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himself such. Instructors and works on Rhetoric may point out excellences, and give cautions, but they can never make good writers. A good style can be only attained by writing frequently and with care.
But it is not enough that efforts be made; they should be well-directed. The first object of attention should be to acquire a distinct and well-matured view of the subject. In this way a degree of interest will be excited in it, and the words and expressions, which offer themselves to the excited mind in conveying what it distinctly sees, will ordinarily be the best. There will, it is true, be inaccuracies and violations of rules in the efforts of the young writer, but these may be removed in a revisal. There is danger, however, lest, in this revisal, an attempt to refine and polish destroy the force and originality of the expressions. It is better merely to correct inaccuracies, and to leave a higher degree of polish to be attained by an improvement of the taste, resulting from the study of good models. Let not then the young writer direct his efforts for improvement solely to the choice of his words, or the composition of his sentences, or waste them in a search after figurative expressions and the ornaments of style. Let him rather aim at the attainment of distinct views of his subject, and the clear and forcible conveyance
of these views to others. When a good style has been formed, it is still of importance to compose occasionally with care and attention. The style of an individual in some respects resembles the hand-writing. If he acquires the ability of writing a fair and legible hand, and afterwards in the hurry of business is led to write rapidly and carelessly, his hand-writing will deteriorate. If he continues to bestow on it a usual share of attention, it will remain the same. If occasionally he writes with attention, and labours to improve it, he will improve it. It is thus with style; and since, in the discharge of the common duties of a profession, it may be difficult to devote attention to the manner of composition, it may be well occasionally to discuss and exhibit some subject with more than usual care.
A good style is an attainment which amply repays all the effort that is here enjoined. It is to the scholar a consummation of his intellectual discipline and acquirements. He, who in a land of free institutions holds an able pen, has a weapon of powerful efficacy both for defence and attack; and if this weapon be wielded with honest and patriotic motives, he who wields it may become a public benefactor.
DIDACTIC PRECEPTIVE WRITING.
FIRST, therefore, every morning, make your private prayer unto Almighty God; give him thanks for his protection of you the night past, and that he hath brought you to the morning; and desire him to bless and direct you by his grace and providence that day, and to preserve you from the evils and dangers of it, and to keep you in obedience to him.
Secondly, a little before you go to bed, make again your private prayers to God, returning him thanks for his protection, and for bringing you to the end of the day; desire him to forgive you the sins and failings of the day, and beg his protection over you the night following
Always be attentive to your prayers, and keep your mind upon the business you are about, with all due seriousness and solemness, witliout playing or staring about, or thinking of other matters; for you must remember that in prayer you are speaking to the great God of heaven and earth, that doth not only see and observe your outward carriage, but also the very thoughts of your hearts and minds.
Let no occasion whatsoever hinder you from your private, constant devotion towards Almighty God, but be steady and fixed, and resolved in it; and not go about any business of importance (but only reading of a chapter, whereof in the next) till you have performed this duty; and although it be upon the Lord's Day, when you go to public prayers, morning and afternoon, and though there be morning and evening prayers in the schools or college where you live, yet this must not make you omit your private devotions; for it must be a solemn and sacred employment, as a great and necessary means of your protection, and blessing, and safety, the ensuing day or night. I was ever distrustful of the success of that business which I undertook before I commended myself and affairs to Almighty God in my private morning prayers.
Let all your thoughts and words be full of reverence; think not of him lightly, nor speak of him, nor use his name vainly; consider, it is he by whose mercy and goodness you live and have all the blessings and comforts yon enjoy, and that can call them away from you at his pleasure ; it is he that knows all your thoughts, words, and actions, and discerns whether they are such as are decent, becoming, and suitable to his will and presence; it is he that sees you though you see him not, and this is the reason of the third commandment, whereby you are forbidden to take his name in vain.
SIR MATTHEW HALE.
ANALYSIS.-1. An injunction to pray eyery morning, with a brief statement of the objects of morning prayer.
2. An injunction to pray in the evening, and the objects of evening prayer.
3. Directions as to the conduct during time of prayer, with a reason assigned.
4. Injunction to be uniform and strict in the observance of the duty, enforced by a reference to the writer's experience.
5. Injunctions as to the general state of the thoughts and feelings towards God, with the reasons assigned.
In looking at this analysis, it is obvious, that though the different paragraphs are distinct from each other, they are connected together by their general bearing on the leading design of the writer ;they all tend to enforce the constant and right performance of the duty of prayer. We are also led to notice the directness and simplicity, which are found both in the thoughts and expressions. The amplification is for the most part explanatory; so far as reasons are assigned, they are briefly stated, and are such as commend themselves to the good sense and the moral feelings of the reader.
DIDACTIC PERSUASIVE WRITING.
Daily Prayer-Evening. LET us now consider another part of the day which is favourable to the duty of prayer; we mean the evening. This season, like the morning, is calm and quiet. Our labours are ended. The bustle of life is gone by. The distracting glare of the day has vanished. The darkness which surrounds us favours seriousness, composure, and solemnity. At night the earth fades from our sight, and nothing of creation is left to us but the starry heavens, so vast, so magnifi. cent, so serene, as if to guide up our thoughts above all earthly things to God and immortality.