Barrow - BX1805 .B3 1852

XXXIV INTRODUCTORY ESSAY. were once going from Salisbury to London; he in the coach with the bishop, and I on horseback. As he was entering the coach, 1 perceived his pockets sticking out near half a foot, and said to him, What have you got in your pockets? He replied, ` Sermons.' Sermons! said I, give them me; my boy shall carry them in his portmanteau. ` But,' said he, ` suppose your boy should be robbed!' That's pleasant! said I; do you think there are parsons padding on the road for sermons? `Why, what have you?' said he; ` it may be five or six guineas. I hold my sermons at a greater rate; they cost me much pain and time.' Well, then, said I, if you'll insure my five or six guineas against lay foot-padders, I'll secure your bundle of sermons against ecclesiastical highwaymen." These sermons, on which the good man set so much value, now constitute the larger portion of his works. They must always be admired by all who can appreciate profound thought and vigorous reasoning, expressed in a style of manly eloquence. With all their merits, however, it does not appear that they succeeded as pulpit discourses. One reason of this may have been their extraordinary length. In the delivery of one of them he spent no less than three hours and a half. On coming down from the pulpit, he was asked whether he was not tired. " Yes, indeed," he replied, " I began to be weary with standing so long." But, in fact, many of themwere never preached at all, nor were they written with the view of being so ;a reason quite sufficient to account for their unpopularity, not- withstanding all the " pain and time" which they cost the worthy author. They are rather dissertations than mere popular addresses.* They smelltoo much ofthe lamp, and betray, inspite of the vigourand richness of their style, something of the same negligence that appeared in the dress of the man. Resembling Tillotson in the general strain of his preaching, he is more philosophical than evangelical, he is fonder of drawing the portrait of what the Christian man ought to be, than of dealing as a spiritual physician with the symptoms of disease and the means of cure in the living subject. These two eminent divines introduced a style of ministration into the English pulpit which has given place in a great, and, we trust, an increasingdegree, to a more earnest theology. But they differed very materially in their style. Tillotson is elegant and harmonious; Barrow, again, clear and cogent in argument, is too intent on enforcing his blow to pay much atten- tion to the brilliancy of his weapon or the gracefulness of his posture. In the earlier editions of " Thomson's Seasons," the following lines, " Les sermons de cet auteur sont plutôt des traitez, ou des dissertations, que des simples harangues pour plaire à la multitude." Le Clerc, Biblioth. Univ. iii. 325.