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taken, and banished to Cyprus, where he was afterwards seized and carried to Chalcedon, and there beheaded.



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St. Chrysostom had an intimate friend, Basilius by name, who had persuaded our saint to leave his mother's house, and lead a recluse and solitary life with him. As soon as my afflicted mother, says St. Chrysostom, heard of this, she took me by the hand, carried me into her chamber, and setting me down by her on the bed where she was delivered of me, she began to weep, and spake to me in such tender words, as affected me much more than her

“Son, says she, God would not suffer me to enjoy long your father's virtue. By his death, “ which happened soon after the pangs I had suffered “ in bringing you into the world, you became an or“phan, and I a widow, sooner than was for either of

our advantages. I have suffered all the troubles - and afflictions of widowhood, which cannot be “conceived by any, but those who have gone through " them. No words can express the storms to which

a young woman is exposed, who is but just come “ from her father's house, is wholly unacquainted “ with affairs; and who, being overwhelmed with “ grief, is obliged to devote herself to new cares, too

weighty for her age and sex. She must make up the “ negligence of her servants, and guard against their “ malice: must defend herself from the evil designs “ of her neighbours; must suffer perpetually the injurious treatment of the farmers of the revenues

, " and the insolence and barbarity they exercise in levying the taxes.

“ When a father leaves children behind him, if it “ be a daughter, I am sensible the care of her must be very beavy upon the widow her mother; however, " this care is supportable, since it is not attended " either with fear or expence. But, if it be a son,

“ the

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" the educating of him will be much more difficult; “ this fills her with perpetual apprehensions, not to "mention how expensive it is to get him well edu

cated. However, these several evils could never "prevail upon me to marry. I have continued fixed " and immoveable, amidst these storms and tempests; and, trusting above all in the grace of God, I determined to suffer all those troubles which are inseparable from widowhood.

“ But my only consolation in these afflictions was to “ behold you perpetually, and to contemplate in your "face, the living, the faithful image of my deceased “husband: a consolation which I received in your "infancy, and when you was yet incapable of speak"ing, at which season parents find the greatest pleasure in their children. “I have not given you reason to say, that I indeed supported my present condition with courage, but that I lessened your father's possessions to extricate myself from those difficulties; a misfortune that of“ ten befals minors. For I have preserved for you all "he left you, though I did not spare any expence for

your education; this I paid myself out of the por"tion given me by my father. I do not say this, my "son, by way of reproaching you with the obligations

you owe me. The only favour I ask in return, " is, that you would not reduce me to widowhood á second time. Do not open a wound that was beginning to heal; at least stay till I am dead, and perhaps I may be so very soon. Those who are young may hope to grow old; but at my age I am to expect nothing but death. After you have buried me " in the same grave with your father, and joined my "bones to his ashes, then undertake as long journies, "and sail on whatever sea you please; for no one will “hinder you: but so long as the breath is in my body, “bear with my presence, and do not be tired with liv‘ing with me. Do not draw down upon yourself the "wrath of heaven, as you will do, should you so sensibly afflict a mother, who deserves the best from

you. , de



you. Should I offer to engage you in worldly con

cerns, and you to undertake the management of my “ affairs which are your own, I then will allow you

to have no regard or consideration for the laws of

nature; the pains I have taken in bringing you up; “ the respect which is due unto a mother, or any such “ motive; but shun me as the enemy of your re“pose, and as one who is laying snares to ruin you. “ But in case I do all that lies in my power to make your life easy and happy, let this consideration at

least, prevail upon you, if all others should fail. How many friends soever you may have, none of “them will allow you to live with so much liberty as “ I do; and indeed, no one so passionately wishes

your advancement and felicity.”

St. Chrysostom was unable to resist these tender expressions, and though his friend Basilius continued his solicitations, he could not be prevailed upon to leave a mother so very indulgent, and so highly worthy of his love.

Do we meet with anything ainong heathen authors, more beautiful, more lively, more tender, or more eloquent, than the discourse before us; but of that simple and natural Eloquence, which infinitely excels the most shining strokes of elaborate art? Is there one far-fetched thought in it, or any uncommon or affected turn? Is not the whole dictated by nature itself? But the circumstance I adınire most in it is, the inexpressible reservedness of a deeply afflicted mother, who, though excessively afflicted, does not however vent one passionate expression, or complain of him who was the cause of her violent uneasiness, I mean Basilius. But undoubtedly his virtue checked her resentments on this occasion, or her fear that such words would exasperate her son, whom she debired to work upon by soft and gentle methods.

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WHAT I have hitherto delivered, relates only to the style and method proper for the Christian orator, and which St. Austin calls eloquenter dicere. It remains for me to treat that which forms the knowledge indispensably necessary to a preacher, which the above-mentioned saint calls, sapienter dicere,

Without this learning, [n] a preacher, how eloquent soever he might appear,would be but a mere declaimer; and so much the more dangerous to his hearers, as the more agreeable to them; and as, by dazzling them with this false splendor, he might accustom them to mistake an empty sound of words for truth, which is the only solid food of the mind. It is well known, says St. Austin, how greatly the heathens themselves, who were not enlightened by Divine Wisdom, but guided only by reason and good sense, despised this false species of Eloquence. What are we therefore to think of it, we who are the children and the ministers of this


Wisdom. It is but too usual with many who prepare for preaching, to be more studious about embellishing their discourses, than of filling them with solid truths. Nevertheless, it is a maxiın in Rhetoric, established by all who have written on that art, that the only way to speak well, is to think justly; and to be able to do that, a person must be well instructed, be a waster of his subject; and his mind must be adorned with a variety of knowledge. [0] Scribendi rectè sapere est & principium & fons,

It was from philosophy, and especially in that of Plato, the ancients imagined that fund of knowledge [n] Qui affluit.insipienti eloquen. eum, quoniam disertè dicere audit, tiâ, tanto magis cavendus est, quan- etiam verè dicere existimat. Aug. to magis ab eo in iis quæ audire lib. iv. de Doctr. Christ. C. s. inutile est, delectatur auditos, & [0] Horat de Art. Port.



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might be imbibed, which only can form the good orator.

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Rem tibi Socraticæ poterunt ostendere charta.

This made Cicero so carefully enjoin this study; and he confesses, [p] as was observed elsewhere, that if he has made any advances in Eloquence, he owes it more to philosophy than to Rhetoric.

But Christian orators have infinitely more pure and more abundant sources, whence they ought to draw this fund of knowledge. These springs are the Scripture and the fathers, What riches do they contain? And how culpable would that person be, who should neglect so precious a treasure? That man, who is much conversant in them, will easily be master of elocution. The just thoughts and great truths with which his mind may there be stored, will naturally suggest proper expressions; and such an orator can never want words:

Verbaque provisam rem non invita sequentur.

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OF THE STUDY OF THR SCRIPTURES. A preacher ought to make the Sacred Writings his chief study: and St. Austin lays it down as an incontestable principle, that the Christian orator will be more or less able to deliver himself with justness and solidity, in proportion to his knowledge of the Scriptures: [7] Sapienter dicit homo tanto magis vel minus

, quanto in scripturis sanctis magis minusve profecit.

All the religion, and all the knowledge of man, for this life and for that which is to come, consists in knowing the only true God, and Christ whom he has sent: j Hæc est vita æterna, ut cognoscant te soļum Deum verum & quem misisti Jesum Christum. What can be wanting in that man who possesses this double knowledge? And where can it be taken but from

[0] Fateor me oratorem, si modò miæ spatiis extitisse. Orat. n. 12, sim, aut etiam quicumque sim, non [9] De Doct. Christ. I. iy c. 3. ex rhetorum officinis, sed ex Acade.

[r] John. xvii. 3.


" 9 Ron

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