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I'll tug my tacklings then, I'll ply mine oars,
cry, A fig for fear. He that adores

The giddy multitude
So much, as to despise my rhymes,
Because they tune not to the times,

I wish may not intrude
His presence here. But they (and that's enough)
Who love God's house, will like his household stuff.


The Font, I say. Why not? And why not near

To the Church door? Why not of stone ? Is not that blessed fountain open'd here,

From whence that water flows alone, Which from sin and uncleanness washeth clear?

And may not beggars well contented be

Their first alms at the door to take ?
Though, when acquainted better, they may see

Others within that bolder make.
Low places will serve guests of low degree.

What? Is he not the rock, out of whose side

Those streams of water-blood run forth? The elect and precious corner-stone well tried ?

Though the odds be great between their worth, Rock-water and stone vessels are allied.

But call it what, and place it where you will :

Let it be made indifferently Of any form, or matter; yet, until

The blessed Sacrament thereby Impaired be, my hopes you shall not kill.


To want a complement of comeliness

Some of my comfort may abate,
And for the present make my joy go less :

Yet I will hug mine homely state,
And poverty with patience richly dress.

Regeneration is all in all;

Washing, or sprinkling, but the sign,
The seal, and instrument thereof; I call

The one, as well as the other, mine,
And my posterity's, as federal.

If temporal estates may be convey'd,

By covenants on condition,
To men, and to their heirs ; be not afraid,

My soul, to rest upon
The covenant of grace by mercy made.

Do but thy duty, and rely upon't,

Repentance, faith, obedience,
Whenever practised truly, will amount

To an authentic evidence,
Though the deed were antedated at the Font.


HERE my new enter'd soul doth first break fast,

Here seasoneth her infant taste,
And at her mother-nurse the Church's dugs

With labouring lips and tongue she tugs, For-that sincere milk, which alone doth feed

Babes new-born of immortal seed :

Who, that they may unto perfection grow,
Must be content to creep before they go.

They, that would reading out of Church exclude,

Sure have a purpose to obtrude
Some dictates of their own, instead of God's

Revealed Will, his Word. 'Tis odds,
They do not mean to pay men current coin,

Who seek the standard to purloin,
And would reduce all trials to their own,
But touch-stones, balances, and weights, alone.

What reasonable man would not misdoubt

Those Comments, that the text leave out? And that their main intent is alteration,

Who dote so much on variation, That no set Forms at all they can endure

To be prescribed, or put in ure ? Rejecting bounds and limits is the way, If not all waste, yet common all to lay.

But why should he, that thinks himself well grown,

Be discontent that such a one,
As knows himself an infant yet, should be

Dandled upon his mother's knee,
And babe-like fed with milk, till he have got

More strength and stomach ? Why should not
Nurslings in Church, as well as weanlings, find
Their food fit for them in their proper kind?

Let them that would build castles in the air,

Vault thither, without step or stair ; Instead of feet to climb, take wings to fly,

And think their turrets top the sky.

But let me lay all my foundations deep,

And learn, before I run, to creep. Who digs through Rocks to lay his ground-works low, May in good time build high, and sure, though slow.


To take degrees, per saltum, though of quick

Dispatch, is but a truant's trick.
Let us learn first to know our letters well,

Then syllables, then words to spell ;
Then to read plainly, ere we take the pen

In hand to write to other men.
I doubt their preaching is not always true,
Whose way to the Pulpit's not the Reading-pew.


Why not?

WHAT! Prayer by the book ? and Common?

The spirit of grace,
And supplication,
Is not left free alone

For time and place;
But manner too. To read, or speak by rote

Is all alike to him that prays
With 's heart, that with his mouth he says.

They that in private by themselves alone

Do pray, may take
What liberty they please,
In choosing of the ways,

Wherein to make

Their soul's most intimate affections known

To him that sees in secret, when
They are most conceald from other men.

But he, that unto others leads the way

In public prayer,
Should choose to do it so,
As all, that hear, may know

They need not fear
To tune their hearts unto his tongue, and say

Amen; nor doubt they were betray'd
To blaspheme, when they should have pray'd.

Devotion will add life unto the letter.

And why should not
That, which Authority
Prescribes, esteemed be

Advantage got ?
If the Prayer be good, the commoner, the better.

Prayer in the Church's words, as well
As sense, of all prayers bears the bell.


THE Bible? That's the Book. The Book indeed,

The Book of Books ;

On which who looks,
As he should do, aright, shall never need

Wish for a better light
To guide him in the night :

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