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xiv. 23. when they had ordained them elders in every church. xv. 22. then pleased it the apostles and elders, with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas.' It is proper
that ministers should undergo a certain trial previous to their admission. 1 Tim. iii. 10. let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless. The requisite qualifications of an elder, as well as of a deacon, are detailed at length in the epistles to Timothy and Titus, and particularly 1 Tim. iii. 1, &c. Tit. i. 5, &c.
On such as were approved the presbyters laid their hands. 1 Tim. iv. 14. ' neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.' v. 22. “ lay hands suddenly on no man.' The imposition of hands, however, was not confined to the election of presbyters, but was practised even towards veteran ministers, in the way of solemn benediction, on their engaging in any work of importance. Acts xiii. 2, 3. • as they ministered unto the Lord.....when they had fasted and prayed and laid hands upon them, they sent them away.'
The right of succession is consequently nugatory, and of no force.* Acts xx. 29, 30. “I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock : also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.' 2 Cor. xi. 13. - such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.'
power to ordain ministers and deacons by public prayer and vote of Christ's congregation, in like sort as he himself was ordained, and is a true apostolic bishop.' Of Reformation in England. Prose Works, I. 9. “He that will mould a modern bishop into a primitive, must yield him to be elected by the popular voice. Ibid. 14.
* See the frowardness of this man; he would persuade us that the succession and divine right ofbishopdom hath been unquestionable through all ages.' Animadrersions on the Remonstrant's Defence. Prose Works, I. 160.
With regard to the remuneration to be allotted to the ministers of the universal church, as well as to those of particular religious communities, it must be allowed that a certain recompense is both reasonable in itself, and sanctioned by the law of God and the declarations of Christ and his apostle.* Matt. x. 10.
the workman is worthy of his meat.' 1 Cor. ix. 713. "who goeth a warfare at any time at his own charges ?' Gal. vi. 6. let him that is taught in the word, communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things.' 1 Tim. v. 17, 18. let the elders that rule well,' &c. Hence it is lawful and equitable, and the ordinance of God himself, 1 Cor. ix. 14. that they which preach the gospel, should live of the gospel.' It is however more desirable for example's sake, and for the preventing of offence or suspicion, as well as more noble and honourable in itself, and conducive to our more complete glorying in God, to render an unpaid service to the church in this as well as in all other instances, and, after the example of our Lord, to minister and serve gratuitously. Matt. xx. 28.
even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister.' x. 8. “freely ye have received,
* We consider, first, what recompense God hath ordained should be given to ministers of the church ; (for that a recompense ought to be given them, and may by them justly be received, our Saviour himself from the very light of reason and of equity hath declared, Luke x. 7. the labourer is worthy of his hire.)' Likeliest Means to remove Hirelings, &c. III. 354.
freely give.' Acts xx. 35. remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.' Paul proposed the same to the imitation of ministers in general, and recommended it by his example.* v. 34, 35. 'ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me: I have showed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak. 2 Thess. iii. 7-9. “yourselves know how ye ought to follow us; for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you ; neither did we eat any man's bread for nought; but wrought with labour and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you: not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an example unto you to follow us.' 1 Cor. ix. 15, 18. • I have used none of these things; neither have I written these things that it should be so done unto me ; for it were better for me to die, than that any man should make my glorying void ; what is my reward then ? verily that, when I preach the gospel, I
may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel.' 2 Cor. xi. 9. when I was present with you, and wanted, I was chargeable to no man....... in all things I have kept myself from being burthensome unto you, and so will I keep myself.' v. 10. “no man shall stop me of this boasting.' v. 12. "what I do, that I will do, that I may cut off occasion from them that desire occasion ; that wherein they glory, they may be found even as we are.' xii. 14. “behold the third time I am ready
* “Which argues also the difficulty, or rather the impossibility to remove them quite, unless every minister were, as St. Paul, contented to preach gratis ; but few such are to be found.' Likeliest Means to remove Hirelings, &c. Prose Works, III. 345.
come unto you, and I will not be burthensome to you; for I seek not yours but you ; for the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children.' v. 17. did I make a gain of you by any of them whom I sent unto you?' v. 18. did Titus make a gain of you? walked we not in the same spirit?' v. 19. “ we do all things, dearly beloved, for your edifying.' And if at any time extreme necessity compelled him to accept the voluntary aid of the churches, such constraint was so grievous to him, that he accuses himself as if he were guilty of robbery 2 Cor. xi. 8. •I robbed other churches, taking wages of them, to do
service.' If however such self-denial be thought too arduous for the ministers of the present day, they will most nearly approach to it, when, relying on the providence of God who called them, they shall look for the necessary support of life, not from the edicts of the civil power, but from the spontaneous good-will and liberality of the church in requital of their voluntary service. Matt. x. 11. inquire who in it is worthy, and there abide till ye go thence.' Luke x. 7, 8. “in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give......and into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you. xxii. 35. he said unto them, When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye any thing ? and they said, Nothing.' 2 Cor. xi. 9. that which was lacking to me, the brethren which came from Macedonia supplied.' Philipp. iv. 15, &c. now, ye Philippians, know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only : for even in Thessalonica
ye sent once and again unto my necessity: not because I desire a gift, but I desire fruit that may abound to your account: but I have all, and abound ; I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, well pleasing to God.'
For it does not necessarily follow, that because a thing is in itself just, a matter of duty and conscience, and sanctioned by the word of God, the performance of it is therefore to be enjoined and compelled by the authority of the magistrate. The same argument, and nearly the same words, which are used by Paul to prove that provision should be made for the ministers of the church, are also used to prove that the Gentiles ought to contribute to the support of the poor saints at Jerusalem ; 1 Cor. ix. 11. compared with Rom. xv. 27. “it hath pleased them verily, and their debtors they are; for if the Gentiles have been made partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister unto them in carnal things;' yet no one contends that the giving of alms should be compelled by authority. If then in a case of merely moral and civil gratitude, force is not to be employed, how much more ought the gratitude which we owe for the benefits of the
gospel to be exempt from the slightest shadow of force or constraint ? On the same principle, pecuniary considerations ought by no means to enter into our motives for preaching the gospel : Acts viii. 20. thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.' If it be a crime to purchase the gospel, what must it be to sell it? or what are we to think of the faith of