A Potent vindication for Book-making: or An Embleme of these Distracted times.

WHen nights black mantle had excluded and folded up faire Phoe­bus bright lustre in our Horizon, and exposed the borrowed splendor of horned Cynthia, and the twinkling Tapers to our view. And when silent sleep had captivated the senses of many in the Cradle of Oblivion; solitary Morpheus presented to my sight a pleasant Forrest, where I was no sooner entred, but such a company of harmonious ecchoes sounded in my eares from the winged quire, which so ravished my senses, that I began to imitate their heavenly Tunes; and the first which most pleased me, was the Golden straines of the Finch: And af­ter I had observed some of her ravishing harmony, I was delighted with the me­lodious tunes of the Nightingall, Linnot, and other birds of rare quality, and could so follow their straines, that the heavenly Phoenix, the aspiring Larke, and other celestiall birds, took notice of my skill. Yet som angry Wasps and malicious Hornets began to buz about my eares, and sought to sting, but had no power at all to hurt mee. And though the King of beasts, and others of good and gentle nature, were delighted with our harmonious noyse, and heavenly mu­sicke; yet the politique Cat, crafty Fox, and greedy Wolfe, began to grumble, as envying my happinesse, and seemed more malicious then the poysonous Ser­pents and deafe Adders, that lay under my feet, ready to sting me: for they per­swaded the puissant Lyon, and his grave Counsellors, that I was an an idle fellow to leave my imployment at home, and come learne to sing of birds abroad: (for they did not consider that this was in the night, when I had finished my worke) Vpon which report their King did quire forsake me, and his faithfull friends seemed to be displeased with me. But I having a love in my worke, would not leave off till I became a perfect quirrester: and then (with Morphous) I laid me downe in bed, and sweetly slept till Aurora with-drew nights sable Curtaine, and began to usher in the light some day, and then I understood the meaning ther­of to be thus, When the night of ignorance and self-conceit had excluded from my understanding the splendor of many learned famous writers, I having recei­ved into my soule divers good motions from the holy Spirit of God, intimated by the God of dreames, wandred in the Forrest of my owne imagination and [Page 2] by my owne capacity thought to imitate the golden straines of Sylvesters hea­venly harmony, on Du Bartas weekly dayes. And having extracted from thence many heavenly lessons, I inserted them into my fantasticke notions. And not satisfied therewith, I tooke from melodious Philomell, I meane our Booke of Common Prayer, (in my conceit not unfitly by mee called the Nightingall, be­cause some say it was used to be sung in the time of Popery, but sung in a more harmonious manner now in the day of the Gospell) many Divine lessons: for however others are, I was, and still am, so ravished with her variety of sh [...] and heavenly eiaculations, that I became bold to garnish my Annua [...] World there­with. And from the admirable Meditations and Prayers of Doctor Featly, Mr. Austin and others, I made it so compleat with heavenly matter, that the [...] ­nix of our time for our soule ravishing. Divinity, who is raro avis in terris, but still Holds-worth, took notice therof, and subscribed my certificate. And not onely he, but the aspiring Larke, our Laureat Poet Mr. Francis Quarles, whose sententious and unparaleld verses seeme to penetrate the heavens, approved my labours, as well as the Satyricall and Propheticall Poet, Captaine George Wi­ther, the Saint-like Poet Master Iohn Vicars, the prime Astrologian of our time, Mr. Iohn Booker, and that ancient Writer Mr. Henry Peacham. And because I should not drowne my Loving Labours in the Sea of Oblivion, the Water Poet lent me his assistance over the waters of contempt and disdaine to the Cape of good Hope, where my little Pinnace lies at Anchor, till a gentle gale of pros­perous winde drive her to the desired haven of Content: Yet I observed some angry Wasps and fell Hornets to buz about my eares, but durst not shew their stings for feare I should make them odious in the sight of all people: I mean, neither Anabaptist, Brownist, nor any of your new inspired Doctors, durst lift pen on paper against my Annuall world, or Sacred Poems, though they treate of holy dayes, and are ampli [...]ed with the expression of many heathen Poets: for I have the approbation not onely of [...]elestiall Birds, but the very beasts of the Wood listned to my tunes; I meane not onely men that were learned, as Prea­chers and Writers, but honest Merchants, and men of solid iudgement appro­ved my labours. And first, my late honoured Master, whom I compare to the Lyon, not to signifie that he was King of men, but as he was sometime the Kings Maiesties Lieutenant, and Senior Aldermen of this famous Citie a long time; and for iustice and mercy, according to my paterne, not unlike the Lyon, of whom I may truly say without flattery, That to my knowledge never any Prae­tor governed this famous Citie, or his House, with more iustice and clemency, [Page 3] then he did. And so like the couragious Lyon, who though hee is sterne to his foes, yet hee is gentle and kinde to his friends: for it is reported that An­drodus, a Roman slave, for pulling a thorne out of a Lyons foot, was relei­ved a long time by the same Lyon in his Den, with such provision as hee could make, till he was weary of that dreadfull lodging: And then the same slave returning to his Master, for an offence being cast into the Den of the same Lyon, to be devoured, the mercifull beast knowing his old acquain­tance, in stead of tearing or assaulting him, came and fawned on him. And to shew that my Master did approve of my workes, when they were done, plainly appeared, (though it is true before out of his love towards mee, hee would not have mee trouble my unlearned braine with such high mysteries) as by his willingnesse to doe mee good so long as he lived, so by two notes made a little before his death, wherein he bequeathed me a competent por­tion which he left his Executors to dispose of as they shall think fit. And as hee, so most of the Aldermen his brethren, as well as his owne and my La­dies kindred, did approve of the same, as appeares by this Certificate fol­lowing.

WEE whose names are subscribed, at the humble and ear­nest intreaty of Edward Browne, late servant to Sir James Cambell, Knight and Alderman of Lodnon, de­ceased, certifie and declare, that we have perused two Bookes of his composing, the one intituled an Annuall World and Sacred Poems, and the other, a Rare pa­terne of Justice and Mercy, with a Meteor and a Starre; and thereof judge, that hee did not these Bookes with any intent to dishonour his said Master, but onely to obtaine his Masters favour upon his honest endeavours, where­fore we doe commend his expence of spare time in such divine matters, and approve of his good meaning in publishing his masters charitable Lega­cies; which is, as he saith, onely for his Masters honour, and to induce o­thers of like worth to doe such judicious, noble, and pious actions.

Knights and Aldermen of London.
  • [Page 4]Geo. Whitmore.
  • Nic. Rainton.
  • Morris Abbot.
  • Edmond Wright.
  • Iohn Cordel.
  • Tho. Soame.
  • Iacob Garrad.
  • Iohn Woollastone
  • George Clarke.
  • Ri. Holdsworth, S. T. D.
Aldermen, Esquires & Gentlemen.
  • Gilbert Harrison.
  • Tho. Adams.
  • Abra, Reynardson.
  • Robert Bateman.
  • Clement Moss.
  • Robert Michel.
  • Thomas Wiseman.
  • William Williams.
  • Iohn Walter.

HEre is above the number of a compleat Iury of eminent men to testifie a truth, and therefore needs no more; yet such as did peremptorily re­fuse to subscribe this Certificate, I affirme and declare, that they are as un­chariatble and malicious, as they are proud and covetous. For others, that say, My Bookes are uselesse, having in them light with darknesse, holy things and vain, unprofitable things mixed, which are altogether inconsistent, & blame me for expending my pretious time in dishonouring God by Booke-making; be­cause I am not called thereunto. I will prove they are beside their Text, and would faine seeme to be more wise in Religion then they are, like many o­thers of their garb, who place their religion in idle & impertinent questions, and have little or no regard to true devotion which is the life of religion: for some who under the mask of religion, detain letchery, pride & covetousnes. I advise them to view their own deformity, before they tax the infirmities of those of better worth then themselves: For those that say my Bookes are Non sense, I beleeve they have No-sense to doe better. Those that say, I have plaid the foole in writing my owne fancy, and expending my time and mo­ney so vainly in printing Bookes; let them understand, that the Foole is oft­times the wisest man in the play, because he makes more fooles then himself laugh, and all that is well spent, is not ill lost. Those that say, I scold and raile in my pamphlets, know not well what they speak: for I have write no­thing a but the truth; and that they say, must not be spoke, much lesse writ at all times. But this is a pittifull age, when truth to convince the folly of men, must be smothered, and not suffered to be spoke or writ, though by fooles: for Archers coat must be puld off, if he say lawne sleeves are durty, and doe not Laud them for whitenesse when they are cole blacke. And last of all, for [Page 5] those, who in a close, secret, and dissembling manner, seeke to cast some of their envious poyson of detraction and malice into my friends eares, & seem to say as they did to my late Master, that I seeke his and their dishonour by Book-making, and therfore not worthy to be harboured in an obscure cham­ber upon my owne bedding, as I have been this eight yeares and upwards, I neither care nor feare as appeares by this letter following,

Sir, I understand that you and your friends made good sport of me and my Disaster, wherfore to make your mirth compleat, I give you my Paradox, and would intreat you, if you have found where the nest of wasps are, you spake of, to tell them from mee, that I chalenge not only them, but all man­ner of envious creatures, such as your Hornets, Snakes, Scorpions, Dragons, especially deafe Adders, to shoot out their poyson, and advance their stings against me; for I am perswaded God hath annointed me with such a saving Antidote, and armed me with such puissant strength, that I shall bee able to pull out their stings and repell their venome. For I know that the sight of a Basilisk shall not confound me, the terrour of the Griffin shall not dismay me, the cruell Crocodile shall not affright me, the deceitfull Hiena shall not beguile me, nor the inchanting Syrens shall not allure me: no, nor all the di­vels in hell, or men on earth shall be able to hinder me in the way that God hath set my feet to walk in, because he hath now taken from my heart a sla­vish fear, and would not suffer me neither day nor night, to take my rest, till I had performed this work, which I am sure he hath called me unto: For it is lawfull for any to write, though not to preach. The reason is plaine, because a man in a pulpit may imagine he hath a Spirit of Revelation, which he hath not, and therefore sometime in an absurd extasie of zeale may vociferate and babble hee knowes not what himselfe, except he bee a man of rare parts, that hath premeditated and set his words well in order before. But if a man write, that truly shewes his mind: for he hath laid his words in the ballance of his reason and understanding, and will not bee ashamed of his worke, except hee be a Dunce or a Coward. And therefore I neirher feare the roaring Lyon, the ravening Beare, the stately Elephant, the cruell Boare, the puissant V [...]i­corne, the couragious Horse, the angry Leopard, the fierce Tyger, the devou­ring Wolfe, the snarling Dogge, the polirique Cat, the crafty Fox, or the strong Oxe, shall be able to hurt me, my Bookes or my Paradox: for I have armour of proofe, that their fangs nor talons cannot teare. I have skilfull courage to avoid their policie, and defeat their strength. And I have a sword as Sharp [Page 6] as a raizor, that where Haire-is, it shall so neatly shave those that offer to abuse me, that they shall appeare like bald Friers; and if they will not then be ruled, it shall cut off their heads, and make them little better then Divels. I have like­wise hot fiery pellets, which well discharged out of my peece, shall make their heads ake, and their bellies Wamble. And I have such a Polax, which will Peck, Pierce and Hough the strongest armour of the best Smiths forging. And this I write, to Warne them to take heed how they offer to stirre: for besides this my Militia, which is void of Malitia, I have Commission of Array, to traine, mu­ster, and Marshall my forces against all opposites; who, as angry whelpes, re­specting no persons, will so Touze and trample upon them, that though they were arraied in Silk, Sattin, or Cloth of Gold, they shall appeare as ragged Beg­gars. And yet I have not told you all my Ammunition: for I have likewise a Bur to cast on my enemies tongues, and sticke in their throats, that they shall not be able to speake. I have a hard knotty stick, with which I will so Bast them, that the Print thereof shall remaine a long time after. I have sharp vinegar to wash their rotten teeth, that they shall not dare to grin: And I have as Smart a Satyricall scourge, as the best Carter, which shall pull the skin from their bones, and breed Pain in their whole man: that though they may now seeme as Bright as Angels, they shall then appeare as loathsome as Lepers; And though one may now seeme like a Burgesse, when I have unmasked him, hee shall then appeare like. A. Taylor: For I am confident to convince all that shall abuse me for Book-making, and make them in such a Case, as they were never in since they came from Holme, I mean since they came from their Owen true Protestant Reli­gion in England, to the hypocritical society of Amsterdam, Geneva, Scotland, &c. Thus have I passed over the Wells of danger, to Good-wins safe harbour, with­out licence from Sedge-week. Commending this to your serious consideration I rest,

Yours in all Christian observance, ED. BROWNE

IF any Say, that by the Penning of these expression, I meane particular per­sons, and therefore will not Brook them, but fret and fume, whinper and Pym­per, let them in a patient temper shew me wherein they are offended, and it shall be ordered for their satisfaction, and all the world, That their answer with my reply shall be forthwith printed and published.

Per. Cl [...]r. Dulm. Ignor.

NOw courteous Reader, pray consider, how could I better vindicate my B [...]oke­making, and so free my self from falling into these po [...]t calumniators pawes, then by printing these my confused notions, which I am confident they dare not, answere for by private writings they might slily have fought r [...]vengem [...]nt to my great dam­mage; but in a publique way they will not offer to ab [...]se me, [...]est they be too notori­ous. Therefore leaving them, I will declare how my wo [...]ks and these distracted times agree together: For I may not unfitly compare my Bookes to the true Protestant Re­ligion, and my selfe to the Imperious Clergy, and hypocriticall professors; for as my minde is almost distracted by disastrous l [...]es on the one fide, and a malignant party on the other, yet my bookes stand unblameable in the midst, though they may seeme to have some blemishes in f [...]cy, yet similies and illustrations (though fabulous) in signification, makes the matter more pleasant and delightfull: So these times are distra­cted by Popery & Armi [...]ianisme, who have lost much of the Churches glory, on the one side, and Anabaptists, Brownists and Sectaries, as a malignant party on the other, yet the true Protestant Religion stands still upright in the midst, though she may seeme to have spots in outward worship; In the signification thereof to a devout heart, makes her more beautifull and amiable. For further illustration hereof, as it is apparant, that our Prelaticall Clergy sought to erect an Arminian Hierarchy, if not Papisticall Ido­latry, in these thtee Kingdomes of England, Scotland, and Ireland, by imposing uselesse ceremonies by their Canonicall Oath, &c. by their 2s. and 9d. Tythe, by their insul­ting pride in Spirituall Courts, by their Lordly habits of Sattin, Silke and Velvet, farre different from Christ and his Apostles humility, &c. So it is conspicuous likewise, that these Presbyter [...]an Doctors do now assume to themselves such a Spirit of Revelation, that whatsoever they foment against Church and State, must be taken for pure Divini­ty, though it be faction, rebellion and schisme. Thus for a trifling ceremony, where­with every Christian Church in the world differs in one kinde or other, those affirme and declare, that there can be no reformation without resisting and opposing supreme authority. And this they maintaine with a strong hand, and grow very proud and im­perio [...]s; and what their haughty ins [...]lence will arise unto, it is not yet kn [...]wn; but it is to be feared, confusion both of this flourishing Church and Common-weal. For they are not ashamed to affirme, That Reformation cannot bee established without blood; and therefore to put out the light of our eyes and stop the breath of our nostrills, the supreme head of these three Kingdoms, our gracious Soveraigne whose vertues are un­paraleld, and learning excellently admirable seeke to stop all passages of peace and re­conciliation between him and his people, and will not suffer a little paper to be printed in his owne Presse, or any others that speake truth, but admit, or at least suffer ly [...]ng and scandalous Pamphlets against his person, government, and royall proceedings; and under pretence of fighting against Prince Robert, Cavaliers and Papists, they seeke to destroy all inge [...]ious spirits and learned men, What shall we say to these things? Is there not enough noble and innocent blood on both sides shed already? Are these peo­ple blood-thirsty? Are they insatiable? pray judge. What would they doe if all power were in their owne hands? Are these things equall? Did we ever read or heare, that that Religion can be good which is established by blood? Truly, I doubt the doctrine [Page 8] as much as the practise of those who are esteemed great Professors, Saints, and Pro­phets of the time, God grant they may professe lesse, but doe more: for what needs warre, when both King and Parliament affirme and declare, That they endevour to maintaine the true Protestant Religion, the [...]afety and honour of the Kings sacred per­ton crowne and dignity, the rights and priviledges of Parliament, and liberty of the Subject? But now I am in a great strait, for some say, even to my face, that writing a­gainst hypocrits, I write against the Parliament; but God knowes my heart is free from that scandall: for I honour every worthy member thereof, and with the rotten limbs were cut off that disturb the Church and State: And on the other side, in speaking a­gainst Bishops, I speake against the King, which is likewise cleare to the contrary: for I wish, that my life (for his sake) might end this quarrell. Are not these the last times, when a mans enemies are those of the same house, as Christ prophesied? What shall I do? I would fain leave, but cannot my mind is as a vessell filled with new Wine, and it must have vent: for my words may be milconstrued, my writings cannot justly be con­demned by indiffrent men, therfore seeing our Poeticall Captaines Satyr hath lost his scourge, and our laureat Poets will have no bitternesse in their sweet expressions. God, who opened the mouth of the dumb Asse, and makes infants to speake to his praise, hath stirred up my unlearned quill to doe all these workes to his glory, good or others, and comfort of my owne foule. I will not feare to declare not only mine, but the opini­on of all godly, zealous learned men in the world that the Church of England as it hath been governed and established by Act of Parliament these fourscore yeares and up­wards, was the most true Catholike Christian religion in the world, both in purity of doctrine and decent orderly ceremonies, and therefore could wish that all privat Con­venticles, and close Meetings against King and Parliament, were diss [...]lved, that there might be a free debate according to ancient custome, that both King and Parliament (laying aside all by-respects) would joyn together, and endeavour to root out all Papi­sticall Idolatry, and Arminian pride in [...]opacy, all schismaticall faction and apparant hypocrisie in those who are esteemed Puritans, and speedily settle such a Protestant re­ligion, that England may again retain its former splend of, and not as now it is a hissing and a by-word to other nations, even an Aceldama of Christian blood; but none can bring this to pas [...]e, but God onely. And therefore for conclusion of all my printed la­bor, except it be to answer my malignant party, I wil, & so all good people should, both day & night pray God to send peace in our dayes that the light of the Gospell may still shine amongst us in burning & shining lamps, that the voyce of the Turtle may stil con­tinue to be heard in our streets from able and zealous Divines that the King and all people may unite their forces together, for composing of our differences, for the hea­ling of our distractions, for the making up of the many breaches in Church and State, and for the establishment of the foundation thereof on the word of God, that so being as a house built on such a rock though the winde of forraigne invasion blow, the raine of civill dissention fall, and the floods of internall malice roare, and lift up their voyce, yet the house that is built upon Christ, the corner stone thereof shall stand, and the gates of hell shall not prevaile against it.

Amen. So be it.

FINIS.

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