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Public Speaking

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The following sensible remarka are From the Christian Investigator. They are quite as appropriate in Michigan, as in the E astera States. Say whnt you will of ihe Chrisliaa vir■ tue of cheerfulness. Cheerfulness is not levity. Be it so, that a stiffausterity was the fault of our ancestors. It does by no means follow that their sons, who crilicise thera, are ihe less exposed to ihe opposite error. It raay be difficult to define the boundaries with precisión, but there is such a thing as a just medium between sternne3 and gloom, on the one hand, and lightness and flippancy on the other. The Savior - was he raorose and unapproachable 1 But when did he ever deseend to the frivolous? When did he seek to chase the cares, or enliven the solilude, or rouse the lethargy, or rally the despondency ofhis family of disdples, with facetious stories, with ludicrous associations, with lo% pitiful jests? The very inention of such a supposition strikes the mind at once with a sensaliou bordering upon horror. But why should not the man of Nazareth have done this, fit were proper to be done. - Hts example, without doubt, was intended for the irnitation of his foliowers, andpecially of ihose who woulil exert an cxtensive influence on the world, as reformcrs. If the first Christians did not nced the cordial of worldly to cheev thcm, inder their afflictions, ne'nhcr should their successors. If tho Savior and the Holy Comforter provided better consolations for the children of God,then they are equally ready to do the same now. Foolish talk- ing and jssting are not convenient. Alas ! fur the Christian reformers that can not keep themselves and each othej in a state of chesrfulness, good humor, and elasticity of spirits, without a resort to such expedicnlslWg are aware that speakers who mak'c their hearcr3 alternately laugh and weep Rt their pleasure, are often highly extollcd. But wo are aware, too, of sorne other things. (1.) That raen raay extol popular orators without being reformed. (2.) That while many exto!, othera aredisgusted. A.mong these, we may commonly reckon the mort serious and reflective. - (3.) The present condition of our reformatory ranks admonishes us, that ütt!e is gained by gathering chaff, instead of wheat into our garners , (4.) Those who can be laughed into our tanks can easily be laughedoutaguin. (5.) We have seen a convention jcsted into good humor, that they may niight subscribe überully . But did they pay what they subscribed? We have known strong pJedges of seif deoying fidelity, under similar influences, but jiorw werethose pledges redeemed? On the whole, it may fairly be affirmec that the atmosphere of levity and jesting ia unfavorablo to the formation of stable, consistent and sound character. And jusi so far as a public taste is created which demands speakers who will make the people laugb, a taste is created which spurns sober investigation and instruction. I such a taste prevai], tho speaker mus become a harlequin, a niountebank, or a public jester, ia order to secure an audience. In vain may we look for the mate ïhl ofiq army of inoral reformrs amonj;triflers like these. Like the Athenians, they may readily open (heir ears to every ncw thing. But like the Athenians, they will as readily turn away in derision, as soon as they disover that the speaker (a Paul though he may he) has nothing to entertain them with, but sober truth and sense. Sttipidity ancl dullness may indeed put on the airs of wisdom, and stuik with mock solemnity in high places, but this furnishes no good rcason why sobriety should be hooted out of the house of prayer, or why wisdom siíould borrow th3 cap and bells of folly and play ihe buffoon. Let no Christian reformer imagine himself usüful, any further than he is instrumental in persuading tbe people to consider their ways - to pause, to reflect, to examine, to study; to do this serioush', in the fearof God, nnd under asolemn sense of accountability to the Judge of quick and dead. "He that negotiates between God and man, As God's ambassudor, the grand concerna Of judgment and of mercy, should beware Of lightness in his speech. 'Tis pitiful To court a grin, when you should t?oo a soul, To break a jest, when piïy siíould inspiro Pathetic exhortation, to address The skiltish fancy with facetious tales, When sent with God's commission to the heart.