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TO THE RIGHT HONORABLE

THE LORD ROBT. DVDLEY,

EARLE OF LEYCESTER,

baron of denbigh, maister of the horse to the queene’s maiestie,
knight of the noble order of the garter, and one of the
queene’s maiestie, most honorable priuie counsel,
chancelour of the most famous vniuersitie
of oxford, christopher fetherstone,
wisheth encrease of spirituall
giftes, long life, happy
dayes, and encrease
of honour

It is an old saying, (Right Honorable,) and no lesse true then olde, that saleable wines neede no iuie bush which prouerb importeth thus much, that thinges which are of themselues good & commendable haue not any, at leaste no greate need of commendation. If, therefore, I should with fine filed phrases, with gay geason woords, with straunge examples, and notable hystories, compound some long Prologue and tedious Preface in commendation of this most excellent work and Commentarie, of that famous member and faithfull Doctour of God’s Church, Maister Iohn Caluine, I might cause your Honour to suspect the fondnesse thereof: I my selfe should seeme to doubte of the goodnesse thereof: and, finally, minister occasion to many to condemne me of folly. Omitting, therefore, that which is needlesse, I descend vnto that which is needefull: to wit, to excuse my selfe of arrogancie wherof some may accuse me, in that I dare presume to dedicate vnto your Honour this my translation, vnto whom I am altogether vnknowne. The loade stone, as men say, writers do testifie and experience doth teach, hath in it selfe such power, force, and vertue, that it draweth iron vnto it though it be farre distant; right so, vertue doth drawe men vnto it, and the reporte thereof causeth men to loue those whome they haue not seene, and to reuerence those of who they haue onely heard, which thing, sithence it is so, there is no cause why I shoulde either be accused of arrogancie or condemned of impudencie for approching so boldly vnto your Honour, and for suffering this my translation to appeare in your name. For your friendes confesse, and your foes cannot Justly denie, that God hath placed in your noble breast great aboundance of most heroicall vertues, I omit to speake of that rare report of your vnfeigned religion which resoundeth euery where, and redoundeth to your prayse. I should be tedious if I should set downe particularly the most vndoubted testimonies of your faithfulness toward your dread Soueraigne: I should seeme to flatter if I would extoll that godly magnanimiti, wherwith the Lord hath endued you to maintaine his truth, to defend the realm, to subdue those proud aspiring Papists. That great and earnest care which your Honour hath alwaies had, and euen now hath, to support the poore ministers of the Word and Gospell of Iesus Christ in God’s cause, and in good causes, hath in it selfe sufficient force to enforce not onely me, but all thankfull heartes, by word and writing, to bewray all thankfulnesse and dutifulnesse towards your good Honor, as this, so that singular liberalitie vsed at all times by your Lordship towards my friends, hath caused me, in dedicating of this booke to your Honour, to testifie some parte of my thankfull minde in their behalfe. And heere I am to craue pardon of you, whiche I hope I shall easily obtaine, for that I haue not behaued my selfe finely as I might though faithfully as I ought in this my worke. And thus, fearing prolixitie, I conclude, praying; unto the Lorde God of heauen and earth, that King of Kinges and Lorde of Lordes, that he will graunt vnto your Honour and to the rest (whom he hath placed in the like degree of dignitie) his Holy Spirite, that Spirite of wisdome and vnder-standing, that you may thereby be so directed that all your thoughts, woordes, and workes, may tend to the setting foorth of God’s glory, the maintenance of true religion, the preseruation of the realme. So shall England haue wealth, be voide of woe, enjoy, solace, be free from sorrow, possesse plentie, nor tast of pouertie, inherite pleasure, and not see paine. Which God graunt.

Your Honour’s most humble and obedient,
Christopher Fetherstone

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