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fallen in regard to arrangement, but expressly to guard young ministers against them.

Far ostener than I could wish, the fundamental divisions of n

'my sermons are such as can in no wise be justified by the rules of logic; or, to express myself more correctly, instead of dividing the theme itself, I have often arbitrarily connected with it, positions which it did not contain. The subject of the sixth sermon, for instance, of the first part of the sermons published at Wittemberg, is the following: How shall a man conduct, when, in his religious inquiries, he is led to strange opinions ? Now, the first division contains considerations respecting the nature and character of strange opinions, and the second shows how a man should conduct himself, when he is led to such opinions. Now, it is evident, at first glance, that this is not a division of the subject, because the pretended second division comprehends the whole theme, in which the first is not contained. In order to comprehend these two divisions, the theme should have been expressed in more general terms. If, for instance, the discourse bad been, Respecting opinions'in general which have something strange in them, then, the first division would properly bave been employed in explaining their nature and character, and the second, in treating of them, and giving them a critical examination. The twelfth sermon of the same volume, is headed : Warnings against false conscientiousness, and has three divisions; the first explains the nature of this error; the second, its signs and effects; and the third gives the reasons why it should be avoided. In this case, the two first divisions are not contained in the theme, according to which, I was merely to bring forward warnings against this error, while the third is the theme itself. Had the theme been espressed thus: Respecting false conscientiousness, then the three preceding divisions would have sustained a proper relation to it; and I should have had to consider the nature of false conscientiousness, its characteristics, and its injurious effects. The third sermon for the year 1798, treats of the following subject: From the unexpected discovery of good qualities in others, we should draw nourishment for our own philanthropy. As this position is a theorem which required proof, it was incapable of division, and admitted of nothing more than an enumeration of the reasons brought forward in its support. I bare divided it, however, and, contrary to all the rules of logic, in the first division, given illustrations of the unexpected discovery of good qualities in others, of whiclı, however, there is no intimation in the theme itself; and, in the second, done the only thing that ought to have been done, brought forward reasons in proof of the main position. To adduce one more example: The eighth sermon of the second volume of the sermons published at Wittemberg, treats of the position: Of what importance should we deem the thought, that eternity constitutes the exterior bound of every thing unstable. In dividing it, I enter into an examination of the meaning, truth, and importance of this position. This, however, is not a logical division, for the first and second heads are not contained in the theme, while the third constitutes the theme itself. It would have been no inore than tolerable, had the theme expressed nothing but the thought in general, without any reference to its importance. The examples now brought forward will be sufficient to designate the error I had in view. In them, as every one · will see, I have so obviously contradicted the rules of logic in my divisions, as to be incapable of excuse.

That one should occasionally fall into this error, in spite of effort to the contrary, is to be expecied; but I have fallen into it so often, that I am ashamed of it. Any one who wishes for more instances of the same kind, may examine the second sermon of the second volume of the sermons published at Wittemberg, the seventh of the sermons of 1797, the sixth and the thirty-seventh of those of the year 1798, and the forty-third of the year 1799. Such being my faults in this respect, I feel under so much the greater obligations to guard others against them.

Another fault exhibited in many of my sermons, is far too anxious an effort to divide them perfectly methodically, and connect all their parts closely together. From one of my preceding letters, you have alieady learned, my dear friend, how I came by this stiff, scholastic habit, and why I have retained it so long.* I cannot, by any means, recommend it for imitation; in part, because such laborious

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preparations are not necessary for accomplishing the main object of preaching, and in part, and especially, because it may be productive of evil, in case a man has to do with common bearers, who are unpractised in thinking. Examples of this too great particularity in defining and classifying, are to be met with especially in my old sermons; in those which I have written of late years, I have endeavored to avoid it, without, I hope, running into the error of handling the subjects which came up, in a less thorough manner. Even here, also, for the sake of clearness, it will be necessary for me to illustrate what I mean, by a few examples. Compare, therefore, the fourth sermon of the first volume of the sermons published at Wittemberg, which treats of Power to control the imagination ; the first division of which resembles a regularly composed and methodically divided fragment of a treatise upon psychology. The same remark holds true of the first division of the seventh sermon of the same volume ; for of what use are all those illustrations respecting the nature, classes, and origin, of pious emotions? As every body knows what is meant by pious emotions in general, could not every thing necessary have been said in a few words or periods? In the eleventh serinon of the second volume, the explanation given of the manner in which God exhibits the internal worth of creatures by external signs, is far too circumstantial and scholastic, and all who read it, will directly feel, that every thing upon this part of the subject, might have been said in fewer words, and far more natural language, without doing any injury to the thoroughness of the view. In the first Whitsuntide sermon of the year 1798, which treats of spiritual experience, in the first part, far too much, and not altogether appropriate effort is made, by way of preparation, in what is said with such detail respecting general and moral experience, inasmuch as the idea of spiritual experience would have had sufficient clearness, without all these introductory explanations. The twentyseventh sermon of 1799 has not only the error formerly alluded to, of not being logically and correctly divided, but in the first part, is burdened with illustrations of such ideas as are generally known, and should have been only briefly touched. That in writing out a sermon, every grand idea


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should be rendered clear by correct definitions, is perfectly evident; otherwise, a man will not master his subject, and speak it with the requisite application. But this logical and preparatory labor does not belong to the sermon itself, in which every thing inust be intelligibly represented, without any pedantic analysis of the subject. Young preachers should be warned to guard so much the more against this error, from the fact, that a man pleases bimself in the thing, from the appearance which it gives him of philosopbical acuteness, and the opinion in which he indulges, that it will increase his authority.*

Finally, I cannot deny, that far 100 much uniformity prevails in the arrangement or division of my sermons; an objection which has already, at different tinies, been made against them. This uniformity originated, in part, in the nature of the thing. A large proportion of subjects must be divided alike, if treated in the best and most natural manner; and a man will fall into artificialness, or fail to do them justice, if be divides them in any otlier way. The gature of the case, for example, requires a man, in every good sermon he preaches, to instruct the intellect with reference to every ibing upon which he speaks, and then apply the whole to the improvement of the heart and life; or, which is the same thing, the first part should be theoretical, the second practical. It is impossible, therefoie, to avoid the frequent recurrence of this mode of dividing a sermon, and hence, it cannot be blamed. The same is likewise true of certain trichotomies which are too natural not to be often employed. It is very natural for bim who has to speak upon an interesting subject, to explain, prove, and apply. He who treats of an important duty, must, in like manner, explain it, and prove it, and lead ihe way to its practice. He who recommends a virtue, must give a clear notion of it, speak of its importance, and show by what exercises one can make it his own, &c. Jo such cases, the principal divisions are, in a manner, already given, and in handling such subjects, a man injures them rather than otherwise, if he attempts to divide them in any other manner.

* Hence, Greiling is perfectly correct, in warning ministers against a blind mitation of my sermons in this respect.' Theorie der Popularitai, s. 113 and 18.

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I will not, by any means, deny, however, that the divis. ions and plans of my sermons are frequently uniform, when there was room for choice in the arrangement; and hence, when ihe train of thought would have admitted of greater variety. This was not only correctly remarked upon some years since, by the Rev. Mr. Linde, the author of the instructive work entitled : “Reinhard and Ammon, or parallel sermons as a contribution to Homiletics, particularly to arrangement and composition,»* but on p. 79 ff., accompanied with many interesting reflections, of quite an indulgent character as regards myself. This uniformity in arrangement is well founded, if it originates in a kind of inclination for symmetry, which exerted so much the more influence upon inyself, from the fact that it proved so advantageous to my memory, enabling me easily to call to mind those parts which were thus accurately proportioned. That I ever made symmetry, however, an object of attention, at the expense of the subject itself; that, for instance, I ever cut away parts which belonged to the subject, or introduced parts entirely foreign from it, in order to have more or less divisions or sub-divisions than I deemed necessary to the barmony of the whole, is, at least, a ibing which I am not conscious of ever having done. Hence, instances are to be found in which this symmetry is neglected, as the subject I was at work upon, required something else, and Mr. Linde, on the 82d page, has brought forward such an instance. Hence, in my fast sermons, two of which usually treat upon the same text, the second frequently takes a course entirely different from the first, inasmuch as the subject which it handles, wbich is an application of the theory explained in the first, either required or admitted a different arrangement.

In view of all that has now been said, I must request young preachers not to regard every thing symmetrical in my sermons, as an excellency worthy of initation without the exercise of great caution. It should be so regarded only when this uniformity of divisions and sub-divisions is suggested by the subject itself, and far more radical and natural, than any other would be. Where this is not the case, where a free division of the subject appears to * Reinhard und Ammon oder Predigten Parallele, Königsb.1800.

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