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Mr BAXTER gives us an example of the fame Figure in the following passage, which is won→ derfully weighty and powerful, and contains more rhetorical beauties than the Ecpbonefis, though this Figure has evidently a place among them. "A wretch that is condemned to die "to-morrow cannot forget it: and yet poor "sinners, that continually are uncertain to live ❝ an hour, and certain speedily to fee, the Ma
jesty of the LORD to their inconceivable joy " or terror, as fure as they now live on earth, "can forget these things for which they have "their memory; and which, one would think, «fhould drown the matters of this world, as "the report of a cannon does a whisper, or as
the fun obfcures the pooreft gloworm. O "wonderful stupidity of an unrenewed foul! O "wonderful folly and diftractedness of the un"godly! that ever men can forget, I fay again, "that they can forget eternal joy, eternal wo, "and the eternal GOD, and the place of their "eternal, unchangeable abodes, when they stand " even at the door; and there is but the thin "veil of flesh between them and that amazing sight, that eternal gulph, and they are daily dying and stepping in *."
§ 3. After these examples of the Ecphonefts from other Authors, we may take the following from the facred Writings.
Sermon before the House of Commons, 1660.
An Ecphonefis occurs in Scripture in the way of admiration. Pfalm lxxxiv. 1. " How amia"ble are thy tabernacles, O LORD of hosts!" So Rom. xi. 33. "O the depth of the riches both of "the wisdom and knowledge of GOD! How uns fearchable are his judgments, and his ways paft finding out!:
An Ecpbonefis is ufed in holy Writ to exprefs our desire or intreaty. Pfalm lv. 6. "O that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at reft."
Sorrows and lamentations are fometimes vented in the facred Writings by an Ecphonefis. Ifaiah vi. 5. " Then I faid, Wo is me, for I am " undone." So Pfalm cxx. 5. "Wo is me that "I fojourn in Mefech, that I dwell in the tents
of Kedar!" And
Compassion and pity are fometimes exprefsed in Scripture by an Ecphonefts. Lam. i. 1. "How does the city sit folitary that was full of people? how is fhe become a widow?"
$4. We may add by way of remark and direction as to the Ecphonefis, that, while other Figures are confined to fome particular pafsion, this seems to extend to all, and is the voice of nature under any kind of emotion and concern; that the Ecphonefis is of admirable service, as it gives a pleasing and ftriking variety to our dif courfes, and is not unlike fome fudden, cafcade, or unexpected fall of a river, after the ftream has long glided on in a smooth and ferene course.
But the advice that was given, that we ought to be fparing in the use of Figures in general, may be especially necefsary in the Ecphonefis. Never let this Figure become cheap and common. If we are upon every trite occasion making exclamations, our hearers may be in danger of naufeating the excefs, or they will be apt to think we mimic, rather than feel a commotion; or we may defeat our design of awakening their passions by a redundancy in this kind of Figure, for he that always accuftoms himself to fuperlatives in Rhetoric can go no higher; and thus when he has a strong demand from the nature, or from the powerful fenfation of his subject, for fuperlatives, he will ftand fair to be neglected, as he that fhowers upon all men the highest praise without any distinction, abfolutely puts it out of his power to exalt a character that merits the highest commendations. In fhort, let us always bear in mind this rule, never to break out in an exclamation but when our fubject will warrant it, or our own ardor produces it, left we fall under the rebuke of HORACE,
Such vain exclaimers are the mark of fcorn;
* Quid dignum tanto feret hic promiffor hiatu
1. The definition of the Aporia. § 2. Inftances of it from TERENCE, CICERO, VIRGIL, and LIVY. § 3. Examples of it from Scripture. 4. The ufe of the Aporia.
PORIA, or doubting †, is a Figure whereby we exprefs an hesitation where to begin our difcourfe, or a difficulty what to do in fome arduous affair, or what to refolve upon in fome critical emergency.
$2. TERENCE furnishes us with an instance of this kind:
Wretch that I am, what course shall I purfue?
+ From arogεw, I doubt.
Quid igitur faciam miser?
Quidne incipiam? Ecce autem video rure redeuntem fe-
TERENT. in Eunuch. act. 5. fc. 5.
CICERO makes ufe of this Figure, when he fays, "As to what concerns me, I know not which way to turn me. Should I deny the infamy of a corrupt judgment? or that the "matter has been agitated in our afsemblies? "or that it has been debated at our tribunals? "or that it has been heard in the fenate? Or "shall I offer to eradicate an opinion, of fuch
weight, fo deeply rooted, and of fuch anti"quity, from the minds of men +?" We have an instance of this Figure preserved by CICERO from a fpeech of GRACCHUS : "Miferable "man that I am! whither fhall I turn myself ? "where can I go? To the capitol? but it swims "with my brother's blood. To my home? "what to fee a mother wretched, bewailing her"felf, and overwhelmed with forrow !"
DIDO's fpeech, in VIRGIL, may be added, as a very lively and copious example of this Figure:
Thus the proceeds; and thus her lab'ring foul
+ Equidem quod ad me attinet, quò me vertam nefcio. Negem fuiffe infamiam judicis corrupti? Negam illam rem agitatam in concionibus? Jactatam in judiciis? Commemoratam in fenatû? Evellam ex animis hominum tantam opinionem? tam penitùs infitam? tam vetuftam? CICER. pro CLUENTIO, 10. n. 1. 10'>
Quò me mifer conferam? Quo vertam? In capitoliumne? At fratris fanguine redundat. An domum? matremne ut miferam, lamentantemque videam, & abjectam CICER. de Orat. lib. iii. § 56.