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For the Missionary Meetings. LORD, in thy churches now appear,
And animate thy saints with zeal; With great success our prospects cheer! May we thy presence with us feel! Since thou hast rescued us from Death,
To know thy love, and taste thy grace, Olet us spend our life and breath
In winning sinners to thy ways! Shall we be cold and live supine,
While thousands perish all around! Duty is ours,- success is thine,
Now let thy pow'r with us be found!
And efforts oft abortive prove,
And light, and zeal, and grace supply;
So may I act, and soon these fears
Are preaching Christ, as all in all !
Be water'd with the Spirit's pow'r !
My own dear child when dangers near,
On reading the Motto on the late venerable Countess Dowager of Hunting don's Arms,
"IN VERITATE VICTORIA.
Or aim to wound thy cause:
Just as the sun with pow'rful light
And mists and shadows flee;
O Truth divine, we hail thy beams!
Of superstitious rites :
G. Auld, Printer, Greville Street, London.
WILLIAM COWPER, ESQ.
FEW persons, in any age of Christianity, have been equally eminent for Evangelical devotion, and for literary genius and taste. Religious people may, indeed, in general, be regarded as better informed, because more accustomed to read, than others in the classes of life to which they chiefly belong: but while an earnest desire of religious knowledge usually renders the pious peasant, or mechanic, superior to his worldly neighbours, it seldom pervades the circles of the polite; and when it does, is likely to render them less ardent in the pursuit of literary excellence, by fixing their principal attention on objects of infinitely greater importance. The very remarkable subject of this memoir, might, at the first view, be deemed a striking excep tion to this rule; yet it may reasonably be doubted, whether, if a sovereign dispensation of the providence of God, had not incapacitated him for the sublimer enjoyments of devotion, he would ever have attained to the suminit of poetical fame. His life, on the whole, has become an object of great curiosity to all who possess a relish for literature and humanity; but to the religious mind, especially if in some measure endowed with a similar taste, the enquiry is singularly interesting. We should therefore, gladly have gratified our readers with an earlier Memoir of Mr. Cowper: but, as a full and authentic 'account of bis life, under the sanction of his relatives and intimate friends, was earnestly expected, motives of respect for their inclinations, induced us to wait for its appearance. We can cordially recommend Mr. Hayley's elegant performance to the attention of all whose circumstances enable them to purchase it, as a faithful and satisfactory delineation of his adinired friend and literary associate. The judicious selection he has made from Mr. Cowper's confidential correspondence, comprizing the substance or extracts of nearly 300 letters, exhibits his character in an amiable and instructive point of view. His work includes
also the treasure of many beautiful pieces of poetry, not before published. The sketch we shall attempt, instead of superseding the occasion for so valuable and so laudable a publication, will, we hope, promote the perusal of it, as well as tend to increase its utility to religious readers.
Mr. Cowper's family was illustrious, both for rank and talents. His grandfather, Spencer Cowper, was a judge in the court of Common Pleas, and brother of the first Earl Cowper, who was Lord Chancellor in the reign of Queen Ann and George 1. Beside Dr. John Cowper, Rector of Berkhampstead, the poet's father, Judge Cowper had several children; among whom was the mother of the late Rev. Martin Madan, and of the pious and ingenious Frances Maria Madan, who married her first cousin Major Cowper, son of Dr. Cowper's elder brother, and heir of the family-estate near Hertford. This lady was recently well known, and highly esteemed, among the politer religious people of the metropolis; and she published a volume of devotional poems, which was reviewed in an carly Number of our Magazine. By his mother's side, our poet is supposed to have been related to Dr. Donne, the celebrated satirist, whose name she bore. Her character is immortalized by the most beautiful of Mr. Cowper's shorter poems; and it is similarly depicted in an epitaph inscribed on her tomb at Berkhampstead, by her niece the late Lady Walsingham. She died in 1737, leaving two sons by Dr. Cowper, who married again. Her elder son, who is the subject of this Memoir, was bora Nov. 15 (old style) 1731. The birth of John, the younger, was coeval with his mother's decease. His character, and his remarkable conversion, are admirably described in a narrative by his brother, with which the Rev. Mr. Newton has lately favoured the public.
William Cowper, when nine years old, was sent to Westminster school. The literary advantages acquired by him in that celebrated seminary, were purchased at the expence of his future peace. Among the numerous and irrefragable proofs of human depravity, the disposition of children to inflict pain, is not the least obvious. Their delight in tormenting aniinals (if not early repressed by education) might be supposed to originatein childish ignorance and thoughtfulness; but the tyranny they exercise, if permitted, over servants and weaker children, does not admit of a similar extenuation. A public school affords Scope for the cruelty of the greater boys toward their help less juniors; and Cowper's tender age and constitutional timidity, exposed him peculiarly to this species of oppression. It produced an indelible effect upon his mind through life; and it affords the clue by which his future circumstances are to be explained. Occasional symptoms of derangement, in his early youth, may apparently be ascribed to the same cause. Having endured this trial for nine years, it was succeeded by another,