« ZurückWeiter »
There are texts, which contain the end and the means; the cause and the effect; the principle and the consequence deduced from the principle; the action and the principle of the action; the occafion and the motive of the occasion: in these cafes it is arbitrary either to begin with the means, and afterwards treat of the end, with the effect, and proceed to the cause, and so on; cr to follow the contrary order. For instance, 2 Tim. ii. 10. Therefore I endure all things for the electos-fake, that they nicy clso obtain the salvation which is in Chrift with eternal glory. It is plain, that the text has three parts ; the sufferings of the apostle ; the end he proposes ; and the principle, from which he
proposes this end. The order is then arbitrary : you may either speak, first of S. Paul's love to the elect; secondly of the salvation, which he desired they
filentii. Le long filence qu'il étant un cas fufpenfif, leur a gardé, est la première idée fait naturellement attendre qu'il doit leur presenter, toutes ces idées que l'orateur quoique l'idée principale pour ne pouvoit leur presenter à la lui ne soit pas celle-là, ma's fois. On s'aperçoit dès le hodiernus dies finem attulit. commencement de cette peCar ce qui frappe le plus un riode, que l'orateur ayant eu orateur qui monte en chaire, une raison d'emp'oyer telle c'est qu'il va parler, et non cu teile terminaison pluitót qu'il a garde filence. Ce qui que toute autre, il n'y avoit n'étoit pas une inversion pour point dans ses idécs l'inverles auditeurs de Cicéron, tion que règne dans ses termes. pouvoit, devoit même, en En effet, qu'est-ce qui deterêtre un pour lui.
minoit Ciceron à écrire diuJe remarque encore turni filentii au gentif, quo auire fineste dans le génetif à l'ablatif, eram à l'impurdiuturni filentii. Les auditeurs fait, et ainsi du relle, ii ce ne pouvoient penser au long n'est un ordre d'idees préfiience de Ciceron, sans cher- existant dans son esprit, tout cher en même temps, pour- contraire à celui des expre!quoi il avcit gardé le filence, fions, &c. Supplem, à la et pourquoi il se determinoit gram.gen.et raijon par l'Albè à le roimpre: or le génctif i romant, f. 267. chap. xxiv.
might obtain in Jesus Christ; and thirdly, of the sufferings, which he endured in order to their obtaining it.
Or, first of his sufferings ; fecondly of the end, which he proposed in them, the salvation of the elect with eternal glory; and thirdly, of his love for the elect, which is the principle.
But though, in general, you may follow which of the two orders you please, yet there are some texts, that determine the division; as Phil. ii. 13. It is God who worketh effe Etually in you, both to will, and to do, of bis own good pleasure. (5) There are, it is plain, three things to be discussed, the action of God's grace upon men, God worketh effe&tually in you; the effect of this grace, to will and to do; and the spring or source of the action, according to his good pleasure. I think the division would not be
proper if we were to treat, 1. Of God's good pleasure. 2. Of his grace. And, 3. Of the will
(5) Dieu produit en nous fiastical impressions; nor acteth avec efficace; God worketh absolutely upon us as he did effectually in us. Our tranf- in extraordinary prophetical lation, God worketh in you, is inspirations of old, where the flat, and does not express the minds and organs of the full meaning of the apostle's bodies of men were merely 0 $0$ o tvegywv. it is God who passive instruments, moved by worketh powerfully, or effec- by him above their own natutually in you, lo as to remove ral capacity and activity, not every obstacle. The Septua- only as to the principle of gint uses the word sunggings, to working, but as to the manexpress the creating power of ner of operation : but he works God, Ifai. xli. 4. Hac voce on the minds of men in and fignificatur actio conjuncta cum by their own natural actings, efficacia, say the Greek lex- thrcugh an immediate in. icons.
fluence and imprelion of his Dr. Owen fays,
Create in me a clean whole work of the Spirit is heart, O God. He worketb to rationally to be accounted for; will and to do.' Owen on the for, adus he, the Spirit doth Spirit, b. iii. c. 5.
f. not in our regeneration pof- ii. c. 1. f. 25. less thc mind with any enthu
" The power.
and works of men. I should rather begin with volition and action, which are the effe Ets of grace; then I should speak of the grace itself, which produces willing and doing in us effectually; and lastly, of the source of this grace, which is the good pleasure of God. In short, it is always necessary to consult good sense, and never to be so conducted by general rules as not to attend to particular circumstances. (6)
Above all things in divisions, take care of pútting any thing in the first part, which supposes the understanding of the second, or which obliges you to treat of the second to make the first underItood; for by these means you will throw yourself into a great confusion, and be obliged to make many tedious repetitions. You must endeavour to disengage the one from the other as well as you can, and when your parts are too clotely connected with each other, place the most detached first, and endeavour to make that serve for a foundation to the explication of the second, and the second to the third ; so that at the end of your explication the hearer may with a glance perceive, as it were, a perfect body, or a finished building; for one of the greatest excellencies of a sermon is the harmony of its component parts, that the first leads to the second, the second serves to introduce the third ;
(6) What a modern writer fect. Nothing, therefore, in says of expression and arrange- language ought to be more ment of words, may justly be studied than to prevent all applied to arrangement of divi- obscurity in the expression ; fons: “Perspicuity ought not for to have no meaning is but to be sacrificed to any other one degree worse than to beauty whatever. If it should have a meaning that is not be doubted whether perspi- understood.” El. of crit.chap. cuity be a positive beauty, it xviii. s. 2. p. 20.54. 3d edit. cannot be doubted, that the Edinburgh. want of it is the greatest de
that, they which go before, excite a desire for those, which are to follow : and, in a word, that the last has a special relation to all the others, in order to form in the hearers minds, a complete idea of the whole.
This cannot be done with all sorts of texts, but with those only, which are proper to form such a design upon. Remember too, it is not enough to form such a plan, it must also be happily executed.
You will often find it necessary in texts, which you reduce to categorical propositions, to treat of the subject, as well as of the attribute; then you muit make of the subject one part. This will always happen, when the subject of the proposition is expreffed in terms, that want explaining, or which furnish many considerations : For example ; He, that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit. This is a categorical proposition, and you must needs treat of the subject, he who cbides in Jesus Christ, and in whom Jesus Christ abides. So again, He, that belicveth in me, halh everlasting life. He, that eateth my flesh, and drinkcth my blood, cbideth in me, and I in him. There is therefcre now no condemnation to them, that are in Christ 90/145, who Walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. If any man be in Cbrijt he is a new crecture. The two lait ought to be reduced to categorical propositions, the subjects of which are, they who are in Christ. In these, and in all others of the fame kind, the subject must make one part, and must also be considered first, for it is more natural, as well as most agreeable to the rules of logic, to begin with the subject of a proposition. Sometimes it is necessary not only to make one part of the subject, and another of the attribute; but also to make a third of the connexion of the subject with the attribute. In this case, you may fay, after you have observed
in the first place the subject, and in the second the attribute, that you will consider in the third the entire sense of the whole propofition ; this must be done in these texts ; If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature. He, that believeth in me, bath eternal life, &c.
Sometimes there are, in texts reduced to catego, rical propositions, terms, which in the schools are called fyncategorematica, and they relate sometimes to the subject and sometimes to the attribute. (7)
When in a text there are several terms, which need a particular explanation, and which cannot be explained without confusion, or without dividing the text into too many parts, then I would not divide the text at all : but I would divide the discourse into two or three parts; and I would propose, first to explain the terms, and then the subject itself. This would be necessary on Aets ii. 27. Thou wilt not leave my soul in the grave, neither will ihou suffer thy holy one to see corruption. (8) To
(7) Syncategorematica. Of original terms; for the Hethis kind are those words, brew peol, the Greek hades, which logicians call universal, the Latin infra, with its deriand particular signs ; an ex vatives, inferi, infernum, and ample of which presently fol- the French enfer, seem to have lows ; words, which of them- been originally abstract terms, selves fignify nothing, but in put for the state of the dead, conjunđion with others in a without any regard to the proposition are very fignifi- ideas of happiness or misery: cative.
but as people, who spoke of (8) The French text is, Tu this state, either spoke in rene laisseras point mon ame au ference to the body, or the soul, Sepulchre- thou wilt not leave or the whole man indefinitely, my soul in the grave; in our iç is easy to see how the words translation it is rendered bell. became equivocal, and their It seems we have no word in meaning determinable only either language now to express by the scope of a place. If the ancient meaning of the 1 say the body is gone to bades, VOL. I.