Why the Author was Led to Investigate the Vacuum
No one will deny that there are indications of omnipotent God in nature, especially in this mighty structure of the world. The validity of this assumption is particularly apparent in Chapters 20 ff. of the preceding Book which describe (1) the incomprehensible distance of the heavenly bodies, namely the sun, moon, and the rest of the planets. It is also evident that some of these bodies are of such great magnitude that they not only exceed our sphere of earth in size but are even many times greater, say ten or a hundred and more times larger. What mortal man can imagine or actually comprehend the extent of this earth of ours, which is 1720 German miles in diameter, 860 miles in radius and 5400 in circumference? When it is compared with the sphere of the outermost planet, Saturn, moreover, the earth is not even of the size of a pea. Thus, although the difference in size of these bodies one to the other and their spheres can be recorded numerically, they cannot be represented or described accurately on a chart in any way or by any means. (2) Saturn bears the same relationship to the sphere of the nearest fixed star that our sphere of earth hears to Saturn. It is indeed the case that fixed stars are not only widely separated from the earth but some of them are removed at so great a distance that they actually stun our senses and the. penetrating vision of our intellect.