"The Ground needs no other midwifery in bringing forth Weeds, than only the neglect of the Husbandman's Hand to pluck them up; the Air needs no other Cause of Darkness, than the Absence of Sun; nor water of Coldness, than its Distance from the Fire, because these are the genuine Products of Nature."
— Westminster Assembly (1643-1652)
Metaphors found in 1675 edition (earliest witness): The Confession of Faith, Together With the Larger and Lesser Catechismes. Composed by the Reverend Assembly of Divines, Sitting at Westminster, Presented to Both Houses of Parliament. Again Published With the Scriptures at Large, and the Emphasis of the Scriptures in a Different Character. to Which Is Annexed Two Sheets of Church-Government With the Scriptures at Large. ([Glasgow]: Printed at London, for the Company of Stationers, anno 1658. And re-printed and Glasgow, by Robert Sanders, printer to the city and university, and are to be sold in his shop, 1675), [A2]. <Link to EEBO>
See also The Confession of Faith, and the Larger and Shorter Catechisms, First Agreed Upon by the Assembly of Divines at Westminster, and Now Appointed by the Generall Assembly of the Kirk of Scotland, to Be a Part of Uniformity in Religion Between the Kirks of Christ in the Three Kingdomes. (Edinburgh: Printed by the heirs of George Anderson, 1652). <Link to ESTC> [finding at least 5 entries in the English Short Title Catalogue for the uniform title: 1652, 1671, 1694, 1700]
Originally found in ECCO, in 1746 edition of The Confession of Faith, the Larger and Shorter Catechisms, With the Scripture-Proofs at Large. (Glasgow: Printed by John Robertson and Mrs M'Lean, and sold at their shops, 1746). [Found again in 1717, 1728, and 1756 editions.]