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consists in preaching, the next Thing to it, is to convey my Thoughts and Instructions from the Press
S; that so my Talent, such as it is
, may not be quite useless; and that my Clergy, and others within my Jurifdiction, may read, what they cannot hear publickly from my Mouth.
They may be supplied with much better Discourses, published by the Bishops, and other eminent Divines of our Communion; particularly those of Archbishop Tillotson and Dr. Samuel Clarke, who are the great and standing Models, and will continue to be such, till our Language
obsolete ; and even then their good Sense will retain its sterling Value after the Purity and Beauty of Stile are worn off by Time. But these are Books of Price, which every one cannot purchase, and having been long current, it is possible
that Discourses coming fresh out of the Mint, tho' of coarser Allay, may by their meer Newness draw Attention, and work some good Effect on the Reader, which I pray God they may.
The folemn Promise I made at my Confecration To exercise my self in the holy Scriptures, so as to be able by them to teach and exbort with wholesome Do&trine, was no small Motive to this Undertaking, as being the only Means left to me for making good that Promise.
If a critical Reader should observe fome Coincidence of Thoughts, and even of Expressions in the following Sermons, he will consider that this was imperceptible to an Auditory who heard them at different periods of Time, and if it appears now by their being collect
ed into one View, every one will excuse it who attends to the near Relation and Connection of the feveral Branches of Christianity and Morality to each other, which must naturally, under the fame Habit of thinking, raise the fame Sentiments out of different Subjects considered at different Times. This Incorrectness was unavoidable to me who had not Leisure to take every Discourse to Pieces, and put it together with greater Accuracy. However, if by the Blessing of God these Discourses should turn to the spiritual Profit of the well disposed Reader, I have my End, and for the rest I shall forgive my self.
I must not conclude without dropping one Caution from own fad Experience, to all young Preachers whose Organs of Speech are tender.
There is in every Man's Voice a certain ne plus ultra, whether it be strong or weak, and the great Secret of speaking in publick Assemblies, lies in finding out the right Key.
Loudness and Vehemence, tho' it may not hurt strong Organs, yet it is rarely harmonious, and never pleasant either to the Preacher or Hearers ; but to weak Organs it is dangerous, and may prove fatal. It is therefore of the last Importance to all Preachers of this latter Complexion, to husband their Voices discreetly, and to find out their proper Key, which is easily done by a little Care and Observation. A harsh and piping Note, or an uneasy Sensation in the Thorax, are certain Proofs that he is above it, and every Hearer must feel Pain for that which the Speak
er seems to feel. And surely nothing can be more ill judged in regard to the Effect ; for Experience shews, that a moderate Degree of Voice, with a proper and distinct Articulation, is better understood in all parts of a Church, than a Thunder of Lungs that is rarely distinct, and never agreeable to the Audience.