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And in any pain of body, or in any of my childish griefs, I fled to Him for case and comfort: and it would be incredible to some, how often I have received manifest answers to prayer, when not more than four years old; and how my tender mind has been comforted. I was deeply affected, and had very serious thoughts of death, for some time after seeing the corpse of a little brother of mine, who died of the small pox when I was five years old. I took great delight in the Bible ; and could, at this time, read any part either of the Old or New Testament, always asking questions so as to ob. tain understanding of what I read. My parents required that I should give an account every Sabbath evening, of the sermons and lessons I heard at church, and say my catechism to them, which they explained to my understanding. They also required that I should get off the Collect for the day, and repeat it, with my other prayers, every night and morning. These Collects I also often repeated in secret, and with great sincerity before the Lord. I never remember going to bed without having said my prayers, except once: I was then diverted by a girl, who told me many childish stories, and so took up my attention, that I forgot to pray till I was in bed; and then, being alone, I recol. lected what I had done, and conscience greatly accused me; so that I began to tremble, lest Satan should be permitted of God to fetch me away body and soul, which I felt I deserved. I soon after thought I saw him coming to the side of my bed; when I shrieked out in such a
I heard my
manner, as brought my parents up stairs to see what was the matter. This made a lasting in. pression : and I never after dared to neglect commending myself to the protection of God before I slept. I was, at this time, about six
When about eight years of age, father say he had a very remarkable dream, in his
recovery from a dangerous illness: that he stood before the throne of God, and saw his glory. But not being able to gaze upon it, fell on his face in raptures of joy. My mother asked if he could describe what he saw ; but he answered, No! It is impossible to convey any idea of it; it seemed almost to deprive him of being. She asked, if any thing was spokeu to him, but he desired her to ask no more respecting it ; nor would he ever tell her any more. I have often thought he received some notice in that dream of his approaching dissolution. A material change was evident from that time, in all his conduct and tempers. Anger was ever before a besetting sin, but I never remember to have seen him overcome by it after this. He was more vigilant in public and private duties ; more humble and patient under little difficulties and trials; more watchful over the morals of all around him ; and took more pains than ever to inform my infant mind in all things which led to piety. He warned me against reading Novels and Romances; would not suffer me to learn to dance, nor to go on visits to play with those of my own age. He said it was the ruin of youth to suppose they were only to spend their time
in diversions. I believe I shall have reason to bloss God for ever, for several lessons he then gave me, and to all of which I listened with great delight.
In Feb. 1765, when I was a few weeks more than nine years old, he took his last sickness ; a malignant ferer, in which he lay three weeks; expressing, through the whole of it, an entire submission to the will of God, and an aşsurance of a happy cternity. He sung Psalms, repeated various Scriptures, and praised God aloud; and was continually commending to his care, his dear wife and children.
A few days before he died, he called aloud for me; and when I came, he took my hand in his very af. fectionately, and said, “My dear Hetty, you look dejected. You must not let your spirits be cast lowd; God hath ever cared for me, and he will take care of mite.
He vill bless you, my dear, when I am gone, * I hope you will be a good child, and then you will be happy." Then laying his hand on my head, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and with a solemnity I shall never forget, said, -- " Unto God's gracious mercy and protection, I commit thee:--The Lord bless thee, and keep thee; the Lord lift up the light of his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace; and make thee his child and faithful servant to thy life's end !” I cannot find words to express what were the feelings of my heart on this occasion. Love for my valu. able and affectionate parent; grief to reflect I was now losing him, and gratitude that his dying lips had pronounced such a blessing on
I fell on my
| my head, quite overpowered me.
knees, gave sent to a flood of tears; and continued to weep till my eyes were almost swelled up. He died April 10, 1765.
My grief, for some time, would not suffer me to take recreations of any kind; but I would sit and read to my mother, or weep with
But after a season, I was invited to the houses of relations and friends; and as I soon became a laughing-stock among them for my seriousness, and dislike to their manners' and their plays, I began to be ashamed of being so particular. My mother was also now prevailed on to let me learn to dance, in order to raise my spirits, and to improve my carriage, &c. This was a fatal stab to my seriousness, and Divine impressions : it paved the way to light. ness, trilling, love of pleasure, and various evils. As I soon made a proficiency, I delighted much in this ensnaring folly. My pride was fed by being admired, and began to makc itself mani. fest with all its fruits. I now aimed to excel my companions, not in piety, but in fashion. able dress! and could not rest long together without being engaged in parties of pleasure, and especially in this, (what the world calls) innocent amusement. I also obtained all the Novels and Romances I possibly could, and spent some time, every day, in reading them; though, at first, it was unknowu to my mother, who would not then suffer it. After this, I attended plays also. In short, I fell into all the vain customs and pleasures of a delusive world, as far as my situation in life would admit ; and even beyond the proper limits of that station God had placed me in. Thus was my precious time mis-spent, and my foolish heart wandering far from happiness and God ; yea, urging on to endless ruin ! Yet, in all this, I was not left without keen convictions, gentle drawings, and many short-lived, good resolutious; especially till fifteen years of age. God often wrought strongly upon my mind, and that various ways, of which I come now to speak. But, o! how did I grieve and resist the Holy Ghost! How justly might he have given me up; yea, and sealed me over to eternal de. struction !
At thirteen years old, namely, in the year 1769, the Bishop of Chester being to hold a confirmation at Macclesfield, I resolred to attend that ordinance, though it was with many fears and much trembling; for I believed till persons were confirmed, they were not alike accountable to God for their own conduct. But when this solemn renewal of the baptismal covenant was made in their own persons; then who. soever did not keep that covenant, must perish everlastingly. I, therefore, endeavoured seri. ously to understand the import of it, and was deeply convinced I was neither inwardly nor outwardly what it required. The knowledge of this wrought much sorrow, and I formed strong resolutions to lead a new life. Yet sin had so blinded my eyes, that I could not, at this time, believe, or, at least, I would not, that dancing, cards, or attending plays, was sinful. These, therefore, I did not even resolve against. But