The Discovery of a World in the Moone
by John Wilkins
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[Transcriber's Note:

Spelling and punctuation are as in the original, including the consistently "modern" use of V and U. Italic capital V has two forms, used interchangeably. Since italic capital U does not occur, the rounded V-form has been transcribed as U.

Greek words and phrases have been transliterated and shown between marks. Hebrew is shown between marks.

Latin quotations were given in italics; the translation was usually printed with marginal quotation marks. In this e-text, Latin passages are shown as block quotes (indented) without quotation marks, while passages with marginal quotes are shown as block quotes with quotation marks.

The six Sidenotes shown with an asterisk alongside their number were printed with an asterisk in the original text; all other notes were unmarked.

References from the Sidenotes are identified at the end of the text, followed by a complete list of errata.]

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that 'tis probable there may be another habitable World in that Planet.

Quid tibi inquis ista proderunt? Si nihil aliud, hoc certe, sciam omnia angusta esse. SENECA. Praef. ad 1. Lib. N. Q.



Printed by E. G. for Michael Sparl and Edward Forrest, 1638.


Perlegi haec paradoxa & novitatis gracia typis mandari permitto.

Mart. 29. 1638. THO. WEEKES R.P. Episc. Lond. Cap. Domest.


To the Reader.

If amongst thy leisure houres thou canst spare any for the perusall of this discourse, and dost looke to finde somewhat in it which may serve for thy information and benefit: let me then advise thee to come unto it with an equall minde, not swayed by prejudice, but indifferently resolved to assent unto that truth which upon deliberation shall seeme most probable unto thy reason, and then I doubt not, but either thou wilt agree with mee in this assertion, or at least not thinke it to be as farre from truth, as it is from common opinion.

Two cautions there are which I would willingly admonish thee of in the beginning.

1. That thou shouldst not here looke to find any exact, accurate Treatise, since this discourse was but the fruit of some lighter studies, and those too hudled up in a short time, being first thought of and finished in the space of some few weekes, and therefore you cannot in reason expect, that it should be so polished, as perhaps, the subject would require, or the leisure of the Author might have done it.

2. To remember that I promise onely probable arguments for the proofe of this opinion, and therefore you must not looke that every consequence should be of an undeniable dependance, or that the truth of each argument should be measured by its necessity. I grant that some Astronomicall appearances may possibly be solved otherwise then here they are. But the thing I aime at is this, that probably they may so be solved, as I have here set them downe: Which, if it be granted (as I thinke it must) then I doubt not, but the indifferent reader will find some satisfaction in the maine thing that is to be proved.

Many ancient Philosophers of the better note, have formerly defended this assertion, which I have here laid downe, and it were to be wished, that some of us would more apply our endeavours unto the examination of these old opinions, which though they have for a long time lien neglected by others, yet in them may you finde many truths well worthy your paines and observation. Tis a false conceit, for us to thinke, that amongst the ancient variety and search of opinions, the best hath still prevailed. Time (saith the learned Verulam) seemes to be of the nature of a river or streame, which carrieth downe to us that which is light, or blowne up, but sinketh that which is weighty and solid.

It is my desire that by the occasion of this discourse, I may raise up some more active spirit to a search after other hidden and unknowne truthes. Since it must needes be a great impediment unto the growth of sciences, for men still so to plod on upon beaten principles, as to be afraid of entertaining any thing that may seeme to contradict them. An unwillingnesse to take such things into examination, is one of those errours of learning in these times observed by the judicious Verulam. Questionlesse there are many secret truths, which the ancients have passed over, that are yet left to make some of our age famous for their discovery.

If by this occasion I may provoke any reader to an attempt of this nature, I shall then thinke my selfe happy, and this work successefull.



The First Proposition, by way of Preface.

That the strangenesse of this opinion is no sufficient reason why it should be rejected, because other certaine truths have beene formerly esteemed ridiculous, and great absurdities entertayned by common consent.

There is an earnestnesse and hungering after novelty, which doth still adhere unto all our natures, and it is part of that primative image, that wide extent and infinite capacity at first created in the heart of man, for this since its depravation in Adam perceiving it selfe altogether emptied of any good doth now catch after every new thing, conceiving that possibly it may finde satisfaction among some of its fellow creatures. But our enemy the divell (who strives still to pervert our gifts, and beate us with our owne weapons) hath so contriv'd it, that any truth doth now seeme distastefull for that very reason, for which errour is entertain'd—Novelty, for let but some upstart heresie be set abroach, and presently there are some out of a curious humour; others, as if they watched an occasion of singularity, will take it up for canonicall, and make it part of their creede and profession; whereas solitary truth cannot any where finde so ready entertainement; but the same Novelty which is esteemed the commendation of errour and makes that acceptable, is counted the fault of truth, and causes that to bee rejected. How did the incredulous World gaze at Columbus when hee promised to discover another part of the earth, and he could not for a long time by his confidence, or arguments, induce any of the Christian Princes, either to assent unto his opinion, or goe to the charges of an experiment. Now if he who had such good grounds for his assertion, could finde no better entertainement among the wiser sort, and upper end of the World; 'tis not likely then that this opinion which I now deliver, shall receive any thing from the men of these daies, especially our vulgar wits, but misbeliefe or derision. It hath alwaies beene the unhappinesse of new truths in Philosophy, to be derided by those that are ignorant of the causes of things, and reiected by others whose perversenesse ties them to the contrary opinion, men whose envious pride will not allow any new thing for truth which they themselves were not the first inventors of. So that I may iustly expect to be accused of a pragmaticall ignorance, and bold ostentation, especially since for this opinion Xenophanes, a man whose authority was able to adde some credit to his assertion could not escape the like censure from others. For Natales Comes speaking of that Philosopher,[1] and this his opinion, saith thus,

Nonnulli ne nihil scisse videantur, aliqua nova monstra in Philosophia introducunt, ut alicujus rei inventores fuisse appareant.

"Some there are who least they might seeme to know nothing, will bring up monstrous absurdities in Philosophy, that so afterward they may bee famed for the invention of somewhat."

The same author doth also in another place accuse Anaxagoras[2] of folly for the same opinion,

Est enim non ignobilis gradus stultitiae, vel si nescias quid dicas, tamen velle de rebus propositis hanc vel illam partem stabilire.

"'Tis none of the worst kindes of folly, boldly to affirme one side or other, when a man knows not what to say."

[Sidenote 1: Mytholog. lib. 3. c. 17.]

[Sidenote 2: Lib. 7. c. 1.]

If these men were thus censur'd, I may iustly then expect to be derided by most, and to be believed by few or none; especially since this opinion seemes to carry in it so much strangenesse, so much contradiction to the generall consent of others. But how ever, I am resolved that this shall not be any discouragement, since I know that it is not the common opinion of others that can either adde or detract from the truth. For,

1. Other truths have beene formerly esteemed altogether as ridiculous as this can be.

2. Grosse absurdities have beene entertained by generall opinion.

I shall give an instance of each, that so I may the better prepare the Reader to consider things without a prejudice, when hee shall see that the common opposition against this which I affirme cannot any way derogate from its truth.

1. Other truths have beene formerly accounted as ridiculous as this, I shall specifie that of the Antipodes, which have beene denied and laught at by many wise men and great Schollers, such as were Herodotus, St. Austin, Lactantius, the Venerable Bede, Lucretius the Poet, Procopius, and the voluminous Abulensis with others. Herodotus counted it so horrible an absurdity, that hee could not forbeare laughing to thinke of it. Gelo de horon ges periodous grapsantas, pollous ede kai oudena noon echontas exegesamenon hoi Okeanon te rheonta graphousi, perix ten te gen eousan kukloterea hos apo tornou.

"I cannot choose but laugh, (saith he) to see so many men venture to describe the earths compasse, relating those things that are without all sense, as that the Sea flowes about the World, and that the earth it selfe is round as an Orbe."

But this great ignorance is not so much to be admired in him, as in those learneder men of later times, when all sciences began to flourish in the World. Such was Saint Austin who censures that relation of the Antipodes to be an incredible fable,[1] and with him agrees the eloquent Lactantius,[2]

quid illi qui esse contrarios vestigiis nostris Antipodes putant? num aliquid loquuntur? aut est quispiam tam ineptus, qui credat esse homines, quorum vestigia sunt superiora quam capita? aut ibi quae apud nos jacent inversa pendere? fruges & arbores deorsum versus crescere, pluvias & nives, & grandinem sursum versus cadere in terram? & miratur aliquis hortor pensiles inter septem mira narrari, quum Philosophi, & agros & maria, & urbes & montes pensiles faciunt? &c.

"What (saith he) are they that thinke there are Antipodes, such as walke with their feet against ours? doe they speake any likelyhood? or is there any one so foolish as to believe that there are men whose heeles are higher than their heads? that things which with us doe lie on the ground doe hang there? that the Plants and Trees grow downewards, that the haile, and raine, and snow fall upwards to the earth? and doe wee admire the hanging Orchards amongst the seven wonders, whereas here the Philosophers have made the Field and Seas, the Cities and Mountaines hanging."

What shall wee thinke (saith hee in Plutarch) that men doe clyng to that place like wormes, or hang by their clawes as Cats, or if wee suppose a man a little beyond the Center, to bee digging with a spade? is it likely (as it must bee according to this opinion) that the earth which hee loosened, should of it selfe ascend upwards? or else suppose two men with their middles about the center, the feete of the one being placed where the head of the other is, and so two other men crosse them, yet all these men thus situated according to this opinion should stand upright, and many other such grosse consequences would follow (saith hee) which a false imagination is not able to fancy as possible. Upon which considerations, Bede[3] also denies the being of any Antipodes,

Neque enim Antipodarum ullatenus est Fabulis accommodandus assensus,

"Nor should wee any longer assent to the Fable of Antipodes." So also Lucretius the Poet speaking of the same subject, sayes:

Sed vanus stolidis haec omnia finxerit error.[4]

[Sidenote 1: De civit. Dei. lib. 16. cap. 9.]

[Sidenote 2: Institut. l. 3. c. 24.]

[Sidenote 3: De ratione temporum, Cap. 32.]

[Sidenote 4: De nat. rerum, lib. 1.]

That some idle fancy faigned these for fooles to believe. Of this opinion was Procopius Gazaeus,[1] but he was perswaded to it by another kinde of reason; for he thought that all the earth under us was sunke in the water, according to the saying of the Psalmist,[2] Hee hath founded the Earth upon the Seas, and therefore hee accounted it not inhabited by any. Nay Tostatus a man of later yeeres and generall learning doth also confidently deny that there are any such Antipodes, though the reason which hee urges for it bee not so absurde as the former, for the Apostles, saith hee,[3] travelled through the whole habitable world, but they never passed the Equinoctiall; and if you answer that they are said to goe through all the earth, because they went through all the knowne world, hee replies, that this is not sufficient, since Christ would have all men to be saved, and come to the knowledge of his truth,[4] and therefore 'tis requisite that they should have travelled thither also, if there had been any inhabitants, especially since he did expressely command them to goe and teach all nations, and preach the Gospell through the whole world,[5] and therefore he thinkes that as there are no men, so neither are there seas, or rivers, or any other conveniency for habitation: 'tis commonly related of one Virgilius, that he was excommunicated and condemned for a Heretique by Zachary Bishop of Rome, because hee was not of the same opinion. But Baronius saies,[6] it was because hee thought there was another habitable world within ours. How ever, you may well enough discerne in these examples how confident many of these great Schollars were in so grosse an errour, how unlikely, what an incredible thing it seemed to them, that there should be any Antipodes, and yet now this truth is as certaine and plaine, as sense or demonstration can make it. This then which I now deliver is not to be rejected; though it may seeme to contradict the common opinion.

[Sidenote 1: Comment. in 1. Cap. Gen.]

[Sidenote 2: Psal. 24. 2.]

[Sidenote 3: Comment. in 1. Genes.]

[Sidenote 4: 1 Tim. 2. 4.]

[Sidenote 5: Mat. 28. 19]

[Sidenote 6: Annal. Eccles. A.D. 748.]

2. Grosse absurdities have beene entertained by generall consent. I might instance in many remarkeable examples, but I will onely speake of the supposed labour of the Moone in her eclipses, because this is neerest to the chiefe matter in hand, and was received as a common opinion amongst many of the ancients, and therefore Plutarch speaking of a Lunary eclipse, relates, that at such times 'twas a custome amongst the Romanes (the most civill and learned people in the world) to sound brasse Instruments, and hold great torches toward the heaven. Ton de Romaion (hosper esto enomismenon) chalkou te patagois anakaloumenon to phos autos kai pura polla dalois kai dassin anechonton pros ton ouranon,[1] for by this meanes they supposed the Moone was much eased in her labours, and therfore Ovid calls such loud Instruments the auxiliaries or helpes of the Moone.[2]

Cum frustra resonant aera auxiliaria Lunae.

and therefore the Satyrist too describing a loud scold, saies, she was able to make noise enough to deliver the labouring Moone.[3]

Vna laboranti poterit succurrere Lunae.

[Sidenote 1: In vita Paul. AEmil.]

[Sidenote 2: Metam. l. 4.]

[Sidenote 3: Iuven. Sat. 6]

Now the reason of all this their ceremonie, was, because they feared the world would fall asleepe, when one of its eyes began to winke, and therefore they would doe what they could by loud sounds to rouse it from its drowsinesse, and keepe it awake by bright torches, to bestow that light upon it which it began to lose. Some of them thought hereby to keepe the Moone in her orbe, whereas otherwise she would have fallen downe upon the earth, and the world would have lost one of its lights, for the credulous people believed, that Inchanters, and Witches could bring the Moone downe, which made Virgil say,

Cantus & e coelo possunt deducere Lunam.

And those Wizards knowing the times of her eclipses, would then threaten to shew their skill, by pulling her out of her orbe. So that when the silly multitude saw that she began to looke red, they presently feared they should lose the benefit of her light, and therefore made a great noise that she might not heare the sound of those Charmes, which would otherwise bring her downe, and this is rendered for a reason of this custome by Pliny and Propertius:

Cantus & e curru lunam deducere tentant, Et facerent, si non aera repulsa sonent.[1]

[Sidenote 1: Nat. hist. lib. 2. c. 12.]

Plutarch gives another reason of it, and he sayes, 'tis because they would hasten the Moone out of the darke shade wherein shee was involv'd, that so she might bring away the soules of those Saints that inhabit within her, which cry out by reason they are then deprived of their wonted happinesse, and cannot heare the musicke of the Spheares, but are forced to behold the torments, and wailing of those damned soules which are represented to them as they are tortured in the region of the aire, but whether this or what ever else was the meaning of this superstition, yet certainly 'twas a very ridiculous custome, and bewrayed a great ignorance of those ancient times, especially since it was not onely received by the vulgar, such as were men of lesse note and learning, but believed also, by the more famous and wiser sort, such as were those great Poets, Stesichorus and Pindar. And not onely amongst the more sottish heathens, who might account that Planet to be one of their Gods, but the primitive Christians also were in this kinde guilty; which made S. Ambrose so tartly to rebuke those of his time, when he said,

Tum turbatur carminibus Globus Lunae, quando calicibus turbantur & oculi.

"When your heads are troubled with cups, then you thinke the Moone to be troubled with charmes."

And for this reason also did Maximus a Bishop,[1] write a Homily against it, wherein hee shewed the absurditie of that foolish superstition. I remember, that Ludovicus Uives relates a more ridiculous story of a people that imprisoned an Asse for drinking up the Moone, whose image appearing in the water was covered with a cloud, as the Asse was drinking, for which the poore beast was afterward brought to the barre to receive a sentence according to his deserts, where the grave Senate being set to examine the matter, one of the Counsell (perhaps wiser than the rest) rises up, and out of his deepe judgement, thinkes it not fit that their Towne should lose its Moone, but that rather the Asse should be cut up, and that taken out of him, which sentence being approved by the rest of those Politicians, as the subtillest way for the conclusion of the matter was accordingly performed. But whether this tale were true or no I will not question, however there is absurdity enough in that former custome of the ancients, that may confirme the truth to be proved, and plainly declare the insufficiency of common opinion to adde true worth or estimation unto any thing. So that from that which I have said may be gathered thus much.

[Sidenote 1: Turinens. Episc.]

1. That a new truth may seeme absurd and impossible not onely to the vulgar, but to those also who are otherwise wise men, and excellent schollers; and hence it will follow, that every new thing which seemes to oppose common Principles is not presently to be rejected, but rather to be pry'd into with a diligent enquiry, since there are many things which are yet hid from us, and reserv'd for future discovery.

2. That it is not the commonnesse of an opinion that can priviledge it for a truth, the wrong way is sometime a well beaten path, whereas the right way (especially to hidden truths) may bee lesse trodden and more obscure.

True indeed, the strangeness of this opinion will detract much from its credit; but yet we should know that nothing is in its selfe strange, since every naturall effect has an equall dependance upon its cause, and with the like necessity doth follow from it, so that 'tis our ignorance which makes things appeare so, and hence it comes to passe that many more evident truths seeme incredible to such who know not the causes of things: you may as soone perswade some Country peasants that the Moone is made of greene Cheese (as wee say) as that 'tis bigger than his Cart-wheele, since both seeme equally to contradict his sight, and hee has not reason enough to leade him farther than his senses. Nay, suppose (saith Plutarch) a Philosopher should be educated in such a secret place, where hee might not see either Sea or River, and afterwards should be brought out where one might shew him the great Ocean telling him the quality of that water, that it is blackish, salt, and not potable, and yet there were many vast creatures of all formes living in it, which make use of the water as wee doe of the aire, questionlesse he would laugh at all this, as being monstrous lies & fables, without any colour of truth. Just so will this truth which I now deliver appeare unto others; because we never dreamt of any such matter as a world in the Moone, because the state of that place hath as yet been vailed from our knowledge, therefore wee can scarcely assent to any such matter. Things are very hardly received which are altogether strange to our thoughts and our senses. The soule may with lesse difficulty be brought to believe any absurdity, when as it has formerly beene acquainted with some colours and probabilities for it, but when a new, and an unheard of truth shall come before it, though it have good grounds and reasons, yet the understanding is afraid of it as a stranger, and dares not admit it into its beliefe without a great deale of reluctancy and tryall. And besides things that are not manifested to the senses, are not assented unto without some labour of mind, some travaile and discourse of the understanding, and many lazie soules had rather quietly repose themselves in an easie errour, then take paines to search out the truth. The strangenesse then of this opinion which I now deliver will be a great hinderance to its beliefe, but this is not to be respected by reason it cannot bee helped. I have stood the longer in the Preface, because that prejudice which the meere title of the booke may beget cannot easily be removed without a great deale of preparation, and I could not tell otherwise how to rectifie the thoughts of the Reader for an impartiall survey of the following discourse.

I must needs confesse, though I had often thought with my selfe that it was possible there might be a world in the Moone, yet it seemed such an uncouth opinion that I never durst discover it, for feare of being counted singular and ridiculous, but afterward having read Plutarch, Galilaeus, Keplar, with some others, and finding many of mine owne thoughts confirmed by such strong authority, I then concluded that it was not onely possible there might bee, but probable that there was another habitable world in that Planet. In the prosecuting of this assertion, I shall first endeavour to cleare the way from such doubts as may hinder the speed or ease of farther progresse; and because the suppositions imply'd in this opinion may seeme to contradict the principles of reason or faith, it will be requisite that I first remove this scruple, shewing the conformity of them to both these, and proving those truths that may make way for the rest, which I shall labour to performe in the second, third, fourth, and fifth Chapters, and then proceede to confirme such Propositions, which doe more directly belong to the maine point in hand.

Proposition 2.

That a plurality of worlds doth not contradict any principle of reason or faith.

Tis reported of Aristotle that when hee saw the bookes of Moses he commended them for such a majesticke stile as might become a God, but withall hee censured that manner of writing to be very unfitting for a Philosopher because there was nothing proved in them, but matters were delivered as if they would rather command than perswade beliefe. And 'tis observed that hee sets downe nothing himselfe, but he confirmes it by the strongest reasons that may be found, there being scarce an argument of force for any subject in Philosophy which may not bee picked out of his writings, and therefore 'tis likely if there were in reason a necessity of one onely world, that hee would have found out some such necessary proofe as might confirme it: Especially since hee labours for it so much in two whole Chapters. But now all the arguments which he himselfe urges in this subject,[1] are very weake and farre enough from having in them any convincing power. Therefore 'tis likely that a plurality of worlds doth not contradict any principle of reason. However, I will set downe the two chiefe of his arguments from his owne workes, and from them you may guesse the force of the other. The 1. is this,[2] since every heavy body doth naturally tend downwards, and every light body upwards, what a hudling and confusion must there bee if there were two places for gravity and two places for lightnesse: for it is probable that the Earth of that other World would fall downe to this Center, and so mutually the aire and fire here ascend to those Regions in the other, which must needes much derogate from the providence of nature, and cause a great disorder in his workes. To this I answere, that if you will consider the nature of gravity, you will plainely see there is no ground to feare any such confusion, for heavinesse is nothing else but such a quality as causes a propension in 'its subject to tend downewards towards its owne Centre, so that for some of that earth to come hither would not bee said a fall but an ascension, since it moved from its owne place, and this would bee impossible (saith Ruvio) because against nature,[3] and therefore no more to bee feared than the falling of the Heavens.

[Sidenote 1: De Coelo l. 1. c. 8. 9.]

[Sidenote 2: Ibid.]

[Sidenote 3: De Coelo l. 1. c. 9. q. 1.]

Another Argument hee had from his master Plato,[1] that there is but one World, because there is but one first mover, God.[2]

[Sidenote 1: Metaphys. l. 12. c. 8.]

[Sidenote 2: Diog. Laert. lib. 3.]

But here I may deny the consequence, since a plurality of worlds doth not take away the unity of the first mover.

Vt enim forma substantialis, sic primum efficiens apparentem solummodo multiplicitatem induit per signatam materiam

(saith a Countreyman of ours.)[1] As the substantiall forme, so the efficient cause hath onely an appearing multiplicity from its particular matter. You may see this point more largely handled, and these Arguments more fully answered by Plutarch in his Booke (why Oracles are silent) and Iacob Carpentarius in his comment on Alcinous.

[Sidenote 1: Nic. Hill. de Philosop. Epic. partic. 379.]

But our opposites the Interpreters themselves, (who too often doe jurare in verba magistri) will grant that there is not any strength in these consequences, and certainely their such weake arguments could not convince that wise Philosopher, who in his other opinions was wont to bee swayed by the strength and power of reason: wherefore I should rather thinke that he had some by-respect, which made him first assent to this opinion, and afterwards strive to prove it. Perhaps it was because hee feared to displease his scholler Alexander, of whom 'tis related[1] that he wept to heare a disputation of another world, since he had not then attained the Monarchy of this, his restlesse wide heart would have esteemed this Globe of Earth not big enough for him, if there had beene another, which made the Satyrist say of him,

AEstuat infoelix angusto limite mundi.[2]

"That he did vexe himselfe and sweate in his desires, as being pend up in a narrow roome, when hee was confin'd but to one world."

Before he thought to seate himselfe next the Gods, but now when hee had done his best, hee must be content with some equall, or perhaps superiour Kings.

[Sidenote 1: Plutarch. de tranq. anim.]

[Sidenote 2: Iuvenal.]

It may be, that Aristotle was moved to this opinion, that hee might thereby take from Alexander the occasion of this feare and discontent, or else, perhaps, Aristotle himselfe was as loth to hold the possibility of a world which he could not discover, as Alexander was to heare of one which he could not conquer. Tis likely that some such by-respect moved him to this opinion, since the arguments he urges for it are confest by his zealous followers and commentators, to be very sleight and frivolous, and they themselves grant, what I am now to prove, that there is not any evidence in the light of naturall reason, which can sufficiently manifest that there is but one world.

But however some may object, would it not be inconvenient and dangerous to admit of such opinions that doe destroy those principles of Aristotle, which all the world hath so long followed?

This question is much controverted by the Romish Divines; Campanella hath writ a Treatise[1] in defence of it, in whom you may see many things worth the reading and notice.

[Sidenote 1: Apologia pro Galilaeo.]

To it I answer, that this position in Philosophy, doth not bring any inconvenience to the rest, since tis not Aristotle, but truth that should be the rule of our opinions, and if they be not both found together, wee may say to him, as hee said to his Master Plato,

amphoin gar ontoin philoin, hosion protiman ten aletheian.[1]

"Though Plato were his friend, yet hee would rather adhere to truth than him."

[Sidenote 1: Ethic. l. 1. c. 6.]

I must needs grant, that wee are all much beholden to the industry of the ancient Philosophers, and more especially to Aristotle, for the greater part of our learning, but yet tis not ingratitude to speake against him, when hee opposeth truth; for then many of the Fathers would be very guilty, especially Iustin, who hath writ a Treatise purposely against him.

But suppose this opinion were false, yet 'tis not against the faith, and so it may serve for the better confirmation of that which is true; the sparkes of errour, being forc'd out by opposition, as the sparkes of fire, by the striking of the flint and steele. But suppose too that it were hereticall, and against the faith, yet may it be admitted with the same priviledge as Aristotle, from whom many more dangerous opinions have proceeded: as that the world is eternall, that God cannot have while to looke after these inferiour things, that after death there is no reward or punishment, and such like blasphemies, which strike directly at the fundamentalls of our Religion.

So that it is justly to be wondred why some should be so superstitious in these daies, as to sticke closer unto him, than unto Scripture, as if his Philosophy were the onely foundation of all divine truths.

Upon these grounds both St. Uincentiusand Senafinus de firmo (as I have seene them quoted) thinke that Aristotle was the viol of Gods wrath, which was powred out upon the waters of Wisedome by the third Angel;[1] But for my part, I thinke the world is much beholden to Aristotle for all its sciences. But yet twere a shame for these later ages to rest our selves meerely upon the labours of our Fore-fathers, as if they had informed us of all things to be knowne, and when wee are set upon their shoulders, not to see further then they themselves did. 'Twere a superstitious, a lazie opinion to thinke Aristotles workes the bounds and limits of all humane invention, beyond which there could be no possibility of reaching. Certainly there are yet many things left to discovery, and it cannot be any inconvenience for us, to maintaine a new truth, or rectifie an ancient errour.

[Sidenote 1: Rev. 16. 4.]

But the position (say some) is directly against Scripture, for

1. Moses tells us but of one world, and his History of the creation had beene very imperfect if God had made another.

2. Saint John speaking of Gods workes, saies he made the world, in the singular number, and therefore there is but one:[1] 'tis the argument of Aquinas, and he thinks that none will oppose it, but such who with Democritus esteeme some blinde chance, and not any wise providence to be the framer of all things.

[Sidenote 1: Part 1. Q. 47. Art. 3.]

3. The opinion of more worlds has in ancient time beene accounted a heresie, and Baronius affirmes that for this very reason, Virgilius was cast out of his Bishopricke, and excommunicated from the Church.[1]

[Sidenote 1: Annal. Eccl. A.D. 748.]

4. A fourth argument there is urged by Aquinas, if there be more worlds than one, then they must either be of the same, or of a diverse nature, but they are not of the same kinde,[1] for this were needlesse, and would argue an improvidence, since one would have no more perfection than the other; not of divers kinds, for then one of them could not be called the world or universe, since it did not containe universall perfection, I have cited this argument, because it is so much stood upon by Iulius Caesar la Galla,[2] one that has purposely writ a Treatise against this opinion which I now deliver, but the Dilemma is so blunt, that it cannot cut on either side, and the consequences so weake, that I dare trust them without an answer; And (by the way) you may see this Author in that place, where he endeavours to prove a necessity of one world, doth leave the chiefe matter in hand, and take much needlesse paines to dispute against Democritus, who thought that the world was made by the casuall concourse of atoms in a great vacuum. It should seeme, that either his cause, or his skill was weake, or else he would have ventured upon a stronger adversary. These arguments which I have set downe, are the chiefest which I have met with against this subject, and yet the best of these hath not force enough to endanger the truth that I have delivered.

[Sidenote 1: Ibid.]

[Sidenote 2: De Phaenom. in orbe lunae.]

Unto the two first it may be answered, that the negative authority of Scripture is not prevalent in those things which are not the fundamentalls of Religion.

But you'le reply, though it doe not necessarily conclude, yet 'tis probable if there had beene another world, wee should have had some notice of it in Scripture.

I answer, 'tis as probable that the Scripture should have informed us of the Planets they being very remarkable parts of the Creation, and yet neither Moses nor Job, nor the Psalmes (the places most frequent in Astronomicall observations) mention any of them but the Sunne and Moone, and moreover, you must know, that 'tis besides the scope of the Holy Ghost either in the new Testament or in the old, to reveale any thing unto us concerning the secrets of Philosophy; 'tis not his intent in the new Testament, since we cannot conceive how it might any way belong either to the Historicall exegeticall or propheticall parts of it: nor is it his intent in the old Testament, as is well observed by our Countrey-man Master WRIGHT.[1]

Non Mosis aut Prophetarum institutum fuisse videtur Mathematicas aliquas aut Physicas subtilitates promulgare, sed ad vulgi captum & loquendi morem quemadmodum nutrices infantulis solent sese accommodare.

"'Tis not the endeavour of Moses or the Prophets to discover any Mathematicall or Philosophicall subtilties, but rather to accomodate themselves to vulgar capacities, and ordinary speech, as nurses are wont to use their infants."

True indeede, Moses is there to handle the history of the Creation, but 'tis observed that he does not any where meddle with such matters as were very hard to be apprehended, for being to informe the common people as well as others, he does it after a vulgar way, as it is commonly noted, declaring the originall chiefely of those things which were obvious to the sense, and being silent of other things, which then could not well be apprehended. And therefore Aquinas observes,[2] that Moses writes nothing of the aire, because that being invisible, the people knew not whether there were any such body or no. And for this very reason Saint Austin also thinkes that there is nothing exprest concerning the creation of Angels which notwithstanding are as remarkable parts of the creatures, and as fit to be knowne as another world. And therefore the Holy Ghost too uses such vulgar expressions which set things forth rather as they appeare, then as they are,[3] as when he calls the Moone one of the greater lights hame'orot hagdolim whereas 'tis the least, but one that wee can see in the whole heavens. So afterwards speaking of the great raine which drowned the world,[4] he saies, the windowes of heaven were opened, because it seemed to come with that violence, as if it were, poured out from windows in the Firmament.[5] So that the phrases which the Holy Ghost uses concerning these things are not to be understood in a literall sense; but rather as vulgar expressions, and this rule is set downe by Saint Austin, where speaking concerning that in the Psalme, who stretched the earth upon the waters,[6] hee notes, that when the words of Scripture shall seeme to contradict common sense or experience, there are they to be understood in a qualified sense, and not according to the letter. And 'tis observed that for want of this rule, some of the ancients have fastened strange absurdities upon the words of the Scripture. So Saint Ambrose esteemed it a heresie, to thinke, that the Sunne and starres were not very hot, as being against the words of Scripture,[7] Psalm. 19. 6. where the Psalmist sayes that there is nothing that is hid from the heate of the Sunne. So others there are that would prove the heavens not to be round, out of that place, Psal. 104. 2. Hee stretcheth out the heavens like a curtaine.[8] So Procopius also was of opinion, that the earth was founded upon the waters, nay, he made it part of his faith, proving it out of Psal. 24. 2. Hee hath founded the earth upon the seas, and established it upon the flouds. These and such like absurdities have followed, when men looke for the grounds of Philosophie in the words of Scripture. So that from what hath beene said, I may conclude that the silence of Scripture concerning any other world is not sufficient argument to prove that there is none. Thus for the two first arguments.

[Sidenote 1: In Epist. ad Gilbert.]

[Sidenote 2: Part 1. Q. 68. Art. 3.]

[Sidenote 3: Gen. 1. 16]

[Sidenote 4: Gen. 11.]

[Sidenote 5: Sr. W. Rawly c. 7. Sec.. 6.]

[Sidenote 6: l. 2. in Gen. / Psal. 136. 6.]

[Sidenote 7: Wisd. 2. 4. 17. 5. / Ecclus. 43. 3. 4.]

[Sidenote 8: Com. in c. 1. Gen.]

Unto the third, I may answer, that this very example is quoted by others, to shew the ignorance of those primative times, who did sometimes condemne what they did not understand, and have often censur'd the lawfull & undoubted parts of Mathematiques for hereticall, because they themselves could not perceive a reason of it, and therefore their practise in this particular, is no sufficient testimony against us.

But lastly I answer to all the above named objections, that the terme World, may be taken in a double sense, more generally for the whole Universe, as it implies in it the elementary and aethereall bodies, the starres and the earth. Secondly, more particularly for an inferiour World consisting of elements. Now the maine drift of all these arguments, is to confute a plurality of worlds in the first sense, and if there were any such, it might, perhaps, seeme strange, that Moses, or St. John should either not know, or not mention its creation. And Virgilius was condemned for this opinion, because he held, quod sit alius mundus sub terra, aliusque Sol & Luna, (as Baronius) that within our globe of earth, there was another world, another Sunne and Moone, and so he might seeme to exclude this from the number of the other creatures.

But now there is no such danger in this opinion, which is here delivered, since this world said to be in the Moone, whose creation is particularly exprest.

So that in the first sense I yeeld, that there is but one world, which is all that the arguments do prove, but understand it in the second sense, and so I affirme there may be more nor doe any of the above named objections prove the cotrary.

Neither can this opinion derogate from the divine Wisdome (as Aquinas thinkes) but rather advance it, shewing a compendium of providence, that could make the same body a world, and a Moone; a world for habitation, and a Moone for the use of others, and the ornament of the whole frame of Nature. For as the members of the body serve not onely for the preservation of themselves, but for the use and conveniency of the whole, as the hand protects the head as well as saves it selfe,[1] so is it in the parts of the Universe, where each one may serve, as well for the conservation of that which is within it, as the helpe of others without it.

[Sidenote 1: Cusanus de doct. ignor. l. 2. c. 12.]

I have now in some measure, shewed that a plurality of worlds does not contradict any principle of reason or place of Scripture, and so cleared the first part of that supposition which is applied in the opinion.

It may next be enquired; whether 'tis possible there may be a globe of elements in that which we call the aethereall parts of the Universe; for if this (as it is according to the common opinion) be priviledged from any change or corruption, it will be in vaine then to imagine any element there, and if we will have another world, we must then seeke out some other place for its situation. The third Proposition therefore shall be this.

Proposition 3.

That the heavens doe not consist of any such pure matter which can priviledge them from the like change and corruption, as these inferiour bodies are liable unto.

It hath beene often questioned amongst the ancient Fathers and Philosophers, what kind of matter that should be, of which the heavens are framed, whether or no of any fifth substance distinct from the foure elements, as Aristotle[1] holds, and with him some of the late Schoolemen, whose subtill braines could not be content to attribute to those vast glorious bodies, but common materialls, and therefore they themselves had rather take paines to preferre them to some extraordinary nature, whereas notwithstanding, all the arguments they could invent, were not able to convince a necessity of any such matter, as is confest by their owne[2]* side. It were much to be desired, thst these men had not in other cases, as well as this, multiplied things without necessity, and as if there had not beene enough to be knowne in the secrets of nature, have spun out new subjects from their owne braines to finde more worke for future ages, I shall not mention their arguments, since 'tis already confest, that they are none of them of any necessary consequence, and besides, you may see them set downe in any of the bookes de Coelo.

[Sidenote 1: De Coelo., l. 1. cap. 2.]

[Sidenote 2*: Colleg. Cannimb. De Coelo. l. 1. c. 2. q. 6. art. 3.]

But is it the generall consent of the Fathers, and the opinion of Lombard, that the heavens consist of the same matter with these sublunary bodies. St. Ambrose is confident of it, that hee esteemes the contrary a heresie.[1] True indeed, they differ much among themselves, some thinking them to be made of fire, others of water, but herein they generally agree, that they are all framed of some element or other. For a better confirmation of this, you may see Ludovicus Molina, Euseb. Nirembergius, with divers others.[2] The venerable Bede thought the Planets to consist of all the foure elements, and 'tis likely that the other parts are of an aereous substance,[3] as will be shewed afterward; however, I cannot now stand to recite the arguments for either, I have onely urged these Authorities to countervaile Aristotle, and the Schoolemen, and the better to make way for a proof of their corruptibility.

[Sidenote 1: In Hexam. lib. 4.]

[Sidenote 2: In opere 6. dierum. disput. 5.]

[Sidenote 3: In lib. de Mundi constit.]

The next thing then to be enquired after, is, whether they be of a corruptible nature, [1]not whether they can be destroyed by God, for this Scripture puts out of doubt.

[Sidenote 1: 2 Pet. 3. 12.]

Nor whether or no in a long time they would weare away and grow worse, for from any such feare they have beene lately priviledged.[1] But whether they are capable of such changes and vicissitudes, as this inferiour world is liable unto.

[Sidenote 1: By Doctor Hackwell Apol.]

The two chiefe opinions concerning this, have both erred in some extremity, the one side going so farre from the other, that they have both gone beyond the right, whilest Aristotle hath opposed the truth, as well as the Stoicks.

Some of the Ancients have thought, that the heavenly bodies have stood in need of nourishment from the elements, by which they were continually fed, and so had divers alterations by reason of their food, this is fathered on Heraclitus,[1] followed by that great Naturalist Pliny,[2] and in generall attributed to all the Stoicks. You may see Seneca expressely to this purpose in these words,

Ex illa alimenta omnibus animalibus, omnibus satis, omnibus stellis dividuntur, hinc profertur quo sustineantur tot Sydera tam exercitata, tam avida, per diem, noctemque, ut in opere, ita in pastu.[3]

Speaking of the earth, he saies, from thence it is, that nourishment is divided to all the living creatures, the Plants and the Starres, hence were sustained so many constellations, so laborious, so greedy both day and night, as well in their feeding as working. Thus also Lucan sings,

Necnon Oceano pasci Phoebumque polumque credimus.

[Sidenote 1: Plutarch. de plac. philos. l. 2. c. 17.]

[Sidenote 2: Nat. Hist. l. 2. c. 9.]

[Sidenote 3: Nat. Quaest. lib. 2. cap. 5.]

Unto these Ptolome[1] also that learned Egyptian seemed to agree, when he affirmes that the body of the Moone is moister, and cooler than any of the other Planets, by reason of the earthly vapours that are exhaled unto it. You see these ancients thought the Heavens to be so farre from this imagined incorruptibility, that rather like the weakest bodies they stood in need of some continuall nourishment without which they could not subsist.

[Sidenote 1: I{o} Apost.]

But Aristotle and his followers were so farre from this,[1] that they thought those glorious bodies could not containe within them any such principles, as might make them lyable to the least change or corruption, and their chiefe reason was, because we could not in so long a space discerne any alteration amongst them; but unto this I answer.

[Sidenote 1: De coelo. l. 1. cap. 3.]

1. Supposing we could not, yet would it not hence follow[1] that there were none, as hee himselfe in effect doth confesse in another place; for speaking concerning our knowledge of the Heavens, hee sayes 'tis very imperfect and difficult, by reason of the vaste distance of those bodies from us, and because the changes which may happen unto it, are not either bigge enough or frequent enough to fall within the apprehension and observation of our senses; no wonder then if hee himselfe bee deceived in his assertions concerning these particulars.

[Sidenote 1: De Coelo. l. 2. cap. 3.]

2. Though we could not by our senses see such alterations, yet our reason might perhaps sufficiently convince us of them. Nor can we well conceive how the Sunne should reflect against the Moone, and yet not produce some alteration of heate. Diogenes the Philosopher was hence perswaded that those scorching heates had burnt the Moone into the forme of a Pumice-stone.

3. I answer that there have been some alterations observed there; witnesse those comets which have beene seene above the Moone. So that though Aristotles consequence were sufficient, when hee proved that the heavens were not corruptible, because there have not any changes being observed in it, yet this by the same reason must bee as prevalent, that the Heavens are corruptible, because there have beene so many alterations observed there; but of these together with a farther confirmation of this proposition, I shall have occasion to speake afterwards; In the meane space, I will referre the Reader to that worke of Scheiner a late Jesuit which hee titles his Rosa Vrsina,[1] where hee may see this point concerning the corruptibility of the Heavens largely handled and sufficiently confirmed.

[Sidenote 1: lib. 4. p. 2. cy. 24, 35.]

There are some other things, on which I might here take an occasion to enlarge my selfe, but because they are directly handled by many others, and doe not immediately belong to the chiefe matter in hand, I shall therefore referre the Reader to their authors, and omit any large proofe of them my selfe, as defining all possible brevity.

1. The first is this: That there are no solid Orbes. If there be a habitable World in the Moone (which I now affirme) it must follow, that her Orbe is not solid, as Aristotle supposed; and if not her, why any of the other? I rather thinke that they are all of a fluid (perhaps aereous) substance. Saint Ambrose, and Saint Basil[1] did endeavour to prove this out of that place in Isay,[2] where they are compared to smoake, as they are both quoted by Rhodiginus, Eusebius, Nierembergius[3] doth likewise from that place confute the solidity and incorruptibility of the Heavens, and cites for the same interpretation the authority of Eustachius of Antioch; and Saint Austin,[4] I am sure seemes to assent unto this opinion, though he does often in his other workes contradict it. The testimony of other Fathers to this purpose you may see in Sixtus Senensis. l. 5. Biblioth. annot. 14. but for your better satisfaction herein, I shall referre you to the above named Scheiner in his Rosa Ursina,[5] in whom you may see both authorities and reason, and very largely and distinctly set downe for this opinion, for the better confirmation of which hee adjoynes also some authenticall Epistles of Fredericus Caesius Lynceus a Noble Prince written to Bellarmine, containing divers reasons to the same purpose, you may also see the same truth set downe by Johannes Pena in his preface to Euclids Opticks, and Christoph. Rothmannus, both who thought the Firmament to bee onely aire: and though the noble Tycho[6] doe dispute against them, yet he himselfe holds,

Quod propius ad veritatis penetralia accedit haec opinio, quam Aristotelica vulgariter approbata, quae coelum pluribus realibus atque imperviis orbibus citra rem replevit.

"That this opinion comes neerer to the truth than that common one of Aristotle which hath to no purpose filled the heavens with such reall and impervious Orbes."

[Sidenote 1: Isa. 51. 6.]

[Sidenote 2: Ant. lect. l. 1. c. 4.]

[Sidenote 3: Hist. nat. l. 2. c. 11. 13.]

[Sidenote 4: In lib. sup. Gen. ad lit.]

[Sidenote 5: lib. 4. p. 11, 2. c. 7. 26, 30.]

[Sidenote 6: De stella. 15. 72. l. 6. c. 9.]

2. There is no element of fire, which must be held with this opinion here delivered; for if wee suppose a world in the Moone, then it will follow, that the spheare of fire, either is not there where 'tis usually placed in the concavity of his Orbe, or else that there is no such thing at all, which is most probable, since there are not any such solid Orbs, that by their swift motion might heare and enkindle the adjoyning aire, which is imagined to be the reason of that element. Concerning this see Cardan, Iohannes Pena that learned Frenchman, the noble Tycho, with divers others who have purposely handled this proposition.

3. I might adde a third, viz. that there is no Musicke of the spheares, for if they be not solid, how can their motion cause any such sound as is conceived? I doe the rather medle with this, because Plutarch speaks as if a man might very conveniently heare that harmony, if he were an inhabitant in the Moone. But I guesse that hee said this out of incogitancy, and did not well consider those necessary consequences which depended upon his opinion. However the world would have no great losse in being deprived of this Musicke, unlesse at some times we had the priviledge to heare it: Then indeede Philo the Jew[1] thinkes it would save us the charges of diet, and we might live at an easie rate by feeding at the eare onely, and receiving no other nourishment; and for this very reason (saies he) was Moses enabled to tarry forty daies and forty nights in the Mount without eating any thing, because he there heard the melody of the Heavens,—Risum teneatis. I know this Musicke hath had great patrons both sacred and prophane authours, such as Ambrose, Bede, Boetius, Anselme, Plato, Cicero and others, but because it is not now, I thinke affirmed by any, I shall not therefore bestow either paines or time in arguing against it.

[Sidenote 1: De somniis.]

It may suffice that I have onely named these three last, and for the two more necessary, have referred the Reader to others for satisfaction. I shall in the next place proceede to the nature of the Moones body, to know whether that be capable of any such conditions, as may make it possible to be inhabited, and what those qualities are wherein it more neerely agrees with our earth.

Proposition 4.

That the Moone is a solid, compacted, opacous body.

I shall not need to stand long in the proofe of this proposition, since it is a truth already agreed on by the generall consent of the most and the best Philosophers.

1. It is solid in opposition to fluid, as is the ayre, for how otherwise could it beare backe the light which it receives from the Sunne?

But here it may be questioned, whether or no the Moone bestow her light upon us by the reflection of the Sunne-beames from the superficies of her body, or else by her owne illumination. Some there are who affirme this latter part. So Averroes, Caelius Rhodiginus, Iulius Caesar, &c. and their reason is because this light is discerned in many places,[1] whereas those bodies which give light by reflexion can there onely be perceived where the angle of reflexion is equall to the angle of incidence, and this is onely in one place, as in a looking-glasse those beames which are reflected from it cannot bee perceived in every place where you may see the glasse, but onely there where your eye is placed on the same line whereon the beames are reflected.

[Sidenote 1: De coelo. l. 2. com. 49. Ant. lection. l. 20. c. 4. De phaenom. lunae. c. 11.]

But to this I answere, that the argument will not hold of such bodies, whose superficies is full of unequall parts and gibbosities as the Moone is. Wherefore it is as well the more probable as the more common opinion, that her light proceedes from both these causes, from reflexion and illumination; nor doth it herein differ from our earth, since that also hath some light by illumination: for how otherwise would the parts about us in a Sunne-shine day appeare so bright, when as all the rayes of reflexion cannot enter into our eye?

2. It is compact, and not a spungie and porous substance.[1] But this is denied by Diogenes, Vitellio, and Reinoldus, and some others, who held the Moone to bee of the same kind of nature as a Pumice-stone, and this, say they, is the reason why in the Suns eclipses there appeares within her a duskish ruddy colour, because the Sunne-beames being refracted in passing through the pores of her body, must necessarily be represented under such a colour.

[Sidenote 1: Plut. de pla. phil. l. 2. c. 13. Opt. l. 4. Com. Purbac. Theo. p. 164.]

But I reply, if this be the cause of her rednesse; then why doth she not appeare under the same forme when she is about a sextile aspect, and the darkned part of her body is discernable? for then also doe the same rayes passe through her, and therefore in all likelihood should produce the same effect, and notwithstanding those beames are then diverted from us, that they cannot enter into our eyes by a streight line, yet must the colour still remaine visible in her body,[1] and besides according to this opinion, the spots would not alwaies be the same, but divers, as the various distance of the Sunne requires. Againe, if the Sunne-beames did passe through her, why then hath she not a taile as the Comets? why doth she appeare in such an exact round? and not rather attended with a long flame, since it is meerely this penetration of the Sunne beames that is usually attributed to be the cause of beards in blazing starres.

[Sidenote 1: Scaliger exercit. 80. Sec. 13.]

3. It is opacous, not transparent or diaphanous like Chrystall or glasse,[1] as Empedocles thought, who held the Moone to bee a globe of pure congealed aire, like haile inclosed in a spheare of fire, for then.

[Sidenote 1: Plut. de fa. lunae.]

1. Why does shee not alwaies appeare in the full? since the light is dispersed through all her body?

2. How can the interposition of her body so darken the Sun, or cause such great eclipses as have turned day into night,[1] that have discovered the stars, and frighted the birds with such a sudden darknesse, that they fell downe upon the earth, as it is related in divers Histories? And therefore Herodotus telling of an Eclipse which fell in Xerxes time, describes it thus:[2] ho helios eklipon ten ek tou ouranou hedren aphanes en. The Sunne leaving his wonted seate in the heavens, vanished away: all which argues such a great darknesse, as could not have beene, if her body had beene perspicuous. Yet some there are who interpret all these relations to bee hyperbolicall expressions, and the noble Tycho thinkes it naturally impossible, that any eclipse should cause such darknesse, because the body of the Moone can never totally cover the Sunne; however, in this he is singular, all other Astronomers (if I may believe Keplar) being on the contrary opinion, by reason the Diameter of the Moone does for the most part appeare bigger to us then the Diameter of the Sunne.

[Sidenote 1: Thucid. Livii. Plut. de fa. Lunae.]

[Sidenote 2: Herodot. l. 7 c. 37.]

But here Julius Caesar[1] once more, puts in to hinder our passage. The Moone (saith he) is not altogether opacous, because 'tis still of the same nature with the Heavens, which are incapable of totall opacity: and his reason is, because perspicuity is an inseparable accident of those purer bodies, and this hee thinkes must necessarily bee granted, for hee stops there, and proves no further; but to this I shall deferre an answere, till hee hath made up his argument.

[Sidenote 1: De phaenom. Lunae. c. 11.]

We may frequently see, that her body does so eclipse the Sunne, as our earth doth the Moone; since then the like interposition of them both, doth produce the like effect, they must necessarily be of the like natures, that is a like opacous, which is the thing to be shewed; and this was the reason (as the Interpreters guesse) why Aristotle affirmed the Moone to be of the earths nature,[1] because of their agreement in opacity, whereas all the other elements save that, are in some measure perspicuous.

[Sidenote 1: In lib. de animalib.]

But the greatest difference which may seeme to make our earth altogether unlike the Moone, is, because the one is a bright body, and hath light of its owne, and the other a grosse dark body which cannot shine at all. 'Tis requisite therefore, that in the next place I cleare this doubt, and shew that the Moone hath no more light of her owne than our earth.

Proposition 5.

That the Moone hath not any light of her owne.

Twas the fancy of some of the Jewes, and more especially of Rabbi Simeon, that the Moone was nothing else but a contracted Sunne,[1] and that both those planets at their first creation were equall both in light and quantity, for because God did then call them both great lights, therefore they inferred, that they must be both equall in bignesse. But a while after (as the tradition goes) the ambitious Moone put up her complaint to God against the Sunne, shewing, that it was not fit there should be two such great lights in the heavens, a Monarchy would best become the place of order and harmony. Upon this God commanded her to contract her selfe into a narrower compasse, but she being much discontented hereat, replies, What! because I have spoken that which is reason and equity, must I therefore be diminished? This sentence could not chuse but much trouble her; and for this reason was shee in much distresse and griefe for a long space, but that her sorrow might be some way pacified, God bid her be of good cheere, because her priviledges and charet should be greater then the Suns, he should appeare in the day timeonely, shee both in the day and night, but her melancholy being not satisfied with this, shee replyed againe, that that alas was no benefit, for in the day-time she should be either not seene, or not noted. Wherefore, God to comfort her up, promised, that his people the Israelites should celebrate all their feasts and holy daies by a computation of her moneths, but this being not able to content her, shee has looked very melancholy ever since; however shee hath still reserved much light of her owne.

[Sidenote 1: Tostatus in 1. Gen. Hieron. de 5. Hide. Hebraeonia l. 2. c. 4.]

Others there were, that did thinke the Moone to be a round globe, the one halfe of whole body was of a bright substance, the other halfe being darke, and the divers conversions of those sides towards our eyes, caused the variety of her appearances: of this opinion was Berosus, as he is cited by Vitruvius,[1] and St. Austin[2] thought it was probable enough, but this fancy is almost equally absurd with the former, and both of them sound rather like fables, then philosophicall truths. You may commonly see how this latter does contradict frequent and easie experience, for 'tis observed, that that spot which is perceived about her middle, when she is in the increase, may be discern'd in the same place when she is in the ful: whence it must follow, that the same part which was before darkened, is after inlightened, and that the one part is not alwaies darke, and the other light of it selfe, but enough of this, I would be loth to make an enemy, that I may afterwards overcome him, or bestow time in proving that which is already granted. I suppose now, that neither of them hath any patrons, and therefore need no confutation.

[Sidenote 1: Lib. 9. Architecturae.]

[Sidenote 2: in enarrat. Psalmorum.]

'Tis agreed upon by all sides, that this Planet receives most of her light from the Sunne, but the chiefe controversie is, whether or no she hath any of her owne? The greater multitude affirme this. Cardan amongst the rest, is very confident of it, and he thinkes that if any of us were in the Moone at the time of her greatest eclipse,[1]

Lunam aspiceremus non secus ac innumeris cereis splendidissimis accensis, atque in eas oculis defixis caecutiremus;

"wee should perceive so great a brightnesse of her owne, that would blind us with the meere sight," and when shee is enlightened by the Sunne, then no eagles eye if there were any there, is able to looke upon her. This Cardan saies, and hee doth but say it without bringing any proofe for its confirmation. However, I will set downe the arguments that are usually urged for this opinion, and they are taken either from Scripture or reason; from Scripture is urged that place, 1 Cor. 15. where it is said, There is one glory of the Sunne, and another glory of the Moone. Vlysses Albergettus urges, that in Math. 24. 22. he selene ou dosei to phengos autes, The Moone shall not give her light: therefore (saies he) she hath some of her owne.

[Sidenote 1: De Subtil. lib. 3.]

But to these wee may easily answer that the glory and light there spoken of, may be said to be hers, though it be derived, as you may see in many other instances.

The arguments from reason are taken either

1. From that light which is discerned in her, when there is a totall eclipse of her owne body, or of the Sunne.

2. For the light which is discerned in the darker part of her body, when she is but a little distant from the Sunne.

1. For when there are any totall eclipses, there appeares in her body a great rednesse, and many times light enough to cause a remarkeable shade, as common experience doth sufficiently manifest: but this cannot come from the Sunne, since at such times either the earth, or her owne body shades her from the Sun-beames, therefore it must proceede from her owne light.

2. Two or three daies after the new Moone, wee may perceive light in her whole body, whereas the rayes of the Sun reflect but upon a small part of that which is visible, therefore 'tis likely that there is some light of her owne.

In answering to these objections, I shall first shew, that this light cannot be her owne, and then declare that which is the true reason of it.

That it is not her own, appeares

1. From the variety of it at divers times; for 'tis commonly observed, that sometimes 'tis of a brighter, sometimes of a darker appearance, now redder, and at another time of a more duskish colour. The observation of this variety in divers eclipses, you may see set downe by Keplar[1] and many others, but now this could not be if that light were her owne, that being constantly the same, and without any reason of such an alteration: So that thus I may argue.

[Sidenote 1: Opt. Astron. c. 7. num. 3.]

If there were any light proper to the Moone, then would that Planet appeare brightest when she is eclipied in her Perige, being neerest to the earth, and so consequently more obscure and duskish when she is in her Apoge or farthest from it; the reason is, because the neerer any enlightened body comes to the sight, by so much the more strong are the species and the better perceived. This sequell is granted by some of our adversaries, and they are the very words of noble Tycho,[1]

Si luna genuino gauderet lumine, utique cum in umbra terrae esset, illud non amitteret, sed eo evidentius exereret, omne enim lumen in tenebris, plus splendet cum alio majore fulgore non praepeditur.

If the Moone had any light of her owne, then would she not lose it in the earths shadow, but rather shine more clearely, since every light appeares greater in the darke, when it is not hindered by a more perspicuous brightnesse.

[Sidenote 1: De nova stella lib. 1. c. 10.]

But now the event falls out cleane contrary, (as observation doth manifest, and our opposites themselves doe grant)[1] the Moone appearing with a more reddish and cleare light when she is eclipsed being in her Apoge or farthest distance, and a more blackish yron colour when she is in her Perige or neerest to us, therefore shee hath not any light of her owne. Nor may we thinke that the earths shadow can cloud the proper light of the Moone from appearing, or take away any thing from her inherent brightnesse, for this were to thinke a shadow to be a body, an opinion altogether mis-becomming a Philosopher, as Tycho grants in the fore-cited place,

Nec umbra terrae corporeum quid est, aut densa aliqua substantia, aut lunae lumen obtenebrare possit, atque id visui nostro praeripere, sed est quaedam privatio luminis solaris, ob interpositum opacum corpus terrae.

Nor is the earths shadow any corporall thing, or thicke substance, that it can cloud the Moones brightnesse, or take it away from our sight, but it is a meere privation of the Suns light, by reason of the interposition of the earths opacous body.

[Sidenote 1: Reinhold comment. in Purb. Theor. pag. 164.]

2. If shee had any light of her owne then that would in it selfe be, either such a ruddy brightnesse as appeares in the eclipses, or else such a leaden duskish light as wee see in the darker parts of her body, when shee is a little past the conjunction. (That it must be one of these may follow from the opposite arguments) but it is neither of these, therefore she hath none of her owne.

1. 'Tis not such a ruddy light as appeares in eclipses, for then why can wee not see the like rednesse, when wee may discerne the obscurer parts of the Moone?

You will say, perhaps, that then the neerenesse of that greater light, takes away that appearance.

I reply, this cannot be, for then why does Mars shine with his wonted rednesse, when he is neere the Moone? or why cannot her greater brightnesse make him appeare white as the other Planets? nor can there be any reason given why that greater light should represent her body under a false colour.

2. 'Tis not such a duskish leaden light, as we see in the darker part of her body, when shee is about a sextile Aspect distant from the Sunne, for then why does shee appeare red in the eclipses, since the more shade cannot choose such variety, for 'tis the nature of darknesse by its opposition, rather to make things appeare of a more white and cleare brightnesse then they are in themselves, or if it be the shade, yet those parts of the Moone are then in the shade of her body, and therefore in reason should have the like rednesse. Since then neither of these lights are hers, it followes that she hath none of her owne. Nor is this a singular opinion, but it hath had many learned patrons, such was Macrobius,[1] who being for this quoted of Rhodiginus, he calls him vir reconditissimae scientiae,[2] a man who knew more than ordinary Philosophers, thus commending the opinion in the credit of the Authour. To him assents the Venerable Bede, upon whom the glosse hath this comparison.[3] As the Looking-glasse represents not any image within it selfe, unlesse it receive some from without; so the Moone hath not any light, but what is bestowed by the Sun. To these agreed Albertus Magnus, Scaliger, Maeslin, and more especially Mulapertius,[4] whose words are more pat to the purpose then others, and therefore I shall set them downe as you may finde them in his Preface to his Treatise concerning the Austriaca sydera;

Luna, Venus, & Mercurius, terrestris & humidae sunt substantiae ideoque de suo non lucere, sicut nec terra.

The Moone, Venus, and Mercurie (saith he) are of an earthly and moyst substance, and therefore have no more light of their owne, then the earth hath. Nay, some there are who thinke that all the other Starres doe receive that light, whereby they appeare visible to us from the Sunne, so Ptolomie, Isidore Hispalensis, Albertus Magnus and Bede, much more then must the Moone shine with a borrowed light.[5]

[Sidenote 1: Somn. Scip. l. 1. c. 20.]

[Sidenote 2: Lect. antiq. l. 1. c. 15.]

[Sidenote 3: In lib. de natur. rerum.]

[Sidenote 4: De 4r. Coaevis. Q. 4. Art. 21. Exercit. 62. 1. Epitome. Astron. lib. 4. p. 2.]

[Sidenote 5: Originum l. 3. c. 60. De Coelo. l. 2. De ratione tempor. c. 4.]

But enough of this. I have now sufficiently shewed what at the first I promised, that this light is not proper to the Moone. It remaines in the next place, that I tell you the true reason of it. And here, I thinke 'tis probable that the light which appeares in the Moone at the eclipses is nothing else but the second species of the Sunnes rayes which passe through the shadow unto her body: and from a mixture of this second light with the shadow, arises that rednesse which at such times appeares unto us. I may call it Lumen crepusculum, the Aurora of the Moone, or such a kinde of blushing light, that the Sunne causes when he is neere his rising, when he bestowes some small light upon the thicker vapours. Thus wee see commonly the Sunne being in the Horizon, and the reflexion growing weake, how his beames make the waters appeare very red.

The Moabites in Iehorams time when they rose early in the morning, and beheld the waters a farre off, mistooke them for blood.[1]

Et causa hujus est, quia radius solaris in aurora contrahit quandam rubedinem, propter vapores combustos manentes circa superficiem terrae, per quos radii transeunt, & ideo cum repercutiantur in aqua ad oculos nostros, trahunt secum eundem ruborem, & faciunt apparere locum aquarum, in quo est repercussio esse rubrum,

saith Tostatus.[2] The reason is, because of his rayes, which being in the lower vapours, those doe convey an imperfect mixed light upon the waters. Thus the Moone being in the earths shadow, and the Sunne beames which are round about it, not being able to come directly unto her body, yet some second raies there are, which passing through the shadow, make her appeare in that ruddy colour: So that she must appeare brightest, when shee is eclipsed, being in her Apoge, of greatest distance from us, because then the cone of the earths shadow is lesse, and the refraction is made through a narrower medium. So on the contrary, she must be represented under a more darke and obscure forme when she is eclipsed, being in her Perige, or neerest to the earth, because then she is involved in a greater shadow, or bigger part of the cone, and so the refraction passing through a greater medium, the light must needes be weaker which doth proceed from it. If you aske now what the reason may be of that light which we discerne in the darker part of the new Moone: I answer, 'tis reflected from our earth which returnes as great a brightnesse to that Planet, as it receives from it. This I shall have occasion to prove afterward.

[Sidenote 1: 2 King. 3. 22.]

[Sidenote 2: 2. Quaest. in hoc cap.]

I have now done with these propositions which were set downe to cleare the passage, and confirme the suppositions implied in the opinion, I shall in the next place proceed to a more direct treating of the chiefe matter in hand.

Proposition 6.

That there is a world in the Moone, hath beene the direct opinion of many ancient, with some moderne Mathematicians, and may probably be deduced from the tenents of others.

Since this opinion may be suspected of singularity, I shall therefore first confirme it by sufficient authority of divers authours, both ancient and moderne, that so I may the better cleare it from the prejudice either of an upstart fancy, or an absolute errour. This is by some attributed to Orpheus, one of the most ancient Greeke Poets, who speaking of the Moone, saies thus, he poll' ourea echei, poll' astea, polla melathra,[1] That it hath many mountaines and cities, and houses in it. To him assented Xenophanes, Anaxagoras, Democritus, and Heraclitus,[2] all who thought it to have firme solid ground, like to our earth,[3] containing in it many large fields, champion grounds, and divers inhabitants, unto these agreed Pythagoras, who thought that our earth was but one of the Planets which moved round about the Sunne,[4] (as Aristotle relates it of him) and the Pythagoreans in generall did affirme, that the Moone also was terrestriall, that she was inhabited as this lower world. That those living creatures & plants which are in her, exceed any of the like kind with us in the same proportion, as their daies are longer than ours: viz. by 15 times. This Pythagoras[5] was esteemed by all, of a most divine wit, as appeares especially by his valuation amongst the Romans who being comanded by the Oracle to erect a statue to the wisest Grecian, the Senate determined[6] Pythagoras to be meant, preferring him in their judgements before the divine Socrates, whom their Gods pronounc'd the wisest. Some think him a Iew by birth, but most agree that hee was much conversant amongst the learneder sort, & Priests of that Nation, by whom he was informed of many secrets, and perhaps, this opinion, which he vented afterwards in Greece, where he was much opposed by Aristotle in some worded disputations, but never confuted by any solid reason.

[Sidenote 1: Plut. de plac. phil. l. 2. c. 13.]

[Sidenote 2: Ibid. c. 25.]

[Sidenote 3: Diog. Laert. l. 2. & l. 9.]

[Sidenote 4: De Coelo. l. 2. cap. 13.]

[Sidenote 5: Plut. ibid. cap. 30.]

[Sidenote 6: Plin. Nat. Hist. l. 34. cap. 6.]

To this opinion of Pythagoras did Plato also assent, when hee considered that there was the like eclipse made by the earth, and this, that it had no light of its owne, that it was so full of spots. And therefore wee may often reade in him and his followers,[1] of an aetherea terra, and lunares populi, an aethereall earth, and inhabiters in the Moone; but afterwards this was mixed with many ridiculous fancies: for some of them considering the mysteries implied in the number 3. concluded that there must necessarily bee a Trinity of worlds, whereof the first is this of ours, the second in the Moone whose element of water is represented by the spheare of Mercury, the aire by Uenus, and the fire by the Sunne. And that the whole Universe might the better end in earth as it began, they have contrived it, that Mars shall be a spheare of the fire, Iupiter of aire, Saturne of water; and above all these, the Elysian fields, spacious and pleasant places appointed for the habitation of those unspotted soules, that either never were imprisoned in, or else now have freed themselves from any commerce with the body. Scaliger[2] speaking of this Platonicke fancie, quae in tres trientes mundum quasi assem divisit, thinks 'tis confutation enough, to say, 'tis Plato's. However for the first part of this assertion, it was assented unto by many others, and by reason of the grossnesse and inequality of this planet, 'twas frequently called quasi terra coelestis, as being esteemed the sediment and more imperfect part of those purer bodies, you may see this proved by Plutarch,[3] in that delightfull work which he properly made for the confirmition of this particular. With him agreed Alcinous[4] and Plotinus, later Writers. Unto these I might also adde the imperfect testimony of Mahomet, whose authority of grant can adde but little credit to this opinion, because hee was an ignorant imposter, but yet consider that originall, from whence hee derived most of his knowledge, and then, perhaps, his witnesse may carry with it some probablity. He is commonly thought by birth to be an Ismaelite, being instructed by the Jewes in the secrets of their Philosophy,[5] and perhaps, learned this from those Rabbies, for in his Alcaron, hee talkes much of mountaines, pleasant fields, and cleare rivers in the heavens, but because he was for the maine very unlearned, he was not able to deliver any thing so distinctly as he was informed.[6] The Cardinall Cusanus and Iornandus Bunus, held a particular world in every Starre, and therefore one of them defining our earth, he saies, it is

stella quaedam nobilis, quae lunam & calorem & influentiam habet aliam, & diversam ab omnibus aliis stellis;

a "noble starre having a distinct light, heat and influence from all the rest." Unto this Nichol. Hill, a country man of ours was inclined, when he said Astrea terrae natura probabilis est: "That 'tis probable the earth hath a starry nature."[7]

[Sidenote 1: Plat. de conviviis. Macrob. Somn. Scip. lib. 1. ca. 11.]

[Sidenote 2: Exercit. 62.]

[Sidenote 3: De facie Lunae.]

[Sidenote 4: Instit. ad discip. Plat. Cael. Rhodig. l. 1. c. 4.]

[Sidenote 5: Azoara. 57. & 65.]

[Sidenote 6: Cusa. de doct. ign. l. 2. cap. 12.]

[Sidenote 7: Philos. epicur. part. 434.]

But the opinion which I have here delivered was more directly proved by Maeslin, Keplar, and Galilaeus, each of them late writers, and famous men for their singular skill in Astronomy.[1] As for those workes of Maeslin and Keplar wherein they doe more expresly treate of this opinion, I have not yet had the happinesse to see them. However their opinions appeare plaine enough from their owne writings, and the testimony of others concerning them. But Iulius Caesar, whom I have above quoted, speaking of their testimony whom I now cite for this opinion,[2] viz. Keplar and Galilaeus affirmes that to his knowledge they did but jest in those things which they write concerning this, and as for any such world, he assuredly knowes they never so much as dreamt of it. But I had rather believe their owne words, then his pretended knowledge.

[Sidenote 1: In Thesibus dissertatio cum Nic. Hill. Nuncius Sydereus.]

[Sidenote 2: De phaenom. lunae. c. 4.]

'Tis true indeed, in many things they doe but trifle, but for the maine scope of those discourses, 'tis as manifest they seriously meant it, as any indifferent Reader may easily discerne; otherwise sure Campanella (a man as well acquainted with his opinion, and perhaps his person as Caesar was) would never have writ an apologie for him. And besides 'tis very likely if it had beene but a jest, Galilaeus would never have suffered so much for it as afterwards he did. But as for the knowledge which hee pretends, you may guesse what it was by his confidence (I say not presumption) in other assertions, and his boldnesse[1] in them may well derogate from his credit in this. For speaking of Ptolome's Hypothesis he pronounces this verdict,

Impossibile est excentricorum & epicyclorum positio, nec aliquis est ex Mathematicis adeo stultus qui veram illam existimet.

"The position of Excentricks and Epicycles is altogether impossible, nor is there any Mathematician such a foole as to thinke it true."

I should guesse hee could not have knowledge enough to maintaine any other Hypothesis who was so ignorant in Mathematicks, as to deny that any good Authour held this. For I would faine know whether there were never any that thought the Heavens to be solid bodies, and that there were such kindes of motion as is by those feined Orbes supplyed; if so, then Caesar la Galla was much mistaken. I thinke his assertions are equally true, that Galilaeus and Keplar did not hold this, and that there were none which ever held that other.

[Sidenote 1: Cap. 7.]

But in my following discourse I shall most insist on the observation of Galilaeus, the inventour of that famous perspective, whereby we may discerne the heavens hard by us, whereby those things which others have formerly guest at are manifested to the eye, and plainely discovered beyond exception or doubt, of which admirable invention, these latter ages of the world may justly boast, and for this expect to be celebrated by posterity. 'Tis related of Eudoxus, that hee wished himselfe burnt with Phaeton, so he might stand over the Sunne to contemplate its nature; had hee lived in these daies, he might have enjoyed his wish at an easie rate, and scaling the heavens by this glasse, might plainely have discerned what hee so much desired. Keplar considering those strange discoveries which this perspective had made, could not choose but cry out in a prosopopeia and rapture of admiration.

O multiscium & quovis sceptro pretiosius perspicillum! an qui te dextra tenet, ille non dominus constituatur operum Dei?

And Johannes Fabricius[1] an elegant writer, speaking of the same glasse, and for this invention preferring our age before those former times of greater ignorance, saies thus;

Adeo sumus superiores veteribus, ut quam illi carminis magici pronunciatu de missam representasse putantur nos non tantum innocenter demittamus, sed etiam familiari quodam intuitu ejus quasi conditionem intueamur.

"So much are wee above the ancients, that whereas they were faine by their magical charms to represent the Moones approach, wee cannot onely bring her lower with a greater innocence, but may also with a more familiar view behold her condition."

And because you shall have no occasion to question the truth of those experiments, which I shal afterwards urge from it; I will therefore set downe the testimony of an enemy, and such a witnesse hath alwaies beene accounted prevalent: you may see it in the abovenamed Caesar la Galla,[2] whose words are these:

Mercurium caduceum gestantem, coelestia nunciare, & mortuorum animas ab inferis revacare sapiens finxit antiquitas. Galilaeum vero novum Iovis interpretem Telescopio caducaeo instructum Sydera aperire, & veterum Philosophorum manes ad superos revocare solers nostra aetas videt & admiratur.

Wise antiquity fabled Mercury carrying a rodde in his hand to relate newes from Heaven, and call backe the soules of the dead, but it hath beene the happinesse of our industrious age to see and admire Galilaeus the new Embassadour of the Gods furnished with his perspective to unfold the nature of the Starres, and awaken the ghosts of the ancient Philosophers. So worthily and highly did these men esteeme of this excellent invention.

[Sidenote 1: De macula in sole obser.]

[Sidenote 2: De phaenom. c. 1.]

Now if you would know what might be done by this glasse, in the sight of such things as were neerer at hand, the same Authour will tell you,[1] when hee sayes, that by it those things which could scarce at all bee discerned by the eye at the distance of a mile and a halfe, might plainely and distinctly bee perceived for 16 Italian miles, and that as they were really in themselves, without any transposition or falsifying at all. So that what the ancient Poets were faine to put in a fable, our more happy age hath found out in a truth, and we may discerne as farre with these eyes which Galilaeus hath bestowed upon us, as Lynceus could with those which the Poets attributed unto him. But if you yet doubt whether all these observations were true, the same Authour may confirme you,[2] when hee saies they were shewed,

Non uni aut alteri, sed quamplurimis, neque gregariis hominibus, sed praecipuis atque disciplinis omnibus, necnon Mathematicis & opticis praeceptis, optime instructis sedula ac diligenti inspectione.

"Not to one or two, but to very many, and those not ordinary men, but to those who were well vers'd in Mathematickes and Opticks, and that not with a meere glance but with a sedulous and diligent inspection."

And least any scruple might remaine unanswered, or you might thinke the men who beheld all this though they might be skilfull, yet they came with credulous minds, and so were more easie to be deluded. He addes that it was shewed,[3]

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