Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

of

To be more particular, regard must be paid to circumstances, times, places, and persons, and texts must be chosen relative to them. ist, In regard to times. I do not, I cannot, approve the custom of the late Mons. Daillé, who used to preach on the feast-days of the church of Rome, and to choose texts on the subjects of their feasts, turning them to censure superstition : I do not blame his zeal against superstition : but as for the Romih feasts, they are for the members of the church of Rome, and not for us; and, it is certain, our hearers will neither be instructed, nor encouraged by such sorts of subjects: methinks they should be preached seldom, and soberly. It is not so with particular tinies, which belong to ourselves, which are of two forts, ordinary, which we call stata tempora, which every year return at the same seasons ; or extraordinary, which fall out by accident, or, to speak more properly, when it pleases God. Of the first kind are Lord's supperdays; or days which are folemnized amongst us,

as

the truths they deliver, by the them as purely intelle&tual, forceof argumentation, instead void of passion and fenfibility. of rousing the affections by This strange mistake may per. the energy of their eloquence. haps be supposed to be partly ---We meet with no examples the effect of the philosophical in their writings of those spirit of the times, which, ftrokes of passion which pene like all other prevailing trate and cleave the heart at modes, is subject to its delionce, or of that rapid over, riums; certain however it is, powering eloquence, which that, while man remains á carries every thing before it compound being, consisting like a torrent.--- They seem of reason and pallion, his acto have confidered mankind tions will always be prompted in the same light in which by the latter, in whatever deVoltaire regarded the cele- gree his opinions may be inbrated Dr. Clarke, as MERE Auenced by the former. Ef

MACHINES: Jay on genius, book 2. J12. 4, they seem to have confidered p. 238, 245.

REASONING

( ) as Christmas day, Easter, Whitsuntide, Ascensionday, New-year’s-day,' and Good-friday, as it is called. On these days particular texts should be chosen, which suit the service of the day; for it would discover great negligence to take texts on fuch days, which have no relation to them. It is not to be questioned but on these days peculiar efforts ought to be made, because then the hearers come with raised expectations, which, if not satisfied, turn into contempt, and a kind of indignation against the preacher.

Particular days not fixed, but occasional, are fast-days, ordination-days, days on which the flock must be extraordinarily comforted, either on account of the falling out of some great scandal, the exercise of some great affliction, or the inflicting of fome great censure. On fast-days, it is plain, particular texts must be expresly chosen for the purpose: but on other occasions it must reft on the preacher's judgment; for most texts may be used extraordinarily, to comfort, exhort, or censure; and, except the subject in hand be extremely important, the safest way is not to change the usual text. (5)

For

(5) I Mould think by texte state of the people, or to any accoutumé, Mr. Claude means remarkable dispensations of Tuch a text as would come in providence, which he was al. course in a precomposed fet ways very careful to observe, of fermons. This was the and to record, and to inprove method of the excellent Ma- by preaching, to the advanthew Henry. “In his more tage of himself and others." constant way of preaching, Life of Mat. Henry, p. 120. he fixed upon a certain set of Mr. Henry's arrangement fubje 7i, fitly ranged and me- of his jubjects is both ingenithodized under general heads: ous and folid. To give one but together with these there example. The fubject is were intermixed many occa fanctification. He firit treatfional discourfes, suited to the ed of the fin, that was to be

mortified;

For ordination days extraordinary texts and agreeable to the subject in hand must be taken, whether it regards the ordainer, or the ordained; for very often he, who is ordained in the morning, preaches in the afternoon.

I add one word touching sermons in strange churches. 1. Do not choose a text, which appears odd, or the choice of which vanity may be suppoled to dictate. 2 Do not choose a text of censure; for a Itranger has no business to censure a congregation, which he does not inspect: unless he have a particular call to it, being either sent by a fynod, or intreated by the church itself. In such a case the censure must be conducted with wisdom, and tempered with sweetness. Nor 3. choose a text leading to curious knotty questions ; then it would be faid, the man meant to preach himself. But 4. Choose a text of ordinary doctrine, in discusfing which, doctrine and morality may be mixed, and rather let moral things be said by way of exhortation and confolation than by way of censure :

not

mortified ; and then of the iv. 22, 24. Put of the old man contrary grace, that was to be - put on the new. The one exercised. He began with an is dying to fin; the other introductory sermon on Eph. living to righteousness.

In particular, 1. Put off pride, Jer. xiii. 15. - Put on bumility, 1 Pet. v. 5. 2. Put off pasion, Col. iii. 8. Put on meeknejs, 1 Pet. iii. 4. 3. Put off covetoufness, Heb. Put on contentment, Heb.

xiii.

1. 5. 4. Put of contention, Gen. - Put on peaceableness, James xiii. 8.

iii. 7. &c. &c. This set of sermons took and put on the new man, which him up near the space of two is renewed in knowledge, after years, and he closed them the image of him that created with a recapitulation from him. There are many sets of Col. iii. 9, 10. Ye have put this kind in his life, p. 121, off the old man with bis deeds, &c.

xiii. 5:

not that the vicious should not be censured ; for reproof is esential to preaching: but it must be given soberly, and in general terms, when we are not with our own Aocks. (6)

CHAP

(6) Mr. Claude does not in plerifque prope æquiparet mention funeral - sermons, apoftolis, ac prophetis, atque which with us are sometimes adeo quodammodo præfert just occasions of offence, but uti eum ait, non ab Hierofolywhich might be well improved ma tantum usque ad Illyricum to the advantages of the liv- (velut Paulus) jed majorem ing, if properly managed. circulo. evangelio complexum. Funeral honours have in all Tantum diftat inter dempengopira, ages, by all nations, been xj dodextiya. Fo. Volii tbefes paid to the dead. The Egyp- iheol. de invocat. Janet. tians embalmed, the Greeks A just reflection no doubt, buried, the Romans burnt; perhaps no where more just all agreed in terminating the than on these occafions, when mournful ceremony

ceremony with so many things are usually songs and shouts of victory, said in ostentation, fo few to as the Canadian savages do at edification. These abuses this day. Orations in praise have driven some good men of the dead were also spoke ; to lay aside all funeral services and the several ceremonies whatever: but methinks with were adapted to maintain the much more reason may we redoctrine of the immortality of tain and improve them to the the soul in the people's minds. benefit of the living. Superftition, which defiled It was the opinion of Vorevery decent usage, defiled this fius, that praying to faints also. The heathens magnifi- owed its origin partly to the ed their ancestors into deities; injudicious use of figurative and christians very early imi- language in funeral orations; tated them, canonizing and to the apostrophes, and proworshippingtothis day. Hence, Sopopeias of the panegyrifts. among the fathers anc ently, Etiam oratorum non levis hic and in the church of Rome se culpa offert, non tantum, fill, those extravagant and quia plerique eorum sanctos blasphemous orations for the invocarent, fed etiam, quia dead. Voflius mentions a floridam ac luxuriantem femodest saying (compared with cuti dictionem seculi fui orafome) of Nazianzen. Na- torum, modificatæ ac figuratie zianzenus in monodia five mortuorum laudationi tanto. funebri oratione Bafilii, quem pere indulgerent. Nam non Vol. I.

с

rare

raso Inter hyperbolicas lau Wilæ inftitutas, quæ 'votum dationes et xufiws prolatas, tantummodo ecclesialtæ erant, non satis distinguebat impe- pro feria invocatione duce ritum vulgus : item apostro- bat. G. J. Vofii thef. de inphas ad sanctos xata mpoowToo voc. Janet. disp. 13. thel; 5;

C С НАР.

« ZurückWeiter »