VULGAR and DecIMAL CONTAINING, REASONS and DEMONSTRATIONS of them ; With so much of The THEORY, and of universal ARITHMETICK or ALGEBRA, as are necessary for the better under- W { T # A GENERAL PREFACE, including a PANEGYRIC, on the Usefulness of Mathematical Learning. By BEN JA MIN DONN, Of Biddeford, Devon, NEWTONIAN Principles. Nullius in Verba, L O N D ON: MDCCLVIIL 49 T H E GENERAL PREFACE. HE Design of a Preface, in its greatest Extent, is first to give the History of the Art treated of, then to fhew that it is a useful Science, T and, lastly, to give an Account of the Work. For the first of these, and the Usefulness of the particular Arts, the Reader is referred to the SA Preface to the several Essays; it being the In. tention of this Preface only to say fomething on the Usefulness of Mathematical and Mathematico-philofophical Learning in general, and give fome Account of the Design of the intended Work. It being common to hear many Persons, and some who would be thought Men of Learning, demanding the Use of the Mathematics, calling the Study of them a dry Study, and affirming that it ferves only for Amusement, it is, not only not improper, but in a Manner necessary, to spend a few Pages, in removing these objections : In which, we shall endeavour to make evident, (net so much by Obfervations our own, as by * felect Passages from esteemed Authors) that the Use of the Mathematics is very great ; and, therefore, the above Affertions groundless, and consequently, founded either on Ignorance, or Malice. It is an Observation of + M. Fontenelle's, “ that People very readily call useless what they do not understand. It is a sort of Re. venge ; and, as the Mathematics and Natural Philofophy are “ known but by few, they are generally looked upon as useless. “ This is the Fate of Sciences which are studied and improved but by a few.” In this Panegyric, or Eulogium, we shall observe the following Order : 1 To Thew the Dignity of those Sciences. 2. Their Use to all Men in general, in the Improvement of the Mind. 3. The Advantage of those Sciences in some particular Professions. 4. Laftly, to make some general Inferences by Way of Conclusion, 1. Of the Dignity of the Mathematical Sciences. In all Ages and Countries, where Leașning hath prevailed, “ the Mathematical Sciences have been looked upon as the most “ considerable Branch of it. The very Name. Másnois implies * We have chosen this Method, because it is natural to suppose, that the Au. thority of great Names will be much more persuasive, than any Affertions barely + In his Preface to the Memoirs of the Royal Academy of Sciences at Parisg, in the Year 1699 ; and translated in Miscellanea Curiosa. $ Exay on the Usefulness of Mathematical Learning, Qur own, |