Chapter 10

Of Earth

EARTH is an Element (by the Antients) most Dry, and cold. Most Dry is good; but cold only in a moderate degree seams to be a mistake, because that is most hard which is caused by coldness, (as is before noted.) By the Moderns the Earth is a Mass of Gross particles, of Irregular figures sticking togather, by their Quiet or absence of motion through unaptness thereunto.1

Its Cheif affections are Soliddity, Gravity, figure.

1. Soliddity or hardness more or less according to the Quiet of its parts yet it hath pores permeable by the finer matter of fire, and heavenly Influence.

2. Gravity is the tendency of its parts to its own proper Center, this they Call a Quality inhæring in solid Parts. Cartesians will have it to be by pressure of Cœlestial particles, which stirring every way thrust togather those Earthy parts unapt to partake of their own Motion. I should rather call it obedience to the primary law of nature whereby the Creator ordered, directed and Distributed all parts of matter (as soon as made) into their several fellowships, therein to be conserved by mutuall support; and that they might not be distracted in Seeking out their companions in the boundless Abyse, a Center was appointed for the place of meeting, and concurrance, being thus brought togather they continue so out of self love for their own conservation, and from hence arises that love of their fellows, whereby they are (as it ware) loath to part when they are once joyned to Each other in continuity, [and those continually heaped up togather in Contiguity] have also some measure of mutuall adhæsion; this we may call the harmony or Concord of the World; to which flocks of brutes, and Societyes of men do bear some proportion and analogy.

3. The Figure of the whole (togather with its water) is round, or Globular, (not regarding the little pertuberances of mountains which are as nothing in respect of the Earths magnitude;) for 3 miles perpendicular height (the Utmost say they of any mountain) is less then [1/1000 part] of the semidiamiter of the Earth, now this roundness appears

1. By The Elevation of the Pole 1 Degree in about 60 Miles, which could not be if the Surface of the Earth ware flat, and plain, and not round.

2. By the Earths Shaddow on the body of the Moon in an Ecclipse is round.

3. The Experriments of travel by Drake, and [others] who have Gone round about it put it [now] out of all doubt, though some of the Antient fathers ware in the dark as to this matter yea they would derive or back their fond conceits of the Earths flatness, from Scripture; as Psalm 19. 6. the Ends of the Earth. This is the same sort of misapplying of Scripture with that used by some to refell the Copernican motion of the Earth. Hence N.B. then that in Physiologicks latter ages may be better instructed.

The divisions of the Earth is into [2] Regions upper, and Inferior.

1. Upper is more Lax and open, Entred by the Suns heat, and showers, moisture, and giveing place for the roots of Vegitables. This Superficiall part being more manifestly Usefull for the Dayly support of man therefore fell more Expressly under the Curse of mans Sin which curse consists in 2 thing[s] Sterillity [of good], and fertillity of bad.

1. Sterility (or non-production) of that which is Good without much labour, and industry.

2. Fertility (or free-production) of what is comparitively Evill, as weed[s], etc: that hinder the fruits.

Earths Surface cursed for mans sin is still

Sterill of Good, feracious of Ill.

Now to cure those inconveniences (in some measure) is the skill of Husbandry, and Agriculture, which considers 3 things the variety of Soyles, deseases, and remidies.

1. The Variety of Soyles, Judged of partly by the Colour, partly by the Grit or small stone therein, but especially by the natural productions, and accordingly offers to it seeds, or plants Sutable.

2. The Variety of Deseases, Each Kind is subject to; whither from the Scituation from Want, or superfluity of water; from over or under tillage, etc:

3. The Several, and Sutable remidies, by fencing tilling, dressing, with agreable manure Dreyning, Gathering out stones, etc: and accordingly apply[es] labours and Endeavours.

2. The Inferior Region of the Earth is more Solid, because the weight of all above dos press the parts closer togather so that they come to the consistency of hard stone, which is either metal or magnete.

1. Metalline is the principle of mineral, or other fosciles, for some parts thereof when they are sufficiently maturated to arise or become active do steam up from the neither mass, and mingle with the Superior parts of the Earth which are passive, and in them by various mixtures make such alterations as they are severally Capable of.

The Active parts the Chymists call salt, Sulphur, and Mercury; the passive parts are Several in diverse countryes which have in them also active parts (call’d the Peter of the Earth) this further ascends in springs to produce the Growth of Vegitables, and discends again in Winter, whereby there is a stop put to Vegitation. But if they meet and mingle with these metalline steams mentioned, they concorporate with them and contribute to metals but ascend not to serve vegitables being directed to another purpose, and hence is the superficial barrenness of all [Minerall] Grounds affording little else than worthless [heath] unless Good husbandry do amend them.

Earths Peter which to Growth of plants inclines,

Meeting Metalliek steames with them combines.

2. Magnetick this is purposed to take up the Greatest part of the Earths body therefore (by many Moderns)2 the Whole Earth is pronounced a Great magnet, and the Mag-[36]natism thereof (they think) is the [Cause] of that Great, and [notable] Effect call’d Gravity. Now the Magnet has two Eminent Qualities Attraction, and Verticity, to the Poles both which they solve by the motion, and figure of Certain Corporeal atomes which proceed from the poles of the Earth, and Wheelling about in a Virtical motion return thither again; these in the pores of the Earth of the Magnet, and of the Iron [find] passages sutable to their motion, parrallels to the Axis of the Earth or Magnet, as also [to] the length of Iron, and therefore they Whirl about continually through these bodyes; whereas all other bodyes obstruct their motion.

1. The Verticity (they say) is from their Motion causing the Channel[s] through which they pass to turn if the body be small or well poysed, and to stand right in the line they naturally incline to Goe.

2. The Attraction (they say) is from the figure of those particles which they account to be somewhat like an arrows head, or forked now the [sharp] End (a.) coming into the Iron first the forked End (b.c.) cant so Easyly follow, therefore if the body be light; and there be a sufficient number of these Attoms to carry it away with them tis attracted, but if the body be too heavy then (b.c.) like two little springs are bent close togather, and so can follow the [sharp] End, (a.) leaving the Immoveable body behind them. This Posture of the Channels they inferr from the alteration made by fire; for a magnet heated red-hot, if the poles of it be turned the contrary way and so it cools (they say that) the poles [of] the Magnet are Quite altered; but if it cools in any other Posture than polar, the magnet then is Quite Spoyled.

Magnetick virtue causeth Gravity

In its attraction, and Verticity.

A Cognate to Magnatism is Elatery; that is the power which Jett, Amber, Red-wax, etc: have of being rubed, to draw small motes to themselves. But this (say they) is not by Cœlestiall matter moved through the pores of these bodyes but by Volatile steames from themselves which stirred, and put in motion by the Action (or rubing) fly out every way in strait lines; and are presently in like strait lines prest back again to their fountain by the Atmosphere, Now being a little clammy, (as somewhat melted) by the heat of the friction they snatch up, and carry with them back those little Motes. These Elaterial bodyes being compounds belong to another place; only they are here mentioned for their Analogy to the Magnet from which they yet differ in that they

1. Have no verticity or direction to the poles.

2. Respect all little, and [easily] moveable bodyes alike.

3. Have no Virtue without friction, and therefore they

4. Act by Internal not External atomes as the magnet does.

Jetts Elatery Slights Magnettick Laws,

Unturn’d, [all] rubbing, and internall draws.

N.B. To this Magnatism of the Earth the Copernicans ascribe the Earths direction of its poles still parrallel to the poles of the Universe: though it thereby roles [sidewise] in most places of its annual motion round the Eccliptick or Great orb, whose poles stand another way (as is before noted.)

N.B. That metalline and magnetick bodyes, are here placed among the Simples, because they are supposed to be Elementary and first principles; whereas the Minerals, and loadstones which we dig up are indeed compound, and mixt bodyes (as our fire, Air, and Water also are as is before noted.) [We] cant actually come at pure Elements; however, because the Elements [or] principles of bodyes are Eminently Seen in these concretes we will Give them the name of Elements themselves, and handle them in the 1st Place.