The Scriptures, it is true, do not teach the doctrine of a multitude of inhabited worlds; but neither do they teach the contrary. Neither the one nor the other forms any part of their design. The object they keep in view, though Mr. Paine may term it ” little and ridiculous,” is infinitely superior to this, both as to utility and magnitude. They were not given to teach us astronomy, or geography, or civil government, or any science which relates to the present life only; therefore they do not determine upon any system of any of these sciences. These are things upon which reason is competent to judge, sufficiently at least for all the purposes of human life, without a revelation from heaven. The great object of revelation is to instruct us in things which pertain to our everlasting peace ; and as to other things, even the rise and fall of the mightiest empires, they are only touched in an incidental manner, as the mention of them might be necessary to higher purposes. The great empires of Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome are predicted and described in the Scriptures, by the rising and ravaging of so many beasts of prey. Speaking of the European part of the earth, which was inhabited by the posterity of Japheth, they do not go about to give an exact geographical description of it; but, by a synecdoche, call it the ” isles of the Gentiles ;” and this, as I suppose, because its eastern boundary, the archipelago, or Grecian Islands, were situated contiguous to the Holy Land. And thus, when speaking of the whole creation, they call it ” the heavens and the earth,” as being the whole that comes within the reach of our senses.”
Excerpt From “The Gospel Its Own Witness”, 1799
Fuller, Andrew, The Works of Andrew Fuller. Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 2007.