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O Louis XIV! What wouldst thou have thought, if the ministers of the altar had addressed such language to thee in the midst of thy
• fault, which seems to be chiefly owing to his having had ‘no sort of notion of rhetorical numbers. A noble siinplicity at the same time runs through his discourses.'FITZOSBORNE's Letters, Let. xiv.
The learned Dr. DODDRIDGE, in his • Character of En. glish Divines, (in MS.) makes the following concise remarks on Tillotson : “Some pertinent expressions ; method * admirably clear, beyond almost any other man. Many . sermons contain 'nothing remarkable, particularly in his posthumous works; yet some there are equal to any for merly published. His best pieces are those at the begin• ning of the first and second volumes ; such are those, on evil speaking,' and forgiving our enemies.' He made great use of Barrow and Wilkins, with whom compare some few of his sermons. No man ever found such lucky arguments, nor represented the adversary's sentiments “ more artfully for confutation.'
Dr. Blair's sentiments of Tillotson are thus expressed : “ 'Tillotson has long been admired as an eloquent writer, and
a model for preaching. But his eloquence, if we can call • it such, has been often misunderstood. For, if we include • in the idea of eloquence, vehemence and strength, pictur
esque description, glowing figures, or correct arrangement i of sentences, in all these parts of Oratory the Archbishop
is exceedingly deficient. His style is always pure, indeed, • and perspicuous, but careless and remiss, too often feeble ' and languid; little beauty in the construction of his sentences, which are frequently suffered to drag unharmoni. ously; seldom any attempt towards strength and sublii mity. But, notwithstanding these defects, such a constant
vein of good sense and piety runs through his works, such an earnest and serious manner, and so much useful instruc.
coart! What would have been thy surprise, if thine ear, accustomed to the dignified accents of Bossuet, to the elevated and energetic tone of Boardaloue, to the insinuating melody of Massillon, had been assailed with this gross and barbarous elocution ? With what indignation wouldst not thou have blushed for thy country? But thou hadst the skill of imparting to all the arts the dignity of thy character ; under thy happy auspices, all the various kinds advanced towards perfection. Thou broughtest forth to view Orators worthy of speaking in the name of the Eternal, and never shall the eloquence of thine age be surpassed!
Tillotson writes with as little moderation as dignity
In every page of his discourses we perceive the fanaticism of a protestant, who is solicitous to please the populace.
‘tion conveyed in a style so pure, natural, and unaffected,
as will justly recommend him to high regard, as long as " the English language remains ; not, indeed, as a model of 'the highest eloquence, but as a simple and amiable writer, "whose manner is strongly expressive of great goodness and
worth. As appears in the Archbishop, negligence may sometimes be carried so far, as to impair the beauty of
simplicity, and make it border on a flat and languid man• ner.'-Blair's Lectures, vol. i. p. 393, 394.
Tillotson was born 1630, died 1694. Vid. Birch's Life of Tillotson, prefixed to his works.
Towards the conclusion of his sermon' on the love of our neighbour,' he makes a sort of recapitulation, with a view to apply the moral of his subject to the Church of Rome. Who would not suppose, that a subject so affecting, would inspire him with tender, and even generous sentiments ? Observe, however, the consequence he draws, after having largely proved the necessity of loving all men : Whenever we speak of char
ity, and of the obligation of loving one another, we cannot avoid thinking of the Church of Rome; but she must recur to our minds, particularly at this time, when she hath made so fresh a discovery, and in a manner so well authenticated, of the regard she hath for us, by the merciful plot contrived against us (the pretended plot of 1678) such a plot, as may make the ears of all who hear it related to tingle, render Popery an eternal dis
grace, and cause it to be regarded with horror * and execration even to the end of the world* to'
* Vol. üi. p. 53.
† In the English edition thus : 'We cannot choose but *think of the Church of Rome, whenever we speak of Cha. rity, and loving one another ; especially having had so late a discovery of their affection to us, and so considerable a testimony of the kindness and charity, which they design
ed towards us; such as may justly make the ears of all * that hear it to tingle, aud render Popery execrable and in-' famous, a frightful and a hateful thing to the end of the world.'-Vol. ii. Serm. 2. p. 54.
What style! what sentiments! what candour! what logic*!
Let none however suppose, that by adopting a method too familiar for critics, I am searching after some careless passages in the Archbishop of Canterbury's sermons, in order to pass sentence upon him, only for his faults. I have read the whole collection of his discourses.-I have extracted thence many quotations of the same kind ? and it would cost me no more than the trouble of
* Every candid and considerate mind should make all due allowance for the power of prejudice, and the force of edu. cation. Attending to this, we need not be şurprised at the warmth with which M. Maury, that zealous advocate for the Church of Rome, exclaims against Tillotson as a fanatical Protestant.
It were to be wished, that the Abbé had possessed sufficient candour for Tillotson to recollect the time when he lived, and the history of that time. During the greater part of the reign of Charles II. and his successor James, the nation was kept in a constant alarm through the machination of Popish emissaries, and the dread of a Popish king. Is it then, to be wondered at, if the minds of the contending parties were embittered against each other? and if plots, real or pretended, were made the occasion of mutual recriminations ?
At this distance of time, and after calm and unbiassed reflection on the events of Charles Il's reign, we shall feel much more disposed to acquit the Catholics of some of those plots laid to their charge, and particularly that of 1678, on occasion of which tord Stafford suffered, than at the time, and in the violence of party animosity, it was almost possible to have done.
transcribing them, were I not afraid of fatiguing the reader, and if the examples which I have adduced were not sufficient to determine his judgment,
OF BARROW, YOUNG, MADDOX, &c. STATE OF PULPIT-ELOQUENCE AMONG THE ENGLISH.
SHOULD have too many advantages if I
were to investigate the merit of the sermons of BARROW,* another Orator whom the English
* Dr. DODDRIDGE's character of Barrow is as follows: • He was the most laconic writer among our old divines. “ His works contain an amazing number of thoughts, not al.
ways well digested, or plainly expressed, yet sometimes excellent: he attempted to introduce some new words,
which, not succeeding, appear odd. There are many use.ful scriptures, and fine quotations from the classics and
fathers, in the margin. Nothing can be more elaborate. • Most of his sermons were transcribed three times, some much oftener. Many of Tillotson's finest sermons are • abridgments and quotations from him, particularly that of
evil speaking.' The first volume of Barrow's sermons con"tain the best.'-DODDRIDGE's Characters, MS.
Barrow, a mighty genius, whose ardour was capable of . accomplishing all it undertook. The tide of his eloquence • flows with smooth, yet irresistible, rapidity. He treats • his subject almost with mathematical precision, and never • leaves it till he has exhausted it. It has been said, that á