Category Archives: Books

The First Temple

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My Lord, that which the Royal Society needs to accomplish an entire freedom, and (by rendering their circumstances more easy) capable to subsist with honor, and to reach indeed the glorious ends of its institution, is an establishment in a more settled, appropriate, and commodious place; having hitherto (like the Tabernacle in the Wilderness) been only ambulatory for almost forty years: but Solomon built the first Temple; and what forbids us to hope, that as great a Prince may build Solomon’s House, as that great Chancellor (one of your Lordship’s learned predecessors) had designed the Plan; there being nothing in that august and noble Model impossible, or beyond the Power of Nature and learned Industry. Thus, whilst King Solomon’s Temple was consecrated to the God of Nature, and his true Worship, This may be dedicated, and set apart for the Works of Nature; delivered from those illusions and impostors, that are still endeavoring to cloud and depress the true and substantial Philosophy: A shallow and superficial Insight wherein (as that incomparable person rightly observes) having made so many Atheists; whilst a profound and thorough Penetration into her Recesses (which is the business of the Royal Society) would lead Men to the Knowledge and Admiration of the glorious Author.

John Evelyn, Sylva: A Discourse of Forest Trees, 1729

Books (from Sir Francis Bacon’s “New Atlantis”)

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New Atlantis, by Sir Francis Bacon

We have three that collect the experiments which are in all books. These we call depredatours.
We have three that collect the experiments of all mechanical arts; and also of liberal sciences; and also of practices which are not brought into arts. These we call mystery men.
We have three that try new experiments, such as themselves think good. These we call pioneers or miners.
We have three that draw the experiments of the former four into titles, and tables, to give the better light, for the drawing of observations and axioms out of them. These we call compilers.
We have three that bend themselves, looking into the experiments of their fellows, and cast about how to draw out of them things of use, and practice for man’s life, and knowledge, as well for works, as for plain demonstration of causes, means of natural divinations, and the easy and clear discovery, of the virtues and parts of bodies. These we call dowry men or benefactors.

Sir Francis Bacon: The New Atlantis, 1626

Candlesticks (from Simon Patrick’s “Commentary,” 1706)

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A critical commentary and paraphrase on the Old and New Testament and the Apocrypha, Volume 2

1 Chronicles 28:15: “Even the weight for the candlesticks of gold, and for the lamps of gold, by weight for every candlestick, and for the lamps thereof: and for the candlesticks of silver by weight, both for the candlestick, and also for the lamps thereof, according to the use of every candlestick.” By this we learn that there were candlesticks of silver, as well as of gold. The former of which were lesser, to be carried in their hands, from place to place, as there was occasion. But the latter were fixed in the sanctuary, and in Solomon’s House were ten in number.

A critical commentary and paraphrase on the Old and New Testament and the Apocrypha Volume 2, 1706

Very Ancient Edifices

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To the second difficulty, M. du Hamel says, that the Scripture calls Ophir all the East Coast of Africa, and particularly the country of Sophala; where we find at this day very ancient edifices, built of great stones, like those of Solomon’s House. The inhabitants of Sopbala adore only one God, and hate idols. All the East Coast of Africa abounds in gold, but there is much more brought from Sophala, than from other places. The Indians, Persians, Arabians and Portuguese, that trade there, return always laden with this precious metal. We may add, that the Seventy, and Josephus, instead of Ophir, say Sophir and Sophira, names that do not much differ from that of Sophala. In short, it was an easy matter to sail from the straits of the Red Sea to Sophala; and ‘tis certain, that in ancient times they did not undertake any voyages that obliged them to lose sight of land. This last argument overthrows the opinion of those authors that place Ophir to the Indies.

History of the Works of the Learned, 1706

Experiments Most Proper

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That the third ground be employed in convenient receptacles for all sorts of creatures which the professors shall judge necessary for their more exact search into the nature of animals, and the improvement of their uses to us. That there be likewise built in some place of the College where it may serve most for ornament of the whole, a very high tower for observation of celestial bodies, adorned with all sorts of dials, and such like curiosities; and that there be very deep vaults made underground, for experiments most proper to such places which will be undoubtedly very many. Much might be added, but truly I am afraid this is too much already for the charity or generosity of this Age to extend to; and we do not design this after the model of Solomon’s House in my Lord Bacon (which is a project for experiments that can never be experimented) but propose it within such bounds of experience as have often been exceed by the buildings of private citizens.

Abraham Cowley, Works: Proposition, 1679

By Faith

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By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even
though he did not know where he was going.

Hebrews 11:8


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The preparations and instruments are these. We have large and deep caves of several depths. The deepest are sunk 600 fathoms; and some of them are digged and made under great hills and mountains; so that if you reckon together the depth of the hill, and the depth of the cave, they are (some of them) above three miles deep. For we find, that the depth of a hill, and the depth of a cave from the fault, is the same thing; both remote alike, from the sun and heaven’s beams, and from the open air. These caves we call the lower region; and we use them for all coagulations, indurations, refrigerations, and conservations of bodies. We use them likewise for the imitation of natural mines; and the producing also of new artificial metals, by compositions and materials which we use, and lay there for many years. We use them also sometimes, (which may seem strange,) for curing of some diseases, and for prolongation of life, in some hermits that choose to live there, well accommodated of all things necessary, and indeed live very long; by whom also we learn many things.

Sir Francis Bacon: The New Atlantis, 1626