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see what it was: in attempting to take it out, he discovered it to be the scarlet coat of his
young master. He was taken out apparently dead; but after long effort, was recovered.
About the same time Mr. C. was caught by his coat in a mill-wheel, and must have been crushed in a few moments, had he not, with wonderful presence of mind, thrust his foot against the horse's face, by which the mill was stopped, and he disentangled. Several other extraordinary deliverances occurred about this time; but all, as I have often heard him lament, during his thoughtless days were passed over without improvement. Beyond the period of his juvenile years, I might mention many instances of the preservation of his invaluable life-“ Immortal till his work was done"---but they would lengthen this Memoir beyond the intended bound. Within the recollection of many friends was that of his horse falling, and throwing him before a loaded cart; the wheel of which went over his hat, pushing his head from beneath it, and only bruising his shoulder. * The beloved of the Lord
This deliverance was so remarkable, that some of the circumstances deserve to be recorded. It took place on Wednesday, Jan. 12, 1803. He had rode over the stones the day before toward Bond Street; but finding them slippery in consequence of a frost, he determined (as he had occa. sion to go again on this day) to be particularly cautious. In order therefore to avoid riding over the stones, he went roand by the New Road: but, in turning into Oxford Street, his horse's legs flew from under him, in consequence of his stepping on some ice, and Mr. C. was thrown off upon his face, at the moment that a heavily loaded cart was passing. His shoulder was in the track of the cart wheel, and he distinctly felt it go over him, and bear against his head. The crown of his hat was con
shall dwell in safety by him; and the Lord shall cover him all the day long. Deut. xxxiii. 12.
After these instances of preservation, both in Mr. Cecil's earlier and latter years, I return to the days of his youth. His Father, being a Member of the established Church, took his son with him on a Sunday to his Parish Church. His Mother was a Dissenter, and a woman of real piety. Her family, for generations back, were pious characters. One of them, a Mr. Cope, used to send money and other support to the Nonconformists in prison; which his daughter, the grandmother of Mr. Cecil, took to them. It was a special mercy to Mr. C. that his mother was a partaker of the same grace with her ancestors. She laboured early to impress his mind, both by precept and by example: she bought him Janeway's “ Token for
siderably pressed in by the wheel against his temples. Had he been thrown a few inches farther, it must have gone directly over his head. He was immediately carried into a shop, where he received kind attention; and was thence brought home in a hackney coach. On examination it was found, though his arm was much bruised and discoloured, that no serious injury had been received. He attributed this, under the mercy of God, to his shoulder not having borne the whole weight of the wheel, which being broad, was, at the moment it was going over, eased, as he supposed, from bis shoulder, by the inner part of it being raised by a stone rather more elevated in the pavement than the rest. In this situation of danger he was mercifully preserved from broken bones, or instant death. He hung up his hat in his study (with the indentation and dirt) as a memento.
He said that he had learnt three lessons from this providence :
First, that, while we are called on to use all proper means and precautions of safety, God will sometimes shew us our absolute and immediate dependance on Him, by making the very means which we employ the occasion of bringing us to the very borders of the grave. He thought it his duty to avoid the stones as much as possible, and yet here danger met him.
A second lesson gathered from this event, was, the comparative trifling
Children,” which greatly affected him, and made him retire into a corner to pray; but his serious beginnings wore off; and he at length made such progress in sin, that he gloried in his shame.
Mr. C's father, intending him for business, placed him in a considerable House in the City: from this he was removed to another, where he staid longer; but returned home through illness. He felt wholly averse to trade, but was devoted to literature and the arts. At a very early age he wrote pieces, which he sent on hazard to the editors of the periodical publications, who thought them worthy of insertion. His father, a man of extensive reading, and who had himself received a classical education, accidentally met with a poetical piece which he greatly admired: his son affirmed himself the author of it; but his father thought it incredible,
ness of the cases, which occupy and harass the mind. He had been much exercised and depressed by some circumstances of domestic trial. They bad almost wholly occupied his thoughts, and appeared of deep interest and importance. But he compared them now with that far beavier trial which his family was so near encountering, of seeing him brought home a corpse, and he then felt them to be comparatively trifles, and to be treated as trifles.
A third lesson, he said, was very obvious, but it was now bronght home with peculiar force to him, and that was to be always ready. “ I went out yesterday, and I came in again with safety. I am going out to-day, and I shall return when my business is finished"_“ No!"—the Lord may say concerning me, you shall return no more. Your time is come. My messenger waits for you with a summons!"
He attended divine service on the following Sunday, though he did not think it prudent to preach. Thanks were publicly returned by him in the congregation, and the psalms sung in the course of the service bore such an allusion to his deliverance, and were so admirably selected for this purpose, that the congregation was evidently much affected by the service,
till his son, taking another subject given him by his father, and retiring a short time, produced a poem
which satisfied his father that he was the author of the one in question.
Mr. Cecil had a marvellous power and flexibility of mind, which would have rendered him distinguished, in whatever he had pursued. He had an affection for all the Arts, but his predominant passion was for painting. This he pursued insatiably. He attended all picture sales, and practised at home; and was so intent on his point, that he set out unknown to his parents on a ramble to France, from a desire to see the paintings of the greatest Masters, and would have proceeded to Rome, had not the means of travelling failed. He returned home, and continued to live with his father; who perceiving his ardour for painting did not abate, at length proposed his going to Rome, (where he had an acquaintance) as an Artist. To this proposal Mr. C. agreed; but a circumstance took place which prevented it, and he remained still under the roof of his father for some timesunk in the depths of sin, and hardening his conscience by reading books of infidelity, till he became a professed Infidel himself. He endeavoured to instil the same principles into others : with some he awfully succeeded, whom he since endeavoured to reclaim, but in vain.
While Mr. C. was proceeding in such a course of evil, it pleased God by his Spirit to rouse his
mind to reflections, which gave a turn to his future life.
Lying one night in bed, he was contemplating the case of his mother.
“ I see,” said he, within himself, “ two unquestionable facts. First, my mother is greatly afficted, in circumstances, body, and mind; and yet I see that she cheerfully bears up under all, by the support she derives from constantly retiring to her closet and her Bible. Secondly, that she has a secret spring of comfort of which I know nothing ; while I, who give an unbounded loose to my appetites, and seek pleasure by every means, seldom or never find it. If however there is any such secret in religion, why may not I attain it as well as my mother?—I will immediately seek it of God.” He instantly rose in his bed and began to pray. But he was soon damped in his attempt, by recollecting that much of his mother's comfort seemed to arise from her faith in Christ. “ Now,” thought he, “ this Christ have I ridiculed: He stands much in my way, and can form no part of my prayers.” In utter confusion of mind, therefore, he lay down again. Next day, however, he continued to pray to “ the Supreme Being :” he began to consult books and to attend preachers : his difficulties were gradually removed, and his objections answered; and his course of life began to amend. He now listened to the pious admonitions of his mother, which he had before affected to receive with pride and scorn: yet they