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REV. NATHANIEL WARD.
EDITED BY DAVID PULSIFER.
JAMES MUNROE AND COMPANY.
Entered according to act of Congress, in the year 1843, by
in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of Massachusetts.
THURSTON AND TORRY, PRINTERS,
18 Doyonshire Street.
NOTICE OF THE AUTHOR.
The REVEREND NATHANIEL WARD, the writer of the following work, was born at Haverhill, England, in 1570. Of this town his father was a clergyman. He was educated at Cambridge, studied and practised law, travelled on the Continent, afterwards commenced the study of divinity, became a preacher of the Gospel, and was settled at Standon, in Hertfordshire. He was a strong friend of the early settlers of New England before the elder Winthrop's coming over. At a General Court of the Massachusetts Company, held in London, on Wednesday the 25th of November, 1629, “Mr. Whyte did recomend Mr. Nathaniel Ward of Standon to be admitted to the freedom of the Company. He was ordered before the Bishop, Dec. 12, 1631, to answer for his non-conformity. Being forbidden to preach, he embarked in April, 1634, for this country. He arrived here in June, and was settled as Pastor of the church at Ipswich, or Aggawam, the same year. By reason of indisposition,
he was, at his own request, in 1636, released from his engagement with the church there. However thus disengaged, he preached often during the time he remained in the colony. The necessities of the infant Commonwealth called for his time, talents, and acquirements. Nor did he refuse. Willing to do the good, which he might, he lent a ready and efficient hand to the formation of our Legal Code. He was appointed by the General Court, March 12, 1638, on a committee to draw up a system of laws, for the consideration of the freemen. The same legislative authority, May 13, 1640, granted him six hundred acres of land for his service, at Pentucket, afterwards called Haverhill. He preached the election sermon, 1641, in which he advanced several things that savored more of liberty, than some of the magistrates were prepared to approve. The same year, Oct. 7, “ The Governor and m' Hauthorne were Desired to speake to m' Ward, for a coppey of the liberties, and of the Capitall lawes to bee transcribed, and sent to the severall townes.” He wrote the “ Simple Cobler" in 1645. In this year, May 25, he was on a committee to draw up a Body of Liberties, which were published in 1648, being the first printed volume of the kind in this Colony. Though greatly assisted by Joseph Hills and others in the composition and arrangement of so important a work, yet he appears to have been a principal agent in its accomplishment. He sold his interest at Haverhill, Nov. 25, 1646, to John Eaton, for £12,00. Between this date and the 6th of January following, he returned to England. On June 30th, 1647, he preached before the House of Commons, and the same year published the “ Simple Cobler." He was after
wards settled in the ministry at Shenfield, near Brentwood, where he died in 1653, in his eighty-third year.
Fuller, in his “ Worthies of England," speaking of him, says, that he, “ following the counsel of the poet,
Ridentem dicere verum,
What doth forbid but one may smile,
hath in a jesting way, in some of his books, delivered much smart truth of the present times.” Dr. Mather, in his
Magnalia,” remarks of him, “ he was the author of many composures full of wit and sense; among which, that entituled The Simple Cobler (which demonstrated him to be a subtil statesman) was most considered.” The same author adds, that "some famous persons of old thought it a greater glory to have it enquired; why such a one had not a statue erected for him ? than to have it enquired why he had? If it be enquired, why this our St. Hilary hath among our Lives no statue erected for him ? let that enquiry go for part of one." And in the “ Remarkables of Increase Mather, he observes, "" An hundred witty Speeches of our Celebrated Ward, who called himself The Simple Cobler of Agawam, [and over whose Mantel-piece in his House, by the way, I have seen those three Words Engraved, SOBRIE, JUSTE, PIE, and a Fourth added, which was LÆTE:) have been reported; but he had one Godly Speech, that was worth 'em all ; which was, I have only Two Comforts to