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XXX.

"fand, of the bafeness of human nature, of LECT. its small regard to truth and justice; to " right or wrong; to what is, or is not to be praised. But he who hath a deep fenfe of << the excellencies of God upon his heart, will "make a God of nothing befides. He will "give every one his juft encomium, honour "where honour is due, and as much as is due,

because it is his duty to do fo; but the "honour of God will fuffer him to go no fur«ther. Which rule, if it had been obferved, " a neighbouring prince (who now, God be "thanked, needs flattery a great deal more

than ever he did) would have wanted a great deal of that incenfe which hath been offered up to him by his adorers."

THIS head appears fcarcely to deferve any place among the more important topics that naturally prefented themselves on this subject; at leaft, it had much better have wanted the application which the Author makes of his reasoning to the flatterers of Louis XIV.; and the thanks which he offers to God, for the affairs of that prince being in fo low a state, that he now needed flattery more than ever. This Political Satire is altogether out of place, and unworthy of the fubject.

ONE would be inclined to think, upon reviewing our Author's arguments, that he has overlooked

XXX.

LEC.T. overlooked fome topics, refpecting the happy confequences of this duty, of fully as much. importance as any that he has inferted. Particularly, he ought not to have omitted the happy tendency of praife and thanksgiving, to ftrengthen good difpofitions in the heart; to promote love to God, and imitation of those perfections which we adore; and to infuse a fpirit of ardour and zeal into the whole of religion, as the service of our benefactor. These are confequences which naturally follow from. the proper performance of this duty; and which ought not to have been omitted; as no opportunity fhould be loft, of showing the good effect of devotion on practical religion and moral virtue; and pointing out the neceffary connection of the one with the other. For certainly the great end of preaching is, to make men better in all the relations of life, and to promote that complete reformation of heart and conduct, in which true Christianity confifts. Our Author, however, upon the whole, is not deficient in fuch views of religion; for, in his general strain of preaching, as he is extremely pious, fo he is, at the fame time, practical and moral.

His fumming up of the whole argument, in the next paragraph, is elegant and beautiful; and fuch concluding views of the subject are frequently very proper and useful: « Upon

<< these

XXX.

"these grounds doth the duty of praise ftand, LECT. " and these are the obligations that bind us to "the performance of it. 'Tis the end of our

It

being, and the very rule and law of our na"ture; flowing from the two great fountains "of human action, the understanding and the "will, naturally, and almost neceffarily. "is the most excellent part of our religious "worship; enduring to eternity, after the reft "fhall be done away; and paid, even now, in "the frankeft manner, with the leaft regard to "our own intereft. It recommends itself to "us by feveral peculiar properties and advan

tages; as it carries more pleasure in it, than "all other kinds of devotion; as it enlarges "and exalts the feveral powers of the mind; "as it breeds in us an exquifite fense of God's ❝ honour, and a willingness to promote it in

the world; as it teaches us to be humble and lowly ourselves, and yet preserves us "from bafe and fordid flattery, from bestowing mean and undue praises upon others."

AFTER this, our Author addreffes himself to two claffes of men, the Careless and the Prophane. His addrefs to the Careless is beautiful, and pathetic; that to the Profane, is not fo well executed, and is liable to fome objection. Such addreffes appear to me to be, on feveral occafions, very useful parts of a difcourfe. They prevailed much in the ftrain of preaching before

3

XXX.

LECT before the restoration; and, perhaps, fince that period, have been too much neglected. They afford an opportunity of bringing home to the consciences of the audience, many things, which, in the courfe of the Sermon, were, perhaps, delivered in the abstract.

I SHALL not dwell on the Conclufion of the Sermon, which is chiefly employed in obfervations on the posture of public affairs at that time. Confidered, upon the whole, this Difcourfe of Bishop Atterbury's is both useful and beautiful, though I have ventured to point out fome defects in it. Seldom, or never, can we expect to meet with a compofition of any kind, which is abfolutely perfect in all its parts: and when we take into account the difficulties which I before fhowed to attend the Eloquence of the Pulpit, we have, perhaps, less reason to look for perfection in a Sermon, than in any other compofition.

LECTURE XXXI.

CONDUCT OF A DISCOURSE IN ALL ITS

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PARTS-INTRODUCTION-DIVISION—
NARRATION AND EXPLICATION.

XXXI.

HAVE, in the four preceding Lectures, LECT. confidered what is peculiar to each of the three great fields of Public Speaking, Popular Affemblies, the Bar, and the Pulpit. I am now to treat of what is common to them all; of the conduct of a Discourse or Oration, in general. The previous view which I have given of the distinguishing spirit and character of different kinds of Public Speaking, was neceffary for the proper application of the rules which I am about to deliver; and as I proceed, I fhall farther point out, how far any of these rules may have a particular respect to the Bar, to the Pulpit, or to Popular Courts.

ON whatever fubject any one intends to dif course, he will moft commonly begin with fome introduction, in order to prepare the minds of VOL. II. Bb

his

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