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bellished or florid kind, but from the sublime and pathetic. By the two foriner, the orator pleases and instructs; and he may be satisfied with producing these two effects, when he speaks of speculative truths, which require only our belief and consent; and regard the understanding, rather than the heart and affections, if we admit any such in religion. But it is not so when practical truths are proposed, which are to be put in execution. And indeed to wliat purpose would it be, should the auditor be convinced of what he hears, and applaud the Eloquence of the speaker, if he did not love, embrace, and practise the maxims preached to him ? In case the orator does not arrive at this third degree, he goes but half way; for he ought to please and instruct, only with the view of affecting. It is in this St. Austin, after Tully, makes the complete victory of Eloquence to consist. Every discourse that leaves the auditor calm, does not move, and agitate him, and also deject, overthrow, and vanquish his obstinate resistance; how beautiful soever such a piece may appear, it is not truly eloquent, The business is, to inspire him with horror for his sins, and with a dread of God's judgments; to remove the delusive charm which blinds him, and to force open his eyes ; to make him hate what he loved, and love what he hated; to root out from his heart his strong, darling, ardent passions, of which he is no longer master, and which have gained an absolute ascendant over him; in a word, to urge, to force him from hiinself, from his desires, his joys, and every thing that constitutes his felicity.

I am sensible that nothing but the all-powerful grace of Christ Jesus can affect a heart in this manner, and create such wonderful changes in it. To think otherways, and to expect in some measure this effect from the efficacy of words, the graces of speech, the solidity of arguments, or the strength of expressions, would be, to speak with St. Paul, to [t] annihilate the cross of Christ, and divest him of the honour of

(1) Misit me Christus evangelic non evacuetur crux Christi. 1 Cor. zare, non in sapientiâ verbi, ut i. 17.


converting converting the world, to ascribe it to human wisdom. [u] For this reason St. Austin would have the Christian orator rely much more on prayer than on his abilities; and before he speaks to them, would have him address the Creator, who can alone inspire him with what he ought to speak, and the manner in which it is to be spoken [2] But as we employ the natural remedies which physic prescribes, though we are sensible that all their effect is owing to God, who is pleased to make them subservient to our recovery, but without subjecting his power to theirs; in like manner, the Christian orator may, and ought to employ all the methods, all the assistance which Rhetoric can supply, but without putting his confidence in it; and in full persuasion, that it will be to no purpose for him to speak to the ears, if God does not speak to the hearts.

Now it is the sublime and pathetic style, great and lively images, strong and vehement passions, which force our assent, and captivate the heart. [y] Instruction and arguments have enlightened and convinced the mind ; the graces of speech have won it; and, by their seducing charms, have prepared the way to the heart.

The next thing is, to enter and take possession of it; but this is what only the grand, the powerful Eloquence can effect. The reader may turn back to what was said on this subject in the arti

[] Noster iste eloquens . , . læc bita per hominem, cùm Deus opese posse, pietate magis orationum, ratur ut prosini, qui potuit evangequàm oratorum facultate, non du. lium dare homini etiam non ab hobitet, ut orando pro se, ac pro illis minibus, neque per hominem. S. quos est allocuturus, sit orator, an. Aug. de Docir. Chr, l. 4. c. 15, tequam dictor. . . . Et quis facit ut 16. quod oportet, quemadmodum opor- [y] Oportet igitur eloquentem tet, & dicatur à nobis nisi IN CU- ecclesiasticum, quando suadet aliJUS MANU SUNT ET NOS ET quid quod agendum est, non solùın SERMONES NOSTRI?

docere ut instruat, & delectare ut [x] Sicut eniin corporis medica- teneat, verùm etiam flectere ut vinmenta, quæ hominibus ab homini.

cat. Ipse quippe jam remanet ut bus adhibentur, non nisi eis pro. consensionem flectendus eloquentiæ sunt, quibus Deus operatur salutem, granditate, in quo id non egit usque qui & sine illis mederi potest, cùm ad ejus confessionem demonstrata sine ipso illa non possint, & tamen veritas, adjunctâ etiam suavitate adhibentur. . . ita & adjumenta dictionis. S. Aug. de Doctr. Chr. doctrinæ tunc prosunt animæ adhi- !. 4. C. 13,

cle cle of the sublime. I shall now give some extracts from the fathers, which will be more instructive than any reflections I can make on this subject.


[2] This illustrious Saint employed the precepts of his triumphant Eloquence on an important occasion, which he himself has related. It was at Hippo, when he was but a private priest, and at the time that Valerius the bishop made him preach in his stead. The festival of St. Leontius bishop of Hippo being nigh, the people murmured at their being hindered to celebrate it with the usual rejoicings, that is, to assemble in the churches at feasts, which degenerated into drunkenness and debauchery. St. Austin, knowing that the people murmured, began on Wednesday, the eve of the Ascension to preach to them on that subject, upon occasion of the Gospel of the day, in which these words were read: [a] Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine.

As there were but few auditors at this discourse, and that a great many among these were opposers, he spoke again on the same subject on the succeeding day, beiny Ascension-day, to a more numerous assembly, in which the Gospel of the buyers and sellers,' who were driven out of the temple was read. He himself read it over again, and shewed, how much more solicitous Christ would have been, to banish' dissolute feasts from the temple, than a traffic innocent in itself. He also read several other passages of Scripture against drunkenness. He heightened his discourse with groans, and the most lively marks of the deep sorrow into which his love for his brethren had plunged him; and, after interrupting it by some prayers, which he caused to be repeated, he again began to speak with the utmost vehemence; sciting before their

(z) S. Aug. Epist. xxix. ad [a] Matth. vij. 6. Alypium,


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eyes the general danger to which the common people were exposed, as well as the priests, who are to render an account of their souls to the great pastor. “I

conjure you, says he, by his humiliations and

sufferings, his crown of thorns, his cross, and his “ blood, at least have pity on us, and consider the “ love and charity of the venerable Valerius, who, " out of tenderness for you, entrusted me with the " formidable ministry, to declare the word of God “ unto you. He has often told you how over-joyed he

was at my coming hither; but his views in this was, " that I might be the minister of your salvation, and " not of your damnation.” St. Austin added, that he hoped this would never come to pass; and that in case they would not submit to the authority of the Divine Word he had preached to them, they would yield to the chastisements, which he did not doubt God would inflict upon them in this world, to prevent their being damned in the other. He spoke this in so affecting a manner, that he drew tears from his congregation, and could not refrain from weeping himself. “ It was not, says he, my weeping over “ them, that drew tears froin their eyes; but, whilst I was speaking, their tears prevented mine. I must confess that I was then melted. After we had wept " together, I began to have strong hopes of their " amendment.

[b] The day following, which was the feast-day, he was informed, that some murmured, and cried, " What's doing now? Were not those, who permit“ted this custom hitherto, Christians?" [c] St. Austin, not knowing how to move them, was in great perplexity. He had resolved to read to these obstinate people that passage in [d] Ezekiel, where it is said, that the centinel is discharged when he has given warning of the danger; and afterwards to shake his garments over the people, and to return home. How

[6] Cùm illuxisset dies cui sole. commovendi eos machinas præpabant fauces ventresque se parare. sarem, omnino nesciebam. (c) Quo audito, quas majores [4] Ezek, xxviii. 9.

ever, God spared him this affliction, and the murmurers were no longer able to resist so lively and eloquent a charity

There is no doubt, but that the solidityand beauty of the discourse was of service in preparing the way, and affecting the minds of his hearers; but a circumstance which overthrew those murmurers, and gained St. Austin a complete victory, was his blending the sublime and pathetic, with that softness and tenderness we have mentioned elsewhere. [e] The two others may procure acclamations; but the sublime and pathetic bear down, as it were, every thing with their weight; and instead of applauses, force tears from their hearers.



The extract 1 here give, is borrowed from the beautiful epistle of this illustrious bishop to pope Cornelius, upon occasion of those persons, who, having fallen during the persecution, demanded haughtily to be restored to the sacraments, though they had not done the penance required on those occasions, and had even the boldness to employ menaces.

“ If those sinners, says St. Cyprian, will be re“ceived into the church, let us see what idea they “ have of the satisfaction they ought to make, and “ what fruits of repentance they bring. The church “ here is not shut against any person; the bishop does

not reject any one. We are ready to receive with patience, indulgence, and mildness, all those who

present themselves before us. It is my desire that “all return into the church: it is my desire that all “ who fought with us, should rally under the stand“ards of Christ Jesus; and return to his heavenly camp,

and into the house of God his Father. I re[e] Non sanè, si dicendo crebriùs Grande autem genus plerumque & vehementiùs acclametur, ideo pondere suo voces premit, sed lacrygranditer putandus est dicere: hoc mas exprimit. S. Aug. de Doctr, enim & acumina submissi generis, Chr. 1. 4. c. 24. & ornamenta faciunt temperati.

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