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to make himself an agreeable and instructive companion ; that his manners and conversation out of the pulpit should be such as to make his Sunday services the more
attentively regarded . Now , dan all the points involved in fhe considerations , here only glanced at , be ascertained as satisfactorily in any other way as by a visit of a fortnight or a month ? The social
intercourse which would take place during that period , I conceive . is necessary for each party to become acqiiairtu'd with the other ; to obtaiti such mutual knowledge * ' as would justify them in forming , or in declining to form , one of the
mosimportant conrtections in life . I sn ) ^ each party ; for there is surely the same necessity for observation and deliberation on the part of * be minister as there is
oi > the part oi the congregation ; but then , as the mountain cannot go to , Mahomet , Mahomet should condescend to go to the
mountain . Let us , however suppose the parties severally to act with the delicacy professed ; are they will .
ing to take the consequences ? The congregation must be coritrnt to invite a geiuleman to become their pastor whom they can know © nly from report ; and , as reports are oftentimes detective , they may , when their invitation has b \ -en
accepted , see , reason to wish that it bud not been st nt . Now , would they not ^ in this case , feel themselves in a predicament much more awkward th&n that which they apprehend from , die other course of proceeding .
Arid ivhy should a minister lmjiutd tiidgrace to himself as the consequence of his beibglrejected , b $ 7 H& speak correctly , as the cob-
sequence of his not being chosen after trial ? It-may be that'he finds his physical powers unequal to the duty required of him , and a variety of reasons may be sti p *
posed which might induce him to decline an invitation which , before trial , he wished for . Or it may be , that his style of preaching , though excellent in itself , and
such as many societies would ' prefer , in the opinion of the particular congregation before whom he has preached , does not equ&l the style to which they haVe been accustomed . How does disgrace ensue ? But he has declared his
willingness to leave his present situation : and is such a declaration really necessary to convince any congregation that their minister would prefer a more extended sphere and a larger salary ? In this we only recognise the advantage which will ever be enjoyed by the
many ovet the few ; it exists , however , not in the caprice of aiv individual , bat in the very foundatio n * of society and the minister who will not avail himself of it , must be equally insensible to the calls of ambition add of
Usefulness , and to the duty which is inounibent on a paient to improve the circumstances of his family . But we will suppose a minister chosen , and the choice accepted by him , after a rnere inquiry : if he and the congregation happen
to pkdsfe each' other , all goes or well ; but should the congregation be disappointed , disappointment begets dislike , and dislike will naturally be followed by a resignation or dismissal . < ¦ Ntfw stirely it js desirable to avoid all thi * ; and
is it not less likely to happen , if thecdnn ^ ctibri is not formed till the result of inquiry has b £ en cob-
On Invitations to Ministers on Trial . 377 - ' " . ¦ " ¦ > - . .
vol .. VII . 3 c
Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), June 2, 1812, page 377, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct1749/page/33/