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to visit him at Weston; and they met there about the middle of May. The gratification afforded to Mr. Cowper by the company of his benevolent poetical brother, was unexpectedly dashed, by a new and alarming attack of Mrs. Unwin's disorder. Mr. Greatheed, having been invited to meet Mr. Hayley at Weston, was alone with her, waiting for their return from a walk, when she was suddenly deprived of the use of her limbs, her speech, and faculties, in a very distressing degree. The discovery threw Mr. Cowper at first into a paroxysm of desperation; but the tender sympathy of his literary associate, and the apparent benefit derived from medicinal exertions for Mrs. Unwin's relief, in some measure recruited his spirits. She gradually, but imperfectly recovered her powers; and Mr. Cowper laid aside all other occupations, that he might incessantly attend to her help and comfort. Mr. Flayley being obliged, after a fortnight's stay, to return home, Mr. Cowper's neighbouring friends attempted to supply the want of his services at Weston. At the commencement of August, Mrs. Unwin had sufficiently regained her strength to accompany Mr. Cowper and Mr. Johnson to Mr. Hayley's elegant house at Earthain; his solicitations, and the hope of benefit from the journey, and a change of scenes, having prompted them to the enterprize. They were absent from home, for the first time in twenty-six years, about seven weeks: and this extraordinary exertion, if not productive of effects so beneficial as were wished, yet was attended with none of the evils that might have been apprehended from its novelty. On the road, at Kingston, Mr. Cowper had an interview, both in going and returning, with General Spencer Cowper, son of a younger brother of the poet's father, with whom he had frequently corresponded since the publication of the Task.
After his return to Weston, Mr. Cowper attempted to proceed with his commentary on Milton; but it proved a severer labour to him than his poetical compositions had been; and the continual attention required by the decline of Mrs. Unwin's strength and faculties, disabled him for application, and gradually distressed his spirits. He at length suspended his exertions on Milton, and limited them to a revisal of his Homer for a second edition; on which he employed several hours every morning, before Mrs. Unwin was able to quit her chamber. The rest of each day was uniformly devoted to her consolation. Thus was spent the whole of 1793; and at the commencement of the following year, he sunk into a depth of melancholy, as desperate, though not equally violent, as that which he endured when first deprived of religious comfort. His cousin Lady Hesketh, who had usually spent a part of the year at Weston, made it her constant residence, solely for his preservation and relief; which Mrs. Unwin, having been redu ced to second childhood, through her encreasing infirmities,
was no longer capable of promoting. Mr. Hayley, who had revisited Weston the preceding year, repaired thither in April 1794, to unite his efforts with those of Mr. Cowper's afflicted friends, for his solace and restoration ;-but all were fruitless. It appeared extremely desirable that he should be removed to the house of Dr. Willis, at Greatford in Lincolnshire, in order to reap the utmost advantages of medical assistance; but he could not be prevailed upon to accompany Lady Hesketh thither; and a journey which she undertook, attended by Mr. Greatheed, to obtain the doctor's advice, and a visit which the latter made, in consequence, to Mr. Cowper, proved wholly unsuccessful.
It may easily be supposed, that in such circumstances, the expences of the family at Weston were greatly enhanced. Mr. Hayley's friendly exertions had not been limited to objects of social or literary intercourse. He had zealously and pathetically applied to persons in power, with whom either Mr. Cowper or himself had formerly been connected, to obtain such an honourable mark of regard to his friend's literary merits, as might secure him froin pecuniary embarrassment under accumulated burdens. In his last visit at Weston, he had the pleasure to receive from Earl Spencer (who was distantly related to Mr. Cowper, and had always testified the highest esteem of him) his Majesty's grant to the latter, of a pension which Dr. Johnson and Mr. Gibbon had successively enjoyed. It was nominally 300l. per annum; but nearly one third was swallowed up by customary fees of office. Though it could not have been bestowed more seasonably for Mr. Cowper's exigencies, his state of mind was such as not to admit of his learning the acquisition. Mr. Hayley was under the necessity of relinquishing his ineffectual attempts at consolation; but Lady Hesketh endured so severe a trial till July 1795, when her health could no longer sustain its effects. Mr. Johnson, who had taken orders two years before, had repeatedly quitted his parochial charge at Dereham, to share with her so oppressive a burden; but he could not farther prolong his absence without impropriety. In such circumstances, no alternative remained. but to transport his afflicted kinsman, with his equally comfortless and helpless companion, from the scene which they were no longer able to enjoy, to one where he could watch over the remnant of their lives. He conducted so difficult an enterprize, with a skill dictated by exquisite tenderness, and with a success that exceeded every hope. Mr. Cowper, who had trembled at the thoughts of passing his own threshold, not only supporting, but even, in some degree, enjoying so long a journey; and Mrs. Unwin, who had been supposed incapable of a removal, sustaining it without the slightest detriment. Their subsequent situations were carefully accommodated to their wants and their inclinations; but Mr. Cowper seidom discovered any degree of sensibility, exce, t regret for his
ESQ. banishment from the beloved scenes of Weston. His mind admitted of no other relief, than from being gorged with books of fictitious narrative; and his affectionate kinsman submitted 10 the painful drudgery of incessantly reading them to him. It was with far different feelings that he found him become willing to attend daily in Mrs. Unwin's room while a portion of scripture was read to her. At the close of 1796, she obtained a relief from earthly sufferings; and happily, Mr. Cowper no Jonger possessed those acute sensations, which would have rendered the event insupportable to him. She expired with perfect tranquillity: he saw her half an hour before she drew her last breath, and again some hours afterwards; and thenceforth never mentioned her name!
He had been incited to resume, for a few weeks of the preceding summer, his revision of Homer, which was far advanced before his last relapse. He did not again take up the work till September, in the following year. He then persevered till its completion, which was effected in March, 1799. He had, since leaving Weston, written only three or four letters, all expressive of his own misery, to some of his intimate friends; and when visited by the Dowager Lady Spencer, Sir John Throckmorton, and Mr. Rose, he declined conversing with them. The only compositions to which he could afterwards be excited, were some translations into English of short Latin and Greek poems, and of two of Gay's Fables into Latin verse; beside two original poems, one called "The Cast-away," describing an event recorded in Anson's Voyage, in allusion to his own hopeless condition; the other, which he composed in Latin, on the appearance of some ice-islands in the German Sea, and translated into English, to gratify Miss Pesoune, a female friend of Mr. Johnson, whose compassionate attention to the poet's last years, equalled that of Mrs. Unwin and Lady Hesketh. He had written two lines only of a Latin version of another of Gay's Fables, when, at the close of January, 1800, he was seized with dropsical symptoms; and on the 25th of April he expired, in the manner related in his funeral sermon. To that publication, and to the extracts given in our Review of it, we must refer our readers for a more particular account of Mr. Cowper's religious experience, having already greatly exceeded our usual limits. To them who desire a fuller opportunity of contemplating his literary excellence, the faithful and judicious account which Mr. Hayley has supplied, will be highly acceptable. Beside its narrative, epistolary, and critical departments, his two volumes comprise above a hundred poctical pieces by Mr. Cowper, original or translated, most of which have never before been published. The author's transRations from Milton are reserved, in order to be published, together with Mr. Hayley's labour on that poet, in a superb edition of Milton's works, of which the profits will be devoted to the erection of a public monument, in memory of Mr. Cowper.
ON REVELATION XXII. 1.
And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as chrystal, proceeding out of the throne of God, and of the Lamb.
OMY soul, retire from the world, and converse with thy God! Look forward into that glory which is invisible to the eye of vain and sinful mortals! Let Faith draw aside the veil, and view, with rapturous joy, the great and the good things. which thy God has laid up for thee, and for all who love him.
The above words are a part of the description of the glorious state, the everlasting residence of the redeemed of the Lamb. O my soul, what a prospect now opens upon thy view! Stand on the verge of that river which proceeds out of the throne of God and the Lamb, and invigorates the celestial paradise! Waters, rivers of water, are designed, by the inspired writers, to signify great and valuable blessings. The prophet Ezekiel was indulged with a wonderful vision of waters, which issued froni under the threshold of the house of God; and the description which the prophet gives us of these waters, is precisely the same as that which we have in this chapter. It is probable, that this vision was emblematical of the gospel, and the various blessings resulting, which should flow out unto all nations. But in these words, the pure, unmixed, and everdasting joys of Heaven seem to be intended; and these flow from the glorious gospel of the blessed God, agreeably to the declaration of Jesus, when he compared the grace of the gospel to a well of living water, springing up into everlasting life; and this appears to be the meaning of this wonderful sight in Heaven; because this chapter is a description of the employments and delights of that state, which shall exist when this globe, and all its furniture, shall be destroyed. Consider, therefore, my soul, this river, as a lively emblem of that glory, that unutterable bliss, which flows as a river through all the heavenly plains, and makes glad the city of our God. Consider it as expressive of the social vision and eternal fruition of Jehovah the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; and shouldst thou ask, why is the emblem of a river of water used to express these sublime things it may be replied,
Water is necessary to existence and vigour. The animal and vegetable tribes would soon perish without water; and as neces❤ sary are the smiles of God to the humble dependant Christian. The favour of God first began the good work,-first created the sacred thirst; and, therefore, it can never more be satisfied without constant communications. Sabbaths and ordinances cannot satisfy; for they are but the channels to convey the sacred stream to the soul.
It is a river, to denote its infinite fulness. A river is a confluence of waters. So in Heaven, the place of the redeemed shall be "like a river, and their glory like a flowing stream,
In this life the streams run low, and we are favoured only with a taste; but in Heaven this sacred river will rise high, and flow divinely full. Millions have drank, and will for ever drinke of its sacred stream, which will flow as free and full as ever.
This river is also free of access. It was grace, divinely rich and free, that first opened this foundation to the wretched children of men; and the same grace invites the celestial inhabitants to partake of its fulness. "The Spirit and bride say, Come; and let him that heareth, say Come; and let him that is athirst come; and whosover will, let him take the water of life freely."
And now, my soul, reflect on the description which the angel gives of this river. It is a pure river. Purity is essential to the Deity; consequently he cannot delight in any thing but what bears his own sacred image; therefore, those streams of bliss which proceed from him, must be pure. How unfit then art thou to be a partaker of these pure joys! Lament thine impurity, and pray ardently for an increasing resemblance to God.
It is the water of life, or living water: water that gives and supports the divine life. The first taste which thou hadst of this water, under the preaching of the word, gave thee spiritual life: thou wast raised from the death of sin to the newness of life in Christ Jesus: for saving grace here is effectual to salvation: it is a well of water springing up into eternal life. Thus the sacred life is begun below, and will continue for ever. And when thou, my soul, shalt enter Heaven, this divine life will flourish in immortal vigour. For what is all the fulness of glory?what are all the unknown extacies of the disembodied followers of the Lamb, but grace completed! - It is the bud of grace expanded, and in full and everlasting bloom; or, in allusion to the metaphor in these words, it is the slender, silver, stream, expanded into the broad immeasurable ocean, without a bottom or a shore!
It is clear as chrystal. This precious stone is remarkable for its transparency. Thus the joys of Heaven are not merely pure, but clear as chrystal: more pure and refined than mortal minds can conceive; and perhaps this idea may be taught us by the expression, That all the mysteries of God's word, his ordinances and his providences, shall be explained in that brighter, purer world. Those things, which to thee, my soul, are now dark and inexplicable, shall become transparent, -as clear as chrystal. The mind of the saints shall be all intelligence: "They shall see as they are seen; they shall know as they are known."
This river proceedeth out of the throne of God and the Lamb. Behold the dignity of the Son of God: he is seated on the same throne with his omnipotent God and Father. Being of the same essence, he thinks it no, robbery to claim a full equality.
And is it not evident also, that the presence and smiles of Jesus constitu an essential part of the felicity of glorified