(written shortly before leaving for American)

Webb, Maria. The Penns and Peningtons of the Seventeenth Century, etc. London: F. Bowyer Kitto, 1867, pages 340-343.

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My Dear Wife,

Remember thou was the love of my youth, and much the joy of my life - the most beloved as well as the most worthy of all my earthly comforts; and the reason of that love was more thy inward than thy outward excellencies, which yet are many. God knows and thou knowest I can say it was a match of His making; and God's image in us both was the first things, and the most amiable and engaging ornament in our eyes. Now I am to leave thee, and that without knowing whether I shall ever see thee more in this world. Take my counsel into thy bosom, and let it dwell with the in my stead while thou livest.

Firstly - Let the fear of the Lord and zeal and love for His glory dwell richly in thy heart, and thou wilt watch for good over thyself and thy dear children and family.

Secondly - Be diligent in meetings for worship and business; stir up thyself and others therein; it is thy duty and place. Let meetings be kept once a day in the family, to wait upon the Lord who has given us so much time for ourselves. And, my dearest, to make thy family matters easy, divide thy time and be regular. Grieve not thyself with careless servants; rather pay them and let them go, if they will not be better by admonition.

Thirdly - Cast up thy income, and see what it daily amounts to, by which thou mayest have it in thy sight to keep within compass. I beseech thee to live low and sparingly till my debts are paid; and then enlarge as thou seest convenient. Remember thy mother's example, when thy father's public-spiritedness had worsted his estate, which is my case. I know thou art averse to the pomps of the world - a nobility natural to thee. I write not as doubtful, but to quicken thee for my sake, knowing that God will bless thy care. I need not bid thee to be humble, for thou art so; nor meek and patient, for it is thy natural disposition; but I pray thee be oft in retirement with the Lord, and guard against encroaching friendships of the world; keep them at arm's end.

Fourthly - And now, my dearest, let me commend to thy care my dear children; abundantly beloved by me, as the Lord's blessings, and the sweet pledges of our mutual and endeared affection. Above all things, endeavour to bring them up in the love of virtue, and in that holy plain way of it which he have lived in, that the world in no part of it get into my family. I had rather they were homely than finely bred as to outward behavior; yet I love sweetness mixed with gravity, and cheerfulness tempered with sobriety. Religion in the heart leads into true civility, teaching men and women to be mild and courteous in their behavior.

Fifthly - Bring them up in love of one another. Tell them it is the charge I left behind me, and that it is the way to have the love and blessing of God to rest upon them. sometimes, separate them, but not long; and allow them to give and send each other small things, to endear on another with. Once more I say, tell them how it was my counsel that they should be tend and affectionate one to another. For their learning be liberal. Spare no cost - for by such parsimony all is lost that is not saved - but let it be useful knowledge they are taught, such as is consistent with truth and godliness. The exercise of ingenuity mixed with industry is good for the body and mind too. I recommend the useful parts of mathematics, building houses or ships, measuring, surveying, dialling, and navigation. But agriculture is especially in my eye. Rather keep an ingenious person in the house to teach them than send them to schools. Be sure to observe their genius, and do not cross it; let them not dwell too long on one thing, but make an agreeable change before they become weary. Let all their diversions have some little bodily labour in them.