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came, that the Dean resolved, I suppose at their desire, to print them.
They who have seen the Translations with which he has obliged the Public, must be sensible that it was his way not to conifine himself to a strict and literal Version; but to take the liberty of paraphrasing, explaining, and improving upon his Author ; so that in more instances than one, his Translation is a far better Book than the Original which he translates. If this will not be allowed me in any other instance, I think it cannot be denied in that of St. Augustine's Meditations; where we have all the benefit and sweetness of that Author's great wit and fervent devotion in excellent English, without the allay of those improper and barbarous expressions and jingling turns and antitheses, which are too frequent in the original, according to the manner of the African Writers.
He has made some use of this liberty in the following Work; but not in all parts
alike. Where the matter would bear it, he has kept close enough to the Original. But where there were any redundancies or im. proper repetitions, he has retrenched them : Those things which were either peculiar to the Bishop and his Relations, or could no; be made to suit the gravity and elegance of the rest of the Book in our language, he has entirely omitted: Where any thing seemned wanting, he has supplied it; and where there were only hints, he has so enlarged on them as to fill up the vacant chasms, and contiuue the thread of the discourse. In a word, he has every where illustrated and adorned his Author with elegant and moving language, and made it much more fit for common use than ever it was before.
For it must be acknowledged, that there was a Translation of Bishop Andrews's Private Prayers in Greek and Latin, long since published, and common enough. The edition of it, which is most genuine and correcto seems to have been first printed in the year
1648; it being translated from the Greek Ma. nuscript before it was printed, and it was printed again in 1682; but how much oftener I know not. In that Translation you?
have sem veral things which are omitted in this; particularly some Prayers for the Holy Communion, and a Manual of Directions for the Sick.
Here it is plain two questions will naturally arise ; first, Why did the Dean translate these Prayers, when they were already translated to his hand?
This very question I asked him, the first time I ever saw the Manuscript now printed; which was in the last conversation I ever had with him. He assured me, he had never seen that former Translation. This is then one of the true reasons why he undertook this task; and his having performed it in the manner just above-mentioned, with so many advantages to the Book, is a good reason why it should be published. For the old Translation sticking close to the Original, needs all those alterations and illustra
tions, which were needful for the Original, and which the Dean has given it. This will appear very manifestly, by comparing several Places of the two Translations; particularly the beginning of the office for Friday, and the Meditations and Prayers for the Evening and Night in both Books; nut to be further tedious in referring to several other passages
of the same nature. , The other question may be, Why he has omitted the Manual of Directions for the Sick, and the Prayers for the Holy Com. munion?
I answer, We are indeed assured the Bia shop made some use of the former in his ordinary Visitation of sick persons, when he was Vicar of St. Giles's, Cripplegate; and it was printed with the old Translation of his Greek and Latin Prayers; but yet it was no’part of them; I mean, it is not to be found either in the Greek or Latin, as printed in 1675, though perhaps it was in the Latio Manuscripts, and consequently it
came not in the Dean's way. But if it had been a part of them, as the Prayers for the Holy Communion certainly are, yet he would not have been obliged to meddle with any thing upon those subjects, having already given us Meditations and Prayers for Sick Persons, at the end of his Thomas à Kempis; and in the fourth book of his Kempis, and in several parts of his St. Augustine, afforded all the assistance of this kind requisite for devout Communicants.
I beg the Reader will pardon the tediousness of this Address, and give me leave to conclude it with a brief exhortation to the performance of the duty of Prayer, for which this book is designed as an help, from the peace of mind it brings along with it, in the Dean's own words, which are far better than any I can pretend to offer.
“ Peace and serenity of mind is, in a spe« cial manner, the effect and reward of a “ devout and thankful application to God s by Prayer. For Prayer is a withdrawing
“ a man's