Page:Guideforperplexed.djvu/256

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bodies of the stars: (2) bodies which always move, such are the bodies of the spheres: (3) bodies which both move and rest, such are the elements. Now, I ask, what has united these two bodies, which, according to my opinion, differ very much from each other, though, according to Abu-nasr, only a little? Who has prepared the bodies for this union? In short, it would be strange that, without the existence of design, one of two different bodies should be joined to the other in such a manner that it is fixed to it in a certain place but does not combine with it. It is still more difficult to explain the existence of the numerous stars in the eighth sphere: they are all spherical; some of them are large, some small; here we notice two stars apparently distant from each other one cubit: there a group of ten close together; whilst in another place there is a large space without any star. What determined that the one small part should have ten stars, and the other portion should be without any star? and the whole body of the sphere being uniform throughout, why should a particular star occupy the one place and not another? The answer to these and similar questions is very difficult, and almost impossible, if we assume that all emanates from God as the necessary result of certain permanent laws, as Aristotle holds. But if we assume that all this is the result of design, there is nothing strange or improbable: and the only question to be asked is this: What is the cause of this design? The answer to this question is that all this has been made for a certain purpose, though we do not know it; there is nothing that is done in vain, or by chance. It is well known that the veins and nerves of an individual dog or ass are not the result of chance: their magnitude is not determined by chance: nor is it by chance, but for a certain purpose, that one vein is thick, another thin: that one nerve has many branches, another has none: that one goes down straight, whilst another is bent; it is well known that all this must be just as it is. How, then, can any reasonable person imagine that the position, magnitude, and number of the stars, or the various courses of their spheres, are purposeless, or the result of chance? There is no doubt that every one of these things is necessary and in accordance with a certain design: and it is extremely improbable that these things should be the necessary result of natural laws, and not that of design.

The best proof for design in the Universe I find in the different motions of the spheres, and in the fixed position of the stars in the spheres. For this reason you find all the prophets point to the spheres and stars when they want to prove that there must exist a Divine Being. Thus Abraham reflected on the stars, as is well known: Isaiah (Xl. 26) exhorts to learn from them the existence of God, and says," Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things?" Jeremiah [calls God]" The Maker of the heavens": Abraham calls Him" The God of the heavens" (Gen. xxiv. 7): [Moses], the chief of the Prophets, uses the phrase explained by us (Part L, chap. lxx.)," He who rideth on the heavens" (Dent. xxxiii. 26). The proof taken from the heavens is convincing: for the variety of things in the sublunary world, though their substance is one and the same, can be explained as the work of the influences of the spheres, or the result of the variety in the position of the substance in relation to the spheres, as has been shown by Aristotle. But who has determined the variety in the spheres and the stars, if not the Will of God? To say that the Intelligences have determined it is