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England is evident; there was no other Person, most Reverend Prelate, to whom I thought it so proper for me to dedicate this Edition, with the Additions, as the Primate and Metropolitan of the whole Church of England. I therefore present it to you, as worthy your Protection upon its own Account, and as an Instance of my Respect and Duty
I will not attempt here, either to praise or defend Grotius; his own Virtue and distinguishing Merits in the Commonwealth of Christians, .do sufficiently commend and justify him amongst all good and learned Men. Neither will I say any Thing of the Appendix which I have added; it is so short, that it may be read over almost in an Hour's Time. If it be beneath Grotius, nothing that I can say about it will vindicate me to the censorious; but if it be thought not beneath him, I need not give any Reasons for joining it with a Piece of his. Perhaps it might be expect
ed, most illustrious Prelate, that I should, as usual, commend
and your Church; but I have more than once performed this Part, and declared a Thing known to all: Wherefore forbearing that, I conclude with wishing, that both you and the reverend Prelates, and the Rest of the Clergy of the Church of England, who are such brave Defenders of the true Christian Religion, and whose Conversations are answerable to it, may long prosper and flourish : Which I earnestly desire of Almighty God.
Amsterdam, the Calends of March, MDCCIX.
JOHN LE CLERC.
R E A D E R
JOHN LE CLERC WISHETH ALL HEALTH.
THE Bookseller having a Design to reprint this Piece of Grotius's, I
gave him to understand that there were many great Faults in the former Editions ; especially in the Testimonies of the Ancients, which it was his Business should be mended, and that something useful might be added to the Notes: Neither would it be unacceptable or 'unprofitable to the Reader, if a Book were added, to shew where the Christian Religion, the Truth of which this great Man has demonstrated, is to be found in its greatest Purity. He immediately desired me to do this upon his Account, which I willingly undertook out of the Reverence I had for the Memory of Grotius, and because of the Usefulness of the Thing. How I have succeeded in it, I must leave to the candid Reader's Judgment. I have corrected many Errors of the Press, and perhaps should have done more, could I have found all the Places. I have added some, but very
short Notes, there being very many before, and the Thing not seeming to require more. My Name adjoined, distinguishes them from Grotius's. I have also added to Grotius a small
Book, concerning chusing our Opinion and Church amongst so many different Sects of Christians; in which I hope I have offered nothing contrary to the Sense of that greut Man, or at least to Truth. I bave used such Arguments, as will recommend themselves to any prudent Person, easy and not far-fetched; and I have determined that Christians ought to manage themselves so in this Matter, as the most prudent Men usually do in the most weighty Affairs of Life. I have abstained from all sharp Controversy, and from all severe Words, which ought never to enter into our Determinations of Religion, if our Adversaries would suffer it. 1 bave declared the Sense of my Mind in a familiar Stile, without any Flourish of Words, in a Matter where Strength of Argument, and not the Enticement of Words, is required. And herein I have imitated Grotius, whom I think all ought to imitate, who attempt to write seriously, and with a Mind deeply affected with the Gravity of the Argument upon such Subjects.
As I was thinking upon these Things, the Letters, which you will see at the End, were sent me by that honourable and learned Person, to whose singular Good-nature I am much indebted, the most Serene Queen of Great-Britain's Ambassador Extraordinary to his Royal Highness the most Serene Great Duke of Tuscany. I thought with his Leave they might conveniently be published at the End of this Volume, that it might appear what Opinion Grotius