The topic was eloquence, something Christians had been conflicted about since the first-century church when Paul wrote that in bringing the gospel, he did not come with 'eloquence.' A few centuries later, Saint Augustine wrestled with the value of eloquence, associating it with his pagan background and training in Greek rhetoric while simultaneously employing it winsomely in his Christian writings. Such suspicion of beauty and form, whether in art, literature, speech, or human flesh, has shadowed Christian thought throughout the history of the church; sadly so, considering God is the author of all beauty.
Karen Swallow Prior
True eloquence is irresistible. It charms by its images of beauty, it enforces an argument by its vehement simplicity. Orators whose speeches are "full of sound and fury, signifying nothing, " only prevail where truth is not understood, for knowledge and simplicity are the foundation of all true eloquence. Eloquence abounds in beautiful and natural images, sublime but simple conceptions, in passionate but plain words. Burning words appeal to the emotions as well as to the intellect; they stir the soul and touch the heart.
Albert Ellery Bergh
If our eloquence be directed above the heads of our hearers, we shall do no execution. By pointing our arguments low, we stand a chance of hitting their hearts as well as their heads. In addressing angels, we could hardly raise our eloquence too high; but we must remember that men are not angels.
Charles Caleb Colton
I just don't think people get off on language anymore. Language used to be an elevated art. It used to be for people what music can be. But people don't learn to do that anymore, so eloquence is merely a matter of waste. Who needs a good vocabulary and proper English? Eloquence - it's dead and who needs it?
There is something in the eloquence of the pulpit, when it is really eloquence, which is entitled to the highest praise and honour. The preacher who can touch and affect such an heterogeneous mass of hearers, on subjects limited, and long worn thread-bare in all common hands; who can say any thing new or striking, any thing that rouses the attention, without offending the taste, or wearing out the feelings of his hearers, is a man whom one could not (in his public capacity) honour enough.
Tengo's lectures took on uncommon warmth, and the students found themselves swept up in his eloquence. He taught them how to practically and effectively solve mathematical problems while simultaneously presenting a spectacular display of the romance concealed in the questions it posed. Tengo saw admiration in the eyes of several of his female students, and he realized that he was seducing these seventeen- or eighteen-year-olds through mathematics. His eloquence was a kind of intellectual foreplay. Mathematical functions stroked their backs; theorems sent warm breath into their ears.