Images de page
PDF
ePub

ments or motives to influence his hearers to that conduct which he recommends. Or it may not be necessary, to make a separate article of the adversary's plea; a place, for whatever is requisite in this way, may

be found by the preacher, as he proceeds in the support of his own cause.

In this case the different topics of argument may constitute the heads of discourse. Bourdaloue, on the text above mentioned, proposed to persuade his hearers to a pious and virtuous life from the consideration of the recompense that awaits the just in the world to come. And from these three different qualities of that recon pense, its certainty, its greatness, its eternity, finds topics of argument for influencing his hearers to a proper regard to it. And these three topics divide the discourse. In treating each, he contrasts that quality he is illustrating with something of an opposite nature ever to be found in the rewards or pleasures of sin, their precariousness in opposition to its certainty, their insignificancy in opposition to its greatness, and their transitoriness in opposition to its eternity. As to the method, in which the different topics are to be arranged, the same observations will hold that were made on the controversial discourse, and therefore shall not be repeated. The arrangement above mentioned seems to be the best in that particular subject, yet I could not say, it were absolutely necessary. You may begin perhaps with equal propriety with the greatness of the reward, as with its certainty; but in any case, it seems most fit, that you should conclude with the eternity. When the different motives are mentioned in the text, the preacher may very properly take notice of the different clauses, as the foundations of his different heads. But when they are not explicitly mentioned, it savours of conceit and pue. rility to make them out by straining the words. This is a fault, into which the last mentioned orator, misled by the taste of the age and nation, frequently falls. Of the three topics aforesaid, only one can properly be said to be expressed in the text, namely the greatness; yet he finds something in the words to serve as separate foundations to the several heads. First, says he, I shall consider the certainty pointed out in the emphatic term with which the sentence is introduced, Ecce, behold. Secondly the greatness, merces vestra multaest, your reward is great. Thirdly, the eternity, in cælo, in heaven. It may not be amiss to observe, that in making the transition from one topic or head of discourse to another, it will often prove very helpful to the memory, to point out in brief, how much you have already evinced, and what you are in the next place proceeding to evince.

As to the conclusion, it is very proper, first, to give a sum of the argument, in order to infix the whole more effectually on the minds of the hearers, and then more warmly to address the passions. If the preceding part has been suitably conducted, the people will be prepared for entering into the subject, with all the warmth that the speaker can desire. The

The way of practical inferences or speculative corollaries is not well suited to this kind of discourse. With regard to the first, the whole tenour of the sermon is practical, and therefore needs not a formal application of this kind; besides that to enforce any thing else, than what was the direct aim of the whole, is really diverting the hearers' attention, and in some degree undoing the effect of what was said. Still more unsuitable are

inferences, relating merely to the truth or the false. hood of certain tenets. When the discourse is a persuasive to the christian life in general, or to some necessary and important duty immediately connected with the whole, as to repentance ; in the peroration, one may very pertinently urge some motives to induce the hearers to enter without loss of time on doing that which they must be sensible, it is both their duty and their interest to do. This is no other than advancing the aim and effect of the whole. In this part however, he ought carefully to avoid the formality of proposing and arranging his topics. For this would give the appearance of a new and a separate discourse, to what was intended only as corroborative of the discourse preceding

THE END.

WORKS

LATELY PUBLISHED

BY W. WELLS, AND BY THOMAS B. WAIT AND CO.

COURT STREET..... BOSTON.

Sacred EXTRACTs from the Holy SCRIPtures of the Old and New Testament; for the use of schools and private families. 1 vol. 12mo.

Hugo Grotius De Veritate Religionis Christianæ, cum notis JOANNIS CLERICI; cui accesserunt ejusdem “De Eligendis inter Christianos dissentientes Sententia ;” et “Contra Indifferentiam Religionum," Libri duo. Ab Editionibus optimis ac novissimis, accuratissime collatis. 12mo.

The New Testament, in an IMPROVED VERSION. Upon the Basis of ARCHBISHOP Newcome's new translation ; with a corrected text and notes, critical and explanatory. One volume, 8vo.

A Vindication of certain passages in a Discourse, on occasion of the Death of Dr. Priestley, &c. By Thomas Belsham. To which is annexed the Discourse on the Death of Dr. Priestley. By the same Author. 1 volume, 12mo.

The Works of Mrs. Hester Chapone, now first collected, contain. ing, 1. Letters on the Improvement of the Mind. 2. Miscellanies. 3. Correspondence with Mr. Richardson. 4. Letters to Mrs. Carter. 5. Fugitive pieces: to which is prefixed, Memoirs of her life and character. Beautifully printed in 4 volumes, 18mo.

SERMONS on EDUCATION. From the German of the Rev. George Joa. chim Zollikoffer.

« PrécédentContinuer »