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ADVICE OF A DYING FATHER TO HIS SON.
Dated January 27, 1716.
[The following article was addressed by the Rev. William Branile of Cambridge to William Brattle, his son and only child who lived io maturity, while he was preparing for college. The father was a man distinguished for “ piety, wisdom, and charity ;” and the son “ was a man of extraordinary talents and character, acceptable as a preacher, eminent as a lawyer, celebrated as a physician.” He was a Major-General in the militia, and much in public office. May it not be supposed that this paternal Advice from an affectionate father to a son of filial aflection and an obedient disposition, had great effect in making him what he was? For tbis and several other articles of an antiquarian nature we are indebted to Charles Ewer, Esq.)
1. Agreeably to what is written i Chron. xxviii, 9, My dear Son, know thou the God of thy father, & serve him with a perfect heart, and with a willing mind. If thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever.
2. Think often of thine own frailty, and of the uncertainty and emptiness of all Sublunary Enjoyments. Value not Self upon riches. Valne not thy Self upon any worldly advancement whatsoever. Let faith and Goodness be thy treasure. Let no happiness content and Sattisfie thee but what secures the favour and peace of God unto thee.
3. Remember thy baptism, acquaint thy Self well with the nature and obligations of that Ordinance. Publickly renew thy baptismall Covenant. Renew it Seasonably in thy early Days with humility and thirsty desires to enjoy Communion with God in the ordinance of the Lord's Supper and in all Approaches before God therein bringing faith and Love and a Self abasing Sence of thine own Emptiness and unworthyness.
4. Prize and Esteem the holy word of God infinitly before the finest of Gold. Reverence it with thy whole heart, read it constantly with seriousness, and great delight. Meditate much upon it, make it thy Guide in all thy wayes, fetch all thy Comforts from thence, and by a religious and holy walk, establish thine Interest in the blessed and glorious Promises therein contained.
5. Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. Reverence God's Sanctuary. In prayer, in Singing, in hearing God's word Read or preached, and in every public administration Wait upon God with outward Reverence and true devotion in thine heart, Remembering that holyness for ever becomes God's house. When in thy more private retirements, Still let it be thy Care to Sanctifie God's Sabbath. Be watchfull therefore over thine heart and over thy thoughts. Call to mind and run over what thou hast heard in God's house. Read Savoury books. Catechise thy Self, and others too when God gives Opportunity.
6. Take care of thy health, avoid all Excess in eating and in drinking, in taking thy pleasure, and in all innocent Recreations whatsoever. Let not immoderate heatt and Colds needlessly Expose thy body.
7. Beware of Passion. Let not Anger and Wrath infect thine heart, suffer wrong with Patience, Rather than to right thy Sell by unchris. tian methods, or by suffering thy spirit to be out of frame.
8. Labour to establish thy Self and begg of God that he would Establish thee in the grace of Chastity, keep thine heart clean and Chast, keep thy Tongue clean and Chast, keep thine hands clean and Chast, keep thine Eyes clean and Chast. Never trust to thy Self to be thy keeper, avoid temptations io uncleaness of every nature, be
watchfull over thy Self night and day, but in the midst of all Let thine heart be with God, and be thou much in prayer, that God would be thy keeper. Let all the incentives to Lusi as farr as may be, be avoided by thee.
9. Speak the Truth alwayes. Let not a Lye defile thy Lips, be content with Suffering rather than by telling the Least Lie to Save thy Self. Beware of Shuffling off by disimulation.
10. Let Pride be an abomination in thy Sight. Cloth thyself with humility. Let humility be thine under Garment. Let humility be thine upper Garment.
11. Despise no man, let the State of his Body or mind or other circumstances of his, be what they will, still reverence humanity, consider who made thee to differ.
12. Be just to all men; be thou courteous and affable to all men; render not Evil for Evil, but recompense evil with Good.
Owe no man any thing but Love.
13. Be thou compassionate, tender hearted, and mercifull; do good to all men, be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate ; for with such sacrifices God is evermore well pleased.
14. Avoid sloth and idleness, give thy Self to thy Studys; converse with such Authors as may tend to make thee wise and good and to forward thy growth in true wisdom and goodness.
15. Acquaint thy Self with History; know something of the Mathematicks, and Physick; be able to keep Accompts Merchant like in some measure ; but let Divinity be thy main Study. Accomplish thy Self for the worke of the Ministry, begg of God that he would incline thine heart therto, and accept thee therin, and if it shall please God thus to Smile upon thee, aspire not after great things; let the Providence of God chuse for thee, and let the Flock have the Love of thy heart; be Solicitous for their Spirituall good, and for the glory of God; and let thy Aims be this way in all thy private meditations, and public administrations, all the dayes of thy Life.
My dear Child, be of a Catholick Spirit.
In old wills and other old documents the word cousin is sometimes used for nephew, and thus many errors may occur in tracing out genealogies. Many curious cases of relationship will be found to exist by those that investigate the descent of families, some of which cannot be described by the terms we now use to designate consanguinity. It is surprising, that among the many words that have been coined, some new terms have not come into use as substitutes for the awkward way we now have of naming some of our relatives; such as great-great-great grandfather, great-great-greatuncle, &c. The following curious case was taken from a newspaper; whether the account is correct or not, the reader may see that it may be true.
"A man can be his own grandfather. " A widow and her daughter-in-law and a man and his son — the widow married the son, the daughter the father; the widow was mother to her husband's father and grandmother to her husband; they had a son to whom she was great-grandmother. Now as the son of a great-grandmother must be either a grandfather or great-uncle, the boy must be one or the other. This was the case of a boy in Connecticut.”
DECEASE OF THE FATHERS OF NEW ENGLAND.
1648. Oct. 11, Rev. Henry Green of Reading.
1649. March 26, Gov. John Winthrop of Boston, b. Jan. 12, 1588, d., a. 61.
Aug. 25, Rev. Thomas Shepard of Cambridge, b. Nov. 5, 1605, d., a. 44.
1650. Sept. 11, Atherton Hough of Boston, an Assistant.
1651. Aug. —, William Thomas, an Assistant of Plymouth Colony, d., a. 77.
1652. Aug. 24, Adam Winthrop, Esq., of Boston, d., a. 33. Sept. 14, Capt. Bozoun Allen of Boston, formerly of Hingham.
Dec. 23, Rev. John Cotton of Boston d., a. 67. (The old “Boston Book” says, Mr. Cotton d. 15th of 10th month.)
1653. Jan. 18, Capt. William Tyng of Boston, Treasurer of the Colony. July 31, Gov. Thomas Dudley of Roxbury d., a. 77.
Rev. Nathaniel Ward, first minister of Ipswich, d. in Eog. land, a. 83.
Nov. 8, Rev. John Lothrop of Barnstable.
Gov. John Haynes of Hartford, Ct.
1655. May 8, Edward Winslow of Plymouth d. on board the Fleet, a. 61. July 3, Rev. Nathaniel Rogers of Ipswich d., a. 57.
Rev. Daniel Maud of Dover, N. H. He had taught a school for some years in Boston before he went to Dover.
Henry Wolcott, the ancestor of the governors of Connecticut by this name, d., a. 78.
Capt. Robert Bridges of Lynn, an Assistant.
1657. Jan. 7, Gov. Theophilus Eaton of Connecticut d., a. 66. March, Gov. Edward Hopkins d. in London, a. 57.
George Fenwick, the first settler of Saybrook, d. in
1660. Oct. 16, Rev. Hugh Peters executed in England, a. 61.
1661. Jan. 23, Rev. Ezekiel Rogers of Rowley, a. 70. Sept. 17, Maj. Gen. Humphrey Atherton of Dorchester. He was killed by a fall from his horse on Boston Common, when on his return from a military review on the Common. Mr. Savage and the inscription on his tombstone say, that he died on the 16th, but other authority,* and incontrovertible, says, on the “ 17th at about 1 o'clock, after midnight." Dec. 28, Rev. Timothy Dalton of Hampton d., a. ab. 84.
1662. March 1, Rev. Ralph Smith d. at Boston. March 30, Rev. Samuel Hough, minister of Reading, d. in Boston. June 14, Sir Henry Vane executed in England, a. 50. Oct. —, William Pynchon d. at Wraisbury, Bucks, a. 72.
1663. Thomas Camock, nephew of the Earl of Warwick, d. in Scarborough, Me. If he is the same who is named in the 2nd charter of Virginia, 1609, he was quite advanced in years.
Rev. Richard Denton of Stamford, Ct., [ab. 1663.]
July 15, Capt. Richard Davenport, killed by lightning at Castle William, a. 59.
Rev. Adam Blackman of Stratford.
* MS. Memorandum of Capt. John Hull, made at the time and preserved among the Sewall papers. The Boston Records also say Sept. 17.
The following is an extract from "A NEW DESCRIPTION OF THE WORLD, London, printed for Hen. Rhodes, next door to the Swan Tavern, near BridesLane, in Fleet-Street, 1689."
NEW ENGLAND, an English Colony in America, is bounded on the NorthEast with Novumbegua, on the Southwest with Novum Belgium ; and on the other parts by the Woods and Sea coast; scituate in the middle of Temperate Zone, between the degrees of 41 and 44, equally distant from the Artick Circle, and the Tropick of Cancer; which renders it very temperate and very agreeable to the Constitution of English Bodies, the Soil being alike Fruitful, if not in some places exceeding ours; all sorts of Grain and Fruit trees common with us growing kindly there; The Woods there are very great, wherein for the most part the Native Indians dwell Fortefying themselves as in Towns or places of defence, living upon Deer and such other Creatures, as those vast Wildernesses whose extents are unknown to the English abound with; there are in this Country store of Ducks, Geese, Turkies, Pigeons, Cranes, Swans, Partridges, and almost all sort of Fowl, and Cattle, common to us in Old England; together with Furs, Amber, Flax, Pitch, Cables, Mast, and in brief whatever may conduce to profit and pleasure; the Native Indians, in these parts are more tractable, if well used, than in any other; many of them though unconverted, often saying, that our God is a good God, but their Tanto evil, which Tanto is no other than the Devil, or a wicked Spirit that haunts them every Moon, which obliges them to Worship him for fear, though to those that are converted to Christianity he never appears.
This English Colony after many Attempts and bad Successes was firmly Established 1620, at what time New Plymouth was Built and Fortified; so that the Indians thereby being over-awid, suffered the Planters without controul to Build other Towns, the chief of which are Bristol, Boston, Barnstaple, and others, alluding to the Names of Sea Towns in Old England; and are accommodated with many curious Havens commodious for Shipping, and the Country watered with pleasant Rivers of extraordinary largeness; so abounding with Fish, that they are not taken for dainties; and for a long time they were all Governed at their own dispose, and Laws made by a Convocation of Planters, &c. but of late they have submitted to receive a Governor from England.
NOVUM BELGIUM, or the New Neitherlands, lies in this tract on the South of New England, extending from 38 to 41 degrees North Latitude; a place into which the Hollanders intruded themselves, considerable Woody; which Woods naturally abound with Nuts and wild Grapes, replenished with Deer, and such Creatures as yield then store of Furrs, as the Rivers and Plains do Fish and Fowl; rich Pastures, and Trees of extraordinary bigness, with Flax, Hemp, and Herbage; the ground very kindly bearing the Product of Europe ; and here the Natives, such as live in Hutts and Woods, go clad in Beasts Skins, their Household goods consisting of a Wooden dish, a Tobacco Pipe, and a Hatchet made of a sharp Flint Stone, their Weapons Bows and Arrows; though the Dutch unfairly to their cost, out of a covetous Humor, traded with them for Guns, Swords, 8c., shewing the use of them which the Irudians turning upon their quondam Owners, found an opportunity to send 400 of their new Guests into the other World; and here the chief Town is New Amsterdam, commodiously Scituate for Trade, and the Reception of Shipping.