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THE

PRE FACE.

HE Translation of this excellent Book

by the learned and ingenious Dr. StanT hope, which has been so well received

by the Publick, that above Twenty

Thousand of them have been sold, is principally followed in this Edition, tho' not without consulting those published by Mr. Wesley, and an ingenious anonymous Author; and as in this Edition more Asistance has been bad than in any former one, it is hop'd it will justly claim the Preference,

The Preface to Dr. Stanhope's. Translation being so well adapted to this, take it almost verbatim as follows.

The Reputation of this little Book, with which the Reader is here presented, seems abundantly established, by the great Pains taken to communicate it to Man= kind, in most Languages of the Christian World. But fince the English Version, hitherto in Use, was in fome Places grown obsolete, and in many fell fort of that Life and Spirit requisite for fuch Devotional Tracts, it was thought expedient to recommend it by a Style more modern, and a little better fuited to Subjects of this Nature,

more

In this Attempt the Latin of Castalio is chiefly followed; he bath taken: fome Liberty. in Places peculiarly relating to the Romilh Superstitions : And the present Translator bath not only trodden in his Steps thus far ; but, in the Chapters which concern a Monkish Life particularly, bath endeavoured fo to express bimself for the most part, as that such Meditations might be accommodated to the circumstances of any pious Christian, who makes Religion his main Pleasure and Business

, and is daily striving to habituate bimself to the Exercise of Devotion and feverer Virtues.

This was thought most agreeable to the great Dehgn he Bad in View, that of rendering these Reflections of general Use to the World: For which Reason also, be hath not been nicely close in many of the Flights ufual with these mystical Divines; thinking it better either to give those rapturous Pasons another Turn; or, by Additions and Illustrations of his own, to bring them down to the common Condition of human Life, and fit them for the Mouths of every fincere practical Christian.

In order to preserve the Zeal and Spirit of the Author, it was found necessary, sometimes to abridge, and at others to enlarge a Thought, and carry it a little higher : All which the Reader hath this Warning of, to prevent any Objections which might otherwise be raised, against the Faithfulness of an Undertaking, intended, not so much to acquaint Englishmen what Kempis thought, as to convey those Thoughts with some Degree

. of that Sprightliness and affectionate Warmth, which the original Composer at firft felt from them.

And

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And because the Reader will perhaps expect some Account of him, here follows in brief the Subliance of what Rofweid hath delivered concerning bim.

Tsis Thomas was calld a Kempis from a little Village of that Name, in the Diocese of Co* logne, where he was born in the Year of our Lord

1380. His Parentage and Fortune were mean ; at " thirteen Years old he began his Studies, and about nineteen betook himself to a Monastery of Augustin Monks : About five and twenty be took the Habit

of that House and Order. There be continued for " the Space of seventy Years, particularly eminent

for his Piety, Humility, diligent Study of the Holy Scriptures, Austerity of Life, moving Eloquence in Discourse, and extraordinary Zeal in Prayer. For his Perfon, he was of a middle Stature, of a strong brown Comple&tion, a lively

piercing Eye, and a Sight to good, that though " he laboured much under other Infirmities of old Age, yet he was never reduced to the Use of Spectacles. He died July 25, 1471, in the ninety

second Year of bis Age.

Thus far the learned Doctor abovemention’d. It may be added, that the good and devout Author of. this Book was very affable, courteous, and condescending to the very weakest and lowest of Christians; a Comforter to the Troubled, a compasionate Helper to those under Temptations, exceedingly zealous for the Salvation of Souls, which he as earnestly desir'd as his own ; and it was his main Endeavour to draw aljo others with himself by bis Writings, by bis verbal Admonitions, by his private Instručtions, and by all other Ways and Means he had in his power to Holinefs and Happiness. He lived agreeable to what he

taught taught and wrote, and verified that his Do&trine was not impracticable.

The following Directions, chiefly taken frim Mr. Wesley, may be serviceable to the profitable Reading of this, or any religious Book.

I. Set apart, fome Time every Day for reading this, or some other pious Treatise. If any unavoid able Business deprives you of your Hour of Retirement, take the next vacant one for it. When such large Portions of each Day are so willingly allow'd for bodily Refreshments, and Diverfions, I wish I could fay always innocent ones, how can you scruple to allot some little Time for the Care of your infinitely more valuable Part, your immortal Spirit ?

II. Be sure to read with great Attention and Seriousness, not hastily and carelessly ; stop every now and then, to recolle&t what you have read, and consider how to reduce it to Practice. If your Understanding is not encreased, it will be loft Time to read, and if your Will and Affections are not influenced, you will certainly be in a worse Condition, tho the other is a very bad one, wen you come to give up. your Accounts at the Bar of the All-feeing Fudge. III. It

may be of very great Use to read over and over such Pasages as most nearly affe&t you. Forget not to conclude always with a sort Ejaculation to God, which the Publisher beg's Leave to join with you in, that his holy Spirit would afist your fencere Endeavours to encrease in Humility, Benevolence, Patience, Refignation to the Will of God, and every other Virtue,

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