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To His GRACE

WILLIAM

DUKE of Devonshire, Marquis of Hartington, Earl of

Devonshire, Baron Cavendish of Hardwick, Lord Lieutenant and Cuftos Rotulorum of the County of Derby, one of His Majesty's most Honourable Privy-Council, Lord High Steward of His Majesty's Houshold, and Knight of the most Noble Order of the Garter, &c.

your Grace's

May it please your GRACE,

INCE I have had the

Honour of
S

most liberal Subscription
to my following Design,

and likewise the Encouragement of your Grace's Patronage, I beg Leave to make my most grateful Acknowledgments for the

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fame;

same; not doubting but your

Grace's great Condescension and kind Acceptance of a Performance intended for the general and spiritual Good of Mankind, in the Behalf of Religion and Virtue, will have the greater Force and Influence upon the Minds of the Readers, and incline them to a due Attention. For as the World cannot be ignorant of those illustrious Virtues which flow from your Grace, and are derived to you from your most renowned Ancestors; fo I cannot but persuade my self, that your Grace's Approbation of this well-meant Endeavour will render it more serviceable to the World, and make it better answer the End propos’d by,

Your GRACE's

Most Obliged, and

Moj Devoted,

Humble Servant,

Benjamin Parker.

Τ Η Ε

PRE FACE.

HE following Discourses are

desgr’d to rectify the prevailing T Errors in Faith and Practice,

so visible amongst us, and so dif

graceful to our Holy Religion. How far I Mall succeed in this Attempt, which I am sure is well dehgn’d, I must leave. to the Grace of God acting upon the good Dif position of the Readers. If any fall charge me with erroneous Principles in any of the Hypotheses I have maintain'd, whether Divine or Philosophical, I desire they will be so just as to produce their Reasons for doing jo; and I Mall, either submit to them, if convincing, or else produce some better Reasons, if I can, to support

, my own Principles, thân they have done to destroy them.

I am entirely satisfied (and hope I have produced fufficient Arguments to satisfy all reafonable Men) in the Principles I have main

tain'd

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tain'd against the Doctrine of God's determining the Happiness or Misery of his Creatures in a future State before their Creation, witha out Respect to their Actions; and hope to Jhew that my Philosophical Notions or Probabilities are also grounded upon Reason, and no ways clashing with, but confonant to the Holy Scriptures, and tending to discover to us the confilmmate Wisdom of the infinitely powerful Contriver of the Universe, and GREAT AUTHOR of Nature.

For how manifest are the Footsteps of infinite Wisdom and Forefight in fixing of Laws to all the glorious Heavenly Bodies, which they, of themselves, cannot transgress ; so that their various Phænomena are accountable, and their Motions deducible to certain Calculations, and thereby the several Configurations of the Planets of our System, and the Eclipses of the Luminaries are foretold.

Which exact Order and Harmony has been observ'd by all the inanimate Bodies of the Universe; amongst which there never was any Confusion or Alteration of the Laws first af fign'd them by their Creator, except when the rational Inhabitants thereof have given Cause to the Creator of them to put a Violence upon the Order of Nature. Thus upon the Disobedience of our first Parents, as Mr. Whiston fupposes, the Earth receiv'd its diurnal Rotation: Thus likewise at the Deluge, (that great

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