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R. Henry Needler was born at Horley, in Surrey, in the Year 1690 ; and educated in a pri
vate School at Reygate in the fame County. He was remoy'd from thence in 1705 ; and, in 1708, acceptted a small Place in a Publick Office ; where he continu'd the Remainder of his Days.
Haud facile emergunt, quorum virtutibus obfias
About this time contracting a Friendship with a Gentleman of a like Taste, who
furnish'd him with proper Books, he apply'd himself, at his Intervals of Leisure, to reading the Clasicks, and to the Study of Logick, Metaphysicks, and the Mathematicks, with which last he was peculiarly delighted : And in a few Years, by the Force of his own happy Genius and unwearicd Diligence, without the As. Gistance of any Mafter, he acquir'd a considerable Knowledge in the most difficult Branches of those useful and entertaining Studies.
By so close an Application, he contracted a violent Pain in his Head, which, notwithstanding the best Advice, daily increas'd. This, and other unfortunate Circumstances concurring, so deeply affected him ; who besides had even in his Constitution a strong Tincture of Melancholy; that he was at last brought under an almost total Suspension of Reafon. In this Condition he fell into a Fever ; And, as there was before scarce any Hopes of his Recovery, it may be said to have happily put an end to the deplo
rable Bondage of so bright a Mind on the 21st of December 1718 ; and in the 29th Year of his Age. He was buried in the Church of Frindsbury, near Rochefter.
Mr. Needler's whole Life was influenc'd by Principles of sincere unaffected Piety and Virtue : * And as Kis Morals were unblemish’d, so he was full of the Hopes of a blessed Immortality. On all proper Occasions, he was a strenuous Advocate for universal Toleration and Forbearance in Matters of Religion; rightly supposing, that no Service can be acceptable to the Supreme Being, unless it proceeds from the Heart ; and that Force tends only to make Hpyocrites, but adds no new Light to the Understanding. He was modest to a Fault ; entertaining the most humble Opinion of his own Pere formances, and was always ready to do Justice to those of others. His Affection for his Friends indeed sometimes bis afs’d his Judgment, and led him to the commending their Writings beyond their
Merit. It is hop'd, the Reader will forgive the Instances of this kind in the following Sheets, as well as any lefser Faults and Inaccuracies of Style ; considering they were design'd by the Author for the Entertainment only of some select Friends, and that he liv'd not to correct
may, with the utmost Truth and Justice, apply to him these beautiful Lines written by Mr. Smith, in his Poem to the Memory of Mr. Philips ;
Whom shall I find unbiass'd in Dispute,
That which may be suppos'd to stand möft in need of Apology, is the inserting private Letters in this Collection. It is well known the French have publish'd Volumes of Epistles loaded with Com