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tendereft years, had fimilar tempers and difpofitions, and feemed to be made for one another; we therefore, in the prefence of God, took one another for husband and wife, promising and engaging to love one another as fuch; that when I hould be eighteen years of age, our marriage fhould be regularly folemnized, but that we should abstain from confummation till that event. From that period till we were actually married, we loved and treated one another as married people do; but never bedded.
"During the period above mentioned, we were lodged and boarded with an eminently pious and faithful diffenting minifter, my father chufing to put us under the care of fuch an one, as he is a diffenter himself. Under this worthy man we were moft religiously educated, and taught the principles of Chriftianity, according to the Affembly's Shorter Catechifm, the questions of which we were ordered to commit to memory, and repeat part of them to him every day. He illuftrated every queftion by a fhort explication, and de-. ducing proper inferences from the truths therein laid down; and then reduced the substance of his explications into a number of fubordinate queftions, teaching us to make proper anfwers. When we were thoroughly mafter of this catechism, he instructed us in the Larger Catechism, and Confeffion of Faith, all of which we learned to repeat almoft verbatim. He then, for our further inftruction, ordered us to read Ridgley's body of divinity, which is an explication of the larger catechifm; Berryftreet fermons, which is a compend of practical divinity; Guyse's, Jenning's, and Doddridge's fermons to young people, Flavel's fountain of life and method of grace, Traill's fermons, the Marrow of modern divinity, Marshall on fanctification, Jenks on fubmiffion
to the righteousnefs of God, feveral pieces of Dr Owen, Charnock, and other eminent diffenters writings; and from time to time examined us in relation to what we read. He ordered us to pray twice a-day, each of us apart; and caufed us regularly attend his family-worship evening and morning. We attended his miniftry every Lord's day, both forenoon and afternoon. He was a most evangelical and spiritual preacher, infomuch that we never heard a better. I hope we were both converted to God by the miniftry of this good man; and retain to this day the favoury impreffions of religion that we imbibed in our youth, making it our bufinefs, through grace, to walk in the ways of the Lord, by a regular at tendance on gofpel-ordinances, and the facrament of the Lord's fupper, by fanctifying the holy Sabbath, maintaining the worship of God in our family, inftructing our children and fervants in the things that belong to their peace, and living as heirs together of the grace of life.
"At the expiration of our seventh year at fchool, my father vifited us, and made inquiry after our progrefs in religion and learning; when our good landlord, in his prefence, examined us as to our knowledge of the languages and fciences, and the improvement we had made in Chriftianity. My father was fo well pleased with our proficiency, that, befides immediately paying the clergyman all arrears of board, he made him a prefent of fifty guineas, as a reward for the extraordinary pains he had taken upon his dear children, as he called us. At this place we fhewed him the paper which we figned. He approved of it, exhorting us to love and egard one another, but ftrictly prohibiting us to bed, or ufe any familiarities with one another, till we were actually mar ried. He then removed us to London, my cou
fin inclining to ftudy law for his amufement. I ftaid with him in London for near nine months, applying myself diligently during that time to the learning of mufic, dancing, the learned languages, and attending an academy for ftudying divinity. There being informed, that the university of
was a place fanious for learning, I, with the confent of my father and coufin, proposed to spend two or three years at it for my further improvement. I attended near three feffions in that place, during which I waited on all the philofophical claffes, and the lectures in divinity; and made confcience of regularly attending gospel-ordinances difpenfed by the most orthodox clergy I could there find.
"About twenty months before I left that place, I, fome how or other, contracted an acquaintance with Mr Ts, whofe handfome perfon, fine parts, and polite address attracted my regard, But his vitious life, and exceffive attachment to lewd women, offended me very much. During that time I don't remember to have been in any public houfe with him or any of his companions except four times, nor in bawdy-houses above twice, having both times been inveigled into them under the character of their being fober houses, I always led an abftemious life, and never took above three or four glaffes of wine at any one time, with these profane gentlemen. I fhuddered at the fight of ftrumpets, and turned away my eyes from beholding their lewd and vile behaviour: I always clandeftinely flipt away from these meetings; and would never have gone to one of them, but for the reftlefs importunity of Mr Ts, who, to confefs my frailty, was the only perfon, except my dear coufin, to whom I ever had any attachment; but which I endeavoured to reprefs, and cafily got the better of. the better of. As he frequently called
at my lodgings, I as often took occafion to chide him for his diffolute life, reprefenting the great fin and danger of fuch a perpetual course of diffipation, and earnestly exhorting him to abstain from fleshly lufts that war against the foul. He would often confefs, that the life he led was very fcandalous and wicked; but his defires after women were fo violent, he could not refrain from the fair inchanters; that he hoped he would not always purfue fuch a courfe, as he intended, upon his return home, to marry a very amiable and virtuous young lady, with whom he had been in love from his tender years. I told him, that the very, confideration of his having an amiable miftrefs, all whofe charms he would ere long poffefs in the marriage-bed, ought to be a reftraint on his lawless and vagrant luft; and that he fhould referve himself for that lady, who, I did not doubt, was every way worthy of him. He would answer fomewhat warmly, "Oh! that I could! O that I were as pure and undefiled as I was fome time ago! But I am afraid I shall never be reclaimed from vice, and recovered to purity and virtue." I used every argument I could collect, from either fcripture or reafon, to diffuade this lovely young gentleman from leading a life of lewdnefs; which fometimes drew tears from his eyes; and I was not without hopes that he might be mercifully reclaimed. He would fometimes - exprefs his furprise, that I, who appeared to him a handsome well-made youth, could abstain from tafting the pleasures of women, which he reprefented to be very exquifite. I told him, I was of a very dull and frigid conftitution; that I was in love with learning, esteemed intellectual pleasures preferable to thofe of the flesh, and was refolved never to meddle with women. I remember one day I furprised him very much, when I told him, B b
that I was dead to all the beauty and charms of the fineft women I ever faw; and that I never had the leaft hankering or defire to the prettiest and moft accomplished daughter of Eve. It would now appear, from what you have told me, that my conduct appeared to him in a very odd light; and that his after reflections upon it made him fufpect me to be a woman. The truth is, I had been most religiously and virtuously educated; I had early tafted of the grace of God; I had made it my great business to live in his fear; and as I had folemnly, in the prefence of God, taken my dear cousin to be my husband; I refolved, through grace, to cultivate the utmost purisy of body and mind, carefully abftaining from every incentive to levity and luft, and preserve my body pure and unfpotted for him, as I knew he would do for me: and fo we came into one another's arms pure from any outward defilement.
"All the time I was at the university, we constantly corresponded by letters, giving one another the endearing epithets of husband and wife, expreffing our warmeft wishes for each other, in the tendereft manner, and fuggefting the best advices that occurred to us relating to our conduct and most important interests. We also endeavoured to comfort one another, under the languors of a painful abfence, by a narrative of fuch adventures and anecdotes of importance as fell under our obfervation, or in which we hap pened to be engaged. Sometime before I left the univerfity, my coufin had returned from London to this house, which he caufed to be repaired and elegantly furnished, his father and mother having died in his infancy, appointing my father to be his fole guardian. He wrote me feveral prefling letters to return home, exprefling his ardent defire to have our nuptials duly celebrated, and reprefenting