Page images

- And now from this tranfient View of no other than the Out works, than the bare Appendages of the Terraqueous Globe, we havefo manifesta Sample of the Wisdom, Power, and Goodness of the infinite Creator, that it is easy to imagine the whole Fabrick is of a piece, the Work of at leaft a skilful ift. , A Man that should meet with a Palace (8), befèt with pleafant Gardens, adorned with ftately Ể: furnished with well-contrived Aquædućts, Cafcades, and all other Appendages, conducing to Convenience or Pleasure, would easily imagine, that proportionable Architećture, and Magnificence were within: But we should conclude the Man was out of his Wits, that should affert and plead that all was the Work of Chance, or other than of fome wife and skilful Hand. And fo when we furvey the bare Out-works of this our Globe, when we fee fo vaft a Body, accouter'd with fo noble a Furni. ture of Air, Light, and Gravity; with every thing, in short, that is necessary to the Prefervation and Security of the Globe it felf, or that conduceth to the Life, Health, and Happinefs, to the Propaga: tion, and Increafe of all the prodigious Variety of Creatures the Globe is ftocked with 3 when we fee nothing wanting, nothing redundant, or frivolous, nothing botching, orill-made, but thateverything,

[ocr errors]

If it be demanded, What becomes of the overplus of Exhalations that descend not in Rain ? I answer ; They are partly tumbled down and fpent by the Winds, and partly descend in Dews, which amount to a greater quantity than is commonly imagined. Dr. Halley found the descent of Vapours in Dews fo prodigious at St. Helena, that he makes no doubt to attribute theOrigine of Fountains thereto. And I my felf have feen in a still, cool Evening, large thick Clouds hanging without any Motion in the Air, which in two or three Hours time have been melted down by Degrees, by the cold of the Evening, so that not any the leaft remains have been of them eft. ' ', ! - - - - - - - - - - - 4 , - (8) See Book II. chap 3. Note 3. , a * * * even


even in the very Appendages alone, exaétl answereth all its Ends, and Occafions: What elfe can be concluded, but that all was made with manifest Defign, and that all the whole Strüćture is the Work of fome intelligent Being; fome Artift, of Power and Skill equivalent to fuch a Work ? :

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

N. the foregoing Book having dispatch'd the Out-works, letus take a Survey of the Principal Fabrick, viz. the Terraqueous Globe it felf; a most ftupendous Work in every particular of it, which doth no lefs aggrandize its Maker (1), than

[ocr errors]

(1) Licet–oculis quodammodo contemplari pulchritudinem earum rerum, quas Divinâ Providentia dicimus constitutas: Ae ::::: Terrae univerfa cernatur, locata in mediâ mundi fede, folida, & globofavefita floribus, herbis, arboribus, fugibus. ::" omnium incredibilis multitudo, infatiabili varietate distinguitur. Adde but Fontium gelidas peremnitates, liquores perlucidos Æmnium, Riparum vestitus viridissimos, Speluncarum concavas altitudines, Saxorum asperitates, impendentium Montium altitudines, immensitatesque Camporum : adde etiam reconditas Auri–venas – Que verð, & quàm varia genera Bestiarum?– Polucrum lāpfu", atque cantus: Qui Pecudum pastus ?–Quid de Hominum genere ditam? Qui quasi cultores terræ constituti, &c. – Que fi, ur'animis, fe oculia videre possemus, nemo cunstam intuens terram, de Divinâ Ratione dubitaret. Cic. de Nat. Deor. l. 2. c. 39.

D 2 - every

[ocr errors][merged small]

every curious, complete Work, doth its Workman. Let us caft our Eyes here and there, let us ranfack all the Globe, let us with the greatest Accuracy infpećt every part thereof, fearch out the inmoft Secrets of any of the Creatures; let us examine them with all our Gauges, measure them with our niceft Rules, pry into them with our Microfcopes, and most exquisite Inftruments (|), ftill we find them to bear Testimony to their infinite Workman ; and that they exceed all Humane Skill fò far, as that the most . exquifite Copies and Imitations of the beft Artifis, are no other than rude bungling Pieces to them. And fò far are we from being able to efpy any Defećt or Fault in them, that the better we know them, the more we admire them ; and the farther we fee ințo them, the mere exquifite we find them to be. And for a Demonftration of this ; I shall, I. Take a general Profpećt of the Terraqueous * Globe. |- II. Survey its Particulars. . . - *** I The things which will fall under a general Profpećt of the Globe, will be its Figure Bulk, Motion, Place, Distribution into Earth and Waters, and the great Variety of all things upon it, and in it. *

(I) I cannot here omit the Qbfervations that have been made in thefe later Times, fince we have had the Ufe and Improvement of the Microfcope, concerning the great Difference, which by the help of that, doth appear betwixt Natural and Artificial Things. W hatever is Matural, dath by that appear adorned witb all imaginable Elegance and Beauty. —Whereas the most curious works of Art, the fharpest, : Weedle, doth appear as a blunt, rough Bar of İran, coming from the Furnace or the Forge. The most accurate Engravings, or Emboffments feem fuch rude, bungling, deformed Works, as if they had been done with a Mattock, or a Trowel. So vafi a Difference is there betwixt the Skill of Nature, and the Rudeneß and Imperfestion of Art. Bp.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[merged small][ocr errors]

C H A P. I. Of the Figure of the Terraqueous Globe.

T H I S I fuppose I may take for granted to be Spherical, or nearly fo (1). And this muft be allowed to be the most commodious, apt Figure for a World on many Accounts ; as it is moft capacious, as its Surface is equi-distant from the Center,

- IlOt

(1) Although the Terraqueous Globe be of an orbicular Figure, yet it is not strićtly fo, I. On account of its Hills and Vailies. But these are inconfiderable to the Earth's Semidiameter, for they are but as the Duft upon a common Globe. But, 2. Our modern Astronomers affign a much greater Variation from a globous Form, namely, that of a prolate Sphæroid, making the polar about 34 Miles shorter than the Equatorial Diameter. The Caufe of which they make to be the centrifugal Force of the diurnal Rotation of the Globe. This Figure they imagine is ih Jupiter, his Polar being to his Equatorial Diameter, as 39 # to 4o ặ. But whether it be fo or no, I confess I could never perceive, although I have often viewed that Planet through very good, and long Glaffes, particularly a tolerable good one of 72 Feet in my Hands : And although by reafon of Cloudy Weather, and (at present) Jupiter's proximity to the Sun I have not been of late able to take a review of that Planet; yet Saturn (fo far as his Ring would permit,) and Mars, appear perfestly round thro’ Mr. Huygens's long Glafs of 126 Feet, which by Will he bequeathed, with its whole Apparatus, to our R. S. by whose Favour it is now in my Hands. Änd moreover, I believe it difficult, next to impossible, to measure the two Diameters to a 4oth Part, by reafon of the smalness of f apparent Diameter, and by reason he is moving all the time of Measuring him. As to what is alledged from lengthening the Pendulums of Clocks, to make them keep the fame Time under the Equator, as they do in our Climes ; I have shewn from the like Variations in the Air-Pump, that this may arise from the rarity of the Air there, more than here. V. Phil. Tranf. N. 294. . . But if the Degrees of a Meridian grow "; the more we go "::: - 4 Ö

not only of the Globe, but at (leaft nearly) of Gravity and Motion too, and as fome have thought, of thế central Heat and Wáters. Bụt thefe, and divers others things I shall país over, and infift only upon two or three other Benefits of this globous Figure of the Earth and Waters.: - . . . . . . . . 1. This Figure is the most commodions in regard of Hlat, and I may add of Light alfo in fome meafure, For by this means, those two great Benefits are uniformly and equally imparted to the World: They come harmoniously and gradually on, and as gradually gooti again. So that the daily and yearly Returns of Light and Darkness, Cold and Heat, Moift and Dry, are Regular and Workman-like, (we may fày,) which they would not be, especiallythe former, if the Mafs of Earth and Waters were (as fòme fancied (2) it) a large Plain 5 oras others, . . ', , like

[ocr errors]

—==I - —— – = . the Line, (as Mr. Caffini affirms they do, by an 8coth Part in every Degree, in Phil. Tranf. N. 278.) then there is great reason toi conclude in behalf of this Sphærðidal Form. . . . . . The natural Cause of this Sphericity of our Globe, is (according to Sir Ifaac Newton's Principles) that Attraffion, which the Infinite. Creator hath stamp'd on als the Matter of the Univerfs whereby all: Bodies, and all the parts of Bodies mutually attract themselves and: one another. By which means, as all the parts of Bodies tend naturally to their Center, fo they all betake themselves to a globous Figure, unless foine other more prevalent Caufe interpole. Thus drops of Quick filver put on a spherical Form, the parts thereof strongly attrafting one another. So drops of Water have the fame Form, when falling in the Air ; but arë Hemispherical only when they lie on a hard Body, by reafon their Gravity doth fo far overwer their felf-attracting Power, as to take of one half of their phericity. This Figure is commonly attributed to the Presture of the circumambieht Air: But that this can’t be theicaufe, is manifest from the Air-Pump ; the cafe being the very fame in an exhausted Receiver, as in the open Air, and notany the leat Alteration of the Figure that I could pereeive, in all the Trials I have madės. (2) It would be frivolous as well as endless to reckon up the various Opinions of the Antients about the Figure of the Ter2 3 - + * raqueous

« PreviousContinue »