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plicity and plainness, and the best book,' says Fontenelle, which can proceed from the hand of man, seeing the gospel doth not come from thence ;'* in a word, the writings of FRANCIS DE Salis, which breathe the most affected piety, and where we should find still more pathos, were there somewhat less of wit. +
language of the heart, that we discover a writer who makes it his practice to read those vari
* Life of Corneille.
† After this imperfect enumeration of French theological writers by our author, it may, with pleasure, be observed, that, perhaps, no nation abounds with an equal number of solid, judicious, and instructive discourses, as doth the English. To attempt an enumeration of them would be impossible, and indeed needless, as every reader will consult his own taste.
| Pathos, in the French lonction. Dr. BLAIR gives us the idea connected with this term, when he says ; ' The chief
characteristics of Pulpit Eloquence are gravity and warmth. • The serious nature of the subject requires gravity ; their • importance to mankind requires warmth. The union of these 'two must be studied by all preachers, as of the utmost cond
ous works of piety; for it is this happy talent of affecting, which doubtless, constitutes the principal object of Christian Eloquence.
All men have not sufficient ability to lay hold of an ingenious idea ; but all have souls capable of being affected with a weighty sentiment; and never 'are the hearers more universally attentive than when the Preacher becomes pathetic. *
sequence, both in the composition of their discourses, and in their manner of delivery. This is what the French call onctions the affecting, penetrating, interesting manner,
flowing from a strong sensibility of heart in the Preacher * to the importance of those truths which he delivers, and an earnest desire that they may make full impression on the hearts of his hearers.' BLAIR's Lectures, vol. ii. p. 105.
* On this point let us regard two able judges and eloquent writers. The first is Pope GANGANELLI, who says ; ' As to the style of sermons, it offends against all rules, if it be not pathetic, nervous and sublime. If a Preacher only • ly instruct, he does no more than prepare the mind; if he
only affect the passions, he leaves but a slight impression ; .but if he scatter the ointment of grace, while he diffuses
the light of truth, he has fulfilled his duty.' GANGANELLi's Letters, vol. üi. p. 82.
Dr. BLAIR says ; • The only effectual method to become pathetic, is to be moved yourselves. There are a thousand * interesting circumstances suggested by real passion, which
no art can imitate, and no refinement can supply. There is * obviously a contagion among the passions.
• Ut ridentibus arrident, sic flentibus adflent,
Guard however, against that affected sensibility, which betrays itself by the accents of the voice, without penetrating to the very bottom of the soul; and which is ready to die away in the ear of the auditor, when it derives no internal animation from the composition.
'I require not,' says Cicero, ' a feigned compassion, nor incentives to sorrow, but that which is real, flowing from the sighs of a wounded • heart.'*
After a terrifying passage which has distressed me, I wish the Orator to approach me again with affection; to revive my almost extinguished hopes and after having threatened me with an avenging God, to shew me a God, who pardoneth.
* The internal emotion of the speaker adds a pathos to his words, his looks, his gestures, and his whole manner;
which exerts a power almost irresistible over those who • hear him. Afficiamur antequam afficere conemur, says QuinStilian.' BLAIR's Lectures, vol. ii. p. 193.
* Non simulacra neque incitamenta doloris, sed luctus verus atque lamenta vera et spirantia. Orat. lib.2.
OF THE PATHOS OF FENELON.
HAT is a charming and flowing Eloquence,
which, far from exciting violent agitations, gently insinuates itself into the soul, and there awakes the tenderest affections ; which is a succession of natural and moving sentiments, copiously diffusing themselves, so that, when experienced, the Orator who inspires them is forgotten, and we suppose that we are conversing with ourselves. Each word increases the emotion, and produces a certain sympathy, which affects and expands every heart.
Such is the Eloquence of Fenelon. The first part of his discourse. On the Consecration of the • Elector of Cologne,' is written with the energy and sublimity of Bossuet; the second denotes a sensibility, which is peculiar to Fenelon. I shall only mention one example.
O Pastors ! far from you let the contracted + heart be banished. Enlarge, enlarge your + bowels of affection. Ye know nothing, if ye
are only acquainted with the voice of authority, reproof, correction, and with pointing out the
letter of the law. Be fathers; this is not suf' ficient; be mothers; travail in birth again till • Jesus Christ be formed in the heart.'*
* M. Maury, elsewhere, speaks of this amiable author by the appellation of the immortal Fenelon,' and declares that his discourse upon the consecration of the Elector of Cologne, is one of the chief works of modern Eloquence.Reflexions sur les Sermons de M. Bossuet, p. 328.
The character and method of Fenelon have been thus de. scribed : " He visited his diocese very diligently, and preached in all the churches of it. In his public instructions, he suited his discourses to every capacity ; speaking to the weak in an easy and familiar manner, whilst he raised his style for those who had a more elevated genius. mons flowed from his heart; he did not write them down,
and hardly meditated on them beforehand. He only shut • himself up in his closet to obtain by his prayers the know. ·ledge he wanted. His only view was to be like a good • father, to comfort, to relieve, and to instruct his flock. • He was a man of extensive learning, great genius, and of • an exquisite taste and irreproachable morals.' Was born 1651, died 1715.-General Dictionary, in loc.
In the Eulogium delivered by M. MAURY ON Abp. Fenelon, before the French Academy, in 1771, he gives us the following among many other traits of this great and good
• The Eulogium of the Archbishop of Cambray is none other than his history written with faithfulness. Here • there is no occasion to exaggerate or dissemble. Instead
of attempting to exceed that public admiration, which he possesses, we should be glad if we can but keep pace with • it, whilst speaking of a man, who was 'the Orator of the * people, and pleaded the cause of humanity before kings ; • of a man, illustrious by the renown or his name, the emi.
nence of his virtues, the superiority of his talents, the im• portance of his functions, the character even of his errors ;