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without which no possessions of this life will bless him, and no true hopes of the life to come will ever visit him. Surely the Lord Jesus did speak a wise word, and recommend a bountiful course to the rich man, when he commanded him to sell all his possessions, and to follow him in the preaching of the Gospel ; and what he saith to one, he saith to all. A very noble and excellent sight it were to see the exchange sending forth its missionaries, and the camp its soldiers of the Lord Jesus Christ; and whosoever feeleth within his soul, the voice of Christ by the Spirit, saying, “ Sell all that thou hast, and go and preach the Gospel,” would do well to obey that most honourable commission; while those who are called to abide in their places, and their homes, can do nothing better with the superfluity of goods which God sendeth them, than to furnish forth the brother, who, though rich, hath become poor, that the leathen through his poverty may become rich. This, indeed, is one of the great uses which ministers of the Gospel are of to men; to teach them by their example, the proper place which the unrighteous mammon ought to have in their eyes, and likewise the right use to which it should be applied. It was intended of God that no man should take upon him the office of a missionary, or a preacher of the Gospel, until he should, in spirit at least, have laid aside and deprived himself of temporal possessions, and come into the estate of poverty into which Christ the great Apostle of our profession brought himself, in order to fulfil his Divine commission. An order of men in the world, who should thus set worldly things at nought for the honour of preaching the Gospel, is most needful for teaching men the great lesson, that they cannot serve both God and mammon; and if they would obtain the kingdom of heaven, and its righteousness, that they must seek it first, and leave all other things to be added by their heavenly Father. And what is the duty of the church to those faithful men, who, in order to become their servants, or ministers, do forsake all dignities, preferments, and enjoyments, of this present life? Their duty is to feed the mouth that feedeth them with heavenly food, to lodge and further the man who forsook home and kindred for love of their souls; and - so hath it ever been, where the Spirit of Christ reigned in the church. They have ever abounded unto the ministers of the Gospel, yea, and superabounded; they have en. riched the church, they have replenished it with wealth, until its splendid preferments have become too much for the self-denial of its ministers. And all this influx of gifts upon the office-bearers of the church, proceeding without any covetousness on their part, is a fruit of that lesson which their self-denial hath taught unto the people of God, that the best use of riches is, to make friends of those who are able to receive us into everlasting habita• tions; while, at the same time, this free-will-offering unto God, this gift unto the poor of his house, hath been a continual odour of thankfulness unto God, for which he doth greatly increase the store from which it hath proceeded. We are far, therefore, from objecting to such contributions as are made for sending missionaries and Bibles into dark and heathen lands; but do regard it as one of the best channels into which to direct our charities : it is the eternal ordinance of God, that the person who devotes himself to the preaching of the Gospel, should, by the believers of the Gospel, be sustained with whatever is needful for the present life ; and when thus bestowed our gifts reproduce to us an hundred fold, whereof a splendid proof is given in this land, whose church is the most liberally endowed, both with houses and lands, and with the tenth of all the produce of the earth : and yet behold it is the richest of all lands, and the most charitable also. And so long as the ministry sought not their own, or their families' aggrandizement, but received the church's bounty as from the Lord, and to the Lord's work devoted it, so long as the people gave, without a grudge, their appointed portion unto the house of God, there was no cry of want in our streets, no oppression of landlords over tenants, or of tenants over labourers. The Lord's ordinance was honestly and heartily observed, and the Lord's blessing followed thereon: so, in like manner, with respect to the rich and the poor, two orders which the Lord hath appointed to continue in the world, saying, “The poor have ye always.” These two orders have for their heads, the Father and the Son; the rich are entrusted with the Father's plentiful creation, and are required to imitate their Father in dispensing it graciously and freely, without grudging, and without upbraiding. The poor have Christ for their Head, who is always entitled the Poor One; and a's Christ was contented, yea chose to become poor, that he might shew his confidence in his Father's wealth, and his Father's bountiful heart, so we who are poor
should walk in his humble footsteps, and exercise his admirable faith in God, who sendeth by the hands of his rich almoners, that which we need. And thus it is, that not equality, nor levelness of rank and riches, but inequality, and mutual dependence, is the ordinance of Divine providence, confirming the doctrine of the church concerning the relations of the Father and the Son. Entertaining these views of the use of riches and
poverty, and from our youth having ever acted upon them, it will not be thought that what we have said concerning the evil spirit pervading the religious world proceeds from any niggardly or churlish spirit. In all errors into which the church hạth been betrayed, there is a truth of which the error is the distortion. Pure and unmixed evil can never be the temptation of man in his present state, which is conscious of good and evil both. It is a good ordinance, which in these times hath been perverted to an evil use. The missionary abroad, and the minister of religion at home, are not suffered by us to come into voluntary privation, to follow the great Teacher's example, and become poor, that they may live by faith ; but, on the other hand, all teachers of the Gospel are provided for, by stipulated contracts, before they undertake their ministry. The spirit of the times is, neither to send a missionary to preach to the heathen, nor to ordain a minister over a flock, without a bond for his maintenance, or some security of one kind or another, and so the ordinance is made void. True it is, that he who ministers at the altar should live by the altar; but no one who calculates upon this before hand, is worthy to minister there. He ought to go in faith, thinking only of the Gospel of Christ which he beareth; and for him to be thinking of a living, is to degrade his high calling, and to deprive the world of that example of selfdevotedness, which they so much need.
Now, into this estate of the Laodicean angel, the Christian ministry at home and the missionaries to foreign parts are brought. It is maintained as a principle, and argued as a thing both equitable and just, that they also
should have a fair remuneration for their time and talents, and so they are articled to it like an attorney's clerk; a co-partnery is struck between them and their congregations, between them and the societies, as if it were some company concern in trade. This system has been grow. ing more and more upon the church, since the Reformation, and it seems now upon the eve of being perfected. The outcry for the equalizing of the livings in the church proceeds from no other than this same commercial feeling, which is the enemy of faith, of self-denial and self-devotion for the sake of God, and Christ, and men, bringing every thing under the conditions of barter and exchange ; much time and labour for so much money. There is al. ways too much of this in the world. It is the devil's grand substitute for a belief in Divine providence, and the exercise of mutual charity. God did not intend this world to be a system of barter, wherein man should sell himself to man for a money price ; but a system of grace and benevolence, man helping man, and labouring diligently in his calling, that he might have wherewith to help his brethren: and this, Paul teacheth, in all his Epistles; as for example, " Let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth” (Eph. iv. 28). 66 And let ours also learn to maintain good works (marg. profess honest trades), for necessary uses that they be not unfruitful ” (Titus iii. 14). But in spite of the apostolic canons, and of the very root of the Gospel, which is grace and not barter, the commercial principle hath, through various means, but especially through means of the compensation-system of theology, so established itself, as to have triumphed over the liberal professions, liberal arts, literature and science, to have brought every professor thereof almost into the condition of a person hired with money. And it is now seeking to storm the citadel of society which is the ministry of the church; to bring us, who should be the examples of disinterestedness and grace, under the bondage of hire, of servitude for money, of obligation, measured by the stipend we receive. The time is not far gone by, when a professional man, whether in the sciences or the arts, would have felt his character dishonoured, if his labour or service had been valued by a piece of money. It is a
poor, low, and miserable idea of man's nature, out of which all this proceedeth. It is the subjugation of his high and heavenly faculties, to his animal and sensual enjoyment, in which it endeth; and instead of a world full of faith, and of faithfulness, it produceth a world full of sense and low-minded delights, and so far from cultivating the principle of duty, it doth continually insult it, by saying, Thou canst not be trusted further than the letter of the bond. It attempts to make conscience also a thing of weight and measure; and conscience under these conditions is not conscience at all. It is mere man-pleasing ; whereas conscience hath respect to God, to that which is pleasing in his eyes, not to that which is pleasing in the eyes of fellow.mortals. And so far from religion being capable of such culture, it is the treatment which will surely prove its destruction ; for religion is essentially the triumph of faith over sight, the triumph of God's word in the soul, over all visible and delightful things in the sense of man.
Now this, though to a certain extent it hath existed as a temptation to the Christian ministry, hath never till these latter days become the predominant principle. Never till now was it plainly enunciated and enforced, that the mic nister of the Gospel should have so much or so much for his labour. The Apostle indeed said, The labourer is worthy of his hire; but never his labour is worthy of this or of that hire. Poverty hath ceased to be honourable in the church. The first aspect of the Christian ministry was love to Christ; the second, faithfulness under persecution; the third, declining faithfulness, through the permission of false, covetous, and sensual teachers ; the fourth, patient labour, but unholy endurance of the mother of abominations ; the fifth, the love of a name; the sixth, constancy in the midst of poverty and rejection; and now, the seventh, and last, is satisfaction in, and fulness of, worldly goods. And, because the character of the Christian ministry will always produce itself in the church, we have now that same spirit of commerce and political economy extended every where throughout the community, to the almost utter extinction of the principle of faith, grace, and charity; which will continue until the angels of the churches cease from feeling what the angel of the Laodi