« PreviousContinue »
COURSE OF LECTURES
By JOSEPH PRIESTLEY, LL.D.F.R.S.
Et rerum causas, et quid natura docebat. Ovid.
THE RIGHT HONOURABLE
FI T Z M A U R I C E.
MY DEAR LORD, As
your Lordship is now of a proper age to understand many particulars in the following Lectures, and will soon be capable of a regular study and a thorough comprehension of the whole subject, I was ambitious to dedicate the work to you; as a mark of
my attachment, and of my earnest wish to contribute whatever
may power, towards your improvement in every thing that is useful or ornamental, and thereby to the distinguished figure that, I flatter myself, your Lordship will one day make in this country.
be in my
To act an useful and honourable part in the community to which we belong, is an object of laudable ambition to every man, in proportion to the rank which he holds in it; and your Lordship cannot but be fully apprized, that the only foundations for a respectable figure in life, are good principles and good dispositions, joined to a cultirated understanding. Eminence in these respects is what, in strictest right, may be expected of those whom their fellow-citizens, naturally their equals, are, by the constitution of their country, made to look up to, as their superiors. It is a debt due for that distinction. For it is universally true, that the obligation to do good is of the very same extent with the power and opportunity of doing it.
This, my young Lord, is an age in which every thing begins to be estimated by its real use and value. The same maxims of good sense which regulate all other things, will finally new-arrange whatever belongs to the affairs of society and government; and those distinctions which mere force, mere fuperftition, or mere accident will be