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

That the Moon may be a World. ſeſs 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 polluted, then muſt it wander up and
down in the middle region of the air, whereHell
is, & there ſuffer unſpeakable torments for thoſe
Sins whereof he is guilty. Whereas the Souls of
better Men, when they have in ſome ſpace of
time been purged from that Impurity which
they did derive from the Body, then do they
return into the Moon, where they are poſſeſt
with ſuch a Joy, as thoſe Men feel who pro-
feſs holy Myſteries, from which place, ſaith
he, ſome are ſent down to have the Superin-
tendence of Oracles, being diligent either in
the preſervation of the good, either from, or
in, all perils, and the prevention of puniſhment
of all wicked Actions; but if in theſe Em-
ployments they miſ-behave themſelves, then
are they again to be impriſoned in a Body, o-
therwiſe they remain in the Moon, till their
Souls be reſolv’d into it, and the underſtan-
ding being clear’d from all impediments, aſ-
cends to the Sun which is its proper place. But
this requires a diverſe ſpace of time, according
to the divers afſections of the Soul. As for
thoſe who have been retir’d and honeſt, addi-
cting themſelves to a ſtudious and quiet Life,
theſe are quickly preferred to a higher Happi-
neſs. But as for ſuch who have buſied them-
ſelves in many Broils, or have been vehement
in the proſecution of any Luſt, as the Ambiti-
ous, the Amorous, the wrathful Man, theſe ſtill
retain the glimpſes and Dreams of ſuch things
as they have perform’d in their Bodies, which That the Moon may be a World. makes them either altogether unfit to remain
there, where they are, or elſe keeps them long
ere they can put off their Souls. Thus you ſee
Plutarch’s Opinion concerning the Inhabitants
and Neighbours of the Moon, which (accor-
ding to the manner of the Academicks) he de-
livers in a third Perſon; you ſee he makes
that Planet an inferiour kind of Heaven,
and though he differ in many Circumſtan-
ces, yet doth he ceſcribe 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 diſcover’d; but others there
are who can ſhew the Situation of it out of
Scripture; ſome holding it to be in another
World without this, becauſe our Saviour calls
it {Χomi2; } [?] τ{ος} {ὀξ}ωτι{ρο}υ outward darkneſs. But the
moſt will have it placed towards the Centre
of our Earth, becauſe ’tis ſaid, Chriſt deſcen-
ded into the lower parts of the Earth; and
ſome of theſe are ſo confident, that this is its
Situation, that they can deſcribe you its big-
neſs alſo, and of what Capacity it is. Francis
Ribera in his Comment on the Revelations,
ſpeaking of thoſe Words, where ’tis ſaid, that
the blood went out of the Wine-preſs, even unto the
Horſes Bridles by the ſpace of one Thouſand Six
Hundred Furlongs, interprets them to be meant


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