Contemplations moral and divine / by a person of great learning and judgment.

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he intended in them, unless moreover to communicate them to his Children or some particular Friends in private upon occasion: but for publishing them, certainly he had not the least thoughts of any such thing; much less hath he revised them for that purpose, nor so much as read over some of them since he wrote them; nor indeed so much as finished some of them. Nay so far was he from any thoughts of publishing them, that when he was importuned but to give his consent to the publication of them, he could not be prevailed with to do it. And therefore that they are now published, the Reader must know that they are published not only in their native and primogenial simplicity, but without so much as the Author's privity to it. And thus much I thought my self obliged even in justice to the Author to acquaint the Reader with, and ingenuously to acknowledge, and take upon my self the fault; if anything less perfect and compleat, or any wise liable to exception shall appear in these Papers, seeing they were neither written with any intention to be published, nor revised by the Author, nor are published with his knowledge. But this again on the other side obligeth me to render some Account of my doing herein. I confess I approve not the thing in general, that is, the publication of another's Writings without

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without his consent or privity; but yet I know very well that those things which in the general are for the most part unlawful, may yet be so circumstantiated in a particular case, as that they may become not only lawful, but very commendable to be done in that case: and such a special case I take this to be. And though I think my self accountable to the Author chiefly, if not to him alone, for what I have done in this case, yet some account thereof I shall give to the Reader, so far at least as concerneth these Writings, or is necessary for him to be acquainted with. When I first met with some of these Writings and obtained the perusal of them, I thought them well worth my pains to transcribe: which I did partly for my own use; and partly, seeing them written in loose and scattered papers, to preserve them from that danger of perishing, from which I conceived the Author's larger and more compleat Works to be more safe and secure. And having collected a pretty considerable stock of them, I communicated some of them, as I saw occasion to some friends, some of them persons of good judgment and learning, who very much commended the same: and scarce any that saw them, but said 'twas great pity but they should be printed. But besides the Approbation of them by all to whom I did communicate them, I perceived that they had a real

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effect to the good and benefit of some who perused them: and this experience of the good effects which they produced by my communication of them to a few friends in private, did further confirm my own opinion of them, that they must certainly do much good if published; and being made common have the same good influences upon many, which I found they had upon some of those few to whom they were communicated in private; but for the Manuscript Copies which I had, they were not sufficient for all those fair opportunities of doing good with them, which I saw even among my own friends and acquaintance. Whereupon I solicited the Author to publish them, or at least to give his consent to the publication of them; but could not prevail with him for either, although I know that no motive or argument is more prevalent with him than that of Doing Good. But when I perceived, as I thought, that the chief reasons why he would neither publish them himself, nor give his consent to the publication of them, were such as would be of no force against the publication of them without his privity or knowledge, I began to consider of doing that. But before I resolved upon it, I sent two of the largest of them to a persons, whose Judgment I know the Author doth much esteem, to have his opinion of them, not letting him know either who was the Author, or who sent them to him;

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and having received his opinion and commendation of them, and that he judged them like to do much good, and such as would be very seasonable to be published, I began further to consider whether and how they might be published without either Wrong or Injury on the one side, or Offence on the other, to the Author. And for the former I reckoned that his concern in it was either in respect of the Disposal of the Copy, wherein would be no great difficulty; or more especially in respect of the Writings to be published, if either there should occurr any thing therein not fit to be made publick; or if they were not so well polished and perfected as might be for his credit and reputation. And although this might seem to be provided for in some sort by Concealing his Name (which truly I should much rather have made known, but that I knew I must then venture doubly to incurr his displeasure) yet I looked upon this as but a weak and insufficient provision, in as much as it is not unusual for Learned men even from the very stile and genius of writings to discover the writers; an expriment whereof I had seen in a person of learning and parts, to whom upon occasion I once shewed one of the writings of this Author, but purposely concealed who the author was, whom notwithstanding be soon discovered from the writing it

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self, telling me he knew no man that did think at that rate, but such a person, who was the Author indeed. And the truth is, these Writings do not obscurely speak their author, being a most lively representation of him, that is, of his Mind and Soul, and of that Learning, Wisdom, Piety and Virtue, which is very eminent and conspicuous in him; particularly that of the Great Audit, which I use to look upon as his very picture, wherein representing the Good Steward passing his Account, it was impossible for him not to give a lively Representation of himself; as every Character of a truly wise and virtuous persons must needs agree with him who is really such; and they who are eminently such can hardly be unknown: and therefore it is not impossible that some, even from the consideration of the work, may discover the work-man, besides many other occasions of discovery which may happen. But as I thought this too weak and insufficient, so I could not but think it altogether needless, and unworthy both the excellent Author, and these his pious and excellent meditations, to be made use of to that end; and should much rather have abstained from publishing them at all, than have relyed upon such a shift, if I had thought that they had stood in any need thereof. But as it was only their real Worth and Excellence, and Usefulness which

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