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Desert, or to my Wishes, it would never enable you to oblige a Man who would retain a more lively Sense of your Favours than does,
Your moft Humble,
And moft Obliged Servant,
SHALL not at prefent trouble the Reader with a Detail of the feveral Reafons which a long Time reftrain'd me from making the follow ing Treatife English, tho' I was very much prefs'd to it. But I am oblig'd to acquaint him, that when I found it had been done by another Hand, with Notes, in which the Afbes of the venerable Author were poorly and meanly infulted by low and vile Buffoonry, becoming neither the Gravity of a Clergyman, nor the Faith of a Chriftian, nor the Fuftness and Spirit of a polite Writer, nor the Honour and Humanity of a Gentleman, I was provok'd to tranflate the forefaid Treatife anew, that I might have an Opportunity by this Tranflation to do Juftice to the Merit of the excellent Author, with Regard to thofe who are not yet acquainted with his Works;
an Author famous through the Learned World for bis fublime and noble Writings; efteem'd
all the Learned World, one of its shining Ornaments, an Honour to Great Britain, and to human Nature; an Author in his Kind fo admirable, that the understanding, impartial Reader will find even in this imperfect, rough drawn Copy, Things that are fublimely beautiful.
I believe that the most inveterate of Dr. Burnet's Enemies, will not for his own Sake appear fo malicious, as to affirm that that great Man had a Defign to impofe upon his Contemporaries, and upon Pofterity; I fay upon Pofterity, to which his Works will certainly defcend: He fhews every where too magnanimous a Soul for that. No Man feems to me ever to have abborr'd Falfhood more. I will not pretend to fay that he is without Error, no human Writer either is, or was, or ever will be without it. The greatest of Men both may and must err; but if we are to judge, as in Equity we ought, of the Profe of a Writer, by the fame Rule by which Horace judg'd of the Verfes of his Contemporaries, Ubi plura nitent in Carmine, non ego paucis, offendar maculis, &c. Then will I venture to affirm, that if Dr. Burnet has Errors, he has Beauties, and great Beauties, fufficient to make an ample and a glorious Amends for them.