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monly an association of ideas favourable principles of the gospel; and which, or unfavourable in some respect or from its very constitution, accommoother, which is derived from the more dates a religious profession to the spirit ancient, to the more recent application of the world? It is as vain to hope, of the term. And even if the term that the heavenly virtues of disinterestshould be coined for the occasion, the edness, humility, and contentment can materials whence it is taken, that is, spring from that selfish system, which the known etymology, produces the leads its ministers to boast, that “ the same effect. It invariably gives rise to king is the bulwark of their church," as certain associations; these influence it is to look for “grapes from thorns, or opinion, and opinion governs practice. figs from thistles.” It is much to be We have seen the tendency which the lamented, that nonconformists, who distinction of mankind into clergy and profess to derive their principles from laity had to heighten, in the minds of the New Testament, should manifest a the populace, the reverence for the sa- | kindred likeness of churchmen, and decred order. The effect thus actually grade their sacred office into an instruproduced, in ignorant ages, through the ment of dignity and emolument. The arrogance of the one side, and the su- highest churchman, in the plenitude of perstition of the other, is sufficiently his power, cannot demand his tithes, or manifest, and perfectly astonishing." See assert his divine right to them with Campbell's Lectures on Ecclesiastical His- greater zeal, than Mr. B. claims a liberal tory, Vol. I. page 297-306, where the land wealthy maintenance for himself reader will find much more on the sub- and his dissenting brethren. Public colject that is worthy of his attention, but lections, seat-rents, and private subwhich we have not room to quote; and scriptions are to be put in requisition to to our correspondent, T. N. á hint may satisfy him. The poor must pay, and suffice; we hope he will take it. the rich must pay liberally; the young
EDITOR. and the old must give, and even the wi
dow must not withhold her mite. All
| must be taxed to enable the minister to To the Editor of the New Evang. Magazine.
live in affluence, to provide for his off
spring respectable fortunes, and to enSIR,
able him to associate with the first of I HAVE lately read a pamphlet his flock. Such claims are the more intitled, “ The duty of Christian Pas- disgusting to sober-minded men, as tors to support themselves.” It com- | they are made by those who profess to prises a series of letters addressed to copy the apostles, but who do not imiMr. Bennett, of Rotherham, upon his tate them in self-denial, or disinterested late extraordinary sermon. The design zeal. Assuredly some solemn warning of the pamphlet is to shew, that pastors was needed, to guard the community have no claim for support from the against the pretensions of hirelings; to churches over which they preside, and, shew men what the first preachers consequently, that the sacred texts really did, and all others are bound to which Mr. B. refers to as his authority, do; and that, in supporting the present are misapplied and perverted. The selfish system, they are not benefiting author's general principle is this, that pure and undefiled religion. Wisdom when Paul establishes a right to main-deniands, that Christian men, before tenance, he limits this right to apostles advancing their money, should duly and evangelists : but that, when ad-weigh the purposes to which it is to be dressing Christian elders, he enjoins applied, and examine whether it is to them to labour with their hands, and in gratify cupidity and ambition, or to prono case requires churches to give, or vide what is honest for the humble and allows elders to receive, temporal sup- contented. Without this, the giver, may port.
find himself condemned when he exThe covetousness of the clergy has pected praise; for a man may give been long and justly complained of. It much without doing good, and spend forms, a most decided contrast to the his substance upon men called religious, disinterested spirit exemplified by the without forwarding the purposes of apostles. But what else is to be ex- (piety. pected from the leaders of a church, Į The author of the pamphlet exhibits which is founded in opposition to the powerfully, and, 1 think, successfully,
the noble and disinterested conduct of It is as' unfair in the author of the Paul, as a marked reproof to the claims pamphlet to infer from these words, of selfishness, and as an example to all that elders are not entitled to support, Christian pastors. But he has failed in because of their office, as it would be in establishing his leading principle, that another, to contend from the following pastors have no claim to support from words, that they are not entitled to rule the churches. For, granting that the among their brethren: " Neither as doctrine of Paul, in 1 Cor. ix. is to be being lords over God's heritage, but beunderstood as applying to apostles and / ing ensamples to the flock.” They are evangelists exclusively, (a concession appointed to rule the church of God, which is, perhaps, too extensive), yet it and it is their duty “ to rule with dilimay be clearly shewn, that there are gence;" but they are warned against similar laws indisputably referring to abusing this through the love of power, Christian elders. In Gal. vi. 6. the so natural to the human mind, by exerapostle enjoins, “ Let him that is taught cising' an arbitrary dominion over the communicate to him that teacheth, in disciples. Would it not be unreasonable all good things.” The sacred writer to maintain, that the warning against here refers to teachers by office ---pas- misrule teaches the non-existence of tors are undoubtedly such, not only the right to rule in any way? Does it from the qualification, " aptness to not rather teach the duty of ruling well, teach” being a requisite to this office, by persuasion and example, by guarding but also from their regular and stated them against the contrary? duties; and, therefore, the command-/ But the command in 1 Tim. v. 17, 18. ment strictly applies to them. Although appears to me quite conclusive on the Paul here uses the term conimunicate, subject; and, be it observed, rests the this does not imply, that the contribu- claim of pastors for support upon the tion of the church to them is an act of same authority which is elsewhere promere favour, to the exclusion of justice. duced by Paul to establish the right of The very passage adduced by Mr. Jack- apostles and evangelists—a right which, son to prove this, establishes the con- with the author, is no matter of distrary; “No church communicated with pute: “Let the elders that rule well, me, as concerning giving and receiving, be counted worthy of double honour, but ye only,” Phil. iv. 15. For though especially they who labour in word or the apostle speaks of it as a gift, because doctrine. For the scripture saith, Thou it was conveyed with cheerfulness and shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth without solicitation, he mentions that out the corn. And, The labourer is it is “ fruit which would abound to their worthy of his reward." account," clearly teaching, that it was. In the interpretation given of this founded in just and moral obligation. passage, two prominent mistakes are Besides, to maintain that from its being committed by the author of the pamph"a gift," the claim of just right must let. The first is, he assigns to the word be excluded, is inconsistent with the “ honour" a sense different from what it author's own principles, since he ac- must have. For although it means knowledges that apostles' were justly“ to respect and esteem,” yet, from the entitled to maintenance, upon this connection, which must determine the equitable ground,“ the labourer is worthy | precise meaning, it must refer to temof his hire."
poral support. This is its sense, in the The apostle Peter, when addressing precept “ Honour widows that are wiChristian elders, commands them “to dows indeed,” ver. 3; and it must be the take the oversight of the flock, "not | same in the verse under consideration, for filthy lucre,” but “ of a ready mind," from the whole drift of the apostle's 1 Pet. v. 2. As divine wisdom dictates previous discourse, and from the law, no unnecessary cautions, it is fair to in which he subjoins, “The labourer is fer, from these words, that elders were worthy of his hire." exposed to temptations to covetousness, The second mistake of the author lies from the circumstances of their official | in teaching that “ those who labour in station. But if they had had no claim word and doctrine" must mean, not whatever to support, all temptation elders of churches, but evangelists.com would have been absent; and, conse- | office-bearers, quite distinct from “the quently, this admonitory caution would elders who rule well;" and that it is to have been needless and inapplicable. the evangelists exclusively as labourers
in doctrine, that the law in verse 18 hended in all men; and they of the cir. applies. This exposition appears at first cumcision are included in the general sight far-fetched and unnatural; and name first mentioned the deceiders, from its being introduced to support as against whom the writer guards Titus. favourite principle, it may be justly sus- They are distinguished in the class of pected to be unsound, especially when deceivers, but not separated from them. advanced without good evidence. Upon the same principle. we must un
· A small knowledge of the original derstand the passage respecting Cbris. may convince, that this gloss is at vari- tian elders; that the elders that rule ance with the text, and that the la- well include the labourers in word and bourers in word and doctrine, are the doctrine ; and, consequently, that the same in office as the elders that rule law enjoining a, supply of their wants well. But there is no necessity for this, applies to both. The pastoral office as there are many passages of a similar comprehends different parts, ruling and construction, equally intelligible to the teaching; but ruling is the appropriate unlearned as to the learned, which and generic term, denoting that superclearly shew, that Paul must mean the intendence of the flock, which is the same office. Thus, in verse 8, of the design of the office; and, therefore, same chapter, “If any man provide not stands most conspicuous in the list of for his own, and especially for those of qualifications. And in the passage before his own house;"—it is plain, that his us, to interpret the words as meaning own include those of “his own house." two distinct offices, is doing violence to The same observation applies to the fol- the principles of language, and to the lowing passages : “ Let us do good to all apostle's intention; and would serve to men, but especially to the household of countenance the absurdity of Presbyfaith.” Gal. vi. 10.--" Who is the pre- terian lay-elders, and Diocesan biserver of all men, especially of them that shops. believe.” 1 Tim. iv, 10.-" For there The indisputable conclusion is, that are many unruly and vain talkers and Christan elders have a claim in justice deceivers, especially they of the circum- on the churches for support, and that cision.” Tit. i. 10. In all these, and disciples are not influenced by the many others that might be quoted, | Scriptures, when they either deny the the first general term includes the parti- right, or refuse to practise the duty, cular character subsequently specified. when necessary.* But, on the other The “ household of faith” are compre.' hand, what is the elders' duty; Un
* When necessary! We cannot help wishing that our correspondent had been a little more explicit on this point. We are quite at a loss to ascertain the import of the words “when necessary” in this connection. For instance, is it intended to say, that “the jus. tice of the elders' claim for support from the churcb," hinges upon their standing in need of it? If so, it stands upon precisely the same ground as the claim of every other poor member of the body; and a church that should either“ deny the right" of a poor brother or sister to receive sopport, or “refuse to practise the duty under those circumstances, would be unworthy the name of a Christian church. Upon this principle, then, the support of pastors turns out to be an alms dispensed from the churches' bounty, and not" the hire or reward of the labourer;" and the writer of the letters to Mr. Bennett would, we are persuaded, yield' his consent to this, after all that he has said upon the duty of pastors supporting themselves. Our correspondent has indeed very satisfactorily exposed the futility of the letter-writer's distinction between the right of apostles and evangelists to receive support, and that of elders; but surely this is a work of super-erogation; for what sober-minded man who reads the Bible with attention, and free from party-bias, or evep the letters to Mr. Bennett, can fail to see that this distinction is perfectly arbitrary and grutuitous, totally destitute of support from the oracles of truth, and that to give it an appearance of plausibility, the writer has been reduced to the necessity of wresting and torturing the Scriptures in various places, to make them bend to his hypotbesis. We only regret to find that our present respectable correspondent, after pursuing a different tract, ultimately meets him at the same point; viz. that elders have no claim upon the churches for a remuneration of their labours in the gospel, 'except in cases of exigency!
There is another point also in this correspondent's favour, on which we hope he will ex. cuse us in offering a remark. Suppose we strike out the words “ when necessary" from his letter, and admit the claim of elders to be founded in justice and equity, clear of all qualifications and conditions ; let us see how the matter will then stand. Here is a church
doubtedly to act as Paul did, and as he God of peace shall be with you." Phil. enjoined the elders at Ephesus to do: iv. 9. That Paul's doctrine and man"I have coveted no man's silver, or ner of life may be known and followed gold, or apparel. Yea, ye yourselves is the wish of know, that these hands have minister
A DISSENTER. ed to my necessities, and to those that were with me. I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought ON THE EXTENT OF MAN'S, ABI. to support the weak; and to remember LITY TO DO THE WILL OF GOD. the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, “ It is more blessed to Igive, than
MR. EDITOR, to receive." ' Acts xx. 33–35. These
SUFFER me now to assign a words are, in my opinion, imperative; few reasons in support of the opinion, and teach every Christian elder, that if that a man's ability to do the will of he follows a different course, he is for. God is the measure of his guilt in not saking his duty and happiness. He has doing it; or, in other words, that a a claim to support, but like Paul he is man's present duty does not exceed his to forego that right, and labouring like present strength. him with his own hands, he is to exem- 1. To represent man as unable to beplify the generous and disinterested lieve for want of strength or power, would spirit, which the gospel inspires. To exempt him from guilt in not believing. me it has often been a cause of surprize, Where a man cannot possibly act otherthat this solemn recommendation, sanca wise than he does, neither praise nor tioned by so high an authority and ex- blame can attach to his conduct. He ample should be so seldom referred to is, in that respect, a mere machine; his by modern Dissenters, or if referred to actions being the result of dire neces. at all, is represented as an antiquated sity, over which he has no controul. A statute, designed for the infancy of man that is really and literally blind has Christianity only, and more honoured no choice whether he will see or not; in the breach than in the observance. and, therefore, no blame attaches to But it is of the same obligation now as it him for not looking upon the beauties ever was; and is equally imperative of creation with which he may be every with that part of the same impressive where surrounded ; nor could we concharge, “Take heed to yourselves, and sistently exhort him to look upon them, to all the flock,” ver. 28. Let men be- But would not the case be very different ware in what manner they treat the if he wilfully shut his eyes against the word of God; and as its laws are of per-| light, and refused to see any object premanent authority, let them suspect the sented before him, and also, on this truth of that system, in which these ground rejected the testimony given relaws are not, and cannot be reduced to specting the existence and qualisies of practice. « Those things," says Paul, the object itself? A man that is lite"which ye have learned and received, rally deaf, cannot prefer one sound to and heard and seen in me, do; and the another. The voice of thunder and
we will say, for illustration sake, that recognizes the divine law, admits the justice of the claim, and is prepared to act upon it. Reading the apostolic writings, they find a stigma cast upon the Corinthian-church as being “inferior to other churches.” 2 Cor. xii. 13. But in what did their inferiority consist? Why in this, that he who had laboured among them in the word and doctrine, had made the gospel without charge-he“ preached to them the gospel of God freely,"" yea, he robbed other churches, taking wages of them, to do the Corinthian's service." The apostle gives them to understand, that he was fully aware how much, in pursuing this line of conduct, he had injured them, and he handsomely tenders them an apology for it- FORGIVE ME THIS WRONG!!” Now let us suppose a church in our day, to be fired with a holy indignation on reading this, and to say, " we are resolved that no such stigma shall attach to us--we are determined not to withold the just reward of the labourer-our elder shall have no claim upon our justice that is unsatisfied." But what is to be done in this case ? According to our present correspondent's doctrine, if the elder allow the church to discharge their duty and their obligations, by remunerating him for his services, “he is forsaking his own duty and his happiness!" Upon this principle, it seems, one of them must transgress. We throw out these hints for the consideration of our friendly correspondent, and shall be glad to see him clear up the point, We think it may be done ; but not exactly upon his principle.
that of music are the same to him. He | If a man have no more power or ability puts no difference whatever between to believe than to create a world, he is the timbrel and the hard--the stringed no more to blame for not doing the forinstrument and the organ—the sound mer than the latter. It would be equally of the trumpet and the tinkling cymbal. just to condemn a man because he is But is he criminal on this account? Is not as beautiful as. Absalom, tall as he an object of blame or pity? His case Goliah, or strong as Sampson, as for excites our commiseration; but we not possessing and performing that are conscious of a very different feeling which it was impossible for him to postowards the person who, like the adder, sess or to perform. Human ability and is deaf only because he stoppeth his human guilt are of the same extent. ears, and will not hearken to the voice The Judge of all the earth will do right. of the charmer, charming ever so wisely. If faith be impracticable, unbelief is inNow, if the sinner be as unable to be- vincible, and the unbeliever is excusable, lieve in Christ as the blind man is to unless man is guilty for what he cannot see, or the deaf to hear, an incapacity help, however desirous to avoid it; and respecting which the will has no choice, unless the righteous Judge consign his I should as soon exhort the blind to see creatures to eternal misery for not pera and the deaf to hear, as call upon the forming impossibilities. If any foreign sinner to believe, and equally charge power be needed, in consequence of a them with criminality for non-compli. weakness or debility in our natural fa. ånce. The one would be no more abo culties, so interposing between our insurd than the other. Mephibosheth clination and performance, that however was lame, and could not follow David, desirous a person might be to perform however desirous so to do. Was he his duty, yet, by reason of the demand equally guilty with Ahitophel, who op- being above his physical strength it posed the king, or with Shimei who were impossible without foreign aid cursed him? Paul's bodily presence for him to execute his wish, then, inwas weak, but surely that was not his deed, the want of such aid must be an fault. Let the sinner prove that he can adequate excuse for his non-performno more hinder or prevent his unbelief, ance.* Where there is strictly no than Mephibosheth his lameness, or power to believe, want of faith is no sin. Paul his weakness; and that it is no The wicked and slothful servant was more his duty to believe, than for them not condemned for not performing a to be sound and strong, and we will duty beyond his strength, but for neg. readily allow him an exemption 'from lecting that which was within the comguilt in this respect; and that, if he pass of his power. He is judged out of finally perish for his unbelief, we will his own mouth. He had his Lora's grant that he suffers for the non-per- money, but he refused to lay it out. formance of an impossibility. But He was only required to use the talent would not this associate the divine Be- he had, not to use two or five talents ing with the Egyptian taskmasters, which he had not. “Thou oughtest who required bricks without straw: to have put my money,” saith the Would it not justify the complaint of Redeemer, “into the bank or to the the wicked servant, who said, “I knew exchangers." Nothing impracticable thee to be a hard master, reaping where was required of him ; and, therefore, thou hast not sown, and gathering he is called a wicked, slothful, unprowhere thou hast not strawn?" Where-fitable servant for neglecting his duty, as, the Bible represents God as requir- and is cast into outer darkness. His ing no more of any man than he has, defence proves the reality of his offence, be it little or much.“ My son, give me / Whoever can, like Adam, frame an exthine heart:" that is, give me thyself- cuse for his sin, shows that he possessthy all. ' “ Thou shalt love the Lord | ed ability to obey. Thus power abused thy God with all thine heart, and soul, becomes the measure of the sinner's and mind, and strength.” “I only guilt, and the ground of his condemwant all thou hast.” “ If there be first nation. a willing mind, it is accepted according : 2. If men, strictly speaking, are toto that power or ability a man hath, tally destitute of power to believe; that and not according to that he hath not.” ( is, if they are not merely unwilling but
* See a Sermon on the power of God in the soul of man, by J. Gilbert.