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PREFACE.

THE public are now presented, for the

first time, with a Collection of the Moral and Religious Treatises of Sir MATTHEW HALE, whose professional learning, indefatigable labors, and exemplary piety, ranked him amongst the brightest ornaments of his time. It may afford matter for surprise, that the productions of an author so justly celebrated, should have been so long permitted to lie in a scattered and neglected state. The veneration and esteem in which the Learned Profession deservedly holds the memory of this renowned Judge, has induced it to publish those works which fall within its peculiar province. It is high time for the Friends of Religion to follow this example, and rescue from oblivion those memorials of practical piety and sound morality, which he has left behind.

All which remain of this description will be found in the two following volumes, with the exception of two Works; the one entitled "A Discourse of the Knowledge of God,

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and Ourselves;" the other "The Primitive Origination of Mankind." The omission of these arises not either from an unfavourable opinion of their intrinsic worth, or an unwillingness to add them to the present. Collection. Should the public express a wish for their appearance, they shall be published at a future opportunity, in a separate volume, which will render the sent undertaking uniform and complete. To prepare the reader for the full benefit he may expect to receive from their perusal, I have introduced him to an acquaintance with the life and character of Hale, from the pen of Bishop Burnet, who has drawn the portrait of the venerable Judge, in the colours of truth and simplicity.

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"In the life of Sir Matthew Hale, we do not merely see a character improved and adorned by the Christian graces and virtues, but we behold Christianity itself substantially exemplified. We see its power to "convert the soul," in that radical change which it effects in the youth; while every subsequent action of the man concurs to prove that the ideal character of wisdom,

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See the Preface to "Burnet's Lives and Characters," &c. printed at Dublin, 1804.

which some ancient philosophers described as the mark to be aimed at, though without any hope of attainment, is, in all its valu able features, actually realized in the true Christian.

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"What but Christianity could have given to Judge Hale that uniform ascendancy over every thing selfish and secular, by means of which he so undeviatingly kept the path of pure heroic virtue, as to be alike looked up to and revered by parties and interests the most opposite to each other? Is there in human history any fact more extraordinary, than that the Advocate of Strafford and Laud, and of King Charles, (had leave been given for pleading) should be raised to the Bench by Cromwell; and again, that a Judge of Cromwell's, should be not only reinstated by Charles II. but compelled by him, against his own will, to accept of the very highest judicial trust? Such is the triumph of genuine Christianity!-a triumph which is in some degree rewarded, whenever the name of Hale is even professionally repeated; since the appeal is evidently made not more to the authority of the Judge, than to the integrity of the man, If Burnet had never

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written more than the life of Sir Matthew Hale, this alone would have entitled him to the gratitude of the Christian world; there being no work of the kind better worth the study, whether of the professional or private man-of all who would truly learn how to live, or how to die."

Though Burnet has furnished a large proportion of useful information and agreeable entertainment, he has not exhausted his subject, but left unnoticed many important events and curious incidents which diversify the life of this extraor dinary man. The Additional Notes of Richard Baxter,' whom he honoured with his intimate friendship and affectionate regard, will still heighten those senti ments which the pages of Burnet are calculated to excite. The Judge will there be contemplated in the interesting scene of literary ease and unrestrained friendship; and a near and intimate view will be discovered of his natural disposition, and the peculiar bent of his mind, adapted to exalt our opinion of his learning, his abilities, his industry, and his piety...

Short notices of some distinguished characters, incidentally mentioned by Burnet

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and Baxter, are subjoined, for amusement, or illustration of the subject.

In undertaking a work of this importance, it might be expected of me to look round and inquire for such further materials as could be found, to convey a still clearer and more distinct representation of the life and character of Hale, I have endea voured to answer this natural expectation, nor have my researches been unsuccessful. The materials which I have been able to collect, I have digested and arranged under the title of "an Appendix to his Life and Death, by Burnet." It will appear that the diligent inquiries of Burnet were not rewarded with a full discovery of the channels of information. I have taken up the links which he dropped, and connected the chain of the narrative; or, if I might borrow an allusion of the illustrious Judge, have added "certain lines and strokes" which are intended at least to give a greater finish to the picture. This part of the work, for the execution of which I am responsible, whatever may be its imperfections, is submitted to the candor and indulgence of the reader. Permit me to assure him, my exertions have not been spared to

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