Foscarini, Paolo Antonio, An epistle to fantoni, 1661

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of the Antipodes by many of the Antients of approved Wiſ-
dome and Learning was held a Paradox no leſs abſurd than this
Our Opinion of the Earths Motion may ſeem to be; as likewiſe
that of the Habitableneſſe of the Torrid Zone: Of theſe Opini-
ons, the firſt was accounted unpoſſible by many, but the latter
was abſolutely denyed by the unanimous conſent of all: But
later Authors (to the great felicity and perpetual Glory of
their Age) have, not ſo much by Authority, as by accurate
diligence and indefatigable ſtudy to finde out the truth, pro-
ved them both to be undoubtedly true.
Thus I affirm that
the Antients were deceived, and that in too lightly challenging
Credid and Authority for their Inventions, they diſcovered too
much folly.
Here for brevities ſake I paſs by many Dreams
lately detected, both of Ariſtotle and other of the antient Philo-
ſophers; who in all likelihood if they had dived into the Obſer-
vations of Modern Writers, and underſtood their Reaſons, would,
by changing their Judgements, have given them the precedency,
and would have ſubſcribed to their manifeſt Truth.
Hereby we
ſee that we are not to have ſo high a reſpect for the Antiens, that
whatever they aſſert ſhould be taken upon truſt, and that Faith
ſhould be given to their ſayings, as if they were Oracles and
Truths ſent down from Heaven.
But yet (which indeed is
chiefly to be regarded in theſe matters) if any thing be found out
that is repugnant to Divine Authority, or to the Sacred Leaves,
that were dictated by the Holy Ghoſt, and by His Inſpiration

expounded by the Holy Doctors of the Church, in this caſe not
onely Humane Reaſon, but even Senſe it ſelf is to ſubmitt:
which, though by all manner of weighty Conditions and circum-
ſtances it ſhould hold forth any thing contrary to Divine Autho-
rity, (which indeed is ſo plain, that there is no way left to evade
the right un erſtanding of it) yet is it to be rejected; and we
muſt conclude our ſelves deceived by it, and believe that that is
not true which Senſe and Reaſon repreſents unto us: For, however
we judge of things, we have, both in this and all other caſes, a
more certain knowledge, which proceeds from Divine Faith; as
S. Peter hath moſt excellently expreſt it: Who though with his
Senſes he ſaw, and perceived the Glory of our Lord in his
Transfiguration, and heard his words manifeſting his great Pow-
er, yet nevertheleſs all theſe things compared with the Light of
Faith, he adds: ^{*}We have alſo a more ſure word of Prophecy, &c.

Wherefore ſince this Opinion of Pythagoras and Copernicus hath
entred upon the Stage of the World in ſo ſtrange a Dreſs, and at
the firſt appearance (beſides the reſt) doth ſeem to oppoſe ſun-
dry Authorities of Sacred Scripture, it hath (this being granted)
been juſtly rejected of all men as a meer abſurdity.

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