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them from their vain thoughts and conversation, and to make the repetition of those sacred hymns (without hindering the performance of any other necessary duty, honest employment, or innocent recreation) the subject of their mutual discourses. So he would earnestly recommend getting without book the Gospel of our Blessed Saviour, and what more they could of the New Testament'. This, he would say, was as needful food to our souls, as meat is to our bodies, which a man is yet to get by the sweat of his brows. For who knows, said he, how he may be disposed of before he dies ? Suppose blind, suppose in a prison, or travelling where he can have no help but from his memory. No man, till he has tried, said he, can imagine the comforts and pleasures he may derive from such a good treasure in his heart.
1 “They (the sisters] were able to repeat by heart both the book of the Psalms and most part of the New Testament.” Hearne, Caii Vind. 214. See above $ 51 fin.
Slight those who say amidst their sickly healths,
From his ecliptic line ; beckon the sky.
Herbert's Church-Porch, st. 23.
It seems to be approved by experience, that a slender diet and well nigh Pythagorean, or such as is answerable to the severest rules of monastical life, or to the institutions of hermits, who had necessity and scarceness for a rule, doth produce long life. And to this course appertains drinking of water, cold air, slender food (to wit, of roots and fruits, and powdered and pickled flesh and fish, rather than that which is fresh and hot), the wearing of hair-cloth, often fastings, frequent watchings, and seldom enjoyment of sensual pleasures, and the like. For all these do diminish the spirits, and reduce them to that quantity which sufficeth merely to the services of life, whereby the consumption of the radical humour and vital heat is abated. Bacon, History of Lifeand Death (vol. iii. p. 357, London, 1753).
Extant Memorials of the Ferrars.
1. The first in value and the foundation of all other memoirs is that written by John Ferrar. There seem originally to have been two or three forms of this : thus Peckard notes (307, 308) among “MSS. once at Gidding” “Mr. Nich. Ferrar's life : in the hand of Mr. J. Ferrar. 76 pages folio,” and “mementos concerning Mr. N. Ferrar, folio, 1655," as well as an ancient folio MS. which had been entrusted to Peck, and had afterwards passed into Peckard's hands, by bequest from Edward Ferrar of Huntingdon. Peck’s MS.“entitled The complete Church of England man exemplified in the holy life of Mr. N. Ferrar, written out fair and prepared for the press," was lent by Peckard to the Rev. Mr. Jones, of Sheephall, Herts., and never recovered?. Its loss is much to be regretted, as Peck certainly would not have deformed his original as Peckard has done in his Memoirs of the Life of Mr. Nicholas Ferrar. By P. Peckard”, D.D. Master of Magdalen College,
1 In the Brit. Mus. Add. MS. 6209. fol. 88 6. seq. are some letters of Peck to Prof. Ward, in which (Sept. 10 and 23, 1735) he states that John Ferrar's memoirs were composed in 1655, “to assist somebody (whom, I am not yet sure) to write his [N. F.'s) life. They are wrote by fits and starts confusedly. And I have had a deal of trouble to reduce them to method." He hoped to complete his task that winter, 1735.
2 Dr. Peckard's mutilations of the original seem to have been dictated by fear of a scornful public in the man himself there was much to esteem : see 3 The MS. was lent to Baker by one of the family, “and being very authentic," as he says, p. 422, “may serve to correct whatever we have yet in print concerning this extraordinary man, and his extraordinary way of living." He was at first hurried by the fear that the MS. might be recalled, and therefore could not make so full a transcript as he desired.
Cambridge. Cambridge, Archdeacon, 1790, 8vo. 1 Peckard's work has been reprinted (with curtailments, not always judicious, with some useful notes, and with the valuable appendix from the Lambeth MS., which is given above) in the four editions of Dr. Wordsworth's Eccl. Biogr. "A life of Nicholas Ferrar. London, Masters. 1852,” edited, I believe, by Mr. Miller, of New College, is a neatly printed abridgement from Peckard; it has also a sketch of the church and an account of the church furniture. Baker's extracts were known to Peckard, but neither he nor his successors have made any use of them. In the early part they are little more than a table of contents 3 ; but the account of the Gidding settlement is probably complete. I have taken the liberty to change the spelling, and to insert or omit, for the sake of distinctness, a few little words, such as and, the &c. These corrections, with a few errata, will be noticed in their proper places below.
2. Life by Turner, bishop of Ely. Extracts were first given (by Dr. Dodd) in the second volume of the Christian Magazine (1761). “In some parts,” says Peckard, “even whole paragraphs are word for word the same" with John Ferrar's MS. A short summary appeared in the Gent. Mag. xlii. 364 seq. After fruitless endeavours to consult the
a notice of him and his foundations at Magdalen in Nichols's Literary Illustrations, vi. 729. He presented his life of Ferrar to Mr. Hopkinson's father : thus it was that the second restorer of Gidding learnt in early boyhood to revere the memory of the first.
i Some copies have a portrait prefixed, with the inscription, C. Jahnson pinxt. P. W. Tomkins sculp. late pupil of F. Bartolozzi. Nicholas Ferrar. A M. Born Feb. 22, 1592. Died Dec. 2*, 1637. Publ. as the act directs, Jan. 1, 1791.
2 Baker MS. xxxv. (Camb. Univ. Libr. EB. 9. 24), 389-432.
* The true date is Dec. 4,