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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 enthusi

m, te 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

manhood of literature. Honner undergoes the polishing refinemen Virgil, and Pindar catches a sweeter note from his Latin imi

nd the orator of the Bench is supplied in the Forum, before

ume the form of grace and shine with the subdued lustre, and

with the harmonious accents of intellectual beauty. The file, wonerer, when it ceases to polish begins to weaken, and modern poetry

ined in strength, while it has increased in flexibility. But

diffusion of light is more agreeable than the uncertain blazes elier invention, and we can read a Grahame with satisfaction

sublimer genius of Quarles will not always afford, and recolTumble rhymes of Watts, when the more passionate songs of ert 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.

.

108

109

Page

An Apostrophe to the fallen Empires of the

World ...........................

The Triumph of the Church ...

WILLIAM DRUMMOND.

An Hymn of True Happiness...

No Trust in Time .....

Retirement...

The Nightingale ...

Apples of Sodom..

Madrigal.....

The Crucifixion ......

The Ascension ..........

GILES FLETCHER.

The Interposition of Justice ......

The Shame of not loving God .....

" To whom else can we tly"...

Mercy ..........................

The Speech of Mercy.......

Christ and the Tempter upon Astræa........

Christ and the Tempter upon the Mountain..

Ambition and Vain-glory ..........

The Remorse of Judas.......

Redemption.............

The Joys of the Redeemed ......

HENRY KING

The Anniversary .....

107

The Dirge ......

Sic vita .............

JAMES SHIRLEY.

Death's Conquest........

........ 110

GEORGE WITHER.

Extract from a Prisoner's Lay...

The Marigold .......................

112

Psalm cxlviii.............

113

The Virtuous Man .......

115

A Prayer for Seasouable Weather.......

Divers Providences ...

The Glory of Christ under the figure of Solo-

mon.....

............ 117

From a Poem on the Anniversary of his Mar.

ringe Day..

. 118

From a Hymn for a Widower ............... 118

Prayer for his Wife and Children, written in

Newgate................

....... 119

ROBERT AERRICK.

Litany to the Holy Spirit..

....... 120

To Blossoms...

.........

To Daffodils........

....... 122

FRANCIS QUARLES.

Prayer for Divine Inspiration.

The World......

Glorying in the Cross......

“False world, thou liest"

Delight in God only........

Fleeing from Wrath.......

.....

The New Heart .......

.....

The Shortness of Life..

....... 132

..

49

11

116

121

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e between the World, a Pilgrim,

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The Pilgrim......

133

The Long-suffering of God.

131

The Last Trumpet.

134

The Brevity of Life........

Age.................

136

Vain Boasting.............

Farewell those Eyes. .......

Nothing Perfect on Earth..

Jerusalem in Ruins.......

Merey tempering Justice...

140

Hope in God.........

Decay of Life..........

The Martyr Ridley.....

THOMAS HEYWOOD.

Search after God ........

143

RICHARD CRASHAW.

A Hymn..

......... 146

Chorus of the Shepherds of Bethlehem....... 148

The Martyrs .....

............. 149

On a Prayer-book sent to Mrs. R..........

PATRICK CAREY.

Christ in the Cradle, in the Garden, and in

his Passion ......

. 154

WILLIAM HABINGTON.

Laudate Dominum de Cælis....

Xox Noeti Indicat Scientiam...

157

Non Nobis Domine ...........

159

Quid Gloriaris in Malicia.

Via Tuas Domine Demonstra Mihi.

161

Versa est in Luctum Cythara Mea ..

EDMUND WALLER.

Love...................

Love of God to Man.....

The Scrip:ures. ....

JOHN MILTON.

Adam's Morning Hymn.....

169

Hymn on the Nativity. .......

171

On the Massacre in Piedmont..

On his Blindness ..

178

JEREMY TAYLOR.

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

Immanuel

180

or Heaven ........

SIR EDWARD SHERBURNE.

Conscience..........

HENRY MORE.

The Philosopher's Devotion....

False and True Religion........ ......... 1841

ABRAHAM COWLEY.

From The Garden".....

The Ecstasy.............

186

ANDREW MARVELL.

The Emigrants......

A Drop of Dew........

......... 190

HENRY VAUGHAN.

The Pursuit

The World, ......

193

The Bee........

The Shepherds......

The Garland .........

The Dwelling-place...

200

Heaven in Prospect......

200

65

238

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SAMES BEATTIE.

The Hermit
From an Elegy on the Death of a L

lezy on the Death of a Lady......

ANNE STEELE.

A Morning Hymn.

Resignation .......

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AUGUSTUS MONTAGUE TOPLADY.

Hymno......
JOHN SCOTT.

The Song of Zion.

The Tempestuous Evening......
HANNAH MORE.
Refections of Hozabish in his Sicknes

of Hezekiah in his Sickness....
Faith in Humble Life........
Morning Hymn.

............ 329

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ANNA LETITIA BARBAULD.
An Address to the Deity....

..

Lose to God.

For Easter Sunday......

TIMOTHY DWIGHT.

The Country Pastor .....
Prediction to Joshua relatis
OHN QUINCY ADAMS.
To a Bereaved Mother ..

342

..... 345

...... 351

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