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When the coherence will furnish any agreeable confiderations for the illustration of the text, they must be put in the discussion, and this will very often happen. Sometimes also you may draw
whom they weré directed. was the father of all that beBut for the most part the co- lievc, as well uncircumcised herence and forcible reason as circumcised; so that those ing of this apostle's discourses that walk in the steps of the in his letters are plainly con- faith of Abraham, though fpicuous to attentive readers. uncircumcised, are the seed With what force of reasoning to which the promise is does he in some of his epistles made, and shall receive the fhew the inability of the Mo- blessing. saic law to justify men? What 3. That it was the purpose a chain of solid reasoning do of God from the beginning, we particularly find in his to take the gentiles to be his epistle to the Hebrews, about seed under the Messiah, in the the insufficiency of the ancient place of the Jews, who had sacrifices? With how great been so till that time, but strength of reasoning does the were then nationally rejected, apostle in his letter to the Ro- because they nationally remans, endeavour to convince jected the Messias, whom he the Jews, that God is the sent to them to be their king God of the gentiles as well as and deliverer; but was receiyof the Jews ? — This he does, ed but by a very small numas a late learned commenta- ber of them, which remnant tor (Locke) in his synopsis was received into the kingprefixed to this epiftle' fhews, dom of Christ, and so contileveral ways, as, i. By shew: nued to be his people with ing that though the gentiles the converted gentiles, who were very sinful, yet the all together now made the Jews, who had the law, kept church and people of God. it not, could not upon the 4. That the Jewish nation account of their having the had no reason to complain of law, (which being broken, any unrighteousness in God, aggravated their fault, and or hardthip from him, in their made them as far from righ- being cast off for their unbeteousness as the gentiles them- lief,fince they had been selves. ) have a title to ex warned of it, and they might clude the gentiles from being find it threatened in thcir inthe people of God under the cient prophets. Besides, the gospel. 2. That Abraham raifing or depresling of any Vol. I,
thence an exordium, in such a case, the exordium and connection will be confounded together.
nation is the prerogative of in his other epiftles, however God's sovereignty....&c. unperceived by the careless
With no less coherence does and inattentive reader. Life the apostle argue other points of S. Paul, chap. iii. p. 54.
CH A P. IV.
IVISION, in general, ought to re
strained to a small number of parts, they should never exceed four or five at the most: the most admired sermons have only two or three
(1) Mr. Claude's direction good ones two or three : but to be sparing of divisions is the best none at all. It does worthy of regard by all, who not follow, however, that would preach so as to be un texts are never to be divided. derstood, or remembered by Mons. Villaret, in his histoire their hearers ; for a multi- de France, says, that, in the tude of particulars rather puz- reign of Charles VI, John zle than instruct; instead of Petit endeavoured to prove ashelping, they hurt the me sassination a virtue, by twelve mory; and, by overloading, reasons, in honour of the twelve absolutely render it useless. apoftles ; at which time, adds A good fermon, like a good he, it was common to divide peach, is indeed a composition by four, in honour of the four of rich materials, which the evangelifts, or in reference to maker has properly associated the cardinal virtues, &c. what to bring it to its present fa we have of this kind now, vour : but which the eater (continues he.) is a remain of may relish, and, from which the Gothic eloquence of our he may derive nourishment, ancestors, wholly unknown without being obliged to learn to the ancient Greek and Rochymistry, or knowing how to man orators. Velly hift. de decompound, and to reduce France, tom. x. the whole to its parts. Bad
If Mons. Villaret mean, fermons have many divisions; that such fanciful and unnatu
There are two sorts of divisions, which we may very properly make; the first, which is the most
ral divisions were unknown men numero velut lege non to them, as those abovemen- eft alliganda, cum pofit caufa tioned, or as that of venerable plures defiderare. - Lib. v.cap. Bishop Latimer, who, in a ser- 5. de partitione. mon preached at Cambridge, Division is not unknown to in 1529, at Christmas-time, Cicero. In one oration he from Johni.19. Who art abou? says, Ego fic intelligo, judidivided his fermon, in allusion ces, cum de pecuniis repeto a pack of cards, into four tundis nomen cujuspiam defeparts, which he called, dia- ratur, fi certamen inter alimonds, hearts, spades, and quos fit, cui potiffimum declubs; the Pope was the king latio deţur, bæc duo in primis of clubs, and heartes weerespectare oportere: quem max. triumphes. Fox's acts and mon. ime velint actorem effe ii, quifol. edit. 1497. page 1571.
bus factæ esse dicantur inju. I say if Mons. Villaret mean riæ : et quem minime velit is such fancies, they were cer- qui eas injurias fecisse arguatainly unknown to the ancient tur. Ciceronis oratio in Cæciorators: but natural and need
lium, ful divisions were neither un In another, Causa quæ fit known to them, nor unprac videtis: nunc quid agendum tised by them. Quintilian fit confiderate. Primum mihi (who follows Ciccro, Æfchi- videtur de genere belli; denes, Demofthenes, &c.) says, inde de magnitudine ; tum de Qui rectè diviserit, nunquam imperatore deligendo esse dipoterit in rerum ordine errare. cendum. Primum bellum AfiCerta funt enim non folum in aticum genere fuo grave et digerendis questionibus, fed neceffarium efie. etiam in exequendis, si modo 1. Quia agitur gloria pop. recte dicimus, prima, ac fe- Rom. 2. Quia agitur faius cunda, et deinceps: cohæret- fociorum. 3. Quia aguntur que omnis rerum copulatio, vectigalia maxima. 4. Quia ut ei nihil nec fubtrahi fine
aguntur fortunæ multorum manifesto intellectu, nec in civium. .... Tcrtium Pomferi poffit. - Quint. inft. lib. peius eft bonus imperator, xi. cap. 7. Ne illos quidem quia in eo sunt quatuor virprobaverim, qui partitionem tutes, quæ bonum imperatovetant ultra tres propofitiones rem commendant. !. Scienextendere. Que sine dubio tia rei militaris. 2. Virtus. fi nimium fit multiplex, fu 3. Auctoritas. 4. Felicitas. giet memoriam judicis, et tur
Pro lege Manilia. babit intentionem. Hoc ta In another, Intelligo, ju
common, is the division of the text into its parts;
dices, tres totius accusationis it does by no means follow partes fuisse, et earum unam that these are to multiply into in reprehenfione vitæ, alteram whole armies. A hundred in contentione dignitatis, ter- years ago most sermons had tiam in criminibus ambitus thirty, forty, fifty, or fixty 'cffe versatam. Pro Muræna. particulars. There is a fere :
It would be easy to increase mon of Mr. Lye's on 1 Cor. the list: but these are suffi- vi. 17. the terms of which, cient to sew, that division is says he, I fall endeavour our sometimes as proper as its ow clearly to explain. This omission is at other times pre- he does in thirty particulars, ferable.
for the fixing of it on a right We should distinguish be- bafis ; and then adds fifty-six tween the composition of a ser more to explain the subject; mon in private, and the deli- in all eighty-fix. And what very of it în public. The makes it the more astonishing composing, or the putting to- is his introduction to all these, gether of a sermon, implies which is this : Having thus a previous distinction of parts; beaten up and levelled our way for to compose a sermon is to to the text, I shall not stand unite several ideas into one to shred the words into any body; sometimes it would be unnecessary parts, but shall exabsurd to mention each com tract out of them such an obponent part; and sometimes fervation as I conceive strikes it would be absurd to omit a full eighth to the minde of the mention of it.
the Spirit of God. Morning The sermons of many prac. exercise. tical preachers are mere elays: If Mr. Lye is too prolific, and those of many doctrinal what shall we say to Mr. preachers, dry numeration- Drake, whose sermon has (if tables, the figures and frac- I reckon rightly.) above 170 tions of which frighten all but parts, besides queries and sofkilful arithmeticians. There lutions ? and yet the good is certainly a middle way, man says he passed Jundry usewherein a sermon, like a fine ful points, pitching only on that piece of history-painting, in- which comprehended the marsensibly distinguishes objects, row and substance. Morning fastens the eye, dilates the exercise. heart, and fills us, I had al The fashion of the age, in most said, with joy unspeakable which they lived, is an excuse and full of glory.
for these good men : but But allowing the neceflity should any one imitate their of a natural and easy divifion; method now, he would be