Yet since your Brethren pleased with it be,
Forbear to judge, till you do further see.

If that thou wilt not read, let it alone ;
Some love the meat, some love to pick the bone :
Yea, that I might them better palliate,
I did too with them thus Expoftulate :

May I not write in such a stile as this?
In such a method too, and yet not miss
Mine end, thy good? why may it not be done ?
Dark Clouds bring Waters, when the bright bring none.
Yea, dark or bright, if they their Silver drops
Cause to descend; the Earth, by yielding Crops,
Gives praise to both, and carpeth not at either,
But treasures up the Fruit they yield together ;
Yea, fo commixes both, that in her Fruit
None can distinguish this from that ; they suit
Her well, when hungry: but if she be full,
She spues out both, and makes their blessings null.

You see the ways the Fisher-man doth take
To catch the Fis; what Engines doth he make?
Behold how he engageth all his Wits;
Also his Snares, Lines, Angles, Hooks, and Nets:
Yet Fis there be, that neither Hook, nor Line,
Nor Snare, nor Net, nor Engine can make thine ;
They must be grop't for, and be tickled too,
Or they will not be catch't, what e're you do.

How doth the Fowler seek to catch his Game By divers means, all which one cannot name? His Gun, his Nets, his Lime-twigs, light and bell:

he goes, he stands ; yea, who can tell Of all his postures, Yet there's none of these Will make him master of what Fowls he please.

He creeps,

Yea, he must Pipe and Whistle, to catch this,
Yet if he does so, that Bird he will miss.
If that a Pearl may in a Toad's head dwell,
And may be found too in an Oyster-shell ;
If things that promise nothing, do contain
What better is than Gold; who will disdain,
(That have an Inkling of it,) there to look,
That they may find it? Now my little Book,
(Though void of all those paintings that may make
It with this or the other Man to take)
Is not without those things that do excel
What do in brave, but empty, notions dwell.

Well, yet I am not fully satisfied,
That this your Book will stand when foundly try'd.

Why, what's the matter! it is dark, what tho? But it is feigned: What of that I tro? Some men by feigning words, as dark as mine, Make truth to Spangle, and its rayes to shine. But they want folidness : Speak man thy mind : They drownd the weak; Metaphors make us blind.

Solidity, indeed, becomes the Pen Of him that writeth things Divine to men : But must I needs want folidness, because By Metaphors I speak; Was not God's Laws, His Gospel-Laws, in older time held forth By Types, Shadows and Metaphors? Yet loth Will any fober man be to find fault With them, left he be found for to assault The highest Wisdom : No, he rather stoops, And seeks to find out what by pins and loops, By Calves; and Sheep; by Heifers, 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
That I want solidness; that I am rude :
All things folid in shew, not solid be ;
All things in parables despise not we,
Lest things most 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; Yea, whoso considers
Christ, his Apostles too, shall plainly see,
That Truths to this day in such Mantles be.

Am I afraid to say that holy Writ
Which for its Style and Phrase puts down all Wit,
Is every where so full of all these things,
(Dark Figures, Allegories ) yet there springs
From that same Book, that lustre, and those rays
Of light, that turn our darkest nights to days.

Come, let my Carper, to his Life now look,
And find There darker lines than in my Book
He findeth any: Yea, and let him know,
That in his best things there are worse lines too.

May we but stand before impartial men,
To his poor One, I durft adventure Ten,
That they will take my meaning in these lines
Far better than his Lies in Silver Shrines.
Come, Truth, altho' in Swaddling-clouts, I find
Informs the Judgment, re&tifies the mind;
Pleases the Understanding, makes the Will
Submit; the Memory too it doth fill

With what doth our Imagination please ;
Likewise it tends our troubles to appease.

Sound words I know, Timothy is to use,
And old Wives Fables he is to refuse ;
But yet grave Paul, him no where doth 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 God!
Art thou offended? dost thou wish I had
Put forth my matter in another dress,
Or that I had in things been more express ?
Three things let me propound, then I submit
To those that are my betters, (as is fit).

1. I find not that I am denied the use
Of this my method, so I no abuse
Put on the Words, Things, Readers, or be rude
In handling Figure, or Similitude,
In application ; but, all that I may,
Seek the advance of Truth, this or that way:
Deny'd, did I say? Nay, I have leave,
(Example too, and that from them that have
God better pleased 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 excellentest are.

2. I find that men (as high as Trees) will write
Dialogue-wise ; yet no man doth them slight,
For writing fo: Indeed if they abuse
Truth, cursed be they, and the craft they use
To that intent; But yet let Truth be free
To make her falleys upon Thee, and Me.

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Which way it pleases God: For who knows how, ,
Better than he that taught us first to Plough,
To guide our Mind and Pens for his Design ?
And he makes base things usher in Divine.

3. I find that holy Writ in many places
Hath semblance with this method, where the cases
Do call for one thing, to set forth another ;
Use it I may then, and yet nothing smother
Truth's golden Beams; Nay, by this method may
Make it cast forth its rays as light as day.

And now, before I do put up my Pen,
I'll jew the profit of my Book, and then
Commit both thee and it unto that band
That pulls the strong down, and makes weak ones stand.

This Book it chalketh out before thine eyes
The man that seeks the everlasting Prize;
It shews you whence he comes, whither he goes,
What he leaves undone ; also what he does :
It also lhews you how he runs, and runs
Till be unto the Gate of Glory comes.

It shows too, who set out for life amain,
As if the lasting Crown they would attain :
Here also you may see the reason why
They lose their labour, and like Fools do die.

This book will make a Traveller of thee,
If by its Counsel thou wilt ruled be ;
It will direct thee to the Holy Land,
If thou wilt its Direčtions understand :
Yea, it will make the Nothful, active be;
The Blind also delightful things to see.

Art thou for something rare, and profitable ?
Wouldest thou see a Truth within a Fable ?

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