Ebenezer Porter.

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

. (page 30 of 30)
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was observed of that formidable Majesty, before whom
the mountains melt as wax 1 Where, where was the
warlike preparation of that power which was to subdue

15 the world ? See the whole artillery collected on Mount
Calvary, in the exhibition of a cross, of an agonizing
Sufferer, and a crown of thorns !
Religious truth was exiled from the earth, and idola-



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Ex. 11£. ] SACRED EtXMiUBNCG. 403

try sat brooding over the moral world. The Egyptians,

20 the fathers of philosophy, the Grecians, the inventors of
the fine arts, the Romans, the conquerors of the uni-
verse, were all unfortunately celebrated for the perver-
sion of religious worship, for the grosd errors they ad-
mitted into their belief, and the indignities they offered

25 to the true religion. Minerals, vegetables, animals, the
elements, became objects of adoration ; even abstract
visionary forms, such as fevers and distempers, received
the honors of deification : and to the most infamous
vices, and dissolute passions, altars were erected. The

30 world, which God had made to manifest his power,
seemed to have become a temple of idols, where every
thing was god but God himself!

The mystery of the crucifixion was the remedy the
Almighty ordained for this universal idolatry. He knew

35 the mind of man, and knew that it was not by reason-
ing an error must be destroyed, which reasoning had
not established. Idolatry prevailed by the suppres-
sion of reason, by suffering the senses to predominate,
which are apt to clothe every thing with the qualities

40 with which they are affected. Men gave the Divinity
their own figure, and attributed to him their vices and
passions. Reasoning had no share in so brutal an er-
ror. It was a subversion of reason, a delirium, a phren-
sy. Argue with a phrenetic person, you do but the

45 more provoke him, and render the distemper incurable.
Neither will reasoning cure the delirium of idolatry.
What has learned antiquity gained by her elaborate dis-
courses ? her reasonings so artfully framed ? Did Pla-
to, with that eloquence which was styled divine, over-

50 throw one single ^Itar where ;nonstrous divinities were
worshipped 7 Experience hath shown that the overthrow
of idolatry could not be the work of reason alone. Far
from committing to human wisdom the cure of such a
malady, God completed its confusion by the mystery of

55 the cross. Idolatry (if rightly understood) took its rise
firom that profound self-attachment inherent in bur na-
ture. Thus it was that the Pagan mythology teemed
with deities who were subject to human, passions, weak-



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404 EusROisEs. [Ex.115.

nesses, and vices. When the myi^rioas cross displayed
60 to the world an agonizing Redeemer, incredulity ex-
claimed, it was foolishness ! But the darkening sun,
nature convulsed, the dead arising from their graves,
said it was wisdom ! Bossuet.



END.



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