« ZurückWeiter »
HERE are in general five parts of a sermon,
the exordium, the connection, the division, the discussion, and the application : but, as connection and division are parts which ought to be
(1) The present custom of Adam, prophefied. At the re-, reading a text of fcripture, to turn of the Jews from the serve for the ground of a dif- Babylonish captivity, Ezra course, is derived from the made, as he ought, the writtime of Ezra. Before that time ings of Moses the rule of his the prophets, and before them reformation of the church : the patriarchs, delivered in But, as the people in the sepublic assemblies sometimes venty years of their captivity prophecies, and sometimes had almost loft the language moral instructions for the edin in which their pentateuch was fication of the people. Noah written, it became necessary was a preacher of righteousness; to explain, as well as to read and Enoch, the seventh from the scriptures to them. AcVOL. I.
extremely short, we can properly reckon only three parts ; exordium, discussion, and application. However, we will just take notice of connection and division after we have spoken a little on the choice of texts, and on a few general rules of discussing them. (2)
cordingly we are told, that tify. See Bayle's gen. dift. Ezra, accompanied by feveral Aristotle, rem. U. Levites, in a public congre (2) Bishop Wilkin says, gation of men and women, “ Preaching should have its afcended a pulpit, opened the rules and canons, whereby book of the law, (the people men may be directed to the all rising from their seats on easiest and readiest way for the his opening the book.) ad- practice of it. Besides all acadressed a prayer to God, to demical studies of languages, which the people said Amen, sciences, divinity, &c. besides and read in the law of God all these, there is a particular diftinétly, and gave the fenfe, art of preaching ---Two abiliand caused them to undersiand ties are requisite in
every one; the reading, Neh. viji. 6,7,8. a right understanding of sound In later times Mofes was thus doctrine, and an ability to read in the synagogues every propound, confirm, and apJabbath-day, A&ts xv. 21. To ply it to others. The first may this laudable custom our Sa- be without the other; and, as viour conformed, and, in the a man may be a good lawyer, synagogue at Nazareth, read and yet not a good pleader ; a pallage in Isaiah, closed the so he may be a good divine, book, after he had read it, re- and yet not a good preacher. turned it to the minister, fat One reason why men of emidown, and preached from the nent parts are fo flow and untext. Luke iv. 16, &c. The filful herein is, because they apostles followed his example, have not been versed in this Acts xviji. 4. the primitive study, and are therefore un. fathers theirs, and the cuf- acquainted with those proper tom prevails over all the chrif- rules and directions by which tian world at this day. This they should be guided in the practice, however, was inter- attaining and exercise of this rupted in the dark times of gift. It hath been the usual popery; and the ethics of Arif- course at the university, to totle were read in many venture upon this calling in churches on Sundays, inttead an abrupt, overkarty manner. of the holy scriptures, as When scholars have passed Melancthon and others ter. over their philosophical itu
1. Never choose fuck texts as have not a complete Sense; for only impertinent and foolish people will attempt to preach from one or two words, which signify nothing
2. Not only words which have a complete sense of themselves must be taken : but they must also include the complete sense of tbe writer, whose words they are ; for it is his language, and they are his sentiments, which you explain. (3) For
dies, and made fome little will anfwer the fame purpose. entrance on divinity, they Peter le Loyer, countellor in presently think themselves fit the presidial court of Angers, for the pulpit, without any was one of the most learned farther enquiry, as if the gift men of his age, and at the of preaching, and sacred ora- same time one of the greatest tory, was not a distinct art of visionaries in the world. He itself. This would be counted found in one single line in very preposterous in other Homer, his christian name, matters, if a man Mould pre- his surname, the name of the sume of being an orator be- village in which he was born, çause he was a logician, or to the name of the province in practise phyfic because he had which that village is situated, learned philofophy,” &c. and the name of the kingdom,
Wilkin's Ecclefiaftes. of which that province is a (3) The preacher must take part. He printed a work on the sense of the writer. Of- the origin, migrations, &c. fences against this obvious of divers nations, and that rule are numberless: but, in- book thus he accredits : stead of exemplifying the rule “ After that great prophecy; from the reveries of learned which is owing entirely to me, theologists, we will give an Homer comes to say this verie example of a similar effort of directed to Ulyffes, extraordinary genius, which
Σον δ' επω τις εχει καλον γερας" αλλα εχηλος. And no man, says the ghost of what follows relates to anoAnticlea to her fon Ulysses, ther subject. In that long bas yet got your reward, how- verse you may read distinctiy, ever, you may reft quietly: and
II tipos Awigros, Aydavxzas, Tanhas, Theun. That is to say, Peter Le OF ANJOU, A GAUL, PORN LOYER, OF THE PROVINCE AT HUILLE. There is nei,
(4) example, should you take these words of 2 Cor. i. 3 Bieffed be God, the father of our Lord Teus Christ, the father of mercies and the God of all com ort, and stop here, you would include a complete fense: but it would not be the apostle's sense. Should you go farther, and add, wlo com coteth us in all our tribulation, it would not then be the complete sense of St. Paul, nor would his meaning be wholly taken in, unless you went on to the end of the fourth verse. When the complete sense of the sacred writer is taken, you may stop; for there are few texts in scripture, which do not afford matter sufficient for a fermon; and it is equally inconvenient to take too much text, or too little ; both extremes must be avoided.
When too little text is taken, you must digress from the subject to find something to say ; Hourishes of wit and imagination must be displayed, which are not of the genius of the pulpit; and, in one word, it will make the hearers think, that felf
ther more nor less, let any expected ang reputation from one, who pleases, make the it: but because I neither experiment, which is the only could nor ought to conceal argument I offer to support my what was revealed to Homer affertion. Homer gives that concerning me. This will line to me, which accordingly add more weight to my work must be mine, and not ano of the origin, &c. of divers ther's. There remain but nations, the clearing up of three letters of that whole all which was designed for verse, which perhaps may be me." Bayle art. Loyer,rem.C. thought superfluous, and Did ever learned etymowhich yet are not so. They logist hit a meaning more acare the Greek numeral letters curately? The mischief is, a, Xo x, which point out the this was not Homer's meaning. time when the name hid in But Homer ought not to comthat line of Homer would be plain, his betters, inspired revealed, namely, the year of writers, have had their La Christ 1620. I speak not Loyers. this of myself, as though I
is more preached than Jesus Christ, and that the preacher aims rather at appearing a wit, than at instructing and edifying his people.
When too much text is taken, either many important considerat.ons, which belong to the passage, inust be left out, or a tedious prolixity must follow. A proper measure, therefore, must be chosen, and neither too little, nor too much matter taken. Some say, preaching is designed only to make scripture understood, and therefore th y take a great deal of text, a.id are content with giving the sense, and with making some p.incipal reflections: but this is a mistake; for preaching is not only intended to give the sense of scripture, but also of theology in general ; and, in short, to explain the whole of religion, which cannot be done, if too much matter be taken; so that, I think, the manner commonly used in our churches is the most reasonable, and the most conformable to the end of preaching. Every body can read scripture with notes and cominents to obtain simply the sense: but we cannot instruct, solve difficulties, unfold mysteries, penetrate into the ways of divine wisdom, establish truth, refute error, comfort, correct, and censure, fill the hearers with an admiration of the wonderful works and ways of God, inflame their souls with zeal, powerfully incline them to piety and holiness, which are the ends of preaching, unless we go farther than barely enabling them to understand Scripture. (4)
(4) The English preachers powers, or talents of affecting (says a very sensible writer) the pasions. More solicitous are, it is certain, more dif to convince than persuade, they tinguished by their juftrefs of choose to employ their abilisentiment, and strength of rea ties in endeavouring to imfening, than by their oratorial press the mind with a sense of