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As the profits of this Edition are in
tended to be given to the Hospital for Small Pox and Inoculation, I defire to make my thankful Acknowledgments to the Vicechancellor of the Univerfity of Cambridge, and the other Syndics of the Press, for their liberal and benevolent affiftance.
THE COUNTESS OF PEMBROKE,
BARONESS HERBERT, &c. &c.
ROM fome pleasing conferences, with which you have at times honoured me, I should judge, that the following treatise may not prove unacceptable, if it is introduced to your notice. It relates to that great and interesting object of pursuit, Religion; which you have made the subject of your thoughts and inquiries. Upon this account I venture to prefix your very hoA 3 nourable
nourable name for a recommendation; and to folicit your acceptance of this mark of my fincere respect, and efteem. In the profecution of my purpose it has been my endeavour to avoid all prolixity from an unneceffary accumulation of evidence; especially fuch as is foreign, and too remote. For the mind is fatigued by being overloaded; and too much light tends often to dazzle, and confufe, rather than illuftrate. It is not however my intention to abridge myself of any material article, that may tend to conviction; but only to reftrain myself from being too diffuse; and not to engage myself in the depths of fcience and philofophy for an aggregate of unwieldy proofs. For I never found, that a multiplicity of inftances, and illuftrations, were fo convincing, as a few well
*The proofs to which I allude, may be found in Ray, Nieuwentyt, Derham, Grew, Cheyne, Stillingfleet, and others: and are well worth confulting, though too abundant to be noticed by me.