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which was extracted from a much larger work, intitled, An Effay on Scripture, that was afterwards published by P. P. A. G. F. I. that is, Peter Pett, Attorney-General for Ireland, afterwards Sir Peter Pett, a man of great read. ing, a voluminous writer, but of an unsettled judgment, for whom, on account of his wellmeaning and upright intention, Mr. Boyle had a great regard.
In 1664 Mr. Boyle was elected into the company of Royal Mines, and was all this year taken up in the profecution of various good designs, and more especially in promoting the affairs of the corporation for propagating the gospel in New England, which, in all probability, was the reafon that he did not fend abroad this year any treatises, either of religion or philofophy.
In 1665 came abroad his Occasional ReAections upon several Subjects, to which is prefixed, A Discourse concerning the Nature and Use of such Kind of writings. This piece, tho' now published, had been written many years before, when the author was a young man, at times, and under circumItances, when few would have written any thing, and none could have written better. "The attack made upon it, therefore, by a ludicrous writer, may be truly affirmed to be as cruel and'unjust, as it is trivial and indecent. A short time after he published Experiments and Obfervations relative to an Experimental History of Cold, with several pieces thereunte
annexed. This work of his, as it was justly admired then, so it has been always in great esteem fince, and may be truly said to have been the first work published, that gave inquifitive men any real light into the subjects which are therein examined.
His majesty king Charles H. had now ane opportunity of Chewing his own great judgment in men, from his esteem and affection towards Mr. Boyle, for Dr. John Meredith, Provost of Eaton, dying in August 1665, the king, unaked and unfollicited, appointed Mr. Boyle for his successor. This was certainly, all circumstances, considered, the fittelt employment for him in the kingdom ; yet, after mature deliberation, tho' contrary to the advice of his friends, he absolutely declined it, because he thought the duties of the employment might interfere with his studies he was unwilling to quit that course of life, which, by experience, he found fo fuitable to his temper and coaftitution ; and, above all, he was unwilling to enter into holy orders, which he was perfuaded was necessary to qualify himself for it.
În this year, and in the next, he was pret. ty much exercised in looking into an affair that made a very great noise in the world, and the decision of which, from the high reputation he had gained, was in a manner univers sally expected from Mr. Boyle. The case was this, one Mr. Valentine Greatraks, an Irish gentleman, persuaded himself that he had a
peculiar gift of curing diseafes by stroking, in which, tho' he certainly succeeded often, yet he sometimes failed, and this occasioned a great controversy, in which most of the
parties concerned addressed themselves to Mr. Boyle, who conducted himself with such wifdom and prudence, as to get out of this affair without any loss of credit, which, all things considered, cannot but be esteemed a very high proof of his wisdom.
In 1666 Dr. John Wallis addressed to Mr. Boyle An Hypothesis about the Flax and Reflux of the Sea. The famous physician, Dr. Thomas Sydenham, dedicated to him, in the same year, his Method of curing Fevers, grounded upon his own Observations, a little piece, written in Latin, and truly worthy of so great a man. Himself likewise publifhed that year, his Hydrostatical Paradoxes, made out by new Experiments, for the most part physical and easy, which he fent abroad at the request of the Royal Society, those experiments having been made at their desire about two years before. He also published that year another celebrated treatise of his, intitled, The Origin of Forms and Qualities, accord. ing to the Corpuscular Philosophy, illustrated by Experiments; a treatise which did equal honour to the quickness of his wit, the depth of his judgment, and his indefatigable pains in searching after truth.
We must likewise observe, that boih in this, and in the former year, he communi.
cated to his friend, Mr. Oldenburgh, several curious and excellent short treatises of his, upon a great variety of subjects, and others transmitted to him by his learned friends both at home and abroad, which are printed and preserved in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society.
It is very observable, that in the warm controversy raised in relation to that fociety, Mr. Boyle escaped all cenfure, which is more extraordinary, considering that Mr. Stubbe, who was the great antagonist of the learned historian of that fociety, was one who set no bounds to his rage, and seemed to make it a' point, to raise his resentment in proportion, as there wanted grounds for it. Yet even this choleric and furious writer had so high an esteem for Mr. Boyle, that at the very
time he fell upon the society in a manner fo excufable, he failed not to write frequently to our author, in order to convince him, that how angry foever he might be with that body of men, yet he preserved a juft respect for his great learning and abilities, and a true sense of the many favours he had conferred upon him.
About this time our author resolved to settle himself for life in London, and removed for that purpose to the house of his sister, the lady Ranelagh, in. Pall. Mall, to the infinite bené. fit of the learned in general, and particularly to the advantage of the Royal Society, to whom he gave great and continual assistance.
He had likewise his set hours for receiving such as came, either to defire his help, or to communicate to him any new discoveries in fcience. Besides which, he kept a very extensive correspondence with persons of the greatest figure, and moft famous for learning in all parts of Europe.
In 1669 he published his Continuation of new Experiments, touching, the Spring and Weight of the air ; to which is added, A Discourfe of the Atmospheres of Confiftent Bodies; and the same year. he revised, and made many additions to several of his former tradts, some of which were now translated into Latin, in order to gratify the curious abroad, with whom Mr. Boyle ftood in as high reputation, as with all the lovers of learning at home. In the fucceeding year he published a book that occafioned much speculation, as it seemed io contain a vaft treasure of new knowledge, that had never been communicate ed to the world before, and this grounded upon actual experiments and arguments juftly drawn from them, instead of that notional and conjectural philosophy, which, in the be. ginning of this century, had been so much in fashion, The title of this treatise was, Of the Cosmical Qualities of Things.
About this time Dr. Peter de Moulin, the fon of the famous French divine of the same name, who had travelled with Mr. Boyle's pephews, dedicated to him his Collection of