The Mystery of Piety Revealed and Defended: A Sequel to Johann Heinrich Bisterfeldʼs De uno Deo?
It has always been a truly tantalizing question for the scholars of Herborn intelligentsia in Transylvania: as to why Bisterfeld did not complete his publication project that began with the famous De uno Deo which was designed to refute Johann Crellʼs ideas and was destined to be a companion to Johann Heinrich Alstedʼs Prodromus religionis triumphantis, which was in turn written against Johann Völkel. Although the essay cannot answer this question entirely, it draws attention to some fundamental facts which could shed more light on the issue stating that Bisterfeld did finish the sequel, but apparently never published it. In order to achieve this, the essay discusses briefl y a letter by Jean Mellet sent to Adrian Heereboord later published as dedication to Bisterfeldʼs very rare Isagoge encyclopaedica, and Melletʼs Theosophia naturalis which seems to be a treatise originally written by Bisterfeld. Having a look at these sources, the author formulates a hypothesis claiming that the continuation of the De uno Deo, that is the separate publication of the Mysterium pietatis ostensum, became rather obsolete in the eyes of Bisterfeld at a certain point, and consequently he incorporated it into his Sciagraphia symbioticae, one of the most ingenious works of the late Bisterfeld in Transylvania, posthumously published in 1661. In addition, it is highly presumable that a further posthumous version of the Mysterium pietatis ostensum saw the light in 1662, this time, under the name of Jean Mellet and entitled as Theosophia naturalis, sive mysterium pietatis ostensum.