John Overton Choules.

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Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1831,

By Lincoln and Edmands,

in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of Massachusetts.



There can be no doubt entertained, by a re-
flectinor mind, that the wide diffusion of the liffht
and elegant literature of the day is exerting a
powerful influence on the community, and espe-
cially on the youthful mind; and it is therefore
incumbent on the friends of truth to aid the
circulation of such works of taste as shall produce
the best moral and religious effects.

In this volume, an attempt has been made to
show, that literary elegance and Christian in-
struction may happily coalesce.

The editor feels his oblig-ations to the kindness
of those who have enriched his volume with their
efforts, and hopes for a continuance of their aid.

J. O. C.

Newport, R. I., Oct., 1831.





Chaiity beareth all Things. Mrs. Sigourney . 1

Lilies written on a Print of Sir Isaac Newton.

William R. Williams, Esq 4

A Church in the Backwoods. JMiss Isabel Ann

Drysdale 6

The 3Iourner. T. W. II 18

Rome buried in her own Ruins 19

God is Love. Iota 21

Biographical Sketch of the late Right Honorable

Sehna, Countess Dowager of Huntingdon. 22

The God of Israel. B ?^. . . 35

Lines addressed to the Rev. Joshua Tinson, on
his leaving England to enter upon Mission-
ary Labors in the Island of Jamaica. By
the Rev. J. P. Saffery 37

Evening amongst the Alps. By the Author of
"Modem Greece." 40



Remarks upon the Character of the late Em-
peror of France, Napoleon Bonaparte. . . 41

The Hindoo Widow. A Fragment. From an

unpublished Poem. H 58

Ode to Thought. Clarissa 60

Rehgion not a Hinderance to the Student. By

Rev. Irah Chase 64

" Wilt thou be there ?" T. W. H 71

Lmes written on a Drawing of JMount Vernon,
the Seat of General Washington. By the
Rev. Wilham Jay, of Bath 72

" The effectual fervent Prayer of a righteous
Manavaileth much." By the Rev. John
Harris 73

Lines wiitten by the Rev. William Jay, of Bath,
on a Visit to liis native Village (Tisbury), in
August, 1800 82

The Clii-istian. T. W. H . . 87

Lines composed by the Rev. Dr. Ryland, the Day
. before his Death, April, 1825 88

The Spread of the Gospel. By the Rev. S. P.
Hill 90

A Year of Life. By the Rev. John Newton
Bro^vn 98


The Resurrection Hope. At the Grave of a

Friend. T. W. H 101

The Convict's Friend 102

The Baptism. By Mrs. Sigoumey 127

The Triumph of Jesus. By the Rev. J. Lawson,

Missionary, Calcutta 131

Pagoda at Rangoon. By the Rev. James D.

Knowles 133

To the Eye. By the Author of "Modem

Greece." 138

The Remonstrance. By Miss Anne Taylor. . 140

The new Heavens and the new Eaith. J. O. C. 148

The Bard. T. H. W 153

A Prayer. By the Rev. George W. Bethune. 155

The exceeding Sinfulness of Sin exhibited in
the Gospel of Christ. By the Rev. William

Hamilton 157

A Lament for Ellen. Bv Mrs. M'Cartee. ... 162

Metastasio. Sprezza II Fudor Del Vento. . . 164

Ministerial Education. By B. B. Edwards. , 165

The Morning Star. By the late Rev. James

Eastburn 176

I •>'




Hiiits on Literary Habits. By tlie Rev. Jaines

D. Kiiowles ^ 179

Home. By William R. Williams, Esq 196

Foster's Lecture. Notes of a Lecture by the

Rev. John Foster 200

The Invalid. By Miss Isabel Ann Diysdale. . 211

The Death of Howard, the Philanthropist.

J. W— n 221

Illustration of John xiv. 8, 9. By the Rev.
Jeremiah Chaplin, D. D., President of
Waterville CoUege 223

The Jewish Captive. W. V 225

The Dying Wamor. By the Rev. Robert

M'Cartee, D. D 228

The Sabbath Day. T. W. H 230

) ) J_ J 1

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St. Paul
by mrs. sigour>'ey.

The Lion loves Ms own. — The desert sands,
High tossed beneath his spurning foot, attest
The rage of his bereavement. With hoarse cries,
Vindictive, echoing round the rocky shores,
The polar bear her slaughtered cub bewails ;
While with a softer plaint, where verdant gi'oves
Responsive quiver to the evemng breeze.
The mother-bird deplores her ravaged nest.

7%c Savage loves his own. — His ^^'ind-rocked babe,
That, rudely cradled 'mid the fragrant boughs,
Or on its toiling mother's shoulders bound,
Shiiuks not from sun or ram, — his hoaiy sire.
And hunting-spear, and forest spoils, are dear.

The Pagan loves his own. — The faithful friend
Who by his side the stormy battle dares.
The chieftain at whose nod his life-blood flows.
His simple hut, and native earth, are dear.

The Christian loves his own. — But is his God
Content with this, wdio, full of bounty, pours
His sun-ray on the evil and the good.
And, like a pai-ent, gathereth round his board
The thankless with the just.^



. . r Shall man, who shares

' '' ' -^^ iinre'quit'ad oarr^uet, sternly bar

From his heart's brotherhood a fellow-guest ?
Shall he within his bosom sternly liide
Retahation's poison, when the smile
Of Heaven doth win hhn to the deeds of love ?
Speak, servants of that Blessed One who gave
The glorious precept, " Love your enemies ;" —
Is it enough that ye should love your friends,
Even as the heathen do ? — Is He, who bore
The flight of friendship, the denial-vow
Of coward love, the Pharisaic taunt,
Judea's maddened scourge, the Roman spear,
A world's offences, and the pang of death, —
Is He your Master, if ye only walk
As Nature prompts ? — If the love-beaming eye
Drhik fond return reciprocal, the hp
That pours your praise partake your sympathy
When sorrow blanches it, the liberal hand
Wm by its gifts your meed of gratitude, —
What do ye more than others ? But on him
Whose frown of settled hatred mars your rest,
Wlio to the bosom of your fame doth strike
A serpent-sting, your kindest deeds requite
V/ith treacherj^, and o'er your motives cast
The mist of prejudice, — say, can you look
With the meek smile of patient tenderness.
And from the deep pavilion of your soul
Send up the prayer of blessing ?


God of Strength !
Be merciful ; and, when ^ve duly kneel
Beside our pillow of repose, and say,
'^Forgive us, Father, even as we forgive,'"
Grant that the murmured orison seal not
Our condemnation.




His mind was like the starry skies he read,
Bright, vast, and calm, and fathomless : the dreams
Of ancient days, that men had worshipped long
As glorious forms of truth, to it were clouds
That gorgeous floated by, nor found a home
Nor left a stain m all that vault of hght.
His country, proud her laurelled sons amid,
Him hails with mighty Bacon, and with Locke
Keen-eyed, her chiefs ^vith mental empire girt.
And throned in deathless fame. With kmdliug eye,
She turns to other ages, and to climes
Remote, and flings the gauntlet of his fame
To all, " From those who on Euphrates' bank,
Or by far Ganges counted first the stars,
To Galileo, Kepler and Des Cartes ;
Who can with peerless Newton vie ?"

The babe
That died but yesternight, ere yet its lips
Had framed a word, or it had learned to laiow


The mother, on whose breast, all helpless hung,
It feebly wailing gasped away its Ufe,
ShaU vie with England's sage, and prove his peer ;
For it has learnt, as "s\'ith a moment's glance,
INIore than the mortal Newton knew, and now
At all the scanty lore of earth it smiles 1




Ma>'^t years ago, during a rambling excursion
through the interior of Georgia and Carohna, 1
remember stopping late, one Saturday evening, at
a shabby little mn, in one of the most remote and
recently settled districts. All around was wild, and
rude, and imperfect, proclaiming, at every step, the
new settlement. At that time, I was utterly devoid
of religious feehng : still I was decorous in my con-
duct, and was regarded as " a good kind of a man."
At home, on the Sabbath morning, duly as the to^vQ
clock struck nine, the door of my counting-room
was closed, the leger abandoned, with all its
perplexities, and home I hastened to make the
customary preparations for appearing in " the great
congregation." Let none of my readers misunder-
stand me : this preparation had no connection with
the regulation of my thoughts and affections, —
no heavenly meditation, introductory to my au-
dience with the King of kings. It was simply the
changing of my every day di'ab coat for a superfine
surtout, or smoothing into more than ordmary sleek-
ness my Sunday beaver. Yet, strange to say, from


this most gross and worldly-minded conformity, I
derived a vast fund of internal complacency and
self-security, and, contemplating the bolder offender,
I %Yas often ready to say, " God, I thank thee that I
am not as this man." And, thus placed under the
incessant influence of religious truth, my heart at
last became like a pohshed stone, worn harder by
constant, but meffectual attrition.

Such bemg my habits, I was obviously a " church-
going" man, and before I retired at night, I learned
with gi-eat satisfaction, that, " the best meeting-house
in the settlement" was only a few miles distant.
Accordingly, the next morning, I set forth rather
earher than the appointed hour, and, following one
of the almost innumerable paths, which, winding
fi-om every direction, converged towards a certain
pomt, I found myself, after a short ride, entering the
grove in which I expected to find the church. Nor
was it long before it appeared, m the midst of a
wide clearing, but certainly veiy unhke the concep-
tion I had formed of it in my o^\ti mind. Assuredly
I had not expected to find in this church of the
backwoods, an edifice of stone, or brick, or even
of well-pamted Avood, with tall steeple and gilded
vane, such as I was famihar with in cities; but
some vague notion I had of rustic simplicity and
beauty, and when I beheld an uncouth-lookino- lot^
buildmg, its unhewn timbers stih cased m their
original sylvan envelope of shaggj- bark, I acknowl-
edge, that the little temple of the woods scarcely


received from me that respect which I had been
accustomed to accord to every house of God.

lu the open space before the church, seated on
the gi'ass, and dispersed through the neighboring
woods, I found its humble congregation ; and,
learning that the minister had not arrived, I strayed
onward into the green shades surrounding us.
Here I was soon constrained to confess, that, though
the church of the "new settlement" had disappoint-
ed my expectations, it certamly enjoyed the most
lovely and picturesque situation I had ever beheld.
From the deep, black loam, shot up a giant forest
growth, whose broad, umbrageous branches spread
around an almost unbroken continuity of shade : no
confused under-brush obstructed the view ; all was
clear and free, and long vistas opened on every side,
between the massy columns of mighty oaks, syca-
mores, and magnohas. Beneath the whole was
spread a close-cropped gi*een, richly sprinkled with
the crimson leaves of the gum-tree, and the bright,
yellow foUage of the sassafras, for it was late in
September, and every passing breeze showered the
earth Avith these brilliant, but transient honors of the
autumnal gi'ove.

On my return to the church, I found that the
minister had arrived : the congregation were crowd-
ing into the church, and it was with some difficulty
that I procured a seat. I had a few minutes to
reconnoitre my situation, m the midst of a plain,
homespun-clad people, whose expectant looks and


earnest attention I mentally contrasted with the
stiff, artificial propriety of a city congregation. But
my speculations were suddenly interrupted by the
appearance of the mmister himself, slowly rising in
the httle stand wliich served for a pulpit. He wore
the common garb of the country, and his face, deeply
bronzed by exposure, showed that he shared its
common la])or. But the thin, white locks, which
grew around his sunken temples, and a sweet
seriousness in liis whole look, redeemed his counte-
nance from any thing like coarseness or vulgarity
of expression. I could not help lookmg reverently
on the old man, maugre all my city prejudices
against a coarse coat and clergy out of black ; and
when he began to read, in a voice which was full of
natural music, though evidently untrained to the
elegances of the art, I listened with pleased attention,
deeply touched by the profound solemnity and
pathos with which he recited the following lines
from Watts : —

God of my childhood and mj' youth,

The Guide of all my days,
I have declared tliy heavenly truth,

And told thy wondrous ways.

Wilt thou forsake my hoary hairs,

And leave my fainting' heart 1
Wlio shall sustain my sinking years.

If God, my strength, depart ?

The fire of devotion, which kindled in his languid
eye at the commencement, Avas quickly quenched


ill a glistening tear, and the strong quiver of emotion
rendered liis voice nearly inaudible in the last verse.
My heart was considerably softened by this introduc-
tion, and the avenues of feeling, long sealed by in-
veterate worldliness, were gently opened to the
holy influences which flowed from the following

The humble pastor of the backwoods was an
unlettered man ; his " Bible true" was his only
book ; but from that pure fountain, he had drunk
deeply of holy wisdom and divine philosophy ; and
to his thoughtful, observant eye, the rich volume of
nature presented an aflfecting and harmonious
commentary. There was not a rural landscape, a
changing season, or varying hour, not a home-
scene in life, which he could not find clearly re-
flected in the mirror of inspiration : the finger of
God had painted both, and he loved the venerable
impress. This it was, this beautiful appropriation
of scriptural imagery, which constituted the pecuhar
charm of his preaching, giving an ever- varying fresh-
ness to his thoughts, and tinging them, as it were,
with the hues of heaven. He was an unlettered
man, and he meekly contented himself Avith the
beaten track of experience, avoiding those heights
and depths of doctrine, which require the strong
pinion of a trained and disciplined mind. He
tallied of the bitterness of sin, which he had felt,
of the love and goodness of Christ, which he had
tasted ; and when he spoke of a faithful God, liis


hand instinctively rose to his own gi*ay locks, as
an affecting testimonial. There was so much of
the powerful interest of reality in all this, that as he
painted, with glowing fervor, the future glories of the
redeemed, I looked on the coarse sleeve on his ex-
tended arm, and ahiiost thought that I saw it already
transmuted into the ethereal garment of hght.

I left the church lo%dng and reverencing its aged
preacher, and deeply affected by all that I had heard,
A short intermission was to be followed by a second
sermon, and I lingered near the church to hear it.
In the mean time, the congregation were gi-ouped
about, in little clusters, under the trees, strongly
remindmg me of those companies seated on the
grass, into which the pitying Redeemer arranged
the fainting multitude in the wilderness. From one
of these groups I saw the venerable minister ad-
vancmg towards me ; he accosted me with hearty
kindness, and invited me to a seat under his tree,
and a share of his Uttle refreshments, vAlh. a sim-
plicity' and frank courtesy which reminded me of
patriarchal hospitality. During this hasty repast, I
made some progress in his acquaintance, and
received from him an invitation for the night, to
which I gladly assented.

It was late before the congi-egation dispersed, and
tlie beams of the setting sun hghted them home,
some on foot, and others on horses, in carts and in
carriages. "We hstened for some time to the mingled
hum of voices as they receded from us, and occa-


sioiially a distant strain of sacred music floated
sweetly by us, the holy vesper of the closing

I led my horse, and wallied by the side of the
man of God, whose firm step and rapid pace, as ho
tlireaded the forest by a httle winding foot-path,
bespoke a green and vigorous old age. The dusky
shades of twihght enveloped every object before we
discovered a little light, shining like a twiulihng star
at a distance.

" That is my light," said the old man, mending his
pace as if animated by the sight ; and we pursued
its " long levelled rule," until led by it to the door
of a common log cabin.

I felt pained and confused as we entered this
humble dwelUng, fearing that this exposure of his
poverty might wound the feelings of my new friend.
But his frank, unembai-rassed manner soon reheved
my uneasiness, and I took the oaken chau*, which
lie presented, with pleasure and alacrity.

Our supper was soon served, sweetened by peace
and heart-felt good- will ; it was clean and abundant,
but very homely : indeed, every thing that I saw
informed me that I was under a poor man's roof.

Anxious to do him all the honor in my power, I
ventured something hke a compliment on the dis-
courses I had heard through the day. He smiled,
and said that he was much obliged by the atten-
tion with which I had hstened ; he was sure I must
be accustomed to very different preaching. I


warmly disclaimed this fact, and was proceeding in
a still more complimentary strain, when he modestly,
but Avith dignity, waved the subject. " You are very
kind, sir," he said, " very kind ; I see your motive,
and am bound to be thankful for it. Indeed, I hope
I am not so unmindful of the dignit}^ of the message
which I bear, as to forget its claims, even when
delivered by a poor and ignorant man, like myself.
God speaks in the rough, hoarse east wind, as well
as in the soft breezes of spring. He is the God of
battles for Israel, whether he conquers by the pebble
of the brook, or the pohshed shaft from the armory
of kings."

In the course of the evening, I drew from my
host a little histoiy of himself, delivered, as nearly
as I can remember, in the following words.

"I have veiy httle story to tell. I am a poor
man myself, and was a poor man's son. When I
was a tall lad, about the age of my eldest son, who
sits next to you at table, my father trusted me ^vith
liis little crop to carry to market. A more foolish
and careless youth than I was at that time you can
scarcely conceive:'! had hardly more thought than
the beasts by whose side I trudged whistling along.
My whole ambition was to possess a horse and gun
of my o^vn, and I asked no higher honor than
bemg called the best marksman and racer in our

" was the first town I had ever seen, and,

after putting up my cotton as my father had di-



rected (for it was Sunday), I walked from street
to street, gaping about me, and stopping, every
minute, to admire some strange sight. Suddenly I
was startled by the loud, solemn tones of a church
bell, close above me. I had never heard any thing
like it before, and the curiosity and dehght, which
I expressed with the utmost simplicity, so amused
and pleased a gentleman who was passing at the
moment, that he offered to take me to the place
whence the sound came. He accordingly carried
me with him to church ; but I suspect that he was
rather ashamed of my clownish appearance, for he
stowed me away in a galleiy pew, and left me

"At first I did nothing but gaze at the highly
dressed congregation, and the beautiful ornaments
of the church ; but at last the minister attracted my
attention, and I think it never wandered from him
again for a smgle minute. I suppose that he was a
ver}^ popular preacher, for the church was greatly
tlu'onged ; yet there Avas a meek hiunility in his man-
ner, which looked as if his wonted place was at
Jesus' feet. He had an elegance and refinement of
speech and tone, which we poor rustic preachers
never can attain ; but in him it was evidently natural :
there was nothing hke vanity or thsplay about him ;
he seemed to think only of winning souls to Christ.

" I listened to liim with eager attention ; it seemed
as if a thick shroud was gradually withdraA\Ti from
my mind, and new and most overpowering light


poured iu upon it. At first, indeed, it was only
a faint glimmering breaking through the darkness ;
but gradually I saw more clearly, and I left that
house a changed creatm-e. I cared no more for
the novelties by which I was sm-rounded, — God,
God was in all my thoughts, — and, shrinking away
from ever}^ hving creature, m the stilhiess of retire-
ment, I looked inward and upward, into the secrets
of tAvo strange worlds, hitherto unknown to me.

" I returned home an altered man. My father
often asked what made me so down-hearted. He
missed my merry whistle at the plough, my bois-
terous glee in the harvest. But the secret was soon
read: an old one-covered Bible of my mother's,
which had long been preserved, as the decent orna-
nii^nt of our parlor shelf, was now my constant
companion ; and, a poor, unlettered peasant boy, I
would spell over its blessed lessons by our evening
torch, and chve mto those affecting mysteries, m
which the way-faruag man, though a fool, shall not


"At first, I had many a bitter gibe and surly
reproof from my father ; but I bore it all patiently,
and God rewarded me— God abundantly rewarded
me 1" (he exclaimed, AAath sudden anunation, a bright
glow suflTusing his tanned and wrinkled coimte-
nance) " for he gave me my father's soul, as the fruit
of my endurance ; and m this wide world, there is
no spot so dear to my heart as the aged pme, under


whose shade my father fell on my neck, and wept
his first tears of contrition.

" Gradually I began to be noticed as a serious
young man : on Sundays the people encouraged me
to speak to them upon rehgious subjects, and it was
not many years before I became a preacher without
knowing it myself. Ah, sir, how earnestly I longed
then for the advantages of education ! The minister

whom I had heard in haunted my thoughts,

night and day ; and hard I toiled in sun and snow,
strauiing my young sinews in vain efforts to amass a
Uttle treasm-e for this purpose, hoping that I might at
last learn hke him to deUver my Master's message.
That was not the day of rehgious enterprise and
rehgious seminaries. Our pious youth pined m ob-
scurity, and passed away unkno^vn to the generation
among whom they might have hved as burning and
shining hghts. It is too late for me; but I rejoice, I
magnify the goodness of God for the rising pros-
perity of Zion, for the schools of the prophets
growing up in the land."

By this time, I felt so familiar with my host, that 1
ventured a few questions on his condition as to
temporal things, which seemed to me so every way
unworthy of his deserts. Upon this subject he was
rather reserved : he said, however, that he had had
some hard struggles in his time ; but, checldng him-
self, he added, " I bless God, I have never known
the wo of a houseless head, or famishing family:


my bread and my water have been sure, and this is all
that I have a right to claim."

My feehngs were gi'eatly excited, and I spoke
warmly of the duty of his church to provide for
him in a more suitable manner. A deep blush
crossed the old man's face, and he said, " Our strength
is not ' the strength of stones, nor our flesh brass,'
yet our brethren think so, and jealously grant our
most modest requisitions; but," con-ectuig hmiself,
he added meekly, " I am wrong to speak thus, and I
pray God to give me a contented heart. Yet some-
times, when I look upon my childi-en grooving up in
ignorance around me, I sigh, and wish that while I
labor for them in spiritual things, they would feed
me at least with the crumbs which fall from their
tables ; for, oh ! how small a mite from their abim-

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Online LibraryJohn Overton ChoulesThe Christian offering for MDCCCXXXII → online text (page 1 of 12)