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mercenary employments, in a few months time, by their mother wit, (which for want of good neighbours they greatly cry up themjelves, and instead of bad neighbours do closely insinuate as tf all others wanted it) can get knowledge enough in phyfick to contern and vilify, and in two words (viz. Calenists and fools) abundantly confute all those worthy persons, who from childhood te gray-bairs, have been studying, endeavouring, and praying ; bave been exercising both their minds and their bodies; their beads, their hearts, and their hands; that they mey become expert seconds unto nature, and meet combatants for all those dreadful enemies that the fins of man bave stirred up against the peace of his own body. But befide this scum of ill conditioned Zoili, there ere cthers also nibbling at the beel of learned phyficians ; whose wounds, though seemingly Nightly infliated, yet are far worse than ibe former, and that not only because they are persons of credit and knowledge, but because they pretend friendship, and kiss while they do the mischief. These are those, whom birth, education, and industry, have so securely seated in boncur, that nothing can posibly dethrone them, but that which cast i he angels from heaven, and man out of paradise ; that abominable Quośwors, which for ever did, and for ever will set God in a reSistence ; and the best of their friends cannot

but

but in time mind them, that those smart reflections without cause, both in private and publick, not only upon particular persons, but upon wholc societies of men, half of whom they know not so much as by bear-say) seem to have a tinelure of that virulent poifon, which as easily and as quickly proceeds out of knowledge, as the worm did out of Jonah's gourd; and will (if not speedily prevented) soon wither into nothing all that content under which they have for a seafon gladly Shadowed themselves. And bere I am afresh put in mind of the story of Herod, who persecuted the world's worthies, and, because be saw it pleased the people, he proceeded farther also : And thus prosecuting bis rage and ambition, in royal apparel, and with popular oratory, the angel of the Lord Smote bim, because he gave nol God the glory, and be was eaten of worms.

Tbat main and best end, which secureth all men in their undertakings, was it which first moved the author hereof to study sacred philosophy, and to apply himself to tbe interpretation of such scriptures, as border upon that faculty unto which he bath betook bimself ever since be hath had the judgment of ele&tion wherein be might be most serviceable in his generation. This was the good feed : but falling into a barren and ill manured soil, bath, for the present, produced no better a blade, than what you here fee ; which however, if it please the

Lord

the Lord to prosper, may bring forth as useful fruit as those that seem more fair and flourishing.

Herein old men may see their own natural faces, as in a glass ; and

young men may foresee, what (if they live) will certainly betidė them in their latter end. Systems and compleat treatises (though out of fashion, and consequently neglected in this mimical age) are of better use, than fragmests of mechanism, and independent pieces of experimental knowledge, which by most men at present are bad in greatest honour and reputation ; but, in this respect of honour, the groundwork of what is bere discoursed upon far surpasseth them all; the author thereof being the wiseft, and the greatest earthly potentate throughout all generations. The portraiture that is bere drawn, is done by the hands of no meaner a person than king Solomon, and may justly be called, sixww Basiloxa'; that superabundant wisdom in natural things, which it pleased God miraculously to enrich him witbal, beyond all that were before him, or since to this very day, being no where more graphically delineated, than in this description of age ; whereby it plainly appears that Solomon was not like that forward traveller, who was well skilled in foreign countries, and, in the mean time, knew little or nothing of his own native Land. For as he very well knew all vegetables, from the

cedar

cedar in Labanon, to the bylop that springetb out of the wall, and those creatures also of an bigher rank, namely, all beasts, fowls, creeping things, and fishes : So neither was be ignorant at home ; but that wherein bis greatest wisdom confifted, was, that he perfeetly knew himself; and that intus et in cute; both in respect of the inward and the outward man: All the secret and mysterious powers of the mind were as naked and open before him, as the visible parts of the body are before a vulgar anatomist, and his fuxcom

Rogia in this allegory contained, doth more fully and satisfaétorily declare and distinguish them, than whatsoever bitherto bath been endeavoured to that purpose, by the best of moralists ; and as for the parts of the body, those apposite symbols which are bere all along the description brought to express them, do abundantly declare bis most exquisite and exaEt knowledge in them all

. Not only such a knowledge, as was then attained in the world, or as should in after-ages be attained by any; but such an one, as was attainable, or as the human nature was able to comprebend ; and whatsoever certain inventions in anatomy have crowned the ingenious inquirers of succeeding time, lie couched in some one or other expression of this allegory. Among many other things, it is here clearly demonstrated, that Solomon perfe&tly knew, and as plainly as bis figurative method would give leave,

de

described the circular motion of the blood ; the best and most useful invention of this latter age. And as for the subječt which is directly bere intended, viz. ibe description of the infirmities of age, though it be compendiously bandled by bim, yet it is compleatly done in all things appertaining thereunto, botb moral, natural, and divine. And indeed, what can the man say that comes after the king? The most knowing and ingenious persons in the best enlightned generations, can add no more hereunto, than they can unto their own ftature : Il only remains, that some such give us the full interpretation of what is bere delivered, since it pleased the

king to leave it to after ages, inveloped with a canopy of the same wisdom that indited it. And if this weak essay may excite any such, for the future. lovingly to correct what is bere amiss, and to supply what is bere deficient ; it will be a most acceptable work; but if for the present, courteous reader, it may be of any use to thee, as a man, as a scbolar, as a philosopher, as a pbysician, as a christian, follow the intimation that is here given thee, and I will follow tbee with a good wish, which I am sure Sall be accomplished for thee, and for all those, that honestly labour in God's word and work ; I mean,

I bid thee God speed.

J.S.

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