Testamentary Priorities

In the seventeenth century, when people prepared their wills they normally paid someone to write them down, normally a scrivener or notary public. Once written, the testator would sign their name (or make their mark) and add their wax seal. Scriveners often used the same template for the wills they composed, which means that most wills have very similar and generic beginnings. The following will, however, stands out among the many hundreds I have read. And for that reason I commend it to you.

“First, principally, and above all considerations I commend and yield my precious and immortal soul into the hands of almighty God my most merciful Creator that gave it and my body unto the earth from whence it was taken in assured hope and confidence that both body and soul shall be reunited and raised again to life immortal in the world to come for I steadfastly believe that as assuredly as Christ Jesus assumed man’s nature and therein fulfilled all righteousness by his most perfect obedience and being with all spot of sin or iniquity yet was accounted and reputed amongst sinners and had the guilt of all the sins of mankind imputed to him for all which he gave full satisfaction unto the divine justice by his most cruel and bitter death so certainly will God impute unto me (vile dust and ashes) the righteousness of Jesus Christ my Savior and the all-sufficient merits of his obedience whereby that in my self am nothing but sin shall be reputed and accounted righteous in his sight seeing that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners of whom I account my self the chiefest.”

What is your last will and testament, and what does it reveal about your priorities?


Sleep in Jesus

I came across a beautiful hymn/poem today. You will enjoy it.

Sleep in Jesus

Attributed to JC In Anon, A Collection of Divine Hymns, 1694
Also attributed to John Mason (who was an editor of the above work, I believe) here: https://archive.org/stream/lyracons00bona#page/88/mode/2up/search/unawares

Death steals upon us unawares,
And digs our graves unseen,
Whilst we dispute, are full of cares,
What may be, what hath been.

Shall I be bent on vanity?
And rottenness to trust?
Till death shall lay his hand on me,
And crumble me to dust.

What if my sun should set at noon,
If death should call today?
Can’st thou my soul, go off so soon,
Hast thou no scores to pay?

Behold my sands how quick they fall,
How near I am my goal,
Let not my body be undrest,
Till thou hast cloath’d my soul.

That at the Trumpet’s sound I may
Spring from my dusty bed,
Rejoicing at the voice that calls.
“Arise, come forth, ye dead.”

O give me faith and patience, Lord,
Upon a dying bed,
And let my Savior then afford
Supports to heart and head.

Support my weak and tott’ring faith,
If dismal fears annoy:
My Jesus be my strong defence,
My Jesus be my joy.

O Holy Ghost do thou not fail,
At this time to appear,
O let thy Spir’t and faith prevail,
My evidence to clear.

My soul in they sweet hands I trust,
Now can I sweetly sleep,
My body falling to the dust,
I leave with thee to keep.

Happy St. Pádraigh’s Day!

Happy St. Pádraigh’s Day!

Today is a special day to celebrate the wonderful country of Ireland and its people and history.

The following facts about Ireland will be brought to you by a pretentious Englishman who is convinced that England saved the Irish from themselves…

Richard Cox, Hibernia pdf 26-1

Ok…I’m pretty sure that’s not true. And I’m pretty sure that this author couldn’t be any more English.

Anyway, let’s start with the ancient history of Ireland. Who were its first inhabitants?

Richard Cox, Hibernia pdf 14-1

Never mind. Let’s not talk about that.

Tell me about their language.

Richard Cox, Hibernia pdf 15

Look who’s talking…Englishman. Really though.

At least the Irish have great music. Right?

Richard Cox, Hibernia pdf 26

Goodness gracious.

The people are nice, though.

Edmund Campion, The Historie of Ireland, 13


Ok, but surely Ireland has one unique and pleasant thing about it.

Richard Cox, Hibernia pdf 14

Yes! I can’t imagine a better place to live! Pick your location on this nice map.

William Petty, Hiberniae

I hope you enjoyed these interesting facts about Ireland. And I hope you’re not English, because…well…it’s so much better to be Irish!

Happy St. Patty’s Day.

Erin go bragh!

Ireland 2010 016 Ireland 2010 025 Ireland 2010 026 Ireland 2010 027 Ireland 2010 085 Ireland 2010 183Ireland 2010 276 Ireland 2010 305




Matthew Hopkins, Witch-Finder General

Matthew Hopkins, Witch-Finder General

Beware, witches and werewolves! Matthew Hopkins is on the case. With his high boots, sharp spurs, bowstaff, and superhero cape he’s sure to solve the mystery and bring those sorcerers to justice!

Witch Finder General, Matthew Hopkins

(A Were-wolf is caught and killed, 1590).
A Werewolf, 1590

(A surfing witch, 1643)
A Witch, 1643

(Devils doing devil stuff, 1700)
Joseph Glanville, Saducismus

(Witches on a hog, 1612)
Witches, 1612

(Witches getting ready to fight Matthew Hopkins, 1618)
Witches, 1618

Happy Reformation Day!

Happy Reformation Day!

There are many informative and helpful posts being published today concerning Martin Luther, his 95 theses, and other events related to the Protestant Reformation. Here at Particular Voices, however, we like to take you to the sources (ad fontes) in true Reformation style. So enjoy these few portraits and pieces from Martin Luther.

Martin Luther, 3

Samuel Clark, The Marrow, 227

Martin Luther, 1

Francis Atterbury, An answer to some considerations, 6-7

Martin Luther, 2

Martin Luther, Colloquia, Preface

Sleidanus, The General History, 2

Melancthon, A Famous

And in good Luther fashion, a little rhetoric…
Alber Erasmus, The alcoran of the franciscans, 139, 141

Adam Melchior, The life of Dr Martin Luther, 141

Adam Melchior, The life of Dr Martin Luther, 142

Martin Luther