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Were only stewards of their Sovereign Lord;
Wide was his parish, not contracted close
All this the good old man perform'd alone,
His preaching much, but more his practice wrought, (A living sermon of the truths he taught :) For this by rules severe his life he squar'd, That all might see the doctrine which they heard: "For priest," he said, "are patterns for the rest, (The gold of heaven, who bear the God impress'd :) But when the precious coin is kept unclean, The Sovereign's image is no longer seen, If they be foul on whom the people trust, Well may the baser brass contract a rust."
The prelate, for his holy life he priz'd;
The crown he wore was of the pointed thorn;
They who contend for place and high degree,
Such was the saint, who shone with every grace,
FROM THE EPISTLE TO SIR GODFREY KNELLER.
SURE some propitious planet then did smile, When first you were conducted to this isle : Our Genius brought you here, to' enlarge our fame; For your good stars are every where the same. Thy matchless hand, of every region free, Adopts our climate, not our climate thee.
Great Rome and Venice early did impart
If yet thou hast not reach'd their high degree,
But we, who life bestow, ourselves must live :
The senseless idiot seems at last to think.
How strange! that sots and knaves should be so vain,
Else should we see your noble pencil trace
More cannot be by mortal Art exprest;
Born 1672-Died 1719.
ADDISON'S name is early and delightfully connected with all our ideas of whatever is easy, idiomatic, and delicately humorous in the English prose literature. His poetical celebrity rests exclusively on his letter from Italy, one or two devotional hymns, and his tragedy of Cato. The latter production, in Dr. Johnson's language, is rather a poem in dialogue than a drama, rather a succession of just sentiments in elegant language than a representation of natural affections, or of any state probable or possible in human life.
His life was divided between literature and politics, and he is a solitary example of a poet rising so high in the favour of the court as to hold the office of Secretary of State. His death was triumphant in the hopes of the Christian religion, and afforded a most solemn and instructive scene. When he found life drawing to its close he sent for his step-son, the licentious Earl of Warwick, and when the youthful nobleman desired to receive his last injunction, "I have sent for you," he said, "that you may see how a Christian can die."
ODE FROM THE NINETEENTH PSALM.
THE spacious firmament on high,
Soon as the evening shades prevail,
Whilst all the stars that round her burn,
The biographer of Andrew Marvell, has made it appear very probable that this beautiful Ode and the Hymn beginning" The Lord my pasture shall prepare," were written by that pleasant poet and excellent man. They were both inserted in the Spectator, without the name of the author, and have accordingly always passed as Addison's. reader will see that they bear a great resemblance to the Hymn of the Emigrants, quoted from Marvell, on page 73.
What though, in solemn silence, all,
How are thy servants blest, O Lord!
In foreign realms, and lands remote,
Through burning climes I passed unhurt, And breath'd in tainted air.
Thy mercy sweetened every soil,
And smooth'd the Tyrrhene seas.
Think, O my soul, devoutly think,
Confusion dwelt on every face,
Yet then from all my griefs, O Lord,
For though in dreadful whirls we hung
I knew thou wert not slow to hear,
The storm was laid, the winds retired,
The sea, that roared at thy command,
In midst of dangers, fears, and deaths,
And praise thee for thy mercies past,
My life, if thou preserv'st my life,
And death, if death must be my lot,
Born 1674-Died 1718.
WATTS was taught Latin, Greek, and Hebrew at an early age, at the free school at Southampton, his native place. His proficiency was so great, that it was proposed to send him to the University; but he resolved to take his lot with the dissenters. "Such he was," says Dr. Johnson, “as every Christian church would rejoice to have adopted." His education was therefore completed at an academy. He declares that he was a maker of verses from fifteen to forty.
He began to preach in his twenty-fourth year, being chosen assistant to Dr. Chauncey in Southampton, whom he afterwards succeeded. In 1712, he was attacked by a fever of such length and violence, that he never entirely recovered from the weakness to which it reduced him. In this state he found in Sir Thomas Abney a friend, such as is not often to be met with. That gentleman received him into his own house, where he remained an inmate of the family for thirtysix years, and was uniformly treated with the most unalterable friendship, kindness, and attentive respect.
He continued the associate pastor of his congregation through life; for when, from the infirmities of age having become unable to perform the public duties of his office, he offered to remit the salary connected with it, his people affectionately refused to accept his resignation. In this calm and pious retreat, where every thing contributed to sooth his feelings and promote his restoration to health, he composed most of his voluminous and valuable works. And here he died, after a long life of the most devoted piety and extensive usefulness.
"By his natural temper," says Dr. Johnson, "he was quick of resentment; but by his established and habitual practice he was gentle, modest, and inoffensive. His tenderness appeared in his attention to children and to the poor. To the poor, while he lived in the family of his friend, he allowed the third part of his annual revenue, though the whole was not a hundred a year; and for children he condescended to lay aside