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4. Figures must not be overstrained. This is done by stretching metaphor into allegory, or by carrying a parallel too far. A metaphor is changed into an allegory, when a number of things are heaped up, which agree to the subject, in keeping close to the metaphor. As in explaining this text, God is a fun and shield; it would be stretching the metaphor into an 'allegory to make a great col
knowingly, and without any long differtations on the
The author's conclusion on
vol. ii. b. 4. act anatomy of it. He made
lection of what God is in himself; what to us; what he does in the understanding and conscience of the believer ; what he operates on the wicked; what his absence causeth; and all these under terms, which had a perpetual relation to the sun. (5) Allegories may be sometimes used very agreeably: but they must not be strained, that is, all, that can be faid on them, must not be said. A parallel is run too far, when a great number of conformities between the figure, and the thing represented by the figure, are heaped together. This is almost the perpetual vice of mean and low preachers; for when they catch a figurative word, or a metaphor, as when God's word is called a fire, or a sword; or the church a house, or a dove; or Jesus Christ a light, a sun, a vine, or a door ; they never fail making a long detail of conformities between the figures and the subjects themselves; and frequently say ridiculous things. This vice must be avoided, and you must be content to explain the metaphor in a few words, and to mark the principal agreements, in order afterward to cleave to the thing itself. (6)
5. Reasoning (5) Corruptas aliquando funt, tanquam exquifitiora et vitiosas orationes, quas ta- miramur.
Non aliter quam men plerique judiciorum pra- distortis, et quocunque modo vitate mirantur, legi palam prodigiofis corporibus apud pueris, ostendique in his, quosdam majus eit pretium, quam multa impropria, ob- quam iis quæ nihil ex comfcura, tumida, humilia, for- munis habitus bonis perdidedida, lascivia, effeminata fint; runt, &c. Quint. lib.ii.cap. 5. quæ non laudantur modo a See to this purpose Dr. plerisque, fed (quod pejus est) Gibbon's rhet. p. 45, &c. propter hoc ipfum, quod sunt (6) Mr. Rollin, from Tully prava, laudantur. Nam ser- observes, that the surest and mo rectus, et secundum na- easiest way to represent the turam enunciatus, nihil ha- beauty of a metaphor, and, in bere ex ingenio videtur. Illa general, to explain the beaulvero, qux utcunque deflexz tiful paliages in authors with
5. Reasoning must not be carried too far. This may be done many ways ; either by long trains of reafois, composed of a quantity of propositions chained together, or principles ani consequences; this way of reasoning is embarralling and painful to the auditor: Ur by inuking many branches of reasons, and establishing the one after another; this is tirefome and fatiguing to the mind. The inind of man loves to be conducted in a more smooth and easy way; all mait not be proved at once; but, sup
juftness, is to substitute natu- the things thereon,the inferior ral expressions initead of figu- people. - Whence ascending rative, and to divest a very towards heaven, and descendbright phrase of all its orna- ing to the earth, are put for ments, by reducing it to a rising and falling in power fimple proposition. Belles let- and honour. - A new dignity tres, vol. i.
is fignified by a new name ; Sir Ifaac Newton, with that moral and civil qualifications grandeur of mind peculiar to by garments ; honour and himself, fays, “ for under- glory by splendid apparel ; standing the prophecies, we are royal dignity by purple or in the first place, to acquaint fcarlet, or by a crown ; righourselves with the figurative teousness by white and clean language of the prophets. robes; wickedness by spotted This language is taken from and filthy garments,” &c. the analogy between the world
On Dan, chap. ii. natural, and an enpire or The use, and abuse of figukingdom confidered as a world rative language in christianity politic.
are most judiciously described “ Accordingly, the whole by Le Clerc. Ars crit. p. II. natural world consisting of f. i. c. 15, 16. heaven and carth, fignifies the Ut veftis frigoris depellendi whole world politic, consist- causa reperta primo, poft ading of thrones and people, or hiberi cæpta eft ad ornatum fo much of it as is confidered etiam corporis et dignitatem : in the prophecy : and the fic verbi translatio instituta eft things in that world fignify inopiæ causa, frequentata dethe analogous things in this. lectationis. For the heavens and the things vites, luxuriem elje in herbis, therein, fignify thrones and latas segetes etiam ruftici didignities, and those who en- Cic. de oratore, lib. joy them; and the earth, with iii. 38.
posing principles, which are true and plain, and which you are capable of proving and supporting, when it is neceffary, you must be content with using them to prove what you have in hand. Yet I do not mean, that in reasoning, arguments should be so short and dry, and proposed in so brief a manner, as to divert the truth of half its force, as many authors leave them. I only mean, that a due medium should be preserved ; that is, that without fatiguing the mind and attention of the hearer, reasons should be placed in juít as much force and clearness, as are necessary to produce the effect.
Reasoning also may be overstrained by heaping great numbers of proofs on the same subject. Numerous proofs are intolerable, except in a principal matter, which is like to be much questioned or controverted by the hearers. In such a case you would be obliged to treat the subject fully and ex profeso, otherwise the hearers would consider your attempt to prove the matter as an useless digreffion. (7) But when you are obliged to treat a subject fully, when that subject is very important, when it is doubted and controverted, then a great num. ber of proofs are proper. In such a case you must propose to convince and bear down the opponent's judgment, by making truth triumph in many different manners. In such a case, many proofs associated together to produce one effect, are like many rays of light, which naturally strengthen each other, and which all together form a body of brightness, which is irresistible. (8)
6. Yoų (7) Bad and multifarious reasoners resemble Homer's giants:
"Όσσαν επ' ουλίμπω μέμασαν θέμεν αύτας επ "Όσση
Odysey, (8) Mr. Saurin in his ser. ing how difficult it is to form mon on holiness, after observ, an adequate idea of it, says,
6. You must as much as possible abstain from all sorts of observations foreign from theology. In this class I place, 1. Grainmatical observations of every kind, which not being within the people's knowledge can only weary and disguft them. They may nevertheless be used when they furnish an ayreeable sense of the word, or open some important observation on the subject itself, provided it be done very feldom and very pertinently. (9)
“ Perhaps one of the princi- know, he was a son of Adam, pal causes of its obscurity, is he has followed his forefather, its clearnefs. For it is a truth, as we must all do him – and which we teach those, whom be died. we form to the art of reafon- * “ We are discoursing over ing, that when an idea is car- the dead, and dying stories ried to a certain degree of should be sad stories ; such a evidence and fimplicity, all, one I have to tell you ; a trathat is added to clear, only gedy, the saddest under heaferves to obfcure and con- ven, never such a killing trafound it. Is not this the gedy, where the world is plain cause of many difficulties on in one act; Adam's tragedy, the nature of jult and un- which we have acted in the just ?!” Ser. sur la sainteté, chapters before: the persons,
Adam, Eve, and serpent: the (9) I take the liberty of stage at first strewed with fubjoining an example taken flowers, paradise, now with from a funeral sermon of one blacks. The plot, a most Humfrey, page 191. “ Gen. deyilish plot, the mott con. V. 5. and he died.
We are founding plot, was fin ; the met on this folemn occasion catastrophe, the end of all, to do our last office to a friend, is the text, Adam's exit ; exit to bring him to his long home, Adam carrying off the dead to wait on him to his bed- and be died. chamber, there to take our “ In the text are three parlast leave and good-night for ticulars set out by three little ever; draw to the curtains words, and those several parts and put out the lights. It of speech not unbefitting the cannot be expected I thould various cafes and decleniions of say any thing of the deceased; man's mortality. The first being a stranger, I know no- and, a conjunction, notes the thing of his conversation, no- coherence; the second he, a thing of his life : but this I pronoun, that's the subject of