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however, that the tree diverted itself with the • freedom of its motions , in like manner,' saith 'this great Bishop, while the men of the world • have no true liberty, being almost always obliged to submit to various occupations, which impel them like a wind, they, nevertheless, imagine that they are playing with a certain air of liberty and peace, while giving indulgence to their vague and fluctuating desires.'*



IT to


pit, the profane writers of antiquity, provided that such citations be not long, nor frequent, nor accompanied with historical relations foreign to religion.

Our old Preachers flattered themselves that they were very eloquent, when they had collected into one barbarous compilation, which they

* Second sermon for the Thursday of the second week of Lent, upon .final Impenitence.' Tanquam olive pendentes in arbore, ducentibus ventis, quasi quadam libertate aure perfruuntur, vago quodam desiderio suo. August. in Psak. 136, vol. iv. p. 1528.

call a Christian discourse, some shreds of poetry, eloquence, or history.

The author of "Pulpit inaxims,' ingeniously compares those sermons blended with the principles of religion, and the maxims of Paganism, 'to the Temple at Jerusalem built with the marble and cedars of king Hiram.'

But it is no less certain, that Christian Eloquence doth not exclude heathen testimonies, when the orator is pointing out the duties of morality or the particulars of good conduct.

S. BASIL has composed a treatise, in order to prove the utility of reading heathen authors. Bossuet, whose learning equalled his eloquence, drew, from time to time, out of those authors, sublime thoughts, which he quoted in the pulpit; and Bourdaloue, in his sermon on the love of riches,'hath paraphrased this maxim of Horace,

Rem Si possis recte, si non, quocumque modo, rem.

Let us not, however, make an improper use of these examples. We shall never be blamed for not having founded our proofs upon a profane authority; and we shall do an equal injury to piety and taste, if we relate ideas taken from heathens, when we can find them equally well, and perhaps better, expressed in scripture, or in tradition.




WILL not, then, read the Moralists, the Po

ets, and the Orators, of antiquity, with a view of multiplying such heathen quotations, but rather, in order to know the human heart, and to form my taste upon the models of eloquence. This study is more useful than the reading of


Is it your aim to excel in Christian Eloquence? At first consult collections of sermons. But, when once you become conversant with them, shut those books, they would blunt your imagination, and thereby contract your ideas, although they may

be filled with sublime passages.

Aim at original composition.* Search for food to nourish your mind, without degrading yourself to a level with plagiarists.

Original writers are and ought to be, great favourites, • for they are great benefactors ; they extend the republic of • fetters, and add a new province to its dominion. The pen ** of an original writer, like Armida's wand, out of a barren ' waste, calls a blooming spring. An Original, though but *indifferent, yet has something to boast; it is something to

say with him in Horace,

No spare time will remain for reading the sermons of others, when we ourselves apply in earnest to composition.

Prefer, then, to all those discourses, which have been consecrated by public admiration, works no less valuable to Eloquence, and much more profitable to the preacher. Such are FENELON's Letters, in which this profound moralist points out every singular character, by the knowledge which he hath of the human heart; the Works of the Abbé de FLEURY, who interests by his candour, astonishes by the universality of his knowledge, always engages when speaking of religion, because it is evident that he loves it, and displays, without ostentation, a boldness of rea


Meo sum pauper in ære; and to share ambition with no less than Cæsar, who decla. red he had rather be first in a village, than the second at Rome?

• But why are originals so few? Not because the writer's . harvest is over, the great reapers of antiquity having left nothing to be gleaned after them ; nor because the human mind's teeming time is past, nor because it is incapable of putting forth unprecedented births ; but because illustrious examples engross prejudice and intimidate. They engross our attention, and so prevent a due inspection of ourselves ; they prejudice our judgment in favour of their abilities, and so lessen the sense of our own; and they intimidate us with the splendour of their renown, and thus under diffi. •dence bury our strength. Nature's impossibilities, and • those of diffidence, lie wide asunder.' Young's Conjectures on original Composition; v. bis Works, vol. vi. p. 70, 71,73.

soning, which is, in him, the necessary consequence of sincerity;* some excellent books of Port Royal, t in which we recognize the voice of religion, and the poetry of the sacred books ; the Sinner's Guide, by GRENADE, in which he alarms the apprehensions of the wicked, and holds them, so to speak, suspended between the terrors of remorse, and of divine justice ; the Imitation of Jesus CHRIST,E a master piece of sim

6 an

* Abbe de FLEURY was the author of many excellent works, all in French, and very well written. Among these are, “ The Manners of the Jews,” (translated into English by Farne worth ;) also “ the Manners of the Christians ;' • Historical Catechism ;' the Method of Study;' 'the In• stitutes of the Ecclesiastical or Canon Law; the Duty

of Masters and Servants.” His principal work, which bas been much esteemed, is his · Ecclesiastical History,' 20 volumes in 4to. They breathe a spirit truly philosophic.'See New and General Biog. Dictionary.

+ Messrs. de Port Royal, was the general denomination, which comprehended all the Jansenist wiiters; but was however applied in a more confined and particular. sense to those Jansenists, who passed their days in pious exercises and religious pursuits, in the retreat of Port Royal, a mansion situated at a little distance from Paris. It is well known, that several writers of superior genius, extensive learning, and uncommon eloquence, resided in this sanctu, ary of letters.'-MOSHEIM's Ecclesiastical History, vol. iv. p. 350. n.

| By THOMAS A KEMPIs. His work is perhaps as much known and read by Protestants, as any other religious performance of a Catholic writer. He died 1471, aged.91. See DUPIN': History.

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