Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

tant Art of Navigation. To which may be added, which I Thall hereafter mention, that they ferve to demonstrate the spherical roundness of the Earth. So that I may well conclude with the Pfalmift, Pfal. 19. 1. The Heavens declare the Glory of God, and the Firmament ferueth bis bandy-work.

Of Terrestrial and Inanimate Simple Bodies.

I come now to consider the Terrestrial Bodies; I shall say nothing of the whole Body of the Earth in general, because I reserve that aš one of the Particulars I shall more carefully and curiously examine,

Terrestrial Bodies, according to our method before propounded, are either inanimate or animate, and the inanimate either simple or mixt ; Simple, as the four Elements, Fire, Water, Earth and Air ; I call these Elements in coinpliance (as I said before) with the vulgarly-receiy'd Opinion ; not that I think them to be the Principles or component Ingredients of all other sublunary Bodies : I might call them the four great Aggregates of Bodies of the same Species, or four sorts of Bodies, of which there are great Aggregates. These, notwithstanding they are endued with contrary Qualities, and are continually encroaching one upon another, yet they are so balanc'd, and kept in such an equili brium, that neither prevaileth over other, but what one gets in one place it loseth in another, ,

First, Fire cherisheth and reviveth by, its heat, without which all things would be tor

pid

F 3.

Pid and without Motion, nay, without Fire no Life, it being the vital Flame residing in the Blood that keeps the bodily Machine in motion, and renders it a fit Organ for the Soul to work by. The US fit Organ of the Peripateticks Elementary Fire in the Concave of the Moon, which is but a inéer Figinent, but our ordinary Culinary), are in a manner infinite for dressing and preparing of Vištuals, bak’d, boild and roaft for inelting and refining of Metals and Minerals; for the Fusion of Glass, [a Material whose Uses are fo many, that it is not easie to enumerate them, it serving us to make Windows for our Houfes, Drinking-Vessels, Vessels to contain and preserve all sorts of ferinented Liquors, distillid Waters, Spirits, Oils, Extracts, and other Chy mical Preparations, as alfo Vessels to distil and prepare them in; for Looking-glasses, Specta cles, Microscopes and Telescopes, whereby our Sight is not only reliev'd, but wonderfully áslisted to inake rare Discoveries] for making all sorts of Instruments for Husbandry, méchanick Arts and Trade, all sorts of Arms or Weapóns of War defensive and offenfive; for fulminating Engines; for burning of Lime, baking of Bricks, Tiles, and all sorts of Potters Vessels or Earthern Waré ; for casting and forging Metaline Vessels and Utensils; for Distillations, and all Chymical Operations hinted before in the use of Glass ; for affording us Lights for any Work or Exercise in Winter Nights; for digging in Mines and dark Ca: werns; And finally by its confortable warmth

4. fecuring fecuring us from the injuries of Cold, or relieving when we have been bitten and benum'd with it. A Subject or Utensil of so yarious and inexplicable use; who could have invented and formed, but an infinitely wise and powerful Efficient ?

Secondly, The Air ferves us and all Aniinals to breath in, containing the Fewel of that vital Flame we speak of, without which it would speedily languish and go out. So necellary it is for us and other Land-Animals, that without the use of it we could live but very few Minutes : Nay, Fishes and other Water-Animals cannot abide without the use of it. For if you put Fith into a Vessel of a narrow Mouth full of Water, they will live and swim there, not only Days and Months, but even Years. But if with your Hand or any other cover you stop the Vettel fo as wholly to exclude the Air, or interrupt its Communication with the Water, they will suddenly be suffocated; as - Rondeletius affims he often experimented: If you fill not the Vessel up to the top, but leave some fpace empty for the Air to take up, and their clap your hand upon the Mouth of the Vestel, the Fishes will presently contend which shall get upermost in the Water, that so they may enjoy the open Air; which I have also observ'd them to do in a Pool' of Water that hath been almoft dry in the Suinmer-time, because the Air that infinuated it felf into the Water did not fuffice them for Respiration. _Neither is it less ne

F4

cellary

cessary for Infects than it is for other Animals, but rather more, these having more Air-Vefsels for their Bulk by far than they, there being many Orifices on each side their Bodies for the Admission of Air, which if you stop with Oil or Honey, the Insect presently dies, and revives no more.

This was an Observation of the Antients, though the reason of it they did not understand (Oleo illito Infeéta omnia exanimantur. Plin.) which was nothing but the intercluding of the Air ; for tho? you put Oil upon them, if you put it nog upon or obstruct those Orifices' therewith, whereby, they draw the Air, they suffer nothing : if you obstruct only fome, and not others, the parts which are near and supplied with Air; from thence are by and by convulsed and shortly relaxed and deprived of Motion, the rest that were untouch? still retaining it. Nay, more than all this, Plants themselves have a kind of Respiration, being furnish'd with Plenty of Vessels for the derivation of Air to all their Parts, as hath þeen observd, nay,' first discover'd, by that great and curious Naturalist Malpighius, Another use of the Air is to sustain the Flight of Birds and Insects : Moreover by its gravity. it raises the Water in Pumps, Siphons and other Engines, and performs all those feats which foriner Philosophers through ignorance of the Efficient Cause attributed to a Final, namely, Natures abhorrence of a Vacuity or empty space. The elastick or expansive Faculty of the Air, whereby it dilates it felf, when compreffed,

(indeed

(indeed this lower Region of it, by reason of the weight of the superincumbent, is always in a compressed state) hath been made use of in the common Weather-glasses, in Wind-guns, and in several ingenious Water-Works, and doubtless hath a great Interest in many natural Effects and Operations,

Against what we have said of the necefsity of the Air for the maintenance of the Vital Flame, it may be objected, That the Fætus in the Womb lives; its Heart pulses, and its Blood circulates ; and yet it draws in no Air, neither hath the Air any access to it. To which I anfwer, That it doth receive Air, so much as is sufficient for it in its present State, from the maternal Blood by the Placenta uterina, or the Cotyledons. This Opinion generally propounded, viz. That the Respiration of the Dam did serve the Foetus also, or supply fufficient Air to it, I have met with in Books, but the explicit Notion of it I owe to my Learned and Worthy Friend Dr. Edward Hülfe, which comparing with' mine own Anatomical Observations, I found fo consonant to Reason, and highly probable, that I could not but yield a firm Assent

I say then, That the chief use of the Circulation of the Blood through the Cotyledones of a Calf in the Womb, (which I have often diffected) and by Analogy thro’ the Placenta yterina in an Humane Fætus, seems to be the impregnation of the Blood with Air, for the feeding of the vital Flame. For if it were only for Nutrition, what need of two such great Arte

to it.

« PreviousContinue »