« ForrigeFortsett »
collected this Knowledge of a Deity. Men, faith he, began to acknowledge a God, when they saw the Stars maintain so great a Harmony, and the Days and Nights through all the Year, both in Summer and Winter to observe their stated Risings and Settings. And to pass over a great deal of this kind, that I could cite from divers Heathen Authors, What, faith the Stoick in Tully, (a) can be so plain and clear, as when we behold the Heavens, and view the heavenly Bodies, that we should conclude there is some Deity of a most excellent Mind, by which these things are govern'd! A Present and Almighty God. Which he that doubts of, I do not understand, faith he, why he fhould not as well doubt whether there be a Sun or no that shines. And then
(a) Quid enim potest esse tam apertum, tamque perspicuum, cùm Cælum suspeximus, &c. De Nat. Deor. L. 2. C. 2.
he goes on to prove that this can be no idle Fancy depending on the Caprice of Man, but a well-grounded, substantial Opinion, bearing the Test of Ages, and confirmed by the Length of Time. For , faith he, Time wears out the Figments of Opinions, but confirms the Judgments of Nature, or such Notions as are grounded upon the true Judgment and Nature of Things. For. which reason, faith he, both among our selves, and in other Nations, the Veneration of the Gods, and the Sacredness of Religion augment and improve every Day more and more.
Thus the Heavens declare the Glory of God, even to the Heathen World, so manifestly are they the Handy-Work of God. And that they are his Work, will appear by taking a View of these seven Particulars, B 3
I. The Magnitude of the Hea
II. The great Number of the Heavenly Bodies.
III. Their Distances.
VII. Their Light and Heat, and the admirable Provisions made for those Benefits.
BOOK I. EDCOD EaTaTD:CDDCDTDTASAIDIATO nata
UN I VERSE,
BODIEŚ therein contained.
CH A P. I. The Ancient and Modern Reckonings
EFORE the Invention B
of the Telescope, the Universe was thought to be
confin’d within far more narrow Bounds, than it is since found to be, the fixt Stars being
imagined to be all placed in the Starry Heavens (which they called the Firmament) at equal Distances from the Earth (the Center) like fo
many golden Nails driven in the Top of some arched Roof, or other circular Concave, encompassing our Eye. These, although far more narrow Bounds, and a more scanty Reckoning than it should be, yet was sufficient to shew who was the Maker of such a stupendous Arch, and fo noble a Train as is contained therein.
But according to the modern Reckoning (which is far the most rational, and grounded upon better Phænomena) we shall find this Branch of the Creation far more magnificent, and worthy of its infinite CREATOR, than those former Computations made it.
And how grand and magnificent a Structure the Heavens are, will ap