« EelmineJätka »
And the fame, standard author, in his 407th paper, coma plains as follows:
“ Our preachers ftand fock-ftill in the pulpit, and will not “ so much as move a finger to set off the best sermons in the « world. We meet with the same speaking statues at our
bars, and in all public places of debate. Our words flow “ from us in a smooth, continued stream, without those strain
of the voice, motions of the body, and majesty of the « hand, which are so much celebrated in the orators of & Greece and Rome. We can talk of life and death in “ cold blood, and keep our temper in a discourse, which “ turns upon every thing that is dear to us.
" It is certain, that proper gestures, and vehement exer« tions of the voice, cannot be too much studied by a public “ orator. They are a kind of comment upon what he utters, “ and enforce every thing he fays, with weak hearers" (and furely the bulk of hearers are weak] “ better than the
ftrongest argument he can make use of. They keep the “ audience awake, and fix their attention to what is de. “ livered to them; as the same time that they fhew the
speaker is in earnest, and affected himself with what he fo pasionately recommends to others—.
« How cold and dead a figure in comparison of these two “ great men" (Demosthenes and Cicero] “ does an orator «c often make at the British bar, holding up his head with " the most inhpid ferenity, and stroking the sides of a long
Dian Swift (who was no friend to over doing on the ferious fide) advises his young clergyman as follows:
I take it for granted, that you are already desirous to “ be seen in a pulpit. But, I hope you will think it
prudent to pass quarantine among the desolate churches “ five miles round this town, where you may at least learn • to read and speak, before you venture to expose your
parts in a city congregation. Not that these are better
judges; but, because, if a man must need expose his folly, “ it is more safe and discreet to do so before few witnesses, “ and in a scattered neighbourhood. And you will do well, “ if you can prevail with some intimate and judicious friend “ to be your constant hearer, and to beg of him to give you
notice, with the utmost freedom, of whatever he finds “ amiss either in your voice or gesture. For want of such “ early warning, many clergymen continue defective, and “ fometimes ridiculous, to the end of their lives. Neither " is it rare to observe, among excellent and learned divines,
« a certain
a certain angracious manner, or unhappy tone of voice, « which they have never been able to shake off.” LETTER TO A YOUNG CLERGYMAN.
Are the faults complained of by these authors, who wrote almost fifty years ago, amended, or likely to be amended! Let the answer to this question be collected from the following verses, by Dr. Byram, prefixed to Fordyce's Art OF PREACHING, published a few years ago.
For, what's a sermon, good, or bad,
In point of fermons, 'tis confest,
we must confess,
If there is, as we have seen, so much room to lament the deficiencies of those who are to lead the devotions of congregations, and to instruct them in their duty, and whose business it is to win them, by every engaging and powerful art, to the faithful performance of it; if there is so much reason to with that those failures might be made up, and thote errors amended, which are undoubtedly a great cause of the reluctance we observe in many to attend, and their coldness and indifferency in, places of public worship and instruction; if the clergy are so deficient in their public performances, what is left to me to say of those devotion-confounding, earsplitting pests of our churches, I mean the parish-clerks, and parish-children? I would only ask, whether, if we had declared a final and irreconcileable holtility against common decency, not to fay propriety, and had set ourselves to find out the most effectual means possible for turning worship into burlesque; I would ask, I say, whether, if this was our design,
there could be a more certain way to gain it, than to place a fet of people in every church, who nhould come in between every two sentences spoken by the minister, with a squawlas loud as the sound of ten trumpets, and totally difcordant from orie another, and from the key in which the minister speaks. If the minister speaks properly, why do not the clerk and the charity-childrer speak in concord with him? If the clerk speaks properly, why do not the minister and the children speak in the Jame key with him? Or if the children are right, why do not the minister and clerk scream as high, or, at least, take a concordant key with theirs q” They cannot be all right, and all different, from one another. How much more rational would it be to spend the time, which is now so ridiculously thrown away in touching the poor children to set the ears of the whole parish on edge, in making them understand thoroughly what they fo often repeat by rote, without understanding, I mean the answers to those useful questions in their catechism, " What is your duty to God ?" and,“ What is your duty " to your neighbour ?” This would be of service to them all their lives; whereas the other answers no end, that has the least connexion with common-sense.
It is by keeping clear of every thing disagreeable or grating, and by consulting all that may please, entertain, and strike, that the sagacious Roman Catholics keep up, in their people, a delight in the public services of their foolish religion. If we were wise, and as much in earnest, as we ought, we should imitate them in this. But what avails it to attempt to oppose that which has power to make wrong righi, and absurdity proper; I mean, the irresistible tyrant, Custom, whose dominion is in no nation more alplute (where there are fo many fo capable of judging) than in this our dear country.
LESSON S. 1.
HE Trojans ("if we may believe tra- Narras
dition) were the first founders of the tion.
Roman Commonwealth; who under the conduct of Æneas, having made their escape from their own ruined country, got to Italy, and there for some time lived a rambling and unsettled life, without any fixed place of abode, among the natives, anuncultivated people, who had neither law nor regular government, but were wholly free from all rule or restraint. This mixed multitude, however, crowding together into one city, though originally different in ex
• Narration requires very little of what is properly called expreffion, in pronouncing it; I have, however, ordered the emphatical words in this, and all the lessons, to be printed in Italics, for the reader's help. See in the Essay, Narration, and the other pasions put upon the margin of the lessons.
• of the manner of pronouncing matter contained in a parenthesis, see the ESSAY, p. 10.
tra&tion, language, and customs, united into one body, in a surprisingly fort space of time. And as their little state came to be improved by addicional nuinbers, by policy, and by extent of territory, and seemed likely to make a figure among the nations, according to the common course of things, the appearance of prosperity drew upon them the envy of the neighbouring states; so that the princes and people who bordered upon them, begun to seek occasions of quarrelling with them. The alliances they could form were but few : for most of the neighbouring states avoided embroiling themselves on their account. The Romans, seeing that they had nothing to trust to, but their own conduet, found it necessary to bestir themselves with great diligence, to make vigorous preparations, to excite one another to face their enemies in the field, to hazard their lives in defence of their liberty, their country, and their families. And when, by their valour, they repulsed the enemy, they gave affistance to their allies, and gained friendships by often giving, and seldom demanding favours of that fort. They had, by this time, established a regular form of govern
ment, C A small elevation of the voice will be proper here, to express moderate wonder. See Wonder.
« This fentence is to be spoken somewhat quicker than the rest, to express earneftness.
"", words often giving, and seldom demanding, being in
'o one another, must be expressed with such an emray point out the antithesis, or oppofition.