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THE English theological works of Barrow were first published by Dr. Tillotson, who was then dean of Canterbury, in three volumes folio, in 1685. This edition was reprinted more than once, and for the last time in 1741. A fourth volume, containing the Latin works, was added in 1687: but this was not reprinted with the others. The English works were printed at the Clarendon Press in 1818, in six volumes 8vo. The present edition may be considered a reprint of the last; but, being printed in a larger type, it extends to seven volumes, with the addition of an eighth, containing the Latin works, as published in 1687: these consist of theological treatises, academical exercises, and poems. Perhaps it might be correct to say, that the present edition contains all the works of Barrow, which are known to exist in English or Latin, beside his mathematical compositions.
It is to be lamented, that the folio volume, containing his Latin works, was printed so inaccurately. No person, who has not examined it for himself, could form any notion of the number and the nature of the errors, which disfigure almost every page. In the absence of the original MSS., and with only one edition to consult, it has been extremely difficult to produce a text, which has even moderate claims to correctness. The actual words
of the author are not perhaps always faithfully represented in the present edition: but it has been thought better, in desperate cases, to employ conjecture in substituting an intelligible meaning, than to follow a copy, which is demonstrably wrong, and to reprint expressions which have no meaning at all. In some instances the reader will still meet with words which are palpably incorrect, and which could not have been written by the author; but no alteration suggested itself, which approached in any degree to the printed copy.
The Latin treatises and poems were printed in the folio edition without any systematic arrangement; they are now placed in a chronological order, so far as their dates could be ascertained.
Some notes have been added to the short Life of Barrow by Abraham Hill, which are taken from Dr. Pope's Life of Ward bishop of Salisbury, Ward's Lives of the Professors of Gresham College, and the Biographia Britannica.