Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

LIFE

OF

NICHOLAS FERRAR

BY

HIS BROTHER JOHN.

Nulla virtus latet, et latuisse non ipsius est damnum : veniet, qui conditam et seculi sui malignitate conpressam dies publicet. paucis natus est, qui populum aetatis suc cogitat : multa annorum milia, multa populorum supervenient : ad illa respice. etiamsi omnibus tecum viventibus silentium livor indixerit, venient, qui sine offensa, sine gratia judicent. si quod est pretium virtutis ex fama, nec hoc interit. ad nos quidem nihil pertinebit posterorum sermo : tamen etiam non sentientes colet ac frequentabit. Nulli non virtus et vivo et mortuo retulit gratiam, si modo illam bona secutus est fide, si se non exornavit et pinxit, sed idem fuit, sive ex denuntiato videbatur, sive inparatus ac subito. Nihil simulatio proficit. paucis inponit leviter extrinsecus inducta facies : veritas in omnem sui partem eadem est. Quce decipiunt, nihil habent solidi. tenue est mendacium : perlucet, si diligenter inspexeris.

Sen. Ep. LXXIX. SS 17, 18.

LIFE OF NICHOLAS FERRAR'.

W

HEN he was born, his parents had then alive

two sons more® and two daughters * ; so we account him the third son. He came into the world Febr. 22, An. 1592*, was christened the 28th day in the parish of St. Mary Stayning, in Mark Lane, London, named Nicholas after the name of his father; a lovely child, fair and of bright hair like his mother. The Bible was the book in the world to him dear and precious. The next book, the Book

1 Baker heads the MS.

“Some directions for the collecting materials for the writing the life of Mr. Nich. Ferrar. Then follows the account of his life, beginning, In the name of God, Amen.

N.B. This is only an extract of a much larger account." 2 John and Erasmus.

3 Susanna, afterwards Mrs. Collett, alone is named in Peckard's Life. 4 1592-3.

2.

of Martyrs, he took great delight in; and the story of bishop Ferrar' he had perfect, as for his name's sake.

About the year 1598, the bishop of London held at St. Magnus's Church a confirmation", whither Mr. Francis his schoolmaster brought the said Nicholas Ferrar to be confirmed, as he was the second time by his own contrivance, and being asked by his master, Why did you 80 ? replied cheerfully, I did it because it was a good thing to have the bishop's prayers and blessing twice, and I have got it. And now his parents resolved to send him and his brother William to a school in Berkshire, near to Newbury, to one Mr. Brooks's house, a minister

1 See the “Martyrdome of Doctor Robert Farrar, Bishop and Martyr, at Carmarthen. Anno 1555, March 30," in Fox, (1413, ed. 1597.)

2 “He seldom travelled but notice being given before, he staid at some town or village, to confirm such as were but even past children, to lay his hands on them, and to bless them, and did it oftener than the 60 canon requires : an ancient and an admirable order, when such were presented as were before made ready by being exactly catechized.”Hacket's Life of Williams, ï. 61. “Why do we confirm little children, whom in all reason we cannot suppose to be capable and receptive of such graces ?”—“There is a third way, which the church of England and Ireland follows, that after infancy, but yet before they understand too much of sin ... then it is good to bring them to be confirmed.”_ “The sooner the better, I mean after that reason begins to dawn.”—Jer. Taylor, Disc. of Confirm. $ 7 (v. 661, 663, 664, new ed.). Herbert (Country Parson, c. xxii.) recommends early admission to the Communion.

and their old acquaintance, a famous man when he lived in the Old Jewry, London', who had already their two elder sons there at school, and thirty gentlemen and merchants' sons of London, keeping a schoolmaster in his house to teach all of them; he only had an eye upon their learning and good manners, who himself was a very severe man, and with his very looks kept all his boarders in exceeding great awe and reverence.

3. While preparations were making to send them, it pleased God to permit a sore and grievous temptation to befall Nicholas Ferrar, that wonderfully perplexed his body and mind, Whether there was a God, and how to be served. One night, which was cold and frosty, he riseth out of his bed, for sleep he could not, and goes down to a green grass-plat in the garden, and throws himself upon his face on the ground, and with extreme perplexity of grief sobs sighs and abundance of tears, earnestly with all his strength, humbly begged of God that He would put into his heart the true fear and care of His Divine Majesty, and that this fear and love of God might never depart out of his mind, and that he might know, how he must serve Him. After much bitter weeping he felt his heart much eased, and comforts began to come to it, and to have an assurance of

1 Rob. Brooks, M. A. was instituted vicar of St. Olave Jewry, Aug. 27, 1593, being thereunto presented by the crown ; and rector of Wodeham Walter in Essex, Dec. 12, 1619 (Newcourt, i. 515, ü. 605).

* Supply she began].

« ForrigeFortsett »