Obrazy na stronie

es the morality of the Gospel, or withholds its threats In one of the sermons which he preached before the monarch, he described, with matchless eloquence, the

horrors of an adulterous life, its abomination in the eye 40 of God, its scandal to man, and the public and private

evils which attend it: but he managed his discourse with so much address, that he kept the king from sus. pecting that the thunder of the preacher was ultimately

to fall upon him. In general, Bourdaloue spoke in a 45 level tone of voice, and with his eyes almost shut. On

this occasion, having wound up the attention of the monarch and the audience to the highest pitch, he paused. The audience expected something terrible, and

seemed to fear the next word. The pause continued 50 for some time: at length, the preacher, fixing his eyes

directly on his royal hearer, and in a tone of voice equally expressive of horror and concern, said, in the words of the prophet, " thou art the man!then, leaving

these words to their effect, he concluded with a mild 55 and general prayer to heaven for the conversion of all

sinners. A miserable courtier observed, in a whisper, to the monarch, that the boldness of the preacher exceeded all bounds, and should be checked. No, sir,"

replied the monarch, “the preacher has done his duty, 60 let us do ours." When the service was concluded, the

monarch walked slowly from the church, and ordered Bourdaloue into his presence. He remarked to him, his general protection of religion, the kindness which he

had ever shown to the Society of Jesus, his particular 65 attention to Bourdaloue and his friends. He then re

proached him with the strong language of the sermon: and asked him, what could be his motive for insulting him, thus publicly, before his subjects? Bourdaloue

fell on his knees: God is my witness, that it was 70 not my wish to insult your majesty; but I am a minis

ter of God, and must not disguise his truths. What I said in my sermon is my morning and evening prayer: -May God, in his infinite mercy, grant me to see the

day, when the greatest of kings shall be the holiest.”75 The monarch was affected, and silently dismissed the

preacher: but, from this time, the court began to ob. serve that change which afterward, and at no distanı period, led Lewis to a life of regularity and virtue.

EXERCISE 114. Eloquence of Bridaine.—BUTLER. "The missionary orator, most renowned in our days, says Maury, was M. Bridaine. Highly gifted with popular eloquence, full of animation, abounding in figures

and pathos, no one possessed, in an equal degree, the 5 rare talent of commanding an assembled multitude. The

organ of his voice was so powerful and happy, as to render credible what ancient history relates of the declamation of the ancients; he made himself as well

heard in open air, to an assembly of 10,000 persons, as 10 if he spoke under the vault of the most sonorous temple.

In all he said, there might be discovered that natural eloquence, which originates from genius; that bound of natural vigour, which is superior to any imitation. His

bold metaphors; his quick and vivid turns of thought 15 and expression, equally surprised, affected and delight

ed. His eloquence was always simple, but it was always noble in its simplicity. With these endowments, he never failed to raise and preserve the attention of the peo

ple; they were never tired of listening to him.” 20 In 1751, he preached in the church of St. Sulpice, at

Paris. His renown had preceded him; and the temple was filled with the highest dignitaries of the church and state, decorated with the various insignia of their ranks

and orders. The venerable man ascended the pulpit, 25 cast a look of indignation and pity on his audience, re

mained in silence for some moments, and then began his sermon in these words:-" In the


of an audience of a kind so new to me, it might, my brethren,

be thought, that I should not open my mouth, without 30 entreating your indulgence to a poor missionary, who

does not possess any one of the talents, which you are pleased to require from those, who address you on the salvation of your souls. My feelings are very different.

May God forbid, that any minister of the gospel shall 35 ever think he owes an apology for preaching Gospel

truths to you; for, whoever you are, you, like myself, are sinners in the judgement of God. Till this day, I have published the judgements of the Most High in the temples roofed with straw: I have preached the rigoura

40 of penance to an audience, most of whom wanted bread

I have proclaimed, to the simple inhabitants of the villages, the most terrible truths of religion.- Unhappy man!—what have I done?-I have afflicted the poor,

the best friends of my God. I have carried consterna45 tion and wo into simple and honest bosoms, which I ought rather to have soothed and comforted.

* But here!—where my eyes fall on the great, on the rich, on the oppressors of suffering humanity, or on bold

and hardened sinners; it is here, -in the midst of these 50 scandals,—that I ought to make the holy word jesound

in all its thunders, and place on one side of me, death, that threatens you, and the great God, who is to judge us all. Tremble, ye proud, disdainful men, who listen

to me! Tremble! for the abuse of favours of every kind, 55 which God has heaped on you! Think on the certainty

of death: the uncertainty of its hour: how terrible it will be to you! Think on final impenitence,-on the last judgement,-on the small number of the elect, and,

above all, think on eternity! These are the subjects 60 upon which I shall discourse to you, and which, with

the feelings I have mentioned, I ought to unfold to you all in all their terrors.”

Who," exclaims cardinal Maury, “ does not feel, both while he reads, and after he has read such an ex65 ordium, how much this eloquence of the soul is beyond

the cold pretensions of the elegant men, with which our pulpits are now filled? Ye orators, who attend only to your own reputation, acknowledge here your master!

Fall at the feet of this apostolic man, and learn, from a 70 missionary priest, what is true eloquence.

EXERCISE 115. Eloquence of Whitefield.-Gillies. The eloquence of Whitefield was indeed very great, and of the truest kind. He was utterly devoid of all appearance of affectation. He seemed to be quite uncon

scious of the talents he possessed. The importance of 5 his subject, and the regard due to his hearers engrossed all his concern.

He spoke like one who did not seek their applause, but was concerned for their best interests;

and who, from a principle of unfeigned love, earnestly

endeavored to lead them in the right way. And the 10 effect, in some measure, corresponded to the design.

They did not amuse themselves with commending his discourses; but being moved and persuaded by what he said, entered into his views, felt his passions, and were

willing for a time, at least, to comply with all his requests. 15 The charm, however, was nothing else but the power of

his irresistible eloquence; in which respect, it is not easy to say, whether he was ever excelled either in ancient or modern times.

He had a strong and musical voice, and a wonderful 20 command of it. His pronunciation was not only pro

per, but manly and graceful. Nor was he ever at a loss for the most natural and strong expressions. Yet, these in him were but lower qualities.

The grand sources of his eloquence were an exceed25 ing lively imagination, which made people think they

saw what he described: an action still more lively, if possible, by which, while every accent of his voice spoke to the ear, every feature of his face, every motion of his

hands, and every gesture spoke to the eye. 30 An intimate friend of the infidel Hume, asked him,

what he thought of Mr. Whitfield's preaching; for he had listened to the latter part of one of his sermons at Edinburgh. “He is, sir," said Mr. Hume, " the most

ingenious preacher I ever heard. It is worth while to go 35 twenty miles to hear him.". He then repeated the fol

lowing passage which he heard, towards the close of that discourse: “After a solemn pause, Mr. Whitfield thus addressed his numerous audience;— The attendant an

gel is just about to leave the threshold, and ascend to 40 heaven. And shall he ascend and not bear with him the

news of one sinner, among all this multitude, “reclaimed from the error of his ways?' To give the greater effect

to this exclamation, he stamped with his foot, lifted up - his hands and eyes to heaven, and with gushing tears, 45 cried aloud, Slop, Gabriel!-- Stop, Gabriel!—Stop, ere you enter the sacred portals, and yet carry with


the news of one sinner converted to God.' He then, in the most simple, but energetic language, described a Sa

viour's dying love to sinful man; so that almost the whole 50 assembly melted into tears. This address was accom

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panied with such animated, yet natural action, that it surpassed any thing I ever saw or heard in any other preacher.”

Happy had it been for poor Hume, had he receiv55 ed what he then heard, as the word of God, and not as the word of man!”

Dr. Franklin, in his memoirs, bears witness to the extraordinary effect which was produced by Mr. Whit

field's preaching in America; and relates an anecdote 60 equally characteristic of the preacher and of himself.

“I happened,” says the doctor, " to attend one of his sermons, in the course of which I perceived he intended to finish with a collection, and I silently resolved he

should get nothing from me. I had in my pocket a 65 handful of copper money, three or four silver dollars,

and five pistoles in gold. As he proceeded, I began to soften, and concluded to give the copper. Another stroke of his oratory made me ashamed of that, and dee

termined me to give the silver; and he finished so ad70 mirably, that I emptied my pocket wholly into the col

lector's dish, gold and all. At this sermon there was also one of our club; whn, being of my sentiments respecting the building in Georgia, and suspecting a col

lection might be intended, had by precaution emptied 75 his pockets before he came from home; towards the

conclusion of the discourse, however, he felt a strong inclination to give, and applied to a neighbor who stood near him to lend him some money for the purpose.

The request was fortunately made to perhaps the on80 y man in the company who had the firmness not to be

affected by the preacher. His answer was,
other time, friend Hodgkinson, I would lend to thee
freely; but not now, for thee seems to be out of thy
right senses."

ro at any


Satan's Lamentation.—Milton.
O had his pow'rful destiny ordain
Me some inferior angel, I had stood
Then happy; no unbounded hope had rais'd
Ambition. Yet why not? Some other power

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