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of man. The religion and education of New England have produced a type of man. Plant New Englanders anywhere on the face of the earth and they spontaneously reproduce New England institutions. Such is the action of Christianity. It creates a type of man. Christians of whatever age or country understand each other, and sympathize in the deepest experience and most cherished aim of life. Their real unity is here, and not in the unity of organization. Thus the church is efficient, because it is alive in every part, and

"Vital in every part, Cannot but by annihilating die."

When any organization passes away, this deathless and allpervading energy embodies itself anew and works out its great result. Such was the ancient prophecy: "The Lord will create upon every dwelling-place of Mount Zion and upon her assemblies a cloud and smoke by day and the shining of a flaming fire by night."




[Continued from Vol. xxviii. p. 739.]

§ 3. The Reading of Sermons in the Pulpit.

THE plan of elaborate writing, as recommended in a preceding Section,1 implies that the majority of a preacher's discourses should be delivered extempore. Comparatively few of his sermons will be written. The fact that these are written, however, does not necessarily imply that they are to be read. Not all of them should be. In one of his familiar conversations Mr. Choate remarked: "There is an anecdote of Hamilton, illustrating what I have said of the value of writing as a preparative, in respect to full and deep thought. Hamilton made the greatest argument ever uttered in this country. It was on the law of libel, and by it he stamped upon the mind of this country the principle that in an action. for libel the truth, if uttered without malice, was a justification. Upon the night previous to the argument he wrote out every word of it; then he tore it up. He was by writing fully prepared; it lay very fully in his mind; and, not to be cramped and fettered by a precise verbal exactness, he tore it to pieces. Then he spoke and conquered."2 Several ministers of the gospel have adopted a similar course with their written sermons. They acted on the theory that all their words in the pulpit should be spoken rather than read. Does this theory admit no exceptions?

1 § 2. 1. All the references in this Article to the preceding Articles of this Series are to the Divisions, not the pages.

2 Parker's Reminiscences, pp. 252, 253.

I. The reading of an entire sermon, or of parts of a sermon, in the pulpit should not be indiscriminately condemned. 1. The prospect of preaching an entire discourse from manuscript is an incentive to the careful writing of it. The plan of repeating it memoriter, or of giving it to the press, may be an equal incentive, but in our country, at least, is not so common. On this topic we will assume, for the sake of convenience, that the minister intends to make the most of himself in every sermon which he writes - to task upon it his intellectual and moral powers. His strength comes from his effort to do justice to a great truth. This effort is expended in selecting the best thoughts, arranging them in the best method, and expressing them in the best words. If he expect to utter these words and thoughts as they are adjusted in his study, he will labor to have them just what they should be. If he expect to utter only the substance, and not the words of what he writes, he will defer the perfecting of it until he feels the inspiration of the pulpit. He will not do to-day what he hopes to do better to-morrow. Therefore he jots down rough hints of his ideas, arranges them in an inapposite order, and clothes them in a slovenly attire. He loses, or never gains, the habit of careful writing. It may be that his discourse will have some grand features; but it will be like the statues of Michael Angelo left unfinished. We read of a sculptor elaborating the top and back of the head of a statue which was to adorn the summit of a temple, and when asked why he was so punctilious in finishing the parts which no man would ever see, he replied: "The gods will see them." Some ministers may be thus conscientious in perfecting what they compose for the sake of the perfection itself; but others need the stimulus of popular criticism to make them careful. They will write loosely, unless they measure their thoughts and words by the standard which they will be expected to reach. Indolence and procrastination must be resisted by various kinds of motive. Nature must become an aid to grace. A good man may be en

1 See § 2. 1 above.

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couraged to do his duty by the foresight that he will be known to have done it. Even a martyr when in solitude dies with less dignity than when the crowd is around him.

2. The occasional reading of a discourse, or of certain parts of it, gives a needed variety to the services of the pulpit. It is as useful to vary the methods of preaching as to vary the succession of crops in a field. Having delivered several sermons without notes, the minister may well say, with a meaning more literal than that of the apostle: "I desire to be present with you now, and to change my voice." Reading from his manuscript the more critical parts of a discourse, he may deliver the less critical parts in free speech. The change from the reading will be grateful to some of his hearers; the change from the free speech to the reading will be grateful to others; and perhaps both the changes will be grateful to the majority. "Jucundum nihil est, nisi quod reficit varietas." Always it is well to change from good to better; it is not always ill to change from better to good. Jeremy Taylor says: "He that feasts every day feasts no day. Even a perpetual fulness will make you glad to beg pleasure from emptiness, and variety from poverty or a humble table."

3. The occasional reading of a discourse, in whole or in part, adds emphasis to a preacher's words. It is like an impressive intonation or gesture. The mere act of fixing the eye on the manuscript may, in certain exceptional cases, be virtual speech, and synonymous with saying: "On this subject I do not trust myself to extemporaneous thought. I have weighed my words; you likewise ought to ponder them." This advantage, like the preceding, belongs in a peculiar degree to the reading of certain paragraphs or sentences and the free delivery of other passages in the same discourse. The reading, because exceptional, awakens the special attention of the hearers. It is a style of elocution. which is expressive of an important idea. When Mr. Wirt cited the testimony of a witness, he was wont to take up his paper with much formality, and read to the jury the written

words. In this gesture of holding up his manuscript he virtually said: "You may suspect that in some of my statements I have been inexact; but you cannot suspect me here. I am not trusting to my memory; I wrote the words of the witness precisely as he uttered them; I now read them precisely as I wrote them. You will recognize every word as familiar to you." Why do not other professional men read their words? This question is often asked. They have not the same delicate truths to enforce which the preacher has. Besides, they often do read those words which demand the most punctilious exactness. Lawyers read their most critical sentences. Statesmen read parts of their speeches on the tariff and the finances. Physicians do not abhor written prescriptions.

4. The occasional reading of the whole sermon, or parts of it, may be especially appropriate to certain services of the pulpit.

A. It may be particularly appropriate to the subject and style of the sermon. There is sometimes a solid comfort in listening to a clear, calm discourse read by a sound and discreet thinker. The sense of safety is a real pleasure. When a man is stating grave objections to his doctrine, he seems to be more accurate if he reads the objections than if he repeats them from memory. "Here are the words of the objector. I am not making them up. I am not clothing a civilized opponent with the skin of a wild beast. I take him as he is, and proceed to answer him." A catalogue of bib lical names or dates, a nice definition or distinction, a statement which is hazardous although fundamental, a description of future punishment, a sermon which may be suspected of containing personalities or exasperating allusions to political1 or sectarian strifes may be sometimes more fitly, as well as safely, read than spoken. There are some surgical

1 A preacher was once accused of denouncing a certain political organization when his manuscript proved that he simply applied, not to the politicians distinctively, but to all unfaithful men of all parties or of no party, the words found in Matt. xxiii. 33. For Robert Hall's method of preaching see § 1. II. above.

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