صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني
[blocks in formation]

:) R. Johnson hath observed concerning de votional poetry,

poetry, that the fanctity of the matter rejects the ornaments of figurative dićtion." Inferior subjects may be herghiened by the charms of rhetoric, but this is too sublime to receive any decoration froin human eloquence; and we often debase it by making the attempt. Dr. Watts, in one of his hymns, hath said,

“ Join all the names of love and power
That ever men or angels bore;
All are too mean to speak his worth,

Or fet EMANUEL's glory forth.” Yet, such was the imperfection of one of the best of men, that we frequently find in his divine poems, epithets and allaihons taken from mortal beauties, and applied to the Saviour, with a license disgusting to the spirit of devotion. It has been my aim to avoil these familiarities; and either to change or omit such epithets and allusions.

The names of the authors from whom this delection is made, are subjoined to cach palun oy hyviin; excepting when they are urh nuwr., or have requested concealment. Most of these names ore familiar to the readers of poetry; but ther: is one, to whom 1 am largely indebted for fome of the most elegant of these productions, who is but little known in this country, and of whom I concuiqve dhe following account will be acceptable to every reader,

[ocr errors]

“ ANNE STEELE was the eldest daughter of a di senting minifter at Broughton, in Hampshire'; a man of piety; integrity, benevolence; and the most amiable fimplicity of manners.

She discovered in early life, her love of the mufes, and often entertained her friends, with the truly poetical and pious productions of her pen. But, it was her infelicity, as it has been of many of her kindred spirits, to have a capacious soaring mind inclosed in a very weak and languid body. She lived, for the most part, a life of retirement in the fame peaceful village where the bea gan and ended her days. The duties of friendship and religion occupied her time, and the pleasures of both constituted her delight. Her heart was apt to feel, often to a degree too painful for her own felicity; but always with the mosī tender and generous sympathy for her friends. Pet,

fpe poffeljed a native cheer . fiilness ; of which, even ihe agonizing pains free endured, in the latter part of her life, could not deprive her. In every fhort interval of abated suffering, fine Dould in a variety of ways, as well as by ber enlivening conversation, give pleasure to all around her. Her life

. was a life of unoffected humility, warm benevolence, fincere friendship, and genuine devotion. She waited with christian dignity for the hour of her departure : When it came, she welcomed its appraaches, and having taken an affectionate leave of kur friends closed feriepes, with these animating words on her life.. *know that my Redeemer

: livething

[ocr errors]

This account is taken from the preface to the third volume of her mitcellaneous pieces in prose and verse,” published urtder the name of THEODOSIA, by the Rev. Celeb Evans, of Bristol, 1780, after her deceafe.

It is humbly apprehended, that a grateful and affectionate address to the exalted Saviour of mankind, or a hymn in honour of the Eternal Spirit, cannot be disagreeable to the mind of God. To figmatize such an act of devotion with the name of idolatry, is (to say the least ) an abuse of language. It cannot be juftly charged with derogating from the glory due to the ONE God and Father of all, because he is the ultimate object of the honour which is given to his Son and to his Spirit.

In this selection, those Christians who do not ferus ple to sing praises to their Redeemer and Sanctifier, will find materials for such a sublime enjoyment ; whilst others, whose tenderness of conscience may oblige them to confine their addresses to the Father ony, will find no deficiency of matter suited to their idea of " the chaste and awful spirit of devotion.

[ocr errors]

BOSTON, May 10, 1795.

N. B. The characters denoting the sharp or flat key, are prefixed to each psalm or hymn, at my requeft, by the Rev. Dr. Morse, of Charlestorun.

« السابقةمتابعة »