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THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY

741139 ASTOR, LENOX AND TILDEN FOUNDATIONS R

1916

LONDON: Printed by J. Hill, Black Horse Court,

Fleet Street.

PREFACE.

The following Meditations are taken from “ The Husbandman's Companion : containing One Hundred Occasional Meditations, Reflections, and Ejaculations, especially suited to men of that employment; directing them how they may be heavenly minded while about their ordinary calling. By Edward Bury, late Minister of Great Bolas in Shropshire, 1677.”

In this work the Meditations particularly adapted for the Garden are selected, and the title conformed to this alteration. Some quaint words have been exchanged for others expressing the same meaning ; and some texts of Scripture have been added at the end of each Meditation.

The following extracts from the author's Epistle Dedicatory will show his design: “I conceive it is real communion with Christ, and the life of faith, that makes the soul fat and flourishing; and I think that meditation conduces as much to this as any duty whatsoever. Prayer, I know, brings in supplies from Heaven, and so does this ; and these two usually are concomitant, and where the one is neglected the other is seldom well performed. Meditation, like the bee, fetches honey both from flowers and weeds; yea, this Divine alchymist extracts gold out of the coarsest metals.

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“ There is no man so busy, if not sinfully employed, but may find some time every day to converse with God, and now and then make a journey to heaven, and view those celestial mansions prepared for those who love God. There is none so dull witted, if honest hearted, but

may learn some profitable lessons in nature's school. The least worm or gnat, or leaf of a tree, will point out God to an observant Christian.

“ That Meditation is a Christian duty, none that pretend to religion, or to reason itself, will deny; and that to meditate upon God's works as well as his word, is our duty is evident. God sometimes sends us to the ox and ass, Isa, i. 3; sometimes to the fowls of heaven, the stork, the crane, and the swallow, Jer. viii. 7; sometimes to the little ant, Prov. vi. 6 ; xxx. 25; and all to learn our duty. David learned humility by beholding the moon and the stars, Psa. viii. 3, 4; and Christ grounds many of his excellent sermons upon various daily occurrences, as we see in the parable of the sower and the seed, the tares of the field, and the net cast into the sea ; the leaven, the mustard seed, the fruitless fig tree, and many others. What heavenly use doth he make of earthly things, that we may of these earthly materials frame to ourselves a Jacob's ladder to ascend to heaven! for all those visibles will raise us up to behold invisibles, and give us a Pisgah sight of the heavenly Canaan, even of those things within the vail.”

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