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Mr Baxter gives us an example of the fame Figure in the following passage, which is wonderfully weighty and powerful, and contains more rhetorical beauties than the Ecpbcnefisr 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 see* the Ma«' jesty of the Lord to their inconceivable joy "or terror, as sure as they now live on earth, ** can forget these things for which they have "their memory •, and which, one would think, «l should drown the matters of this world, as "the report of a cannon does a whisper, or as "the fun obscures the poorest gloworm. O "wonderful stupidity of an unrenewed foul! O "wonderful folly and distractedness 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 Ecphonefls from other Authors, we may take the following from the sacred Writings. - <
K 2 Aft
• Sermon before the House of Commons, 1660.
An Ecpbonejis occurs in Scripture in the Way of admiration. Psalm 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 un"searchable are his judgments, and his ways past "finding out! :S
An Ecpbonejis is used in holy Writ to express out desire or intreaty. Psalm lv. 6. "O "that I had wings like a dove! for then would "I fly away, and be at rest."
Sorrows and lamentations are sometimes vented in the sacred Writings by an Ecpbonejis. Ifaiab vi. 5. " Then I said, Wo is me, for 1 am a undone." So Psalm cxx. 5. "Wo is me that "I sojourn in Mesech, that I dwell in the tents P of Kedar!" And
■Compassion and pity are sometimes expressed in Scripture by an Ecpbonejis. Lam. i. 1. u How does the city sit solitary that was full of "people? how is she become a widow?"
§ 4. We may add by way of remark and direction as to the Ecpbonejis, that, while other Figures are confined to some particular passion* this seems to extend to alls and is the voice of nature under any kind of emotion and concern; that the Ecpbonejis is of admirable service, as it gives a pleasing and striking variety to our discourses, and is not unlike some sudden cascade, or unexpected fall of a river, after the stream has long glided on in a smooth and serene course.
-v J,v .-' '■ * But
But the advice that was given, that we ought to be sparing in the use of Figures in general, may be especially necessary in the Ecphotiesis. Never let this Figure become cheap and common. If we are upon every trite occasion making exclamations, our hearers may be in danger of nauseating the excess, 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 accustoms himself to superlatives in Rhetoric can go no higher; and thus when he has a strong demand from the nature, or from the powerful sensation of his subject, for superlatives, he will stand fair to be neglected, as he fhat showers upon all men the highest praise without any distinction, absolutely puts it out of his power to exalt a character that merits the highest commendations. In short, let us always bear in mind this rule, never to break out in an exclamation but when our subject will warrant it, or our own ardor produces it,; lest we "fall. under the rebuke of Horace,
Such vain exclaimers are the mark of scorn ; .
* Quid dignum tanto feret hie promissor hiatu?
Horat, Art. Poetic. 1,.| 18.
■•s n.'ni +
fylvjshe definition of the Aporia. § 2. Instances of it from Terence, Cicero, Virgil, and LiVy. § 3. Examples of it from Scripture. $ 4. ST/fo «_/* of the Aporia.
% i. jfPORIA, or doubting f, is a Figure :«**2? whereby we express an hesitation whefre to begin our discourse, or a difficulty what to do in some arduous affair, or what to resolve upon in some critical emergency.
■§2. TtRENCE furnishes us with an instance iof this kind:
Wretch that I am, what course shall I pursue?
•}• From airogiw, I doubt.
• ■ Quid igitur faciam miser? ~[nem,
Quidne incipiam? Ecce autem video rure redeuntem se
Dicam huic, annon?
Terent. /* Eunuch, act. j. se. 5.
■cicerq makes use 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? dr" that the "matter has'been agitated; in our assemblies? "or that It 'has ;beenv debated a'^ oils' tribunals? "or that'' it has been heard ,in the .senate ?'Or "stialll offer to eradicate'an opinion, of such "weight, so deeply rooted,, and of such anti"quity, from the minds of men f?" We have an instance of this Figure preserved by Cicero from a speech of Gracchus: " Miserable "man that I am! whither shall 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"self, and overwhelmed with sorrow J1"
Dido's speech, in Virgil, may be added, as a very lively and copious example of this Figure:
Thus (he proceeds; and thus her lab'ring soul
K 4 What
f Equidem quod ad me attinet, quo me vertam nescio. Negem fuisse infamiam judicis corrupti? Negain illam rem agitatam in concipnibus? Jactacam in judiciis? Coinmemoratam in senatu? Evellam ex animis hominum tantam opinionem? tarn penitus insitam? tarn vetustam? Qcer. fro Cluentio, § Io. n. I. „. j . .„.,,;.t
J Quo me miser conseram? Quo vertam? In capitoliumne? At fratris sanguine redundat. An domum? matremne utmiseram, lameatantemqye videam, & abjectam? Cicer. ie^rat. lib. iii. $ 56.