Eclipsed Moon Does Not Prove the Earth is Round
Others dwell on the plea that the shadow on an eclipsed moon shows the spherical form of the earth. But they omit one very essential fact, which is, to prove that the shadow must be that of the earth at all. And, unfortunately for these sages, the eclipse of the moon has been known to occur while the sun was yet visible above the horizon; thus showing that the earth’s shadow had nothing to do with the phenomenon on those occasions. That there is a shadow, no one denies; but it is sufficient for our case that it cannot be that of the earth.
But what I would more earnestly enforce than any scientific reasoning I could employ, is the consideration of those scripture passages which the author of “Zetetic Astronomy” has referred to in support of his theory. In the Bible, the word “world” occurs over 260 times, and the word “earth” over 350 times. On no single occasion is the remotest idea of its being a globe, and having motion, ever expressed! Is anyone insane enough to believe that such an extraordinary arrangement could have been designed without a shadow of a reference being made to it? Instead of which, the diurnal motion of the sun is spoken of scores of times. Its “rising,” its “going down,” its “standing still,” its “returning,” and many other expressions implying motion, are familiar to every reader of the scriptures. But the impious philosophy of the day has the audacity to declare God to the a liar, and man alone trustworthy. God says He made “two great lights;” man says no, He only made on – the second is but a reflected light! God says He “founded,” He “established,” He “formed the earth upon the waters,” “upon the greet deep.” man says, He did nothing of the kind, but the waters rest upon the earth. And in many other instances, which the readers of the Essays and Reviews will recollect, giving the Almighty the lie in every statement He ever made.
Isaiah, Job, Solomon, and David, in all their references to the sun and to the earth, speak of the motion of the one and the immobility of the other. So, does every writer, from Moses to John of Patmos. Dare we, then, venture to accuse these inspired historians of ignorance, or rather of making statements directly contrary to the evidence of their senses? No! May our united answer be, “Let God be true, and every man a liar” who speaks not according to His word. The science of the day is for the most part rivalry between men who can invent the most incredible theories. For instance, speaking of the “velocity of light,” which they say is about 200,000 miles a second, or eight times round the world in the twinkling of a tomtit’s eyebrow! Again, Mons. Arago asserts that “several million rays of light can pass simultaneously through the eye of a needle without interfering with each other.” He should have added, that during their passage through the archway they tied themselves into knots, and never “jostled!” The “velocity of the light” is simply, to the eye, what touch his to the body. But they tell us that a star or planet can, from its immense distance, continue shining thousands of years after it has been smashed to atoms, because its quicker-than-lightning speed has not yet spent itself in its passage through the sky! These are some of the mildest specimens of lying fiction which our philosophers gravely proposed for our instruction. But even these might be swallowed with greater ease than the theory of the earth’s revolution round its axis, and at the rate, too, of 700 miles per second! When everyone knows that the wind from a railway train, going at not more than 40 miles per hour, will knock a strong man down, if he stood within reach of its action; yet we see an unfledged linnet or tiny moth may repose, without a ruffle on its down, on a floating tendril within a few years of what I may justly compare to a flash of lightening! Is it possible that mankind has listened to such astonding statements, and endorses these out-Heroding Herod attacks on our credulity, without a single protest or demur, for a period of 2000 years, if we are to believe the writings of Aristotle? If the world had but given a fiftieth part of the credence to the simple story of a Saviour’s love, or even to the ABC of history of the earth’s creation as has been vouchsafed to those vain and idle theories of the schools, what a different state of things should we have witnessed this day! Anything new, anything improbable, anything that tends to throw a doubt on the Word of the living God, is greedily seized and used by the sophist and infidel as an argument against the truth of the Word, before which, shortly, every stubborn knee shall bend, and in support of which every tongue shall confess the the Word of God is perfect, and that man alone is vile.