« Prev To the Reader John Le Clerc Wisheth All Health. Next »



THE bookseller having a design to reprint this piece of Grotiuss, 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 choosing 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 great man, or at least to truth. I have 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. I have declared the sense of my mind in a familiar style, 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 had of the church of England, which is obliged to him, notwithstanding the snarling of some men, who object those inconsistent opinions, Socinianism, Popery, nay, even Atheism itself, against this most learned and religious man; for fear, I suppose, his immortal writings should be read, in which their foolish opinions are entirely confuted. In which matter, as in many other things of the like nature, they have in vain attempted to blind the eyes of others; but God forgive them, (for I wish them nothing worse), and put better thoughts into their minds, that we may at last be all joined by the love of truth and peace, and be united into one flock, under one Shepherd, Jesus Christ. This, kind reader, is what you ought to desire and wish with me; and may God so be with you, and all that belong to you, as you promote this matter as far as can be, and assist to the utmost of your power.


the Calends of March,

« Prev To the Reader John Le Clerc Wisheth All Health. Next »
VIEWNAME is workSection