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Charm'd with the Sight, my ravish'd Breaft is fir d
With Hints like those which ancient Bards infpir'd;
All the feign'd Tales by Superftition told,
All the bright Train of fabled Nymphs of old,
Th' Enthufiaftick Mufe believes are true,
Thinks the Spot facred, and its genius you.
Loft in wild Rapture, wou'd fhe fain difcloje,
How by Degrees the pleasing Wonder rofe:
Induftrious in a faithful Verfe to trace
The various Beauties of the lovely Place;
And while he keeps the glowing Work in View,
Tho' ev'ry Maze thy artful Hand pursue.

Oh were I equal to the bold Defign,
Or cou'd I boaft fuch happy Art as thine!
That cou'd rude Shells in fuch fweet Order place,
Give common Objects fuch uncommon Grace!
Like them my well-chofe Words in every Line,
As fweetly temper'd fhou'd as sweetly shine.
So just a Fancy hou'd my Numbers warm,
Like the gay Piece bould the Defcription charm.
Then with fuperier Strength my Voice I'd raife,
The echoing Grotte bou'd approve my Lays,
Pleas'd to reflect the well-fung Founder's Praife.

Wednesday,

No.633. Wednesday, December 15.

Omnia profecto cum fe à cæleftibus rebus referet ad hu manas, excelfius magnificentiufque & dicet & fentiet.

T

6

Cicer.

'HE following Difcourfe is printed, as it came to my Hands, without Variation.

IT

Cambridge, Dec. 12. T was a very common Enquiry among the Ancients why the Number of excellent Orators, un⚫ der all the Encouragements the moft flourishing States could give them, fell fo far fhort of the Number of those who excelled in all other Sciences. A Friend of mine ufed merrily to apply to this Cafe an Obfervation of Herodotus, who fays, That the most ufeful Animals are the most fruitful in their Generation; whereas the Species of thofe Beafts that are fierce and mischievous to Mankind are but fcarcely 'continued. The Hiftorian inftances in a Hare, which always either breeds or brings forth; and a Lionefs, which brings forth but once, and then lofes all Power of Conception But, leaving my Friend to his Mirth, I am of Opinion, that in these latter Ages we have greater Caufe of Complaint than the Antients had. And fince that folemn Festival is approaching, which calls for all the Power of Oratory, and which affords as noble a Subject for the Pulpit as any Revelation has taught us, the Defign of this Paper fhall be to fhow, that our Moderns have greater Advantages towards true and folid Eloquence, than any which the celebrated Speakers of Antiquity enjoy'd.

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THE firft great and fubftantial Difference, is that, their Common-Places, in which almost the whole • Force

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Force of Amplification confifts, were drawn from the Profit or Honesty of the Action, as they regarded only this prefent State of Duration. But Christianity as it exalts Morality to a greater Perfection, as it brings the Confideration of another Life into the Queftion, as it propofes Rewards and Punishments of a higher Nature, and a longer Continuance, is more adapted to affect the Minds of the Audience, naturally inclined to pursue what it imagines its greatest Intereft and Concern. If Pericles, as Hiftorians report, could shake the firmeft Refolutions of his Hearers, and fet the Paffions of all Greece in a Ferment, when the prefent Welfare of his Country, or the Fear of hoftile Invafions, was the Subject: What may be expected from that Orator, who warns his Audience, against thofe Evils which have no Remedy, when once undergone, either from Prudence or Time? As ⚫ much greater as the Evils in a Future State are than thefe at prefent, fo much are the Motives to Persuafion under Chriftianity greater than those which meer moral Confiderations could fupply us with. But what I now mention relates only to the Power of moving the Affections. There is another Part of Eloquence, which is indeed its Mafter-piece; I mean the Mar" vellous or Sublime. In this the Chriftian Orator, has the Advantage beyond Contradiction. Our Ideas are fo infinitely enlarged by Revelation, the Eye of Reafon has fo wide a Profpect into Eternity, the Notions of a Deity are fo worthy and refined, and the • Accounts we have of a State of Happiness or Mifery fo clear and evident, that the Contemplation of such Objects will give our Difcourfe a noble Vigour, an 'invincible Force, beyond the Power of any human • Confideration. Tully requires in his perfect Orator fome Skill in the Nature of heavenly Bodies, becaufe, fays he, his Mind will become more exten⚫ five and unconfined; and when he defcends to treat of human Affairs, he will both think and write in a more exalted and magnificent Manner. For the fame Reason that excellent Mafter would have recommended the Study of thofe great and glorious Myfte

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⚫ries

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ries which Revelation has discovered to us, to which ⚫ the nobleft Parts of this Syftem of the World, are as 'much inferior, as the Creature is lefs excellent than its • Creator. The wifeft and most knowing among the 'Heathens had very poor and imperfect Notions of a future State. They had indeed some uncertain Hopes ei'ther receiv'd by Tradition, or gather'd by Reafon, that the Existence of virtuous Men would not be determined ⚫ by the Separation of Soul and Body: But they either dif⚫ believed a future State of Punishment and Mifery, or, ⚫ upon the fame Account that Apelles painted Antigonus ⚫ with one side only towards the Spectator, that the Lofs of his Eye might not caft a Blemish upon the whole • Piece; fo these represented the Condition of Man in its 'fairest View, and endeavoured to conceal what they thought was a Deformity to human Nature I have ⚫ often obferved, that whenever the above-mentioned Ora⚫tor in his philofophical Difcourfes is led by hisArgument " to the Mention of Immortality, he feems like one awa⚫ked out of Sleep, rous'd and alarm'd with the Dignity of the Subject, he ftretches his Imagination to conceive fomething uncommon, and with the Greatness of his 'Thoughts, cafts, as it were, a Glory round the Sentence; Uncertain, and unsettled as he was, he seems fired with the Contemplation of it. And nothing but fuch a glorious Profpect could have forced fo great a Lover of Truth, as he was, to declare his Refolution never to part ' with his Perfuafion of Immortality, though it should be proved to be an erroneous one. But had he lived to fee ⚫ all that Chriftianity has brought to Light, how would he have lavished out all the Force of Eloquence in thofe ⚫ nobleft Contemplations which human Nature is capable of, the Refurrection and the Judgment that follows it? How had his Breaft glowed with Pleasure, when the whole Compass of Futurity lay open and expofed to his View? How would his Imagination have hurried him on in the Pursuit of the Mysteries of the Incarnation? ́ How would he have enter'd,with the Force of Lightning, into the Affections of his Hearers, and fixed their Attention, in spite of all the Oppofition of corrupt NaVO L. VIII. N

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ture,

ture, upon those glorious Themes which his Eloquence ⚫ hath painted in fuch lively and lafting Colours.

THIS Advantage Chriftians have; and it was with no fmall Pleasure I lately met with a Fragment of Lon"ginus, which is preferv'd, as aTeftimony of that Critick's Judgment, at the Beginning of a Manuscript of the • New Testament in the Vatican Library. After thatAuthor has number'd up the moft celebrated Orators among the Grecians, he says, Add to these Paul of Tarfus,thePa"tron of an Opinion not yet fully proved. As a Heathen, het condemns the Christian Religion; and, as an impartial Critick, he judges in favour of the Promoter and Preach6 er of it. To me it seems, that the latter Part of his Judgment adds great Weight to his Opinion of St. Paul's Abilities, fince, under all the Prejudice of Opinions directly oppofite, he is conftrained to acknowledge the Merit of that Apoftle. And no doubt, fuch as Longinus "describes St. Paul, fuch he appeared to the Inhabitants " of thofe Countries which he vifited and bleffed with thofe Doctrines he was divinely commiffioned to preach." Sacred Story gives us, in one Circumftance,a convincing "Proof of his Eloquence, when the Men of Lyftra called him Mercury,becaufe he was the chief Speaker,and would have paid Divine Worship to him, as to the God who invented and prefided over Eloquence. This one Account of our Apoftle, fets his Character, confider'd as an Orator only, above all the celebrated Relations of the Skill and Influence of Demofthenes, and his Contemporaries. Their Power in Speaking was admired, but ftill it was thought human: Their Eloquence warmed and ravished the Hearers, but ftill it was thought the Voice of Man, not the Voice of God. What Advantage then had St. Paul above those of Greece or Rome? I confefs I' can afcribe this Excellence to nothing but the Power of the Doctrines he delivered, which may have ftill the · fame Influence on the Hearers; which have still the Power, when preached by a skilful Orator, to make us break out in the fame Expreffions, as the Disciples who met our Saviour in theirWay to Emmaus, made ufe of ; Did not our Heartburn within us, when he talked to us by

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