Images de page
PDF
ePub

*

he mentions * Philip, who had four daughters, all of whom prophesied at Cæsarea. Now by prophesying, if we accept St. Paul's interpretation of it t, is meant a speaking to edification, and exhortation, and comfort, under the influence of the Holy Spirit. It was also a speaking to the church. It was also the speaking of one person to the church, while the others remained silent.

That women also preached or prophesied in the church of Corinth, the Quakers show from the testimony of St. Paul; for he states the manner in which they did it, or that they prayed and prophesied with their heads uncovered I.

That women also were ministers of the Gospel in other places, and that they were highly serviceable to the church, St. Paul confesses, with great satisfaction, in his Epistle to the Romans, in which he sends his salutation to different persons, for whom he professed an affection or an esteem. Thus: “ I commend unto you Phæbe, our sister, who is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea S.” Upon this passage the Qua* Acts xxi. 9.

1 i Cor. xi. 5. † i Cor. xiv.

ģ Romans xvi. 1.

kers

kers usually make two observations.

The first is, That the Greek word* which is translated servant should have been rendered “minister.” It is translated “minister," when applied by St. Paul to Timothy to denote this office t. It is also translated “minister" when applied to St. Paul and Apollost. And there is no reason why a change should : have been made in its meaning in the present case. The second is, That history has handed down Phæbe as a woman eminent for her Gospel-labours. “She was celebrated,” says Theodoret, “ throughout the world; for not only the Greeks and the Romans, but the Barbarians knew her likewise ."

St. Paul also greets Priscilla and Aquila. He greets them under the title of Fellowhelpers or Fellow-labourers in Jesus Christ. But this is the same title which he bestows upon Timothy to denote his usefulness in the church. Add to which, that Priscilla and Aquila were the persons of whom St. Luke says, that they assisted Apollos “ in

και διάκονος.

t i Thess. ill. c. i Cor. li. 5. $ In universâ terrâ celebris facta est; nec eai soli Romani, &c.

expounding expounding to him the way of God more

perfectly *."

In the same Epistle, he recognises also other women, as having been useful to him in Gospel-labours. Thus: “Salute Tryphena, and Tryphosa, who labour in the Lord. Salute the beloved Persis, who laboured much in the Lord.”

From these, and from other observations which might be made upon this subject; the Quakers are of opinion, that the ministry of the women was as acceptable, in the time of the Apostles, as the ministry of the men. And as there is no prohibition against the preaching of women in the New Testament, they see no reason why they should not be equally admissible, and equally useful as ministers, at the present day.

* Acts xviii. 24. 26.

1

SECTION SECTION II.

Way in which Quakers are admitted into the mia

nistryWhen acknowledged, they preach, like other pastors, to their different congregations or meetings--they visit occasionally the different families in their own counties or quarterly meetingsManner of these family-visits--sometimes travel as ministers through particular counties, or the kingdom at large--sometimes into foreign parlsWomen share in these latours--Expense of voyages on such occasions defrayed out of the national stock.

The way in which Quakers, whether men or women, who conceive themselves to be called to the office of the ministry, are admitted into it, so as to be acknowledged by the Society to be ministers of the Quaker-church, is simply as follows: Any member has a right to rise ир

in the meetings for worship, and to speak publicly. If any one therefore should rise up and preach, who has never done so before, he is heard. The congregation are all witnesses of his doctrine. The Elders, however, who

present, and to whose province it more immediately belongs to

judge

may be

judge of the fitness of ministers, observe the tenour of his discourse. They watch over it for its authority; that is, they judge by its spiritual influence on the mind, whether it be such as corresponds with that which may

be presumed to come from the Spirit of God. If the new preacher deliver any thing that appears exceptionable, and continue to do so, it is the duty of the Elders to speak to him in private, and to desire him to discontinue his services to the church. But if nothing exceptionable occur, nothing is said to him, and he is allowed to deliver himself publicly at future meetings. In process of time, if after repeated attempts in the office of the ministry the new preacher should have given satisfactory proof of his gift, he is reported to the monthly meeting to which he belongs. And this meeting, if satisfied with his ministry, acknowledges him as a minister, and then recommends him to the meeting of ministers and elders belonging to the same.

No other act than this is requisite. He receives no verbal or written appointinent, or power, for the execution of the sacerdotal office. It may be observed also, that he neither

« PrécédentContinuer »