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John Wilkins

John Wilkins

The English theologian and natural philosopher John Wilkins (b. 1614 d. Nov. 19, 1672) was instrumental in the establishment of science in the universities in England and was a founder of the Royal Society of London. Wilkins wrote several popular scientific books including: Discovery of a world in the Moon (1638), the first scientific account of an imaginary journey to the moon and if there be inhabitants on the moon. Mercury; Or the Secret and Swift Messenger (1641) which includes secret conveyance of information, invisible inks, cryptography, signalling as well as methods later used in thought reading acts. Mathematical Magick (1648) describes the six simple machines, automata, flight and perpetual motion. (This book captured the imagination of a young Isaac Newton who was given a copy from Wilkins.) Finally his Essay Towards a Real Character and a Philosophical Language (1668) suggests a "conceptual dictionary" in which words are arranged in groups by their meaning - like a modern thesaurus. Wilkins published three popular theological books during his lifetime and eventually became Bishop of Chester and Master of Trinity College.

[Abstract of Stephen Forrester's article "John Wilkins 1614 - 1672" published in James Hagy's Perennial Mystics' #12/ June 1997.]

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John Wilkins
Mercury: Or the Secret and Swift Messenger by John Wilkins

"Showing how a man may with privacy and speed communicate his thoughts to a friend at any distance."

This is one of the first published works on cryptography, secret inks, signalling and secret codes - methods later used in thought reading acts. It is therefore not only of interest to cryptographers and historians of cryptography, but also to people who study silent codes and other related methods in mentalism.

[Toole-Stott 731]

[Please note that this is not a simple scan of an old book. This old book has been typed in and digitized with the utmost care, using an appropriate font with the correct glyphs to make this look exactly as the original. Literally hundreds of hours have been spent to restore and digitize this wonderful work. This sets a new standard for the preservation of very old books.]

1st edition 1641; 2nd edition 1694; PDF based on 2nd edition, 192 pages....

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