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ces, to stretch your prayers to an affected length, and to recover your thoughts what to say next. Therefore, when your passions happen to he elevated with some lively expression in prayer, and you are delightfully constrained to dwell upon it; or when you meditate to speak the next sentence with propriety, it is far better to make a long pause, and keep a decent silence, than to fall into such indecencies of sound.

Direction 2. Let every sentence be spoken loud enough to be heard, yet none so loud as to affright or offend the ear. Between these two extremes there is a great variety of degrees in sound, sufficient to answer all the changes of our affections, and the different sense of every part of our prayer. In the beginning of prayer especially, a lower voice is more becoming, both as it bespeaks humility and reverence, when we enter into the presence of God; and as it is also a great convenience to the organs of speech not to rise too high at first; for it is much harder to sink again afterwards, than to rise to higher accents, if need requires. Some persons have got a habit of beginning their prayers, and even upon the most common family occasions, so loud as to startle the company; others begin so low in a large assenibly, that it looks like secret worship, and as though they forbid those that are present to join with them. Both these extremes are to be avoided with prudence and moderation.

Direction 3. Observe a due medium betweco excessive swiftness and slowness of speech; for both are faulty in their kind,

If you are too swift, your words will be hurried on, and will as it were, intrude upon one another, and be mingled in confusion. It is necessary, therefore, to observe a due distance between your words, and a much greater distance between your sentences, that so all may be pronounced distinctly and intelligibly.

Due and proper pauses and stops will give the hearer time to conceive and reflect on what you speak, and more heartily to join with you, as well as give you leave to breathe, and make the work mcre easy and pleasant to yourselves. Besides, when persons run on heedlessly with an incessant flow of words, being carried, as it were, in a violent stream, without rests or pauses, they are in danger of uttering things rashly before God; giving no time at all to their own meditation, but indulging their tongues to run sometimes too fast for their own thoughts, as well as for the affections of such as are present with them. And hence it comes to pass, that some persons have begun a sentence in prayer, and been forced to break off, and begin anew: or if they have pursued that sentence, it has been with so much inconsistency, that it could hardly be reduced to sense or grammar; which has given too sensible an occasion to others to ridicule all conceived prayer, and has been very dishonorable to God and his worship. All this arises from a hurry of the tongue into the middle of a sentence, before the mind has conceived the full and complete sense of it.

On the other hand, if you are too slow, and very sensibly and remarkably so, this will also grow tiresome to the hearers, while they have done with the sentence you spoke last, and wait in pain and long for the next expression, to exercise their thoughts and carry on their devotion. This will make your worship appear heavy and dull. Yet I must needs say, that an error on this hand in prayer is to be preferred before an excess of speed and hurry, and its consequences are less hurtful to religion.

In general, with regard to the two foregoing directions, Let the sense of each sentence be a rule to guide your voice, whether it must be high or low, swift or leisurely. In the invocation of God, in humble adoration, in confession of sin, in selfresignation, a slower and more modest voice is, for the most part, very becoming, as well as in every other part of prayer, where there is nothing very pathetical expressed. But in petitions, pleadings, and thanksgivings, and rejoicings in God, fervency and importunity, holy joy and triumph, will raise the voice some degrees higher; and lively passions of the delightful kind will naturally draw out our lauguage with greater speed and spirit.

Direction 4. Let proper accents be put according as the sense requires. It would be endless to give particular rules how to place our accents : nature dictates this to every man, if he will but attend to the dictates of nature. Yet, in order to attain it in greater perfection, and to secure us from irregularity in this point, let us avoid these few things following:

1. Avoid a constant uniformity of voice ; that is, when every word and sentence are spoken without any difference of sound ;---like a boy at school, repeating all his lesson in one dull tone: which shows that he is not truly acquainted with the sense and value of the author. Now, though persons may be truly sincere and devout, who speak without any difference of accent, yet such a pronunciation will appear to others as careless and egligent, as though the person that speaks were unconcerned about the great work in which he is engaged, and as though he had none of his affections moved, whereby his voice might be modulated into agreeable changes.

2. Avoid a vicious disposition of the accents, and false pronunciation.

As for instance; it is a vicious pronunciation, when a person uses just the same set of accents, and repeats the same set of sounds and cadences in every sentence, though his sentences are ever so different as to the sense, as to the length, or as to the warmth of expression: as if a man should begin every sentence in prayer with a high voice, and end it in a low ; or begin each line with a hoarse and deep bass, and end it with a shrill and sharp sound. This is as if a musician should have but one sort of tune, or one single set of notes, and repeat it over again in every line of a song ; which could never be graceful.

Another instance of false pronunciation is, when strong accents are put upon little words and particles, which bear no great force in the sentence. And some persons are so unhappy, that those little words, they and that, and of and by, shall have the biggest force of the voice bestowed upon them, whilst the phrases and expressions of chief signification are spoken with a cold and low voice.

Another instance of false pronunciation is, when a calm, plain sentence, wherein there is nothing pathetical, is delivered with much force and violence of speech ; or when the most pathetical and affectionate expressions are spoken with the utmost calmness and composure of voice. All which are very unnatural in themselves, and to be avoided by those that would speak properly, to the edification of such as worship with them.

The last instance I shall mention of false pronunciation is, when we fall into a musical turn of voice, as though we were singing instead of praying. Some devout souls have been betrayed into such a self-pleasing tone, by the warmth of their spirits in secret worship : and having none to hear, and inform them how disagreeable it is to others, have indulged it even to an incurable habit.

8. Avoid a fond and cxcessive humoring of every word and sentence to extremes, as if you were upon a stage in a theatre ; which fault, also, some serious persons have fallen into for want of caution. And it hath appeared so like affectation, that it hath given great ground for cen

As for instance : If we should express every humble and mournful sentence in a weeping tone, and with our voice personate a person that is actually crying ; that is, what our adversaries have exposed by the name of canting and whining ; and have thrown it upon a whole party for the sake of the imprudence of a few.

Another instance of this excessive affectation is, when we express every pleasurable sentence in our prayers, every promise of comfort, every

sure.

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