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26. This of Nicholas Ferrar becoming a deacon instantly spread over the court and city. Most men wondered; some censured him ; sir Edwin Sandys was amazed at it, yet said, he'll not be the less, but the better able to do the kingdom service in all kinds. Sir Edwin was a most wise man, and loved him entirely, and esteemed him above what my words can express. And this his good opinion of Nicholas Ferrar continued to his dying day, though they lived far asunder. Witness his charge to his lady at his death', whom he made his executrix, to take Nicholas Ferrar's counsel in all the managing of his will and her affairs.
27. While Nicholas Ferrar was in London, returning to Gidding, the lords of the Virginia company hearing what he had done, as to become a deacon, supposing that now, though he had refused temporal preferments, he could not refuse spiritual, they parled with sir Edwin Sandys, that he would confer with him; and one of the lordssaid, I will give him a living worth £400 per an., if he would take it. The other, not knowing of the other lord's intentions, told sir Edwin, that he would help Nicholas Ferrar to a living of £300 per an.; or if he would
1 Early in Oct. 1629 (Wood's Athence, ii. 474). An interesting memorial of the friendship of Sandys and Ferrar is still preserved in the silver flagon at Little Gidding church. See Appendix.
2 The two lords were the marquis of Hamilton and the earl of Pembroke (Peckard, 176).
not accept of that, if he would but come and live with him in his house as his friend and companion, he would allow him £200 per an., only for his company.
Sir Edwin was earnest with him to accept of the offers, but Nicholas Ferrar excused himself as unworthy, and his determination was to spend his life and time and talent in his own family', for whose benefit and help he had now parted with all his worldly estate amongst them: and so besought sir Edwin to give those noble lords all due and humble thanks for their undeserved good opinions of him.
28. And now I shall offer to our historian the particular actions and more punctual actions of each day in the week, and what was performed by the family in their course of life. And to begin with the first and best day of the week, the Lord's day or Sunday, the action of that being different from those of the week-days. For matter of early rising that day, it was like that of the week, commonly about five o'clock in winter and four in
The daughters and younger children risen, having given God thanks for that night's preservation, and making them decently and speedily ready, all things being fitted in their chambers for that intent; when ready, I say, they resort into a large great chamber fairly hung, where in winter before that hour is a good warm fire made by a servant, whose constant office it was (for every servant had their cue). There they always found Nicholas Ferrar ready to attend their coming. At this Sunday morning, as at others in the week-day, they repeated unto him such chapters and psalms as each were to give an account of without book. Then they retired themselves, and this day made their selves all more comely in their best attires, he persuading all sorts to be decent, neat, cleanly in their apparel, as a thing well-pleasing to God and
1 “My disposition chiefly inclining me to a life of devotional retirement, about which I did love to talk with worthy Mr. Thristcross, who knew Mr. Ferrar and Little Gidding, wishing there had been an increase of religious societies."Worthington's Diary, i. 219 (in a letter to Dr. Sterne, Oct. 19, 1660).
29. About nine o'clock the bell rung to go to church; then all assembled first up into the great chamber; then, all come, there was a hymn sung, and the organs played to it: which ended, each person said some sentence of scripture, such as they thought good, and so all went down to church (which stood by, -paces from the house, at the end of the garden), in decent order two and two together, the three masters in gowns leading the way, and the young youths in black gowns following them. Nicholas Ferrar led his mother, his two brothers, John Ferrar and Mr. Collett, going before her (after the children), and then followed their
1 "About forty,” says Lenton in his letter.
sister Collett and her daughters, and so all the servants, two by two: each as they came into the church making low obeisance', taking their places, the masters in the chancel, and the boys kneeling upon the upper step, which ascended up into the chancel from the church: the reading place and pulpit standing, each opposite to the other, by two pillars, at the ascent into the chancel, the one on the right hand, the other on the left, close to each side of the wall: old Mrs. Ferrar and all her daughters going into an isle of the church, that joined on the north side, close at the back of the readingplace, where all the women sat always. Nicholas
1 Lenton in Peckard, 300, 301.
His account is thus distorted in the libellous “ Arminian Nunnery,” “At the entrance whereof (of the chapel] this priestlike deft deacon made a low obeisance, a few paces farther lower, and coming to the half-pace which is at the east end where the altered table stood, he bowed and prostrated himself to the ground.”Hearne’s Langtoft, cxxxiv. The original says expressly "the communion-table, not altar-wise, as reported.”—Peckard, 298. The old custom here spoken of was charged upon Laud, when accused of high treason (Troubles and Tryal, 312, cf. 313, 315, 316): Dr. Featly testifies, “That there were bowings at the coming into the chapel, and going up to the communion-table." See Laud's answer (ibid.), Bramhall's Works (Angl. Cath. Libr.), v. 77, Bingham, Antiqu. viii. 6, § 12, 10, 87, and especially Jer. Taylor's tract, lately discovered, On Reverence to the Altar, Heylin's Introduction to Cypr. Angl. sect. 18, and the work itself, 378, 407, 409, Prynne's learned “QuenchCoale" (4to, 1637), 240–314, Crofton's Altar-worship; or bowoing to the Communion-Table considered, 12mo, 1661.
Ferrar being in his surplice and hood' (for so in it he always went to church) stepped up into the reading-place, and there said divine service, and responses were made by all present, and the reading psalms were done so. This performed, being returned home, those that had the office (which were the elder nieces and some others of the family) in summer-time went and sat in a gallery, in winter in a room where a good fire was. Then they called the psalm-children to them, to hear them repeat without book their psalms. These psalm-children thus heard repeat their psalms, not only what they now learned that week (for which they were to have for each psalm a penny, and
i The zeal with which the puritans denounced the surplice as popish and antichristian may be seen in Hooker, v. 29, Morton's Defence of the innocencie of the three ceremonies, &c., and the answers of Ames, Herbert's Epigr. Apolog. 14. The authorities on the other hand required that all lecturers do read divine service according to the Liturgy ... in their surplices and hoods. (Laud's Troubles and Tryal, 517, 519, 521). Indeed Mr. Carlyle can discover in Laud nothing better than a fondness for “four surplices at Allhallow-tide;" a constantly recurring formula. More impartial students will not suffer their dislike of what Mr. Carlyle calls "ritual mummeries” to make them blind to the archbishop's energy, integrity, great learning and well-directed munificence.
2. “So doth he also before giving make them say their prayers first, or the creed and ten commandments, and as he finds them perfect rewards them the more. For other givings are lay and secular, but this is to give like a priest.”—Herbert's Country Parson, c. xii. ad fin. “They also take upon