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opinions and controversies of later ages, it was impossible but many new words should be coined, which becoming very common, often betray the spuriousness or forgery of a book.
CHAP. XII. The style of a book a proper method to judge of it: a cata
logue of the various sorts of styles.
PROP. XI. That book is spurious and apocryphal, the style of which is
different from, or contrary to, the style of the author whose name it bears, in those which are his known and undoubted
writings. By this proposition the critics have made very considerable discoveries in later ages, not only among ecclesiastical, but profane authors; not only detecting the interpolations of the monks, but in fixing true and genuine titles to those pieces, which before went under false and feigned names. Thus Erasmusa, Bellarmine b, Sixtus Senensisc, our learned countryman Cookd, Rivete, Dr. Caves, and others, have happily contributed their parts in delivering us from reading books under borrowed titles; yea, and long before their time, the ancient writers of Christianity were successful in discovering forgeries by the same method. Eusebius's works will supply us with many instances to this purpose.
He who has an intent to deceive, and publish a piece of his own for another's, may easily counterfeit his name, age, country, opinions; but will find it almost impossible with any exactness to imitate another's style. For as every man has his peculiar air in moving, speaking, &c. as every man has a peculiar turn of eye, cast of countenance and complexion, and many other things by which he is distinguishable from all others; so has every man a peculiar way of thinking and expressing his thoughts, as different from all others as in any of the other instances. And though it may be said, a man writes in a very
a In many of his editions of the fathers.
b De Scriptoribus Ecclesiasticis.
d Censura quorundam scriptorum.
different style at different times, according to the different subjects he has to manage, his different age, his larger attainments by study, the different tempers in which the mind is at the times of writing, &c. yet still there will be more or less of the old natural peculiarity visibly remaining, by which he will appear to be the same, and not another who writes. Just as a man, though he change his country, become advanced in years, , sometimes smiles, sometimes frowns, still has the same countenance, the same smile or frown, which will distinguish him from all the rest of mankind. “ Jerome,” says Sixtus 6, “ writes one way in his Epistles, another way in his Contro“ versies with Ruffin, another way in his Commentaries; one way when he was young,
and his mind warm with the exer“ cises of rhetoric; another way when he was old, writing on “ more serious subjects: yet he always writes so, that you may “ know him to be the same Jerome still, as a man knows his “ friend under all the various casts and turns of his counte“nance." So likewise in every writer there will always be a peculiar way of setting his thoughts together, contexture of the discourse, method of handling his subject, and something distinguishing, which I can no more describe, than that in a man's face, which makes him different from all the world. The mildness or hastiness of his temper, the seriousness or levity, the dulness or briskness, the length or shortness, or some marks or other will still appear. This St. Austin elegantly expresses of one of Cyprian's Epistles, which he proved genuine by its style thus, “His style has a certain peculiar “ face, by which it may be known h.”
After all, I confess, a person may be easily deceived in this matter; and therefore there is need of the greatest care, and long and intimate acquaintance with the authors, of whom we thus judge: it being certain, that the style will still be more easily discerned by us, in proportion as we have read the book. I have therefore, for the reader's assistance (if it will be any to him) collected, according to the best of my capacity, the various styles that I have observed in reading, and placed them in the following catalogue. He who would study the point further, may read to good purpose what Tully and Quintilian have wrote on this subject.
& Biblioth. sanct. l. 4. in fine.
priam faciem, quà possit agnosci.
A Catalogue of the various Styles of authors. 1. THE plain or simple style ; i. e. such as is levelled to the capacity of most men, having the thoughts ranged in such order, and expressed in such words, as that most men will with ease understand them. It
easy style, and is very remarkable in the historical books of the Old and New Testament.
2. The affected, or rhetorical style, opposite to the former, viz. That which is laboured and abounds with words of uncommon use, and placed differently from the common way of speech; what the Latins call Oratio luxurians, voces sonore, pompa et lepor verborum. This, St. Paul says, he avoided, 1 Cor. ii. 1, 4. calling it excellency of speech, and enticing words of man's wisdom.
3. The perplexed and involved style, having the thoughts placed in so uncommon an order, that it will require considerable pains to connect them ; different from the former, in that it may be in very common and intelligible words, and also natural without affectation. This was the style of Tacitus and Tertullian among the ancients, and Mr. Selden among the moderns.
4. The rustic, or homely style, i. e. such as is below the common standard of the country, or what we call in Latin barbarous. This more respects the words than the thoughts, and is the style of the Latin Vulgate Bible, and many of the Latin translations of the Greek fathers.
5. The strong or nervous style, i. e. such in which there are the most just reasonings expressed in the most cogent words, or such words as powerfully and fully convey all the ideas the author had. Such was certainly the style of St. Paul and Justin Martyr among the ancients, and archbishop Tillotson and Mr. Locke among the moderns.
6. The languid, or weak style, the opposite of the former, which does but faintly or in part convey the ideas of the author, or whose reasonings are scarce conclusive. I need not produce instances of this sort. 7. The sublime style, i. e. such as leads the reader into un
whose business it ,בעלי הדרש and דרשים whom they called
common speculations about divine things. This may fully coincide with the simple, as to the expression, but must in some measure differ from it as to the thoughts, being uncommon, and such as will require pains to take in; such is the style of Isaiah's Prophecy, in respect of the book of Esther or Ruth.
8. The mystical or typical style, i. e, such as makes use of former events to prove any point. This was the style much in use among the Jews in our Saviour's time, and was a style much affected and reputed by their learned men, and accordingly taught in their schools. Hence they had their doctors,
, was to find out mystical and allegorical senses of scripture; and their 0979, i. e. the schools where this sort of learning was taughti. Hence perhaps we may account for there being so much of this style in St. Paul's writings, he having had his education in the Jewish academy at Jerusalem. This style is principally visible in his Epistle to the Hebrews, and the fourth chapter of his Epistle to the Galatians; and it is remarkable, that those two Epistles, above the rest which he wrote, concerned the Jewish converts. This style is also very much used in the Talmud, in Irenæus, Tertullian, and most of the first Christian writers, especially Origen. I wish those who are so fond of this style, were able to give as good reason for their using it, as St. Paul could.
9. The parabolical style, i. e. such as abounds with parables and similitudes, as our Saviour's discourses in the Gospels.
10. The theatrical style, i. e. such in which there are frequent interlocutions, or dialogues. Of this there are many examples in St. Paul's writings, and more common and evident ones in Solomon's, especially in his Ecclesiastes. Under this may be included the style in which there are many prosopopæiæ; i. e. when inanimate things are introduced in the discourse, and addressed to as persons :. this is frequent in Mosesk, Davidl, and the Prophetsm.
i Vid. Fuller. Miscell. Sacr. l. 3. c. 7. Scal. Elench. Trihær. c. 11. Camero in Myrothec. ad 1 Cor. i. 20. Those authors, in the places cited, think St. Paul meant these doctors by
the word ou nonths, 1 Cor. i. 20.
k See Deut. iv. 26. xxx. 19. xxxii. 1.
| Psalm - xix. 1. lxv. 13. 1xxvii, 16. xcvi. 11, 12. xcviii. 8. cxiv. 3.
m Isai. i. 2.
11. The humorous style, i. e. such as abounds either with what they call wit, or what is an affectation of it, though quite different from it, viz. puns and jingles of words. Many of our practical writers of divinity in the last age dealt much in the latter of these, as too many of our best writers on the same subject have of late in the former: both of these may justly be said, ludere cum sacris.
12. The interrogatory style, i.e. such in which are frequent addresses in the second person; of which there are some examples in St. Paul's Epistles ", and many in our warm writers of practical divinity.
13. The style in which are many repetitions : this is very remarkable in St. John
14. The style in which are many proverbs or apophthegms recited. Those who are acquainted with the Jewish books, will know there is much more of this in our Saviour's style, than is commonly imagined p.
15. The style which abounds with parentheses, i. e. breaks off the sentence with the interjection of other things, that do not properly belong to the argument, for its further illustration: this is very common in St. Paul 9, and among later writers in Mr. Selden and Dr. Owen.
15. The concise or sententious style ; such as Solomon's Proverbs.
16. The prolix style, which is too common to need the producing any instances. Under this I include, not only length of periods, but multiplying of words.
17. The connected, or coherent style, which regards the sense, and is commonly the style of mathematicians, and all good reasoners : i. e. such in which a sentence depends upon the former, as the links of a chain, and in which nothing can be left out without spoiling the whole argument. .
18. The connected, or coherent style, which respects the words, and indeed in some sense (though very different from the former) the thoughts ; i. e. such in which the last thought of the preceding sentence gives occasion to the thoughts of the
n See Rom. viii. 31, &c. 1 Cor. ix. notations, and Mr. Le Clerc's Para
• John viii. 21, 24, John i. 8, 10. phrase on the Gospels. ii. 9, 10, 11. and v. 12, 13, 14.
9 Eph. ii. 1-6. See Grotius and Hammond's An