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By ROBERT JENKIN, late Fellow of
The Third Edition, Corrected, and very
Printed by W. B. for RICHARD SARE at
EARL of EXETER.
May it please Your LORDSHIP,
HE general Decay and Contempt of the Chriftian Religion amongst us, has made me think, that I could no. better employ the Leifure, which, by Your Lordship's Favour, I enjoy, than in using my best Endeavours to fhew the Excellency and the Certainty of it. And what I have done, is here humbly prefented to Your Lordship, as of Right, and upon many Accounts, it ought to be.
The Honour and the Satisfaction which I have often had to hear your Lordship fpeak 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 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 feem, by Descent, and as it were, by Inheritance, to belong to Your Lordship's Care: The Wisdom and Piety of Your Great Ancestor, appear to diftant Ages in the Reformation, which, through the Bleffing of God, was in fo great a meafure, by His means, establish'd in this Kingdom. And I have with joy often thought, that I could obferve the Spirit and Genius of my Lord Treasurer BURG H LE Y now exerting it self more than ever in Your Noble Family. From whence, methinks, we may prefage Happiness to the Nation, and may yet expect to see a true sense of Re
ligion revive, and may hope, that even in our days, Chriftianity, amongst Englishmen, fhall 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 countenance Vertue and difcourage Vice and Profaneness; to make Irreligion appear, as it is, bafe 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 fuch Contempt and Dif `couragement. But the Great and the Honourable have it in their power to do great things; things worthy of Themselves, and for the advancement of God's Glory. Perfons of High Birth, and both by Nature and Education fitted for the Highest Undertakings, whofe Vertues fball flourish with their Years, and add New Luftre to their Hereditary Honours, may yet regain a due esteem to Religion, and adorn the Gospel of Christ. This is a proper Object for the A 3