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with my repeated Thanks and good Wishes, And that the infinite Rewarder of well-doing may give Your Grace a plentiful Reward of these, and Your many other, both Publick and Private Benefactions, is the hearty Wisli of,
Mq& Humble and Thankful
Son and Servant,
\V. Per Ham,
S the noble Founder of the Lectures / have had the Honour of Preaching, was a great Improver of Natural Knowledge, so, in all Trokality, he did it out of a pious End, as well as in Pursuit of his Genius. For it was his settled Opinion, that nothing tended more to cultivate true Religion and Piety in a Man's Mind, than a thorough Skill in Philosophy. And such Effect it manifestly had in him, as is evident from divers of his published Pieces', from his constant Deportment in never mentioning the Name of God without a Pause, aud visible Stop in his Discourse; and from the noble Foundation of his Lectures for the Honour of God, and the generous Stipend he allowed for the fame.
And forasmuch as his Leisures were appointed by him for the Proof of muMr' B°yle"' the Christian Religion against Atheists and other notorious Infidels, I thought, when I had the Honour to be made his Lecturer, that I could not better come up to his Intent, than to attempt a 'Demonstration of the Being and Attributes of God, in what I may call Mr. Boy le\r own, that is a Physieo-T-heological, JVay. And? besides that it was for this very Service that I was called to;, this Honour, I was the more . induced to follow this Method, by reason none of my learned and ingenious Predecessors in these Lectures, have done it on purpose, but only casually, in a transient, piecemeal manner; thty having made.-it their Business to prove the great "Points of Christianity in another IV ay,-whkh they have accordingly admirably done. But considering what our Honourable Founders Opinion was of Natural Knowledge, and that his Intent was, that those Matters bypassing through divers Hands, and by being treated of in different Methods, should take in most of what could be said upon the Subject, 1 hope my Performance may • be acceptable, although one of the meanest.
As for others, who have before me done something of this kind; as Mersenne on Genesis; ©/". Coekburne in his Essays; Mr. Ray in his Wifdorn of God,£5r. and!may add the first of Mr. Boyle'j Lecturers, the most leajned'Dr. Bendy /// his Boy leV Lecture?, the
eloquent Arch-Bijhop of Cambray, (and 1 hear, the ingenious Monf Perault hath something of this kind, but never saw it:) I fay, as to these learned and ingenious Authors, as the Creation is an ample Subject, so I industriously endeavoured to avoid doing over what they before had done; and for that Reason did not, for many Tears, read their Books. until I had finish'd my own. But when I came to compare what each of us had done, 1 found my seisin many Things to have been anticipated by some or other of them, especially by my Friend, the late great Mr.Ray■. And therefore in some Places I fborterfd my 'Discourse, and referr'd to them; and in a few others, where the Thread of my Discourse would have been interrupted, I have made use of their Authority, as the best Judges; as of Mr. RayV, for Instance, with Relation to the Mountains and their, ^Plants, and other 'Products. If then the Reader should meet with any Thing mentioned before by others, and not accordingly acknowledged by me, I hope he will candidly think me no Plagiary, because I can assure htm I have along, (where I was aware of it,) cited, my Authors with their due Praise. And it is scarce possible, when Men write on the same,or a Subject near akin, and the Observations are obvious, but "that they must often hit upon the fame Thing: And frequently this may happen from Persons making Observations about one, and the fame , Thing, without knowing what each other hath ■ done; whJchindeed, when the first Edition of
my Book was nearly printed off, I found to be my own Cafe, having (for want of Dr. Hook'j Micrography being at handy it being a very scarce Book, and many Tears since I read it,) given 'Descriptions of two or three Things, which 1 thought had not been tolerably well ebjerv'd before, but are described well by that curious Gentleman.
One is a Feather, the Mechanism of which we in the main agree in, except in his Representation in Fig. i. Scheme It. which is somewhat different from what 1 have represented in my Fig. 18, &c. But 1 can stand by the Truth, though not the Elegance of my Figures. But as to the other Differences, they are accidental, occasioned by our taking the 'Parts in a different View, or in a different Part of a Vane; and to fay the Truth, (not flattering my self, or detracting from, the admirable Observations of that great Man,) I have hit upon a few Things that escaped him, being enabled to do so, not only by the Help of such Microscopes as he made use of\ but also by those made by Mr. Wilson, which exceed all I ever saw, whether of Enpjifli, Dutch, or Italian make; several of which Sorts I have seen and examined.
The other Thing we have both of us figured and defcribd, is, The Sting of a Bee & or Wasp; in which we differ more, than in the last. But by a careful Re-examination, I find, that although Dr. HookV Observations