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A short Account of Mr. RICHARD ELLIOT .
Preacher of the Gospel.' *
TO THE EDITOR. Dear Friend, . ..: ACCORDING to my promise, I send you an account
of the Lord's gracious dealings with me: Should it be: made useful to your numerous readers, I shall be thankful, and Hall ascribe the praise to God., .
.. . !!! I was born in the parish of Ashover in the county of Derby, in the Month of August, 1768. From my childhood, at least at intervals, I possessed a degree of the fear of God. Sometimes when I prayed, or seriously thought of God, I had delightful sen.'' sations, and wished to die and go to heaven. At other seasons, I was the moft vain and mischievous creature in the world; and then I was terrified with the dread of death and hell. Sometimes I was disobedient to my parents ; but thefe acts were followed with distress of mind, nor could I rest until I had retired into secret, and implored pardon. When about fix years of age, I was guilty of telling an untruth, and although it was never diss covered, I was extiemely diftressed for several days. At another? time, I stole a flower out of a garden, and although-this remained a secret to all, yet I could not look the owner in the face for several years after.. I believe these inward remonftrances came from him who is named “the TRUE Light, who enlighteneth every man that comeih into the world : ” though I did not understand then, on account of my great ignorance, it is probable, had I been favoured with the instructions of some pious person, I should have understood the mind of God, and might confequently have escaped much sin and sorrow. There are but few chil. dren who do not feel the strivings of God's Spirit with them, and it certainly is the duty of every parent to pay the strictest attention to their morals, to set them a good example, and to cherish in them every serious thought and good desire.
As I grew up, my sinful propensities and religious convic. tions encreased : I frequently formed serious resolutions, but they were soon broken, through templations and the depravity of my nature : These were followed with remorse and forrow. Being VOL. XIX, Dec. 1796.
brought up in the Church of England, when of, a proper age 1 was confirmed. Previous to this ceremony I made great prepa. ration, intending to be very good ; but the disorder that took place in the church, (which too frequently happens on such occasions) destroyed all my serious intentions. From this unhappy period í may date a life and condu&t, the remembrance of which" fills me with sorrow. Before this time my behaviour in general was mo. ral; I frequented the church, prayed, read the Bible, the Whole Dury of Mall, Pilgrim's Progress, and the Greas Importance of a religious Life ; and had a secret horror of fio, But now I com. menced acquaintance with a company of youths, whose princi. ples and practices verified the truth of St. Paul's words, “ Evil communications corrupt good manners.” I soon became a proficient in vice, and equalled, if not exceeded most of my companions. But in the midst of all my follies I was unhappy, and often thoroughly miserable : infomuch that I have often left my companions and the party of pleasure, to retire into fome prie vate place, where I have wept bitterly.
, Oncool sefle&ion, I often said to myself, “ What a fool I am " to be thus deluded! What are all these pleasures ? Are they * not vanity in their nature, and misery in their end? There is ".ną peace, faith my God, upto the wicked,” Would the . advocates for sensual pleasure honestly confess their feelings, my cale was not fingular, it was what most of them experience, more Of less. I made frequent efforts to alter my conduct ; I wept and prayed, and itrove against sin, but to little purpose : My resolutions were formed in my owa Atength; and were swept away before the torrent of temptation, as chaff before the wind. Bee ing ignorant of human depravily, I concluded. I was necessitated to fin, in order to my damnation! These reflections filled my mind with blasphemous thoughts, so that I even hated God, and wished there had been nonę, or that he were dethroned! I envied the brute, and wished I had been a dog, or any thing, but man : I said they are happy, they just step on earth to keep thort watch and then lie down in everlasting repose. But man is miserable in this life through sin and disorder, and doomed to a never-ending misery in the world to come, on account of the fins which fate impelled him to commit in this world. Sometimes a thought, would dart into my mind, “ Perhaps there is no God! Who knows, but the Bible may be fabulous a mere invention of. priestcraft!" I wished with iny whole loul that these assertions might prove true. This laid a foundation for future wickedness; and opened ihe floodgates to all the blafphemous thoughts infe. parable from infidelity. Oh! thou insulted and most justly of. fended God! why am I not reaping the fruit of my rebellion ?. because thou hast no pleasure in ihe death of a sinner;
• Thy. fovereign Grace to all extends,
From age to age it never ends,
It reaches all mankind;
Wide as infinity,
Or it had pass’d by me.”
dreams, or visions ; one of which I beg leave to mention. I • dreamed I was walking in a delightful meadow; 'the sun was
wheeling his course from the zenith to the Western ocean ; the cerulean was intermingled with strokes of light resembling bur. nished silver and the blushing tinge of purple, while the fleecy clouds were skirted, as it were, witb gold. The air was richly perfumed with aromatics, and a balmy fragrance breathed from every shrub. Blooming nature smiled around, while the feathered nations rendered the groves vocal. by their charming notes, which the responsive hills gave back to ravished ears. In a moment this enchanting scene was altered. The earth trembled beneath my feet, as if her deep foundations were shaken ; the beauteous colour of the heavens gave way to sable night, which filled her ebon throne composed of grim clouds didended with storm and fulphur. The roaring thunders rolled in horrid peals, and the red lightnings darted in every direction ; until earth and sky appeared to be wrapped in one devouring blaze! The JUDGE appeared on his awful Throne formed of a shining cloud; the dead were raised, and all mankind stood before him.. I thought the Judge rehearsed all that ever passed through my mind, or had been transacted in my life: my conscience, at the same time, witnessing to the truth thereof. This was done to all. When the righteous were raised from the crowd and seated near she throne of the Judge in robes of light. The earth instantly opened an immeniely wide volcano, into which the wicked, with whom. I found myself, were awfully plunged alive. Hell appeared one boundless region of burning fand, agitated with eternal storais. Towards the middle, as I thought, rolled the angry fea, or lake of fire, whose sparkling billows raised their flaming heads exceflive high. I thought great numbers fell into this sea, and were dreadfully tossed on its fiery waves ; their shrieks and crieş pierced me through with inconceivable horror! I thought I lay on the burn. ing beach in all the anguish of wild despair. A fiend came to plunge me into the fire, when I awoke. . .in "
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