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“ far from seeming low, that it would give “ most discourses that force and beauty “ which they generally want; since the
hearers can never be instructed or per“ suaded in the mysteries of religion, if you “ do not trace things back to their source.
“ For example—How can you make “ them understand what the church says, « after St. Paul, that Jesus Christ is our " PASSOVER,
do not explain' to “ them the Jewish Passover, which was
appointed to be a perpetual memorial of “ their deliverance from Egypt, and to ty
pify a more important redemption, that “ was reserved for Mefliah?
“ Almost every thing in religion is hif“ torical. The best: way of proving it's “ truth, is to represent it justly; for then “ it carries it's own evidence along with " it. A coherent view of the chief facts “ relative to any person, or transaction,
“ should be given in a concise, lively, close,
pathetic manner, accompanied with such “ moral reflections as arise from the several “ circumstances, and may best instruct the 66 hearers.
“A preacher ought to affect people by
strong images ; but it is from the Scrip“ ture that he should learn to make power“ ful impressions. There he may clearly “ discover the way to render sermons plain “ and popular, without losing the force “ and dignity they ought always to possess.
“ If the clergy applied themselves to “ this mode of teaching, we should then “ have two different sorts of preachers.
They who are not endowed with a great “ share of vivacity, would explain the
Scripture clearly, without imitating it's lively and animated manner; and if they
expounded the word of God judiciously, « and supported their doctrine by an ex
emplary emplary life, they would be very good
preachers. They would employ what “ St. Ambrose requires, a chaste, simple, “ clear style, full of weight and gravity, “ without affecting elegance, or despising « the smoothness and graces of language. “ The other fort, being of a poetical turn “ of mind, would explain the holy book “ in it's own style and figures; and by that " means become accomplished preachers. " The former would instruct their hearers “ with solidity and perfpicuity; the latter “ would add to this instruction the fublimi“ ty, the vehemence, and divine enthusiasm “ of the Scripture, which would be (if I
may so say) entire and living in them, as 6 much as it can be in men, who are not
miraculously inspired from above.”
This, Reader, is the model which I have chofen, and after which I have humbly endeavoured to work. I count not myself to have attained -Far, very far indeed a 4
from it; as you will too soon discover. I have not yet been able by any means to satisfy myself; nor can I hope to satisfy you. I have done as well as I could ; and know not that it will be in my power to do better. Nobler and more extensive ideas rise before me ; but planning and executing are very different things. Time hastens forward ; and life, attended with it's cares, perhaps it's forrows, will quickly have run it's course. Accept such as I can give, and pardon errors and imperfections. I stand at the door of the temple, with my
torch. If you
would view it’s glories, enter in, and there dwell for ever.
And God said, Let us make man in our
image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
Preached before the University of Oxford, at St. Mary's, June 9, 1771.