The Sacred Theory of the Earth (1684)


The Sacred Theory of the Earth (1684)




Linda Hall Library Collection Table of Contents



TO THE KINGS MOST Excellent Majesty.

PREFACE TO THE READER.

THE THEORY OF THE EARTH. BOOK I
  CHAP. I.
  CHAP. II.
  CHAP. III.
  CHAP. IV.
  CHAP. V.
  CHAP. VI.
  CHAP. VII.
  CHAP. VIII.
  CHAP. IX.
  CHAP. X.
  CHAP. XI.
  CHAP. XII.

THE THEORY OF THE EARTH. BOOK II
  CHAP. I.
  CHAP. II.
  CHAP. III.
  CHAP. IV.
  CHAP. V.
  CHAP. VI.
  CHAP. VII.
  CHAP. VIII.
  CHAP. IX.
  CHAP. X.
  CHAP. XI.


Electronic edition published by Cultural Heritage Langauge Technologies and funded by the National Science Foundation International Digital Library Program. This text has been proofread to a low degree of accuracy. It was converted to electronic form using Data Entry.

THE THEORY OF THE EARTH. BOOK II

CHAP. I.

    fresh and full, all things flow'd from her more easily and more pure, like the first running of the Grape, or the Hony-comb; but now she must be prest and squeez'd, and her productions tast more of the Earth and of bitterness. The Ancient Poets have often pleas'd themselves in making descriptions of this happy state, and in admiring the riches and liberality of Nature at that time, but we need not transcribe their Poetry here, seeing this point is not, I think, contested by any. The second part of this Character concerning the spontaneous Origin of living Creatures out of that first Earth, is not so unquestionable; and as to Man, Moses plainly implies that there was a particular action or ministery of Providence in the formation of his Body, but as to other Animals He seems to suppose that the Earth brought them forth as it did Herbs and Plants. (Gen. 1. 24. compar'd with the 11. verse.) And the truth is, there is no such great difference betwixt Vegetable and Animal Eggs, or betwixt the Seeds out of which Plants rise, and the Eggs out of which all Animals rise, but that we may conceive the one as well as the other in the first Earth: And as some warmth and influence from the Sun is requir'd for the Vegetation of Seeds, so that influence or impregnation which is necessary to make animal Eggs fruitful, was imputed by the Ancients to the Æther, or to an active and pure Element which had the same effect upon our great Mother the Earth, as the irradiation of the Male hath upon the Females Eggs.

Tum Pater omnipotens fcecundis imbribus Æther

Conjugis in gremium lcetce descendit.

In fruitful show'rs of Æther Jove did glide

Into the bosom of his joyful Bride.

'Tis true, this opinion of the spontaneous Origin of Animals in the first Earth hath lain under some Odium, because it was commonly reckon'd to be Epicurus's opinion peculiarly; and he extended it not only to all brute Creatures, but to Mankind also, whom

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