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common with every other public speaker, whatever be the scene of his appearances, whether it be his lot to deliver his orations in the senate, at the bar, or from the pulpit. Now what the preacher must have in common with those of so many other and very different professions, it cannot be expected that here we should treat particularly, especially when it is considered how many other things have a preferable title to our notice. What indeed is peculiar in the eloquence of the pulpit will deserve a more particular consideration. But though we do not from this place propose to give an institute of rhetoric, it will not be improper to give some directions in relation to the theory of it, and particularly to the reading both of ancient and modern authors, whence the general knowledge of the subject, which is too much neglected by theological students, may be had. When we consider the nature of this elegant and useful art with any degree of attention, we shall soon be convinced, that it is a certain improvement on the arts of grammar and logic; on which it founds, and without which it could have no existence. On the other hand, without this, these arts would lose much of their utility and end, for it is by the art of rhetoric, that we are enabled to make our knowledge in language, and skill in reasoning, turn to the best account for the instruction and persuasion of others. “ The wise “in heart," saith Solomon, " shall be called pru“dent, but the sweetness of the lips encreaseth “learning*
Now, the best preparation for an orator, on what* See the Philosophy of Rhetoric, vol. 1. book 1. ch. iv. of the Relation which Eloquence bears to Logic and to Grammar.'
ever kind of theatre he shall be called to act, is to understand thoroughly the discursive art, and to be well acquainted with the words, structure, and idiom of the language which he is to employ. By skill in the former, I do not mean being well versed in the artificial dialectic of the schools, though this, I acknowledge, doth not want its use, but being conversant in the natural and genuine principles and grounds of reasoning, whether derived from sense or memory, from comparison of related ideas, from testimony, experience, or analogy. School logic, as was well observed by Mr. Locke, is much better calculated for the detection of sophistry than the discovery of truth. Its forms of argumentation in mood and figure carry too much artifice, not to say mechanism, in the very front of them, to suit the free and disengaged manner of the orator, in whom every thing ought to appear perfectly natural and easy, and nothing that looks like contrivance or insidious design. But though the logician's manner is not to be copied by the public speaker, his art will be of use, sometimes in furnishing topics of argument, often in suggesting hints to assist in refutation. But true logic, it must be ac, knowledged, is best studied not in a scholastic system, but in the writings of the most judicious and best reasoners on the various subjects supplied by history, science, and philosophy. And with regard to language, as it is the English alone with which the preachers in this country, a very few excepted, are concerned as public speakers, they ought not only to study its structure and analogy in our best grammarians, but endeavour to familiarize themselves to its idiom, and to acquire a sufficient stock
of words, and a certain facility in using them, by an acquaintance with our best English authors. We have the greater need of this, as in this part of the island we labour under some special disadvantages, which, that our compositions may be more extensively useful, it is our duty to endeavour to surmount.
As to the rhetorical art itself, in this particular the moderns appear to me to have made hardly any advance or improvement upon the ancients, I can say, at least, of most of the performances in the way of institute, which I have had an opportunity of reading on this subject, either in French or English, every thing valuable is servilely copied from Ăristotle, Cicero, and Quintilian, in whose writings, especially Quintilian's Institutions, and Cicero's books de inventione, those called ad Herennium, and his dialogues De oratore, every public speaker ought to be conversant. To these it will not be amiss to add Longinus on the Sublime, Dionysius of Halicarnassus, and some others. And as, in every art, the examples of eminent performers will be found to the full as instructive to the student, as the precepts laid down by the teacher, antiquity does here at least furnish us with the best models in the orations of Cicero in Latin, and in those of Æschines and Demosthenes in Greek. Of modern authors considered in both views, as teachers of the art, and as performers, I would recommend what Rollin and Fenelon have written on the subject, the sermons, and also the lectures on eloquence* lately published by the ingenious
• Dr. Campbell's Lectures on Pulpit Eloquence were composed and delivered before the publication of Dr. Blair's Lectures on
and truly eloquent Dr. Blair; to which give me leave to add the sermons of my amiable and much lamented friend Mr. Farquhar, which though no other than fragments, having been left unfinished by the author, who appears to have had no view to publication, and though consequently less correct in point of language, are on account of the justness of the sentiments, and the affecting warmth with which they are written, highly admired by persons of taste and discernment. *
Rhetoric. The recommendation as above was added to the original manuscript after perusing the lectures of his friend Dr. Blair.
* Here the author introduced for his second lecture the tenth chapter of the first book of his Philosophy of Rhetoric, entitled 6. The different kinds of public speaking in use among the mo“ derns, compared, with a view to their different advantages in 66 respect of eloquence.” In that chapter there are several things highly worthy of the attention of the preacher.
OF THE SENTIMENT IN PULPIT DISCOURSES.
I AM now to consider the train of sentiment, the elocution, and the pronunciation, that are best adapted to the pulpit. Of these things I only mean at first to take a more general and cursory survey, and make such remarks on each, as will hold almost universally of all the instructions given from the pulpit, whatever the particular subject be. As to those which may suit the different sorts of sermons and other discourses to be employed by the preacher, I shall have occasion afterwards to take notice of them, when I come to inquire into the rules of composition, worthy the attention of the christian orator, and to mark out the different kinds, whereof this branch of eloquence is susceptible.
I begin at this time with what regards the sentiments. Let it be observed, that I here use the term sentiments in the greatest latitude for the sense or thoughts. I mean thereby what may be considered as the soul of the discourse, or all the instruction of whatever kind, that is intended to be conveyed by means of the expression into the minds of the hearers. Perhaps the import of the word will be more exactly ascertained by saying, it is that in any original performance, which it behoves