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On Invitations to Ministers on Trial, ceed the clergy in their panegy- that scarcely any person could rics on the Liturgy must appear have been found, in those classes somewhat extraordinary, even to of Christians that enjoy the privi. Churchmen themselves. A re. lege of choosing their ministers, markable instance of this kind oc- who would not have answered it curred at a meeting for forining with an unqualitied affirmative; an Auxiliary Bible Society at nor does it now appear to me to Newcastle, in Staffordshire. The be entitled to any other answer ; Rev. C. Leigh, in a very excellent but it claims a serious considera. and liberal speech, introduced the tion, in consequence of an oppo. following sentence: Of the Lic site persuasion which has influ. turgy it will be expected thai I enced the conduct of some highly should speak ini language of strong respectable individuals in the micommendation; but I am happy nistry, and of some no less reto add, that a Protestant Dissent. spectable among the laity : pering minister* has pronounced an mit me, therefore, to draw your eulogy upon it in language which attention to the subject. I should scarcely be able to use A congregation is in want of a • The evangelical purity of its doc. minister; they inquire in every trines, the chastised fervour of its direction, till they al length hear devotions, the majestic simplicity of a gentleman who is likely to be of its language, bave combined to eligible. How are they to pro. place it in the very first rank of ceed? They feel a delicacy in uninspired composition.' » This asking him to preach on trial, is finely expressed; but is the en. ble because,” say they, “ it would comium founded in truib? If it put him in a painful situation, be, might not the Rev. C. Leigh and if we should happen not to naturally ask his Dissenting bro- like bim wben he comes, it will ther, what objection he can have be extremely awkward to tell bim against reading so perfect a form so.” On the other hand, should of devotion?
this difficulty be overcome, and Q. the minister receive such an invi.
tation, he may say,
to preach on trial, for it I should On Invitations to Ministers on
be rejected, I must return to my Trial.
foresent society disgraced ; and this, Liverpool, June 3, 1812. after having betrayed a wish to SIR,
leave them." I confess, sir, that Is it right for a congregation to both the views here presented seem invite a minister, and for a minis. to me extremely partial, and ler to accept of an invitation, to founded on principles much too preach before them and to sojourn refined for any practical good. amongst them on trial, with a Let us proceed a little further. view to a permanent settlement ?
A congregation is in want of a If this question had been pro- minister. They are desirous that posed a few years ago, I believe the person they make choice of
should be possessed of such quali. Speech made by the Rev. Robert fications as will enable him not Hall, at Leicester,
only to write and to preach, but
6 I cannot go
to make himself an agreeable and sequence of his not being chosen instructive companion ; that his after trial? It may be that he manners and conversation out of finds his physical powers unequal the pulpit should be such as to to the duty required of him, and make his Sunday services the more a variety of reasons may be supattentively regarded. Now, can posed which might induce him io, all the points involved in the con. decline an invitation which, before siderations, here only glanced at, trial, he wished for. Or it may be ascertained as satisfactorily in be, that bis style of preaching, any other way as by a visit of a though excellent in iiself, and fortnight or a month? The social such as many societies would preintercourse which would take place fer, in the opinion of the particu. during that period. I conceive is lar congregation before whom he necessary for each party to become has preached, does not equal the acquainted with the other; to ob- style to which they have been ac. tain such mutual knowledge as customed. How does disgrace would justify them in forming, or ensue? But he has declared his in declining to form, one of the willingness to leave his prout most important connections in situation : and is such a declarae life. I say, each party; for there tion really necessary to convince is surely the same necessity for any congregation that their minis. observation and deliberation on ier would prefer a niore extended the part of the minister as there is sphere and a larger salary? In this on the part of the congregation; but we only recognise the advantage then, as the mountain cannot go which will ever be enjoyed by the to Mahomet, Mahomet should many over the few; it exists, how. condescend to go to the moun- ever, not in the caprice of an in. tain.
dividual, but in the very founda. Let us, however, suppose the tions of society; and the minister parties severally to act with the who will not avail himself of it, delicacy professed ; are they will. must be equally insensible to the ing to take the consequences ? calls of ambition and of usefula The congregation must be content ness, and to the duty which is into invite a gentleman to become cumbent on a parent to improve their pastor whom they can know the circumstances of his family. only from report; and, as reports But we will suppose a minister are oftentimes defective, they may, chosen, and the choice accepted when their invitation has been ac. by him, after a mere inquiry: if cepted, see reason to wish that it he and the congregation happen had not been sent. Now, would to please each other, all goes or they not, in this case, feel them. well; but should the congregation selves in a predicament much more be disappointed, disappointment awkward than that which they ap- begets dislike, and dislike wili naprehend from the other course of turally be followed by a resigna. proceeding
tion or dismissal. Now surely it And why should a minister im- is desirable to avoid all this; and pute disgrace to himself as the is it not less likely to happen, if consequence of his being rejected, the connection is not formed till or, to speak correctly, as the con. the result of inquiry has been cos. VOL. VII,
378 Mr. Spencer's Plan for educating Christian Ministers. firmed by some previous acquaint- couraged to become pupils, tutors ance and intercourse ?
or elders, who have not the pro. On the wbole, sir, it appears bable means of supporting them. to me that the old fashioned mode selves and families by their forof choosing our pastors is on every tunes, professions or trades. account the bes! ; it is the most The time the pupils are to devote direct, the most intelligible, and to their studies is two hours every the least likely to fail in effecting day for six years. During the the purpose intended; and I cer. first three years, they are to be tainly think it a subject of regret, taught their own language gram. that considerations of minor im- matically, the Hebrew of the Old portance should ever be suffered Testament, the Greek of the Septo take place of such as these. tuagint translation and of the New À LAY DISSENTER. Testament. And during the re
maining three years, the pupils
are, for their greater improvement, Mr. Spencer's Plan for educating for one hour every day to teach Christian Ministers,
pupils English, Hebrew and Greek. Bristol, June 10, 1812. And for one hour they are to be Sir,
taught what is further necessary In compliance with the wishes to enable them to read well, and of some highly respectable persons, explain clearly, the New Testa. I beg leave to submit to your read- ment in public: namely, the ge. ers i he outlines of a plan for form. ography and natural history of ing Christian tutors and teaching the countries where the scriptures elders of Christian societies. were written, the history of the
Every pupil is to be gratuitously four great empires with which the taught to become a tutor of other Jews were conuected,—the cus. pupils, and an elder of a Christian toms of the Jews and other East. society. No pupil, tutor, or el. ern nations,-Christian ecclesiasder is to be withdrawn from his rical history, - the elements of secular occupation for more than natural philosophy, of logic, and two hours each day. Every pupil of rhetoric. The pupils having, is to engage to instruct, when he at the end of six years, completed shall be able, four other pupils, if their course of studies, are, for they can be procured, upon the three years more, to teach their same free terms on which he is to pupils what they themselves shall recvive instruction himself, No have learnt, during the last three tutor or elder is to receive any emo. years of their own education. lument for his instructions. No The author of the above Plan is person is to become a Christian aware that it cannot be carried elder of a congregation before he into execution in its fullest extent, is about thirty years of age, and, but that it may in a sufficient detherefore, not io become a pupil gree, he is so fully persuaded, till he is about twenty.
that he is ready to put it to the As the tutors and elders are to test, if a sufficient number of pro. receive no emolument for their in. per pupils shall offer. structions, so none are to be en
[Under the above head we gave mass of Protestants, that their interpre. in our last Number (pp. 325- tation should be an object of the utmose 330) the Act of Parliament, the however, is unfortunately extremely lia
anxiety. The interpretation of them, 1st of William and Mary, so de. ble to error, especially in speculative nominated ; as in our last volume, points of doctrine. U'niformity of reliwe published a complete collec- gion, therefore, is not, nor cannot be ex. tion of the printed proceedings, in pected; the minds of men are too differ.
ently constructed, to enable them all to opposition to Lord Sidmouth's see, even the same things, through the Bill. The subject is of such vital same medium. Coerciva, therefore, can importance to the interests of be of no avail in producing uniform ty of truth and freedom, that we shall opinion ; in matters of religion it must
ever be considered unwise and impolitic, still continue to devote our pages and by no means calculated to produce to it; persuaded that our readers the end which it is sought to attain. will agree with us in the suitable. Coercion has never been the practice of ness of matter like this for such a nor do I believe it ever will.”
the reformed English Established Church, work as ours, and in the value
The Archlishop of Canterbury's Speech which our volumes will hereafter in the House of Lords, on Viscount Sidderive from their being a complete mouth's Bill May 12, 1812. register of documents and discussions and measures, so momentous The Five Mile Act, 17 Charles II. and eventful. Communications on Chap. 2. intituled - An Act the subject are cagerly solicited. for restraining Non.conformists
EDITOR.] from inhabiting Corporations. “ No man in this assembly more de Whereas, divers parsons, vicars, cidedly than myself abhors the spirit of religious intolerance in principle, or
curates, lecturers and other per. would more sensibly regret the least ap- sons in holy orders, have not de. proximation to the practice of persecu• clared their unfeigned assent and cion. Whilst I lament the deviation in consent to the use of all things doctrines amongst the various Dissenters from those of the Established Church, I contained and prescribed in the cannot but look on them with that cha. Book of Common Prayer, and adrity which is due to the opinions of well. ministration of the sacraments, disposed, and well-meaning men in search and other rites and ceremonies of of truth, in a matter of such momentous importance to all. In this great work
the church, according to the use of enquiry and investigation, the contri. of the Church of England, or butions of each should be received, if not have not subscribed the declaration with gratitude, at least with indulgence. or acknowledgment contained in As it concerns all, it should be a source of continued occupation and reflection. a certain Act of Parliament, made The sacred writings are the beneficent gift in the fourteenth year of his maof God to man: the interpretation there jesty's reign, and intitulel, “ An fore of scripture is the proper study and busi- Act for the uniformity of Public ness of mankind. By ill Protestants, Dissenters,or of the Establishment, the sacred Prayers, and administration of sa. writings are considered to be the great craments, and other rites and cerestandard of religious doctrine, and to em. monies, and for the establishing braceall the articles of our faith on earth, the form of making, ordaining, and and our hopes of futurity. It is not won. derful, therefore, when such universal in consecrating of Bishops, priests terest is excited throughout the whole and Deacons in the Church of
England,” according to the said against those that are commissioned act, or any other subsequent act. by him, in pursuance of such And, whereas, they or some of commissions ; and that I will not them, and divers other person or at any time endeavour any altera. persons, not ordained according tion of government either in church to the form of the Church of Eng- or state.' land, and as have, since the Act III. And all such person and of Oblivion, taken upon them to persons as shall take upon them preach in unlawful assemblies, to preach in any unlawful assembly, conventicles or meetings, under conventicle, or meeting, under colour or pretence of exercise colour or pretence of any exercise of religion contrary to the laws of religion, contrary to the laws and statutes of ihis kingdom, and statutes of this kingdom, sball have settled themselves in di- not at any time from and afier the verse corporations in England, four and twentieth day of March, sometimes three or more of them which shall be in this present year in a place, thereby taking an op- of our Lord God, one thousand portunity to distil the poisonous six hundred sixty and five, unless principles of schism and rebellion only in passing upon the road, into the hearts of his majesty's come or be within five miles of subjects, lo he great danger of any city or town corporate, or the church and kingdom :
borough that sends burgesses to the II. Be it therefore enacted by Parliament, within his majesty's the king's most excellent majesty, kingdom of England, principality by and with the advice and con. of Wales, or of the town of Bersent of the lords, spiritual and wick upon 'Tweed, or within five temporal, and the commons, in miles of any parish, town or place, this present Parliament assembled, wherein he or they have since the and by the authority of the same, Act of Oblivion, been parson, that the said parsons, vicars, vicar, curate, stipendary, or leccurates, lecturers, and other per• turer, or taken upon them to sons in holy orders, or pretended preach in any unlawful assembly, holy orders, or pretending to holy conventicle, or meeting, under orders, and all stipendaries, and colour or pretence of any exercise other persons who have been pos. of religion, contrary to the laws sessed of any ecclesiastical or spiri- and statutes of this kingdom; be. tual promotion, and every of them, fore he or they have taken and who have not declared their un- subscribed the oath aforesaid, be feigned assent and consent, as fore the Justices of the peace at aforesaid, and subscribed the de. their Quarter Sessions, to be hol. claration aforesaid, and shall not den for the county, riding, or di. take and subscribe the oath follow. vision next unto the said corpoing;
ration, city or borough, parish, 5 I A. B. do swear, that it is not place or town, in open court, lawful upon any pretence whatso- (which said oath the said justices ever, to take arms against the king; are hereby impowered there to ad. and that I do abhor that traitorous minister,) upon forfeiture for every position of taking arms by his au- such offence, thesum of forty pounds thority against his person, or of lawful English money; the one