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the Instruments of the Devil ; ground and establish the former, in the sound Principles and Fundamentals of Practical Christianity ; and thereby to obviate, and disappoint the wicked and execrable Designs and Combinations of the latter, to subvert and eradicate the very Foundation of the Christian Religion from amongst us.
May it please Almighty GOD to grant Success to:'niy sincere Attempt to promote his Glory and the Good of Mankind, and especially to feed the Sheep -end Lambs committed to my Charge, with proper and wholfonie Food and Nutriment: 177! I am, dear Youth, your Affectionate humble Servant,
361 Daniel Hallows.
Τ Η Ε
PR E F A C E.
T is much to be limented, that the so
very ancient and sacred Art of Poetry, should be abused to ridicule, expose, corrupt or discountenance Virtue and Religion ; or, to recommend, promote, encourage pagate Vice and Immorality, Profaneness and Irreligion, Lewdness and Effeminacy in the World ! Yet, this is the most unhappy and Jhameful Use that too many, especially of our moders Poets, make of it; who make it the Means and Instrument of corrupting, infead of improving the Age.
MR. Abraham Cowley, who (as one observes ) was a Perfon in whom great Wit
and Learning, a noble Fancy and solid Judgement, improved by Travel and Conversation, were happily conjoined, to make an admirable Poet, and an accomplished Gentleman : Yet his Wit grew too luxuriant in the Heat of his youthfel Blood, especially on LoveSubjects, which be severely lamented after
and upon this Occasion, reflected with extreme Concern, on the too common Abuse of Poetry, and wished that none would ever 'use it, but to the Glory of God, and the Good of Mankind : That Wit and Eloquence might no more be abused in the beggarly Flatteries of Great Men, or the servile Idolizing of Women ; or in wretched Scurrility and Lampoon ; or in laying false Colours on Virtue and Vice, &c.
Ah! what dismal Reflections (says. Dr. Woodward) will many licentious Poets make upon themselves, when they come to die, if they die in their Senses? Especially, many
of of those who write for the Stage, whose Lessons of Inpiety and Vice, have been fo often repeated with all the Advantages that Wit and Beauty, Action and Ornaments could give them, in order to make the deeper Impression on the thronged Auditory. It will then be as little for their Honour, as for their Comfort, that they have been the Means of the Corruption, and consequently of the Destruction of many Perfons of the best Parts and Quality, who might otherwise have given great Glory to God, and done good Service to their Country.
Alas! what Reftitution can they make to the World for these Damages? Or, what can they give in exchange for the Souls they have undone
for ever? *
POETRY (Jays a judicious and ingenious Author) by her original Institution, was never designed to misguide and pervert Man
* See Dr. Woodward's Fair Warnings to a careless World, p. 143, 144.
kind, but to instruct and delight them; and ought not to be the worse thought of, for the Mismanagement of the Artist: “ I can " think (says he) no objections to be of any « Force againjt Poetry, if the true Ends of “ its Inftitution be aimed at, and its useful « Laws and Rules duly observed.”
The wisef Law-givers, and the strictest Moralists have found it necessary to deliver their Precepts and Institutions in Verse, that they might be the better retained in the Memories, and make a deeper Impression upon the Affections of those who were to observe them.
Moses, Job, David, and SOLOMON, composed their several Odes and Anthems, in the most lively and exalted Manner, and celebrated the Praises of their Maker, with all the Delicacy of Thought, and Harmony of Numbers.