A project for the advancement of religion
To the Countess of Berkeley.
MY Intention in prefixing Your Ladyship's Name, is not after the common Form to desire Your Protection of the following Papers; which I take to be a very unreasonable Request; since by being inscribed to Your Lady ship, tho' without Your Knowledge, and from a concealed Hand, You cannot recommend them without some Suspicion of Partiality. My real Design is, I confess, the very same I have often detested in most Dedications; That of Publishing Your Praises to the World. Not upon the Subject of Your noble Birth, for I know others as Noble; or of the Greatness of Your Fortune, for I know others far greater; or of that beautiful Race (the Images of their Parents) which calls You Mother: For even this may perhaps have been equall'd in some other Age or Country. Besides, none of these Advantages do derive any Accomplishments to the Owners, but serve at best only to adorn what they really possess. What I intend, is Your Piety, Truth, Good Sense, and good Nature, Affability, and Charity; wherein I wish Your Ladyship had many Equals, or any Superiors; and I whish I could say I knew them too, for then Your Ladyship might have had a Chance to escape this Address. In the mean time, I think it highly necessary for the Interest of Virtue and Religion that the whole Kingdom should be informed in some Parts of Your Character: For Instance; that the easyest and politest Conversation, join'd with the truest Piety, may be observed in Your Lady ship in as great Perfection as they were ever seen apart in any other Per-