Key to the Universe.

A new scientific work is about to be published by Elder Orson Pratt. It is to be entitled “Key to the Universe, or a New Theory of its Mechanism.” It is the result of much careful and patient investigation into the motions and relations of the planets and the laws that govern their existence. It is based upon original discoveries and deductions. The ability and learning of the author in astronomy and the higher mathematics are somewhat known to his brethren and friends of the Church, but not generally in the world. The light that is in him ought not to be hidden in obscurity. It should be shed abroad for the benefit of all mankind. Years of study and careful calculation are embodied in the work which he now proposes to publish. Advance subscriptions are required to enable him to pay the printing and other expenses attending the issue. All who desire to secure a copy of the book should pay attention to a circular now being distributed, which we here insert:

Salt Lake City, May 3, 1879.

Your assistance is respectfully solicited in obtaining subscriptions to a new and original work of great scientific value, about to be published by Elder Orson Pratt. The following extract from a letter from him will explain sufficiently its nature and object:

“London, England, Jan. 5, 1879.

“The pamphlet will probably be entitled, Key to the Universe, or a New Theory of its Mechanism, founded, first, upon a constant orbital propulsion, arising from the velocity of gravity, and its constant aberrations; and, second, upon a resisting ethereal medium of variable density.

“I do not expect that the Saints who are not mathematicians, will be able to clearly understand this interesting subject, but they have children who will eventually attain to a knowledge of the Universe far in advance of the learned of this age, and who will appreciate the mathematical demonstrations accompanying this work; they will appreciate the humble exertions of one of their own brethren, in trying to account for certain phenomena which have hitherto baffled the skill of all former researches.

“For our children’s sake, then, let the Saints patronize works of merit and great research, and incorporate this small tribute to science in their family libraries. Let it be as a token of remembrance for one who has labored in their midst.”

It is desirable that as many subscriptions as possible be obtained by May 28th, to pay the expenses of publication. Books will be forwarded to subscribers as soon as they arrive. Price, in paper covers, $1.50; cloth, $2.00.

All subscriptions, inquiries, etc., may be addressed to

Marian R. Pratt,
Historian Office,
Salt Lake City.”

This is not to be considered a Church publication. It is the production and property of Elder Pratt, and will be given to the world on his own responsibility. We think sufficient inducement to subscribe for it is given in the extract from his letter, without any recommendation of ours. But we hope it will be patronized by our readers, and that its circulation in the world will bring to our esteemed and talented brother that fame and honor to which he is entitled, while it increases the sum of human knowledge and adds to the reverence which all should feel for the Great Author and Architect of the Universe.

[Deseret News, May 14, 1879]

[transcribed and proofread by David Grow, Apr. 2006]


Local and Other Matters.
From Tuesday’s Daily, July 22.
Key to the Universe.

This new and valuable work, by Professor Orson Pratt, Sen., has arrived, and orders are now being rapidly filled. It is a well bound, nicely printed book of 118 pages, presenting an entirely new theory of the mechanism of the universe. A treatise of much interest to philosophical students. To be had at the Historian’s Office.

[Deseret News, July 30, 1879]

[transcribed and proofread by David Grow, Apr. 2006]

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