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r espectable , the rich , is nevertheless Latin to the poor Uneducated man , — - he understands it not , he leaves the chapel , and hence results the utility of Lay-preachers * who can afford to tell a plain tale in their own way , irrespective of the frown 3 of the
wealthy " . It has always been considered advisable that our priests should receive a superior education / 5 I was shocked when I read this . The word priest applied by an Unitarian to his minister I In the name of all that is
reasonable and consistent , if we are to have any of the fraternity amongst us , let us have them all , bishops , curates , rectors , I know tiot how many of them , enumerated in one of Mr . Fox ' s
lectures . As to superior education , did Christ , or any of his apostles and evangelists , receive a " superior education" i The college of fishermen has been much run down , but , after all , I
think that is the best we can go to , if we want to do good , rather than tickle the ears and the fancies of men . Let those who understand biblical criticism be willing to communicate ; let them clear up the doubtful passages of Scripture , so that the lay-brother can
understand them , and then surely there can be no objection to Laypreaching . Above all , let regular ministers apply themselves with simplicity and zeal to the work in which they are engaged ; let them she ^ iiiat they can do all the work that wants
doing in the great vineyard , themselves ; let them completely neave lay-preachers out , and lay aside that miserable inactivity which has verily shamed so many laymen into the pulpit . Instead of preaching only twkre a-week , and that , without any particular exertion , let them be instant in season and out
of season ; let them , in a oody deliver evening lectures , and preach at least once between Sundays . This will be the way to combat Lay-preaching , and much should I rejoice to see it attacked in this manner . This would be
truly a remonstrance against Laypreaching ; such a remonstrance , too , as would have more effect in stopping , ° r at teast in curbing , it , than all the sarcasms anfl invectives which M . S . can set in array against it .
Oik Lay * Pretwh mg . 653
Devonshire , Sir , ' , , ; Ontdber 18 , 1821 * JUDGING by my personal feelings , I was sadly apprehensive that the cause of popular Unitarianism was about to sustain a sudden , and , it might be , Ian irremediable check , from the animadversions on Lay-preaching *
by your learned and sacerdotal Corre * spondent , M . S . ( p . 446 ) . The impression likely to be . produced on persons of delicate and timorous minds , who , from the most laudable motives , have ventured to assume the tempo- * rary office of instructors or admonitors of their fellow-christians , and
conductors of their religious services , I should fear would be rather of a discouraging nature : for I know well , that in this district there are very many truly excellent individuals ( not certainly " learned above mediocrity , " yet nevertheless not deficient m modesty ) , who have cheerfully contributed
their best , though but humble assistance , towards the keeping up , nay , in some cases , the setting on foot of social Christian worship on Unitariaii principles , in places where it otherwise might never have been introduced , or where , if established , it must , but for such assistance , have languished , if not become totally extinct .
Partaking in some degree of the Scrupulosity of disposition alluded to above , I had , at the conclusion of my perusal of the * Remonstrance , " nearly persuaded myself that I had incurred , at least , the guilt of prestunp * tion , in having repeatedly ascended the
hallowed steps of the rostrum , into which , I ought to have recollected , it was not lawful for any to enter save the priest alone ; and that the only indication of contrition for my offences which I had in my power to exhibit , would be to resolve for the future to
keep my " silly rhapsodies" to myself , and in the absence of a regular , tho * rough-bred , erudite , gentlemanly minister , to recommend to my fellow r Christians either to abstain entirely , pro tempore , from social worship , in
conformity with the suggestion of ML S ., or if they found it difficult to overcome the settled habit of assembling themselves together , that they would resort to their parish church , or to the nearest conventicle , duly furnished , that might present itself . The pow-
Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), Nov. 2, 1821, page 653, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct2506/page/21/