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Chapter XXIII.—Providence in Earthly Things.

“But what of those things also which we see on the earth, or in the sea?  Are we not plainly taught, that not only the work, but also the providence, of God is in them?  For whereas there are on the earth lofty mountains in certain places, the object of this is, that the air, being compressed and confined by them through the appointment of God, may be forced and pressed out into winds, by which fruits may germinate, and the summer heat may be moderated when the Pleiades glow, fired with the blaze of the sun.  But you still say, Why that blaze of the sun, that moderating should be required?  How, then, should fruits be ripened which are necessary for the uses of men?  But observe this also, that at the meridian axis, 815 where the heat is greatest, there is no great collection of clouds, nor an abundant fall of rain, lest disease should be produced among the inhabitants; for watery clouds, if they are acted on by rapid heat, render the air impure and pestilential.  And the earth also, receiving the warm rain, does not afford nourishment to the crops, but destruction.  In this who can doubt that there is the working of divine providence?  In short, Egypt, which is scorched with the heat of Æthiopia, in its neighbourhood, lest its air should be incurably vitiated by the effects of showers, its plains do not receive rain furnished to them from the clouds, but, as it were, an earthly shower from the overflow of the Nile.



That is, the equator.

Next: Chapter XXIV