Project Canterbury

A Discourse of the Pastoral Care
By Gilbert Burnet
Bishop of Salisbury

First edition London, 1692; third edition London, 1712

Chapter IX.
Concerning Preaching

THE World naturally runs to Extremes in every thing. If one Sect or Body of Men magnify Preaching too much, another carries that to another Extreme of decrying it as much. It is certainly a noble and a profitable Exercise, if rightly gone about, of great use both to Priest and People; by obliging the one to much Study and Labour, and by setting before the other full and copious Discoveries of Divine Matters, opening them clearly, and pressing them weightily upon them. It has also now gained so much Esteem in the World, that a Clergyman cannot maintain his Credit, nor bring his People to a constant Attendance on the Worship of God, unless he is happy in these Performances.

I will not run out into the History of Preaching, to show how late it was before it was brought into the Church, and by what steps it grew up to the pitch it is now at: How long it was before the Roman Church used it, and in how many different shapes it has appeared. Some of the first Patterns we have, are the best: for as Tully began the Roman Eloquence, and likewise ended it, no Man being able to hold up to the pitch to which he raised it; so St. Basil and St. Chrysostom brought Preaching from the dry pursuing of Allegories that had vitiated Origen, and from the excessive Affectation of Figures and Rhetoric that appears in Nazianzen, to a due Simplicity; a native Force and Beauty, having joined to the Plainness of a clear but noble Style, the Strength of Reason, and the Softness of Persuasion. Some were disgusted at this Plainness; and they brought in a great deal of Art into the Composition of Sermons: Mystical Applications of Scripture grew to be better liked than clear Texts; an Accumulation of Figures, a Cadence in the Periods, a playing upon the Sounds of Words, a Loftiness of Epithets, and often an Obscurity of Expression, were according to the different Tastes of the several Ages run into. Preaching has past through many different Forms among us, since the Reformation. But without flattering the present Age, or any Persons now alive, too much, it must be confessed, that it is brought of late to a much greater Perfection, than it was ever before at among us. It is certainly brought nearer the Pattern that S. Chrysostom has set, or perhaps carried beyond it. Our Language is much refined, and we have returned to the plain Notions of simple and genuine Rhetoric.

We have so vast a number of excellent Performances in Print, that if a Man has but a right understanding of Religion, and a true relish of good Sense, he may easily furnish himself this way. The impertinent Way of dividing Texts is laid aside, the needless setting out of the Originals, and the vulgar Version, is worn out. The trifling Shows of Learning in many Quotations of Passages, that very few could understand, do no more flat the Auditory. Pert Wit and luscious Eloquence have lost their relish. So that Sermons are reduced to the plain opening the Meaning of the Text, in a few short Illustrations of its Coherence with what goes before and after, and of the Parts of which it is composed; to that is joined the clear stating of such Propositions as arise out of it, in their Nature, Truth and Reasonableness: by which, the Hearers may form clear Notions of the several Parts of Religion; such as are best suited to their Capacities and Apprehensions: to all which Applications are added, tending to the Reproving, Directing, Encouraging, or Comforting the Hearers, according to the several Occasions that are offered.

This is indeed all that can be truly be intended in Preaching, to make some Portions of Scripture to be rightly understood; to make those Truths contained in them, to be more fully apprehended; and then to lay the Matter home to the Consciences of the Hearers, so directing all to some good and practical end. In the choice of the Text, care is to be taken not to choose Texts that seem to have Humour in them; or that must be long wrought upon, before they are understood. The plainer a Text is in it self, the sooner it is cleared, and the fuller it is of Matter of Instruction; and therefore such ought to be chosen to common Auditories. Many will remember the Text, that remember nothing else; therefore such a choice should be made, as may at least put a weighty and speaking Sentence of the Scriptures upon the Memories of the People. A Sermon should be made for a Text, and not a Text found out for a Sermon; for to give our Discourses weight, it should appear that we are led to them by our Texts: such Sermons will probably have much more Efficacy than a general Discourse, before which a Text seems only to be read as a decent Introduction, but to which no regard is had in the Progress of it. Great Care should be also had both in opening the Text, and of that which arises from it to illustrate them, by concurrent Passages of Scripture: a little of this ought to be in every Sermon, and but a little: for the People are not to be over-charged with too much of it at a time; and this ought to be done with judgment, and not made a bare Concordance Exercise, of citing Scriptures, that have the same Words, though not to the same purpose and in the same sense. A Text being opened, then the Point upon which the Sermon is to run is to be opened; and it will be the better heard and understood, if there is but one Point in a Sermon; so that one Head, and only one is well stated, and fully set out. In this, great regard is to be had to the Nature of the Auditory, that so the Point explained may be in some measure proportioned to them. Too close a Thread of Reason, too great an Abstraction of Thought, too sublime and too metaphisical a Strain, are suitable to very few Auditories, if to any at all.

Things must be put in a clear Light, and brought out in as short Periods, and in as plain Words as may be: The Reasons of them must be made as sensible to the People as is possible; as in Virtues and Vices; their Tendencies and Effects; their being suitable or unsuitable to our Powers, to both Souls and Bodies, to the Interests of this Life as well as the next; and the Good or Evil that they do to Humane Societies, Families and Neighbourhoods, ought to be fully and frequently opened. In setting these forth, such a Measure is to be kept, that the Hearers may perceive, that things are not strained in the Way of a Declamation, into forced Characters, but that they are set out, as truly they are, without making them seem better by imaginary Perfections, or worse by an undue Aggravation. For the carrying those Matters beyond the plain Observation of Mankind, makes that the Whole is looked on as a piece of Rhetoric; the Preacher seeming to intend rather to show his Skill, is raising his Subject too high, or running it down too low, than to lay before them the native Consequences of things; and that which upon Reflection they may be all able to perceive is really true. Virtue is so good in it self, that it needs no false Paint to make it look better: and Vice is so bad, that it can never look so ugly, as when shewed in its own natural Colours. So that an undue Sublime in such Descriptions, does hurt, and can do no good.

When the Explanatory Part of the Sermon is over, the Application comes next: and here great Judgment must be used, to make it fall the heaviest, and lie the longest, upon such Particulars as may be within the compass of the Auditory: Directions concerning a high Devotion, to a stupid ignorant Company; or of Generosity and Bounty, to very poor People; against Pride and Ambition, to such as are dull and low minded, are ill suited; and so must have little effect upon them. Therefore care must be taken that the Application be useful and proper; that it make the Hearers apprehend some of their Sins and Defects, and see how to perform their Duty; that it awaken them to it, and direct them in it: and therefore the most common Sins, such as Men's neglecting their Duty to God, in the several Branches of it; their setting their Hearts inordinately upon the World; their Lying in Discourse, but chiefly in Bargaining; their evil Speaking, and their Hatred and Malice, ought to be very often brought in. Some one or other of these, ought to be in every Application that is made, by which they may see, that the whole design of Religion lies against them. Such particular Sins, Swearing, Drunkenness, or Lewdness as abound in any place, must likewise be frequently brought in here. The Application must be clear and short, very weighty, and free of every thing that looks like the Affectations of Wit and Eloquence; here the Preacher must be all Heart and Soul, designing the good of his People. The whole Sermon is directed to this: therefore as it is fit that the chief Point which a Sermon drives at, should come often over and over, that so the Hearers may never lose sight of it, but keep it still in view; so in the Application, the Text must be shewed to speak it; all the Parts of the Explanation must come in, to enforce it: the Application must be opened in the several Views that it may have, but those must be chiefly insisted on that are most suitable both to the Capacities and the Circumstances of the People. And in conclusion, all ought to be summed up in a weighty Period or two; and some other signal Passage of the Scriptures relating to it may be sought for, that so the Matter may be left upon the Auditory in the solemnest manner possible.

Thus I have led a Preacher through the Composition of his Sermon; I will next lay before him some Particulars relating to it. The shorter Sermons are, they are generally both better heard, and better remembered. The custom of an Hour's length, forces many Preachers to trifle away much of the Time, and to spin out their Matter, so as to hold out. So great a length does also flat the Hearers, and tempt them to sleep; especially when, as is usual, the first part of the Sermon is languid and heavy: In half an Hour a Man may lay open his Matter in its full extent, and cut off those Superfluities which come in only to lengthen the Discourse: and he may hope to keep up the Attention of his People all the while. As to the Style, Sermons ought to be very plain; the Figures must be easy, not mean, but noble, and brought in upon design to make the Matter better understood. The Words in a Sermon must be simple, and in common use; not savouring of the Schools, nor above the understanding of the People. All long Periods, such as carry two or three different Thoughts in them, must be avoided; for few Hearers can follow or apprehend these: Niceties of Style are lost before a common Auditory. But if an easy Simplicity of Style should run through the whole Composition, it should take place most of all in the explanatory part; for the thing being there offered to be understood, it should be stript of all garnishing: Definitions should not be offered in the Terms, or Method, that Logic directs. In short, a Preacher is to fancy himself, as in the room of the most unlearned Man in his whole Parish; and therefore he must put such parts of his Discourse as he would have all understand, in so plain a form of Words, that it may not be beyond the meanest of them: This he will certainly study to do, if his desire is to edify them, rather than to make them admire himself as a learned and high-spoken Man.

But in the Applicatory part, if he has a true taste of Eloquence, and is a Master at it, he is to employ it all in giving sometimes such tender Touches, as may soften; and deeper Gashes, such as may awaken his Hearers. A vain Eloquence here, is very ill plac'd; for if that can be born any where, it is in illustrating the Matter: but all must be grave, where one would persuade: the most natural but the most sensible Expressions come in best here. Such an Eloquence as makes the Hearers look grave, and as it were out of Countenance, is the properest. That which makes them look lively, and as it were smile upon one another, may be pretty, but it only tickles the Imagination, and pleases the Ear; whereas that which goes to the Heart, and wounds it, makes the Hearer rather look down, and turns his Thoughts inward, upon himself: For it is certain that a Sermon, the Conclusion whereof makes the Auditory look pleased, and sets them all a talking one with another, was either not right spoken, or not right heard; it has been fine, and has probably delighted the Congregation, rather than edified it. But that Sermon that makes every one go away silent and grave, and hastening to be alone, to meditate or pray over the matter of it in secret, has had its true effect.

He that has a Taste and Genius for Eloquence, must improve it by reading Quintilian, and Tully's Books of Oratory; and by observing the Spirit and Method of Tully's Orations: or if he can enter into Demosthenes, there he will see a much better Pattern, there being a simplicity, a shortness, and a swiftness, and rapidity in him, that could not be heard without putting his Auditors into a great Commotion. All our Modern Books upon those Subjects, are so far short of those great Originals, that they can bear no Comparison: yet F. Rapin's little Book of Eloquence is by much the best, only he is too short. Tully has so fully opened all the Topics of Invention, that a Man who has read him, will, if he has any Invention of his own, and if he knows thoroughly his Matter, rather have too much than too little in his view, upon every Subject that he treats. This is a Noble Study, and of great use to such as have Judgment to manage it; for Artificial Eloquence, without a Flame within, is like Artificial Poetry; all its Productions are forced and unnatural, and in a great measure ridiculous. Art helps and guides Nature; but if one was not born with this Flame, Art will only spoil him, make him luscious and redundant. To such Persons, and indeed to all that are not Masters of the Body of Divinity, and of the Scriptures, I should much rather recommend the using other men's Sermons, than the making any of their own. But in the choice of these, great Judgment must be used; one must not take an Author that is too much above himself, for by that, compared with his Ordinary Conversation, it will but too evidently appear, that he cannot be the Author of his own Sermons; and that will make both him and them lose too much of their weight. He ought also to put those printed Sermons out of that strength and closeness of Style, which looks very well in print; but is too stiff, especially for a common Auditory. He may reverse the Method a little, and shorten the Explanations, that so he may retain all that is practical; and that a Man may form himself to Preaching, he ought to take some of the best Models, and try what he can do upon a Text handled by them, without reading them, and then compare his Work with theirs; this will more sensibly, and without putting him to the Blush, model him to imitate, or if he can, to excel the best Patterns: and by this Method, if he will restrain himself for some time, and follow it close, he may come to be able to go without such Crutches, and to work without Patterns: till then, I should advise all to make use of other men's Sermons, rather than to make any of their own.

The Nation has got into so good a Taste of Sermons, from the vast number of those excellent ones that are in print, that a mean Composition will be very ill heard; and therefore it is an unseasonable piece of Vanity, for any to offer their own Crudities, till they have well digested and ripened them. I wish the Majesty of the Pulpit were more looked to; and that no Sermons were offered from thence, but such as should make the Hearers both the better, and the wiser, the more knowing, and the more serious.

In the Delivering of Sermons, a great Composure of Gesture and Behaviour is necessary, to give them Weight and Authority: Extremes are bad here, as in every thing else; some affect a light and flippant Behaviour; and others think that wry Faces and a tone in the Voice, will set off the Matter. Grave and composed Looks, and a natural, but distinct Pronunciation, will always have the best Effects. The great Rule which the Masters of Rhetoric press much, can never be enough remembered; that to make a Man speak well, and pronounce with a right Emphasis, he ought thoroughly to understand all that he says, be fully persuaded of it, and bring himself to have those Affections, which he desires to infuse into others. He that is inwardly persuaded of the Truth of what he says, and that has a Concern about it in his Mind, will pronounce with a natural Vehemence, that is far more lively, than all the Strains that Art can lead him to. An Orator, if we hearken to them, must be an honest Man, and speak always on the side of Truth, and study to feel all that he says; and then he will speak it so as to make others feel it likewise. And therefore such as read their Sermons, ought to practice Reading much in private, and read aloud, that so their own Ear and Sense may guide them, to know where to raise or quicken, soften or sweeten their Voice, and when to give an Articulation of Authority, or of Conviction; where to pause, and where to languish. We plainly see by the Stage, what a Force there is in Pronunciation: the best Compositions are murdered, if ill spoken; and the worst are acceptable, when well said. In Tragedies rightly pronounced and acted, though we know that all is Fable and Fiction; the tender Parts do so melt the Company, that Tears cannot be stop'd, even by those who laugh at themselves for it. This shews the power of apt Words, and a just Pronunciation. But because this depends in a great measure, upon the present Temper of him that speaks, and the lively Disposition in which he is, therefore he ought by much previous Seriousness, and by earnest Prayer to God, to endeavour to raise his Mind to as warm a sense of the Things he is to speak of, as possibly he can, that so his Sermons may make deep Impressions on his Hearers.

This leads me to consider the Difference that is between the Reading and the Speaking of Sermons. Reading is peculiar to this Nation, and is endured in no other. It has indeed made that our Sermons are more exact, and so it has produced to us many Volumes of the best that are extant; but after all, though some few read so happily, pronounce so truly, and enter so entirely into those Affections which they recommend, that in them we see both the Correctness of Reading, and the Seriousness of Speaking Sermons, yet every one is not so happy: some by hanging their Heads perpetually over their Notes, by blundering as they read, and by a cursory running over them, do so lessen the Matter of their Sermons, that as they are generally read with very little Life or Affection, so they are heard with as little regard or esteem. Those who read, ought certainly to be at a little more pains, than for most part they are, to read true, to pronounce with an Emphasis, and to raise their Heads, and to direct their Eyes to their Hearers: and if they practis'd more alone the just way of Reading, they might deliver their Sermons with much more advantage. Man is a low sort of Creature; he does not, nay nor the greater part cannot consider things in themselves, without those little Seasonings that must recommend them to their Affections. That a Discourse be heard with any Life, it must be spoken with some; and the Looks and Motions of the Eye do carry in them such Additions to what is said, that where these do not at all concur, it has not all the Force upon them, that otherwise it might have: besides, that the People, who are too apt to censure the Clergy, are easily carried into an obvious Reflection on Reading, that it is an Effect of Laziness.

In pronouncing Sermons, there are two Ways; the one is when a whole Discourse is got by heart, and delivered word for word, as it was writ down: this is so vast a Labour, that it is scarce possible that a Man can be able to hold up long to it: Yet there is an Advantage even in this to Beginners; it fills their Memories with good Thoughts, and regular Meditations: and when they have got some of the most important of their Sermons by heart in so exact a manner, they are thereby furnished with Topics for Discourse. And therefore there are at least two different Subjects, on which I wish all Preachers would be at the pains, to form Sermons well in their Memories: the one is the Grounds of the Covenant of Grace, of both sides, God's offers to us in Christ, and the Conditions that he has required of us, in order to our Reconciliation with him. This is so important a Point, in the whole course of our Ministry, that no Man ought to be to seek in the opening or explaining it: and therefore that he may be ripe in it, he ought to have it all rightly laid in his Memory, not only as to the Notions of it, but to have such a lively Description and Illustration of it all, as to be able to speak of it sensibly, fully, and easily upon all Occasions. Another Subject in which every Minister ought also to be well furnished, is concerning Death and Judgment; that so when he visits the Sick, and, as is common, that the Neighbours come in, he may be able to make a grave Exhortation, in weighty and fit Words, upon those Heads. Less than this, I think no Priest ought to have in his Memory. But indeed, the more Sermons a young Beginner gets by heart, he has still thereby the more Discourse ready upon those Heads; for though the whole Contexture of the Sermon will stick no longer than as he has occasion for it, yet a great deal will stay with him: the Idea of the Whole, with the most important Parts of it, will remain much longer.

But now I come to propose another Method of Preaching, by which a Priest may be prepared, after a right View of his Matter, a true Understanding his Text, and a Digesting of his Thoughts upon it into their natural and proper Order, to deliver these both more easily to himself, and with a better Effect both upon Himself and his Hearers. To come at this, he must be for some Years at a great deal of pains to prepare himself to it: yet when that is over, the Labour of all the rest of his Life, as to those Performances, will become very easy and very pleasant to him. The Preparations to this must be these; First he must read the Scriptures very exactly, he must have great Portions of them by heart; and he must also in reading them, make a short Concordance of them in his Memory; that is, he must lay together such Passages as belong to the same Matter; to consider how far they agree or help to illustrate one another, and how the same thing is differently expressed in them; and what various Ideas or Ways of recommending a thing rise out of this Concordance. Upon this a Man must exercise himself much, draw Notes of it, and digest it well in his Thoughts. Then he must be ready with the whole body of Divinity in his Head; he must know what Parts come in as Objections to be answered, where Difficulties lie, how one Part coheres with another, and gives it Light. He must have this very current in his Memory, that he may have things lie before him in one full view; and upon this, he is also to work, by making Tables, or using such other Helps as may lay Matters clearly before him. He is more particularly to lay before him, a System of Morality, of all Virtues and Vices, and of all the Duties that arise out of the several Relations of Mankind; that he may have this Matter very full in his eye, and know what are the Scriptures that belong to all the Parts of it: he is also to make a Collection of all such Thoughts, as he finds either in the Books of the Ancient Philosophers, (where Seneca will be of great use to him) or of Christian Authors: he is to separate such Thoughts as are forced, and that do become rather a strained Declamation made only to please, than a solid Discourse designed to persuade. All these he must gather, or at least such a number of them, as may help him to form a distinct Notion of that Matter, so as to be able both to open it clearly, and to press it with Affection and Vehemence.

These are the Materials that must be laid together, the Practice in using them comes next; He that then would prepare himself to be a Preacher in this Method, must accustom himself to talk freely to himself, to let his Thoughts flow from him, especially when he feels an edge and heat upon his Mind; for then happy Expressions will come in his Mouth, things will ventilate and open themselves to him, as he talks them thus in a Soliloquy to himself. He must also be writing many Essays upon all sorts of Subjects; for by writing he will bring himself to a correctness both in thinking and in speaking: and thus by a hard practice for two or three Years, a Man may render himself such a Master in this Matter, that he can never be surprised, nor will new Thoughts ever dry up upon him. He must talk over to himself the whole Body of Divinity, and accustom himself to explain, and prove, to clear Objections, and to apply every part of it to some practical use. He must go through Human Life, in all the Ranks and Degrees of it, and talk over all the Duties of these; consider the advantages or disadvantages in every one of them, their Relation to one another, the Morality of Actions, the common Virtues and Vices of Mankind; more particularly the Duties of Christians, their Obligations to Meekness and Humility, to forgive Injuries, to relieve the Poor, to bear the Cross, to be patient and contented in every State of Life, to pray much and fervently, to rejoice ever in God, and to be always praising him, and most particularly to be applying seriously to God through Jesus Christ, for Mercy and Pardon, and for his Grace and Spirit; to be worshipping him devoutly in public, and to be delighting frequently to commemorate the Death of Christ, and to partake of the Benefits of it. All these, I say, he must talk over and over again to himself; he must study to give his Thoughts all the Heat and Flight about them that he can: and if in these his Meditations, happy Thoughts, and noble and tender Expressions, do at any time offer themselves, he must not lose them, but write them down; and in his pronouncing over such Discourses to himself, he must observe what Words sound harsh, and agree ill together; for there is a Music in Speaking, as well as in Singing; which a Man, though not otherwise critical in Sounds, will soon discover. By a very few Years practice of two or three of such Soliloquies a Day, chiefly in the Morning when the Head is clearest, and the Spirits are liveliest, a Man will contract a great easiness both in thinking and speaking.

But the Rule I have reserved last, is the most necessary of all, and without it all the rest will never do the Business; it is this, That a Man must have in himself a deep sense of the Truth and Power of Religion; he must have a Life and Flame in his Thoughts, with relation to those Subjects: He must have felt in himself those things which he intends to explain and recommend to others. He must observe narrowly the motions of his own Mind, the good and bad Effects that the several sorts of Objects he has before him, and Affections he feels within him, have upon him; that so he may have a lively Heat in himself, when he speaks of them; and that he may speak in so sensible a manner, that it may be almost felt that he speaks from his Heart. There is an Authority in the simplest Things that can be said, when they carry visible Characters of Genuineness in them. Now if a Man can carry on this Method, and by much Meditation and Prayer draw down Divine Influences, which are always to be expected, when a Man puts himself in the way of them, and prepares himself for them; he will often feel, that while he is musing, a Fire is kindled within him, and then he will speak with Authority, and without Constraint; his Thoughts will be true, and his Expressions free and easy: Sometimes this Fire will carry him, as it were, out of himself; and yet without any thing that is Frantic or Enthusiastical. Discourses brought forth with a lively Spirit and Heat, where a composed Gesture, and the proper Motions of the Eye and Countenance, and the due Modulations of the Voice concur, will have all the effect that can be expected from any thing that is below immediate Inspiration: and as this will be of use to the Hearers, so it will be of vast use to the Preacher himself, to oblige him to keep his Heart always in good Tune and Temper; not to suffer irregular or forbidden Appetites, Passions, or Projects to possess his Mind: these will both divert him from going on in the course of Meditation, in which a Man must continue many Years, till all his Thoughts are put in order, polish'd and fixed; they will make him likewise speak much against the grain, with an Aversion that will be very sensible to himself, if not to his Hearers: If he has Guilt upon him, if his Conscience is reproaching him, and if any ill Practices are putting a damp upon that good sense of Things, that makes his Thoughts sparkle, upon other occasions, and gives him an Air and Authority, a Tone of Assurance, and a Freedom of Expression.

Such a Method as I have been opening, has had great Success with all those that I have known to have tried it. And though every one has not that swiftness of Imagination, nor that clearness of Expression, that others may have, so that in this Men may differ as much as they do in their written Compositions; yet every Man by this Method may rise far above that which he could ever have attained to any other way: It will make even exact Compositions easier to him, and him much readier and freer at them. But great care must be used by him, before he suffers himself to speak with the liberty here aimed at in public; he must try himself at smaller Excursions from his fixed Thoughts, especially in the Applicatory part, where Flame and Life are more necessary, and where a mistaken Word, or an unfinished Period are less observed, and sooner forgiven, than in the Explanatory part, where Men ought to speak more severely. And as one succeeds in some short Excursions, he may give himself a farther Scope; and so by a long practice, he will at last arrive at so great an easiness, both in thinking and speaking, that a very little Meditation will serve to lay open a Text to him, with all the Matter that belongs to it, together with the order in which it ought to be both explained and applied. And when a Man has attained to a tolerable degree in this, he is then the Master of his Business; he is Master also of much Time, and of many noble Thoughts, and Schemes that will arise out of them.

This I shall prosecute no further; for if this opening of it, does not excite the Reader to follow it a little, no enlargements I can offer upon it, will work upon him. But to return to Preaching, and so conclude this Chapter. He that intends truly to preach the Gospel, and not himself; he that is more concerned to do good to others, than to raise his own Fame, or to procure a following to himself, and that makes this the measure of all his Meditations and Sermons, that he may put things in the best Light, and recommend them with the most advantage to his People; that reads the Scriptures much, and meditates often upon them; that prays earnestly to God for direction in his Labours, and for a Blessing upon them; that directs his chief endeavours to the most important, and most indispensible, as well as the most undeniable Duties of Religion; and chiefly to the inward Reformation of his Hearers Hearts, which will certainly draw all other lesser Matters after it; and that does not spend his Time, nor his Zeal, upon lesser or disputable Points; this Man so made, and so moulded, cannot miscarry in his Work: He will certainly succeed to some degree, The Word spoken by him, shall not return again. He shall have his Crown, and his Reward from his Labours: And to say all that can be said, in one Word, with St. Paul, He shall both save himself, and them that hear him.

Project Canterbury