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of the Zodiac, is this: for although the planes of the orbits of the Comets, cut the plane of the Zodiac, at all angles, indifferently, so that we suppose, that the planes of the orbits of these Effluvia, are at first inclined to the plane of the Zodiac, at all angles, indifferently; yet, they become less and less inclined to it, by means of the motion of the Ether, which gradually destroys that inclination. For the Planets, by their continual revolu. tions, drive and draw the etherial matter round, with a motion parallel to theirs. For one Planet, by means of its attractions, and by means of the repelling nature of the particles of Ether, whereby like the air, they repel, and keep at a distance from, one another; I say, by these means, one Planet moves a vast mass of the Etherial matter, and the Diurnal Revolution of the Sun, also conspiring with the Planets, makes the whole go round in a vortex, parallel to the Zodiac. And it is easy to conceive, how this should gradually bring the revolutions of the dispersed particles we are speaking of, nearer and nearer to the plane of the
A Zodiac. Let A B be the plane of the Ecliptic. Let CD be the plane that one of these particles first begins to revolve in, about S the Sun. It is plain, that the Etherial matter, turning round every where parallel to A B, when the particle is in the part of its orbit towards D, will hinder its going as far off from A B, that is, from the plane of the Zodiac, as it did before, and will a little impel it towards B; and so, when it comes to that part of its orbit about C, it will impel it a little nearer to A; and so will continually make its revolution to be nearer the Zodiac.
These things I suppose are certain, about this Misty Lens: ist. That it is not any reflexion or refraction of the Atmosphere; because, when it appears, before the Sun rises, or after it sets, it does not always appear perpendicular to the horizon, but always according to the Zodiac; therefore, 2d. That B D it must be a reflection of the Sun's light, from some matter that really encompasses the body of the Sun.
84. MOON. There is a very evident token of design and providence, in the exact adjusting of the diurnal and periodical revolutions of the Moon. For, although the figure of the Moon is somewhat oval, so that that diameter of the Moon, which, if prolonged, passes through the Earth's centre, is a little longer than the other diameter, that is perpendicular to it, by about 187 feet; so that the attraction of the Earth, by this means, would preserve this exact equality, notwithstanding very small disturbances; yet except the forces, that first gave the Moon these revolutions, had been very exactly equable, this small inequality of the diameters would in no wise have kept the same face of the Moon turned towards us; nor would it ever have reduced the revolutions nearer to an equality, than they were at first. For, except the disproportion had been infinitely small, it would have been sufficient to turn the Moon, so that every side should be turned towards us : and the diurnal revolution would have been accelerated, every time the longer axis of the Spheroid began to be turned towards the Earth, so as to point to it, and retarded when it turned from it. Though this exact equality of these two motions, be of no great use to us, as we know of; yet, probably, it is of great use to them; for if, in its revolutions, all sides of the Moon were turne to
Earth, the seas, if there be any, would be raised 97 feet high; which Tide would probably be very destructive to the surface of that planet.
The Moon's Atmosphere is so very thin, that, in their long days, they might not be too hot: so thin a fluid not supplying matter adapted to those agitations and vehement motions, which is heat.
85. YEAR. The wisdom of God appears, in making the Year of such a length; because, if the year were much shorter, there would be very Jittle of a regular distinction of seasons, by cold and heat. Before the air and earth would have lost the heat of the summer Sun, the Sun would be in the Tropic of Capricorn ; and before we should have got over the cold of the Sun's absence in winter, the Sun would be again over our heads, and the seasons would be confounded.
86. COMETS. The use of Comets seems to be, by their effluvia, which go off in their tails continually, but especially in their perihelion, to feed the Sun with matter, suitable to be converted into rays of light, to repair the waste of such particles, by the vast diffusion of light which it daily emits. They are sent out of the atmosphere of the Comet, not as rising by the weight of their circumambient Ether; for it has been demonstrated to be so small, and so near to nothing, that it is not supposable, that it can be by any such means ; but by the force or attraction of the emitted rays of the Sun, which, passing through the atmosphere of the comets, by their attraction, draw after them, continually, those particles, of which the tail is made up. The rays, that pass by very near them, act upon them by their attraction, and set them into a motion from the Sun, and parallel to the motion of the emitted rays of the Sun. There is no matter, by this means, sent out of the atmosphere into the tail, but that which is most suitable to be the aliment of the Sun, and to be converted into rays of light; for the rays of light attract that matter, that is of their own nature, and suitable to be turned into particles of light, or fire, immensely more strongly than others, as appears, by the action of particles of light, or fire, upon natural bodies, in setting them on fire. Their action is, at first, on those particles in the natural body, that are of the same kind, or fit to become particles of fire, and, by this attraction of extrinsic rays, those within are set in motion, whereby the body is set on fire. And thus, by the powerful action of those particles, one on another, there arises that most rapid and vehement motion of them in fire, and causes them to leap forth, with such immense celerity, as to come from the Sun hither in a few minutes. This strong action of these particles, one on another, probably arises from their being immensely denser than other particles.
87. FIXED STARS. The motion of the Fixed Stars backwards in the Ecliptick, if it be not real, but be caused by any motion in the Earth, must necessarily be caused by a motion of the poles of the Earth round the poles of the Ecliptick, in a circle equal to the Polar Circles. For it is most certain, if this motion is in all the Fixed Stars, in circles parallel to the Ecliptick, that then the Polar Star itself moves round the Pole of the Ecliptick in a circle equal to the Polar. But seeing the Pole Star itself stirs not, the apparent motion of it, from the Pole of the Earth, must be by the motion of the Pole. For either the Pole moves, or the Star moves, it is certain. Besides, it is certain, if the plane of the Equator moves, the Poles move. But if the points of intersection that this plane makes with the plane of the Ecliptick, move, the plane itself moves, if the Ecliptick itself move not. And the motion must be such as to cause the Poles to move round the Pole of the Ecliptick. In such a manner and sense, in the Ecliptick, the Fixed Stars move a degree in 70 years. It follows that the Pole of the Earth will move quite round this circle in 25,200 years.
From hence it is certain, if the Fixed Stars move not, that the Earth has two rotations upon two different Axes:--one a Diurnal, upon the Axis that runs from the North to the South Pole; another, that is performed in 25,200 years, upon the Axis that runs from one Pole of the Ecliptick to the other, the last being about a mile in a year, under the Ecliptick, being perhaps about as fast as a snail would crawl, and might possibly be caused by some Comet passing by the Earth in the plane of the Ecliptick. Now there would be exactly such a rotation upon the Axis of the Ecliptick, by a Comet's coming near the Earth, if in the plane of the Ecliptick, in its descent towards the Sun; for the Earth would be stretched somewhat into an Oblong Spheroid, in such a case; and as the comet went along, it is evident, that that end of the Spheroid that was next to it, would, in some measure, follow it or be drawn after it, which would beget just such a motion.
88. ATOMS. It is certain that, when God first created Matter, or the various Chaoses of Atoms, besides creating the Atoms and giving the whole Chaos its motion, be designed the figure and shape of every Atom, and likewise their places ; which doubtless was done with infinite wisdom, and with an eye to what should follow from the particular bulk, figure and place of every Atom; and this be so ordered that, without doing any thing more, the Chaoses of themselves, according to the established Laws of Matter, were brought into these various and excellent forms, adapted to every of God's ends, excepting the more excellent works of plants and animals, which it was proper and fit God should have an immediate hand in. So the Atoms of one Chaos were created in such places, of such magnitudes and figures, that the Laws of Nature brought them into this form, fit, in every regard, for them who were to be the inhabitants.
AXIOMS. 1. If a thing is to come one of two or more ways, if it happen in one of those ways, and not in an
B other, it will be because there is some reason why it should happen this way, and pot another, And in things that have happened, there is some reason, why they have happened this way more than another. For instance, I say it is evident, that if the body C be at rest, but is to move D
-A either towards A, or B, or D, or E, if it move towards E, it will be because there is some reason why it should move towards E, more than why it should move towards A, B, or D.
E 2. Which necessarily follows from the former; when there is an equal reason, why the thing should be, or happen each of the supposed ways, and it cannot be all, it will be neither. If it can be proved that there is equal reason why the body C should move to. wards either A, B, D, or E, it will move towards neither of them.
3. The same force will equally separate all bodies, or parts of bodies, conjoined with equal strictness, ceteris paribus,– This to prove that it holds in all Atoms.
4. Nothing produces Any thing where it is not. There is no need of inserting the word immediately here; for in the sense of this Axiom, that only, which immediately does a thing, properly does it. For instance, when one body is thrown against another, and causes that other body to move; in the sense of this Axiom, it was the body that was thrown, that
moved the other, and not the man that threw it. The Axiom is evident, because it is a contradiction to suppose that the body acts where it is not, or to say that it exerts itself, where itself is not. It is evident that, if a body be not in such a space, that it is all one with respect to that space, as if it had no existence at all.
5. Wherefore, if a body, is placed alone in a
B 6. For the same reason, if the two bodies e, and 0, touching each other, be touched by no other body, if the body e, be held to the body 0, so that it cannot be moved away from it, it is evident that it is held there by an incorporeal being; for the body o, cannot possibly act upon the body e, so as to hinder it from 0 moving away; for by Axiom 4, the body o does not act where it is not; but the body o, is, no further than its surface is.
And the case will be the same, let the bodies touch in one point, or in more, or by lines or surfaces; as the bodies a, and o.
If u cannot be moved towards y, it must be an incorporeal being that keeps it immoveable; for is present no farther than the plane f m, and therefore cannot possibly act on v, which is beyond it, to hinder its being moved to
POSTULATUM. The attraction of small bodies, is so much greater than the attraction of great bodies, according to the quantity of matter in them, at the same distance from the surface of each, as the squares of the distances of the parts of the small body are less. For the parts of small bodies attract bodies nigh to them immensely more than corresponding parts of great bodies, because the parts of a small body may lie so much nearer to the body attracted. Therefore, small bodies attract bodies near their surface, with immensely greater strength, according to the quantity of matter that is in them, than great bodies, supposing they be equally dense. But the minute particles of bodies have commonly vastly more matter in proportion to their dimensions, than great bodies; and therefore will attract abundantly more, for that reason.
RAINBOW. The separation of heterogeneous rays, in the Rainbow, is not at the reflexion of the concave surface, but at the two refractions going in, and coming out. There is not a distinct Reflexibility, but only Refrangibility.
(See p. 581.)
FAMILY AND DESCENDENTS OF PRESIDENT EDWARDS.
The following is a copy of the Family Record, in his own hand, in the. Family Bible.
“ Jonathan Edwards, son of Timothy and Esther Edwards of Windsor in Connecticut.
“I was born Oct. 5, 1703.
My daughter Sarah was born on a Sabbath day, between 2 and 3 o'clock in the afternoon, Aug. 25, 1728.
My daughter Jerusha was born on a Sabbath day, towards the conclusion of the afternoon exercise, April 26, 1730.
My daughter Esther was born on a Sabbath day, between 9 and 10 o'clock in the forenoon, Feb. 13, 1732.
“My daughter Mary was born April 7th, 1734, being Sabbath day, the sun being about an hour and a half high, in the morning,
“My daughter Lucy was born on Tuesday, the last day of Aug. 1736, between 2 and 3 o'clock in the morning.
My son Timothy was born on Tuesday, July 25, 1738, between 6 and 7 o'clock in the morning.
“My daughter Susavnah was born on Friday, June 20, 1740, at about 3 in the morning.
“ All the family, above named, had the measles, at the latter end of the
“My daughter Eunice was born on Monday morning, May 9, 1743, about half an hour after midnight, and was baptized the sabbath following.
My son Jonathan was born on a sabbath-day-night, May 26, 1745, between 9 and 10 o'clock, and was baptized the sabbath following:
My daughter Jerusha died on a sabbath day, Feb. 14, 1747, about 5 o'clock in the morning, aged 17.
My daughter Elizabeth was born on Wednesday, May 6, 1747, between 10 and 11 o'clock at night, and was baptized the sabbath following.
“My son Pierrepont was born on a sabbath-day-night, April 8, 1750, bo tween 8 and 9 o'clock; and was baptized the sabbath following:
I was dismissed from my pastoral relation to the first Church in Northampton, June 22d, 1750.
“My daughter Sarah was married to Mr. Elihu Parsons, June 11, 1750.
“My daughter Mary was married to Timothy Dwight, Esq. of Northampton, Nov. 8, 1750.
“My daughter Esther was married to the Rev. Aaron Burr of Newark. June 29, 1752.
“Mr. Burr aforesaid, President of the New Jersey College, died at Princeton, Sept. 24, 1757, of the Nervous Fever.
Mr. Burr was born Jan. 4, 1715.
“I was properly initiated President of New Jersey College, by taking the previous oaths, Feb. 16, 1758.”