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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 for ourselves being broken under us, we find ourselves obliged to have recourse to the rock, which can never be shaken-when this is our lot, we receive great and undeserved mercy. T he pisi(401979 US OLI
Our society will not break up, but we shall settle in some other place, where, is at present uncertainta,
lo dib xotintas bres M o drod old Yours,qqa 909 gruang bed remod w galergaitza ratni W. C.
M o ltorio ondrag ut batasuper d al out of gorivomisi di modo taizas ot botsilo
These tender and confidential Letters describe, in the clearest light, the singularly peaceful and devout life of this amiable writer, during his residence at Huntingdon, and the melancholy accident which occasioned his removal to a distant county. Time and chance now introduced to the notice of Cowper, the zealous and venerable friend, who became his intimate associate for many years, after having advised and assisted him in the important concern of fixing his future residence. Mr. Newton, then curate of
Olney, in Buckinghamshire, had been requested by the late Dr. Conyers (who in taking his degree in divinity at Cambridge, had formed a friendship with young Mr. Unwin, and learned from him the religious character of his Mother) to seize an opportunity, as he was passing through Huntingdon, of making a visit to an exemplary lady. This visit, (so important in its consequences to the destiny of Cowper!) happened to take place within a few days after the calamitous death of Mr. Unwin. As a change of scene appeared desirable, both to Mrs. Unwin, and to the interesting recluse, whom she had generously requested to continue under her care, Mr. Newton offered to assist them in removing to the pleasant and picturesque county in which he resided. They were willing to enter into the flock of a benevolent and animated pastor, whose ideas were so much in harmony with their own. He engaged for them a house at Olney, where they arrived on the fourteenth of October, 1767,
The time of Cowper, in his new situation, seems to have been chiefly devoted to religious contemplation, to social prayer, and to active charity. To this first of Christian virtues, his heart wes eminently inclined, and Providence very graciously en
abled him to exercise and enjoy it to an extent far superior to what his own scanty fortune appeared to allow. He was very far from inheriting opulence on the death of his Father in 1756, and the singular cast of his own mind was such, that nature seemed to have rendered it impossible for him, either to covet or to acquire riches. His perfect exemption from worldly passions is forcibly displayed in the two following Letters.
TO JOSEPH HILL, Esqr
Olney, June 16, 1768.
I thank you for so full an answer to so empty an epistle. If Olney furnished any thing for your amusement, you should have it in return, but occurrences here are as scarce as cucumbers at Christmas.
I visited St. Alban's about a fortnight since in person, and I visit it every day in thought. The recollection of what passed there, and the consequences that followed it, fill my mind continually, and make the circumstances of a poor transient half spent life,
so insipid and unaffecting, that I have no heart to think or write much about them. Whether the nation is worshiping Mr. Wilkes, or any other idol, is of little moment to one who hopes, and believes, that he shall shortly stand in the presence of the great and blessed God. I thank him, that he has given me such a deep, impressed, persuasion of this awful truth, as a thousand worlds would not purchase from me. It gives me a relish to every blessing, and makes every trouble light. Affectionately yours,
TO JOSEPH HILL, Esqr.
1769. DEAR JOE,
Sir Thomas crosses the Alps, and Sir Cowper, for that is his title at Olney, prefers his home to any other spot of earth in the world. Horace, observing this difference of temper, in different persons, cried out a good many years ago, in the true spirit of poetry, “ How much one man differs from another !" This does not seem a very sublime exclamation in English, but I remember we were taught to admire it in the original...
My dear friend, I am obliged to you for your invitation : but being long accustomed to retirement, which I was always fond of, I am now more than ever unwilling to revisit those noisy and crowded scenes, which I never loved, and which I now abhor. I remember you with all the friendship, I ever professed, which is as much as I ever entertained for any man. But the strange and uncommon incidents of my life, have given an entire new turn to my whole character and conduct, and rendered me incapable of receiving pleasure from the same employments and amusements, of which I could readily partake in former days.
I love you, and yours, I thank you for your continued remembrance of me, and shall not cease · to be their and your