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A Letter to his Son John at College
Vol. I, Appendix A, 8
MY DEAR SON,- The Lord bless thee, and multiply his graces in thee, to the building up of that good work, which (I well hope) is truly begun in thee, and wherein I rejoice daily, and bless God, who hath pleased to call thee and keep thee in that good course, which yields hope to all the friends of thy future happiness. Be watchful, good son, and remember that, though it be true, in some cases, that principium est dimidium totius, yet, in divinity, he who hath attained beyond the middest, must still think himself to have but new begun ; for, through the continual instigation of Satan, and our own proneness to evil, we are always in danger of being turned out of our course; but God will preserve us to the end, if we trust in him, and be guided by his will.
I received no letters from you since that in Latin, wherein you wrote for Cooper's Dictionary, which I sent you since by London; and I have wrote twice since. I purpose to send you by this bearer, Samuel Gostlin, a piece of Turkey grogram, about ten yards, to make you a suit; and I shall have a piece of good cloth against winter, to make you a gown; all my care is how to get it well conveyed. I would have sent you some other things, with some remembrancers to your aunt and cousins, but that the occasion of sending this messenger was so sudden as I could not provide them. If your uncle come over to Chester, you may come with him, and there I hope to see you. Be directed by him and your tutor; for, though I much desire to see you, yet I had rather hear of your welfare than hazard it. And if your uncle mean to come further than Chester, I would wish you not to come over now, for I am not willing you should come to Groton this year, except your uncle shall much desire your company. Remember my kind love to your good tutor, and to Mr. Downes, and excuse me to your aunt, that I write not to her, for I have not leisure... . . What remains, this bearer can inform you of all our affairs. Put him in mind (as from me) to be sober, and beware of company. Your
grandmother and mother salute and bless you; your uncle Gostlin and aunt salute you; your master at Bury, (to whom I wish you to write at leisure,) your good host and hostess, salute you also. - Vale.
GROTON, August 12, 1623.
You shall receive by Samuel a twenty-two shilling piece, if he have not occasion to spend it by the way.
Views on the Education of Women
Mr. Hopkins, the governour of Hartford upon Connecticut, came to Boston, and brought his wife with him, (a godly young woman, and of special parts,) who was fallen into a sad infirmity, the loss of her understanding and reason, which had been growing upon her divers years, by occasion of her giving herself wholly to reading and writing, and had written many books. Her husband, being very loving and tender of her, was loath to grieve her; but he saw his error, when it was too late. For, if she had attended her household affairs, and such things as belong to women, and not gone out of her way and calling to meddle in such things as are proper for men, whose minds are stronger, etc., she had kept her wits, and might have improved them usefully and honorably in the place God had set her. He brought her to Boston, and left her with her brother, one Mr. Yale, a merchant, to try what means might be had here for her. But no help could be had.
THE BAY PSALM BOOK
The key of the Bay Psalm Book is a phrase in the preface, “that` soe wee may sing in Sion the Lords songs of praise according to his owne will." Imagine with what reverence the Pilgrims must have looked upon the little book, the only hymn-book in the world that they believed acceptable to God! With what awe and humble pride
they must have joined in the singing, gathered together in the chilly little meeting-house! There is little poetry in the Bay Psalm Book, but it is easier to find many books of poems than to discover one that is as rich as this in strong and tender associations.
From the Preface
If therefore the verses are not alwayes so smooth and elegant as some may desire or expect; let them consider that Gods Altar
needs not our pollishings: Ex. 20. for wee have respected rather a plaine translation, then to smooth our verses with the sweetnes of any paraphrase, and soe have attended Conscience rather then Elegance, fidelity rather then poetry, in translating the hebrew words into english language, and Davids poetry into english meetre; that soe wee may sing in Sion the Lords songs of praise according to his owne will; untill hee take us from hence, and wipe away all our teares, & bid us enter into our masters
4 Yea though in valley of deaths shad
because thou art with mee, thy rod,
5 For mee a table thou hast spread,
thou dost annoynt my head with oyle,
6 Goodnes & mercy surely shall
all my dayes follow mee:
and in the Lords house I shall dwell