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2. A sermon must not be overcharged with doetrine, because the hearers memories cannot retain it all, and by aiming to keep all, they will lose all; and because you will be obliged either to be excessively tedious, or to propose the doctrine in a dry, barren, scholastic manner, which will deprive it of all its beauty and efficacy. A sermon should inftruét, please, and affect; that is, it should always do these as inuch as possible. As the doctrinal part, which is instructive, should always be proposed in an agreeable and affecting manner; so the agreeable parts should be proposed in an instructive manner; and even in the conclusion, which is defigned wholly to affect, agreeableness must not be neglected, nor altogether instruction. Take care
and resemblances ; to point that Seneca introduced this out such as are of a homoge- vicious taste at Rome. Abun, neous nature; to mark and dat dulcibus vitiis. These reject such as are discordant; fining thoughts, says he, reand finally, to determine the semble not a luminous fame: truth and utility of the inven- but sparks Aying through tions or discoveries which are smoke, In Montagne's opiproduced by the powers of nion, " the tardy genius imagination. This faculty is, makes the better preacher, and in all its operations, cool, at- the quick genius the abler lawtentive, and confiderate. It yer; because the former may canvasses the design, ponders take what time he pleases to the sentiments, examines their prepare himself, and the propriety and connexion, and thread of his discourse is car, reviews the whole compofi- ried on without the least intion with severe impartiality. terruption : but the pleader
Thus it appears to be in every is obliged to be ready every respect a proper counterbal moment to enter the lifts, and ance to the rambling and vo
the unforeseen answers of his latile power of imagination. antagonist either confound his
Elay on genius, b.i.f. 1. arguments, or oblige him to See Rollin on shining thoughts, strike into a new course of Belles lettres, vol. ii. He reasoning.”. Elays, book i, remarks, from Quintilian, chap. 10.
then not to charge your sermon with too much matter. (3)
3. Care must also be taken never to strain any particular part, either in attempting to exhaust it, or to penetrate too far into it. If you aim at exhausting a subject, you will be obliged to heap up a number of common things without choice or discernment; if at penetrating, you cannot avoid falling into many curious questions, and unedifying subtilties; and frequently in attempting it you wisl distil the subject till it evaporates. (4)
(3) To be overcharged with other method. The father doctrine is the great fault of dying just as ihe son had gone Dr. Owen's, and Dr. Good through his public disputawin's sermons; and it is at- tions, and leaving some una tended with all the inconve- dertakings unfinished, the niences mentioned by Mr. young man took a liking to Claude. It was common at work, and followed his fam that time of day to make ther's profession. But he bea thirty or forty remarks before thought himself of recalling the immediate consideration his art to certain principles, of the text came ; these sud- and subjecting it to a methodenly pop up their heads, and dical order. "He treated the instantly disappear. Indeed, whole in his head as he had had each of them been dif- feen his masters treat the art of cussed, each would have af- reasoning. At length he got forded matter enough for a together a number of jourwhole sermon. There is no neymen of the trade, and fault more common among a promised to lead them by a certain order of preachers than new way to the quintesence this.
of carpentry: (4) The futility of such a “ Our new doctor, after a method is thus exposed by the long preambleon mechanicks, Abbè Pluche : « A carpen- which he promised to treat on ter who understood his trade, by genus and species, came and was in tolerabie circum to the first question, and very ftances, had given his son a seriously examined whether good education, that is, had there was a principle of force made him pass through a
He long discussed course of liberal studics and the reasons pro and con, and philosophy We know no at last enabled his disciples,
4. Figures must not be overstrained. This is done by stretching metaphor into allegory, or by carrying a parallel too far. A metaphor is changed into an allegory, when a number of things are heaped up, which agree to the subject, in keeping close to the metaphor. As in explaining this text, God is a fun and shield; it would be stretching the metaphor into an 'allegory to make a great col
knowingly, and without any long differtations on the
The author's conclusion on
vol. ii. b. 4. act anatomy of it. He made
lection of what God is in himself; what to us; what he does in the understanding and conscience of the believer ; what he operates on the wicked ; what his absence causeth; and all these under terms, which had a perpetual relation to the sun. (5) Allegories may be sometimes used very agreeably : but they must not be strained, that is, all, that can be said on them, must not be said. A parallel is run too far, when a great number of conformities between the figure, and the thing represented by the figure, are heaped together. This is almost the perpetual vice of mean and low preachers; for when they catch a figurative word, or a metaphor, as when God's word is called a fire, or a sword; or the church a house, or e dove ; or Jesus Christ a light, a fun, a vine, or a door ; they never fail making a long detail of conformities between the figures and the subjects themselves; and frequently say ridiculous things. This vice must be avoided, and you must be content to explain the metaphor in a few words, and to mark the principal agreements, in order afterward to cleave to the thing itself. (6)
5. Reasoning (5) Corruptas aliquando sunt, tanquam exquisitiora et vitiosas orationes, quas ta miramur. Non aliter quam men plerique judiciorum pra- distortis, et quocunque modo vitate mirantur, legi palam prcdigiofis corporibus apud pueris, oftendique in his, quofdam majus eit pretium, quam multa impropria, ob- quam iis quæ nihil ex comfcura, tumida, humilia, for- munis habitus bonis perdidedida, lascivia, effeminata fint; runt, &c. Quint. lib.ii.cap. 5. quæ non laudantur modo a See to this purpose Dr. plerisque, fed (quod pejus eft) Gibbon's rhet. p. 45, &c. propter hoc ipsum, quod funt (6) Mr. Rollin, from Tully prava, laudantur. Nam fer- oblerves, that the furelt and mo rectus, ct secundum na easiett way to represent the turam enunciatus, nihil ha- beauty of a metaphor, and, in bere ex ingenio videtur. Illa general, to explain the beauvero, qux utcunque deflexz tiful passages in authors with
5. Reasoning must not be carried too far. This may be done many ways ; either by long trains of reafois, composed of a quantity of propositions chained together, or principles ani consequences; this way of reasoning is embarralling and painful to the auditor: Ur by inuking many branches of reasons, and establishing the one after another; this is tirefome and fatiguing to the mind. The inind of man loves to be conducted in a more smooth and easy way; all mait not be proved at once; but, sup
juftness, is to substitute natu- the things thereon,the inferior ral expressions initead of figu- people. - Whence ascending rative, and to divest a very towards heaven, and descendbright phrase of all its orna- ing to the earth, are put for ments, by reducing it to a rising and falling in power fimple proposition. Belles let- and honour. - A new dignity tres, vol. i.
is fignified by a new name ; Sir Ifaac Newton, with that moral and civil qualifications grandeur of mind peculiar to by garments ; honour and himself, fays, “ for under- glory by splendid apparel ; standing the prophecies, we are royal dignity by purple or in the first place, to acquaint fcarlet, or by a crown ; righourselves with the figurative teousness by white and clean language of the prophets. robes; wickedness by spotted This language is taken from and filthy garments,” &c. the analogy between the world
On Dan, chap. ii. natural, and an enpire or The use, and abuse of figukingdom confidered as a world rative language in christianity politic.
are most judiciously described “ Accordingly, the whole by Le Clerc. Ars crit. p. II. natural world consisting of f. i. c. 15, 16. heaven and carth, fignifies the Ut veftis frigoris depellendi whole world politic, consist- causa reperta primo, poft ading of thrones and people, or hiberi cæpta eft ad ornatum fo much of it as is confidered etiam corporis et dignitatem : in the prophecy : and the fic verbi translatio instituta eft things in that world fignify inopiæ causa, frequentata dethe analogous things in this. lectationis. For the heavens and the things vites, luxuriem elje in herbis, therein, fignify thrones and latas segetes etiam ruftici didignities, and those who en Cic. de oratore, lib. joy them; and the earth, with iii. 38.