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the result of observations upon the powers of the human mind; and thus we see, that many people of plain sense are passable logicians, though they never saw a book upon the subject, and, perhaps, do not understand the meaning of the term. But they may be much assisted in the habits of thinking, judging, and reasoning, and disposing their thoughts in an advantageous method, by rules judiciously formed and arranged. In this view I judge Dr. Watts' logic, with his subsequeut treatise on the improvement of the mind to be very valuable. And, together with the more scientific parts of the subject, he will provide my pupils with a great variety of hints for their conduct, and for distinguishing the principles and conduct of others. These books should be frequently read, and closely studied, and will afford the tutor an extensive scope for their instruction. Unless a man can conceive and define his subject clearly, distinguish and enumerate the several parts and know how to cast them into a convenient order and dependence, he cannot be a masterly preacher. And though a good understanding may supersede the necessity of logical rules, it will likewise derive advantage from them.

I have not so much to say in favour of another branch of artificial assistance; though much stress has been sometimes laid upon it. We must not, however quite, omit it; for an academic will be expected to know that the learned have thought proper to give Greek names to certain forms and figures of speech, in the use of which the common people, without being aware of their skill in rhetoric, are little less expert than the learned themselves. When he can repeat these hard names, with their etymologies and significations, rhetoric can do but little more for him. The rules it professes to teach are, in general, needless to those who have genius, and useless to those who have none. If a youth has not a turn for eloquence, stuffing his head with the names of tropes and figures will not give it him. To know the names of the tools in an artificer's shop, is one thing; but to have skill to use them as a workman, is something very different. Here the tutor will use his discretion; for if any of his pupils are not likely to be orators, he will take care that, if he can prevent it, they shall not be pedants, nor value themselves on retailing a list of technical terms, of which they know neither the use nor the application. At the best, too much attention to artificial rules will make but an artificial orator, and rather qualify the student to set off himself than his subject. The grand characteristic of the Gospel orator is simplicity. Many years have passed since I read De Fenelon's Treatise on Pulpit Eloquence; but I hope my tutor will put it into the hands of his pupils. It remains to inquire,

V. How the pupils are to be assisted and directed, that they may be able to preach extempore: an ability which I suppose to be ordinarily attainable by all who are called of God to preach the Gospel, if they will diligently apply themselves to attain it, in the use of proper means. I do not expect they will succeed in this way, to my wish, without prayer, study, effort, and practice. For, as I have already hinted, I mean something more by it than speaking at random.

A well known observation of Lord Bacon is much to my present purpose. It is to this effect: That reading makes a full man, writing an exact man, and speaking a ready man. The approved extempore preacher must have a fund of knowledge collected from various reading; and it would not be improper to read some books, with the immediate design of comparing his style and manner with approved models. It might be wished that the best divines were always the best writers; but the style of many of them is quaint, involved, and obscure. Some books that are well written have little else to recommend them, yet may be useful for this purpose; and the periodical writings of Addison and Johnson abound with judicious observations on men and manners, besides being specimens of easy and elegant composition. Among writers in divinity, I would recommend Dr. Watts and Dr. Witherspoon as good models. By perusing such authors with attention, I hope the pupils will acquire a taste for good writing, and be judges of a good style. Perspicuity, closeness, energy, and ease, are the chief properties of such a style. On the contrary, a style that is either obscure, redundant, heavy, or af fected, cannot be a good one. But I cannot advise them to copy the late Mr. Hervey. His dress, though it fits him, and he does not look amiss in it, is rather too guady and ornamented for a divine. He had a fine imagination, an elegant taste, and shows much precision and judgment in bis choice of words: but though his luxuriant manner of writing has many of the excellencies both of good poetry and good prose, it is, in reality neither the one nor the other. An injudicious imitation of him has spoiled some persons for writers, who, if they could have been content with a plain and natural mode of expression, might have succeeded tolerably well.

The pupil likewise must write as well as read; and he should write frequently. Let him fill one common-place book after another, with extracts from good authors. This method, while it tends to fix the passages, or their import, in his mind, will also lead him to make such observations respecting the order, and construction, and force of words, as will not so readily occur to his notice by reading only. Then let him try his own hand, and

accustom himself to write his thoughts; sometimes in notes and observations on the books he reads; sometimes in the form of essays or sermons. He will do well likewise to cultivate a correspondence with a few select friends; for epistolary writing seems nearest to that easiness of manner which a public speaker should aim at.

I would not have his first attempts to speak publicly be in the preaching way, or even upon spiritual subjects. It might probably abate the reverence due to divine truth, to employ it in efforts of ingenuity. Suppose the tutor should read to them a passage of history, and require them to repeat the relation to him the next day, in their own manner. He would then remark to them if they bad omitted any essential part, or used improper expressions. Or they might be put upon making speeches or declamations on such occasions or incidents as he should propose. By degrees, such of them as are judged to be truly spiritual and humble, might begin to speak upon text of Scripture, in the presence of the tutor and pupils; and I should hope this might, in due time, become a part of the morning or evening devotions in the family. But let them be especially cautioned not to trifle with holy things, nor profane the great subjects of Scripture, by making them mere exhibitions and trials of skill.

Thus, by combining much reading and writing with their attempts to speak, and all under the direction of a judicious tutor, I shall have a cheerful hope, that the pupils will gradually attain a readiness and propriety of speech; and when actually sent out to preach, will approve themselves scribes well instructed in the mysteries of the kingdom, qualified to bring forth from the treasury of their knowledge and experience, things new and old, for the edification of their hearers.

And now I may draw towards a close. There are some branches of science, or what is so called, on which I lay but little stress. I have no great opinion of metaphysical studies. For pueumatology and ethics, I would confine my pupils to the Bible. The researches of wise men in this way, which have not been governed by the word of God, have produced little but uncertainty, futility, or falsehood. My tutor will, I hope, think it sufficient to show the pupils how successfully these wise and learned reasoners reciprocally refute each other's hypothesis. And if he informs them more in detail of the extravagances which have been started concerning the nature and foundation of moral virtue; or of the dreams of philosophers, some of whom would exclude matter, and others would exclude mind, out of the universe; he will inform them likewise that he does not thereby mean properly to add to their stock of knowledge, (for we should in reality have been

full as wise if these subtilties had never been heard of,) but only to guard them against being led into the mazes of error and folly, by depending too much on the reveries of philosophers.

After the delineation of my plan, it will be needless to inform you that I do not propose my academy to be a spiritual hot bed, in which the pupils shall be raised, and ripened into teachers, almost immediately upon their admission. I have allowed for a few excepted cases; but, in general, it is my design that their education shall be comprehensive and exact. I would have them learn before they undertake to teach; and their sufficiency to be evidenced by a better testimonial than their own good opinion of themselves. "A scribe well instructed," "a workman that needeth not to be ashamed," " an able minister of the New Testament," are Scriptural expressions, intimating what ought to be the qualifications of those who undertake the office of a preacher cr pastor. The apostle expressly forbids a novice to be employed in these services. And though in the present day this caution is very much disregarded by persons who undoubtedly mean well, yet, I believe, the neglect of Scriptural rules (which are not arbitrary, but founded in a perfect knowledge of human nature) will always produce great inconveniences. I shall think a young man of tolerable abilities makes a very good improvement of his time, if the tutor finds him fit for actual service after three or four years' close attention to his studies.

But what have I done?-In compliance with your request, I have been led to give such an undisguised view of my sentiments on this interesting subject, that though I fee! myself a cordial friend to all sides and parties who hold the head, and agree in the grand principles of our common faith, I fear lest some of every party will be displeased with me. I rely on your friendship, and your knowledge of me, to bear witness for me, that I would not willingly offend or grieve a single person and you can likewise testify, that I did not set myself to work; that I was much surprised when you proposed it to me; and that you have reason to believe my regard for you, and for the design you informed me of, were the only motives of my venturing upon the task you assigned me.

I have by no means exhausted the subject, though I hope I have not omitted any thing that very materially relates to it. If I was really in Utopia, and to carry my plan into execution, other regulations would probably accur which have at present escaped me.

-res, ætas, usus,
Semper aliquid apportent novi.

What I have written I submit to the candour of you and your friends; adding my prayers, that the Great Head of the Church, the Fountain of grace, and Author of salvation, may direct your deliberations, and bless you with wisdom, unanimity, and success, in whatever you may attempt for the honour of his name and the good of souls.

I am, dear Sir,

Your sincere Friend and Servant,

May 14, 1782.


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