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behold, ye European Churches, There are Golden Candlesticks [more than twice Seven times Seven!] in the midst of this Outer Darkness; Unto the upright Children of Abraham, here hath arisen Light in Darkness. And let us humbly speak it, it shall be Profitable for you to consider the Light, which from the midst of this Outer Darkness, is now to be Darted over unto the other side of the Atlantick Ocean. But we must therewithal ask your Prayers, that these Golden Candlesticks may not quickly be Removed out of their place!
[Magnalia Christi Americana ; or, the Ecclesiastical History of New-England, from Its First Planting in the Year 1620 unto the Year of our Lord, 1698. By the Reverend and Learned Cotton Mather, M. A. And Pastor of the North Church in Boston, New-England. London: Printed for Thomas Parkhurst, at the Bible and Three Crowns in Cheapside, 1702. General Introduction, sections 1, 3.]
THE PHANTOM SHIP
Behold, a Fourth Colony of New-English Christians, in a manner stoln into the World, and a Colony, indeed, constellated with many Stars of the First Magnitude. The Colony was under the Conduct of as Holy, and as Prudent, and as Genteel Persons as most that ever visited these Nooks of America ; and yet these too were Try'd with very humbling Circumstances.
Being Londoners, or Merchants, and Men of Traffick and Business, their Design was in a manner wholly to apply themselves unto Trade; but the Design failing, they found their great Estates to sink so fast, that they must quickly do something. Whereupon in the Year 1646 gathering together almost all the Strength which was left 'em, they Built one Ship more, which they fraighted for England with the best part of their Tradable Estates; and sundry of their Eminent Persons Embarked themselves in her for the Voyage. But, alas, the Ship was never after heard of! She foundred in the Sea; and in her were lost, not only the Hopes of their future Trade, but also the Lives of several Excellent Persons, as well as divers Manuscripts of some great Men in the Country, sent over for the Service of the Church, which were now buried in the Ocean. The fuller Story of that grievous Matter, let the Reader with a just
Astonishment accept from the Pen of the Reverend Person, who is now the Pastor of New-Haven. I wrote unto him for it, and was thus Answered.
“REVEREND AND DEAR Sir, In Compliance with your Desires, I now give you the Relation of that Apparition of a Ship in the Air, which I have received from the most Credible, Judicious and Curious Surviving Observers of it.
“In the Year 1647 besides much other Lading, a far more Rich Treasure of Passengers, (Five or Six of which were Persons of chief Note and Worth in New-Haven) put themselves on Board a New Ship, built at Rhode Island, of about 150 Tuns; but so walty, that the Master, (Lamberton) often said she would prove their Grave. In the Month of January, cutting their way thro' much Ice, on which they were accompanied with the Reverend Mr. Davenport, besides many other Friends, with many Fears, as well as Prayers and Tears, they set Sail. Mr. Davenport in Prayer with an observable Emphasis used these Words, Lord, if it be thy pleasure to bury these our Friends in the bottom of the Sea, they are thine; save them! The Spring following no Tidings of these Friends arrived with the Ships from England: New-Haven's Heart began to fail her: This put the Godly People on much Prayer, both Publick and Private, That the Lord would (if it was his Pleasure) let them hear what he had done with their dear Friends, and prepare them with a suitable Submission to his Holy Will. In June next ensuing, a great Thunder-Storm arose out of the NorthWest; after which, (the Hemisphere being serene) about an hour before Sun-set a SHIP of like Dimensions with the aforesaid, with her Canvas and Colours abroad (tho' the Wind Northernly) appeared in the Air coming up from our Harbour's Mouth, which lyes Southward from the Town, seemingly with her Sails filled under a fresh Gale, holding her Course North, and continuing under Observation, Sailing against the Wind for the space of half an Hour. Many were drawn to behold this great Work of God; yea, the very Children cry'd out, There's a Brave Ship! At length, crouding up as far as there is usually Water sufficient for such a Vessel, and so near some of the Spectators as that they imagined a Man might hurl a Stone on Board her, her Maintop seem'd to
be blown off, but left hanging in the Shrouds; then her Missentop; then all her Masting seemed blown away by the Board : Quickly after the Hulk brought into a Careen, she overset, and so vanished into a smoaky Cloud, which in some time dissipated, leaving, as everywhere else, a clear Air. The admiring Spectators could distinguish the several Colours of each Part, the Principal Riging, and such Proportions, as caused not only the generality of Persons to say, This was the Mould of their Ship, and thus was her Tragick End: But Mr. Davenport also in publick declared to this Effect, That God had condescended, for the quieting of their afflicted Spirits, this Extraordinary Account of his Sovereign Disposal of those for whom so many Fervent Prayers were made continually. Thus I am, Sir, Your Humble Servant,
JAMES PIERPONT. READER, There being yet living so many Credible Gentlemen, that were Eye-Witnesses of this Wonderful Thing, I venture to Publish it for a thing as undoubted, as 'tis wonderful.
[Magnalia, book i, “ Antiquities, or Field prepared for Considerable Things to be Acted thereupon,” chapter 6, section 6.]
THE LAST DAYS OF THEOPHILUS EATON
His Eldest Son he maintained at the College until he proceeded Master of Arts; and he was indeed the Son of his Vows, and a Son of great Hopes. But a severe Catarrh diverted this Young Gentleman from the Work of the Ministry whereto his Father had once devoted him ; and a Malignant Fever then raging in those Parts of the Country, carried off him with his wife within Two or Three Days of one another. This was counted the sorest of all the Trials that ever befel his Father in the Days of the Years of his Pilgrimage ; but he bore it with a Patience and Composure of Spirit which was truly admirable. His dying Son look'd earnestly on him, and said, Sir, What shall we do! Whereto, with a well-ordered Countenance, he replied, Look up to God! And when he passed by his Daughter drowned in Tears on this Occasion, to her he said, Remember the Sixth Commandment,
Hurt not your self with Immoderate Grief; Remember Job, who said, The Lord hath given, and the Lord hath taken away, Blessed be the Name of the Lord ! You
mark what a Note the Spirit of God put upon it; in all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly : God accounts it a charging of him foolishly, when we don't submit unto his Will patiently. Accordingly he now governed himself as one that had attained unto the Rule of Weeping as if we wept not; for it being the Lord's Day, he repaired unto the Church in the Afternoon, as he had been there in the Forenoon, though he was never like to see his Dearest Son alive any more in this world. And though before the First Prayer began, a Messenger came to prevent Mr. Davenport's praying for the Sick Person, who was now Dead, yet his Affectionate Father alter'd not his Course, but Wrote after the Preacher as formerly ; and when he came Home he held on his former Methods of Divine Worship in his Family, not for the Excuse of Aaron, omitting any thing in the Service of God. In like sort, when the People had been at the Solemn Interment of this his Worthy Son, he did with a very Unpassionate Aspect and Carriage then say, Friends, I thank you all for your Love and Help, and for this Testimony of Respect unto me and mine: The Lord hath given, and the Lord hath taken; blessed be the Name of the Lord! Nevertheless, retiring hereupon into the Chamber where his Daughter then lay Sick, some Tears were observed falling from him while he uttered these Words, There is a difference between a sullen Silence or a stupid Senselessness under the Hand of God, and a Child-like Submission thereunto.
Thus continually he, for about a Score of Years, was the Glory and Pillar of New-Haven Colony. He would often say, Some count it a great matter to Die well, but I am sure 'tis a great matter to Live well. All our Care should be while we have our Life to use it well, and so when Death puts an end unto that, it will put an end unto all our Cares. But having Excellently managed his Care to Live well, God would have him to Die well, without any room or time then given to take any Care at all ; for he enjoyed a Death sudden to every one but himself! Having Worshipped God with his Family after his usual manner, and upon some Occasion with much Solemnity charged all the Family to
carry it well unto their Mistress who was now confined by Sickness, he Supp'd, and then took a turn or two abroad for his Meditations. After that he came in to bid his Wife Good-night, before he left her with her Watchers; which when he did, she said, Methinks you look sad! Whereto he reply'd, The Differences risen in the Church of Hartford make me so; she then added, Let us e’en go back to our Native Country again; to which he answered, You may, [and so she did] but I shall Die here. This was the last Word that ever she heard him speak; for now retiring unto his Lodging in another Chamber, he was overheard about midnight fetching a Groan; and unto one, sent in presently to enquire how he did, he answered the Enquiry with only saying, Very Ill! And without saying any more, he fell asleep in Jesus: In the Year 1657 loosing Anchor from New-Haven for the better.
Sedes, ubi Fata; Quietas
Now let his Gravestone wear at least the following
New-ENGLAND's Glory, full of Warmth and Light,
[Magnalia, book ii, “Lives of the Governours, and the Names of the Magistrates, that have been Shields unto the Churches of New England (until the Year 1686),” chapter 9, sections 9 and 10.]
THE PIETY OF THOMAS SHEPARD
As he was a very Studious Person, and a very lively Preacher; and one who therefore took great Pains in his Preparations, for his publick Labours, which Preparations he would usually finish on Saturday, by two a Clock in the Afternoon; with Respect whereunto he once used these Words, God will curse that Man's Labours, that lumbers up and down in the World all the Week, and then upon Saturday in the Afternoon goes to his Study; whereas God knows, that Time were little enough to pray in and weep in, and get his Heart into a fit Frame for the Duties of the approach