William Nicholls.

A Conference with a Theist : containing an answer to all the most usual objections of the infidels against the Christian religion ... (Volume 1) online

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ved. Let B, reprefent the Earth, and /. the Moon, re-
volving round the Earth in the Circle Ipik ISlow when
the Earth was in the Point /, let us fuppofe its annual
Motion to be accelerated, fo as to exceed the exad Pro-
poition there was formerly between the Attradion of the
Sun H, and the Celerity of the Earth ; and then the
Earth, inftead of coming to the point B in the Circle
CDAB, will go off to the Point c, and move in the
EllipfisEFDA. Now by this new elliptical Motion,^
the Earth in rlie Point r, v^/iil be nigher to the Moon I,
by the diftance B c, than it was in the Point B ; which
would raife fuch a prodigious I'ide, as would produce the
Effed we contend for. And then the Moon for a con-
flderable time would revolve about the Earth at r, in the
Circle I m h, inftead of its ancient Orbit Ip i /, which
will fo long keep up the Tides over tiie whole Face of
the Earth, as is defcribed Fig. I. and FI. But the Tides
will decreaie gradually as the jVloon by her menftrual


Part 11. i^ith ^ T h e i s T. ay I

Courfe fhall have made more Perthelms, for every time
fhe comes nigher to the Sun, the Sun will more and more
conduce together, with the Refiftance of her own im-
prefTed Motion, to draw her from her late contraded,
to her ancient and more enlarged Orbit. So that a
Month or two after, when the Earth, in its annual
Courfe, fhall be in the Point F, and the Moon be in
her Perihelion Q, fhe fhall then have enlarged her Or- ■
bit 10 O r greater than her contracted one vj y z,y oc
mh ly fo that after five Months, the time of the Con-
tinuance of the Deluge, when the Earth fhall have come
\o the Point D, then the Orbit of the Moon fhall be
inlarged to ust^^ equal to her former one If i /, or as
great as her other fhe had before the Acceleration of the
Earth's Motion. So that then the Moon being as far
diflant from the Earth as formerly fhe was, thofe great
Tides will be over, and the Deluge at an End ; all the
Waters being again funk into the Belly of the Earthy
through the fame Cavities by which thev afcended.

Phil. But fl:ay, Sir, this does not much mend the
Matter, for this Attributes the caufe of the Flood only
to the hreaklng up the Fowjtaim of the great Deep, which
Mojes likewife attributes to another Caufej viz,» the Raia
of forty Days and forty Nights,

Cred, Indeed Mojh fays, that at the beginning of the
Deluge it rained forty Days and Nights ; but he aoes not
fay that thefe Rains added any Thing confiderably to the
Deluge of the whole World. They only raifed the Wa-
ters to fucha height, that the Ark was born up, and fwam
upon the Waters. u4nd the Flood, or Rain, was forty Dayi.
Hpon the Earth : And the Waters increafed and bore up ths
^rkj and it was lift up above the Earth, Gen. vii. 17.
But in the two following Verfes is expreffed the Effeclifc
of the Waters rifing out of the Abyfs. And the Waters.
prevailed and increafed greatly upon the Earthy and the Water i
prevailed exceedingly upon the Earth, and all the high Hillsy
that were under the ivhole Heaven were covered* So that
what was the Effed of the Rains to lift up the Ark*
Mofes calls only increajing of the Waters \ but v/hen he


1J2 A Conference

afterwards fpcaks of the Eruption of the Abyfs, he fays
a great deal more, that Waters increafed greatly^ and pre^
vailed exceedingly. And indeed this previous Flood from
the Rains, or Preludium of the Deluge, was wifely de-
signed by God Almighty, that the Ark might be lift up
before the Torrent from the Abyfs came, or orherways
fuch a mighty Current running with fo great a Force
would have overthrown and drowned it before it could
have been lifted up* But a Rain of forty Days having
before made a Land Flood, great enough to bear up the
Ark, the Fury of the roaring Torrent of the Abyfs would
be broken by the yielding Waters under the Ark ; and fo
would by Degrees be raifed to the height which the Wa-
ters rofe to w^ithout Danger. I will not contend that
there was no more than this forty Day's Rain ; for it is
probable that it rained the greateft Part of the Time that
the Waters covered the Surface of the Earth ; for the Sea
then being above as large again as it formerly was, muft
fupply a far greater Quantity of Vapours than could poA
fibly be fufpended in the Air, and therefore muft fall
down in frequent, or continual Spouts, or Rains. Thisj
I take. Philology, to be a poifible Account of the Deluge,
and is a fufficient Confutation of them, who decry it as
an Tmpoffibility.

■ Phil Well ! fuppofing that the Abfurdities of Mojes'i
Relation of the Deluge are not fo great as are generally
imagined^ yet I cannot allow him to be a true Prophet ;
becaufe the pretended Miracles by which he endeavoured
to eftabliili his Laws and Dodrines, feem to me to be
flriere Artifice^ contrived only to beguile the filly JewSi
and to lead them tamiely by theNofe without Opposition*
They, poor Creatures! th.ought that God wrought
mighty Miracles by his Hand, v/hilft he was only work-
ing Dcfigns for himfelfj to purchafe himfelf Admiration the Rabble, or eife to gain a Jurifdi(5lion under
the fpecicus Name of a Theocracy. But alas ! thcfe
.Tvliracles are all Craft and Coilufion, which any cunning
Man might fecm to do, if he had but fjch fimple In-*
fpeclers. Witncf^ his pretending to receive the Law in


t^art it i^ith ^ T h e i s T* 17 1

IVlouht Simi i where he gave out, that he converfed with
God, who appeared there in Smoke^ and Thunderirjg and
Listening, No doubt the poor Folks were ftrangely a-
mazed at this terrible Scene. But Mofis^ or any other
intelligent Man, knew well enough, that there was no
great Matter in it. For all this wonderful Appearance was
in all Probability only a Volcano in that Mountain, which
Mofei did very politically forecaft, that the Jews fhould
not come to the Knowledge of. For if they had run
gazing up the Mountain as well as hej the Secret would
have been found out, and the Miracle fpoil'd. But Mofei
very prudently commands ^, that a Hand flodl not touch the
Jidountain^ but heJlMll he floned or floot throHghy whether it
he Be aft or Man : Nay-i not fi much as the Priefis themfilves
muji come uf-, lefl the Lord breaks forth upon them^ ver. 244
but only Maps and Aaron^ who were let into the Myfte-
ry, muft come there. Nor is this Vklcano in Mount Si"
nai only a ConjecElurCi but is confirmed by the Obferva-
tion of Travellers^ who ft ill bdiold the ^lountain full of
Afhes, which do plainly iliew the Ruins, as it were, of
an extinguiihed ^y£tna. This, Credentiusy is an Objedion
hot to be bantered off; for if this ftands, your whole re-
vealed Religion fhakes ; becaufe this is the very Founda-
tion of the Jewiili and Chriftian Inftitution; and if there
be any Trick here, as is much to be feared, all that is
built upon it, is good for Nothing.

Cred, There is fo much falfe Suggefliort and ground-'
lefs AfTertiori in this laft Objedion, that it is intolerable ;
and one had need of the Patience of that Holy Religion
you are oppofing, to be unmoved at it.

I. But pray, Sir, what By^Ends had Mofes to ferve
by his playing this fli^m Prank, as you do fuppofe, in the
Mount ? He could not get a greater Authority over theni
than he had before, he had been their Deliverer from the
^y£gjptians, and was their Condu^ter in the Wildernefsi
and had as abfolute Command over that People as could be
defiredi Neither cduld Fame? or a Defire of raifing his

J Exod. xix. 15,

^74 A Conference

Family, put him upon any fuch indire

Online LibraryWilliam NichollsA Conference with a Theist : containing an answer to all the most usual objections of the infidels against the Christian religion ... (Volume 1) → online text (page 25 of 47)