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Sir , Jnn . 9 , 1808 . On taking np your last number , ( Vol . II . | $ ff 4 g , ) 'I was attracted to a letter on " Popular Preaah - ing / ' for I also feel myself , like
your correspondent , u deeply interested in the methods adopted by Unitarian Christians to disseminate their opinions . " Among those methods the institution of
book-societies has been justly pre-eminent , and for one , I should be very ungrateful to deny that they have circulated much valuable scriptural information .. Yet I am inclined to think that their
greatest utility has but lately appeared , in the establishment of ' ¦ The Unitarian Fund . " For this institution they have the undoubted merit of having furnished the occasion , and at the same time disposed the fhinds of Unitarian Christians to embrace it .
I have often read , with no small regret , a passage in the ecclesiastical history of ] VJosheim , in which he . remarks that , u the disciples of Socinua / ' ( v ino l er whom he inaccurately classes Unitarians in generaiyare at very little pains to make converts to their cause
among those who are not distinguished from the multitude by their rank , or their abilities . ' * This reproach , generally too just , though with some honourable exceptions , might have been expected fromaft orthodox historian . The Unitarian book-societies have
done much to remove it , but no « thir * g can take it . entirely awuy , except such - * ttemyts as use en-
couraged by the " Fund / to whiefr your correspondent has stated ^ some objections in the unassumingform of queries * These I will venture to consider , trusting
tbaf" in your judgment , " as well as in that of " a modest querist , ' * . I shall appear " dispassionate , " if I fail to be satisfactory /* I was not a little surprised at
ttie first inquiry : What is to be understood by the terms Popular Preaching ? " having supposed that : their propriety in the present application , had been so obvious as not to admit a doubt . Though
too ofteu disgraced by the eccentricities of the indiscreet , or the ill-designing , yet thd term yo ~ pular is still employed in a goodsense , to describe an easy and familiar mode of teaching the sciences , either human or divine . A popular ' preacher then , according ? to the best notion which I am able to form , is one well qualified to familiarize and recommend the Christian doctrine to such a > mixed audience as generally surround a pulpit . , '
To prepare him for this important service there are some attainments highly valuable , while others are indispensable . Ho must have given his days and ni g hts to scriptural research , though ., per- *
haps , they were never employed 5 in turning over the pages of Crreefc and Roman genius . Yet , if he possess those aceomp ^ sbiftente which none who can appreciate * them despiscyhe will makoall hi *' studies pay their tribute to th #
ON ' POPTTLA . ir PREACHING : IN ANSWER TO A XttftiTftT OUFRIST . I
Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), Feb. 2, 1808, page 86, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct2389/page/30/