BLTC Press Titles

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Darby O'Gill and the Little People

Hermenie Templeton Kavanagh

Letters on the Aesthetical Education of Man

Friedrich Schiller

The Art of Worldly Wisdom

Baltasar Gracian

The Diplomatic Background of the War

Charles Seymour

Magnalia Christi americana

by Cotton Mather


ness and purity." This was Mr. Samuel Mather.

§ 2. Mr. Samuel Mather was born May 13, A. D. 1626, at Much-Wbotton Lancashire. But was the question of Saul concerning David, "Whose Bon is this youth?"—about the meaning of which question, there may be some wonder, because David had already been serviceable at the court of Saul some while before; and therefore some take the meaning of the question to be, "What manner of man's son is this?" It was observed that some of the notablest men in the land were of this family, and, among the rest, Joab was of it—Joab, who for his valour was made general of the field; Joab, who never once in his life miss'd of the victory; he was the son of Jesse's daughter. Now, Saul was inquisitive, "What manner of man this Jesse was," that all his children prov'd so eminent. If my reader, thereto excited by the figure, which this person, as well as divers of his brothers have made in the church of God, shall accordingly inquire, "Whose son was this youth?" it must be answered, that his father was the famous Mr. Richard Mather, whose life has been already a considerable part not only in our own church-history, but also in the last volume of Mr. Clark's collections. Brought up and brought over by this his father, our Samuel came to New-England in the year 1685, delivered with the rest of his family

* Fruitful. t In this religion Arm, unswerving, pure,

\ Happy the ioul, which ia a pattern of holiness to others. Be oar descendants, while tho worlds endure.

from as eminent danger of death as ever was escaped by mortal men, in a fierce and sore hurricane on the New-English coast.

§ S. Let the silly Romanist please himself with his Romance of St. Rumaid, who, as soon as he drew his first breath, cryed, three times, "I am a Christian!" and then, making a plain "confession of his faith," desired that he might be baptized: it is most certainly true, that Samuel Mather did not suffer two times three years to pass him after his first breath, before he had, many times, manifested himself to be a Christian, under the regenerating impression of that Spirit into whose name and faith he had been baptized. The holy Spirit of God made early visits unto our Samuel, who from his childhood was devoted unto the tabernacle. He was in Ks "early childhood an extraordinary instance of discretion, gravity, seriousness, prayerfulness, and watchfulness, which, accompanied with a certain generosity of temper, and an usual progress in learning, wherein

» * » . Kerum prudtntia vclox,

Ante pilot venit ,•*

render'd him the delight of all that part of mankind that know him; and as the name of nauJapioyspuvf was of old given to Macarius, thus this blessed young man was commonly called "the young old man," by those that mentioned him. R. Eliezer, the son of R. Azariah, when made president of the Jewish Sanhedrin, at sixteen years of age, was not one of a more composed behaviour. A certain Arabian commentary upon the Alchoran reports, that when John Baptist was a child, other boys asked him to play with them; which he refused, saying, "I was not sent into the world for sport." Such great thoughts inspired our Samuel Mather, while he was yet a child! To demonstrate and illustrate this part of his character, I shall only recite an extract of a letter, which he wrote from his lodging in Cambridge, to his father in Dorchester, when he was no more than twelve years of age:

"Though [said he] I am thus well in my body, yet I question whether my soul

doth prosper as my body doth; for I perceive, yet to this very day, little growth in grace; and this makes me question, whether grace be in my heart or no. I feel also daily great unwillingness to good duties, and the great ruling of sin in my heart; and that God is angry with me, and gives me no answers to my prayers, but, many times, he even throws them down as dust in my face; and he does not grant my continual requests for the spiritual blessing of the soflning of my hard heart. And in all this I could yet take some comfort, but that it makes me to wonder, what God's secret decree concerning me may be; for I doubt whether even God is wont to deny grace and mercy to his chosen (though uncalled) when they seek unto him, by prayer, for it; and therefore, seeing he doth thus deny it to me, I think that the reason of it is most like to be, because I belong not unto the election of grace. I desire that you would let me have your prayers, as I doubt not but I have them; and rest

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