1739. Clarity, in effect, was stressed by all writers on homiletics before and after Spener; and most affirmed that a sermon's objective was cognitive (knowledge of the faith) as well as active (the godly life).
What changed in the course of the period was, firstly, the relative emphasis put on moral edification rather than doctrinal instruction, and, secondly, the appropriation of methods considered most suitable to transmitting a timeless message to a tangible audience. The growing stress on effective transmission and on the perennial hermeneutic problem of communicating the Bible's good tidings to the modern world suggested that the sermon's language and content had to be accommodated to the listeners. One of the outstanding sermon reformers of that age, Johann Lorenz von Mosheim (1639-1755) -who like Spener insisted on Erbauung - argued that only clarity of argument enlightened the intellect, and that only an Enlightened intellect edified the will. A sermon had to convince, which in Mosheim's influential view meant that Scripture and reason must not and could not contradict one another, that pulpit oratory reflected the same rhetorical principles as secular oratory, and, above all, that preachers must address themselves to specific audiences in specific contexts. For the Scots Presbyterian, Hugh Blair, a no less authoritative writer on the subject, pulpit oratory was the 'art of placing truth in the most advantageous light for conviction and persuasion'.10
Apart from the publications of Mosheim and Blair, the major homiletic writings of the period include Charles Rollin's De la manière d'enseigner et d'étudier les belles-lettres (1726-28) and Fenelon's Dialogues sur l'éloquence en general et sur celle de la chaire en particulier (written in 1681, first published in 1718). Both were read and quoted throughout Europe. For Fenelon, the aim of pulpit oratory was to instruct minds and improve morals, and the way to achieve this was to prouver, peindre et toucher respectively the intellect, the fancy, and the emotions. What Mosheim was to Protestantism, Jean-Siffrein Maury (1746-1817) was to Catholicism; his Discours sur l'éloquence de la chaire ran to thirteen French editions between 1777 and 1851. Such books were prescribed at academies and seminaries or utilized by preachers in the field. Other aids included sermon collections (Postillen) in all shapes and sizes. Some provided continuous commentaries on a book of the Bible; some offered encyclopaedic overviews of praedicabilia, ordered thematically or alphabetically; some appeared as theological tracts to which the author appended an index concionatorius. Reference works and auxiliaries included emblematic lexicons, encyclopaedias, thesauruses, anthologies of metaphors, parables, antitheses, and histories, many of which were given exotic titles such as aurifodinae, promptuaria,
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