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dignity which becomes men who are ambassadors from Christ; the English divines, like erroneous envoys, seem more solicitous not to offend the court to which they are sent, than to drive home the interests of their employer. The bishop of Massilon, in the first sermon he ever preached, found the whole audience, upon his getting into the pulpit, in a disposition no way favourable to his intentions; their nods, whispers, or drowsy beha. viour, showed him that there was no great profit to be expected from his sowing in a soil so improper; however, he soon changed the disposition of his audience by his manner of beginning. •If,' says he, ' a cause, the most important that could be conceiv. ed, were to be tried at the bar before qualified judges; if this cause interested ourselves in par. ticular; if the eyes of the whole kingdom" were fixed upon the event; if the most eminent counsel were employed on both sides; and if we had heard from our infancy of this yet-undetermined trial; would you not all sit with due attention, and warm expectation, to the pleadings on each side? Would not all your hopes and fears be hinged upon the final decision ? And yet, let me tell you, you have this inoment a cause of much greater importance before you ; a cause where vot one nation, but all the world, are spectators; tried not before a fallible tribunal, but the awful throne of heaven; where not your temíporal and transitory interests are the subject of debate, but your eternal happi. ness or misery; where the cause is still undetermined, but, perhaps, the very moment I am speak. ing may fix the irrevocable decree that shall last for ever: and yet, notwithstanding all this, you can hardly sit with patience to hear the tidings of your own salvation; I plead the cause of Heaven, and yet I am scarcely attended to,' &c.
The style, the abruptness of a beginning like this, iu the closet would appear absurd; but in the pulo pit it is attended with the most lasting impressions : that style which, in the closet, might justly be called flimsy, seems the true mode of eloquence here. I never read a fine composition under the title of a sermon, that I do not think the author has mis-) called his piece ; for the talents to be used in writ. ing well, entirely differ from those of speaking well. The qualifications for speaking, as has been already observed, are easily acquired; they are accomplishments which may be taken up by every candidate who will be at the pains of stooping. Iinpressed with a sense of the truths he is about to deliver, a preacher disregards the applause or the contempt of his audience, and he insensibly assumes a just and manly sincerity. With this talent alone we see what crowds are drawn' around enthusiasts, even destitute of common sense; what numbers couverted to Christianity. Folly inay sometimes set an example for wisdom to practise ; and our regular divines may borrow instruction from even methodists, who go their circuits, and preach prizes among the populace. Even Whitfield may be placed as a model to some of our young divines ; let them join to their own good sense his earnest manner of delivery.
It will be perhaps objected, that, by confining the excellences of a preacher to proper assurance, earuestness, and openness of style, I make the qualifications too trifling for estimation : there will be something called oratory brought up on this occa. sion; action, attitude, grace, elocution, may be repeated as absolutely necessary to complete the character : but let us not be deceived; common sense is seldom swayed by fine tones, musical periods, just attitudes, or the display of a white handkerchief; oratorial behaviour, except in very able hands indeed, generally sinks into awkward and paltry affectation.
It must he observed, however, that these rules are calculated only for him who would instruct the vulgar, who stand in most need of instruction; to
address philosophers, and to obtain the character of a polite preacher among the polite-a much more useless, though more sought-for character--requires a different method of proceeding. All I shall observe on this head is, to entreat the polemic divine, in his controversy with the deist, to act rather offen. sively than to defend; to push home the grounds of his belief, and the impracticability of theirs, rather than to spend time in solving the objections of every opponent. It is ten to ove,' says a lare writer on the art of war, but that the assailant who attacks the enemy in his trenches, is always victorious.'
Yet, upon the whole, our clergy might employ themselves more to the benefit of society, by decliying all controversy, than by exhibiting even the pro. foundest skill in polemic disputes : their contests with each other often turn on speculative trifles; and their disputes with the deists are almost at an end, since they can have no more than victory; and that they are already possessed of, as their an. tagonists have been driven into a confession of the necessity of revelation, or an open avowal of athea ism. To continue the dispute longer would only eodanger it; the sceptic is ever expert at puzzling a debate which he finds himself unable to continue,
and, like an Olympic boxer, generally fights best when undermost.'
ON THE ADVANTAGES TO BE DERIVED FROM SENDING A JUDICIOUS TRAVELLER INTO ASIA.
HAVE frequently been amazed at the ignorance
of almost all the European travellers, who have penetrated any considerable way eastward into Asia. They have all been influenced either by motives of commerce or piety, and their accounts are such as might reasonably be expected from men of a very narrow or very prejudiced education-the dictates of superstition, or the result of igaorance. Is it not surprising, that, of such a variety of adven. turers, not one single philosopher should be found among the number? For, as to the travels of Ge. melli, the learned are long agreed that the whole is but an imposture.
There is scarce any country, how rude or uncul. tivated soever, where the inhabitants are not possessed of some peculiar secrets, either in nature or art, which might be transplanted with success; thus, for instance, in Siberian Tartary, the natives extract a strong spirit from milk, which is a secret probably unknown to the chemists in Europe. In the most savage parts of India they are possessed of the secret of dying vegetable substances scarlet, and likewise that of refining lead into a metal, which, for hardness and colour, is little inferior to silver; not one of which secrets but would, in Europe, make a man's fortune. The power of the Asiatics in producing winds, or bringing down rain, the Europeans are apt to treat as fabulous, because they have no instances of the like nature among themselves; but they would have treated the secrets of gunpowder, and the mariner's compass, in the same manner, had they been told the Chinese used such arts before the invention was common with themselves at home.
Of all the English philosophers, I most reverence Bacon, that great and hardy genius : he it is, who, undaunted by the seeming difficulties that oppose, prompts human curiosity to examine every part of nature; and even exhorts man to try whether he can not subject the tempest, the thunder, and even earthquakes, to human control. Oh! had a man of his daring spirit, of his genius, penetration, and learning, travelled to those countries which have been visited only by the superstitious and mercenary, what might not mankind expect! How would he enlighten the regions to which he travelled ! and what a variety of knowledge and useful inprove ment would he not bring back in exchange! • There is probably no country so barbarous, that would not disclose all it knew, if it received equivalent information; and I am apt to think, that a person who was ready to give more knowledge than he received, would be welcome wherever he came. All his care in travelling should only be, to suit his intellectual banquet to the people with whom he conversed: he should not attempt to teach the un. lettered Tartar astronomy, nor yet ivstruct the polite Chinese in the arts of subsistence: he should endeavour to improve the barbarian in the secrets of living confortably; and the inhabitant of a more refined country, in the speculative pleasures of science. How much more nobly would a philosopher, thus employed, spend his time, than by sitting at home, earnestly intent upon adding one star more to his catalogue, or one monster more to his collection; or still, if possible, more triflingly seduJous, in the incatenation of feas, or the sculpture of cherry.stones!
I never consider this subject without being sur. prised that none of those societies so laudably established in England for the promotion of arts wad learning, have ever thought of sending one of