« ZurückWeiter »
ones, without being coarse, or grovelling. In most Cafes, an easy Simplicity and Exactness is sufficient: tho' fome Things require Vehemence, and Sublimity. If a Painter shou'd draw nothing but magnificent Palaces, he cou'd not follow Truth; but must paint his own Fancies; and by that means, foon cloy us. He ought to copy
Nature in its agreable Varieties: and after drawing a stately City, it might be proper to represent a Desart, and the Huts of Shepherds. Most of those who aiin at making fine Harangues injudiciously labour to cloath all their Thoughts in a
pompous gaudy Dress : and they fancy that they have succeeded happily, when they express fome general Remarks in a florid lofty Stile. Their only Care is to fill their Discourse with abundance of Ornaments, to please the vitiated Taste of their Audience : like ignorant Cooks who know not how to seafon Dishes, in a proper, natural way; but fancy they must give thein an exquisite Relish by mixing K 2
* Nanque illud genus oftentationi compositum, folum petit audientium voluptatem : ideoque omnes dicendi artes aperit, ornatumque orationis exponit Mala affe&tatio, per omne dicendi genus peccat. Nam & tumida, & exilia, & prædulcia, & abundantia, & arcessita, & exultantia sub idem nomen cadunt. Denique Nax6]»? o vocatur, quicquid est' ultra Virtutein ; quoties Ingenium judicio caret, & fpecie boni falletur ; omnium in Eloquentia vitiorum pertimum : nam cætera cum vitentur, hoc petitur. QUINTIL. lib. viij. c. 3.
excessive Quantities of the most seasoning Things. But the Stile of a true Orator has nothing in it that is swelling or ostentatious : he always adapts it to the Subjects he treats of, and the Persons he instructs: and manages it so judiciously that he never aims at being subliine and lofty, but when he ought to be so.
B. What you said concerning the Language of Scripture, makes me with ear
wou'd shew us the Beauty of it. May we not see you
some time to-inorrow ?
A. I shall hardly have time to-morrow': but I'll endeavour to wait on you this Evening. And since you seem so desirous of it, we will talk of the Word of God: for hitherto we have only spoken of the Language of Men. C. Farewell
, Sir, I beg of you to be punctual : otherwise we must come and find
Began to fear, Sir, that you wou'd not come; and was very near going to see for
you at Mr. ***
A. I was detain’d by a perplexing Affair I had upon my Hands : but I have got rid of it to my
Satisfaction. B. I'ın very glad of it : for, we wanted you extremely to finish the Subject we were talking of in the Morning.
C. Since I parted with you, Sir, I heard a Sermon at ***, and I thought of you. The Preacher spoke in a very edifying manner: but I question whether the common People understood him, or
A. It happens but too often (as I heard an ingenious Lady observe,) that our Preachers speak Latin, in English. The most essential Quality of a good Preacher is to be instructive : but he must have
great Abilities and Experience to make him fo. On the one hand he must be perfectly acquainted with the Force of Scripture-Expressions : on the other, he
nuft understand the Capacity of those to whom he preaches; and adapt himself to it. Now this requires a solid Knowledge, and great Discernment. Preachers speak every day to People of the Scripture, the Church, the Mosaick Law, the Gospel ; of Sacrifices; of Moses and A ARON, and MELCHISÉDECK; of the Prophets, and Apostles : but there is not fufficient Care taken to instruct the People in the true Meaning of these Things, and in the Characters of those holy Persons, One might follow fomie Preachers, twenty Years, without getting fufficient Knowledge of Religion.
B. Do you think that People are really ignorant of those Things you mention'd?
C. For my part, I believe they are : and that few or none understand thein enough to receive any Benefit from Ser
B. That may be true of the lowest Rank of People.
C. Well ; ought not they to be instructed as well as others don't they make up the Bulk of Mankind ?
A. The Truth is, Persons of Rank and Fashion have but little more Knowledge
of Religion than the common People.
then have him explain the Catechism in his Sermons to a polite Congregation ?
A. I grant there is a due Regard to be had to an Audience; and Discretion to be us'd in adapting a Discourse to their Capacity. But still without giving the least Offence, a Preacher might remind the inost discerning Hearers of those Passages of the Sacred History, which explain the Origin and Institution of holy Things. This way of having Recourse to the first Foundations of Religion, wou'd be so far from seeming low, that it wou'd give inost Discourses that Force and Beauty which they generally want. This is particularly true with regard to the Mysteries of Religion : For the Hearers can never be instructed, nor perswaded, if you don't trace Things back to their Source. For example, how can you make thein understand what the Church fays, after * St. Paul, that JESUS* 1 Cor. CHRIST is our Passover, if you do " 7. not explain to them the Jewish Passover, which was appointed to be a perpetual Memorial of their Deliverance from E