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character of these delusions, to conceal them from his most judicious and intelligent friends. The enthusiasm of Mr. Teedon, contributed to encourage Cowper's belief in the verity of dreams and fancied notices from the spiritual world; as in these, Mr. T. not only himself implicitly relied, but was in his own imagination the subject; of his sincerity there can be no doubt. The letters in question were written after the removal of the poet to Weston Underwood; and they are chiefly interesting as they portray his state of mind, ere the subsequent progress of his malady plunged their sensitive writer into the depths of despair. At the death of Mr. Teedon, the letters he had received from Cowper, passed, with other original and curious manuscripts, into the hands of his assistant and relative, Eusebius Killingworth ;* better known at Olney by the name of Worth or Worthy. This person still continued the old fashioned school, where boys and girls were for a trifling sum, taught reading, writing, and the elements of arithmetic; and in addition to this employment, he had qualified himself to bind books and manufacture letter-cases. But all his efforts did not produce an income sufficient to afford him a very comfortable maintenance. As the companion and relative of an individual honoured by the friendship, and frequently indebted to the liberality of Cowper, Dr. Johnson kindly allowed him a small pension, of which my father was the weekly almoner. Upon his discovery of these remaining letters, in the covers that had been taken off from a bound book, where they had been preserved, he gave them to my father; who frequently expressed an intention of making them public. They are now appended to this work. Mr. Killingworth died at an advanced age, in the year 1828.
* Mr. Killingworth resigned most of these letters to Dr. Johnson.
In the autumn of this year, my father paid a last visit to his native town. He had long been requested, and earnestly wished, to see once more the surviving friends of his earlier life; and as circumstances concurred to render the present season favourable to the accomplishment of this object, attended by one of his sons, he travelled into Wiltshire, whence he proceeded to Clifton. He then visited Reading; and returned to Olney, after an absence of four Sundays —a longer separation from his parish than had before occurred during the whole period of his residence in it. From Clifton he wrote— •
"Belle Vue, Clifton, Sept. 26, 1828. "My Dearest C.
"We arrived here yesterday, where for the present we are very comfortably housed, in the hospitable family which I need not describe to you. 1 believe the date of my last letter was the 19th., in which I gave you an account of our arrival at Lavington. But before that letter left the post-office, I met with a sudden accident, which might have been of very bad consequence, had it not been prevented by the goodness of God. On this subject, however, I have reason to say, 'He keepeth all my bones, so that not one of them is broken.' About six o'clock in the evening, I was going to the house of mourning, to visit a widow of four-score years old, whose husband was lying dead, at the age of seventy-seven; a man of God, whom I had known more than fifty years ago. The cottage is in a field at a little distance from the town, to which a narrow path, pitched with pebbles and stones, led. In passing this path, I trod on a substance, which seemed to be more slippery than ice. I fell as if prostrated by a stroke of lightning, and the pain was so severe as nearly to produce fainting. I could not have arisen from the ground had I not been assisted by * •, who was providentially with me. Leaning on his arm, 1 returned with difficulty. The next day I was under the necessity of using crutches; but since that period I have been gradually getting better, and can walk a little way at a time without much difficulty. Reflecting on the circumstance, I desire to say, 'Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.'
"You will probably be surprised when I inform you, that notwithstanding this accident, I preached at Lavington twice on the Sunday to crowded congregations. In the afternoon not only the seats, but the aisles were completely thronged, and the large porch more than half filled. I preached on Tuesday night at Tilshead, where forty-two years ago on the 29th of this month, I officiated for the first time. Here too the church was crowded, many coming from a considerable distance.
"I was very glad to be informed of the manner in which the services of the church were performed for the dear people of Olney. Will you be so good as to present my love to my kind friends, Mr. Fry and Mr. Westoby, and request them to take the church for the third Sunday (viz. Oct. 5th). 1 wish, while I am from home, to spend a little time on my return, at Bath, Westbury, Reading, &c.
"Kiss my beloved A. and M. for me, and be assured that I love you all most affectionately. Present my kindest regards to all friends and inquirers. Our progress hitherto has been pleasant, and I hope and pray it may continue so to the end of our journey. May God be with you and bless you! I remain,
"Your affectionate father."
My father never perfectly recovered from the effects of the accident described in this letter, as he felt occasional weakness in the knee and ancle, and generally afterwards used a stick in walking. His return to his parish was welcomed with many expressions of sincere delight. His congregation for the most part were never so well pleased as when the pulpit was occupied hy their own pastor; and even those who might be little affected by his earnest exhortations, were not insensible to his unremitting personal kindness. At the parish vestries, which he frequently attended, he was ever the poor man's friend; and he would sometimes return from those meetings, after hearing complaints of suffering that could be but partially relieved, almost overwhelmed with grief. To the utmost of his power, he was himself the liberal benefactor of the indigent; and when, whatever might be his engagements, were they sent away unheard or empty from his door? "The blessing of him that was ready to perish came upon him; and he caused the widow's heart to sing for joy."'
The subjoined extracts, are from letters, written in the following year, to two of the absent members of his family.
"Olney Vicarage, June 2, 1829. "My Dearest G.
"I was much pleased to receive your letter of the 30th ultimo. You know that I am always glad to hear from you; but the pleasure is increased, when the subjects on which you write, are so interesting and gratifying as those of your last letter. The opening of the New Mall must have been a very imposing ceremony, not only to the boys themselves, but to all the high and great men who were the witnesses of it; and who were concerned in this important and extraordinary event. I call it extraordinary, because I suppose a similar transaction has not occurred on any other occasion since the hospital was first founded. I hope, if it please God, that I shall have an opportunity of seeing your noble Hall, before you leave the hospital.
"1 was very glad to hear that you have been promoted from the little into the great Erasmus class, and that you were the captain of the former before you left it. This convinces me that you have been diligent in your studies; and I hope you will make all the progress you can, during the remainder of your stay. Remember, my dear boy, that though we are not accountable for the number of talents which God may be pleased to give us; we are accountable for the manner, and degree, in which we improve those which he graciously bestows on us. * • * It gave me great pleasure to find that you had been confirmed; but I hope you will consider the solemn engagement you have made, before God, as well as before the bishop and congregation. You may now say with King David—' Thy vows are upon me, O God.' You have taken upon yourself those solemn engagements which were made for you at your baptism by your sponsors; and you should frequently recal them to mind, and pray for grace that you may fulfil them. You cannot do this of yourself; but you may do it through Christ strengthening you. • * * •
"Your most affectionate father."
"My Dear M.
"Though I have but a very short time to employ before the post goes, I am unwilling to lose the opportunity of writing you a few words, to reach you on the anniversary day of your birth. It will be sixteen years on Friday, since your existence in the present state received its commencement—an existence which, though beginning in a world of sin and misery, will issue, I hope and trust, in the glory and felicity of that everlasting life, which has been procured for lost and ruined sinners by Jesus Christ. You have been taught, and I doubt not, my dear child, have been convinced, that you were born in sin, and that the salvation to which I have alluded, is conferred only on those who are born again of water and the Spirit, and made new creatures in Jesus Christ. You have had the privilege of being baptized and admitted into the visible church of Christ by this sacred ordinance—you have the means of grace and salvation—and have been taught that the vows of God are upon you; and now you should examine whether you have been born of the Spirit and made