A Lecture on Gravity Given 100 Years Ago
From The Earth Volume III
On Tuesday evening, July 1st, a lecture on “The Plane Earth Truth” was delivered at Craftsman’s Club, Birmingham.
Great interest was manifest throughout my address. I explained briefly the common belief as to the Earth being a “globe” turning on its imaginary axis from West to East, with the inevitable consequences of everything being periodically turned upside down.
One man said if we got too near the edge we might fall off the earth. This greatly amused the chairman and caused much laughter.
I then briefly explained the beliefs of planists which are based (1st) upon the statements as set forth in the Scriptures, and (2nd) upon the evidence of their senses, and practical investigation. After dwelling for some time on the undeniable fact that water is level, the sun’s motions (which we may all behold) I exhibited a map of the earth as an outstretched plane, published by the late D. Wardlaw Scott.
Questions were asked about gravitation, and if there was no such law why bodies fell to the earth? I suddenly dropped a piece of paper, and asked them why it fell to the floor? No reply. I repeated my question, “Why did it fall?” they said it was because of “gravity.” But one said, “that means weight. Where is the weight?” (Laughter.) Another said, “Oh, there are forces in nature of which we are at present unaware.” They could not define “ gravitation,” and were in a greater fix when I asked them why a balloon rose in the air? “ Had ‘ gravitation ’ lost its power over a little bit of earth, silk, rope, &c.” One gentleman said it was because certain gases had a law peculiar to themselves, and the gas in the balloon was one of them. Then I asked, “Has one gas the power of robbing ‘gravitation’ of its force?” Next I told them “the reason why the paper fell is because it is heavier than the air, and the reason a balloon rises, is because it is lighter, and when it has risen to the height of its own density there it remains until it is relieved of weight or ballast, or the gas is loosed out of the bag. The company being satisfied with this explanation the meeting was reluctantly brought to a close, and I received a cordial vote of thanks for m}’ “entertaining address;” the President remarking that “it seemed that we had accepted much on this subject, from boyhood, without questioning its truth, and that there was much food for thought in the teaching of a plane and motionless earth.”
J. JONES, Jun.