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To the CLERGY.
OU cannot but be fenfible of the general clamour, which has, at all times, been raised against the very bad manner in which the fervice of the church is too often adminiftered. The blame of this has been conftantly thrown upon you by the laity; who charge you with neglect, and want of taking proper pains to qualify you for executing this important part of your duty. In the course of this work I have fully exonerated you from that charge; as however defirous you might be to make yourselves mafters of it, the means were not in your power; for having no lights to guide you in your researches, you were each obliged to continue in that manner of delivery, which you had acquired in
your early days, and which custom had established too firmly to be altered without affiftance. But this excufe will now no longer avail you. The means of acquitting yourselves, with propriety at least, in the discharge of that part of your office, are fo clearly laid open, that a person of a very moderate capacity may attain it, by the application of one month only; and fuch as are defirous of excelling in that way, may compass their end, in proportion to their natural powers of delivery, and the pains they shall take according to the method here proposed.
Such of the clergy as fhall hereafter neglect to make use of the means of information now offered to them, will be confidered as inexcufable; and their faults can no longer efcape notice, as they will all now be obvious to their hearers; for it is probable that this work will be very generally
in perfuading people either to fàlfe or trùe opinions' lies open to all who are inclined to make use of it what can be the
so ne ceffary for
Such were the
reason that the goo'd do not employ them, ⚫ felves in acquìring an art the defence of truth" fentiments of that great man experimentally the juftnefs of his doctrine" The chief labour of whofe life was the cultivation of the oratòrial powers" and who has recorded many wo`n→ derful effects produced by them on mul+ titudes ok na wol
In fhort' when was it that Christianity made its rapid progrefs" It was in the early days' when the talents for elocution were cultivated by the miniftry' and when the preachers spoke with fòrce and power!" When was it that its progrefs was sto`pped' and gave way to infidelity"" It was
in latter times' after the revival of letters" when the powers of speech were neglect
ed' and those of writing were fu`bstituted in their place The form of preaching remained' but the spirit was gone divines changed their fharp fword for a foìl' which only ferved to invite the attacks of their enemies" nor were their bucklers of paper' found of fuffi`cient ftrength' to refift the edge of fàtire' and the keen-pointed fting of ri`dicule "" Wha't is there now wanting' but to restore to the clergy the use of their trùe weapon Let there be but half the pains taken about the to`ngue' that are now employed about the pen" let the cause of the living Go`d' be pleaded by the living vòice" religion' will once again rear her head" morality will flou`rish" and vice and infidelity' will foon qui't the field =