Full text: Wilkins, John: A discovery of a new world

That the Moon may be a World. of Hell, and that number expreſſes the Dia-
meter of its Concavity, which is 200 Italian
Miles; But Leſſius thinks that this Opinion
gives them too much Room in Hell, and there-
fore he gueſſes that ’tis not ſo wide; for (faith
he) the Diameter of one League being cubi-
cally multiplyed, will make a Sphere capable
of 800000 Millions of damaed Bodies, allow-
ing to each ſix Foot in the Square; whereas,
ſays he, ’tis certain, that there ſhall not be
one hundred thouſand Milions in all that ſhall
be damned. You ſee the bold Jeſuit was care-
ful that every one ſhould have but room enough
in Hell, and by the ſtrangeneſs of the Con-
jecture, you may gueſs that he had rather be
abſurd, than ſeem either uncharitable or igno-
rant. I remember there is a Relation in Pliny,
how that Dionyſidorous a Mathematician, be-
ing Dead, did ſend a Letter from this place to
ſome of his Friends upon Earth, to certifie
them what diſtance there was betwixt the
Centre and Superficies: he might have done
well to have prevented this Controverſie, and
inform’d them the utmoſt capacity of the place. However, certain it is, that that number can-
not be known; and probable it is, that the place
is not yet determin’d, but that Hell is there
where there is any tormented Soul, which may
be in the Regions of the Air, as well as in the
Centre: and therefore perhaps it is, that the
Devil is ſtyled the Prince of the Air. But this
only occaſionally, and by reaſon of Plutarch’s
Opinion concerning thoſe that are round about
the Moon; as for the Moon it ſelf, he eſteems
it to be a lower kind of Heaven, and there- That the Moon may be a World. fore in another place he calls it a Terreſtrial
Star, and an Olympian and Celeſtial Earth; anſwerable, as I conceive, to the Paradiſe of
the School-Men. And, that Paradiſe was ei-
ther in, or near the Moon, is the Opinion of
ſome later Writers, who deriv’d it in all like-
lyhood, from the Aſſertion of Plato, and per-
haps this of Plutarch. Toſtatus lays this Opini-
on upon Iſiodor, Hiſpalenſis, and the Venerable
Bede; and Pererius Fathers it upon Strabus and
Rabanus his Maſter. Some would have it to
be ſituated in ſuch a place as could not be diſ-
cover’d, which caus’d the Pen-man of Eſdras
to make it a harder matter to know the out-go-
ings of Paradiſe, than to weigh the weight of the
Fire, or meaſure the blaſts of the Wind, or call
again a day that is paſt. But notwithſtanding
this, there be ſome others, who think, that it
is on the Top of ſome high Mountain under
the Line; and theſe interpreted the Torrid
Zone to be the flaming Sword whereby Para-
diſe was guarded. ’Tis the conſent of divers
others, that Paradiſe is ſituated in ſome high & eminent place. So Toſtatus, Eſt etiam Paradiſus ſi-
tu altiſſima, ſupra omnem terræ altitudinem. ’Pa-
‘radiſe is ſituated in ſome high place above
‘the Earth; and therefore in his Comment up-
on the 49 of Geneſis, he underſtands the Bleſ-
ſing of Jacob, concerning the everlaſting Hills
to be meant of Paradiſe, and the Bleſſing it
ſelf to be nothing elſe but a Promiſe of Chriſts
coming, by whoſe Paſſion the Gates of Para-
diſe ſhould be opened. Unto him aſſented
Rupertus, Scotus, and moſt of the other School-
Men, as I find them cited by Pererius, and out That the Moon may be a World. of him in Sir Walter Rawleigh. Their Reaſon
was this: becauſe in probability, 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 was kept there; and ſome of
the Fathers, as Tertullian and Auſtin have af-
firmed, that the bleſſed Souls were reſerv’d in
that place till the day of Judgement, and
therefore ’tis likely that it was not overflow’d
by the Flood; it were eaſie to produce the
unanimous conſent of the Fathers, to prove
that Paradiſe is yet really exiſtent. Any dili-
gent peruſer of them may eaſily obſerve how
they do generally interpret the Paradiſe where-
to Saint Paul was wrapt, and that wherein our
Saviour promiſed the Thieſ ſhould be with
him, to be locally the ſame where our firſt
Parents were baniſhed. Now there cannot be
any place on Earth deſign’d where this
ſhould be: and therefore ’tis not altogether
improbable that it was in this other World.


De Civit.
Dei. l. 22.
c. 16.
Mat. 25.
Eph. 4. 9.
De Morib.
div. l. 13. c.
Cur ſilent
SirW. Raw.
l.1.c. 3 ſect.
In geneſ.
2 Eſdr.4.7.
In Genef.
in 2 Gen.
v. 8.
L. 1. c. 3.
ſect. 6. 7.
2 Cer.12.4.
Luke 23.

And beſides, ſince all Men ſhould have went
Naked if Adam had not Fell, ’tis requiſite
therefore that it ſhould be ſituated in ſome
ſuch place where it might be priviledged from
the Extremeties of Heat and Cold. But now
this could not be (they thought) ſo conveni-
ently in any lower, as it might in ſome higher
Air. For theſe and ſuch like Conſiderations
have ſo many affirm’d that Paradiſe was in a
high elevated place. Which ſome have con-
ceived could be no where but in the Moon. For it could not be in the top of any Moun-
tain; nor can we think of any other Body ſe-


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