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LIFE, GENIUS, AND INSANITY
CO W PE R.
GEORGE B. CHEEVER, D.D.,
AUT BOR OF “LECTURES ON THE PILGRIM'S PROGRESS," POWERS OT TAR
WORLD TO COME," "WANDERINGS OF A PILGRIM," ETC.
NO. 283 BROADWAY.
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1856, by
ROBERT CARTER & BROTHERS, In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States, in and for the
Southern District of New York.
XVII.-THE BALANCE OF FACULTIES IN COWPER'S MIND. 200
XVIII.- COMPOSITION OF "THE TASK".....
XIX.-INFERNAL CONFLICTS AND INVISIBLE GRACE.... 227
A SERIES of Lectures on the Life and Poetry of Cowper, delivered a few years since, became the origin of this present volume. On a new and more thorough examination of the Autobiography and Letters of Cowper, in connection with the Poet's Memoir by Southey, the impression has been deepened of the injustice done to both Cowper and Newton by the tenor of that Memoir. The evil and the imperfection are in what is omitted, as well as in some things injuriously set down. The remarkable lessons of Divine Providence and Grace, the spiritual discipline through which Cowper was carried, and the manifestations of a Saviour's love to his soul, were slightly passed over, and in some cases misinterpreted and perverted.
The literary task-work of Southey, in whatever he undertook, was almost perfect for its exquisite ease and quietness, and for the good sense and truth of his criticisms, illustrated at will from the singular variety of his reading. But when he came to speak of personal religion, the good angel of his genius, if separated from the Prayerbook and the Church, seemed suddenly in gloom. Like Dante's guide, who could lead the way through hell and purgatory, but was not sufficient for the mysteries of heaven, à mind ever so cultivated and poetical, may be