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MT: Conyero . .. 1770
Τ Η Ε PREFACE T IVES are usually Read with a greater
Pleasure and Application, than any had other kind of Writing; and it must be own'd, that when rightly chosen, they give us the most useful views of Humane Nature, and the justest Representations of Virtue and Vice, with their different consequences and Effects.
But then it's observable, that the World is chiefly fond of knowing their Story, who have A&ted the most Embroyld and Buhe Parts of Life; have commanded Armies, or manag’d Surprizing Turns of State; have by Policy or War made themselves Famous, the Subject of common Observation and Dis. course ; or Hurry'd on by Ambition, and other Destructive Passions,bave laid Countries Walte, and done fatal Mischiefs to Mankind.
And so far have Mens Inclinations been Gratify'd and Encourag'd that the World is dailymore and more over-stock’d with this fort of Lives, which, as commonly written bave a Fatal Influence upon our Minds, and prove very Pernicious to Religion. They give a dangerous Turn to our Thoughts, and Infect the Soul with wrong Notions of things. The little regard that's had to Justice and Piety, in the Characters of Princes and Warriours;
And the Praises that are given to all tbeir Successful Actions, however violent and bloody; the Magnificent Descriptions of Armies and Battles, with the Glory that still surrounds the Head of the Fortunate and Bold: All these Infiume those Passions in us, which our Religion requires us to Subdue. A wild Ambition Fires the Mind, and drives it furio-fly on, in pursuit of mistaken Honour, untill at last the true I emper of Chri1tianity is quite destroy’d; that Humility and Meekness, that Deadness to the World, and Submission to the Will of God; with that Justice and Charity to Men, wbich make up so great a part of the Christian Life: For 's will be hard to persuade Mankind that viclence and Injustice are Crimes, while those who committed them are applauded in Story; or 111.27 io le Meek and Lowly, are ne. celary Duties, while even in Christian An.. nals, the Cruel ond vain-Glorious make the greatelt Figures, anil are the constant Subject of Panegyrick and Praise.
To remedy these Mischiefs in some meafure, It were greatly to be desir'd, that the World were furnilh'd with a sufficient number of another kind of Lives; of those who
have been Great in Religion andĠoodness; 5: and study'd to Conquer their Corruptions y as their most Dangerous, if not only Enemies; s who have spent their Lives in the service of ei God, and made it their conftant Business to na do Good to Mankind. fr. Such Lives as these, we might reasonably Eid hope, wou'd very much serve the Interests of 34 Religion, by proving an Antidote to the US, Poyson of those other Histories, which are so Já Destructive to it. They wou'd represent Piemes ty, not in Notion but in Life, with all its to Charms about it, and shew not only the Polari fibility, but Delightful Ealiness of a Religility ous Conversation. The Pleasure of Narra
lá tive wou'd still engage our Attention, and with prevent a Weariness, which few can escape, zaki when only Books of Reasoning and Argument
Fu are before them. And bright Examples of - vi Holiness faithfully Represented, cou'd hardly holl fail of awakening good Thoughts in our Minds; Sto. of touching us with sad Refleétions upon our - ner own Behaviour, fo different from what we An Read of others; and exciting strong Desires tle of following such Patterns. Sube This is the End propos'd in Publishing the
following Life. It is kop'd that the Chamego racter of One, in whom every Christian
Grace did so eminently shine, may contri. umo bute somewhat towards raising a Spirit of who frue Religion in this Age; that the consi