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Bible; but for a similar argument that the servants of Naaman urged, to recommend a compliance with the prophet's remedy,--that the thing is easy. It was only to step down into Jordan, and a cure would be effected : so here you have only
“ to condescend to men of low estate," and the object shall be attained. But if unexpectedly this plain or pure English does offer difficulty, and the style of sacred Scripture itself is so far beyond imitation that it cannot be attempted, then, I say, acquire a style for yourself. Read
I works that are remarkable for plainness, till you can judge for yourself ; do not object to them because not found on the shelves of the polite or learned, nor object to the names of their authors because you may be told they wrote for the nursery or the cottage ; because you must in this case go back to former times,-measure your steps backward from the degree of your present attainments, and unlearn what has cost you much labour to learn, and thus to acknowledge that you have misspent much time as well as labour. Part with what you have got, let it go, and God will give you twice as much in true wisdom and holy zeal for the improvement of the wretched and unlearned, whom you cannot see perish for lack of knowledge. The books that I have examined for this purpose are the following, which I recommend for your perusal. Banyan's first part of the Pilgrim's Progress. Bunyan, whom Dr. Johnson highly extols, has in this work brought vast conceptions, noble thoughts, and ingenious similitudes, into the plainest words that the dictionary gives us. Next, Defoe's first part of Robinson Crusoe, and also his Family Instructor.* Defoe was a great man, a wise man, a good
One part of his Crusoe was a true history, the rest allegory; but both are highly instructive. Dr. Adam Clarke began life with these books as books of entertainment, and ended life with admiration of their excellences. Bishop
* These works are recommended chiefly on account of their language. like grass.
Beveridge's Sermons bring you nearer to the pulpit style, and are most admirably plain. A moderate share of attention to these and such like works, will give you facility in the acquirement of pure English.
3. As you ought fearlessly to adopt pure English, so you stand encouraged to it by the authority and practice of some of the greatest names in literature and divinity. Dean Swift was a man of gigantic though perverted mind. A great critic said, that he “ never used a derived or foreign word where an English one could be found;" and this perhaps accounts for the great popularity of his works, his Gulliver's Travels, his Tale of a Tub, and his Drapier's Letters. I have some of his letters now before me, and they confirm the character of his writings. You have also the name of the great Dr. South, of a giant-like mind, and a true Englishman. He disdained to use a foreign word, unless compelled to it. By your referring to the list of authors you will be referred to quotations from him. Dr. Adam Clarke I lawfully claim as an advocate of pure language. Dr. Watts, in his poetry and Psalms, &c., uses often as plain language as possible. Next, but not least, I have Robert Hall, as to his opinion of plain language, though he did not avail himself very often of its aid. In Dr. Olinthus Gregory's Life of Hall occurs the following conversation : “In one of our interviews with Mr. Hall, I used the word felicity three or four times. He asked, “Why do you say felicity? happiness is a better word, more musical, and common English, coming from the Saxon.' Not more musical, I think, Sir. “Yes, more musical; and so are all words derived from the Saxon generally. Listen, Sir: My heart is smitten and withered
There is plaintive music for you. Listen again, Sir : Under the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice. There's cheerful music.' · Yes, but rejuice is French.' • True ; but all the rest is Saxon, and rejoice is almost out of tune with the rest. Listen again, Sir: Thou hast
delivered mine eyes from tears, my soul from death, and my feet from falling. All Saxon, except delivered. I could think of the word tear, Sir, till I wept. Then for another noble specimen, and almost all good old Saxon English : Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all my days, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.'
And now, fellow-labourers in the kingdom and patience of Jesus, the representation is before you; my reasoning, authorities, and examples: the ninety out of every hundred immortal beings wait to be blessed with truth that they can understand. Fear not the charge of singularity; the Redeemer, whom you will imitate, will secure your reputation, ensure your usefulness, and will own your name with honour in the solemn day of account.
TEXTS OF SCRIPTURE
MORE OR LESS ILLUSTRATED IN THIS WORK,
iii. 15 i. 373
xlix. 22–24 i. 369
ii. 14 i. 182
xiv, 20, 21 ii. 529
xiv, 24 ii. 207
xxxii. 29 ii, 499
xxxiii. 25 ii, 512
xxiii. 11 ii. 442
1Sam. xiii. 11-13 ii, 284
xiv. 24, &c. i. 126
xxiv. 4, 6 i. 451
vi. 20 ii. 231
xxiii. 5 i. 440
xviii. 21 ii. 520
xix. 30 ii. 477
viii. 12, 13 ii. 410
xxix. 5 ii. 498