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Chapter IV.

THE world being broken and confused, after this manner it was reduced into figure and composure as now it is. The insectible bodies or atoms, by a wild and fortuitous motion, without any governing power, incessantly and swiftly were hurried one amongst another, many bodies being jumbled together; upon this account they have a diversity in the figures and magnitude. These therefore being so jumbled together, those bodies which were the greatest and heaviest sank into the lowest place; they that were of a lesser magnitude, being round, smooth, and slippery, meeting with those heavier bodies were easily broken into pieces, and were carried into higher places. But when that force whereby these variously figured particles fought with and struck one another, and forced the lighter upwards, did cease, and there was no farther power left to drive them into superior regions, yet they were wholly hindered from descending downwards, and were compelled to reside in those places capable to receive them; and these were the heavenly spaces, unto which a multitude of these little bodies were whirled, and these being thus shivered fell into coherence and mutual embraces, and by this means the heaven was produced. Then a various and great multitude of atoms enjoying the same nature, as it is before asserted, [p. 114] being hurried aloft, did form the stars. The multitude of these exhaled bodies, having struck and broke the air in shivers, forced a passage through it; this being converted into wind invested the stars, as it moved, and whirled them about, by which means to this present time that circulary motion which these stars have in the heavens is maintained. Much after the same manner the earth was made; for by those little particles whose gravity made them to reside in the lower places the earth was formed. The heaven, fire, and air were constituted of those particles which were carried aloft. But a great deal of matter remaining in the earth, this being condensed by the forcible driving of the winds and the breathings from the stars, every little part and form of it was broken in pieces, which produced the element of water; but this being fluidly disposed did run into those places which were hollow, and these places were those that were capable to receive and protect it; or else the water, subsisting by itself, did make the lower places hollow. After this manner the principal parts of the world were constituted.

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