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than the execution. The language is at once the most simple, and the most expressive ;—the effect is strikingly grand;-the temperance with which so much is rejected, can only be equalled by the felicity of the selection. The sensation produced is supposed, according to this edition, and by what we can collect from the narrative of Voltaire, to have been at the awful words, En trouverait-il un seul ?' which seemed as it were to exclude each individual present from all hope of mercy. But, in the later editions, those words are postponed; and the • discussion des cæurs du grand nombre qui est dans cette ' eglisse,' is expanded into an enumeration of four classes of sinners, who are to be deducted from the congregation; and the preacher proceeds thus:-- Retranchez ces quatre sorts de * pecheurs de cette assemblée sainte; car ils en seront retran• chés au grand jour. Paraissez maintenant, justes; ou êtes

vous ? Pestes d'Israel, passez à la droite : froment de Jesus« Christ, demelez-vous de cette paille destinée au feu ! O • Dieu! ou sont vos Elus? et que reste-il pour votre partage?' And we presume, that the effect is supposed to have been produced here, according to this edition. The preacher then enlarges upon the idea, and weakens it lamentably; but he closes in a very high strain of reasoning, introducing at last something like the words which conclude the passage in the edition of Voltaire, though so far weakening what went before, that it is a reference to the topic, and a repetition of part.

• Sommes nous sages, mes chers auditeurs. Peut-être que parmi tous ceux que m'entendent il ne se trouvera pas dix justes; peut-être s'en trouvera-t-il encore moins ; que sais-je? co Mon Dieu ! Je n'ose regarder d'un wil fixe les abmies de

vos jugemens et de votre justice ; peut-être ne s'en trouvera-t-il • qu'un seul ; et ce danger ne vous touche point, mon cher au

diteur? et vous croyez être ce seul heureux, dans le grand

nombre qui perira-vous qui avez moins sujet de le croire que • tout autre ; vous sur qui seul la sentence de mort devroit • tomber, quand elle ne tomberoit que sur un seul des pecheurs qui m'ecoutent.'

Now, although this last part is of the highest merit, and equals the closeness of the Greek originals, there can be no doubt that the topic is derived from a very great blemish, namely, a recurrence to the former topic for the purpose of changing and weakening it. Whether we take the edition referred to by Voltaire, or suppose an alteration to have been practised by him in citing it, and that ' n'en trouverait-il un

seul ?' was not in the original; at any rate, the same meaning is conveyed by the figure which he suppresses, the invoca


tion to the Just, and the exclamation, "O Dieu, ou sont vos • Elus ? et que reste-t-il pour votre partage?'-for this supposes that there are none at all; and then the preacher, going back to the enumeration, assumes, as the worst that can happen, that possibly there may be but one! It may also be observed, that the exclamations, Sommes nous sages, '&c.- mon Dieu !' &c. and · Mes cher auditeurs !' lower the severe dignity of the style, by lessening that nervous simplicity which gives such grandeur to the former part of the passage. That simplicity, however, is far less remarkable in the later editions, than in that from which we have cited. They introduce, in the middle of the description, an argument of some length-that as the audience now is, so will it be, as to salvation, in death and in judgment, which, in Voltaire's edition, is merely glanced at in a word. Instead of simply making Jesus Christ appear, they make him appear · dans ce temple,' and not only there, but au milieu de cette assemblée;' and worse still, the assembly is • la plus auguste de l'univers.' Instead of that sublime expression, Que le temps est passé, et que l'eternité • commence,' they have, · Que c'est la fin de l'univers :' Instead of l'arrêt de la vie, ou de la mort eternelle,' they vary the first substantive, drop the antithesis, and diffuse the exa pression into ' une sentence de grace, ou un arrêt de mort e

ternelle;' and instead of the simple and appropriate language, in which Voltaire's edition makes the preacher identify himself with his flock, without a word to awaken them from the trance, as it were, into which he has flung them, the later editions add to the words, 'ne separant pas mon sort du • votre,' these, en ce point;' and these, which still more effectually end the delusion, as much as if he had reminded them in so many words that he was preaching me mettant . dans la même disposition, ou je souhaite que vous etiez, ! and drop the fine phrase, paraitre devant Dieu notre juge. These and other changes are all very much for the worse. One or two alterations are, perhaps, improvements; as, • terrible discernement des boucs et des brebis ;' for, la ter• rible separation des justes et des pecheurs ;' and certainly the description is made more lively, and the allusion better pursued, by substituting for the general expression, Croyez 6

le plus grand nombre fut sauvé?' the picturesque one, · Croyez vous que le plus grand nombre, de tout-ce que • nous sommes ici, fút placé à la droite ?'. The passage, as we cannot avoid thinking it must have originally stood, may be thus given in English, though with the inferiority which is almost necessarily the lot of a translation, even from a less to a more expressive language. VOL. XLV. NO. 89.


6 le

vous que

• I figure to myself that our last hour is come ;—the Heavens are opening over our heads-- Time is no more, and Eternity • has begun. Jesus Christ is about to appear to judge us, ac

cording to our deserts - and we are here awaiting at his hands

the sentence of everlasting life or death. I ask you now • stricken with terror like yourselves—in no wise separating “my lot from yours, but placing myself in the situation in

which we all must one day stand before God, our Judge. ' - If Christ, I ask you, were this moment to come to make

the awful partition of the just and the unjust- think you that • the greater number would be saved ? *-Do you believe • that the numbers would even be equal? If the lives of the « multitude here present were sifted, would he find among us • ten righteous ? Would he find a single one?'

If any one examines the rest of this famous sermon, which abounds with the most nervous and brilliant passages, he will find the strongest reason to conclude, that the great one we have been speaking of was retouched and overdone, after its first extraordinary effect had stamped it with celebrity; for the other parts are by no means liable to the same objections. Many of them are distinguished by Attic simplicity, and recall to the mind of the classical reader the close and rapid declamation of the greatest orators.

• Ou sont ceux qui renoncent de bonne foi aux plaisirs, aux usages, aux maxims, aux esperances du monde ? Tous l'• ont promis-qui le tient? On voit bien des gens qui se plaig• nent du monde; qui l'accusent d'injustice, d'ingratitude, de • caprice ; qui se dechainent contre lui; qui parlent vivement • de ses abus, de ses erreurs ; mais en le decriant ils l'aiment,

ils le suivent, ils ne peuvent se passer de lui ; en se plaig• nant de ses injustices, ils sont piqués, ils ne sont pas desa• busés ; ils sentent ses mauvais traitemens, ils ne connaissent

pas ses dangers ; ils se censurent, mais ou sont ceux qui le haissent ? Et delà, jugez si bien des gens peuvent pretendre au salut. Enfin vous avez dit anatheme à Satan et à ses

@uvres ; et quelles sont ses auvres?. Celles qui composent • presque le fil, et comme toute la suite de votre vie; les

pompes, • les jeux, les plaisirs, les spectacles, le mensonge dont il est • le pere, l'orgueil dont il est le modele, les jalousies et les • contentions dont il est l'artisan. Mais, je demande, où sont • ceux qui n'ont pas levé l'anatheme,' &c. &c.

We have extended this quotation for the purpose of remark

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* « Think you that the greater number would pass to his right hand ? -(Later Editions.)

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ing, that it is employed to introduce a long and most vehement invective against all dramatic exhibitions, and all actors,—which makes Voltaire's unqualified admiration of the whole discourse a still stronger testimony in its favour. A comparison with Bossuet's frequent sermons on kindred subjects is quite unnecessary to establish Massillon's vast superiority. But whoever would satisfy himself of this, may compare Bossuet's Sur l'impenitence finale,' with Massillon's on the same subject. It is certainly one of Bossuet's best. There is one magnificent passage worthy of Massillon in conception, and in execution also, but for the superfluous exclamations, in which the Angel of Death is described as retiring, time after time, to give an opportunity for repentance-till at length the order goes forth from on high, Make an end !- L'Audience est ouverte; le juge est assis : • Criminel! venez plaider votre cause. Mais que vous avez • peu de temps pour vous preparer! O Dieu, que le temps

est court pour demeler une affaire si enveloppé que celles de

vos comptes et de votre vie. Ah ! que vous jetterez de cris ' superflus : Ah! que vous soupirerez amerement après tant

d'années perdues ! Vainement, inutilement: il n'y a plus de • temps pour vous; vous entrez au sejour de l'eternité. s qu'il n'y a plus de soleil visible, qui commence et qui finisse « les jours, les saisons, les années. C'est le seigneur lui-même

qui va commencer de mesurer toute chose par sa propre in• finité. Je vous vois etonné et eperdu en presence de votre

juge: mais regardez encore vos accusateurs; ce sont les • pauvres qui vont s'élever contre votre dureté inexorable. (Tom. iv. p. 255.) It is very probable that the opening of this splendid passage first suggested to Massillon the idea of that of which so much has been said; and, in the remainder, we certainly perceive a striking coincidence with the leading feature of Mr Hall's peroration to his beautiful sermon upon War.

Of Massillon's discourse, « Sur l'impenitence finale,' the merits are indeed of the highest order. The exordium, in

particular, is eminently oratorical ; supposing the audience to have shuddered at the awful words of the text, John xviii. 21, and to stand in need of being comforted and supported, rather than awakened and intimidated. But the description of a deathbed, which is much admired, in its most striking circumstances, the picture of the state of the soul, immediately on quitting the body, (Tom II. p. 170), falls short of the effect produced by a few simple and most picturesque expressions on the same subject, in the Sermon upon Death. • Vous ignorez ce que vous serez * dans cette autre terre, ou les conditions ne changent plus; entre les mains de qui tombera votre ame, seule, etrangere, • tremblante, au sortir du corps. What follows is much more ambitious, but less striking, though by no means unsuccessful. • Şi elle sera environnée de lumiere et portée aux pieds du Trône

sur les aîles des Esprits bienheureux, ou enveloppée d'un nuage affreux, et precipitée dans les abîmes.' (Tom. III. 410).

In sermons professedly of the Panegyrical kind, the orator must needs fall into the two vices more or less inseparable from this species of eloquence-flattering, and speaking for the mere sake of display. The latter, indeed, seems to have been regarded as an excellence by the great master of Epideictic Rhetoric; for he says, that in his judgment these are the finest • orations which handle the greatest topics, benefit the audience most, and best show off the speakers. [τους τες λέγοντας μαλισα stedeixvovoi]. (Isocrates). Massillon's panegyricks partake accordingly of these defects, though in a far less degree than Bossuet's; who does not confine to his funeral orations, the introduction of allusions, and direct addresses to the great ones of the earth, but hardly ever suffers an occasion to pass, when he is preaching before princes, of turning to them and making them parts of speech. • Grand Roi ! qui surpassez de si loin • tant d'augustes predecesseurs,' &c. After recounting his earthly glories, indeed, he makes a very fine application. Ne voyez vous pas ce feu devorant qui precede la face du Juge ter

rible, qui abolira, en un même jour, et les villes, et les forteresses • et les citadelles, et les palais, et les maisons de plaisances, et

les arsenaux, et les marbres, et les inscriptions, et les titres, • et les histoires, et ne fera qu’un grand feu, et peu après qu'un

de cendre, de tous les monumens des Roi ? Peut-on • s'imaginer de la grandeur en ce qui ne sera un jour que de • la poussiere ? Il faut remplir d'autres faites et d'autres an• nales.' (Tom. I. p. 158.) In preaching upon the day of judgment before the Court, he dwells on the havoc which will then be made among titles and ranks; and very properly exclaims, • God grant that so many grandees who are now listening to me, may not lose their precedence on that day!' But he straightway turns to the king, (Tom. III. p. 497), «Que cet • Auguste Monarque ne voie jamais tomber sa couronne ! qu'il • soit auprès de Saint Louis, qui lui tend ses bras, et qui lui • montre sa place! O Dieu, que cette place ne soit point va6 cante!' Then comes a prayer for his temporal glory, and a curse on all who desire it not.

But, the Prelate goes on, • Sire ! je trahis votre Majeste si je borne mes souhaits pour • vous dans cette vie perissable. Vivez donc heureux, fortuné,

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