As I could never hope to write any thing my self, worthy to be laid before YOUR MAJESTY; I think it a very great happiness, that it should be my lot to usher into the world, under Your Sacred Name, the last work of as great a Genius as any Age ever produced: an Offering of such value in its self, as to be in no danger of suffering from the meanness of the hand that presents it.
The impartial and universal encouragement which YOUR MAJESTY has always given to Arts and Sciences, entitles You to the best returns the learned world is able to make: And the many extraordinary Honours YOUR MAJESTY vouchsafed the Author of the following sheets, give You a just right to his Productions. These, above the rest, lay the most particular claim to Your Royal Protection; For the Chronology_ had never appeared in its present Form without your MAJESTY’s Influence; and the Short Chronicle, which precedes it, is entirely owing to the Commands with which You were pleased to honour him, out of your singular Care for the education of the Royal Issue, and earnest desire to form their minds betimes, and lead them early into the knowledge of Truth._
The Author has himself acquainted the Publick, that the following Treatise was the fruit of his vacant hours, and the relief he sometimes had recourse to, when tired with his other studies. What an Idea does it raise of His abilities, to find that a Work of such labour and learning, as would have been a sufficient employment and glory for the whole life of another, was to him diversion only, and amusement! The Subject is in its nature incapable of that demonstration upon which his other writings are founded, but his usual accuracy and judiciousness are here no less observable; And at the same time that he supports his suggestions, with all the authorities and proofs that the whole compass of Science can furnish, he offers them with the greatest caution; And by a Modesty, that was natural to Him and always accompanies such superior talents, sets a becoming example to others, not to be too presumptuous in matters so remote and dark. Tho’ the Subject be only Chronology_, yet, as the mind of the Author abounded with the most extensive variety of Knowledge, he frequently intersperses Observations of a different kind; and occasionally instills principles of Virtue and Humanity, which seem to have been always uppermost in his heart, and, as they were the Constant Rule of his actions, appear Remarkably in all his writings._