If things that promife nothing, do contain
What better is than gold, who will disdain,
That have an inkling of it, where to look,
That they may find it ? Now, my little book
(The void of all these paintings that may make
It with this or the other man to take)
Is not without those things that doth excel
What do in brave but empty notions dwell.
Well, yet I am not fully satisfy'd (try'd.
That this your book Mall stand, when foundly

Why, what's the matter? Is it dark: Wbat But it is feignid: What of that I tro®? (tho?? Some men by feigned words, as dark as mine, Make truth to Spangle, and its rays to shine ; But they want folidnefs : Speak, man, thy mind: They drown the weak, metaphors make us blind

Solidity, indeed, becomes the pen of him that writeth things divine to men: 1 But muft I needs want solidness, because By metaphors 1 speak? Were not God's laws His gospel-laws; in older times held forth, By types, shadows, and metaphors ? ret loth Will any fober man be to find fault With them, lepo be be found for to assault The highest Wisdom: No, he rather ftaops, And seeks to find out by whal pins and toops, By calves and Sheep, by heifer's and by rams, By birds and herbs, and by the blood of lambs, God speaketh to him; and happy is he That finds the light and grace that in them be.

Be not too forward therefore to conclude

All things folid'in mew not solid be;
All things in parables despise not we,
Left things mojt hurtful lightly we receive ;
And things that good are of our fouls bereave.

My dark and cloudy words they do but hold The truth, as cabinets inclose the gold.

The prophets used much by metaphors To set forth truth: Tea, who considers Christ his apoftles too, shall plainly fee, That truths to his day in such mantles be.

Am I afraid to say, that holy writ Which for its style and phrase puts down all wity Is every where so full of all these things, (Dark figures, allegories ) yet there spring From that fame brook, that luftre, and those

ramus: Of light, that turn our darkest night on daysa

Come, let my curper to his life now lock, And find there darker lines than in my book He findėth any: Tea, and let him know, That in his best things there are worse lines toll,

May we but stand before impartial men, To his peor one I dare adventure ten, That they will take my meaning in these lines Far better than his that lies in silver prines. Come, truth; altho' in swaddling clouis I find, Informs the judgment, rectifies the mind; Pleases the understanding, makes the will Submit; the

memory too it doth fril With what doth our imaginations pleafe ; Likewise it tends our troubles to appease.

Sound words, I know, Timothy is to uke, And old wives fables be is sto refuse; But yet grave.Paul him no where did forbid The use of parables ; in which lay hid That gold, those pearls, and precious stones,

that were Worth,digging for, and that with greatest care.

Let me add one word more. O man of Gody Art thou offended? Dost thou wish I had Put forth my matter in another dress? Or, that I had in things been more express? To those that are my betters, (as is fit), Three things let me propound, then I fubmit.

1. I find not that I am deny'd the use of this my method, so I no abufe Put on the word, things, readers, or be rude, In handling figure or similitude, In application : but all that I may Seek the advice of truth this or that

way : Denied, did I say? Nay, I have leave (Example too, and that from them that have God better pleafed, by their words or ways, Than any man that breatheth now a days) Thus to express my mind, thus to declare Things unto thee that excellenteft ware.

2. I find that men (as high as trees) will write Dialogue-wife ; yet no man doth them fligby For writing soi Indeed, if they ahuje Truth, curfed be they, and the craft they we To that intent! but yet let truth be free To make her Jallies upon tbee and me,


Which way it pleafes God: for wbo knows how,
Better than be that taught us first to plow,
To guide our minds and pens for his design?
And he makes base things usher in divine.

3. I find that holy writ, in many places,

femblance with this method, where the cases
Do call for one thing to set forth another ;
Use it I may then, and yet nothing fmother
Truth's golden beams ; nay, by this method may.
Make it caft forth its rays as light as day,

And now, before I do put up my pen,
P’H Mhew the profit of my book, and theni
Commit both tbee and it unto that hand
That pulls the ftrong down, und makes weak

ones fand.
This book. it chalketh out before thine eyes
The man that feeks the everlasting prize :
It fews you whence he comes, whither he goes:
What the leaves wdone, alfo what he does :
It also frews you how he runs, and runs
Vill he unto the gate of glory comes.

It foews too, who set out for life amain,
As if the lasting crown they would obtain :
Here also you may see the reason why
Thay loft tbeir labour, and like fools do die.

This book will make a traveller of thee,

by its counkhthou wilt ruled be;.
It will direct thee to the Holy land,
if thou wilt its directions understand!
Tea, it will make the Nothful active lesz
The blind also delightful things to fee.

Art thou for something rare and praftable? Wouldj thou fee a truib within a fable?:-* Art thou forgetful? Wouldft thou remember From New year's Day to the laft of December? Then read my fancies, they will stick like burs, And may be to the belplejs comforters,

This book is writ in such a dialect, As may the minds of listless men affect : It feems a novelty, and yet contains" ; Norbing but found and honest gfpel-ftrains. Would thou divert thyself from melancholy? Wouldst thou be pleasant, yet be far from folly? Would't thou read riddles, and their explanation ? Or else be drowned in thy contemplation ? Dejt thou love picking meat? or wouldst thou see A mani' tb .clouds, and hear him speak to thee? Wouldj thou be in a dream, and yet not sleep? Or wouldst thou in a moment laugh and weep? Or wouldst thou lose thyself, and catch no hară? And find thyself again without a sharm? Would read thyself, and read thow.know't not

what, And yet know whether thou art bleft or not, By reading the same lines? Q-then come bither, And lay my book, thy head and heart together.



« ForrigeFortsett »