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shadow to mark, from time to time, the hour of the day, it would be no more a presumption than an error in him to conclude, that, (whatever other uses the instrument is fit or was designed for) it is a sundial, that was meant to shew the hour of the day.
He afterwards says:
I readily admit, that in physics, we should indeed ground all things upon as solid reasons as may be had; but I see no necessity, that those reasons should be always precisely physical; especially if we be treating, not of any particular phenomenon that is produced according to the course of nature established in the world, already constituted as this of ours is; but of the first and general causes of the world itself; from which causes, I see not why the final causes or uses, that appear manifestly enough to have been designed, should be excluded. And to me, it is not very material, whether or no in physics, or any other discipline, a thing be proved by the peculiar principles of that science or discipline, provided it be firmly proved by the common grounds of reason. And on this occasion, let me observe, that the fundamental tenets of Des Cartes's own philosophy are not by himself proved by arguments strictly physical, but either by metaphysical ones, or the more catholic dictates of reason, or the particular testimonies of experience. For, when for
instance, he truly ascribes to God all the motion that is found in matter, and consequently all the variety of phenomena that occur in the world; he proves not, by an argument precisely physical, that God, who is an immaterial agent, is the efficient cause of motion in matter; but only by this, that since motion does not belong to the essence and nature of matter, matter must owe the motion it has to some other being; and then it is most agreeable to come mon reason to infer, that since matter cannot move itself, but it must be moved by some other being, that being inust be immaterial, since otherwise some matter must be able to move itself, contrary to the hypothesis.
38. Medicina Hydrostatica; or, Hydrostatics applied to the Materia Medica; shewing how, by the weight that divers bodies used in physic have in water, one may discover whether they be genuine or adulterate. To which is subjoined, a previous hydrostatical way of estimating ores, 1690.
39. The Christian Virtuoso; shewing that by being addicted to experimental philosophy,
a man is rather assisted than indisposed to be a good Christian. The first part; to which are subjoined, 1. A Discourse about the Distinction that represents some things as above Reason, but not contrary to Reason; 2. The first chapters of a Discourse, entitled, Greatness of Mind promoted by Christianity, 1690.-In the advertisement prefixed to this work, he speaks of a “ second part” of the “ Christian Virtuoso;" as already begun; and which was afterwards published in the last edition of his works, with an appendix to the first part.
40. An Account of some Observations made in the great Congregation of Waters, by lowering Bottles down into the Sea, six hundred feet deep from the Surface, 1690.
41. The last work published in his life-time was, Experimata et Observationes Physica, wherein are briefly treated of several subjects relating to natural philosophy, in an experimental way. To which is added, a small Collection of Strange Reports.—This was called in the title page, the first part; and among his papers were found the second and third parts, though it is doubtful whether these were complete, 1691.
The following works were published after his death.
1. The General History of the Air, designed and begun.
2. Medicinal Experiments; or, a Collection of Choice Remedies, for the most part simple, and easily prepared.
3. General Heads for the Natural History of a Country, great or small, drawn out for the Use of Travellers and Navigators. To which are added, other Directions for Navigators, &c. with particular Observations of the most noted Countries in the World. By another hand.
4. A Paper of the honourable Robert Boyle's, deposited with the Secretaries of the Royal Society, and opened since his death; being an account of his making the Phosphorus, &c. printed in the Philosophical Transactions.
5. An Account of a Way of examining Waters as to Freshness and Saltness, to be subjoined as an Appendix to a lately printed letter, about sweetened water; Philosophical Transactions,
6. A Free Discourse against Customary Swearing, and a Dissuasive from Cursing.
7. Medicinal Experiments; or, a Collection of Choice Remedies, chiefly simple, and easily prepared, useful in Families, and fit for the Service of Country People. The third and last volume, published from the author's original MSS. Whereunto is added several other useful notes explicatory of the same.
Boyle's works complete, were published by Dr. Birch, in five yolumes folio, 1744, with his life prefixed; and reprinted in 1772, in six volumes 4to. An abridgment, however, in three volumes 4to. was published before this, and of which the second edition appeared in 1738, by Dr. Shaw; with a character of the author, and his philosophy; the whole digested under proper heads, and illustrated with notes.
Boyle has been styled the author of the “New or Experimental Philosophy.” But it should always be recollected, that Bacon pointed out the way; and that the merit of Boyle consists in his having the judgment to adopt those principles of enquiry before laid down by his illustrious predecessor, and in the extent and unwonted ardour of his researches. It is remarkable, that he was born the same