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serving of credit, profit, and pleasure, which are but secondary external things, subservient to the first.
But those that are written for the enriching the head with needful notions, furnishing the understanding with practical rules, and rectifying the affections ; as also those that are designed for the preservation of health, curing of diseases, and prolonging of life; that is, those that aim at securing to us a sound mind in a sound body: these, of a certain, are the usefulness of all writings, and best deserve our most serious study and observance.
Accordingly, I have fixed upon these subjects, and have cast my two mites, namely my Moral Collections, and my
Pharmacopoeias, into the corban, as believing I was born a citizen of the world, and not for myself only, and not knowing how I could serve the public better.
As to the matter of commendation and censure, I endeavour to neither, exalted nor dejected, nor any way concerned about either of them.
And that partly upon consideration, that they are in the hands of the vul. gar, who taking nothing right, dispense both these not according to merit, but caprichio, and generally to the wrong persons.
But chiefly because praise and dispraise are things that belong to this world only, which I am every day more and more
sensible I must shortly leave; and therefore am pluming and preparing myself to take wing into the world of spirits, where there is no more regard had to the foolings, the Aatteries, and Aouts of the little human insects creeping upon the earth, than to the actions of Gilly emmits crawling upon their hillock.
For in that state, they that are miserable shall feel, and can think of nothing but misery; but the happy will be filled up to the utmoft of their capacity, with beatific vision, wonder, joy, rapture, ecstasy, ineffable, inconceivable, and inceflant for ever and ever.
Good READER, I suspect I may have written some things twice; if not the same in words, yet in
sense; which I defire you to pass by favourably; forasmuch as you may well think it was as difficult and dull a thing for me, in so great a number of independent sentences, to find out the repetitions, as it would be in a vast heap of different coins and medals, confusedly thrown together, to pick out here and there one that bore the same and like inscription, with some other among them.
Besides the pains, such a search yould cost me more time, than I can afford it; for my glass of life running now low, I must not suffer one sand to fall in wafte, nor spend one minute in picking of straws.
And moreover, my aged eyes being grown weak and dim, I fear they will become quite dark, by much perusing and poring; or at least so far, so as to render me unable to perfect several papers now lying by me, which I would willingly make a present of to you.
But to conclude this, since in matters of advice precept must be upon precept, and line upon line, I apologize in the words of St. Paul, To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not grievous, but for you it is safe.