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some prominent features of the case in point, and makes them representative or determinative of the whole business." It is necessary often for the orator thus to infuse life by the rejection of unimportant details, upon the presumption that the audience can supply them. See pp. 113, 114.


j. Reasoning by authority or examples. lawyer collects decisions bearing upon a given case and presents them with the announcement that these decisions suggest the established law in all similar cases. It only remains for him to show that the case in hand falls under the law announced. When the announcements are based upon the admit-. ted opinions of wise and good men, the reasoning is technically termed argumentum ad verecundiam. Gladstone in the Nineteenth Century thus unfolds the subject still further:

"Then there is the authority of judges. These judges sometimes supply us with opinions upon facts, sometimes with facts themselves. The results, in pure science, are accepted by us as facts; but on the methods by which they are reached, the mass, even of intelligent and cultivated men, are not competently informed. Judgments on difficult questions of finance are made into compulsory laws, in parliaments where only one man in a score, possibly no more than one in a hundred, thoroughly comprehends them. All kinds of professional advice belong to this order in the classification of authorities.

"But, thirdly, as Lewis has observed with much acuteness, we are in the constant habit of following

yet another kind of authority, the authority of ourselves. In very many cases, where we have reached certain results by our own inquiries, the process and the evidence have been forgotten, and are no longer present to the mind at times when we are called upon to act; they are laid aside as no longer necessary; we are satisfied with the knowledge that we acquired at a former time. We now hold to the conclusion, not remembering accurately its warrant, but remembering only that we once decided that it had a warrant. In its essence, this is acting upon authority. From this sort of action upon authority I believe no man of active life, however tenacious be his memory, can escape. And no man who is content to act on this kind of authority is entitled to object in principle to acting on other kinds. . . . We are bound to act on the best presumption, whether that presumption happens to rest on something done by others, or on something we have done ourselves."


The preacher, as already seen under Divine Reasoning (page 199), often employs this method. Thus Stockton suggests that the preacher is to "Preach the gospel; preach it as Christ preached. Preach it as the spirit of Jesus shall teach you to preach it. Preach it-not prove it. You might as well attempt to prove that sunshine is from heaven as to prove that the gospel is from heaven. Only preach it, and it will prove itself, as sunshine proves itself." Compare Jonah iii. 2: Matt. x. 19, 20; xxviii. 19, 20: Mark xvi. 15. Our Lord rea

soned more often than otherwise by announcement. See God-Man, pages 396, 397.

See Dr. Tyng's Christian Pastor, pages 23-25, 83. Shedd's Homiletics, page 256.

(3) Reasoning classified as to its logical method. Since argument lies at the basis of all reasoning, it would be expected that under different circumstances different logical formulas would be resorted to. The classification of these different argumentative statements has been quite definitely established. general the divisions are:


a. Sophistical forms of argument. Sophisms. usually contain a latent fallacy under a general appearance of correctness. They are distinguished thus:

(a) A form of argument which gives as proof in another statement, the proposition to be proved, termed petitio principii. "Why does opium produce sleep?" asks one of the characters in Molière's Comedies. "Because it possesses a soporific quality," was the reply. In other words, it induces sleep because it induces sleep. The quack perfectly satisfied the old lady, by giving as a reason why her child was born dumb, that it had come into the world without the faculty of speech.

(b) A form of argument which establishes some other proposition than the one at issue, termed ignoratio elenchi. Mr. Whittemore, in arguing against a future judgment, presents many passages, such as Ps. lviii. 11: John ix. 39; xii. 31, 47, which teach that there is a judgment in the present life. He

offers these as conclusive evidence that there is to be

no future judgment. "There is no future punishment," is a proposition which is often discussed under another, namely, "There is no endless punishment." See the fallacy underlying Balfour's Inquiry. See also, Gen. iii. 4-6.

(c) A form of argument which consists in stating two propositions and making each the only proof to establish the other, termed, the vicious circle. See Fox's speech on Parliamentary Reform, beginning, "Gentlemen are fond of arguing in this vicious circle," &c. The preacher sometimes offers as proof of the inspiration of the Scriptures quotations from the Scriptures. This is reasoning in a circle.

(d) A form of argument which substitutes local, temporary or partial circumstances for what is universal or unchangeable, termed fallacia accidentis. Religion is thus condemned because it occasionally leads to insanity, or because it is sometimes made a cloak for iniquity. See Luke vii. 33, 34.

(e) A form of argument in which events are wrongly accounted for, termed non causa pro causa. Ignorant people have a propensity for instantly referring every event, rightly or wrongly, to a cause. It is said that the rudest North American Indians never hesitate to assign a cause for each phenomenon. With many persons, coincidence of events is ample ground for making one the cause of the other. The following is a newspaper comment: "The reverend gentlemen who declare that all the railroad trouble has been sent as a punishment for

the sinfulness of running trains on Sunday, must be right, of course; but the public would be better satisfied if the statement were accompanied by some explanation

some sort of argument, so to speak." The political haranguer declares that "trade is depressed, therefore the country is misgoverned." The method of detecting his sophistry is this: "Trade is depressed, therefore the country is misgoverned, for every country is misgoverned where trade is depressed." But this is false.

See Hugh Latimer's sermon before Edward VI., in which was used the illustration of Goodwin Sands and Tenterden Steeple. Another form of this error arises from not distinguishing between the different senses in which the word cause is used. Aristotle classifies causes as of four kinds, namely: material cause, which indicates the substance from which a thing is made; formal cause, that agency which shapes the thing made; efficient cause, that which produces the thing made; final cause, the end for which the thing is made. In dealing with causes it is very important first to ascertain the kind of cause, and then make correct assignments. See John ix. 2, 3.

b. Correct forms of argument.

(a) Arguments from antecedents to consequents, technically called a priori. Paul, in his magnificent oration before Agrippa, adopts this form of argument. "He describes his manner of life from his youth, his training after the straitest sect of his religion, a Pharisee. The inference a priori must be

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