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be delivered as (what in truth they ought to be,) the genuine sentiments of our own minds at the moment of utterance; and we should, therefore, approach as nearly as may be, to the extemporaneous style of delivery. It is indeed, impossible to produce the full effect of that style, while the audience are aware, that the words we utter are before us: but we may approach indefinitely near to such an effect; and in proportion as we succeed in this object, the impression produced will be the greater.
The advantages of this natural manner, (i. e. the manner which one naturally falls into who is really speaking in earnest, and with a mind exclusively intent upon what he has to say,) may be estimated from this consideration, that there are few who do not speak so as to give effect to what they are saying; and that it is easy for hearers to keep up their attention,—indeed difficult for them to withdraw it,—when addressed by one who is really speaking in a natural and earnest manner.*
To aid the Clergy of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the devotional performance of its admirable Liturgy, is the principal aim of this little work, but
* It would serve to correct many errors if the reader would ask himself hefore delivering a sentence, how should I read this, were I speaking it as my own immediate sentiments? Sheridan says, in one of his Lectures, "I have often tried an experiment to shew the great difference between these two modes of utterance, the natural and the artificial; which was, that when I found a person of vivacity delivering his sentiments with energy, and of course with all that variety of tones the general "Lessons on Elocution" will be found equally useful to all who are required to read or speak in public.
In the reading of the church service, Mr. Sheridan's marks of accent and emphasis, and also his criticisms upon the most common errors and mistakes in performing it, have been generally followed when the contrary is not indicated; those criticisms of Whately which were deemed just, have been incorporated; and such alterations have been made, as were necessary to adapt a work originally intended for the Liturgy of the Church of England, to that of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States.
The want of some such work has been universally felt and acknowledged by our clergy and candidates for orders—and this is now offered to them as the best extant, so far as known to the present editor.
Here the officiating minister, is not only furnished with important general directions in the discharge of this part of his holy functions; but, whenever he is doubtful as to the emphatic word or words in any sentence of the daily service, or Litany, or communion
which nature furnishes, I have taken occasion to put something into his hand to read, as relative to the topics of conversation; and it was surprising to see what an immediate 'change there was in his delivery, from the moment he began to read. A different pitch of voice took place of his natural one, and a tedious uniformity of cadence succeeded to a spirited variety; in so much that a blind man could hardly conceive the person who read, to be the same who had just been speaking."
office, he may have his embarrassment removed by a single glance of the eye.
That the Lord may pour upon his brethren and himself a large measure of the " spirit of grace and supplication"—and so imbue their hearts with all the sentiments of pure devotion which pervade our liturgical offices, that in the use of them they may "offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God by Jesus Christ," is the sincere prayer of