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The Author's Apology for His Book

When at the first I took my pen in hand, Thus for to write, I did not understand That I at all should make a little Book In such a mode: nay, I had undertook To make another; which, when almost done, Before 1 was aware I thus begun.

And thus it was: I, writing of the way And race of saints in this our gospel-day, Fell suddenly into an allegory About their journey, and the way to glory, In more than twenty things, which I set down: This done, I twenty more had in my crown. And they again began to multiply, Like sparks that from the coals of fire do fly. Nay then, thought I, if that you breed so fast, I'll put you by y ourselves, lest you at last Should prove ad infinitum, and cat out The book that 1 already am about.

Well, so I did ; but yet I did not think To show to all the world my pen and ink

In such a mode; I only thought to make
I knew not what j nor did I undertake
Thereby to please my neighbour; no, not I;
'I did it mine ownself to gratify.

Neither did I but vacant seasons spend
In this my scribble; nor did I intend
But to divert myself in doing this,
From worser thoughts, which make me do amiss.

Thus I set pen to paper- with delight, Aud quickly had my thoughts in black and white.. For having now my method by the end, Still as I pull'd, it came; and so I penn'd It down, until it came at last to be For length and breadth the bigness which you see

Well, when I had thus put my ends together, I show'd them others, that I might see whether They would condemn them, or them justify 5 And some said let them live ; some let them die; Some said, John, print it; others said not so; Some said it might do good ; others said, no.

Now I was in a strait, and did not see Which was the best thing to be done by me r At last I thought, since you are thus divided, I print it will; and so the case decided.

For, thought I, some I see would have it done, Tho' others in that channel do not run: To prove then who advised for the bestj Thus I thought fit to put it to the test. * I farther thought, if now 1 did deny Those that would have it, thus to gratify; I did not know, but hinderthem I might Of that which would to them be great delight; For those which were not for its coming forth, I said to them, "Offend you I am loath Yet since your brethren pleased with it be, Forbear to judge 'till you do farther see.

If that thou wilt not read, let it alone;
Some love the meat, some love to pick a bone.
Yea, that I might them belter moderate,
I did too with them thus expostulate:

May I not write in such a style as this?
In such a method too, and yet not miss
My 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, so commixes both, that in their fruit
None can distinguish this from that; they suit
Her well, when hungry ; but if she be full,
She spews out both, and makes their blessing null.

You see the ways the fisherman doth take
To catch the fish: what engines doth he make!
Behold! how he engagelh all his wits;
Also his snares, lines, angles, hooks, and nets:
Yet fish there be, that neither hook nor line,
Nor snare, nor net, nor engine can make thine:
They must be grop'd for, and be tickled too,
Or they will not be catch'd, whate'er you do.

How does the fowler seek to catch his game
By divers means ? All which one cannot lume:
His gun, his nets, his lime-twigs, light and bell:
He creeps, he goes, he stands; jea, who can tell
Of all his postures? yet there's none of these
Will make him master of what fowls he please.
Yea, he must pipe and whistle, to catch this,
Yet if he does so, that hird 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, J
That they may find it? Now my little book,

(Tho' void of all these paint ings that may mak«
It with this or the oiher man to take)
Is not without those thir.g-: lhat do excel
What do in brave, but empty notions dwell.

Well, yet I am not fully satisfy'd,
That this your book will stand, when soundly tfy'd.

Why, what's the matter? It is dark: What tho'?
But it is feigned: What of that I trow.
Some men, by feigned words as dark as mine,
Make truth to spangle, and its rays to shine!
But they want solidness: speak, man, thy mind:
They drown the weak ; us, metaphors make blind.

Solidity, indeed, becomes the pen
Of him that writeth things divme to men:
But must I needs want solidness, because
By metaphors I speak? Were not God's law?,
His gospel laws, in older times held forth
By shadows, types, and metaphors? Yet loath.
Will any sober man be to find fault
With them, lest he be found for to assault
The highest wisdom : No, he rather stoops,
And seeks to find out by what pins and loops,
By calves and sheep, by heifers and by rams,
By hirds and herbs, and by the blood of lambs,
God speaketh to him; and full happy he
That fmds 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 solid in show, not solid be;
All things in parables despise not we,
Lest things most hurtful lightly we receive;
And things that good are, of our souls bereave.

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

The prophets used much by metaphors To set forth truth; yea, whoso considers

Christ, his Apostles loo, shall plainly see,
That truths to this day in such mantles be.

I am 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 .spring*
From that same book, that lustre, and those rays
Of light, that turn our darkest nights to days!

Come, let ray 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 tot).

May we but stand before impartial men,
To his poor one I dare adventure ten,
That they will take my meaning in these line*
Far better than his lies in silver shines.
Come, truth, altho' in swaddling clouts, I find
Informs the judgment, rectifies the mind;
Pleases the understanding, makes the will
Submit, the memory also 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 did forhid
The use of parables; in which lay hid
That gold, those pearls, and precious stones that wera
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 thy matter in another dress?
Or, that I had in things been more express i
To those that are ray betters, as is fit,
Three things let me propound, then I submit.

r.

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:
Denied, d^d I say? nay, I have leave,
(Examples too, and that from them that have
Got better pleased by their words and ways
Than any man thai breatheth now a-days)
Thus to express my mind, thus to declare
Thmgs unto thee that excellentest are.

II. .

I find that men (as high as trees) will write
Dialogue-wise ; yet no man doth them slight,
For writing so: indeed if they abuse
Trutb, cursrd be they, and the craft they use
To that intent; but yet let truth be free
To make her sallies upon thee and me.
Which way it pleases God: for who knows how
Better than he that taught us first to plow,
To guide our minds and pens for his design?
Ana he makes base things usher in divine.

I IF.

I find that holy writ, in many places, Hath semblance with this method, where the casesDo call for one thing to set forth another; Use it I may then, and yet nothing smother: Truth's golden beams; nay, by (his method may Make it cast forth its-rays as light as day.

And now, before I do put up my pen,

I'll show the profit of my book, and then

Commit both thee and it unto that hand

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 shows you whence he comes, whither he goes;

What he leaves undone; also what he does;

It also shows you, how he runs, and runs,

.'Till he unto the gate of glory comes.

It shows too who set out for life amain,
As if the lasting crown they would obtain:
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 directions understand:
Yea, it will make the slothful active be;
The blind also delightful things to see.

Art thou for something rare and profitable >
Or wouldst thou see a truth within a fable?
Art thou forgetful? or wouldst thou remember
From New-year's day to the last of December >
Then read my fancies, they will stick like burs.
And may be to the helpless comforters.

This book is wrote in such a dialect,
As may the minds of listless men affect.
It seems a novelty, and yet contains
Nothing but sound and honest gospel-strains.

Wou'dst thou divert thyself from melancholy*
Wou'dst thou be pleasant, yet be far from folly »
Wou'dst thou read riddles and their explanation i
Or else be drowned in thy contemplation?
Dost thou love picking meat? Or wou'dst thou see
A man i' th' clou Js, and hear him speak ta thee?

HEN at the first I took my pen in hand, Thus for to write, I did not understand That I at all should make a little Book In such a mode: nay, I had undertook To make another; which, when almost done, Before 1 was aware I thus begun.

And thus it was: I, writing of the way And race of saints in this our gospel-day, Fell suddenly into an allegory About their journey, and the way to glory, In more than twenty things, which I set down: This done, I twenty more had in my crown. And they again began to multiply, Like sparks that from the coals of fire do fly. Nay then, thought I, if that you breed so fast, I'll put you by y ourselves, lest you at last Should prove ad infinitum, and cat out The book that 1 already am about.

Well, so I did ; but yet I did not think To show to all the world my pen and ink

In such a mode; I only thought to make
I knew not what j nor did I undertake
Thereby to please my neighbour; no, not I;
'I did it mine ownself to gratify.

Neither did I but vacant seasons spend
In this my scribble; nor did I intend
But to divert myself in doing this,
From worser thoughts, which make me do amiss.

Thus I set pen to paper- with delight, Aud quickly had my thoughts in black and white.. For having now my method by the end, Still as I pull'd, it came; and so I penn'd It down, until it came at last to be For length and breadth the bigness which you see

Well, when I had thus put my ends together, I show'd them others, that I might see whether They would condemn them, or them justify 5 And some said let them live ; some let them die; Some said, John, print it; others said not so; Some said it might do good ; others said, no.

Now I was in a strait, and did not see Which was the best thing to be done by me r At last I thought, since you are thus divided, I print it will; and so the case decided.

For, thought I, some I see would have it done, Tho' others in that channel do not run: To prove then who advised for the bestj Thus I thought fit to put it to the test. * I farther thought, if now 1 did deny Those that would have it, thus to gratify; I did not know, but hinderthem I might Of that which would to them be great delight; For those which were not for its coming forth, I said to them, "Offend you I am loath Yet since your brethren pleased with it be, Forbear to judge 'till you do farther see.

If that thou wilt not read, let it alone;
Some love the meat, some love to pick a bone.
Yea, that I might them belter moderate,
I did too with them thus expostulate:

May I not write in such a style as this?
In such a method too, and yet not miss
My 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, so commixes both, that in their fruit
None can distinguish this from that; they suit
Her well, when hungry ; but if she be full,
She spews out both, and makes their blessing null.

You see the ways the fisherman doth take
To catch the fish: what engines doth he make!
Behold! how he engagelh all his wits;
Also his snares, lines, angles, hooks, and nets:
Yet fish there be, that neither hook nor line,
Nor snare, nor net, nor engine can make thine:
They must be grop'd for, and be tickled too,
Or they will not be catch'd, whate'er you do.

How does the fowler seek to catch his game
By divers means ? All which one cannot lume:
His gun, his nets, his lime-twigs, light and bell:
He creeps, he goes, he stands; jea, who can tell
Of all his postures? yet there's none of these
Will make him master of what fowls he please.
Yea, he must pipe and whistle, to catch this,
Yet if he does so, that hird 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, J
That they may find it? Now my little book,

(Tho' void of all these paint ings that may mak«
It with this or the oiher man to take)
Is not without those thir.g-: lhat do excel
What do in brave, but empty notions dwell.

Well, yet I am not fully satisfy'd,
That this your book will stand, when soundly tfy'd.

Why, what's the matter? It is dark: What tho'?
But it is feigned: What of that I trow.
Some men, by feigned words as dark as mine,
Make truth to spangle, and its rays to shine!
But they want solidness: speak, man, thy mind:
They drown the weak ; us, metaphors make blind.

Solidity, indeed, becomes the pen
Of him that writeth things divme to men:
But must I needs want solidness, because
By metaphors I speak? Were not God's law?,
His gospel laws, in older times held forth
By shadows, types, and metaphors? Yet loath.
Will any sober man be to find fault
With them, lest he be found for to assault
The highest wisdom : No, he rather stoops,
And seeks to find out by what pins and loops,
By calves and sheep, by heifers and by rams,
By hirds and herbs, and by the blood of lambs,
God speaketh to him; and full happy he
That fmds 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 solid in show, not solid be;
All things in parables despise not we,
Lest things most hurtful lightly we receive;
And things that good are, of our souls bereave.

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

The prophets used much by metaphors To set forth truth; yea, whoso considers

Christ, his Apostles loo, shall plainly see,
That truths to this day in such mantles be.

I am 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 .spring*
From that same book, that lustre, and those rays
Of light, that turn our darkest nights to days!

Come, let ray 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 tot).

May we but stand before impartial men,
To his poor one I dare adventure ten,
That they will take my meaning in these line*
Far better than his lies in silver shines.
Come, truth, altho' in swaddling clouts, I find
Informs the judgment, rectifies the mind;
Pleases the understanding, makes the will
Submit, the memory also 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 did forhid
The use of parables; in which lay hid
That gold, those pearls, and precious stones that wera
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 thy matter in another dress?
Or, that I had in things been more express i
To those that are ray betters, as is fit,
Three things let me propound, then I submit.

r.

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:
Denied, d^d I say? nay, I have leave,
(Examples too, and that from them that have
Got better pleased by their words and ways
Than any man thai breatheth now a-days)
Thus to express my mind, thus to declare
Thmgs unto thee that excellentest are.

II. .

I find that men (as high as trees) will write
Dialogue-wise ; yet no man doth them slight,
For writing so: indeed if they abuse
Trutb, cursrd be they, and the craft they use
To that intent; but yet let truth be free
To make her sallies upon thee and me.
Which way it pleases God: for who knows how
Better than he that taught us first to plow,
To guide our minds and pens for his design?
Ana he makes base things usher in divine.

I IF.

I find that holy writ, in many places, Hath semblance with this method, where the casesDo call for one thing to set forth another; Use it I may then, and yet nothing smother: Truth's golden beams; nay, by (his method may Make it cast forth its-rays as light as day.

And now, before I do put up my pen,

I'll show the profit of my book, and then

Commit both thee and it unto that hand

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 shows you whence he comes, whither he goes;

What he leaves undone; also what he does;

It also shows you, how he runs, and runs,

.'Till he unto the gate of glory comes.

It shows too who set out for life amain,
As if the lasting crown they would obtain:
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 directions understand:
Yea, it will make the slothful active be;
The blind also delightful things to see.

Art thou for something rare and profitable >
Or wouldst thou see a truth within a fable?
Art thou forgetful? or wouldst thou remember
From New-year's day to the last of December >
Then read my fancies, they will stick like burs.
And may be to the helpless comforters.

This book is wrote in such a dialect,
As may the minds of listless men affect.
It seems a novelty, and yet contains
Nothing but sound and honest gospel-strains.

Wou'dst thou divert thyself from melancholy*
Wou'dst thou be pleasant, yet be far from folly »
Wou'dst thou read riddles and their explanation i
Or else be drowned in thy contemplation?
Dost thou love picking meat? Or wou'dst thou see
A man i' th' clou Js, and hear him speak ta thee?