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while his attenuated frame, and the tremulous hand with which he seems to have written his letters, bespoke “the shadows lengthening as the day declines.” The year 1736 was one of retirement from public labour on account of illness, which originated the hymn entitled “Complaint and Hope under great pain.” The effects of intense mental application appeared in a broken constitution and completely disordered and debilitated nervous system. The sufferer was greatly distressed by insomnia, or continual wakefulness. For several nights successively he could obtain no sleep, except such as was forced by medical preparations; and even the strongest opiates lost their virtue by repeated use, and only served to aggravate his malady. In one of his sermons he recurs to his youthful studies; and attributes his weakened frame and frequent attacks of illness, to the laborious exertions of his early life. “Midnight studies,” he remarks, “are prejudicial to nature: a painful experience calls me to repent of the faults of my younger years, and there are many before me have had the same call to repentance. Wearing out the lightsome hours in sleep, is an unnatural waste of sunbeams. There is no light so friendly to animal nature as that of the sun."* Diligence is commendable in every student, but many have fallen victims to their ardour for literary renown; and an early death or a premature old age has been the result of their severe yet injudicious economy. “Dr. Owen,” Watts observed upon one occasion, “was accustomed to say, that he would gladly part with all the learning he had acquired by sitting up late at study in younger life, if he could but regain the health he had lost by it.” In seasons of sickness, when incapable of public service, Dr. Watts refused to take his salary from the church, saying that as he could not preach he had no right to it. But his people, to their honour, did not listen to such a proposal, as so much of the church's increase was owing to his labours, and so great a portion of his life had

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sided, and which was occupied by her surviving daughter* until the year 1782, still retains some interesting memorials of Dr. Watts. There is a costly apartment, called the painted room, a curious specimen of the taste of the age in which it was arranged. The mouldings are gilt, and the whole of the pannels on the sides are painted with subjects taken from Ovid. On the window-shutters are some pictorial decorations, which are supposed to have been added by Watts's pencil. These consist of the emblems of Death and Grief, together with the arms of Gunston and Abney, evidenıly alluding to their lamented decease. The contrast between these mourn. ful emblems and the other embellishments of the room, is strongly marked. Dr. Watts frequently employed his pencil in his leisure hours; and some of his paintings, the heads of Democritus, Heraclitus, Aristotle, and Alexander, are said to have been executed with considerable taste and skill. In the grounds attached to the manor house the stately “elms” still remain, which are mentioned in his poems as the scene of friendly intercourse with their beloved owner.t Associations of a pleasing and profitable kind, connect themselves with a spot, the residence for so many years of so much piety and genius; the devout mind is humbled by a sense of its own deficiencies, and excited to emulate the example of eminent attainment placed before it; and the prayer is prompted in the heart of the Christian visiter, that as “the harvest" is still “plenteous," more such labourers may be sent forth by the Lord of the harvest.

The infirmities of age began now rapidly to advance upon Dr. Watts ; he already trembled beneath the weight of years;

* Of this lady the late Dr. Winter was accustomed to relate an anecdote of his early life with great glee. Dressed in the costume of a belle of George the First's reign, with formidable hoop and all the appurtenances of the ancien régime, her appear. Ance betokened considerable antiquity. On being introduced to her presence the boy was abashed; but the good dame, by way of being familiar, condescended to inquire how old he thought she was. The awe-struck youngster, eyeing the venerable figure before him, replied, “Madam, nine hundred years!

+ Brown's Stoke Newington.

while his attenuated frame, and the tremulous hand with which he seems to have written his letters, bespoke “the shadows lengthening as the day declines.” The year 1736 was one of retirement from public labour on account of illness, which originated the hymn entitled “Complaint and Hope under great pain.” The effects of intense mental application appeared in a broken constitution and completely disordered and debilitated nervous system. The sufferer was greatly distressed by insomnia, or continual wakefulness. For several nights successively he could obtain no sleep, except such as was forced by medical preparations; and even the strongest opiates lost their virtue by repeated use, and only served to aggravate his malady. In one of his sermons he recurs to his youthful studies; and attributes his weakened frame and frequent attacks of illness, to the laborious exertions of his early life. “ Midnight studies," he remarks, " are prejudicial to nature: a painful experience calls me to repent of the faults of my younger years, and there are many before me have had the same call to repentance. Wearing out the lightsome hours in sleep, is an unnatural waste of sunbeams. There is no light so friendly to animal nature as that of the sun." Diligence is commendable in every student, but many bare fallen victims to their ardour for literary renown; and an early death or a premature old age has been the result of their severe yet injudicious economy. “Dr. Owen,” Watts observed upon one occasion, “was accustomed to say, that he would gladly part with all the learning he had acquired by sitting up late at study in younger life, if he could but regain the health he had lost by it.” In seasons of sickness, when incapable of public service, Dr. Watts refused to take his salary from the church, saying that as he could not preach he had no right to it. But his people, to their honour, did not listen to such a proposal, as so much of the church's increase was owing to his labours, and so great a portion of his life had

"*

* Ser. xv. vol. ii.

been spent in its service. Mr. Price too joined with them in opposing the wishes of his colleague, at the same time that he admired the delicacy of feeling that prompted him to decline his income.

In the commencement of the year 1737 the circle of Watts's intimate acquaintance was broken by the death of Mrs. Rowe, whose piety, talents, and amiable qualities caused her loss to be universally deplored. She died suddenly, on Sunday morning, Feb. 20th, leaving in her cabinet letters for the following friends, whom she held in high esteem : Dr. Watts, the Countess of Hertford, Mr. James Theobald, the Earl of Orrery, and her mother-in-law, Mrs. Sarah Rowe. The doctor's letter was accompanied with the manuscript of her" Devout Exercises” in several loose papers, which she requested him to publish, after having subjected it to a careful revision. These devotional meditations were published in the September following, with a preface written by himself, and a dedication to the Countess, as an "intimate friend” of the deceased. During an intimacy of nearly thirty years, he had enjoyed ample opportunities of estimating the merits and defects of Mrs. Rowe; and the opinion of her character, expressed in his prefatory letter, is remarkably just and dispassionate. Far from joining with her admirers, who almost elevated her into a divinity, he yet meets the severe animadversions of her impugners; and finds an apology for the transports and raptures which marked her experience in an ardent temperament and vivacious imagination. The frigid calculating formalist, familiar with the theory, but strange to the power of godliness -- the worldling, upon whose heart no spark of devotion has yet fallen --- may turn from her pages with disgust, or by an unwonted stretch of candour regard her as an amiable visionary ; but he who has been warmed by the same heavenly fire, will be able, in some degree, to sympathise with her devout aspirations. “It was much the fashion,” says Watts in his preface, “even among some

divines of eminence in former years, to express the ferrours of devout love to our Saviour in the style of the Song of Solomon; and I must confess, that several of my composures in verse, written in younger life, were led by those examples unwarily into this tract.” It may be questioned, whether such a mode of expressing religious feelings, the natural product of an eastern clime, is judicious; for men of corrupt minds, in an earlier period, “turned the grace of God into lasciviousness ;” and an impure imagination and an unsanctified heart, will connect carnal and sensual ideas with the employment of such imagery. Be it, however, remembered, that the taste of the age in which Mrs. Rowe lived was essentially vitiated; the adoption of a tumid passionate style was necessary to pamper the popular appetite; and, hence, the sickly sentimentalism of Sterne, and the bloated effusions of Hervey, which are now justly discarded, were, at a period not much posterior, not only tolerated but admired. Her mind was tinctured not only by the prevailing taste, but by the mystical writers she had read; but he who on this ground alone would unsparingly condemn her compositions, gives ample room for others to suppose, that he is a stranger to the “ devout exercises” in which she delighted--that he has light but not lore -- and that however clear his head, his heart is cold.

A few months previous to the publication just noticed, Dr. Watts sent forth a treatise entitled “Humility represented in the character of St. Paul,” dated from his retreat at “ Newington, March 25.” It consists of various papers which he tells us had lain by him in his desk for several years. The tract is founded upon Ephesians, iii. 8, “less than the least of all saints ;” and exhibits in an impressive manner, the advantages invariably attendant upon the cultivation of a similar temper to that which the passage expresses. Though written in an exceedingly plain and homely style, it is by no means deficient in striking remark, and lively delineation of charac

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