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pear by a distinct Consideration of the Magnitude of the Heavenly Bodies themselves; and of the Space in which they are.
Lthough we are not able
give a certain Determination of the Magnitude of the Heavenly Bodies, by reason of their vast Distances, yet enough we know, and are sure of, concerning their immense Magnitudes, to convince any one that they are the Works of GOD. But to come to particulars.
The Measure by which we usually gage and compare the Heavenly Bodies, is our Terraqueous Globe ; of whose Dimensions and Bulk we
can make a pretty good Estimate, having tolerably good and accurate Observations leading us thereto : the Particulars of which I have had Occasion elsewhere to specify (a).
By these Observations it appears that the Diameter of this our Globe is above 79 Hundred Miles ; that consequently its Surface is a good deal above 199 Millions of Miles, and its solid Content or Bulk near 265 Thousand Millions of Miles. If
(a) Physico-Theol. B. 2. Ch.2. In which Place I have made use of Mr. Pickart's Measure of the Earth. But notwithstanding the Difference be but small, viz. a little above 32 Miles in the whole Diameter of our Globe, yet I shall make use here of our Mr. Norwood's and Mons. Casini's Measures, because they agree to almost a Nicety, and Mr. Casini’s were made (by the French King's Command) at greater Distances, with the greatest Accuracy. And according to these Measures, the Diameter of the Earth is 7967'7 English Miles, its Surface 199444201 Miles, and its folid Content 264856000000 Miles.
therefore we should go no farther from Home than our own Globe, a Mass we here have worthy of an Infinite Creator, a work proclaiming that great Being that made it.
But as vast a Body as this seems to be, it is much less than many, yea most of the Heavely Bodies that are visible to us, except two or three of the Planets, which seem to be less than our Globe, namely Mars, whose Diameter is reckoned to be but 4875 English Miles, and the Moon, whose Diameter is but 2175 Miles; and Mercury, whose Diameter is 2748 Miles (a); but yet these are vast and amazing Bodies too. But for the rest; there is good Reason to imagine their Bulk exceeds that of our Terraqueous Globe. Thus the two superior
(a) The Number of Miles which I have here, and all along assigned to the Diameters of the several Planets, are the mean Numbers
Planets by far exceed us; Saturn be-
between Mr. Flamsteed's in Mr. Whiston's Astronomical Lectures, and Mr. Huygen's in his Syft. Saturn. and Cofmotheor. which (as Mr.Whiston first suggested to me) seem to be nearest the Truth. For whereas the Rays of Light when intercepted by the Edge of a Knite or other Body, are (as Sir Isaac Newton observes in his Princip. L. I. Prop. 96.) somewhat bent, as if attracted from a strait Line by that Body; and whereas Mr. Flamsteed's Measures were taken with a Micrometer that pinches,or clasps the opposite Edges of a Planet, which would incurvate the Rays one Way; and Mr. Huygen's were taken with the Interposition of a thin tapering Plate covering the Planet, as far as the Extremity of its Face, which would cause an Incurvation of the Rays the contrary way; therefore Mr. Flamsteed's Measures are as much too little, as Mr. Huygens's are too large, and consequently the Mean between them, probably nearest the Truth.
far out-done by that stupendous Globe of Fire, the Sun; which as it is the Fountain of Light and Heat to all the Planets about it, affording them by his benign Rays, and kindly Influence, the great Pleasures and Comforts of Life ; fo doth it as far furpass them in its Bulk; its apparent Diameter being computed at 822148 English Miles, and its solid.Content at 290971000000000000 Miles, supposing the Face we see of the Sun to be its true and real Globe.
Thus stupendous are the Magnitudes of the Globes of this our Solar System. But these are not all, nor perhaps the most considerable Bodies of the Universe. For the fixt Stars, altho”, in Appearance but so many golden or flaming Spots, yet are, with great probability, supposed to be so many Suns, surrounded with their respective Systems of Planets, as our Sunis; and imagined to be no