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pieces of pasteboard, carefully numbered and by this means also divided into sections."
This exact agreement in contrivance between two men of uncommon genius and abilities, with respect both to the plan and conduct of the work; men living at a hundred and sixty years difference of time, men too in learning, penetration, and judgment perfectly qualified for so arduous an undertaking, affords the strongest presumptive proof of the excellence of the method, and at the same time the highest recommendation of it to the observation and practice of all who are engaged in a similar course of study.
Several of the harinonies were afterward finished upon the same plan with some improvements : one of these books was presented to Mr. Ferrar's most dear and intimate friend, the well known Mr. Geo. Herbert, who in his letter of thanks for it, calls it a most inestimable jewel; another was given to his other singular friend Dr. Jackson. The fame of this work, the production of a man so celebrated as the author had been, soon reached the ears of the king, who took the first opportunity to make himself personally acquainted with it, by obtaining the perusal of it.
Mr. Ferrar about this time wrote several very valuable treatises, and made several translations from authors in different languages, on subjects which he thought might prove serviceable to the cause of religion. Among others, having long had a high opinion of John Valdesso's Hundred and ten Considerations, &c. a book which he met with in his travels, he now (in 1632) translated it from the Italian copy into English, and sent it to be examined and censured by his friend Mr. Herbert, before it was made public. Which excellent book Mr. Herbert returned with many marginal notes, and criticisms, as they are now printed with it; with an affectionate letter also recommending the publication.
In May, 1633, his majesty set out upon his journey to Scotland, and in his progress he stepped a little out of his road to view Little Gidding in Huntingdonshire, which by the common people was called the Protestant Nunnery. The family having notice, met his majesty at the extremity of the parish, at a place called, from this event, the King's Close : and in the form of their solemn processions, conducted him to their church, which he viewed with great pleasure. He enquired into, and was informed of the particulars of their public, and domestic ceconomy: but it does not appear that at this time he made any considerable stay. The following summer liis majesty and the queen passed two nights at Apethorpe in Northamptonshire, the seat of Mildmay Fane earl of Westmoreland. From thence he sent one of his gentlemen to intreat (his majesty's own word) a sight of The Concordance, which, he had heard, was some time since done at Gidding ; with assurance that in a few days, when he had perused it, he would send it back again. Mr. N. Ferrar was then in London, and the family made some little demur, not thinking it worthy to be put into his majesty's hands; but at length they delivered it to the messenger. But it was not returned in a few days, or weeks : some months were elapsed, when the gentleman brought it back from the king, who was then at London. He said he had many things to deliver to the family from his master. First, to yield the king's hearty thanks to them all for the sight of the book, which passed the report he had heard of it. Then to signify his approbation of it in all
respects. Next to excuse him in two points. The first for not returning it so soon as he had proinised: the other for that he had in many places of the margin written notes in it with his own hand. And (which I know will please you) said the gentleman, you will find an instance of my master's humility in one of the margins. The place I mean is where he had written something with his own hand, and then put it out again, acknowledging that he was mistaken in that particular. Certainly this was an act of great humility in the king and worthy to be noted; and the book itself is much graced by it.
The gentleman farther told them, that the king took such delight in it, that he passed some part of every day in perusing it. And lastly, he said, to shew you how true this is, and that what I have declared is no court compliinent, I am expressly commanded by my master, earnestly to request of you, Mr. Nicholas Ferrar, and of the young ladies, that you would make him one of these books for his own use, and if you will please to undertake it, his majesty says you will do him a most acceptable service.
Mr. Nicholas Ferrar and the young ladies returned their most humble duty, and immediately set about what the king desired. In about a year's time it was finished; and it was sent to London to be presented to his majesty by Dr. Laud, then made archbishop of Canterbury, and Dr. Cosins, master of Peterhouse, whose turn it was to wait that month, being one of the king's chaplains. This book was bound entirely by Mary Collet (one of Mr. Ferrar's nieces) all wrought in gold, in a new and most elegant fashion.
The king after long and serious looking it over, said, * This is indeed a most valuable work, N
and in many respects worthy to be presented to the greatest prince upon earth. For the matter it contains is the richest of all treasures. The laborious composure of it into this excellent form of an harmony; the judicious contrivance of the method, the curious workmanship in so neatly cutting out and disposing the text, the nice laying of these costly pictures, and the exquisite art expressed in the binding, are, I really think, not to be equalled. I must acknowledge myself to be indeed greatly indebted to the fainily for this jewel : and whatever is in my power, I shall at any time be ready to do for any of them.”
Then after some pause, taking the book into his hands, he said, “ And what think you, my lord of Canterbury, and you Dr. Cosins, if I should ask a second favour of these good people? indeed I have another request to make to them, and it is this. I often read over the lives and actions of the kings of Judah and Israel in the books of the Kings, and the Chronicles, and I frequently meet with difficulties. I should be much obliged if Mr. Ferrar would make me such a book as may bring all these matters together into one regular narration, that I may read the whole in one continued story, and yet at the same time may be able to see them separate; or what belongs to one book, and what to another. I have long ago moved several of my chaplains to undertake this business : but it is not done : I suppose it is attended with too much difficulty. Will you, my lord, apply for me to Mr. Ferrar?” The archbishop wrote to Mr. Ferrar, acquainting him with the king's desires; and Mr. Ferrar immediately set himself about the work.
In the course of little more than a year, about Oct. 1636, Mr. Ferrar and his assistants completed
the harmony of the two books of the Kings and Chronicles, and young Nicholas Ferrar bound it in purple velvet, most richly gilt. It was sent to the archbishop and Dr. Cosins, to be by them presented to the king. His majesty was extremely delighted with it, saying, "it was a fit mirror for a king's daily inspection. Herein, he said, I shall behold God's mercies and judgments : his punishing of evil princes, and rewarding the good. To these his promises, to those his threatenings most surely accomplished. I have a second time gained a great treasure. What I said of the first book, I may most justly say of this; and I desire you will let them know my high esteem both of it and of them.” Dr. Cosins then presented a letter from Mr. Ferrar, which the king declared he thought the finest composition he ever read. In farther discoursing of these harmonies with the divines, the king determined that for public benefit they should be printed under bis own immediate command and protection. But the troubles of the ensuing times prevented this laudable purpose from being carried into execution. The title of this second harmony was as follows:
“ The History of the Israelites from the death of King Saul, to their carrying away captive into Babylon : collected out of the books of the Kings, and Chronicles, in the words of the text, without any alteration of importance by addition to or diminution from them. Whereby, first, all the actions and passages related in any of the books of the Kings and Chronicles, whether jointly or severally, are reduced into the body of one complete narration. Secondly, they are digested into an orderly dependance one upon the other. Thirdly, many difficult places are cleared, and many seeming differences between the books of Kings and