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“The popularization of Bacon’s ideas after 1640 thus helped to get rid of the shadow that had dogged humanity for so many centuries: the shadow of original sin. What alchemy and Calvinism had in common was that salvation came from without, from the philosopher’s stone or the grace of God. Bacon extracted from the magical-alchemical tradition the novel idea that men could help themselves – mankind not merely favoured individuals. This together with the dramatic events of the English Revolution helped to transform the backward look to a golden age, a Paradise Lost, into a hope for a better life here on earth, attainable by human effort”.

Christopher Hill, The World Turned Upside Down