rent of popular Prejudice, as he was equally qualified for a Profeffion, not indeed of equal Dignity or Importance, but which muft undoubtedly claim the facred Place among thofe which are of the greatest Benefit to Mankind.

He therefore applied himself to his medicinal Studies with fresh Ardour and Alacrity, reviewed all his former Obfervations and Inquiries, and was continually employed in making new Acquifitions.

Having now qualified himfelf for the Practice of Phyfic, he began to vifit Patients, but without. that Encouragement which others, not equally de-. ferving, have fometimes met with: His Bufinefs was at first not great, and his Circumstances by no Méans eafy; but, ftill fuperior to any Difcouragement, he continued his Search after Knowledge, and determined, that Profperity, if ever he was to enjoy it, fhould be the Confequence, not of mean Art or difingenuous Solicitations, but of real Merit and folid Learning.

His fteady Adherence to his Refolutions appears yet more plainly from this Circumftance: He was, while yet he remained in this unpleafing Situation, invited by one of the firft Favourites of King William the Third, to fettle at the Hague upon very advantageous Conditions, but declined the Offer: For having no Ambition but after Knowledge, he was defirous of living at Liberty, without any Reftraint upon his Looks, his Thoughts, or his Tongue, and at the utmost Distance from all Contentions and flate Parties. His Time was wholly taken up in vifiting the Sick, ftudying, making chymical Experiments, searching into every Part of Medicine, with the utmoft Diligence, teaching the Mathematicks, and reading the Scriptures and thofe Authours who profefs to teach a certain Method of loving God.

This was his Method of living to the Year 1701, when he was recommended by Mr. Vanberg to the


Univerfity, as a proper Perfon to fucceed Drelincourt in the Office of Lecturer on the Inftitutes of Phyfic, and elected without any Solicitation on his Part, and almoft without his Confent on the 18th of May.

On this Occafion having obferved, with Grief, that Hippocrates, whom he regarded not only as the Father, but as the Prince of Phyficians, was not fufficiently read or efteemed by young Students, he pronounced an Oration, De commendando Studio Hippocratico; by which he reftored that great Author to his juft and antient Reputation.

He now began to read public Lectures with great Applaufe, and was prevailed upon by his Audience to enlarge his original Defign, and inftruct them in Chymistry.

This he undertook not only to the great Advantage of his Pupils, but to the great Improvement of the Art itfelf, which had hitherto been treated only in a confufed and irregular Manner, and was little more than a Hiftory of Particular Experiments, not reduced to certain Principles nor connected one with another. This vaft Chaos he reduced to Order, and made that clear and eafy, which was before to the laft Degree perplexed and obfcure.

His Reputation began now to bear fome Proportion to his Merit, and extended itfelf to diftant Univerlities; fo that in 1703 the Profefforship of Phyfic being vacant at Groningen, he was invited thither, but he chofe to continue his prefent Course of Life, and therefore refufed to quit Leyden.

This Invitation and Refufal being related to the Governors of the Univerfity of Leyden, they had fo grateful a Senfe of his Regard for them, that they immediately voted an honorary Increafe of his Salary, and promised him the firft Profefforfhip that hould be vacant.

On this Occafion he pronounced an Oration upon the Ufe of Mechanics in the Science of Phy

fic; in which he endeavoured to recommend a rational and mathematical Inquiry into the Causes of Difcafes and the Structure of Bodies; and to fhew the Folly and Weakness of the Jargon introduced by Paraceljus, Helmont, and other chymical Enthufiafts, who have obtruded idle Dreams upon the World, and inftead of enlightening their Readers with explicating of Nature, have darkened the plaineft Appearances, and bewildered Mankind in Error and Obfcurity.

Boerhaave had now for nine Years read Phyfical Lectures, but without the Title or Dignity of a Profeffor, when, by the Death of Profeffor Hotten, the Profefforfhip of Phyfic and Botany fell to him of Course.

On this Occafion he afferted the Simplicity and Facility of the Science of Phyfic, in Oppofition to those who think that Obfcurity contributes to the Dignity of Learning, and that to be admired it is neceffary not to be underflood.

His Profeffion of Botany made it a Part of his Duty to fuperintend the phyfical Garden, which he improved fo much by the immenfe Number of new Plants which he procured, that it was inlarged to twice its original Extent.

In 1714 he was defervedly advanced to the highest Dignities of the Univerfity, and in the fame Year made Phyfician of St. Auguftine's Hofpital in Leyden, into which the Students are admitted twice a Week to learn the Practice of Phyfic.

This was of equal Advantage to the Sick and to the Students, for the Success of his Practice was the beft Demonftration of the Soundnefs of his Principles.

When he laid down his Office of Governor of the University, in 1715, he made an Oration upon the Subject of Attaining to Certainty in Natural Philofophy;" in which he declares himself, in the Strongest Terms, a Favourer of Experimental Know


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ledge, and reflects with juft Severity upon thofe arrogant Philofophers who are too easily disgusted with the flow Methods of obtaining true Notions by frequent Experiments, and who, poffeffed with too high an Opinion of their own Abilities, rather chufe to confult their own Imaginations, than inquire into Nature; and are better pleafed with the delightful Amusements of forming Hypothefes, than the toilfome Drudgery of amaffing Obfervations.

The Emptinefs and Uncertainty of all thofe Syftems, whether venerable for their Antiquity, or agreeable for their Novelty, he has evidently fhewn and not only declared, but proved, that we are entirely Ignorant of the Principles of Things; and that all the Knowledge we have is of fuch Qualities alone as are discoverable by Experience, or such as may be deduced from them by Mathematical Demonftration.

This Difcourfe, filled as it was with Piety, and a true Senfe of the Greatness of the Supreme Being, and the Incomprehenfibility of his Works, gave such Offence to a Profeffor of Franker, who having long entertained a high Efteem for Defcartes, confidered his Principles as the Bulwark of Orthodoxy, that he appeared in Vindication of his darling Authour, and complained of the Injury done him with the greatest Vehemence, declaring little lefs than that the Cartefian Syftem and the Chriftian must inevitably ftand and fall together; and that to fay we were Ignorant of the Principles of Things, was not only to enlift among the Scepticks, but to fink into Atheism itself. So far can Prejudice darken the Underftanding, as to make it confider precarious and uncertain Syflems as the chief Support of facred and unvariable Truth.

This Treatment of Boerhaave was fo far refented by the Governors of his Univerfity, that they procured from Franker a Recantation of the Invective that had been thrown out against him. This was


not only complied with, but Offers were made him of more ample Satisfaction, to which he returned an Anfwer not lefs to his Honour than the Victory he gained: That he fhould think himfelf fufficiently compenfated, if his warned Adversary received no farther Moleftation on his Account.'

So far was this weak and injudicious Attack from fhaking a Reputation, not cafually raifed by Fafhion or Caprice, but founded upon folid Merit, that the fame Year his Correfpondence was defired upon Botany and Natural Philofophy, by the Academy of Sciences at Paris, of which he was, upon the Death of Count Marfigli, in the Year 1728, elected a Member.

Nor were the French the only Nation by which this great Man was courted and diftinguifhed; for two Years after he was elected Fellow of our Royal Society.

It cannot be doubted, but thus careffed and honoured with the highest and most publick Marks of Efteem by other Nations, he became more celebrated in his own Univerfity; for Boerhaave was not one of those learned Men, of whom the World has feen too many, that difgrace their Studies by their Vices, and by unaccountable Weakneffes make themfelves ridiculous at home, while their Writings procure them the Veneration of diftant Countries where their Learning is known, but not their Follies.

Not that his Countrymen can be charged with being infenfible of his Excellencics, till other Nations taught them to admire him; for in 1718 he was chofen to fucceed de Mort in the Profefforfhip of Chymistry, on which Occafion he pronounced an Oration, de Chymia errores fuos expurgante; in which he treated that Science with an Elegance of Style not often to be found in Chymical Writers, who feem generally to have affected not only a barbarous, but unintelligible Phrafe, and, like the Pythagoreans of old,

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