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The Rural Sabbath, a Poem, in Four Books; and other
Poems. By WILLIAM Cockin. 12mo.
part of this little volume, is a pleasing and useful performance. Its distinguishing characters are good sense and piety: and these are expressed in a strain of poetry, which, in our opinion, is very little, if at all, inferior to that of the much-admired Cowper, in his more serious pieces. The following short account of the author is. prefixed.
“ WILLIAM COCKIn, the unassuming and truly inestimable author of the poems now offered to the public, was born, in September 1736, at Burton in Kendal, in the county of Westmorland. His father, Marmaduke Cockin,' was a teacher of writing and accounts, and brought up his son to the same employe ment, lle died when his son was of the age of eighteen years, and left his family, a wife and three younger children, in moderate if not distressed circumstances. To the care of our anthor they were committed, and they experienced from him an attention, which may be truly styled paternal.
“ The cducation of Mr. Cockin was but slender, as he at an early age assisted his father in his profession. His first attempts towards a permanent settlement, were at two boarding-schools near London, which he quitted with disgust, and never recalled to his memory without expressions of aversion and contempt. In 1764, he was elected writing-master and accountant to the freeschool at Lancaster, a' situation he helt for twenty years, at the end of which term he removed to Nottingham, to assist Mr. Blanchard in establishing his academy there. At that place he continued eight years, and then retired to his native town, where he employed himself chiefly in literary pursuits, and domestic occupations and amusements ; sometimes visiting London, where he resided with his friend Romney, the celebrated painter, at whose house at Kendal he expired, May 30, 1801, after a tedious illness, to the great regret of his friends, by whom he was much beloved, as well the poor, to whom, as far as his means extended, he was a kind benefactor,"
As a specimen of the Rural Sabbath, we shall give an extract or two from the second book. After adverting to the exterior appearance of different individuals in their progress to the village church, the poet thus turns his thoughts to the nobler part of man, the mind.
“BUT tho' a while the pond'ring mind may view
To feel and cultivate with warmest zeal,
Hence those fond anxious sympathies, that still
rites to warm and exercise
“ PEACE to our English Church! and peace to all, Whose rock is Christ ! But, with a partial eye Beholding her fair lineaments, where live, In traits conspicuous, ardent love of truth, Sound learning, charity, unnumber'd charms Of beauteous order, and ingenious skill, Again, I say, peace to our English Church! And may she never more have cause to weep Barbaric blindness, or fanatic zeal; But still, from age to age, in outward form And comeliness advance, as shines around Her inward sanctity, and as her sons Rise in pre-eminence of virtuous fame! But, what is perfect? From enlightning Time What may not reap advantage? And is not: Our native transcript of Heaven's sacred will, Our stated ritual forms (tho' in their sum Of worth most excellent) granted by all Debas'd with blemishes, which skill and care Might quickly cancel, and delight at once Our literate taste, and love of hallow'd truth? For such attempt as many reasons plead, As are the grateful feelings it would raise. Then, why delay the effort; Why not call By rightful summons to the happy task Our learn'd and pious teachers they, to whom, In special sort, the oracles of God Were evermore assign'd! Great as the charge, Their literature and skill, their worth and zeal, Bear meet relation. And, were realiz'd This wish'd and hop'd acquirement, how the breast Of warm ingenuous Piety would bound, To know her heav'nly manna treasur'd up, Complete as it is safe, within an Ark Corruption cannot touch, nor foe annoy, While letters and religion bless these isles pas
With respect to a new translation of the Bible, for which the author here expresses his wish, we think, with the judicious Dr. Hey, emerite Professor of Divinity at Cambridge, that the proper time for such a work is not yet arrived. Many amendinents, no doubt, might be made now; but, as an alteration, whenever it shall be made, cannot be made without manifest inconvenience, we are of opinion, that it ought not to be attempted till it is quite clear, that the advantage, to be obtained by the alteration, will make amends for the attending inconvenience. We think it better, that learned men, and several have set the example, should employ their uns divided attention on particular books of scripture, and that a new translation of the whole should afterwards be made from their accumulated labours. This indeed is what Dr. Hey Kías proposed. “If persons of learning were appointed to take each a small part of the scriptures, to examine all the readings, and propose new senses for the world to judge of, a new translation might go on gradually and safely; the legislature might em. ploy proper persons, and at last collect the parts, and set the seal of public authority.”
Norrisian Lect. b. 1. chap, ix. s. xi. The other poems, of which this volume is composed,
“ Ode to the Genius of the Lakes,” and “ Stanzas on the death of Dr. Johnson;" both of which have considers able merit. To the former are subjoined Notes, from which it appears, that the birth-place of many persons, eminent in the literary world, was in the neighbourhood of the Lakes. Among these, we find the names, and a short account of Gilpin, the apostle of the North, Lancelot Addison, father of the celebrated Joseph Addison, Dr. Mills, editor of the Greek Testament, Bp. Gibson, Tickell, the poet, Chambers, author of the Dictionary of Arts and Sciences, Peter Collinson, Dr. Shaw, Jeremiah Seed, Joseph Sowerby, a man of most extraordinary genius and proficiency in the mathematics, Dr. Langa horne, the poet, and Hogarth.
It appears, that Mr. Cockin was the author of several publications besides the present, and that he assisted also in the compilation of the “ Guide to the Lakes;" a work, which has passed through several editions. P.
3 M 2
Peculiar Privileges of the Christian Ministry, considered in
a charge delivered to the Clergy of the Diocese of St. David's at the primary Visitation of that Diocese, in the year 1804. By Thomas, Lord Bishop of St. David's. 4to. Rivingtons. Pp. 36.
*T has been truly observed, that an admirable system
and care might be compiled from the charges which have been published by the prelates of our church. Such a work judiciously digested would be of inestimable value and service, not only to the younger clergy and students, but to divines of the highest order, and the longest standing in the church.
The Charge now before us, would supply of itself abundant materials towards an Enchiridion of this kind : as it contains many hints and observations not commonly to be met with, but which are of great importance.
The learned and amiable prelate considers " what peculiar privileges towards the acquisition of happiness here and hereafter, the CHRISTIAN MINISTRY possesses in its opportunities of a retired, studious, peaceful, religious, useful life.”
On the advantages to be derived from a studious life, we extract with pleasure the following excellent remarks and instruction.
"The love of knowledge is an original and innate principle, For what is mind, but the faculty of perceiving knowledge? And 'that which is inherent in its nature cannot but be conducive to its pleasure. The pleasure arising from the perception of what we did not know before, is, too, as universal, as it is innate; is · seen in the infant and the savage, in the scholar and the philosopher. External circumstances, indeed, perhaps more than any thing else, give it in different persons a very different direction; and therefore in the mind of an adult the kind of knowledge, which cominunicates delight to one, excites no interest in anos ther. It is also as active as it is universal. One man it sends to the utmost bounds of the habitable globe through the severest extremities of heat and cold, of danger and disaster. Another, with the same ardent spirit of enquiry, exhausts, in his laboratory or his study, the vigour of his healthiest days, the flower of his animal spirits, perhaps the very power of his reason. ** Nothing can shew the fascinating influence of this thirst of