Daily Meditations

Daily Meditations

Daily Meditations

Daily Meditations

Excerpt

In September, 1668, Marmaduke Johnson, the skilled printer of the Indian Bible and the protégé of the apostle John Eliot, was called before the Governor and Council of Massachusetts to answer charges of having violated the colonial licensing act. There he testified that, being more than two-thirds of his time unemployed, he had undertaken the issue of a number of small books in "the hope of procuring something to himself for his necessary subsistence." Among these publications, according to the list which he provided on September 3, was "Meditations on death & eternity," a little volume of verse which, with Samuel Green, he was to reissue in 1670. And, as the second printing proved, this modest speculation was not a rash one. Only a few years before, it had been "observable, that Divine Providence hath so disposed, that two or three Treatises should be published among us looking this way [toward the Judgment]; as intimating that We in this wilderness, where worldly cares and pleasures are apt to overcharge us, have more than ordinary need of that warning, to take heed of forgetting this great Day of our Lord's second Coming, and to Watch and Pray alwayes in preparation thereunto." Thus the pious verses of the young Philip Pain followed, as an example of grace and a model for youthful thinking, the earlier warnings of such men as Thomas Shepard, Michael Wigglesworth, and Samuel Whiting.

The first fragile copies of Daily Meditations, like the early issues of The Day of Doom, may have been worn away by much reading; for until 1923 the 1668 printing . . .

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