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T has been a long time in my Thought to turn Seneca

ioco English : But whether as a Translation, or an Abstract, was the Queltion A Translation I perceive it must not be, at last, for several Reasons. First, it is a thing already done to my Hand, and above Gxty Years tanding; tho' with as little Credit perhaps to the Author, as Satisfaction to the Reader. Secondly, There's a great deal in bim, that is wholly foreign to my Business : As his philosophical Treatises of Meteors, Earth. quakes, the Original of Rivers, several frivolous Disputes betwise the Epicureans and the Stoicks, &c. to say no. thing of the frequent Repetitions of the same thing again in other Words (wherein he very handsomely excuses himself, by saying, That he does but inculcate over and over the same Counsels, to those that over and over com

same Faults.) Thirdly, his Excellency consists in a Rhapsody of divine and extraordinary Hints, tions, than in any regulated Method of Discourse;

to take him as he lies, and fo go through with DIM, were utterly inconsistent with the Order and the Brexity which I propound; my principal Design being only to digest, and common place his Morals, in such fort, that any Man, upon Occalion, may know where to find them. And I have kept myself so close to this Proposition, that I have reduced all his scattered Ethics to their proper Heads, without any Additions of my own,

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has been a long time in my Thought to turn Seneca into English : But whether as a Translation, or an Abstract, was the Quellion A Translation I perceive it mult not be, at last, for several Reasons. First, it is a thing already done to my Hand, and above sixty Years standing; tho' with as little Credit perhaps to the Author, as Satisfaction to the Reader. Secondly, There's a great deal in him, that is wholly foreign to my Business : As his philosophical Treatises of Meteors, Earth. quakes, the Original of Rivers, several frivolous Disputes betwixt the Epicureans and the Stoicks, &c. to say no. thing of the frequent Repetitions of the same thing again in other Words (wherein he very handsomely excuses himself, by saying, That he does but inculcate over and over the same Counsels, to those that over and over com

same Faults.) Thirdly, his Excellency consists in a Rhapsody of divine and extraordinary Hints, itions, than in any regulated Method of Discourse;

to take him as he lies, and so go through with uim, were utterly inconsistent with the Order and the Breyity which I propound; my principal Design being only to digest, and common place his Morals, in such sort, that any Man, upon Occasion, may know where to find them. And I have kept myself so close to this Proposition, that I have reduced all his scattered Ethics to their proper Heads, without any Additions of my own, more than of abfolate Neceflity for the tacking of them together. Some other Man in my Place, would perhaps make you twenty Apologies for want of Skill and Ad drefs, in goverding this Affair ; bar these are formal and pedantic Fogleries; as if any Man that first takes himself: for a Coxcomb in his own Heart, would afterwards make himself one in Print too. This Abstrack, fuch as it is, you are extremely welcome to ; and I am sorry it is po. better, both for your fakes and my awa: For if it were written up to the Spirit of the Original, it would be one of the most valuable Presents that ever any private Man bestowed upon the Public: And this too, even in the Judgment of bóth Pardes, as well Christians as Heathens:: Of which in its due Place.

Next to my Choice of the Author, and of the Sabject, together with the manner of handling it, I have likewife had fome regard in this Publication, to the tim. ing of it, and to the Preference of this Topic of Benefits above all others, for the Ground work of my first Efsay. We are fallen into an Age of vain Philofophy (as the holy Apostle calls it); and fo defperately over-run: with Drolls and Sceptics, that there is hardly any thing: fo certain, or fo facred, that is not expofed to question or Contempt. Infomuch, that betwixt the Hypocrite, and the Atheist, the very Foundations of Religion and good Manners are fhaken, and the two Tables of the Decalogue dathed to Pieces, the one against the other : The Laws of Government are fubjected to the Fancies. of the Valgar; pablic Authority to the private Passions and Opinion of the People, and the fupernatural Motions of Grace confounded with the comniop Didates of Nature. In this state of Corruption, who la fit as a good honest Christian-Pagan, for a Moderator among Pagad Christians ?

To pass now from the general Scope of the whole Work, to the particular Argument of the firft Part of it; I pitched upon the Theme of Benefits, Gratitude, and Ingratitude, to begin withal, as an Earnest of the reft, and a Lecture exprelly calculated for the Unthankful. Dess of these Times: The fouleft undoubtedly, and the moft execrable of all others, face the very Apoftacy of the Angels : Nay, if I dürft but fuppofe a Polgbility of

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