some 
measure distinguished, because tlie sun-beams are not able 
80 well to penetrate through those thicker, as they may 
through the thinner parts of that planet. Of this opinion 
also was Csesar la Galla, whose words are these § ; ** The 
moon doth there appear clearest, where she is transpi- 
cuous, not only through the superficies, but the substance 
•* also ; and there she seems spotted, where her body is 
'* most opacous.'^ The ground of this his assertion was, 
because he thought the moon did receive and bestow her 
light by illumination only, and not at all by reflection ; but 
this, together with the supposed penetration of the sun- 
beams, and the perspicuity of the moon's body I have 
above answered and refuted. 

* J<Mepbuil.d.c(m. App. August, de Civit. Dei^ I. \S. c. 41. 

t Nat. Hift^J,-2. c. 9. X ^P^* ^i^- ^* Comment, inturb. p. 164. 

§ £x qua pafte luna est transpicua non solum secundum superflciem, 
ted etiam lecunduxn tubstantiam^ eatenus clara« ex qua autem parte 
opacaest, eatenus obtcura videtur. De Phaenom. cap. 1 1. 


The more common and general opinion Is, that the 
spots are the thinner parts of the moon, which are less able 
to reflect the beams that they receive from the sun, and 
this is most agreeable to reason ; for if the stars are there- 
fore brightest, because they are thicker and more solid than 
their orbs, then it will follow, that those parts of the moon 
which have less light, have also less thickness *. It was the 
providence of nature (say some) that so contrived that pla- 
cet to have these spots within it ; for since that is nearest 
to those lower bodies which are so full of deformity, it is 
requisite that it should in some measure agree with them ; 
. and as in this inferior world, the higher bodies are the most 
complete, so also in the heavens, perfection is ascended 
unto by degrees, and the moon being the lowest, must be 
the least pure ; and therefore Philo the Jew interpreting 
Jacob's dream concerning the ladder t> doth in an allegory 
. shew how that in the fabric of thp world, ajl things grow 
perfecter as they grow higher i and this is the reason (saith 
he) why the moon doth not consist of any pure simple 
matter, but is mixed with air, which shews so darkly within 
her body. 

But this cannot be a sufijicient reason; for though it 
were true that naturg did frame every thing perfecter as it 
wa§ higher, yet i^ it as true that nature frames every thing 
fully perfect for that office to which she intends it. Now 
had §he intended the moon merely to reflect the sun- 
beams, and give light, the spots then had not so much ar- 
gued her providence, as her unskilfulness and oversight, as 
if in the haste of her work she could not telLhow to make 
that body exactly fit for that office to which she intended 

It is likely then that she had some other end which 
moved her to produce this variety ; j^nd this, in all proba* 
bility, was her intent, to make it a fit body for habitation, 
with the same conveniences of sea and land, as this infe- 
rior world doth partake of. For since the moon is such a 

* Albert, mag. de Coaevis. Q. 4. Art. 21. CoUeg. Cqn. 
f De spmniw, J Scalig. jsxercit. 6)?. 



vast, such a solid and opacous body, like our earth (as was 
above proved) why may it not be probable that those thinner 
and thicker parts appearing in her^ do shew the difference 
betwixt the sea and land in that other world ? And Gali« 
laeus doubts not, but that if our earth were visible at the 
same distance, there would be the like appearance of it. 

If we consider the moon as another habitable earth, then 
the appearances of it will be altogether exact and beauti- 
ful, and may argue unto us that it is fully accomplished for 
all those ends to which Providence did appoint it. But 
consider it barely as a star or light, and then there will ap« 
pear in it much iipperfection and deformity, as being of an 
impure dark substance, and so unfit for the office of that 

As for the form of those spots, some of the vulgar think 
they represent a man, and the poets guess it is the boy 
Endymion, whose company she loves so well, that she car-- 
ties him with her : others will have it only to be the face 
of a man, as the moon is usually pictured ; but Albertus 
thinks rather, that it represents a lion with his tail towards 
the east, and his head the west ; and some others * have 
thought it to be very much like a fox ; and certainly it is 
as much like a lion as that in the zodiac, or as ursa major 
is like a bear. 

I should guess that it represents one of these as well as 
another, and any thing else as well as any of these, since 
it is but a strong imagination which fancies such in^ages, as 
school-boys usually do in the marks of a wall, whereas 
there is not any similitude in the spots themselves, which 
rather like our sea, in respect of the land, appears under a 
ru^ed and conftjsed fig;ure,. and doth not represent any 
distinct image : so that both in respect of the matter and 
the form, it may be probable enough that those spots and 
brighter parts may shew the distinction betwixt the sea and 
)^nd in that other world. 

* Eusebius Nieremb. I^ist. Nat. 1. S. c. 15. 


PROP. vin. 

The spots represent the sea^ and the brighter parts the 


WHEN I first compared the nature of our earth and 
water with those appearances in the moon, I con- 
cluded contrary to the proposition, that the brighter parts 
represented the water, and the spots the land. Of this 
opinion likewise was Keplar at the first *. But my second 
•thoughts, and the reading of others, have now convinced 
me (as after he was) of the truth of that proposition which 
I have now set down. Befpre I cotpe to the confirmation 
of it, I shall mention those scruples which at first made me 
4oubt the truth of this opinion. 

1. It maybe objected, it is probable, if there be any 
sucb sea and land as ours, that it bears some proportion and 
similih^de with ours : but now this proposition takes away 
^U likeness betwixt them. For whereas the superficies of 
pur earth is but the third part of the whole surface in the 
globe, two parts bei«ig overspread with the water (as Sca- 
Jiger observes t)> yet here, according to this opinion, the 
sea should be less than the land, since there is not so much 
of the bespotted as there is of the enlightened parts ; 
wherefore it is probable that there is no such thing at all, 
or else that the brighter parts are the sea. 

• 2. The water, by reason of the smoothness of its super- 
ficies, seems better able to reflect the sun-beams than the 
earth, which in most places is so full of ruggedness, of grass 
and trees^ and such like impediments of refle£lion ; and 
besides, common experience shews that the water shines 
with a greater and n^ore glorious brightness than the earth ; 
therefore it should seem that the spots are the earth, and 

* Opt. Astro, c. 6. num. 9. pissert. cum nuncio Qal. 
t Exercit. 38; 

* J 


the brighter parts the water. But to the first it may be 

1. Tl^ere is no great probability in this consequence, 
that because it is so with us, therefore it must be so with 
the parts of the moon ; for since there is such a difference 
betwixt them in divers other respects, they may not per- 
haps agree in this. 

2. That assertion of Scaliger* is not by all granted for 
a truth. Fromondus with others think that the superficies 
off the sea and land, in so much of the world as is already 
discovered, is equal and of the same extension. 

3. The orb of thick and vaporous air which encompasses 
the moon, makes the brighter parts of that planet appear 
bigger than in themselves they are ; as I shall shew after* 

To the second it may be answered, That though the 

water be of a smooth superficies, and so may seem most fit 

^ reverberate the light, yet because it is of a perspicuous 

nature, therefore the beams must sink into it, and cannot 

so strongly and clearly be reflected. Sicut in spectdo ubi 

flumbum abrasum fuerit (^aith Cardan), as in looking- 

louses, '^ where part of the lead is razed of!; and nothing 

Ml bebiiid to reverberate the image, the species must there 

pass throu^, and not back again: so it is where the 

beams penetrate and sink into the substance of the body, 

there cannot be such an immediate and strong reflection, as 

vrhen tbey are beat back firom the superficies ; and there- 

4oTC the sun causes a greater heat by far upon the land, 

tiian upon the water. Now as for that experiment, where 

(it is said, that the waters have a greater brightness than the 

land ; I answer. It is true only there where they represent 

the image of the sun, or some bright cloud, and not in other 

{>kces; especially if we look upon them at any great dis- 

taace, as is very plain by common observation. 

And it is certain, that from any high mountain the land 
does appear a great deal brighter than any lake or river. 

* DeMeteorls, i. 5. c. 1. Art. 1. 


This may yet be farther illustrated by the similitude of a 
looking-glass hanging upon a wall in the sun-shine ; where, 
if the eye be not placed in the just line of reflection from 
the glass, it is manifest that the wall will be of a brighter 
appearance than the glass. True indeed, in the line of re- 
flection, the light of the glass is equal almost unto that 
which comes immediately from the sun itself; but now 
this is only in one particular place, and so is not like that 
brightness which we discern in the moon ; because this 
does appear equally in several situations, like that of the 
wall, which does seem bright as well from every place, as 
from any one. And therefore the roughness of the wall, 
or (as it is in the objection) the ruggedness of our earth, is 
so far from being an hindrance of such a reflection as there 
is from tlie moon, that it is rather required as a necessary 
condition unto it. We may conceive that in every rough 
body, there are, as it were, innumerable superficies, dis- 
posed unto an innumerable diversity of inclinations. Ita 
tii nulltis sit loaiSf ad quern non pertingant plurimi radii 
reflexi a plurimis superficieadisy per omnem corporis scabri 
radiis luminosispercussi superficiem dispersis*. " So that 
*^ there is not any place unto which there are not some 
** beams reflected from these diverse superficies, in the 
" several parts of such a rugged body." But yet (as I 
said before) the earth does receive a great part of its light 
by illumination, as well as by reflection. 

So that notwithstanding those doubts, yet this propo- 
sition may remain true. That the spots may be the sea, and 
the brighter parts the land. Of this opinion was Plu- 
tarchf : unto him assented Keplar and Galilasus, whose words 
are these : Si quis veterum Pyihagoreorum senttniiavi ex^ 
suscitare velity lunam scilicet esse quasi tellurem alteram ejus 
pars lucidior terrenam superfidemy ohscurior vero aqueam 
magis congrue reprasentet. Mihi autem dubium/uitnun^ 
quarn terrestris globi d longe conspectiy atque a radiis sola^ 

* Galilieus System. Coll. I. 

f De facie Lun. Dissertatio Nunc, ^yd* 



tibus perjusif terream superjiciem clarioremy obscuriorem 
vero ajueam sese in conspectum daturam. *^ If any man 
** have a mind to renew the opinion of the Pythagoreans, 
. ** That the moon is another earth ; then her brighter parts 
may fitly represent the earth's superficies, and tlie darker 
part the water : and for my part, I never doubted but 
that our earthly globe being shined upon by the sun, and 
** beheld at a great distance, the land would appear bright- 
** est, and the sea more obscurely*" The reasons may 

1. That which 1 urged about the foregoing chapter ; 
because the water is the thinner part, and therefore must 
give less light. 

Since the stars and planets, by reason of their brightness, 
are usually concluded to be the thicker parts of tlieir orb. 

2. Water is in itself of a blacker colour (saith Aristotle*), 
and therefore more remote from light than the earth. Any 
part of the ground being moistened with rain, does look 
much more darkly than when it is dry. 

3. It is observed that the secondary light of tlie moon 
(which afterwards is proved to proceed from our earth) is 
sensibly brighter unto us, for two or three days before the 
conjunction, in the morning when she appears eastward, 
than about the same time after the conjunction, when she 
is seen in the west. The reason of which must be this, 
because that part of the earth which is opposite to the 
moon in the east, has more land in it than sea. Whereas 
on tl^e contrary, the moon when she is in the west, is 
shined upon by that part of our earth where there Js more 
sea than land ; from whence it will follow with good pro- 
bability, that the earth does cast a greater light than the 

4. Because observation tells us, that the spotted parts are 
always smooth and equal, having everywhere an equality 
of light, when once tJiey are enlightened by the sun ; 
whereas tlie brighter parts are full of rugged gibbosities 

* In lib. de coloribm. 


end mountains, having many shades in them 9 as I shall 
sliew more at large afterwards. 

That in this planet there must be seas, Campanella * en- 
deavours to prove out of Scripture, interpreting the waters 
above the firmament, spoken in Genesis, to be meant of 
the sea in this world. For (saith he) it is not likely that 
there are any such waters above the orbs to moderate that 
heat which they receive from their swift motion (as som0 
of the fathers think). Nor did Moses mean the angels, 
which may be called spiritual waters, as Origen and Austinf 
would have it, for both these are rejected by the general 
consent : nor could he mean any waters in the second re- 
gion, as most commentators interpret it. For first there is 
nothing but vapours, which though they are afterwards 
turned into water, yet while they remain there, they are 
only the matter of that element, which may as well be 
fire, or earth, or air. 2. Those vapours are not above the 
expansum, but in it. So that he thinks there is no other 
way to salve all, but by making the planets several worlds 
with sea and land, with such rivers and springs as we have 
here below : especially since Esdras speaks of the springs 
above the firmament f. But I cannot agree with him in 
this, nor do I think that any such thing can be proved out 
of scripture. 

Before I proceed to the next position, I shall first answer 
some doubts which might be made against the generality 
of this truth, whereby it may seem impossible tliat there 
sliould be either sea or land in the moon : for since she 
moves so swiftly as astronomers observe, why then does 
there nothing fall from her, or why doth she not shake 
something out by the celerity of her revolution ? I answer, 
You must know that the inclination of every heavy body 
to its proper centre, doth sufficiently tie it unto its place ; 
so that suppose any thing were separated, yet must it ne- 

* Apologia pro Galilaeo. 

f Vide leroti. Epist. ad Pammachium. Coufigssion. 1. 13. c. 32* 
Retracted lib. 2. Retr. cap. 6. 
jaEsdr. iv. 7. 


ccsaarily return again. And there is no more danger of 
their falling into our world, than there is fear of our falling . 
into the moon. 

But yet there are many fabulous relations of such things 
as have dropped thence *. There is a tale of the Nemeafl 
lion that Hercules slew, which first rushing among the 
herds out of his unknown den in the mountain of Cythe- 
ron in Boeotia, the credulous people thought he was sent 
from their goddess the moon. And if a whirlwind did 
chance to snatch any thing up, and afterwards rain it down 
again, the ignorant multitude were apt to believe that it 
dropt from heaven. Thus Avicenna relates the story of a 
calf which fell down in a storm, the beholders thinking it 
a moon-calf, and that it fell thence. So Cardan travelling 
upon the Apennine mountains, a sudden blast took off his 
hat, which if it had been carried far, he thinks the pea- 
sants, who had perceived it to fail, would have sworn it 
had rained hats. After some such manner many of our 
prodigies come to pass, and the people are willing to be- 
lieve any thing which they may relate to others as a ver/ 
strange and wonderful event. I doubt not but the Trojan 
Palladium, the Roman Minerva, and our lady's church at 
Loretto, with many sacred relics preserved by the papists, 
might drop from the moon as well as any of these. 

But it may be again objected, Suppose there were a bul- 
let shot up in that world, would not the moon run away 
from it before it could fall down, since the motion of her 
Body (being every day round our earth) is far swifter than 
the other, and so the bullet must be left beliind, and at 
length fall down to us ? To this I answer, 

1. If a bullet could be shot so far till it came to the cir- 
cumference of those things which belong to our centre, 
then it would fall down to us. 

2. Though there were some heavy body a great height 
in that air, yet would the motion of that magnetical globe 
to which it did belong, by an attractive virtue still hold it 
within its convenient distance, so that whether their earth 

* Vide Guli. Nubrigens. de rebus Anglica. lib. 1. 



moved or stood stilJ, yet would the same violence ca$t a 
body from it equaUy far. That I aiay the plainer express 
my meaning, I wiU 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, whe- 
ther or no this earth where its centre is, does stand still or 

The impartial reader may find sufficient satisfaction for 
this and such other arguments as may be urged against the 
motion of that earth, in the writings of Copernicus and his 
followers ; unto whom^ for brevity sake^ I will refer tbcm. 



That there are high mountains^ deep valliesy and spacious 

plains in the body of the Moon. 

THOUGH 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 rub- 
bish left at the creation ; yet if well considered, they will 
be found as much to conduce to the beauty and conve- 
niency 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 f ; The highest hills are a refuge 
for the wild goats, and the rocks for conies. The kingly 
p]:ophet had likewise learned the safety of these by his 
own experience, when he also was fain to make a moun- 
tain his refuge from the fiiry of liis master Saul, who per- 
secuted 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 gi*eatest protection hath been the na- 
tural strength of their country ; so fortified with moun- 
tains, 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. f Psal. civ. ver. IS. 


were once retired to an inaccessible mountain ; that when 
Alexander's legate had brought them to a parley, and per- 
suading 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 pro- 
duced by the world's curse, the flood ; but rather at the 
first created by the goodness and providence of the Al-^' 

This truth is usually concluded firom these and the like 

1. Because the scripture itself, in the description of 
that general deluge, tells us, it overflowed the highest 


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 
fbrth a second time : whereas had the trdes 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 mountainsT 

4. When tlie scripture doth set forth unto us the poWcr 
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. 1 2. 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 fix)m the beginning, before the earth or the moun- 
tains were brought forth *•, 

5. If we may trust the relations of antiquity f, there 
were many monuments left undefaced after the flood. 

So that if I intend to prove that the moon is such a ha- 
bitable 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 an- 
cient mountains and lasting hills, Deut. 33. n)^y\ iDp ♦'Tin 
oViy for having immediately before mentioned those 
blessings which should happen unto Joseph by the in- 
fluence of the moon, he does presently exegetically ite- 
rate 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 Josepli %> 

But however we may deal pro or con in philosophy, yet 
we must not be too bold with divine truths, or bring scrip- 
ture to patronize any fancy of our own ; tliough, (perhaps) 
it be a truth. I am not of their mind, who think it a 
good course to confirm philosophical secrets from the let- 
ter of the scripture, or by abusing some obscure text in 
it. Methinks it favours too much of that melancholy hu- 
mour 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 ob- 
scure places do mean some such sense as may make to 
their purpose. 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 Iovq 

* Prov. viii. 55. Psal. xc. 'J. f Joseph. Ant. 1. 1. cap. 3, 

t Gen. xlix. 26. 

VOL. I. F 


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 dis- 
tracted. No less fantastical in this kind are the Jewish 
Rabbles ; 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 in- 
credible, 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 onto 
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 pro- 
portion, I might here cite the testimony of Diodorus, who 
thought the moon to be full of rugged places, vehU terres^ 
iribus iumuUs supercUiosam; but he erred much in some 
circumstances of this opinion, espeqally where he says, 
there is an island amongst the Hyperboreans, wherein 
those hills may to the eye be plainly discovered ; and for 
this reason Cslius^ calls him a fabulous writer. But you 
may see more express authority for the proof of this in 
the opinions of Anaxagoras and Democritusf, who held 
that this planet was full of champion grounds, mountains 
and vallies. And this seemed likewise probable unto Au* 
gustinvs Nisus %$ whose words are these : Forsitan rum est 
remotum dictre lurue partes esse diversas^ veluti stmt par^ 
ies terray qvarum alia sunt vaUosa^ alia montosa^ ex qua- 
rum differentia effid potest fades ilia lumt^ nee est rationi 
dissonunif nam luna est corpus imperfecte spharicumy cum 
sit corpus ab ultimo ccelo elongatum^ ut supra dixit Aristo^ 
teles. ^< Perhaps, it would not be amiss to say that the 
<* parts of the moon were divers, as the parts of this 

* Lect. aut. L I.e. 15. f Plut. de plac. LS. «. 25. 

X De CoBk). L 2. part. 49. 


THtiT THt Moon maV be a world. 67 

** earth, whereof some are vallies, and some mountains; 
** from the difference of whichy some spots in the moon 
** may proceed ; nor is this against reason ; for that pla- 
** net cannot be perfectly spherical, since it is so remote a 
♦* body from the first orb, as Aristotle had said before." 
You m^y see this truth assented unto by Blancanus the 
Jesuit*, and by, him confirmed with divers reasons. Kep- 
lar hath observed in the moon's eclipses, that the division 
of her enlightened part from the shaded, was made by a 
crooked unequal linef* of which there cannot be any pro- 
bable cause conceived, unless it did arise from the rugged- 
ness of that planet ; for it cannot at all be proxluced from 
the shade of any mountains here upon earth ; because 
these would be so lessened before they could reach $o, 
liigh in a conical shadow, that they would not be at all 
sensible unto us (as might easily be demonstrated) ; nor 
can it be conceived what reason of this difference there 
should be in the sun. Wherefore there being ho other 
body that hath any thing to do in eclipses, we must neces- 
sarily conclude, that it is caused by a variety of parts in 
the moon itself; and what can these be but its gibbosities ? 
now if you should ask a reason why there should be such 
a multitude of these in that planet, the -same Keplar shall 
jest you out an answer. Supposing (saith he) that those 
inhabitants are bigger than any of us, in the same pro- 
pottipn as their days are longer than ours, viz. by fifteen 
times ; it may be, for want of stones to erect such vast 
houses as were requisite for their bodies, they are fain to 
dig great and round hollows in the earth $, where they may 
both procure water for their thirst, and turning about with 
the shade, may avoid those great heats which otherwise 
they would be liable unto. Or if you will give Caesar la 
Gatla leave to guess in the same manner, he would rather 
think that those thirsty nations cast up so many and so 

♦ De^Mundi fob. par. 3. c. 4. t Astron. Opt. c. 6»inim. 9. 

) Kep. appen. Seienogra. 

F 2 


great heaps of earth in digg^g of their wine cellars ; but 
this only by the way. 

I shall next produce the eye-wttness ofGa)ilxu$*, on 
which I most of all depend for the proof of this proposi- 
sition ; when he beheld the new moon through his per- 
spective, it appeared to him under a rugged and spotted^ 
figure, seeming to have the darker and enlightened parts 
divided by a tortuous line, having some parcels of light at 
- a. good distance irom the other ; and this difference is so 
remariuble, that you may easily perceive it through one 
of those ordinary perspectives, which are commonly sold 
amongst us ; but for your better apprehending of what I 
deliver, I will set down the figure as 1 find it in Ga- 

Suppose S C B to represent the appearance of the 
Moon's body being in a sexttle, you may see some brighter 
parts separated at a pretty distance from the other, which 
can be nothing else but a reBection of the sun-beams upon 
some parts that are h^her than the rest ; and those obscure 
^bouties which stand out towards the enlightened parts, 

• Nundtts Sjdeieui. 


must be such hollow and deep places whereto the rays can- 
not reach. But when the moon is got farther off from the 
sun, and come to that fulness as this line B B doth repre^ 
sent her under ; then do these parts also receive an equal 
light, excepting only that difference which doth appear 
betwixt their sea and land. And if you do consider how 
any ru^ed body would appear being enlightened, yoii 
would easUy conceive that it mus: necessarily seem under 
some such gibbous unequal form, as the moon is here re** 
presented. Now for the infallibility of these appearances^ 
I shall refer the reader to that which hath been said in 
the sixth proposition. 

But Caesar la Galla affirms, that all tliese appearances 
may consist with a plain superficies, if we suppose the 
parts of the body to be some of them diaphanous, and 
some opacous ; and if you object that the light which is 
conveyed to any diaphanous part in a plain superficies, 
must be by a continued line ; whereas here there appear 
many brighter parts among the obscure at some distance 
from the rest : to this he answers, it may rise from some 
secret conveyances and channels within her body, that do 
consist of a more diaphanous matter ; which being co- 
vered over with an opacous superficies, the light passing 
through them may break out a great way off; whereas the 
other parts betwixt, ipay still remain dark. Just as the river 
Arethusa in Sicily, which runs under ground for a great 
way, and afterwards breaks out again. But, because this 
is one of the chiefest fancies, whereby he thinks he hath 
fully answered the argument of this opinion, I will there? 
fore set down hi^ answer in his own words, lest the reader 
might suspect more in them than I have expressed *• Non 
€st imp&ssibile cacos ductm diaphard K ptrspicui corporis, 
sed opaca superficie protendh usqute in diaphanam alU 
quam ex profundo in superficiem emergeniem partem, 
per quos ductus lumen lango postmodum interstitio erum^ 
pat, Kc. But I reply, if the superficies betwixt these two 

* Cap. 11. 


two enlightened parts remain dark because of its opacity ; 
then would it always be dark, and the sun could not make 
it partdke of light more than it could of perspicuity. But 
this contradicts all experiei\ce, as you may see in Gali- 
teus, who aifirms that when the sun comes nearer to his 
opposition, then that which is betwixt them both, is en- 
lightened as well as either. Nay, this opposes his own 
eye-witness ; for he confesse$ himself that he saw this by 
the glass. He had said before, that he came to see those 
Strange sights discovered by Galil^us his glass, with an 
intent of contradiction ; and you may read that confirmed 
in the weakness of this answer, which rather bewrays ap 
obstinate, than a persuaded will ; for otherwise sure h^ 
would never have undertook to have destroyed such cer- 
tain proof with so groundless a fancy. 

That instance of Galilaeus^, would have been a better 
evasion, had this author been acquainted with it; whp 
plight then have compared the moon to that which we 
call mother of pearl, which though it be most exactly po- 
lished in the sypei^cies of it, yet will seem unto the eye 
as if there were divers swelliags and risings in its several 
parts. But yet, this neither woqld not well have shifted 
the experiment of the perspective. For these rugged parts 
do not only appear upon one side of the moon, but as the 
' sun does turn about in divers places, so do they also cast 
their shadow. When the moon is in her increase, then 
do they cast their shadows to the east. When she is in 
the decrease, and the sun on the other side of her, then 
likewise may wc discover the^e brighter parts casting theii;^ 
shadows westward. Whereas in the full moon there are 
none pf all these to be seen. i 

But it may be objected, that it is almost impossible, and 
^together unlikely, that in the moon there should be any 
mountains so high as those observations make them. For 
i6 but suppose, according to the common principles, that 
the mQoa's diameter unto the earth's, is very near^ to thf 

■* Syst. mund. col. 1. 


proportion, of two to seveof. Suppose withal that the 
earth's diameter contains about 7000 Italian miles, and the 
moon's 2000 (as is commonly granted.) Now Galilanis 
hath observed, that Some parts have been enlightened, when 
they were the twentieth part of the diameter distant from 
the common term of illumination. From whence it must 
necessarily follow, that there may be some mountains 
in the moon so high, that they are able to cast a sha- 
dow a hundred miles ofF. An opinion that sounds like a 
prodigy or a fiction ; wherefore it is likely that either those 
appearances are caused by somewhat else besides moun- 
tains, qi else those are fallible observations ; from whence 
may follow such improbable, inconceivable consequences. 
But to this I answer ; 

1. You must consider the height of the mountains is 
but very little, if you compare them to the length of their 
shadows. Sir Walter Rawleigh* observes that the mount 
Athos, now called Lacas, casts its shadow 300 furlongs, 
which is above 37 miles ; and yet that mount is none of the 
highest. Nay Solinus + (whom I should rather believe in 
tliis kind) affirms that this mountain gives his shadow 
quite over the sea, from Macedon to the isle of Lemnos, 
which is 700 furlongs, or 84 miles, and yet according to 
the common reckoning it doth scarce reach 4 miles up- 
wards in its perpendicular height. 

2. I affirm that there are very high mountains in the 
moon. Keplar and Galilaeus think that they are higher 
than any which are upon our earth* But I am not of 
their opinion in this, because I suppose they go upon a 
false ground, whilst they conceive that the highest moun- 
tain upon the earth is not above a mile perpendicular. 

Whereas it is the qommon opinion, and found true 
enough by observation, that Olympus, Atlas, Taurus and 
£)mus, with many others, are much above this height. 
Tenariffa, in the Canary islands, is commonly related to be 
above 8 miles perpendicular, and about this height (say 

♦ Hist. 1. 1. cap. 7. sect. 11. f Poly. Hist. c. 21. 


some) is the mount Perjacaca in America. Sir Walter 
Rawleigh* seems to think that the highest of these is 
near 30 miles upright : nay Aristotle, speaking of Caucasus 
in Asia, affinus it to be visible for 560 n^es, as some in- 
terpreters find by computation ; from which it will follow, 
that it was 78 miles perpendicularly high ; as you may see 
confirmed by Jacobus Mazonius t. and out of him in Blan- 
canus the Jesuit. But this deviates from the truth more 
in excess than the other doth in defect. However, though 
these in the moon are not so high as some amongst us ; 
yet certain it is they are of a great height, and some of 
them at the least four miles perpendicolar. This I shall 
prove from the observation of Galilaeus, whose glass can 
shew to the senses a proof beyond exception ; and cer- 
tainly that man must needs be of a most timorous faith, 
who dares not believe his own eye. 

By that perspective you may pl^nly discern some en-< 
lightened parts (which are the mountains) to be distant 
from the other about the twentieth part of the diameter. 
From .whence it will follow, that Uiose mounUius must 
necessarily be at the least four Italian mites in height. 

f C'oTnparatio Aritc. 
Matth. Arlitloc. US. 

• Meteor. L I.e. 11. 

m. Plaume, leci. 3. c. 5. E»po*t. i 


For let B D E F be the body of the moon, ABC will 
be a ray or beam of the sun, which enlightens a mountain 
at A, and B is the point of contingency ; the distance betwixt 
A and B must be supposed to be the twentieth part of the 
diameter, which' is an 100 miles, for so far are some en- 
lightened parts severed from the common term of illumi- 
nation. Now the aggregate of the quadrate from A B a 
hundred, and BG 1000 will be 1010000; unto which the 
quadrate arising from A G must be equal ; according to 
. the 47th proposition in the first book of elements. There- 
fore the whole line A G is somewhat more than 104, and 
the distance betwixt H A must be above 4 miles, which 
was the thing to be proved. 

But it may be again objected, if there be such rugged 
parts, aitd so high mountains, why then cannot we dis- 
cern them at this distance ? Why doth the moon appear 
unto us so exactly round, and not rather as a wheel with 
teetli ? 

I answer, by reason of too great a distance ; for if the 
whole body appears to our eye so little, then those parts 
which bear so small a proportion to tlie whole, will not at 
all be sensible. 

But it may be replied, if there were any such remarkable 
hillSy why does not the limb of the moon appear like a 
wheel with teeth, to those who look upon it through the 
great perspective* on whose witness you so much depend? 
Or what reason is there that she appears as exactly round 
through it, as she doth to the bare eye? certainly then 
either there is no such thing as you imagine, or else the 
glass fails much in this discovery. 
To tills I shall answer out of Galilaeus. 
]. You must know, that there is not merely one rank 
of mountains above the edge of the moon, but divers or- 
ders, one mountain behind another, and so there is some- 
what to hinder those void spaces which otherwise, per- 
|iaps, might appear. 

Now where there be many hills, the ground seems even 
(o a man that can see the tops of all. Thus when the sea 


rages, and many vast waves are lifted up, yet all inay ap- 
pear plain enough to one that stands at the shore. So 
where there are so many hills, the inequality will be less 
remarkable if it be discerned at a distance. 

2. Though there be mountains in that part which ap- 
pears unto us to be the limb of the moon, as well as in 
any other place, yet the bright vapours hide their appear- 
ance ; for there is an orb of thick vaporous air that doth 
immediately compass the body of the moon ; which though 
it have not so great opacity, as to terminate the sight, yet 
beixig once enlightened by the sun, it doth represent the 
body of the moon under a greater form, and hinders our 
sight from a distinct view of her true circumference. But 
of this in the next chapter. 

3. Keplar hath observed*, that in the sokry eclipses, 
when the rays may pass through this vaporous air, there 
are some gibbosities to be discerned in the limb of the 

I have now sufficiently proved, that there are hills in the 
moon ; and hence it may seem likely that there is also a 
world : for since providence hath some special end in all 
its works, certainly then these mountains were not pro- 
duced in vain ; and what more probable meaning can we 
conceive there should be, than to make that place conve- 
nient for habitation. 

* Somn. Attr. not. 207. 

*" ^ 



That there is an Atmo-spharay or an orb of gross, vapo* 
rous air immediately encofnpassing the body of the 

AS that part of our air which is nearest to the earth is 
of a thicker substance than the other, by reason it is 
always mixed with some vapours which are continually ex- 
haled into it ; so is it equally requisite, that if there be a 
world in the moon, that, the air about that should be alike 
qualified with ours. Now that there is such an orb of 
gross air, wa^ first of all (for ought I can read) observed by 
Muslin *, afterwards assented unto by Keplar and Galilaeus, 
and since by Baptista Cittacus, Scheiner, with others, all 
pf them confirming it by the same arguments ; which I 
shall only cite, and then leave this proposition. 

1. It is not improbable that there should be a spheie of 
grosser air about the moon ; because it is observed that 
there are such kind of evaporations which proceed from 
the sun itself. For there are discovered divers moveable 
spotSy like clouds, that do encompass his body; which 
those authors who have been most frequently versed 'u\ 
these kind of experiments and studies, do conclude to be 
nothing else but evaporations from it. The probability 
and tf uth of which observations may also be inferred from 
some other appearances. As, 

1. It hath been observed that tl^e sun hath sometimes 
for the space of four days together f, appeared as dull an^ 
Tuddy almost as the moon in her eclipses , insomuch that 
the stars have been seen at mid-day. Nay, he hath been 
constantly darkened for almost a whole year, and never 
shined but with a kind of heavy and duskish light, so that 

* Vide Eu8eb. Nicrem. de Nat. Hist. 1. 2. c. 11. 
I So A. D. 1547, April 2ith to the 9$th. 


there was scarc6 heat enough to ripen the fruits. As it 
was about the time when Cassar was killed. Which was 
recorded by some of the poets. Thus Virgil speaking of 
the sun* 

lUe ctiam extincto tniseratus Cdtsare Romam, 
Cum caput obscura nitidum ferrugine texif, 
Impiaque dsternam iitnuerunt specula noctetn*. 

He pitying Eome when at great Caesar dy'd« 
Hit head within a mourning vail did hide. 
And that the wicked guilty world did fright 
With doubtful fears of an eternal night. 

Ovid likewise, speaking of his death, 

. Solis quoque tristis imago 
Lurida soUicitis prtebebat lamina terris, f 

; ■■ The sun's sad image then 

Did yield a lowering light to fearful men. 

Now these appearances could not arise from any lower 
vapour : for then, !• They would not have been so univer- 
sal as they were, being seen through all Europe : or else, 
2. That vapour must have covered the stars as well as the 
sun, which yet notwithstanding were then plainly discerned 
in the day-time. You may see tliis argument illustrated 
in another the like case, chap. 12. Hence then it will fol- 
low, that this fuliginous matter, which did thus obscure the 
son, must needs be very near his body ; and if so, then 
what can we more probably ^ess it to be than evapora- 
tions from it ? 

2. It is observed, that in the sun's total eclipses, when 
there is no part of his body discernible, yet there does not 
always follow so great a darkness as might be expected 
from his total absence. Now it is probable that the rea- 
son is, because these thicker vapours being enlightened by 
his heaps, do convey some light unto us, notwithstanding 
the interposition of the moon betwixt his body and our 

* Virga, Georg. I. 1. . f Metam. lib. 15. 


3. This likewise is by some guessed to be the reason of 
the crepmculum^ or that light which we have before the 
sun's rising. 

Now if there be such evaporations from the sun, much 
more ttien from the moon, which does consist of a more 
gross and impure substance. The other arguments are 
taken from several observations in the moon herself, and 
do more directly tend to the proof of this proposition. 
> 2. It is observed, that so much of the moon as is en- 
lightened, is always part of a bigger circle tlian that which 
is darker. The frequent experience of others hath proved 
this, and an easy observation may quickly confirm it. But 
now this cannot proceed from any other cause so probable 
as from this orb of air ; especially when we consider how 
that planet shining with a borrowed light, doth not send 
forth any such rays as may make her appearance bigger 
than her body. 

3. When the moon being half enlightened, begins to 
cover any star, if the star be towards the obscurer part, 
then may it by the perspective be discerned to be nearer 
unto the center of the moon than the outward circum- 
ference of the enlightened part. But the moon being in 
the full, then does it seem to receive these stars without 
its limb. 

4. Though the moon do sometime appear the first 
day of her change^ when so much as appears enlightened 
cannot be above the 80th part of her diameter, yet then 
will the horns seem at least to be of a finger's breadth in 
extension ; which could not be, unless the air about it 
were illuminated. 

5. It is observed in the solary eclipses, that there is 
sometimes a great trepidation about the body of the moon, 
from which we may likewise argue an atmosphaera, since 
we cannot well conceive what so probable a cause there 
should be of such an appearance as this, Stiod radii solares 
a vaporibm lunam ambientibiLs fuerint intercisi^y that the ' 

* Scheiner Ros. Urs. 1. 4. part. 2. c. 27. 


sun-beams were broken and refracted by the vapours that 
encompassed the moon. 

6. I may add the like argument taken from another ob- 
servation which will be easily tried and granted. When 
the sun is eclipsed, we discern the moon as she is in her 
own natural bigness ; but then she appears somewhat less 
than when she is in the full, though she be in the same 
place of her supposed excentrick and epicycle ; and there- 
fore Tycho hath calculated a table for the diameter of the 
divers new moons. But now there is no reason so pro- 
bable to solve this appearance, as to place an orb of thicker 
air near the body of that planet, which may be enlightened 
by the reflected beams, and through which the direct rays 
may easily penetrate. 

But some may object, that this will not consist with that 
which was before delivered, where I said, that the thinnest 
parts had least light. 

If this were true, how comes it to pass then that thi^ 
air should be as light as any of the other parts, when as it 
is the thinnest of all ? 

I answer, if the light be received by reflection only, then 
the thickest body hath most, because it is best able to beat 
back the rays ; but if the light be received by illumination 
(especially if there be an opacous body behind, which may 
double the beams by reflexion) as it is here, then I deny 
not but a thin body may retain much light ; and perhaps 
some of those appearances which we take for fiery cornets, 
are nothing. else but a bright cloud enlightened; so that 
probable it is there may be such air without the moon : 
and hence it comes to pass, that the greater spots are only 
visible towards her middle parts, and none near the cir- 
cumference ; not but that there are some as well in those 
parts as elsewhere, but they are not there perceiveable, 
by reason of those brighter vapours which hide them. 



That as their World is our Moon^ so our World is 

their Moon. 

I Have already handled the first thing that I promised, 
according to the method which Aristotle uses in his 
book De Mundo ; and shewed you the necessary parts 
that belong to this world in the moon. In the next place 
it is requisite that I proceed to those things which- are exr 
trinsical^ unto it, as the seasons, the meteors, and the in« 

\. Of the seasons; 

And if there be such a world in the moon, it is requisite 
then that their seasons should be some way correspondent 
unto ours, that they should have winter and summer, 
night and day, as we have. 

Now that in this planet there is some similitnde of win- 
ter and summer, is afiirmed by Aristotle himself* ; since 
there is one hemisphere that hath always heat and light 
and the other that bath darkness and cold. True indeed, 
their days and years are always of one and the same 
length; (unless we make one of their years to be 19tof 
ours, in which space all the stars do arise after the same 
order.) But it is so with us also under the poles, and 
therefore that great difference is not suf&cient to make it 
altogether unlike ours ; nor can we expect that every thing ^ 
there should be in the same manner as it is here below, 
as if nature had no way but one to bring about her pur- 
poses. We have no reason then to think it necessary that 
both these worlds should be altogether alike ; but it may 
suffice if they be correspondent in something only. How- 
ever, it may be questioned whether it doth not seem to be 
against the wisdom of Providence, to make the night of so 

^ Degen. anima. 1. 4. 12. f Golden number. 


great a lengthy when they have such a long time unfit fof 
work ? I answer, no ; since it is so, and more with us also 
under the poles ; and besides, the general length of their 
night is somewhat abated in the bigness of their moon, 
which is our earth. For this returns as great a light unto 
that planet, as it receives from it. But for the better proof 
of this, I shall first free the way from such opinions a^ 
might otherwise hinder the speed of a clearer progress. 

Plutarch, one of the chief patrons of this world in the 
moon *, doth directly contradict this proposition ; affirm- 
ing, that those who live there, may discern our world, as 
the dregs and sediment of all other creatures ; appearing 
to them through clouds and foggy mists, and that alto- 
gether devoid of light, being base and unmoveable ; so 
that they might well imagine the dark place of damnation 
to be here situate, and that they only were the inhabiters 
of the world, as being in the midst betwixt heaven and 

To this I may answer, it is probable that Plutarch spake 
this inconsiderately and without a reason ; which makes 
him likewise fall into another absurdity, when he says our 
earth would appear immoveable ; whereas questionless, 
though it did not, yet would it seem to move, and theirs 
to stand stilJ, as the land dotli to a man in a ship ; ac- 
cording to that of the poet : 

Provehimur poriu, terrteque, iirbcsque recedunt. 

And I doubt not but that an ingenious author would easily 
have recanted, if he had been but acquainted with those 
experiences which men of later times have found out, for 
the confirmation of this truth. 

2. Unto him assents Macrobius, whose words are these ; 
Terra accepto soils lumine clarescit tantummodoy non re^ 
lucet^. " Tl^e earth is by the sun-beams made bright, 
" but not able to enlighten any thing so far." And his 
reason is, because this being of a tliick and gross matter, 

* Plut. de fac. lun.T, f Somm. Scip. 1. I.e. 19. 


ihe light is terminated in its superficies, and cannot fifene- 
trate into the substance ; whereas the moon doth there- 
fore seem so bright to us, because it receives the beams 
within itself. But the weakness of this assertion may be 
easily maiiifcst by a common experience ; for polbhed 
steel (whose opacity will not give any admittance to the 
rays) reflects a stronger heat than glass, and so conse- 
quently a greater light. 

3. It is the general consent of philosophers, that the re-> 
flection of the sun-bcanis from the earth doth not reach 
muth above half a m'lte high, Where they terminate the 
fktst region ; so that to aflirm they ntight ascend to the 
moon, were to say, tliere were but one region of air, 
which contradicts the proved and received opinion; 

Unto this H may be answered : 

That it is indeed the Common consent, that the reflec- 
iion of the sun beams reach only to the 'second region; 
but yet some there are, and those too, philosophers of 
good note, who thought otherwise. Thus Plotinus is 
cited by Cslius, Si concipias te in suhlime qtwpiam mundi 
I0CO9 Unde oculis subjiciatur terra moles aquis circumfusa^ 
li soils syderuvique radiis Ulustrafa^ nan aliam profecto 
tnsam iri probdbile esU quam qualis modo visatur lunaris 
globi species *. " If you conceive yourself to be in some 
** such high place, where you might discern the whole 
*^ globe of the earth and water, when it was enlightened 
** by the sun's rays, it is probable it would then appear to 
** you in the same shape as the moon doth now unto us." 
So Paulus Foscarinus. Terra nihil aliud est quam altera 
luna^ vel Stella^ talisque nobis apparerety si ex convenienti 
elongatione eminus conspiciretur^ in ipsaque observari pos* 
sent eadem aspectuum varietatesy qiae in Luna apparent t- 
" The earth is nothing else but another moon or star, and 
** would appear so unto us if it were beheld at a conve- 
** nient distance, with the same changes and varieties as 
«« there are in the moon." Thus also Carolus Malaper- 

• Ant. lect. 1. 1, c. 4. t !» ep. ad Sebau. fimtonum. 

V«L. X. -G 


tius, whose wotds dre these : Terra hac nostra^ si in lund 
constituti essemus^ splendida prorsus quasi non ignobilis pld^ 
neta^ nobis appareret*. " If we were placed in the moon, 
<* and from thence beheld this our earth, it would appear 
*• unto us very bright, like one of the nobler planets." Unto 
these doth Fromondus assent, when he says. Credo equi- 
dem quod si oculus quispiam in drbe lunariforet^ globum 
terra K aqua instar ingentis sydens ^ sole ilbistrem con^ 
spiceretf. " I believe that this globe of earth and water 
** w&uld appear like some great star to any one, who 
*< should look upon it from the moon/* Now this could 
not be, nor could it shine so remarkably, unless the beams 
of light were reflected from it. And therefore the same 
/VoT/k^t^f expressly holds, that the first region of air is 
there terminated, where the heat caused by reflection be- 
gins to languish, whereas the beams themselves do pas« 
a great way further. The chief argument which doth 
most plainly manifest this truths is taken from a common 
observation which may^be easily tried. 

If you behold the moon a little before or after the con- 
junction, when she is in a sextile with the sun, you may 
discern not only the part which is enlightened, but the rest 
also to have in it a kind of a duskish light ; but if you 
chuse out such a situation, where some house or chim- 
ney (being same seventy or eighty paces distaj^t from you) 
may hide from your eye the enlightened horns, you m'ay 
then discern a greater and more remarkable shining in those 
parts unto whic^h the sun-beams cannot reach ; nay, there 
is so great a light, that by the help of a good perspective 
you may discern its spots. In so much that Blancanusthe 
Jesuit speaking of it, says, H/ec experientia ita me ali- 
quando fe/ellity ut in hunc fiilgorem casu )ac repente inci- 
denSy existimarim iwvo quod^m viiraculo tempore a doles- 
centis lume factum esse plenilunium J. " This experiment 
♦* did once so deceive me, that happening upon the sight 


* Praefat. ad Austriaca Syd. f Meteor. 1. I* c. 2. art. 2. 

X De mundi/aj^. ,p. 3. c. 3. « 


^ of this brightness upon a sudden, I thought that by Isome 
** new nurade the moon had been got itito her full a little 
" after her change." 

But now this light is not proper to the modn ; it dottt 
not proceed from the rays of the sun Which doth pene- 
trate her body, nor is it caused by any other of the planctsr 
and stars. Therefore it must hccefearily follow, that it 
comes frdhi the earth. The ttto first of these I have al- 
ready proved, and as for the last, it is confidently affirmed! 
by Coelius, 2uod si in disquisitionem evocet qiiis^ an lunari 
^yderi lUcem foerietent planeia item alii^ asseoerantur as^ 
truendum nonfcenerare"^. ** If any should ask whether the 
'' other planets lend any light to the moon? I answer^ 
" they do not." True rrrdeed, the noble Tycho discus- 
sing the reason 6f this light, attributes it to the planet Ve- 
nus t ; and I grant that this may convey some light, to* 
the moon; bUt that it is not the causd of^his whereof 
we now discourse, is of itself sufficiently plain ;' because 
Venus i^ sometimes over the moon, when as she cannot 
convey any light to that part which is turned from her. 

It doth' not proceed from the fixed stars \ for then it 
would retain the same light in eclipses, whereas the light 
at such times is more ri:iddy and dull. Then also the light 
of the moon would not be greater or lesser, according ta 
its distance from the edge of the earth's shadow, since it 
did at all times equally participate this lighl of the stai*s. 

In brief, this is neither proper to tlie moon, nor does it 
j!)roceed from any penetration of the sun's rays, or the 
shining of Venus, or the other planets, or the fixed stars. 
]^ow because there is no other body in the whole universe, 
$ave the earth, it remains that this light must necessarily 
be caused by that, which with a just gratitude repays ta 
the moon such illumination as it receives from her. 

And as loving friends equally participate of the same 
joy and grief, so do these mutually partake of the same 
light from the sun, and the same darkness from the eclipses^ 

* Ant Lect. L 20, c. 5. t Pr«>gyni. 1. 

G 2 


being also severally helped by one anotlier in their greatest 
wants: for when the moon is in conjunction vrith the sun^ 
and her upper part receives all the light, then her lower 
hemisphere (which would otherwise be altogetlier dark) is 
enlightened by the reflection of the sun-beains from tlie 
earth. When these two planets are in opposition, then 
that part of the earth which could not receive any light 
from the sun-beams, is most enlightened by the moon, 
being then in her full ; and as she doth most illuminate' 
tlie earth when the sun-beams canitot, so the grateful 
earth returns to her as great (nay greater) light when she 
most wants it; so that always that visible part of the moon 
which receives nothing from tlic sun, is enlightened by 
the earth, as is proved by Galilxus, witlymany more ar- 
guments, in that treatise which he calls Systema Mundi. 
TVue indeed, when the moon comes to a quartile, then 
y#0 can neither di3cern this light ; nor yet the darker parD 
ef her body ; and that for a double reason ; 

1 . Because the nearer it comes to the full, the less light 
does it receive from the earth, whose illumination does aU 
ways decrease in the same proportion as the moon does 

2. Because of the exuberancy of the light in the other 
parts. Sadppe Ulustratiim medium sptckm recipU valentio- 
rem** The clearer brightness involves the weaker; it being 
with the species of sight, as it is with those of sound ; and* 
as the greater noise drowns the less, so the brighter object 
hides that which is more obscure. But as they do always 
in their mutual vicissitudes participate of one another's 

* light : so also j^do they partake of the same defects and 

darkenings ; for when our moon is eclipsed, tlien is their 
isun- darkened ; and when our sun is eclipsed, then is their 
moon deprived of its light, as you m«cy see afiirm<4 by 
• Meslint* Quod si ternim noSis ex alia liccret intuerty i>. 
quema4niodum deJiciinUem lunam ex longinquo spectart 
passuwtiSy videre??ius tempore eclipsis solis^ terra aliquant 

!'* ' * * Seal* exeic. 62. t Epit.A«tr.i;4.'part2^ 


jNtrtem lumine solis dejicere, eodem plane mode sicut ex 
opposite luna deficit. " If we might behold this globe of 
*■' earth at the same distance as wcMo tlie moon in her 
<* defect, we might discera some, part of It daricened in 
" the sun's eclipses, just so as the moon is in hers." 
Kor as our moon is eclipsed by the interposition of our 
earth, so is their moon eclipsed by the interposition of 
theirs. The manner of this mutual illumination betwixt 
these two you may plainly discern in this £gure fol- 


Where A repreaents the suhi B ttie earth, and C the 
njoon: Now suppose the moon C to be in a sextile of in- 
crease, when there is only one small part of her body en- 
lightened, then the earth £ will bare such a part of its ti* 
■ibie hemisphere darkened, as is proportionable to that part 
of the moOn which is enlightened ; and as for so much of 
tb$ moon, as the sun-beams cannot reach unto, it le- 


ceives light from a proportionable part of the earth "whioH 
ishines upon it, as you may plainly perceive by the 

You see then that agreement and similitude which 
there is betwixt our earth and the moon. Now tlie 
greatest difFerence which makes them unlike, is this, that 
the moon enlightens our earth round* about, whereas our 
earth gives light only to that hemisphere of the moon 
Mfhich is visible unto us ; as may be certainly gathered 
from the constant appearance of the same spots, which 
could not thus come to pass, if the moon had such a diur- 
nal motion about its own axis as perhaps our earth hath. 
And though some suppose her to move in an epicycle, 
yet this doth not so turn her bo^y round, that we may dis- 
cern both hemispheres ; for according to that hypothesis 
(say they) the motion of her eccentric doth turn her face 
towards us, as much as the other doth from us. 

But now, if any question what they do for a moon, who 
live in the upper part of her body ? I answer. The solving 
of this, is the most Uficj^rtain and difficult thing that I 
know of, concerning this whole matter. But yet unto me 
this seems a probable conjecture. 

That the upper hemisphere of the moon doth receive a 
sufficient light from those planets about it ; and amongst 
these, Venus (it may be) bestows a more especial bright-r 
ness, since Galilaeus hath plainly discerned that she suffers 
the same increases and decreases, as the moon hath ; and 
it i^ probable that this may be perceived there, without 
the help of a glass, because they are far nearer it than wc. 
When Venus (saith Keplar) lies down in the perige or 
lower part of her supposed epicycle, then is she in con- 
junction with her husband the sun ; from whom, after she 
hath departed for the space of ten months, she gets plfinuvi 
^terum. and is in the full. 

But you will reply, though Venus may bestow some 
light when she is over the moon, and in conjunction, yet 
being in opposition, she is not visi|)l^ tp them, an^ wh^t 
$haU they then do for light } 


. I answer ; then they have none ; nor doth this make so 
great a difference betwixt those two hemispheres, as there 
is with us betwixt the places under the poles and the line. 
And besides, it is considerable that there are two kind of 

1. Primary; such whose proper circle do encompass 
the body of the Siin, whereof there are six ; Saturn, Ju- 
piter, Mars, Ceres or the Earth, Venus, Mercury. As 
in the frontispiece. 

2. Secondary ; such whose proper circles are not about 
the sun, but some of the other primary planets.. Thus are 
there two about Saturn, four about Jupiter, and thus like- 
wise does the moon encompass our earth* Now it is pro- 
bable that these lesser secondary planets, are not so ac- 
commodated with all conveniencies of habitation, as the 
others that are more principal. 

But it may seem a very difficult thing to conceive, how 
so gross and dark a body as our earth, should yield such a 
clear light as proceeds from the moon ; and therefore the 
Cardinal de Cusa^ (who thinks every star to be a several 
world) is of opinion, that the light of the sun is not able 
to make them appear so bright ; but the reason of their 
shining is, because we behold them at a great distance 
through their regions of fire, which do set a shining lustre 
upon those bodies that of themselves are dark. Unde si 
quis esset extra regionem ignis^ terra ista in circumfefen- 
tia sua regionis per mtdiuin ignis hicida stella appareret. 
^' So that if a man were beyond the region of fire, this 
" earth would appear through that as a bright star." But 
if this were the only reason, then would the moon be 
freed from such increases and decreases, as she is npw 
liable unto. 

Keplar thinks that our earth receives that light whereby 
it shines, from the sun ; but this (saith he) is not such zx\ 
intended clear brightness as the moon is capable of, and 
therefore he guesses that the earth there is of a moi^Q 

• 4?^ jJocfe ig. 1, 2, c. 12^ 


&msky soil, like fhc isle of Crptc, and so is better a>le tp 
jSflcct a sfrongcr light ; whereas our earth must supply 
this intention with the quantity of its body. Put this I 
i^onceive to be a needless conjecture, since our earth (if all 
things were well considered) will bQ found able enough to 
refliect as great a light. For, 

1 . Consider its 'opacity ; if you mark these sublunary 
things, you shall perceive that ^mongst them, those that 
are most perspicuous, are not so well able to reverberate 
fhe sun-BfeahiS, as tlje thicker bodies. The rays pass singly 
dirough a diaphanous matter, but in an opacous substance 
Ihey are doubled in their return, and multiplied by reflec- 
tion. Now if the moon and tlie other planets can shine 
so ctearly by beating back the ' sun-beam^, why may not 
itit earth aiso shine as welK whkh agriees ¥^ith them in 
the cause of this brightness, their opacity? 

2. Consider what a clear light we may discern reflected 
firom the caith in the midst of summer; and \Vithal, con- 
ceive how much greater that must be v^hich is under the 
lind. Where the rays are more directly and strongly rever* 

3. It is considerable, that though the moon does in 
tlie night-time seem to be of so cleat a brightness, yet 
yrhtn we look upon it i(\ the day, it appears like some 
httle whitish cloud: not but that at both times, she is of 
ah equal light in herself. The reason of this difference 
|s, because in the night We look upon it through a dark 
and obscure medium, there being no other enlightened 
"ftody, whose brightness may abate from this : whereas in 
the day-time, the whole heavens round about it are of an 
tqud] clearness, and so make it to appear with a weaker 
light. Now because we cannot see how the enlightened 
parts of our earth do look in the night, the/efore in com-j 
piling it with the moon, we cnust not consider her, as 
she is beheld t^irough the advantage of a dark medium, 
Tfiut as she iecms in the day-time. Now in any clear sun- 
l^bipe day, our earth does appear as bright as the moon, 
i/vhich at the 3ame time does s^em like some duskish clou^ 

f^AT tH% IHOON MAY BC A WORlp^ 99 


(^ any little observatjion may easily manifest.) Therc^# 
fore we need not doubt but that the earth is as well able IQ ' 
give light as the moon. To this it may be added, that 
tho^ very clouds, which |n the jday-timc seem to be of ax^ 
equal light to the moon, do in the evening become as dark 
as our earth ; and as for those of them which are looked 
upon at any great distance, they are often mistaken for 
the mountains. 

4. It i§ considerable, that though thie moon seem to be 
of so great a brightness in the night, by reason of its near- 
ness onto those several shadows which it casts, yet is it of 
itself weaker than that part of twilight, which usually we 
haye for half an hour after sun-set, because we cannot til! 
after that time discern any shadow to be made by it. 

5. Consider the great distance at which we behold the 
planets, for this must needs add much to their sl^ining; and 
therefore Cusanus (in the above-cited place) thinks that if 
a man were in the sun, that planet would not appear so 
bright to him, as now it doth to us, because then his eye 
could discern but little ; whereas here, we may compre- 
hend the beams as they are contracted in a narrow body. 
Keplar beholding the earth from a high mountain, when it 
waw enlightened by the sun, confesses that it appeared un- 
to him of an incredible brightness, whereas tlien he could 
pnly see some small parts of it ; but how much brighter 
(yould it have appeared, if he might in a direct line behold 
the whole globe of earth and these rays gathered together? 
So that if we consider that great light which the earth re- 
ceives from the sun in the summer, and then suppose we 
were in the moon, where w^e ipight see the whole earth 
hanging in those vast spaces, where there is nothing to 
terminate the sight, but those beams which are there con* 
tracted into a Jittle compass ; I say, if we do well con- 
sider this, we may easily conceive that our earth appears 
9S bright to those other inhabitants in the moon, as theirs ' 
doth to us. 

But here it may be objected, that with us for many 
iisLys in the y^ar, tbsi heavens |ire so overclouded, that we 

, I 


pannot see the $un at alt ; and for the most part, in our 
brightest days, there are many scattered clouds which 
^ade thQ earth in sundry places : so that in this respect, it 
must needs be unlike the moon^ and will not be able to 
yield so clear, uninteroiitted a light» as it receives froipi 
that planet. 

To tliis I answer. 

1. As for those lesser brighter clouds, which for the 
J^ fnost part are scattered up and down in the clearest days, 

these can be no reason why our earth should be of a darker 
appearance, bepause these clouds being near unto the 
earth, and so not distinguishable ^t so great a distance from 
it]; and likewise being illuminated on their back parts by 
the sun that shines upon them, must seem as bright to 
those in the moon, as if the beams were immediately re- 
flected from our earth. 

2. When these clouds that are interposed, are of any 
)arge extension, or great opacity, zs it is in extraordinary 
lasting and great rains, then there must be some dis- 
cernible alteration in (he light of our earth : but yet this 
does not make it to differ from the moon, since it is so 
also with that planet, as is shewed in the latter part of tb^ 
ixext chapter. 


TTiat it is probable there may be such meteors belonging 
to that world in thfMoon^ as titer e are with tcs. 

PLUTARCH discussing on this point, affirms that it is 
not necessary there should be the same means of 
growth and fructifying in both these worlds, since nature 
might in her policy find out more ways than one how tq 
bring about the same effect. But however, he thinks it is 
probable that the moon herself sendeth forth warm wipds; 
and by the swiftness of her motion, thf;re should b^e^tlie 


4).ut a sweet and pomfortable air, pleasant dews, and gentle 
fpoisture, which might serve fpr refreshing and nourish- 
ment of the inhabitants and plants in that other world. 

But since they have all things alike with us, as sea and 
land, and vaporous air encprnpassing both ; I should rather 
therefore think, that nature there should use the same way 
•pf producing meteors as she doth with us; and not by a 
motion, (as Plutarch supposes) because she doth not love 
to vary from hei' usual operations without some e:!^traor- 
dinary impediment, but still ]^eeps her beat<en path, luiless 
«he be driven thence. 

One ai:gument whereby I shall manifest this trpth, may 
be taken from those new stars which have appeared in di- 
vers ages of the world, and by their parajax have been dis- 
cerned to have been above the moon ; such as was that in 
Cassiopeia, that in Sagittarius, witii m^ny others betwixt 
the planets. Hipparchus* in his time took especial no- 
tice of such as these, and therefore fancied out such con^ 
stellations in which to place the star$, shewing how many 
there were in every asterism ; that so afterwards, posterity 
might know whether ^there were any new star produced, 
or ^ny old one missing. Now the nature of these comets 
^ay. probably manifest, that in this other world there are 
other meteors also ; for these in all likelihood, are nothing 
/else but such evaporations caused by the sun from the bo^ 
dies of the plai|ets. I shall prove this by shewing tlie im- 
probabilities an4 inconveniences of any other opinion. 

For the better pursuit of this, it is in the first place re^ 
quisite, that I deal with our chief adversary, Csesar la Galla, 
who doth most directly oppose that truth which is here to 
be proved. He endeavouring to confinn the incorrupti- 
bility of the heavens, and being there to satisfy the argu- 
ment which is taken frqm these comets; he answers it 
thus: Atti argumentum desumptum ex paralaariy non est 
efficaXf ant si est ejficax^ ^orum insfruvientonnn usum de-- 
j^ipere^ vtl ratiane astri^ vel mediit vel di^tanti^t au( erg0 

* Piili. Nat. Hi»t. 1. 2. c. S6. 


erai in ^vpi^ema parte aeris, aut si in coeloy tiimforsanfacw 
turn evdt ex reflexione radiorum Saturni H Jovis^ qui tutu: 
in conjunctjone fueranL " Either the argument from the 
•* paralax is not efficacious, or if it be, yet the use of the 
instruments might deceive, either in regard of the star, 
or the medium, or the distance, and so this comet 
*< jnight be in the upper regions of the air ; or if it were 
f^ in the heavens, there it might be produced by the re- 
** flection of the rays from Saturn and Jupiter, who wepe 
*' then in conjunction." You see what shifts he is driven 
to, how he runs up ^nd down to many starting holes that 
he may find soipe shelter ; and instead of the strength of 
reason, he answers with a multitude of words, thinking (as 
the proverb is) that he may use hail when he hath no 
thunder. Nihil turpius (saith Sepeca *) dukio K incerto, 
pedem moifo feferente^ modo producenie. " Wb^^ can 
^* there be more unseemly in one tl^at should be a fair 
*• disputaifit, than to be now here, now there, and so un- 
♦* certain, that one cannot tell where to find him ?" He 
thinks that the^e are qot comets in the heavens, because 
there may be many other reasons of such appearances ; 
but what he knows not: perhaps (he saysf) that argu- 
ment from the paralax is not sufficient ; or if it be, then 
there may be spme deceit in the observation. To this I 
may safely say, thi^ he may justly b^ accounted a weai^ 
niathematician, who mistrusts the strength of this argu* 
ment ; not caA he know much in astronomy, who underr 
stands not the paralax, which is a foundation of that 
science : and I am sure that he is a timorous man, who 
dares not believe the frequent experience of hi? senses, or 
trudt to a demonstration. 

True indeed, I grant it is possible that the eye, the me- 
dium, and the distance, may all deceive the behcjder ; but 
1 would have him shew whjich of all these was. Kkely to 
cause an error in this ob^rvation? Merely to say they 
tnight be deceived, is no sufficient answer; thi^ I 

* Epist; 95. t Vide G&lilaeum iqi^iiundi, Cojioq. 3,. 



might confute the positions of all astronomers, and affiriti 
the stars are hard by us, because it is possible they might 
be deceived in their observing distaiK:e. But I forbear any 
further reply : my opinion is of that treatise, that either it 
was set forth purposely to tempt a confutation, that he 
might see the opinion of Galilseus confirmed by othefs ; 
or else it was invented with as much haste and negligence 
as it was printed, there being in It almost as many faults 
as lines. 

Others think that these are not any new cornels, but 
Some ancient stars that were - there bfefore, whichf now 
shine with tliat unusual brightness, by reason of the itiicr-* 
position of such vapours, which do multiply their light ; 
and so the alteration will be here only, and m>i in the 
heavens. Thus Aristotle thought the appearance of th^ 
milky way was produced: for he held that there were 
many little stai*s, Which by their influence did constantly 
attract such a vapour towards that place of heaven, so 
that it always appeared white. Now by the same reason 
may a brighter vapour be the cause of these appear- 

But how probable soever this opinion may seem, yet if 
well considei^ed, you shall find it to be altogether absurd 
aod impossible : for, 

1 . These stars were never seen there before ; and it iff 
not likely that a vapour being hard by us, cas so multiply 
that light which could not before be at all discerned. 

2. This supposed vapour cannot be either contracted 
into a narrow compass, or dilated into a broad. 1. $t 
could ni^t be within a little space^ for then that star would 
not appear with the same multiplied light to those in other 
dimates. 2. It cannot be a dilated vapour, for then other 
stars which were discerned through the same vapour, would 
seem as big as that. This argument is the same in effect 
with that of the paralax, as you may sec in this figure. 


J* • • • % 

• J 


Suppose A B tohta hemisphere of one eaith, G D to 
be the Ufiper part of the highest region, in which thfirtJ 
m^ht be either a contracted vapour, as G, or else a dilated 
one, as If I. Suppose E F likewise to represent half the 
heavens, wherein was this appearing comet at K. Now' 
I say, that a contracted vapour, as G, coutd not cause this 
appearance, because an inhabitant af M could not discern 
the same star with this brightness, but perhaps another at 
L, betwixt which tlie vapour is directly interposed. Nor 
could it be caused by a dilated vapour, as H I, because then 
all the stars that were discerned through it, would be per- 
ceived with the same brightness. 

It is necessary therefore that the cause of tliis appearance 
should be in the heavens. And this is granted by th£ 
most and best astronomers, fiut, say some, this doth not 
argue any natural alteration in those purer bodies, since it 
is probable that the concourse of many* little vagabond 
stars, by the union of their beams may cause so great i 
light. Of this opinion Were Anaxagoras and Zeno amongst 
the ancient, and Baptista Cisatus, Blancanus, with otb'eri 
amongst our modern astronomers. For, say they, whea 
there happens to be a concourse of some few stars, then 
do many other fly unto them from all the parts of heaven 
like so many bees unto their king. But t. It is not likely 
that aaigiigst those which we count the £xed stars, there 

Taxr THE Mooir may be a worlit. SB 

l&hould be any such uncertain motions, that they can wai^r 
from all parts of the heavens, as if nature had negle4l|d 
them, or forgot to appoint them a determinate coiiise, 
2. If there be such a conflux of these, as of bees to theit 
king, then what reason is there that they do not still tarry 
with it, that so the comet may not be dissolved? But 
enough of this. You may commonly see it confuted by 
many other arguments. Others there are, who affirmi 
these to be some new created stars, produced by an extra- 
ordinary supernatural power*. I answer, true indeed, it is 
possible they might be so, but however it is not likely 
they were so, since such appearances may be solved some 
other way ; wherefore to fly unto a mu'acle for such things, 
were a great injury to nature, and to derogate from her 
skill; an indignity much misbecoming a man who pro- 
fesses himself to be a philosopher. Miraculum (saith one) 
est ignorantiiff asylum ; a miracle often serves for the re- 
ceptacle of a lazy ignorance ^ which any industrious spirit 
would be ashamed of ; it being but an idle way to shift ofF 
the labour of any further search. But here is the misery 
of it, we first tie ourselves unto Aristotle's principles, and 
then conclude that nothing could contradict them but a 
miracle ; whereas it would be much better for the com- 
monwealth of learning, if we would ground our principles 
rather upon the frequent experiences of our own, than 
the bare authority of others. 

Some there are who think that these comets are nothing 
«lse but exhalations &om our earth f, carried up into the 
higher parts of the heaven. So Peno, Rothmannus and 
Galilaeus. But this is not possible, since by computation 
it is found, that one of them is above 300 times bigger 
than the whole globe of land and water. Others there- 
fore have thought tliat they did proceed from the body of 
the sun, and that that planet only is annetarum officina^ 
unde tanqiLam emissarii fiC exploratores eniitierentur, brevt 
ad solem rediturU the shop or forge of comets, from 

• Ciavius in spliaaram, cap. K. + Tycho Progym. 1. c. ^. 





Whence tbcy were sent, like so many spies, that tbey 
Sdight in some short space ret^^rn again. But this cannot 
be^ince if so much matter bad proceeded from him aloney 
it would .bsive made a sensible diminution iti his body. 
The iidbie Tycho therefore thJinks that they consist of 
. sooM^liDcb'fluider parts of the heaven, as the milky way is 
framed of, which being coflndensed together, yet not attain- 
ing to the consistency o{ a star, is in some space of time 
rariiied again into its wpnted nature.' J3ut this is not likely, 
because the appearance of the milky way 'does fiOt arise' 
from ^ome fluider part^ of the heaven (as he supposes) 
but firom the light of nuiny lesser stars which are there- 
abouts*. And therefore it is usually thus described: f^ia 
lacteq rtihUaliud est quam irmumerabilis stellarum Jixai^m 
gregesi fui eonfuso K pallenti lumme tractum ilium inaU 
banL The milky way is nothing else but the pale ai>c^ 
confused light of many lesser stains, whereby Some parts 
of the heaven are made to appear white. 

And beside^ what likely caiise Can we conceive of this 
eondensatiouy unless there be such. qualities there, as there 
■ ■ are in our air, and then why may not the planets have the 
like qiialities as our earth ? And if so, then it is more pro- 
bable that they are made by the ordinary way of nature,^ 
aS they are whh us, and consist of such exhalations from 
the bodies of the planets, as heing very much farified, 
may be drawn up through the orb of gross vaporous air 
that encompasses them. Nor is this a singular opinion ; 
but it seemed most likely to Camillus Gloriosas, Th. Cam- 
panella, Fromondus, with some others f. But if you. ask, 
whither shall ail these exhalations return ? I answer, every 
one into his own planet. If it be again objected, that tbea 
there will be so many centers of gravity, and each several 
planet will be a distinct world : 1 reply, we have not like 
probability concerning the rest ; but yet perhaps ail of 
them arc so, except the sun, though Cusanus and some 

* Pcotnond. Meteor. 1. 2. c. 5. art. 2. Item Vesta, tract. 5. c. 2. 
t De Comet. I. 5. c. 4. Apol. pro. Galii* Meteor. 1.3. c; 2. art. & 


Others, think there is one also ; and. later times Jiaye ' dis* 
covered some lesser clouds moving round aboutiiim*. But 
ias for Saturn, he. hath two moons on each side. Jupiter 
hath four, that encircle hi;n with their motion ; which are 
likewise eclipsed by the interposition of his body, as the 
moon is by out earth. Venus is observed to increase and 
decrease as the moon. And this perhaps hath been noted 
by former ages, as may be guessed by that relation of St. 
Austin out of Varrof. Mars, and all the rest, derive their 
light from the sun. Concerning Mercury, there hath been 
little or no observation, because, for the most part, he lies 
hid under the sun-beams, and seldom appears by himself. 
But when he does, yet the compass of his body is so^ittle, 
and his light of s^o clear a brightness, by reason of his 
nearness to the. sun, th^^the perspectiye cannot make the 
same discoveries upon him, as from the rest. 

So that if youconsider their quantity, tlieir opacity, or these 
other discoveries, you shall find it probable enough, that . 
each of them may be a several world. Especially since 
every one of them is allotted to a several orb, and not al- 
together in one, as the fixed stars seem to be. But this 
would be too much for to vent at the first : the chief thing .. 
at which I now aim in this discourse, is to prove that thero 
may be one in the moon. 

It hath been before confirmed, that there was a sphere 
of thick vaporous air encompassing the moon, as the first 
and second regions do this earth. I have now shewed, 
that thence such exhalations may proceed as do produce 
the comets : now. from hence it may probably follow, 
that there may be wind also and rain, with such other me- 
teors as are common amongst us. This consequence is so 
dependant, that Fromondus dares not deny it, though he 
would (as he confesses himself J ;) for if the sun be able to 
exhale from them such fumes as may cause comets, why 
not then such as may cause winds, and why not such also 

* Lactant. Inst. 1. 3. c. 23. f ^^ Civit. Dei, 1. 21. c. 8. 

t De Meteor. 1. 3. c. 2. art. 6. 
VOL. I. H ' 



as may cause raiii, since I have above shewed, that there 
is sea and land, as with us } Now rain seems to be more 
especially requisite for them, since it may allay the heat 
and soorchings of the sun when he is over their heads. 
And nature hath thus provided for those in Peru, with the 
oUicr inhabitants under the line. 

But if there be such great and frequent alterations ki the 
heavens, why cannot we disctrn them ? 

I answer : 

1. There may be such, and we not able to perceive; 
them, because of the weakness of our eye, and the dis* 
lance of those places from us ; they are thd words of Fie- 
nus (fts they are quoted by Fromondus in the above-Cited 
place) Possunt maxima permutationes in ccelojieriy etiamsi 
a nobis non conspiciantur ; hoc vistts nostn debilitas b( tm-* 
mensa casli distantia faciunt. And unto him assents Fro- 
mondus himself, when a little after he says, Si in spharis 
planetarum dcgereviusj plurima for^an ccslestium nebula-^ 
rum vellera toto athere passim dispefsa videremuSf qtwrutn 
species jam evanescit nimia spatii intercapedine. " If we 
•* did live in the spheres of the planets, we might there 
** perhaps discern many great clouds dispersed through 
*^ tlie whole heavens, which are not now visible by reason 
*' of this great distance. 

2. Majslin and Keplar affirm, that they have seen some 
of these alterations. The words of Maeslin are these (as I 
find them cited.) In eclipsi lunari vespere dominicst 
pabnanim anni 1605, in cor pore lume versus boream^ 
nigricans quadam macula conspecta fuity obscurior catero 
loto corporCy quod candentis ferrijiguram reprasentabat ; 
dixisses nubila in multam regionem extensa pluviis if tem^ 
pestuosis imbribus gravida^ cujusmodi ab excelsomm mon-* 
fium jugis in humlliora convallium loca videre non raro 
contingit^. " In that lunary eclipse which happened id 

the even of Paltti^Sunday, in the year 1605, there was a 
certain blackish spot discerned in the northerly part of 

* Dissert, 2. cum nunc. Calil. item Somn. Astron. nota ulti^iau 


'* the moon, being darker than any other place of her 

^ I 


body, and representing the colour of red hot iron ; you 
might conjecture that it was some dilated cloud, being 
pregnant with showers ; for thus do such lower clouds 
appear from the tops of high mountains." 
And a little before this passage, the same author speak* 
ihg of that vaporous air about the moon, tells us ; 2uod 
tircumfium ille splendor diversis temporibus apparet /im- 
pidior plus minusrve. That it does at divers times appear 
of a different clearness, sometimes more, and sometimes 
less : which he guesseis to arise frorj the clouds and va- 
pours that arc in it. 

Unto this I niay add another testimony of Bapt. Cisatus, 
as he is quoted by Niercmbergius, grounded upon an ob- 
servation taken 23 years after this of Maeslin, and writ to 
this Euseb. Nieremberg. in a letter by that diligent and 
Judicious astronomer. The words of it run tlius ; Et qui» 
dam in eclipsi nupera solaria quafuit ipso die naiali Christij 
observavi dare in luha soli siipposita^ quidpiam quod vald& 
probat id ipsum quod cometa quoque H mdcula solares ur^^ 
gent, neynpe caelum non esse a tenuilaie K variationibus 
aeris exemptum ; nam circa lunarn adverii esse spharam 
seu orbem quendam vaporosuniy non secus aique circum ter-- 
rami adeoqiie sicut ex terra iii aliquam usque spharam va* 
pores Sf exhahtiones expirant, ita queque ex luna*. " In 
" that iate solary eclipse which happened on Christmas- 
** day, when the moon was just under the sun, I plainly 
** discerned that in her which may clearly confirm what 
** the comet's and sun's spots do seem to prove, viz. That 
** the heavens are not so solid, nor freed from tliose 
*' changes which our air is liable unto; for about the 
** moon 1 perceived such an orb, or vaporous air as that is 
** which doth encompass our earth ; and as vapours and 
'^ exhalations are raised from our eartli into this air, so aie 
" they also from the moon." ^^ 

* Hlitor. jsat. I. 2. c* 1 1. 
H 2 

•* * 


You see what probable grounds, and plain testimonies 
I have brought for the confirmation of this proposition : 
many other things in this behalf might be spoken, which 
for brevity sake I now omit, and pass unto the next 

PROP. xin. 

That it IS probable there may be inhabitants in this other 
world i but of what kind they are^ is uncertain. 

I Have already handled the seasons, and meteors belong* 
ing to this new world : it is requisite that in the next 
place I should come unto the third thing which I pro-^ 
mised, and say somewhat of the inhabitants : concerning 
whom there might be many difficult questions raised ; as, 
whether that place be more inconvenient for habitation 
than our world (as Keplar thinks) ; whether they are the 
seed of Adam ; whether they are there in a blessed estate, 
or else what means there may be for their salvation? With 
many other such uncertain enquiries, which I shall wil* 
lingly omit; leaving it to their examination who have 
more leisure and learning for the search of such parti* 

Being for mine own part content only to set down such 
notes belonging unto these, which I have observed in other 
writers. Cum tota ilia regio nobis ignota sit, remanent 
inhabitatores illi ignoti penitus (saith Cusanus * ;) since 
we know not the regions of that place, we must be alto«. 
gether ignorant of the inhabitants. There hath not yet 
been any such discovery concerning these, upon which we 
may buUd a certainty, or good probability : well may we 

* Dedoct.ignorantia, LS. c. 1?» 


guess at them, and that too very doubtfully, but we can 
know nothing ; for, if we do hardly guess aright at things 
which be upon earth, if with labour we do find the things 
that are at hand, how then can we search out those things 
that are in heaven*? What a little is that which, we 
know, in respect of those many matters contained withia 
this great universe f This whole globe of earth and water, 
though it seem to us to be of a large extent, yet it bears 
liot so great a proportion unto the whole frame ' of nature^ 
as a small sand doth unto it ; and what can such little crea- 
tures as we discern, who are tied to this point of earth i 
or what can they in the moon know of us ? If w^ underr 
stand any thing (saith flsdras f) it is nothing but that which 
is upon the earth ; and he that dwelleth above in the hea- 
vens, may only understand the things that are above in the 
height of the heavens. 

So that it were a very needless thing for us to search 
after any particulars ; however, we may guess in the gene- 
ral that there are some inhabitants in that planet : for why 
else did providence furnish that place with all such conve- 
i}ierices of habitation as have been above declared ? 

But you will say, perhaps, is there not too great and in** 
tolerable a heat, since the sun is in their zenith every 
month, and doth tarry there so long before he leaves it ? 

I answer, 1. This may, perhaps, be remedied (as it Is 
under the line (by the frequency of mid-day showers, 
which may cloud their sun, and cool their earth. 

2. The equality of their nights doth much temper the 
scorching of the day ; and the extreme cold that comes 
from the one, requires some space before it can be dis-v 
pelled by the other; so that the heat spending a great 
while before it can have the victory, hath not afterwards 
much time to rage in. Wherefore notwitiistanding this 
doubt, yet that place may remain habitable. And this 
was the opinion of the Cardinal de Cusa, when speaking 
of this planet, he says, Uk locics mundi est habitatio ho^ 

• Wiad.ix. 16. t SEsd.iv.SI. 


minum K ammalium atque vegetabUium ♦. " This part of 
•* tlic world is inhabited by men, and beast, and plants.'' 
To him assented Campanella ; but he cannot determine 
vrhether they were men or rather some other kind of 
creatures. If they were men, then he thinks they could 
not be infected with Adam's sin ; yet, perhaps, they had 
some of their own, which might make Ihem liable to the 
same misery with us ; out of which, \i may be, they were 
deJivcred by the same means as we, the death of Christ ; 
and thus he thinks that place of the Ephesians may be in* 

. terpreted, where the Apostle says, God gathered all things 
together in Christ, both which are in earth, and which are 
in the heavens f. Su also that of the same Apostle to the 
Colossians, where he says, that it pleased the father to re- 
concile all things into himself by Christ, whether they be 
things in earth, or things in heaven J. 

But 1 dare not jest with divine truths, or apply these 
places according as fancy directs. As I think this opinion 
doth n<** any where contradict scripture ; so I think like- 
wise, that ii cannot be proved from it. Wherefore Cam- 

' panciia's second conjecture may be more probable, that 
tlie inhabitants of that world are not men as we are ; but 
some other kinU of crcaturci» which bear some proportion 
and likeness to our natures. Or it mai be, they are of a 
quite different nature from any thing ht^re below, such as 
no imagination can describe ; our understandings being ca- 
pable only of such things as have entered by our senses, 
or else such mixed natures as may be composed from them. 
Kow, there may be many other species of creatures be- 
side those that are already known in the world ; there is a 
great cha:i:^ betwixt the nature of men and angels: it may 
be the inhabitants of llie planers are of a middle nature be* 
tween both these. It is not improbable that God might 
create some of all kinds, that so he might more com- 
pletely glorify himself in the works gf his ppWer and 

* D^» doct. ign. 1. 2. cap. 12. f Ephes. i. 10. J Col. i. 20. 


Cusauus too, thinks they difFer from us in many respects ; 
I will set down his words as they may be found in the 
above-cited place, Suspicamur in regione solis magis esse 
splares, claros K illuminatos intdleciuales habitafort^Sy spi^ 
rititalipres etiam quam in luna^ ubi mogis Itinaticiy &" in 
terra magis 7?iAterialts H crassij nt illi intelleetqalis Tiafur 
ra solares sint mulfum in acta SC parum in potential ter-- 
reni vero magis in potential Sf parmn in actUy lunares in 
medio fluctuantes. Hoc quidem opinamur ex iiifluentia 
ignili solisy aquatica simul H aerea lume iC gravedint ma* 
ieriali teme^ K consimiliter de aliis stellarum, regionibuSf^ 
suspicantes nullam habitationibus. careiy, quasi, tot sint pav 
its pc^rticulares mundiales vnius ujiiv^rsiy quot sunt stellip 
quarMm, no7i est ifnum^rus^ nisi apud ewn ^ui omnia in nU" 
mero creavit. 

" W« nsiay conjecture (saith he) the inhabitants of the 
♦> sun are Uke to the qat^re of that planet, nfiore clear and 
*' bright, more intellectual than those in the moon, where 
** tliey are nearer to the nature of that duller planet, and 
" those of the earth being more gross and material than 
<* either ; so that these intellectual natures in the sun, are 
*^ more form than matter, those in the earth more matter 
<• than form, and those in the moon betwixt both. Tfajs 
" we may guess from the fiery influence of the sun, the 
** watefy and aereous influence of the moon, as al^fQ the 
** material heaviness of the earth. In sun'*e such mi^na^ 


** likewise is it with the regions of thg other «tars ; for 
** we conjecture that none of them are w^thoitf iuhabi- 
*' tants, but that there are so many particular worlds and 
" parts of this one univ^se, as there are stars^ which are 
** innumerable^ unless it be to^liim who created all things 
** in number." 

For he held tliat the stars were not all in one equal orb 
as wc commonly suppose ; but chat some were far higher 
than others, which made- them appear less ; aad that many 
others wer^ so far above 4ny of these, tUat they were alto- 
gether invisible unto us. An oj)in.iQn which (as I con- 



ccive) hath not any great probability for itj nor certainty 
against it. 

The priest of Saturn relating to Plutarch (as he feigns 
it) the nature of these Selenites, told him they were of di- 
vers dispositions, some desiring to live in the lower parts 
of the moon, where they might look downwards upon us, 
while others were more surely mounted aloft, all of them 
shining like the rays of the sun, and as being victorious, are 
crowned with garlands made with the wings of Eustathia 
or Constancy. 

It hath been the opinion amongst some of the ancients, 
that their heavens and Elysian fields were in the moon, 
where the air is most quiet and pure. Thus Socrates, thus 
Plato*, with his followers, did esteem this to be the place 
where those purer souls inhabit, who are freed from the 
sepulchre, and contagion of the body. And by the fable 
of Ceres, continually wandering in search of her daughter 
Proserpina, is meant nothing else but the longing desire 
of men, who live upon Ceres, earth, to attain a place in 
Proserpina, the moon or heaven. 

Plutarch also seems to assent unto this ; but he thinks 
moreover, that there are two places of happiness answer- 
able to two parts, which he faAcies to remain of a man 
when he is dead, the soul and the understanding; the soul he 
thinks is made of the moon ; and as our bodies do so pro- 
ceed from the dust of this earth, that they shall return to it 
hereafter ; so our souls were generated put of that planet, 
and shall be resolved into it again ; whereas the under- 
standing shall ascend unto the sun, out of which it was 
made ; where it shall possess an eternity of well-^being, 
and far greater happiness than that which is enjoyed in the 
moon. So that when a man dies, if his soul be much pol- 
luted, then must it wander up and down in the middle re- 
gion of the air where hell is, and there suffer unspeakable 
torments for those sins whereof it is guilty. Whereas the 
souls of better men, when they have in some space of time 

* Nat. (^om. 1. 3. c. 19. 


been purged from' that impurity which they did derive 
from the body, then do they return into the mooa, where 
they are possest with such joy, as those men feel who 
profess holy mysteries ; firom which place (saith he) some 
are sent down to have the superintendance of oracles, 
being diligent either in the preservation of the good, either 
from, or in, all perils, and the prevention or punishment 
of all wicked actions ; but if in these employments they 
misbehave themselves, then are they again to be impri- 
soned in a body, otherwise they remain in the moon, till 
their souls be resolved into it, and the understanding being 
cleared from all impediments, ascends to the sun, which is 
its proper place. But this requires a diverse space of time, 
according to the divers affections of the soul. As for those 
who have been retired and honest, addicting themselves to 
a studious and quiet life, these are quickly preferred to a 
higher happiness. But as for such who have busied them- 
selves in many broils, or have been vehement in the prose- 
cution of any lust, as the ambitious, the amorous, the 
wrathful man, these still retain the glimpses and dreams of 
such things as they have performed in their bodies, which 
make them either altogether unfit to remain there, where 
they are, or else keeps them long ere they can put pfF 
their souls. Thus you see Plutarch's opinion concerning 
the inhabitants and neighbours of the moon, which (ac- 
cording to the manner of the Academics) he delivers in a 
third person ; you see he makes that planet an inferior 
kind of heaven ; and though he differs in many circum- 
stances, yet doth he describe it to be some such place, as 
we suppose Paradise to be. You see likewise his opinion 
concerning the place of the damned spirits, that it is in 
the middle region of the air ; and in neither of these is he 
singular, but some more late and orthodox writers have 
agreed with him. As for the place of hell, many think it 
may be in the air, as well as any where else. 

True indeed, St. Austin affirms*, that this place cannot 
be discovered; but others there are who can shew the si- 

♦ De Civit. Dei, 1. 22, c. 16. . 


tuation of it out of scripture ; soiue {molding it to b© in 
another world without this, because our Saviour calls it 
cKOTog sicare^v *, outward darkness. But the mpst will 
have it placed towards the center of our earth, because it 
js said, Christ descended into the lower parts of the eartk ; 
and some of these are so confident that this Is its situation, 
tliat they can describe you its bigness also, and of what 
capacity it is. Francis (libera in his comment on the Reve- 
lations, speaking of those words, where it is said, that the 
blood went out of the wine-press, even unto the horses 
bridles, by the space of one thousand and six hundred ftir^ 
longs t» interprets them to be meant of h^ll^ j^nd that that 
number expifesses the diameter of its concavity, which i? 
200 Italian miles. ButLessiusJ thinks that this opinion 
gives them too much room in hell, and therefore he 
guesses that it is not so wide ; for, saith he, the diameter 
pf one league being cubically multiplied, will make a sphere 
capable of 800000 millions of damned bodies, allowing to 
e^ch six foot in the square i whereas, says he, it is certain, 
that there sl\all not be one hundred thousand millions in 
^11 that shall be damned. You see the bold Jesuit was 
careful that every one should have but room enough in 
hell ; and by the strangeness of the conjecture, you may 
guess that he Jxad ^^ather be absurd^^ than seem either un- 
charitable or ignorant. I remcinbcr there is. a relation in 
Pliny, how that Dionysiodorus a mathemal;igian„ being 
^ead, did send a letter from this place to some of his 
friends upon earth, to certify them what distance there 
was betwixt the center and s.uperficies : he might have 
done well to have prevented this controversy, and informed 
them the utmost capacity of that place. However, certain 
it is, that that number cannot be known ; and probable it 
is, tliat the place is not yet determined, but that hell is 
there where there is any totmented soul, which may 
be4n the regions of the air, as well as in the center ; and 

* Mat. XXV. 30. Eph. IV. 9. t Rcv.xiv.^O. 

J De morib. div. 1, IJ. c 24, 


therefore perhaps it is, that tlie devil is stiled the prince of 
the air. But of this only occasionally, and by reason of 
Plutarch's opinion concerning those that are round about 
the moon. As for the moon itself, he esteems it to be ^ 
lower kind gf heaven ; and therefore in another place he 
calls it a terrestrial star, and an olympian or caelestial 
tarth ; answerable, as I conceive, to the paradise of the 
schoolmen*. And that paradise was either in, or near the 
moon, is the opinion of some late writers, who derived it 
(in all likelihood) from the assertion of Plato, and per- 
haps, this of Plutarch. Tostatus lays this opinion upon 
Isiodor. Hispalensis, and the venerable Bede, and Perius, 
father it upon Strabus and Rabanus his master f. Some 
would have it to be situated in such a place as could not be 
discovered ; which cajised the penman of Esdras to make 
it a harder matter to know the out-goings of paradise, than 
to weigh the weight of the fire, or measure the blasts of 
wind, or call again a day that is past J. But notwithstand- 
ing this, there be some others, who think thaf it is on the 
top of some high mountain under the line ; and these iar 
terpreted the torrid zone to be the flaming sword whereby 
paradise was guarded. It is the consent of divers others, 
that paradise is situated iq some high and eminent place. 
So Tostatus: Est etiam panidisas situ altissima^ suprct 
cmnem terr^ altitudinem §. ^* Paradise is situated in some . 
^' high place above^the earfh.'* And therefore in his 
" comment upon the 49th of Genesis, he understands the 
blessing of Jacob concerning the everlasting hills, to be 
meant of paradise, and the blessing itself to be nothing else 
but a promise of Chrisi's coming, by whose passion the 
gates of paradise should be opened. Unto him assented 
Rupertus, Scotus, and most of the other schoolmen, as I 
find them cited by Percrius, and cut of him in Sir Walter 
}lavvleigh1[. Their reason was this: because in probabi- 

* Cur silent oracula. \ Sir W. Raw. 1. I.e. S. sect. 7. In Genes. 
X 2 Es<ir. iv. 7. § In Genes. 

^Conu'oent. in 3 Gen. v. 8. 1. 1. €.3. sect. 6, 7* 


lity, this place was not overflowed by the flood, since there 
were no sinners there, which might draw that curse upon 
it. Nay, Tostatus thinks that the body of Enoch yns kept 
there; and some of the fathers, as TertuUian and Austin 
have affirmed, that the blessed souls were reserved in that 
place till the day of judgment ; and therefore it is likely 
that it was not overflowed by the flood. It were easy to 
produce the unanimous consent of the fathers, to prove 
that paradise is yet really existent. Any diligent peruser 
of them, may easily observe how they do' generally inter- 
pret the paradise whereto St. Paul * was wrapt, and that 
wherein our Saiviour promised the thief should be with 
him, to be locally the same from whence our first parents 
were banished. Now tliere cannot be any place on earth 
designed where this should be ; and therefore it is not alto«» 
gether' improbable that it was in this other world. 

And besides, since all men should have went naked if 
Adam had not fell, it is requisite therefore that it should 
be situated in some such place where it might be privileged 
from the extremities of heat and cold. But now this could 
not be (they thought) so conveniently in any lower, as it 
might in some higher air. For these and such like consi* 
derations, have so many affirmed that paradise was in a 
high elevated place : which some have conceived could be 
no where but in the moon : for it could not be in the top of 
any mountain ; nor can we think of any other body sepa- 
rated from this earth, which can be a more convenient 
place for habitation thin this planet ; therefore they con- 
cluded that it was there. 

It could not be on the top of any mountain : 

1. Because we have express scripture, that the highest 
of them was overflowed f* 

2. Because it must be of a greater extension, and pot 
some small patch of ground, since it is likely all men 
should have lived there, if Adam had not fell. But for a 
satisfaction of the arguments, together with a farther dis* 

* 2 Cor. xii. 4. Luke xxiii. 43. f Gen. vii, 19. 


course of paradise, I shall refer you to those who have 
written purposely upon this subject. Being content for my 
own part to have spoken so much of it, as may conduce to 
shew the opinion of others concerning the inhabitants of 
the moon ; I dare not myself affirm any thing of thes^ 
Selenites, because I know not any ground whereon to 
build any probable opinion. But I think that future ages 
will discover more ; and our posterity, perhaps, may in- 
vent some nleans for our better acquaintance with these 


That it is possible for some of our posterity td find out a 
conveyance to this other world; and if there be inhu'* 
bitants there^ to have commerce with them. 

ALL that hath been said concerning the people of the 
new world, is but conjectural, and full of uncertain- 
ties; nor can we ever look for any evident or more pro- 
bable discoveries in this kind, unless there be some hopes 
of inventing means for our conveyance thither. The pos- 
sibility of which shall be the subject of our enquiry in this 
last proposition. 

And, if we do but consider by what steps and leisure, all 
arts do usually rise to their growth, we shall have no cause 
to doubt why this also may not hereafter be found out 
amongst other secrets. It hath constantly yet been the 
^method of providence, not presently to shew us all, but to 
lead us on by degrees, from the knowledge of one thing 
to anotlier. 

It was a great while ere the planets were distinguished 
£:pm the fixed stars ; and some time after that, ere the 
morning and evening star were found to be the same ; 



and in greater space (I doubt not) but this also, and other 
as excellent mysteries ilvill be discovered. Time, who 
hath always been the father of new truths, and hath re- 
vealed unto us many things which but ancestoi*s were igno- 
irant of, will also manifest to our posterity that which wc 
now desire, but cannot know. Veniet tempus (saith Sc* 
neca*) quo ista qua nunc la tent , in lucem dies extvahet^ H 
iongioris avi dUigenticu Time will come, when the eir- 
dc:^v^urs of after-ages shall bring such things to light, as 
now lie hid in obscurity. Arts are not yet come to their 
Solstice ; but the industry of future tirtie's^ assisted with the 
labourt of their forefathers, may reach that height which 
ive could not attain to. Veniet tempus quo posieri nostri 
fios turn aperta 7iescisse mirentur. As we now wonder at 
the blindness of our ancestors, who were not able to discern 
such things as seem plain and obvious unto us ; io will our 
posterity admire our ignorance in as perspicuocaf matters. 

In the first ages of the world, the inlanders thooglit 
thertiselvcs either to be the only dwellers upon earth, or 
else !: there were any other, they could not possibly con- 
ceive how they might have any commerce with them, 
being severed by the deep and broad sea. But after-limes 
found out the invention of ships ; in which notwithstajid- 
ing, none but some bold daring men durst venture, ae-*' 
cording to that of the tragedian : 

AucUix mn%iwn qui freta priniUs 
Rate tam/ragili perfida rupitf. 

Too bold was he, who in a ship so fi^ali, 

First ventured on the treacherous Waves to salk 

And yet now, how easy a thing is thJs ^tti to a timo- 
rous and cowardly nature ? Arid questiorflcss, the inven- 
tion of some other means for our conveyance to the moon» 
^nnot seem more incredible to ' us, than this did at first 

* Nat. ciu. 1. 7. c. 25. f Sen. Med. act. 1. Vide Hor. Od. S. 

Juvenal, sat. 1$. Claud, praef. ad. 1 lib. de rap. Profcr. 


to them ; and therefore we have no just reason to oe dis- 
'couraged in our hopes of the like success. 

Yea, but (you will say) there can be no sailing thitheri 
\inless that were true which the poet does but feign, that 
she made htv bed in the sea. We have not now any 
Drake, or Columbus, to undertake this voyage, or any 
Daedalus to invent a conveyance through the air. 

I answer, though we huve liot, yet why may not suc- 
ceeding times raise up some spirits as eminent for new at- 
tempts, and strange inventions, as any that Were before 
them ? It is the opinion of Keplar*, that aS soon as the 
art of flying is found out, some of their nation will make 
one of the first colonies that shall transplant into that other 
world. 1 suppose his appropriating this preheminence to 
his own countrymen, may arise from an over-partial affec- 
tion to them. But yet tlius far I agree with him, that 
whenever that art is invented, or any other, whereby a 
man may be conveyed some twenty miles high, or there- 
abouts, then it is not altogether improbable that some ot 
other may be successful in this attempt. 

For the better clearing of which I shall first lay dowH^ 
and then answer those doubts that may make it ^teiA Ut- 
terly impossible. 

These are chiefly three. 

The first, taken from the natui*al heaviness of a man's 
body, whereby it is made unfit for the itiotioh of ascent, 
together with the vast distance of that place from us. 

2. From the extreme coldness of the aethereal air. 

3. The extreme thinness of it. 

Both which must needs make it impassible^ though it 
were but as many single miles thither as it is thousands. 

For the first. Though it were supposed that a man 
could fly, yet we may well think he would be very slow in 
it, since he hath so heavy a body, and such a one too, as 
nature did not principally intend for that kind of motion. 
It is usually observed, that amongst the variety of birdSi 

^ Dissert, cum Nun. Syder. 

■ .^ 


.those which do most converse upon the earth, and are swifteit 
in their running, as a pheasant, partridge, !kC. together 
With all domestical fowl, are less able for flig|Ht than otheri 
which are for the most* part upon the wing, ak a swalloWf 
iwift, &c. And therefore we may well think, that man 
being not natarally endowed with any such condition as 
may enable him for this motion; and being necessarily 
tied to a more especial residence on the earth, must needs 
be slower than any fowl, or less able to hold out. Thus it 
is also in swimming ; which art, though it be grown to a 
good eminence, yet he that is best skilled in it, is not 
able either for continuance, or swiftness, to equal a fish ; 
because he is not naturally appointed to it So that though 
a man could fly, yet he would be so slow in it, and so 
quickly weary, that he could never think to reach so great 
a journey as it is to the moon. 

But suppose withal that he could fly as fast and long 
as the swiftest bird, yet it cannot possibly be conceived 
how he should ever be able to pass through so vast a dis- 
tance as there is betwixt the moon and our earth. For 
this planet, according to the common grounds, is usually 
granted to be at the least 52 semidiameters of the 
earth from us; reckoning for each semidiameter 3456 
English miles, of which the whole space will be about 

So that though a man could constantly keep on in his 
journey thither by a strait line, though he could fly a 
thousand miles in a day, yet he would not arrive thither 
under 180 days, or half a year. 

And how were it possible for any to tarry so long with* 
out diet or sleep ? 

1. For diet. I suppose there could be no trusting to 
that fancy- of Philo the Jew (mentioned before*,) who 
thinks that the music of the spheres should supply the 
strength of food. 

♦ Prop. 3. 



Nor can we well conceive how a mail should be able ttf - 
fcarry so much luggage with him, as might serve for h& 
i^iaticwn inst} tedious a joutney. 

2. But if he ^ouM, yet he must have s6me time to rest 
and sleep in. And I believe he shall scarce find any lodg*' 
ings by the way. No inils to entertaicf passengers, hot 
any castles in the air (unless they be eftChanted ones) 
to receive poor pilgrims, or errant knights. And so con- 
sequently he cannot have any possible hopes of reaching 

Notwithstanding all whith doubts, I shall lay dov^ this 

That supposing a man Could fly, or by any other roeansf 
raise himself twenty milfes upwards, or thereabouts, it 
were possible for him to come unto the moon. 

As for those arguments of the first kind, that seem to 
Overthrow the truth of this, they proceed upon a wrong 
ground ; whilst they suppose that a condensed body, in 
any place of the air, would always retain in it a strong 
inclination of tending downwards towards the centre of 
this earth. Whereas 'tis more probable, that if it were 
t)ut somewhat above this orb of vaporous air, it might 
there rest imrtiovable, and would not have in it any prO- 
pension to this motion of descent. 

For the better illustration of thi$, you must know, that 
the heaviness of a body, or (as Aristotle defines it *) the 
proneness of it to tend down unto some centre, is not any 
absolute quality intrinsical unto it, as if where-^ver the 
body did retain its essence, it must also retain this qua- 
lity ; or as^ if nature had implanted in every Condensed 
body appetitionetn centric K fugam extremitatist such 
a love to the centre, and hatred to the extremities. Be- 
cause one of these being less than a quantity, and the other 
no more, cannot have any power of attraction or d6pul-* 
Aon in them. According to that common principle, 
guantitatis nulla est efficaciai ' 

* Deoaela, lib. 4. c. iv 
toL. i. I 

• \ 



But now the true nature of gravity is this. Its such ^ 
respective mutual desire of union, whereby condensed 
bodies, when they come with\n the sphere of their own 
vigour, do naturally apply themselves one to another by 
attraction or coition. But being both without the reach of 
cither's virtue, they then cease to move, and though they 
have general aptitude, yet they have not any present incli- 
nation or proneness to one another. And so consequently 
cannot be styled heavy *. 

The meaning of this will be more clearly illustrated by 
a similitude. As any light body (suppose the sun) docs 
send forth its beams in an orbicular form ; so likewise any 
magnetical body, for instance a round loadstone, does cast 
abroad his magnetical vigour in a sphere f. Thus 

Where suppose the inward circle at A to represent the 
loadstone, and the outward one betwixt B, C, the orb that 
does determinate its virtue. 

Now any other body that is like afiected coming within 
this sphere, as B, will presently descend towards the cen- 
tre of it, and in that respect may be styled heavy. But 
place it without this sphere as C, and then the desire of 
union ceaseth, and so consequently the motion also. 

* SoKeplar, Sonin. Astron. N. 66. Cop^r.M. cap. 26. Foscari» 
in epist. ad Sebast. Fantonum. 

t Gilbert, de Magnet, 1. 2, cap. 7. 


To apply then what hath been said. This gi-eat globe 
bf earth and water hath been proved by many observations, 
to participate of magnetical properties. And as the load- 
stone does cast forth its own vigour round about its body, 
in a magnetical compass, so likewise does our earth* The 
difference is, that it is another kind of affection which 
causes the union betwixt the iron and loadstone, from that 
which makes bodies move unto the earth. The former is 
some kind of nearness and similitude in their natures, for 
which philosophy^ as yet, has not found a particular 
name. The latter does arise from that peculiar quality 
whereby the eaith is properly distinguished from the other 
eljements, which is its condensity. Of which the more 
any thing does participate, by so much the stronger will 
be the desire of union to it. So gold and other metals 
which are most close in their composition, are likewise 
most swift in their motion of descent. 

And though this may seem to be contradicted by the 
instance of metals which are of the same weight, when 
they are melted, and when they are hard : as also of water, 
which does not differ in respect of gravity, when it i» 
frozen, and when it is fluid : yet we must know that metals 
are not rarified by melting, but mollified. And so too for 
frozen waters, they are not properly condensed, but con* 
gealed into a harder substance, the parts being not con- 
tracted closer together, but still possessing the same ex- 
tension. But yet (I say) 'tis very probable that there is 
such a sphere about the earth, which does terminate its 
power of attracting other things unto it* So that sup- 
pose a body to be placed within the limits of this sphere, 
and then it must needs tend downwards towards the centre 
of it. But on the contrary, if it be beyond this compass, 
then there can be no such mutual attraction ^ and so con- 
sequently it must rest immovable from any such motion. 

For the farther confirmation of this, I shall propose two 
pertinent observations. 

The first taken in the presence of many physicians, and 




reJated by an eminent man in that profession, Hiercfn* 
JPracastorius*. There being divers needles provided of 
several kinds, like those of a mariner's chart ; they found 
that there was an attractive power not only in the mag- 
net, but that iron also, and steel, and silver did each of 
them draw its own metal. Whence he concludes, omnc 
irahit quod sibi simile est. And as these peculiar like- 
nesses have such a mutual efficacy, so it is probable that 
this more general qualification of condensity may be the 
cause why things so affected desire union to the earth t* 
And though 'tis likely that this would appear betwixt two 
lesser condensed bodies, (as suppose two pieces of earth) 
if they were both placed at liberty in their aethereal air, 
yet being near the earth, the stronger species of this great 
globe does, as it were, drown the less. 

*Tis a common experiment, that such a lump of ore or 
stone, as being on the ground, cannot be moved by less 
than six men, being in the bottom of a deep mine, may 
be stirred by two. The reason is, because Uien 'tis com- 
passed with attractive beams, there being many above it 
as well as below it. Whence we may probably infer 
(saith the learned Verulam J), " That the nature of gravity 
** does work but weakly also far from the earth •, because 
*^ the appetite of union in dense bodies must be more dull 
" in respect of distance." As we may also conclude from 
the motion of birds, which rise from the ground but 
heavily, though with much labour ; whereas being c i high, 
they can keep themselves up, and soar about by the meet 
extension of tHteir wings. Now the reason of this differ- 
ence is not (as some falsely conceive) the depth of air 
under them. For a bird is not heavier when there is but a 
foot of air under him, than where there is a furlong. As 
appears by a ship in the water, (an instance of the same 
nature) which does not sink deeper, and so consequently iS' 
not heavier, when it has but five fathom depth, than whea 

* Lib. de Sympath. & Antip. c. 7, 

t Vid. Bapt. Masul. exer. Acad, de atusct; excr. 4» 

% Nat. Hist. Cent, 1. exper. 33. * 

;' * 


it has fifty. But the true reason is, the weakness of the 
desire of union in dense bodies at a distance. 

So that from hence, there might be just occasion to tax 
Aristotle and his followers, for teaching that heaviness is 
an absolute quality of itself, and really distinct from con- 
density: whereas it is only a modification of it, or rather 
another name given to a condensed body in reference to 
its motion. 

For if it were absolute, then it should always be in- 
herent in its subject, and not have its ess^Qce depend 
upon the bodies being here or there. But it is not so^ 

1 . Nothing is heavy in its proper place, according to his 
own principle. Nihil grave est in suo loco. And then, 

2. Nothing is heavy, which is so far distant from that 
proper orb to which it does belong, that it is not within 
the reach of its virtue. As was before confirmed. 

But unto this it may be objected ; though a body being 
so placed, be not heavy in actu secundo ; yet it is Vn actu 
prifno: because it retains in it an inward proneness to 
move downwards, being once severed from its proper 
place. And this were reason enough why the quality of 
heaviness should have an absolute being. 

I answer, this distinction is only applicable to such natural 
powers as can suspend their acts; and will not hold in 
elementary qualities, whose very essence does necessarily 
require an exercise of the second act, as you may easily 
discern by an induction of all the rest. I. cannot say, that 
body has in it the quality of heat, coldness, dryness, mois-r 
ture, hardness, softness, &c. which for the present has not 
the second act of these qualities. And if you mean by 
the essence of them, a power unto them : why, there is 
not any natural body but ha3 a pow^r to them all^ 

From that which hath been sai!d concerning the nature 
of gravity, it will follow. That if a man were abov^ the 
sphere of this magnetical virtue which proceeds firom the 
earth, he might there stand as firmly in the open air, as 
he can now upon the ground : afid not only so, but he 





may also move with a far greater swiftness, than any living 
creatures here belowj because then he is without ail gra» 
vity, being not attracted any way; and so consequently 
will not be liable to such impedin^ents as may in the least 
manner resist that kind of motion which he shall apply him- 
self imto. 

If you yet enquire, how we may conceive it possible, that 
» condensed body should not be heavy in such a place ? 

I answer, by the same reason as a body is not heavy 
in its proper place. Of this I will set down two in- 

1. When a man is in the bottom of a deep river, though 
lie have over him a multitude of heavy waters, yet he is 
not burdened with the weight of them. Ai\d though ano<9 
ther body, diat should be but of aq equal gravity with thesis 
waters, when they are taken out, would be heavy enougjh 
to press him to death ; yet notwithstanding whilst they ar^ 
In the channel, they do not in the least manner crush him 
with their load. The reason is, because they ai'e both in 
their right places ; and it is proper for the man, being the 
more condensed body, to be lower than the waters. Or 
rather thus, Because the body of the man does more neaVly 
ligree with tlie earth, in this affection, which is the ground 
of its attraction, and therefore doth that more strongly 
attract It, than the waters that are over it. Now, as in 
such a case, a body may lose the operation of its gravity, 
which is, to move, or to press downwaids : so may it like?- 
wise, when it is so far out of its place, that this attractive 
power cannot reach unto it, 

It is a pretty notion to tliis purpose, mentioned by Alber- 
tus de Saxonia ^, and out of him by Francis Mendoca f, that 
the air is in some part of it navigable. And that upon this 
static principle, any brass or iron vessel (suppose a kettle) 
ivhose substance is much heavier than that of the water ; 
yet being filled with the lighter air, it will swim upon it, 
gn4 not sink |. So suppose a cup, or wooden vessel, upo^ 

* Fhys. 1. 3. Q. art. 2.6. f Viriilar. 1, 4. prob, 47. 

;j; \\d. Arch. 1. de iniidentibus humido, 

."Sj."' \ 


the outward borders of this elementary air, the cavity of it 
being filled with fire, or rather aetliereal air, it must neces- 
sarily upon the same ground remain swimming there, 
and of itself can no more fall, than an empty ship can 

2. It is commonly granted, that if there were a hole 
quite through the centre of tlie earth, though any heavy 
body (as suppose a millstone) were let fall into it ; yet 
when it came unto the place of the centre, it would there 
rest immoveable in the air. Now, as in tliis case, its own 
condensity cannot hinder, but that it may rest in the 
open air, when there is no other place to which it should 
be attracted ; so neither could it be any impediment unto 
it, if it were placed without the sphere of the earth's mag- 
netical vigor, where there should be no attraction at all. 

From hence then (I say) you may conceive, that if a 
man were beyond this sphere, he might there stand as 
firmly in the open air, as now upon the earth. And if he 
might stand there, why might he not also go there ? And if 
so ; then there is a possibility likewise of having other 
conveniences for travelling. 

And here it is considerable, that since our bodies will 
then be devoid of gravity, and other impediments of motion ; 
we sliall not at all spend ourselves in any labour, and so 
consequently not much need the reparation of diet : but 
may perhaps live altogether without it, as those creatures 
have done, who by reason of their sleeping for many day$ 
together, have not spent any spirits, and so not wanted any 
food ; which is commonly related of serpents, crocodiles, 
bears, cuckoos, swallows, and such like. To tliis puj^ose, 
Mendoca * reckons up divers strange relations. As that of 
Epimenides, who is storied to have slept 75 years, And 
another of a rustic in Germany, who being accidentally 
covered with a hay-rick slept there for all autumn, and the 
winter following, without any nourishment. 

Or, if this will not serve ; yet why may not a papist £ist 

* Viridar. J. 4. prob. 24. 




SO long, as well as Ignatius or Xaverius ? Or if there bt 
$uch a strange efficacy in the bread of the eucharist, a^ 
their miraculous relations do attribute to it: why then^ 
that may serve well enough, for thjcir viaticum^ 

Or, if we must needs feed upon something else, why 
may not smells nourish us ? Plptarch ♦ and Pliny t and 
divers other ancients, tell u^ of a nation in India that lived 
only upon pleasing odours. And it is the common opinion 
of physicians, that these do strangely both strengthen and 
repair the spirits. Hience was ;t that Dempcritus was able, 
for divers days together, to feed himself with the meer 
smell of hot bread :|:. 

Or if it be necessary that our stomachs must receive the 
food : why then it is not impossible that the purity of the 
ethereal air, being not mixed with any improper vapours, 
may be so agreeable to our bodies, as to yield us sufficient 
aourishment *, according to that of the Poet § : 

'Vescitur aura 


It was an old Platonic principle, that there is in some 
part of the world such a place where men might be plen** 
tifuUy nourished by the air they breathe : which cannot 
more properly be assigned to any one particular, than tQ 
the aethcreal air above th;s. 

I know it is the common opinion, that no element can 
prove aliment, because it is not proportionate to the bodies 
of living creatures which are compounded ||. But, 

1. The aethercal air is not an element ; and though it bf 
purer, yet it is perhaps of a greater agreeableness to man's 
nature and constitution. 

2. If we consult experience and the credible relations of 
pthers, we shall find it probable enough that many things 
^receive nourishment from meet elements. 

First, for the earth ; Aristotle *♦ and Pliny f f, those twq 

* De fkcie in Luna. + Nat. Hist. 1. 7. c. 2. + Diog. Laer. 1. 1 . c. 9. 
^ Virgil. II Arist. de Sens, c, 5. ** Hist. Animal. 1. §. c. 5^ 

tt Hist. L 10. C.72, * ■ ' 


great naturalists, tell us of some creatures, that are fed only 
with this. And it was the curse of the serpent. Gen. iii^ 
14}. Upon thy belly shalt tlxou go, and dust shalt thou eat 
all tlie days of thy life. 

So likewise for the water. Albertus Magni^ * speaks 
pf a man who lived seven weeks togetlier by the ngieer 
drinking of water. Rondoletius f (to whose diligence these 
later times are much beholden for sundry observations 
concerning the nature of aquatils;) affirms that his wife 
did keep a fish In a glass of water, without any other food, 
for three years; in which space it was constantly aug- 
mented, till at first it could not come out of the place at 
wliich it was put in, and at length was too big for the glass 
itself, though that were of a large capacity. Cardan tells u^ 
of some worms, that are bred and nourished by the snow, 
from which being once separated, they die J. 

Thus also is it with tlie air, which we may well conceive 
does chiefly concur to the nourishing of all vegetables. For 
if their food v^ere all sucked out from the earth, there must 
needs be then some sensible decay in the ground by them ; 
especially since they do every year renew their leaves 
and fruits : wjiich being so many, and so often, could not be 
produced without abundance of nourishment. To this pur- 
pose is the experiment of treos cut down which will of 
themselves put forth sprouts. As also that of onions, and 
the seniper-vive, which will strangely shoot forth, and grow 
as they hang in the open air. Thus likewise i$ . it with 
some senysible creatures; the camelion (saith Plinyjj and 
^olinus §) me^erly nourished by this: and so are the birds of 
paradise, treated of by many, which reside constantly in the 
air, nature having ^ot bestowed upon them any 'legs, and 
therefore they are never seen upon the ground but being 
^ead %. If you ask how they multiply ? It is answered, they 

* De Animal. 1. 7. f I>e Pi»c. 1. 1. c. 12. % SubtiL i. 9. 

II Hist. I. 8. cap. 33. Polyhistor. cap. 53* 
§ Lop. hist. Ind. Oaid.cap^^G. Maiolus, Colloq. 3. 
^ Tii likely that these binis do chiefly reside in the ajthcreal air^ 
\yberc chcy are nourished and iii'hcld. 


lay their eggs on the backs of one another, upon which thef 
sit till their young ones be fledged. Rhondoletius*, from 
the history of Hermolaus Barbarus, tells us of a priest (of 
whom one of the popes had the custody) that lived forty 
years upon meer air. As also of a maid in France, and 
another in Germany, that for divers years together did feed 
on nothing but this : nay, he affirms that he himself had 
seen one, who lived till ten years of age without any other 
nourishment. You may find most of these, and some 
otlier examples to this purpose, gathered together by Men- 
doca, Viridar. lib. 4. prob. 33» 24, Now, if this elementary 
air, which is mixed with such improper vapours, may acci- 
dentally nourish some persons; perhaps then, that pure 
ethereal air may of itself be more natural to our tempers. 

But if none of these conjectures may satisfy ; yet there 
may haply be some possible means for the conveyance of 
other food, as shall be shewed afterwards. 

Again, seeing we do not thpn spend ourselves in any la- 
bour, we shall not, it may be, need the refreshment of sleep. 
But if we do, we cannot desire a softer bed than the air, 
where we may repose ourselves firmly and safely as in our 

But here you may ask, whether there be any mesms for 
us to know, how far this sphere of the earth's virtue does 
extend itself? 

I answer, 'tis probable that it does not reach much farther 
than that orb of thick vaporous air, that encompasseth the 
earth ; because 'tis likely the sun may exhale some earthly 
Tapours, near unto the utmost bounds of the sphere allotted 
to them. 

Now there are divers ways used by astronomers, to take 
the altitude of this vaporous air. As, 

1. By observing the height of that air which causeth the 
crepusculum, or twilight; for the finding of which, the 
ancients used this means: as soon as ever they could discern 
the air in the east to be altere<* ith the least light, they 

♦ De Piscibus, 1. 1. cap. 13. 


would by the situation of tl>e stars find out how many de- 
grees the sun wa^^ below the horizon, which was usually 
about eighteen. From whence they would easily conclude, 
how high that air must be above us, which the sun could 
shine upon, when he was 18 degrees below us. And from 
this observation, it was concluded to be about 52 miles 

But in this conclusion, the ancients were much deceived, 
because they proceeded upon a wrong ground, whilst they 
supposed that the shining of the sun's direct rays upon the 
air, was the only reason of the cxepusculum ; whereas it i^ 
certain that there are many other things which may also 
concur to the causing of itf. As, 

1. Some bright clouds below the horizon, w]aich being 
illuminated by the sun, may be the means of conveying 
some light to our air, before the direct rays can touch it 

2. The often refi-action of the rays, which sufler a fte- 
quent repercussion from the cavity of this sphere, may 
likewise yield us some light. 

3. And so may the orb of enlightened air compassing the 
sun, part of which must rise before his body. 

2. The second way whereby we may more surely find 
tlxe altitude of this grosser air, is by taking the heig^th of 
the highest cloud : which may be done, 1. Either as they 
use to measure the altitude of things that cannot be ap- 
proached unto, viz. by two stations, when two persona 
?hall at the same time, in several places, observe the de- 
clination of any cloud from the vertical point. Or, 2« 
which is the more easy way, when a man shall cTiuse such 
a station, where he iji^y at sonae distance discern the place 
on which the cloud does cast its shadow, and withal does 
observe, how much both the cloud and the sun decline from 
the vertical point J. From which he may easily conclude 
tlie true altitude of it, as you naay more plainly concieive by 
this following diagram. * 

* Vitel. 1. 10. Theo. 7. f Keplar Ep. Coper. 1. 1, part 3, 

f Steviixius, Geog, U 3. prop. 3. ^ 



Where A B is a perpendicular from the cloud, C the 
station of him that measures, D the place where the shadow 
of the cloud does fall. 

The instrument being directed • from the station C, to 
the cloud at A, the perpendicular will shew the angle B AC. 
Then letting the 9un shine through the sights of your in- 
strument, the petftendicular of it will give the angle BAD. 
Afterwards having measured the distance C D by paces, you 
may according to the common rules, find the heighth B A*. 

But if without making the observation, you would know 
of what altitude the highest of these are found by observa- 
tion; Cardant answers, not above two miles ; KeplarJ no^ 
above 1 6000 psLC'es or thereabouts. 

3, Another way to find the height of this vaporous air, 
is, by knowing the difference of altitude which it causeth in 
refracting the beams of any star near the horizon. And 
firom this observation also, it is usually concluded to bo 
about two or three miles high. 

But now you must not conceive, as if the orb of magne- 
tlcal vigour weris bounded in an exaet superficies, oi; as if it 
did equally hold out just to such a determinate line, and no 
farther. But, as it hath been said of the first region, which 
is there terminated where the heat of reflexion does begin 
to languish ; so likewise is it probable, that this magneticai 
vigour does remit of its degrees proportionally to its distance 
froftithe earth, which is the cause of it: and therefore 

• Pitisc. Trigoa. f Subt. I. 17. t Epit^Cop. 1. 1. p.3i. 


though the thicker clouds may be elevated no higher, yet 
this orb may be continued in weaker degrees a little beyond 
them. We will suppose it (which in all likelihood is the 
most) to be about twenty miles high. So that you see the 
former thesis remains probable -, that if a man could but 
fly, or by any other means get twenty miles upwards, il 
were possible for him to reach unto the moon. 

But it may be again objected; though all this were true; 
though there were such an orb of air which did terminate 
the earth's vigor: and though the heaviness of our bodies, 
could not hinder our passage through tlie vast spaces of the 
aethereal air ; yet those two other impediments may seer^ 
to deny the possibility of any such voyage, 

1. The extreme coldness of that air. If some of our 
higher mountains for this reason be not habitable, much 
more then vnll those places be so, whidb «re farther from 
any cause of heat. 

2. The extreme thinness of it, which may make it unfit 
for expiration. For, if in some mountains (as Aristotle tell* 
us of Olympus, and out of him St. Austin*) the air be so 
thin, that men cannot draw their breath, unless it were 
through some moistened spunges ; much more then must 
that air be thin, which is more remotely situated from the 
causes of impurity and mixture. And then beside, the 
I'efraction that is made by the vaporous air encompassing 
our earth, may sufficiently prove that there is a great dif- 
ference betwixt the sethereal air and this, in respect of 
rarity. w, 

To the first of these I answer, that though the second 
region fee naturally endowed with so much coldness, as may 
make it fit for the production of meteors ; yet it will not 
hence follow, that all that air above it, which is not ap*" 
pointed for the like purpose, should partake of the same 
condition : but it may seem more probable, that this sethe- 
real air is freed from having any quality in the extremes* 
And this may be confirmed firom those common arguments, 

* la Gen. ad literam, 1. 3. cap. 2, 


which are usually brought to prove the warmness of the 
third region; as you may see in Fiomundus*» and others 
who treat of that subject. 

*Tis the assertion of Pereriusf, that the second region is 
not cold merely for this reason, because it is distant from 
the ordinary causes of heat, but because it was actually 
made so at the first, for the condensing of the clouds, and 
the production of other meteors that were there to be gene- 
rated ; which (as I conceive) might be sufficiently confirmed 
from that order of the creation observed by Moses, who 
tells us that the waters above th^ firmament (by which, 
in the greatest probability, we are to understand the cloudy 
in the second region) were made the second day, Gen. i, 
7, 8. whereas the sun itself (whose reflection is the cause 
of heat) was not created till the fourth day, ver. 16, 19. 

To the other objection I answer, that though the air in 
the second region (where by reason of its coldness there are 
many thick vapours) do cause a great refraction ; yet it is 
probable that the air wliich is next the earth, is sometimes^ 
and in some places, of a far greater thinness; nay, as thin 
as the athereal air itself; since soaietimes there is such a 
special heat of the sun, as may rarify it in an eminent de- 
gree : and in some dry places, there are no gross impure 
exhalations to mix with it. 

But here it may be objected : if the air in tke second 
region were nlore condensed and heavy than tliis wherein 
we breath, then that must necessarily tend downwards, and 
possess the lower place. 

To this soYne answer, that the hanging of the clouds in 
the open air, is no less than a miracle. They are the words 
of Pliny J: quid mirabilius aquis incalo stantibus? what 
more wonderful thing is there, than that the w^aters should 
stand in the heavens? Others prove this from the derivation 
of the word d»DU? from T\kW siupescere and Q>D aqua; be- 
cause the waters do hang there after such a stupendous in^ 

♦ Meteor, lib. I. ca. 2. art. 1. f Comment, in Gen, i. Si. 

X Hist. 1. 3. cap. 1. 


conceivable manner : which seems likewise to be favoured 
by scripture, where it is mentioned as a great argument of 
God's omnipotency, that he holds up the cloucis from fall- 
ing. He binds up the waters in his thick clouds, and the 
cloud is not rent under them*. 

But that which unto me seems full satisfaction against 
this doubt, is this consideration ; that tbi^ natural vigour 
whereby the earth does attract dense bodies unto it, is less 
efficacious at a distance ; and therefore a body of less den- 
sity, which is near unto it, as suppose this thin air wherein 
we breathe, may naturally be lower in its situation, than ano- 
ther of a greater<:ondensity that is ferther off; as suppose 
the clouds in the second region. And though the one be 
absolutely, and in itself more fit for this motion of descent ; 
yet by reason of its distance, the earth's magnetical virtue 
cannot so powerfully work upon it. 

As for that relation of Aristotle, if it were true, yet it does 
not prove this air to be altogether impassible, since moist- 
ened sponges might help us against its thinness : but it is 
more likely that he took it upoQ trust, as he did some other 
lelations concerning the height of the mountains, wherein 
it is evident that he was grosly mistaken : as where he tells 
us of Caucasus, that it casts its shadow 560 miiesf. And 
this relation being of tlie same nature, we cannot safely 
trust unto him for the truth of it. 

If it be here enquired, what means there may be con- 
jectured, for our ascending beyond the sphere of the earth's 
magnetical vigour. 

I answer. 1. It is not perhaps . impossible that a man 
may be able to fly by the application of wings to his own 
body: as angels are pictured, as Mercury and Daedalus are 
feigned, and as hath been attempted by divers ; particularly 
by a Turk in Constantinople, as Busbequius relates. 

2. If there be such a great ruck in Madagascar, as Marcus 
Polus| the Venetian mentions, the feathers in whose wings 

* Job XKvu $. f Meteor. I. 1. c« 1 1. % I^* ^' c. 40. 




are twelve foot long, which can soop up a horse and hi5 
rider, or aa elephant, as our kites do a mouse i why theri 
it is but teaching one of these to carry a man, and he may 
ride up thither, as Ganymede does, upon an eagle. 

3. Or if neither of these ways will serve : yet I do seri- 
ously, and upon good grounds affirm it possible to make a 
flying-chariot; in which a man may sit, and give such i, 
mot^n unto it, as shall convey him through the air. And 
this perhaps might be made krge enough to carry divers 
nien at the same time, together with food for their viaticum^ 
and commodities for traffic. It is not the bigness of any 
thing in this kind, that can hinder its motion, if the motive 
faculty be answerable thereunto. We see a great ship 
swims as Well as a small cork, and an eagle flies in the air 
as well as a little gnat. 

This engine may be contrived from the same principles 
by which Archytas made a wooden dove, and Regiomon- 
tanus a wooden eagle. 

I conceive it were no difficult matter (if a man had leisure) 
to shew more particularly the means of composing it. 

The perfecting of such an invention, would be of such 
excellent use, that it were enough, not only to make a man 
famous, but the age also wherein he lives. For besides the 
strange discoveries that it might occasion in this otlier 
world, it would be also of inconceivable advantage for tra-* 
veiling, above any other conveyance that is now in use. 

So that notwithstanding all these seeming impossibilities^ 
it is likely enough, that there may be a means invented of 
jounieying to the moon ; and how happy shall they be, that 
are flrst successful in this attempt ? 

' ■ ■ ■ ' Felicesque anima, quas ?iubila supra, 
Et turpesfumospplenumque vaporibus orbem, 
Jnservit cash saneti schUiUa Promethei. 

Having thus finished this discourse, I chanced upon a 
late fancy to thils purpose, under the feigned name of Do* 
iningo Gonsalesy written by a late rsiverend and learife^ 

* ■ V*" 


bishop : in which (besides sundry particulars wherein this 
lat^r chapter did unwittingly agree with it) there is deli- 
vered a very pleasant and well-contrived fancy concerning 
a voyage to this other world. 

He supposeth that there is a natural and usual passage 
for many creatures betwixt our earth and this planet Thus 
he says, those great multitudes of locusts, wherewith divers 
countries have been destroyed, do proceed from thence. 
And if we peruse the authors who treat of them, we shall 
find that many times they fly in numberless troops, or 
swarms, and for sundry days together pefoxe they, fall, are 
seen over those places in great high clouds, such as com- 
ing nearer, are of extension enough to obscure the day, and 
hinder the light of the sun. From which, together with 
divers other such relations, he concludes that it is not alto- 
gether improbable they should proceed from the moon. 
Thus likewise he supposeth the swallows, cuckoos, night- 
ingales, with divers other fowl, which are with us only half 
the year, to fly up thither, when they go from us. Amongst 
which kind, there is a wild swan in the East Indies, which 
at certain seasons of the year do constantly take their flight 
thither. Now this bird being of great strength, able to 
continue for a long flight, as also going usually in flocks, 
like our wild-geese ; he supposeth that many of them to- 
gether, might be taught to carry the weight, of a man; es- 
pecially if an engine were so contrived (aa he thinks it 
might) that each of them should bear an equal share in the 
burthen. So that by this means it is easily conceivable, 
how once every year a man might finish such a voyage ; 
going along with these birds at the beginning of winter, 
and again returning with them at the spring. 

And here, one that had a strong fancy, were better able 
to set forth the great benefit and pleasure to be had by such 
a journey. And that whether you consider the strange- 
ness of the persons, language, arts, policy, religion of those 
inhabitants, together with the new traflSc that might be 
brought tlience. In briefs do but consider the pleasure and 

VOL. I. K 

.- I 
■ I 

130 THAT TRt MOOir MAY BE A WO1.L0. 

profit of those later discoveries in America, and we mus^ 
needs conclude this to be inconceivably beyond it. 

But such imaginations as the8e> I shall leave to the fancy 
of the reader. 

Sic itur ad astra. 

Reftet humi qwcunqtie velit 

C(Bfo resUU iter, c^io ieniabitnus ir^ 









X>igna res en contemplatioM» ut scUmus in quo rertUB Itatu scimus : pigtri-i 
mam sortiti^ an velocissimam wp^ntm i circa &ofi deus onuuay an not agat 

Stn, JVW. ^umt^ lib. 7. cap. 9. 



i. W f.' 


J^OT to trouble you with an invective against those muU 

titudes of pamphlets which are every day pressed into 

the world; or an apology y why this was published amongst 

the rest (the usual matter fojr such kind of epistles : J let me 

in brief premonish you something concerning the 



and V of this following Discourse. 


1. it is not the purpose of it to set down an exact treatise 
qf this kind qf astronomy y but rather to rein&oe those com'- 
vwn prejudices which usually deter men from taking any 
argument^ tending this way^ into their considerations. lor 
we may observe^ that in those points which ate cried down 
by the more general opinion^ men do for the mest part rest 
iherttselves in the superficial knowledge of things^ as they 
seem at their first appearances^ thinking they can say 
enough to any paradox^ against which they can urge the 
most obvious and easy objections; and therefore seldom or 
never search into the depth of these points^ or enter into any 
serious impartial examination of thdse grounds on which they 
are bottomed. Which as it must needs be a great hindrance 
to the proficiency of all kind of learnings so moi^e especially 
is it in this particular. We might discern a greater come- 
liness and order in this great fabrick of the worlds and 
more easily understand the appearances in astronomy y if we 
could with indifferency attend to what might be said for 
that opinion of CopernicuSy which is here defended. 

2. For the manner. It is. not maintained with such heat 
and religion^ as if every one that reads it were presently 
bound to yield up his assent : but as it is in other wars where 
victory cannot be hady men must be content with peace: so 
likewise is it in thisy and should be in all other philosophical 


contentions. If there be nothing able to convince and satisfy 
the indifferent reader , he may still enjoy his own opinion. 
^11 men have not the same way of apprehending things ; but 
according to the variety of their temper^ custom^ and abilv- 
iiest their understandings are severally fashioned to differ^ 
ent assents: which had it been but well considered by some 
ijfour hot adversaries'^ i they would not have shewed more 
violence in opposing the petsons against whom they write^ 
than strength in confuting the cause. 

It is an excellent rule to be observed in all disputes y that 
men should give soft words and hard arguments; that they 
ioeuld not so much striifc to vex^ as to convince an enemy i 
If this were but diligently practised in all casesy and on all 
sideSf ^e might in a good measure be freed from those vex^ 
ations in the search of truths which the wise Solomon^ by his 
(Bwn experience did so much complain of Ecchsiastes i. 18. 
In much wisdo^n there is much gritf; and he that increase tb 
knowledgCi increaseth sorrow. 

To conclude: though there should be ru>thing in this dis^ 
course conducible to your information and benefit; yet it 
m^ serve in the perusal^ as it did in the composure^ for the 
Recreation of such leisure hours as may conveniently be 
spared from more weighty employments. 
. \ "^ Farewell. 

%^ ♦ Fromond. AL Ros^. 



BOOK tt. 




Ithat the seeming novelty and singulariiy qftkis opiinM% 
can be no sufficient reason to prote it erroneous* 

IN the search of theological truths, It is the safest methodt 
first of ail to look unto divine authority ; because that 
carries with it as clear an evidence to our feith, as any thing 
else. can be to our reason. But on the cohtrary, in the ex- 
amination of philosophical points, it Were a preposterous 
course to begin at the testimony and opinion of others^ and 
then afterwards to descend unto the reasons that may be 
drawn from the nature and essence of the things themselves : 
because these inartificial arguments (as the logicians call 
them) do not carry with them any clear and convincing 
evidence ; and therefore should come after those that are 
of more necessary dependance, as serving rather to confirnif 
than resolve the judgment. 

But yet, so it is, that in those points which are besides 
the common opinion, meii are carried aWay at the first by 
the general cry» and seldom or never come so far, as ta 
examine the reasons that may be urged for them. And 
therefore, since it is the purpose of this disconrse, to re* 
move those prejudices which may hinder our judgment in 
the like case, it is requisite that in the first place there be 
some satisfaction given to those arguments that may be 
taken from the authority of others. 

Which arguments are insisted on by our adversaries 
with much heat and violence. 


What (say they) shall an upstart novelty thrust out 
such a truth as hath passed by successive tradition through 
all ages of the world ; and hath been generally enter- 
tained, not only in the opinion of the vulgar, but also 
of the greatest philosophers, and most learned men*? 
Shall we think that amongst the multitude of those who 
in several times have Ueen eminent for new inventions, 
and strange discoveries, there was none able to find out 
such a secret as this, besides some fabulous Pythago- 
reans, and of late Copernicus? Is it probable that the 
world should last for above five thousand years together, 
and yet the inhabitants of it be so dull and stupid, as to be 
Unacquainted with its motion ? Nay, shall we tliink that 
those excellent men whom the Holy Ghost made use of 
in the penning of scripture, who were extraordinarily in- 
spired with supernatural truths, should notwithstanding be 
so grossly Ignorant of so common a matter as this ? Can we' 
believe, if there were any such thing, that Joshua, and 
Job, and David, and Solomon, &c. should know nothing of 
it ? Certainly it must needs argue a strotig affectation of 
singularity, for a man to take up any groundless fancy 
against such ancient and general authority. 

I answer : as we should not be so fondly conceited of 
ourselves, and the extraordinary abilities of these prjesent 
ages, as to think every thing that is ancient to be obsolete : 
or, as if it must needs be with opinions as it is with 
clothes; where the newest is for the most part best. So 
neither should we be so ^superstitiously devoted to anti- 
quity, as to take up every thing foi* canonical, which drops 
from the pen of a father, or was approved hy the consent 
cf the ancients. It is an excellent saying, Aei eKev^^m etvcu 
rvi yvtayjvi t9v y^KKovrx (^iXoffoCpeiv- It behoves every one in 
the search of trutbi always to preserve a philosophical 
liberty ; not to be so enslaved to the opinion of any man, 
as to think whatever he says to be infallible. We must 

* Alex. Ross de terrs motu, contra Laasb. L 1. sect. 1« cap. 10. 
t Alcinous. 


labour to find out what things are in themselves, by our 
own experience, and a thorough examination of their na- 
tures, not what another says of them. And if in such an 
impartial enquiry, we chance to light upon a new way, 
and that which is besides the common road, this is neither 
our fault, nor our unhappiness. 

Not our fault, because it did not arise from singularity 
or affectation. Not our unhappiness, because it is rather 
a privilege to be the first in finding out such truths as are 
not discernible to every common eye. If novelty should 
always be rejected, n^either would arts have arrived to that 
perfection wherein now we enjoy them, nor could we ever 
hope for any future reformation : though all truth be in it- 
self eternal, yet in respect of men's opinions, there is 
scarce any so ancient but had a beginning, and was once 
counted a novelty ; and if for this reason it had been con- 
den^ned as an error, what a general darkness and igno- 
rance would then have been in the world, in comparison 
of that light which now abounds ; according to that of the 

Quod si tarn antiquis nopitas invisafuisset, 

Quam Tiobis, quid nunc esse vetus aut quid haheret, 

-iQ^od kgeret tereretque viritim pvhlicus usus* f 

li our forefathers had but hated thus. 
All that were new ; what had been old to us ? 
Or> how might any thing confirmed be. 
For public u-se by its antiquity ? 

But for more full satisfaction of all those scruples that 
may arise from the seeming novelty or singularity of this 
^opinion, I shall propose these following considerations. 

1. Suppose it were a novelty, yet it is in philosophy, and 
that is made up of nothing else ; but receives addition from 
every day's experiment. True indeed, for divinity we have 
ian infaUible rule that does plainly inform us of all necessary 
trutlis ; and therefore the primitive times are of greater 

* Horat. lib. 2. ep. 1. 



authority, because they were nearer to those holy men wh<y 
were the penmen of scripture. But now for philosophy, 
there is no such reason : whatever the schoolmen may talk^ 
yet Aristotle's works are not necessarily true, and he him-^ 
Self hath by sufficient arguments proved himself to be liabl^ 
unto errot. Now in this case, if we should speak properly^ 
antiquity does consist in the old age of the worid, not in the 
youth of it. In such leatning as may be increased by fresh 
experiments and new discoveries ; it is we are the fathers^ 
and of more authority than former ages; because we have 
the advantage of more time than they had, and truth (we 
say) is the daughter of time. However, there is nothing in 
this opinion so magisteriaUy proposed, but the reader may 
use his own liberty; and if all the reasons considered, toge* 
ther do not seem convincing unto him, he may freely reject 

In those natural points which carry with them any doubt 
or obscurity, it is the safest way to suspend our assents ; and 
though we iriay dispute pro or c(w, yet not to settle our 
opinion on either side. 

2. In weighing the authority of others, it is not their 
multitude that should prevail, or their skill in some things 
that should make them of credit in every thing ; but we 
should examine what particular insight and experience they 
had in those things for which they are cited. Now it is 
plain, that common people judge by their senses, and there-" 
fore their voices are altogether unfit to decide any philoso* 
phical doubt, which cannot well be examined or explained 
without discourse and reason. And as for the ancient fa<* 
tliers, though they were men very eminent for their holy 
lives, and extraordinary skill in divinity, yet they weic most 
of them very ignorant in that part of learning which cofl- 
ceims this opinion ; as appears by many of their gross mis* 
takes in this kind ; as that concerning the antipodes, &c. 
and therefore it is not their opinion neither, in this business, 
that to an indifferent seeker of truth will be of any strong 


But against this it is objected*. That the instance of the 
Antipodes does not argue any special ignorance in theses 
learned men ; or that they had less skijl in such human 
arts than others ; since Aristotle himself^ and Pliny, did 
deny this as well as they. 

I answer: 

1. If they did, yet this does make mor^ to the present 
purpose : for if such great scholars, who were so eminent 
for their knowledge in natural things, might yet notwith«> 
standing be grossly mistaken in such matters as are now evi<^ 
dent and certain, why then we have no reason to depend 
upon their assertions or authorities^ as if they were infalli^* 

2. Though these great naturalists, for want of some ex- 
perience, were mistaken in that opinion, whilst they thought 
no place was habitable but the temperate zones : yet it 
cannot be from hence inferred that they denied the pos« 
sibility of antipodes; since these are such inhabitants as 
live opposite unto us in the other temperate zone: and 
it were an absurd thing to imagine that those who lived in 
different zones, can be antipodes to one another; and av* 
gues that a man did not imderstand, or else had forgotten 
that common distinction in geography, wherein the relation 
of the world's inhabitants unto^ one another are reckoned 
Up under these three heads; aniacU periieciy and antipodes. 
But to let this pass: it is certain, that some of the fathers 
did deny the being of any such, upon other more absurd 
grounds. Now if such as Chrysostom, Lactantius, &c. who 
were noted for great scholars ; and such too as flourished in 
these latter times, when all human learning was more ge- 
nerally professed, should notwithstanding be so much mis- 
taken in so obvious a matter: why then may we not think 
that those primitive saints, who were the penmen of scrip- 
ture, and eminent above' others in their time for holiness 

' and knowledge ; might yet be utterly ignorant of many 
philosophical truths, which are commonly known in th^e 

« AJex. Koss. 1. 1. sect. c. 8. 


days? It is probable, that the Holy Ghost did inform them 
only with the knowledge of those things whereof they were 
' to be the penmen, and that they were not better skilled in 
points of philosophy than others. There were indeed some 
of them who were supernaturally endowed with human 
learning ; yet this was, because they might thereby be fitted 
for some particular ends, which all the rest were not ap- 
)>ointed unt6 : thus Solomon was strangely gifted with all 
kind of knowledge, in a great measure; because he was to 
teach us by his own experience the extreme vanity of ity 
that we might not so settle our desires upon it, as if it were 
ablcito yield us contentment*. So too the apostles were 
extraordinarily inspired with the knowledge of languages, 
because they were to preach unto all nations. But it will 
not hence follow, that therefore the other holy penmen 
were greater scholars than others. It is likely that Job had 
as much human learning as most of tliem, because his book 
is more especially remarkable for lofty expressions, and 
discourses of nature ; and yet it is not likely that he was 
acquainted with all those mysteries which later ages have 
discovered ; because when God would convince him of his 
own folly and ignorance, he proposes to him such questions, 
as being altogether unanswerable ; which notwithstanding, 
any ordinary philosopher in these days might have resolved. 
As you may see at large in the thirty-eighth chapter of 
that book. 

The occasion was this: Jobf having before desired that 
he might dispute with the Almighty concerning the up- 
rightness of his own ways, and the unreasonableness of 
those afflictions which he ifnderwent, does at length obtain 
his desire in this kind; and God vouchsafes, in this tliirty- 
eighth chapter, to argue the case with him. Where he 
does shew Job how unfit he was to judge of the ways of 
providence, in disposing of blessings and afflictions ; when 
as he was so ignorant in ordinary matters, being not able to 
discern the reason of natural and common events. As why 

* £cd.i. 18. f Cap.xiii.3. 


the sea should be sa bounded from overflowing the land* I 
What is the breadtli of the earth f ? What is tlie reason of 
the snow or hailt ? What was the cause of the rain or dew, 
of ice and frosft, and the like || ? By which questions, it; 
seems, Job wa^so utterly puzzled, that he is fain afterwards 
to hunablehimkelf in this acknowledgment: I have uttered 
that I understood not, things too wonderful for me, whicb 
I knew not. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust 
and ashes §. i 

So that it is likely these holy meQ had not these human 
arts by any special inspiration, but by instruction and study, 
and other ordinai^y means ; and therefore Moses his skill 
in this kind is called the learning of the Egyptianslf- Nfpw, 
because in those times all sciences were taught only in a rude 
and imperfect manner ; therefore it is likely that they also ^ 
had but a dark and confused apprehension of things, and 
were liable to the common errors. And for this reason is 
it, why Tostatus** (speaking of Joshua's bidding the moon 
stand still as well as the sun) says, 2uod forte erat impe- 
ritus circa astrorum dodrinarrif sentient ut mdgares senii" 
unt: that perhaps he was unskilful in astronomy, having 
the same gross conceit of the heavens, as the vulgat had. 
From all which it may be inferred, that the ignorance of 
such good men and great scholars concerning these philo* 
sophical points, can be no sufficient reason, why after ex? 
amination we should deny them, or doubt of their truth. 

3. It is considerable, that in the rudiments and first be-* 
gipnings of astronomy, and so in several ages after, this 
opinion hath found many patrons, and those too men of 
eminent note and learning. Such was more especially Py- 
thagoras, who was generally and highly esteemed for his 
divine wit, and rare inventions ; under whose mysterious 
sayings, there be many excellent truths to be discovered. 

But against histestii^ony, it is again objectedft; ifPytha-r 

* Ver. 8, 10, 11. f Ver. 18. t Ver. 22. || Ver. 28, 29. 

§ Cap. xlii. ver. 3, 6. ^ Acts vii. 22. 

** Jogh. c. 10. Quxst. 13, t+ Alex. Roi. l.TJ. sect. 2. c. 10, 


goras were of this opinion, yet his authority should not be 
of aqy credit, because he was the author of many other 
monstrous absurdities. 

To this I answer; if a man's error in some particulars 
should take away his credit for every thing else, this wouI4 
abolish the force of all human authority ; for humanum esi 
errare. Secondly, it is probable that many of Pythagoras's 
sayings which seem so absurd, are not to be understood ac-r 
cording to their letter, but in a mystical sense. 

2. But he objects again, that Pythagoras was not of this 
opinion ; and that for two reasons ; first, because no ancient 
;iuthor that he had read ascribes it unto him. Secondly, it 
js contradictory to his other opinions, concerning the har- 
mony that was made by the motion of the heavens; which 
could not consist with dii» other of the earth's motion. 

To the first I answer; the objector could not chuse but 
know that this assertion is by many ancient authors ascribed 
to .that sect whereof Pythagoras was the chief. He might 
have seen it expressly in Aristotle^ himself, Oi ii HxAiyo^eiof 
h^yoxmv BXf yjv tou lutrta isv^ meu^ n^v ts yv^t ev rov offr^ 
pwruv KW\Xc^ 0eqo(uv^y 7g€ft iietrtv^ vuxr« re tau iiie^eev voietv. 

In which the philosopher does compendiously reckon up 
the three chief particulars implied in the opinion of the 
Pythagoreans. First, the sun's being in the centre of the 
world. Secondly, the earth's annual motion about it, as 
being one of the planets. Thirdly, its diurnal revolution, 
whereby it £ause,d day and night. 

To his second reason I answer; first, that Pythagoras 
thought the earth to be one of the planets (as appeals by 
Aristotle's testimony concerning him) and to move amongst 
the rest. So that his opinion concerning the motion of the 
heavens is not inconsistent with that of the earth. Se- 
condly, hut as for the celestial harmony, he might perhaps 
under this mystical expression, according to his usual cus- 
tom, shadow forth unto us that mutual proportion and hac- 
monical consent, which he did conceive in the several big- 

'^ De Capio, 1. ?. c. 13. 


pesSy distance, motions of the orbs. So that notwithstandt 
ing these objections, it is evident that Pythagoras was of 
this opinion, and tliat his authority m^y add somewhat for 
the confirmation of it. Unto him assented Aristarchus 
Samius^, who flourished about 280 y^ars .before the birth of 
our Saviour; and was by reason of this opinion, arraigned 
for profaneness and sacrilege bytbe Areopagites; because 
he had blasphemed the deity of Vesta, af&rming the earth, 
to move. To them agreed Philolaus, Heraclidcs, Pontius, 
Nicetas, Syracusanus, Ecphantus, Lucippus, and Plato himr 
$elf (as s5me think.) So likewise Numa Pompilius, as 
Plutarch relates it in his life; who in reference to this opi- 
nion, built the temple of Vesta round, like tlie universe; in 
the middle of it was placed the perpetual vestal fire ; by 
which he did represent the sun in the centre of the world, 
All these men were in their several times of special note, as 
well for their extraordinary learning, as for this opinion. 

4. It is considerable, that since this science of astrononiy 
hath been raised to any perfection, there have been mahjr 
of the best skill in it, that have assented unto that assertioa 
which is here defended. Amongst whom was the cardinal 
pusanusf, but more especially Copernicus, who was a maa 
very exact and diligent in these studies for above thirty 
years together, from the year 1500 to 1530, and upwards; 
and since him, most of the best astronomers have been of 
this side. So that now there is scarce any of note and 
skill, who are not Copemicus's followers; and if we should 
go to most voices, this opinion would carry it from any 
other. It would be too tedious to reckon up the names of 
those that may be cited for it ; I will only mention some of 
the chief; sudi were Joachinus Rheticus, an elegant writer; 
Christopherus Rothman ; Mestlin, a man very eminent for 
bis singular skill in this science; who though at the first he 
were a follower of Ptolemy, yet upon his second and more 
exact thoughts, he concluded Copernicus to'be in the right; 
and that the usual hypothesis, prascriptume potius quar^ 

f ^chimedet 0e arfi^s nuflnero. \ Pe 4oct. ignor. 1. 2. cap. 12. 

. \ 

1. 1 

1' ■ * 


/ . 


ratime valft*^ does prevail more by prescription than rea^ 
son. So likewise Erasmus Reinoldus, who was the man 
that calculated the prutenical tables fh>m Copernicus his 
Observations, and did intend to write a commentary upon 
his other works, but that he was taken out of this life before 
he could finish those resolutions. Unto these also I might 
add the names of Gilbert, Keplar, Galilaeus, with sundry- 
others, who have much beautified and confirmed this hy- 
pothesis, with their new inventionst. Nay I may safely 
affirm, that amongst the variety of those opinions that are 
in astronomy, there are more (of those which have skill in 
it) that are of this opinion, not only than any other side, 
but than all the rest put together. So that now it is a 
greater ai'gumcnt of singularity to oppose it. 

5. It is probable, that many other of the ancients would 
have assented unto this opinion, if they had been acquainted 
with those experiments which later times have found out 
for the confirmation of it : and therefore Rheticus^ and 
Keplarll do so often wish that Aristotle were now alive 
again. Questionless, he was so rational and ingenious a 
man, (not half so obstinate as many of his followers) that 
upon such probabilities as these, he would quickly have re- 
nounced his own principles, and have come over to this side : 
for in one place, having proposed some questions about the 
heavens§, which were not easy to be resolved, he sets down 
this rule ; that in difficulties, a man may take a liberty to 
speak that which seems most likely to him ; and in such 
cases, an aptness to guess at some resolution, for the satis- 
fying of our philosophical thirst, does deserve rather to be 
stiled by the name of modesty, than boldness. And in a*- 
nother placelf* he refers the reader to the different opinions 
of astronomers, advising him to examine their several te- 
nets, as well Eudoxus as Calippus ; and to entertain that 
(not which is most ancient, but) which is most exact and 

• Praef. ad Narrat. Khetici. f Ibid. J In narrationc. 

II Myst. Cosmogr. e. 1. item Praef. ad 4. 1. Astr. Copcm. 
§ De CobL L 3. c. 12. H Met. lib. 12. cap. a. 

1 ■ ■ w ■ -- 


iigreeable to reason. And as fbt Ptplomyi it i^ his counsfel*, 
that we should endeavour to frame such suppositions of the 
heavens, as ooiight be more simple, being void of ail super- 
fluities: and he confesses, that his hypothesis had many 
implications in it, together with sundry intricate and un- 
likely turnings ; and therefore in the ^ame place; he seems 
to admonish us, that we should not be too Confident the 
heavens were really in the same form wherein astronomer^ 
did suppose them. So that it is likbly, it was his chief in- 
tent to propose unto us such a frame of the celestial bodies^ 
from which we might, in some measure, conceive of their 
different appearances; and according to which, we might 
be able to calculate their motions. But now it is Coperni- 
cus's endeavour, to propound unto us the true natural causes 
of these several motions and appearances : it was the in- 
tent of the one, to settle the imagination ; and of the other, 
to Satisfy the judgment. So that we have no reason to 
doubt of his assent unto this opinion, if he had but clearly 
understood all the grounds of it. 

It is reported of Clavius^ that when lying upon his death- 
bed, he heard the first news of those diseovferies which 
were made by Galilaeus's glass, he brake forth into these 
wqrds: videre astronomos^ quo pccto constituendi sunt orbes 
ccelestes^ ut hac phuenomena salvari ppssint ; that it did be- 
hove astronomers to consider of some other hypothesis^ 
beside that of Ptolomy, whereby they might solve all those 
new appearances. Intimating that this old one, which for- 
merly he had defended, would not now serve the turn : and 
doubtless, if he had been informed how congruous all these 
might have been unto the opinion of Copernicus, he would 
quickly havel turned on that side. It is considerable, that 
amongst the followers of Copernicus, there are scarce any 
who were not formerly against him; and such, as at first 
had been thoroughly seasoned with the principles of Ari- 
stotle ; in which, for the most part, they have no less skill 
than those who are so violent iathe defence of them,u 

* Aim. 1. 13. cap; ji. 

rot. ii t ■ 


Whereas on the contrary, there ^re very few to be found 
amongst the followers of Aristotle and Ptolomy, that have 
read any thing in Copernicus, or do fully understand the 
grounds of his opinion ; and I think, not any, who having 
been once settled with any strong assent on this side, that 
have afterwards revolted from it. Now if we do but seri- 
ously weigh with ourselves, that so many ingenious, consi- 
dering men, should reject that opinion which they were 
nutsed up in, and which is generally approved as the truth ; 
and that for the embracing of such a paradox as is con- 
demned in schools, and commonly cried down, as being 
absurd and ridiculous; I say, if a man do but well consider 
all this, he must needs conclude, that there is some strong 
evidence for it to be found out by examination ; and that in 
all probability, this is the righter side. 

7. It IS probable, that most of those authors who have 
opposed this opinion, since it hath been confirmed by new 
discoveries, were stirred up thereunto by some of these 
three insufficient grounds, 

1 . An over-fond and partial conceit of their proper in- 
ventions. Every man is naturally niore affected to his own 
brood, than to that of which another is the author; though 
perhaps it may be more agreeable to reason. It is very 
difficult for any one, in the search of truth, to find in him- 
self such an indifrerency, as that his judgment is not at all 
jswayed by an over-weaning affection unto that which is 
proper unto himself. And this perhaps might be the first 
reason that moved the noble Tycho with so much heat to 
oppose Copernicus, that so he might the better make way 
for the spreading of that hypothesis which was of his own 
invention. To this I might likewise refer that opinion of 
Origanus and Mr. Carpenter, who attribute to the earth 
only a diurnal revolution. It does more especially concern 
those men that are leaders of several sides, to beat down 
any that should oppose them. 

2. A servile and superstitious fes^r of derogating from the 
authority of the ancients, or opposing that meaning of scrip- 
ture-phrases, wherein the suppose^ infallible church hath 


for a long time understood them. It is made part of the 
new creed, set forth by Pius the Fourth, 1564. That no 
man should assent unto any interpretation of scripture, 
which is not approved of by the authority of the fathers. 
And this is the reason why the Jesuits, who are otherwise 
the greatest afFectors of those opinions which seem to be 
new and subtil, do yet forbear to say any thing in defence 
of this ; but rather take ail occasions to inveigh against it. 
One of them*, does expressly condemn it for a heresy. 
And since him, it hath been called in by two sessions of the 
cardinalsf, as being an opiniofi both absurd and dangerous. 
And therefore likewise do they punish it, by casting the 
defenders of it into the pope's truest purgatory, the inqui- 
sition : but yet neither these councils, nor ahy (that I know 
of) since them, have proceeded to such a peremptory cen- 
sure of it, as to conclude it a heresy; fearing perhaps, lest 
a more exact examination, and the discovery of future 
times, finding it to be an undeniable truth, it might redound 
to the prejudice of their church, and its infallibility. And 
therefore he that is most bitter against it, in the heat and 
violence of opposition, will not call it a heresy: the worst 
that he dares say of it, is, that it is opinio temeraria qvuB 
altera saltern pede intramt haresios limenX : a rash opinion, 
and bordering upon heresy. Though unto this likewise he 
was incited by the eagerness of disputation, and a desire of 
victory ; for it seems many eminent men of that church 
before him, were a great deal more mild and moderate in 
their censures of it. 

Paul the Third was not so much ofended at Copernicus^ 
when he dedicated his work unto him. 

The cardinal of Cusa does expressly maintain this opi- 

Schonberg^us, the cardinal of Capua, did with much im* 
portunity and great approbation, beg of Copernicus the 
commentaries that he writ in this kind ; and it seems the ' 

* Serrarius Commen. in Jos. cap. 10. quaest. 14 . So lipsius, Fhysiol.,1. 2. 
t Ann. Dom. 1616. kern 1633. % Fronvondus, Antarist. cap ,6. 




fathers of the council of Trent were not such confident 
defenders of Ptolomy*s hypothesis against Copernicus, as 
many now are. For, speaking of those intricate subtilties 
which the fancies of men had framed to maintain the prac- 
tice of the church, they compared them to astronomers, 
who, say they, do feign excentrics and epicicles, and such 
engines of orbs, to save the phaenomena ; though they know 
there are no such things. But now, because this opinion 
of Copernicus in later times hath been so strictly forbidden 
and punished, it will concern those of that religion, to take 
heed of meddling in the defence of it, but rather to submit 
the liberty of their reason under the command of their su- 
periors, and (which is very absurd) even in natural ques« 
tions, not to assent unto any thing but what authority shall 
allow of. 

3. A judging of things by sense rather than by discourse 
and reason: a tying of the meaning of scripture to the let- 
ter of it, and frotn thence concluding philosophical points, 
together with an ignorance of all those grounds and proba« 
bilities in astronomy, upon which this opinion is bottomed. 
And this, in all likelihood, is the reason why some men, 
who in other things perhaps are able scholars, do write so 
vehemently against it; and why the common people in 
general do cry it down, as bf^ing absurd and ridiculous. Un- 
der this head I might refer the opposition of Mr. Fuller,' 
Al. Ross. &c. 

But now, no prejudice that may arise from the bare au- 
thority of such enemies as these, will be liable to sway the 
judgment of an indifferent considering man ; and I doubt 
not but that he who will thoroughly weigh with himself 
these particulars that are here propounded, may find some 
satisfaction for these arguments, which are taken from the 
seeming novelty and singularity of this opinion. 




That there is not any place in scriptures^/rmn which f being 
rightly understood) we may infer the diurnal motion of 
the sun or heavens^ 

IT were happy for us, if we could exempt scripture from, 
philosophical controversies : if we could be content to 
let it be perfect for that end unto which it was intended, for 
a rule of our faith and obedience ; and not stretch it also to 
be a judge of such natural truths as are to be found out by 
our own industry and experience. Though the Holy Ghost 
could easily have given us a full resolution of all such parti- 
culars; yet he hath left this travel to the sons of men to be 
exercised therewith* : mundum reliquit disputationibus ho- 
minum: that being busied for the most part In an inquisi- 
tion after the; creatures, we might find the less leisure to 
wait upon our lusts, or serve our more sinful inclinations. 

But however, because our adversaries generally do so 
much insult in those arguments that may be drawn from 
hence ; and more especially, because Pinedaf doth for this 
reason with so many bitter and empty reproaches, revile 
our learned countryipan, Dr. Gilbert; in that renewing of 
this opinion, he omitted an answer to the scripture expres- 
sions : therefore it is requisite, that in the prosecution of 
this discourse, we should lay down such satisfaction as may 
clear all doubts that may be taken thence: especially since 
the prejudice that may arise from the misapprehension of 
thpse scriptqre phrases, may much disable the reader fronx 
looking on any other argument with an equal and indiffer- 
ent mind. 

The places that seem to oppose this, are of two kind$. 
First, such as imply a motion in the heavens : or, secondly, 
iSucU as seem to express a rest and immobility in the earth. 

* Kccles, iii. 10j( 1 1 • f Comment, in ^cles. cb^ i. ver. ^k 




Those of the first kind seem to bear in them the clearest 
evidence, and therefore are more insisted on by our adver- 
saries. They may be referred unto these three heads. 

1. All those scriptures where there is any mention made 
of the rising or setting of the sun or stars. 

2. That story in Joshua, where the sun standing still is 
reckoned for a miracle. 

3. That other wonder in the days of Hezekiah, whenthe 
sun went back ten degrees in the dial of Ahaz. All which 
places do seem to conclude, that tlie diurnal motion is caused 
by the heavens. 

To this I answer in general; 

That the Holy Ghost in these scripture expressions, is 
pleased to accommodate himself unto the conceit of the 
vulgar, and the usual opinion : whereas, if in the more 
proper phrase it had been said, that the earth did rise and 
set ; or, that the earth stood still, &c. the people who had 
been unacquainted with that secret in philosophy, would 
not have understood the meaning of it; and tiierefore it 
was convenient that they should be spoken unto in their 
own language. 

Ay, but you will reply, it should seem more likely, if 
there had been any such thing, that the Holy Ghost should 
use the truest expressions : for then he would at the same 
time have informed them of the thing, and reformed them 
in an error : since his authority alone had been sufficient to 
have rectified the mistake. 

I answer: 

1 . Though it were, yet it is beside the chief scope of 
those places, to instruct us in any philosophical points, as 
hath been proved in the former book; especially when 
these things are neither necessary in themselves, nor do 
necessarily induce to a more full understanding of that 
which is the main business of those scriptures. But now 
the people might better conceive the meaning of the Holy 
Ghost, when he does conform himself unto their capacities 
and opinions, than when he talks exactly of things in such 
a proper phrase as is beyond their reach : and therefore it 



is said in Isaiah, I am the Lord which teache^ thee utilia^ 
profitable things : where the Gloss has it, non subtilia^ not 
such curiosities of nature as are not easily apprehended. 

2. It is not only besides that which is the chief purpose 
of those places, but it might happen also to be somewhat 
opposite unto it. For men being naturally unapt to believe 
any thing that seems contrary to their senses, might upon 
this begin to question the authority of that book which af- 
firmed it, or at least to retch scripture some wrong way, to 
force it to some other sense, which might be more agree- 
able to their own false imagination. Tertullian* tells us 
of some heretics, who when they were plainly confuted 
out of any scripture, would presently accuse those texts or 
books to be fallible, and of no authority ; and rather yield 
scripture to be erroneous, than forego those tenets for which 
they thought there was so good reason. So likewise might 
it have been in these points which seem to bear in them so 
much contradiction to the senses and common opinion : 
and therefore it is excellent advice set down by St. Austinf* 
2tAod nihil credere de re obscurd temere debemust ne/ort^ 
qu/)d posted Veritas pate/eceritf quamvis libris Sanctis sive 
testamentiveteriSi sioe novi^ nulla mode esse possit adversum^ 
tamen propter amarem nostri erroris oderimus: that we 
should not hastily settle our opinions concerning any ob- 
scure matter, lest afterwards, the truth being discovered,, 
(which, however it may seem, cannot be repugnant to any 
thing in scripture) we should hate that, out of love to the 
error that we have before entertained* A little rcwding 
may inform us how those texts have been abused to strange 
and unmeant ^legories, which have mentioned any natural 
truth in such a manner as was not agreeable to men's con- 
ceits. And besides, if the Holy Ghost had propounded unta 
us any secrets in philosophy, we should have been apt to 
be so busied about them, as to neglect other matters of 
greater importance. And therefore St. Austin^ proposing 
the question, what should be the reason, why the scripture 

* PneKopt. c. 17. f In Gene*, ad Ik. 1. 2. in Gpe^ % Ibid. cap. Uc^ 


f ' 


does not clearly set down any thing concerning the naturet 
figure, magnitude and motion of the heavenly orbs ; he an-? 
swers it thus: the Holy Ghost being to deliver more neces^ 
sary truths, would not insert these, lest men, according to the 
pravity of their dispositions, should neglect the more 
weighty matters, and bestow their thoughts about the spe-r 
culative natural points, which were less needful. So that 
it might seem more convenient that the scripture should 
not meddle with the revealing of these unlikely secrets^ 
especially when it is to deliver unto us many other myste-f 
ries.ofgreater necessity, which seem to be directly opposite 
to our sense and reason. And therefore, I say, the Holy 
Ghost might purposely omit the treating of these philoso* 
phical secrets, tiij time and future discovery might with lei« 
sure settle them in the opinion of others: as he is pleased 
in other things of a higher kind, to apply himself unto the 
infirmity of our apprehensions, by being represented* as if 
he were a human nature, with the parts and passions of a 
man. So in these things like^e, that he might descend 
to our capacities, does he vouchsafe to conform his expres- 
sions unto the error and nqlstake of our judgments. 

But before we come to a further illustration, let us a little 
examine those particular scriptures which are commonly 
urged to prove the motion of the sun or heavens. These 
(as was said) might be distributed under these three heads. 

1. Those places which mention the rising or setting of 
the sun ; as that in the psalm*. The sun like a bridegroom 
Cometh out of his chamber^ and rejoiceth as a giant to run 
his race : his going forth is from the end of heaven^ and his 
circuit unto the end of it^ and there is nothing hid from the 
heat thereof. And that in Ecclesiastest, The sun ariseth^ 
and the suyi goeth down, &c. 

In which scriptures we may observe divers phrases that 
are evidently spoken in reference to the appearance of 
|;hiqg$, and the false opinion of the vulgar. And therefore 
4t i$ not altogether unlikely, that this, which they seem t^ 

* Psal. j^.5,6. t i;ccleu i. 5^ 


affirm concerning the motion of the heavens, should also 
be understood in the same sense. 

The sun like a bridegroom cometh out of his chamber; 
alluding perhaps unto the conceit of ignorant people : as if 
it took rest all the while it was absent from us, and came 
out of its chamber when it arose. 

And rejoiceth as a giant to run his race; because in the 
morning it appears bigger than at other times j and there- 
fore in reference to this appearance, may then be compared 
unto a giant. 

His going forth is from the end of heaven, and his dr^ 
cuit unto the ends of it. Alluding again unto the opinion 
of the vulgar: who not apprehending the roundness of the 
heavens, do conceive it to have two ends, one where the 
sun riseth, the other where it setteth. 

And there is nothing hid from the heat thereof; speak- 
ing still in reference to the common mistake, as if the sun 
were actually hot in itself; and as if the heat of the weather 
were not generated by reflection, but did inunediately pro- 
ceed from the body of the sun. 

So likewise, for that in Ecckwstes, where it is said, tht 

sun risethy and the sun goeih dewn^ &c. which phrases 
being properly understood, do import that he is sometimes, 
in a higher place than at others : whereas, in a circumfe- 
rence, there is no place higher or lower, each part being at 
the same distance from the centre, which is the bottom. 
But now understand the phrase In reference to the sun's 
appearance, and then we grant that he does seem some- 
times to rise, and sometimes to go down, because in refe- 
rence to the horizon, (which common people apprehend to 
be the bottom, and in the utmost bounds of it to join witK 
the heavens,) the sun does appear in the morning to rise up 
from it, and in the evening to go down unto it. Now, I say, 
beicause the Holy Ghost, in the manner of these expressions, 
does so plainly allude unto vulgar errors, and the false ap- 
pearance of things; therefore it is not without probability, 
that he should be interpreted in the same sense, when he 
f C?ni3 to imply a motion in the sun or heavens. 




2. The second place was that relation in Joshua ; where 
it is mentioned as a miracle, that the sun did stand still. 
And Joshua said*, Sun^ stand thou still upon Gibeon, and 
thou moon in the valley of Ajalon, So the sun stood still 
in the midst of heaven^ and hasted not to go down about a 
whole day. And there was no day like that^ before it^ or 
after jt. In which place likewise th^re are divers phrases 
wherein the Holy Ghost does not express things according 
to their true nature, and as they are in themselves ; but ac- 
cording to their appearances, and as they are conceived in 
common opinioti. As, 

1. When he says, Sun^ stand thou still upon Gibeon^ or 
aver Gibeon, Now the whole earth being so little in com- 
parison to the body of the sun, and but as a point, in re- 
spect of that orb wherein the sun is supposed to move ; and 
Gibeon being, as it were, but a point of this globe of earth ; 
therefore the words cannot be understood properly, but 
according to appearance. It is probable that Joshua was 
then at Azecha, a little east from Gibeon, and the sun be- 
ing somewhat beyond the meridian, did seem unto him as 
he was in that place, to be over against Gibeon ; and in re- 
ference to this appearance, and vulgar conceit, does he 
command it to stand still upon thatplacef. 

2. And so secondly for that other expression; and thou 
moon in the valley of Ajalon, This planet was now a 
little east from the sun, it being about three or four days 
old (as commentators! guess.) Ajalon was three miles 
from Gibeon eastward, and Joshua commanded the moon. 
to stand still there ; because unto him it did then seem to 
be over against that valley ; whereas^ it is certain, if he had 
been there himself, it would still have seemed to be as 
much distant from him. Just as men commonly speak in. 
shewing another the stars: we point to a star over such a 
chimney, or such a tree, because to us it appears so; 

* Jos. X. 12, 14. Gaiilaeus maintains the literal sense of this place, 
towards the end of that treatise, which he calls, Nov. Antiq. pat. doctrina. 
t Tostat. in locum> quaest. 1^, 17. Anus Montanusin locum. 
{ Tostat. ib. quaest. 18. Serrarius in Josh. 10. quaest. 21 ,22. 


whereas the star in itself is not sensibly mo^e over them, 
than it is oyer us. So that in this phrase likewise the Holy 
Ghost doth conform himself unto the appearance of things, 
^nd our grosser conceit. 

3. And the sun stood still in the midst of heaven. Now 
to speak properly, and as the thing is in itself, heaven has 
no midst but the centre ; and therefore this also must be 
interpreted in reference to the opinion of the vulgar ; and 
by the midst of heaven, we are to understand such a place . 
as was not very near to either of the ends, the east or west, 

4. And there was no day like that^ before ity or after it : 
which words are not to be understood absolutely, for there 
are always longer days under the poles ; but in respect to 
the opinion of the vulgar; that is, there was never any 
day so long which these ignorant people knew of. 

3. As for this last place concerning the sun's returning 
ten degrees in the dial of Ahaz* : I think it may probably 
be affirmed, that it is to be understood only concerning the 
shadow : which though it do necessarily happen in all hori- 
zontal dials, for any latitude betwixt the tropics : and so 
consequently in all declining dials, the elevation of whose 
pole is less than the sun's greatest declination ; as Clavius 
de Horol. cap. 21. observes: yet the circumstances of this 
relation in scripture, make' the event to differ from that 
other which is common and natural : which against its na- 
ture did seem to go backwards, when as the sun itself was 
not in the least manner altered from its usual course. Of 
this opinion were Abarbinel, Arius Montanus, Burgensis, 
Vatablas Sanctius, &c. 

The reasons for it may be these ; 

1. The miracle is proposed only concerning the shadow ; 
Wilt thou that the shadow shall ascend or return by itn de- 
grees ? there being not in the offer of this wonder, any the 
least mention made concerning the sun's going backwards. 

2. It is likely we should have had some intimation con- 
i;:erning the extraordinary length of the day, as it is in that 

* 2 iCings XX. 1 1 . Isa. xxxviiL 8. 



of Joshua; but in this relation, the chief matter that the 
story takes notice of, is the alteration of the shadow. 

3. Had it been by the supposed return of the sun's body, 
this had been a greater miracle than those which were per* 
formed upon more solemn occasions; it had been more 
wonderful than its seeming rest in Joshua's time ; than the 
supernatural eclipse at our Saviour's death, when the moon 
was in the full. And then it is not likely, that the Holy 
Ghost in relating of this miracle, should chiefly insist in ex- 
pressing how the shadow returned, and that only ia the dial 
of Ahaz. 

4. This sign did not appear in the sun itself; because in 
the 2 Chron. xxxii. 31. it is said, that the ambassadors of 
the king of Babylon did come unto Hezekiah, to enquire of 
the wonder that was done in the Lord ; and therefore it 
seems the miracle did not consist in any change of the 

5. If it had been in the sun, it would have been as well 
discerned in other parts of the world, as in the land of Judea. 
And then, 

1. What need the king of Babylon send thither to en* 
quire after it ? If you reply, because it was occasioned by 
Hezekiah's recovery; I answer, it is not likely that the 
heathens v/ould ever believe so great a miracle should be 
wrought merely for a sign of one man's recovery from a 
disease : but would rather be apt to think that it was done 
for some more remarkable purpose, and that by some of 
their own gods, unto whom they attributed a far greater 
power than unto any other. It is more probable, they 
might hear some flying rumour of a miracle that was seen 
in Judea: which because it happened only in Hezekiah's 
house and dial, and that too upon his recovery from a dan-^ 
gerous sickness, they might be more apt to believe that i^ 
was a sign of it. 

2. Why have we no mention made of it in the writings 
of the ancients? It is no way likely, that so great a miracle 
as this was (if it were in the sun) should have been passed 
over in silence ; especially, since it happened in those later 


times, when there were many heathen writers that flou- 
rished in the world; Hesiod, Archilochus, Symonides; 
and not loiig after. Homer, with divers others ; and yet 
none of them have the least mention of any such Jli'odigy. 
We haVe many relations of matters that were less observ- 
able, which were done about that time; the history of 
Numa Pompilius, Gyges; the fight betwixt the three bre- 
thren, with divers such stories. And it is scarce crediblcy . 
that this should have been omitted amongst the rest. 

Nay, we have (as many guess) some hints from profane 
antiquity, of the miracle wrought by Joshua. Unto which, 
it is thought the ancients did allude in the fable of Phaeton; 
when the sun was so irregular in his course, that he burnt' 
some part of the world. And questionless then, this which 
happened in later times, would not have been so wholly ^ 
forgotten. It is an argument urged by Origen*, that the 
eclipse at our Saviour's passion was not universal, because 
no profane author of those times mentions it. Which 
consequence js the very same with that which Is urged in 
this other case ; but by the way, his antecedent was false, 
since TertuUianf affirms, that it was recorded amongst the 
Roman annals. 

Now as for that story in Herodotus:]:, where after he had 
related the flight of Senacherib, he tells us, how the sun did 
four times in the space of 10340 years invert his course, and 
rise in the west; which would seem so unto other nations, 
if he had only returned, as many conclude, from this scrip- 
ture : as for this story, (I say) it cannot well be ui^ed as 
pertinent to the present business, because it seems to have 
reference unto times that never were. 

So that all these things being well considered, we shall 
find it more probable, that this miracle doth consist in th^ 
return of the shadow. , 

. If you object, that the scripture does expressly say, the 
sun itself returned ten degrees || ; I answer, it is a frequent 

* Tractat. 35. in Mat. f Apologet. c. 21. 

I Lib. 2. II Isa. xxxviii. 8. 




manner of speech in scripture, to put the cause for the e& 
feet; as that in Jonas^, where it is said, that the sun did 
beat upon the head of Jonas ^ that is, the beams of the sun. 
So that of the Psalmistf, the sun shall not smite thee by 
day, diat is, the heat which proceeds from the sun's refleC'^ 
lion. In the same sense may the phrase be understood in 
this place ; and the sun may be said to return back, becau^ 
the light, which is the effect of it, did seem to do so ; or 
rather, because the shadow, which is the effect of that, did 
, change its course. 

This later scripture then, will not at all make to the pre- 
sent purpose : as for those of the two former kinds, I have 
already answered, that they are spoken in reference to the 
appearance of things, and vulgar opinion. For the further 
illustration of which, I shall endeavour to confirm these two 

1. That the Holy Ghost in many other places of scrip- 
ture, does accommodate his expressions unto the error of 
our conceits: and does not speak of divers things as they 
are in themselves, but as they appear unto us. Therefore 
it is not unlikely, that these phrases also may be liable unto 
the same interpretation. 

2, That divers men have fallen into great absurdities, 
whilst they have looked for the grounds of philosophy 

^» from the words of scripture ; and therefore it may be dan- 
gerous in this point also, to adhere so closely unto the letter 
of the text. . 

* Jonah iv. 8. f Psalm cxxi, 6. 

. ^ 



That the Holy Ghosts in many places of scripture, does 
plainly conform his expressions unto the errors of our con* 
ceits; and does not speak of divers things as they are in 
themselves, but as they appear unto us. 

THERE is not any particular by which philosophy hath 
been moreendamaged, than the ignorant superstition 
of some meii: who in stating the controversies of it, do so 
closely adhere unto the mere words of scripture. 2uam 
plurima occurrunt in libris sacris ad naturam pertinentia, 
&c. They are the words of Vallesius* " There are sun- 
** dry things in holy writ concerning natui*al points, which 
*' most men think are not so to be understood, as if the 
*^ Holy Ghost did intend to unfold unto us any thing in 
that kind : but referring all to the salvation of our souls, 
does speak of other matters according to common opi« 
** nion." And a little after, Ego^ divina hac eloquia, &C4 
** I for my part am persuaded, that these divine treatisei 
** were not written by the holy and inspired penmen, for 
the interpretation of philosophy, because God left such 
things to be found out by men's labour and industry* 
But yet whatsoever is in them concerning nature is most 
true : as proceeding from the God of nature, from whom 
nothing could be hid." And questionless, all those 
things which the scripture does deliver concerning any na- 
tural point, cannot be but certain and infallible, being under-^ 
stood in that sense, wherein they were first intended ; but 
now that it does speak sometimes according to common 
opinion, rather than the true nature of the things them- 
selves, was intimated before ; wherefore (by the way) Fro- 
mondusf his triumph upon the latter part of this quotation, 
is but vain, and to no purpose. It is a good rule set down 

* Prooem. ad Phil, sacram. t Vest, tract. 3. c. Z, 




160 t'rtAT th£ earth may 6t A MAMKYt 

by a learned commentator*, to be observed in the int^f*- 
pretation of scripture: scriptura sacra sape nan tarn ad 
veritatem ipsam, quam ad h&minum opinionem^ sermonent 
accommodat; that it does many times accommodite its ex- 
pressions, not so much to the truth itsdf, as to men's opi-^ 
nions. And in tliis sense is that speech of Gregory Con- 
cerning images and pictures, attributed by Calvin f unto the 
history of the creation t viz. librum esse ideotarum^ that it is 
a book for the simpler and ignorant people. For it being 
written to infotm them, as well as others, it is requisite that 
it should use the most plain and easy expressions. To thisr 
purpose likewise is that of Mersennus Xj mille sunt scriptura 
hca &c. *♦ There are very many places of scripture, which 
** are not to be interpreted according to the letter ; and 
<^ that for this reason, because God would apply himself 
'* unto our capacity and sense || :" presertim in iis^ fiue ad 
res naiuraleSf oculisque subjectas pertinent ; . more especially 
in those things which concern nature, and are subject to 
our eyes. And therefore in the very same place, though 
he be eager enough against Copernicus, yet he concludes, 
that opinion not to be a heresy ^ because (saith he) those 
scriptures which seem to oppose it, are not so evident, but 
tliat they may be capable of another interpretation : inti-*- 
mating, that it was not unlikely they should be understood 
in reference to outward appearance and common opinion ; 
and that this manner of speech is frequently used in many 
other places of scripture^ may be easily manifest from these 
following examples. 

Thus though the moon may be proved by infallible ob-» 
servations, to be less than any of the visible stars ; y6t be- 
cause of its appearanccy and vulgar opinion, therefore doth 
the scripture in comparison to them, call it. one of the great 
i^hts. Of which place, saith Calvin §, Moses popular Her 
scripsity nos potiiis respexit quam sydera, Moses did not 

* Sanctius in Isa. xm» 5, Item in Zachar. 1. 9. n. 45. 

\ Comment, in Gen. c. i. | In Gen. cap. i. ver. 10. art. 6v 

II Vid. Hiero. in Jer. 28. Aquinas in Job xxvi. 7. 

§ Gen. i. IG. Fsal. cxxxvi. 7. 




SO much regard the nature of the thing, as our capacity; 
and therefore uses a popular phrase : so as ordinary people 
without the help of artis and learning, might easily under- 
istand hina ; arid in another plabe, jton fmt spiritvi^ sancti 
concilium ^strologiam docere*: ** It was not the purpose 
of the Holy Ghost to teach us astronomy: but being tp 
propound a doctrine that concerns the most rude and 
simple people, he does (both by Moses and the prophets) 
** conform himself unto their phrases and conceits: lest 
*' any should think to excuse his own ignorance with the 
** pretence of difficulty: as men commonly do in those 
things which are deUvered after a learned and sublime 
manner*" Thus Zanchy f likewise, Moses majorem ra^ 
iionem habmt nostri humanique judidi, &c. " Vif hen Moses 
** calls the moon a great light, he had a more especial refe- 
" rcnce to men's opinioiiis of it, than to the truth of the 
" thing itself; . because he was to deal with sucli, who do 
** usually judge rather By their sense than by their reason?' 
Nor will that distinction of Fromondus and others avoid 
this interpretation, when he tells iis oiF magnum materiale, 
which refers to the bulk and quantity of the body; and 
magnvm fcrmale^ which imports the greatness of its light. 
For we grant, that it is really unto us jx greater light than 
any of the stars, or than all of them together: yet there is 
not one of them, but is in itself a bigger light than this: 
and therefore when we say this speech is to be understood 
according to its appearance, we do not oppose this to rca- 
lity : but it is im|>lied, that this reality is not absolute, and 
in the nature of the thing itself; but only relative, and in 
reference, to us, I may say a candle is a bigger light than a 
star, or the moon, because it is really so to me. However 
any one will think this to be spoken^ only in relation to its 
appearance, and not to be understood as if the thing were 
so in itself. But (by the way) it does concern Fromondus J 
to maintain tlie scripture's authority, in revealing of natural 

* Comment, ^in Psal. cxxxvi. f De Open Dei. par. !?. 1. 6. c. L 

% De Meteor. 1. 4. c. 2. art. 5. 

VOL. \, Jfi, 



secrets; because, from thence it is that he fetches the chief 
argument for that strange astertion of his, concerning the 
heaviness of the wind ; where Job says*^ that Grod makes 
the weight for the wind. Thus likewise, because the com- 
mon people usually think the rain to proceed from some 
waters in the expansum, therefore doth Moses in reference 
to this erroneous conceit, tell us of waters above the firma- 
ment, and the windows of heaven : of which saith Calvin t> 
nimis servilitei' litera s^ astringunty &c. " Such men too 
" servilely tie themselves unto the letter of the text, who 
" hence conclude, that thiere is a sea in the heavens; when 
" as we know that Moses and the prophets, to accommo- 
" date themselves unto the capacity of ruder people, da 
** use a vulgar expression ; and therefore it would be a 
preposterous course, to reduce their phrases unto the 
exact rules of philosophy." Let me add, that from this 
mistake, it is likely did arise that groundless observation of 
the ancient Jews, who would not admit any to read the be« 
ginning of Genesis, till he was arrived t© thirty years of age. 
The true reason of which was tliis : not because that book 
was harder than any other, but because Moses conforming 
his expression to vulgar conceits, and they examining of 
them by more ekact rules of philosophy, were fain to force 
upon them many strange allegories, and unnatural myste- 

Thus alsa, because for the most part we conceive the 
stars to be innumerable, therefore doth the Holy Ghost 
often speak of them in reference to this opinion. So Jere- 
my J, as the host of heaven cannot be numbered, neither 
the sand of the sea measured, so will I multiply the seed of 
David. So likewise, when God would comfort Abraham 
with the promise of a numberless posterity, he bids him 
look up to heaven, and tells him, that his seed should be 
like those stars for number || ; which, saith Ciavius§, intclT. 
ligendum est secundum communem sententiavi vulgi, exisH- 

* Job xxviii. 25. f Comment, in Ps. cxlviii. 4. $ Jer. xxxv. 22. 
II Gen. XV. 5. § In 1 cap. Sphaers. 


mantis infinitam esse multitudinem stellarum^ dum easnocte 
Serena confuse intuetur, is to be understood according to 
the common opinion of the vulgar, who think the stars to 
be of an infinite multitude, whilst they behold them all (as 
they seem confused) in a clear night. And though many 
/ of our divines do commonly interpret this speech to be a 
hyperbole ; yet being well considered, ^e shall find that 
Abraham's posterity, in some few generations, were far 
more than there are visible stars in the firmament ; and of 
such only does God speak, because he bids Abraham look 
up to the heavens. 

Now all these, even unto six differences of magnitude, are 
reckoned to be but 1022. True indeed, at the first viewing 
of the heavens, it may seem an incredible thing that tliey 
should be of no greater a number; but the reason of this 
is, because tliey appear scattered and confused, so that the 
eye cannot place them in any such order, as to reckon them 
up, or take any distinct survey of them. Now it is a known 
truth, qujod fortius operatur pluralitas partiumy ubi ordo 
abest ; nam inducit similitudinem iiifiniti^ et impedit com" 
prehensionem * ; that a plurality of parts without order, has 
a more strong operation, because it has ^ kind of seeming 
infinity, and so hinders comprehension. And then besides, 
there are more appearances of stars many times, than there 
are bodies of them : for the eye, by reason of its weakness 
and disability to discern any thing at so great a distance ; as 
also, because of those beams which proceed from such re- 
mote bodies in a twinkling and wavering manner, and so 
mix and confound themselves at their entrance into that 
organ; it must needs receive imore representations than 
there are true bodies. But now, if a man do but leisurely 
and distinctly compare the stars of the heaven with those 
of this number that are noted in a celestial globe, he shall 
scarce find any in the sky which are not marked ffith the 
globe; nay, he may observe many in the globe, which he 
can scarce at ali^^iscern in the heavens. - 

* Sir Fr. Bac. Table of Coloun, No. 5. 

M 2 



Now this number of the stars is commonly distributed 
into 48 constellations; in each of which, though we should 
suppose ten thousand stars, (which can scarce be conceived) 
yet would not all this number equal that of the children of 
Israel Nay, it is the assertion of Clavius *, that Abraham's 
posterity in some few generations were far more than there 
could be stars in the firmament, though they stuck so close 
that they touched one another. And he proves it thus: a 
great circle in the firmament does contain the diameter of 
a star of the first magnitude 14960 times. In the diameter 
of the firmament, there are contained 4760 diameters of 
such a star : now if we multiply this circumference by this 
diameter, the product will be 71209600, which is the full 
number of stars, that the eighth sphere (according to Pto- 
lemy's grounds) would contain, if they stood so close that 
they touched one another. 

The children oi Israel were reckoned at their going out 
of Egypt 603550 1, of such as were one and twenty years 
old and upwards, and were able to go to war; besides chil- 
dren, and women, and youths, and old men, and the Le- 
vites; which in probability, did always treble the other 
number. Now if they were sp many at one time, we may 
well conceive that in all those several generations, both be* 
fore and since, the number was much augmented ; and long 
before this time, did far exceed this supposed multitude of 
the stars. From all which, we may infer, that the scripture 
expressions in this kind, are to be understood according to 
appearance and common opinion. 

Another place usually cited for the same purpose, to 
shew that the Holy Ghost does not speak exactly concern- 
ing natural secrets, is that in the Kings and Chronicles X^ 
which relates unto us the measure of Solomon's brazen sea, 
whose diameter was ten cubits, and its circumference thirty ; 
wherdlis to speak geometrically, the more exact proportion 
betwixt the diameter and tlie circumference, is not as ten 
to thirty, but rather as seven to.twenty-two. 

* In prim. ca. Sphaerae. f Num. i. 46. * 

X 1 King, vii, 23. 2 Chr. iv. 2 


But against this it is objected ^ by our adversaries, 

1. This sea was not perfectly round, but rather inclining 
to a semicircular forrti, as Josephus* affirms. 

I reply : if it were so, yet this is so much /rom helping 
the matter, that it makes it much worse j for then the dis- 
proportion will be far greater. 

But secondly, scripture, which is to be believed before 
Josephus, does tell us in express terms, that it was round 
all about, 1 Kings vii. 23. 

2. The proportion of the diameter to the circumference, 
is not exactly the same as seven to two and twenty, but 
rather less\ I answer, though it be, yet it is nearer unto 
that, than any other number. 

3. The scripture does but, according to its usual custom, 
suppress the less number, and mention only that which is 
bigger and more full*. So in some places% Abraham's poste- 
rity is said to remain in the land of Egypt for four hundred 
years; when as notwithstanding, other scriptures tell us% 
that they tarried there thirty years longer. Thus likewise 
in one place \ the number of Jacob's house who came 
into Egypt, is reckoned to be seventy ; whereas else- 
where ® they are said to be seventy-five. 

I answer: all this is so far from destroying the force of 
the present argument, that it does rather, confirm it, and 
more clearly evidence unto us, that the scripture does not 
only, not speak exactly in these subtle and more secret 
points of philosophy; but also, in the ordinary obvious 
numbering of things, does conform unto common custom, 
and often use the round number for the whole. 

4. It is yet objected by another adversary ^ that we 
have no reason to expect the Holy Ghost should reve&l 
unto us this secret in nature ; becauie neither Archimedes, 
nor any other, had then found it out. I reply, and why 
then should we think that the scripture must needs jpfonn 

* "Ross. 1. 1. sect. 1. c. 8, * Antiq. Jud. lib. 8. cap. 2. 

^ Ross. ibid. * Ibid. ^ Gen. xv. 15. Acts, vii. 5* 

« Exod. xii. 41. Gal iii. 17. '^ Gen. xlvi. 27. 

•Acts. vii. 4. * Fromond. Yesta 4. tract. 3< c. ?<, 



US of the earth's motion ; when as neither Pythagoras, nor 
Copfernicus, nor any else, had then discovered it ? 

5. In taking the compass of this vessel, they measured 
somewhat below the brim, where it was nanower than at 
the top, and so the circumference there might be exactly 
but thirty cubits : whereof its diameter was ten*. 

I answer : it is evident this is a mere shift, there being 
not the least ground for it in the text. And then besides, 
why might not we affirm, that the diameter w^s measure4 
from that place, as well as the circumference ? since it is 
very probable that the Holy Ghost did speak ad idenh and 
not tell us the breadth of one place, and the compass of 
another. So that all our adversaries evasions cannot well 
avoid the force of the argument that is taken from this 

Again, common people usually conceive the earth to be 
such a plain, as in its utmost parts is terminated by the 
heavens, so that if a man were in the farthermost coasts of 
it, he might touch the sky. And hence also, they thinly 
that the reason why some countries are hotter than others,^ 
is, because they lie nearer unto the sun. Nay, Strabo tells 
us of some philosophers too, who in this point have grossly 
erred ; affirming, that there was a place towards the utr 
most coasts of Lusitania, where a man might hear th€ 
noise that the sun made, as he quenched his beams in his. 
descent to the ocean ; which, though it be an absurd mis- 
take, yet we may note, that the Holy Ghost in the ex- 
pression of these tilings, is pleased to conform himself unto 
such kind of vulgar and false conceits ; and therefore often 
speaks of the ends of heaven t> and the ends of the 
world J. In this sense, they that come from any far country 
are said to come from the end of heaven, Isaiah xiii. 5. 
And in another place, from the side of the heavens, Deut. 
iv. 32. All which phrases do plainly allude unto the error 
of vulgar capacities (saith Sanctius§) which hereby is better 
instructed, than it woul^ be by more proper expressions. 

* Fromond. Vesta. 4, tract. 3. c. 2. f Ps.xix. 6. Mat. xxhr. 31. 
X Vs. xxii. xxviL &c. § Comment, in Isa.xiii. 5. 



Thus likewise, because ignorant people cjannot well ap- 
prehend how so great a weight as the sea and land should 
hang alone in the open air, without being founded upon 
some basis to uphold it ; therefore in this respect also does 
scripture apply itself unto their conceits, where it often 
mentions the foundations of the earth*. Which phrase, 
in the letter of it, does manifestly allude unto men's ima- 
ginations in this kind. 

Thus also the common people usually Conceive the 
earth to be upon the water ; because, when they have tra- 
velled any way as far as they can, they are at length 
stopped by the sea. Therefore doth scripture in reference 
to this, afiirmt, that God stretched the earth upon the wa- 
ters, founded the earth upon the seas, and established it 
upon the floods. Of which places saith Calvin, Non dispu- 
tat philoscphke David, de ten^te situ ; sed popularitdr lo' 
jguevSf ad rudium captum s^ accommodat : It was not Da- 
vid's intent to speak philosophically concerning the earth's 
situation ; but rather by using a popular phrase, to accom- 
modate liis speech unto the capacities of the ruder people. 

In this sense likewise, are we to understand all those 
places of scripture, wherein the coasts of heaven are de- 
nominated from the relations of before, behind, the right 
hand, or the left. Which do not imply, saith Scaliger J, 
any absolute difference in such places, but are spoken 
merely in reference to men's estimations, and the common 
opinion of those people for whom tlie scriptures were first 
penned. Thus because it was the opinion of the Jewish 
rabbles, that man was created with his face to the east, 
therefore the Hebrew word QTp signifiess^w/^, or the 
east ; iin** posty or the west ; |»Q> dextrui or the south ; 
h^Oii sinistra^ or the north. You may see all of them 
put together in that place of Job § : Behold I go forward, 
and he is not^ there, and backward, but I cannot perceive 
him ; on the left hand, where he doth work, but I cannot 

* Job. xxxviii. 4. Ps. cii. 25. + Ps. cxxxvi. 6. xxiv. 2. 

} Subtil. Exercit. 67* § Job xxiii. 8. 9. 


|)chpld him. He hideth himself on the right hand, that X 
cannot see him. Which expressions are by some inter- 
preters referred unto the four coasts of heaven, according 
to the common use of those original words. From hence 
it is, that many of the ancients have concluded hell to be 
in the north, which is signified by the left hand : untp 
which side our Saviour tells us, that the goats shall be di- 
vided *. Which opinion likewige seems to be favoured 
by that plac^ in Job t> where it is said, hell is naked be- 
fore God, and desti^uction hath no covering. And pre- 
sently is added, he stretched out the north over the empty 

Upon these grounds, St. Jerom interprets that speech of 
the preacher, Eccles. xi. 3. If the tree falls towards the 
south, or towards the north, in the place where the tree 
falleth, there shall it be. Concerning those who shall go 
cither to heaven or hell. And in this sensjs also do some 
* expound that of Zachary, xiv. 4, where it is said, that 
the Mount of Qlives shall cleave in the midst ; half of it 
shall remove towards the north, and half of it towards the 
south. By which is intimated, that amongst those Gen- 
tiles who shall take upon them the profession of Christ, 
there are two sorts ; some that go to the north, that js, to 
hell, and others to the south, that is to heaven. And 
therefore it is (say they) that God so often threatens evil 
out of the north ; and upon this ground it is (saith Besol- 
dus§) that there is no religion that worships that way. We 
read of the Mahometans, that they adore towards the 
south ; the Jews towards the west ; Christiaxis towards the 
east, but none to the north. 

But of this only by the way. However, certain it ^ 
that the Holy Ghost does frequently in scripture set forth 
the several coasts of heaven, by those relative terms of 
right hand and left hand, &c. which expressions do not de- 
note any real intrinsical difference betwixt those places. 

# Mat. XXV. 33. f Job xxxvi. 6, 7. 

t Jer. i. 14^ 15. Item cap. iv. 6. vi. 1. § L. de nat. pop. €• 4< 


^ut are rather fitted for the apprehension of those men, 
from whose fancy it is that they have such denominations. 
And though Aristotle * concludes these several positions to 
be natural unto the heavens ; yet his authority in this parr 
ticular is not available, because he delivers it upon a wrong 
ground, supposing the orbs to be living creatures, and as- 
sisted with intelligences. We may observe, that the 
meaning of these coasts by the relations of right hand and 
left hand, &c. is so far from having any ground in the na-. 
ture of those several places, ' that these relations are not 
only variously applied unto them by divers religions (as 
was said before,) but also by divers arts and professions. 
Thus because astronomers make their observations to- 
ward the south parts of the horizon, where there be most 
stars that rise an^ set^ therefore do they account the west 
to be at their right hand, and tlie ea$t at their left The 
cosmographers in taking the latitude oJF places^ and reckon* 
ing their several climates niust Iqok ^owa|fds the north 
pole ; and therefore in their phrase, ^y the right hand is 
meant the east , and by the left hand, the west: and thus 
(saith Plutarch t) a e we to understand these expressions 
in Pythagoras, Plato, Aristotle. The poets count th^ 
south to be towards the left, and the north the right hand, 
Thus Lucan | speaking of the Ai^abians coming unto Thes*? 
• galy says ; 

Ignotum whis Arabes venistis in orbem: 
Umbras mirati nemorum^ non ire sinisiras. 

The augurs taking their observations at the east, count 
the south to be at their right hand, and the north their 
left: so that these denominations have not any real ground 
in the nature of the things, but are imposed upon them by 
the scripture phrase, in reference to the account and opi« 
nion of the Jews. 

Thus also, because heretofore it was generally received, 
that the heart was the principal seat of the faculties§ ; there*' 

* De CobL I. 2. c. 2. t l^e plac. Philosoph. 1. 2, c. 10. 

t lib. 3. § D. Hakwel, Apol. 1. 1. c. 1. sect. 2* 


fore doth the spirit apply himself unto this common te* 
nent; and In many places, attributes wisdom and under- 
standing to the heart *. Whereas, to speak properly, the 
reason and discursive faculties have their principal resi- 
dence in the head (saith Galen and Hippocrates, together 
with the generality of our later physicians,) because they 
are hindered in their operations by the distempers of that 
part, and recovered by medicines applied unto it. 

So likewise are we to understand those other places, Isa. 
lix. 5. where some translations read it, ova aspidum rupc" 
runtf they have broken the vipers eggs ; alluding to that 
common but fabulous story of the vipei^ who breaks his 
passage through the bowels of the female. So Psal. Iviii. 
4^ 5. where the prophet speaks of the deaf adder, that stops 
her ears against the voice of the charmer. Both which re- 
lations (if we may believe many naturalists) are as false as 
they are common ; and yet because they were entertained 
with the general opinion of those days, therefore doth the 
Holy Ghost vouchsafe to allude unto them in holy writ. It 
is a plain mistake of Fromondus f, when in answer to these 
places, he is fain to say, that they are used proverbially 
only, and do not positively conclude any thing. For when 
David writes these words, that they are like the deaf adder 
which stoppeth her ears, &c. this affirmation is manifestly 
implied, that the deaf adder does stop her ears against the 
voice of the charmer : which because it is not true in the 
letter of it, (as was said before) therefore it is very probable 
that it should be interpreted in the same sense wherein here 
it is cited. 

In reference to thb also, we are to conceive of those 
other expressions; Cold cometh out of the north; Job 
xxxvii. 9. and again, Fair weather comes out of the north, 
ver. 22. So ver. 11. Thy garments are quieted when he 
warmeth the earth by the south wind. And Prov. xxv. 23. 
The north wind driveth away rain. Which phrases do not 

* Prdv. viij. 5. z. 8. Eccles. i. 13, 16, 17. and viii. 5. 
f Vesta Trac. 3. cap. 3. 


contain in them any absolute general truth, but can so far 
only be verified, as they referred to several climates: and 
though unto us who live on this side of the line, the north 
wind be coldest and driest; and on the contrary, the south 
wind moist and warm, by reason that in one of these places 
there is a stronger heat of the sun to exhale moist vapours, 
than in the other ; yet it is clean otherwise with the inha-< 
bitants beyond the other tropic ; for there the north wind is 
the hottest, and moist, and the south the coldest, and dry: 
so that with them, these scriptures cannot properly be af- 
firmed, that cold or that fair weather cometh out of the 
north; bat rather on the contrary. All which notwith- 
standing, does not in the least manner derogate from the 
truth of these speeches, or the omnisciency of the speaker, 
but do rather shew the wisdom and goodness of the blessed 
spirit, in vouchsafing thus to conform his language unto the 
capacity of those people unto whom these speeches were 
first directed : in the same sense are we to understand all 
those places where the lights of heaven are said to be dark- 
ened, and the constellations not to give their light, Isa. xiii. 
10 *. Not as if they were absolutely in themselves deprived 
of their light, and did not shine at all ; but because of their 
appearance to us ; and therefore in another place answer- 
able to these, God says, he will cover the heavens, and so 
make the stars thereof dark, Ezek. xxxvii. 2. Which ar- 
gues, that they themselves were not deprived of this light 
(as those other speeches seem to imply) but we. 

In reference to this likewise are we to conceive of those 
other, expressions, that the moon shall blush, and the sun be 
ashamed, Isa. xxiv. 23. That they shall be turned into 
blood, Matth. xxiv. 29. Not that these things shall be so in 
themselves (saith St. Jeromf,) but because tliey shall appear 
so unto us. Thus also Mark xiii. 25. The stars shall (M. 
from heaven ; that is, they shall be so wholly covered from 
our sight, as if they were quite fallen from their wonted 
places. rOr if this be understood of tlieir real fall, as it 

* Joel ii. 31. item iii» 15. f Comment, in JoeJ, c. 3. 



.may seem probable by that place in the Revelations, vi. 1 5. 
And the stars of heaven fell uato the earth, even as a fig* 
tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken by a 
mighty wind : then is it to be interpreted not of them that 
are truly stars, but them that appear so : alluding unto the 
opinion of the unskilful vulgar (saith Sanctius^} that think 
the meteors to be stars. And Mersennus^ speaking of 
the same scripture, says, hoc de verts stellis minime volunt 
inierpretes intelligu sed de cometis et aliis ignitis ?neteoris: 
interpreters do by no means understand this of true stars, 
but of the comets and. other fiery meteors. Though the 
&lling of these be a natural event, yet may it be accounted 
a strange prodigy, as well as an earthquake, and the dark* 
ening of the sun and moon, which are mentioned in the 
verse before. 

In reference to this, doth the scripture speak of some 
common natural effects, as if their true causes were altoge-* 
ther inscrutable, and not to be found out, because they were 
generally so esteemed by the vulgar. Thus of the wind it 
is said%' that none know whence it cometh, nor whither it 
goeth. In another place ^ God is said to bring it out of his 
treasures; and elsewhere* it is called the breath of iGrod^; 
and so likewise of the thunder: concerning which, Joh'' 
proposes this question, the thunder of his power who cslm 
understand ? and therefore too David^ does so oflen stile 
it, the voice of God. All which places seem to imply, that 
the cause of these things was not to be discovered, which 
yet later philosophers pretend to know : so that according 
to their construction, these phrases are to be understood ia 
relation unto their ignorance unto whom these speeches 
were immediately directed^ 

For tills reason is it ; why, though there be in nature 
many other causes of springs and rivers than the sea, yet 
Solomon (who was a great philosopher, and perhaps not 

^ Commen. in Isa. c. xiii. 5. 

• Commelit. in Gen. c. iii. v. 10. ar. 6. ^ Jph. iii. 8. 

* Jer. X. 1 3. item li. 1 6. ^ Ot^y ^ Job xxxvii. 1 0. 
''Jo. xxvi. 14. •Pial.ii.9.iii.4, &c, » Eccle5,i. 7. 


ignorant of theni) does menfion only this ; because most 
obvious, and easily apprehended by the vulgar *. Unto all 
these scriptures, I might add that in Amos v. 8. which 
speaks of the constellation coriimonly called the seven stars ; 
whereas later discoveries have found that there are but six 
of them discernible to the bare eye, as appears by Gali- 
laeus his glass t : the seveilth of them being but a deceit of 
the eye, arising from their too great nearness j and if a man 
try in a clear night to number them distinctly, he shall find 
that there will sometimes appear but six, and sometimes 

True indeed, the original word of this scripture HDO, does 
not necessarily imply any such number in its isignifica^iony 
but yet our English translation renders it the seven stars; 
and if it had been expressly so in the original too, it might 
have spoken true enough, because they are usually esteemed 
of that number. And when it had been said, he made the 
seven stars and Orion, we might have easily understood the 
words thus : he made those constellations that are common- 
ly known unto us under such names. 

From all these scriptures it is clearly manifest, that it is a 
frequent custom for the Holy Ghost to speak of nafural 
things, rather according to their appearance and common 
opinion, than the truth itself. Now it is very plain, and 
our enemies themselves do grant it, that if the world had 
been framed according to the system of Copernicus t,yii/i^. 
rum esset ut vulgicSf de solis motu et terra statu proinde ui 
nunc loqueretur. The vulgar phrase would have been the 
same as now it is, when it speaks of the sun's motion, and 
the earth's standing still. 

Wherefore it is not improbable, that such kind of scrip- 
ture-expressions are to be understood only in relation to 
outward appearances, and vulgar opinion. . 

* Job ix. 9. itexn. xxxviii. 31. 

f Vide Fromond. Met. 1. 3. c. 1. art. 1. { Fromond. Ant. c. 6* 





That divers learned men have fallen into great aAsurdiikh 
whilst they have looked for the sects of philosophy/ from 
the words of scripture. 

rr has been an ancient and common opinion amongst the 
Jews, that the law of Moses did contain in It, not only 
those things which concern our religion and obedience, but 
every secret also that may possibly be -known in any art or 
science * ; so that there is not a demonstration in geonaetry^ 
or rule in arithmetic ; not a mystery in any trade, but it 
may be found out in the Pentateuch. Hence it was (say 
they) that Solomon had all his wisdom and policy : hence 
it was that he did fetch his knowledge concerning the na« 
ture of vegetables, from the cedar of Lebanon, to the hyssop 
that grows upon the wall. Nay from hence, they thought 
a man might learn the art of miracles, to remove a moun<% 
tain, or recover the dead. So strangely have the leameder* 
sort of that nation been befooled, since their own curse hath 
lighted upon them. 

Not much unlike this foblish superstition of theirs, is 
that custom of many artists amongst us ; who upon the in- 
vention of any new secret, will presently find out some ob- 
scure text or other to father it upon, as if the Holy Ghost 
must needs take notice of every particular which their par- 
tial fancies did over-value. 

Nor are they altogether guiltless of this fault, who look 
for any secrets of nature from the words of scripture; or 
will examine all its expressions by the exact rules of philo- 

Unto what strange absurdities this false Imagination of 
the learneder Jews hath exposed them, maybe manifest by 
a great multitude of examples. I will mention only some 
few of them. Hence it is that they prove the sliin-bone of 

* Schlckard. Bechin. Hapem. Disp. 5. Num. S. 


Og the gianf to be above three leagues long * ; or (which is a 
more modest relation) that Moses being fourteen cubits in 
stature, having a spear ten ells in length, and leaping up ten 
cubits, could touch this giant but on the ancle. All whicli 
ihey can confirm unto you by a cabalistical interpretation 
of this story, as it is set down in scripture. Hence it is that 
they tell us of all those strange beasts which shall be seen at ' 
the coming of the Messias f : as first, the ox, which Job 
calls Behemoth, that every day devours the grass oii a thou- 
sand mountains, as you may see it in the psalm t, where 
David mentions the cattle, or Ji^iOin:! upon a thousand hills. 
If you ask how this beast does to find pasture enough, they 
answer, that he remains constantly in one place, and where 
there is as much grass grows up in the night, as was eateif 
in the- day. 

They tell us also of a bird, which was of that quantity, 
that having upon a time cast an 6gg out of her nest, there 
were beaten down by the fall of it three hundred of the 
tallest cedars, and no less than threescore villages drowned. 
As also of a frog as big as a town capable of sixty houses; 
which frog, notwithstanding his greatness, was devoured by 
a serpent, and that serpent by a crow ; which crow, as she 
was fiying up to a tree, eclipsed the sun, and darkened 
the world ; by which you may guess what a pretty twig that 
tree was. If you would know the proper name of this bird, 
you may find it in Psal. L 11 . where it is called V3, or in our 
translation, the fowl of the mountains ||. It seems it was 
somewhat of kin to that other bird they tell us of, whose 
legs were so long, that they reached unto the bottom of 
that sea, where there had been an axe-head falling for seven 
years together, before it could come to the bottom. 

Many other relations there are, which contain such hor- 
rible absurdities, that a man cannot well conceive how they 
should proceed from reasonable creatures. And all this 
arising from that wrong principle of tlieirs, that scripture 

* Schickard. ib. Disp. 6. num. 2* + Buxtor. Synag. Juda. c 36. 

X Psal. 1. 10. II Vide Parap. Chald, 


did exactly contain in it all kind of truths; and that everf 
meaning was true, which by the letter of it^ or by cabalisti* 
cat iatcrpretcitions might be found out. 

Now as it hath been with them, so likewise hath it haj^ 
pcned in proportion unto others, who by a superstitious ad- 
hering unto the bare words of scripture, have exposed them- 
selves unto many strange errors. Thus St. Basil ^ holds^ 
that next to the sun, the moon is bigger than any of tbt 
stars, because Moses does call them only two great li^ts. 

Tlius others maintain, that there are waters properly so 
called, above the starry firmament, because of tixese vulgar 
expressions in scripture, which in their literal sense do 
mention them. Of this opinion were many of the ancients, 
Philo, Josephus, and since them the fathers Justin Martyr*, 
Theodoret^ Austin \ Ambi*ose% Basil^ and almost all the 
rest Since them sundry other learned men, as Beda, Stra- 
bo, Damascen, Tho. Aquinas, &c. If you ask for what 
purpose they were placed here, Justin Martyr teUs us, for 
these two ends : first, to cool the heat that might otherwise 
arise from the motion of the solid orbs; and hence it is, say 
they, that Saturn is colder than any of the other planets, 
because though he move faster, yet he is nearer to these 
waters. Secondly, to press and keep down the heavens, 
lest the frequency and violence of winds might break and 
scatter them asunder; which opinion, together with hodx 
its reasons, are now accounted absurd and ridiculous. 

St. Austin'' concludes the visible stars to be inhume'rable, 
because scripture phrases seem to imply as much. 

Tliat the heavens are not round, Was the opinion of 
Justin Martyr*, Ambrose % Chrysostom ^°, Theodoret*^, 
Theophilact'^^ doubted of by St. Austin", and divers others. 
Nay, St. Chrysostom was so confident of it, that he pro- 

' Enarrat. in Gen. ^Rcspons. ad Qiies. 93. Orthod. 

^ Que. 11. sup. Gen. * De Civ. Dei, lib. 11. cap. ult. 

5 Hcxam. 1. 2. c. 2. « Homil. 3. in Gen. *» Civ. Dei,l. 16. c. 23- 

• Quest. 93. * Ilcxam. 1. 1. c. t*. , 

^ Homil. 14. in Ep. ad Ikbr. " In c. 8. Hebr. 

^ In id. c» *^ In Gen. ad lit. l. I.e. 9. item. 1. 2. c. G. 



poses the question in a triumphant manner: Tin eitrtv a 
€<paipo£iS^ aqavov eiveu awo^>iuvoiJi.evoi ; Where are those men 
that can prove the heavens to have a spherical form ? The 
reason of which was this, because it is said In one scripture, 
that God stretched forth the heavens as a curtain, Psal. civ. 
2. and spreadeth them as a tent to dwell in, Isa. xl. 22. and~ 
so in that place of the epistle to the Hebrews, viii. 2. they 
are called, a tent or tabernacle : which because it is no( 
spherical, therefore they conclude also, that tlie heavens 
are not of that form ; whereas now, the contrary is as evi- 
dent as demonstration can make a thing. And therefore, 
St Jerom^ in his time, speaking of the same error, gives it 
this plain censure : est in ecclesia stultUoquitmiy si quis coe^ 
Ivm putetfornicis modo curoatum^ Esaiie quern nonintelligit 
sermone deceptus. It is foolish speaking in the church, If 
any through misapprehension of those words in Isaiah, shall 
affirm the heavens not to be round. 

That the seas not overflowing the land is a miracle, was 
the opinion of Basil*, Chrysostom^, Theodoret*, Ambrose*, 
NazianzenS and since them, Aquinas^ Luther^ Calvin, 
Marlorate, with sundry others: which they proved from 
these scripture expressions : that in Job xxxviii. 8, 11. who 
hath shut up the sea with doors, when it brake forth, as if 
it had issued out of the womb ; when I did break up for it 
my decreed place ; and set bars, and doors, and said, hi-i^ 
therto shalt thou come, and no further, and here shall the 
pride of the waves be staid. So likewise, Prov. viii. 29, 
God gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not 
pass his commandment. And Jerem. v. 22. I have placed 
the sand for a bound of the sea by a perpetual decree, that 
they cannot pass it ; and though the waves thereof toss 
themselves, yet can they not prevail; though they roar, yet 
can they not pass over, that they turn not again to cover 
the earth. In all which places, say they, it is implied, that 

^ lib. 3. Comment, in Galat. c. 5. ' Homil. 4. Hexam. 

' Comment, in Job. * In Psal. ciii. * Hexam. 1. 3 . c. 2, 3 • 

*Orat.34. '^ Aquinas^part 1. quest. 69. art, 1. 

* Comment, in PiaL xxiv. item in Paal. cXxxvi. G. 
▼OL. Z. N 


the water of itself, were it not mthheld from its own natu- 
ral inclination by a more special power of God, would over- 
flow the land. 

Others infer the same conclusion from that in Ecclesias* 
tes, where the rivers are said to come from the sea, which 
they could not do, unless that were higher. I answer : they 
should as well consider the latter part of that scripture, 
which says, that the rivers return to that place from whence 
they came, and then the force of this consequence will va- 
nish. To this purpose some urge that speech of our Savi- 
our, where he bids Simeon to launch forth into the deep* ; 
the Latin word is, in altum ; from whence they gather, that 
the sea is higher than the land. But this savours so much 
of monkish ignorance, that it deserves rather to be laughed 
at, than to be answered. 

But now if we consider the true properties of this ele- 
ment, according to the rules of philosophy, we shall find, 
that its not overflowing the land is so far from being a mira- 
cle, that it is a necessary consequence of its nature ; and it 
would rather be a miracle, if it should be otherwise, as it 
was in the general deluge. The reason is, because the wa- 
ter of itself must necessarily descend to the lowest place; 
which it cannot do, unless it be collected in a spherical 
form, as you may plainly discern in this figure. 

* Lttkev*4.Eiff«iM0c 

' ;. 


Where the sea at D, may seem to be higher than a 
mountain at B^ or C, because the rising of it in the midst, 
does so intercept our sight fiom either of those places, that 
we cannot look in a strait line, from the one to the other. 
So that it may seem to be no less than a miracle, by which 
the sea (being a heavy body) was withheld from flowing 
^own to those lower places of B, or C. But now, if you 
consider that the ascending of a body is its motion from the 
centre, and descent is its approaching unto it; you shall 
find, that for the sea to move from D, to B or C, is a mo- 
tion of ascent, which is contrary to its nature, because the 
mountains at B, or C, are farther off from the centre, than 
the sea at D ; the lines A B, and A C, being longer than the 
other A D. So that for the sea to keep always in its chan* 
nel, is but agreeable to its nature, as being a heavy body. 
But the meaning of those scriptures is, to set forth the power 
and wisdom of God ; who hath appointed these channels 
for it, and beset it with such strong banks to withstand the 
fury of its waves. Or if these men do so much rely in na- 
tural points, upon the bare words of scripture, they might 
easily be confuted from those other places, where God is 
said to have founded the earth upon the seas, and estab- 
lished it upon the floods. From the literal interpretation 
of which, many of the ancients have fallen into another er- 
ror ; affirming the water to be in the lower place ; and as a 
basis, whereon the weight of the earth was borne up. Of 
this opinion were Clemens Alexandrinus*, Athanasiusf, 
Hillary:):, £usebius||, and others. So that it seems, if a 
man should resolutely adhere to the bare words of the 
scripture, he might find contradiction in it; of which the 
natural meaning is altogether incapable. St. Jerom § tells 
us of some who would prover^stars to have understanding, 
from that place in Isaiah, xlv. 1 2. My hands have stretched 
out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded. 
Now (say they) none but intelligent creatures are capable 

* Recog. 8. ^ Orat. cont. Idolos. | InPsal. cxxxvi. 6. 

II In PiaL xxir. f Comment, in Isa. 1. 13. 

V 2 


. > 


of precqits ; mnd therefore the stars must needs have ra- 
tional souls. Oftliis opinion was Philo the Jew*: nay» 
many of the rabbies cOiu:lude, that they do every hour sing 
praises unto God with an audible real voice f ; because of 
that in Job xxxviii. 7. which speaks of the morning stars 
singing together. And Psal. xix. 3, 4. where it is said of 
the heavens, that there is no speech nor language where 
their voice is not heard, and their words are gone to the 
ends of the world. And whereas we translate that place 
in the tenth of Joshua, concerning the standing still of the 
heavens ; the original word, oi*t does properly signify si- 
lence, and according to their opinion, Joshua did only bid 
them hold their peace. From such grounds it is likely did 
Origen:): fetch his opinion, that the stars should be saved* 
I might set down many other the like instances, were it not 
for being already weary of raking into the errors of anti* 
quity, or uncovering the nakedness of our fore&thers. That 
excuse of Acosta || may justly serve to mitigate the mistakes 
of these ancient divines: facile ctrndmavdum est pairibuSf 
si cum cognoscendo colendoque creatori ioti vacareniy de 
creatura minus apte aliqua ex parte opinati sunt. Those 
good men were so wholly busied about the knowledge and 
worship of the creator, that they had not leisure enough 
for an exact search into the essence of the creatures. How- 
ever, these examples that have been already cited, may 
sufficiently manifest how frequently others have been de- 
ceived, in concluding the points of philosophy from the 
expressions of scripture. And therefore it is not certain, 
but that in the present case also, it may be insufficient for 
such a manner of arguing. 

* De plant. Noe. f Tostatusin Josh. c. 10. quest. 13, 14. 

X Tom. 1. in Johan. |i De nat. noviorbis, 1, I.e. 2« 




That the scinpture^ in its proper construction^ does not av^ 
where affirm the immobility of the earth. 

npHE same answer which was insisted on before, con- 
-*^ cernlng the conformity of scripture expressions to 
men*s capacity and common opinion, may well enough sa- 
tisfy all those other arguments, which seem thence to af- 
firm the earth's settledness and immobility ; since this is as 
well agreeable to outward appearance and vulgar apprehen- 
sion as the other. But now for more full satisfaction, I 
shall set down the particular places that are urged for it; 
iK4iich being thoroughly examined, we may plainly discern 
that none of them, in their proper meaning, will serve to 
infer any such condusion. 

One of these sayings is that of the preacher, Eccles. i, 4. 
One generation cometh, and another passeth, but the earth 
endureth for ever; where the original word is, HOVt and the 
vulgar, j/a^; from whence our adversaries* conclude that 
it is immoveable. 

I answer: the meaning of the word, as it is here applied, 
is permanent; or as we translate it, endureth. For it is 
not the purpose of this place to deny all kind of motion to 
the whole earth, but that of generation and corruption, to 
which other things in it are liable. And though Pineda 
and others keep a great deal of impertinent stir about this 
scripture, yet they grant this to be the natural meaning of 
it: which you may more clearly discern, if you consider 
the chief scope of this book ; wherein the preacher's intent 
is, to shew the extraordinary vanity of all earthly content- 
ments, ver. 2. the utter unprofitableness of all a man's la- 
bour, ver. 3. and this he illustrates by the shortness and un- 

♦ VaDesius Sacra Phil.c. 62^ Fuller, MisceU. 1. l.c, 15. Pineda 
Comment, in locum. 



certainty of his life, in which respect he is below many of 
his fellow creatures, as may be manifested from these four 

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 givcth 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 whirieth about continually, ver. 6. whereas our life pas- 
seth away as doth the wind, but returneth not again f. 

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 be- 
ginning, 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 stand- 
ing 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 
inmiobility 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 {• 

Or thus: one pilate goes, and another comes, but the 
ship remains still ; erf^o^ the ship does not stir. 

R. Moses II tells us, how that many of the Jews did from 
this place conclude, that Solomon thought the earth to be^ 

♦ Job xiv. 10, 12. . t Pwl. Ixxviii. 39. 

X Mr. Carpenter's Geog. 1. 1. c. 4. |) Perplex. L 2. c. 2d^ 



eternal, because he saith it abideth tzh\)fy 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 saide 
sense. As if he should say ; because some things appear 
otherwise than they are, therefore every thing is odierwise 
than it appears: or, because scripture speaks of some na* 
tural 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 viii. 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; thereforis 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 

Another proof like unto this is taken from St. Peter, 
Epist. 2. cap. iii. ver. 5. where he speaks of the earth stand- 
ing out of the water, and in the water, yv\ ^vstrmtrx, and 
therefore the earth is irrimoveable. 

I answer: it is evident that the word here is equivalent 
with fuit ; and the scope of the apostle is to shew, that God 
made all tlie 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 



^scich an argumeat 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; there- Ij 

fore those tilings are immoveable. j 

To such vain and idle consequences does the heat of op- 
position 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 be- 
ing 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 under- 
stood by a synechdoche, as being meant only of this habi- 
table world, the earth : 

I answer: first, this is only said, not proved: secondly, 
David but a little before seems to make a difierence 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 ex- 
pressly to the heavens ; and which is yet more, the same 
place does likewise mention this supposed settledness of the 
earth, Prov. iii. 19. The JLord by wisdom hath founded the 
earth; and by understanding hath he established the hea- 
, vens. So that these places can no more prove an immobi- 
lity 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 pos- 
sibly avoid the force of this place ; yet, first, it is but a 
groundless shift, because then that vCrse 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 

* J Chron. xvi. 30. Psal. xciii. I. item xfvi. 10, 



heavens. So that the heaven of the stars and planets shall 
be shifted out from the number of the other creatures. Se-"^^ *' 
condly, there is another place which cannot be so avoided, 
Psal. Ixxxix. 37. where the Psalmist uses this expression, 
p3> it shall be established as the moon. So Psal. viii. 4. the 
moon and the stars, nnariD liVi^ which thou hast established. 
Thus likewise, Prov. viii. 27. when he established the hea- 
vens: 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 subjec^t 
unto natural motions : why then should the very same ex* 
pressions 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;) fundan^i 
verbum significat decidere non posse^ aut dim<yveri 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 un- 
derstood 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 foun- 
dations of the earth, that it should not be moved for ever. 
The latter of which, being well weighed in its original (saith 
Mr. Fuller t) does in three emphatical words strongly con- 
clude the earth's immobility. 

As first, when he says lO* /undavit^ he hath founded It ; 

* liorinus Comment, in Psal, viii. f Miscel. 1. 1. cap. 15. 



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 expres- 
sion of the Psalmist, where he mentions the pillars of the 
earth, Psal. Ixxv. 3. 

The second word is mno translated basis; and by the 
Septuagint, b%i thv ct(T(puKBtav ccuInQ ; that is, he hath founded 
it upon its own firmness; and therefore it is altogether 
without motion. 

The third expression is IOOtVd^ from the root DVD which 
1 rignifics, declinare\ implying, that it could not wag with 
the least kind of declination. 

To these I answer severally : 

First, for the word, td» fundavit, it cannot be imdcrstood 
properly, as if the natural frame of the earth, like other ar- 
tificial buildings, did need any bottom to uphold it; for he 
hangeth the earth upon nothing, Job xxvi. 1. But it is a 
metaphor, and signifies God's placing or situating this globe 
of land and water. As David tells us of tl.r pillars of the 
earth ; so Job mentions pillars of the heavens, Job xxvL 1 1. 
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, nHDID, 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 tliem 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 

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 di&-^ 
covered *. 

* So PsaL xviii. 1$. 


2. Sometimes for the beguming and fii-st creation of it» 
Isa. xl. 2. Hath it not been told you from the beginnings 
have ye not understood from the foundations of the earth? 
and in many other places, before the foundation of the 
world was laid * ; that is, before the iirst creation* 

3. Sometlrnes it signifies the magistrates and chief go- 
vernors of the earth. So, many interpret that place in 
Micah, where it is said, vi. 2. Hear O ye mountains the 
Lord's controversy, and ye strong foundations of the earths 
So Psal.lxxxii. 5. The foundations of the earth are out of 
course ; and in Sam. ii. 8. they are called pillars. For the 
pillars of the earth are the Lord's, and he hath set the world, 
upon them. Hence it is, that the Hebrews derive their 
word for master, or lord, from a root which signifies a basis 
or bottom, pw, abfT^♦. And the Greek word for king, 
does in its primitives import as much as the foundation of 
the people, fieuriKBvg^ qtutsifiofftgrs Kasf. But now, none 
of all the several interpretations of this phrase, will in the 
least manner conduce to the confirmation of the present 

As for the second word, noiDQ basis ejus: I answer, the 
proper signification of it, is locus dispositus^ sedesy or static f 
an appointed seat or station ; and according to this sense, 
is it most frequently used in scripture. And therefore, the 
heavens are sometimes called ]*30the seat of God*s habita- 
tion. And for this reason likewise, do Aquila and Symma- 
chus translate it by the word IS^, a seat or appointed situa- 
tion, which may as well be attributed to the heavens. 

The third expression is DIDn toy that it should not be 
moved, from the primitive lOlO, which does not signify 
barely to move, but declinare^ or vacillare, to decline or 
slip aside from its usual course. Thus is it used by David, 
Psal. xvii. 5. where he prays, hold up my goings in thy 
paths, »03;d 1003 to that my footsteps slide not: he does not 
mean that his feet should not move. So Psal. cxxi, 3. He 
yrill not suffer thy foot to be moved. Thus likewise, PsaL 

* John xvii. 24. Ephes.i.4. t Etymol. mag. 



xvi. 8. Because the Lord is at my right hand, I shall not 
be moved. Which last place is translated in the New Tes- 
tament* by the Greek word ^tfX^ftp, which signi&esjluctuaref 
or vacillarey to be shaken by such an uncertain motion as 
the waves of the sea. Now as David's feet may have their 
usual motion, and yet in this sense be said pot to move, 
that is, not to decline or slip aside ; so neither can the same 
phrase applied to the earth, prove it to be immoveable. 

Nor do I see any reason, why that of Didacus Astunkaf 
may not be truly aiErmed, that we may prove the natural 
motion of the earth, from that place in Job ix. 6. 2ui cam- 
maoet terram e loco suo^ as well as its rest and immobility 
from these. 

From all which, it is very evident, that each of these ex- 
pressions, concerning the founding or establishing both of 
heaven or earth, were not intended to shew the unmove- \ 

ableness of either ; but rather, to manifest the power and i 

wisdom of providence, who had so settled these parts of the 
world in their proper situations, that no natoral cause could 
displace them, or make them decline from their appointed 
course. As for such who do utterly dislike all new inter- 
pretation of scripture, even in such matters as do merely 
concern opinion, and are not fundamental, I would only 
propose unto them a speech of St. Hierom, concerning 
some that were of the same mind in his time. Cum novas 
semper expetant voluptates^ et gtUa eorum vicina mdria 
turn sitfficianU cur in solo studio scripturarumy vcteri saperc 
contenti sunt 

Thus have I in some measure cleared the chiejfaigu<« 
ments from scripture, against this opinion. For which not- 
withstanding, I have not thence cited any \ because I con- 
ceive the holy writ, being chiefly intended to' inform us of 
jucb things as concern our faith and obedience, we cannot 
ttiiice take any proper proof for the confirmation of natu- 
ral secrets. 

^ Act. ii. 25. t Comment, in J0I9& 



That thei^e is not any argument fr^x the words of scrips 
turey principles of nature^ or observations in astronomy y 
which can stiffidently evidence the earth to he in the cen-^ 
tre of the universe. 

OUR adversaries do much insult in the strength of those 
arguments which they conceive do unanswerably con- 
clude the earth to be in the centre of the world. Whereas, 
if they were but impartially considered, they would be 
found altogether insufficient for any such conclusion, as 
shall be clearly manifested in this following chapter. 

The arguments which they urge in the proof of this, 
are of three sorts ; either such as are taken, 

1. From expressions of scripture. 

2. From principles of natural philosophy. 

3. From conimon appearances in astronomy. 

Those of the first kind are chiefly two : the first is 
grounded on that common scripture-phrase, which speaks 
of the sun, as being above us. So Solomon often men^ 
tioning human affairs, calls them, the works which are 
done under the sun *. From whence it appears, that the 
earth is below it, and therefore nearer to the centre of the 
universe, than the sun. 

I answer : Though the sun in comparison to the abso* 
lute frame of the world, be ia the midst ; yet this does not 
hinder, but that in respect to our earth, he may be truly 
said to be above it; because we usually measure the 
height or lowncss of every thing, hy its being further off, 
or nearer unto this centre of our earth. From Which, 
9ince the sun is so remote, it may properly be affirmed t||tttr 
we are under it, though notwitl^standing that be ilk 3ie 
centre of the world* 

* Ecclet i, 14, &c. 

■ :,* 



A second argument of the same kind, is urged by Fro* 

It is requisite, that hell (which is in the centre of the 
earth*) should be most remotely situated from the seat of 
the blessed. But now this heaven, which is the seat of the 
blessed, is concentrical to tlie starry sphere : and therefore 
it will follow, that our earth must be in the midst of this 
sphere ; and so consequently in the centre of the world. 

I answers this argument is grounded upon these uncer- 
tainties ; 

It That hell must needs be situated in the centra of our 

2. That the heaven of the blessed must needs be con-^ 
centrical to that of the stars. 

3. That places must be as far distant in atuatien as in 

Which because they are taken for granted, without any 
proof, and are in themselves but weak and doubtful, 
therefore the conclusion (which always follows the worser 
part) cannot be strong, and so will not need any other 

The second sort of arguments taken &om natural philo* 
sophy, are principally these three. 

1. First, from the vileness of our earth, because it con- 
sists of a more sordid and base matter than any other part 
of the world ; and therefore must be situated in the centre, 
which is the worst place, and at the greatest distance from 
those purer incorruptible bodies, the heavens. 

I answer : this argument does suppose such propositions 
for grounds, which are not yet proved, and therefore not 
to be granted. As, 

1 • That bodies must be as far distant in places, as in 

2. That the earth is of a more ignoble substance than 
any of the other planets, consisting of a more base and vi)c 

* Ancar. c. 12. item Vesta, tract. 5. c. 2. 




3. That the centre is the worst place. 

All which are (if not evidently false) yet very uncertain. 

2. From the nature of the centre, which is the place of 
rest, and such as in all circular motions is itself immove- 
able, and therefore will be the fittest situation for the 
earth ; which by reason of its heaviness, is naturally unfit 
for motion. 

I answer: this argument likewise is grounded upon 
these two false foundations ; as, 

1. That the whole frame of nature does move round, 
excepting only the earth. 

2. That the whole earth, considered as whole, and in its 
proper place, is heavy, or more unfit for a natural motion, 
than any of the other planets. 

Which are so far firom being such general grounds from 
which controversies should be discussed, that they are the 
very tiling in question betwixt us and our adversaries. 

3. From the nature of all heavy bodies, which is to fall 
towards the lowest place. From whence they conclude, 
that our earth must be in the centre. 

I answer : this may prove it to be a centre of gravity, 
but not of distance, or that it is in the midst of the world. 
Yea, (but say our adversaries) Aristotle for this urges a de- 
monstration, which must needs be infallible. Thus the 
motion of light bodies does apparently tend upward towards 
the circumference of the world : but now the motion of 
heavy bodies is directly contrary to the ascent of the other; 
wherefore it will necessarily follow, that these do all of 
them tend unto the centre of the world. 

I answer: though Aristotle were a master in the art of 
syllogisms, and he from whom we i-eccived the rules of 
disputation ; yet in this particular, it is very plain that he 
was deceived with a fallacy, whilst his argument does sup- 
pose that which it does pretend to prove. 

That light bodies do ascend unto some circunq^ence 
which is higher and above the earth, is plain and undenia- 
ble. But that this circumference is the same with that of 
the world, or concentrical unto it, cannot be reasonably 



affirmed, uitless he suppose the earth to be in the centre of 
the universe, which is the thing to be proved. 

I would fain know from what grounds our adversaries can 
prove, that the descent of heavy bodies is to the centre; or 
the ascent of light bodies, to the circumference of the 
world. The utmost experience we can have in this kind, 
does but extend to those things that are upon our earth, or 
in the air above it And alas ! what is this unto the vast 
frame of the whole universe, but punctulum, such an insen- 
sible point, which does not bear so great a proportion to 
' the whole, as a small sand does unto the earth. Where- 

fore it were a senseless thing, from our experience of so 
little a part, to pronounce any thing infallibly concerning the 
situation of the whole. The arguments from astronomy, 
are chiefly these four; each of which are boasted of to be 

I . The horizon does every where divide all the great 
^ circles of a sphere into two equal parts; so there is always 

half the equinoctial above it, and half below. Thus like- 
wise, there will constantly be six signs of the zodiac above 
the horizon, and other six below it. And besides, the ciN 
cles of the heaven and earth, are each way proportionable 
to one another; as fifteen German m9es on the earth, are 
¥ every where agreeable to one degree in the heavens ; and 

one hour in tlie earth, is correspondent to fifteen degrees in 
the equator. From whence it may be inferred, that the 
oarth must necessarily be situated in the midst of these cir- 
cles; and so consequently, in the centre of the world. 

I answer : this argument does rightly prove the earth to 
be in the midst of these circles ; but we cannot hence con- 
clude, that it is in the centre of the world: from which, 
though it were never so much distant, yet would it still re- 
main in the midst of those circles, because it is the eye that 
imagines tliem to be described about it. Wherefore it 
were a weak and preposterous collection, to argue thus, 
tliat the earth is in the centre of the world, because in the 
midst of those circles; or because the parts and degrees qS 
the earth are answerable in proportion to the parts and d^ 





grees in heav^. Whereas, it follows rather on the contra- 
ry, that these circles are equally distant and proportional in 
their parts, in respect of the earth, because it is our eye 
that describes them about the centre of it. 

So that tliough a far greater part of the world did appear 
at one time than at another, yet in respect of those circles 
which our eye describes about the earth, all thiat we could 
see at once, would seem to be but a perfect hemisphere ; 
as may be manifested by this following figure. 

Where if we suppose A to be our earth, B C D E one of 
the great circles which we fancy about it, F G H I the orb 
of fixed stars, R the ceiitte of them : now though the ark 
G F I be bigger than the other G H I, yet notwithstanding, 
to the eye on the earth A, one will appear a semicircle a4 
well as the other; because the imagination does transfer all 
those stars into the lesser circle B C D E, which it does 
fancy to be described above that centre. Nay, though 
there were a habitable earth at a far greater distance from 
the centre of tlie world, even in the place of Jupiter, as sup- 
pose at Q ; yet then also would there be the same appear- 
ance. For though the ark K F L in the starry heaven, 
were twice as big as the other K H L, yet notwithstanding 
at the earth Q they would both appear but as equal hemi- 

VOL. I. o 

■*•■,. , . 





spheres, being transferred into that other circle M N O P, 
which is part of the sphere, that the eye describes to itself 
about that earth. 

From whence we mxff plainly discern, that though the 
earth be never so far distant from the centre of the world, 
yet the parts and degrees of that imaginary sphere about 
it, will always be proportional to the parts and degrees of 
the earth. 

2. Another demonstration like unto this former, fre- 
quently urged to the same purpose, is this. If the earth be 
out of the centre of the world, then must it be situated in 
one of these three positions : eitlier in tlie equator, but out 
of the axis; or 2dly, in the axis, but but of the equator; 
or 3dly, besides both of them. But it is not placed accord- 
ing to any of these situations, therefore must it needs be in 
the centre *. 

1. It is not in the equator, and beside the axis: for then, 
1st, there will be no equinox at all in some places, when 
the days and nights shall be of an equal length; 2dly, the 
afternoons and forenoons will not be of the same length; 
because, then our meridian line must divide the hemisphere 
into unequal parts. 

2. It is not in the axis, but out of the equator; for then, 
first, the equinox would not happen when the sun was in 
the middle line betwixt the two solstices, but in some other 
parallel, which might be nearer to one of them, according 
as the earth did approach to one tropic more than another. 
Secondly, there would not be such a proportion between 
the increase and decrease of days and nights, as now there 

3. It is not besides both of them: for then, all these in- 
conveniencies, and sundry others must with the same ne- 
cessity of consequence be inferred. From whence it will 
follow, that the earth must be situated there where the 
axis and equator meet, which is in the centre of the world. 

To this we grant, that the earth must needs be placed 


* Vid. Carp. Geog, 1. I. c. 5. 


both in the axis and equator ; and so consequently, in the ^ 
centre of that sphere which we imagine about it. But yet 
this will not prove, that it is in the midst of the universe : 
for let our adversaries suppose it to be as far distant from 
that, as they conceive the sun to be ; yet may it still be si- 
tuated in the very concourse of these two ' lines ; because 
the axis of the world is nothing else, but' thai^. imaginary 
line which passes through the poles of our earth, to the 
poles of the world. And so likewise the equator is nothing 
else but a great circle in the midst of the earth, betwixt 
both the poles, which by imagination is continued even to 
the fixed stars. Thus also, we may affirm the earth to be 
in the plane of the zodiac, if by its annual motion it did 
describe that imaginary circle : and in the plane of the 
equator, if by its diurnal motion about its own axis, it (did 
make several parallels, the midst of which should be the 
equator. From whence it appears, that these two former 
arguments proceed firom one and the same mistake ; whilst 
our adversaries suppose the circumference and centre of 
the sphere, to be the same with that of the world. 

Another demonstration of the same kind, is taken from 
the eclipses of the sun and moon; which would not always 
happen when these two luminaries are diametrically op- 
posed, but sometimes when they are less distant than a 
semicircle, if it were so that the earth were not in the 

I answer: this argument, if well considered, will be 
found most directly to infer this conclusion; that in ^11 
eclipses, the earth is in such a strait line (betwixt the two 
luminaries) whose extremities do point unto opposite parts 
of the zodiac. Now, though our adversaries should sup- 
pose (as Copernicus does) the earth to be situated in that 
which they would have to be the sun's orb ; yet would 
there not be any eclipse, but when the sun and moon were 
diametrically opposite, and our earth betwixt them ; as may 
clearly be manifested by this figure, where you see the two 
lunjinaries in opposite signs : and according as any part of 

o 2 


our earth is situated by its diurnal revolution, so will every 
eclipse be either visible, or not visible unto it. 

The last and chief argument, is taken from the appear- 
ance of the stars; which in every horizon, at each hour of 
the night, and at all times of the year, seem of an equal 
bigness*. Now this could not be, if our earth were some- 
times nearer unto them by 2000000 German miles, which 
is granted to be the diameter of that orb wherein the earth 
is supposed to move. 

I answer: this consequence will not hold, if we affirm 
the earth's orb not to be big enough for the making of ;piny 
sensible difference in the appearance of the fixed stars- 
Yea, but (you will say) it is beyond conceit, and without 
all reason, to think the fixed stars of so vast'a distance from 
us, that our approaching nearer unto them by 2000000 
German miles, cannot make any difference in the seeming 
quantity of their bodies f . 

I reply: there is no certain way to find out the exact 
distance of the starry firmament; but we are fain to con- 

* Ariit. de coek), lib. 2. c. 14. 

t Copem. 1. 1. cap. 5> 6. 

.' •. 


elude of it by conjectures, according as several reasons and 
observations seem most likely unto the fancies of divers 
men. Now that this opinion of Copernicus does not make 
it too big, may be discerned from these following conside- 

The words great and little, are relative terms, and do im- 
port a comparison to something else : so that where the 
firmament, (as it is according to Copernicus) is said to be 
too big, it is likely that this word is to be understood in re- 
ference to some other thing of tlie same kind, the least of 
which is the moon's orb. But now if its being so much 
bigger than this, maybe a sufBcient reason why it should be 
thought too great, then it seems that every thing which ex- 
ceeds another of the same kind in such a proportion, may 
be concluded to be of too big a quantity; and so conse- 
quently, we may affirm that tliere is no such thing in the 
world. And hence it will follow, that whales and elephants 
are mere chimseras, and poetical fictions, because they do 
so much exceed so many other living creatures. If all this 
cightii sphere, (saith Galilseus) as great as it is, were a light 
body, and placed so far from us that it appeared but as one 
of the lesser stars, we should then esteem it but little; and 
therefore we have no reason now to thrust it out from being 
amongst the works of nature, by reason of its too great im- 
mensity. It is a fiequent speech of our adversaries, Tycho, 
Fromondus, and others, in excuse of that incredible swift- 
ness which they imagine in their primum mobile^ that it 
was requisite the motion of the heavens should have a kind 
of infinity in it, the better to manifest the infiniteness of the 
creator. And why may not we as well affirm this con- 
cerning the bigness of the heavens? Difficilius est accidens 
prater modulum subjecti intendere^ quam subjectum sine 
accidente auger e (saith Keplar.) His meaning is, that it is 
less absurd to imagine the eighth sphere of so vast a big- 
ness, as long as it is without motion, or at least has but a 
very slow one ; than to attribute unto it such an incredible 
celerity, as is altogether disproportionable to its bigness. 


2. It is the acknowledgment of Clavius*, and might 
easily be demonstrated, that if the centre were fastened 
upon the pole of the world, the orb wherein he supposes 
the sun to move would not be able to reach so far in the 
eighth sphere (being considered according to Ptolemy's 
hypothesis) as to touch the pole star; which notwithstand- 
ing (saitli he) is so near the pole itself, that we can scarce 
discern it to move; nay, that circle which the pole-star 
makes about the pole, is above four times bigger than the 
orb of the sun. So that according to the opinion of our 
adversaries, though our earth were at that distance from the 
centre, as they suppose the sun to be, yet would not this 
eccentricity make it nearer to any one part of the firma- 
ment, than the pole-star is to the pole ; which according to 
his confession, is scarce sensible. And tlierefore according 
to their opinion, it would cause very little difference in the 
appearance of those stars, the biggest of which does not 
seem to be of above five seconds in its diameter. 

3. It is considerable, that the spheres of Saturn, Jupiter, 
Mars, are, according to the general opinion, of very great 
extension ; and yet each of them is appointed only to carry 
about its particular planet, which are but very little in com- 
parison of the fixed stars. Now if for the situation of these 
fixed stars, there should be allotted a proportionable part 
of the world, it is certain that their orb must be far bigger 
than it is commonly supposed, and very near to this opinion 
of Copernicus. 

4. We usually judge the bigness of the higher orbs by 
their different motions : as because Saturn finishes his course 
in thirty years, and Jupiter in twelve, therefore we attribute 
unto those orbs such a different proportion in their bigness. 
Now if by this rule we would find out the quantity of the 
eighth sphere, we shall discern it to be far nearer unto that 
bigness which Copernicus supposeth it to have, than that 
which Ptolemy, Tycho, and others ordinarily ascribe unt^ 

* Comment, ijx Sphaer. cap. 1, 


it: for the starry heaven (say they) does not finish his 
course under 26000 years; whereas Saturn, which is next 
'Unto it, does compass his orb in thiriJy years. From, 
whence it will probably follow, tllat there is a very great 
distance betwixt these in place, because they have sucli dif- 
ferent terms of their revolutions. 

But against this answer unto the last argument, our ad- 
.versaries thus reply : 

1. If the fixed stars are so far distant from us, that our 
approaching nearer unto them by 1000000 German miles, 
does not make any sensible difference in their appearance ; 
then Galilaeus's perspective could not make them seem of 
a bigger form than they do to the bare eye, which yet is 
contrary to common experience*. 

2. From hence it may be inferred, that the least fixed 
star is bigger than all this orb wherein we suppose the . 
earth to move; because there is none of them but are of a , 
sensible bigness in respect of the firmament, whereas this it 
seems is notf. 

3. Since God did at first create the stars for the use of 
all nations that are under the whole heavens, Deut. iv. 19. 
it might have argued some improvidence in him, if he had 
made them of such vast magnitudes; whereas they might 
as well bestow their light and influences, and so conse- 
quently be as serviceable to that end for which they were 
appointed, if they had been made with less bodies, and 
placed nearer unto us. And it is a common maxim, that 
nature in all her operations, does avoid superfluities, and 
use the most compendious way J. 

I answer: 

1. To the first, whether the perspective do make the 
fixed stars appear bigger than they do to the bare eye, can- 
not certainly be concluded, unless we had such an exact 
glass, by which we might try the experiment. But if in 
this kind we will trust the authority of others, Keplar |1 tell§ 

* Fromond. Vesta, tract. 5. cap. 1. f Ibid. ' J Ibid. 

II Astron. Copern. lib. 4. par. 1. 

• J 


US from the experience of skilful men, that the better 
the perspective is, by so much the less will the fixed stais 
appear through it, being but as meet points, from which the 
beams of light do disperse themselves like hairs. And it is 
commonly affirmed by others, that the dog-star^ which 
seems to be the biggest star amongst those of tlie firsi mag* 
nitude, does yet appear through this glass but as a little 
pcJint no bigger than thje fiftieth part of Jupiter. Hence it 
is, that though the common opinion hold the stars of the 
first magnitude to be two minutes in thek diameter, and 
Tycho three ; yet GalilaBU|*, who hath been most versed 
in the experiments of his own perspective concludes them 
to be but five seconds. ' 

2. To the second : first we a&m, the fixed stars to be of 
a vast magnitude. But however,' this argument does not 
induce any necessity that we should conceive them so big 
as the earth's orb. For it might easily be proved, that 
though a star of the sixth magnitude were but equal in di- 
ameter unto the sun (which is far enough from the great- 
ness of the earth's orb ;) yet the starry heaven would be at 
such a distance from us, t^t the earth's annual motion 
could not cause any difFcrence in its appearance. 

Suppose the diameter of the sun to be abqut half a 
degree t> as our adversaries grant ; whereas a star of the 
sixth magnitude is 50 thirds, which is comprehended in 
that of the sun 21 60 times. Now if the sun were removed 
so far from us, that its diameter would seem but as one of 
that number whereof it now contains 2160 ; then must his 
distance from us be 21 6Q times greater than now it is: 
which is all one, as if we should say, that a staf of the 
sixth magnitude is severed from us by so many semidia- 
meters of the earth's orb. But now according to comipon 
consent, the distance of the earth frpm the sun does con- 
tain 1 28 seoudiameters of the earth, and (as was said be- 
fore) this supposed distance of the fixed stars does compre- 
hend 2160 semidiameters of the earth^s orb. From whence 
it is manifest, that the semidiameter of the earth, in com-: 

* System. Mundi. CoU. 3. f Vid. Gal. ibid. 


parison to its distance from the sun, will be almost doubly 
bigger than the semidiameter of the earth's orb, in compa- 
rison to this distance of the stars. But now, the semidia- 
meter of the earth does make very little difference in the 
appearance of the sun, because we see common observa-^ 
tions upon the surface of it, are as exactly true to the sense 
as if they were made from the centre of it. Wherefore, 
that difference which would be made in these fixed stars, 
by the annual course of the earth, must needs be much 
more unobservable, or ratlier altogether insensible. 

2. The consequence of this^argument is grounded" upoa 
this false supposition, that every body must necessarily be 
of an equal extension to that distance from whence there 
does not appear any sensible difference in its quantity. 
So that when I see a bird flying such a height in the air, 
that my being nearer unto it, or farther from it, by ten or 
twenty foot, does not make it seem unto my eyes either 
bigger or less; then I may conclude, that the bird must 
needs be either ten or twenty foot thick : Or when I see 
the body of a tree that may b^ half a mile from me, and 
perceive that my approaching nearer to it by 30 or 40 
paces, does not sensibly make any different appearance, I 
may then infer, that the tree is forty paces thick ; with 
many the like absurd consequences, that would follow 
from that foundation upon which this argument is bot- 

To the third I answer : it is too much presumption, to 
conclude that to be superfluous, the usefulness of which we 
do not understand. Therc»-be many secret ends in these 
great works of Providence, which human wisdom cannot 
reach unto ; and as Solomon speaks of those things that 
are under the sun, so may we also of those things that 
are above it; that no man can find out the works of 
God ; for though a man labour to seek it out, yea further, 
though a wise man think to know it, yet shall he not be- 
able to find it *. He that hath most insight into the works 
of nature, is not able to give a satisfying reason, why the 

* ^ccles. viii. 17. 



planets or stars should be placed just at tfab particular 
distance from the earth, and no nearer or farther. And 
besides, this argument might as well be urged against the 
hypothesis of Ptolemy or Tycho, smce the stars, for ought 
wc know, might have been as serviceable to us, if they had 
been placed far nearer, than either of those authors suppose 
them. Again, were there any force in such a consequence, 
it would as well conclude a great improvidence of nature, 
in making such a multitude of those lesser stars, which have 
lately been discovered by the perspective. For to what 
purpose should so many lights be created for the use of 
man, since his eyes were not able to discern them ? So 
that our disability to comprehend all those ends which 
might be aimed at in the works of nature, can be no suffi- 
cient argument to prove their superfluity. Though scrip- 
ture do tell us that these things were made for our use, yet 
it does not tell us, that this is their only end. It is not 
impossible, but that there may be elsewhere some other 
inhabitants, by whom these lesser stars may be more 
plainly discerned. And (as was said before) why may not 
we affirm that of the bigness, which our adversaries do 
concerning the motion of the heavens ? That God, to 
shew his own immensity, did put a kind of infinity in the 

There is yet another argument to this purpose, urged 
by Al. Ross *. which was not referred to any of the former 
kind, because I could scarcely believe I did rightly under- 
stand it ; since he puts it in the front of his other argu^ 
ments, as being of strength and subtilty enough to be a 
leader unto all the rest ; and yet in the most likely sense of 
it, it is so extremely simple to be pressed in a controversy, ^ 
that every fresh-man would laugh at it. The words of it 
are these : Suod minimum est in circulo debet esse centimni 
illius ; at terra longe minor est sole, X ^quinoctialis tcr- 
reHris est omnium in coelo drculus minimus ; ergOy &c. 

By the same reason, it would rather follow, that the 

* Lib. 1. sect. 2. c. 1. 


moon or Mertury were in the centre, since both these are 
less than the earth. And then, whereas he says that the 
^equinoctial of the earth is the least circle in the heavens, 
it is neither true nor pertinent, and would make one suspect, 
that he who should urge such an argument, did scarce un- 
derstand any thing in astronomy. 

There are many other objections like unto this, not 
worth the citing : tlie chief of all have been already an- 
swered ; by which you may discern, that there is not any 
such great necessity as our adversaries pretend, why the 
earth should be situated in the midst of the universe. 


It is probable that the Sun is in the centre of the rtorld. 

THE chief reasons for the confirmation of this truth, are 
implied in the conveniences of this hypothesis above 
afty other ; whereby we may resolve the motions and ap- 
pearances of the heavens into more easy and natural 

Hence will the frame of nature be freed from that 
deformity which it has according to the system of Tycho ; 
who though he make the sun to be in the midst of the 
planets, yet without any good reason denies it to be in the 
midst of the fixed stars ; as if the planets, which are such 
eminent parts of the world, should be appointed to move 
about a distinct centre of their own, which was beside that 
of the universe. 

Hence likewise are we freed from many of those incon- 
veniences in the hypothesis of Ptolemy, who supposed in 
the heavens, epicycles and eccentrics, and other orbs, 
which he calls tJie deferents of the apoge and perige. As 
if nature in framing this great engine of the world, had been 
put unto such hard shifts, that she was fain to make use of 
wheels and screws, and other the like artificial instruments 
of motion. 



There be sundry other particulars, whereby this opinion 
concerning the sun's being in the centre, may be strongly 
evidenced ; which because they relate unto several motions 
also, cannot therefore properly be insisted on in this place, 
You may easily enough discern them, by considering the 
whole frame of the heavens, as they are according to the 
system of Copernicus , wherein all those probable resolu- 
tions that are given for divers appearances amongst the 
planets, do mainly depend upon this supposition, that the 
sun is in the centre. Which arguments (were there no 
other) might be abundantly enough for the confirmation of 
it. But for the greater plenty, there are likewise tliese pro- 
babilities considerable. 

1. It may seem agreeable to reason, that the light which 
is diffused in several stars, through the circumference of 
the world, should be more eminently contained, and (as it 
were) contracted in the centre of it, which can only be by 
placing the sun there. 

2. It is an argument of Clavius.*, and frequently urged 
by our adversaries. That the most natural situation of the 
sun's body was in the midst, betwixt the other planets ; and 
that for this reason, because from thence he might more 
conveniently distribute amongst them both his light and 
heat. The force of which may more properly be applied 
to prove him in the centre. 

3. It is probable that the planetary orbs (which are 
Special parts of the universe) do move about the centre of 
the world, rather than about any other centre which is re- 
mote from it. But now it is evident that the planets Saturn, 
Jupiter, Mars, Venus, Mercury, do by their mbtion encom- 
pass the body of the sun. It is likely therefore that this is 
situated in the midst of the world. 

As for the three upper planets, it is found by observation, 
that they are always nearest to the earth when in opposition 
to the sun, and farthest from us when in conjunction with 
it ; wliich difference is so eminent, that Mars in his pcrige 

* In prim. c. Sphcr. 


does appear sixty times bigger than when he is in the apoge, 
and at the greatest distance. 

Now, that the revolution of Venus and Mercury also is 
about the sun, may from hence be evidenced.: First, be- 
cause they are never at any great/ distance from him. 
Secondly, because they are seen sometimes above, and 
sometimes below him. Thirdly, because Venus, according 
to her different situation, does change her appearance as the 

4. There is yet another argument, which Aristotle * 
himself does repeat from Pythagoras. The most excellent 
body should have the best place ; but the sun is the most 
excellent body, and the* centre is the best place ; therefore 
it is likely the sun is in the centre. In the frame of nature 
(which is supposed to be of an orbicular form) there are but 
two places of any eminency, the circumference and the 
centre. The circumference being of so wide a capacity, 
cannot so fitly be the peculiar seat of a body, that is so little 
in respect of it : and besides, that which is the most ex- 
cellent part of the world, should be equally preserved in it- 
self, and shared in its virtues by all the other parts, which 
can only be done by its being placed in the midst of them. 
This is intimated unto us in that frequent speech of Plato, 
that the soul of the world does reside in the innermost 
place of it; and that in Macrobius f, who often compares 
the sun in the world to the heart in a living creature. 

Unto this Aristotle answers by a distinction: there is 
medium magnitudims^ so the centre is the middle of a 
sphere, and there is medium natura<, or informationisy 
which is riot always the same with the other ; for in this 
sense the heart is the middle of a man ; because from 
thence (saith he) as from the centre, the vital spirits are 
conveyed to all the members : and yet we know that it is 
not the centre of magnitude, or at an equal distance from 
all the other parts. 

And besides, the middle is the worst place, because most 
circumscribed, since that is more excellent which does 

* De Coelo, 1. 2. c. 13. f Saturnal. L 1. c. 17, &c. 


limit any thing, than that which is bounded by it. For this 
reason is it, tliat matter is amongst those things which are 
terminated, and form, that which does circumscribe. 
But against this answer of Aristotle, it is again replied : 

1 . Though it be true, that in living creatures the best 
and chiefest part is not placed always just in the midst, yet 
this may be, because they are not of an orbicular form, as 
the world is *. 

2. Though that which bounds another thing be more 
excellent than that which is terminated by it, yet this does 
not prove the centre to be the worst place, because that is 
one of the terms or limits of a round body, as well as the 

There are likewise other arguments to this purpose, 
much insisted on by eminent astronomers f, taken from 
that harmonical proportion which there may be betwixt the 
several distance and bigness of the orbs, if we suppose the 
sun to be in the centre. 

For according to this (say they) we may conceive an 
excellent harmony both in the number and the distance of 
the planets : (and if God made all other things numero K 
mensurdy much more then those greater -works, the hea- 
vens) ; for then the five mathematical bodies, so much 
spoken of by Euclid J, will bear in them a proportion an- 
swerable to the several distances of the planets from one 

Thus a cube will measure the distance betwixt Saturn 
and Jupiter ; a pyramis or tctraedron, the distance betwixt 
Jupiter and Mars ; a dodecaedron, the distance betwixt Mars 
and the Q^rth ; an icosaedron, the distance betwixt the earth 
and Venus ; and an octaedron the distance betwixt Venus 
and Mercury ; that is, if we conceive a circumference de- 
scribed immediately without the cube, and another within it, 
the distance between these two will shew what proportional 
distance there is betwixt the orb of Saturn and that of 

* Keplar, Astr. Copcrn. 1. 4. part 2. 

f Maeslin.prx. ad Narrat. Ehetici, Keplar, MysteriumCosmographiciun, 

% Lib. 13.prop. U, 15> &c. 


Jupiter. Thus also if you conceive a circumference de- 
scribed on the outside of a pyramis or tetraedron, and ano- 
ther within it, this will shew such a proportional distance as 
there is betwixt the orb of Mars from that of Jupiter. 
And so of the rest. 

Now if any ask w^hy there are but six planetary orbs ? 
Keplar answers : 2uia non oportet plures quam quinque 
proportiones esse^ totidem nempe quot regularia sunt in 
maihesi corpora. Sex autem termini consummant hunc 
proportionum numerum. Because there are but five pro- 
portions, so many as there are regular bodies in mathe- 
matics, each of whose sides and angles are equal to one 
another. But now there are six terms required to consum- 
mate this number of proportions; and so consequently, 
there can be but six primary planets. 

Thus likewise by placing the sun in the centre, we may 
conceive such a proportion betwixt the bodies of the 
planets, as will be answerable unto their several spheres: 
then Mercury, which has the least orb, will have the least 
body ; Venus bigger than that, but less than any of the 
other ; our earth bigger than Venus, but less than the rest; 
Mars bigger than the earth, but less than Jupiter; Jupiter 
bigger than Mars, and less than Saturn ; Saturn being the 
highest, should also be the biggest. All which harmon^v '- 
would be disturbed by putting in the sun amongst thetn ; 
and therefore it may be more convenient for him to sit still ~ 
in the centre. 

There are sundry other arguments in this kind to be 
found out, by a consideration of this whole hypothesis : 
He that does rightly understand it, may therein easily dis- 
cern many strong probabilities, why the sun should be ia 
the midst of the world, rather than in any other position. 



That there is not any sufficient reason to prtwe the earth 
incapable of those motiom which Copernicus ascribes 
unto it. 

THE two chief motions in the world, which are more 
especially remarkable above the rest, are the diurnal, 
and annual. 

The diurnal, which makes the difference betwixt night 
and day, is caused by the revolution of our earth upon its 
own axis, in the space of four and twenty hours. 

The annual, which makes the difference betwixt winter 
and summer, is likewise caused by the earth, when being 
carried through the ecliptic in its own orb, it finishes its 
course in a year. 

The first is usually stiled, motus revolutianis : the second, 
motus circumlationis : tliere is likewise a third, which 
Copernicus calls, mottts inclinationis : but this being tho- 
roughly considered, cannot properly be stiled a motion, but 
rather an immutability, it being that whereby the axis of 
the earth does always keep parallel to itself, from which si* 
tuation it is not his annual course that does make it in the 
least manner to decline. 

As for the difficulties which concern the second of these, 
they have been already handled in the sixth proposition, 
where the earth's eccentricity was maintained. 

So that the chief business of this chapter, is to defend the 
earth's diurnal motion, against the objections of our adver- 
saries. Sundry of which objections, to speak (as the truth 
is) do bear in tliem a great shew of probability, and such 
too (as it seems) was very efficacious ; since Aristotle and 
Ptolemy, &c. Men of excellent parts and deep judgments 
did ground upon them, as being of infallible and necessary- 

I shall reckon them up severally, and set down such an^ 
swers unto each, as may yield some satisfaction to every 
indifferent seeker of truth. 



1. First then, it is objected from our senses ; if the earth 
did move, we should perceive it. The western mountains 
Would then appear to ascend towards the stars, rather than 
the stars to descend below themi 

1 answer : the sight judges of motion according as any 
thing does desert the plain whereon itself is seated ; which 
plain everywhere keeping the same situation and distance, 
in respect of the eye, does therefore seem immoveable unto 
it, and the motion will appear in those stars and parts of 
the heaven, through which the vertical line does pass. 

The reason of such deceit may be this ! motion being 
not a proper object of the^ight, nor belonging to any other 
peculiar sense, must therefore be judged of by the sensus 
communis^ which is liable to iriistake in this respect ; be- 
cause it apprehends the eye itself to rest' immoveable, whilst! 
it does not feel any effects of this motion in the body: 
as it is when a man is carried in a ship ; so that sense is 
but an ill judge of natural secrets. It is a good rule of 
Plato, Eig rov vbv ceCPo^v iei (PiXo(to0ov vlcu jxi^ eig rt)v o^/v : 
a philbsopher must not be carried away by the bare ap-* 
peafance of things to sight, but must examine them by rea- 
son. If this were a good consequence, tl^e earth does not 
move, because it does not appear so to us, we might then 
as well argue, that it does move when we go upon the wa«* 
ter, according to the verse : 

Pr<wehimur portu^ terraque^ urbesque recedunt. 

Or if such arguments vrould hold, it were an easy matter 
to prove the sun and moon not so big as a hat, or the fixed 
stars as a candle. 

Yea, but if the motion of the heavens be only apparent, 
and not real, then the motion of the clouds will be so too, 
since the eye may be as Well deceived in the one as the 
other *. 

I answer : it is all one, as if he should infer that the sense 
was mistaken, in every thing, because it was 30 in one 

^ Al. Rom. L 1» sect. 1. c. 1. 
VOL. 1. p 



thing : and this would be an excellent argument to prove 
that opinion of Anaxagoras, that the snow was black. 

The reason why that motion which is caused by the 
earth does appear as if it were in the heavens, is, because 
the sensus communis in judging of it, does conceive the eye 
to be itself immoveable (as was said before) there being no 
sense that does discern the effects of any motion in the 
body ; and therefore it does conclude every thing to move, 
which it does perceive to change its distance from it : so 
that the clouds do not seem to move sometimes, when as 
notwithstanding they are everywhere carried about with 
our earth, by such a swift revolution ; yet this can be no 
hindrance at all, why we may not judge aright of their 
other particular motions, for which tliere is not the same 
reason. Though to a man in a ship, the trees and banks 
may seem to move, yet it would be but a weak argument, 
to conclude from hence, that therefore such a one could not 
tell whether his friend does really stir, whom he sees to 
walk up and down in the ship : or that he might as well be 
deceived in judging the oars to move when they do not 

It is again replied by the same objector *, that it is not 
credible the eye should be mistaken in judging of the stars 
and heavens ; because those being light bodies, are the pri- 
mary and proper objects of that sense. 

I answer : the deceit here is not concerning the light or 
colour of those bodies, but concerning their motion ; which 
is neither the primary nor proper object of the eye, but 
reckoned amongst the ebjecta commuma. 

2. Another common argument against this motion, is 
taken from the danger that would thence arise, unto all 
high buildings, which by this would quickly be ruinated, and 
scattered abroad. 

I answer: this motion is supposed to be natural; and 
those things which are according to nature, have contrary 
effects to other matters, which are by force and violence t« 
Now it. belongs unto things of this latter kind to be incos- 

* Al. Ross. 1. 1. sect. 1. c. 1. f Coper, h 1. c. 8. 

THAT TltE EAartl j^f AY Bt A l>LANEt. 211 

sistent and hurtful; whereas those of the first kind must be 
regular, and tending to conservation. The motion of the 
earth is always equal and like itself ; not by starts and fits. 
If a glass of beer may stand firmly enough in a ship, when 
it moves swiftly upon a smooth stream, much less then will 
the motion of the earth, which is more natural, and so con- 
sequently morfc^ equal, cause any danger unto those build- 
ings that are erected upon it. And therefore to suspect any 
such event, would be like the fear of Lactantius, who would 
not acknowledge the being of any antipodes, lest then he 
taight be forced to grant that they should fall down unto 
the heavens *. We have equal reason to be afraid of high 
buildings, if the whole world above us were whirled about 
Vrith such a mad celerity as our adversaries suppose ; for 
then there would be but small hopes that this little point of 
earth, should escape from the rest. . jr^ 

But supposing (saith Rossef) that this motion were na- 
tural to the earth, yet it is hot natural to towns and build« 
ings, for these are artificial. 

To which I answer; ha, ha, he. 

3. Another argument to this pilkrpose is taken from the 
rest and quietness of the air about us; which could not be, 
if there were any such swift motion of the earth. If a man 
riding upon a fieet horse, do perceive the air to bj^t against 
his face, as if there wexfi a wind, what a vehement tempest 
should we continually feel from the east, if the earth were 
turned about with such a swift revolution as is supposed. 

Unto this it is usually answered, that the air also is carried 
along with the same motion of the earth: for if the conca- 
vity of the moon^s orb, which is of so smooth and glabrous 
a superficies, may (according to our adversaries) drive along 
with it the greatest part of this, elementary world, all the 
regions of fire, and all the vast upper regions of air, and (as 
Some will have it) the two lower regions, together with the 
sea likewise; for from hence (saith Alex« Rosse, I. 1. sect. 
1. c. 3.) is it, that betwixt the tropics there is a constant 

* ' • ' ' * 

' * Gilbert de Magn. 1 6. c. 5. ' , f I4b» 1. lect. 1 . c. 3. 




castern wind, and a continual flowing of the sea westward; 
I say, if the motion of the heavens, which are smooth bo- 
dies, may be able to carry with it so great a part of the ele- 
mentary world : or if the rugged parts of the moon's body 
be able to carry with it so great a part of the air, as Fro- 
mondus (Ant. c. 16.) affirms; much more then may our 
earth, which is a rugged mountainous body, be able to turn 
about so little a part of the world, as that vaporous air next 
unto it. 


Suppose the inward circle to represent the earth ; and 
the outward the thicker air, which encompasses it Now 
it is easily conceivable, that the revolution of so great a 
body as this globe of earth, may turn about by its mere 
motion (if there were nothing else) so little a part of the 
adjoining air, as is here represented : and yet, 

1. The disproportion betwixt the thickness of the earth, 
and this, orb of air, is far greater than could be expressed in 
the figure, being but as twenty miles ; which is at most the 
thickness of this air, unto 3456 miles, which is the semidi- 
ameter of our earth, and so is but as an insensible number 
in respect of this other. 

2. Besides the mere motion of the earth, which in proba- 
bility (being such a nigged body) might be enough to carry 
so little a part of the air along with it; there is also (as we 
suppose) a magnetical vigour whigh proceeds from it. 


whereby it is more able to make all things that are near 
unto it, to observe the same revolution. 
. But if it be so (saith Alex. Ross*.) that not only the 
man, but the medium also, and the object be moved : this 
must needs be such a great hindrance to the sight, that the 
eye cannot judge exactly of any thing. For, suppose the 
man alone to be in a motion, he could not see so well as 
when he-is still; but now if npt only he, but his spectacles 
and book were all moved, he would not be able to discern 
any thing distinctly. 

I answer: the consequence were pertinent, if all these 
were several motions ; but if the subject, and medium, and 
object, were all carried with one and the same eqiial mo- 
tion, (as it is here supposed) this could be no impediment 
to the act of seeing, but it would be all one with the rest-, 
because by this means, they are not severed from one ano- 
ther, and therefore thfi species are not disturbed. It is an 
excellent saying of Galilaeusf* and may serve for the reso- 
lution of many such doubts as these : motus eatenus tan» 
quant mottis operatur^ guatenus relationem habet ad eas res 
qua ipso distituuntur^ in its vero rebus^ qu^ iota aqualiter 
de €0 participant^ nihil operatur^ et ita se habet ac si nullus 
esstt. If a man be within some room of a ship, he may 
read altogether as easily when the ship moves, as when it 
stands still. 

4. Another argument against this circular motion of the 
earth, is grounded upon that common principle amongst 
the Aristotelians: unius corporis simplicis unus tantum est 
motus. One kind of body has but one kind of motion. 
But now the earth and water has a motion of descent; the 
air a motion of ascent ; and therefore none of them can 
s have any circular motion natural unto them. 

I answer: first, these right motions of elementary bodies 
belong only to the parts of them, and that too when they 
are out of their proper places ; so that the whole to which 
they belong, may notwithstanding this, have another mo^- 

^ lil?, 1 9ect. 1. cap. 5* f Syst. Mundi, Colloq. 2« 


tion of its own. But secondly, this saying which Aristofle 
calls a principle, will not consist with other evident experi- 
ments of nature. Thus, though a loadstone, in respect of 
its matter and condensity, naturally tends downward ; yet 
this does not hinder, but that in respect of some other qua- 
lities, as its desire of union and coition to another loadstone, 
it may also naturally move upwards. From whence it will 
follow, that the same elementary body may have divers na-^ 
tural motions. 

5. The gravity and magnitude of this ea^y globe do 
make it altogether unfit for so swift a motion. 

I answer : first, heaviness can only be applied unto those 
bodies which are out of their proper places, or unto such 
parts as are severed from the whole to which they belong. 
And therefore the globe of earth, (considered as whole, 
and in its right place) cannot truly be called heavy. 1 deny 
i^ot, but that there is in it, and so likewise in the other pla- 
nets, an ineptitude to motion, by reason of the matter and 
condensity of their bodies : and so likewise there is as ti'uly 
(though not according to the ^ame degrees) in the least 
particle of a material condensed substance: so that this 
cannot reasonably be pretended as a just impediment, why 
tte earth should be incapable of such a motion. Secondly, 
and though this globe be of so vast a magnitude, yet as na- 
ture bestows upon other creatures (for instance, an eagle 
and a fly) spirits, and motive powers, proportionable to their 
several bodies ; so likewise may she endow the earth with 
a motive faculty answerable to its greatness. Or if this may 
make the earth incapable of so swift a motion as is sup- 
posed, much more then will the heavens be disabled for that 
greater swiftness which is imagined in them. I might add^ 
the globe of the sun and Jupiter are observed to move about 
their own centres ; and therefore the earth, which is far 
less than either of them, is not, by reason of its too great 
magnitude, made unfit for such a revolution. Thirdly: as 
for the swiftness of the earth's course, it does not exceed 
(all circumstances well considered) the celerity of some 
p^ier motions, with which we are acquainted; as that of 

.t -' 


the clouds, when driven by a tempestuous -wind ; that of a 
bullet shot from a cannon/Wliich m the space of a minute 
does fly four miles*: or as another hath observed, in the 
second scruple of an hour it may pass the fifteenth part of a 
German mile. Than which, there is not any point in the 
earth's equinoctial that moves faster: and though a bullet 
be much slower in moving a^ greater distance, yet for so 
little a space, while the force of the powder is most fresh 
and powerful, it does equal the swiftness of the earth. And 


1. A bullet or cloud is carried in its whole body, being 
fain to break its way through the air round about it: but 
now the earth, (in respect of this first motion) does remain 
still in the same situation, and move only about its own 

2. The motion of a bullet is violent, and against its na- 
ture, which does strongly incline it to move downwards: 
whereas the earth, being considered as whole, and in its 
proper place, is not heavy, nor does it contain any repug- 
nancy to a circular motion. 

6. The chief argument on which our adversaries do most 
insist, is this. If there were such a motion of the earth as 
is supposed, then those bodies which are severed from it in 
the air, would be forsaken by it f . The clouds would seem 
to rise and set as the stars: the birds would be carried 
away from their nests : no heavy body could fall perpendi- 
cular: an arrow or bullet being shot from east to west by 
the same violence, will not be carried an equal distance 
from us, but we should by the revolution of our earth, 
overtake that which was shot to the east, before it could 
fall. If a man leaping up, should abide in the air but one 
second scruple of an hour, or the sixtieth part of a minute, 
the earth in that space would withdraw itself from him al- 
most a quarter of a mile, All these, and many other such 
strange inferences, which are directly contrary to sense and 
experience, would follow from this motion of the earth. 

* Meslin praefat. ad Narrat. Rhet, Fromond. Vesta, tract. 1. cap. 3. 
t Arist. de Caelo, lib. 2. cap. 13. 

. , If « • 


There are three several ways Sfost -frequently used for 

the resolving of these kind of doubts. 

1. From tliose magnetical qualities, which all elementary 
bodies do partake of. 

2. From the like motion of other things, within the room 
of a sailing ^p. 

3. From the like participation of motion in the open 
parts of a ship. 

1. For those magnetical properties, with which all these 
bodies are endowed. For the better understanding of this, 
you must know, that besides those common elementary 
qualities of heat, coldness, dryness, moisture, &c. which 
arise from the predominancy of several elements, there are 
likewise other qualities (not so well known to the ancients) 
which we call magnetical, of which every particle in the 
terrestrial globe does necessarily participate : and whether 
it be joined to this globe by continuity or contiguity, or 
whether it be severed from it, as the clpuds in the second 
region, a bird, or bullet in the air; yet does it still retain its 
magnetical qualities, together with all those operations that 
proceed from them. 

Now from these properties, do we suppose the circular 
^lotion of the earth to arise. 

If you ask what probabilities there are, to prove that the 
earth is endowed with any such affections ; I answer : it is 
likely, that the lower parts of this globe do not consist of 
mich a soft fructifying earth, as there is in the surface, (be- 
cause there can be no such use for it, as here, and nature 
does nothing in vain,^) but rather of some hard rocky sub- 
stance ; sin^e we may well conceive, that these lower parts 
are pressed close together by the weight of all those heavy 
bodies above them. Now it is probable, that this rocky 
substance is a loadstone, rather than a jaspis, adamant, 
marble, or any other ; because experience teacheth us, 
that the earth and loadstone do agree together in so many 
properties. Suppose a man were to judge the matter of dii- 
vers bodies, each of which should be wrapt up in some co* 
yering fri>m his eye, so that he might only examine thgoi ][>y 


some other outward signs : if in this examination he should 
find any particular body v^ich had all the properties that 
are peculiar to a loadstone, he should in reason conclude it 
to be of that nature, rather than any other. Now there is 
altogether as much reason why we should infer, that the 
inward parts of the earth do consist of a magnetical sub- 
stance. The agreement of these two you may see largely 
set forth in the treatise of D. Gilbert. I will instance only 
in one example; which of itself may sufficiently evidence, 
that the globe of earth does partake of the like affections 
with the loadstone. In the mariners' needle you may ob- 
serve the mafgnetical motions of direction, variation, decli- 
nation; the two last of which are found to he different, ac- 
cording to the variety of places. Now this diflcrence can-r 
not proceed from the needle itself, because that is the same 
every where. Nor can we well conceive how it should be 
caused by the heavens; for then the variation would not be 
always alike in the same place, but diverse, according to 
those several parts of the heaven, which at several times 
should happen to be over it: and therefore it must neces- 
sarily proceed from the earth, which being itself endowed 
with magnetical affections, does diversly dispose the motions 
of the needle, according to the difference of that disponent 
virtue which is in its several parts. 

Now to apply this unto the particular instances of the ob- 
jection ; we say, though some parts of this great magnet, 
the earth, may according to their matter be severed from ' 
the whole ; yet are they always joined to it by a communion 
of the same magnetical qualities; and do no less observe 
these kind of motions, whfsn they are separated from the 
whole, than if they were united to it. Nor need this seem 
incredible, that a heavy bullet, in such a swift violent course, 
should be able to observe this magnetical revolution of the 
whole earth ; when as we see that those great bodies of 
Saturn, Jupiter, &c. hanging in the vast spaces of the aethe- 
real air, do so constantly and regularly move on, in their 
appointed courses. Though we could not shew any sLtni- 


of the ship ; then may wc easily conceive, that an arrow 
or bullet being shot with the same violence, will pass but 
the same space on the earth, whether or no it be sfeot to- 
wards the east or west. 

If a heavy body, while the ship does move, will fail down 
in a strait line, then it is not the revolution of our earth 
that can hinder a perpendicular descent. 

If a man leaping up in a ship, may abide in the air one 
second scruple of an hour, and yet this ship in its greatest 
swiftness not withdraw itself fifteen foot; then will not the 
earth in that space go from him almost a quarter of a mile. 

But against this it is objected, that the earth has the simi- 
litude of an open ship, and not of any room that is close ^. 
And though it be true, that when the roof and che walls do 
all move together, the air which is included betwixt them, 
must be carried along by the same motion; yet it is not so 
with the earth, because that hath not any such walls or roof, 
wherein it may contain and carry along with it the n^edium. ' 
And therefore experience will rather argue against this sup-» 
posed revolution. Thus it is observed, that a stone'beiog 
let fall from the mast of a ship that moves swiftly, will not 
descend to the same point, ^s If the ship did stand still. * 
From whence it will follow, that if our earth had such a 
circular motion, then any heavy body being let fall from 
some high tower, or other steep place^ would not descend 
unto that point of earth which was directly under it at thQ 

To this we answer ; that the air which moves along with 
our earth, is as well limited in certain bounds, as that which 
is included in a room. If you ask where these bounds are 
terminated ; I answer, neither by the utmost parts of the 
world, nor yet by the concavity of the moon's orb (as Fro- 
mondus would have us affirm ;) but by the sphere of va- 
porous air that encompasses our earth; or which is all one, 
by the orb of magnetical vigour, which proceeds from it. 
And besides, it is considerable that all earthly bodies arc 

* Fromondus. Vest. Tract. 2. cap. 2, 

t HAt ttlE £ARtH MAY B£ A l^LANET. ^21 

not only contained within these limits, as things are in a 
close room, but also as parts in that whole to which they 

2. Though the carrying along of the medium may solve 
the motion of light bodies in a ship, as the flame of a can- 
dle, smoke, or the like^ yet this cannot concur to that 
which hath been said of heavy bodies, as a man leaping up, 
a bullet descending, &c. since it is not the motion of the 
mere air that is able to make these partake of the same 
motion with the ship. Unto that argument which he urges 
from the experiment of a stone falling in an open ship, we 
answer: ^ 

1 . Though the instance of a ship may serve as a proof for 
this opinion, it being an argument a minori ad rnajus, from 
an accidental motion to a natural ; yet it will not serve 
against it. For though it were not thus in accidental mo- 
tions ; yet this would not hinder but that it might be so in 
those that are supposed to be proper and natural. 

2. As for that experiment itself, it is but a groundless / 
im^ination, and was never yet confirmed by any particular 
experience ; because it is certain the event would be clean 
otherwise, as shall be proved in the third way of answer- 

• ing. 

S. The third and last way of clearing the doubts in the 
sixth argument, is by shewing the like participation of mo- 
tion, in those things that are in the open parts of a ship. 
To which purpose Galilseus^ urges this experiment: If 
any one should let fait a stone from an high mast, he would 
find lapidem in eundem seniptr navis locmn decidere^ sen 
consistat illa^ seu guaniacungue velocitafe moveatur: that 
the stone would always descend 4into the very same place, 
whether or no the ship did move or stand still. The rea-^ 
son of which is, because the motion of the ship is likewise 
impressed in the stone : which impression is not equally 
prevalent in a light body, as a feather, or wool? because 
the air which has power over them, is not carried along by 

♦ Sy«t. Mund. Colloq. 2. 


the same motion of the ship. Thus likewise will it be in 
this other experiment: if a man upon a running horse 
should in his swiftest course let fall a bullet or stone» these 
heavy bodies, besides their own descent, would also parti- 
cipate that transverse motion of the horse. For as those 
things that are thrown from us, do continue their motion 
when they are out of the hand in the open air j so likewise 
must it be when the force is conferred by that motion 
which the arm has from the horse. While a man is riding, 
his arm is also carried by the same .swiftness of the horse; 
therefore, if he should only open his hand and let fall any 
thing, it would not descend in a strait line, but must neces- 
sarily be driven foiward, by reason of that force impressed 
in it by the swiftness of the horse, which is also communi- 
cated to the arm; it being all one in effect, whether or no 
the arm be moved by a particular mption of its own, as it 
is in casting of things from us ; or by the common motion 
of the body, as it is in dropping of any thing from us, either 
when we are on the top of some sailing ship, as in the 
former; or on some running horse, as in this latter in-» 

What hath been said concerning the motion of descents 
is likewise appliable, both to that which is upward, ai^d 
that which is transversal. So that when it is objected, if 
the earth did move, then a bullet that were shot up perpea-- 
dicularly would be forsaken by it, and not descend to the 
place from whence it arose : we answer, that the cannon 
which is upon the earth, together with the bullet in it, do 
partake of the same circular motion with the earth ; and 
this perhaps our adversaries will grant. Whilst we suppose 
the bullet to remain stUl in the cannon ; all the difficulty 
will be to shew how it must necessarily observe the same 
motion, when it is shot out into the open air*. For flic 
better explication of this, you may note this following 

* Gall. Syst. CoUoq. 2. 



Where we suppose A C to be a cannon perpendicularly* 
erected with a bullet in it at B, which if it were immove- 
able, we grant that the bullet being discharged, must ascend 
in a just perpendicular. But now conceive this cannon to 
move along with the earth, then in that space of time while 
the bullet by the force of the powder is ascending to the 
top of the bore, the cannon will be transferred to the situa- 
tion D£; so that the bullet must be moved according to 
the line F G, which is not directly upright, but somewhat 
declining. Now the motion of the bullet in the air, must 
necessarily be conformed unto that direction that is im* 
pressed in it by the cannon from whence it is shot, and so 
consequently it must be continued according to the line F G, 
and therefore will always keep perpendicularly over the 
point from which it did ascend. 

If you reply, that the motion of the buUeUn the cannon 
must needs be so swift, that the earth cannot carry the can- 
non from C to E, in the same space of time wherein the 
bullet does move from B to A. I answer; it is not mate- 
rial whether the earth be of a greater or lesser swiftness 
than the bullet, because the declination must always be 
proportionable to the motion of the earth ; and if we sup- 
pose this to be slower than the bullet, then the declination 
of the line F G, will be so much the less. 

This truth may yet farther be illustrated by the practice 
of those fowlers, who used to kilt birds as they are flying : 


concerning which art, it is commonly thought that these 
men direct their aims to some certain space in the air, just 
before the birds, where they conceive tlie bullet will meet 
with them in their flight ; whereas the truth is, they pro- 
ceed in this case, the very same way, as if the birds did 
stand still, by a direct aiming at their bodies, and following 
of their flight by the motion of the piece, till at length, 
having got a perifcct aim, they discbarge, and do hit altoge- 
ther as surely, as if the birds were sitting upon a tree. 
From whence we may observe, that the motion of the 
piece, as in our aiming it is made to follow the birds in 
their flight (though'it be but slow,} yet is communicated to 
the bullet in the air. 

But here it may seem very difficolt to give any reason 
according to those grounds concerning the flight of birds ,- 
which being animated, have a liberty to fly here or there, 
to tarry for a good space of time in the open air, and so it 
is not easy to conceive what means there is, by which they 
should participate of the earth's diurnal revolution. 

To this Galilseus answers, that the motion of the air, as 
it does turn about the clouds, so doth it also carry with it 
the birds, together with such other like things that are in it 
For if some violent wind be able to drive with such swift- 
ness a full laden ship, to throw down towers, to turn up 
trees, and the like ; much more then may the diurnal mo- 
tion of the air, (which does so far exceed in swiftness the 
most tempestuous wind) be able to carry with it the bodies 
of birds. 

But if all things be turned about by tins revolution, th^ 
it should seem there is no such thing as a right motioui 
whether of ascent, or descent in a strait line. 
■ I answer ; the moving of heavy or light bodies, may be 
considered in a double relation. 

1. According to the space wherein they move, and we 
grant their motions not to be simple, but mixed of a direct 
and circular. 

2. According to the body or medium wherein they 
move, and then they may properly be said to have rlg^t 


motions, because they pass through the medium in a strait 
line ; and therefore it is, that unto us they seem directly to 
ascend or descend. Aristotle himself would not deny, but 
that fire may ascend in a strait line unto its sphere ; and yet 
participate also of that circular motion which he supposes 
to be communicated from the heaven, unto the upper part 
of the air, and its own region. So likewise must it be for 
the descent of any thing. Suppose a ship in its swiftest 
motion, and a man in it, having some vessel filled with 
water, should let fall into it a little ball of wax, or some 
other matter which may be slow in its sinking, so that in 
one minute it should scarce descend the space of a cubit, 
though the ship (it may be) in the same time may pass at 
least a hundred cubits; yet would this still seem unto dM 
eye to descend in a strait line ; and the other motion which 
is communicated unto it by the dhip, w6uld not at all be 
discernible in it. And though in this case, the motion 
were in itself composed of a circular and direct; yet in i-e- 
spect of us it would appear, and so might be stiled, exactly 

Now if it be thus in those which are generally granted to 
be preternatural motions'; we fieed not doubt then the 
possibility of the like effect in that motion which we con- 
ceive to be proper and natural, both to the earth, and the 
things that belong unto it. 

There is yet another objection to this purpose urged by 
Malapertius^, a late Jesuit; who, though he do with much 
eagerness press this argument concerning a bullet or stone, 
against the opinion of Copernicus ; yet he grants that it 
might easily l?e resolved, if the defenders of it would affirai 
that the air did move round with the earth. But tliis, say» 
he, they dar^ not avouch; for then the comets Would al- 
ways seem to stand still, being carried about with the re- 
volution of this air; and then they could not rise or set, as 
experience shews they do. 

To this it may be answered, that most comets are above 

Austriaca Syder. par^ 2. prop. 25. 

VOL. I. Q^ 


that sphere of air which is turned round with our earth, as 
is manifest by their height The motion that appears vol 
them, is caused by the revolution of our earth, whereby we 
are turned from them. 

As for those which are within the orb of our air, these 
do seem to stand still. Such a* one was that mentioned by 
Joscphus^, which did Constantly hangover Jerusalem; and 
that likewise which appeared about the time of Agrippa's 
death, and for many days together did hang over the city 
of Rome. Wherefore Seneca t does well distinguish out 
of Epigenes, betwixt two sorts of comets ; the one being 
lowy and such as seem immoveable; the other higher, and 
such as did constantly observe tlieir risings and settings, as 
the stars. 

I have done with all the arguments of any note or dif- 
ficulty, that are urged against this diurnal motion of the 
earth. Many other cavils there are, not worth the naming, 
which discover themselves to be rather the objections of a 
captious, than a doubtful mind. Amongst which, I might 
justly pass over those that are set down by Alex. Rosse];. 
But because this author does proceed in his whole discourse 
with so much scorn and triumph, it will not be amiss there- 
fore to examine what infallible evidence there is in those 
arguments upon which he grounds his boastings. 

We have in one chapter no less than these nine. 

1. If the earth did move, then would it be irotter than 
the water, because motion does produce heat: and for this 
reason likewise, the water would be so hot and rarified, 
that it could not be congealed ; since that also does partake 
of the same motion with the earth. 

2. The air which is next the earth, would be purer, as 
being rarified with motion. 

3« If the earth did move the air, it would cause some 
sound ; but this is no more Audible, than Pythagoras's har^ 
mony of the heavens. 

• De bello Judaico, i. 7. cap. 12. Dion. 1. 54. 

t Nat. Qu. iil^« 7. cap. 6. $ lib. 1. secu 2. cap. 6. 



4. It would have been in vain for nature to have endow- 
ed the heavens with all conditions requisite for motion, if 
they had been to stand still. As first, they have a round 
figure. Secondly, they have neither gravity nor levity. 
Thirdly, they are incorruptible. Fourthly, they have no 

5. All similary parts are of the same nature with the 
whole : but each part of the earth does rest in its place ; 
therefore also doth the whole. - 

6. The sun in the world is as the heart in a man^s body ; 
but the motion of the heart ceasing, none of the members 
do stir: therefore also if the sun should stand still, the other 
parts of the world would be without motion. 

7. The sun and heavens do work upon these inferior bo^ 
dies by their light and m9tion. So the moon does operate 
upon the sea. 

8. The earth is the foundation of buildings, and there- 
fore must be firm and stable. 

9. It is the constant opinion of divines^ that the heavens 
shall rest after the day of judgment; which they proye 
from Isa. vi. 20. Thy sun shall no more go down, neither 
shall thy moon withdraw itself. So likewise. Rev. x. 6. 
The angel swears that there shall be time no longer; and 
therefore the heavens must rest, since by their motion it is 
that time is measured. And St. Paul says, Rom. viii. 20. 
That all the creatures are subject to vanity. Now this can 
be no other in the heavens, than the vanity of motion, 
which the wise man speaks of, Eccles. i. 4. The sun riseth, 
and the sun goeth down, &c. 

To these it may be answered : 

In the first you may note a manifest contradiction, when 
he will have the earth to be hotter than the water, by rea- 
son of this motion; when as notwithstanding, he acknow- 
ledges the water to move along with it : and therefore too 
in ihe next line, he infers that the water, because of that 
heat and rarefaction which it receives from this motion 
with the earth, must be incapable of so much cold, as to 
be congealed into ice. 



But unto that which may be conceived to be his meaning 
in this and the next argument; I answer: if he had fully 
understood this opinion which he opposes, he would easily 
have apprehended that it could not be prejudiced by either 
of these consequences. Fo^ we suppose that not only this 
globe of earth and water, but also all the vaporous air 
which environs it, are carried along by the same motion. 
And therefore, though what he says concerning the heat; 
which would be produced by such a motion, were true, yet 
it would not be pertinent, since our earth and water, and 
the air next unto them, are not by this means severed from 
one another, and so do not come within the compass of this 

If any reply, that this will notwithstanding hold tri^ con- 
cerning the upper part of the air, where there is such a 
separation of one body from another; and so consequently^ 
an answerable heat. I answer, 

1 . It is not generally granted, that motion in all kind of 
bodies does produce heat ; some restrain it only to solid bo- 
dies, affirming, that in those which are fluid, it is rather the 
cause of coldness. 'This is the reason, say they, why run-- 
ning waters are ever to our sense the coolest; and why, 
amongst those winds which proceed from the same coasts 
of heaven, about the same time of the year, the strongest 
always is the coldest? If you object, that running waters arc 
not so soon frozen as others, they answer; this is not be- 
cause they are thereby heated, but because unto congela- 
tion it is requisite that a body should settle and rest, as 
well as be cold. 

2. If we should grant a moderate heat in tho>se parts of 
the air, we have not any experiment to the contrary, nor 
would it prejudice the present opinion, or common prin- 

As tlie sound of this motion is not more heard than the 
harmony of the heavens ; so neither is there any reason 
why this motion should cause a sound, more than the sup- 
posed motion of the heavens, which is likewise thought to 
be continued unto the air hard by us. 


This will provfe the earth to move as well as the heavens: 
for that has, first, a round figure, as is generally granted. 
Secondly, being considered as whole, and in its proper 
place, it is not heavy, as was proved before. And as for 
the two other conditions, neither are they true of the hea- 
vens, nor if they were, would they at all conduce to their 

1. This argument would prove that the sea did not ebb 
and How, because there is not the same kind of motion in 
every drop of water; or that the whole earth is not sphe- 
rical, because every little piece of it is not of the same 

This is rather an illustration than a proof; or if it do 
prove any thing, it may serve as- well for that purpose unto 
which it is afterward applied, where the motion of every 
planet is supposed to depend upon the revolution of the 

That the sun and planets do work upon the earth by their 
own real daily motion, is the thing in question ; and there- 
fore must not be taken for a common ground. 

We grant that the earth is &cm and stable firom all such 
motions whereby it is joggled or uncertainly shaken. 

1. For the authority of those divines, which he urgfes for 
the interpretation of these scriptures; this will be but a 
weak argument against that opinion which is already 
granted to be a paradox. 

2. The scriptures themselves, in their right meaning, 
will not at all conduce to the present purpose. 

As for that in Isaiah, if we consult the coherence, we 
shall find that the scope of the prophet is to set forth the 
glory of the church triumphant. Wherein he says there 
shall not be any need of the sun or moon, but God's pre- 
sence shall supply them both : for the Lord shall be unto 
thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory, ver. 19. 
and as for this sun and moon, it shall not go down, or 
withdraw itself, but he shall be an everlasting light with- 
out intcrmissien. So that it i3 evident he speaks of 


t\i9t light which shall hereafter be instead of the sun imd 
mqon *. 

As for that in the Revelations, we yield that time shall 
cease; but to say that this depends upon the cessation of 
the heavens, is to beg the question, and to suppose that 
wliich is to b^ proved ; viz, that time is measured by the 
motion of the heavens, and not o^ the earth. Perreriusf 
(from whom this last argument was borrowed without ac- 
Juiowledgment) might have to}4 hina in the very saiae place, 
that time does not absolutely and upivefsally depend upoii 
^e motion of the heavens^ sed in motu et successione, cu^ 
juslibet duraftonis, but in any such succession, by whicl^ 
duration piay be, measured. 

As for tbat in the Romans, we say, that there are othef 
vanities to whiph the heavenly bodies are svibject: as first, 
VTito many changes ^nd alterations ; witness those comets 
which at several times have been discerned amongst them; 
^nd then likewise to that general corruption, in which all 
the creatures shall be involved at the last day. When 
they shall pass away with a great noise, and the element^ 
shall melt with fei-vent he^tj. 

Thus you 3ee, there i^ not any such invincible strength 
in these arguments, as might cause the author of them to 
triumph before-hand with any great noise of victory. 

Another gbjection like unto ^ese is taken fronj the etyr 
mology of several words. Thus the heavens are called 
^thercti ab m ^f^Vy because they are always in motion, and 
the earth Ve%ta^ guivi siaty because of its immobility. 

To which I answer; it we^e no difficult matter to find 
.^uch proofs for thi^ opinion, as \f ell a^ againit it. 

Thus we may say that the Hebrejv word io** is derived 
fjrom )pr\ quia currii ; and terra^ non quod terratuf^ sed quo4 
perenni cursu pmni^ terat^ saith Calcagnius. However, 
tjitpygl^ wp suppose the etymology to be never so true andj 

♦ Vid. Bevel, xxi. S3.]teinxxii. 5. 

I Gen. c 1, 1.2. quaeit. ^ %2 Pe^, iii, IQj, 1% 

• .> 



genuine, yet it can at the best but shew what the more 
common opinion was of those times when such names were 
first imposed. ' 

But suppose all this were so, that the earth had such a 
diurnal revolution ; yet how is it conceivable that it should 
at the samie time have two distinct motions ? 

I answer : this may easily be apprehended, if you con- 
sider how both these motions do tend the same way from 
west to east. Thus a bowl being turned out of the hand, 
has two motions in the air; one, whereby it is carried 
round ; the other, whereby it is cast forward. 

From what hath been delivered in this chapter, the in- 
different reader may gather some satisfaction for those ar- 
gunjents which are usually urged against this diurnal motion 
of the earth. 



Thai it is more probable the earth does move^ than the sur^ 

or heavens. 

AMONGST those many arguments that may be urged 
for the confirmation of this truth^ I shall set down 
only these five. 

1 . If we suppose the earth to be the cause of this motion, 
then will those vast and glorious bodies of the heavens be 
freed from that inconceivable, unnatural swiftness, which 
must qtherwise be attributed unto them. 

For if the diurnal revolution be in the heavens, then it 
will follow according to the common hypothesis*, that 
each star in the equator must in every hour move at the 
least 4529538 German miles. So that according to the 
observation of Cardan t> who tells us that the pulse of ^ 

* Vid. Mesl. Epit. Astr. I. fine. 
\ De Prop, 1. 5. prpp. 58. 

I . 


well-tempered man does beat 4000 times in an houTt one of 
these stars in that space, whilst the pulse beats once, must 
pass 1132 German miles (saith Alphraganus :) or according 
tp Tycho, 732 German miles. But these numbers seem to 
be somewhat of the least, and therefore many others do 
much enlarge them, affirming that every star in the equator, 
in one beating of the pulse, must move 252S of these 

It is the assertion of Clavius *, that though the distance 
of the orbs, and so consequently their swiftness, seem to be 
altogether incredible ; yet it is rather far greater in itself 
than astronomers usually suppose it ; and yet saith he, ac-^ 
cording to the common grounds, every star in the equator 
must move 42398437 i niiles in an hour. And though a 
man should constantly travel forty mile^a day, yet he would 
not be able to go so far as a star does in one hour, under 
2904 years : or if we wiH suppose an arrow to be of the 
same swiftness, then must it compass this great globe of 
earth and water 1884 times in an hour. And a bird that 
could but fly as fast, might go round the world seven times 
in that space, whilst one could say, Ave Maria^ gratia pleruh 
Dominus tecum. 

Which though it be a pretty round pace, yet you must 
conceive that all this is spoken only of the eighth sphere ; 
and so being compared to the swiftness of the prwtum mo^ 
bile, is but a slow and heavy motion. 

For (saith the same author) the thickness of each 
orb is equal to the distance of its concave superficies from 
the cciiLre of the earth. Thus the orb of the moon docs 
contain as much space in its thickness, as there is betwixt 
the nearest parts of th^t and the centre. Thus also the 
eighth sphere is as thick as that whole space betwixt the 
centre of the e^rth and its own concave superficies. So 
likewise must it be in those three other orbs, which he sup, 
pbses to be above the starry heaven. Now if we propor* 
tlQn their swiftness according to this difference in th^ii^ 

^ Cominent. m prim. cap. Sphaera« 


bigness, you may then conceive (if you can) what a kind of 
celerity that must be, by which the primum mobile will be 
whirled about. 

Tycho makes the distance of the stars to be much less, 
and their motion slower ; and yet he is fain to confess, that 

it is mnni cogitatione celej'ior* 

Clavius likewise speaking concerning the swiftness of the 
starry orb, does acknowledge, Stiod velociias ejus captum 
huniani ingenii exeedit. What then could he think of the 
primum mobile ? 

Dr. Gilbert * being it seems astonished at the conside* 
ration of this strange swiftness, says of it, that it is mottis 
supra omnes cogitatiojieSy somnia^/abulas if licentias poeticas 
insuperabiliSf ineffabilisy incoinprekensibilis, A man may 
more easily conceive the possibility of any fable or fiction, 
how beasts and trees might talk together, than how any 
material body should be moved with such a swiftness. 

Not but that it is possible for God to turn them about 
with a far greater velocity. Nay it is possible for art to 
contrive a motion, which shall be equally slow in that pro- 
portion as this is swift. But however, the question here is 
not what can be done, but what is most likely to be done 
according to the usual course of nature. It is the part of 
a philosopher, in the revolution of natural events, not to, fly 
ynto the absolute power of God, and tell us what he can do, 
but what according to the usual way of providence is most 
likely to be done, to find out such causes of tilings, as may 
seem most easy and probable to our reason. 

If you ask what repugnancy there is in the heavens, unto 
so great a swiftness: we answer, their being such vast ma- 
t^rial condensed substances, with which this inconceivable 
motion cannot agree. 

Since motion and magnitude are two such geometrical 
things, as bear a mutual proportion to one another ; there- 
fore it may seem convenient, that slowness ghotild be more 
agreeable to a great bddy, and swiftness to a lesser : and so 
li should be more consonant to the principles of nature, that 

• De laagnete, 1. 6. c. 3. 


the earth, which is of a lesser quantity, should be appointed * 
to such a motion as^ is somewhat proportionable to its big- 
ness, than that the heavens that are of such a vast magni- 
tude, should be whirled about with such an incredible swift- 
ness, which does as far exceed the proportion of their 
bigness, as their bigness does exceed this earth, that is but a 
point or centre to them. It is not likely that nature in these 
constant and great works, should so much deviate from 
that usual harmony and proportion which she observes in 
lesser matters. If this globe of earth only were appointed 
to move every day round the orb of the fixed stars, though 
it be but a little body, and so more capable of a swift mo- 
tion ; yet that swiftness would be so extremely dispropor^ 
tionable unto it, that we could not with reason conceive it 
possible, according to the usual course of nature. But now 
that the heavens themselves, of such strange bigness, with 
so many stars, which do so far exceed the magnitude of our 
earth, should be able to turn about with the same celerity , 
oh ! it is altogether beyond the fancy of a poet or a mad- 

For answer unto this argument, our adversaries tell us! 
that there is not in the heavens any repugnancy to so swifi 
a motion $ and that whether we consider the nature of those 
bodies ; or, secondly, the swiftness of this motion. 

I. For the nature of those bodies, either C Qualities, 
their 1 Quantity. 

1. There is not in them the qualities of lightness or hea- 
viness, or any the least contrariety that may make them 
reluctant to one another. 

2. Their magnitude will help them in their swiftness ♦ : 
for the greater any body is, the quicker will it be in its 
motion, and that not only when it is moved by an inward 
principle, as a millstone will descend faster than a little 
pebble ; but also when its motion does proceed from some 
external agibt ; as the wind will drive a great cloud, or a 
Ixeavy ship, when it is not able to stir a little stone^ 

* Koss. 1. 1. sect. 1. c. I, 


II. As for the swiftness of this rdotion, the possibility of it 
may be illustrated by other particulars in nature : as, 

1. The sound of a cannon, in a little time is carried for 
twenty miles distance *. 

2. Though a star be situated so remotely from us, yet the 
eye discerns it in a moment, which is not without some mo-» 
tion, either of the species of the star, or the rays of the 
eye. Thus also the light does in an instant pass from one 
side of the heaven to another f. 

V I. If the force of powder be abl^ to carry a bullet with 
so great a swiftness, we need not doubt then^ but that 
the hp^ve^s are capable of such a celerity a3 is usually 
attributed unto them. 
Unto these it may be answered : 

1. Where they say that the heavenly bodies are without 
all gravity, we grant it, in the same sense as our earth also, 
l^eing considered as whole, and in its proper place, may be 
denied to be heavy : Since this quality in the exactest sense» 
C?an only be ascribed unto such parts as are severed from the 
whole to which they belong. But however, since th^ 
heavens or stars are of a material substance, it is impossible 
but there should be in them some ineptitude to motion ; 
because matter is of itself a dull and sluggish thing'; and by. 
so ipucl^ the more, as it is kept close and condensed toge«> 
then And though the followers of Ptolemy do with mucl| 
confidence deny the heavens to be capable of any reluctancy 
to motion, yet it were easy to prove the contrary out of 
^eir own principles. It is not conceivable how the upper 
sphere should move the nether, unless their superficies 
were full of rugged parts (which they deny) : or el$e one 
qf the orbs must lean upon tl^e other with its weight, an4 
so make it partake of its own motion. And besides, they 
tell us, that the farther any sphere is distant from the prU^ 
n^tim mobile^ the less it is hindered by that in its proper 
pourse, and the sooner does it finish its own revolution. 

f i^sfi L ^. sect. 1. c. 5. t lien^f 1* 1* tec^, 1. c* S* 



From whence it will easily follow, that these bodies have 
resistency from one another. 

I have often wondered why amongst the enchanted 
buildings of the poets, they have not feigned any castle to 
be made of the same materials with the solid orbs, suice in 
such a fabric there would have been these eoiinent coavc* 

1- It mpst needs be very pleasant; by reason of its per- 
spicuity, because it is more diaphanous than the air itseifjr 
and so the walls of it could not hinder the prospect any way. 

2. Being so solid and impenetrable, it must needs be ex- 
cellent against all violence of weathers, as also against the 
assaults of the enemy, who should not be able to break it 
with the most furious batteries of the ram, or pierce it with 
9ny cannon shot. 

3. Being void of all heaviness, a man may carry it up and 
down with him, as a snail does his house ; and so whether 
he follow the enemy, or fly from him, he has still this ad- 
vantage, that he may take his castle and defence along with 


But then againt there are on the other side as many in- 
conveniencies. For, 

1 . Its perspicuity would make it so open, that a man 
should not be able to retire himself into any private part of 
it. And then, 

2. Being so extremely solid, as well as invisible, a man 
should be still in danger of knocking his head against every 
wall and pillar ; unless it were also intangible, as some of 
the peripatetics affirm. 

3. Its being without all gravity, would bring this incon- 
venience, that every little pufFof wind would blow it up and 
down ; since some of the same sect are not ashamed to say, 
that the heavens are so utterly devoid of heaviness, that if 
but a little fly sfeould jostle against the vast frame of the ce- 
lestial spheres, he would move them out of tlieir places. 

A strong fancy, that could be at leisure, might make eX* 
cellent sport with this astronomical fiction. 



^0 that this first evasion of our adversaries will not shelter 
them from the force of tl^at argument, which is taken from 
the incredible swiftness of the heavens. 

2. Whereas they tell us in the second place, that a bigger, 
body, as a millstone, will naturally descend swifter than a 
less, as a pebble. I answer : this is not because such a 
great body is in itself more easily moveable, but because the 
bi^er any thing is which^ is out of its own place, the 
stronger will be its natural desire of returning thither, and 
so consequently, the quicker its motion. But now those 
bodies that move circularly, are always in their proper si- 
tuations, and so the same reason is not appliable unto them. 
And then, whereas it is said, that magnitude does always 
add'to the swiftness of a violent motion (as wind will move 
a great ship sooner than a little stone : we answer : this is not 
because a ship is more easily moveable in itself than a little 
stone : for I suppose the objector will not think he can throw 
the One as far as the other ; but because these- little bodies 
are not so liable to that kind of violence from whence their 
motion does proceed. 

As for those instances, which are cited to illustrate the 
possibility of this swiftness in the heavens, we answer: the 
passage of a sound is but very slow in comparison to the 
motion of the heavens. And then besides, the swiftness of 
the species of sound or sight which are accidents, are not 
fit to infer the like celerity in a material substance : and so 
likewise for the ligfit which Aristotle himself *, and with 
him the generality of philosophers, do for this very reason 
prove not to be a body, because it moves with such swift- 
ness, of which (it seems) they tlxought a body to be inca- 
pable. Nay, the objector t himself in another place, 
speaking of light in reference to a substance, does say : 
Lumen est accidens^ sic species ret 'visa^ H alia est ratio 
substantiarunfiy alia accidentiurn. 

To that of a bullet, we answer : he might as well have 
illustrated the swiftne^ of a bullet, which will pass four or 
five miles in two minutes, by the motion of a hand in a 

* De Anima, L 3. c. 7. t ^os9. 1. 2. sect. 1. c. 4. 


watch, which passes two or three inches in twelve houts ; 
there being a greater disproportion betwixt the motion of 
the heavens and the swiftness of a bullet, than there is be- 
twixt the swiftness of a bullet and the motion of a hand in 
a watch. 

Another argument to this purpose may )ie taken firom 
the chief end of the diurnal and annual motions, which is 
to distinguish betwixt night and day, winter and summer ; 
and so consequently, to serve for the commodities and s^- 
sons of the habitable world. Wherefore it may seem more 
agreeable to the wisdom of providence, for to make the 
earth as well the efficient, as the final cause of this motion; 
especially since nature in her other operations does never 
use any tedious difficult means to perform that which may 
as well be accomplished by shorter and easier ways. But 
now, the appearances would be the same, in respect of us, 
if only this little point of earth were made the subject of 
these motions, as if the vast frame of the world, with all^ 
those stars of such number and bigness were moved about it. 
It is a common maxim, MviSev etxyi n^v (pvtrtv epyct^ea^tu *. 
Nature does nothing in vain, but in all her courses does take 
the most compendious way. It is not therefore (I say) ' 
likely, that the whole fabric of the heavens, which do so 
much exceed our earth in magnitude and perfection, should 
be put to undergo so great and constant a work in the ser- 
vice of our earth, which might more easily save all that la- 
bour by the circumvolution of its own body ; especially, 
since the heavens do not by this motion attain any farther 
perfection for themselves, but are made thus serviceable to 
this little ball of earth. So tliat in this case it may seem to 
argue as much improvidence in nature to employ them in 
this motion, as it would in a mother f? who in warming hef 
child, would rather turn the fire about that, than that about 
the fire : or in a cook J, who would not roast his meat by 
turning it about to the fire ; but rather, by turning the fire 
about it : or in a man ||, who ascending some high tower, to 

* Galen. f Laniberg. J Keplar. |i GaliL 


save the labour of stirring his head, should rather desire that 
all the regions mighjt successively be turned before his eye, 
that so he might easily take a view of them. 

We allow every watchmaker so much wisdom as not to 
put any motion in his instrument, which is superfluous, or 
may be supplied an easier way : and shall we not think 
that nature has as much providence as every ordinary me^ 
chanic ? or can we imagine that she should appoint those 
numerous and vast bodies, the stars, to compass us with 
such a swift and restless motion, so full of confusion and 
uncertainties, when as all this might as well be done by the 
revolution of this little ball of earth ? 

Amongst the several parts of the world, there are six 
planets which are generally granted to move. As for the 
sun and the earth, and the fixed stars, it is yet in question, 
which of them are naturally endowed with the same con-* 
dition. Now common reason will dictate unto us, that 
motion is most agreeable to that which in kind and proper- 
ties, is most near to those bodies that undoubtedly are 
moved. But now there is one eminent qualification^ 
wherein the earth does agree with the planets ; whereas 
the sun, together with the fixed stars, do in the same respect 
differ from them : and that is light, which all the planets, 
and so too the earth, are fain to borrow elsewhere, whilst 
the sun and the stars have it of their own. From whence 
it may be probably concluded, that the earth is rather the 
subject of this motion than the other. To this it may be 
added, that the sun and stars seem to be of a more excellent 
nature than the other parts of the world ; and therefore 
should in reason be endowed with the best qualifications. 
But now motion is not so noble a condition as rest. That 
is but a kind of wearisome and servile thing ; whereas, this 
is usually ascribed to God himself: of whom it is said : 

Immotus stabilisque manens dans cuncta moveri*, 

Aristotle t tells us, it is very agreeable to reason that 
the time appointed for the revolution of each orb should 

* Boet. de ConsoL Phil. 13, fDe Coelo, 1 2. c ip. 


be proportionable to its bigness. But now this can only be 
by making the earth a planet, and the subject of the annual 
and diurnal motions. Wherefore it is probable, that this 
does rather move than the hearens. 

According to the common hypothesis, the primum mth 
bile will move round in a day. Saturn in thirty years. 
Jupiter In twelve.' Mars in two. The Sun, Venus, and 
Mercury, which have several orbs, yet will agree in their 
revolutions, being each of them about a year in finishiif 
their courses : whereas by making the earth a planet, there 
will be a just proportion betwixt the bigness of the orbs and 
the time of their motions : f6r then, next t6 the sun or cen- 
tre, there will be the sphere of Mercury ; which as it is but 
narrower in its diameter, so likewise is it quick in its. mo* 
tion, running its course in 88 days. Venus, that is next 
unto it, in 224 days. The earth in 365 days, or a year. 
Mars in 687 days, Jupiter in 4332 days, Saturn in 10759 
days. Thus likewise is it with those Medicean stars that 
encompass Jupiter. That which is lowest amongst them, 
finishes his course in two and twenty hours ; the next in 
three days and a half ; the third in seven, days ; and the 
farthest in seventeen days. Now as it is (according to 
Aristotle's confession) more likely that nature should ob* 
serve such a due. proportion betwixt tlie heavenly orbs ; so 
is it more probable, that tlie earth should move, rather than 
the heavens. 

This may likewise be confirmed from the appearance of 
comets: concerning which there are three things com- 
monly granted, or if they were not, might be easily proved : 

1. That there are divers comets in the air, betwixt the 
moon and our eartli. 

2. That many of these comets do seem to rise and set as 
the stars. 

3. That this appearing motion is not properly their own, 
but communicated unto them from somewhat else. 

But now, this motion of theirs cannot be caused by the 


Iieavens ; and therefore it must necessarily proceed from 
the revolution of our earth. 

That the moon's orb cannot carry aloi\g with it the 
greater part of the air, wherein these comets are placed, 
might easily l)p proved from the Common grpuuds. For 
the concave superficies of that sphere is usually supposed to 
be exactly terse and smooth ; so that the meer touch of it 
cs^nnot turn about the whole element of iire, with a motion 
that is not natural unto il;. Nor could this elementary firej 
which they imagine to be of a more rarified and subtle nar 
ture, communicate the same motion to the thicker air, and 
that to the waters (as some affirm:) for by what means 
could that smooth orb take hold of the adjoining air? To 
this Sarsius answers, that there are great gibbosities apd 
mountainous inequalities in the concavity of the lowest 
sphere, and by these is it enabled to carry along with it the 
£reand air. But Fromondus * tells him, Fictiiia-Mfa l^ 
adfugam reperta sunt. And yet his own conjecture is 
scarce $0 good, when he affirms, that this motion of the 
aethereal air, as also of that elementary air hard by us, is 
caused by that rgggedness which there is in the bodies of 
the planfets ; of which opinion we may with as good reason 
say as he says to Sarsius, ficlitia isia 5f ad fttgam reperta : 
these things are mere fictions invented for shifts, and with- 
out aijy probable ground. 

But now this appearance of the comets may easily be 
resolved, if we suppose the earth to, move. For then, 
though they did still remain in their wonted places ; yet. 
this, by its diurnal revolution successively withdrawing it- 
self from them, tlaey wili appear to rise and set. And 
therefore, according to this common natural experiment, it 
is more probable tliat the earth should move, than the 

Another argument urged by some to prove that this 
globe of .earth is easily moveable, is taken from the opinion 
of those who affirm tlaat the access of any weight unto a 

,% Antar. cap. 16. 


VOL. I. R 


new place *, as suppose an army, does make the earth 
poise itself afresh, and change the centre of gravity that it 
had before : but this is not generally granted ; and there- 
fore not to be insisted on as a common ground. 

To this purpose likewise is that inference of Lansbergius, 
who from Archimedes his saying, that he could move the 
earth, if he knew where to stand and fasten his insttument; 
concludes, that the earth is easily moveable ; whereas it was 
the intent of Archimedes in that speech, to shew the infi- 
nite power of engines : there being no weight so great, but 
that an instrument might be invented to move iL 

Before we finish this chapter, it is requisite tiuit we in- 
quire what kind of faculty that is from which these motions 
that Copernicus ascribes unto the earth, do proceed: 
whether or no it be some animal power, that does assist (as 
Aristotle) or inform (as Keplar thinks,) or else some other 
natural motive quality which is intrinsical unto it. 

We may observe, that when the proper genuine cause of 
any motion is not obvious, men are very prone to attribute 
unto that which they discern to be the most frequent origi- 
nal of it in other things, life. Thus the stoics affirm the 
soul of the water to be the cause of the ebbing and flowing 
of the sea. Thus others think the wind to proceed from the 
life of the air, whereby it is able to move itself several ways, 
as other living creatures f. And upon the same grounds 
do the Platonics, Stoics, and some of the Peripatetics, affirm 
tlae heavens to be animated. From hence likewise it is, 
that so many do maintain Aristotle his opinion concerning 
intelligences ; which some of his followers, the schoolmen, 
do confirm out of scripture, from that place in Matthew 
xxiv. 29. where it is said, the powers of the heavens shall 
be shaken. In which words, by powers (say they) are 
^ meapt the angels, by whose power it is, that the heavens are 
moved. And so likewise in that. Job ix. 13. where the 
vulgar has it, sub qiw curvaniur^ qui portant orbem ; that is, 

<* Vid. Vasq. 1. 1, diff. 2. cap. 8. 16. 
t Sen. Nat. Quest. 1. 5. cap. 5, 6. 


the intelligences. Which text might serve altogether as * 
Well, to prove the fable of Atlas and Hercules. Thus 
Cajetan concludes from that place irt the PSaliii cxixvL 5. 
where it is said, " God by wisdom made the heavens ; of 
according to the vulgar, Qui fecit coelos intellectUy that the 
heavens are moved by an intelligent soul. 

If we consider the original of this opinion, we shall find it 
to proceed from that mistake of Aristotle, who thought the 
heavens to be eternal ; and therefore to require such a mov- 
ing cause, as being of an immaterial substance, might be 
exempted from all that weariness and inconstancy which 
other things are liable unto. 

But now this ground of his is evidently false, since it is 
certain that the heavens had a beginning, and shall have art 
end. However, the employing of angels in these motions 
of the world, is both superfluous, and very improbable. . 

1 . Because a natural power, intrinsical to those bodies, 
will serve the turn as well. And as for other opei^ations, 
which are to be constant and regular, nature does com- 
monly make use of some inward principle. 

2. The intelligences being immaterial, cannot immedi- 
ately work upon a body ; nor does any one tell us what 
instruments they should make use of in this business. 
They have not any hands to take hold of the heavens, or 
turn them about. And that opinion of Aquinas, Durand, 
Soncinus, with other schoolmen, seems to be without all 
reason ; who make the faculty whereby the angels move 
the orbs, to be the very same with their understandings 
and will : so that if an angel do but merely suspend the 
act of willing their motion, they must necessarily stand 
still : and on the contrary, his only willing them to move, 
shall be enough to carry them about in their several courses: 
since it were then a needless thing for providence to have 
appointed angels unto this business, which might have been 
done as well by the only will of God. And besides, how 
are the orbs capable of perceiving this will in the intelli- 
gences ? Or if they were, yet what motive faculty have they 
of themselves, which can enable them to obey it ? . 

R 2 


Now as it would be with the heavens, so likewi^ is it 
with the earth, which may be turned about in its diurnal 
revolution, without the help of intelligences, by som6 motive 
power of its own, that may be intrinsical unto it. 

If it be yet inquired, what cause there is of its annual 
motion : I answer ; it is easily conceivable, how the same 
principle may serve for both these, since they tend the 
same way from west to east. 

However, that opinion of Keplar is not very improbable, 
that all the primary planets are moved round by the sun, 
which once in twenty-five or twenty-six days, does observe 
a revolution about its own axis, and so carry along the pla- 
nets that encompass it ; which planets are therefore slower 
or swifter, according to their distances from him. If you 
ask by what means the sun can produce such a motion ? 
he answers ; by sending forth a kind of magnetic virtue in 
strait lines, from each part of its body ; of which there is 
always a constant succession : so that as soon as one beam 
of this vigour has passed a planet, there is another presently 
takes hold of it, like the teeth of a wheel. 

But how can any virtue hold out to such a distance ? 

He answers : first, as light and heat, together with those 
other secret influences which work upon minerals in the 
bowels of the earth ; so likewise may the sun send forth a 
magnetic, motive virtue, whose power may be continued to 
the farthest planets. JSecondly, if the moon, according to 
common philosophy, may move the sea, why then may not 
the sun move this globe of eailh ? 

In such queries as these, we can conclude only from 
conjectures: that speech of the wise man, Eccles. iii. 11. 
being more especially verified of astronomical questions 
Iconcerning the frame of the whole universe, that no man 
can find out the works of God from the beginning to the 
end. Though we may discern divers things in the world, 
which may argue the infinite wisdom and power of the au- 
thor, yet therv^ will be always some particulars left fpr our 
dispute and inquiry, and we shall never be able with all our 
industry, to attain a perfect comprehension of the crea* 


tures, or to find them wholly out, from the beginning to the 

The providence of God having thus contrived it *, 
that so man might look for another life after this, when alt 
his longing and thirst shall be fully satisfied. For since no 
liatural appetite is in vain, it must necessarily follow, that 
there is a possibility of attaining so much knowledge as shall 
be commensurate unto these desires ; which because it is 
not to be had in this world, it will behove us then to expect 
wd provide for another. 

prop; X. 

That this hypothesis is exactly agreeable to common ap- 

IT hath been already proved, that the earth is capable of 
such a situation and motion as this opinion supposes it to 
have. It remains, that in the last place we shew how 
agreeable this would be unto those ordinary seasons of days, 
pionths, years, and all other appearances in the heavens. 

1. As for the difference betwixt days and nights; it i^ 
evident, that this may be as well cauised by the revolution of 
the earth, as the motion of the sun ; since the heavenly 
bodies must needs seem after the same manner to rise and 
set, whether or no they themselves by their own motion, 
do pass by our horizon and vertical point ; or whether our 
horizon and vertical point, by the revolution of our earth, 
do pass by them. According to that of Aristotle +, aJfV 
hot^Bqsi amiv rviv o\p/v i( ro opciofjievoVj there will not appear 
any difference, whether or no the eye be moved from the 
object, or the object from the eye. And therefore I cannot 
chuse but wonder that a man of any reason or sense, should 

♦ Valtes. lacr. Philos. c. 64. t De Coelo, lib. 2. cap. 8. 


make choice of no better an argument to conclude his book 
withal, than that which we read at the latter end of 
AI. Rosse» where he infers, tliat the earth does not move, 
because then the shadow in a sun-dial would not be al- 

2. As for the difference of iponths, we say, that the dir 
verse illumination of the mpQn,the diflSprent bigness of her 
body, her remaining for a longer or shorter time in the 
earth's shadow, when she is eclipsed, &c. may well enough 
be solved by supposing her to move above our earth, in an 
eccentrical epicycte. Thus, 

In which kind of hypothesis, there will be a double dif? 
fercnce of motion ; the one caused by the different situa-r 
tions of the moon's body, in its own eccentric ; the other 
by the different situations of the moon's orb, in the earth's 
eccentric : which is so exactly answerable to the motions 
and appearances of this planet, that from hence Lansber- 
gius draws an argument for this system of the heavens, 
which in the strength of his confidence he calls, demonstror- 
tionem exi crrvifjuovtKviVf cut nulla ratione potest contradict. 

4. As for the difference betwixt winter and summer ; 
betwixt the number and length of days, which appertain to 
fsach of those seasons ; the seeming motion of the sun from 
pne sign to another in the zodiac i all this may easily be 

THAT THE EA^LTH MAY BE A PLAKET. 247' supposing the eaith to move in an ecccntricaJ 
orb about the sun. Thus, 

Suppose file earth to be at C, then the sun at A will seem 
to be in the sign ®, and at the greatest distance from us, 
because the earth is then in the farthest part of its eccen- 
tric. When after by its annual motion it hath passed suc- 
eessively by the signs asXvH n, at length it comes to 
the other solstice at B, where the sun will appear in VS, and 
M^mrbiggest, as being in its perige, because our earth in 
then in the nearest part of its eccentric. 
• r' As for all other appearances of the sun which concern 
the annual motion, you may see by the foUowing %ure, 
Jjiat they are exactly agreeable to this hypothesis. 

Where you have the earth described about the sun at 'A, 
in Uie four chief points of the zodiac j namely, the two 


equinoctials at T and -^, and the solstices at ^fS and ©. 
Through all which points the earth does pass in his aimoal 
motion from west to east. 

The axis upon which our earth does move, is represented 
by the line B C, which axis does always decline from that 
of the ecliptic, about 23 degrees, 30 minutes. The points 
B C are imagined to be the poles, B the north-pole, and C 
the south. 

Now if we suppose this earth to turn about its own axis 
by a diurnal motion, then every point of it will describe a 
paraHlei circle, which will be either bigger eft lesser, accord- 
ing to its distance from the poles. The chief of them are 
the equinoctial D, E. The two tropic^, F, G ; and H, I, 
the two polar circles. M, N, the arctit, and K, L» the ant- 
arctic ; of which the equinoctial only is a grfsat cjicle, and 
therefore wlH ahrays be equaHy divided by ti>6 fiiie'Of iSu- 
mination M, L, whereas the other parallels are (hereby .dis^ 
tributed into unequal parts. Amongst which j^artSy thd 
diurnal arches of those that are towards B, the n6rlh pofe^ 
are bigger than the nocturnal, when our earth is in ^fS and 
the sun appears in ^ : insonruch, that the whole arctic cii^* 
cle is enlightened, and there is day for half a year together 
under that pole. 

Now when the earth proceeds to, the othdr solstice at ®, 
and the sun appears in Vrf, then that hemisphere must be 
involved in darkness, which did before partake of light. 
And those parallels towards the north and south poles will 
still be divided by the sam^ inequality. But those bigger 
parts which were before enlightened, will not be darkened, 
d vice versa. As when the earth was in N, the arptic cir- 
cle M,N, was wholly enlightened, and the antarctic, K, L, 
altogether in the dark. So now, when it is in A, the ant- 
arctjc K, L, will be >¥holly in the light, and the,,ather M, 
N, altogether obscured. Whereas the suti before was ver- 
tical to the inhabitants at the tropic F, G ; so now is he in 
the same situation to those that live under the other tropic|^ 
H, I. And whereas before the pole did incline 23 de- 
grees 30 minutes towaxds the soiiy so jqow does it decline 



as much from him. The whole difference will amount to 
47 degrees, which is the distance of one tropic from the 

But now in the two other figures, when the earth is in 
either of the equinoctials V «^, the circle of illumination 
will pass through both the poles, and therefore must divide 
all the parallels into equal parts. From whence it will foi-* 
low, that the day and night must then be equal in all places 
of the world. 

As the earth is here represented in =^, it turns only the 
enlightened part towards us : as it is in T we see its noc* 
turnal hemisphere. 

So that according to this hypothesis, we may easily and 
exactly reconcile every appearance concerning the diffe* 
rence betwutt days and nights, winter and summer, toge- 
ther with.jdl those other varieties which depend upon 

If you would know how the planets (according to the 
system of the heavens) will appear direct, stationary, re- 
trograde ; and yet still move regularly about their own cen- 
tres, you may plainly discern it by this following diagram. 


■Whcre suppose the sun to be at A, the circle (B, G, M) 
to be the orb of the earth's motion, and that above it noted 
with the same letters, to be the sphere of Jupiter; and the 
uppermost of all, to be a part of the zodiac in the starry 

Now if you conceive the letters ABCDEFGHIKL 
M, and hcdejghiklm, to divide the earth's orb and 
that of Jupiter, into several parts, proportionable to the 
slowness or swiftness of their different motions (Jupiter 
finishes his course in twelve years, and the earth In one) 
then supposing the earth to be at the point (B) and Jnpiter 
likewise in his orb to be situated at (6,) he will appear unto 
us to be in the zodiac at the point (r.) But afterwards 
both of them moving forwards to the letter (C c) Jupiter 
wiU seem to be in the zodiac at (v,) as having paued di- 


tcctly forward according to the order of the signs. And so 
likewise each of them being transferred to the places (D d) 
(E e) Jupiter will still appear direct, and to have moved in 
the zodiac unto the points (y z.) But now when the earth 
comes to be more immediately interposed betwixt this pla- 
net and the sun ; as when both of them ajre at the letter 
(F/) then will Jupiter be discerned in the zodiac at (jr.) So 
that all the while the earth was passing the arch (E F) Ju- 
piter did still remain betwixt the points {z) and (jr,) and 
therefore must seem unto us as if he were stationary ; but 
afterwards both of them being carried to (G^,) then Jupiter 
will appear at (s,) a3 if by a hasty motion he had returned 
from his former course the space {x s.) Both of them pass- 
ing to (HA,) this planet will still seem to be swiftly retror 
grade, and appear in the point at (/?,) but when they come 
to the points (I/,) Jupiter will then seem to be slower in 
this motion, and to have only passed the space {p n.) Both 
of them being transferred to (K k,) Jupiter will tijen appear 
in the zodiac at (o) as being again direct, going forward ac- 
icording to the order of the signs, and while the eaith did 
pass the arch (I K) Jupiter then remained between the 
points (n o,) and so consequently did again seem to be sta- 
tionary. Both of them coming to (L /,) ^nd thence to 
(M m,) Jupiter will still appear direct, and to have gone 
forward in the zodiac from {q) to (/.) So that all the space 
wherein Jupiter is retrograde, is represented by the arch 
(n z.) In which space he himself moves in his own orb, 
the arch {e /,) and so the earth in its orb, a proportional 
space (EI). 

As it hath been said of this planet, so likewise is it ap- 
pliable to the other, Saturn, Mars, Venus, Mercury; all 
which are thus made to appear direct, stationary, and i*fc- 
trograde, by the motion of our earthy without the help of 
those epicycles and excentrics, and such unnecessary 
wheel-work, wherewith Ptolemy hath filled the heavens, 
jLpsomuch, that here Fromondus * is fain to confess, nuUo 

^ Antari3t. c. 18. Veat. tract, 4. c. 3. . , ,. 



argumenio in speciem probabilioriy motum terne annum a 
Copernicanis astruh quam illo stationis^ directionis^ regres" 
sionts plafietarum. There is not any more probable argu- 
ment to prove the annual motion of the earth» than its 
agreeablenessto the station, direction, and regression of the 

Lastly, that Copemicus's system of the heavens is very 
answerable to the exactest observations, may be manifest 
from this following description of it. 

Suppose the sun to be situated at A : now because Mer- 
cury is found by experience to be always very near the sun, 
sb that be does for the most part lie hid under his rays; as 
also because this planet hath a more lively vigorous light 
than any of the other ; therefore we may infer, that his 
orb is placed next unto the sun, as that at B. 

As for Venus, it is observed, that she does always keep 


At a set distance from the sun, never going from him above 
'40 degrees, or thereabouts ; that her body appears through 
the perspective to be forty times bigger at one time than at 
SLaoiher; that when she seems biggest and nearest unto us, 
we then discern her as being perfectly round. Therefore 
doth this plapet also move in a circle that encompasses the 
sun. Which circle does not contain the eaith within it; 
because then V^nus would sometimes be in opposition to 
the sun ; whereas it is generally granted^ that she never yet 
came so far as to be in a sextile. 

Nor is this circle below the sun (as Ptolemy supposeth) 
because then this planet, in both its conjunctions, would ap- 
pear horned, which she does not *. 

Nor is it above the sun, because then she would always 
appear in the full, and never horned. 

From whence it will follow, that this orb must necessa^ 
rily be betwixt the earth and the sun, as that at C. 

As for Mars, it is observed, that he does appear sixty 
times bigger when he is near us, than at his greatest dis- 
tance; that he is sometimes in opposition to the sun. 
From whence we may conclude that his orb does contain 
our earth within it. It is observed also, that he does con- 
stantly appear in the full, and never horned: from whence 
likewise it is manifest, that the sun is comprehended within 
its orb, as it is in that which is represented by the circle E. 

And because the like appearances are observed in Jupiter 
and Saturn (though in less degrees) therefore we may with 
good reason conceive them to be in the heavens, after some 
such manner as they are here set down in the figure, by the 
circles F G. 

As for the moon, because she is sometimes in opposition 
to the sun, therefore must her orb comprehend in it the 
earth; because she appears dark in her conjunction, and 
sometimes eclipses the sun ; therefore that must necessarily 
be without her orb, as it is in that epicycle at H. In the 
centre of which,- the earth must necessarily be situated, 

* Matucina Vespertina. 


according to all those appearances mentioned before. So 
that the orb of its annual motion ^11 be represented by ftc 
circle D. ^ 

All which appearances cannot so well be recoociled by 
ftolemy, Tycho, Origanus, or by any other hypothesis^ as 
by this of Copernicus. But the application of these to the 
several planets, together with sundry other particulars, 
concerning the theorical part of astronomy, you may see 
more fully set down by those who have purposely handled 
this subject, Copernicus, Rhetichus, Galilseus; but more 
especially Keplar: unto whom I do acknowledge myself 
indebted for sundry particulars in this discourse. 

I have done with that which was the chief purpose of the 
present treatise; namely, the removal of those common 
prejudices that men usually entertain against this opinion. 
It remains, that by way of conclusion, I endeavour to stir 
tip others unto these kind of studies, which by most men 
are so much neglected. 

It is the most rational way, in the prosecution of several 
objects, to proportion our love and endeavour after every 
thing, according to the excellency and desirableness of it. 
But now amongst all earthly contentments, there is nothing . 
cither better in itself, or more convenient for us, than this 
kind of learning; and that, whether you consider it accord- 
ing to its general nature, as a science ; or according to its 
more special nature, as such a science. 

1 . Consider it as a science. Certain it is, that amongst 
the variety of objects, those are more eligible which con- 
duce unto the welfare of that which is our best part, our 
souls. It is not so much the pleasing of our senses, or the 
increasing of our fortunes, that does deserve our industry, as 
the information of our judgments, the improvement of our 
knowledge. Whatever the world may think, yet it is not a 
vast estate, a noble birth, an eminent place, that can add 
any thing to our true real worth ; but it must be the de- 
grees of that which makes us men, that must make us bett^ 
men, the endowments of our soul, the enlargement of our 
reason. Were it not for the contemplation of philosophy. 


the heathen Seneca* would not so much as thank the 
gods for his being: nisi ad hiec adinitterer non fuit opert 
pretiuin nasci. Detrahe hoc inestimabile bonum non est 
vita tanti, ut sudeniy ut testuem. Take but away this be- 
nefit, and he would not think life worth the sweating for. 
So much happiness could he discern in the studies of na- 
ture. And therefore as a science in general, it may very 
well deserve our love and industry. 

2. Consider it as such a particular science, astronomy : 
the word signifies the law of the stars ; and. the Hebrews 
(who do not ordinarily admit of composition) call it in two 
words, DOU; n\[:T\y ccelorum statutay or the ordinances of 
heaven t ; because they are governed in their courses by a 
certain rule, as the Psalmist speaks in the cxlviiith Psal. ver. 
6. God has given them a law which shall not be broken. 

Now this of all other natural sciences may best of all 
challenge our industry; ^and that, whether you consider it, 

1 . Absolutely, as it is in itself: or, 

2. As it stands in reference to us. 

1 . As it is in itself. The excellency of any science may 
be judged of (saith the philosopher) first, by the excellency 
of the object. Secondly, by the certainty of its demonstra- 

1. For the object. It is no less than the whole world 
(since our earth also is one of the planets) more especially 
those vast and glorious bodies of the heavens. So tliat in 
this respect it far exceeds all those barren, empty specula- 
tions about materia prima^ and universale, and such like 
cobwebs of learning ; in the study of which so many do 
misplace their younger years. And for the same reason 
likewise is it to be preferred before all those other sciences, 
whose subjects are not either of so wide an extent, or so 
excellent a nature. 

2. For the demonstrations of astronomy, they are as in- 
fallible as truth itself; and for this reason also does it excel 
all other knowledge, which does more depend upon con- 

* Prajf, ad L I.Nat. Qu^st. f Job xxxviii. 33. Jer. xxxiii. 25. 


jectures and uncertainty. They are only those who want 
skill in the principles of this science, tliat mistrust the con- 
clusions of it. Since therefore in these respects, it is one 
of the most excellent sciences in nature, it may best deserve 
the industry of man, who is one of tlie best works o/ nature. 
Other creatures were made with then* heads and eyes turned 
downwards : would you know why man was not created so 
too i why it was, that he might be an astronomer. 

Os homini sublime deditf celumque iueri 
Jussit, et erecios ad sydcra toUere vuitus* 

God gave to man an upright face, that he 
Might view the stars, and learn astronomy, 

2. Consider it in reference to us; and so it is, 

1. Most useful. 

2. Most pleasant. 

1. Most useful, and that in sundry respects. It proves a 
God and a providence, and incites our hearts to a greater 
admiration and fear of his omnipotency. We may under* 
stand by the heavens, how much mightier he is that made 
them ; for by the greatness and beauty of the creatures, 
proportionably the maker of them is seen, saith the book of 
Wisdom, xiii. 4, 5. It was hence that Aristotle did fetch his 
chief argument to prove a primus motor. It was the con- 
sideration of these things that first led men to the know- 
ledge and worship of God (saith TuUy *) hac nos primum 
ad deorum cultumy turn ad modestiamy magiiitudinemqiu 
animi erudivit. And therefore when God by the prophet 
would convince the people of his deity, he bids them lift up 
their eyes on high, and behold who hatli created those 
things ; that bringeth out their host by number, that calleth 
them all by their names, &c. Isa. xl. 26. which occasi* 
oned that saying of Lactantiusf ; Tanta rerum rnagnitudo^ 
ianta disposition tanta in servandis ordinibus^ tempuyribusque 
constant ia; non potuit aut olim sine pravido artijice oririf 

* Tiucul. 1. item Piut. de Placit. Phil. 1. 1. c. 6.. 
I Ixistit. 1. 2. c« 5. ' 


aui c&nstare tot saculis sine incola potentCy aut perpetttum 
gubernari sine perito et sciente rectore, quod ratio ipsa de* 
clarat. Such a great order and constancy amongst tliose 
vast bodies, could not at first be made but by a wise pro- 
videnccj nor since preserved without a powerful inhatant, 
nor so perpetually governed without a skilful guide. 

True indeed, ati ordinary view and common apprehen« 
doa of these celestial bodies, must needs manifest the ex- 
cellency and omnipotency of their maker; but yet a more 
accurate and diligent enquiry into their natures^ will raise 
our understandings unto a nearer knowledge, and a greater 
' admiration of the deity: as it is in those inferior things, 
where the meer outside of a man, the comeliness and ma- 
jesty of his countenance, may be some argument from 
whence to infer the excellency of his creator. But yet the 
subtle anatomist, who searches more deeply intd this won- 
derful structure, may see a clear evidence for this in the 
consideration of the inward fabric, the muscles, nerves, 
membranes, together with all those secret contrivances in 
the frame of this little world. Thus also is it in the great 
universe, where tlie common apprehension of things is not 
at all considerable, in comparison to those other discoveries, 
which may be found out by a more exact enquiry. 

As this knowledge may conduce to the proving of a God, 
and making men religious ; so likewise may it serve to con- 
firm unto us the truth of the holy scriptures : since the sa- 
cred story, in the order of its narrations, does so exactly 
agree with the conversions of heaven, and logistical astro- 

It may also stir us up to behave ourselves answerably 
unto the noble and divine nature of our souls. When I 
consider the heaven, the works of thy fingers, the moon 
and the stars which thou hast ordained, what is man, that 
thou art so mindful of him * ? as to create such vast glorious 
bodies for his serviced 

Again, when I consider with myself the strange immen- 

* Psal; viii. 3. 6. 
VOL. I. 9 


sity and bigness of this great universe, in comparison to 
which, this earth of ours is but as an undiscemible point : 
when I consider that I carry a soul about me, of far greater 
worth than all this, and desires that are of a wider extent, 
and more unbounded capacity than this whole frame of na- 
ture ; then, methinks, it must needs argue a degeneratencss 
and poverty of spirit, to busy my faculties about so ignoble, 
narrow a subject as any of these earthly tilings. What a 
folly is it in men to have such high conceits of themselves, 
for some small possessions which they have in the world 
above others ; to keep so great a bustle about so poor a 
matter? Hoc est punctum quod inter tot gentts ferro et 
igni dividitur*. It is but a little point which with so much 
ado is distributed unto so many natjlons by fire and sword. 
What great matter is it to be monarch of a small part of a 
point? Might not the ants as well divide a little mole-bill 
into divers provinces, and keep as great a stir in disposing of 
their government? punctum est illudin que navigatis^ in 
quo bellatisy in qua regna desponitis. All this place wherein 
we war, and travel, and dispose of kingdoms, is but a point 
far less than any of those small stars, that at this distance 
are scarce discernible. Which when the soul does seriously 
meditate upon, it will begin to despise the narrowness of 
its present habitation, and think of providing for itself a 
mansion in those wider spaces above ; such as may be 
more agreeable to the nobleness and divinity of its nature. 
Why should any one dream of propagating his name, or 
spreading his report through the world ? When although 
he had more glory than ambition can hope for, yet as long 
as all this habitable earth is but an inconsiderable point, 
what great matter can there be in that fame which is in- 
cluded within such strait contracted limits ? 

Quicunque solam mente preecipiti petit 
Summumque credit gloriam, 

* Sen. Nat. Quaest. 1. 1. Nonne d terrena animalia consideratis^ qui- 
bus prxsidere videamini ? Nam si inter mares videres unum aliquam, 
jus sibi ac potestatem pr« casteris vihdicentem, quanlo movereris ca- 
cbionOf &c. Boetius de Consol. L 2. 


Late patenies tetheris cemat plagas, 

Arctumque terrarum si turn, 
JBrev§m replere non valentis ambitum, 

Ptidebit aucti nominis *. 

** He that to honour only seeks to mount, 
'' And that his chiefest end doth count ; 
** Let him behold the largeness of the skies, 
'< And on the strait earth cast his eyes; 
*' He will despise the glory of his name, 
'* Which cannot fill so small a frame." 

Why should any one be taken up in the admiration of 
these lower outsidcs, these earthly glories ? Respicite c(eli 
spatium, Jirmiiudinem, celeritateniy et aliqtiando definite 
vilia mirarif. He that rightly understands the nature of 
the heavens, will scarce esteem any other thing worth his 
notice, much less his wonder. 

Now when we lay all this together, that he who hath 
most in the world, hath almost nothing of it : that the earth 
itself, in comparison to the universe is but an inconsiderable 
point ; and yet that this whole universe does not bear so 
great a proportion to the soul of man, as the earth does 
unto that. I say, when a man in some retired thoughts 
shall lay all this together, it must needs stir up his spirits 
to a contempt of these earthly things, and make him place ' 
his love and endeavour upon those comforts that may be 
more answerable to the excellency of his nature. 

Without this science, what traffic could we have with fo- 
reign nations? What would become of that mutual com-* 
merce, whereby the world is now made but as one coni- 

Vosque medits in aquis steiUe, pelagoque timendo» 
Decretum monstrastis iter^ toiiqve dedistis, 
Legibus inventis homtnum, commercia mundo, 

'Us you bright stars, that m the fearful sea. 
Do guide the pilot through His purposed way. 
*Iis yoiur direction that doth commerce give. 
With all those men that through the world do Ijve. 

* BoetiuB de Consol. 1. 2. f Idem, lib. 3. 



2. As this science is thus profitable in these and n^ny 
other respects ; so likewise is it ec^ually pleasant. The eye 
(saith the philosopher) is the sense of pleasurci and there 
are no delights so pure and immaterial as those which enter 
through that organ. Now to tlie understanding, which is 
the eye of , the soul, there cannot be any fairer prospect, 
than to view the whole frame of nature, the fabric of this 
great universe, to discern that order and comeliness which 
there is in the magnitude, situation, motion of the several 
parts that belong unto it ; to see the true cau?e of that con- 
stant variety and alteration which there is in the different 
seasons of the year*. All which must needs enter into a 
man's thoughts with a great deal of sweetness and compla- 
cency. And therefore it was that Julius Caesar in the 
broils and tumult of the camp, make choice of this delight : 

Media inter pnelia semper, 

Stellar um, calique plagis, superisquc vacavit, \ 

He always, leisure found amidst his wart, 

''I o mark the coast of heaven, and learn the stars. 

And for this reason likewise did Seneca, amidst the con- 
tinual noise and bustle of tb^ court^ betake liimself to this 

■0 quamjitvabaty quo nihil majust parens 
Natura genuit, operis immensi artifex^ 
Ctpliim intueri solis, et currus sacros 
Mundique motus, solis alternas vices, 
Orbeniqne Pkeebes, astra quern citigunt vaga 
Latequefulgeus (tiheris magui deciis. 

O what a pleasure was it to survey 

Nature's chief work^ the heavens ; where we may 

View the alternate courses of the sun, 

The sgcred chariots^ how the world doth run : 

llie moon's bright orb, when- she's attended by 

Those scattered stars, whose light adorns the sky. 

And certainly those eminent men who have this way 
Ibestowed a great part of their employment, such as werq 

* Wis. vii. 18, 19. t Lucan, 1. 10, 


Ftolomyy Julius Caesar, Alphonsus king of Spain, the noble 
Tycho, &c. have not only by this means pitched upon that 
which for the present was a more solid kind of pleasure an^ 
contentment; Jsut also a surer way to propagate their me- 
mories unto future ages Tliose great costly pyramids 
which were built to perpetuate the memory of their foun- 
ders, shall sooner perish and moulder away into their pri- 
mitive dust, than the names of such wortliies shall be for- 
gotten. The monuments of learning are more durable 
than the monuments of wealth or power. 

All which encouragements may be abundantly enough 
to stir any considering man, to bestow some part of his 
time in the study and inquisition of these truths. 

Fcelices aninne, qnibus h<ec cognoscere primtmip 
Tnque doijws superas scaiidcre curaj'uit. 


C Wliittiogham, Printer, 
Deaa*street, Fetter-Lane^ Loiiioo,