AN ADDRESS TO Young People, OR Warning to them From One among them, Yet may be called Warning from the Dead, Given by Mercy Wheeler of Plainfield, A Person confined to a Bed of languishing for more than Five Years together.

Eccl. xii.1.

Remember Now thy Creator, in the days of thy Youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when then shalt say, I have no pleasure in them.

BOSTON: Printed and Sold at the Printing House in Newbury-Street, 1733.


To the READER.

PErhaps the Reader unacquainted with the Person who sends these few Lines to our Young People; will desire some Informa­tion concerning her & her Circumstances; they being very peculiar and uncommon: I shall in Answer to the Request of divers of her near Re­latives, give the Reader an Account of the same, as followeth: Viz.

THis Young Woman (which I think I may without Vanity call a Young Saint) is the Daughter of Mr. Isaac Wheeler and Sarah his Wife, originally of Concord in the Massachusetts-Bay in N. E. who with their Family removed from thence unto the Town of Plainfield in Connecticut in the Year 1704, and it has pleased GOD to bless these Parents with a numerous Off-spring, three Sons and ten Daughters; of which ten our young Author is the fourth; being born in the Year 1706: was a Child very remarkable for Health and Agillity of Body, until the Twentieth Year of her Age; and then was taken Sick of the burning Ague in the latter end of the Summer 1726, and hath never since enjoyed one Days health; she was in the Sum­mer following brought so low, as that she was wholly Confin'd to her Bed, (which Confinement continues to this Day) and reduced to such ex­ceeding low Circumstances, as that every Day, for many Days and Months together, was expected by all about her, would have been her last.

[Page iii]Her Strength was so intirely gone as she could not move her Head, Hand or Foot so as to help her self in the least; and her Speech wholly failed; so that she has not been able to speak by whispering so as to be heard by any, but those of the Family, much used to her; and they guessing more by the motion of her Lips than by any Voice which could be heard. Her Flesh is much consumed: Her Ap­petite to Food is so gone, that it is admirable to think how she has been sustained; her digestive Faculty so weak, that she has not been able to Eat either Bread of Flesh of any sort, for the space of Five Years and more; supported only (as to out­ward Means) by some thin, liquid Food, put into her Mouth with a Spoon; who will say but that the Power and Goodness of GOD is very remar­kable in sustaining her so long time by such slender and inconsiderable Means.

No Care or Cost, has been wanting on her be­half; Physicians far and near, have been consulted and improved (to great Expence) for her. Nor have her Parents neglected to seek to GOD for a Blessing on their Endeavours of this Nature: Divers Days of Fasting and Prayer have been attended in her Father's House, with the Assistance of the Pastor of the Church here, and other christian Friends, and also the Pastors of divers of the neighbouring Churches; and several Sermons adapted to the Oc­casion, have been Preacht in her hearing; which by the Lines she now sends abroad (I believe) you will think GOD has Sanctified to her for saving good. For I think, Reader, if you shall want Cha­rity for her, you fall under another great Want, and want the one thing needful for your self.

She still remains weak and low, but (thanks be to GOD) she is under some revivings. Most [Page iv]remarkably the last April it pleased GOD to open her Lips and her Mouth doth shew forth his Praise: she was on a sudden enabled to speak with a Voice so loud as to be heard into another Room in the House, to the surprize of the whole Family; this reviving, and power of Speech she seems great­ly affected with, and blesses GOD for the same; it being an Answer of her request to GOD that so she might declare what He had done for her Soul; and also apply her self to Young People as in the following pages.

I think indeed she seems to be under the power­ful Impressions of the Spirit of GOD, and touch'd with a sence of the prevailing Sins of the present Times, laments the decay of the Power of Godli­ness amongst us.

In one of my last Conferences with her, I could not but take peculiar Notice of a sad surprize she seemed to be in from her being informed of some Families which lived in the Neglect of Family Prayer; so affected was she in her Meditation on it, that she versify'd upon it; and rehearst to me several of the Verses she had composed: one of which I will here Record; hoping that it may jog some of 'em that ly snoaring in such a shameful Omission; and it runs after this manner,

Poor, wretched and vile Sinners all
Rank'd with the heathen Nation,
Who unto GOD ne'er Pray nor Call,
For Pardon and Salvation.

(I'll add another and say,)

What dreadful Threats, O direful Wrath!
Such Families fall under,
Who will tread that forbidden Path
Full show'd with Bolts of Thunder.

[Page v]You'l find in her Address to young People, a Caution against such vile Omissions.

God grant that the same blessed SPIRIT which influenced her in such manner to apply her self to our young People; may also influence us all, young and old, to make an agreeable Improvement of the same!

The Reader acquainted with sacred Writ, will remember, that it is intimated to us by our Savi­our in his Parable concerning the rich Man and Lazarus, that the doleful Inhabitants of the Place of Torment, do imagine, that if one were sent to their Fellow Sinners on Earth from the Dead they would repent.

Behold here we have Warning given to our young People; which may in some sense be called Warning from the Dead: tho' not absolutely so, yet the Person who gives it, has been numbered among the Dead, in our Expectation, for a long Time, until now she experiences what we may call, a sort of Resurrection. The Instance we have in her, is very uncommon, and I think what she now offers is worthy of Observation from us all.

I will but add one word by way of Apology for my self, in presuming to gratify her, in granting her the use of my Pen; possibly some among our young People may have arrived to that height of Profanity as to make a Ridicule and a Scoff at what I have here performed; to such I answer in short, I value not their Scoff a rush, only would say to such, as Paul to the Jailer, Do thy self no harm.

But perhaps the Aged, Sober & judicious Reader will admire at my presumption herein; to such I would with all imaginable Humility say, I am ready to admire with you too: But when I was so oft in­vited [Page vi]to it not only by the Young Author, but divers others; and seriously considered the Matter, I dare not deny to undertake the Task, least I should render my self to my fellow Creatures more churlish than the unjust Judge, who neither fear'd GOD nor regarded Man. Or least I should hide my one poor Talent in a Napkin, when I should have improved it for my Lord's use.

I hope I can truly say, I have been much con­cerned for the Interest of Religion among us; and tho'tful what I in particular may do that may any way tend to revive the too, too visible Decays of it: When this Invitation was urged upon me, I dare not wholly reject it, least I should let slip an Opportunity of being some way serviceable to the Interest of Religion, and the good of Souls.

And this is the grand prevailing Motive with me; the Hope I have that GOD who has so deeply Impre [...] her Mind by His Holy Spirit, has also de­signed to make what is by the young Female-Au­thor offer'd, of saving Advantage (at least) to some Souls. And if so what I have done by the Power and Goodness of GOD shall be made an Offering to the Tabernacle, tho' performed by him, who is an unworthy Servant for the Table of the Lord.

Samuel Stearns.

AN Address to young People, BY Mercy Wheeler Of Plainfield, June 8. 1732.

MY dear Friends, Relatives & Neigh­bours, who are now in your Youth, and come to that Time of Life, which is called the Flower of the Age. It is well known to many of you, that the great and sovereign Jehovah, who doth whatsoever He pleaseth in Heaven, Earth, Sea and all deep Places, hath been very signal and remarkable in his dispensations towards me.

He has laid me upon a Bed of Languishing, for the Space of more than Five Years past already, the greatest part of which time I have been reduced to such low Circumstances that I have not been able to speak with an audible Voice: until now of late it hath pleased GOD of his abundant good­ness to grant me such reviving, as to be able to speak with an audible, tho' a low Voice.

And now GOD has given me ability, I think it my Duty to you O young People, to address my self to you, by way of Advise, Counsel & Caution: to you which are near to me in the bonds of Na­ture, in an especial manner; yea and to all the whole Neighbourhood, and whomsoever are or shall be acquainted with my Circumstances.

O young People! you that are of my own Gene­ration; who are in the Prime and Flower of your Days, I must tell you that I think you have in me, I mean in what GOD has done unto me, a very [Page 2]loud Lecture preach'd to you: and O that you, all of you may be such Persons of Wisdom as to hear the rod and Him that hath appointed it!

Remember! Oh young People, remember that Childhood and Youth is Vanity. What shall I say to you to perswade you to be serious? How shall I order my Speech to you, so as to prevail with you to hearken to me now, that so GOD may hearken to you another Day?

I must tell you, that tho' Youth be indeed the Flower of the Age, yet it is the most dangerous Season of the Mind. I have found it so, and you will see it to be so ere-long, when your Eyes are open to see things as indeed they are.

My advise to you is, Oh labour to see & appre­hend your danger; least you fall into foolish and hurtful Lusts which drown Men and Women in Destruction and Perdition.

O flee youthful Lusts, beware, be warned by the Harms and Falls of others, remember Death is hastening; it is appointed for Man once to Die, and after that the Judgment.

Remember me, you that know me, and are ac­quainted with me: O how suddenly has GOD blasted my youthful Vigour, and lay'd me upon a Bed of pining Sickness to this Day. In the Spring of my Days, or before the Spring was fully advan­ced, it is become Autumn with me; the Leaves fall apace, as if the Winter of Death were just approach­ing upon, that I may say with sick Hezekiah, I am deprived of the residue of my Days, and shall see Man no more, with the Inhabitants of the World. And how soon it may be your Case you know not; nor are you sure (if GOD shall give so much Warning, and not snatch you away by some sudden accidental and violent Death) that GOD will afford to you the Mercy He hath vouchsafed to me; it may be you may be deprived of the Use of your [Page 3]Reason, (as is frequently the Case of the visited with Mortal distempers) and then how impossible will it be for you to do your great Work, when you cannot so much as apprehend what Work you have to do. O my friends, believe me, believe me, the Time of Health is the very best Time for you to prepare for Death in.

I deny not but that GOD doth sometimes mag­nify his sovereign Grace to Sinners; by sanctifying long and tedious Sickness for saving Good to their Souls, I hope he has done it for me (and I adore his Grace for ever on the Account whereof. But I must tell you, it was indeed hard Work to bear the Pains of Body, which my disease laid me un­der, and at the same: Time to grapple with the wracking Terrors of a wounded Spirit which indeed who can bear. And I do sadly, and greatly la­ment my Sin and Folly in neglecting to improve my Health, while GOD was pleased to afford it to me: and so will you if you neglect to improve yours.

The best that you can possibly imagine (if you continue to delay to make your Peace with GOD now in the time of Health and Prosperity) is, I say, the best you can possibly imagine is, you make sad Work for a most bitter Repentance here-after.

And if this be the best you can possibly Hope for, (and that at the utmost Hazard too,) What may the Worst be, if GOD in Justice say, because I have called and ye have refused, therefore I will laugh at your Calamity, and [...] Fear cometh, when your Fear cometh us Desolation, and your Destruction cometh as Whirlwind, [...] distress and anguish cometh upon you then a great Ransom cannot deliver you.

If once it comes to this: that by your quenching and grieving the Holy Spirit of GOD, you so provoke him as to take his final farewell of your forsaken Souls, and GOD [...] are in his Wrath you [Page 4]shall never enter into his rest: and for ought you or I know, if you still delay, this may be the dire­ful and dreadful consequence of your delaying in this most important Affair.

And if at last this should be your dreadful Doom, then no Tongue of Man or Angel can express the Horror that may justly, & will most certainly, sooner later, seize upon you.

O then! Let me Address my self to you with the greatest importunity I am capable of: Advising you to delay no longer; make haste, flee to the City of Refuge, before the Avenger of Blood over­take you.

Secure to your selves a part in CHRIST the on­ly Refuge of Souls, Now, before it be too late: From whence shall I fetch the Weapons of Spiritual Armour, my Arrows (while I draw my Bow at a venture) which GOD shall so direct as that they shall reach your Hearts, the Mark I aim at.

They must be fetcht from the quiver of the Word of GOD, that great Store house of Spiritual Armour.

I will recommend to you that wise & sage Ad­vice, given by the wisest of all mee [...] Men, the Royal and Renowned Preacher King Solomon, divinely inspired; which Advice is given for the Conduct of Youth in all succeeding Generations to the World's end; recorded in Eccl. xii.1. Remember Now thy Creator, in the days of thy Youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them. This is Counsel given us by GOD himself; inserted in his Oracles for your Conduct and mine.

O let not you or I forget GOD that made us, nor be unmindful of the Rock of our Salvation.

Let us remember our Creator, and we shall re­member our Sins, by which we have broken his Laws, and exposed our selves to the Curse threatned to the breakers of it.

[Page 5]Remember your Creator and you'l remember the Redeemer, and labour to obtain an Interest in him; which is the One Thing needfull; and Wo to us if we obtain it not.

This is the Sum of all I have to say to you; O my Friends, my Brothers, my Sisters, and Rela­tives, near to me, or more remote and further off; Neighbours and all who may be Entertained with these Lines; I assure you all, that this is all my Desire on your behalf; and it will be all your Salvation, if you obtain the same, even a part in the lovely JESUS. O do but get your Eyes open to see and behold the incomparable Beauty of the ever-blessed Jesus, and I am sure you will be enamoured with Him, and say with me, and all Christ-prizers; He is the chiefest of ten Thousand, He is altogether Lovely.

Oh that I could, (tho' but in some poor broken Expressions) set before you the Beauty and Excel­lency of the lovely & all-beautiful Jesus! I Hope I can truly say, that GOD of his abundant Grace hath made him Precious, most Precious to me; I can say, I Prize him above all other Good what­soever. Mountains of Gold and Pearls, are not to be compared with him. But what do I attempt to represent to you, an infinite Good, by the Words of a poor finite nothing Creature, and have not the Tongue of the Learned neither; which if I had, Words would fail, & the most raised humane Tho't would fall infinitely short of a true & full Repre­sentation of him, who is the brightness of the Fa­thers Glory, and the express Image of his Person, and upholds all things by the Word of his Power; Who when he had by himself purged our Sins, sat down at the Right Hand of the Majesty on high. Who can by searching find out this GOD-Man; none can find out this Almighty Redeemer to Perfection.

[Page 6]By these Expressions & Words which want form, you may conceive something of the Esteem, which I desire always to maintain of my ever-blessed Re­deemer: Will you Oh young People learn to Adore Him with me Now; that so we may enjoy Him together forever hereafter; when his Redeemed Ones shall have a more full and transforming View of him, for then we shall see Him as He is.

One Arrow more I must draw out of the divine Quiver, and it shall be that most important Question propounded to us by the Redeemer himself, a much greater than King Solomon, and spake as never Man spake: Which grand Inquiry of his we have in the Gospel of S. Mat.16.26. What is a Man profited, if he shall gain the whole World and lose his own Soul, or what will a Man give in Exchange for his soul?

By these words of our Saviour we may apprehend something of the Value which is put upon a Soul by Him who alone knew the true Worth of a Soul, He and He only pay'd the Ransom of Souls, there­fore He knew full well what the Price of a Soul must be set at.

The whole World is a Price too mean and low to set an immortal Soul at. This we are assured [...] by Him who is Wisdom it self & Truth it self, and therefore it is impossible He should deceive us in the Matter. O then let us believe him! O young People believe him! Oh Value your Souls at a high rate; prize 'em above Worlds; do not trifle with your Souls, nor about the great Con­cerns of them:

We must all acknowledge that our Souls are lost [...] first Adam: And we our selves perso­na [...] [...] forfeited the Happiness of our Souls [...] Divine Justice. But tho' our Souls [...] first, they may be found and saved [...] Adam, the Lord Jesus Christ. Oh [Page 7]blessed Name, which I cannot mention but with Reverence and Adoration, admiring the unsearch­able Riches of divine Wisdom and Grace, that ever there should be such a Name given under Heaven among Men whereby we may be saved.

This brings me again to what I told you before is all my Desire concerning you: that a part in this great Saviour, & the great Salvation procured by Him for us Sinners, may be your Portion: Let me urge it upon you to labour to obtain it, with all your might; delay not; dallie not; trifle not in this most great and important Business. I know not how to leave off urging you, or let you go, till you cry out, None but Christ, None but Christ! and I hear you say, Give me Christ, or else I die.

Are you desirous of a Christ? Do you see your perishing Condition without him, and that a part in him is absolutely necessary for you? My Advice to you all is this:

O prize the Gospel, and Gospel Ordinances. O my Friends, I long to enjoy Publick Ordinances; I think I desire Health for nothing more, than to be able to come to the Publick Ordinances of GOD's House; especially that I may Commemorate the Dying Love of my Redeemer in that High and Holy Ordinance of the Supper: To come to that Gospel Feast; which if GOD in his sovereignty shall deny me ability for, I hope he will accept the Will for the Deed: As for you that are in Health prize and improve it, it is the ordinary Means of Salvation. O have a care you do not put a slight upon the Gospel dispensation of the Word of Life; and beware you do not entertain any prejudice a­gainst any clear Gospel Truths; or against any of the faithful dispensers of the same. Mind well what the great King & Saviour of the Church hath with his own Mouth said in this Matter, He that despiseth you, despiseth me, &c. What a dreadful thing is it to despise Christ?

[Page 8]Go as constantly as you can to hear what GOD will speak to you; don't suffer Trifles to divert you; let not a little Cold, wet or dull Weather, keep you at Home, when you are in Health; and may go to the House of GOD, if you will.

And don't neglect private, or secret Opportuni­ties for Communion with GOD: Make Conscience of secret Prayer daily; and attend constantly Fa­mily Worship you that have the Advantage of it.

And Oh, let no young Couple come together in Marriage, and dare to live in the horrible Omission of Family Prayer. I am amazed to think that ever such Gospellers as we in New-England are, should any of us dare to live without Family Prayer. What says Dr. Mather of such Houses? ‘The roaring Lion (says he) doth ramp and rage there without controul:’ And how doth the weeping Prophet Jeremiah imprecate the divine Vengeance, on such such Familys, Chap. 10.25. Yea how doth GOD himself threaten them, say­ing, I will pour out my Fury upon the Heathen that know me not, and on the Families that call not upon my Name. Oh let none indulge themselves in such a fearful Omission. Oh young People! I could fill my Mouth with Arguments to perswade you to become truly pious; Fear of Evil on the one Hand; and hope and expectation of Good on the other, are two great swaying Considerations with rational Agents: I have already said some­thing of the great Danger of Delays.

I shall now add a Word as to the great Good that will acrue to you, if you will now comply and in good earnest set your selves to seek and serve God with perfect Hearts and willing Minds, you'l then be in the way to all manner of Good, to have the Blessings of the upper and nether Springs, of God's Throne and of his Foot-stool conferred up­on you.— Will Profit allure you? truly there is [Page 9]no Gold, or worldly Gain, that is worthy to be compared with the Gold tryed in the Fire, which Christ counsels us to buy of him, Rev. 3.18.—Will Pleasure invite you? There is no Pleasure which the Things of Time & Sense afford us, wor­thy to be named the same Day with the Pleasure that is to be enjoyed in Communion with God, and walking in the Ways of Wisdom; all whose Ways are Ways of pleasantness, and whose Paths are Peace.—Will Honour sway with you? There's no Honour like that which come from God only, or the Honour which Christ will one day put up­on them that Love and Honour him.— Is Peace a thing desireable with you? There is no Peace with our fellow-Creatures, to be compared to the Peace which Believers have with God, thro' our Lord Jesus Christ, which verily passeth all un­derstanding.— Once more, Will Joys or Songs charm you? Sure I am, that there is no Joy like the Joy of the Lord, which is our Strength, who have secured to our selves a part in a glorious Christ. No carnal Mirth or Gladness which is comparable to that of the Ransomed of the Lord, who shall return and come to Zion with Songs of everlasting Joy upon their Heads, and shall obtain Joy and Gladness, and Sorrow shall flee away, Isa.35.10.

What shall I say more, My Strength of Body is small; and it is hard for me to speak: I am wil­ling to spend all the Strength I have, were it much more than it is, for your Good; might I be any way Instrumental of any saving Good to your Souls; or any one Soul. May God bless what you see in me, and what you now hear from me, for saving Good to you, I shall never repent the Pains I now take.

O my Friends, Do you do your part, that what you have seen of God's Dealings with me, and what you now hear from me, may not rise up in [Page]Judgment against you in the great Day of Account.

THUS, Friends, (whose Souls are of very great Value with me) I have by the help of God, and the use of a borrowed Pen, done and accomplish'd what I have long desired to do. I leave these Lines with you as being the best Advice I can possi­ble give to you, if I knew I should never see any of you more in the World, or if I should yet have further Opportunities to Converse with you.

I intreat you for your Soul's sake, Give ear to what I have now said to you; so out of the Mouth of a Babe and Suckling, God shall ordain Strength and perfect his own Praise.

And now, Whether it shall please God to con­tinue me with you still, under my present Circum­stances, or otherwise, (that Matter I desire to leave with God, and would entirely resign to his holy and blessed Will and Pleasure therein) I assure you my Kinsfolk according to the Flesh, and all others, to whom I have directed these Lines, (and the Pen-man does doubtless join with me,) My Hearts Desire and Prayer to GOD for you is, that your Souls may be eternally saved.


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