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rt This World is, in its own Nature, That is, "by God's Appointment, a World of Sorrow, "a Scene of Misery, a Vale of Tears; and "that to Se in it, is to "Be wretched una"voidably." Whereas this Treatise shall endeavour to make it manifest, That Providence is not only Gracious in the Composition, studious of the Accommodation, Preventive of the v Accidents, Corrective of the Mistakes, and liberal to the Wants, but lavish also to the Luxuries of Man; and that God does not only permit, but enable us, and not only enable, but enjoin us, to be Happy; Happy, to a much greater Degree than we are. That is, than we chuse to be.
NOR is that Error I combat, an Error of the Vulgar, Unlearned, Or Sinful only; But the Learned, Wife, and Good, have fatally contributed their sacred Authority towards the Propagation, and Establishment of it: Either through inadvertency, or the Resentment of present Pain, or an indiscreet, tho' well intended Zeal, in the recommendation of a Better World.
MOST os them have, as it were casually, let fall from their Pens, which pursued some . . other other Principal Point, too severe, and unguarde ed Intimations to the Discredit of our present State: Many have made an Invective on this Lifes a general Drift that mingled itself in all their Discourses, and Conversations: And some have made it their particular Theme, and avowcdly, determinately, and strictly drove at this very Point; without adjoyning the true Causes, the proper Cures, the right Uses, and salutary Effects of our Misfortunes and Pains; and thus have left Grounds, of Future Argument against the Goodness, and thrown a Present Cloud over the Glory of the. Great Disposer of Events, the King of Time, and of Eternity. . ,
LET, Madam, One of His most sliining Representatives on Earth, patronize, and vindicate a Vindication of His Providence; Let One of the Principal Ornaments of Human Life indulge a True Estimate of it •, Let Her gracioufly defend a Refutation of an Error, which flows from a Decay of That Faith, of which our dread Sovereign is the great defender i and, which leads to a Corruption of That Morality, of which her own correct Conduct is the Distinguifh'd Glory. Let that Queen, who is nearly concern'd in the fad
Occasion Occasion that turn'd my Thought on this Subject, take it into Her Protection; Her Prolection will recommend it to the World, and Her Example will supply the Defects of this Composition on it.
AND, Madam, as your Example will assist me, So that Good Providence, whose Ways I presume to assert, Grant, that Your Fortune may too i That Your most sacred Majesty, from this joyful, and unclouded Morning of your Reign, may sliine forth a long, and illustrious T>ayt as an unanswerable Instance of Temporal Happiness, and an unquestionable Heir ot Eternal, is the constant, and fervent Prayer of,
Tour Majesty s most Obedient,
The P R E F A C E.
KNOW not well why, but the Passiona are a Favourite Subset with Mankind: The Reason may possibly be, Because Men _ _ are much concerned with them, both as to'
themselves, and Others ; and where we have a Selfc concern, we have an Attention. Or, Because they art such "••Powerful, and Universal Springs, that almost all the Pleasures, Pains, Designs, and Ac!ions of Use are owing to Them; and therefore it is our Intetest to know them well: Or, Because every Matt carrying them in his own Breast, He thinks he knows them well already, and is therefore an Able yudge of such Compositions•, And thus his Pride has a FondKefs for them: Or, Because the Paftions, like the Boy at the Fountain, fall in love with their oivn Representation: Or, Because many are all Passion, and if Men consider a Treatise en the Passions, as a History of Themselves, it is no wonder they read it with Pleasure. Or, Because what a most celebrated Antient writ on this SubieB is lost, to the great Regret tf the Learned, and Polite World, which is studious cfsome Reparation of that Loss•, and the more so, because what other Antients have left on that Head, is hnperfeB and Short.
BEING sensible how difficult it is to gain Attention for Works of Divinity, I have insisted more on the Passions, than any other Head of the following Discourse•, in hopes of a more welcome Reception prepaid for it, by that general Taste, or Disposition of Heart, which I have mentioned. I have mark'd the Distinctions, and Peculiarities of the Passions, with some Care.
^French Author, has treated of them with such Accuracy, and Applause, that it conciliated to him the
parti' particular Favour of a celebrated 'Queen, who wept for the Death of the Author of that 'Piece, though she had never seen the Man.
BUT He had a wrong Byass on bint through the Whole to the 'Prejudice of it; Nor could I reap any Advantage from Him beside that ofhavingsuch an Example os Industry, and Discernment; of which, what use I have: made I do not Hope, but Fear the Reader •will too easily perceive. That Author indeed displays the Passions at large, and pursues them into all their several Branches, whereas I could find Room for the <J>riwary} or Radical 'Passions only, at present; but they may, one Day shoot, under Her jAajesiy's benign Influence, (who like the 'Queen above-mentioned, is the greatest Encourages of Arts) and give that one Tree. of Human Knowledge its entire Growth.
B U T as Imperfect as, the Discourse now is, ($ which I am verysenfible\ I persuade. niy self the. Rear der will find an Uncommon. Variety in it; And that the Observations, which are by tiq hieans drawn from Books, but the Life, aye so far Just, that any one what is at the Pains of looking Qii them, may possibly find Truths which his own Experience. can attest, and thus le a Witness, 'as well as a Judge of what is Here written; He may find some Traces, some Features of bis own Condition, as the Trojan met his. own Picture en a Foreign Shore. I wish, (a rare Wish in a Writer) that I could be refuted in what is Here advanced, for some of the Truths axe very melancholy. I hope tht Great Length will be excused, since the Nature of tht Subject might easly have betray d me into a much greater Transgression against the Common Limits of This kind of Writing.
IF this Piece in any tolerable Degree answer its Title, a Perusal will not be thrown away upon if. For; I look on it as one of the Desiderata in Literature, and that of the nearest, and most General Concern to M<ttL