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PAGE 69,-line 17.
“ The vast field of literature lies open to him.”
“ In the ordination service the minister binds himself to “ be diligent in reading the Scriptures, and in such studies as “ help to the knowledge of the same ; which includes the whole “ circle of the sciences and of literature.”
Quant aux prédicateurs, j'avouerai que ceux de Berlin m'étonnent bien plus qu'ils ne me scandalisent **** Que nous ayons en France des prédicateurs vraiment célèbres, cela n'est point surprenant: un homme qui a du talent et de l'ambition, consacre douze ou quinze heures d'étude par jour, pendant au moins dix ans de suite, à composer cinquante ou soixante sermons, qu'il va ensuite débiter de cathédrale au cathédrale ; il y auroit bien du malheur, et cet homme seroit bien inepte ou bien froid, s'il restoit au dessous du médiocre: mais ici, je vois que les pasteurs ont régulièrement à prêcher deux ou trois fois par semaine, et toujours dans la même église; d'où il suit qu'ils ne peuvent se répéter, et qu'il leur faut un nombre infini de sermons. Je vois que ces mêmes hommes sont occupés sans cesse à visiter les malades, à consoler les pauvres, à surveiller les écoles d'orphelins; si bien que je me demande en vain quel temps il leur reste pour composer, ou seulement pour apprendre leurs sermons. En ce cas, si ces sermons sont mauvais, foibles, et pleins de fautes, je le leur pardonne d'autant plus volontiers, que je suis très assuré que votre majesté est bien plus satisfaite de leur zèle à remplir leurs devoirs de charité au dehors, que elle ne le seroit de l'élégance de leur style.--"Oh oui, monsieur, vous “ avez raison ; j'aime bien mieux qu'ils soignent et consolent “ des malheureux, et qu'ils dirigent l'éducation des enfants, " que s'ils me faisoient des belles phrases, dont je me soucie “ fort peu. Qu'ils ne fassent à ce prix que de pitoyables “ sermons; qu'ils ennuient ou endorment leurs auditoires ; “ je le leur pardonne de tout mon cæur.”
Special seminaries for clergymen would also be liable to all the objections made to a gregarious education.
Page 80,—lines 20 and 21. * We should not begin by teaching a boy to read continually the
“ Bible, or by making him learn the Psalms by rote.”
This advice has been objected to by a friend of high authority ; but, notwithstanding the deference due to that authority, the passage has not been expunged, because yielding on such points ought to be solely the consequence of conviction.
The object is to inspire a devotional taste, to make religion, and every thing connected with it; agreeable to the pupil; now if he be taught to read in the Bible, or to get the Psalms by rote before he can understand them, is it not probable that he will acquire something of the same distaste for the sacred writings that children generally feel for their grammars and lexicons, and all their task books? The finest eloquence of antiquity often loses its power to charm, because it is read before its beauties can be comprehended. Many men of talents have been heard late in life to declare, that they could not, for several years after they had left school, read the classics without prejudice, or relish their excellencies, because they had been so much accustomed to consider them as schoolbooks. And shall we expose the Bible to the same danger, from early painful associations of ideas?
When it is advised that children should not be taught to read in the Bible, it is by no means meant that they should not read, as soon as they are able to comprehend them, select passages from the Scriptures. It is scarcely necessary to point out, what every judicious tutor and pious parent must discern, that there are passages in the Scriptures peculiarly suited to young children ; passages where the true sublime simplicity of eloquence is mixed with interesting and pathetic narrative : a child of eight years old will read with roal advantage and delight Joseph and his brethren, and the history of the prodigal son; and many other selections from the Bible.
“ Perhaps," as an eminent divine suggests, “ Butler's “ Analogy may be too deep a study for a young person pre“ vious to his collegiate courses of education. Lardner's “ Credibility of the Gospel is a very fit book to put into his “ hands before that period, as it contains such a mixture of “ historical facts as will amuse and lead him on, and as the “ application of them to the great object of the work is plain " and luminous.”
Among the writers recommended in this page, the names of Secker, Sherlock, and Taylor, should be inserted.
A mistake in this page has been made in speaking of the French pulpits. The French have the same narrow pulpits that we have. It is in Italy that we see the spacious pulpits in which the preacher exhibits his furious gesticulation, and Aies about as on a stage. On the subject of committing sermons to memory, which is touched upon in this page, a learned friend observes, that this practice “has been recommended " by Archbishop Secker for the reason there assigned, that it “ produces the effect of extempore speaking, and it has the “ additional advantage of securing the order, regularity, and “ chastened sentiments and language of studied composition. " But the labour of this must be too great for any but mere “ occasional preachers, which all French preachers are, as “ Lent and Advent, and some saints' days, are the only seasons “ for preaching in Roman Catholic countries. It was the “ universal custom in England, previous to the latter days of “ Henry the Eighth, either to preach extempore, or by me“ mory from previous composition. But when in the fluc“ tuation of that tyrant's religious opinions, so many persons “ had been brought before the Star-chamber on false accu“ sations of having publicly preached contrary opinions, the “ method of reading from notes was adopted, that the ac« cused might have their justification to produce.”
Page 102,--second line from the bottom.
Preceptors should take care to make the pupils read in their own natural tone of voice. Many of the clergy read in a different key from that in which they speak, commonly in a harsher, tone, and in one which it is not in their power to modulate.
Du temps de du Guesclin la noblesse s'assembłoit souvent pour donner des fêtes aux dames. Renaud du Guesclin, père de Bertrand, et plusieurs autres gentilshommes Bretons,