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hath supplied us with an excellent help, for the fpiritualizing of the providential works of God in natural things, by godly meditations; we chiefly want the help of the holy Spirit (without which all other helps and helpers are altogether infufficient) to frame and wind up our hearts, for, this both profitable and delightful duty; yet the help which the Lord is pleased to give us for our direction in it, by the miniftry of man, is not only not to be refused, but thankfully received and improved; and all little enough to bring our minds to, or keep them at this work: The best of faints (on this fide heaven) have (though they are not only earthly-minded) much earth in their minds; which like a heavy clog at their heels, or a weight at their hearts, preffèth them down when they would make an essay to mount upward in meditation. We find it no eafy matter to keep off earthly thoughts, when we are most seriously engag ed in heavenly work; how hard it is then to get in, and be fixed upon heavenly thoughts, while we are engaged about earthly work; yea, are (for fo is the husbandman) working the very earth, and raking in the bowels of it. "Tis a great part of our holiness to be spiritually-minded, while we are converfing with God through Jesus Christ in spiritual duties; but to be spiritually-minded, and to mind spiritual things, when we are converfing with the clods of the earth, and the furrows of the field; when we have to do with corn and grafs, with trees and plants, with fheep and oxen; when we behold the birds and fowls of the air, the worms, and all that creep upon the ground; then (I fay) to be spiritually-minded, and thence to have our thoughts afcending, and foaring up to God, in heart affecting and quickening contemplations, witnesseth an high degree of holiness, and of gracious attainments. To make a ladder out of earthly materials, for the raising of ourselves in fpirit up to heaven, is the art of arts. Holy and happy indeed are they who (being taught of God) have learned this art, and live in daily practice of it. Earthly objects usually hinder us in our way, fometimes turn us quite out of our way to heaven. Many plow and fow, dig and delve the earth, till their hearts become as earthly as the earth itfelf: Many deal about the beasts of the field, till themselves become even brutish. Is it not then a bleffed defign which this Author aims and drives at, so to spiritualize all forts, or the whole compats of earthly husbandry, that all forts of husbandmen may become fpiritual and heavenly? It feems to me a token for good, that God hath an intendment of fome fpecial good to the fouls of fuch as are by profeffion proper husbandmen, seeing he hath

Mr. Richard Steel, and this Author.

lately put it into the hearts of two faithful ministers (who with all of that profeffion, are husbandmen in a figure) to undertake, tho' in a different way, this subject, and to publish their labours in print, that they may be of ufe, not only for the prefent age, but for pofterity.

And that the husbandman may be pleased as well as profited, in perusing the labours of this author; he hath, with fingular aptnefs, and acuteness, contrived and contracted the fum and scope of every chapter into an elegant diftich, or pair of verses, placed at the head of it, and concluded it with a choice melodious poem, fuitable to, and dilating upon the whole matter of it. These the husbandman, who can but read, may quickly learn and fing for his folace, instead of those vain ballads, and corrupting rhimes, which many of that rank are apt to buy, and folace themselves withal, without any benefit, yea, much to their hurt, making their hearts more corrupt, carnal, and vain thereby.

Let me add one word more to the reader. This book of Hufbandry Spiritualized, is not calculated only for the common husbandman; perfons of any calling, or condition, may find the author working out fuch fearching reflections and ftrong convictions, from almost every part and particular of the hufbandman's work, as may prove, if faithfully improved, very useful to them; to fome for their awakening, to confider the state of their fouls, whether in grace, or in nature; to others for their inftruction, confolation, and encouragement in the ways of grace, as alfo for their proficiency and growth in those ways. That the bleffing of the Lord, and the breathings of his good Spirit may go out with it, for all thofe gracious purposes, is the heart's defire, and prayer of him, who is,

Christian Reader, a fincere well-wisher to thy precious and immortal foul,


To his Reverend and Learned Friend, Mr. John Flavel, on his Spiritual Navigation and Husbandry.


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ETTERS of mark to his dear servant given,

By him that fifts the ruffling winds of heaven:
To fight, and take all fuch as would not deign
T' acknowledge him the fea's great Sovereign.
He launch'd his little pinace, and began



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T'attack the vaffals of Leviathan.
Aufpicious gales fwelling his winged fails,
Searches all creeks, and ev'ry bark he hails
That scarce a fhip our Western coaft afford,
Which his brave pinace hath not laid aboard.
And what among our riddles fome might count,
Was feen at once at Berwick, and the Mount.
Yea, in more ports hath in one luftre been,
Than Hawkins, Drake, or Cavendish have seen.
And prizes of more worth brought home again,
Than all the plate-fleets of the Kings of Spain.
But that which makes the wonder fwell the more,
Those whom he took were beggars all before.
But refts he here? No, no, our friend doth know,
'Tis good to have two ftrings unto his bow.
Our rare Amphibion loves not to be pent
Within the bounds of one poor element.
Befides, the learned author understood,
That of an idle hand there comes no good.
The law to him no pulpit doth allow,
And now he cannot preach, he means to plow,
Though preaching were a crime, yet he forefaw
Against the plowman there could be no law.
Nor ftays he on refolves, but out-of-hand
He yoaks his teem, plows up the stubborn land;
Sows it with precious feed, harrows again
The tougher clods, takes pleasure in his pain.
Whilft, Orpheus-like, (which doth his art advance)
Rocks, fields, and woods, after bis pipe do dance.
Induftrious fpirit, to what a rich account
With thy bleft Lord, will all these labours mount?
That ev'ry nerve of thy beft foul doft ply,
To further heav'n's Spiritual husbandry.
'This kind of tillage which thou teacheft us,
Was never dreamt of by Triptolemus.
Go, reader, turn the leaves; and me allow
To pray (whilft at work) God fpeed the plow.


In Authoris OPERA.

ET Paracelfus and Van Helmont's name,
No more ride triumph on the wings of fame.


Lo, here's a chymift, whose diviner skill

Doth hallowed, from unhallowed things diftil.

Spiritualizeth fea-affairs; again,

Makes the rude ground turn tutor unto men.
Shews Mariners, as by a compafs, how
They may unto the port of glory row.

Teacheth the plowman, from their work, to know
What duties unto God, and man they owe.
Rare artist! who, when many tongues are mute,
Mak'st things, that are inanimate, confute
The age's fins: by preaching unto eyes,
Truths, which, in other modes, their ears defpife.
Profper his pious labours, Lord! howe'er
Do not forget to crown the labourer.

Sic raptim canit,

To his Reverend and Invaluable Friend, Mr. J. F. upon his Husbandry Spiritualized.


NGENIOUS Sir, What do I fee? What now!
Are you come from the pulpit to the plow?
It fo, then pardon me, if I profefs,

The plow deferves to be sent to the prefs.
"Tis not long fince you went to fea, they fay,
Compos'd a compafs, which directs the way,
And fteers the course to heaven; O bleft art!
And bravely done that you did that impart
To us, who take it kindly at your hand,
And bless the Lord that you are come to land,
To be an husbandman, wherein your skill,
With admiration doth your readers fill.
One grain will yield increase, it's ten times ten,
When the earth's manur'd by fuch hufbandmen.
We may expect rich harvests, and full crops,
When heav'nly dew defcendeth in fuch drops
Of spiritual rain, to water ev'ry field,

That it full heaps of grace to God may yield.
I must adore the wifdom of that God

That makes men wife, who, even from a clod
Of earth, can raife fuch heavenly meditation
Unto a pitch of highest elevation.
Befides, I mark the goodness of the Lord,
Performing unto us his faithful word,
That all should work for good unto the faints,

Which, in fome measure, leffens our complaints.
For though our Pulpit mercies be grown lefs,
We have fome gracious helps yet from the prefs.
And herein all the world may plainly fee,
That faithful fervants will not idle be.

We have fome bricks, although the straw be gone,
The church, at laft, fhall be of polish'd ftone.
Whatever men or devils act, or say,

Sion, at last, will have a glorious day.

The wretched muck-worm, that from morn to night
Labours, as if 'twere for an heav'nly weight;

And, when he hath got all he can, the moft
Amounts to little more than a poor cruft,
To feed his tired carcafs: If himself
Have, by his carking, got a little pelf,
Leave it he muft, to one he knows not whom,
And then must come to an eternal doom;
And hear his poor neglected wretched foul
Tell him at laft, that he hath play'd the fool.
But here he's taught, how he, before he die,
May lay up treasure for eternity;

Wherein he may be rich, yea, much much more,
Than they that do poffefs whole mines of ore.

When earth's more worth than heav'n, and gold than grace,
Then let the worldling run his brutish race;

But not before, unless he do intend

To meet with foul-deftruction in the end.
But I muft leave him, and return again
To gratulate the author for his pain.
And here I can't forbear to let my pen
To tell the world of all the hufbandmen,
That e'er I met, he, he hath hit the vein
To recompence the labourer's hard pain,
And taught him how to get the greateft gain.
Wherein he treads a path not trode before;
By which, indeed, his fkill appears the more.
I might encomiums give him, great and true,
yet come very fhort of what's his due:
But I muft not walk in forbidden ways,
For, thereby, I am fure, I should displease
His pious mind, who doth, and freely can
Give all the praife to the great husbandman;
Who will his graces in his fervants own,
But doth expect himself to wear the crown.

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