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By ROBERT JENKIN, late Fellow of
St. John's College in Cambridge.
The Third Edition, Corrected, and very
Grays-Inn Gate in Holborn. 1708.
J O H N
EARL of EXE TER.
May it please Your LoPvDSHiP,
HE general Decay and Contempt of the Christian Religion amongst us, has made me thinks, that I could no, better employ the Leisure, which3 by Tour Lordship's Favour} I en'joyy than in using my beji Endeavours to shew the Excellency and the Certainty of it. And what I have done } is here humbly presented to Tour Lordship, as of Rights and up' on many Accounts^ it ought to be.
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The Honour and the SatisfaElion which J have often had to hear your Lordjbip fpeah^ in the behalf of Religion and Vertue, encourage me to hope , that a Performance, though hut such as this, upon that SubjeB, may obtain your Acceptance. And the "Name only of a sermon 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 Ancejior, appear to dijiant Ages in the Reformation, which , through, the Blessing of God, was in so,great a measure , by His means, ejiablijh'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. Front whence, methin\s , we may presage Happiness to the Nation, and may yet expeSt to fee a true fense of Religion 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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