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confifts in preaching, the next Thing to it, is to convey my Thoughts and Inftructions from the Prefs; that fo my Talent, fuch 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 Difcourfes, 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 fuch, till our Language is grown obfolete; and and even then their good Sense will retain its fterling 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 poffible that
that Discourses coming fresh out of the Mint, tho' of coarfer Allay, may by their meer Newness draw Attention, and work fome good Effect on the Reader, which I pray God they may.
The folemn Promise I made at my Confecration To exercife my felf in the holy Scriptures, fo as to be able by them to teach and exbort with wholesome Doctrine, was no fmall Motive to this Undertaking, as being the only Means left to me for making good that Promise.
If a critical Reader fhould obferve fome Coincidence of Thoughts, and even of Expreffions in the following Sermons, he will confider 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 Chriftianity and Morality to each other, which muft naturally, under the fame Habit of thinking, raise the fame Sentiments out of different Subjects confidered at different Times. This Incorrectness was unavoidable to me who had not Leifure to take every Discourse to Pieces, and put it together with greater Accuracy. However, if by the Bleffing of GoD thefe Difcourfes fhould turn to the fpiritual Profit of the well disposed Reader, I have my End, and for the reft I shall forgive my felf.
I must not conclude without dropping one Caution from my own fad Experience, to all young Preachers whofe Organs of Speech are tender.
There is in every Man's Voice a certain ne plus ultra, whether it be ftrong or weak, and the great Secret of speaking in publick Affemblies, lies in finding out the right Key.
Loudness and Vehemence, tho' it may not hurt ftrong 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 laft Importance to all Preachers of this latter Complexion, to husband their Voices difcreetly, and to find out their proper Key, which is easily done by a little Care and Obfervation. A harsh and piping Note, or an uneafy Senfation 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 furely nothing can be more ill judged in regard to the Effect; for Experience fhews, that a moderate Degree of Voice, with a proper and diftinct 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.