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the poet's fancy and the poet's numbers had shed the most vivid hues and the richest harmony, and which, in former days, had been a fountain of delight, he found the spell at an end; it had lost its power to beguile his heart of its cares, or impart the smallest re. lief to his apprehension. Did he walk forth into the fields, and survey Nature in her fairest forms, the scene merely conjured up a mournful contrast between the pleasures which the landscape once imparted, and its present monotony and dreariness. In fine, there is little doubt that his latent malady infected the springs of life much less rapidly by its own direct force, than indirectly by its influence in lowering his spirits.
These feelings cannot be explained by admitting the influence of constitution. Few men had less reason to dread death, on account of that existence which follows it. If a blameless life and enlightened piety could smooth the path to the grave, or if death were indebted for its terrors merely to the apprehension of its consequences in another mode of existence, few men had less reason than Mr. Linn to view it with anxiety. But such is the physical constitution of most men, that their feelings on this head are by no means in subjection to their reason. The raising of blood seems particularly calculated to affect the spirits of the patient, and the sight of that fluid, so essential to life, oozing through unnatural channels, is sure to appal and disconcert the most courageous minds. Mr. Linn was haunted, from his earliest youth, with a fatal persuasion that he should die young, and of all diseases he regarded consumption with most abhorrence. His present symptoms were to him infallible tokens, not only that death was hastening on him, but that it was approaching in a form the most ghastly and terrific.
These mournful impressions acquired unusual strength in the winter and spring of 1804. He was attacked several times with spitting of blood; and though these symptoms were not deemed fatal or incurable by his physicians, they spoke a language to his own heart not to be mistaken. He was, however, prevailed upon to try the effects of a new journey. For this purpose, he obtained from his congregation leave of absence for two or three months, and set out towards the eastern states. By this journey he was little amused or benefited, and the state of his mind, when setting out on his return, will strongly appear in the following extract of a letter, written at Boston, to his father:
“ Never was a traveller less qualified for giving or receiving pleasure. I cannot discover that I have received the least benefit from my voyage or travel, nor have my spirits ascended the smal. lest degree above their customary pitch.
“ I am convinced, that unless I undergo a total renovation, I must leave, the pulpit, and endeavour to earn my bread in some other way. If my present impressions are true, if appearances deceive me not, I shall need « but little here below, nor need that little long." But as all my hopes of the world are clouded and ruined, could I only subdue some rising apprehensions, and leave my family provided for, I should not regret the blow, however speedy, that crumbled me to dust. I write not to afflict you, but to relieve myself. It is a strange consolation, but it is one of the few consolations I know. You will therefore please to pardon me for this, and all other offences towards you of which I may be guilty. They are inseparable from my cruel disease.
" I feel the ruin of an intellect, which, with health, would not have dishonoured you, my family, or my country. I feel the ruin of a heart, which I trust was never deficient in gratitude towards my God, or my worldly benefactors. This heart has always fervently cherished the social affections, but now broods over the images of despair, and wars ineffectually with the pang which bespeaks my dissolution. But I must be silent. I believe I have
gone too far."
After a short stay in New York and its neighbourhood, he re• turned to Philadelphia, in July. During the ensuing six weeks,
he was attacked by indisposition in several forms. His mind struggled in vain against the conviction of his increasing and incurable infirmities. As this excursion was followed only by new diseases, his hopes were totally subverted, and he wrote a letter to the session of his church, which contained a resignation of his pulpit.
This letter was written from the bed of sickness, and he was persuaded to recal it a few days afterwards. Some expedients were proposed for relieving him from part of his professional duties, and his mind experienced some temporary ease from the prospects which his friends held out to him. A day of customary health revisited his soul with a transient gleam of consolation ; but the fatal period was now hastening, which was to bear stronger testi. mony than even he himself had imagined to the justice of his apprehensions.
On the thirtieth of August he rose with less indisposition than usual. The last words which he committed to paper was on the morning of that day, in a letter to his father, which, however, was not delivered till some time after the writer was no more. In this letter he declares himself incapable of being burthensome to his congregation. “ Does not,” says he,“ my obligations to God and to my people dictate that I ought without farther trial, to relinquish my present charge? May not a righteous Providence point out this conduct as the only road to health? You know how fervently I love the study and the teaching of divine truths; yet, if compelled by necessity to leave the pulpit, may I not still be useful in some way more corresponding to my strength ? Severe, very severe, are the dispensations of my God towards me ; but I hope to be able to submit. Hope, on which I have lived, has only glimmered on my path to flatter and deceive me. I am convince ed that something must now be done.”
Alas! these schemes for futurity were rendered unnecessary before the rising of another sun. On the evening of that day, he occasionally raised blood, but in a degree scarcely perceptible. It was, however, sufficient to dissipate every ray of cheerfulness, and his heart sunk beyond the power of the friends that were with him to restore it. He retired about half after ten o'clock, as little apprehensive of immediate danger as any of his family; but scarcely had he laid his head upon the pillow, when some motion within him occasioned him to say to his wife, “ I feel something burst within me. Call the family together: I am dying.” He had scarcely time to pronounce these words, when his utterance was choaked by a stream of blood. After a short interval be recovered strength and sensibility sufficient to exclaim with fe vency, clasping his hands and lifting his eyes, “ Lord Jesus, pardon my transa gressions, and receive my soul!”
Such was the abrupt and untimely close of a life, which, though short, had been illustrated by genius and virtue, in a degree of which our country has hitherto afforded very few examples !
On the character of Mr. Linn, as a preacher, it is not necessary to dwell, among those who have enjoyed opportunities of hearing him. It is well known, that few persons in America, though assisted by age and experience, have ever aitained so great a popularity as he acquired before his twenty-third year. The merits which shone forth with so much splendour on his first ascending the pulpit, the discipline and experience of four years by no meau, impaired. Time, indeed, evinced its salutary influence only in pruning away his juvenile luxuriances, and giving greater solidity to his discourses, without rendering them less engaging.
As a poet, performances must also speak for him. He took up the pen, and his effusions obtained public notice and regard, at so early an age as sixteen. He was not nineteen when he had completed two regular dramatic pieces, one of which was brought upon the stage. All his performances, however, candour compels us to consider as preludes to future exertions, and indications of future excellence. While their positive merit is considerable, they are chiefly characteristics of the writer, by suggesting to us what might have been expected from him, had Providence allowed him a longer date.
On his character in general, the following is the testimony of two of his friends, who had long enjoyed his intimacy, and who are better qualified than any one living to draw a just portrait of him. One of these, the Rev.Mr.John Romeyn, of Albany, speaks of him in the following terms :
I need scarcely mention his talents were of the first order. His imagination was glowing, and yet it was chaste. Even his earliest attempts of writing display a soundness of judgment rarely united with fervidness of fancy, especially in young people. His taste was formed on pure models. He was capable of deep research, though constitutionally indisposed to it. His genius was poetic. He always preferred a poem, or criticisms on polite literature, to any others species of composition. His constitution was sanguine. This caused a precipitancy in some of his actions, which prudence condemned. He had a bias to pleasure, a taste for it; so much so, that I have often, in reflecting over past scenes, wondered how he escaped its pollutions as he did. His readings in early life contributed very much to increase this taste. He was disposed to be romantic in his views and conduct. His temper was quick, his sensibility exquisite. He had all the capricious feelings peculiar to a poet. Though hasty, and sometimes rash, yet was he generous: he scorned meanness. He was warm in his attachments ; benevolent in his propensities to mankind. His anticipated pleasures generally exceeded his actual enjoyments. He was accustomed to dwell more on the dark, than on the bright side of the picture of life. He was prone to melancholy, the melancholy of genius. Ofttimcs he appcared its victim, sitting for days silent, sad, and gloomy. He felt, even to madness, the slightest disrespect, and as sensibly enjoyed attention paid to him. He was not calculated to move in a noderate common course with the generality of mankind; he was either in the valley of gloom or on the mount of transport; rarely did he enjoy temperate, calmn pleasure. With years, this sensibility was corrected. I myself perceived a change in him, in this respect, the last time we were together. In short, his system was like a delicate machine, composed of the finest matesials, which was liable to derangements from the slightest and most trifling circumstances, and the continual, diversified action of those parts tended gradually, though certainly, to a speedy destruction of the whole.”
The Rev. Mr. Alexander M«Leod, of New York, speaks of his deceased friend in the following terms:
“ About the time of his beginning to preach the gospel, he was greatly agitated about two of the most important points in the Christian's life, What are the characteristics of gracious exercises of heart toward God? and, What is the connexion between the speculative truths of revealed religion and those exercises ?
“ I advised him to read Dr. Owen's Treatise on Communion with God. He did so. He was satisfied with it. He entered fully into the doctor's views of that interesting subject. Of the state of his mind I have received from himself explicit information. Opposed to enthusiasm, and naturally delicate, he was not very communicative on such subjects. He did not think it prudent to unbosom himself to many, because he had himself such a low opinion of his Christian experience, that he thought it probable a fair statement would dispose the censorious to conclude he was entirely destitute of piety, and render the nominal professor satisfied with his own attainments; and consequently have a tendency to hinder his public usefulness, and to encourage inattention to experimental religion. He therefore scarcely ever alluded to his own experience, in conversation even with his most intimate religious friends. He was not, however, absolutely opposed to conversation upon such subjects. He could throw aside reserve, and enter upon it with freedom, when he was under no apprehension that this freedom would be abused.
• He was much under the influence of the fear of death, and a reluctance to dying. But he was not in terror of future punishment; for although he confessed himself worthy of it, he trusted