Cotton, John (1640-1699) to Joseph Lord
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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC05508.002 Author/Creator: Cotton, John (1640-1699) Place Written: Charleston, South Carolina Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 14 September 1699 Pagination: 3 p. : address : docket ; 19.4 x 30.6 cm.
Cotton writes from Charleston, South Carolina, where he had been called in 1698, to Joseph Lord, a minister at Dorchester, South Carolina. Lord had sailed to South Carolina with Cotton in November 1698. Speaks of mutual acquaintances in Charleston and touches on various issues, most significantly the proper procedure of the church when members, baptized as infants, renounce their baptism. Mentions the funeral of a Rev. Marshall, and the pending baptism of a slave owned by Madam Blake. Cotton died of yellow fever on 18 September 1699, four days after this letter was written. Contains multiple areas of text loss.
Revd & my Deare Friend
your letters are indeed a refreshing to me in this Desert, I have [your] last 2 to answer knowing not till now of an opportunity since I received your First; I am glad you are something satisfyed about the possibilty of actuall faith in Infants; I allow the zeale of that superlatively eminent mr Rogers, but those that come after might see alitle farther, & I am sure the instance of John Baptist is infallible, but your opinion of the [text loss] I mentioned, I shall readily entertaine & muse upon. I did not say chh [church]-children were not be excommunicated, but I said, not with that formall censure, 1:cor:5:5 it seems to be the forme necessary to be attended in the cutting off members of the full communion, but chh [church]-seed not being invested with such high & full priveledges, I am fully satisfyed, that to[text loss] the censure upon them in such like words, [weeded?] in the Name of ct [christ] cutt [inserted: you] off from your interest in the covenant (i.e. visible) if you have rejected the Lord & his covenant by renouncing your Baptisme the visible scale of your interest therein, soe doth this his chh [church] [text loss] [illegible] & cast off you & declare you not to be a membership; Id [text loss] not but you will in your dealings with her (though she will scorne to come near you) mind her of Esau dep[text loss]ing his birthright; I doe not see the nature of the thing requires more then such an exclusion out of the chh [church], neither doe I thinke that [ruined] it said, let him be as a heathen & [text loss]nded that [text loss]ey in passing the censure[text loss] should say those very words, Let him be as a Hea[then] & Publ[icary]: but only cast him out, whereby he is infotacto met into such a state as obliges the chh [church] to carry to him as the Jewes did to Heathen & Publicary; it i[al], so to be minded that that in math 18. as well as cor:5: referres to a Brother in full communion; when you say the chh [church] hath taken them into that visible interest [text loss] which they (i:e:chh [church]-seed) have; I suppose your meaning is the chh [church] gave them the seale of their  visible interest in god, for I am well, [text loss]ot that the children [strikeout] of belevers [text loss], have their visible interest in god & his covenant before their Bap:yea though they dye without Bap: It is very rationall what you say, that upon their visibly casting God off, the chh [church] should pronounce them without such visible interest, & why may not those words or such like be enough without saying, wee deliver you up [strikeout] to Satan or make you as Heath & Publ: fewtea at per plura quotieri potet per pauciora [written in Latin] I heartily close with you in your desires that wee may [text loss]one in every thing in the Lord, Mr Screven hath bin very bad but recovering, I wish he had your letter, I am sure he can never answer it, I am pleased much with your Arimad version de Bernard, it is very true what I told you your letter to Madam Blake came not to me, but I hope Nath: Johnson sent it to her, many opportunities have bin this week thitherward I trust she will not dare to deny Bap: to her Negros, & I am glad you judge him qualifyed for such a priveledge: yours of Sep: 11: says true, she did tell me, she saw not what benefit etc if she did [text loss] would [text loss] her, my first reply was yours de Infants in [text loss] I confirmed from Rom:3:1:2:& cap: J: 4: fell yo[text loss]t other suggestions I heartily soder a truth, but her mater being there I d[ou]bt noe good will be done as yet: who are the Authors of yours trea[text loss] [text loss] heare of the dreadfull hand of God upon us by a deadly sicknesse, the death of 18 men & women in lesse then a fortnight in this to [text loss] of them yesterday) & though this letter come to your hand to morrow, yet I judge the number of our dead before that time, not be above 20: I wrote yester-morning to the Govr & requested him to call upon us to fast etc & in the eve Capt Bellingar (Whose [wife] [ text loss: b]rought him a daughter last week) told me, the Govr & Counsell [illegible] done when he was last in towne, & w[on]dered the, [text loss] [illegible] had neglected to issue out the orders for us; the death of poo[illegible] [text loss] Marshall is dreadfull, he preacht on the Sab: Upon Jonahs ga[illegible]rd & the next Sabbath, [text loss] (the time he was want to walke up the broad path after his worship was ended) wee accompanyed him to his grave, a great concourse of all sorts, [strikeout] but I am not ateare, but wanted much in his owne he[text loss]rey, his [inserted: nurse] maide a Negro or seemd to weep, I ca[text loss]ear a good word came from him in his [dryes] sicknesse, [inserted: strikeout] he said to the Dr, for [sav?]e, my life if you can, Lord awaken us to doe & speak for God [text loss] life [illegible] Expo[text loss] not about march  to doe as I w[text loss:i]shed be done by; Capt Tucker from 0 :E: sayes on June, 14: was a dreadful [inserted: fire] in Redrifte about London, 255 houses bernt & 9 ships, the fire was occasioned by a pitch - pot that fired a ship on the stocks & soe spread for about 24 houres, from 12 at noone till about that time next day; He sailed from 0:E: June, 19: was afortnight at Bermudas as he came along, where Randolph still lyes aclose prisoner; Capt Sanford came in last Sab: from N:York, & brought me 6 letters from N:E: one from my wife, the rest from others; I send you the commencement theses to peruse [text loss] where & then send them back againe; the Govr did come to Boston the week aftere the Election, Bro: Mather preacht on, 1: Sam:2:30: mi[text loss]le. Mr Willard Artil: Elec: on, He made the men of Israel men of war, Govr Present at both sermons, goes sometimes to Boston Lec[text loss] [illegible]rearing is at the Chappell, once he [illegible]at the French [text loss]h on a Sabbath: His speech to the Representatives & the five [illegible] Representatives speech, & that of the ministers of [text loss] : E: & that of the French ministers are all five printed & that [text loss] [text loss]ne by the first opportunity; all the change of counselors is [illegible] [strikeout] Major Bradford left out & Capt Byfeild [sic] in hi[illegible] major [strikeout] Converse is speaker; the Govr uses Mr Willard ofte[n] [text loss]ry in Councill & puts our Ministers to blesse the table when his [text loss] are by: The Gov in all respects carries it as a worthy Gentleman to b[text loss] great satisfaction of all good people, who thinke he will proove an excellent Govr, Amen: Mr White (the lady's Chaplain) Mr Eyres, capt Belcher & Mr Frarey are Repre: for Boston Mr Leverett for Cambridge, Mr. Rich: Saltonstall for Haverhill [inserted: Capt Basket for sandwich Nath. Thomas fore Plymouth [test loss] establishment none as yet. My letters were written about the middle of June [illegible] was at the Commencement, but because of raine & his gaut, all was [text loss] in the Colledge hall; my hearty salutations to you & yours, pray m[text loss] for me, I will for you & am, yours unfeignedly in in Christ Co[y?]: Cotton Mather hath [illegible] son
[inserted on the left margin of page 1: I expect you to pay me in specie, when you have the opportunity to send me newes from N: [E]: [New England?] I doe not meane in deeps I wish he had [illegible]]
For the Revr: Mr Joseph Lord,
Pastoure of the church at
Dorchester, in South
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