Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition
An Irish Astronomical Tract (Author: [unknown])




Chapter 1



The firmament is round according to its creation, and will come to an end, and is ever ruled by its own Creator.

There are stars in the seven spheres of the firmament, like firm nails in a plank, without motion of their own, except the motion of the circle in which they are. On that account they are not seen moving past each other or after each other, but they always preserve one constant, everlasting order at fixed distances to and from each other.

As a proof that that government is preserved by the Creator of the world, and that it will depend upon His works for ever, they observe without deception and without fail the course He ordained for them at the beginning of the world.

As a proof of that, the learned have knowledge of every natural phenomenon before it occurs, for they understand fully the motion of the stars and of the planets for every year and every month and every week and for every day and every moment. And besides they even have knowledge of the seasons before they are entered upon, knowledge of summer and autumn, winter and spring, and knowledge of everything that occurs naturally in them; and that is a sure argument to prove that He who created the world is still governing it, otherwise the things I have mentioned would have altered by this the function


I related them to have; the stars and the planets would be each, at one time swifter, at another, slower than the other, and at another time stationary, not stirring at all.

In the same manner the seasons would come (one) instead of another, and there would be natural days longer than one another. And, accordingly, the fruits of the earth would be growing at one time and at another time would be non-productive. Accordingly, everything in heaven and earth would be confused and confounded, neither philosopher or seer knowing what to say of them. And, again, the result would be that the exact sciences, which were drawn up concerning the motion and stopping and number and position and order of the works of God, would be set at nought.

Then, since we see that the exact sciences exist, and that everything else occurs definitely in its own season, regularly and without confusion according to one order, from this we know that He who created the world still orders and governs it.