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SCH E ME

A N D

CONDUCT

OF

PROVIDENCE,

FROM THE

C R Ε Α Τ Ι Ο Ν

TO THE

Coming of MESSIAH:

OR,

An ENQUIRY into the REASONS

of the Divine DISPENSATIONS
in that period.

By Mr. W E L STED.

L 0 N 2 O N:
Printed for J. WALTHOE, over against the Royal

Exchange in Cornbill. MDCCXXXVI.

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To his GRACE the

Duke of CH A N D O S.

MY LORD,

Here is, it is well known,

a piety and greatness, natural to your temper,

which must needs render all well-meant disquisitions into facred subjects, acceptable to you, and the more so, the freer they are from anger, prejudice, or any of those narrow passions, that never had dominion in your own breast.

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This treatise, then, I am persuaded, my Lord, will meet with, at your noble hands, a reception, very different from what might be expected from those courtly philosophers, who are too unvulgar to relish any divinity, that is not Pagan, or to approve of any orthodoxy, whether in points of faith, or practice.

The cause of virtue, and true religion, is as much at your Grace's heart, as that of vice and immorality is the care of madmen and libertines ; which makes it altogether as right, my Lord, to inscribe to you a view of revelation, as it would have been to inscribe to Polycharmus a defence of Atheism.

If I wanted any other, or farther juftification for dedicating this Essay to your Grace, I would humbly mention the shortness of it, which is either the best excuse for a bad book, or the

truest

truest recommendation and glory of a good one.

There is an Evil, my Lord, under the Sun, which, of all others, I have most marvelld at, I mean the length and voluminousness of the mortal Writings of some men; nor is there any thing, that a man, who loves his country, would more desire to see redress'.

As often therefore as I think of this grievance, I cannot forbear wishing, that the laws of gravitation and attraction, which rule fo irresistibly other great bodies, might take place also with respect to books, and that these might, in like manner, attract, and have dominion over one another, in proportion, not to their outward bulk and magnitude, but to their solid contents.

If this were the case, your Grace will imagine, that very new and extraordinary effects must fallout in the A 3

world

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