Cotton Mather.

Corderius Americanus : a discourse on the good education of children, &c. &c. delivered at the funeral of Ezekiel Cheever, principal of the Latin school in Boston, who died, August, 1708, in the ninty-fourth year of his age ; with an elegy and an epitaph online

. (page 2 of 3)
Online LibraryCotton MatherCorderius Americanus : a discourse on the good education of children, &c. &c. delivered at the funeral of Ezekiel Cheever, principal of the Latin school in Boston, who died, August, 1708, in the ninty-fourth year of his age ; with an elegy and an epitaph → online text (page 2 of 3)
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to make it wise to salvation. But if it want knowledge and
saving wisdom through any gross neglect of thine, thy punish
ment shall be terrible in the day of the LORD S pleading with thee.^J

Consider what I say and the LORD give you understanding to
do your part, that your children may not want understanding, or
die without instruction. It is the wish of heaven over you
Deut. xxxii. 29. Oh that they were wise, that they understand this,
that, (so some render it) they would consider their posterity.

I will now say, children, I hope you are come hither that you
may be made wise to salvation.

Come, ye children, hearken to me, I will teach you what

ought to do.

You ought, first, to be willing to be taught the fear of the
LORD. When your teachers would teach you something of the
scriptures be not so set upon your childish and foolish play, as
to count every minute a weary hour under their teaching. Rath
er come to your teachers and beg it of them, I pray teach me


something. Count the knowledge of GOD and CHRIST and heav
enly things a more precious thing than any thing in the world.

Yea, secondly, you ought never to be satisfied. Know as
much of the scriptures as ever you can. Read the Bible daily
Ask abundance of questions about what you read. Never
count that you know enough and despise all ornaments in com
parison of this to be adorned with the knowledge of the holy

But, thirdly, be sure to DO what you know from the scrip
tures that you ought to do. As now ; do not you know from
the scriptures that you ought to keep holy the LORD S day to
honour your parents to suffer any thing rather than tell a lie
and to pray in secret daily and without ceasing ? Oh, do
these things, my children, be sure to do such things ! Hear the
voice of your Saviour, Prov. viii. 17. They that seek me early
shall find me. Again, Matt. xix. 14. Suffer little children to
come unto me -for of such is the kingdom of heaven. Well then,
betimes, now in your childhood, Oh, come to a glorious CHRIST ;
put yourself into his hands. Beg of him, I beseech thee, O LORD,
to deliver my soul. Why should your childhood be nothing but
vanity ! nothing but a long step in the arms of death and

It was the saying of one that was wise betimes, Psalm cxix.
147. I prevented the dawning of the morning, and cried ; I hoped
in thy word. While you are yet children, you must have piety
rectifying, sanctifying and purifying your childhood. While
reason is yet upon the dawning with you, there is reason
that you should mind religion. There was once an incompara
ble child of whom we read, 1 Sam. iii. 4. T/ie child Samuel
ministered unto the LORD. A child that was visited and possessed
by the Spirit of GOD that quickly answered the calls of the
HOLY ONE and that would leave his sleep to hold communion
with the LORD. O most amiable child !

Children, it is your dawning time. It may be your dying
time. It is now upon computation found, that more than half
the children of men die before they come to be seventeen years
of age. And needs any thing more be said for your awakening
to learn the holy scriptures.


The small as well as the great are to stand before the judge
ment seat of GOD. Oh that while you are yet small you may be
greatly affected with the day of judgement. If you go on to do
amiss know that for this GOD will bring you into judgement.
And as we read, Matt, xviii. 10. The little ones have their an
gels Dear children, behave yourselves as having the angels of
GOD looking upon you and looking after you.

And may the GOD of all grace set home such thoughts as these
upon the hearts of our children, and give perfect hearts unto

If they do not mind these things in this more public dispen
sation of them, will you that are teachers more privately incul
cate such things upon them? I had the happiness of an educa
tion under a school-master who was exemplary for doing so.
Before we part I am to tell you more concerning him.

You shall give me leave to conclude with a very reasonable

Worthy of honour are the teachers that convey wisdom to
our children ; worthy of double honour the happy instruments
that convey saving wisdom to them. There are some whose
peculiar profession it is, to bestow useful and various learning
upon our children, arid who make their employment a precious
advantage to learn them the holy scriptures, and to make them
wise for eternity.

The particular persons who have their children in the tutelage
of skilful and careful school-masters, ought to make them suita
ble recompenses. Their stipends are generally far short of
their deserts. Their pains are not small. What they do is very
great. And surely our children are very dear to us I need not
quote Euripides to tell you, that they are the very life and soul
to all mankind. I cannot but observe it with a just indignation
to feed our children, to clothe our children, to do any thing
for the bodies of our children or perhaps to teach them some
trifle at a dancing school, scarce worth their learning, we count
no expense too much at the same time to have the minds of
the children enriched with the most valuable knowledge here
to what purpose is the cry ? A little expense how heavily it
goes off! My brethren, these things ought not so to be. Well


taught children have certainly a high claim to our particular
esteem. When the mother of the Gracchi was asked for the
sight of her ornaments, how instructively did she present her two
sons brought up in learning and virtue, as the brightest of all
her ornaments ! If we were duly sensible how vast a concern,
how vast a comfort it is to have well taught children we
should study all the ways imaginable to express our thankful
ness to the teachers of them And it would not be complained,
that a Mecaenas is to be no where found but in Horace s
poetry. The Christian emperor Gratian one of the best of men
that ever swayed the Roman sceptre, conferred riches and hon
ours on his master Ansonius, with this agreeable compliment :
Sir, said he, I have paid what I owed, and I still owe what I
have paid.

We hear good words now and then spoken for the tribe of
Levi. I desire to speak one for the tribe of Simeon. The Sim-
eonites were the school-masters that were scattered in Israel.
Though Moses left them out of his blessing Yet our glorious
JESUS has a blessing for them They serve him wonderfully
His people will also bless them, and bless GOD for them. And
so will I this day do for my master in this congregation of the

School-masters that have used the office well, purchase to
themselves a good esteem to out-live their death, as well as mer
it for themselves a good support while they live. It is a justice
to them that they should be had in everlasting remembrance
and a place and a name among those just men doth particularly
belong to that ancient and honourable man a master in our Is
rael who was with us the last time of my standing here but
is now with those blessed spirits who wait and long for the first

Verrius the master of the nephews of Augustus had a statue
erected for him ; and Antonius obtained from the senate a statue
for his master Pronto. I am sorry that mine has none But in the
grateful memories of his scholars there have been and will be
hundreds erected for him.

In the imperial law we read that good Grammarians, having
taught with diligence twenty years, were to have special honour


conferred upon them I challenge for my master more than a
treble portion of that special honour. ?ut Oh, let it all pass
through him, up to the glorious LORD who made him to be what
he was !

His eminent abilities for the work which rendered him so long
useful in his generation were universally acknowedged And it
was noted that when scholars came to be admitted into the col
lege, they who came from the Cheeverian education, were gen
erally the most unexceptionable.

He flourished so long in this great work of bringing our sons
to be men, that it gave him an opportunity to send forth many
Bezahels and Moliabs for the service of the tabernacle; and men
fitted for all good employments. He that was my master seven
and thirty years ago, was a master to many of my betters, no
less than seventy years ago so long ago that I must even men
tion my father s tutor for one of them.

And as it is written for the lasting renown of the Corderius,
whose colloquies he taught us that the great Calvin had been
a scholar to him so this our American Corderius had many
scholars that were a crown to him yea many that will be his
crown in the presence of our LORD JESUS CHRIST at his coming
yea many that were got into the heavenly world before him.
And the mention of the heavenly world leads me to that which
is principally to be noticed His piety, I say, his piety and
his care to infuse documents of piety into the scholars under
his charge, that he might carry them with him to the heavenly

Why should not a school-master be to his children a school
master to bring them to CHRIST ? This was the study of our

He lived as a master the term which has been for above three
thousand years assigned for the life of man. He continued to
the ninety-fourth year of his age an unusual instance of liveli
ness. His intellectual force as little abated as his natural. He
exemplified the fulfilment of that word, As thy days so shall thy
strength be in the gloss which the Jerusalem targum has put
upon it as thou wast in the days of thy youth, such thou shalt
be in thy old age.


Death must now do its part. He died longing for death. Our
old Simeon waited for it, that he might get nearer to the conso
lation of Israel. He died leaning like old Jacob upon a staff ;
the sacrifice and the righteousness of a glorious CHRIST, he let
us know was that staff. He died mourning for the quick apos
tasy which he saw breaking in upon us ; very easy about his
own eternal happiness, but full of distress for a poor people here
under the displeasure of Heaven, for former iniquities, he thought,
as well as later ones. To say no more He died a candidate
for the first resurrection. And verily our land is weakened when
those fly away, at whose flight we may cry out : My father, my
father, the chariots of New England and the horsemen thereof.



f*f iT^if ff if*!
Ml J^vUlvv



Augusto perstringere carmine laudes,

Quas nulla eloquii vis celebrare queat.

You that are men, and thoughts of manhood know
Be just now to the man that made you so. ,

Martyr d by scholars the stabb d Cassian dies,
And falls to cursed lads a sacrifice.
Not so my CHEEVER ; not by scholars slain,
But praised and loved and wish d to live again.
A mighty tribe of well instructed youth
Tell what they owe to him, and tell with truth.

A learned Master of the languages
Which to rich stores of learning are the keys
He taught us first good sense to understand,
And put the golden keys into our hand
A Christian Terrence, Master of the file
That arms the curious to reform their style.

His work he loved Oh had we done the same ! - ,
Our play-days still to him ungrateful came
And yet so well our work adjusted lay
We came to work as if we came to play. _J

His counsels given to reform our youth,
Distill d like honey from our Nestor s mouth,
Concerned, that when from him we learning had,
It might not armed wickedness be made.

The Summer shall first bring large drifts of snow,
And beauteous cherries in December grow,
Ere of those charges we forgetful are
Which we, O man of GOD, from thee did hear.

Meanwhile America a wonder saw ;
A youth in age, forbid by nature s law.

To weak old age, you say, there must belong
A trembling palsy both of limb and tongue
Days of decrepitude a bending back
Propp d by a staff in hands that ever shake.
But, here, in transitory Life s last days,
Our CHEEVEK S; sun dispensed his setting rays


With faculties of reason still as bright,
And at good services as exquisite.

Adieu a little while, dear saint, adieu,
Till scenes eternal open to my view.
In the mean time, with gratitude I must
Engrave an Epitaph upon your dust.


Ludimagister ;

Primo Neoportensis ;

Deinde, Ipsuicensis ;

Postea, Carolotenensis ;

Postremo, Bostonensis :


Doctrinam ac Virtutem

Nosti, si sis Nov-Anglus,

Colis, si non Barbarus ;

a Quo non pure tantum, sed et pie,

Loqui ;


a Quo non tantum ornate dicere

coram Hominibus,

sed et Orationes coram Deo fundere

Efficacissimas ;


a Quo non tantum Carmina pangere,

sed et
Ccelestes Hymnos Odasqus Angelicas,



Qui discere voluerunt ;

ad Quam accensa sunt,

Quis queat numerare,

Quot Ecclesiarurn Lumina ?



Qui secum Theologise abstulit,

Peritissimus THEOLOGUS,
Corpus hie suum sibi minus charum,


Vixit Annos. XCIV.

Docuit, Annos, LXX.

Obiit, A.D. M. DCC. VIII.

Et quod mori potuit,


Expectat Exoptatque
Primam Sanctorum Resurrectionem




AB A. D. IN TEMPORE, 1631, AD A. D. 1637.


Ecee iterum medio glacialis frigore brumae

CHRISTE puer tenera virgine natus ades.
En iterum tua festa novo celebranda sub anno

Duels, et ad cunas quemque venire jubes.
Te video divine puer, dulcissima JESU, 5

Edite coelesti de genitore DEUS,
Te video, cunasque tuas, suavissime CHRISTE,

Edite mortali de genetrice puer.
Ecce jaces laceris (puer optatisime) cunis

Ponis et in duro membra tenella toro. 10

Et te casta sinu recubantem mater amoeno

Molliter amplexu brachiolisque fovet.
En fovet ipse senex Josephus, et aspera brumae

Frigora solicitus qua licet arte fugat.
Adsum sancte puer cupidisque amplexibus ultro 15

Brachia in adventum tendo parata tuum.
Ad tua prostratus genibus cunabula flexis

Para tibi grato pectore dona fero,
Carmine solenni meritas dum pangere laudes

Conor, et arguta fundere voce melos. 20

En tibi pervigilem (JESU mitissime) noctem,

Primula quae cunis fulsit aborta tuis.
Pervigili meditor studio celebrare, canentem

Tu modo si dextro (summe) favore juves.
O ades atque juva placidus tu suggere blandos 25

Vere pater vatum maxime Phoebe, modos.
Tu vivis anima numeris mea carmina, datu

In certos veniant libera verba pedes,
Sic te digna canam dulci praeconia versu

Sic fiuet ingenii limpida vena mci 30


Ergo soporiferis nox o pulcherima bigis

Scande modo aurati templa serena poll,
Fundito jucundas terris optatibus umbras,

Et renova tenebris gaudia nostra tins
Gaudia quae quondam toti laetissima mundo, 35

Priina dabas summi nuncia prirna boni :
Cum puer e gravida matris foret editus alvo

Unica spes hominum CHRISTUS et una salus,
Diffugiant nigrae toto procul aethcre nubes

Purior et cunctis rideat aura locis 40


Sidera quae variis distinguunt aethera gemmis

Lumine jam solito splendidiore micent.
Virgo gerens tumidum caelesti numine ventrem

Nescia mortalis virgo pudica viri,
Ilia DEI sobolem mixtu paritura beato, 45

Ponere maturum dum meditatur onus,
Dum gelido vigilans miseri sub culminis antro

Expectat coeli subvenientis opem,
Interea celeres properans absolvere cursus,

Ingreditur mediam nox tenebrosa viam. 50

Undique jam dulcis placido mortalia somno

Corpora mulcebat fessa labore quies,
Quaesitumque inter nemorum fruticeta soporem

Praebebant tacitis abdita lustra feris,
Jam genus alituum muta sub fronde quiescens, 55

Nulla repercussa carmina voce dabat
Alta per et sylvas rigidosque silentia montes

Nee strepitus campis nee sonusoillus erat
Spirabant tenues minimo cum murmure venti,

Mitior et vacuis aura silebat agris 60

duique ferox pontus furioso tunditur Euro

Leniter in stratas currere caepit aquas
Quinetiam magno subterlabentia mundo

Volvuntur tacitis sidera cuncta viis
Usque adeo tranquilla silent dominoque ministrant 65

Singula, sic justo cuncta tremore pavent
Miranturque novo mysteria maxima partus

Dum deus humano corpore risit humum.
Virgo sed in utero media inter vota soluto

Salvifico mundo molliter edit onus, 70



Fas tua supplicibus sterni ad praesepia votis,

Fas dare sit sanctis oscula casta genis.
Vertite caelestis cunabula vertite prolis

Nobilius quo nil prosperiusque nihil.

Edit onus virgo, nee jam mora conscius aether 75

Signa dat, et summa protinus arce tonat,
Plaudit lo caelum, clangoribus insonat orbis

Omnis lo, plausu terra sonante salit
Exultant vallesque cavae collesq. supini,

Sylvaque frondentes concutit alta comas. 80

Vertite caelestis cunabula vertite prolis

Nobilius qua nil prosperiusque nihil.
Flumina conversos stupefacto gurgite cursus

Sistunt, et trepidans lenius unda fluit
Plaudit avis penna, viridisque per avia sylvae 85

Insolitum suavi concinit ore melos
Omnia laetantur ridet liquidissima mundi

Forma nitent agri prata serena micant
Aurea lux tota radiis fulgentibus aethra

Surgit et ardentes spargit ubique faces : 90

Parva loquor ; forte et pastores montibus illis

Servabant clauses septa per arcta greges :
Plis niveus summo veniens adsistit Olympo

Angelus et trepidis nuncia laeta refert,
Iste viri, supera vobis salvator ab arce 95

Natus in humana carne videndus, adest.
Pergite Davidicae propere sub moenia, Bethles,

Et date mox regi munera astra novo.
Dixerat, hi properant, fugit ille ad culmina coeli

Ambrosioque omnem spargit odore locum. 100

Extemplo magnum visi per inane volatus,

Et simul Angelici densa caterva chori :
Fit plausus, reboat laetis discursibus aer,

Ictaque jucundis perstrepat aura sonis.
Unus erat cantus, sit gloria summa tonanti 105

Pace nova tellus, pace triumphet homo :
Resporisant nemora, et montes, campique jacentes,

Unanimi plaudunt per loca cuncta sono.
Vertite caelestis cunabula, vertite prolis

Quern mare quern summae non capit aula domus


Haec inter studia, et magni solennia mundi 110

Gaudia, nox cursus finit abacta suos
Nox qua nee superis, nee qua mortalibus unquam

Laetior, aut mundo gratior ulla fuit.
Haec nox ilia fuit, multos quae festa per annos 115

Semper erit puris concelebranda sacris
Haec desiderio patrum exoptata piorum

Haec spes solicitis vatibus una fuit
Haec ilia est primis promissa parentibus, orbem

Vix ubi condiderat dextera magna Dei : 120

Silicet ex casta qua virgine surgerat heros

Et Deus, et vero tempore natus homo :
Inclyta nox salve, nox optatissima salve,

O nox ante omnes nobilitata dies.
Tu mundi solem generas, radiisque serenis 125

Perpetuae monstras dulce salutis iter
Tu miros adeo partus, tu primula sends

Vagitus, tenero quos dedit ore puer.
Ille en mortales Deus immortalis in auras

Prodit, et humani corporis ossagerit. 130

Salve iterum nox chara Deo, nox prospera mundo,

Nox omni potior, nobiliorque die.
Vertite caelestis pueri cunabula, cujus

Laus et honos ullum nescit habere modum.


RESPICE qufe tulerim pro te (mi chare viator)

Verbera, quas vultu cernis et ore notas :
Aspice quanta manu saeva mihi livida dantur

Figunturgue meis vulnera quanta genis.
Cur eadem paterer nulla est mea culpa, nee ulla 5

Causa, nisi ut nostra sanus homo esset ope.
Languores ego nempe tuos, tua crimina gessi,

Et sudore meo corpora sicca tenes.
Cum male tractarer liriguam, simul ora retenta

Continui, tacitus verberadira ferens : 10

Ut solet agnellus coram tondente silebam

Et quasi quae ducta est ad loca mortis ovis

********* *


En meus ille sacer vultus deitatis imago

Spiritibus superis gaudia summa ferens,
Ilia inquam facies, in qua sit gloria caeli 15

In qua majestas cernitur atque nitor
Turpiter adsputa est, mucosis plena salivis

Squalet, et a pugnis aspice caesa tumet.
Praela ego calcavi solus, cruor undique fluxus,

Nee pars illaesa est corporis ulla mei. 20

Commoveat te noster amor, namque arce paterna

Lapsus amore tui tristia cuncta tuli
Atque libens quid enim potuit me cogere, cujus

Vis est omnipotens, quid ? nisi verus amor.
Ergo tuum cor redde mihi, cui pectus apertum 25

Extensis manibus brachia tensa dedi.
Disce meo exemplo patienter ferre dolores

Et dare in adversis pectora tota DEO.
Nemo coronatur nisi quern patientia laudat,

Ergo boni pugnans militis instar age. 30


Forte mihi puero putei super ore sedenti

Annulus exciderat, nee erat spes ulla legendi.

Cum pater e filo lapidem demittit in undas >

Praedatorem auri : subitoque excitus ab imo

Annulus occurrit fundo, lapidipue coherens 5

Tanquam hamo piscis, summas effertur in auras.

Talia mirantem Pater occupat. Accipe causam

Nate ait, et lapidem (non longa est fabula) nosce:

Deucalion et Phyrrha (genus mortale duobus

In quibus omne fuit quondam et duo turba fuerunt)

Ut reparent populos, sua post vestigia jussos 10

Projicitmt lapides : lapides seu semina frugum

Mollescunt, inque ossa virum rnutanter et ora

Quanquam homines aliqui nondum digesta videntur

Effigies]et adhuc retinent de marmore multum, 15

Duritiaque docent, qua sint ab origine nati.

Jam nova crescebat soboles, et cura trahebat

In diversa animos ; nam prout cecidere per undas

Aut per agros lapides, aut per spelaea ferarum,

Aut propter montes ferrique aurique feracs ; 20


Sic genium traxere loci, venatibus ille

Indulget, terrain colit hie, illi aequora sulcant,

Hi ferri venas, aurumque per omnia quaerunt,

Et sceleris quaerunt mortisque per omnia causas.

Tune vero haec oculis invitamenta malorum 25

Abduxit Natura parens, et in intima terrae

Viscera contraxit, manesque removit ad imos.

Sed tamen hue quoque descendit furiosa cupido

Abdita rimatur, terramque eviscerat omnem,

Scilicet indignata homini Natura. Quis ultra 30

Finis erit 1 dixit, tellus exhausta metallis

Ante gemit, quam dira fames saturata quiescat.

Dum loquitur mentem magnetia vertit in aura

Et puduit vertisse : videt molimine longo

Justantes operi, defossique ultima mundi 35

Scrutantes arcana, et opes (sua damna) petentes ;

O prona in terrain clamat perituraque turba,

Quodque sibi fodit prope Tartara, digna sepulchro,

Dixit, et irato tremefecit numine terram,

Opressitque viros, et glebae irnmiscuit artus ; 40

Quam male tractabat per aperta pericula glebam.

Quin flamma e Stygiis (ut erat vicina) cavernis

Illam memborum terraeque sine ordine massain

Fumida corripuit, coctamque in saxa coegit :

Unde color, species et adhuc semiusta remansit. 45

Nee tanturn color, at vivos quae torserat olim

Magnetes, etiam lapides sensuque carentes

Tangit avaritia : utque aurum, ferrumque legentes

Oppressit fatum, sic ipsa cadavera praedam

Quaeque suam agnoscunt, geminaque cupidine fervent,

Et trahit hie ferrum magnes, ilia attrahit aurum. 51

Tune ego ad haec patris ridens miracula, sane

Quam metuo dixi, quando aurum poscimus omnes,

Ne genus humanum saxa in magnetia migret.

Sic me fabellis pater oblectare solebat. 55




Arma prius ceceni cum panderet inclyta portas

Sylva duels Batavis, in Tentonas arma supersunt :

Quae mea Caliope pangat, quae numine fretus

Suecus in Albanis vibrans faeliciter arvis

Ista legat Carolus, Carolo neque gratior ulla est 5

Quarn sibi quae Sueci pretexit pagina nomen.

Visa diu lapsis felix Germania seclis
Artibus, ingeniisque, et festa pace virebat,
Fudit opes, frugesque immenso copia cornu,
Dulciaque innocuae peragebant otia genres. 10

Hoc dea prodigiis immanior omnibus ATE
Vidit et invidit, sed non diuturna futura est
Copia, et unanimes ditans concordia cives,
Dixit, et implicitos canis arrecta colubros
Incesta Austriacae gentis de stirpe creati 15

Ferdnandi furias, atque impia pectora foedis,
Concitat illecebris, stimulis quern ingentibus urget
Sanguinis alta sitis, dominandi et caeca libido,
Non ita cum celeres perflant incendia venti
Saevit in ambustos exultans flamma penates : 20

Nee tantum quoties vitiata Syr i us aura
^Estuat atra lues vicos populatur et urbes
Ferdnandi quantum rabies immane per orbem
Tentonicum grassata furit, quern nulla coercet
Relligio, summis auditaque foedera coelis, 25

Ille sed ut valeat propriis emergere regnis
Et scelere imperii latos extendere fines,
In patriae strictos acuit crudeliter enses
Viscera quaque ruunt funesto moenia bello
Justitia et nudis libertas exulat agris. cO

Quid memorem caedes eflfera facta tyranni
Sparsaque purpureis millena cadavera campis
Dira Palatinus testatur praelia Rhenus,


Online LibraryCotton MatherCorderius Americanus : a discourse on the good education of children, &c. &c. delivered at the funeral of Ezekiel Cheever, principal of the Latin school in Boston, who died, August, 1708, in the ninty-fourth year of his age ; with an elegy and an epitaph → online text (page 2 of 3)