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Section II

II. Where, then, God placed the roots, and what foundation it has upon which it is so firmly fixed like a statue, we must now consider. It is not natural that any body which is left behind should wander out of its limits, since God has made and arranged in its proper place, the materials of the whole universe. For it was fitting that the greatest of all works, being also the most perfect, should be created by the greatest of all workmen. And it would not have been completely perfect if it had not been completed in perfect parts. So that if this world consists of every kind of material, nothing being beyond, and not even the most insignificant thing being omitted, it follows of necessity that whatever is outside the world must either be vacuum or nothing at all. If it be a vacuum, then how can it be found to balance the world, which is full and closely packed, and the heaviest of all things, when there is nothing solid to support it? from which consideration it would appear to resemble a vision. Since the mind is always looking for a corporeal basis, it is natural to suppose that one whole should have such a thing if it happens to be put in motion, and the world above all things, inasmuch as it is the greatest of bodies, and as it embraces in its bosom a multitude of other bodies as its own appropriate parts. Therefore, if any one wishes to escape the perplexities which arise in treating of doubtful matters, let him speak his mind freely, and affirm that there is no material so strong as to be able to support the weight of the world. But the eternal law of the everlasting God is the strong and lasting support of the universe. This law being extended from the centre of the world to its furthest extremities, and again back from its extremities to the centre, moves on in the unwearied irresistible course of nature, uniting and binding together all the parts of the universe. For the Father who established it made it to be the indissoluble bond of the universe. Therefore we are naturally led to conclude that the whole earth will not be dissolved by water, which its bosoms contain; nor again will fire be extinguished by the air, nor again will the air be burnt up and consumed by fire, since the divine law has placed itself as a boundary to keep all these elements distinct from one another. As yet the allproductive plant was not rooted, and had not the power which was to be derived from being rooted. But of the subordinate, particular, and less important plants, some were moveable in such a way as easily to change their places, and some, without being liable to any change of places, were made as if they were to stand for ever in the same position. Those therefore which are exposed to a motion which involves a change of place, which we call animals, were added to the most entire and perfect parts of the universe. The earth receiving the terrestrial animals, the water the aquatic animals; the air those creatures which fly; and the stars being assigned to the heaven.

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