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It will give me much better Hope, this Differtation may be of fome Service to the World, if it fhall appear to answer this De'fign in the Judgment of a Person, whose extenfive and accurate Knowledge in the feveral Parts of Learning, whofe great Underftanding in particular in the Language, Laws and Customs of the Hebrews, Civil and Religious, enables him to difcern fo clearly through all Obscurity of the Subject, the just Weight of any Reafons offered in Vindication of the divine Wisdom and Goodness of this Part of Revelation.
Gentlemen of higher Rank and Understanding, have a very useful Influence, when Examples of Virtue and Religion: Where it appears they are themselves well perfuaded of the Truths of Revelation, by making the Doctrines it teaches the Rule of their Lives, and the Hopes it gives the Foundation of their Peace and Joy; it ferves much to break the Force and Prejudice of Custom, in favour of Unbelief. Minds not quite loft in Infidelity, or Vice, will refpect the Judgment of the wife, the unbiaffed, and impartial; and the Example of the knowing, the judicious and the virtuous, more than the Opinions of the ignorant, and thoughtless, or than the Practice of the prejudiced, or the vicious.
This, Sir, is a publick Ufefulness, even in the Retirements of private Life: It ferves the moft defirable publick Good, as it
national Virtue and Righteoufness, which best establish and exalt a Nation.
This is moreover a real perfonal Honour in the fight of God, as well as in the Esteem of the best of Men; a most valuable Ornament and Addition to Honours derived from ancient and noble Families, from eminent and illuftrious Ancestors.
That it may please God to prolong a Life fo defirable for the publick Good, and grant you the Support and Comforts of the Chriftian Hope, in whatever the Providence of God may appoint for the Exercise and Improvement of your Faith and Patience; and finally crown you with the unmixed Happinefs of that Life and Immortality brought to light in the Chriftian Revelation, is the hearty Prayer of,
Your most faithful·
obliged humble Servant,
Chap. I. Chief Defigns and principal Intention of