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ADVERTISEMENT.

The editor of this volume has done very little more than rearrange and combine the materials furnished in “ Gems of the British Sacred Poets,” published recently by a member of the University of Oxford, and in critical and very interesting “ Lives of the English Sacred Poets," by Robert Aris Willmott, of Trinity College, Cambridge, which appeared under the direction of a committee of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge. He has, however, added some thirty authors not quoted in either of those works, among whom are Shirley, Baxter, Toplady, Wesley, Williams, Moultrie, and Mrs. Steele ; and of our own country, President Dwight, John Quincy Adams, Bishop Doane, Mr. Hillhouse, Wilcox, Croswell, Norton, Whittier, and Coxe; and he has carefully revised the selections from earlier and later English authors, making such changes as he thought would enhance the value of the work.

The religious poetry of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries is eminently worthy of study, and it is little known." Its characteristic qualities," observes Mr. Willmott, “ were fervor of sentiment, and melody of language; the fervor often degenerating into fantastic enthusiasm, the melody often running into grotesque extravagance of rhythm and expression. That intellectual eyesight to which criticism has given the name of Taste, seldom attains to its perfect vision either in the youth or the manhood of literature. Honner undergoes the polishing refinement of Virgil, and Pindar catches a sweeter note from his Latin imitator, and the orator of the Bench is supplied in the Forum, before they assume the form of grace and shine with the subdued lustre, and speak with the harmonious accents of intellectual beauty. The file, however, when it ceases to polish begins to weaken, and modern poetry has declined in strength, while it has increased in flexibility. But the calm diffusion of light is more agreeable than the uncertain blazes of a livelier invention, and we can read a Grahame with satisfaction which the sublimer genius of Quarles will not always afford, and recollect the humble rhymes of Watts, when the more passionate songs of Herbert sound harshly upon the ear.”

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Mr. Willmott and the author of the “Gems from the Sacred Poets," (who is said to be Mr. Isaac Williams, the competitor of Mr. Keble for the professorship of Poetry at Oxford,) have performed an acceptable service to the readers of religious literature, by drawing from undeserved obscurity so many authors who had been forgotten, or were remembered only by the antiquary. “The ridicule of Dryden,” says Mr. Willmott,“ transmitted the name of Shirley to the contempt of posterity, and we have seen Pope and Butler embalming Quarles and Wither for perpetual disgrace. But as the dramatist has risen from the scorn of Dryden, so Quarles and his companions have shaken off the missiles of their satirists."

There is no poetry so rare as the poetry of devotion. It would be as difficult, however, for a true poet as for a true philosopher not to be imbued with the spirit of piety, and we find that sacred songs are among the finest productions of nearly all the great poets, whether they were technically religious or not.

The romance obtains a quicker popularity than the history, the melodrama than the tragedy, and the ballad a more general admiration than the ode. In this collection are many pieces without the highest attributes of poetry ; but very few, it is believed, which have not the simplicity, harmony, and purity that will secure a welcome from every variety of readers.

The importance of having works of this description, to elevate the taste and deepen the religious- sentiments, can hardly be too highly estimated. Poetry is the expression of beauty, and every thing truly good is beautiful. Devout reflections upon life, death, and the destiny of the soul, may by the poet be sung to men who would never hear them from another teacher, and thus a simple song be as the voice of the Father to an erring child, calling him into the way of life.

CONTENTS.

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45

... 109

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59
62

....... 119

Jonathan

SIR JOHN BEAUMONT.

69

A Dialogue between the World, a Pilgrim,

... 127

70

73

WILLIAM HABINGTON.

Laudate Dominum de Calis

156

Nox Nocti indicat Scientiam.

157

Non Nobis Domine ..

159

Qud Gloriaris in Malicia..

160

Via Tuas Domine Demonstra Mihi.

161

Versa est in Luctum Cythara Mea

163

EDMUND WALLER.

Love...

165

Love of God to Man.
The Scrip:ures.

167
JOHN MILTON.
Adam's Morning Hymn...

169
Hymn on the Nativity.....
On the Massacre in Piedmont..
On his Blindness...

178

JEREMY TAYLOR.

The Wise Men coming to Worship Jesus.... 179

Immanuel.....

180

or Heaven

180

SIR EDWARD SHERBURNE.

Conscience..

181

HENRY MORE.
The Philosopher's Devotion.

182

False and True Religion..

1841

ABRAHAM COWLEY.

From The Garden".

185

The Ecstasy...

196
ANDREW MARVELL.
The Emigrants..

189
A Drop of Dew..

190
HENRY VAUGHAN.
The Pursuit.

192

The World

193

The Bee...

195
The Shepherds.
Tbe Garland..

199
The Dwelling-place.
Heaven in Prospect..

200

166

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374

CHARLES WESLEY.

Page

Page

Judgment....

353

276

The Hour-glass. ...

Lord of all Worlds......

353

JAMES MERRICK.

Why should I fear in Evil Days

....... 355

The Ignorance of Man..

277

Nune Dirittis. ...

278

WILLIAM WORDS WORTH.

The Providence of God.

279 Intimations of Immortality, from Recollec-

356

CHRISTOPHER SMART.

tions of Early Childhood...

Ode to Duty.......

362

Invocation

282

Tbe Laborer's Noonday Hymn.

363

The Final Judgment,

283

364

The Ant and the Bee

Thought on the Seasons

284

365

Goodness of Gov

A postrophe to the Deity..

285

To the Supreme Being.

366

God in Man..

298

Jehovah the Provider.

367

David.........

289

Latimer and Ridley...

367

WILLIAM COWPER.

Exiled Reformers..

367

The Repentant Sinner.

New Churches, .

368

The Millennium

292 The Kirk of Ulpha.

368

Acquaint thyself with God.

The World is too much with us.

369

The Happy Man.

297

JAMES MONTGOMERY.

Hope......

300

On a Bill of Mortality....

The Grave ......

370

301

Religion not adverse to Pleasure..

The Stranger and his Friend.

302

375

The Enchantment Dissolved

On the Loss of Friends,

303

Christ the Purifier ...

376

Retirement, .

304

Life, Death, and Judgment.

377

JOHN LOGAN.

What is Prayer.

377

The Complaint of Nature.

305 The Day after Judgment.

378

The Prayer of Jacob.

308 Hallelujah.....

380

NATHANIEL COTTON.

JAMES HOGG.

Life.....

309 The Covenanter's Scaffold Song............. 381

A Hebrew Melody..

382

JAMES GRAHAME.

The First Sabbath.

SAMUEL TAYLOR COLSRIDGE.

The Sabbath as a Day of Rest.

316 From “ Religious Musings"

384

A Spring Sabbath Walk.

317 A Christmas Carol....

388

A Sammer Sabbath Walk.

318

An Autumn Sabbath Walk

320

ROBERT SOUTHEY.

A Winter Sabbath Walk...

321

Love......

390

Affliction.....

391

JAMES BEATTIE.

Remembrance..

391

The Hermit...

323

From an Elegy on the Death of a Lady...... 324

WILLIAM HERBERT.

Hymn to Death.

393

ANNE STEELE.

A Morning Hymn.........

C. C. COLTON.

Resignation

327

Life........

396

AUGUSTUS MONTAGUE TOPLADY.

REGINALD HEBER.

Hymt......

328 The Passage of the Red Sea.

398

JOHN SCOTT.

Thou art gone to the Grave.

401

The Song of Zion..

Hymn on the Creation ...

401

The Tempestuous Evening.

Hymn to the Seasons ..

402

330

The Followers of Christ.

402

HANNAH MORE.

The Raising of the Widow's Son

403

Reflections of Hezekiah in his Sickness ...

404

331

Epiphany ....

336

Missions,.....

405

Morning Hymn..

336

BERNARD BARTON.

ANNA LETITIA BARBAULD.

Human Life

Spiritual Worship..

338

Hymns...

The Pool of Bethesda.

340

Lost to God.

Time's Takings and Leavings.

342

Power and Benevolence

343

HENRY KIRKE WHITE.

412

343

The Christian's Progress.

Prediction to Joshua relative to America. .... 349

Hymn.

411

Sonnet.

314

329

Faith in Humble Life...

An Address to the Deity.

406
407
408
410
411

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