Wilkins, John, A discovery of a new world : or a discourse tending to prove, that 'tis probable there may be another Habitable World in the Moon ; with a discourse concerning the Probability of a Passage thither; unto which is added, a discourse concerning a New Planet, tending to prove, that 'tis probable our earth is one of the Planets

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That the Moon may be a World.
him a Few by Birth; but moſt agree that he
was much Converſant amongſt the Learneder
ſort and Prieſts of that Nation, by whom he
was inform’d of many Secrets, and, perhaps,
this Opinion which he vented afterwards in
Greece, where he was much oppos’d by Ariſto-
tle in ſome worded Diſputations, but never
conſuted by any ſolid Reaſon.
To this Opinion of Pythagoras did Plato alſo
aſſent, when he conſider’d that there was the
like Eclipſe made by the Earth;
and this, that
Plat. de
conviviis,
Macrob.
Somn.
Scip. lib. I.
c. II.
it had no Light of its own, it was ſo full of
ſpots.
And therefore we may oſten read in
him, and his followers, of an ætherea terra, and
lunares populi, An Æthereal Earth, and Inha-
biters in the Moon;
but aſterwards this was
mix’d with many ridiculous Fancies:
For
ſome of them conſidering the Myſteries im-
plied in the number 3, concluded that there
muſt neceſſarily be a Trinity of Worlds, where-
of the firſt of this is ours;
the ſecond in the
Moon, whoſe Element of Water is repreſen-
ted by the Sphere of Mercury, the Air by Ve-
nus, and the Fire by the Sun.
And that the
whole Univerſe might the better end in Earth
as it began, they have contriv’d it, that Mars
ſhall be a Sphere of the Fire, Fupiter oſ Air,
Saturn of Water;
and above all theſe, the
Elyſian Fields, ſpacious and pleaſant places ap-
pointed for the Habitation of thoſe unſpotted
Souls, that either never were impriſoned in,
or elſe now have freed themſelves from any
Commerce with the Body.
Scaliger ſpeaking
of this Platonick Fancy, quæ in tres trientes
Exercit.
62.
mundum quaſi aſſem diviſit, thinks ’tisConfutati-

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