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Unshaken, unseduc'd, unterrified,
His loyalty he kept, his love, his zeal;
Nor number, nor example, with him wrought
"Methinks your Lordship's situation particularly resembles that in which the poet has placed Abdiel. You are not indeed called to serve God quite alone; but, amongst those of your own rank, and with whom the station in which he has placed you necessitates you to converse, how few are there who can understand, second, or approve the principles upon which you act; or easily bear a conduct which must impress conviction or reflect dishonour upon themselves! But you are not alone. The Lord's people (many of whom you will not know till you meet them in glory) are helping you here with their prayers. His angels are commissioned to guard and guide your steps. Yea, the Lord himself fixes his eye of mercy upon your private and public path, and is near you at your right hand, that you may not be moved! That he may comfort you with the light of his countenance, and uphold you with the arm of his power, is my frequent prayer." *
Such is the sweet strain of practical and experimental piety in which Newton writes, uniting the graces of composition with the courtesy of christian feeling, and the sentiments of an exalted piety. The nobleman, to whom these letters are addressed, * " Cardiphonia."
(twenty-six in number,) was the Earl of Dartmouth, the patron of the living of Olney. Happy would it be if men of rank were always willing to listen to such truths, and the pen of a Newton could record them with so much faithfulness and grace. The date of this correspondence commences in the year 1765, and terminates in 1777. The succeeding eight letters, to the Rev. Mr. S., are addressed to the Rev. Thomas Scott, and will be shortly adverted to. Mr. B., to whom eleven letters are inscribed, is Mr. Barham, the father of the late Jos. Foster Barham, Esq., M.P. One letter is addressed to the latter, as Mr. B., jun.; and Miss M. B., is Miss Martha Barham, his sister. The Rev. Mr. R., is Mr. Rose, late Rector of Beckenham, who married her sister. I am enabled to verify these facts from family connexion, and personal knowledge. Besides these letters, Newton was the author of " Omicron," "Letters to Wife," "Review of Ecclesiastical History," "Sermons," "the Aged Pilgrim's Triumph," "Life of the Rev. William Grimshawe," an ancestor of the Editor, distinguished for his piety and laborious exertions, though accompanied with some peculiarities; I cannot however record his name without reverence for his piety and zeal. The majority of the Olney Hymns were contributed by Newton, and have always been acceptable to the religious public. They are diversified in their subject, and uniformly spiritual and experimental, though inferior, as
poetical compositions, to those contributed by Cow
His lines on the Ocean are characterized by great force and beauty.
A THOUGHT ON THE SEA SHORE.
In ev'ry object here I see
In ev'ry object here I see
Hard as the rocks that bound the strand,
Deep and deceitful as the Ocean,
The last point of view in which Newton claims to be considered is, as the honoured instrument, in the hands of God, for raising up others who became eminent for piety and usefulness. We pass over many instances of comparatively less importance, and select two of known celebrity, the late Rev. Thomas Scott, and the Rev. Claudius Buchanan. Mr. Scott, at the time of Newton's residence at Olney, was the curate of Ravenstone, in that neighbourhood. Though strictly conscientious, and earnest in the discharge of his duties, yet his views were indistinct, and his mind labouring under strong prejudices. The sentiments and principles of New
ton, so opposite to his own, excited his attention. He was unable to comprehend them, and, as a natural consequence, deprecated and rejected them. Newton presented him with one of his publications, entitled, "Omicron." This led to a correspondence, which is inserted in the "Cardiphonia." The influence of Newton's arguments, though slow, was finally successful. The strong and powerful pre judices of Scott yielded, like the mists that are dispelled by the penetrating beams of the sun. He has recorded this eventful period of his life in his "Force of Truth," a book which merits to be universally read. Mr. Scott's subsequent career and usefulness are well known. He was "a burning and a shining light." His "Commentary on the Bible" requires no eulogium, its praise is in all the churches. In America alone, we believe that not less than forty or fifty thousand copies have been sold. It is now circulating in France and in Switzerland. Perhaps no book has contributed so essentially to diffuse the great doctrines of the Reformation, and to revive the piety and spirit of former ages. We do not know a more splendid trophy to the name and usefulness of Newton, than to be recorded as the instrument, under the Divine blessing, of having raised up so distinguished a character as the Rev. Thomas Scott.
The second instance is that of the Rev. Claudius Buchanan. Mr. Newton, after a residence of nearly sixteen years at Olney, was removed to London,
having been presented, by the recommendation of John Thornton, Esq., to the living of St. Mary's Woolnoth. On a Sunday evening a stranger stood in one of the aisles of the church, while Newton was preaching. He became impressed with what he heard, and communicated to him the state of his mind: Newton admiring his talents, and anticipating his future usefulness, introduced him to the late Henry Thornton, Esq., by whose liberality he was sent to college. He was afterwards ordained, and subsequently filled an important situation in the East. He at length returned to Europe to awaken Britain to the claims of India. The effect produced by his appeals, and by his celebrated sermon, "The Star in the East," will long be remembered. He was eminently instrumental in rousing public attention to the duty of evangelizing India.
The stranger whose history we have thus briefly recorded was the Rev. Claudius Buchanan.
Such is the history of Newton, abounding in the most singular and eventful incidents, and exhibiting a man not less distinguished by his piety than by his acknowledged talents and great usefulness. The moral truths that it conveys are both numerous and highly instructive. To parents it is fraught with the greatest encouragement, by proving that early impressions of piety, however they may seem to be extinguished by a long course of impenitence, may subsequently revive, though probably under the most solemn dispensations: "Thou shalt