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 and wit, Nathaniel Ward of Ipswich, author of the strange little book, The simple Cobbler of Aggawam, and chief compiler of the celebrated Body of liberties. Born nearly two-score years before Roger Williams, he was well advanced in his sixties when he set foot in the new world, and upwards of seventy when he wrote the Simple Cobbler. More completely than any of his emigrant brethren he belonged to the late Renaissance world, which lingered on into the reigns of James and Charles, zealously cultivating its quaint garden of letters, coddling its odd phrases, and caring more for clever conceits than for solid thought. Faithful disciple of Calvin though he was, there was in him a rich sap of mind, which, fermented by long observation and much travel, made him the raciest of wits, and doubtless the most delightful of companions over a respectable Puritan bottle. “I have only two Comforts to live upon,” Increase Mather reported him as saying; “The one is in the Perfections of Christ; The other is in The Imperfections of all Christians.” It is the caustic criticism of female fashions, and the sharp attack upon all tolerationists who would “hang God's Bible at the Devil's girdle,” that have caught the attention of later readers of the Simple Cobbler; but it was as a “subtile statesman” that Ward impressed himself upon his own generation, and it is certainly the political philosophy which gives significance to his brilliant essay. Trained in the law before he forsook it for th6 ministry, he had thought seriously upon political questions, and his conclusions hit to a nicety the principles which the moderate Presbyterians in Parliament were developing to offset the Stuart encroachments. The insufficiency of the old checks and balances to withstand the stress of partisanship was daily becoming more evident as the struggle went forward. There must be an overhauling of the fundamental law; the neutral zones must be charted and the several rights and privileges exactly delimited. What was needed was a written constitution. Hitherto God “hath taken order, that ill Prerogatives, gotten by the Sword, should in time be fetcht home by the Dagger, if nothing else will doe it: Yet I trust there is both day and means to intervent this bargaine.” To preserve a just balance between rival interests, and to bring all parties to a realization of their responsibility to God, were
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