« ElőzőTovább »
year in which Bacon died; and as Hughs (Spectator, No. 554) remarks, “ was the person designed by nature to succeed to the labours, and enquiries of that extraordinary
DR. ISAAC BARROW, an eminent divine and mathematician, was born at London in 1630, He received the early part of his education at the Charter-House, and afterwards at Felstead in Essex, whence, in 1643, at the age of fourteen, he was removed to Cambridge, where he became a pensioner at Peter-House. Here he was placed under the tuition of his uncle, Mr. Isaac Barrow, then fellow of thạt college, and afterwards bishop of St. Asaph, Two years after he entered a pensioner of Trinity College ; and in 1647 was chosen scholar of the house.
At this period, though he was by no means, negligent of general literature, his most ardent attention was paid to the physical sciences, Disgusted, however, with the perplexing and
unprofitable philosophy of the schools, he applied himself to the study of the writings of Bacon, Des Cartes, Galileo, &c. and thus laid the foundation of his philosophic fame.
In 1648, he proceeded batchelor of arts, and the year following was elected fellow of his college. Barrow was a royalist; and conceiving the chances of preferment, either in church or state, much against men of his sentiments, he resolved to study physic, an: accordingly made considerable progress in the sciences of anatomy, botany, and chemistry; though at the instance of his uncle he afterwards resumed theology. In 1652, he took the degree of master, and the year following was incorporated in that degree at Oxford.
Disappointed in an expectation of obtaining the Greek professorship, he determined 'ta travel; and in 1655, set out for France, whence he proceeded to Italy, stopping some time at Florence, where he had an opportunity of perusing several books in the great duke's library. In November 1656, he took ship at Leghorn for Smyrna, whence he proceeded to Constantinople. Here he read the works of St. Chrysostom, once bishop of that see, whom he preferred to all the other fathers, Having continued in Turkey above a year, he returned to Venice; and in 1659, to his own country, through Gerinany and Holland.
He now took orders, and in 1660, was elected Greek professor of the university of Cambridge. The year following he took the 'degree of hatchelor in divinity; and in 1662 was. elected professor of geometry in Gresham College. Not long after, he was offered a valuable living; but on the condition of teaching the patron's son. This, to his susceptible con. science, bordered too closely upon a simoniacal contract, and he refused it. In 1663, he was elected fellow of the Royal Society, being the first choice made by the council after their charter; and the same year was appointed first professor to a mathematical lecture founded by Mr. Lucas, who, for the more certain attainment of the objects of the institution, provided that ten written lectures should be annually left to the university, both by himself and his successors. Of this professorship, he afterwards made a voluntary resignation to his illustrious friend sir Isaac Newton. After this he devoted himself entirely to theological studies ; and in 1670, was created doctor of divinity by
mandate. Two years after, he was appointed by the king master of Trinity College ; on which occasion his majesty observed, that he had given it to the best scholar in England. Prior to this, however, he was one of the king's chaplains. In 1675, he was chosen vice-chancellor of the university. He died on the 4th of May 1677.
Dr. Barrow was a voluminous writer. Of his works, some were published in his life-time, and others after his death. Of 'the former, which are in Latin, and on mathematical subjects, the following is a tolerably correct list :
1. Euclidis Elementa; i. e. Euclid's Elements, 1655, Cambridge, 8vo. There were several other editions of this book, which comprises all the books of Euclid, demonstrated in a more compendious manner than had been before done. It was afterwards translated into English, and published at London, 1660, &c. Svo.
2. Euclidis Data ; Euclid's Data; Svo. 1657, Cambridge, In some following editions, this was subjoined to the elements.
3. Lectionis Opticæ 18, Cantabrigiæ in Scholis Publicis Habita, in quibus Opticorum Phe