Obrazy na stronie

must be touched, and a proper length of discourse assigned to each, in order to stir up the passion. Too long time, however, must not be spent; but when the effect is evidently produced, pass to another passion. As the conclusion ought to be composed at least of four or five reflections (naturally arising from the text, either general, from the whole text, or particular, from some of the parts into which it is divided) so, if possible, these reflections must be placed in prudent order, so that the weakest and least powerful may be the first, and the strongest last, and so that the discourse may become more rapid as it runs.

I think, however, it would be vicious to finish with motives too violent, as subjects tending to horror, indig nation, or heavy censure. It would be much better in general to close with a tender, or even with an elevating motive. Different motives may be (and indeed they ought to be) mixed in the same conclusion; that is, violent, tender, and elevated, in order to stir up many passions of different kinds.

Conclusion sometimes delights in examples, similitudes, short and weighty sentences, the inventions of a fine imagination, and, in one word, it need not be so regular as the body of the sermon, where more accuracy must be observed. There is no danger when a preacher in a con

what passes in that other life of which we speak; but ask yourself frequently what you are doing in this. Calm your conscience by the innocence of your manners, and not by the impiety of your sentiments. Set your heart at rest by calling upon God, and not by doubting whether he sees you. The peace of the wicked is only a frightful despair; seek your happiness, not in shaking off the yoke of faith, but in tasting how sweet it is. Practise the maxims it prescribes, and your reason will no longer refuse to submit to the mysteries it pro❤ poses. Futurity will cease to be incredible to you, when you cease to live like those that confine all their felicity within the bounds of life. Then, far from fearing the futurity, you will hasten to it in desire, you will sigh after the happy day, when the Son of Man, the Father of the world to come, will appear to punish infidels, and to receive into his kingdom all such as have lived in expectation of a blessed immortality. Massil. Ser. Car. tom. i.

clusion gives himself up to the fire of his genius t, provided he say nothing extravagant or capricious, savours of enthusiasm or declamation.

[ocr errors]

nothing that


The Archbishop of Cambray, that fine cool reasoner in his other works, is remarkable for this fire in his sermons, particularly in the conclusions of them.

The following rules for obtaining facility of speaking, and a few remarks on the manner of preaching, may not appear an unsuitable close to this work:

As to the first of these," Do not content yourself with general knowledge; but endeavour to settle in your mind the genuine notion of all the doctrines and duties of religion. If you be thus master of the subject, yon will be able to speak readily and distinctly on all occasions. Want of clearness of speaking generally ariseth from a defeat of clear thinking.

Be much in the study of the Scriptures;" this will furnish you with matter, and it will give your style a tincture, that will render it more acceptable to the pious. Converse with the writings of those practical, pressing, awakening divines, who speak most naturally to the souls of men. Here you will acquire the best sort of pulpit-eloquence. Preach constantly. Frequency will render the work easy to be performed by yourself, and what is so, will be more easy to be understood by the hearers."— Glanvil's Essay on Preaching, part 1.

Manner of preaching (says Mr. Robinson) is known to be an article of great consideration to auditors; divines, therefore, who write on the subject, never fail to exhort preachers to acquire an agreeable manner of delivering their discourses. Cardinal Borromeo, who was also archbishop of Milan, drew up a plan of preaching for the use of the clergy of his diocese, and very properly. Having first given instruction concerning the matter, or the doctrine of a sermon, he treats of what we call manner, under the article form, by which he means style, elocution, voice, action, and whatever else may belong to expressing and delivering a sermon: —

[ocr errors]

"Elocutionis genus exquisitum ne affectet, fucum omnem fugiat, imperitæ multitudinis consuetudinem loquendi ne sequatur, verba antiqua et peregrina fugiat, fati, fortunæ, infortunii pomina, aliaque ejus generis omnino cavebit, Epithetorum item nimium usum, et poeticum dicendi genus


ne consectetur, anicularum non adhibeat proverbia, ejusdem rei repetitionem vitet. Cum de peccatis, ad luxuriam pertinentibus, agit, cautionem adhibeat, ne imprudens in obscæna verba incidat,-videat ne loquendo turpes cogitationes injiciat, adulationis verba omnino fugiat, — ambitiosum dicendi genus caveat. Ne ambigue, ne concise item, ut auditores incerti sint, ne obscure loquatur, vocem et actionem ita temperare concionator conabitur, ut non ex arte petere, sed vere, et ex natura dicere videatur,-non importune suggestum palmis feriat; sed cum rei magnitudo poscit, - non per suggestum quasi volitabit, nunc ex hoc, nunc ex illo angulo prosiliens. Rectus in suggestu stet, -ne nares corruget, ne labra lambat, ne mentum pectori affigat, ne brachium tanquam gladiator immoderate projiciat, ne tussiat, ne expuat crebo, nisi necessitate coactus-ne in eloquendo per nares majorem spiritus partem effundat,- ne crebo anhelitu, &c.-Borromei Pastorum Instructiones, Cap. de form. &c.






The Christian Preacher's Library.

"Till I come, give attendance to reading."

1 TIM. IV. 13.

« PoprzedniaDalej »