To the Right Honourable
LORD FINCH, BARON of Daventry,
Lord High CHANCELLOUR of England,
and one of His MAJESTIE's most
Honourable Privy Council.
THE many Favours I have formerly Received from You, as they might justly challenge, whenever I had a fit opportunity, a Publick and Thankfull Acknowledgment; so have they encourag'd me at this time, to the Presumption of this Dedication to Your Lordship. Whom, as Your Perspicacious Wit, and Solid Judgment, together with Your Acquired Learning, render every way a most Accomplish'd and Desirable Patron; so did I persuade my self, that Your Hearty Affection to Religion, and Zeal for it, would make You not Unwilling, to take that into Your Protection, which is written wholly in the Defence thereof; so far forth, as its own Defects, or Miscarriages, should not render it uncapable of <A2v> the same. Nor can I think it probable, that in an Age of so much Debauchery, Scepticism, and Infidelity, an Undertaking of this kind, should be judged by You, Useless or Unseasonable. And now, having so fit an Opportunity, I could most willingly expatiate in the large Field of Your Lordship's Praises; both that I might doe an Act of Justice to Your self, and provoke others to Your Imitation. But I am sensible, that as no Eloquence, less then that of Your own, could be fit for such a Performance; so the Nobleness and Generosity of Your Spirit is such, that You take much more pleasure in Doing Praise-worthy things, then in Hearing the Repeated Echo's of them. Wherefore in stead of pursuing Encomiums, which would be the least pleasing to Your self, I shall Offer up my Prayers to Almighty God, for the Continuation of Your Lordship's Life and Health; That so His MAJESTY may long have such a Loyal Subject and Wise Counsellour; the Church of England, such a Worthy Patron; the High Court of Chancery, such an Oracle of Impartial Justice; and the whole Nation, such a Pattern of Vertue and Piety. Which shall ever be the Hearty Desire of,
Your Lordship's Most Humble and most Affectionate Servant, R. Cudworth.
Cite as: Ralph Cudworth, The True Intellectual System of the Universe: The First Part (1678), pp. A2r-A2v, https://www.cambridge-platonism.divinity.cam.ac.uk/view/texts/diplomatic/Cudworth1678-excerpt001, accessed 2023-02-07.