Ebenezer Porter.

Analysis of the principles of rhetorical delivery as applied in reading and ... online

. (page 26 of 30)
Online LibraryEbenezer PorterAnalysis of the principles of rhetorical delivery as applied in reading and ... → online text (page 26 of 30)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

hearkened unto thy servants the prophets, which spake in
thy name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and
to all the people of the land. 7 O Lord^ righteousness be-
longeth unto thee, but unto us confusion of faces, as at
this day : to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of
Jerusalem, and unto all Israel, that are near, and that
are afar off, through all the countries whither thou hast
driven them, because of their trespass that they have
trespassed against thee. 8 O Lord, to us belongeth con*
fusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our
faithers, because we have sinned against thee. 9 To the
Lord our God belong mercies and forgiveness, thoagh we
have rebdled against him : Neither have we obeyed
the voice of the Lord our God, to walk in his laws, which
he set befi>re us by his servantsthe prophets? 11 Yea, all
Israel have Iransgresaed thy >aw, even by departing, that
they might not <^y thy voice ; therefore the curse is pour-

Digitized by VjOOQIC

366 BXBRCISI8. [Es. 89.

ed opon as, and the oilh that is written in the law of Moses
the serrant of God, because we have sinned against him.
12 And he hath confirmed his words, which he s^Jce against
us, and against our judges that judged us, bj bringing upon
us a great evil : for under the whcSe heaven hath not beoi
done as hath been done upon Jerusalem. 13 As it is written
in the law of Moses, all this evil is come upon us : jet made
we not our prajrer before the Lord our God, that we might
turn from our iniquities, and understand thj truth. 14 There-
fore hath the Lord watched upon the evil, and brought it
upon us : for the Lord our God is righteous in all his works
which he doeth : for we obeyed not his voice. 15 And now
O Lord our God, thou hast brought thy people forth out of
the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and hast gotten thee
renown, as at this day ; we have sinned, we have done wick-

16 O Lord, according to all thy righteousness, I beseech
thee, let thine anger and thy fury be turned away from thy
city Jerusalem, thy holy mountain : because for our sins
and for the iniquity of our fathers, Jerusalem and thy peo-
ple are become a reproach to all that are about us. 17 Now
therefore, O our God, hear the prayer of thy servant, and
his supplications, and cause thy face to shine upon thy sanc-
tuary that is desolate, for the Lord's sake. 18 O my God,
incline thine ear, and hear ; open thine eyes and behold
our desolations, -and the city which is called by. thy name;
for we do not present our supplications before thee for our
righteousness, but for thy great mercies. 19 O Lord, hear,
O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearkei^ and do ; defer not, for
thine own sake, O my God : for thy city and thy people are
called by thy name.

89. Success of the Gospel

The assumption that our cause is declining is utt^ly
gratuitous. We think it not difficult to prove that the
distinctive principles we so much venerate, never sway-
ed so powerful an influence over the destinies of the
5 human race, as at this very moment. Point us to those
nations of the earth to whom moral and intdlectual eul-
tivati<m, inexhaustible resources, progress in arts and

Digitized by VjOOQIC


sagacity in council, have assigned the highest rank in
political importance, and you point us to nations, whose

10 religious opinions are most closely allied to those we
cherish. Besides, when was there a period, since the
days of the Apostles, in which so many converts have
been made to these principles as have been made, both
from christian and pagan nations, within the last five

15 and twenty years. Never did the peof^e of the saints
of the Most High look so much like going forth in seri*
ous earnest, to take possession of the kingdom and do-
minion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the
whole heaven as at this very day.

^ But suppose the cause did seem declining, we should
see no reason to relax our exertions, for Jesus Christ
has said, preach the gospel to every creature, and ap-
pearances, whether prosperous or adverse, alter not the
obligation to obey a positive command of Almighty God.

^ Again, suppose all that is affirmed were true. If it
must be, let it be. Let the dark cloud of infidelity over-
spread Europe, cross the ocean, and cover our beloved
land — let nation afler nation swerve from the faith — let
iniquity abound, and the love of many wax cold, even

90 until there is on the face of this earth, but one pure
church of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ — all we
ask is, that we may be members of that one church.
God grant that we may throw ourselves into this Ther-
mopyls of the moral universe.

35 But even then, we should have no fear that the church
of God would be exterminated. We would call to re-
membrance the years of the right band of the Most
High. We would recollect there was once a time,
when the whole church of Christ, not only could be,

40 but actually was gathered with one accord in one place.
It was then that the place was shaken, as with a rush*
ing mighty wind, and they were all filled with the Holy
Ghost. That same day, three thousand were added
to the Lord. Soon we hear, they have filled Jerusalem

45 with their doctrine. — The church has commenced her
march — Samaria, has with one accord believed the gos-
pel — Antioch has become obedient to the faith— the
name of Christ has been proclaimed throughout Asia

Digitized by VjOOQIC

368 BXBReiBEs. [Ex.90.

Minor — the temples of the gods, as though smitten by

50 an invisible hand, are deserted — the citizens of Ephesus

cry out in despair, Great is Diana of the Ephesians —

licentious Corinth is purified by the preaching of Christ

crucified. Persecution puts forth her arm to arrest the

spreading superstition, but the progress of the faith can-

55 not be stayed. The church of God advances unhurt

amidst rocks and dungeons, persecutions and death —

she has entered Italy, and appears before the wall of

the Eternal City — idolatry falls prostrate at her approach

— her ensign floats in triumph over the capitol — she has

00 placed upon her brow the diadem of the Caesars. -


90. Tke events of Providence promotive of the end
of Missions.

Little did Julius CsBsar imagine, when the white cliffs
of Britain, glittering iu the sun, excited his ambition and
drew him across the Channel, for what purpose he dis-
embarked his legions on our coast ; but we know that it
5 was to open a door through which the Gospel might en-
ter our beloved country. Little did the spirit of com-
mercial enterprise imagine, when urged only by its
thirst for gold, it fixed its establishments at the mouth
of the Hoogley or on the banks of the Ganges, that it

10 was sent thither as the forerunner of Christian Mission*
aries. Little does the genius of war imagine, when im-
pelling its mad votaries to new contests, that Christiani-
ty i"! following at a distance, in the rear of victorious
armies, to plant her stations on the fields of their en-

15 campment, to bear away the best of the spoils, and as-
sume the dominion which other potentates have lost.
Little did Columbus imagine, when with a heart big
with mighty projects, he walked in silence on the shores
of Andalusia, and watched the star of evening down the

20 western sky, who it was that dictated the purpose to ex-
plore the region which she went nightly to visit on the
other side of the Atlantic. We, however, live at a
time when all these events are clearly seen to connect
themselves with the grand purpose of Jehovah, " to bring

Digitized by VjOOQIC



25 ail men to Christ." • And the people of fbtare getiera-
tions will as clearly discern the same relation in the
circumstances of our day.

I am about to urge a crusade to the heathen world ;
far different, however, from that dreadful superstition,

30 which in the midnight of the dark ages, disturbed the
deep slumbers of the globe, and bursting forth like a
volcano, precipitated all Europe in a state of fusion,
upon the lovely valleys of Judea. Our object is not to
recover the holy sepulchre from the possession of here-

35 tics, but to make known the death of Him that descend-
ed to it, to wrest the keys of empire from the king of
terrors: — the weapons of our warfare are not carnal,
as the sword, the spear, and the battle axe ; but spirit-
ual, as the doctrines of the Gospel exhibited in the ser-

40 mons of our Missionaries ; — the line of our march will
not be marked by ensanguined fields, and the reign of
desolation, but by the comforts of civilization and the
blessings of Christianity. We shall not be followed in
our career by the groans of dying warriors, and the

45 shrieks of bereaved widows, but by the songs of redeem-
ed sinners, and the shouts of enraptured angels ; our
laurels will be stained with no blood but that of the
Lamb of God, and drip with no tears but those of pen-
itence and joy : — while our trophies will consist, not of

50 bits of the true cross, or shreds of the Virgin's rope, but
in the rejected idols of Pomare, with the regenerated
souls of those who once adored them. James.

91 . The Hatefulness of War.

Apart altogether from the evil of war, let us just take
a direct look of it, and see whether we can find its char-
acter engraven on the aspect it bears to the eye of an
attentive observer. The stoutest heart of this assembly
5 would recoil, were he who owns it to behold the de-
, struction of a single individual by some deed of violence.
Were the man who at this moment stands before you in
the full play and energy of health, to be in another mo-
ment laid by some deadly aim a lifeless corpse at jour

Digitized by VjOOQIC

960 BXCBGI8B8. [Ez.6i.

10 (eet, there is not one of jroa who would not pro?e how
strong are the relentings of natqre at a spectacle so hid-
eoas as death. There are some of jou who would be
haunted ibr wh<^ days by the image of horror you had
witnessed,— who would feel the weight of a most oppres-

15 si?e sensation upon your heart, which nothing but time
could wear away,^-who would be so pursued by it as to
be unfit for business or for enjoyment, — who would think
of it through the day, and it would spread a gloomy
disquietude over your waking moments, — who would

20 dream of it at night, and it would turn that bed which
you courted as a retreat from the torments of an ever-
meddling memory, into a scene of restlessness.

But generally the death of violence is not instantane-
ous, and there is often a sad and dreary interval between

85 its final consummation, and the infliction of the blow
which causes it. The winged messenger of destruction
has not found its direct avenue to that spot, where the
principle of life is situated ; and the soul, finding obsta-
cles to its immediate egress, has to struggle for hours

BO ere it can make its dreary way through the winding
avenues of that tenement, which has been torn open by
a brother's hand. O ! if there be something a]^Iing
in the suddenness of death, think not that, when grad-
ual in its advances, you will alleviate the horrors of this

35 sickening contemplation by viewing it in a milder form.
O I tell me, if there be any relentings of pity in your
bosom, how could you endure it, to behold the agonies
of the dying man,— as goaded by pain he grasps the cold
ground in convulsive energy, or faint with the loss of

40 blood, his pulse ebbs low, and the gathering paleness
spreads itself over his countenance, or wrapping him-
self round in despair, he can only mark, by a few feeble
quiverings, that life still lurks and lingers in his lacerat-
ed body, — or lifting up a faded eye, he easts on you a

45 look of imploring helplessness, for that succor which no
sympathy can yield him 7

' It may be painful to dwell on such a representation,
r-but this is the way in which the cause of humanity is
served. The eye of the sentimentalist, turns away from

Digitized by VjOOQIC


50 its sufferings, and he passes by on the other side, lest he
hear that pleading voice, which is armed with a tone of
remonstrance so vigorous as to disturb him. He cannot
bear thus to pause, in imagination, on the distressing
picture of one individual ; but multiply ten thousand

55 times, — say, how much of all this distress has been heap-
ed together on a single field, — give us the arithmetic
of this accumulated wretchedness, and lay it before us
with all the accuracy of an official computation, — and,
strange to tell, not one sigh is lifted up among the crowd

60 of eager listeners, as they stand on tiptoe, and catch
every syllable of utterance which is read to them out of
the registers of death. O ! say what mystic spell is
that which blinds us to the suffering of our brethren,
— which deafens to our ear the voice of bleeding hu-

65 manity when it is aggravated by the shriek of dying
thousands, — which makes the very magnitude of the
slaughter throw a soflening disguise over its cruelties,
and its horrors,— which causes us to eye with indiffer*
ence the field that is crowded with the most revdting

70 abominations, and arrests that sigh, which each individ-
ual would singlv have ^rawn fi-om us, by the report of
the many who have fallen, and breathed their last in
agony, along with him ? Ckalmtrs.

92. The preservation of the church.

The long existence of the Christian church would be
pronounced, upon common principles of reasoning, im-
possible. She finds in every man a natural and invete-
rate enemy. To encounter and overcome the unani-

5 mous hostility of the world, she boasts no political strat-
agem, no disciplined legions, no outward coercion of any
kind. Yet her expectation is that she shall live forever.
To mock this hope, and to blot out her memorial from
under heaven, the most furious efforts of fanaticism, the

10 roost ingenious arts of statesmen, the concentrated
strength of empires, have been frequently and perse-
veringly applied. The blood of her sons and her daugh-
ters has streamed like water ; the smoke of the scaffold

Digitized by VjOOQIC

963 BXEKcrae8. [Ex. 93.

and the stake, where they wore the crown of martyrdom

15 in the cause of Jesus, has ascended in thick volumes to
the skies. The tribes of persecution have sported over
her woes, and erected monuments, as they imagined,
of her perpetual ruin. But where are her tyrants, and
where their empires ? l^e tyrants have long since gone

20 to their own place ; their names have descended upon
the roll of infamy ; their empires have passed, like shad-
ows over the rock — they have successively disappeared,
and left not a trace behind !

But what became of the church ? She rose from

25 her ashes fresh in beauty and might. Celestial glory
beamed around her ; she dashed down the monumental
marble of her foes, and they who hated her fled before
her. She had celebrated the funeral of kings and king-
doms that plotted her destruction ; and, with the in-

30 scriptions of their pride, has transmitted to posterity
the records of their shame. How shall this phenome-
non be explained? We are at the present moment,
witnesses of the fact ; but' who can unfold the mystery ?
The book of truth and life, has made our wonder to

35 cease. The Lord her god in the midst of her is
MIGHTY.' His presence is a fountain of health, and
his protection a ' wall of fire.' He has betrothed her,
in eternal covenant to himself. Her living head, in
whom she lives, is above, and his quickening spirit

40 shall never depart from her. Armed with divine vir-
tue, his gospel, secret, silent, unobserved, enters the
hearts of men and sets up an everlasting kingdom. It
eludes all the vigilance, and bafiBes all the power of the
adversary. Bars, and bolts, and dungeons are no ob-

45 stacles to its approach. Bonds, and tortures, and death
cannot extinguish its influence. Let no man's heart
tremble, then, because of fear. Let no man despair
(in these days of rebuke and blasphemy,) of the Chris-
tian cause. The ark is launched, indeed, upon the

50 floods ; the tempest sweeps along the deep ; the billows
break over her on every side. But Jehovah-Jesus has
promised to conduct her in safety to the haven of peace.
She cannot be kMSt unless the pibt perish. Mason.

Digitized by VjOOQIC


93. Obligations to the Pilgrims,

Let us go back to the rock, where the pilgrims
first stood, and look abroad upon this wide and happy
land, so full of their lineal or adopted sons, and repeat
the question, to whom do we owe it, that " the wilder-
5 ness has been turned into a fruitful field, and the
desert has become as the garden of the Lord V To
whom do we owe it under an all-wise Providence, that
this nation so miraculously born, is now contributing
with such effect to the welfare of the human family, by

10 aiding the march of mental and moral improvement,
and giving an example to the nations of what it is to be
pious, intelligent, and free ? To whom do we owe it,
that with us the great ends of the social compact are
accomplished to a degree of perfection never before re-

15 alized; that the union of public power and private
liberty is here exhibited in a harmony so singular and
perfect, as to allow the might of political combmation to
rest upon the basis of individual virtue, and to call into
exercise, by the very freedom which such a union gives,

20 all the powers that contribute to national prosperity ?
To whom do we owe it, that the pure and power^il
light of the gospel is now shed abroad over these coun-
tries, and is rapidly gaining upon the darkness of the
western world ; — that the importance of religion to the

25 temporal welfare of men, and to the permanence of wise
institutions is here beginning to be felt in its just meas-
ure ; — that the influence of a divine revelation is not
here, as in almost every other section of Christendom,
wrested to purposes of worldly ambition ; — that the holy

30 Bible is not sealed from the eyes of those for whom it
was intended ; — and the best charities and noblest pow-
ers of th6 soul degraded by the terrors of a dark and
artful superstition ? To whom do we owe it, that in
this favored land the gospel of the grace of God has

35 best displayed its power to bless humanity, by uniting
the anticipations of a better world with the highest in-
terests and pursuits of this — by carrying its merciful
influence into the very business and bosoms of men ;—

Digitized by VjOOQIC

^•4 BXBBCISW. [&.94.

by making the ignorant wise and the miserable happy ;

40 — by breaking the fetters of the skve, and teaching
'' the babe and the suckling" those simple and sublime
truths, which give to life its dignity and virtue, and fill
immortality with hope? — To whom do we owe all this?
Doubtless to the Plymouth Pilgrims ! — Happily did one

45 of those fearless exiles exclaim, in view of all that was
past, and of the blessing, and lionor, and glory that
were yet to come, " God hath sifted three kingdoms, that
he might gather the choice grain, and plant it in the
wilderness !" Whelpley.

94. A Future State.

'Tis done ? dread Winter spreads his latest glooms.
And reigns tremendous o'er the conquered year.
How dead the vegetable kingdom lies !
How dumb the tuneful i Horror wide extends
5 His desolate domain. Behold, fond man !
See here thy pictured life : pass some few years.
Thy fbw'ring spring, thy Summer's ardent strength.
The sober Autumn fading into age,
And pale concluding Winter comes at last,

10 And shuts the scene. Ah ! whither now are fled
Those dreams of greatness ? those unsolid hopes
Of happiness ? those longings after fame ?
Those restless cares ? those busy bustling days ?
Those gay-spent, festive nights ? those veering thoughts

15 Lost between good and ill, that shared thy life ?
All now are vanish'd ! Virtue sole survives.
Immortal, never-failing friend of man.
Bis guide to happiness on high. And see !
'Tis come, the glorious morn ! the second birth

20 Of heav'n and earth ! awak'ning Nature hears
The new creating word, and starts to life.
In ev'ry heighten'd form, from pain and death
For ever free.' The great eternal scheme,
Involving all, and in a perfect whole

25 Uniting as the prospect wider spreads.
To reason's eye relin'd clears up apace.

Digitized by VjOOQIC


Ye vainly wise 1 ye bitnd presamptuoas ! now,

Confounded in the dust, adore that Pow'r

And Wisdom ofl arraigned ; see now the cause
30 Why unassuming worUi in secret liv'd,

And died neglect : why the good man's share

In life was gall and bitterness of soul :

Why the lone widow and her orphans pin'd

In starving solitude ; while luxury,
35 In palaces, lay straining her low thought.

To form unreal wants : why heaven-^rn truth,

And moderation fair, wore the red marks

Of superstition's scourge: why licensed pain,

That cruel spoiler, that embosom'd foe,
40 Imbitter'd all our bliss. Ye good distressed 1

Ye noble few ! who here unbending stand

Beneath life's pressure, yet bear up a while.

And what your bounded view, which only saw
' A little part, deem'd evil, is no more ;
45 The storms of Wintry Time will quickly pass,

And one unbounded Spring encircle all. Thomson.

95. Present faiiilities for evangelizing the world compared
with those of Primitive times.

The means of extending knowledge, and influencing
the human mind by argument and moral power, are
multiplied a thousand fold. The Lancaster ian mode of
instruction renders the instruction of the world cheap

5 and easy. The improvements of the press have re-
duced immensely, and will reduce yet more, the price
of books, bringing not only Tracts and Bibles, but even
libraries within the reach of every man and every child.
But in the primitive age, the light of science beamed

10 only on a small portion of mankind. The mass of man-
kind were not, and could not be, instructed to read.
Every thing was transient and fluctuating, because so
little was made permanent in books, and general knowl-
edge, and so much depended on the character, the life

15 and energy of the living teacher. The press, that lev-
er of Archimedes, whic^ now moves the world, was un-


Digitized by VjOOQIC

300 BXBIICflSC9« [Ex. 95.

It vn» tbe extinelioti of science bj the iavaskm of
the northern barbarians, which threw back the world ten

20 centuries ; and this it effected throogh the want of per-
manent instruction, and the onraipoteat contrt^ of opin*
ion which is exerted by the press. Gould Paul have
put in requisition the press, as it is now put in requisition
by Christianity, and have availed himself of literary so-

25 cieties, and Bible Societies, and Lancasterian schools
to teach the entire population to read, and of Bibles,
and Libraries and Tracts, Mahomet had never opened
the bottomless pit, and the pope had never set his foot
upon the neck of kings, nor deluged Europe with the

dO blood of the saints.

Should any be still disposed to insist, that our advan*
tages for evangelizing the world, are not to be oompar*
ed with those of the apostolic age, let them reverse the
scene, and roll back tbe wheels of time, and oblilerate

35 the improvements in science and commerce and arts,
which now facilitate the spread of the Gospel. Let them
throw into darkness all the known portions of the earth,
which were then unknown. Let them throw into dis-
tance the propinquity of nations : and exchange their

40 rapid intercourse for cheerless, insulated existence.
Let the magnetic power be forgotten, and the timid
navigator creep along the coasts of the Mediterranean,
and tremble and cling to the shore when he looks
oot u|X)n the loud waves of the Atlantic. Inspire

45 idolatry with the vigor of meridian manhood, and arm
in its defence, and against Christianitv, all the civiliza-
tion, and science, and mental power of'^the world. Give
back to the implacable Jew his inveterate unbelief, and
his vantage ground, and disposition to oppose Christian-

50 ity in every place of his dispersion, from Jerusalem to
every extremity of the Roman empire. Blot out the
means of extending knowledge and exerting influence
upon the human mind. Destroy the Lancasterian sys-
tem of instruction, and throw back the mass of men into

55 a state of unreading, unreflecting ignorance. Blot out
libraries, and Tracts ; abolish Bible, and EMucation; and

Online LibraryEbenezer PorterAnalysis of the principles of rhetorical delivery as applied in reading and ... → online text (page 26 of 30)