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the heavens, in the same manner as we take this region here in which animals, plants, and minerals are contained, for the surface or outer coat of the earth, we shall find there also various and multiform generations and changes. Therefore almost all tumult, conflict, and disorder seem to have place only in the confines of heaven and earth. As it is in civil affairs, wherein it commonly happens that the border country of two kingdoms is harassed by continual incursions and violence, while the interior of both kingdoms enjoys peace, security, and profound tranquillity. Nor will any one object to this opinion, if he consider it rightly, on the ground of religion. For it was only heathen arrogance that endowed the heaven with this prerogative of being incorruptible; whereas the Holy Scriptures assign eternity and corruption to heaven and earth alike, though not to each an equal glory and veneration. For if we read, "that the sun and moon are faithful and eternal witnesses in the heaven," we read likewise that "generations pass away, but the earth remaineth for ever." But that both are transitory is implied in one oracle, namely, "heaven and earth shall pass away, but the word of the Lord shall not pass away." And these things I have spoken not out of zeal to introduce a new opinion, but because I foresee, not without experience, but instructed by example, that these fabulous divorces and distinctions of things and regions, beyond what truth admits of, will be a great obstacle to true philosophy and the contemplation of nature.
EBB AND FLOW OF THE SEA.
THE consideration of the causes of the ebb and flow of the sea, attempted by the ancients and afterwards dropped, taken up again by the moderns and yet by variety of opinions rather unsettled than discussed, is commonly by a light conjecture referred to the moon, by reason of some correspondence, between the motion of the tides and that of the moon. But yet if we look more closely we shall find some vestiges of truth which may lead to greater certainty. Therefore that there may be no confusion, we must first distinguish the motions of the sea, which, though some have very inconsiderately multiplied them, are in reality only five in number; whereof one is a kind of anomalous motion, the others constant. Let the first motion be set down as that wandering and various motion of the currents (as they call them). The second as that great motion of the ocean every six hours, by which the waters alternately approach and retire from the shore twice a day; not exactly, but with such a difference as makes the period of revolution a month. The third as the monthly motion itself, being no other than the restoration of the daily motion (before mentioned) to the same times. The fourth as the half-monthly motion, whereby the tides are increased more at the new and full moons, than at the quarters. The fifth as the half-yearly motion, whereby the tides receive a great and remarkable increase at the equinoxes. Now it is of the second, or great diurnal motion of the ocean I intend principally to discourse at present; only touching on the others in passing, and as far as they tend to explain this motion. First therefore with respect to the motion of the currents, there is no doubt but that