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I know not whether any one has put forth Mr. Elliot's life, therefore would devote a few lines to represent him. He was born in the west of England, finished his education at Bennet's college, Cambridge. His principal preferment was a chaplainship at St. George's hospital, Hyde-park. He was a profound mathematician, of very deep and close thought upon divinity-subjects, a very humble, hoły man, who exercised great grace in deep poverty. Dr. Dodd endeavored to raise himself at the expence of this good man's reputation, and exciting an alarm at a sermon he preached upon Gal. ii. 21. became the means of his being turned out of his chaplainship. He printed the exceptionable sermon under a title that made it still more exceptionable. He publicly addressed the Doctor in a letter, at the reading of which I have good reason to say he fainted. Mr. Elliot, whose propensity to close thinking led him to weigh exactly every subject he took in hand, found no difficulty in leaving the establishment. He became the pastor of a church of his own raising, which was well organized, and assembled at a meeting-house in Cannonstreet. He was universally esteemed by christians of all denominations; and was requested in the year 1762, the time of Mr. Whitefield's long suspension from labor, to become his asşistant at Tottenham-court, but his gifts by no means suited that congregation, and it dwindled under him to such a degree, that he could not be continued. Mr. Watts, bookseller, near Moorfields, a man of learning and close reasoning, became one of his church members. In a conference-meeting, Mr. Watts entered into a very warm debate with him upon the doctrine of the trinity; the debate was occasioned by some little accidental circumstance, which arose in the course of the conference, and it drove poor Mr. Elliot into sabellianism. By this event he lost his respect and popularity, lived in poverty and obscurity, and died in the pulpit while preaching to a small congregation, which constantly heard him in Glass-houseyard, Goswell-street. He once had a very vio. lent fever, which threatened his life ; in the de. lirinm of which he went through a service, supposed by him public, repeated his text, and preached his sermon with the strictest propriety. He once told Mr. How that he studied the doctrine of election with that intenseness, that he knew not whether he came out of his study upon his head or upon his heels. His wife was a considerable trial to him. She acquired good property by the millinery business, but denied him the comfort of it. He was sometimes obliged to sell his books for bread; but while poor himself, he was a friend to the poor. By the hard measures he latterly met with, he became a little petulent, but he bore his persecutions for Christ's sake, and his family trials, with great temper and composure, and was a great ornament to his profession. He has left several performances. Those in favor of his new sentiment I am a stranger to. Those relating to the peculiar truths of the gospel are worthy of attention; he was very harsh in his delivery, close in his reasoning, and unembellished in his stile.
Of Mr. Green, above mentioned, it is to be observed, that he was a fine classical scholar, and that he also understood the mathematicks well. He said he was a competent master of eight languages, but he was a very uncouth reader and speaker. He never could gain a congregation at Tottenham-court; at Fetterlane, he met with attention. The liberty he gave to any to speak, opened a way for the antinomians to deliver their sentinients, with whom he entered into large and long public disputations. His Monday evening exercises degenerated into formal disputes, and knowing his strength, he was fond of them. The arians took him up, and by one of them he was, one evening so foiled, that he publicly acknowledged he had been wrong all his life in his notions of the trinity, notwithstanding he had published upon the subject. In this state of mind he continued a week. It produced great distress of soul, and though he died sound in the faith, he was so shocked by his temporary recantation of it, that he never after lifted up his head.
The case of these two good men is a caution to us not to be too confident in our powers. While I think of them, I think also of the apostle’s admonition, “Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed least he fall.” Many good men designing honestly to defend the doctrine of the trinity, err shockingly in their illustrations of it, and give more advantage to the adversary than they are aware of, as well as drive their opponents into notions they never would have thought of, had they been treated with more temper. We are safe by taking the subject as the sacred scripture gives it, and by avoiding to explain what is inexplicable.
Let us, my dearest friend, adore what we cannot comprehend, and shield ourselves from error by the words which the Holy Ghost teacheth. Rather than puzzle ourselves and our hearers with matters which are too high for either, let us be content with things revealed. In my last interview with Mr. Elliot, he said he heard me advance with acceptance the very same things he did with disgust. I told him, when a mau's sentiments are sup, posed orthodox, people will give him credit; that the subject, for he mentioned it, evidently led me to treat of Jesus Christ in his medi, atorial capacity. I heard him that evening preach an excellent sermon from Heb, xiii. 5. I hope, through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, he is now in glory. That we may there meet him is the prayers of My very dear friend,
Your's, affectionately, &c.
MY VERY DEAR FRIEND,
To them that suffer according to the will of God, is the instruction, that they should commit the keeping of their souls to him. May we not understand the apostle Peter, by a figure of speech recommending the resignation of the whole man to God? . The