Burnet, Thomas; Telluris Theoria Sacra; Orbit Nostri Originem & Mutationes Generales.... Londini, 1689

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Burnet, Thomas; Telluris Theoria Sacra; Orbit Nostri Originem & Mutationes Generales, quas Aut jam fubiit, aut olim fubiturus eft, Complectens. Libri duo Posteriores de Conflagraciones Mundi, et de Conflagratione Mundi et de Fururo Rerum Statu. Londini, 1689. Quarto, pp. 18, 133, 2nd title page dated 1688, pp. 7, 141-262, 1 (ads),1 engraved frontispiece, one plate. 

The work is complete and in a contemporary full calf with gilt spine panels and titles. The binding is tight and clean with light restoration to wear at corners, marbled text block edges. The text is very clean and bright. Owner’s small book plate on paste down. In very good condition.

Thomas Burnet (1635-1715) was an English theologian and a notable writer on cosmogony which is the scientific theory of how the universe was created. Burnet was also cabinet officer and the royal chaplain to William III, King of England. After reading the writings of René Descartes in “Principia Philosophiae”, (1644) Burnet became interested in geology and how the Earth formed. He wanted to reconcile the views of René Descartes with the account of the formation of the Earth with the account of the creation of the Earth in Genesis. This led to his most famous and also one of the most controversial books of its time which was “Telluris Theoria Sacra” (Sacred Theory of the Earth). His work attracted praise and also strong opponents. 

In 1681 Burnet published the first two parts of “Telluris Theoria Sacra”. The third and fourth parts were published in 1689. The first two parts of the book focused on an explanation of how the earth was formed. Burnet proposed that before the Genesis flood the earth had a hollow interior and an oval shape which was moist and fertile yet smooth and uniform. The axis of the earth was aligned differently to today and was in a perpetual spring. With the advent of the Flood at the time of Noah, oceans and mountains were formed as the surface of the earth had been fractured, releasing the waters underneath. Over time the modern “corrupted” world was then created.

In 1689 Burnett published a second work which is considered parts three and four of the 1681 work. We are offering the 1689 work. Within the 1689 work he presented the future conflagration of the world. Burnett proposes the drying up of the oceans and rivers which is followed by the burning of the heavens and the Earth. This was followed by a creation of new Heavens and a new Earth.