TO THE RIGHT HONO∣RABLE THOMAS, LORD COVENTRY, Baron of Ailsborough, and Lord Keeper of the great Seale of England, &c.
Most Noble Lord,
IT was the devout profession which Saint Austin once made of himselfe, when speaking of the great de∣light which hee tooke in Ci∣ceroes Hortensius (as con∣taining a most liberall exhortation to the love of wisdome,* without any bias or partiality to∣wards sects) he affirmeth, that the heate of this his delight, was by this onely reason abated, because there was not in that booke to bee found the Name of Christ; without which Name, nothing, though otherwise never so polite and elaborate, could wholly possesse those affections, which had beene trained to a nobler studie. And Gregory Nazianzen, that fa∣mous Divine,* setteth no other price upon all his Athenian learning (wherein hee greatly excelled) but onely this, that hee had some∣thing of worth, to esteeme as nothing in com∣parison of Christ; herein imitating the exam∣ple of S. Paul,* who though hee profited in the Iewish Religion above many others, yet when the Sonne of God was revealed in him,* laid it Page [unnumbered] all aside as losse and dung for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Iesus his Lord. The con∣sideration of which sacred affections in those holy men, together with the many experien∣ces of your Lordships abundant favor, hath put into mee a boldnesse beyond my naturall dis∣position, to prefix so great a name before these poore pieces of my labours in Gods Church. Other argument in this booke there is none to procure either your Lordships view or pa∣tronage, than this one, (which that good Fa∣ther could not finde in all the writings of Plato or Cicero) that it hath that High and holy Person for the Subject thereof, the knowledge of whom is not onely our greatest learning, but our Eternall Life. In this confidence I have presumed to present unto your Lordship this publike Testimony of my most humble duty, and deep obligations for your many thoughts of favour and bounty towards me, not in my selfe onely, but in others, unto whom your Lordships goodnesse hath vouchsafed under that respect to overflow. The Lord Iesus, our eter∣nall Melchisedek, meet your Lordship in al those honorable affaires which hee hath called you unto, with the constant refreshment and benedi∣ction of his holy Spirit, and long preserve you a faithfull Patrone of the Church which hee hath purchased with his owne blood; and a worthy instrument of the justice, honour and tranquilitie of this kingdome.
Your Lordships most humbly devoted, Ed. Reynolds.