Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

for port.

Israel way,

PSALM LXIV. 15.

New-cast my plummet; make it apt to try

Where the rocks lurk, and where the Let not the water-floods over firw me, neither

quick sands lie : let ibe deep swallow me up.

Guard thou the gulph with love; my The world's a sea ; my flesh 'a ship.

calnis with care ; that's mann'd

Cleanse thou iny freight; accept my slen. With lanring thoughts, and stecr'd by

der fare : Reason's hand :

Refresh the sea-sick passenger ; cut short My heart's the seaman's chart, whereby His voyage ; safe land him in his wish'd.

she sails; My loose attections are the greater sails Thou, thou whom winds and stormy seas The to, cail is iny fancy; and the gusts obey, That fill these wanton sheets are worldly That through the deep gav'st murmuring

lusts. Prayer is the cable, at whose end ap

Say lo my soul; be safe; and then my eye pears

Shall scorn grim Death, although grimi The anchor Hope, ne'er slipp'd but in Death stand by our fears :

Oh! thou, whose strength reviving arm My will's th’uncontant pilot, that coin- did cherish mands

Thy sinking Peter at the point to petish, The stags'sing keel ; my sins are like Reach forth thy hand, or bid me tread the sands;

the wave i Repentance is the bucket, and mine eve

I'll come; I'll come: the voice that calls The pump, unus'd (but in extremes) and

will save. dry.

Rorberithe.

T. J. N. My conscience is the plu:nimet, that does press

Written after reading the Accounts The deeps, but seldom cries, O fathom.'

published by the Strangers' Friend! less : Sinooth calm's security; the gulph's despair;

Society, for the year 1802. My freight's corruption; and this life's What scenes of misery and woe! mv fare,

Alas! What blasts of sorrow blow, My soul's the passenger, confused, driv'n Unhecded by the throng! From fear to fright; her landing port is The busy, careless, and supine, Heav'..

Such visits and such scenes decline ; My seas are stormy, and my ship doth

Nor dwell they on their tongue !

Little ye rich and prosp'rous think My sailors rude; my steers-man faint How many fellow-creatures sink, and weak :

Through poverty and griet!
My canvas torn, it flaps from side to side : O from your treasure kindly spare :
My cable's crack’d, my anchor's slicitly A trifle let the wretched share,
Ty'd;

To bring them kind relief. My pilot's craz’d; iny shipwreck sands Their pains and woes, their wretched staten are cloak'd;

leak;

O think, it might have been your face, My bucket's brokers, and my pump is choak'd ;

Un worthy what you have :

Then let their miseries awake My calnr's deceitful, and my gulph's too

Some gen'rous purpose, for his sake near;

Who came the lost to save! My wares are slubber'd, and my fare's too dear:

Great God, with blessings e'er surround My piummet's light, it cannot sink nor

Those who in works of love abound, sound :

Who visit scenes of woe: O, shall my rock-be-threaten'd soul be

To Death, nor 10 Disease a prey, drowii'd

O keep and bless them in the way

In which they kindly go. Lord, still the seas, and shield my ship from harın,

Crown their endeavours to reclaim Instruçi my sa lors, guide my steers-man's

Pour guilty sinners through thy name,

And bring them back to God. arii; Tough thou my compass, and renew my

Wisdom, and Strength, and Health afford,

While thus they imitate their Lord ! Send stitier courage, or send milder gales;

This path the Saviour trod. Maks stiong my cable, bind my anchor O Sin, what mis'ry hast thou brought . faster ;

On wretched inan; noriongue nor thought Direct my pilot, and be thou his master. Can rull or e'er conceive. Object the sands to my more serious view"; O awful view !--but now we may Make souod iny bucket, bore my pump Escape eternal death, day, 20CW :

If we on Christ believe!

Westminster.

sails ;

[ocr errors]
[graphic][subsumed][merged small][merged small][merged small]
[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

Mr. Cowper's relapse occurred in 1773, in his fortysecond year. His derangement so completely subverted those doctrinal sentiments which had afforded him, for the last nine years, the most transcendent comfort, that be considered himself as cast off for ever from the hope of mercy, although he never disputed the divine change which had been wrought in his mind. Through the depths of his distress, Mr. Newton attended him with unfailing tenderness of friendship, and once entertained him fourteen months at the vicarage; but he was deaf to consolation or 'encouragement, while he supposed the ear of his Creator to be shiut against his complaints and requests. He ceased not only from attending public service, but likewise from joining in domestic wórship, or attempting private devotion. His judgment was equally convinced as ever of the glory of Christ, and his desires for coinmunion with God were as fervent; but apprehending his own perdition to be determined by an immutable decree, he regarded it as blasphemy in him to ask for mercy. His pious neighbours were struck with terror, as well as with compassion, at so awful a change. He was inaccessible to all, except Mr. Newton; but all, like him, longed to contribute to his reliet. After the first dreadful paroxysm of his disorder, although his unhappy persuasion remained unalterable, he was induced to admit some diversion of his mind from melancholy. Estranged from human society,' he was inclined to domesticate a young leveret; and his neigh bours instantly supplied him with three. The choice of their food, and the diversity of their dispositions, amused his mind; and their occasional diseases called forth his tenderness. Two of them died; but the third was his companion throughout his abode at Olney. Seren years elapsed before he sufficiently re

[ocr errors]

covered spirits to employ his mind in composition: to which he was urged by Mrs. Unwin, as the most effectual mode of relieving his thoughts from the despair by which they were continually agitated. Slie suggested, as a subject,“ The Progress of Error;" and the poem under that title, was the first fruits of his renewed application. “ Truthi," as a pleasing constrast, became his next topic. “ Expostulation" was formed upon the ground-work of a sermon repeated to him by Mr. Newton. “Hope, Charity, Conversation, and Retirement,” which were subjects either peculiarly familiar, or highly interesting to his mind, succeeded; and having determined upon publishing a volume, by the persuasion of his friends, he introduced it with a colloquial poem on popular subjects, and augmented it with a nuinber of smaller pieces, written upon various occasions. The whole, except a few of the latter, were written during the winter of 1780.

At that period Mr. Cowper had the greater need of occupation for his mind, on account of the removal of his only familiar associate, Mr. Newton, from the curacy of Olney to the rectory of St. Mary Woolnoth, in London; where he superintended the publication of his friend's poems in the summer of 1781. Previously to his departure from.the former place, he insisted on introducing to Mr. Cowper, his intimate acquaintance, Mr. Bull, of Newport Pagnel, as his substitute in social

Mr. Cowper had always shrunk back from intercourse with strangers; and the gloom which still depressed his mind, rendered him, at that ţine, peculiarly reluctant to admit a new visitor. Mr. Newton, who dreaded to leave Mr. Cowper wholly destitute of a confidential friend, used, in this instance, an affectionate violence, which was attended with all the success he could hope for. The afflicted bard soon formed a strong attachinent to Mr. Bull, whose extensive knowledge and natural vivacity tended greatly to alleviate Mr. Cowper’s habitual dejection. They regularly spent together one day every fortnight: the only seasons, for five years, in which Mr. Cowper adınitted any company, except during his friendship with the late Lady Austen, which commenced in September 1781. This lady, whose brilliancy of wit and uncoınınon talents in conversation, were admirably adapted to the relief of a mind like Mr. Cowper's, then resided with her sister, who was married to Mr. Jones, the clergyman of Clifton : a village about one mile from Olney.. Mrs. Jones had long known and loved the gospel, and was intimate with Mrs. Unwin. ller sister had chiefly lived in France, during her union with Sir Robert Austen; after whose death she had again settled in England. She also had received the truth as it is in Christ, and had been useful to the enlightening of an endeared friend, who was married to a gentleman in France, named Billacoys. Their singular history is sketched in the Theological Miscellany for August 1787, under the names

converse.

4

1

« VorigeDoorgaan »