342 Thomas Cotton to Samuel Sewall et al

    [London November 16 1726]

    My Honoured, Reverend, and much respected Friends.

    I am ashamed and grieved to think that your very kind Letters have been so long unanswered; I have no apologies to offer that can wholly excuse me. I am glad to find that God has spared your Lives hitherto, and for whatever blessings and comforts of life you yet enjoy.

    For mine own part, it pleased God to visit me with a sore shock that incapacitated me much for my business for many months, viz by a fit of a Lethargy. But the Lord was pleased to appear signally for me, and when some means that seemed necessary were neglected and omitted, nature in the hand of Providence supplyed the want of them. After I had laid two nights and one day taking little notice of any thing, at my awaking after the second night my head was all broke out with heats to that degree that it was equivalent to a Blister plaister, which Physicians judge was the means of preserving my life. After that I was for some considerable time wholly taken off from any business and employ. But I Bless God I am now as well as I must ever expect to be. I ordinarily preach once a Lords day and sometimes twice, but must be expecting changes, being now in the Seventy third year of my Life; and know not of one Dissenting Minister older than my self. Since I became fit for any business I have missed several Opportunitys of sending to New England, occasioned by my living out of Town; but my good friend Mr. Storke has informed me of this Opportunity, which I take with pleasure; and the more having been afraid I had lost the season.

    I have pleased my self with the thoughts that as I had given you my Friends full power to act as I proposed, or what you might judge fitter and more usefull to be done. Though you should never have heard from me more, you would have gone on to act as God should have directed you.

    And now I give you my hearty thanks for what you have done, and approve of all you have done in every Article. And particularly I continue to desire that One hundred Pounds of the Four hundred Pounds New England money I committed to your trust to be given for the charitable purposes mentioned should be given to Harvard College, the income of it to be for an Augmentation and Addition to the Salary of the President of the College for the time being.

    Though it was a particular pleasure to me to think that I had such an Opportunity in my hands of shewing Respect to my worthy Friend the Reverend Mr. Colman, yet as Providence has ordered it otherwise, and that another Person is placed in that Post who has both yours and his approbation, I am very well pleased that One hundred be so setled for an Augmentation of his Salary and so to continue to those that shall succeed him.

    As to the rest of the Four hundred Pounds I providentially sent you, I desire you would please to dispose of it in every particular as you propose, unless any alteration in the time passed since the date of yours, You have judged any alterations might be made to your greater satisfaction; then I shall be very well pleased with such alterations as you shall see fit to make. And as you have full power in your hands I shall be pleased if I should hear that all was finished before this reaches your hands.

    I heartily pray that the Interest of Religion and Learning may be supported and promoted in New England for the Glory of God, and the good of succeeding generations, and that your Valuable Lives may be prolonged.

    My Wife and self present our joynt humble service to you all, beging your prayers for us and ours.


    Your very much Obliged

    and humble Servant

    Tho. Cotton

    For the Honoured and Reverend Judge Sewall, Mr. Welstead and Mr. Colman.


    A true Copie compared with the original, as attest

    Samuel Sewall

    College Papers, 1. 76 (No. 157). This document, like No. 324, was copied for the College Records in 1727. It is quoted in CSM Publications, xvi. 841.