Lecturers an order of preachers in the Church of England, distinct from the incumbent or curate, usually chosen by the vestry or chief inhabitants of the parish, and supported either by voluntary contributions or legacies. They preach on the Sunday afternoon or evening, and in some instances on a stated day in the week. The lecturers are generally appointed without any interposition of the incumbent, though his consent, as possessor of the freehold of the Church, is necessary before any lecturer can officiate: when such consent has been obtained (but not before), the bishop, if he approve of the nominee, licenses him to the lecture. Where there are lectures founded by the donations of pious persons, the lecturers are appointed by the founders, without any interposition or consent of the rectors of the churches, though with the leave and approbation of the bishop, and after the candidate's subscription to the Thirty-nine Articles and the Act of Uniformity, such as that of lady Moyer at St. Paul's, etc. When the office of lecturer first originated in the English Church it is difficult to determine. It is manifest from the statute (13 and 14 Car. II, c. 4, § 19), commonly known as the Act of Uniformity (1662), that the office was generally recognized in the second half of the 17th century. Even as early as 1589, however, an evening lecture on Fridays was endowed in the London parish of St. Michael Royal, and at about the same time three lecture-sermons were established in St. Michael's, Cornhill — two on Sundays after evening prayers, and a third at the same time on Christmas day. During the Great Rebellion lecturers used their influence and opportunities for the overthrow of the State Church and the monarchy. — Eden, Theol. Dict. s.v.; Buck, Theol. Dict. s.v.; Eadie, Eccles. Dict. p. 371.

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