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FROM THE "CASTLE OF INDOLENCE."
O mortal man, who livest here by toil,
In lowly dale, fast by a river's side,
Was naught around but images of rest;
Join'd to the prattle of the purling rills,
Thither continual pilgrims crowded still,
"Behold 1 yo pilgrims of this earth, behold!
Who can with her for easy pleasure vie?
"Behold tho merry minstrels of the morn,
"Come, ye who still the cumbrous load of life
"With me you need not rise at early dawn,
"No cocks, with me, to rustic labor call,
"What, what is virtue, but repose of mind,
"The best of men have ever loved repose; They hate to mingle in the filthy fray;
Where die soul sours, and gradual rancor grows,
u Oh, grievous folly! to heap up estate,
ISAAC WATrS. 1674—1748.
Isaac Watts, whose reputation as a prose writer and as a poet is as wide as the world of letters, was born at Southampton on the 17th of July, 1674. At the age of but four years he began to study the Latin language; but »s he was a u dissenter" from the "established" church, he could not look forward to an education in either of the great universities, and therefore, at the ago of sixteen, he was placed under the care of the Rev. Thomas Rowe, who had charge of an academy in London. At the age of twenty he returned to his father's house, and spent two years in studying for the ministry. At the close of this period he accepted the invitation of Sir John Hartopp to reside with him as tutor to his son, and remained with him five years, devoting most of his time to a critical knowledge of the Greek and Hebrew Scriptures, and entering, during the last year, upon the duties of his profession.
In 1698 he was chosen as an assistant to Dr. Chauncey, pastor of an Independent church in Southampton, and on his death, 1702, was elected to succeed him. Soon afier entering upon his office he was attacked by a dangerous illness, from which he but very slowly recovered. In 1712 he was again seized with a fever so violent and of so long continuance, that it left him in a feeble state for the rest of his life. In this state he found in Sir Thomas Abney a fricnil such as is not often to be met with. This gentleman received him into his own house, where he remained an inmate of die family for thirty»ii years, that is, to the end of his life, where he was treated the whole time with all the kindness that friendship could prompt, and all the attention that respect could dictate.1 Here he devoted all the time that his health would allow to the composition of his various works, and to his official lunctions, and when increasing weakness compelled him to relinquish both, his congro
1 w A coalition like this—a state in which the notions of patronage and dependence were overpowered by the percepuon of reciprocal benefits, deserve* a particular memorial."— Dr. JoA*TM*. Accordingly Use great biographer has given In hta life of Watts a long extract from Dr. Gibbons'* touching acconot of Watu's residence in this family, and then adds: "If this quotation has appeared long, let It be 0in*ldered that It comprises an account of slx-nnd-Uilrty years and those the years of Dr. Walls."
gation would not accept Vis resignation, but, while tliey elected another pastor, continued to him the salary he had been accustomed to receive. On the 25th of November, 1748, without a pain or a struggle, this great and good man breathed his last.1
In his literary character, Dr. Watts may be considered as a poet, a philosopher, and a theologian. As a poet, if he takes not the very first rank in the imaginative, the creative, or the sublime, he has attained what the greatest might well envy,—a universality of fame. He is emphatically the classic poet of the religious world, wherever the English language is known. His version of the Psalms, his three books of Hymns, and his "Divine Songs for Children," have been more read and committed to memory, have exerted more holy influences, and made more lasting impressions for good upon the human heart, and have called forth more fervent aspirations for the joys and the happiness of heaven, than the productions of any other poet—perhaps it would not be too strong to say than All Other poets, (die sacred bards of course excepted,) living or dead.
As a philosopher, he has the rare merit of always being practically useful, especially in the education of youth. His « Logic, or Right use of Reason," was for a long time a text-book in the English Universities; and of his «Improvement of the Mind," no happier eulogium can be given than that by Dr. Johnson:' "Few books," says the sage, "have been perused by me with greater pleasure than this; and whoever has the care of instructing others may be charged with deficiency if this book is not recommended."
As a theologian, the compositions of Watts are very numerous, and " every page," says Dr. Drake, « displays his unaffected piety, the purity of his principles, the mildness of his disposition, and the great goodness of his heart The style of all his works is perspicuous, correct, and frequently elegant; and happily for mankind, his labors have been translated and dispersed with s zeal that, does honor to human nature; for there are probably few persons who have studied the writings of Dr. Watts without a wish for improvement; without an effort to become wiser or better members of society."
A SUMMER EVENING.
How fine has the day been, how bright was the sun,
And there follow'd some droppings of rain!
And foretells a bright rising again.
1 When he was almost worn oat by his infirmities, he observed, In a conversation with a friend, that "he remembered an aired minister used to say that the most learned and knowing: Christian*, when they come to die, have only the same plain promises of the Gospel for their support as the tomnion and unlearned.'* "So," aald Watts, "I find 1L It is the plain promises of the Gospel that are my support; and I bless God Uicy are plain promises, and do not require much labor and palmto tinders?and them, for I can do nothing now hut look Into my Bible for some promise to support sr, and live upon that."
* "He ts one of the few poets," says Dr. Johnson, "with whom youth and Ignorance may bsafely pleased; and happy will be that reader whose mind is dinpoBed, by his verses or his prose, W co-^y his benevolence to man and his reverence to God." Read—his Life in Drake's Easays— yohneon's Life—Memoir, by Southey— Memoirs, by Thomas Gibson.
Just sucli is the Christian; his course ho begins,
Ami travels his heavenly way:
Of rising in brighter array.
How fair is the rose! what a beautiful flower,
The glory of April and May!
And they wither and die in a day.
Yet the rose has one powerful virtue to boast,
Above all the flowers of the field; When its leaves are all dead, and its fine colors lost,
Still how sweet a perfume it will yield!
So frail is the youth and the beauty of men,
But all our fond cares to preserve them is vain,
Then I'll not be proud of my youth nor my beauty,
Since both of them wither and fade;
This will scent like a rose when I'm dead.
FEW IIAPrY MATCHES.
Say, mighty Love, and teach my song
And who the happy pairs
To soften all their cares.
Not the wild herd of nymphs and swains
As custom leads the way:
And be as blest as they.
Not sordid souls of earthy mould,
To dull embraces move:
And make a world of love.
Not the mad tribe that hell inspires