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ceed the clergy in their panegyrics on the Liturgy must appear somewhat extraordinary , even to Churchmen themselves . A remarkable instance of this kind
occurred at a meeting for forming an Auxiliary Bible Society at Newcastle , in Staffordshire . The Rev , C . Leighy in a very excellent and liberal speech , introduced the following sentence : ** Of the
Liturgy it will be expected that I should speak in language of strong commendation ; but I am happy to add , that a Protestant Dissenting minister * has pronounced an eulogy upon it in language which
I should scarcely be able to use—* The evangelical purity of its doc . trines , the chastised fervour of its devotions , the majestic simplicity of its language , have combined to place it in the very first rank of uninspired composition . ' " This
is finely expressed ; but is the encomium founded in truth ? If it be , might not the Rev . C . Leigh naturally ask his Dissenting brother , what objection he can have against reading so perfect a form of devotion ? Q .
that scarcely any person cotitd : have been found , in those classes of Christians that enjoy the privu lege of choosing their ministers , who would not have answered it
with an unqualified affirmative ; nor does it now appear to me to be entitled to any other answer ; but it claims a serious considera - tion , in consequence of an
opposite persuasion which has influenced the conduct of some highly respectable individuals in the ministry , and of some no less respectable among the laity : permit me , therefore , to draw yotix attention to the subject .
A congregation is in want of a minister ; they inquire in every direction , till they at length hear of a gentleman who is likely te be eligible . How are they to pro .
ceed ? They feel a delicacy in asking him to preach on trial , 46 because / ' say they , ** it would put him in a painful situation , and if we should happen not to like him when he comes , if will
be extremely awkward to tell him so . " On the other hand , should this difficulty be overcome , and the minister receive such an
invitation , he may say , * I cannot go to preach on trial , for if I should be rejected , I must return to my present society disgraced ; and this , after having betrayed a wish to
leave them / ' I confess , sir that both the views here presented seem to me extremely partial , and founded on principles much too refined for any practical good . Lei us proceed a little further .
A congregation is in want of a minister . They are desirous that the person they make choice of should be possessed of such qualifications a * will enable him not only to write and to preachy but
On Invitations to Ministers on Trial .
Liverpool , June 3 , 1812 . Sir , Is it right for a congregation to invite a minister , and for a minister to accept of an invitation , to preach before them and to sojourn amongst them on trial , with a view to a permanent settlement ? If this question had been proposed a few years ago , I believe
* Speech made by the Rev . Robert Hall , at JLcccistcr .
376 On Invitations to Ministers on Triatm
Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), June 2, 1812, page 376, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct1749/page/32/