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Review.Cowper's Poems.

105 Who can be unaffected in reading further from the truth. On the contrary, the following anecdote?

all those alleviations of sorrow, those de" —as a faithful şervant of his dying those healing consolations to a wounded

lightful anticipations of heavenly rest, friend (Mrs. Unwin) and himself was opening the window of his chamber on the spirit, of which he was permitted to taste morning of the day of her decease, he said at the periods when uninterrupted reason to her, in a tone of voice at once plaintive, be ascribed to the operation of those very

resumed its sway, were unequivocally to and full of anxiety as to what might be the principles and views of religion, which, situation of his aged coinpanion, Sally, is in the instance before us, have been there life above stairs ?" Ixv.

charged with producing so opposite an efof the last moments of Cowperfect. The primary aberrations of bin his kinsinan has left a record, from mental faculties were wholly to be attriwhich we make a single extract: lxxvii. buted to other causes. But the time was « In the course of the night [of Thurs- tion of a gracious Providence, he was to

at band, when, by the happy interposiday, April 24th, 1800], when he appear. be the favoured subject of a double emaned to be exceedingly exhausted, some re- cipation. The captivity of his reason was freshment was presented to him by Miss about to terminate ; and a bondage, though Browne. From a persuasion, however, hitherto unmentioned, yet of a much longthat nothing could ameliorate his feelings, er standing, was on the point of being though without any apparent impression exchanged for the most delightful of all that the hand of death was already upon freedom.” him, he rejected the cordial with these words, the very last that he was heard to

The event to which the biographer utter, What can it signify?"

of Cowper alludes, touk place on “At five in the morning, of Friday the July 25th, 1764: xix. 25th, a deadly change in his features was

"-Before he left the room in which observed to take place. He remained in he bad breakfasted, be observed a Bible an insensible state from that time till about lying in the window-seat. He took it up. five minntes before five in the afternoon, Éxcept in a single instance, and that two when he ceased to breathe.”

months before, he had not ventured to The assiduity, the wisdom, the af- open one, since the early days of bis abode fection and the tenderness with which ai St. Alban's. But the time was now Dr. Johnson soothed the dejected come when he might do it to purpose. spirits of his relative, do much bonour The profitable perusal of that divine book to his principles and feelings, and had been provided for in the most effectual claim the gratitude of the numerous manner, by the restoration at once of the

powers of his understanding, and the suadmirers of Cowper, as a poet and a man. Though he is solely desirous' Under these favourable circumstances, họ

peradded gift of a spiritual discernment. of directing our regard to his kinsman, opened the sacred volume at that passage yet we cannot be insensible to the of the epistle to the Romans where the illustration of his own excellencies apostle says, that Jesus Christ is set forth presented in this sketch. His theo- to be a propitiation through faith in his logical creed appears to be that of his blood, to declare his righteousness for the relation. This creed, however, is not remişsion of sins that are past, through the obtruded on the reader: nor is it de- forbearance of God.' To use the expres. fended with bitterness and rancour; ten document, from which this portion of

sion employed by Cowper himself in a writ. and we can respect the motives which his history is extracted, he received dictated the following paragraphs and strength to believe it ;t to see the suitthe spirit which breathes in them, ableness of the atonement to his own nethough we may not fully assent to the cessity, and to embrace the gospel with reasoning they contain: xvii. gratitude and joy.” XX.

« À most erroneous and unhappy idea We doubt pot that “ the primary has occupied the minds of some persons, aberrations of" this poet's “ mental that those views of Christianity which faculties were wholly to be attributed Cowper adopted, and of which, when en- to other causes" than any theological joying the intervals of reason, he was so sentiments whatever. But the return bright an ornament,* had actnally contributed to excite the malady with which and the continuance of his disorder he was aflicted. It is capable of the seem to have been owing, in some clearest demonstration that nothing was

+ It appears that Cowper was prepared • There is an incongruity between the for the impression by previous trains of words views and ornament. Rev. thought and feeling. Rxy.

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Review.Wilson's Dissenting Churches.

degree at least, to the peculiarities of present time. With an Appendix his religious creed. What is the tes on the Origin, Progress and Pretimony of his last original composi sent State of Christiauity in Britain. tion in this volume-The Cast-Away? 8vo. 4 vols. Portraits. Button and 329. We leave the decision with our Son. 1808-1814. readers; only remarking, in the lan SOME of our periodical critick åffect guage of Dr. Johnson, that Cowper's malady, “ while for many subsequent term “ Antiquities" to Meeting-bousyears (after 1770] it admitted of his es. Dr. Miluer would be equally exhibiting the most masterly and de. amused with its being bestowed on lightful display of poetical, epistolary, any thing belonging to the Protestant and conversational ability, on the Church of Eogland. Some meetinggreatest variety of subjects, it con- houses are ancirut compared with strained him from that period, both others that are modern. Protestant in his conversation and letters, stu- Episcopal Churches are of a little diously to abstain from every allusion greyer age ; but for antiquity in its of a religious nature.” xxvii.

most venerable sepse we must go to Our own acquaintance with Cow. periods before the Reformation, and per's poetry, was occasioned by the even before Christianity if not before publication of his Task : our admira. Judaism itself. Westminster Abbey tion of it has been cherished and in- is of yesterday compared with the alcreased by a repeated perusal of his tars of Stonehenge and the pyramids volumes. That as a writer he has of Egypt. some defects, it were useless to dis. In point of age as well as of archipute : these however are of little ac. tecture, meeting-houses are indeed count, when weighed against his ex mean subjects of history; and in this cellencies. It is seldom, after all, that view, no one will condescend to regard we meet with so much taste and ge- them : but there is a light in which nius united with a spirit so devotion- they are exceedingly interesting, and ‘al, benevolent and pure. On this invite and will reward the historian : ground we recommend Cowper's pa- they have been places of voluntary ges to our younger readers in parti. assembly to such Christians as have cular, and entreat them, in estimating followed the guidings of conscience, his merits, to make just allowances disdained and scorned the slavery of for the occasional influence of a me. the mind, and asserted religious lilancholy imagination and of what we berty, in the midst of perils and by humbly think an unscriptural theo: the severest sacrifices. In such places Jogy. The improvement of the men have been found men of eminent bibtal powers as well as of the heart, can lical learning, of powerful eloquence scarcely fail to be the consequence of and of unsullied lives; the best advo. familiarity with a writer who is at cates of divine revelation, the most once simple and correct, lively and successful expositors of evangelical energetic, moral and pious. In the truth, the truest benefactors of their present age we have no abundance of species ; reformers, confessors, marmodels of good composition, either in tyrs and saints. Their history is the poctry or prose. Gaudiness is often history of the Bible, of sound faith substituted for ornament : and in ma- and real virtue, and is in our judg.

instances metaphors are pronounc- ment more abundant in all that awaed fine merely on account of their he. kens, purifies and exalts the mind ing extravagant, unnatural and con than the history of churches spread fused. Propter hoc ipsum, quod sunt over empires and ages in which imprava, laudantur.

plicit faith on the one part and eccle

siastical tyranny on the other have Art. II.-The History and Antiqui, norance, and cramped and fettered

bound down the human mind in ig. ties of Dissenting Churches and the heart, and thus prevented the Meeting-Houses, in London, West. bighest exercises of the understanding minster and Southwark ; including and the most kindly operation of the the Lives of their Ministers from affections. The human mind awake the Rise of Nonconformity to the and active, in the humblest condition

of our nature, is a far nobler sight Quinct, Ixetit.-L. ii. Seet. 5. than it can present when laid asleep

ny

Review,—Wilson's Dissenting Churches,

107 even in the soft and stately repose of Jibility will teach us a lesson of canpalaces,

dour to others." We shall have ocWith this unfashionable associa: casion, hereafter, to point out intion of ideas with meeting-houses, stances in which Mr. Wilson appears where the mind fashions the church to us to have lost sight of these Chrisand not the church the mind, we tian sentiments; but it is only justice have been from the first not a little to him to observe, that there is a growanxious for the success of Mr. Wil- ing liberality in the work as it adson's design. No history of “ Dis- vances, which we take as a pledge seuting Churches” was ever before that should the public patronage ever drawn up, and it is evident that in a iuduce the author to revise his vovery little time all traces of some of lumes, he would correct some pasthem would have been worn out! All sages which in their present form ofthat could be collected by diligence fend such readers as consider History is here recorded with regard to the degraded when, instead of being the churches in the cities of London and handmaid of truth, it is made the serWestminster and the Borough of vant of a party. Southwark. The author's desigo ex At the same time we are willing to tended farther; he had planned and make allowances for prepossessions prepared materials for a history of which spring from a sense of religion all the Dissenting places of worship and a zeal for its promotion; and we in the Metropolis and the circumja- applaud that strong attachment to the cent villages, which would have filled commos principles of dissent which another volume ; but a scanty sub- our historian every where manifests. scription-list, of scarcely three hun- Without such an attachment, he could dred persons, afforded not encourage- not have been expected to qualify ment enough for the undertaking. himself for his labourious task or to This fact is by no means creditable to accomplish it with credit. His own the Dissenters. It is not perhaps too ardour, however, leads him to form late to repair the neglect, and we an unfavourable, and we hope an untake up these volumes with some faint just estimate of the temper of his felhope of exciting such attention to the low-dissenters. The compliment which work as may dispose the author to in the following passage is paid to one pursue and complete his design. denomination to the prejudice of the

Mr. Wilson, we understand, is now others is a hasty and censorious repursuing a learned profession, but flection :was engaged at the period of the com

“ A spirit of inquiry as to the distin. mencement of his work in a consi- guishing features of nonconformity, bas, derable book-trade in London, which with the exception of the Baptists, wholly we mention only to shew that he had fed from the different sects. The Presa opportunities rarely enjoyed by au- byterians have either deserted to the world thors of collecting materials for his or sunk under the influence of a lukewariu history, which lay scattered in num- ministry; and the Independents have gone berless single sermons and painphlets. over in a body to the Methodists. IndifThese authorities are carefully ac

ference and enthusiasm have thinned the knowledged, and of themselves form main behind are lost in the crowd of mo.

ranks of the old stock, and those who reun index to the literary history of the dern religionists.” Pref. pr. xi, xii. Disseuters.

The first qualification of the histo We have no wish to disparage the rian of Dissenting Churches is a spi- Baptists as Dissenters, but we fear rit of religious impartiality. Of the that there are striking examples avalue of this, our author is fully aware, mongst them of an attempt to gain and remarks very justly (Pref. p. v.), popularity by sinking the principles that “ to arrive at trutli

, we must di- of 'nonconformity. They have not vest ourselves of sectarian prejudices, certainly been accustomed to take weigh well the opinions of others and the lead in the assertion and defence be diffident of our own judgmeist," of religious liberty; nor do the Presand that “true wisdom is always al- byterians and Independents of the lied to modesty, and whilst it be- present day yield to any generation comes us to be decided in our own of their fathers in zeal on behalf of opinions, a recollection of human fal- the rights of conscience. And may

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Review.Wilson's Dissenting Churches. it not be said that the Dissenters and of Norwich, a Mr. Fowler, John Methodists have met each other half Rough,* a Scotchman, Augustine way, and that if Dissenters have Bernher, a foreigner, and Dr. Benseemed to become Methodists, the tham, of whom we have (pp. 6, 7.) Methodists have really become Dis- the following interesting account: senters ?

Tuomas BBNTHAM, D.D., born at Mr. Wilson's plan is to trace the Sherbourne, in Yorkshire, and educated history of every particular place of at Magdalen College, Oxford. Upon worship, according to its situation, in Queen Mary's accession, he was deprived the Metropolis, and then to give of his Fellowship; when he retired to Zusketches of the lives of the ministers rich, and then to Bazil, where be becamo who have successively officiated in preacher to the English exiles. Afterits pulpit, allotting of course the wards, being recalled by bis Protestant largest space to such as were distin- brethren, he was made superintendant of guished by their activity or are still tuation he continued till the death of the

their congregation in London. In this si. known by their writings. Where the Queen, encouraging and confirming his same minister has been placed at dif- people in their faith by his pious disciferent times over several congrega- pline, constant preaching, and resolute tions, reference is made from page to behaviour in the Protestant causé. Under page, in the manner of a dictionary. his care and directiou, they oftea met by This method is attended with incois- hundreds for divine worship, withont disveniences, but they were unavoida. covery, notwithstanding they were under ble.

the nose of the vigilant and cruel Bonner.fi A work like this can be viewed Upon the accession of Elizabeth, he was only in detail; and as we deem it nominated to the bishoprick of Litchfield worthy of particular notice we shall moderation til his death, Feb. 21, 1578, 9:I

and Coventry, which he filled with great go through it carefully, extracting Dr. Bentham was held in great repute for passages which are peonliarly inte- learning and piety. It was with considerresting, and making such remarks as able reluctance that he complied with the appear to us to be subservient to the Queen's injunctions for suppressing the cause of truth and liberty. Our re- prophecyings. His letter to his archview will extend through several num deacon upon this subject, bears strong bers, but we do not fear that we shall marks of a pious mind; but at the same try the patience of our readers, since time shews the extent to which the Queen every article will be complete in its carried her prerogative, and the blind self, or rather, every extract and obedience she exacted from her subjects. every remark will be intelligible with instituted by the clergy, for explaining

The Prophecyings were religious meetings out further reference, and indepen- the scriptures and promoting knowledge dent of what may go before and come and piety. One very important benefit after.

arising from them was, that they occasion The first section of the History is ed a familiar intercourse between the cleron the “ Rise of the first Nonconform- gy and their people, and excited a laudaing. Churches :" it begins with an ble emulation in watching over their reaccount of the Protestant congrega- spective flocks. The Queen complained tion in London in the reign of Queen of them to the Archbishop,9 as nurseries Mary, of persecuting memory. This of Puritanism ; she said that the laity neg. church consisted of about two hun. these meetings, which filled their heads

lected their secular affairs by repairing to dred members. Their meetings were with notions and might occasion disputes held alternately near Aldgate and and seditions in the state. She moreover Blackfriars, in Thames Street, and in told him that it was good for the church ships upon the river. Sometimes they assembled in the villages about London, and especially at Islington, that

* Mr. Wilson's account of this reformer they might the more easily elude the closes with an ill-timed pun.

“ At length, bishop's officers and spies. For the after much rough usage, he ended his life same reason they often met in the joyfully in the fames, Dec. 1577.The night. A credulous martyrologist,

joke was probably borrowed. Clark, has recorded some of their

+ Heylin's Hist. of the Reform. pp.

79, 80." providential deliverances. Their mi “ Wood's Athen. Oxon. i. 192, 704." nisters appear to have been, Dr. Ed " See Neal's Puritans, i. 230." mund Scambler, afterwards Bishop “ Dr. Edmund Grindall;"

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Review.-Marshall's Letter. -A Father's Reflections.

169 to have but few preachers, three or four Mr. Devenish, two others of the church in a county being suficient; and peremp- taken at Islington, he ended his life in the torily commanded him to suppress them. flames. I The archbishop, however, thought that she had made some infringement upon his ART. JU.-A Letter to Trinitarian office, and wrote her a long and earnest Christians. By W. Marshall, Miletter, declaring that his conscience would

nister of the Unitarian Chapel, St. not suffer him to comply with her injunc

Alban's, Herts. Pp. 20. 12mo. tions. This so inflamed the Queen, that

Price 6d. Richardson, 91, Royal she sequestered the Archbishop from his

Exchange. office, and he never afterwards recovered her favour."*

THIS Letter contains a forcible Honourable mention is bere made intended to excite them to a careful

appeal to Trinitarian Christians, of Mr. Cuthbert Simpson, who was a

examination of the doctrines they deacon of this first Protestant church; a pious, faithful and zealous man, la- take in Christian charity my inviting

profess. The writer asks, “Will you bouring incessantly to preserve the Aock from the errors of Popery, and you to a serious examination of your

faith? Will you permit me to remind to secure them from the dangers of persecution. He was apprehended you, your Trinitarian doctrine and

Calvinistic creed, are not true bewith Mr. Rough and several others,

cause you have never questioned their at a house in Islington, where the

truth; are not true because you have church were about to assemble, as

been educated in the belief of them, was their custom, for prayer and preaching the word; and being tac faith : as far only as you sincerely be

nor because they form the popular ken before the council was sent to the lieve they were taught by Jesus Tower. It was the office of Mr. Christ and his apostles, can you have Simpson to keep a book containing the names of the persons belonging How will Trinitariaus answer the fol

an honest conviction of their truth," to the congregation, which book he lowing questions? Yet it seems inalways carried to their private assem.

cumbent on them to do it. blies; but it happened through the Trinitarians, sincerely believe that good providence of God, that on the God Almighty was in the form of a day of his apprehension, he left it with Mrs. Rough, the minister's

wife.t of the World was an embryo in the

man upon earth? That the Creator During his confinement in the Tower, womb? That God was born? That

6 the Recorder of London examined him God was an infant at the breast; strictly as to the persons who attended the that God passed through the stages English service ; and because he would of youth to manhood ;-that God discover neither the-book, nor the names,

worked as he was cruelly racked three several times,

a curpenter;—that God but without effect. The Lieutenant of the lived as a man, and at last died as a Tower also caused an arrow to be tied be- man, through excess of bodily pain tween his two fore-fingers, and drew it and torture ?” P. 4. ont so violently as to cause the blood to gush forth.

These marble-hearted men not being able to move the constancy of Art. IV-A Father's Reflections on

the Death of his Child. Pp. 32. Law our Confessor, consigned him over to Bonner, who bore this testimony concerning

and Whitaker, Ave-Maria Lane. him before a number of spectators : “ You

THESE Reflections shew the pracsee what a personable man ihis is ; and for

tical influence of the views Unibis patience, if he were not an heretic, I tarian Christians entertain of God and should much commend him; for he has his government, in times of affliction. been thrice racked in one day, and in my. A father deeply affected by the death house he hath endured some sorrow, and of a beloved child in its infancy, pre. yet I never saw his patience quce moved ! sents the reader with his meditations But notwithstanding this, Bonner con on the mournful occasion, which are stocks in his coal-house, and from thence truly edifying. He says, p. 10, “This to Smithfield, where with Mr. Fox and sad disappointment of my fondest

wishes I am bound to consider as the « Neal, ubi supra, p. 239—40.” voice of Almighty God, inviting me † This is ascribed by Clark to a to wean my affections from the world; markable dream,” but was nothing but an act of eommon prudence.

I“ Clark's Martyrology, p. 497." VOL. XI.

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