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Mercy in the Streets. And they tell us, That preaching once before the Pope upon the Subject of Residence, he struck fuch a Terror into his Hearers with the Heat and Vehemence of his Discourse, that no less than thirty Bishops posted the next Day to their several Diocesses. These mighty Effects do for the most part result from an extraordinary Gift of Elocution, to which an Orator is often indebted for the Wonders he performs, especially on popular Auditories. For the Soul of the common People seems too strait and narrow, to be wrought upon by any Part of Elo- si inest quence, but that which is fenfible, that is, by in oratione a warm and pathetical Address. And yet this mixta mo

destiegra. Way of addressing, because it requires such

vitas, niPains and Application as few are capable of, bil adini is but little studied by any, and by most is rabilius wholly neglected. Besides, there are few of fieri poreft.

Cic. Of our Preachers that preserve any kind of Gra vity or Dignity in speaking ; so that when they attempt to express any Affection, 'tis very often furious, and almost always indecent.

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The pathetical Genius is of all the most excellent for the Pulpit, because it touches and stirs every Spring of the Soul; it has such Figures and such Movements, as captivate the Heart without glittering upon the Eye, being wholly unconcern'd as to the outward Pomp and Lustre. Those who are fitted by Nature for the pathetick Style, and are able to practise it with Success, ought to relinquith all the other Gifts of Eloquence for their Improvement and absolute Perfection of this alone.


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But then 'tis impossible to support this Character without a solid Judgment, a large Capacity, and a compleat Knowledge of Human Nature and Manners. Otherwise it is apt to fall into vain and childish Excesses, destitute of all Truth and Sense, and at length to degenerate unto extravagant Fury, and ridiculous Declamations, such as Longinus calls a Transport mif-tim'd and misunderstood. As a pathetical Speaker is the most unfit for Panegyrick, so the ablest Panegyrist may be at a lofs in'moving the Affections; these are quite different Talents ; and 'tis the Remark of the same Critick, that those who want Strength and Vigour for the pathetick Style, confine

themselves to the painting of the Manners, Neque in which is a much inferiour Attainment. But partis re- after all, he that will be too pathetical is in the bus adbi. sure way of making himself ridiculous; espebendx funt cially upon Subjects that won't bear him out; ces. Cic. it being the Folly of Children to make a ftir deOrat.1, about Trifles.


It is but too true, that those who design for the Church do not allow themselves fuffi cient time for the Exercise of Pronunciation. Their Thoughts are bent upon quite other Things ; they study the Fathers, they study Rhetorick, they study the Language, but they don't study this Art of Action, which alone can have Power to quicken and animate what they say, and to give it such an Agreeableness as is necessary to engage the attention of an Audience. The neglect of this part only, is enough to render all the others ineffectúal. Not but that there are Extremes to be avoid.


ed in this, as well as in other Matters. For those Preachers who would be all Pasion, and who think themselves deficient if they don't Thunder in their Preface, spoil All by giving the Reins to their own exorbitant Fancy. It would be well if such Men were convinced, that by endeavouring always to move, they put themselves out of the Capacity of moving when they ought. There was, some time since, a Preacher of this Humour in Paris, tho' much follow'd and applauded. He had indeed an excellent Talent, and such Strokes in his Discourse as must be own'd to be very affect. ing ; his Expression was strong ; his whole Air forcible and vehement: And yet he lost all these Advantages by his too great Desire of moving, and by being very often noisy out of Season. Thus his Delivery became too impe- Gestus abetuous, his Gesture too particular, and his Vi- rit à Siefage too scenical. In a word, his manner was nico, nec so utterly vitiated by his strain'd Grimace, and manu, nec

vultu, nec his violent Agitations of Body, that Women

excurfiowith Child were forbid to be of his Audience, nibus nibecause the Motions he us’d, were so many mius. frightful Distortions and Convulsions. These Quint.l.1. Transports of Zeal are, with the greatest Care, to be avoided, as being always blåneable when they are excessive. A Preacher ought to lay down this for a certain Rule, that he can never affect the Minds of his Hearers, if he betrays too much Design of affecting them; that a Pasion of too long Continuance, is always false ; and that Zeal becomes suspicious when it grows too hot, or when it appears too for. ward in its Discovery.

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Some again, are only fond of plealing, without taking any care to move : Which is another dangerous Extreme. For the Temple must not be like the Theatre, whither the Company resorts only to be diverted. The chief Aim of a Preacher should be to Speak Things that are useful. But as he cannot come at this otherwise, than by the way of Pleasure, so he should not study to please his Audience, otherwise than by moving and exciting them: For he that goes to Church with the Disposition that he ought, goes to be really influenced, and to be the better for what he hears. I know, there's a certain Vein of Fineness and good Sense, in the present Age, that cannot be without Effect. But commonly, Men are so over-solicitous of appearing agreeable, as to lose the real Fruits of Things,

while they seek nothing but the Flowers. Dedit boc For that which pleafes, naturally opens and providen. dilates the Heart, which must recover and dig bomi. contract it felf, 'ere it can be profited: And nus, ut bo. therefore we deprive our felves of what is so nefta ma lid, if we are too much enamour'd of what gis juva. is specious and glittering. 'Tis certainly owrent: fed ing to this Humour, that we have fome, who nos ipfa had much rather shew then selves witty than dulcedo Longiùs

make their Audience wife, and who stick not to ducit, introduce any such novel Taite into the Church, Quint.l.1. as happens to be fashionable in the Age of

this Character were certain Preachers, not long since in Vogue: They dress for the Pulpit, and put themselves into an Equipage to meet the Company of the Town, whom they entertaind with a piece of moral Gallantry,

deliver'd with the Air of an Amour. All that can be brought home from such loose Ef. says, is a lightness of Thought, and disipation of Spirit, the most opposite Thing in the World to true Devotion. What a Miffortune is it to these sparkish Preachers, that the Gospel, and the Apostles, were never thus in the Mode? How shamefully Indecent must it be to preach the severe and concerning Truths of Religion, the meekness and lowness of Christianity, and the Scandal of the Cross, with a gay Mien and a brillant Style: and by mixing these feeble Ornaments with the Mysteries of our Faith, to debase their Greatness and Majesty ? This is the common Fault of those who preach to Men of Quality and Honour. They amuse, or compliment, those whom they ought to Terrify by convincing them, that their State is directly opposite to Salvation, and that there is not the least Footstep of the Gospel in the ordinary Life of a Courtier. Great Compassion ought indeed to be express’d towards those unwary Persons, who have drawn in the Poyson of an infected Air; but this should excite a Preacher with the more Plainness and Freedom to tell them the Truth. For we learn from past History, that the Court will be Christian, when Christianity is preach'd at Court; and that true Holiness may have admission into the Presence, if it comes by the Chappel.


For the fame Reason, we must conclude that Piety is an essential Qualification of a Preacher. 'Tis this that he ought to make the daily Food of his Soul, to keep up that vital


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