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totle ; instructed, moreover, in their own language; familiar with some of its best models; practiced in some degree in different kinds of composition; with such a knowledge of English literature as pious young ecclesiastics may and should have ; and above all well impressed with this idea, that the composition of a good sermon should be in the end, for all, the principal; for the great majority, almost the sole practical object of their English education ; if a class so instructed had, moreover, an elementary knowledge of French, we should deem it a serious omission not to use the oratorical treasures of that_language as a means of promoting sacred eloquence. For, suppose that in the commencement of the college year, you place in the hands of the philosophers one of the great sermons of Massillon, the preacher of the heart, whose conferences they had perhaps heard with enraptured awe, during their inaugural retreat; suppose that they study this sermon on M. Van Hemel's plan; the professor taking care to illustrate as they go along with it all the rules of a regular discourseas taught, for instance, by. St. Liguori ; if, moreover, they are warned that, after they have finished the sermon, and while engaged in some other part of the French course, they should be all summoned on short notice to write before the professor, an abstract of the same sermon, or a part of it; and that these compositions would be publicly read, criticised, and corrected in the lecture hall: if the same course were adopted with a sermon of Bourdaloue, the preacher of the intellect, in the commencement of the second half-yearly session, (exercises in written translations of the best passages having been, it is supposed, a fixed duty, the whole year) ; would not such a plan be a most useful element of clerical education in French literature, in general literary taste, and especially in sacred eloquence? Would it not fix for ever in their young minds, not the abstract precept, but the example better than all precept?

It would not expect so much from the philosophers as M. Van Hemel; it would make them learn only one kind of sacred discourse, but that the very highest—the set sermon-from models of universally acknowledged superiority. *

* Due grandi nazioni stanno disputandosi questa corona ; la Francia e l'Italia-Bossuet il predicator dell'immaginazione ; Bourdaloue, il predicator della razione ; Massillon, il predicator del cuore : Persons, we know, object-“ Are the preachers of Louis le Grand proper models for the instructors of the poorest people in the world ?" Why then, we ask, retain Cicero or Demosthenes in the clerical schools? Why not poke out some second or third rate orators to teach the Latin and Greek languages, and the style suited for popular instructors ? or is it pretended that Massillon and Bourdaloue are not as perspicuous, as adapted to the capacity of the ignorant as other great orators? The more familiar a person becomes with them, the more this objection disappears. They preached, it is true, to the court of Louis XIV.; but they are no exceptions to the rule, “that sublimity always is simple”--for, with the exception of Bourdaloue's divisions, and occasionally his reasonings, we doubt if there be in all their sermons, either statement, or illustration, or argument that does 'not or could not, with a slight change, produce all its effect on the bumblest poor of Christ. Besides, is too sublime a style of preaching, or too refined a language, the danger to be most apprehended in a poor country? Does it not, on the contrary, often require, in sermons to the poor, constant care to comply with the admonition of St. Augustine, on the decorous simplicity of the preacher's style, " Sic detrahit ornatum, ut sordes non

ecco un triumvirato pari a cui ultro non ha nè la greca, nē la romana eloquenza-Ed ecco pure i tre grandi modelli per la cui meditazione si eleva, o s'ingrandisce la giovine mente dell'oratore.”Lezione, 22. Part. Sec. In Italy “ Molti si posero nella gloriosa via—ma, un solo (degneri) ne trionfo valorosamente.”—Lez. 23, ibid. Audizio–Lezioni di Sacra Eloquenza.

“Pero la verdadera gloria de la eloquencia sagrada se debe enteremante á los oradores Franceses." “ Solo los Franceses tomaron el justo tono, en que debia hacerse oir la oratoria sacrada.”

“Pero dexando aparte la eloqüencia sagrada de los Alemanes y de los Ingleses, mas ascetica, por decirlo asi, y catequistica, que parenetica y oratoria-dexaremos en quieta possession del principado oratorio, á los predicadores Franceses, y daremos una ojeada a algunos italianos— que pueden con algun titolo entrar en cotejo con los Franceses.”—Andres, llistoria de toda la Eloqüencia, cap. vii. Madrid, 1789. His parallel between the sermons of the Fathers and those of the great French preachers (ibid.) brings out the reasons why some of the latter (Bossuet not included) are preferred in France as models for young writers, chiefly for their regularity,

contrahat?" and if the standard be not high in early youth it can with difficulty be sustained in later life. The Pope, certainly, apprehended no danger to popular instruction from the study of the highest models of sacred eloquence by the young, when he lately ordered “young ecclesiastics to acquire genuine elegance and eloquence of writing and speaking from the most learned works of the holy Fathers, and from the most distinguished pagan authors."* The study, both of these pagan authors and of the selections from the Fathers, is combined at Mechlin with the study of the great modern French preachers. Why may they not be combined elsewhere? Should a person persist that it would only introduce a French fashion, and a style and manner suited only for France: the answer is, with an eminent bishop of Barcelona, that French fashion happens, in this instance at all events, to be the unchanging fashion of nature. The best possible course of sacred eloguence for the philosophers we believe, then, is the study of the great masters of the French pulpit; as auxiliaries where the Fathers are studied, and as admirable substitutes where they are not. But little or no benefit, we are sure, ever can be expected from a course of sacred eloquence in the French or in any other language where the difficulties of the language itself have not been previously surmounted.

With regard to the second course of sacred eloquence for theologians, those who have seen it in operation, must, for the present, be our chief guides. Never having had

* Adolescentes clerici, humanioribus litteris, severioribusque disciplinis, potissimum sacris, ab omni prorsus cujuscumque erroris periculo alienis, ita diligenter imbuantur, ut germanam dicendi, scribendique elegantiam, eloquentiam tum ex sapientissimis sanctorum Patrum operibus, tum ex clarissimis ethnicis scriptoribus ab omni labo purgatis addiscere valeant.—Encyc. SS. P. Pii IX., Mar. 21, 1853.

† Asi no tengo reparo de aconsejaros, amados Hermanos mios, que despues de haber estudiado esta Rhetorica, leais algunos sermones de los mas célebres Predicadores Italianos y Franceses, no para copiarlos, sino para observar en illos bien practicadas las reglas que aprendisteis. Joseph Clement, Preface to his Edition of Louis of Granada's Rhet. Sacr. p. 111. The great French preachers ordinarily devoted two months to the composition of each of their grand sermons. Ibid, p. 5.

the benefit of such a course, we cannot speak from experience, but must content ourselves with imagining under what system we wish we had been instructed. Give us then a large class as a stimulus to exertion and to emotion, but not so large that every one cannot have opportunities of trying his strength in the presence of all his competitors. Suppose it the ordinary class in a large college numbering sixty or eighty. Our equipment, we suppose, is a fair knowledge of the general principles sketched above from St. Augustine; a more methodical and practical knowledge of the same principles as exemplified in the great sermons_which we read in our philosophy year; some practice in English composition; and an ardent desire to become effective preachers, to wield with dexterity every weapon in the armoury of the word against every enemy of catholic truth and virtue. We should have precept, and example, and exercise. But as it would not be desirable, even were it possible to exercise all, in all sorts of preaching, the order of M. Hamon's treatise must be reversed for our accommodation. We would begin at the end. We should be taught first all the forms of sermons with their special rules from the great sermon to the catechism (which we can very well learn though only in the vestibule of theology) and if we were under a professor who had previously known our skill in composition and speaking, he would be able to assign to each of us, if not without mistake, at least with some discrimination, that form of sermon which suited our capacity ; three or four at least of the questions discussed in our theology in the commencement of the year being always included in the programme of subjects, and generally allotted to the most promising students. We should, moreover, deliver the whole or part of these discourses in the lecture hall in presence of the class and professor, to whom we had previously submitted them, and receive their advice and award on our performances. By these means, all of us hear so many specimens of the different forms of sermon, that with ordinary attention, they are for life fixed in our memory. The lectures not occupied in the delivery of these discourses, should be devoted to the methodical study of some manual approved for the purpose, like those which we are noticing, if not the same; a certain portion being marked out for each lecture, in which the student is to be interrogated as in theology or philosophy. We should also wish to see the rules of sacred eloquence illustrated by the writings of the Fathers according to the plan sketched for the course of sacred eloquence in the Sorbonne.* To stimulate our ardour and appeal to our

* Après avoir exposé les règles de l'éloquence sacrée, le professeur de ce cours fera parler les Pères les plus eloquens, leurs heureux ou foibles imitateurs. Ne perdant jamais de vue le but pratique de son cours, il ne se bornera pas à citer leurs chefs d'ouvres, il fera remarquer avec plus de soin encore leur parole simple, leur style abondant en images, en similitudes, en traits, et en expressions emprunteés a la Bible. S'il fait admirer les discours prononcés dans des circonstances extraordinaires, qui ont favorisé les mouvemens de la plus haute éloquence, il n'aura garde d'oublier le ton habituel de leurs homélies, de leurs instructions, quand ils s'addressoient à des artisans ou à des laboureurs.”—Lettre Past, de Mons. (Affre) sur les etudes Ecclesiastiques. Paris 1841. We abstain from any suggestion on the introduction of the Fathers into the classical course, as we bave no experience in the matter. The Mechlin plan is thus described by M. Van-Hemel, “ Nous voulons de plus que dans les classes inferieures, on n'explique simultanement avec Cornélius, César, Cicéron, &c., que les Pères les plus élégants, les plus corrects, et les plus faciles. Sulpice Sévère et Lactance auront donc d'abord la préférence, Viendront ensuite Minutius Félix, Vincent de Lérins, saint Jerome et saint Ambroise ; saint Hilaire de Poitiers, saint Léon, et S. Bernard se réserveront pour la seconde et la rhetorique ; S. Cyprian, S. Augustin, et Tertullian, s'expliqueront plus convenablement en philosophie et en théologie. Il en est de meme des Pères grecs, on commencera par. S. Jean Chrysostôme et l'on procedera successivement a l'explication de S. Grégoire de Nazianze, de S. Basile, de S. Gregoire de Nysse. Il est entendre que Xenophon, Demosthene etc. auront leur place voulu dans ce plan d'etudes."-P. 603. To the objection that the works of the Fathers could not be had he replies “Non; certes, il ne faut pas beaucoup de livres ni beaucoup de temps non plus, pour executer les plans que nous proposons. Nous mettons mème en fait que avec les quatres ouvrages publiés en Belgique depuis une vingtaine d'annees on tout ce qu'il faut pour s'initier pleinement a tous les secrets de la litterature sacreé, et pour puiser avec abondance aux inepuisables tresors des couvres oratoires des Pères. Ces quatre ouvrages sont, viz. Flores a Patribus et Scriptoribus Ecclesiæ latina selecti ad usum juventutis humaniorum literarum studiosæ, Mechliniæ, 1 vol. Delectus opusculorum ex Patribus ad usum scholarum philosophiæ et theologia. Mechliniæ, 1 vol.

Mechliniæ, 1 vol. Opuscula selecta Sanctorum Patrum. Gaudæ, 10 vol. Bibliotheca ascetica, curâ et studio


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