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OR,

A DEMONSTRATION

OF THE

BEING AND PERFECTIONS OF GOD,

FROM A CONSIDERATION OF

THE STRUCTURE AND ECONOMY OF

INS ECTS.

ILLUSTRATED WITH A COPPERPLATE.

triedrich thristia:

BY M, LESSER:

WITH NOTES,
BY P. L YONE TO

DIVINITI LOTUS

1. IBRARY

HRVARDWYERS!
EDINBURGH:
Printed for WILLIAM CREECH; and T. CADELL, Jun.

and W. Davies, London.

1799

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ADVERTISEMENT.

E FORE entring on the perusal of the following Work,

it will not perhaps be disagreeable to the Reader, to have some account of the authors of it.

B В

Of the learned and pious LESSER few particulars are known. He was of Nordhausen in Germany, and published in 1736, a LITHO-THEOLOGY.

Of the author of the Notes, we are enabled to give the following account, which was published in the Gentleman's Magazine for September 1789:

Mr Peter Lyonet, secretary of the Cyphers, translator and patent.master to their High Mightinesses, was born at Maestricht in 1706, and was descended from a very respectable and ancient family in Lorrain. His ancestors were frequently obliged by the wars and troubles occasioned by the Reformation, to abandon their habitations, and their native country, on account of their zeal for the reformed religion. His great grandfather, after having seen his eftates and possessions destroyed and burnt to ashes, and his wife and all his children murdered, was at last reduced to the necessity of flying. He took refuge in Switzerland, where he was afterwards re-married, and bad by his fecond wife a fon, of whom was born Benjamin Lyonet, French minifter at Houfdon, the father of qur author.

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ADVERTISEMENT. Mr Peter Lyonet had scarcely attained his seventh year before he displayed an uncommon strength and agility in all bodily exercises; but he was not less diligent in the improvement of his mind. Being placed at the Latin school, he learned chronology, and exercised himself in Latin, Greek, and French poetry, as also in Hebrew, Logic, and the Cartesian Phyfics. He was particularly fond of the study of languages, and understood no less than nine,living and dead; viz. of the former, besides the Dutch and French, the Italian (which he had acquired without the aid of a master,) the Spanish, German, and English. Having entered the University of Leyden, he studied the Newtonian Philosophy, Geometry, Algebra, &c. but his father defiring he should attach himself to divinity, he reluctantly abandoned the former studies, as his passion for them was not easily to be overcome. He at the same time applied himself toanatomy, and also to music and drawing. He began afterwards to practise sculpture, and performed several pieces in wood, one of which in particular, which is preserved, is uncommonly admired by the artists. It is a ballo relievo, cut in palm-wood, representing Apollo, with the Nine Muses ; a most gloririous master-piece, and which the painter Van Gool, in the fecond volume of his “ Review of the Dutch painters, &c. under the article Lyonet, styles a 'wonder-piece.' It excited also the admiration of the painter le Chevalier de Moor. After this, he betook himself to drawing portraits of his friends from life, wherein, after three or four months practice, he became a great proficient. Having attained the degree of candidate in divinity, he resolved to study law, to which he applied himself with so much zeal, that he was promoted at the end of the first year. On this occasion he delivered an academical treatise on the proper use of the torture, which was published, and gained him the esteem of the learned. Arrived at the Hague, he undertook the study of decyphering, and became secretary of the cyphers, translator of the Latin and French languages, and patent

mafter

master to their High Mightinesses. Meanwhile, having ta-
ken a strong liking to the study of insects, he undertook an
historical description of such as are found about the Hague,
and to that end collected materials for several volumes ; and
having invented a method of drawing adapted thereto, he
enriched this work with a great number of plates, univer-
sally admired by all the connoiffeurs who had seen them.
In the year 1742 was printed at the Hague a French tranf-
lation of the following work. The love of truth engaged
Mr Lyonet to defer the publication of his above-mention-
ed description, and to write the Notes now translated. This
performance caused his merit to be universally known and
admired. The celebrated M. de Reaumur had the French
translation reprinted at Paris, not more on account of the
work itself, than of Mr Lyonet's observations; and bestowed
on it, as did also many other authors, the highest encomiums.
He afterwards executed drawings of the fresh water Polypus
for Mr Trembley's beautiful work published in 1744. The
ingenious Wandelaar had engraved the first five plates, when
Mr Lyonet, who had never witnessed this operation, concer-
ned at the difficulties he experienced in getting the remaining
eight finished in the superior style he required, resolved to
perform the task himself. He accordingly took a lesson of
one hour of Mr Wandelaar, engraved three or four small
plates, and immediately began upon the work itself, which
he performed in such a manner as drew on him the high-
est degree of praise, both from Mr Trembley and from ma-
ny other artists, particularly the celebrated Van Gool already
named, who declared that the performance astonished not
only the amateurs, but also the most experienced artists.
The authors of the “ Bibliotheque Raisonnée,” 1744, have.
likewise certified their admiration of him ; for after a long
panegyric, they express themselves thus ; " We may justly
apply to him, what Fontenelle fomewhere says of the famous
Leibnitz: “Of many Herculesses antiquity made only one,
but of a single Lyonet, we may make many learned men.”

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