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

That the Earth may be a Planet. ſhould hate that, out of love to the Error
that we have before entertained. A little
reading may inform us how theſe Texts have
been abuſed to ſtrange and unmeant Alle-
gories, which have mentioned any natural
Truth in ſuch a manner as was not agree-
able to Mens Conceits. And beſides, if the
Holy Ghoſt had propounded unto us any
Secrets in Philoſophy, we ſhould have been
apt to be ſo buſied about them, as to neg-
lect other Matters of greater importance. And therefore Saint Auſtin propoſing the
Queſtion, What ſhould be the reaſon why
the Scripture does not clearly ſet down any
thing concerning the Nature, Figure, Mag-
nitude, and Motion of the Heavenly Orbs? he anſwers it thus: The Holy Ghoſt being
to deliver more neceſſary 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 ſpeculative natural
Points, which were leſs needful. So that it
might ſeem more convenient, that the Scrip-
ture ſhould not meddle with the revealing
of theſe unlikely Secrets, eſpecially when
it is to deliver unto us many other Myſte-
ries of greater 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 Philo-
ſophical Secrets, till time and future diſco-
very, might with leiſure ſettle them in the
opinion of others: As he is pleaſed, in other That the Earth may be a Planet. things of a higher kind, to apply himſelf
unto the Infirmity of our Apprehenſions, by
being repreſented, as if he were a humane
Nature, with the parts and paſſions of a
Man. So in theſe things likewiſe, that he
might deſcend to our Capacities, does he
vouchſafe to conform his Expreſſions, un-
to the error and miſtake of our Judg-


* Præſcript
cap. 17.
* InGeneſ.
Addit l. 2.
in fine.
Ibid. cap. 9

But before we come to a further illuſtra-
tion, 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 Ri-
ſing or Setting of the Sun, as that in the
Pſalm, The Sun, like a Bridegroom, cometh out of his Chamber, and rejoiceth as a Gyant 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 bid from the heat thereof. And that in Eccleſiaſtes, The Sun ariſeth, and
the Sun goeth down, & c.


* Pſal. 19.
5, 6.
Ecclef. 1. 5.

In which Scriptures, we may obſerve di-
vers Phraſes that are evidently ſpoken, in
reference to the appearance of things, and
the falſe opinion of the Vulgar. And there-
fore 'tis not altogether unlikely, That this
which they ſeem to affirm concerning the
Motion of the Heavens, ſhould alſo be un-
derſtood in the ſame ſenſe.

The Sun like a Bridegroom cometh out of his
Chamber; alluding perhaps unto the conceit

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