Page:Olney Hymns - 1840.djvu/26

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of sentiment soon united Cowper and Newton in a friendship interrupted only, during the residue of their lives, by the mysterious visitations, from time to time, of that constitutional malady which haunted the former. The first tremendous access of this calamity had been repelled by the skill of Dr. Cotton, at St. Albans. But the good physician had not only stayed, for a while, the plague that laid waste his intellect; he poured the wine and oil of gospel-consolation into the wounds of a spirit in which the arrows of the Almighty had struck deep and remained fixed, till

"One,
Who had himself been hit by the archers,"

found him "withdrawn— to seek a tranquil death in distant shades," and then,

"With gentle force soliciting the darts,"

had healed, and bade him live. Hitherto the conscious transgressor had known religion only by its terrors— "thunder and earthquake and devouring flame:" now he partook of its delights; occasionally of its transports :—

"Twas heaven, all heaven descending on the wings
Of the bright legions of the King of kings;
"Twas more;— twas God diffused through every part;
"Twas God himself triumphant in his heart."

This was indeed the time of the soul's espousals, when the Beloved "allured her into the wilderness, and spake comfortably to her," The page which commemorates our Poet's deliverance from the fear that hath torment, into joy unspeakable and full of glory, is the fairest in the dark-and-bright volume of his book of life; and that page is written by his own hand, in the language of his heart, when he poured forth its fulness and sweetness, in those two hymns of the following Collection, which cannot be read and under-