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that he was not hasty to propose, nor rudely. tenacious to insist on what he had proposed ; if any thing, though not well expressed, yet well intended, was offered by any one much weak. er; nay, though but by a babe in Christ.
His countenance was manly and cheerful; his deportment grave, yet affable and courteous, even to the meanest person ; his conversation innocent, pleasant and instructive, yet severe against any thing that was beyond the liberty of truth. These, with his other qualifications of body and mind, did render him both very acceptable and very useful, as a friend, as a neighbour, and as a member anet elder in the church of Christ ; and the more, for that his time was chiefly employed in being serviceable in one or other of these capacities.
I might here particularly mention the several labours of our deceased friend, according to their respective times, and the nature of their several subjeets ; but much of this being already done in the ensuing pages, I choose to refer the reader thither ; by which possibly he
may be excited to the perusal of them, and shall only say concerning them, that the judicious reader will easily observe, that his
method and stile denote him to have been a scholar : and yet not more so, than the simplicity and purity of the truth, whereof he made profession, would permit him.
I was with our friend Thomas Ellwood, the greater part of his sickness : in which he was also very frequently visited by our 'friend George Bowles, who was his neighbour ; to whom therefore I refer for the account which he may give of his sickness and dying words.
As it was my good lot to be well acquainted with him, though only in the latter years of his life, and know that he did neither use nor 'encourage the bestowing elaborate encomiums upon persons deceased : So neither shall I add further concerning him, than to say with the Apostle concerning the faithful, that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and by it he being dead, yet speaketh.-Heb. xi. 4.
LONDON, 2d. Month,
ALTHOUGH my station, not being so eminent' either in the Church of Christ, or in the world, as others who have moved in higher orbs, may not afford such considerable remarks as theirs ; yet, inasmuch as in the course of my travels through this vale of tears, I have passed through various, and some uncommon exercises, which the Lord hath been graciously, pleased to support me under, and conduct me through, I hold it a matter excusable, at least, if not commend. able, to give the world some little account of my life, that in recounting the many deliverances and preservations, which the Lord hath vouchsafed to work for me, both I, by a grateful acknowledgement thereof, and return of thanksgivings unto him therefor, may, in in some measure set forth his abundant goodness to me; and others, whose lot it may be to tread the same path, and fall into the same
or like exercises, may be encouraged to persevere in the way of holiness, and with full assurance of mind to trust in the Lord, whatso. ever trials may befal them.
To begin therefore with mine own begin. ning. I was born in the year of our Lord, 1639, about the beginning of the Eighth Month, so far as I have been able to inform myself: for the parish register, which relates to the time, not of birth, but of baptism, as they call it, is not to be relied on.
The place of my birth was a little country town, called Crowell, situate in the upper side of Oxfordshire, three miles eastward from Thame the nearest market-town.
My father's name was Walter Ellwood"; and my mother's maiden name was Elizabeth Potman : both well descended ; but of declining families. So that what my father possessed (which was a pretty estatein lands, and more, as I have heard in monies) he received as he had done his name Walter, from his grandfather Walter Gray; whose daughter, and only child, was his Mother.
In my very infancy, when I was but about two years old, I was carried to London. For the civil war, between King and Parliament, breaking then forth ; my father; who favour. ed the Parliament side, though he took not Arms, not holding himself safe at his country habitation, which lay too near some garrisons of the King's, betook himself to London, that city then holding for the Parliament.
There was. I bred up (though not without much difficulty, the city air not agreeing with my tender constitution) and there continued, until Oxford was surrendered, and the war, in appearance, ended.
In this time, my parents contracted an acquaintance and intimate friendship with the lady Springett, then the widow of Sir William Springett, who died in the Parliament service ; and who was afterwards the wife of Isaac Penington, eldest son of Alderman Penington of London. And this friendship devolving from the parents to the children, I became an early and particular play-fellow to her daugh. - ter Gulielma; being admitted as such, to ricle with her in her little coach, drawn by her footman about Lincoln's-inn fields.
I mention this in this place, because the continuation of that acquaintance and friend. ship having been an occasional means of my being afterwards brought to the knowledge of the blessed Truth, I shall have frequent cause, in the course of the following discourse, to make honourable mention of that fanily, to which I am under so many and great obligations.
Soon after the surrender of Oxford, my father returned to his estate at Crowell ; which by that time he might have need enough to look after, having spent, I suppose, the greatest part of the monies which had been left him by his grandfather, in maintaining himself and his family at an high rate in London.