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esteem and praise, although by their own acknowledgment, he be far inferior to Tillotson.
I am not acquainted with the sermons of Young in which we should doubtless, discover that plaintive poetry, that depth of sentiment, and even those eccentric ideas, which the pensive Pastor of Welwyn collected together in his nocturnal meditations. But Young does not appear to me to have had an imagination sufficiently pliable and versatile for the Eloquence of the pulpit.
The preachers of Charles II. who happened to hear Bourdaloue at Paris, have but faintly imitated him; and even now, when his sermons are spread through the whole of Europe, the revolution, which they ought to produce in Christian Eloquence, hath not as yet, taken place amongst the English.*
• late most popular Orator of the House of Lords asserted, that he owed much of the fire of his eloquence to the study of Barrow.'-Knox's Essays, No. 168.
Dr. BLAIR says, ' Barrow's style has many faults. It is 'unequal, incorrect, and redundant; but withal, for force * and expressiveness, uncommonly distinguished. On every subject he multiplies words with an overflowing copious
but it is always a torrent of strong ideas and signi. . ficant expressions which he pours forth.'-BLAIR's Lectures, 4to. vol. i. p. 376.
Barrow was born 1630, died 1677. Vid. Hill's Life of Barrow.
*• The English preachers,' says a very sensible writer, " are, it is certain, more distinguished by their justness of
sentiment, and strength of reasoning, than by their orato‘rial powers, or talents of affecting the passions. More so·licitous to convince than persuade, they chuse to employ “their abilities in endeavouring to impress the mind with a
sense of the truths they deliver, by the force of argumenta. tion, instead of rousing the affections by the energy of their • eloquence. We meet with no examples in their writings
of those strokes of passion, which penetrate and cleave the • heart at once, or of that rapid overpowering eloquence,
which carries every thing before it like a torrent. They * seem to have considered mankind in the same light in · which Voltaire regarded the celebrated Dr. Clarke, as 'mere reasoning machines ;' they seem to have considered "them as purely intellectual, void of passion and sensibility. • This strange mistake may, perhaps, be supposed to be part• ly the effect of the philosophical spirit of the times, which, • like all other prevailing modes, is subject to its deliriums; • certain, however, it is, that, while man remains a compound • being, consisting of reason and passion, his actions will ala ways be prompted by the latter, in whatever degree his opinions may be influenced by the former.” Duff's Essay on Genius, B. i. 8 4. p. 238, 245.
• The French and English writers of Sermons proceed upon very different ideas of the Eloquence of the Pulpit ; • and seem indeed to have split it betwist them. A French sermon is, for the most part, a warm, animated exhortation ; an English one, is a piece of cool, instructive reasoning. The French preachers address themselves chiefly to the imagi. nation and the passions; the English, almost solely to the understanding. It is the union of these two kinds of
composition, of the French earnestness and warmth, with * the English accuracy and reason, that would form according
my idea, the model of a perfect sermon.'—BLAIR's Lec. tures, vol. ii. p. 119.
In the pulpit,' says Dr. BLAIR, 'the British divines have distinguished themselves by the most accurate and rational,
compositions, which perhaps, any nation can boast of. Many printed sermons we have full of good sense, and of sound divinity and morality ; but the Eloquence to be found in them, the power of persuasion, of interesting and engaging the heart, which is, or ought to be, the great object of the pulpit, is far from bearing a suitable proportion to the excellence of the matter. There are few arts, in my 'opinion, farther from perfection, than that of preaching is among us. In proof of the fact it is sufficient to observe, " that an English sermon, instead of being a persuasive, animated Oration, seldom rises beyond the strain of correct and dry reasoning: whereas in the sermons of Bossuet, Massil"lon, Bourdaloue, and Flechier, among the French, we see a much higher species of Eloquence aimed at, and in a great measure attained, than the British preachers have in view. • The French have adopted higher ideas both of pleasing and ' persuading by means of Oratory, though sometimes in the
execution, they fail. In Great-Britain, we have taken up “Eloquence on a lower key ; but in our execution have been more correct. In France, the style of their Orators is or. namented with bolder figures ; and their discourse carried on with more amplification, more warmth and elevation. 'The composition is often very beautiful ; but sometimes • also too diffuse, and deficient in that strength and cogency • which render Eloquence powerful.'
• Modern Eloquence is much more cool and temperate than the Grecian and Roman ; and in G. Britain especially, 'has confined itself almost wholly to the argumentative and ' rational. It is much of that species which the ancient crit.ics called the “Tenuis,' or 'Subtilis :' which aims at con'vincing and instructing, rather than affecting the passions,
and assumes a tone not much higher than common argument and discourse.'-Blair's Lectures, vol. ii. p. 39, 40, 41.
Still, however, though much remains to be accomplished in our island in the art of pulpit elocution, it must be confessed that we are by no means deficient in theological discourses, which would reflect honour on any country, or in compositions, which will bear to undergo the ordeal of a correct attic
The Bishop of Worcester* in 1752, preached
• Inoculation for the Small Pox,'
a sermon on
taste. And it appears to be a well-founded, as it is a pleasing reflection, that our pulpit-compositions have been, for some length of time, in an improving style. The Divines of the last century wanted, it is true, that accuracy and refinement of taste, which characterize some of our modern dis. courses; but some of them abounded in lofty sentiments and unquestionable energy. The works of JEREMIAH Tay. LOR, HOPKINS, Howe, BATES, and others, have in them traits of genuine Eloquence. In times somewhat later, we can boast of the sermons of SEED, ATTERBURY, HOADLEY, SHERLOCK, SECKER, BUTLER, DODDRIDGE, WATTS, and others ; and in the present day the names of PORTEUS, Davis, GERRARD, OGILVIE, LEECHMAN, BLAIR, FORDYCE, HUNTER, and many others, might perhaps be adduced as no bad specimens of the height to which the Eloquence of the pulpit hath been advanced. As to preachers, perhaps none have acquired by their natural Eloquence greater command over their hearers than the celebrated Messrs. WHITFIELD and WESLEY ; to the former of these the description and character given by M. Maury to Bridaine, (p. 83) bears, in various respects, a considerable resemblance.
The reader is farther referred to some ingenious and ju. dicious remarks on the late and present state of the Elo. quence of the pulpit and sermon-writers, in Knox's Essays, vol. ii. No. 164, and 168. and in Duff's Essay on Genius, p. 234-244.
* The Bishop of Worcester, referred to by our author, was Dr. Maddox.
• He was an excellent preacher, and a great promoter of public charities, particularly the Worcester infirmary, and "the Hospital for inoculating the Small-Pox, at London. • His sermon in favour of this latter institution, preached in OF ELOQUENCE.
which hath been frequently printed at London, and since translated into French.
It is asserted, that this dicourse influenced the public benevolence to endow an Hospital for Inoculation.
If indeed, the Bishop of Worcester hath participated this kind of glory with Vincent de Paul, it must be acknowledged, that Eloquence could not obtain a more excellent triumph. This sermon is an interesting dissertation, and new as to its object; but the prelate, who delivered it, will never be placed in the rank of Orators.
Destitute of imagination, and of sensibility, he wanders into abstract calculations respecting population; into low details about the secondary fever; and after having exhausted all those combinations, certainly more suited to a medicinal school than a Christian assembly, he quotes the testimonies and authority of Messrs. Ranby, Hawkins, and Middleton, surgeons of London, of whom he speaks with as much veneration as if they were Fathers of the Church.
• 1752, was much admired, and contributed greatly to extend • the practice of Inoculation. He published some other single sermons.-Born about the year 1696—Died in 1759.