Thomas Burnet - frontispiece to Sacred Theory of the Earth
Thomas Burnet was master of Clare Hall, Cambridge, chaplain to King William, and master of Charterhouse. He was also a contemporary of Isaac Newton, who studied Burnet's works very closely. His Sacred Theory was composed as "an apology for and exposition of the idea of Providence in an age increasingly dominated by mechanism and scepticism." It proposed that with respect to the most important biblical events - notably Creation, the Flood, and final conflagration - scripture and mechanical philosophy could be reconciled. Burnet also insisted that the colossal scale of Providential superintendence was appropriate to the degradation of mankind's moral virtue.
Isaac Newton, William Whiston, John Keill
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