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THE WALK TO EMMAUS.
She should imbue the tongue with what she sips,
That none could frame or ratify but she,
That heaven and hell, and righteousness and sin,
God and His attributes (a field of day
Or, if excused that charge, at least deceived.
The time is short, and there are souls on earth,
Sure to succeed, the remedy they found;
Touched by that Power that you have dared to mock,
THE WALK TO EMMAUS.
Soon after He that was our Surety died,
They spake of Him they loved, of Him whose life,
The further traced, enriched them still the more.
Now theirs was converse, such as it behooves
THE WALK то EMMAUS.
Well! what are ages, and the lapse of time,
A Jordan for the ablution of our woes.
O days of heaven, and nights of equal praise,
In contrast with this most attractive and delightful picture, let us note how the sight of the undevout gayety of a thoughtless world, in one of the great exchanges of its mirthfulness, affected Cowper. He is writing his friend Unwin in regard to the scenes at Brighton. "There is not, I think, so melancholy a sight in the world (a hospital is not to be compared with it) as that of a thousand
persons distinguished by the name of gentry, who, gentle perhaps by nature, and made more gentle by education, have the appearance of being innocent and inoffensive, yet being destitute of all religion, or not at all governed by the religion they profess, are none of them at any great distance from an eternal state, where self-deception will be impossible, and where amusements can not enter. Some of them, we may say, will be reclaimed ; is most probable, indeed, that some of them will, because mercy, if one may be allowed the expression, is fond of distinguishing itself by seeking its objects among the most desperate class; but the Scripture gives no encouragement to the warmest charity to hope for deliverance for them all. When I see an afflicted and unhappy man, I say to myself, there is, perhaps, a man whom the world would envy, if they knew the value of his sorrows, which are possibly intended only to soften his heart, and to turn his affections toward their proper center. But when I see or hear of a crowd of voluptuaries who have no ears but for music, no eyes but for splendor, and no tongue but for impertinence and folly, I say, or at least I see occasion to say, 'This is madness; this, persisted in, must have a tragical conclusion. It will condemn you not only as Christians unworthy of the name, but as intelligent creatures. You know by the light of nature, if you have not quenched it, that
there is a God, and that a life like yours can not be according to His will.'"
Some of Cowper's letters to Newton, as well as his other correspondents, are exquisitely sportive. His sense of the ludicrous was keen and delicate, and no man that ever wrote English was happier in his descriptions of humorous and ridiculous scenes and encounters. We may refer, for illustration in his prose, to his letter to Newton, giving an account of the beadle thrashing the thief, the constable the beadle, and the lady the constable ; a story which in rhyme would have made a rival of "John Gilpin," and would give some original Cruikshanks in engraving a subject of admirable humor. His description of the life of an Antediluvian, and also of the chase that took place in Olney on the escape of his tame hare, and of the donkey that ran away with the market-woman; as also his letters in the form of prose, but in swift galloping metre, are happy illustr. ions of his native propensity and power. Perhaps the very drollest letters in the whole of his private correspondence as well as the darkest and gloomiest, are to Newton; sufficiently refuting the ill-natured insinuation which we have already had occasion to notice on the part of Southey, that it seemed as if Cowper always went to his correspondence with Newton as if he were a sinner going to the confessional, or toiling under a task. There are numerous inci