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Tours, may yet regain a due esteem to Rs ligion and adorn the Gofpear of Christo This is a proper: Objest for the Ambition
generous aspiring Minds to express their Gratitude ta Him who has placed them so much above the rest of the World; and when they find themselves happy nor, to difdsin to aim at any thing left than Everlasting Happinefo bereafter! To be Miserable after Happiness, is an aggravation of Misery : but to receive Eternal Bleffings, as she Fruits and Insprovement of such as 'are Temporal, as the Privilege of those whom God has been pleafed to diftinguish from others by his Mercies, and who distinguish themselves by u regard to his Honour and Services,
All that knom Burghley, (and who is where almost that doth not know it are surprised with wonder and delighi, to obferve what Art can do, and to be hold the Splendour and the Magnificence of foreign countries in our own. But the Glories and Rewards of Vertue hall continue, when Burghley it self and the
World shall be no more ; and will make Death but a Passage and an Advancement from one Palace, from one Honour to another; and a Removal only from the uncertain Riches and imperfect Felicities of this Life, to the Mansions of Eternal Bliss in Heaven.
That these my Endeavours may prove but in any measure serviceable to the Ends of Religion and Vertue, and thereby to the Glory and Happiness of your Honourable Family, in this and a better World, is, My LORD, the unfeigned Defire and Prayer of
Am fenfible, that the Publication
be liable to Exceptions, from those for whose Use and Benefit it is chiefly defign’d, who will be ready to lay hold of all Pretences, to avoid the being convinced of what they have so little mind to believe. They will be apt to fay, That if the Truth of Religion be fo certain, and so evident, as it is maintained to be, there could be little need of so Discourses
this Argument ; for it is no sign of Certainty, nrfien th when such a number of Books are publifh'd of this kind, that so many Men of Learning and Parts have written upon the Subject , yet others, it seems;
care not satisfied in their Performances; but are continually offering forneching New upon it. They will likewise objed, That many of the Professors and Ministers of Religion, do not live as if they believed themselves, at least, not as if they were so very certain of what they teach; and that if there were so great Certainty, there never could be so many Unbelievers, but all who had heard of it, must needs be convinced by such Evidence. I shall therefore shew here, That the Number of Books written on this Subje&, doth not prove the Uncertainty of Religion, but rather the contrary, and that the ill Lives of Men, is no argument against the Religion they profess: And then I fhall enquire how it comes to pass, that a Religion which carries fo plain and convincing Evidence along with it, should yet by too many be disbelieved, or disregarded.
1. To the First thing, it might be sufficient to say, That the Number of