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presume to interest any mortal man in the patronage of it? Much less think we it meet to seek the recommendation of the Muses, for that which himself was confident to have been inspired by a diviner breath than flows from Helicon. The world therefore shall receive it in that naked simplicity with which he left it, without any addition either of support or ornament, more than is included in itself. We leave it free and unforestalled to every man's judgement, and to benefit that he shall find by perusal. Only for the clearing of some passages, we have thought it not unfit to make the common Reader privy to some few particularities of the condition and disposition of the person.
Being nobly born, and as eminently endued with gifts of the mind, and having by industry and happy education perfected them to that great highth of excellency, whereof his fellowship of Trinity College in Cambridge, and his Oratorship in the University, together with that knowledge which the King's Court had taken of him, could make relation far above ordinary, quitting both his deserts and all the opportunities that he had for worldly preferment, he betook himself to the Sanctuary and Temple of God, choosing rather to serve at God's Altar, than to seek the honour of State employments. As for those inward enforcements to this course (for outward there was none,) which many of these ensuing verses bear witness of, they detract not from the freedom, but add to the honour of this resolution in him. As God had enabled him, so He accounted him meet not only to be called, but to be compelled to this service: Wherein his faithful discharge was such, as may make him justly a companion to the primitive Saints, and a pattern or more for the age he lived in.
To testify his independency upon all others, and to quicken his diligence in this kind, he used in his ordinary speech, when he made mention of the blessed name of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, to add, My Master.
Next God, he loved that which God Himself hath magnified above all things, that is, His Word : so as he hath been
heard to make solemn protestation, that he would not part with one leaf thereof for the whole world, if it were offered him in exchange.
His obedience and conformity to the Church and the discipline thereof was singularly remarkable: Though he abounded in private devotions, yet went he every morning and evening with his family to the church; and by his example, exhortations, and encouragements drew the greater part of his parishioners to accompany him daily in the public celebration of Divine Service.
As for worldly matters, his love and esteem to them was so little, as no man can more ambitiously seek, than he did earnestly endeavour the resignation of an ecclesiastical dignity, which he was possessor of. But God permitted not the accomplishment of this desire, having ordained him His instrument for re-edifying of the church belonging thereunto, that had lain ruinated almost twenty years. The reparation whereof, having been uneffectually attempted by public collections, was in the end by his own and some few others' private free-will offerings successfully effected. With the remembrance whereof, as of an especial good work, when a friend went about to comfort him on his death-bed, he made answer, 'It is a good work, if it be sprinkled with the blood of Christ :' otherwise than in this respect he could find nothing to glory or comfort himself with, neither in this nor in any other thing.
And these are but a few of many that might be said, which we have chosen to premise as a glance to some parts of the ensuing book, and for an example to the reader.
We conclude all with his own motto, with which he used to conclude all things that might seem to tend any way to his own honour,
"Less than the least of God's mercies.'
Page 55. note : read Vindication.
Page 56. line 9. newly. late MS. and so the original among the king's pamphlets, Brit. Mus. (which, by the way, certainly was not corrupted by Hearne).
Page 58. line 2. this ensuing writing. It occurs also in a conversation (the fourth) on temperance (Middle Hill MS. p. 140). Page 59. line 2. burnt it. it burnt. MS.
12. leases. supplied by Baker.
9. from foot. he took. took. MS.
to Whom. and t. W. MS.
Page 64. n. Mrs. Ferrar. “Though of so great age, at her dying day she had no infirmity, and scarce any sign of old age upon her. Her hearing, sight, and all her senses were very good. She had never lost a tooth; she walked very upright and with great agility. Nor was she troubled with any pains or uneasiness of body. While she lived at Gidding she rose, summer and winter, at five o'clock, and sometimes sooner. In her person she was of a comely presence, and had a countenance so full of gravity that it drew respect from all who beheld her. In her words she was courteous, in her actions obliging, in her diet always very temperate ; saying, she did not live to eat and drink, but ate and drank to live? She was a pattern of piety, benevolence, and charity. And thus she lived and died, esteemed, revered, and beloved of all who knew her.” John Ferrar in Peckard, whose account is confirmed by the Collett letters and by his mother's portrait. Her will (dat. 29 Jul. 16283. probat. 12 Jul. 1634) sets forth her wish to be buried by her husband.
1 A saying ascribed to Socrates in Gell. xix. 2, &c.
2 Witnesses John and Nicholas F., John, Susanna and Mary Collett, Arthur Woodenoth,
The Gidding estates purchased by her (by indenture of sale [May 30. 1625] by Thos. Sheppard of London, merchant, to N. F. and Arthur Woodnoth) were first to be applied to paying her debts ; then to be enjoyed by N. F., who was to pay Mary Collett £500, by yearly instalments of £50; this bequest, which had been promised in more prosperous times, must now stand in lieu of further aid to the Colletts, who had already received more than any other of the family now could. Mrs. F. therefore charged them "upon her blessing" not to molest J. F. or N. F. for the dispositions they had made of houses and lands in Southwark, in which she once had an interest. £50 to be added “to the portion of my grandchild Margaret Collett, because I have so long brought her up.” J. F. had a rent charge of £85 out of the estate ; the remaining rents were to be equally divided between J. F. and N. F. to whose loves, “if he deserved,” it was left to provide for the great necessities of their brother Richard. Other bequests : Cousin Joan Collett, nephew Arthur Woodnoth, nephew John Woodnoth (or some of his children), each £10: husband's niece Mary Steed, great silver salt; her sister Wright, £4; their brother John Ferrar, £3 for a ring: Hester Holmes, £2 for a ring; as much to Ellen Harris : Robt. Bateman, a gold ring. All other goods and chattels, to N. F. in part payment of £300 and other debts. Sole executor, N. F.
Page 65. $ 61. Mr. Ferrar. By the will (dat. Feb. 13, 1617–8) of Mrs. Mary Robinson (who founded four poor scholarships at the universities) plate, cushions &c., with the lease and furniture of her house at Mile End are bequeathed to Mr. and Mrs. F. Mr. F. is also requested to distribute a legacy of £200 among such poor people as he shall know to have need of relief. Mrs. R. is recorded in 1619 as having left by will £200 for building a church in Virginia 1.
i Will transcribed by Peck from a copy in Edw. Ferrar's hands; extract from True Declaration of the present state of the colony and affairs in Virginia. By Edward Waterhouse. London. 1622. 4to. page 51. Both transcribed in Middle Hill MS. 9527.
Mr. Ferrar's will.
[London the 23rd of March 1619–20.] In the Name of God, Amen. The three and twentieth day of March in the Year of our Lord God after the computation of the Church of England 1619, &c.
I NICHOLAS FARRAR, citizen and skinner of London, being weak in body but sound in mind and of perfect remembrance, praised be God, do ordain and make this my last will and testament in manner and form following. First and principally I commit my soul into the hands of the Almighty God my Creator and Jesus Christ His Son my only Saviour and Redeemer, by Whose precious death and bloodshed I trust to [receive] remission of all my sins and after this life life everlasting, only by faith in Him, and by no other means that can be wrought by man or angels. Also I do know and believe, that after I am departed out of this mortal life1 nothing can be available for me, neither prayer nor works that can be wrought by man, be he never so holy, but only Jesus Christ is able perfectly to save all those that come unto Him, seeing that He liveth ever to make intercession for us, and like a merciful Father He calleth us unto Him, saying, Come unto Me all ye that travail and are heavy laden with the multitude of your sins, and I will refresh you. Therefore being called, O Lord, I come unto Thee; receive me graciously for Thy mercy's sake into Thy hands, O Lord; for my body, I leave it to be buried in the place where it shall please God to appoint; and farther that there be a sermon made at my burial, if it may be, that thereby all men may be admonished to fear God sincerely and truly remember what they are and whither they shall: for death is the end of all flesh. And for my worldly goods, First, Whereas there is lately given a beginning to the erecting and founding of a college in Virginia for the conversion of infidels' children unto Christian religion.
i That nothing, MS.