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be understood, by what I have said, to ex. press any judgment concerning either. I only mean to remark, that such doctrines are not without effect; and that it is of practical importance to have the principles from which the obligations of social union, and the extent of civil obedience are. derived, rightly explained and well understood. Indeed, as far as I have observed, in political, beyond all other subjects, where men are without some fundamental and scientific principles to resort to, they are liable to have their understandings played upon by cant phrases and unmeaning terms, of which every party in every country possess a vocabulary. We appear astonished when we see the multitude led away by founds; but we should remember that, if sounds work miracles, it is always upon ignorance. The influence of names is in exact proportion to the want of knowledge.
These are the observations with which I have judged it expedient to prepare the ato tention of my reader. Concerning the personal motives which engaged me in the following attempt, it is not necessary that I say much; the nature of my academical situation, a great deal of leisure since my retirement from it, the recommendation of an honoured and excellent friend, the authority of the venerable prelate to whom these labours are inscribed, the not perceiving in what way I could employ my time or talents better, and my disapprobation in literary men of that fastidious indolence, which sits still because it disdains to do little, were the considerations that directed my thoughts to this design. Nor have I repented of the undertaking. Whatever be the fate or reception of this work, it owes its author nothing. In sickness and in health I have found in it that which can alone alleviate the one, or give enjoyment to the other-occupation and engagement.
FIRST VOL U M E.