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out defence; or to a ship driven by storms, and without a pilot. The word in the mouth of a pastor, is like a sword in the hand of a warrior ; but this sword must be managed with art and dexterity; or, to speak more plainly, p] a pastor must very assiduously prepare the sermons and other discourses he is obliged to deliver in public; and must use his utmost efforts to acquire this talent, since on it depends the salvation of most of the souls committed to his care.

But here it will be objected; if this be true, why did St. Paul neglect the acquiring this talent; and why did he not scruple to own, that [9] he was rude in speech, and that too in writing to the Corinthians, who set so high a value upon Eloquence ?

This expression, says St. Chrysostom, the sense and depth of which has not been discovered, has deceived multitudes, and by them has been made use of as a handle to vindicate their own sloth. If St. Paul was ignorant, as you say, how came he to confound the Jews at Damascus, having not yet wrought any miracles? How was it possible for him to vanquish the Greeks in argument, and why did he not retire to Tarsus ? Was it not after he had gained so complete a victory by the power of his discourse, that unable to bear the ignominy of their defeat, they resolved to put him to death? Of what did he make use in his contest with the citizens of Antioch, who were resolved to embrace the Jewish ceremonies ? Did not the senator of the Areopagus, who inhabited the most superstitions, and at the same time the most learned city in the world, and his wife, follow him, after hearing but one of his discourses? How did that Apostle employ his time in Thessalonica, in Corinth, in Ephesus, and even in Rome itself? Did not he spend whole days and nights in explaining the sacred writings? Need we relate his various disputes with the Epicureans and Stoics? How audacious then must those be, who after this would give the title of ignorant to St. Paul? He, whose disputations and sermonsi

P1 Xρή τον ιερέα πάντα ποιείν [9] 2 Cor, xi. 6. υπέρτε ταύτην κτης ασθαι την ισχύν.

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were universally admired; he, whom the Lycaonians imagined to be Mercury, undoubtedly because of his Eloquence!

It may happen, that pastors full of zeal, charity, and at the same time very capable of presiding over men, may however not be endued with a talent for preaching, nor able to instruct their flock. In this case, the example of Valerius bishop of Hippo, who, because he was not conversant in the Latin tongue, made St. Austin preach for him, and in his presence, is a rule for them; and authorizes them to employ others in those functions to which they themselves are unequal. [r] Such country rectors as are not capable of composing sermons, may have recourse to books. There is purposely calculated for them, a set of short and easy homilies, adapted to the meanest capacities; these they may either read to their congregation, or get others to read for them.

St. Austin would not condemn this practice; [s] he being of opinion, that when a pastor is not capable of writing a sermon, he may get it done by another ; and after learning it by heart, deliver it as though he himself were the author. The reason of which is, that some method or other must be used to instruct the people.

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To affect and move the Passions of his Auditors by

the Strength of his Discourse. Though we ought to set a high value on a discourse, which is not only very perspicuous, but graceful and eloquent; it must however be owned, that the great, the surprising effects of Eloquence are not produced either from that of a simple or mediate, or of an em

[r] M. P. Abbé Lambert. sapienterque conscriptum, memori

[s] Sunt quidam, qui benè pro- æque commendent, atque ad popununciare possunt, quid autem pro- lum proferant: si eam personam nuncient excogitare non possunt. gerunt, non improbè faciunt. De Quòd si ab alüs sumant eloquenter Doctr. Chr. l. 4. n. 62.


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bellished or florid kind, but from the sublime and pathetic. By the two forıner, the orator pleases and instructs; and he may be satisfied with producing these two effects, when he speaks of speculative truths, which require only our belief and consent; and regard the understanding, rather than the heart and affections, if we admit any such in religion. But it is not so when practical truths are proposed, which are to be put in execution. And indeed to what

purpose would it be, should the auditor be convinced of what he hears, and applaud the Eloquence of the speaker, if he did not love, embrace, and practise the maxims preached to him ? In case the orator does not arrive at this third degree, he goes but half way; for he ought to please and instruct, only with the view of affecting. It is in this St. Austin, after Tully, makes: the complete victory of Eloquence to consist. Every discourse that leaves the auditor calm, does not move and agitate him, and also deject, overthrow, and vanquish his obstinate resistance; how beautiful soever such a piece may appear, it is not truly eloquent, The business is, to inspire him with horror for his sins, and with a dread of God's judgments; to remove the delusive charm which blinds him, and to force open his eyes; to make him hate what he loved, and love what he hated; to root out from his heart his strong, darling, ardent passions, of which he is no longer master, and which have gained an absolute ascendant over him; in a word, to urge, to force him from hiinself, from his desires, his joys, and every thing that constitutes his felicity.

Iam sensible that nothing but the all-powerful grace of Christ Jesus can affect a heart in this manner, and create such wonderful changes in it. To think otherways, and to expect in some measure this effect from the efficacy of words, the graces of speech, the solidity of arguments

, or the strength of expressions, would be, to speak with St. Paul, to [t] annihilate the cross of Christ, and divest him of the honour of

[1] Misit me Christus evangeli- non evacuetur crux Christi. 1 Cor. pare, non in sapientiâ verbi, ut i. 17. KS


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converting the world, to ascribe it to human wisdom. [u] For this reason St. Austin would have the Christian orator rely much more on prayer than on his abilities; and before he speaks to them, would have him address the Creator, who can alone inspire him with what he ought to speak, and the manner in which it is to be spoken [x] But as we employ the natural remedies which physic prescribes, though we are sensible that all their effect is owing to God, who is pleased to make them subservient to our recovery, but without subjecting his power to theirs; in like manner, the Christian orator may, and ought to employ all the methods, all the assistance which Rhetoric can supply, but without putting his confidence in it; and in full persuasion, that it will be to no purpose for him to speak to the ears, if God does not speak to the hearts.

Now it is the sublime and pathetic style, great and lively images, strong and vehement passions, which force our assent, and captivate the heart. [y] Instruction and arguments have enlightened and convinced the mind ; the graces of speech have won it; and, by their seducing charms, have prepared the way to the heart.

The next thing is, to enter and take possession of it; but this is what only the grand, the powerful Eloquence can effect. The reader may turn back to what was said on this subject in the arti

[x] Noster iste eloquens ... hæc bita per hominem, cùm Deus opese posse, pietate magis orationum, ratur ut prosini, qui potuit evangequàm oratorum facultate, non du. lium dare homini ctiam non ab hobitet, ut orando pro se, ac pro illis minibus, neque per hominem. S. quos est allocuturus, sit orator, an. Aug. de Doctr. Chr, l. 4. C. 15, tequam dictor, ... Et quis facit ut 16. quod oportet, quemadmodum opor- [y] Oportet igitur eloquentem tet, & dicatur à nobis nisi IN CU- ecclesiasticum, quando suadet aliJUS MANU SUNT ET NOS ET quid quod agendum est, non solùın SERMONES NOSTRI?

docere vt instruat, & delectare ut [x] Sicut enim corporis medica- teneat, verùm etiam flectere ut vinmenta, quze hominibus ab homini. cat. Ipse quippe jam remanet ut bus adhibentur, non nisi eis pro- consensionem flectendus eloquentiæ sunt, quibus Deus operatur salutem, granditate, in quo id non egit usque qui & sine illis mederi potest, cùm ad ejus confessionem demonstrata sine ipso illa non possint, & tamen veritas, adjunctâ etiam suavitate adhibentur. .. ita & adjumenta dictionis. š. Aug. de Doctr. Chr doctrinæ tunc prosunt animae adhi- !. 4. c. 13,


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cle of the sublime. I shall now give some extracts from the fathers, which will be more instructive than any reflections I can make on this subject.


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[s] This illustrious Saint employed the precepts of his triumphant Eloquence on an important occasion, which he himself has related. It was at Hippo, when he was but a private priest, and at the time that Valerius the bishop made him preach in his stead. The festival of St. Leontius bishop of Hippo being night, the people murmured at their being hindered to celebrate it with the usual rejoicings, that is, to assemble in the churches at feasts, which degenerated into drunkenness and debauchery. St. Austin, knowing that the people murmured, began on Wednesday, the eve of the Ascension to preach to them on that subject, upon occasion of the Gospel of the day, in which these words were read: [a] Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine.

As there were but few auditors at this discourse, and that a great many among these were opposers, he spoke again on the same subject on the succeedingday, being Ascension-day, to a more numerous assembly, in which the Gospel of the buyers and sellers, who were driven out of the temple was read. He himself read it over again, and shewed, how much more solicitous Christ would have been, to banish dissolute feasts from the temple, than a trattic innocent in itself. He also read several other passages of Scripture against drunkenness. He heightened his discourse with groans, and the most lively marks of the deep sorrow into which his love for his brethren had plunged him; and, after interrupting it by some prayers, which he caused to be repeater, he again began to speak with the utmost vehemence; setting before their

[ ] S. Aug. Epist. xxix. ad [a] Matth. vij. 6. Alypium, K4



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