To James Logan
MS not found; reprinted from extract in Sparks, Works, VII, 40.
[February 17, 1750]
I send Whiston’s Life.8 He seems to me to have been a man of great industry and little prudence. I have been lame these two weeks past, but am now so much better, that I think I shall be able to wait on you next week with Mr. Kalm.9 We had a very bright appearance of the Aurora Borealis last night. When I have the pleasure of seeing you, I shall give you a full account of the affairs of the Academy, which go on with all the success that could be expected.
8. Memoirs of the Life and Writings of Mr. William Whiston (London, 1749). Whiston (1667–1752), mathematician and theologian, had an acute mind but little judgment. A graduate of Cambridge, he succeeded Newton as Lucasian professor, 1703; he was removed in 1710 for Arianism. A tireless writer and lecturer, he confirmed the narrative of Genesis by Newtonian principles and explained the Flood by a collision of the earth and a comet (New Theory of the Earth, London, 1696); he believed that the Tartars were the Lost Tribes, formed a society for promoting primitive Christianity, translated Josephus, and, becoming scrupulous about the Athanasian Creed, left the Church of England in 1747 to become a Baptist. DNB. Whiston’s son John was one of the London booksellers with whom Logan dealt.
9. BF took Kalm to Stenton February 28. Logan was unfavorably impressed. See below, p. 469.