Chapter 4

Of The Special Part of Physicks [And first of The Heavens in Generall]

THE Special part of Physicks treats of the Species of bodyes, and the first distribution is into Simple, and mixt.1 Simple body is that which is not composed of other bodyes, and those the Antients thought ware heaven, and Elements.

N.B. The Ground of the Antients to pronounce the heavenly bodyes simple, was because they could observe no Changes, Generations nor Corruptions in them, but by the late invention of Tellescopes (besides other Reformations in Astronomy) there is also another doctrine of heavenly bodyes, for (Say the latter Phylosophers) had Aristotles Eyes been placed in the moon, or any other of the Cœlestial Globes, he would have seen no more alterations in this our Earthly Globe with the naked Eyes, than he did from the Earth desern in the heavens. But our Eyes by the help of this new art being fortified above a 1000 fold can see there those things which he could not Generations, and Corruptions, and many other matters; We can see in the body of the Moon hills and Dales, Water, and Dry-land, we can see above the Moon Meteors and comets, and about the Sun Clouds and Steams, etc: Therfore certainly many of the Cœlestial [globes] are concreat bodyes, as our Earth is, and are no more simple than this. Upon this consideration rather let us divide natural bodyes, as the Scripture doth (Genesis. 1.) into heaven, and Earth, and then Earth into simple, and mixt.

1. Heaven or Cœlestial body is all the rest of the Universe, (the Aspectable (or Visible) world.) which is farther distant from us than our highest Air. As for the Invisible world, (the heaven of heavens, the throne of God, the Seat of the blessed Angels, and Saints) we are not here to treat of; that 3d heaven (as the Apostle cals it) or Empireal (as the Phylosophers) is above Phylosophycal notions; but there is a first and Second which they make bold to meddle with. The 1st is Ærial, (whence birds are called [fowles] of the heaven) this indeed belongs to the Earth, and is hereafter to be handled in its place; the 2nd is [for] distinction cal’d Ætherial, from the Æther conceived to be more pure than our finest air, which fill[s] up all the Space between the heavenly bodyes and this heaven it is which we have now to doe with, and of this Somthing in General, and Special.

1st Heaven do birds; the 2d Stars possess

3d throne of God, Angels, and Souls do bless.

1. In General it was antiently defined a Simple body made up of matter and Cœlestial form. But as to the Simplicity, tis before laid aside, the Matter is now thought the same with ours, and the form parhaps not much unlike. The Affections ascribed unto the heavens ware formerly Greatest Tenuity, and Subtilty, yet pellucid Solitity (like that of Cristal) [incorruptibility,] round figure, with virtue and action upon inferior bodyes promoted by their motion, of all which some are now found to be mistakes, the rest figure influence and motion (being rightly understood) may be admitted and we shall anon Speack Somthing unto them. [10]

But 1st it will be here needfull to say a little of the Several Systems of the World as they have been diversely delivered to us, those are 3. that of Ptolomie, Ticho, and Copernicus.

1. Of the Old System of Aristotle, and Ptolomie which placed the Earth Quiet in the Center of the Universe with it[s] water, 3 regions of Air, and the Element of fire round about it. Then they thought that the heavenly orbs were round, hollow, Solid Transparent Globes, or Vessels containing Each other (like the Coats of an Onyon,) that most of their Imagined orbs had Some one part more dence than the rest that it might reflect light, which they called the planet of [that] orb, etc: That every [planet] had its distinct orb or Sphere to carry it about (like a nail in a Weele;) because they knew not else how to Solve the various motions which they had observed, and could give no other account of: Yea they Imagined Some orbs without Stars (as the 2 Crystallines, and the Primum mobile, or first mover) also to each of the Planitary Orbs they added Epicicles and other inventions in a most intricate, and perplext model, and all still to solve, the p[h]aynomina or appearrances rising from the Variety, and seaming Irregularity of their motions; they Gave also to each orb its Intelligence (or [Angell]) who was allwayes to Impel, and direct it according to their [frame] in this motion of the Spheres diverse wayes; The Inner Surface of the one rub’d against the outward Surface of the next, and though very polite and Smooth (else the motion would have been hindered) yet made a noyes with Such an harmony as the musick would be admirable if it could be heard. They further say that (the Earth Standing still and looking on) the planets have 2 contrary motions, the One natural, and the other violen[t]. The Natural Inclination is from the west to the East; and they compleat their Circles round the Earth in Several periods of time (Called therefore their Periodical motion) the moon once in a month; the Sun with Venus, and Mercury once in a year; Mars in two; Jupiter in 12; Saturn in 30; The 8th Sphere (fill’d with many Stars fixed most whereof ar biger than the Earth, and Some many fold.) In 36000 years which great period they cal the platonick year2 wherein all things return where they ware (You and I ware the last revolution here in this place talking about these Same things but when we two then dyed we drank of Lethe and So forgot all things as tho we had never been) and thus (according to Aristotles Eternal world) it will be again in the next revolution etc: Above this Great 8th Sphere, of fixed Stars, they have their Crystallines to Solve some approches of the Zodiack, and beyond all them is their first mover (or primum mobile) which (without regard or conformity to the other Great periods) whirls at no intelligable rate, quite about it[s] vast Circle in the [small] time of 24 hours, and this from east to West, by a Violent, (yet perpetual) motion, caryes with it all the Inferior and enclosed orbs, tho it has no hooks to fasten on their Smooth, and hard Sides, quite contrary to their natural inclination. And all these incredibles of the primum mobile are only to solve the diurnal motion, the rising and setting of the Stars, and planets which we dayly see, this is the old System.

2. The latter Hypothisis, (or Supposition) by Nicholas Chopernicus, about 150 years Since taken from some old hints of Pythagaras, and the Manifest absurdityes discovered in the Ptolomayik Hypothsis was thus proposed. Suppose the Sun in the Center of the Universe not moveing from its place but turning swiftly in it about its own Axis, to Spring or Whirle abroad (like a womans Mop,) its rayes of Heat and light in the world. The planets [he] Supposed Solid, Concrete, (and parhaps habitable) Globes the Earth he accounted among their number, (by the name of proserpina) all these receive the Suns light for their own Use, and reflect it (as So many moons) from one to another; the next to the Sun was mercury, who went about him not in a [Solid] Sphere, but free space (as birds in the Air, or fishes in the Sea) and the Same is said of all the rest. Next about mercury was the Circle of Venus, these 2 being near the Sun, reflect his light most vividly to us and their Circles being least they finish their Course in the shortest periods; about these next is the Earth, and the moon which goes round about it as 2 men holding hands may dance one about the other the one being as it ware the Center of the others motion. The Earth and the moon with it (at due distance) go round the Sun in that line which was before supposed [to be] the Suns anual march, and by its rolling round its [11] own axis in a tollerable Swif[t]ness once in 24 hours all the difficulty about the dayly motions of the heavens is Easyly Solved, and the Primum Mobile with its violent Whirle is discharged. After this new planet (the Earth, and its moon) the next is Marss, then Jupiter (with 4 Moons lately observed by the tellescopes) then Saturn (with one, if not 2 moons about him), all these are planets or Wandering stars changing their place and none of them has any light of his own but only that which it receives from the Sun. The fixed Stars, none of which Stir from their fixed place are above all the planets and are all luminous bodyes, as So many Suns in the firmament and that they appear not to us So great, and bright is only because of their distance.

This System proposed by Copernicus was about 50 years [Since] confirmed, and Illustrated by Galeleus; Approved after by Kepler; Dr Wilkings, and others most skilfull in Astronomy; only papists ware tender of declaring their minds too plainly in this matter; because the Pope (forsooth out of a private peek against Galeleus,) had from saint Peters Chair Condemned the oppinion this is very observable in the Ingeneous Gassendus.

3. The last System was by Ticho Brahe (proposed) a noble dane, who did nothing but restore the Earth to the center of the Universe: And then to solve the Appogees, and Peregees (Aproches to, and recesses from the Earth) he invented excentrices for the 3 uper planets, (or rather made the Sun their Center:) this he lived not fully to declare; It was followed for a whill by Some, and then began to grow out of repute; for Galeleus lived after Ticho, and discovered by his Glasses (which the other never knew) that Copernicus was rather in the right, and farther he shew’d, how it Solves [other] P[h]aynominas of nature, Especiall the Ebing, and flowing of the sea; the stated winds between the tropecks; the diurnall rising and Setting of the heavens, which before could never have any probable Solution.

I Shall not further enlarge on this matter nor insist on all the Arguments alledged to distroy the Old System of Ptolomie whose Sollid orbs must needs be broken by Marss his Somtimes approch to the Earth nearer than the Sun: Nor what Galeleus, Dr. Wilkins, and others Say to defend the Copernican Scheme, and how they answer those Scriptures which are alledged against his [motion] of the Earth, as being Expressions only Suited to [mens] Vulgar apprehensions and Sufficient for the Purposes they intended. What is said may suffice to Shew that the old doctrine of the heavens was imperfect, and that this latter seams more probable, and better suted to other things in nature, we shall have occasion to speak of hereafter this recommends it self to our acceptance as the most artificial for that it is the most Simple, and intelligible, and free from the other Intricacies as may be seen in the diagram.

Absurd and intricate the old is yet,

Tichoes imperfect, the Other is compleat. [12]

These things Supposed, 3 Affections of heaven [in Generall] remain to be spoken off, Figure motion and Influance.

1. Their Figure is round, not an Orb, or Sphear to fix the Stars in but all of them are Globular bodyes each having his place assigned by the Law of nature, and [that] without being fastened to any Sphere. This round figure is most fit for motion, content, and continuity.

1. For motion round its own axis which every one of these Globes are Supposed to have; yea and progressive too; as, admitting the least impediment.

2. For Content of matter as being most compact containing the most matter under the least surface; (as appears in Geomitry.)

3. Continuity of parts, in that all of them hereby are in the nearest possible approach to their own proper center, and So their Unity, and adhesion is best secured by the General attraction natural to every kind of body.

In these round other figures do out-vie,

Motion, Content, and Continuity.

2. The Motion is Uniform, and Regular neither do they stray in the free Æther, out of their own course tho they have none of Aristotles intelligences to direct them. This Galeleus dos ingeniously Illustrate by a Supposition that each Globe of the universe was at first created at Some convenient distance from the place wherein; or the Center about which, it was afterwards, and continually to move, nor is this a harsh or improbable Supposal for if it ware perfected in one part of the circle appointed for its motion yet then it would be distant from the other parts thereof, and therefore it might as well be formed at a distance from the whole circle as from any part thereof. The thing may be thus explained by the Diagram; as, Suppose (OA) be the Globular body of some planet created in that place at (A.) and the Circle (D.F.G.H.I.K.L.J.M.) be desighned for the Circle of its future revolution, whereof (C) is the Center: Suppose also that it ware let fall when perfected from (A.) the place of its creation with command to go to the place of its designed residence not nearer to, or farther from the Center of its revolution than the Semidiamiter of that Circle (C. D) therefore it must needs fall in the pricked line (A. D) [13] as bodyes [use] to doe toward their proper center of Gravity; Now when it comes to (D.) it can no longer proceed in a Strait line towards (E) for then it would go farther of the Center (C.) than it is allowed by the aforesaid command or Law of nature; therefore it must then begin to turn about (like a pendulum) towards (F.) that it may keep its due distance: and having acquired velocity in its fall from (A. to D.) it continues the Same Velocity (to G, to H, to I, to K, to L, to M, etc:) and there being no natural impediment to hinder, it must continue the Same swiftness without Encrease, or Decrease, in continual repeated rounds in that circle forever unless stoped by a Supernatural Cause. How large the Circle of revolution shall be is according to the length of that distance which [it] is appointed to fall besides the Center or the length of the line (C.D.) How Swift its motion Shall be in that revolution is according to the length of the line (A.D.) If it must be very Swift; that line (or the Distances, of the places of Creation, and Residence) must be longer because by a Greater length it will accelerate into Greater degrees of velocity, and [then] at [last] hold those degrees which it has attain’d there be impediment. This is Illustrated by the falling of a bullet from on high; for if in the first Second of time it falls one yard, In the next it will [fall] 3 yards, in the next 5, [the] next 7. [the] next 9. [etc:] Still augmenting its Velocity by the Odd numbers.3 As to the turning round about its own axis it may be apprehended by the turnin[g], or running of a bowle. This has (you know) 2 motions; one Strait progressive to the end of the Green the other Circular about its own axis So that if (as in the [former] Diagram) the Globe (A.) be let fall to (D.) in a [trolling] motion, it will continue the same rolling round the line of its own revolution about the center (C) It remains only to Shew how the Sun in the Center of the Universe turns round it self without any line of revolution about another Center This is easy to conceive by Supposing it to be created at (B.) and then dropt in a troll, and determined directly to the Center, (C.) without any Such line of distance as (D.C.) for then when its Center is come to its appointed place (C.) it must there continue in the same troll it received when it was first droped. And thus much for the motion of heavens in General.

3. Influence and action on other bodyes, [by] light, Heat, or othe[r] communications is manifest both by Scripture, reason, and Experience.

1. By Scripture. Psalm 19. 6. Nothing is hid from the heat thereof; Job: [38]. Sweat influences of the Plyades the dominion of Heaven in the Earth. 2. Samuel. [23. 4.] Like the tender grass springing out of the Earth by clear Shining after rayne.

2. By Reason; Every body by motion and inward fermentations sends forth its Steames of Volatile parts, and that more or less continually; Somtimes more, when there is more Effectual cause [to] Excite them and more to [purpose] when their position is Such as that thereby they may be freer from obstruction in their Course or the better assisted or directed therein: Now Suppose the Moon (for Example) Sends forth cool [and] Moist steams. They are most excited in that part which is towards us, when the Sun is in opposition to it (as in full moon) Then also the rayes of light which are reflected from the moon come more plentifully and directly to us, and bring those [her] cold Steams with [them]; So that commonly after full moon we have cold, and moist weather. But when the Sun and moon are in conjunction (as in New Moon) the Sun draws these steams from us towards itself whence we commonly have dryer weather Soon after the new moon and So it is of the rest in their Several aspects; (Conjunctions ☌, Oppositions ☍, Trines △, Quartiles ⬜, and Sextiles ⚹) to the Sun or one another [14] By which position they mutually either assist, or hinder their several Steams in coming toward the Earth. Now because these Aspects are never in all respects the same (unless after the Platonick [or] 36000.) hence may very well arise that great variety in the temper of the Air, Malladyes of Humane bodyes, etc: and yet the difference is not So great but that Eminent positions (as in their Several periods [they] do occur) may cause Effects much as they used to doe (as we see by Experience.)

3. By Experience, which tels us that a [Conjunction] of the Moon and Venus or Jupiter gives fair weather if there be any in the month, So cloudy with Saturn, [windy] and blustering with Mars. And of the Fixt Stars when the Sun or moon comes to them; there are observations of Certain and Usual Changes in the Air, and hereby their Opperations are direct or Indirect.

1. Direct, on bodyes which are altered in their present, and mutable temperament by these Steames; as in the Air, Meteors, yea Humane bodyes, deseases, etc:

2. indirect on the minds of men by So affecting the body, and thereby promoting, or hindering the opperations of the mind; So Burton in his melancholly.4

—Thus much I find

Sick bodyes bread Sick passions in the mind.

Therefore it is that we are somtimes Quick, Active, Eager, and at other times Dull, Heavy, Melancholly, according as the Air (that perpetual Ambient Ingredient) is affected by these heavenly Influences.

Holy Writ Reason, and Experience,

Prove heavens Direct, Indirect Influence.

On this Affection (the Influence) is Grounded Astrologie which for want of Sufficient Observations to make rational inductions is therefore very Imperfect and uncertain in its rules; Dr. Beal5 (tis said) advised the Royal Society that old almanacks were better to be written than new; meaning a Register kept of all Changes of Weather; that So a probable conjecture may be made of what will be, by a comparing of what has been already; which thing would be of Excellent Political, and Œconomical Use; then would Astrologie Gain a well Grounded repute whereas now as it is commonly practised, tis by prudent men thought folly; and by most Suspected [to be] knavery, and a Cheat.

Old Almanacks would teach Astrologie,

But new are Stuff’t with foolish knavery

For what reason is there in their calculating nativities that the position of planets at the moment of birth should So influence the whole life; yea other persons related to the party (as Father, Brother, Friend, etc:) yea and that forsooth according to the Houses (i.e. Certain Spaces of the Cœlestial appearing canopy whether above, or below the Horizon;) as if the Air ware so [very] differently affected by an hour or two’s distance of time as that Honour or hanging depends thereon. What is there in [your] horary Questions, that the moment of asking should direct to the answer; as if the Stars which inclined the theif to steal inclined the fool just then to ask the Question, (Who is the theif)? when they intend to whisper the Astrologer in the Ear, and tel him the Ear mark which themselves have given him:6 Mercury indeed is fabled for a Wagg but the rest are more sober and honest than to concern themselves in such intregues; I veryly think If any right discoveryes have been made in such occasions the Divel hath had a Greater stroack therein than the Art; thereby making way, and Animating these curious impertinents to become perfect wizards, Athists, Pagans and to think Slight[l]y of Gods providence. The like may be said of your assigning particular constellations and Planets to have dominion over particular countries, orders, and professions of men; Just as the papists have learned from the heathen Idoliters, So to distribute their tutelary Saints, as those did their Gods: and this may be a key to open the Mystery why some persons [were] so much inclined to apply themselves to Gadbury7 they might as well have made Use of hamans [Pur]8 when he was about to distroy the Jews, to know how their plots Should Succeed. On the Whole matter I judge, that as to weathers, and temperatures of our bodyes with relation to health or Sickness by Good observations of prudent, and Phylosophycal minds, a Usefull knowledge might be framed; but for all the rest that is pretended the books written about them might make a curious bonfire according to the primitive pattern (Acts. [19.] 19.) So Mr Gattaker,9 and [Sir] Christopher Hayden of Juditiary Astrology,10 and thus much for the heavens in Generall

Nativities horary Quest[ion]s are Evill

Stars ruling [countries] are all from the Divill [15]