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IN A TREATISE, SHOWING SOME OF THE ERRORS THAT ARE TO BE FOUND IN THE ENGLISH
TRANSLATIONS OF THE SACRED SCRIPTURES, USED BY PROTESTANTS, AGAINST SUCH POINTS
In which also,
FROM THEIR MISTRANSLATING THE TWENTY-THIRD VERSE OF THE FOURTEENTH CHAPTER OF
THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES, THE CONSECRATION OF DOCTOR MATTHEW PARKER, THE FIRST
BY THOMAS WARD,
“ For I testify to every one that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any
A NEW EDITION, CAREFULLY REVISED AND CORRECTED.
LONDON, PRINTED IN THE YEAR 1688:
RE-PRINTED FOR EUGENE CUMMISKĘY, NO. 182, NORTH FOURTH STREET.
1824 LIFE OF MR. WARD.
TAE life of Mr. Ward is greatly involved in obscurity, and though the editor had many difficulties to encounter in ascertaining its events; yet he is happy in beng enabled to gratify curiosity, by laying before the public some of the most interesting particulars concerning this extraordinary man—they have been chiefly communicated by a gentle. man in London.
Thomas Ward was the son of a respectable farmer, and was born at Danby Castle, in the Moors of Yorkshire, on the 13th of April, 1652. The early part of his life passed away undistinguished from that of ordinary children, and nothing remarkable of him is known until his fourteenth year, when we find him at Pickering School, giving the first indications of his genius, and excelling his brothers, of whom he was the eldest, in his taste and knowledge of the classics. Here he was initiated in the first principles of arithmetic, geometry, and astronomy, in which sciences he became a great proficient. So much was his father pleased with his early propensity to learning, and the abilities which he discovered, that he determined to rescue him from the obscurity of a country life, and destined him for one of the learned professions. Young Ward was accordingly offered his choice to become a clergyman, a physician, or a lawyer; but, with a mind already matured by study and thinking, he hesitated—and at length declined his father's offers. In the practice of the law, he observed there were too many temptations to dishonesty, and he doubted his firmness to resist them. The profession of physic was repugnant to the delicacy of his feelings; and, as a clergyman, he feared that he might contribute more to the destruction than the salvation of his fellow-man. Thus, perhaps, a too fastidious nicety in his conscience and ideas, left him without a calling, and he entered on the world with very little prospects of a permanent subsistence.
About this period his talents and acquirements first began to introduce him into no. tice, and be accepted an invitation from a gentleman of fortune to live with him as a companion, and tutor to his children. In this retreat he had an opportunity of following the particular bias of his mind, and accordingly he bent himself with incredible application to the study of controversy, then the rage of the day. Church history, the ancient fa. thers, the Scriptures, and the more modern catholic controversies, always occupied his literary hours; but he still found occasional recreation and delight in poetry and the classics. He read incessantly, but not with the frivolity of one who skims the surface, and seeks only to arm himself with sublety and sophism for impertinent disputation; he read to enrich his mind, to correct his understanding, and improve his heart. To this serious disposition and habit of reflection, must be attributed the change in his religious sentiments which immediately took place. His father and all his family were protestants, and he himself was educated in hostility to catholic opinions. His liberal and penetrating mind, however, disdained to wear the trammels of prejudice, and he even shook off the authority of a parent, rather than remain a slave, contrary to conscience and conviction, to the false principles he had at first imbibed. He accordingly embraced the catholic faith, which, together with his marrying a young lady of the same persuasion, so bighly incensed his father, that at his death, which happened soon after, he bequeathed all he possessed to his protestant wife and children. This disappointment and blasting of his hopes, with his consequent destitute situation, it might be expected would have produced envy and irritation on his part; but his was no ordinary mind, and, raising himself above every little paltry consideration of self, in the enthusiasm of charity, he directed his whole endeavours to the conversion of his mother and family. Providence blessed his exertions, and be had the happiness of seeing himself united to them in faith, as well as in affection. To a youth of uncertainty, disquietude, and separation from his family, succeeded the calm of domestic peace, and the security of competence. For some years he remained buried and contented in this domestic retirement, but his genius opening with age, and expanding with increase of knowledge, began to be restless, and thirsted for universal information. Sated with books, he wished to know mankind ; and, with this intention, having, after much intreaty, obtained his mother's and wife's consent, he Jeft his own country, and passed over to France. In France he continued for some time, learning the manners and language of the people, and from thence went into Italy, and settled himself at Rome. In this famous city, the wreck and monument of ancient greatness, he had a wide range to gratify his taste, to contemplate the fallen and mutilated glories of the ancient alts: he was continually in the churches, the public buildings, and public libraries, and spent a great portion of his time particularly in the Vatican.