Letter sent by the minister James Harrison, 7 September 1629 to his patron, Lady Joan Barrington

Worthy madame

I humbly and heartely blesse God to heare of your good health, the continuance whereof I desyre as my owne, with the multiplication of all spiritual! blessings upon your soule unto a sweete and full supply of all your necessetyes, with gracious increase till you come into the possession of that inheritance of the sainctes in that glorious light where there neyther is nor ever shalbe the least measure of darkenesse; in the assured fayth and hope of which hap-pinesse, goe on, good madame, cheerfully in a constant desyre and endeavour of approving your hart and life unto the lord in all sincerity, not casting away the confidence of your hope for infirmityes and frayltyes which will accompany the deare children of God in this pilgrimage, but being well assured that God will never lay these to the chardge of them that mourne truely for them, and in uprightnes of affection unto the obedience of his will. and the honour of his name stryve to doe him more and better service, for that purpose attending upon his grace in the use of all good meanes, with hearty prayer for his blessing upon them that they may be inabled "hereunto. Good madame I acknowledg my selfe to be yours by just obligation through the many and great favours you have beene pleased to bestow upon me and myne. I heartely wishe I were able to make better requital! by my requests on your behalf unto him who will not forgets your worke and labor of love bestowed upon us and many others, and by better performances of such services and offices as belonge unto my calleinge and are required of me in that relation I stand in to your good ladiship. I longe to se you at Hatfeild; many mourne after and for you, we have great need of you in many respectes. If we might be so happy as injoy you I would not doubt to se the auncient honour of your family revyved and flourishe againe in constant and setled course of all good and religious exercise with blessing from the lord, both outward and inward, which, if you be wanteing, I have just cause to feare the stay and continuanc of these we now have with us, being, as I conceyve, doubtful! without the comfort of your society. I am perswaded there is noe place where your ladiship can doe God so much service and so much further the publike good as you may doe and will doe if you be here, and I would hope through God's blessing it would be never very prejudicial! to your good, which the lord knoweth both in regard of soule and body I wishe and tender as my owne. I say noe more; many hope, wishe and pray for your good returne. The God of heaven guide and direct you to doe what may best please him and be most for your owne true peace and comfort, as I doubt not but he will, it being the desyre of your soule (as I know it is) to obey him in all thinges. My wyfe is yet on foote, she humbly thanks your good ladiship for former and for your last rememberances, wherby you still binde us more and more in all dutifullnes and thankfullnes unto you. We should thinke ourselves happy, the lord gyving an occasion, to injoy that bould suit I made at my being last with you, which I humbly submits to your owne good consideration and determination.' And so with my owne and my wyve's duty and service to your good ladiship remembered with all thankefullnes, I take my leave, ever resting

at your ladiship's command James Harrison

Hatfeild, September 7, 1629