Commentary by James L. Clifford
Locke, Congreve, and Addison, have tryed their Force upon this Subject, and have all left it free, and unconquered. This, I perceive, will be an Argument with some, for condemning an Essay upon this Topic by a young Author, as rash and presumptious. But, though I desire to pay all proper Respect to these eminent Writers, if a tame Deference to great Names shall become fashionable, and the Imputation of Vanity be laid upon those who examine their Works, all Advancement in Knowledge will be absolutely stopp'd; and Literary Merit will be soon placed, in an humble Stupidity, and solemn Faith in the Wisdom of our Ancestors.
Whereas, if I rightly apprehend, an Ambition to excell is the Principle which should animate a Writer, directed by a Love of Truth, and a free Spirit of Candour and Inquiry. This is the Flame which should warm the rising Members of every Science, not a poor Submissi