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kers usually make two observations. The first is, That the Greek word * which is translated “ servant
servant” should have been rendered “minister.” It is translated“minişter," when applied by St. Paul to Timothy to denote this office t. It is also translated “ minister” when applied to St. Paul and Apollosť. And there is no reason why a change should have been made in its meaning in the pre
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 Grecks and the Romans, but the Barbarians knew her likewise g."
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
t i Thess. iii. 2. I i Cor. ii. 5. g In universà terrâ celcbris facta est ; nec eam soli Roinani, &c.
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.
Way in which Quakers are admitted into the mi
nistry—When acknowledged, they preach, like other pastors, to their different congregations or meetings they visit occasionally the different families in their own counties or quarterly meetings—Manner of these family-visits—sometimes travel ministers through particular counties, or the kingdom'at large-sometimes into foreign parts-Women share in these labours—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 up 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, how
present, and to whose province it more immediately belongs to
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 appointment, or power, for the execution of the sacerdotal office. It may be observed also, that he neither gains any authority, nor loses any privilege, by thus becoming a minister of the Gospel. Except while in the immediate exercise of his calling, he is only a common member. He receives no elevation by the assumption of any nominal title to distinguish bim from the rest. Nor is he elevated by the prospect of any increase to his worldly goods in consequence of his new office, for no minister in this Society receives any pecuniary emolument for his spiritual labours.
When ministers are thus approved and acknowledged, they exercise the sacred office in public assemblies, as they immediately feel themselves influenced to that work.
They may engage also, with the approbation of their own monthly meetings, in the work of visiting such Quaker-families as reside in the county or quarterly meeting to which they belong. In this case they are sometimes accompanied by one of the elders of the church. These visits have the name of family-visits, and are conducted in the following manner :
When a Quaker-minister, after having commenced his journey, has entered the house of the first family, the individual