Page:Psychology and preaching.djvu/273

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ASSEMBLIES

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��it is refined and moralized, kept under the control of intel ligence and conscience, it becomes a worthy motive. When dominated by conscience, blended with love and transfigured into reverence, it becomes one of our noblest sentiments. In this regenerated form it retains, though in a much lower degree, its fusing power and may be most properly used by the orator or preacher. But in its baser form of physi cal fear it should never be appealed to by one who aims at spiritual results.

Another emotion which is most effective in welding a crowd is anger. This is one of the most powerful emotions, and all normal persons are capable of it, although there are great variations in the development of the pugnacious in stinct among men. When a common hostile feeling against any object is aroused in a group of persons, its power to unify and blend them is unsurpassed. The heat of the anger which envelops them all melts them into conscious oneness, and the conscious unity is considerably strength ened by the sense of conflict with the person or persons against whom the hostility is directed; for conflict with an outside enemy is a very efficacious means of unifying the members of a group. This is the emotion that usually sways a mob. Elsewhere we have pointed out how it may convulse a whole neighbourhood, or section, or nation, in stantly quieting or suspending all internal antagonisms, and solidifying all interests. Here we consider it only as it de velops and manifests itself in an assembled multitude. It is so easily aroused, is so intensified by reflection back and forth between individuals, and so quickly overwhelms reason that only extreme situations will justify appeals to it. There is always great danger of inducing the mob-state, if not mob-action. But while its crude form is always de moralizing and the orator, especially the preacher, should rarely or never make an appeal to it, it may, nevertheless, like fear, be redeemed and transformed by being moralized, and thus converted into one of the noblest, most healthful and valuable of all human feelings indignation ; and thus

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