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always asking questions so as to obtain under. etanding 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 recollected what I had done, and conscience greatly accused me; so that I began to tremble lest Satan should be permitted of God to take 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 manner as brought my parents up stairs to see what was the matter. This made a lasting impression; and I never after dared to neglect commending myself to the protection of God before I slept. I was at this time about six years old.
When about eight years of age, I heard my 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
wg 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 was impossible to convey any idea of it, it seemed almost to deprive him of being. She asked if any thing was spoken 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 materiai change was evident from that time in all his conduct and tempers. Anger was ever before a beset. ting sin, bụt 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 and virtue. 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 bless God for ever for several lessons he then gave me, and to all of which I listened with great delight.
In February, 1765, when I was a few weeks more than nine years old, he took his last sickness; a malignant fever, in which he lay several weeks, expressing through the whole of it an entire submission to the will of God, and an assurance of a happy eternity. 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 affectionately, and said, “ My dear Hetty, you look dejected. You must not let your spirits be cast down ; God hath ever cared for me, and he will take care of mine. He will 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 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 occa. sion. Love for my valuable and affectionate parent; grief to reflect I was now losing him, and grati. tude that his dying lips had pronounced such a blessing on my head, quite overpowered rne. I fell on my knees, gave vent to a flood of tears, and continued to weep till my eyes were almost swelled up. He died the tenth of April, 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 her. 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 improve my carriage, &c. This was a fatal stab to my seriousness and divine impressions; it paved the way to lightness, 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 make itself manifest with all its fruits. I now aimed to excel my companions, not in piety, but in fashionable 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 unknown to my mother, who would not then suffer it. After this I attended plays also. In short, I fell into all the vain rustoms and pleasures of a delusive world, as far as ny situation in life wouid admit,
and even beyond the proper limits of that station God had placed me in. Thus was my precious time mispent, 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 convic tions, gentle drawings, and many short-lived good resolutions, 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 Oh! how did I grieve and resist the Holy Ghost ! How justly might he have given me up ; yea, and sealed me over to eternal destruction.
At thirteen years ald, namely, in the year 1769, the bishop of Chester being to hold a confirmation at Macclesfield, I resolved to attend that ordinance, though it was with many tears 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 or the baptismal covenant was made in their own persons, then whosoever did not keep that cove. nant must perish everlastingly. I therefore endeavoured seriously 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, for attending plays, were sinful. These, therefore, I did not even resolve against. But I resolved against anger, pride, disobedience to my parent; also the neglect of secret prayer and church going; with all wanderings of heart in those duties, and a variety of other tempers, &c, which I knew myself guilty of. Having humbled myself before God, fasted and prayed, and (as I vainly thought) fortified myself by these resolutions, of keeping all God's commands in future, I ventured to take upon me the solemn vow. But such was my fear and trembling at the time, that when I approached the altar, I was near fainting ; and when returned to the pew, burst into a flood of tears. This was on Whitsunday; and I intended to receive the holy sacrament the Sunday following. But before I came, I was conscious I had already broken my solemn vows; and on the reflection, my distress was great, and I had many doubts whether partaking of the Lord's Supper would not be sealing, my own damnation. Ilowever, one day as I was praying, it came into my mind, this holy sacrament is called a mean of grace; surely then it is just what so sinful, so helpless a soul wants. I will go to it then as a mean whereby to receive strength and grace to conquer sin in future. In this view of that blessed ordinance I found much comfort; and I am now assured it was from the Lord, whom ignorantly I was feeling after. I approached the Lord's table, therefore, with renewed vows, and renewed hopes : but, alas! these also were as the "morning cloud, and as the early dew, which passeth away.” For several months I thus repented and sinned, resolved, and broke all my resolutions; sinned and repented again. I dared not to receive the Lord's Supper without resolving on a new life; neither dared I to stay from it ; nor did I ever attend without being wrought on by the Spirit of God.
The latter end of this year I had a malignant fever, and believed I should die. I felt myself totally unprepared to appear before a holy God, and was in great distress : I earnestly entreated him to spare me a little longer, and resolved I would then spend a new life indeed. A patient forbearing God of love listened to my request, and did not cut the fig tree down. One night during this illness 1