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TO THE

READER.

T H ofoever thou art, into whose

bands this paraphrase may fall,

know that the author of it is not near enough any Nobleman to put it into his hands; nor bath be face enough (as is the mode of this daring age) to call at a distance ; but could he do both, yet know also, be would do neither; for be desireth not, that any thing, either of others, or his own, Mould be patronized beyond its own native worth ; and is bimself as willing, as any touchy-beaded Decriers of anatomy and anatomists, of all art and artists, that all the fame that is due to the ill managing of this good Subjeet, jould return upon his own pate; and such is. bis allegiance to his king, that if he can but keep off their foul fingers from him, to which they are apt enough, be cares not how beavy they fall upon himself : And on the other hand, if there be any thing herein contained, of true value, it will but shine the brighter for the rubs und petulant endeavours of all conductitious detrators; who, being ihrust out of some

A 2

mer

quercenary 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 infinuate as tf all others wanted it) can get knowledge enough in physick to coniemn and vilify, and in two words (viz. Calenifts and fools) abundantly confute all those worthy persons, who from childhood to gray-hairs, have been studying, endeavouring, and praying ; have been exercising botb their minds and their bodies ; their heads, ibeir hearts, and their hands; that they may become expert seconds unto nature, and meet combatants for all those dreadful enemies that the sins of man bave stirred up against the peace of his own body. But beJide this fcum of ill conditioned Zoili, there are others also nibbling at the beel of learned physicians ; whose wounds, though seemingly Nightly infliated, yet are far worse than the 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 lecurely seated in honour, that nothing can pollibly dethrone them, but that which caft ibe angels from heaven, and man out of pr radise ; that abominable Quoiwris, which , ever did, and for ever will set God in a r: fiftance ; and the best of their friends cous. but in time mind them, that those fmart re. flections without cause, both in private and publick, not only upon particular perfons, but upon wbolc Societies of men, half of whom they know not so much as by bear-say) seem to bave a tinelure of that virulent poifon, which as easily and as quickly proceeds out of knowledge, as tbe worm did out of Jonah's gourd ; and will (if not speedily prevented) foon wither into nothing all that content under which they have for a seafon gladly Shadowed themselves. And bere I am afrejs put in mind of the story of Herod, who persecuted the world's worthies, and, because he 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 fmote bim, because be gave not God the glory, and be was eaten of worms. Tbat main and beft end, which fecureth all men in their undertakings, was it which first moved the autbor bereof to study sacred philosophy, and to apply bimself to tbe interpretation of such fcriptures, as border upon that faculty unto which he bath betook bimself ever since he bath bad the judgment of eležtion wherein he might be most serviceable in his generation, This was the good feed : but falling into a

77*and ill manured foil, bath, for the preVsi i viced no better a blade, than what ". . ich however, if it please the

Lord

the Lord to prosper, may bring forth as useful fruit as those that seem more fair and Nourishing. Herein old men may see their own natural faces, as in a glass ; and young men may foresee, what (if they live) will certainly betide them in their latter end. Systems and compleat treatises (though out of fashion, and consequently. negleEted in this mimical age) are of better use, than fragments of mechanisin, and independent pieces of experimienial knowledge, which by moft men at present are bad in greatest honour and reputation; but, in this refpe&t of bonour, the groundwork of what is bere discoursed upon far sirpalleth them all; the author thereof being i be wiseft, and the greatest earthly potentate throughout all generations. The portraiture that is berė drawn, is done by the hands of no meaner a perfon than king Solomon, and may justly be called, εικων βασιλική και that fuperabundant wisdom in natural things, which it pleased God miraculously to enrich bim withol, beyond all that were before him, or fince 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 countri, and, in the mean time, knew littl. thing of his own native Land. ..!? very well knew all vegetat', 12

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