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at the first I took pen in hand,
Thus for to write, I did not understand That I at all fhould make a little book In fuch a mode: nay, I had undertook To make another; which, when almost done, Before I was aware, I this begun.
And thus it was: I writing of the way And race of faints in this our gospel day, Fell fuddenly into an allegory About their journey, and the way to glory, In more than twenty things, which I fet down : This done, 1 twenty more had in my crown; And they again began to multiply, Like fparks that from the coals of fire do fly. Nay, then, thought I, if that you breed so fast,
Should prove ad infinitum, and eat out
I either did I but vacant feasons fpend
this my fcribble: : nor did I intend But to divert myself in doing this,
From worse thoughts which make me do amifs.
For length and breadth, the bignefs which you fee. Well, when I had thus put my ends together, I fhew'd them others, that I might fee whether They would condemn them, or them justify: And fome faid, Let them live; fome, Let them die: Some faid John, print it; others said, Not fo; Some faid, It might do good; others faid, No.
Now I was in a ftrait, and did not fee Which was the best thing to be done by me: At last I thought, fince ye are thus divided, I print it will; and fo the cafe decided.
For thought I, fome 1 fee would have it done, Though others in that channel do not run To prove then who advised for the beft, Thus I thought fit to put it to the test.
I farther thought, if I now did deny
I did not know, but hinder then I might
May I not write in fuch a ftile as this? In fuch a method too, and yet not mifs My end, thy good? Why may it not be done? [none, Dark clouds bring waters, when the bright bring Yea, dark or bright, if they their silver drops Caufe to defcend, 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 their fruit None can diftinguish this from that; they fuit Her well when hungry: but if the be full, She fpues out both, and makes their bleffing null. You fee the ways a fifherman doth take To catch the fish; what engines doth he make! Behold! how he engageth all his wits, Alfo his fnares, lines, angles, hooks and nets! Yet fish there be, that neither hook nor line, Nor fnare, nor net, nor engine can make thine: They must be groped for, and be tickled-too, Or they will not be catch'd whate'er you do.
How does the fowler feek to catch his game By divers means? All which one cannot name: His gun, his nets, his lime twigs, light and be
Of all his poftures? Yet there's none of thefe Will make him mafter of what fowls he pleafe, Yea, he must pipe and whistle to catch this; Yet if he does fo, that bird he will mifs. If that a pearl may in a toad's head dwell, And may be found too in an oyster shell, If things that promife 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 (Tho void of all thefe paintings that may nake 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 fatisfy'd [try'd. That this your book will fland, when foundly Why, what's the matter? It is dark: What tho'. But it is feign'd: What of that. I.tro? Some men, by feigned words, as dark as mine, Make truth to fpangle, and its rays to fhine; 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: But muft I needs want folidness, because By metaphors I fpeak? Were not God's laws His gofpel laws, in older times held forth By types, fhadows, and metaphors? Yet loth Will any fober man be to find fault With them, left he be found for to affault The highest wifdom; No, he rather ftoops, And fecks to find out by what pins and loops, By calves and theep, by heifers and by rams,
birds and herbs, and by the blood of lambs.