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New-cast my plummet, make it apt to try Where the rocks lurk, and where the quicksands lie:
Guard thou the gulph with love; my calms with care,
Cleanse thou my freight; accept my slen der fare:
Refresh the sea-sick passenger; cut short His voyage; safe land him in his wish'dfor port.
Thou, thou whom winds and stormy seas obey,
That through the deep gav'st murmuring Israel way,
Say to my soul, be safe; and then my eye Shall scorn grim Death, although grim Death stand by.
Oh! thou, whose strength reviving arm did cherish
Thy sinking Peter at the point to perish, Reach forth thy hand, or bid me tread the wave; I'll come, I'll come: the voice that calls will save. Rotberithe.
T. J. N.
Written after reading the Accounts
Nor dwell they on their tongue! Little ye rich and prosp'rous think How many fellow-creatures sink, Through poverty and grief! O from your treasure kindly spare = A trifle let the wretched share, To bring them kind relief.
Their pains and woes, their wretched state
In which they kindly go.
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 he 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 shut against his complaints and requests. He ceased not only from attending public service, but likewise from joining in domestic worship, or attempting pri vate devotion. His judgment was equally convinced as ever of the glory of Christ, and his desires for communion 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 relief. After the first dreadful paroxysm of his disorder, although his unhappy persuasion re mained 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 neighbours 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. Seven years elapsed before he sufficiently reA a
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. She suggested, as a subject," The Progress of Error;" and the poem under that title, was the first fruits of his renewed application. "Truth," 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 number of smaller pieces, written upon various occasions. The whole, except a few of the latter, were written during the winter of
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 Woolmoth, 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 acquaint ance, Mr. Bull, of Newport Pagnel, as his substitute in social converse. Mr. Cowper had always shrunk back from intercourse with strangers; and the gloom which still depressed his mind, rendered him, at that time, 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 attachment 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 admitted any company, except during his friendship with the late Lady Austen, which commenced in September 1781. This lady, whose brilliancy of wit and uncommon 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. Her 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