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good, I take my leave and rest ever, your most obliged and loving sister S. C.
Let my most affectionate love I beseech you be remembered to my dear cousin Arthur.”
“To my dear brother Nicholas. Oct. 21. 1631. My most dear brother,
Since I entreated your help for the draught of a letter to Mr. B. I have gathered by your denial and by your speeches (and the more at the receipt of my cousin Arthur's letter), that you do not well approve of my son's going to the Indies, which before that time I did not conceive that you disliked of the course as evil, but only in regard of the difficulties that we are like to meet with in procuring his entertainment and his insufficiency to discharge any place in that kind. For the first, I thought it not best to give over the attempting it by the best means we could use, and we are in hope that God would please to make it effectual. For his abilities, I confess, I have been so doubtful, that I have not only troubled, but much perplexed my mind ever since, and though we have desired such a place as we think will not require any great abilities, nor he be put in much trust, yet the only hope that I have of his well-doing is only in God's mercy, Who can give wisdom to the simple and grace to them that are most unworthy, even when in men's judgement they are most uncapable of the receiving it, and my trust is that He will hear the prayers of so many as I hope will continually be intercessory for him. Besides I do conceive well of the means, that the length of the voyage, the danger of peril in the way, the good orders that are kept in the ship, the necessity forcing him to be observant to so many that are in authority above him, the discretion he shall see in others in applying themselves to perform their charge, may by God's grace work the like care in him and bring him to a more feeling apprehension of his past faults, and so to a more hearty repentance and endeavour of amendment every way. And in this I was the more confirmed by Mr. Buckridge, who was the first mentioner of sending him thither, as thinking it absolutely the best way we could set him in, and this was seconded by Mr. Bateman and my cousin Massenberd their approbation thereof, as of a course wherein a sober man might do exceeding well, and gave instances of some but ill disposed before their going thither to have come home sober and discreet men. Yet notwithstanding, perceiving now some opinions of such great danger of evil, I shall humbly beseech yours, whether upon these grounds we may not still desire this for him, and have as good hope of his well-doing in this, as in any other course which we shall be able to set him in, for I profess [for] my own part, I would not hazard a more imminent danger to his soul for a more certainty of his temporal preferment. If you therefore will please to give me your opinion and counsel herein, I shall by God's grace endeavour to follow it and shall ever acknowledge it for an addition to those many favours and that obligation wherein myself and all mine stand bound to you in the highth of all love and duty. Your loving sister to you much obliged S. C.”
The answer given Oct. 28. 1631. “Dear Sister
As I am partner in your cares, so shall I, God willing, in your prayers to God for the good success of the business, but counsel is too late to ask when the business is brought almost to upshot. Your reasons do not satisfy me, my own and others' fears trouble me. I cannot therefore be a setter forward by my approbation nor will be a hinderer of it, because I have no certainty of exception against the employment itself, and I see your husband's and your own mind strongly bent to the going forward of it, to which I shall never make any exception in any matter touching your children but upon evidence of error on your parts, and that in the very substance and essence of the business : but as for circumstantial errors (God willing) I will not stand upon
some such have been committed in this matter, but I freely pass them over, as much as concerns me: only one, out of the same love which makes me forget the rest, I am bound to remember, that is, the burthening your son Thomas with Edward's diet, which I did not suspect you had intended, till my mother told me it. I am afraid, nay, I am almost assured, it will prove every way of evil consequence : if you doubt so too, you have for the making him satisfaction one of your ten pounds remaining of the 20, and also your husband hath free liberty to dispose of the 20 nobles a year overplus which remains of the £20 rent, besides your own and sister's allowance. I desire it to be reserved for the exercise of your bounty towards a son ; if you will use it to the benefit of a couple I shall not hold it an alteration but an improvement of your first resolution. I have no more to say in this business, but that you hearken diligently what God saith unto you in it and follow His direction, and all shall I hope prove to the best, He will not fail to instruct you if you call upon Him faithfully. To His good grace I commit you and by His grace continue your faithful loving brother N. F.”
“To my daughter Mapletoft. July 30. 1632.
That you have so long enjoyed the company of your uncle we cannot envy, because we account ourselves to have a great part in anything that befals you whether good or evil. Otherways the repining of our own want would have caused us to wish your loss and his more speedy return : but we will hope his stay was the longer at Margetting, because he purposed to make it the shorter elsewhere. We hope of his coming home this week ; which if he do, I shall, if it please God, be with you sooner than I had formerly purposed, however I doubt not but by God's mercy it shall be in good time. Him I beseech to send both a good meeting and comfortable parting when the time shall come. All friends commend their dearest loves to you, and you in their prayers to the gracious protection of the Almighty.
Your loving mother S. C.”
“To my dear brother Nicholas. July 30. 1632. My most dear brother,
We give God hearty thanks for your safe coming to Margetting, where in regard of resting yourself after your journey, the comfort and pleasure that they, whom we cannot but wish sharers with us in any good, shall enjoy thereby, we are not sorry to hear of your purpose to make so long a stay, and should have been much more glad to have heard there were no occasion to carry you farther from Gidding. But though there is great probability that our letters will meet you at London, yet we are in good hope that your presence here will spare you the labour of writing back this week. I shall not need therefore to say anything of our intended journey, not doubting but it will be time enough to do it, when by God's mercy and both to your own and our joy you are returned back from yours. My brother's letters giving you account of all particulars, it shall suffice me to acquaint you with our common cause of thanksgiving to God for His gracious favour continuing in health our dearest mother and, with her, her whole family. Let me, I pray, entreat the favour of you to commend my kindest love to my good cousin Arthur, who we trust will not let you come home alone, but will engage us the more to him for accompanying you. All my children beseech you will please to accept the tender of their humble and bounden duties and beg your blessing and prayers to God for them and us all. To His gracious protection I leave you and rest ever your most bounden and loving sister S. C.”
“To my brother Nicholas, caused upon some speeches about his inditing of letters for divers in the house, and also for some exceptions taken for saying somewhat about the stories and other things. My most dear brother,
As you desire a free, so I make no doubt but a brief declaration will give you satisfaction in those two things wherein you require an answer. And first for letters, those
you have been pleased to give me any assistance in, I think myself much beholden, and if hereafter upon entreaty and occasion you shall afford me your help, I shall thankfully acknowledge it for a great favour. Then, for the matter of storying, I have accounted the most part of them to be delivered by way of relation of the actions and opinions of good and virtuous men and women, and such as for the substance ought to be taken for patterns of imitation, and so for all other passages that are intermingled with them, and do heartily desire that whatever is contained in them, that is the will or command of God, that we in our own particular should do, we may both consent and conform unto in all points. For any corporal exercise, there is none imposed, nor (as I conceive) expected from me, but what I both may and do willingly perform, and therefore I shall not need to say any more to that, nor, I hope, at all in these matters, but humbly beseech God, that whatever shall be done or said farther may prove to His glory and our comforts.
Your loving sister S. C.”
15, his. and his MS.
om. MS. Page 18 $ 15. Peck writing to Prof. Ward from Godeby, Sept. 10. 1735. sends this anecdote from his MS. Life of Ferrar lib. i. cap. 20 (Brit. Mus. Add. MS. 6209, fol. 89. “In 1619 Mr. Henry Briggs, that famous industrious and learned mathematician, reader of geometry at Gresham college (being one of the Virginia company and a great lover of Nicholas Ferrar, but then about leaving of London and going to settle at Oxford), went to the mercers' company (who had the gift of that place at Gresham college) and told them, that they should by all means go to Mr. Nicholas Ferrar and entreat him to accept of it, and that if they gave him some hundred pounds a year, he would well deserve it. For he far passed him, he said, in that art and science, and was like if he set to