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

That the Earth may be a Planet. queſtion here is, not what can be done, but
what is moſt likely to be done, according to
the uſual courſe of Nature. ’Tis the part
of a Philoſopher, in the reſolution of natural
Events, not to fly unto the abſolute Power
of God, and tell us what he can do, but
what, according to the uſual way of Provi-
dence, is moſt likely to be done, to find out
ſuch cauſes of things, as may ſeem moſt eaſy
and probable to our reaſon.

If you ask, What repugnancy there is in
the Heavens, unto ſo great a ſwiftneſs? We
anſwer; Their being ſuch vaſt, material
condenſed Subſtances, with which this in-
conceivable Motion cannot agree.

Since Motion and Magnitude are two ſuch
Geometrical things, as bear a mutual pro-
portion to one another; therefore it may
ſeem convenient, that ſlowneſs ſhould be
more agreeable to a great Body, and ſwift-
neſs to a leſſer : and ſo it would be more
conſonant to the Principles of Nature, that
the Earth, which is of a leſſer quantity,
ſhould be appointed to ſuch a Motion, as is
ſomewhat proportionable to its bigneſs,
than that the Heavens, that are of ſuch a
vaſt magnitude, ſhould be whirled about
with ſuch an incredible ſwiftneſs, which
does ſo far exceed the proportion of their
bigneſs, as their bigneſs does exceed this
Earth, that is but as a Point or Centre to
them. ’Tis not likely that Nature, in theſe
conſtant and great Works, ſhould ſo much
deviate from that uſual Harmony and Pro-


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