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am sure, all that we can get any other way. But solidity shall be shewn to be nothing else, more fully, hereafter. But there can be no resistance, if there is no motion. One body cannot resist another, when there is perfect rest among them. But, you will say, Though there is no actual resistance, yet there is potential resistance: that is, such and such parts of space would resist upon occasion. But this is all that I would have, that there is no solidity now; not but that God could cause there to be, on occasion. And if there is no solidity, there is no extension, for extension is the extendedness of solidity. Then, all figure, and magnitude, and proportion, immediately cease. Put, then, both these suppositions together that is, deprive the Universe of light and motion, and the case would stand thus with the Universe: There would be neither white nor black, neither blue nor brown, neither bright nor shaded, pellucid nor opake, no noise nor sound, neither heat nor cold, neither fluid nor solid, neither wet nor dry, neither hard nor soft, nor solidity, nor extension, nor figure, nor magnitude, nor proportion, nor body, nor spirit. What then is to become of the Universe? Certainly it exists no where, but in the Divine mind. This will be abundantly clearer to one, after having read what I have further to say of solidity, &c.: so that we see that a Universe, without motion, can exist no where else, but in the mind-either infinite or finite.
"Corollary. It follows from hence, that those beings, which have knowledge and consciousness, are the only proper, and real, and substantial beings; inasmuch as the being of other things is only by these. From hence, we may see the gross mistake of those, who think material things the most substantial beings, and spirits more like a shadow; whereas, spirits only are properly substance."
The next sheet, contains his views of Atoms, or of perfectly Solid Bodies, exhibited under the two following propositions: "Prop. I. All bodies whatsoever, except Atoms themselves, must of absolute necessity, be composed of Atoms, or of bodies indiscerptible, that cannot be made less, or whose parts cannot, by any finite force, be separated one from another.
"Prop. II. Two or more Atoms, or Perfect Solids, touching each other by surfaces, (I mean so that every point, in any surface of the one, shall touch every point in some surface of the other; that is, not simply in some particular parts, or lines, of their surfaces, however many; for whatsoever does touch in more than points and lines, toucheth in every point of some surface,) thereby become one and the same Atom, or Perfect Solid."
These, he demonstrates, and from each, derives numerous Corollaries.
The remainder of the work, constituting far the greater part of it, he entitles, "THINGS TO BE CONSIDERED, OR WRITTEN FULLY ABOUT." These are arranged numerically; and in two series, probably from the paper, on which he began the first series, having been for a time mislaid : the first reaching to No. 29, the latter to 88. In these, he suggests many curious and important points, to be investigated; and many others, which he either explains, or demonstrates. Several of the articles, in the second series, are in a hand more formed, and were probably written, while he was a Tutor in the college. A few articles may serve as specimens of the whole.
From the first Series.
"1. To observe, that Incurvation, Refraction, and Reflection from concave surfaces of drops of water, &c. is from Gravity.
"2. To observe, that 'tis likely, that the Attraction of particles of heat contributes as much, towards the burning of bodies, as the Impulse.
"3. To observe, that water may quench fire, by insinuating itself into the pores, and hindering the free play of the particles, and by reason of its softness, and pliableness, deadening their motion, like throwing a stone upon a feather bed.
"4. To observe, that, if we do suppose an infinite number of Surfaces in the Universe, yet, according to the number, so must be the smallness.
"5. To observe, that the cause, that an object appears not double, being seen with two eyes, is, that all the parts upon the Retina, that exactly correspond, end upon the same spot of the surface in the brain, which receives images.
"6. To observe, that one end of Respiration is, that the motion, in the chest, may be communicated to the other parts of the body.
"9. To show that the different refrangibility of rays must, of necessity, be owing either to their different velocity, or different magnitude; because there can be no other reason of their different attractability, which indeed is refrangibility. "11. To show from Sir Isaac Newton's principles of Light and Colours, why the sky is blue; why the sun is not perfectly white, as it would be if there was no atmosphere, but somewhat inclining to a yellow even at noon-day; why the sun is yellow when rising and setting, and sometimes in smoky weather of a blood red; why the clouds and the atmosphere, near the horizon, appear red and yellow, before sunrising and after sunsetting; why distant mountains are blue, &c.
"13. To enquire, how all the rays of one sort can be obstructed, by any medium, as by the air in smoky weather, &c., and the other rays still proceed: and to observe, that its so doing makes it probable, that there are some other properties in light and mediums, yet wholly unknown; and to observe, that the unaccountable phenomena of reflexions prove the same thing; and to enquire what it is; and also, to seek out other strange phenomena, and compare them all together, and see what qualities can be made out of them. And if we can discover them, it's probable we may be let into a New World of Philosophy.
"17. To observe, that the cause why Thunder, that is a great way off, will sound very grum, which near, is very sharp, (as well as other noises, instances of which are to be given,) is, because the farther waves of air go, the wider they grow, and farther asunder, as it is in water: several of the little undulations, by travelling near together, incorporate with the great one.
"19. To observe, that the weight of the descending blood in the veins, completely answers to the weight of the ascending blood in the arteries, in parts above the heart; so that the weight of one exactly balances the weight of the other; and the descending blood in the veins, pulls up the blood in the arteries, and the weight of blood in the arteries, restrains the impetuosity of the descending blood in the veins; so that the blood in both, ascending and descending, runs as easily, and uniformly, as if it ran all the while parallel to the horizon. So in the parts below the heart, where the arterial blood descends, and the venal ascends, barely the weight of the blood in the arteries, is sufficient to raise the blood in the veins even with it, as high as the beginning of the arteries, according to the law of Hydrostatics; and the weight of the blood in the veins, restrains the motion of that which descends in the arteries, so that the blood in these also moves, just as if it moved in a plain, neither up nor down: and the heart has no more labour, to impel the blood up the ascending trunk of the Aorta, nor ease, in impelling it down the descending trunk, than if it ran in a trunk parallel to the horizon. Neither doth the blood ascend with more difficulty, than it descends, but with equal facility, both in arteries and veins, above and below the heart: and to show the philosophy of this.
"22. Relating to the 13th. To observe, that it is certain, that the stopping of one sort of rays, and the proceeding of others, is not, because that sort of rays alone, are stopped by striking against the particles of the medium, from this experiment: viz. As I was under the trees, I observed, that the light of the sun upon the leaves of the book I was reading, which crept through the crevices of the leaves of the tree, was of a reddish, purpled colour; which I supposed to be, because many of the green rays were taken up by the leaves of the tree, and left all the rest tainted with the most
opposite colour, which could be no otherwise, than by stopping those green rays, which passed near to the edges of the leaves. N. B. That the light of the Sun in this case, would not appear coloured, except the crevices through which the rays came, were very small.
"Corol. 1. Hence it is certain, that bodies do attract the same sort of rays most strongly, which they reflect most strongly.
"Corol. 2. Hence bodies do attract one sort of rays, more than another.
"Corol. 3. Hence it is probable, that bodies do reflect, and attract, by the same force, because that they both attract and reflect, the same sort of ways.
"27. It appears, that the single particles of a morning fog, are not single bubbles of water. I have seen a frozen fog-a fog of which these particles were all frozen, as they floated in the air ;which were all little stars, of six points, like the particles of snow, very small, and were not joined together, many of them into one flake as in snow, but floated single, and at a little distance looked every whit like other fog, only not so thick as other fog often is, and not so thick, as to hinder the sun from shining bright. It was evident, that it was not a fine snow; for it was otherwise a very clear morning, and there was not a cloud any where to be seen, above the horizon. It is therefore evident that, before they were frozen, they were not single bubbles, inasmuch as a single bubble will not make one of these stars."
From the second Series.
"1. To prove the Universe, or Starry world, one Vast Spheroid. "2. To demonstrate, that all the matter, which is without the Spheroid, is so disposed, as that there should be an equal attraction on all sides, and so, probably, an equal quantity of matter.
"4. To show the shape of the Spheroid of the Universe, by observation of the Milky Way, and to know, whereabout our System is in it, first, with respect to the planes of the greatest circles, from observations of the ratio of the brightness of the opposite sides, compounded with several other ratios-second, with respect to the latitude, or the axis, of this Spheroid, by observing how much the Milky Way differs from a Great circle.
"5. To show that the Starry World cannot be infinite, because it is a spheroid.
"6. To write concerning the Lens about the Sun.
"7. To write concerning the Distance of the Sun, by observation of the enlightened part of the moon, when exactly in quadrature. "8. To write concerning the use of Comets, to repair the wastes of the heavenly bodies.
"9. To show how Infinite Wisdom must be exercised, in order that Gravity and Motion may be perfectly harmonious; and that,
although the jumble of the Epicureans be allowed; although it be, in fact, impossible.
"10. To find out a thousand things, by due observation of the Spheroid of the Universe.
"14. To show how the Motion, Rest and Direction, of the least Atom has an influence on the motion, rest and direction of every body in the Universe; and to show how, by that means, every thing which happens with respect to motes or straws, and such little things, may be for some great uses in the whole course of things, throughout Eternity; and to show how the least wrong step in a mote, may, in Eternity, subvert the order of the Universe; and to take notice, of the great wisdom that is necessary, in order to dispose every Atom at first, so as that they should go for the best throughout all Eternity, and in the adjusting by an exact computation, and a nice allowance to be made for the miracles which should be needful, and other ways, whereby the course of bodies should be diverted. And then, to show how God, who does this, must necessarily be Omniscient, and know every the least thing, that must happen through Eternity.
"36. To show, if I think fit, how Sir Isaac Newton was very sensible, that all spontaneous enkindling, was from a certain attrac→ tion.
"37. To show that it is not only highly probable, but absolutely certain, that the Fixed Stars are so many Suns. For it is certain, in the first place that they do shine by their own light, and not by the Sun's; for, although we don't exactly know how far distant they are, yet we know that they are so far distant at least, that the annual revolution of the Earth makes no sensible alteration in their position. And we know certainly that the light of the Sun, at such a distance, will be no more than about as much, as the light of a Fixed Star is here. (Let any body calculate and see.) And now I ask, Whether or no it be not certain, that no body will reflect the light of another body, which does not shine upon it brighter, than a single Fixed Star does upon the Earth, so much as to cause it to shine, with its reflected light, so brightly as the Fixed Stars do, at such a distance. And then, in the second place, it is certain that they must be pretty near about so big. And thirdly, it is certain that they must shine with as bright a light; or else they would never appear so bright, at such a distance. This we may also be certain of by calculation. Which three things are all, that are needed to make a Sun.
"Corol. 1. From the foregoing: That our Sun is a Fixed Star, is as certain, as that any one particular Star in the heavens is one. "Corol. 2. It is as probable that the other Fixed Stars, or Suns, have Systems of planets about them, as it would be that ours had, to one who had seen a Fixed Star or Sun, every way like it, have them.