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EGO ME NOVA VIDERI DICERE INTELLIGO, CUM PER-
L O N D ON:
P R E F A CE.
HOWEVER men may differ
as to speculative points of Religion, JUSTICE is a rule of universal extent and invariable oblia gation. We acknowledge this important truth in all matters in which MAN is concerned, but then we limit it to our own species only. And though we are able to trace the most evident marks of the Creator's wisdom and goodness, in the formation and appointment of the various classes of Animals that are
inferior to Men, yet the consciousness of our own dignity and excellence is apt to suggest to us, that Man alone of all terrestrial Animals is the only proper object of Mercy and Compasion, because he is the most highly favored and distinguished. Misled with this prejudice in our own favor, we overlook some of the BRUTES *, as if they were meer Excrescencies of Nature, beneath our notice, and infinitely unworthy the care and cognisance of the Almighty; and we consider others of them, as made only for our service; and so long as we can apply them to
* In the ensuing treatise I use the word Brute as a general term for every creature inferior to Man, whether Beast, or Bird, or Fish, or Fly, or Worm.
our use, we are careless and indifferent as to their happiness or mifery, and can hardly bring ourselves to suppose that there is any kind of duty incumbent upon us toward them.
To rectify this mistaken notion is the defign of this treatise, in which I have endeavoured to prove, that as the Love and Mercy of God are over all bis works, from the highest rational to the lowest sensitive, our Love and Mercy are not to be confined within the circle of our own friends, acquaintance, and neighbours; nor limited to the inore enlarged sphere of human nature, to creatures of our own rank, shape, and capacity; but are to be extended to every obA 2