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not one of those jealous lovers of freedom who would fain keep it all to themselves; nor do I dread ultimate danger to the cause of truth from fair discussion.*
It may be objected by some, that in the foregoing words 1 have put forth a challenge which cannot be accepted; inasmuch as it has been declared by the highest legal authorities, that “Christianity is part of the Law of the Land ;” and consequently any one who impugns it, is liable to prosecution. What is the precise meaning of the above legal maxim, I do not profess to deter mine; having never met with any one who could explain it to me: but evidently the mere circumstance, that we have a “ Religion by Law established,” does not, of itself, imply the illegality of arguing against that Religion. The regulations of trade and of navigation, for instance, are unquestionably part of the law of the land; but the question of their expediency is freely discussed, and frequently in no very measured language; nor did I ever hear of any one's being menaced with prosecution for censuring them.
I presume not however to decide what steps might, legally, be taken ; I am looking only to facts and probabilities; and I feel a confident trust, as well as hope, (and that, founded on experience of the past,) that no legal penalties will, in fact, be incurred by temperate, decent, argumentative maintainers even of the most erToneous opinions.
I have only to add my acknowledgments to those friends for whose kind and judicious suggestions I am so much indebted: and to assure them, that whatever may be the public reception of the work, I shall never cease to feel flattered and obliged by the diligent attention they have bestowed on it.
II. The Artificial and Natural modes of
Elocution compared i, m. 20
ences between Reading and Speak-
ELEMENTS OF RHETORIC.
8 1. OF Rhetoric various definitions, have Various debeen given by different writers; who, how- finitions of ever, seem not so much to have disagreed Rhetoric. in their conceptions of the nature of the same thing, as to have had different things in view while they employed the same term. Not only the word Rhetoric itself, but also those used in defining it, have been taken in various senses; as may be observed with respect to the word “Art” in Cic. de Orat. where a discussion is introduced as to the applicability of that term to Rhetoric; manifestly turning on the different senses in which “Art” may be understood.
To enter into an examination of all the definitions that have been given, would lead to much uninteresting and uninstructive verbal controversy. It is sufficient to put the reader on his guard against the common error of supposing that a general term has some real object, properly corresponding to it, independent of our conceptions;-that, consequently, some one definition in every case is to be found which will comprehend every thing that is rightly designated by that term ;and that all others must be erroneous: whereas, in fact, it will often happen, as in the present instance, that both the wider, and the more restricted sense of a term, will be alike sanctioned by use, (the only competent authority,) and that the consequence will be a corresponding variation in the definitions employed; none of