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passionate temper, will be more ready, perhaps, to to assist us with his inquiries. It is probable we excuse me, in this instance, than I can be to ex- shall stay here till Michaelmas. W, C. cuse myself. But in good truth, it was abominable pride of heart, indignation, and vanity, and deserves no better name. How should such a
TO JOSEPH HILL, ESQ. creature be admitted into those pure and sinless mansions, where nothing shall enter that defileth,
Huntingdon, July 16, 1767. did not the blood of Christ, applied by the hand DEAR JOE, of faith, take away the guilt of sin, and leave no Your wishes that the newspapers may have spot or stain behind it? Oh what continual need misinformed you are vain. Mr. Unwin is dead, have I of an almighty, all-sufficient Saviour! 1 and died in the manner there mentioned. At nine am glad you are acquainted so particularly with o'clock on Sunday morning he was in perfect all the circumstances of my story, for I know that health, and as likely to live twenty years as either your secrecy and discretion may be trusted with of us, and before ten was stretched speechless and any thing. A thread of mercy ran through all senseless upon a flock bed, in a poor cottage, where the intricate maze of those afflictive providences,|(it being impossible to remove him) he died on so mysterious to myself at the time, and which Thursday evening. I heard his dying groans, must ever remain so to all, who will not see what the effect of great agony, for he was a strong man, was the great design of them; at the judgment- and much convulsed in his last moments. The seat of Christ the whole shall be laid open. How few short intervals of sense that were indulged him is the rod of iron changed into a sceptre of love! he spent in earnest prayer, and in expressions of a
I thank you for the seeds: I have committed firm trust and confidence in the only Saviour. To some of each sort to the ground, whence they will that strong hold we must all resort at last, if we soon spring up like so many mementos to remind would have hope in our death: when every other me of my friends at the Park.
W.C. refuge fails, we are glad to fly to the only shelter,
to which we can repair to any purpose; and happy
is it for us when, the false ground we have chosen TO MRS. COWPER.
for ourselves being broken under us, we find our
selves obliged to have recourse to the rock which Huntingdon, July 13, 1767. can never be shaken; when this is our lot, we reMY DEAR COUSIN,
ceive great and undeserved mercy. The newspaper has told you the truth. Poor Our society will not break up, but we shall Mr. Urwin being flung from his horse, as he was settle in some other place; where, is at present going to his church on Sunday morning, received uncertain.*
Yours, W. C. a dreadful fracture on the back part of the scull, under which he languished till Thursday evening, and then died. This awful dispensation has left
TO JOSEPH HILL, ESQ. an impression upon our spirits, which will not presently be worn off. He died in a poor cottage, to
Olney, June 16, 1768. which he was carried immediately after his fall, I THANK you for so full an answer to so empty about a mile from home; and his body could not an epistle. If Olney furnished any thing for your be brought to his house, till the spirit was gone to amusement, you should have it in return; but him who gave it. May it be a lesson to us to occurrences here are as scarce as cucumbers at watch, since we know not the day nor the hour Christmas. when our Lord cometh!
I visited St. Alban's about a fortnight since in The effect of it upon my circumstances will person, and I visit it every day in thought. The only be a change of the place of my abode. For I recollection of what passed there, and the conseshall still, by God's leave, continue with Mrs. quences that followed it, fill my mind continuUnwin, whose behaviour to me has always been ally, and make the circumstances of a poor tranthat of a mother to a son. We know not yet sient half-spent life so insipid and unaffecting, where we shall settle, but we trust that the Lord, that I have no heart to think or write much about whom we seek, will go before us, and prepare a them. Whether the nation is worshipping Mr. rest for us. We have employed our friend Haweis, Wilkes or any other idol, is of little moment to Dr. Conyers of Helmsley in Yorkshire, and Mr. one who hopes and believes that he shall shortly Newton of Olney, to look out a place for us, but at present are entirely ignorant under which of the
On the fourteenth of October following, the Society was three we shall settle, or whether under either. I settled in the town of Olney in Buckinghamshire, of which have written to my aunt Madan, to desire Martin the Rev. Mr. Newton was curate.
stand in the presence of the great and blessed God. Happy are you, my dear friend, in being able to I thank him that he has given me such a deep discern the insufficiency of all it can afford to fill impressed persuasion of this awful truth, as a and satisfy the desires of an immortal soul. That thousand worlds would not purchase from me. It God who created us for the enjoyment of himself, gives a relish to every blessing, and makes every has determined in mercy that it shall fail us here, trouble light.
in order that the blessed result of all our inquiries Affectionately yours,
after happiness in the creature may be a warm pursuit and a close attachment to our true inter
ests, in fellowship and communion with Him, TO JOSEPH HILL, ESQ. through the name and mediation of a dear Re
deemer. I bless his goodness and grace, that I DEAR JOE,
1769. Sır Thomas crosses the Alps, and Sir Cowper, in the desire after better things, than are to be
have any reason to hope I am a partaker with you for that is his title at Olney, prefers his home to any other spot of earth in the world. Horace, devoted to destruction. May he enable us both
found in a world polluted with sin, and therefore observing this difference of temper in different persons, cried out a good many years ago, in the to consider our present life in its only true light, true spirit of poetry, how much one man differs as an opportunity put into our hands to glorify from another! This does not seem a very sublime him amongst men, by a conduct suited to bis word exclamation in English, but I remember we were and blessed art, but I hope there is at the bottom
and will. I am miserably defective in this holy taught to admire it in the original. My dear friend, I am obliged to you for
of all my sinful infirmities a sincere desire to live
your invitation: but being long accustomed to retire just so long as I may be enabled, in some poor ment, which I was always fond of, I am now more
measure, to answer the end of my existence in than ever unwilling to revisit those noisy and this respect, and then to obey the summons, and crowded scenes which I never loved, and which I attend him in a world where they who are his now abhor. I remember you with all the friend- servants here shall pay him an unsinful obedience ship I ever professed, which is as much as I ever for ever. Your dear mother is too good to me, and entertained for any man. But the strange and puts a more charitable construction upon my si
lence than the fact will warrant. I am not better uncommon incidents of my life have given an entire new turn to my whole character and conduct
, employed than I should be in corresponding with and rendered me incapable of receiving pleasure her
. I have that within which hinders me wretchfrom the same employments and amusements of edly in every thing that I ought to do, but is prone which I could readily partake in former days.
to trifle, and let time and every good thing run to I love you and yours, I thank you for your con
waste. I hope however to write to her soon. tinued remembrance of me, and shall not cease to
My love and best wishes attend Mr. Cowper, be their and your
and all that inquire after me. May God be with Affectionate friend and servant, W. C.
you, to bless you, and do you good by all his dispensations; don't forget me when you are speaking to our best friend before his Mercy-seat.
W.C. TO MRS. COWPER.
N. B. I am not married. MY DEAR COUSIN,
I Have not been behindhand in reproaching myself with neglect, but desire to take shame to
TO MRS. COWPER. myself for my unprofitableness in this, as well as in all other respects. I take the next immediate MY DEAR COUSIN, Olney, August 31, 1769. opportunity however of thanking you for yours, A LETTER from your brother Frederic brought and of assuring you, that instead of being sur-me yesterday the most afflicting intelligence that prised at your silence, I rather wonder that you, has reached me these many years. I pray to God or any of my friends, have any room left for so to comfort you, and to enable you to sustain this careless and negligent a correspondent in your heavy stroke with that resignation to his will, memories. I am obliged to you for the intelligence which none but himself can give, and which he you send me of my kindred, and rejoice to hear gives to none but his own children. How blessed of their welfare. He who settles the bounds of and happy is your lot, my dear friend, beyond the our habitations has at length cast our lot at a common lot of the greater part of mankind; that great distance from each other; but I do not there you know what it is to draw near to God in prayer, fore forget their former kindness to me, or cease and are acquainted with a Throne of Grace! You to be interested in their well being. You live in have resources in the infinite love of a dear Rethe centre of a world I know you do not delight in. deemer, which are withheld from millions: and
the promises of God, which are yea and amen in threatening, by the only physician of value. I Jesus, are sufficient to answer all your necessities, doubt not he will have an interest in your prayers, and to sweeten the bitterest cup which your hea- as he has in the prayers of many. May the Lord venly Father will ever put into your hand. May incline bis ear, and give an answer of peace! I be now give you liberty to drink at these wells of know it is good to be afflicted. I trust that salvation, till you are filled with consolation and found it so, and that under the teaching of God's peace in the midst of trouble! He has said, when own spirit we shall both be purified. It is the dethou passest through the fire I will be with thee, sire of my soul to seek a better country, where and when through the floods, they shall not over- God shall wipe away all tears from the eyes of his flow thee. You have need of such a word as this, people: and where, looking back upon the ways and he knows your need of it, and the time of ne- by which he has led us, we shall be filled with cessity is the time when he will be sure to appear everlasting wonder, love, and praise. I must add in behalf of those who trust in him. I bear you no more.
W. C. and yours upon my heart before him night and day, for I never expect to hear of distress which shall call upon me with a louder voice to pray for
TO THE REV. J. NEWTON. the sufferer. I know the Lord hears me for myxell, vile and sinful as I am, and believe and am MY DEAR FRIEND,
March 31, 1770. sure that he will hear me for you also. He is the
I am glad that the Lord made you a fellow friend of the widow, and the father of the father- labourer with us in praying my dear brother out less, even God in his holy habitation; in all our of darkness into light. It was a blessed work: afflictions he is afflicted, and chastens us in merey. and when it shall be your turn to die in the Lord, Surely he will sanctify this dispensation to you, and to rest from all your labours, that work shall do you great and everlasting good by it, make the follow you. I once entertained hopes of his reworld appear like dust and vanity in your sight, covery: from the moment when it pleased God to as it truly is, and open to your view the glories of give him light in his soul, there was for four days a better country, where there shall be no more such a visible amendment in his body as surprised death, neither sorrow nor pain, but God shall us all. Dr. Glynn himself was puzzled, and bewipe away all tears from your eyes forever. O
gan to think that all his threatening conjectures that comfortable word! ‘I have chosen thee in the would fail of their accomplishment. I am well furnace of affliction;' so that our very sorrows are satisfied that it was thus ordered, not for his own evidences of our calling, and he chastens us, be- sake, but for the sake of us, who had been so cause we are his children.
deeply concerned for his spiritual welfare, that he My dear cousin, I commit you to the word of his might be able to give such evident proof of the grace, and to the comforts of his holy spirit. Your work of God upon his soul as should leave no lie is needful for your family; may God in mercy doubt behind it. As to his friends at Cambridge, to them prolong it, and may he preserve you from they knew nothing of the matter. He never spoke the dangerous effects, which a stroke like this of these things but to myself, nor to me, when might have upon a frame so tender as yours. I others were within hearing, except that he somegrieve with you, I pray for you; could I do more, times would speak in the presence of the nurse. I would, but God must comfort you.
He knew well to make the distinction between Yours, in our dear Lord Jesus, W. C.
those who could understand him, and those who could not; and that he was not in circumstances to maintain such a controversy as a declaration of
his new vicws and sentiments would have exposed TO MRS. COWPER.
him to. Just after his death I spoke of this change
March 5, 1770. to a dear friend of his, a fellow of the college, who My brother continues much as he was. His had attended him through all his sickness with ascase is a very dangerous one. An imposthume siduity and tenderness. But he did not underof the liver, attended by an asthma and dropsy. stand me. The physician has little hope of his recovery. I I now proceed to mention such particulars as I believe I might say none at all; only being a friend can recollect, and which I had not opportunity to he does not formally give him over, by ceasing to insert in my letters to Olney; for I left Cambridge visit him, lest it should sink his spirits. For my suddenly, and sooner than I expected. He was own part I have no expectation of his recovery, deeply impressed with a sense of the difficulties except by a signal interposition of Providence in he should have to encounter, if it should please answer to prayer. His case is clearly out of the God to raise him again. He saw the necessity of reach of medicine; but I have seen many a sick- being faithful, and the opposition he should expose Dess healed, where the danger has been equally hiinself to by being so. Under the weight of
these thoughts he one day broke out in the follow-
May 8, 1770 it is essential to thee to be good and gracious. I Your letter did not reach me till the last post, am a child, O Lord, teach me how I shall con- when I had not time to answer it. I left Camduct myself! Give me the wisdom of the serpent bridge immediately after my brother’s death. with the harmlessness of the dove! Bless the souls I am obliged to you for the particular account thou hast committed to the care of thy helpless you have sent me miserable creature, who has no wisdom or know- He to whom I have surrendered myself and all ledge of his own, and make me faithful to them for my concerns hath otherwise appointed, and let his thy mercy's sake!' Another time he said, “How will be done. He gives me much which he withwonderful it is, that God should look upon man; holds from others; and if he was pleased to withand how much more wonderful, that he should look hold all that makes an outward difference between upon such a worm as I am! Yet he does look me and the poor mendicant in the street, it would upon me, and takes the exactest notice of all my still become me to say, his will be done. sufferings. He is present and I see him (I mean It pleased God to cut short my brother's conby faith); and he stretches out his arms towards nexions and expectations here, yet not without me'—and he then stretched out his own-and giving him lively and glorious views of a better he says-Come unto me, all ye that are weary happiness than any he could propose to himself in and heavy laden, and I will give you rest!' He such a world as this. Notwithstanding his great smiled and wept, when he spoke these words. learning, (for he was one of the chief men in the When he expressed himself upon these sub- university in that respect) he was candid and sinjects, there was a weight and a dignity in his cere in his inquiries after truth. Though he could mannes such as I never saw before. He spoke not come into my sentiments when I first acwith the greatest deliberation, making a pause at quainted him with them, nor in the many converthe end of every sentence; and there was some- sations which I afterwards had with him upon thing in his air and in the tone of his voice, inex- the subject, could he be brought to acquiesce in pressibly solemn, unlike himself, unlike what I them as scriptural and true, yet I had no sooner had ever seen in another.
left St. Alban's than he began to study with the This hath God wrought. I have praised him deepest attention those points in which we differed, for his marvellous act, and have felt a joy of heart and to furnish himself with the best writers upon upon the subject of my brother's death, such as I them. His mind was kept open to conviction for never felt but in my own conversion. He is now five years, during all which time he laboured in before the throne; and yet a little while and we this pursuit with unwearied diligence, as leisure shall meet, never more to be divided.
and opportunity were afforded. Amongst his dyYours, my very dear friend, with my affection- ing words were these, ‘Brother, I thought you ate respects to yourself and yours.
wrong, yet wanted to believe as you did. I found WILLIAM COWPER. myself not able to believe, yet always thought I
should be one day brought to do so.' From the Postscript. A day or two before his death he study of books, he was brought upon his deathgrew so weak and was so very ill, that he required bed to the study of himself, and there learnt to continual attendance, so that he had neither renounce his righteousness, and his own most strength nor opportunity to say much to me. On- amiable character, and to submit himself to the ly the day before he said he had a sleepless, but a righteousness which is of God by faith. With composed and quiet night. I asked him, if he these views he was desirous of death. Satisfied of had been able to collect his thoughts. He re- his interest in the blessing purchased by the blood plied, 'All night long I have endeavoured to of Christ, he prayed for death with earnestness, think upon God and to continue in prayer. I had felt the approaches of it with joy, and died in great peace and comfort; and what comfort I had peace. Yours, my dear friend, W. C. came in that way. When I saw him the next morning at seven o'clock he was dying, fast asleep, and exempted, in all appearance, from the sense
TO MRS. COWPER. of those pangs which accompany dissolution. I shall be glad to hear from you, my dear friend, MY DEAR COUSIN, Olney, June 7, 1770. when you can find time to write, and are so in I am am obliged to you for sometimes thinking clined. The death of my beloved brother teems of an unseen friend, and bestowing a letter upon with many useful lessons. May God seal the in-me. It gives me pleasure to hear from you, exstruction upon our hearts !
pecially to find that our gracious Lord enables
you to weather out the storms you meet with, and honoured by any who would give her credit for a to cast anchor within the veil.
secret intercourse of this kind with the prince of You judge rightly of the manner in which I darkness. have been affected by the Lord's late dispensation Mrs. Unwin is much obliged to you for your towards my brother. I found in it cause of sor- kind inquiry after her. She is well, I thank God, row, that I had lost so near a relation, and one so as usual, and sends her respects to you. Her son deservedly dear to me, and that he left me just is in the ministry, and has the living of Stock, in when our sentiments upon the most interesting Essex. W were last week alarmed with an acsubject became the same; but much more cause count of his being dangerously ill; Mrs. Unwin of joy, that it pleased God to give me clear and went to see him, and in a few days left him out evident proof that he had changed his heart, and of danger.
TO JOSEPH HILL, ESQ.
Sept. 25, 1770. doubt not that he enlightens the understandings, I HAVE not done conversing with terrestrial oband works a gracious change in the hearts of many jects, though I should be happy were I able to in their last moments, whose surrounding friends hold more continual converse with a friend above are not made acquainted with it.
the skies. He has my heart, but he allows a corHe told me that from the time he was first or- ner in it for all who show me kindness, and theredained he began to be dissatisfied with his reli- fore one for you. The storm of sixty-three made gious opinions, and to suspect that there were a wreck of the friendships I had contracted in the greater things concealed in the Bible, than were course of many years, yours excepted, which has generally believed or allowed to be there. From survived the tempest. the time when I first visited him after my release I thank you for your repeated invitation. Sinfrom St. Alban’s, he began to read upon the sub- gular thanks are due to you for so singular an ject
. It was at that time I informed him of the instance of your regard. I could not leave Olney, views of divine truth which I had received in that unless in a case of absolute necessity, without school of affliction. He laid what I said to heart, much inconvenience to myself and others. and began to furnish himself with the best writers
W. C.* upon the controverted points, whose works he read with great diligence and attention, comparing them all the while with the Scripture. None ever
TO THE REV. WILLIAM UNWIN. truly and ingenuously sought the truth but they found it. A spirit of earnest inquiry is the gift dear unwin,
June 8, 1778. of God, who never says to any, Seek ye my face
I feel myself much obliged to you for your in vain
. Accordingly, about ten days before his kind intimation, and have given the subject of it death, it pleased the Lord to dispel all his doubts
, all my best attention, both before I received your and to reveal in his heart the knowledge of the letter and since.
The result is, that I am perSaviour, and to give him firm and unshaken peace suaded it will be better not to write. I know the in the belief of his ability and willingness to save. man and his disposition well; he is very liberal in As to the affair of the fortune-teller, he never men- his way of thinking, generous and discerning. tioned it to me, nor was there any such paper He is well aware of the tricks that are played upon found as you mention. I looked over all his pa- such occasions, and after fifteen years interruppers before I left the place, and had there been tion of all intercourse between us, would translate such a one, must have discovered it. I have heard my letter into this language-pray remember the the report from other quarters, but no other parti- poor. This would disgust him, because he would culars than that the woman foretold him when he think our former intimacy disgraced by such an should die. I suppose there may be some truth in oblique application. He has not forgotten me, the matter, but whatever he might think of it be- and if he had, there are those about him who can fore his knowledge of the truth, and however ex- not come into his presence without reminding him traordinary her predictions might really be, I am of me, and he is also perfectly acquainted with my satisfied that he had then received far other views circumstances. It would perhaps give him plcaof the wisdom and majesty of God, than to sup- sure to surprise me with a benefit; and if he pose that he would entrust his secret counsels to a vagrant, who did not mean, I suppose, to be un
* The subsequent chasm in the Letters of this Volume was derstood to have received her intelligence from the occasioned by a long and severe illness with which the writer Fountain of Light, but thought herself sufficiently was aflicted.