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HE AUTHOR doth not fcruple to call this TREATISE, one of the most important and interefting Publications, that have appeared fince the Days of the Proteftant Reformation.

He has the Pleasure of affuring the READER, that this is not the Language of Vanity and Self-applause, but of the many eminently learned and pious Men, to whofe Perufal the MS. was fubmitted, and with whofe entire Approbation it makes its public Appear

ance.

To trace the Caufes of Female Ruin, to point out a Remedy against it, in an Age when its Increase is most alarmingly progreffive, is a WORK, which, furely, on the first Mention of it, ought to recommend itself to the most serious Confideration of every Well-wisher to the Peace, good Order, Comfort, and Welfare of Society.

The AUTHOR pretends to no Merit, as to any new Discoveries made on the Subjects herein treated-His Labours have been only directed to the Search of Truth, as revealed and recorded by the Divine Wifdom-to the Detection of Error, Superftition, and Falfhood, as they appear in Human Syftems, and as they are the Occafions of more Mischiefs to the World, than all the Wit or Wifdom of Man can ever obviate or remove.

He has endeavoured to avoid the tiresome Dryness which usually attends Treatife-writing; and, by the Introduction of much Variety of entertaining Matter, he flatters himself that the READER will not find Him to I have been unmindful of HORACE's Rule:

Bernett

Omne tulit punctum qui mifcuit utile dulci,
Lectorem delectando pariterque monendo.

Ars. Poet.

As for the Succefs which fhall attend this Undertaking, it must be left in the Hands of the Supreme Difpofer of all Events, who can effect the greatest, the nobleft, and most falutary Purposes, by the moft unlikely, the weakeft, and moft unworthy Inftruments.

One Thing is very certain, that the Security and Protection of the Female Sex, is one great Object of the Divine Law-but it is as certain, that we have departed from the Syftem of the Divine Government, and that in the Eye of our Municipal Laws, Women are of lefs Confequence than the Beasts of the Field—for it is lefs penal to feduce, defile, and abandon to Prostitution and Ruin, a thousand Women, married or unmarried, than to fteal, kill, or even maliciously to maim or wound, an Ox or a Sheep. See 22 & 23 Car. II. c. 7. § 2, 4; 9 Geo. I.

C. 22.

Pudet hæc opprobria nobis
Et dici potuiffe, et non potuiffe refelli.

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Yet fuch is the System under which we have been. living from Generation to Generation, and which will be transmitted to the latest Posterity, with all its growing and increafing Mischiefs, unless the apparent Neceffity of a Reformation fhall make us willing to receive and adopt the only Means of it-what thofe Means are, it is the Purpose of this Book to lay before the public Eye, and to recommend, in the most earnest and serious Manner, to Legislative Interpofition; not as oppofing one Human Scheme to another, but as reftoring the Divine Government to its due Honour and Refpect, and of course to its falutary Influence over the Manners and Actions of Mankind.

CON

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ERRATA.

Page 51. 1. 6. note, for uneta read unɛta.

104. 1. the last, note, dele fpecifically,
105. 1. 3. note, for gravitant, read gravant.
134. for 1 Kings xix. read xviii.

142. 1. 5. for Jer. iv. 44. read xliv. 4.
154. 1. 23. for 1 Cor. vii. read vi.
225.

I

the laft note, laft line but one, for mut be, read feems to be.

270. 1. 17. for Gen. iii. 7. read Gen. iii. 6.
g6o. 1. 21. for it can, read it must.
394. 1. 11. for Grenguius read Barbeyrac.

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