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An Account of his BIRTH, EDUCATION, &c., with divers Observations
on his Life and Manners when a Youth; and how he came to
WRITTEN BY HIS OWN HAND.
TO WHICH IS ADDED,
By J. W.
HEBREWS xi. 2.-By faith the Elders obtained a good report.
"GATHER up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost*,” was the direction of our Savior to his disciples, after he had fed the multitude; which may well and usefully be applied to the collecting and preserving the accounts of the lives of good men-men who, in their day, have been eminently useful in those stations of life wherein God, by his good providence, hath placed them. And this preserving, by publication, is the rather to be done, when themselves do leave behind them, in writing, an account of their lives, and of the signal mercies of God to them therein; for from such accounts may best be gathered, by the reader, the man's particular state, exercise, and growth in the work of restoration, out of the fall and degeneracy; and, in the reading thereof, be not only excited to bless the name of the Lord, on his behalf, but also gain some direction from the path so fairly tracked out, and ground of hope; that, by being faithful, they may likewise attain to the same good experience.
There is not with me any doubt, but something of this kind be the lot of many, into whose hands this treatise may happen to come; for that they will herein meet with variety of exercises, and the providences of God therein, all related with great strength and plainness of speech; our deceased friend, Thomas Ellwood, having been a man whom God had endued with singular abilities, both as a man and as a Christian, which is evident, not only from this short account of his life, which was written by himself, and by the Supplement added hereunto, but more largely from his many useful labors and services in the many books which he wrote in the defence of truth, and the friends thereof, for which service he was in a particular manner qualified by spiritual wisdom and Christian obedience; to which, in him, was added great strength and depth of judgment, wherein he could discern the spirits of others, and was very much the master of his own, as did appear to such who knew him, not only by the soundness of his reasoning, and the seasonableness of his words, but also by his great and exemplary modesty, in that he was not hasty to propose, nor rudely tenacious
* Joon vi. 12.