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forced emotion. He spoke evidently as he felt. His whole soul was in his subject. He seemed to forget himself in the deep interest, which he took in the edification of his hearers; and this circumstance gave, as it manifestly would, such a power and charm to his preaching, as never failed to extort attention even from the coldest and the most insensible. His style was admirably adapted to the pulpit. *'It was plain, without being too familiar j classical, without being pedantic. His great aim was, to express himself so clearly, that the meanest and the least informed might always comprehend him*; and yet with such correctness and purity, as to be heard with
satisfaction satisfaction by men of taste and education. How perfectly he succeeded, his
* The feet contained in the following extract of a letter to me, from a very sensible and judicious man, is a most striking proof of the clearness and perspicuity of the Bishop's writing, and of its being
calculated in an eminent degree for general usefulness:
«. . . . . - Sir Alexander Johnston, who holds, as you know, a high situation in the Island of Ceylon, told me, that, having heard of the discussions which were carrying on in Europe, respecting the introduction of Christianity into the East, it occurred to him, that great mistakes were made from a want of knowledge of the minds of the people, and the most probable means of influencing them; and that with a view to obtain this knowledge he had assembled the leading people in the Island, who were acquainted with the English language, and put into their hands several treatises containing the doctrines and proofs of Religion; requesting that they would read them, and tell him which of them carried most conviction to their minds, and which they thought most likely to make an impression upon the rest of their countrymen. I should tell you, that the persons he consulted were previously nominal Christians,being descendants of those who had embraced the Catholic Religion under the Portuguese, or Calvinism under the Dutch. They all gave a decided preference to the Bishop of London's Epitome of the Christian Evidences; saying, that they had never understood their religion before, and that they were convinced it
discourses prove. They are distinguished throughout by the most elegant simplicity: at the same time, when the occasion calls for it, they are strong, nervous, eloquent, sublime. His sentiments and language rise Avith his subject; and, heightened as they were by his peculiar elocution, they made a deep and most powerful impression. But it was neither style, nor manner, nor utterance, which alone gave such efficacy to his preaching.
His His sermons are conspicuous for sound judgment, solid argument, great knowledge of the human heart, accurate observation of the world, an unshrinking 'reprobation of vice, the most persuasive exhortations to piety, and an unqualified avowal of all the essential, fundamental truths and doctrines of the Gospel. It has been said indeed, that there are in his discourses no deep views of religion; and unquestionably they contain no elaborate discussions on controverted points of theology: no visionary flights of fancy into things not revealed; no minute details of religious struggles, impulses, and feelings. But, for the grand object of practical and vital amendment; for all that can seize, excite, and interest the best feelings of the soul; for that energetic appeal to the heart ami conscience, which can arrest the sinner in a course of guilt, strike him with compunction, urge him to repentance, save him from perdition; for that earnestness of parental counsel, which can fix the wavering and confirm the virtuous; for that power of spiritual consolation, which can soothe the afflicted, bind up the broken-hearted, cheer the suffering, comfort the desponding; for that gentle, meek, conciliating spirit, which can soften the asperity of religious dispute, and unite men of various and discordant sentiments in the bond of peace, amity and affection;— for all these purposes, I know no discourses superior; and there are not wanting instances on record, in which they are known to have been powerfully and signally efficacious. One; in particular, occurred at Bath, where a gentleman at that place, whose name was Boissier, and who had unhappily imbibed
was the best adapted to influence the Cingalese. Upon this he ordered it to be translated by the two Interpreters of the Court of Justice, who are men of rank in the Island; and he says it was generally circulated.
"I thought you would be pleased to hear this fact, as an honourable testimony to the merit of the Bishop's work, proceeding from the criticism of nature. It strikes me too, that it may be of public use, as a guide to the best mode of instructing the people of the East. At least it shews, that they are open to instruction, conveyed in a sober, rational form, and that the office need not be left, as some think, to wild enthusiasts."