Godly intelligence : intellectual contacts between England, Germany and the Netherlands 1638-1662 : a study of the correspondence of Johann Moriaen
The German natural philosopher Johann Moriaen (c. 1582- c. 1668) is among the best represented yet least known figures in the papers of Samuel Hartlib. This study presents a fully annotated edition of his German letters from the archive. This forms the primary source for an account of the intellectual contacts fostered by the Hartlib circle. Born in NUrnberg to a family of Dutch exiles, Moriaen served for eight years as minister to the clandestine Reformed church in Catholic-controlled Cologne and then became a leading organiser of charitable collections for Reformed exiles from the Palatinate. In 1638 he settled in the Netherlands, and became closely involved with Hartlib's circle. He was the principal manager of the Dutch collection for Cohenius, promoted Jewish-Christian relations, supplied mystic and utopian literature, served as agent for a number of German technologists and inventors, and was actively engaged on the search for the Philosopher's Stone. His correspondence sheds much new light on a number of figures, especially the pansophist Jan Amos Comenius and the alchemist Johann Rudolph Glauber, and on the structure and practical operation of Hartlib's enormous network of intelligence. It is most valuable, however, as a window onto an intellectual world. The study reconsiders the ideas of Pansophy and alchemy as essentially similar methodologies for realising a resolutely non-sectarian but by no means non-religious vision. It aims to provide a fuller account of the 'third force' in seventeenth-century thought, neither empirical nor rationalist, but clinging to the notions of universal coherence discernible through a combination of practical study and divine enlightenment.