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the Formation of all these into one Day. Befides, I cannot fee, how the Relation of this Day's Work agrees with the Explication in your Scheme. For if the Planets were formed by the firft Secretion of Matter upon the first Day, how can they be made the fourth? The Expanfum before this Time feems to be drained of all Matter but the Æther; and therefore I am at a Lofs to find, what the Sun could be made of. This does to me feem fomething dark and myfterious, and requires a little of your Art, Credentins, to clear it up.

Cred. This Objection, Sir, is a little complicated, and therefore I fhall anfwer to the Parts of it diftinctly.

1. Whereas you fuppofe that all the Planets were Planets are formed this fourth Day, and had all thofe Ornaments faid to be they are probably endowed with then bestowed on them; made the this is more than can from Scripture be inferred. It is fourth Day. not improbable, that God Almighty wrought them all off one as foon as the other, and that they grew on to Perfection by the fame Degrees; fo that the Work of each of them was going forwards, from the first to the fixth Day. For all thefe Planets are fo mutually linked to one another, and are fo much of the fame Piece, that one cannot eafily fuppofe the Formation of any of them was diftinct from that of another. Now tho' the Bulk of thefe Planets were formed before this Day, and in all Probability fome of their ornamental Parts, as perhaps their Seas and their Plants; yet they are faid to be made the fourth Day, becaufe they were then made the Moon and the erratick Stars to us. They were before only invifible Globes; but by the Light of the Sun, which was this Day created, they became confpicuous, and reflected upon the Earth a bright fhining Light, which they borrowed from thence. Thence they are very properly faid to be made, becaufe tho' their Subftance was before, yet they were not a Moon, or Stars. For the formal Reafon which does conftitute a Moon, is its Reflexion of Light in fuch conftant Viciffitudes, its different Phafes, &c. which is the Notion the Generality of Mankind frames of the Mcon; now this it had not till the fourth Day,


and therefore is very properly faid to be made. For facere in the Latin Tongue has its Derivation from novam faciem induere; fo that a Thing is then faid to be made, when it has another Appearance than it had before. Neither is the original Word, gnafah, which is ufed here much different: For that fignifies not only any new Formation, but any new Ufe or outward Appearance of a Thing. For fometimes it fignifies to Sacrifice, as the Latin Verb facere; fo Exod. x. 25. that we may make or facrifice unto the Lord our God. So Pfal. lxvi. 15. I will make to thee an Ox with Goats: Which is a much bolder Metaphor than that of Virgil, Cum faciam vitula pro frugibus. Now it is plain here, that the Sacrifice was made before; only the new offering it up, or dedicating it to a religious Ufe, is termed making. So Numbers ix. 10. it is termed making a Paffover unto the Lord, where only the Obfervation of a Time already made is termed making. So 1 Kings xii. 32. Jeroboam is faid to make the high Places; and Chap. xxv.32. Ahab made a Grove. Now God Almighty had made thofe Hills and Groves before; only thofe wicked Princes dedicated them to thofe Idolatrous Ufes. The Planets therefore, and especially the Moon, are very properly faid to be made this fourth Day; because they made their first Appearance upon this Day to the Earth, they had then their first Ufe put upon them of being Luminaries to this


2. Altho' each of these Planets might take up as much why Mofes Time in its Formation as our Earth, yet Mofes is not to relates the be blamed for not relating diftinctly the Formation of diftin&t Formation of them. It is enough for his Purpofe to give an Account the Earth exactly of the fublunary Creation, and not to trouble the alone. People's Heads with Aftronomical Niceties. His Business was to give them an Account of their Original from God, the better to keep them from Idolatry, and to relate to them the Creation of the World, fo far as was agreeable to Truth, and conformable to their Capacities. To give them a falfe Syftem of the Creation, fuch as fimple People are apt to fancy, is to make God a Lyar, nay, to confirm with his Authority the idle Dreams of Men, And

to give them a full Account of the true System, was to confound their Thoughts, and it may be to destroy their Faith; to make them disbelieve thofe plain Notions, they did understand, for the fake of thofe others, they could have no Apprehenfion of. To have given them a falfe Syftem of the World, to comply with their fimple Capacities, would have been to have declared himself an Impoftor, to all understanding Men; and to have particularly unfolded all the Phenomena of the true one, would have been only to have appeared frantick, to fuch an illiterate Generation: For it was Mofes's Bufinefs ta eftablish a true Religion agreeable to the Divine Will, and to conduct the Ifraelites into the Land of Canaan, where they might have a free Exercise of it; but it was the leaft of his Defign, to perplex them with phyfiological Notions; fo that for him to have talked of planetary Vortices of the Centrality of the Sun, and a World in the Moon, would have made the poor Jews have fufpected, the Land of Promife was but fome fuch Kind of philofophical Romance. God Almighty, when he dictated this moft admirable History to his Prophet Mofes, forefaw that this was to be the Ground-work of his future Revelations; that upon the Belief of this Creation by God, the Fall by Adam, and the Reparation made by Jefus Chrift, all Mankind was to be faved; fo that if he had defcended to the Particulars of Philofophy, and fided with any diftinct Sect of it, he would have laid a very great Stumbling-block in the Way of Salvation; if he had explained the Particulars of the Creation in the Ptolemaick Way, all the refractory Copernicans and Tycho Braheans, muft have been damned; or if he had took Part with Copernicus, all the old-fashioned Gentlemen, that are Advocates for the round-about Stars and the folid Orbs, would be in as evil a Condition. Mofes therefore, by God's Direction, took the middle and the wifeft Course, to fpeak exact Truth, but feasonably and cautiously; neither to confound the Minds of the ignorant Jews, nor to expofe himself to philofophizing Chriftians. I doubt not, but Mofes, being educated in all the Learning of the Æ


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gyptians, was well verfed in the vulgar, or what is ufually called the Ptolemaick Hypothefis; for that came into Greece from Egypt; but that he should not explain his History of the Creation according to this Syftem, and fhew fome particular Marks of his Notions lying this Way, is a Thing very unaccountable, and does feem to denote a particular Providence of God, over-ruling this inspired Perfon, in relating Matters almoft contrary to his own Sentiments, for Reafons beft known to the Divine Wisdom.

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3. But laftly, to make this agree with the Scheme I This Rela I think no very great Labour is requifite: with the fhew'd you, For I fuppofed in the first Day's Work, that the Expan- forefaid fum, or the Space of the Magnus Orbis, was drained of Hypothesis. all its opaque and terreous Matter; in the fecond Day it was fined again, by drawing off all its aqueous uninflammable Matter; but befides thefe, in all natural Bodies we find an unctuous inflammable Substance, which did here remain ftill diffused throughout the whole Expanfum; which upon the Command of the Divine Word, fubfided to the central Point of the whole Magnus Orbis; all which vaft Quantity of unctuous Matter, being compacted together into one Globe, broke out that Day into the folar Flame. Vid. Fig. V.

And now the Expanfum was reduced to a pure liquid Æther, being utterly divested of all grofs and heteroge neous Parts of Matter, and exquifitely fitted for the Planets to fwim about in; and not only fo, but was perfectly cleared of all clogging irretiting Particles, fo that it could communicate a Tremor throughout its whole Diameter with the greatest Velocity. It is probable, that before this third refining of the Expanfum, and the draining it of the unЯuous Matter, which made the folar Globe, the Ether was in fome Measure clogged with those unctuous Particles, fo that it could not fo eafily communicate a Light from a flender or a remote Luminary, for Want of a quick Trepidation; which when they were removed to the Globe of the Sun, it could then do with very great Readiness. So that I very much question, if upon the third Day, an Eye had been placed in any Part of the

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Expanfum, altho' it fhould be out of the thick Steams of the Planets, it could have feen the fixed Stars; because the flender Force of the Light of fuch diftant Bodies could hardly have made Force enough, to communicate a Trepidation through fo much Space, where the Matter did not fem enough fined for it: For to produce the Communication of Light, Matter must be framed to a peculiar Contexture and admirable Fineness, and fet to a Sort of an Equilibrium, fo as to be moved by the leaft Touch; which it could not well be, before this third Refining upon the fourth Day. As foon as which was done, the Light of the Stars appeared in all Parts of the Expanfum, where-ever it was not over-powered by the vigorous Rays of the nigher Sun; fo that hence-forward they conftantly fhone in their proper Viciffitudes, throughout all the Cones of the Shadows of the feveral Planets. Therefore upon this Account, in fome Senfe likewife, the fixed Stars might be faid to be made this Day, because of their firft Appearance to the Earth, tho' they had their Formation many Ages before. Altho' fome perhaps will think the Metaphor is fomething hard ftrained this Way, and therefore I apply it principally to the Moon, who received her firft Phalis from the Sun this Day; which may be very properly termed her Formation, because they are thofe Phafes which do denominate her a Moon in respect of us. It was this Day that the Moon began her nocturnal Regency; it was now that by her borrowed Light from the Sun, by reafon of her Vicinity to the Earth, the outfhone to us all thofe fixed Stars at a Distance, which shine with fuch prodigious Globes of their own Light.

Phil. I do affure you, Credentius, I can receive either of your Explications, concerning the Formation of the Stars, as well as what I find in your Commentators upon the Points; for there is fome Degree of Probability in either. But I had rather take any Thing for granted, than own the fixed Stars to come in for one Job of Work, in this puny Creation. As for the fifth Day's Work, I fhall pafs over that, for I do not find any great Abfurdity therein; but there are feveral Things in the fixth Day

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