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urd, the successful application of it to by much practice, before the proper exprzstice depends, in a considerable degree, ercise of them can be acquired. Thus, a E powers, which do extent of understand- public speaker may have a voice that is ing can confer.
musical and of great compass; but it reVice does not depend so much on a per- quires much time and labour to attain its tertion of the understanding, as of the juft modulation, and that variety of flexion izagination and passions, and on habits and tone, which a pathetic discourse rea originally founded on these. A vicious quires. The same difficulty attends the man is generally sensible enough that his acquisition of that propriety of action, that conduct is wrong; he knows that vice is power over the exprellive features of the contrary both to his duty and to his inte- countenance, particularly of the eyes, so reft; and therefore, all laboured reason- necessary to command the hearts and pasa ing, to satisfy his underítanding of these fions of an audience. truths, is useless, because the disease does It is usually thought that a preacher, sot lie in the understanding. The evil is who feels what he is faring himself, will feated in the heart. The imaginations and naturally speak with that tone of voice and pasions are engaged on its fide ; and to expresion in his countenance, that best suits then the cure muit be applied. Here has the subject, and which cannot fail to move been the general defect of writings and his audience: thus it is said, a person unfermons, intended to reform mankind. der the influence of fear, anger, or forrow, Many ingenious and sensible remarks are looks and speaks in the manner naturally made on the several duties of religion, and expressive of these emotions. This is true very judicious arguments are brought to in some measure; but it can never be fupenforce them. Such performances may posed, that any preacher will be able to be attended to with pleasure, by pious and enter into his subject with such real warmth well-diíposed persons, who likewise may upon every occasion. Besides, every pru. derive from thence useful instruction for dent man will be afraid to abandon himtheis cordat in life. The wicked and pro- self so entirely to any impresion, as he figate
, if ever books of this fort fall in must do to produce this effect. Most men, their way, very readily allow, that what when trongly affected by any passion of they contain are great and eternal truths; emotion, have some peculiarity in their apbut they leave no lasting impression. If any pearance, which does not belong to the thing can roufe, it is the power of lively natural expression of such an emotion. If and pathetic description, which traces and this be not properly corrected, a public lays open their hearts through all their speaker, who is really warm and animated windings and disguises, makes them fee with his subject, may nevertheless make a and confess their own characters in all their very ridiculous and contemptible figure. deformity and horror,impresses their hearts, It is the business of art, to fhew nature in and interetts their paflions by all the motives her most amiable and graceful forms, and of love, gratitude, and fear, the prospect not with those peculiarities in which the of rewards and panishments, and whatever appears in particular instances; and it is other motives religion or nature may dic- this difficulty of properly representing natzte. But to do this effectually, requires ture, that renders the eloquence and action, very different powers from those of the both of the pulpit and the stage, acquisitions understanding : a lively and well regue of such difficult attainment. lated imagination is essentially requisite. But, besides those talents inherent in the
Gregory. preacher himself, an intimate knowledge
of nature will suggest the necessity of at. $79. On Public Preaching,
tending to certain external circumstances, In public addresses to an audience, the which operate powerfully on the mind, great end of reformation is most effeétu. and prepare it for receiving the designed ally promoted; because all the powers of impressions. Such, in particular, is the Foice and action, all the arts of eloquence, proper regulation of church-music, and may be brought to give their asistance. the folemnity and pomp of public worBut some of those arts depend on gifts of ship. Independent of the effect that these Dature, and cannot be attained by any particulars have on the imagination, it frength of genius or understanding; even might be expected, that a juft taite, & where nature has been liberal of those ne. sense of decency and propriety, would petiary requisites, they must be cultivated make then more attended to than we find
they are. We acknowledge that they have does in ours. What fews its great dea been abused, and have occasioned the pendance on the imagination, is the regroffest superstition; but this universal pro- markable attachment it has to poetry and pensity to carry them to excefs, is the music, which Shakespeare calls the food of Itrongest proof that the attachment to love, and which may, with equal truth, be them is deeply rooted in human naturé, called the food of devotion. Music enters and consequently that it is the business of into the future paradise of the devout of good sense to regulate, and not vainly to every sect and of every country, The attempt to extinguish it. Many religious Deity viewed by the eye of cool reason, fects, in their infancy, have sapported them- may be said, with great propriety, to dwell selves without any of these external afiift- in light inaccesible. The mind, ftruck ances; but when time has abated the fervor with the immensity of his being, and with of their first zeal, we always find that their a sense of its own littleness and unworthi. public worship has been conducted with ness, admires with that diftant awe and the most remarkable coldness and inatten- veneration that almost excludes love. But tion, unless supported by well-regulated viewed by a devout imagination, he may ceremonies. In fact, it will be found, that become an object of the warmest affection, those fects who at their commencement and even passion. The philosopher conhave been most distinguished for a religious templates the Deity in all those marks of enthusiasm that despised all forms, and the wisdom and benignity diffused through the genius of whose tenets could not admit the various works of nature. The devout use of any, have either been of short dura man confines his views rather to his own tion, or ended in infidelity.
particular connection with the Deity, the The many difficulties that attend the many instances of his goodness he himself practical art of making religion influence has experienced, and the many greater he the manners and lives of mankind, by ac- ftill hopes for. This eftablishes a kind of quiring a command over the imagination intercourse, which often interests the heart and pallions, have made it too generally and passions in the deepest manner. neglected, even by the most eminent of The devotional taste, like all other taftes, the clergy for learning and good sense. has had the hard fate to be condemned as These have rather chosen to confine them a weakness, by all who are Atrangers to its selves to a track, where they were sure to joys and its influence. Too much ard too excel by the force of their own genius, frequent occasion has been given, to turn than to attempt a road where their success this subject into ridicule.-Ă heated and was doubtful, and where they might be devout imagination, wben not under the outshone by men greatly their inferiors. direction of a very found understanding, is It has therefore been principally culti- apt to run very wild, and is at the same vated by men of lively imaginations, time impatient to publish all its follies to the possessed of some natural advantages of world. The feelings of a devout heart voice and manner. But as no art can ever fhould be mentioned with great reserve and become very beneficial to mankind, unless delicacy, as they depend upon private exit be under the direction of genius and perience, and certain circumstances of mind good sense, it has too often happened, that and situation, which the world can neither the art we are now speaking of has become know nor judge of. But devotional wrisubservient to the wildest fanaticism, fome- tings, executed with judgment and taste, times to the gratification of vanity, and are not only highly useful, but to all, who sometimes to fill more unworthy purposes. have a true senie of religion, peculiarly enGregory. gaging
Ibid. $ 80. Religion considered as exciting De $81. Advantages of Devotion.' votion,
The devotional spirit, united to good The third view of religion considers it sense and a chearful temper, gives that as engaging and interesting the affections, steadiness to virtue, which it always wants and comprehends the devotional or fenti- when produced and supported by good mental part of it.— The devotional spirit natural dispositions only. It corrects and is in some measure conflitutional, depend- humanizes those constitutional vices, which ing on liveliness of imagination and senfi- it is not able entirely to subdue ; and bility of heart, and, like these qualities, though it too often fails to render men prevails more in warmer climates than it perfectly virtuous, it preserves them from
beczming utterly abandoned. It has, bes the virtues themselves. But when men fies
, the most favourable influence on all the had experienced the benefit of this compore virtues; it gives a softness and sen- plying temper, and further saw the ends, Ability to the heart, and a mildness and gen. not of charity only, but of self-interest, teness to the manners; but above all, it pro- that might be answered by it; they conduces an universal charity and love to man- fidered no longer its just purpose and apkird, however different in ftation, country, plication, but itretched it to that officious or religion. There is a sublime yet tender sedulity, and extreme servility of adulation, melancholy, almost the universal attendant which we too often observe and lament in en genius, which is too apt to degenerate polished life. into gloom and disgust with the world. De Hence, that infinite attention and convotion is admirably calculated to soothe this fideration, which is so rigidly exacted, and dipofition, by infenfibly leading the mind, so duly paid, in the commerce of the wtbe it seems to indulge it, to those pros- world: hence, that prostitution of mind, peits which calm every murmur of discon- which leaves a man no will, no sentiment, tert
, and diffuse à chéarfulness over the no principle, no character; all which disdarkest hours of human life.-- Persons in appear under the uniform exhibition of the pride of high health and spirits, who good manners: hence, those insidious arts, are keen in the pursuits of pleasure, inte. those studied disguises, those obsequious reit, or ambition, have either no ideas on flatteries, nay, thote multiplied and nicelythis subject, or treat it as the enthufiasm of varied forms of intinuation and address, a weak mind. But this really shews great the direct aim of which may be to acquire bartowness of understanding; a very little the fame of politeness and good-breeding, reflection and acquaintance with nature but the certain effect, to corrupt every might teach them, on how precarious à virtue, to soothe every vanity, and to infoundation their boasted independence on Aame every vice of the human heart. religion is built; the thousand nameless These fatal mischiefs introduce them. accidents that may destroy it; and that selves under the pretence and semblance thoaga for some years they should escape of that humanity, which the scriptures entheie, yet that time muft impair the greatest courage and enjoin: but the genuine virtue vigour of health and spirits, and deprive is easily distinguished from the counterfeits them of all those objects for which, at pre- and by the following plain figns. fent, they think life only worth enjoying. True politeness is modeft, unpretendIt fhould seem, therefore, very necessary to ing, and generous. It appears as little as secure some permanent object, some real may be; and when it does a courtesy, fupport to the mind, to chear the soul, would willingly conceal it. It chooses stien all others shall have lost their in- filently to forego its own claims, not offifeence. The greatest inconvenience, in- ciously to withdraw them. It engages a deed, that attends devotion, is its taking man to prefer his neighbour to himself, fach a fast hold of the affections, as some because he really esteems him; because he times threatens the extinguishing of every is tender of his reputation; because he other active principle of the mind. For thinks it more manly, more Christian, to when the devotional fpirit falls in with a descend a little himself than to degrade melancholy temper, it is too apt to depress another. It respects, in a word, the credit the mind entirely, to fink it to the weakest and estimation of his neighbour. fuperftition, and to produce a total retire The mimic of this amiable virtue, false ment and abstraction from the world, and politeness, is, on the other hand, ambitious, al the duties of life.
Gregory. servile, timorous. It affects popularity: is $82. The Difference between true and falfe of. The man of this character does not
solicitous to please, and to be taken notice Politenejs.
offer, but obtrude his civilities; because It is evident enough, that the moral and he would merit by this affiduity; because, Christian duty, of preferring one another in despair of winning regard by any in honour, respects only focial peace and worthier qualities, he would be sure to charity, and terminates in the good and make the most of this; and laitly, because edification of our Christian brother. Its' of all things, he would dread, by the use is, to soften the minds of men, and to omission of any punctilious observance, to draw them from that favage rusticity, give offence. In a word, this sort of politewhich engenders many vices, and discredits nefs respects, for its immediate object, the
favour and consideration of our neigh- feit solicits their favour by dishonest combour.
pliances, and for the baseit end. 2. Again; the man who governs him.
Hurd. self by the spirit of the Apoitle's precept, expresses his preference of another in such $ 83. On religious Principles and Behaa way as is worthy of himself; in all inno
viour. cent compliances, in all honeft civilities, in all decent and manly condescensions.
Religion is rather a matter of sentiment On the contrary, the man of the world, than reasoning. The important and intewho rests in the letter of this command, is resting articles of faith are sufficiently plain. regardless of the means by which he con
Fix your attention on these, and do not ducts himself
. He respects neither his own meddle with controversy. If you get into dignity, nor that of human nature. Truth, that, you plunge into a chaos, from which reason, virtue, all are equally betrayed by you will never
be able to extricate yourthis fupple impostor. He assents to the selves. It spoils the temper, and, I suspect, errors, though the most pernicious; he ap- has no good effect on the heart. plauds the follies, though the most ridi.
Avoid all books, and all conversation, culous; he foothes the vices, though the that tend to make your faith on those great moft flagrant, of other men.
points of religion, which should serve to contradičts, though in the softest form of regulate your conduct, and on which your infinuation; he never disapproves, though hopes of future and eternal happiness' deby a respectful silence; he never con- pend. demns, though it be only by a good ex
Never indulge yourfdlves in ridicule on ample. In short, he is solicitous for religious subjects; nor give countenance to nothing, but by some studied devices to it in others, by seeming diverted with what hide from others, and, if poflible, to pal- they say. This, to people of good breedliate to himself, the grofinels of his illiberal ing, will be a fufficient check. adulation.
I wish you to go no farther than the Lastly; we may be sure, that the ulti- Scriptures for your religious opinions, mate ends for which these different objects Embrace those you find clearly revealed. are pursued, and by so different means,
Never perplex yourselves about such as must also lie wide of each other.
you do not understand, but treat them with Accordingly, the true polite man would, silent and becoming reverence. by all proper testimonies of respect, pro
I would advise you to read only such re. mote the credit and eitimation of his neigh- ligious books as are addressed to the heart, bour; because he sees that, by this generous such as inspire pious and devout affections, consideration of each other, the peace of such as are proper to direct you in your the world is, in a good degree, preserved; conduct; and not such as tend to entangle because he knows that there mutual atten you in the endless maze of opinions and tions prevent animofities, soften the fierce- fyítems. ness of men's manners, and dispose them Be punctual in the stated performance to all the offices of benevolence and charity; of your private devotions, morning and because, in a word, the interests of society evening. If you have any sensibility or are best served by this conduct; and be- imagination, this will establish such an incause he understands it to be his duty to tercourse between you and the Supreme love his neighbour.
Being, as will be of infinite consequence to The fallely polite, on the contrary, are you in life. It will communicate an habi. anxious, by all means whatever, to procure tual chearfulness to your tempers, give a the favour and confideration of those they firmness and Iteadiness to your virtue, and converse with; because they regard, ulti- enable you to go through all the viciffitudes mately, nothing more than their private of human life with propriety and dignity. interest; because they perceive, that their I wish you to be regular in your attenown selfish deligns are best carried on by dance on public worship, and in receiving such practices: in a word, because they love the communion. Allow nothing to interthemselves.
rupt your public or private devotions, exI hus. we see, that genuine virtue con cept the performance of some active duty fults the honour of others by worthy means, in life, to which they should always give and for the nubieit purposes; the counter: place. In your behaviour at public wor
Lip, observe an exemplary attention and who tastes them ofteneft, will relish them gravity.
beit...And now, could the author flatter That extreme ftrictness which I recom- himself that any one would take half the mend to you in these duties, will be con- pleasure in reading his work which he hath bdered by many of your acquaintance as a taken in writing it, he would not fear the faperftitious attachment to forms; but in loss of his labour. The employment dethe advices I give you on this and other tached him from the bustle and hurry of subjects, I have an eye to the spirit and life, the din of politics, and the noise of manners of the age. There is a levity folly; vanity and vexation few away for a and difsipation in the present manners, a seaton, care and difquietude came not near coldness and littlessness in whatever relates his dwelling. He arose, fresh as the morn. to religion, which cannot fail to infe&t you, ing, to his task; the filence of the night bless you purposely cultivate in your invited him to pursue it; and he can truly minds a contrary bias, and make the devo- say, that food and rest were not preferred conal one habitual.
before it. Every Pfalm improved infinitely Gregory's Advice.
upon his acquaintance with it, and no one
gave him uneasiness but the last; for then 84On the Beauties of the Pfalms.
he grieved that his work was done. HapGreatness confers no exemption from pier hours than those which have been the cares and sorrows of life: its share
spent in these meditations on the songs of of them frequently bears a melancholy Sion, he never expects to see in this world. proportion to its exaltation. This the very pleasantly did they pafs, and moved Israelish monarch experienced. He fought smoothly and swiftly along; for when in piety, that peace which he could not
thus engaged, he counted no time. They fod in empire, and alleviated the dif
are gone, but have left a relish and a fra. quierades of itate, with the exercises of de- grance upon the mind, and the rememvotion. His invaluable Psalms convey those brance of them is sweet.
Horne. comforts to others, which they afforded to himself . Composed upon particular oc
§ 85. The Temple of virtuous Love. cafions, yet deligned for general use; de The structure on the right hand was (as livered out as services for Israelites under I afterwards found) consecrated to virtuous the Law, yet no less adapted to the Love, and could not be entered, but by circunkances of Christians under the such as received a ring, or some other token, Galpel; they present religion to us in the from a person who was placed as a guard of engaging dress; communicating at the gate of it. He wore a garland of truths which philosophy could never in- roses and myrtles on his head, and on his veftigate, in a style which poetry can never shoulders a robe like an imperial mantle equal; while history is made the vehicle white and unspotted all over, excepting of prophecy, and creation lends all its only, that where it was clasped at his breaft, charms to paint the glories of redemption. there were two golden turtle doves that Calculated alike to profit and to please, buttoned it by their bills, which were they inform the understanding, elevate the wrought in rubies: he was called by the afections, and entertain the imagination. name of Hymen, and was feated near the Indited under the influence of him, to entrance of the temple, in a delicious sbom all hearts are known, and all events bower, made up of several trees that were foreknown, they fuit mankind in all fitu- embraced by woodbines, jessamines, and ziots, grateful as the manna which de- amaranths, which were as so many emseended from above, and conformed itself bleins of marriage, and ornaments to the to every palate. The faireit productions trunks that supported them. As I was of human wit, after a few perusals, like single and unaccompanied, I was not pergathered flowers, wither in our hands, and mitted to enter the temple, and for that lose their fragrancy; but these unfading reason am a stranger to all the mysteries plants of paradise become, as we are ac that were performed in it. I had, howtaitomed to them, fill more and more ever, the curiosity to observe, how the beautiful; their bloom appears to be daily several couples that entered were disposed heightened; fresh odours are emitted, and of; which was after the following manner: Dew sweets extracted from them. He there were two great gates on the backwho hath once tasted their excellencies, fide of the edifice, at which the whole will defue to take them yet again; and he crowd was let out. At one of these gates