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of EXETER, and late Fellow of St. John's
May it. Please Your LORDSHIP,
HE general Decay and Contempt of the Christian Religion
amongst us, has made me think, that I conld not better employ the Leisure, which, by Your Lordship's favour, I enjoy, than in using my best Endeavours to foew the Excellency and the Certainty of it. And what I have done, is bere humbly presented to your Lordship, as of Right, and upon many Accounts, it onght to be
The Honour and tbe Satisfaction which I have often had to hear Tonr Lordship Speak in the behalf of Religion and Vertue, encourage me to hope, that a Performance, though but such as this, upon that Subject, may obtain your Acceptance
. And the Name only of a Person of your LordShip's Honour, and Learning, and Know ledge 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 Your 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 fo 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 Treaa furer BURG H L'E y now exerting it felf more than ever in your Noble Family. From whence, meihinks, we may presage Hape
piness to the Nation, and may yet expect to Jee a true fenfe of Religion revive, and may hope that even in our days, Christianity, amongf English-men, fall be more than a Name, which is every where spoken against.
An eminent Vertue is a Publick Good: There is a powerful and commanding Force in Great Examples, to conntenance. Vertue, and discourage. Vice and Profaneness ; to make Irreligion appear, as. it is, base and contemptible in the World ; to degrade it, and thrust it down among the lower and untaught part of Mankind. Much, is not to be expected from the Schools and from the Gown, under such Contempt and Discouragement. But the Great and the Honourable have it in their power 10 do great things; things worthy of Themselves, and for tbe advancement of God's Glory. Perfors of High Birth, and both by Nature and Education fitted for the Higheft Undertakings, whose Vertues ball flourish with their Tears, and add New Lustre to their Hereditary Ho