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left it with as little reluctance as a prisoner, when called lo liberty, leaves nis dungeon. Not that he became a Cynick or an Ascetick-A heart filled with love to God will assuredly breathe benevolence
But the turn of his temper inclining him to rural life, he induiged it, and the Providence of God evidently prepar. ing his way and marking out his retreat, he retired into the country. By these steps the good hand of God, unknown to me, was providing for me one of the principal blessings of my life ; a friend and a counsellor, in whose company for almost seven years, though we were seldom seven successive waking hours separated, I always found new pleasure. A friend who was not only a comfort to myself, but a blessing to the affectionate poor people, among whom I then lived.
Some time after inclination had thus removed him from the hurry and bustle of life, he was still more se. cluded by a long indisposition, and my pleasure was succeeded by a proportionable degree of anxiety and
But a hope that the God whom he served would support him under his affliction, and at length vouchsafe him a happy deliverance, never forsook me The desirable crisis, I trust, is now nearly approaching. The dawn, the presage of returning day, is already ar. rived. He is again enabled to resume his pen, and some of the first fruits of his recovery are here presented to the publick. In his principal subjects, the 'same acumen, which distinguished him in the early period of life, is happily employed in illustrating and enforcing the truths of which he received such deep and unalterable impressions in his maturer years. His satire, if it may be called so, is benevolent, (like the opos rations of the skilful and humane surgeon, who wounds
only to heal.) dietated by a just regard for the honour of God, and indignant grief excited by tlo profligacy of the age, and a tender compassion for the souls of
His favourite topicks are least insisted on in tho piece entitled Table Talk ; which, therefore, with regard to the prevailing taste, and that those who are governed by it inay not be discouraged at the very threshold from proceeding further, is placed first. In most of the large Poems which follow, his leading design is more explicitly avowed and pursued. He aims to communicate his own perceptions of the truth, beauty, and influence of the religion of the BibleA religion which however discredited by the misconduct of many who have not renounced the Christian name, proves itself, when rightly understood, and cordially embraced, to be the grand desiderațum, which alone can relieve the mind of man from painful and unavoidable anxietics, inspire it with stable peace and solid hope, and furnish those motives and prospects, which, in the present state of things, are absolutely necessary to produce a conduct worthy of a rational creature, distinguished by a vastness of capacity which no assemblage of earthly good can satisfy, and by a principle and pre-intimation of immortality.
At a time when hypothesis and conjecture in philo. sophy are so justly exploded, and little is considered as deserving the name of knowledge which will not stand the test of experiment, the very use of the term experimental, in religious concernments, is by too many unhappily rejected with disgust. But we weil know, that they who affect to despise the inward feel. ings which religious persons speak of, and to treat
them as enthusiasm and folly, have inward feelings of their own, which, though they would, they cannot sup press. We have been too long in the secret vurscles, to account the proud, the ambitious, or the voluptuous, happy. We must lose the remembrance of what we once were,
before we can believe that a man is satisfied with himself, merely because he endeavours to appear so. A smile upon the face is often but a mask worn occasionally and in company, to prevent, if possi Ble, a suspicion of what at the same time is passing in the heart. We know that there are people who seldom smile when they are alone ; who, therefore, are glad to hide themselves in a throng from the violence of their own reflections; and who, while' by their looks and language they wish to persuade us they are happy, would be glad to change their conditions with a dog. But in defiance of all their efforts, they continue to think, forebode, and tremble. This we know, for it has been our own state, and therefore we know how to commiserate it in others. From this state the Bible relieved us. When we were led to read it with attention, we found ourselves described. We learned the causes of our inquietude-We were directed to a method of relief-we tried, and we were not disappointed.
DEUS NOBIS HÆC OTIA FECIT.
We are now certain, that the gospel of Christ is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth It has reconciled us to God, and to ourselves ; to our. duty, and our situation. It is the balm and cordial of the present life, and a sovereign antidote against the fears of death.
Sed hactenus hæc. Some smaller pieces upon less
important subjects close the volume. Not one of them I believe was written with a view to publication, but I was unwilling they should be omitted.
JOHN NEWTON. CHARLES SQUARE, Hoxton,
February 18, 1782.
Si te fortè meæ gravis uret sarcina charta;
Abjicito.........Hor. lib. i. Epist. 13. A. You told I remember, glory, built On selfish principles, is shame and guilt; The deeds that men admire as half divine, Stark naught, because corrupt in their design. Strange doctrine this! that without scruple tears 5 The laurel that the very lightning spares ; Brings down the warrior's trophy to the dust, And eats into his bloody sword like rust.
B. I grant, that men continuing what they are, Fierce, avaricious, proud, there must be war ;
10 And never meant the rule should be applied To him that fights with justice on his side.
Le: laurels, drench'd in pure Parnassian dews,
15 In honour's field advancing his firm foot, Plants it upon the line that Justice draws, And will prevail, or perish in her cause. "Tis to the virtucs of such men, man owes His portion in the good that Heav'n bestows.
that is not mov'd with what he reads,