ページの画像
PDF
ePub

it, I should never have found; and I know, and gence, but when my reason was restored to me, and have experience of it every day, that the mercy of I had so much need of a religious friend to conGod to the believer is more than sufficient to com verse with, to whom I could open my mind upon pensate for the loss of every other blessing. You the subject without reserve, I could hardly have will believe that my happiness is no dream, because found a better person for the purpose. My eagerI have told you the foundation on which it is built. ness and anxiety to settle my opinions upon that What I have written would appear like enthusiasm long neglected point, made it necessary, that while to many, for we are apt to give that name to every my mind was yet weak, and my spirits uncertain, I warm affection of the mind in o!hers, which we should have some assistance. The doctor was as have not experienced ourselves; but to you, who ready to administer relief to me in this article likehave so much to be thankful for, and a temper in- wise, and as well qualified to do it, as in that which clined to gratitude, it will not appear so."

was more immediately his province. How many To the same lady, a day or iwo afterwards, he physicians would have thought this an irregular apwrites—"How naturally does affliction make us petite, and a symptom of remaining madness! But Christians! and how impossible is it, when all if it were so, my friend was as mad as myself, and human help is vain, and the whole earth too poor it is well for me that he was so. My dear cousin, and trifling to furnish us with one moment's peace, you know not half the deliverances I have received how impossible is it then to avoid looking at the my brother is the only one in the family who does gospel!It gives me some concern, though at the My recovery is indeed a signal one, and my future same time ii increases my gratitude to reflect, that life must express my thankfulness, for by words I a convert made in Bedlam is more likely to be a cannot do it." stumbling-block to others than to advance their He now employed his brother to seek out for him faith. But if it have that effect upon any, it is an abode somewhere in the neighborhood of Camowing to their reasoning amiss, and drawing their bridge, as he had determined to leave London, the conclusion from false premises. He who can as scene of his former misery; and that nothing might cribe an amendment of life and manners, and a re-induce him to return thither, he resigned the office formation of the heart itself, to madness, is guilty of commissioner of bankrupts, worth about 601. per of an absurdity, that in any other case would fasten annum, which he still held. By this means, he rethe imputation of madness upon himself; for, by so duced himself to an income barely sufficient for his doing, he ascribes a reasonable effect to an unrea- maintenance; but he relied upon the gracious prosonable cause, and a positive effect to a negative. mise of God, that bread should be given him, and But when Christianity only is to be sacrificed, he water should be sure. that stabs deepest is always the wisest man. You, On being informed that his brother had made my dear cousin, yourself, will be apt to think I carry many unsuccessful attempts to procure him a suitthe matter too far; and that in the present warmth able dwelling, he, one day, poured out his soul in of my heart, I make too ample a concession in say- prayer to God, beseeching him, that whererer he ing that I am only noo a convert. You think I should be pleased, in his fatherly mercy, to place always believed, and I thought so too; but you were him, it might be in the society of those who feared deceived, and so was I. I called myself indeed a his name, and loved the Lord Jesus in sincerity. Christian, but he who knows my heart knows that This prayer, God was pleased graciously to answer. I never did a right thing, nor abstained from a In the beginning of June, 1765, he received a letter wrong one, because I was so; but if I did either, it from his brother to say, he had engaged such was under the influence of some other motive. And lodgings for him at Huntingdon, as he thought it is such seeming Christians, such pretending be- would suit him. Though this was farther from lievers, that do most mischief in the cause, and fur- Cambridge, where his brother then resided, than he nish the strongest arguments to support the infidelity wished, yet, as he was now in perfect health, and of its enemies: unless profession and conduct go as his circumstances required o less expensive way together, the man's life is a lie, and the validity of of life than his present, he resolved to take them, what he professes itself, is called in question. The and arranged his affairs accordingly. difference between a Christian and an unbeliever, On the 17th of June, 1765, having spent more would be so striking, if the treacherous allies of the than eighteen months at St. Alban's, partly in the church would go over at once to the other side, that bondage of despair, and partly in the liberty of the I am satisfied religion would be no loser by the bar- gospel, he took leave of the place, at four in the gain. You say, you hope it is not necessary for sal- morning, and set out for Cambridge, taking with vation to undergo the same affliction that I have him the servant who had attended him while he undergone. No! my dear cousin, God deals with remained with Dr. Cotton, and who had maintained his children as a merciful father; he does not, as he an affectionate watchfulness over him during the himself tells, afflict us willingly: Doubtless there whole of his illness, waiting upon him, on all ocare many, who, having been placed by his good casions, with the greatest patience, and invariably providence ont of the reach of evil, and the influ- treating him with the greatest kindness. The minence of bad example, have, from their very infancy, gled emotions of his mind on leaving the place been partakers of the grace of his Holy Spirit, in were painful and pleasing; he regarded it as the such a manner, as never to have allowed them- place of second nativity; he had here passed from selves in any grievous offence against him. May death unto life—had been favored wiih much leiyou love him more and more, day by day, as every sure to study the word of God-had enjoyed much day while you think of him you will find him more happiness in conversing upon its great truths with worthy of your love, and may you be finally ac- his esteemed physician; and he left it with consicepted by him for his sake, whose intercession for derable reructance; offering up many prayers to all his faithful servants cannot but prevail.” God, that his richest blessings might rest upon its

In the same letter he thus expresses his gratitude worthy manager, and upon all its inmates. to God for placing him under the care of Dr. Cot The state of his mind on this occasion he thus afton :-"I reckon it one instance of the providence fectionately describes :—"I remembered the pollution that has attended me through this whole event, that which is in the world, and the sad share I had in it I was not delivered into the hands of some London myself, and my heart ached at the thought of enterphysician, but was carried to Dr. Cotton. I was not ing it again. The blessed God had endowed me only treated by him with the greatest tenderness with some concern for his glory, and I was fearsui while I was ill, and attended with the utmost dili- of hearing his name traduced by oaths and blasphe

ples, the common language of this highly-favored | where he had prayed the day before, and found the but ungrateful country; but the promise of God, relief he had there received was but the earnest of 'Fear not, I am with thee,' was my comfort. Í a richer blessing. The Lord was pleased to visit passed the whole of my journey in fervent prayer him with his gracious presence, he seemed to speak to God, earnestly but silently entreating Him to be to him face to face, as a man speaketh to his friend; my guardian and counsellor in all my future jour- He made all His goodness pass before him, and ney through life, and to bring me in safety, when constrained him to say with Jacob, not “how dreadhe had accomplished his purposes of grace and ful,” but “how lovely is this place! This is the mercy towards me, to cternal glory.”

house of God, and the gate of heaven."

He remained four months in the lodgings pro

cured for him by his brother, secluded from the CHAPTER IV.

bustling and active scenes of life, and receiving Removal to Huntingdon. Sensations there. Engages in public wor only an occasional visit from some of his neighbors.

ship for the first time after his recovery. Delight it afforded him. Though he had little intercourse with men, yet he Commences a regular correspondence with some of bis friends. enjoyed much fellowship with God in Christ Jesus, Pleasure he experienced in writing on religious subjects. Anxiety Living by faith, and thus tasting the joys of the ur. of his mind for the spiritual welfare of his former associates. Al seen world, his solitude was sweet, his meditations tributes their continuance in sin chiefly to infidelity. Fully of this were delightful, and he wanted no other enjoyments. Beauty of the Scriptures. Absurdity of attributing events to se He now regularly corresponded with all his inticond causes, instead of to the overruling providence of God. Do mate friends, and his letters furnish the clearest Forms some new connections. Becomes acquainted with the Un-proofs of the happy, and indeed almost enviable, win family. Happiness he experienced in their company.

state of his mind, during this period. To Lady

Hesketh, in a letter dated July 5, 1765, he thus disAFTER spending a few days with his brother at closes his feelings :-“I should have written to you Cambridge, Cowper repaired to Huntingdon, and from St. Alban's long ago, but was willing to perentered upon his new abode, on Saturday, the 22a form quarantine, as well for my own sake, as beof June, 1765; taking with him the servant he had cause I thought my letters would be more satisfacbrought from St. Alban’s, to whom he had become tory to you from any other quarter. You will perstrongly attached for the great kindness he had ceive I allowed myself sufficient time for the purshown him in his affliction. His brother, who

had pose, for I date my recovery from the latter end of accompanied him thither, had no sooner left him, last July, having been ill "seven, and well twelve than finding himself alone, surrounded by strangers, months. About that time my brother came to see in a strange place, his spirits began to sink, and he me; I was far from well when he arrived, yet, felt like a traveller in the midst of an inhospitable though he only remained one day, his company desert; without a friend to comfort, or a guide to served to put to flight a thousand deliriums and dedirect him. He walked forth, towards the close of | lusions which I still labored under. the day, in this melancholy frame of mind, and having wandered about a mile from the town, he found dence, I like it extremely. Mr.

Hodgson, the minis

“As far as I am acquainted with my new resihis heart so powerfully drawn towards the Lord, ter of 'the parish, made me a visit yesterday. He is that on gaining a secrei and retired nook in the cor: very sensible, a good preacher, and conscientious in ner of a field, he kneeled down under a bank, and the discharge of his duty; he is well known to Dr. merciful Father to hear him; the load was removed Newton, Bishop of Brisiol, the author of the Treafrom his mind, and he was enabled to trust in Him of the truth of Christianity, in my mind, that was

tise on the Prophecies, the most demonstrable proof that careth for the stranger; to roll his burden upon ever published.” Him, and to rest assured, that wherever God might cast his lot, he would still be his guardian and

In another letter, a few days afterwards, to the shield.

same lady, he thus writes:-"Mentioning Newton's The following day he went to church, for the Treatise on the Prophecies brings to my mind an first time after his recovery. Throughout the whole anccdote of Dr. Young, who you know died lately of the service, his emotions were so powerfully af at Welwyn. Dr. Cotton, who waz intimate with fecting, that it was with much difficulty he could him, paid him a visit about a fortnight before he restrain them, so much did he see of the beauty and was seized with his last illness. The old man was glory of the Lord while thus worshipping Him in then in perfect health; the antiquity of his person, his temple. His heart was full of love to all the the gravity of his utterance, and the earnestness congregation, especially to such as seemed serious with which he discoursed about religion, gave him, and attentive. Such was the goodness of God to in the doctor's eye, the appearance of a prophet. him, that he gave him the oil of joy for mourning, They had been delivering their sentiments on New. and the garment of praise for the spirit of heavi

ton's Treatise, when Young closed the conference ness; and, though he joined not with the congre

thus:-'My friend, there are two considerations gation in singing the praises of his God, being pre- upon which my faith in Christ is built as upon a vented by the intenseness of his feelings, yet his rock-first, the fall of man, the redemption of man, soul sung within him, and leaped for joy. The and the resurrection of man; these three cardinal parable of the prodigal son was the portion of Scrip- articles of our holy religion are such as human iniure read in the gospel appointed for the day. He genuity could never have invented, therefore they saw himself in that glass so clearly, and the loving must be divine: the other is the fulfilment of pro kindness of his slighted and forgotten Lord, that phecy, of which there is abundant demonstration. the whole scene was realized by him, and 'acted This proves that the Scripture must be the word of over in his heart. And he thus describes his feel- God, and if so, Christianity must be true.' ings on hearing it:-"When the gospel for the day Cowper now lived in the full enjoyment of reliwas read, it seemed more than I could well support. gion. Its truths supported his mind, and furnished Oh, what a word is the word of God, when the him with an ample field for meditation; its proSpirit quickens us to receive it, and gives the hear-- mises consoled him, freed him from every distressing ear, and the understanding heart! The har- ing sensation, and filled him with joy unspeakable mony of heaven is in it, and discovers clearly and and full of glory; its duties regulated all his consatisfactorily its author."

duct, and his chief anxiety was to live entirely to Immediately after church he repaired to the place the glory of God. The following beautiful lines of

the poet are strikingly descriptive of his feelings at to the truth of Christianity itself, yet he never could this period :

read St. Luke's account of our Saviour's appear“I was a stricken deer, that left the herd

ance to his two disciples going to Emmaus, without Long since; with many an arrow deep enfix'a

being wonderfully affected by it; and he thought, My panting sides were charged, when I withdrew

that if the stamp of divinity was any where to be To seek a tranquil death in distant shades.

found in Scripture, it was strongly marked and viThere was I found by one who had himself

sibly impressed upon that passage. If these men, Been hurt by ib’archers: in his sides he bore,

whose hearts were chilled with the darkness of inAnd in his hands and feet, the cruel scars.

fidelity, could find such charms in the mere style of With gentle force soliciting the darts,

Scripture, what must those find whose eyes could He drew them forth, and heal'd, and bade me live.

penetrate deeper than the letter, and who firmly

believed themselves interested in all the invaluable Since then, with few associates, in remote And silent woods I wander, far from those

privileges of the gospel? Had this mere man of My former partners of the peopled scene;

taste searched a little lurther, he might have found With few associates, and vot wishing more,

other parts of the sacred history as sirongly marked Here much I ruminate, as much I may,

with the characters of Divinity as that he mentionWith other views of men and mauners now

ed. The parable of the prodigal son, the most

beautiful fiction that ever was invented; our SaThan once; and others of a life to come.”

viour's speech to his disciples, with which he closes On all affairs connected with religion, Cowper his earthly ministration, full of the sublimest dig. now delighted to think and to converse, and his best nity and tenderest affection, surpass every thing letters were those in which he could freely introduce that I ever read, and, like the spirit with which they them to his correspondents. In the close of the let- were dictated, ty directly to the heart. If the Scripter from which we made the above extract, he thus ture did not disdain all affectation of ornament, one writes :-"My dear cousin, how happy am I in hav- should call such as these its ornamental parts; but ing a friend to whom I can open my heart upon the matter of it is that upon which it principally these subjects! I have many intimates in the world, stakes its credit with us, and the style, however erand have had many more ihan I shall have here cellent, is only one of the many external evidences atter, to whom a long letter upon those most impor- by which it recommends itself to our belief.” tant articles would appear tiresome at least, if not The warmest expressions of his gratitude to God impertinent. But I am not afraid of meeting with for his distinguishing goodness to him, during his that reception from you, who have nerer yet made affliction, were frequently employed in his letters, it your interest that there should be no truth in the In one, dated 4th September, 1765, he thus writes to word of God. May this everlasting truth be your his cousin :-" Two of my friends have been cut off comfort while you live, and attend you with peace during my illness, in the midst of such a life as it is and joy in your last moments. I love you too well frightful to reflect upon, and here am I, in better not to make this a part of my prayers; and when I health and spirits than I can ever remember to have remember my friends on these occasions, there is enjoyed, after having spent months in the apprehenno likelihood that you can be forgotten."

sion of instant death. How mysterious are the ways In another letter to Lady Hesketh, dated Ist of of Providence! Why did I receive grace and mer. August, 1765, he thus adverts to the character of his cy? Why was I preserved, afflicted for my good, former associates, and feelingly expresses his anx- received, as I trust, into favor, and blessed with the iety for their spiritual welfare:-“I have great greatest happiness I can ever know, or hope for in reason to be thankful I have lost none of my ac- this life, while these were overtaken by the great quaintance but those whom I determined not to arrest, unawakened, unrepenting, and every way keep: I am sorry this class is so numerous. What unprepared for it? His infinite wisdom, to whose would I not give, that every friend I have in the infinite mercy I owe it all, can solve these questions, world were not almost, but altogether Christians ? and none else. A free-thinker, as many a man misMy dear cousin, I am half afraid to talk to you in calls himself, would, without doubt, say, 'Sir, you this style, lest I should seem to indulge a censorious were in great danger, and had, indeed, a most forhumor, instead of hoping, as I ought, the best of all tunate escape.' How excessively foolish, as well men. But what can be said against ocular proof, as shocking, is such language! As if life depended and what is hope when built upon presumption ? upon luck, and all that we are, or can be, all that To use the most holy name in the universe for no we have now, or can hope for hereafter, could pospurpose, or a bad one, contrary to his own express sibly be referred to accident. To this freedom of commandment, to pass the day, and the succeeding thought it is owing, that he, who is thoroughly apdays, weeks, and months, and years, without one prized of the death of the mearest of his creatures, act of private devotion, one confession of our sins, is supposed to leave those whom he has made in his or one thanksgiving for the numberless blessings own image, to the mercy of chance; and to this it we enjoy; to hear the word of God in public with a is likewise owing, that the correction which our distracted attention, or with none at all; to absent heavenly Father bestows upon us, that we may be ourselves voluntarily from the blessed communion, fitted to receive his blessing, is so often disappointed and to live in the total neglect of it; are the com- of its benevolent intention. Fevers, and all dismon and ordinary liberties which the generality of eases, are regarded as accidents; and long life, professors allow themselves: and what is this, but health, recovery from sickness, as the gift of the to live without God in the world? Many causes physician. No man can be a greater friend to the might be assigned for this anti-christian spirit so use of means upon these occasions than myself; for prevalent among professors, but one of the principal it were presuinption and enthusiasm to neglect them. I take to be their utter forgetfulness that the Bible God has endued them with salutary properties on which they have in their possession is, in reality, purpose that we might avail ourselves of them. But the Word of God. My friend, Sir William Rus- to impute our recovery to the medicine, and to carry sell, was distantly related to a very accomplished our views no further, is to rob God of his honor. man, who, though he never believed the gospel, ad- He that thinks thus, may as well fall upon his knees mired the Scriptures as the sublimest compositions at once, and return thanks to the medicine that in the world, and read them often. I have myself cured him, for it was certainly more immediately been intimate with a man of fine taste, who has instrumental in his recovery than either the apotheconfessed to me, that though he could not subscribe cary or the doctor.”

No one ever watched more carefully the provi- | company as I choose, a deal of comfortable leisure, dence of God than Cowper. His views of it were and enjoy better health, I think, than for many years just and scriptural, as is abundantly evident by the past. What is there wanting to make me happy? above remarks, and, if possible, more clearly evinc- Nothing, if I can but be as thankful as I ought; and I ed by the following extracts from the same excel- trust that He, who has bestowed so many blessings lent letter:—“My dear cousin, a firm persuasion of on me, will give me gratitude to crown them all. I the superintendence of Providence over all our con- thank God for all the pleasing circumstances here, cerns, is absolutely necessary to our happiness.- for my health of body, and perfect serenity of mind. Without it we cannot be said to believe in the Scrip- To recollect the past, and compare it with the preture, or practise any thing like resignation to his sent, is all that I need to fill me with gratitude ; and will. If I am convinced that no attliction can be to be grateful is to be happy. I am far from think. fall me without the permission of God, I am con- ing myself sufficiently grateful, or from indulging vinced likewise that he sees, and knows, that I am the hope that I shall ever be so in the present life. afflicted ; believing this, I must, in the same degree, The warmest heart, perhaps, only feels by fits, and believe that if I pray to him for deliverance he hears is often as insensible as the coldest. This, at least, me; I must needs know likewise, with equal assu- is frequently the case with mine, and much oftener rance, that if he hears, he will deliver me: I may than it should be.” rest well assured that he has none but the most be Among the families with whom Cowper was on nevolent intention in declining it. He made us, not terms of intimacy, there were none so entirely conbecause we could add to his happiness, which was genial to his taste as that of the Rev. Mr. Unwin. always perfect, but that we might be happy our. This worthy divine, who was now far advanced in selves; and will he not in all his dispensations to- years, had formerly been master of a free school in wards us, even in the minutest, consult that end for Huntingdon. On obiaining, however, from his which he made us ? To suppose the contrary, is to college at Cambridge, the living of Grimston, he affront every one of his attributes, and to renounce married Miss Cawthorne, the daughter of a very utterly our dependence upon him. In this view it respectable draper in Ely, by whom he had two chilwill appear plainly, that the line of duty is not dren, a son and a daughter. Disliking their resistretched too tight, when we are told that we ought dence at Grimston, they removed to Huntingdon, to accept every thing at his hands as a blessing, and where they had now resided for many years. to be thankful even when we smart under the rod Cowper became acquainted with this interesting of iron with which he sometimes rules us. With family, which was afterwards, almost to the close out this persuasion, every blessing, however we of his life, a source of comfort to him, in the followmay think ourselves happy in the possession of it, ing rather singular manner. The Unwins freloses its greatest recommendation, and every afflic- quently noticed Mr. C. and remarked the degree of tion is intolerable. Death itself must be welcome piety and intelligence he seemed to possess; this into him who has this faith; and he who has it not duced them to wish for farther acquaintance with must aim at it, if he is not a madman.” The ex- the interesting stranger: his manners, however, cellence of these extracts from Cowper's correspond- were so reserved, that an introduction to him seemed ence will, it is hoped, be admitted by every reader wholly out of their reach. After waiting some time, as a sufficient apology for the interruption they may with no apparent prospect of success, their eldest occasion to our narrative. They might be greatly son, Mr. W. Unwin, though dissuaded from it by enlarged; but it is not intended to admit any, ex- his mother, lest it should be thought too intrusive, cept such as will, in some degree at least, serve to ventured to speak to Mr. Cowper one day, when describe his character.

they were coming out of church, after morning It was not to be expected that a person like Cow- prayers, and to engage himself to take tea with Mr. per could remain long unnoticed, how reserved C. that afternoon. This was perfectly agreeable to soever was his conduct. Accordingly, he had been Cowper, who, in one of his letters some time afterat Huntingdon only a short time before he was visit- wards, thus describes his new-made acquaintance: ed by several persons, and introduced into several —“To my inexpressible joy, I found him one, famílies, all eminently distinguished for their re- whose notions of religion were spiritual and lively; spectability, and general consistency of conduct. one, whom the Lord had been training up from his This soon endeared him to the place, and he thus infancy for the temple. We opened our hearts to communicated his sentiments respecting it to his each other at the first interview; and when we partcorrespondents:-"The longer I live here the better ed, I immediately retired to my chamber, and prayed I like the place, and the people who belong to it. I the Lord, who had been the author, to be the guaram upon very good terms with five families, all of dian of our friendship, and to grant to it fervency whom receive me with the utmost cordiality. You and perpetuity, even unto death; and I doubt not may recollect that I had but very uncomfortable that my gracious Father heard this prayer.” A expectations of the accommodations I should meet friendship thus formed was not likely to be soon in. with in Huntingdon. How much better is it to take terrupted; accordingly it continued with unabated our lot, where it shall please Providence to cast it, affection through life, and became to both parties a without anxiety! Had I chosen for myself, it is source of much real enjoyment. Well would it be impossible I could have fixed upon a place so agree for Christians, were they, in making choice of their able to me in all respects. I so much dreaded the friends, to follow the example of Cowper! Enterthought of having a new acquaintance to make ing upon it by earnest prayer to God for his blessing, with no other recommendation than that of being a they might then hope to derive all those invaluable perfect stranger, that I heartily wished no creature benefits from it, which it is adapted and designed to here might take the least notice of me.

Instead of convey. which, in about two months after my arrival, I be The following Sabbath Cowper dined with the came known to all the visitable people here, and do Unwins, and was treated with so much cordiality verily think it the most agreeable neighborhood I and real affection, that he ever after felt the warmever saw. My brother and I meet every week by est attachment to this interesting family. In his an alternate reciprocation of intercourse, as Sam letters on the subject he thus writes: “ The last acJohnson would express it. As to my own personal quaintance I have made here is of the race of the condition, I am much happier than the day is long; Unwins, consisting of father and mother, son and and sunshine and candle-light alike, see me per- daughter; they are the most agreeable people ima fectly contented. I get books in abundance, as much I ginable; quite sociable, and as free from the cere.

monious civility of country gentlefolks as I ever met The manner in which he spent his time while as with. They treat me more like a near relation than sociated with this exemplary family, and the high a stranger, and their house is always open to me. degree of enjoyment he there experienced, will be The old gentleman carries me to Cambridge in his seen by the following extracts from his correspondchaise; he is a man of learning and good sense, and ence with his two amiable cousins, Lady Hesketh as simple as parson Adams. His wife has a very and Mrs. Cowper. To the former he thus writes: uncommon understanding, has read much to excel "My dear Cousin-The frequency of your letters lent purpose, and is more polite than a dutchess; she to me, while I lived alone, was occasioned, I am treats me with an affection so truly Christian, that I sure, by your regard for my weltare, and was an act could almost fancy my own mother restored to life of particular charity. I bless God, however, that I again, to compensate me for all my lost friends and was happy, even then; solitude has nothing gloomy broken connections. She has a son, in all respects, in it, if the soul points upwards. St. Paul tells his worthy of such a mother, the most amiable young Hebrew converts, ‘Ye are come,' (already come) man I ever knew; he is not yet arrived at that time to Mount Sion, to an innumerable company of anof life when suspicion recommends itself to us in gels, to the general assembly of the first born, which the form of wisdom, and sets every thing but our are written in heaven, and to Jesus the Mediator of own dear selves at an immeasurable distance from the new covenant.' When this is the case, as surely our esteem and confidence. Consequently he is as it was with them, or the Spirit of truth would known almost as soon as seen, and having nothing never have spoken it, there is an end to the melanin his heart that makes it necessary for him to keep choly and dulness of life at once. You will not susit barred and bolted, opens it to the perusal even of pect me, my dear cousin, of a design to understand a stranger. His natural and acquired endowments ihis passage literally ; but this, however, it certainly are very considerable, and as to his virtues, I need means, that a lively faith is able to anticipate, in only say that he is a Christian. Miss Unwin re some measure, the joys of that heavenly society sembles her mother in her great piety, who is one which the soul shall actually possess hereafter. of the most remarkable instances of it I ever knew. “ Since I have changed my situation, I have found They are altogether the most cheerful and engag- still greater canse of thanksgiving to the Father of ing family it is possible to conceive. They see but all mercies. The family with whom I live are little company, which suits me exactly; go when I Christians, and it has pleased the Almighty to bring will, I find a house full of peace and cordiality in me to the knowledge of them, that I may want no all its parts, and am sure to hear no scandal, but means of improvement in that temper and conduct such discourse instead of it as we are all the better which he requires of all his servants. My dear for. Now I know them, I wonder that I liked Hun- cousin! one half of the Christian world would call tingdon so well before, and am apt to think I should this madness, fanaticism, and folly; but are not find every place disagreeable that had not an Un- these things warranted by the word of God. If we win belonging to it.”

have no communion with God here, surely we can expect none hereafter. A faith that does not place

our conversation in heaven; that does not warm CHAPTER V. Cowper becomes an inmate of Mr. Unwin's family. Is much delighe- the heart and purify it too ; that does not in short,

ed with their society. Describes the manner in which they spent govern our thoughts, words and deeds, is not Christheir time. His opinion respecting the knowledge which Christians tian faith, nor can we procure by it any spiritual will have of each other in Heaven. What will cngage their thoughts blessing, here or hereafter. Lei us therefore see there. Just views of Christian friendship. Strength of his reli- that we do not deceive ourselves in a matter of such gious affections. Humbling views of himself

. Melancholy Death infinite moment. The world will be ever telling us of Mr. Unwin. Cowper's reflections upou it

. Mr. Newton's unes that we are good enough, and the world will vilify pected but providential visit to Mrs. Unwin. Cowper's delermi. us behind our backs: but it is not the world which nation to remain with the family. Their removal from Huntinguon tries the heart—that is the prerogative of God alonc. to Olney.

My dear cousin! I have often prayed for you beTowards the end of October, 1765, Cowper began hind your back, and now I pray for you to your face. to fear that his solitary and lonely situation would There are many who would dot forgive me this not be agreeable to him during the winter; and find- wrong, but I have known you so long, and so well, ing his present method of living, though he was that I am not afraid of telling you how sincerely I strictly economical, rather too expensive for his wish for your growth in every Christian grace, in limited income, he judged it expedient to look out every thing that may promote and secure your ever for a family, with which he might become an in- lasting welfare." mate, where he might enjoy the advantage of social To his cousin, Mrs. Cowper, he thus writes :and familiar intercourse, and be subject to a less “ I am obliged to you for the interest you take in expensive establishment. It providentially occur- my welfare, and for your inquiring so particularly red to him, that he might probably be admitted, on after the manner in which my time passes here. As such terms, into Mr. Unwin's family. He knew to amusements--I mean what the world calls such that a young gentleman, who had lived with them --we have none; the place, indeed, swarms with as a pupil, had just left them for Cambridge, and it thein, and cards and dancing are the professed busiappeared not improbable, that he might be allowed ness of almost all the gentie inhabitants of Huntingto succeed him, not as a pupil, but as an inmate.don. We refuse to take part in them, or to be acThis subject occasioned him a tumult of anxious so cessories to this way of murdering our time, and by licitude, and for some days he could not possibly di- so doing have acquired the name of Methodists. vert his attention from it. He at length made it the Having told you how we do not spend our time, I subject of earnest prayer to his Heavenly Father, will next say how we do. We breakfast commonly that he would be pleased to bring this affair to such between eight and nine; till eleven, we read either an issue, as would be most calculated to promote the Scripture or the sermons of some faithful preachHis own glory; and he had the satisfaction, in a er; at eleven, we attend divine service, which is short time, to receive a gracious answer to his peti- performed here every day; and from twelve to three, tions. A few days afterwards he mentioned the we separate and amuse ourselves as we please. Dursubject to Mrs. Unwin, a satisfactory arrangement ing that interval, I read in my own apartment, or was very speedily made with the family, and he en- walk, or ride, or work in the garden. We seldom sit tered upon his new abode the eleventh of Novem- an hour after dinner, but, if the weather permits, adber 1765.

I journ into the garden, where, with Mrs. U. and her

« 前へ次へ »