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The Third Edition, Corrected, and very
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Printed by W. B. for RICHARD SARE at
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EARL of EXETER.
May it please Your Lordship,
TH E general Decay and Contempt of the Christian Religion amongst ns, has made me thinks, that I could no. better employ the Leisure, which by Tour Lordship's Favour} I enjoy ^ than in using my best Endeavours to shew the Excellency and the Certainty of it. And what I have done y is here humbly presented to Tour Lordships as of Right3 and upon many Accounts^ it ought to be,
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The Honour and the SatisfaSiion which 1 have often had to hear your Lordjhip speaks in the behalf of Religion and Vertue, encourage me to hope, that a Performance, though hut such as this, upon that SuhjeSt, may obtain your Acceptance. And the "Name only of a Ter son of Tour Lordship's Honour^ and Learning, and Knowledge of the, World, may perhaps be of more advantage to the Cause I undertake, than any thing I have been able to write.
Religion may seem, by Descent, and as it were , by Inheritance, to belong to Tour Lordship's Care: The Wisdom and Piety of Tour Great Ancestor, appear to distant Ages in the Reformation, which , through the Blessing of God, was in. so, great a measure, by His means, establish'd in this Kingdom. And I have with joy often thought, that I could observe the Spirit and Genius of my Lord Treasurer Burghley now exerting it self more than ever in Tour "Noble Family. From whence, methin\s, we may presage Happiness to the Nation, and may yet expeB to fee a true fense of Re
ligion revive, and may hope, that even in our days', Christianity y amongfi Englishmen, jball be more than a Name, which is every where spoken against.
An eminent Ferine is a Publics Good: There is a powerful and commanding Force in Great Examples, to countenance Vertue and discourage Vice and Profanenefs; to make Irreligion appear, as it is, base and contemptible in the World; to degrade ity and thrust it down among the lower and untaught part of Mankind. Much is not to be expe&ed from the Schools and from the Gown, under such Contempt and Discouragement. But the Great and the Honourable have it in their power to do great things; things worthy of Them j elves, and for the advancement of God's Glory. Persons of High Birth y and both by Nature and Education ftted for the Highest Undertakingsy whose Verities feall flourish with their Tears, and add New Lujire to their Hereditary Honours , may yet regain a due e&eem to Religion3 and adorn the Gospel of Christ, This is a proper ObjeB for the
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