To my deare wife Mistress / Sarah Cotton
deliver / this with speede. /
Dear wife, & comforatable yokefellow
If our heavenly Father be pleased to make our yoke more heavy, then wee did so soone soone expect, remember (I pray thee) what wee have heard, that our heavenly Husband the Lord Jeasus, when he first called us unto this Condition, to Deny ourselves, & to take up our Crosse dayly, to follow him. And truly (Sweet Heart) though this Cup may be brackish at the first tast: yet a Cup of Gods mingling is doubtless sweete in the bottome, to such, as have learned to make it their greatest Happynesse, to partake with Christ as in his glory, so in the way, that leadeth to it. /
Where I am for the present, I am fitly & welcomely accommodated, I thank God: so as I see, here I might rest (desired enough) till my friends at home shall direct further. They desire also to see thee here, but that I think it not safe yet, till we see, how God will deale with our neighbours at home. For if you should now travyle this way, I feare you will be watched, & dogged at the heeles. But I hope, shortly God will make way for thy safe coming.
Meanewhile send me now by this Bearer, such linnen as I am to use.
If Margarett be fitt to come with this Bearer, wither I shall direct him, she may come behinde him upon my mare*, unlesse she desire to stay with some other, at Boston: which if she do, helpe hir therein.
I pray you goe to my mother Haucred, & Commend her my Respect & love to hir; & the rather, because I had not time to see hir at my coming out. To many other friends it will not be meet to speake of me now. The Lord watch over you all for good, & reveale himself in the guidaunce of all our Affayres.
So with my love to thee, as my self, I rest, Desirous of Rest & peace in Him,J.C.
Octob. 3. 1632./
*When you have read my lettre to Margarett, seale it up and give it hir. Once againe, Farewell in the Lord. If she be not ready to come with him now, He may come for hir the next weeke. /
SOURCE: Cotton, John, Sr. “John Cotton to Sarah Hawkred Story Cotton, October 3, 1632.” In The Correspondence of John Cotton, edited by Sargent Bush Jr., 173–75, Chapel Hill & London: UNC Press Books, 2001. doi:10.5149/9780807839157_Bush.