Saturday, August 24, 2019

1682 Pennsylvania Laws Against Adultery, Incest, Rape, & Polygamy

1682 Pennsylvania Laws

Chapter 7. And be it &c: That whosoever defileth the marriage bed, by Lying with another Women or Man, than their own wife or husband, being Legally convicted thereof, Shall for the first offence be publickly whipt, & Suffer one whole year’s imprisonment in the house of correction at hard Labour, to the behoof of the publick & Longer if the chief Magistrate See meet And both hee & the Woman Shall be Liable to a Bill of Divorcement, if required by the greived husband or wife, within the said term of one whole year after Conviction. And for the Second Offence Imprisonment in Manner aforesaid, during Life. And if the party with whom the husband or wife Shall defile their beds be Unmarryed, for the first offence they Shall Suffer half a year’s imprisonment in the manner aforesaid. And for the Second offence, Imprisonment for Life.

Chapter 8. And be it &c: That if any person Shall be Legally convicted of Incest, which is uncleanness betwixt near relations in blood, Such Shall forfeit one half of his Estate, and both Suffer imprisonment a whole year in the house of Correction at hard Labour, And for the Second offence imprisonment in Manner aforesaid during Life.

Chapter 10. And be it &c: That whosoever Shall be Convicted of Rape or Ravishment, that is, forcing a Maid, Widow or Wife, Shall forfeit One third part of his Estate to the parent of the said Maid & for want of a parent to the said Maid, And if a Widow to the said Widow, And if a Wife to the husband of the said wife &the Said party be whipt, & Suffer a year’s imprisonment in the house of Correction at hard Labour, And for the second offence imprisonment in Manner aforesaid
during Life.

Chapter 11. And be it &c: That whosoever Shall be Convicted of having two Wives or two husbands att one and the Same time Shall be imprisoned all their Life-time in the house of Correction at hard Labour, to the behoof of the former wife & children or the former husband & children And if a Man or Women being Unmarried do knowingly Marry the husband or wife of another person, hee or shee Shall be punished after the same Manner aforesaid.

Friday, August 23, 2019

1681 Virginia Anglican Priest Proposes Teaching Slaves Christianity

1681 Morgan Goodwyn, Proposes Teaching the Slaves Christianity

Goodwyn (1640-1685) was a Church of England (Anglican) minister who served in both Virginia and Barbadoes. He was one of the rare voices of ministers calling for the religious education of African slaves. Goodwyn's sentiments would be repeated 20 years later, when the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts began to send missionaries to the colonies and encourage the conversion or religious training of slaves.
Before we enter upon this Debate, to prevent all troublesome Clamors and Objections against it, upon the score of lnterest, this Position should first be laid down, and as a Principle fixt and Eternal, and from which a true Christian cannot recede, be resolved on, (viz.) That no Interest how great or (otherwise) just soever, may be admitted to stand in Competition with Christianity. .

And here also in this Consideration, we are especially to avoid Splitting upon this Solecism, both in Policy and Discretion, and against which, Ecclus hath so wisely cautioned us, ch. 37, v.11. [Not to ask Counsel for Religion of one that hath no Religion, nor of Justice of him that hath no Justice] nor of a Coward about Matters of War, nor of a Merchant concerning Exchange, nor of a Buyer concerning selling &c. for such will counsel for themselves, ver. 8. So likewise for a Christian not to be guided or led by Self-ended Men, Enemies to his Profession, in these Debates and Proposals made for the Advancement of it. Such being only like to raise Obstructions, as hitherto they have always done; and (as lately) to render that for impossible, which has not the least difficulty in it, where a right Method is used for effecting it.

No more are we to proceed herein, by the sole Advice of Persons unacquainted with the true State and Condition of the places where this Settlement or Conversion is to be wrought. . . .

These things being agreed on, we must then fall to consider of the People amongst whom we are to take our lot, and thereto to have an especial regard: As, whether they be Slaves, subject to the English, such as most of the Negro's there are; or free People living of themselves, either amongst, or distant from the English; such as most of the Indians on the Continent (in Virginia, &c.) are. Or lastly, whether this is to be performed by way of further Settling and Establishment, even amongst the English themselves, which also is no less necessary. . . .

Now concerning the Negro's, whom I should think fit to be first taken in hand (as being the easiest Task, would their Owners be perswaded to consent thereto; & the most absolutely necessary, this neglect being the most scandalous, and withal, the most impossible to be defended or excused:) The first and great step will be to procure (what I but just mentioned) their Owners consent, as being to be supposed averse thereto: not altogether, as is here believed, out of Interest (it being already secured to them by Laws of their own but by reason of the trouble, and the fancied needlessness of the Work and to prevent all danger from their Slaves being furnisht with knowledge, consequent, they conceive thereto. However, because they pretend the other (and something there may be in that too,) to take off that pretence, it will be requisite,

I. That a Law be enacted to confirm such Laws of theirs, as are or shall be hereafter made to secure their just Interest in their Slaves; That they may thereby be continued in their present State of Servitude notwithstanding their being afterward baptised.

2. That all unjust Interests, and ungodly Advantages arising from their Slaves Sunday-labour and Polygamie (neither of them sufferable among Christians) be upon severest Penalties prohibited; and this as well to the unbaptised, as to the rest. . . .

These pretences being thus fairly removed, if any Aversion still remains (as 'tis feared there will, and that for the truest Reasons above mentioned,) they must afterwards be invited thereto by good Sermons & Books, Preacht and Writ upon this Subject, and by discoursing with them in private. As also by the Example of the Ministers themselves in their Families. And lastly, (and which will do more then all the rest) by Encouragments from the Government.

Another way, and which 'tis possible might prove most effectual, would be to get this impiety decryed here in England, where our Planters have an extraordinary Ambition to be thought well of, and thereby to shame them into better Principles. . . .

Now for the Planter's late Objections against this Work, as I have heard them represented (and I believe they are the best they had), . . .

I. They object their Negro's want of English; Whereas 'tis certain that there are some thousands of them, who understand English, no worse than our own People. Let them begin with those.

2. That it would make them less governable; the contrary to which is experimentally known amongst their Neighbours, both French & Spaniards in those parts. Now 'twould be too great a blemish to the Reformation, to suppose that Popery only makes its Converts better, but Protestancy worse; as this Allegation being admitted, it must be granted. And to prevent any fond conceit in them of Libertie, (an especial Branch of the same Article,) if there be any such danger, let two or three of each great Family be first baptised; whereby the rest seeing them continued as they were, that Opinion would soon vanish: . . .

3. As for their pretended Aversion to Christianity, the contrary thereto is known of most of them. And tho it is to be confessed that some are more careless and indifferent (having bin taught by the English to be needless for them) yet for the general they are observed to be rather ambitious of it. Nor, I dare affirm, can any single Instance of such aversion in any one of them, be produced.

4. As to their (alike pretended) Stupidity, there is as little truth therein: divers of them being known and confessed by their Owners, to be extraordinary Ingenious, and even to exceed many of the English. And for the rest, they are much the same with other People, destitute of the means of knowledge, and wanting Education.

5. One thing more there remains to be added, of which, tho they may be most afraid, yet they carefully keep it to themselves, and that is the possibility of their Slaves Expectation, not of Freedom, but of more merciful Usage from them. . . .

Yet now after this, if difficulties shall still be urged, (as no doubt but there will) and this Work upon that stale pretence must be further neglected and deferred; I shall in opposition thereto, be bold to make some few demands: As, what those difficulties should be, which are so much greater, it seems, than those our Ancestors encountered with, even in Pagan Regions, and happily overcame? Whether we ever tryed how difficult the Work was, thereby to satisfie our selves, whether (indeed) it be such as it is apprehended (or, at least, pretended?) And whether such a trial would not justify us more, than thus, without trying, to conclude it Impossible ? . . .

In short, there is nothing upon Earth more feasible than this Design, were it but heartily undertaken, and, as I have said, a right Method used for the effecting of it. . . .

Source: M. G. [Morgan Godwyn], A Supplement to the Negro's & Indian's Advocate (London, 1681), reprinted in Albert Bushnell Hart, ed., American History Told by Contemporaries (New York, 1898), volume 1, 299-301.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

17C European Woman

17C Woman by Wenceslaus Hollar (European-born mostly English artist, 1607-1677). We have few depictions of women in the 17C British American colonies, but the portrait prints of women by Wenceslaus Hollar allow us to see the hairstyles & fashions being worn in other countries during the early years of the European colonization of North America.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Christopher Columbus, Journal (1492) - A European look at the North American Atlantic World before colonization

A look at the North American Atlantic World before colonization, a bit of social, cultural, & political influences from the first contact between indigenous & colonizing cultures.

... This present year of 1492, after Your Highnesses had brought to an end the war with the Moors who ruled in Europe and had concluded the war in the very great city of Granada, where this present year on the second day of the month of January I saw the Royal Standards of Your Highnesses placed by force of arms on the towers of the Alhambra, which is the fortress of the said city; and I saw the Moorish King come out to the gates of the city and kiss the Royal Hands of Your Highnesses and of the Prince my Lord; and later in that same month, because of the report that I had given to Your Highnesses about the lands of India and about a prince who is called "Grand Khan," which means in our Spanish language "King of Kings"; how, many times, he and his predecessors had sent to Rome to ask for men learned in our Holy Faith in order that they might instruct him in it and how the Holy Father had never provided them; and thus so many peoples were lost, falling into idolatry and accepting false and harmful religions; and Your Highnesses, as Catholic Christians and Princes, lovers and promoters of the Holy Christian Faith, and enemies of the false doctrine of Mahomet and of all idolatries and heresies, you thought of sending me, Christobal Colon, to the said regions of India to see the said princes and the peoples and the lands, and the characteristics of the lands and of everything and to see how their conversion to our Holy Faith might be undertaken. And you commanded that I should not go to the East by land, by which way it is customary to go, but by the route to the West, by which route we do not know for certain that anyone previously has passed. So, after having expelled all the Jews from all of your Kingdoms and Dominions, in the same month of January Your Highnesses commanded me to go, with a suitable fleet, to the said regions of India. And for that you granted me great favors and ennobled me so that from then on I might call myself "Don" and would be Grand Admiral of the Ocean Sea and Viceroy and perpetual Governor of all the islands and lands that I might discover and gain and [that] from now on might be discovered and gained in the Ocean Sea; and likewise my eldest son would succeed me and his son him, from generation to generation forever. And I left the city of Granada on the twelfth day of May in the same year of 1492 on Saturday, and I came to the town of Palos, which is a seaport, where I fitted out three vessels very well suited for such exploits; and I left the said port, very well provided with supplies and with many seamen, on the third day of August of the said year, on a Friday, half an hour before sunrise; and I took the route to Your Highnesses' Canary Islands, which are in the said Ocean Sea, in order from there to take my course and sail so far that I would reach the Indies and give Your Highnesses' message to those princes and thus carry out that which you had commanded me to do. And for this purpose I thought of writing on this whole voyage, very diligently, all that I would do and see and experience, as will be seen further along....

Thursday I I October
He [sometimes Columbus refers to himself in the third person] steered west-southwest. They took much water aboard, more than they had taken in the whole voyage. They saw petrels and a green bulrush near the ship. The men of the caravel Pinta saw a cane and a stick, and took on board another small stick that appeared to have been worked with iron, and a piece of cane, and other vegetation originating on land, and a small plank. The men of the caravel Nina also saw other signs of land and a small stick loaded with barnacles. With these signs everyone breathed more easily and cheered up. On this day, up to sunset, they made 27 leagues.

After sunset he steered on his former course to the west. They made about 12 miles each hour and, until two hours after midnight, made about 90 miles, which is twenty-two leagues and a half. And because the caravel Pinta was a better sailor and went ahead of the Admiral it found land and made the signals that the Admiral had ordered. A sailor named Rodrigo de Triana saw this land first, although the Admiral, at the tenth hour of the night, while he was on the sterncastle saw a light, although it was something so faint that he did not wish to affirm that it was land. But he called Pero Gutierrez, the steward of the king's dais, and told him that there seemed to be a light, and for him to look: and thus he did and saw it. He also told Rodrigo Sanchez de Segovia, whom the king and queen were sending as veedor of the fleet, who saw nothing because he was not in a place where he could see it. After the Admiral said it, it was seen once or twice; and it was like a small wax candle that rose and lifted up, which to few seemed to be an indication of land. But the Admiral was certain that they were near land, because of which when they recited the salve, which sailors in their own way are accustomed to recite and sing, all being present, the Admiral entreated and admonished them to keep a good lookout on the forecastle and to watch carefully for land; and that to the man who first told him that he saw land he would later give a silk jacket in addition to the other rewards that the sovereigns had promised, which were ten thousand maravedis as an annuity to whoever should see it first. At two hours after midnight the land appeared, from which they were about two leagues distant. They hauled down all the sails and kept only the treo, which is the mainsail without bonnets, and jogged on and off, passing time until daylight Friday, when they reached an islet of the Lucayas, which was called Guanaham in the language of the Indians. Soon they saw naked people; and the Admiral went ashore in the armed launch, and Martin Alonso Pinzon and his brother Vicente Anes, who was captain of the Nina The Admiral brought out the royal banner and the captains two flags with the green cross, which the Admiral carried on all the ships as a standard, with an F and a Y, and over each letter a crown, one on one side and the other on the other. Thus put ashore they saw very green trees and many ponds and fruits of various kinds. The Admiral called to the two captains and to the others who had jumped ashore and to Rodrigo Descobedo, the escrivano of the whole fleet, and to Rodrigo Sanchez de Segovia; and he said that they should be witnesses that, in the presence of all, he would take, as in fact he did take, possession of the said island for the king and for the queen his lords, making the declarations that were required, and which at more length are contained in the testimonials made there in writing. Soon many people of the island gathered there.

What follows are the very words of the Admiral in his book about his first voyage to, and discovery of, these Indies. 1, he says, in order that they would be friendly to us -- because I recognized that they were people who would be better freed and converted to our Holy Faith by love than by force -- to some of them I gave red caps, and glass beads which they put on their chests, and many other things of small value, in which they took so much pleasure and became so much our friends that it was a marvel. Later they came swimming to the ships' launches where we were and brought us parrots and cotton thread in balls and javelins and many other things, and they traded them to us for other things which we gave them, such as small glass beads and bells. In sum, they took everything and gave of what they had very willingly. But it seemed to me that they were a people very poor in everything. All of them go around as naked as their mothers bore them; and the women also, although I did not see more than one quite young girl. And all those that I saw were young people, for none did I see of more than 30 years of age. They are very well formed, with handsome bodies and good faces. Their hair coarse -- almost like the tail of a horse-and short. They wear their hair down over their eyebrows except for a little in the back which they wear long and never cut. Some of them paint themselves with black, and they are of the color of the Canarians, neither black nor white; and some of them paint themselves with white, and some of them with red, and some of them with whatever they find. And some of them paint their faces, and some of them the whole body, and some of them only the eyes, and some of them only the nose. They do not carry arms nor are they acquainted with them, because I showed them swords and they took them by the edge and through ignorance cut themselves. They have no iron.

Their javelins are shafts without iron and some of them have at the end a fish tooth.... All of them alike are of good-sized stature and carry themselves well. I saw some who had marks of wounds on their bodies and I made signs to them asking what they were; and they showed me how people from other islands nearby came there and tried to take them, and how they defended themselves; and I believed and believe that -- they come here from tierrafirme to take them captive. They should be good and intelligent servants, for I see that they say very quickly everything that is said to them; and I believe that they would become Christians very easily, for it seemed to me that they had no religion. Our Lord pleasing, at the time of my departure I will take six of them from here to Your Highnesses in order that they may learn to speak...

. . . They came to the ship with dugouts that are made from the trunk of one tree, like a long boat, and all of one piece, and worked marvelously in the fashion of the land, and so big that in some of them 40 and 45 men came. And others smaller, down to some in which came one man alone. They row with a paddle like that of a baker and go marvelously. And if it capsizes on them they then throw themselves in the water, and they right and empty it with calabashes that they carry. They brought balls of spun cotton and parrots and javelins and other little things that it would be tiresome to write down, and they gave everything for anything that was given to them. I was attentive and labored to find out if there was any gold; and I saw that some of them wore a little piece hung in a hole that they have in their noses. And by signs I was able to understand that, going to the south or rounding the island to the south, there was there a king who had large vessels of it and had very much gold.... This island is quite big and very flat and with very green trees a I and much water and a very large lake in the middle and without any mountains; and all of it so green that it is a pleasure to look at it. And these people are very gentle, and because of their desire to have some of our things and believing that nothing will be given to them without their giving something, and not having anything, they take what they can and then throw themselves into the water to swim....

Sunday 14 October
As soon as it dawned I ordered the ship's boat and the launches of the caravels made ready and went north-northeast along the island in order to see what there was in the other part, which was the eastern part. And also to see the villages, and I soon saw two or three, as well as people, who all came to the beach calling to us and giving thanks to God. Some of them brought us water; others, other things to eat; others, when they saw that I did not care to go ashore, threw themselves into the sea swimming and came to us, and we understood that they were asking us if we had come from the heavens. And one old man got into the ship's boat, and others in loud voices called to all the men and women: Come see the men who came from the heavens. Bring them something to eat and drink. Many men came, and many women, each one with something, giving thanks to God, throwing themselves on the ground; and they raised their hands to heaven, and afterward they called to us in loud voices to come ashore. ... And I saw a piece of land formed like an island, although it was not one, on which there were six houses. This piece of land might in two days be cut off to make an island, although I do not see this to be necessary since these people are very naive about weapons, as Your Highnesses will see from seven that I caused to be taken in order to carry them away to you and to learn our language and to return them. Except that, whenever Your Highnesses may command, all of them can be taken to Castile or held captive in this same island; because with 50 men all of them could be held in subjection and can be made to do whatever one might wish. And later [I noticed], near the said islet, groves of trees, the most beautiful that I saw and with their leaves as green as those of Castile in the months of April and May, and lots of water. I looked over the whole of that harbor and afterward returned to the ship and set sail, and I saw so many islands that I did not know how to decide which one I would go to first. And those men whom I had taken told me by signs that they were so very many that they were numberless. And they named by their names more than a hundred. Finally I looked for the largest and to that one I decided to go and so I am doing. It is about five leagues distant from this island of San Salvador, and tile others of them some more, some less. All are very flat without mountains and very fertile and all populated and they make war on one another, even though these men are very simple and very handsome in body...

Sunday 4 November
... The Admiral showed cinnamon and pepper to a few of the Indians of that place (it seems from the samples that he was bringing from Castile) and he says that they recognized it; and they said by signs that nearby to the southeast there was a lot of it. He showed them gold and pearls, and certain old men answered that in a place that they called Bohio there was a vast amount and that they wore it on neck and in ears and on arms and legs; and also pearls. Moreover, he understood that they said that there were big ships and much trade and that all of this was to the southeast. He understood also that, far from there, there were one-eyed men, and others, with snouts of dogs, who ate men, and that as soon as one was taken they cut his throat and drank his blood and cut off his genitals. The Admiral decided to return to the ship to wait for the two men whom he had sent and to decide whether to leave and seek those lands, unless the two men brought good news of that which they desired....

Tuesday 6 November
... They saw many kinds of trees and plants and fragrant flowers; they saw birds of many kinds, different from those of Spain, except partridges and nightingales, which sang, and geese, for of these there are a great many there. Four-footed beasts they did not see, except dogs that did not bark. The earth was very fertile and planted with those manes and bean varieties very different from ours, and with that same millet. And they saw a large quantity of cotton collected and spun and worked; and in a single house they had seen more than five hundred arrobas; and that one might get there each year four thousand quintales . The Admiral says that it seemed to him that they did not sow it and that it produces fruit [i.e., cotton] all year. It is very fine and has a large boll. Everything that those people have, he says, they would give for a very paltry price, and that they would give a large basket of cotton for the tip of a lacing or anything else given to them. They are people, says the Admiral, quite lacking in evil and not warlike; all of them, men and women naked as their mothers bore them. It is true that the women wear a thing of cotton only so big as to cover their genitals and no more. And they are very respectful and not very black, less so than Canarians. I truly believe, most Serene Princes (the Admiral says here), that, given devout religious persons knowing thoroughly the language that they use, soon all of them would become Christian. And so I hope in Our Lord that Your Highnesses, with much diligence, will decide to send such persons in order to bring to the Church such great nations and to convert them, just as you have destroyed those that (lid not want to confess the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, and that after your days (for all of us are mortal) you will leave your kingdoms in a tranquil state, free of heresy and evil, and will be well received before the Eternal Creator, may it please Whom to give you long life and great increase of your kingdoms and dominions and the will and disposition to increase the Holy Christian Religion, as up to now you have done, amen. Today I pulled the ship off the beach and made ready to leave on Thursday, in the name of God, and to go to the southeast to seek gold and spices and to explore land. All these are the Admiral's words. He intended to leave on Thursday, but because a contrary wind came up he could not leave until the twelfth of November...

Source: E. G. Bourne, ed., The Northmen, Columbus and Cabot (New York, 1906).

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Puritan Mother - Sarah Whipple Goodhue's (1641-1681) Letter to Her Children & Husband

Sarah Whipple Goodhue (1641-1681), who was married to Joseph Goodhue of Ipswich, Massachusettes, and had 10 children, wrote a letter to her husband and children which was published under the title "VALEDICTORY AND MONITORY-WRITING."

Sarah suspected that she would not survive her upcoming childbirth and wrote the letter to provide spiritual guidance to her family. Sarah did not survive.

Her letter would be read for inspiration through the 19th century. It offers advice to her husband & children and sheds light on the Puritan experience and on New England colonial family life from a woman's point of view.
DEAR and loving Husband, if it should please the Lord to make a sudden change in thy family, the which I know not how soon it may be, and I am fearful of it:

Therefore in a few words I would declare something of my mind, lest I should afterwards have no opportunity: I cannot but sympathize and pity thy condition, seeing that thou hast a great family of children, and some of them small, and if it should please the Lord to add to thy number one more or two, be not discouraged, although it should please the Lord to deprive thee of thy weak help which is so near and dear unto thee. Trust in the living God, who will be an help to the helpless, and a father to the motherless: My desire is, that if thou art so contented, to dispose of two or three of my children: If it please the Lord that I should be delivered of a living child, son or daughter, my desire is, that my father and mother should have it, if they please, I freely bequeath and give it to them. And also my desire it, that my cousin Symond Stacy should have John if he please, I freely bequeath and give him to him for his own if thou art willing. And also my desire is, that my cousin Catharine Whipple should have Susanna, which is an hearty girl, and will quickly be helpful to her, and she may be helpful to the child, to bring her up: These or either of these I durst trust their care under God, for the faithful discharge of that which may be for my children's good and comfort, and I hope to thy satisfaction: Therefore if they be willing to take them, and to deal well by them, answer my desire I pray thee, thou hast been willing to answer my request formerly, and I hope now thou wilt, this being the last so far as I know.

Honoured and most loving father and mother I cannot tell how to express your fatherly and motherly love towards me and mine: It hath been so great, and in several kinds; for the which in a poor requital, I give you hearty and humble thanks, yet trusting in God that he will enable you to be a father and mother to the motherless: Be not troubled for the loss of an unworthy daughter; but rejoice in the free grace of God, that there is hopes of rejoicing together hereafter in the place of everlasting joy and blessedness.

Brothers and Sisters all, hearken and hear the voice of the Lord, that by his sudden providence doth call aloud on you, to prepare yourselves for that swift and sudden messenger of death: that no one of you may be found without a wedding garment; a part and portion in Jesus Christ: the assurance of the love of God, which will enable you to leave this world, and all your relations, though never so near and dear, for the everlasting enjoyment of the great and glorious God, if you do fear him in truth.

The private society, to which while here I did belong; if God by his Providence come amongst you, and begin by death to break you; be not discouraged, but be strong in repenting, faith & prayers with the lively repeatal of God's counsels declared unto you by his faithful messengers: O pray each for another and with one another; that so in these threatning times of storms and troubles, you may be found more precious than gold tried in the fire. Think not a few hours time in your approaches to God mispent; but consider seriously with yourselves, to what end God lent to you any time at all: This surely I can through grace now say; that of the time that there I spent, through the blessing of God, I have no cause to repent, no not in the least.

O my children all, which in pains and care have cost me dear; unto you I call to come and take what portion your dying mother will bestow upon you: many times by experience it hath been found, that the dying words of parents have left a living impression upon the hearts of Children; O my children be sure to set the fear of God before your eyes; consider what you are by nature, miserable sinners, utterly lost and undone; and that there is no way and means whereby you can come out of this miserable estate; but by the Mediation of the Lord Jesus Christ: He died a reproachful death, that every poor humble and true repenting sinner by faith on God through him, might have everlasting life: O my Children, the best counsel that a poor dying Mother can give you is, to get a part and portion in the Lord Jesus Christ, that will hold, when all these things will fail; O let the Lord Jesus Christ be precious in your sight.

O children, neighbours and friends, I hope I can by experience truly say, that Christ is the best, most precious, most durable portion, that all or any of you can set your hearts delight upon; I for ever desire to bless and praise the Lord, that he hath opened mine eyes to see the emptiness of these things, and mine own; and to behold the fulness and riches of grace that is in the Lord Jesus Christ: To that end my children, I do not only counsel you, but in the fear of the Lord I charge you all, to read God's word, and pray unto the Lord that he would be pleased to give you hearts and wisdom to improve the great and many privileges that the Lord is at present pleased to afford unto you, improve your youthful days unto God's service, your health and strength whilst it lasteth, for you know not how soon your health may be turned into sickness, your strength into weakness, and your lives into death; as death cuts the tree of your life down, so it will lie; as death leaveth you, so judgment will find you out: Therefore be persuaded to agree with your adversary quickly, whilst you are in the way of these precious opportunities: be sure to improve the lively dispensations of the gospel; give good attention unto sermons preached in publick, and to sermons repeated in private. Endeavour to learn to write your father's hand, that you may read over those precious sermons, that he hath taken pains to write and .keep from the mouths of God's lively messengers, and in them there are lively messages: I can through the blessing of God along with them, say, that they have been lively unto me: And if you improve them aright, why not to all of you God upbraideth none of the seed of Jacob, that seek his Face in truth: My children be encouraged in this work, you are in the bond of the covenant, although you may be breakers of covenant, yet God is a merciful keeper of covenant. Endeavour as you grow up, to own and renew your covenant, and rest not if God give you life, but so labour to improve all the advantages that God is pleased to afford you, that you may be fit to enjoy the Lord Jesus Christ in all his Ordinances. What hath the Lord Jesus Christ given himself for you? if you will lay hold upon him by true faith and repentance: And what will you be backward to accept of his gracious and free offers, and not keep in remembrance his death and sufferings, and to strengthen your weak faith; I thank the Lord, in some measure, I have found that ordinance, a life-making ordinance unto my soul.

Oh the smiles and loving embraces of the Lord Jesus Christ, that they miss of, that hold off, and will not be in such near relation unto their Head and Saviour. The Lord grant that Christ may be your Portions all.

My children, one or two words I have to say to you more, in the first place, be sure to carry well to your father, obey him, love him, follow his instructions and example, be ruled by him, take his advice, and have a care of grieving him: For I must testify the truth unto you, and I may call some of you to testify against yourselves; that your Father hath been loving, kind, tender-hearted wards you all: and laborious for you all, both for your temporal and spiritual good: -You that are grown up, cannot but see how careful your father is when he cometh home from his work, to take the young ones up into his wearied arms, by his loving carriage and care towards those, you may behold as in a glass, his tender care and love to you everyone as you grow up: I can safely say, that his love was so to you all, that I cannot say which is the child that he doth love best; but further I may testify unto you, that this is not all that your father hath been doing for you, and that some of you may bear me witness, that he hath given you many instructions, which hath been to the end your souls might enjoy happiness, he hath reproved you often for your evils, laying before you the ill event that would happen unto you If you did not walk in God's ways, and give your minds to do his will, to keep holy his sabbaths, to attend unto reading God's Word, hearing it preached with a desire to profit by it, and declaring unto you this way that he had experienced to get good by it; that was I pray unto the Lord for his blessing with it, and upon it, that it might soke into the heart and find entertainment there: and that you should meditate upon it, and he hath told you, meditation was as the key to open the door, to let you in, or that into your heart, that you might find the sweetness of God's word.

Furthermore, my children, be encouraged in this work, your father hath put up many prayers with ardent desires and tears to God on behalf of you all : which if you walk with God, I hope you will find gracious answers and showers of blessings from those bottled tears for you. O carry it well to your father, that he may yet be encouraged to be doing and pleading for your welfare : Consider that the scripture holdeth forth many blessings to such children that obey their parents in the Lord, but there are curses threatened to the disobedient.

My children, in your life and conversation, live godly, walk soberly, modestly, and innocently: be diligent, and be not hasty to follow new fashions, and the pride of life, that now too much abounds. Let not pride betray the good of your immortal souls.

And if it please the Lord that you live to match yourselves, and to make your choice: Be sure you chuse such as first do seek the kingdom of Heaven.

My first, as thy name is Joseph, labour so in knowledge to increase, as to be free from the guilt of thy sins, and enjoy eternal Peace. Mary, labour so to be arrayed with the hidden man of' the heart, That with Mary thou mayest find, thou hast chosen the better part. William, thou hadst that name for thy grandfather's sake,

Labour so to tread in his steps, as over sin conquest thou mayest make.
Sarah, Sarah's daughter thou shalt be, if thou continuest in doing well,
Labour so in holiness among the daughters to walk, as that thou mayest excel.

So my children all, if I must be gone, I with tears bid you all Farewell.
The Lord bless you all.

Now dear Husband, I can do no less than turn unto thee, and if I could, I would naturally mourn with thee.

And in a poor requital of all thy kindness, if I could, I would speak some things of comfort to thee, whilst thou dost mourn for me.

A tender-hearted, affectionate and entire loving husband thou hast been to me several ways. If I should but speak of what I have found as to these outward things; I being but weakly natured: In all my burthens thou hast willingly with me sympathized, and cheerfully thou hast helped me bear them: which although I was but weak natured; and so the more unabled to go through those troubles in my way: Yet thou hast by thy chearful love to me, helped me forward in a chearful frame of spirit. -But when I come to speak or consider in thy place, thy great pains and care for the good of my soul.

This twenty years experience of thy love to me in this kind, hath so instamped it upon my mind, that I do think that there never was man more truly kind to a woman: I desire for ever to bless and praise the Lord, that in mercy to my soul, he by his providence ordered that I should live with thee in such a relation, therefore dear husband be comforted in this, ( although God by his providence break that relation between us, that he gave being to at first) that in thy place thou hast been a man of knowledge to discharge to God and my soul, that scripture commanded duty, which by the effects in me wrought, through the grace of God, thou mayest behold with comfort our prayers not hindered; but a gracious answer from the Lord, which is of great price and re- ward. Although my being gone be thy loss, yet I trust in and thro' Jesus Christ, it ,will be my gain.

Was it not, to this end that the Lord was pleased to enable thee and give thee in heart to take (as an instrument) so much pains for his glory and my eternal good, and that it might be thy comfort: As all thy reading of scriptures and writing of sermons, and repeating of them over to me, that although I was necessarily often absent from the publick worship of God, yet by thy pains and care to the good of my soul, it was brought home unto me : And blessed be the Lord who hath set home by the operation of his spirit, so many repeatals of precious sermons and prayers and tears for me and with me, for my eternal good: And now let it be thy comfort under all, go on and persevere in believing in God, and praying fervently unto God: Let not thy affectionate heart become hard, and thy tears dried away: And certainly the Lord will render a double portion of blessing upon thee and thine.

If thou couldest ask me a reason why I thus declare myself? - I cannot answer no other but this; that I have had of late a strong persuasion upon my mind, that by sudden death I should be surprised, either at my travail, or soon after it, the Lord fit me for himself: although I could be very willing to enjoy thy company, & my children longer, yet if it be the will of the Lord that I must not, I hope I can say cheerfully, the will of the Lord be done, this hath been often my desire and thy prayer.

Further, if thou could'st ask me why I did not discover some of these particulars of my mind to thee before, my answer is because I knew that thou wert tender hearted towards me, and therefore I would not create thee needless trouble.

O dear husband of all my dearest bosom friends, if by sudden death I must part from thee, let not thy trouble and cares that are on thee make thee to turn aside from the right way.

O dear heart, if I must leave thee and thine here behind,
Of my natural affection here is my heart and hand.
Be courageous, and on the living God bear up thy heart in so great a breach as this.


Dear husband, if by sudden death I am taken away from thee, there is infolded among thy papers something that I have to say to thee and others.

July 14, 1681 .