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John Ward

John Ward, A. M.—This excellent person was the son of Mr. Nathaniel Ward, and grandson of old Mr. John Ward of Haverhil in Suffolk, where he was born, November 5, 1606. He possessed the spirit of his forefathers, being a pious, learned, and conscientious nonconformist. Refusing to aspire after worldly emolument, he was content with a mean and obscure situation in the county of Suffolk. Though he used to say, " as there is no place like the sea for fishing, so the more hearers a minister has, die greater reason there is to hope that some will be caught in the gospel net;" yet, on account of his uncommon modesty and humility, he preferred entering upon his ministry where he should be least exposed to public notice. He was so extremely

• Life of Mr. Knolly.*, by himself. Edit. 1692.—Crosby's Baptists, vol. i. p. 8S6—S32, 331—344.—Harrison's Fun. Ser. for Mr. Knolhs.

+ Mather's Hist of New Eng. b. iii. p. 7.

1 V-al's Puritans, vol. iii. p. 151.

$ Oranpor's Biog. Hist. vol. iii. p. 338.

!| The author last mentioned observes on these two books of controversy; "If the reader should have patience to peruse these two very singular pieces, he will most probably be of opinion, that there it much more smoke than fire in them botli."—Ibid.

diffident of his own opinion, that he would never undertake any thing important relative to the church without previously consulting some judicious friend. And he used to say, ".I had rather always follow advice, .though it sometimes mislead me, than ever act without it, though 1 may do well with my own opinion." In the year 1638 he became rector of Hadley in the above county ;* but was obliged to resign it on account of his nonconformity. The dowery of his wife was a parsonage worth two hundred pounds a year, in case he could have conformed to the church of England. But a living of two hundred pounds a year was too weak an argument to convince his understanding and conscience of the lawfulness of conformity. As "he could not, with a good conscience, continue in the church without manifold interruptions, he retired, in the year 1639, to New England, as an asylum from the rage of persecution. After his arrival, in 1641, he became pastor of the church at Haverhil; where he continued to watch over the flock of Christ, and to labour for the salvation of souls, during the period of fifty-two years. He preached his last sermon after he had eutered upon the eighty-eighth year of his age; and being soon after seized with a paralytic affection, he died December 27, 1693. He was a person of quick apprehension, clear understanding, strong memory, and facetious conversation. He was a good scholar, an excellent physician, and a celebrated divine. His wife was a person of most exemplary piety, with whom he lived, in the greatest harmony and affection, upwards of forty years; during which period, he used to say, " she never gave him one offensive word."+

• Newconrt's Report. Eccl. To!, ii. p. 291.

+ Mather's Hist, of New Eng. b. iii. p. 167, 168.