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subjects are improper for the bard: but One mightier than they has promulgated much of His revelation in poetry, and has declared religion to be the only object worthy of man's serious consideration."
“Let the poet draw nature; but let him do it with an eye to nature's God. Let him represent creation as it actually is, a handmaid to revelation. Whenever he gives a portraiture of any landscape, he will show its beauties beaming glory to the DEITY; lifting the thought to him who made. He will find from the stream, from the grove ; from the rock, from the mount; from the forest, from the field, a voice constantly issuing, directing man to adore the author of all bounty.”
“ How awful is the responsibility of the true poet! In his hands are the keys of the passions; and he may unlock their powers, and give a tendency to their operations, cen. turies after his body has tenanted the sepulchre. Besides, he is accountable for use, as well as abuse; and neglect of doing as much good as he might, is punishable, as well as being efficient in the service of evil.”
Poetry is a most important gift. Its influence is almost unbounded. How many hearts are roused by its fire ; melted by its pathos; delighted by its imagery !" "Compare the influence of Shakspeare and Newton, and, as more are guided by passion than by reason, we cannot hesi. tate in deciding whose is most mighty in power, or sure in effect. Newton has illumined the empire of science, but Shakspeare has usurped the empire of the heart. The influence of Newton has to find its way to the heart, through the cold region of the understanding, while that of Shakspeare
" When pours its whole power directly upon the feelings." we reflect on the total departure of Shakspeare from evan. gelical principle, how painful is it to think of the tremen. dous mass of evil caused by his writings !"
“ Shall poetry be for ever degraded to the vilest subjects ?” Songs of true joy are heard in Heaven : Why will not the poet attempt to imitate them? Crowned with an exuberance of infinite lustre, Redemption awaits his gaze ; why will he persist in neglecting it ?"
“The end of poetry is said to be, to please : What so pleasing to mortality, as the news of resurrection? What to pain, as the view of Heaven ? What to ennui, as celestial employ? What to grief, as the balm of Gilead ?"
“ Where is such a boundless excellence open to poesy as in the Gospel ? Surely no where. In that, every source of pleasure is refined and blessed."
“It is grateful to reflect, that, amid the general licentiousness of poetry, we may discover such chrystal purity as beams from the writings of Young, Cowper, and Watts. Watts, especially, was deeply imbued with the evangelical temper : his numbers breathe the sweetness of the skies. I had rather have the death-bed thoughts of Watts, than all the fame of all the heroes that ever descended from Adam. How many millions of infant minds have been imbued with the pure spirit of Heaven, through the medium of his verses ? How many, that, in mature age, have found them still in their recollection, a guide and a comfort! How many that have breathed their spirit into eternity with a portion of them in their voice !"
“Let my writings, like those of Watts, be but grateful to the humble Christian in his retired cottage, and I shall esteem it nobler praise than if they were hung in letters of gold in every senate-house in the universe.”
With a reference to usefulness, I have given a large extract from this preface. The work thus commences
“Sweet Poesy ! fair child of pure delight!
By Seraphim and Cherubim belov'd;
66 And when Jehovah-Jesus came to save
Celestial flowers give place to earthly weeds.” His grateful soul thus breaks forth in a song of praise to the blessed Redeemer
“ Jesus, delightful theme! demands the song
Which angel-millions celebrate with lyres,
In the following lines, he refers to the circumstances of the death of our uncle Mann, who, as before mentioned, (see page 28) was drowned in crossing the Hudson River.
“Oh, that thy billows, so serenely clear,
He would continually lead us to look through nature up to nature's God.
“ View'd in itself, a blade of grass is small :
The noon-day splendour of the Gospel also excites his
* And see! the morn of the millennial day
radiant in its golden stream ;
“ When the glad morn of the millennial day,
“When David held the soul-consoling lyre