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TO THE

MOST HIGH AND MIGHTY

PRINCE CHARLES,

By the Grace of God, King of Great Britain, France,

and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, &c. &c.

May it please your most Excellent Majesty,

I PRESENT with all humility, to your most sacred hands, a defence of that cause, which is, and ought to be, infinitely dearer to you, than all the world ; not doubting but upon this Dedication I shall be censured for a double boldness: both for undertaking so great a work, so far beyond my weak abilities; and again, for presenting it to such a patron, whose judgment I ought to fear more than any adversary. But, for the first, it is a satisfaction to myself, and may be to others, that I was not drawn to it out of any vain opinion of myself, (whose personal defects are the only thing which I presume to know) but undertook it in obedience to him who said, Tu conversus confirma fratres, not to St. Peter only, but to all men : being encouraged also to it by the goodness of the cause, which is able to make a weak man strong. To the belief hereof I was not led partially, or by chance as many are, by the prejudice and prepossession of their country, education, and such-like inducements; which, if they lead to truth in one place, perhaps lead to error in a hundred; but having with the greatest equality and indifferency, made inquiry and search into the grounds on both sides, I was willing to impart to others that satisfaction which was given to myself. For my inscribing to it your Majesty's sacred name, I should labour much in my excuse of it from high presumption, had it not some appearance of title to your Majesty's patronage and protection, as being a defence of that book, which by special order from your Majesty was written some years since, chiefly for the general good, but peradventure not without some aim at the recovery of one of your meanest subjects from a dangerous deviation; and so due unto your Majesty, as the fruit of your own high humility and most royal charity. Besides, it is in a manner nothing else but a pursuance of, and a superstruction upon, that blessed doctrine, wherewith I have adorned and armed the frontispiece of my book, which was so earnestly recommended by your royal father, of happy memory, to all the lovers of truth and peace: that is, to all that were like himself, as the only hopeful means of healing the breaches of Christendom, whereof the enemy of souls makes such pestilent advantage. The lustre of this blessed doctšine ! have: here endeavoured to uncloud and unveil, and to free it from those mists and fumes which haye.Geen räised to obscure it, by one of that order, which envenoms even poison ! itself, and makes the Roman religion much more malignant and turbulent than otherwise it would be: whose very rule and doctrine obliges them to make all men, as much as lies in them, subjects unto kings, and servants unto Christ, no farther than it shall please the pope. So that whether your Majesty be considered, either as a pious son towards your royal father, King James, or as a tender-hearted and compassionate son tóc.. wards your distressed mother, the catholic , church, or as a king of your subjects, or as a servant unto Christ, this work (to which I can give no other commendation, but that it was intended to do

you

service in all these capacities) may pretend, not unreasonably, to your gracious acceptance. Lastly, being a defence of that whole church and religion you profess, it could not be so proper to any patron as to the great defender of it ; which style your Majesty hath ever so exactly made good, both in securing it from all dangers, and in vindicating it (by the well-ordering and rectifying this church) from all the foul aspersions both of domestic and foreign enemies, of which they can have no ground, but their own want of judgment, or want of charity But it is an argument of a despairing and lost cause, to support itself with these impetuous outcries and clamours, the faint refuges of those that want better arguments; like that Stoic in Lu-cian, that cried ü 'karupare ! O damned villain !" when he could say nothing else. Neither is it

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