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To the Reader

Christian Reader,

I inform you, that by divine Providence, I have been restrained from bodily employments, suting with my disposicion, which enforced me to a retired Course of life; Wherin it pleased God to give me such inlargednesse of mind, and activity of spirit, so that this seeming desolate condicion, proved to me most delightfull: To be breif, I became affected to Poetry, insomuch that I proceeded to practise the same; and though the helps I had therein were small, yet the thing it self appeared unto me so amiable, as that it enflamed my faculties, to put forth themselvs, in a practise so pleasing.

Now the furtherances I had herein, was what I could gather (by the benifit of hearing,) at first from prophane Histories; which gave not that satisfactory contentment, before mencioned; but it was the manifestacion of Divine Truth, or rather the Truth it self, that reduced my mind to a peacefull temper, and spirituall calmnesse, taking up my thoughts for Theologicall employments.

Witnesse hereof, this Discourse, Songs and Meditacions following; which I have set forth (as I trust) for the benifit, and comfort of others, Cheifly for those Christians who are of disconsolat Spirits, who may perceive herein, the Faithfullnesse Love, & Tender Compassionatnesse of God to his people, in that according to his gracious Promise, He doth not leave nor forsake them. Heb. 13.5. But causeth all things to work for theyr good. Rom. 8.28. This I doubt not, but most Saints in som measure, do experimentally know, therefore I will not seek by argument, to prove a thing so perspicuous. And now (Courteous Reader) I have delivered unto you, what I intended, onely it remains that I tell you, That with my Labours, you have my Prayers to God through Jesus Christ; whose I am, and in him,

Yours, in all Christian affection An Collins.

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