« PrécédentContinuer »
his office-work as an evangelist he which he was recalled when the work seems in no respect to have been infe- was done. The general duties of this rior to other preachers of the time. work were indicated when Paul wrote, In 2 Tim. iv. 5, it is said to Timothy, “Do the work of an evangelist.” This “Do the work of an evangelist; make work included acting for the church in full proof of thy ministry." What was the ordination of officers, teaching and Timothy's public office-work? He was exhorting and preaching the word as not an apostle. In 2 Cor. i. 1, it reads, did Philip the evangelist, but there is "Paul, an apostle, and Timothy our no proof that Timothy, in the modern brother; again, Col. i. 1, “Paul, an
ever installed over any apostle of Christ, and Timothy our church. He labored not as a settled brother.” If Paul had regarded Tim- pastor, but as a stated supply, an othy as an apostle, while calling him- evangelist at and about Ephesus. self one, he would not have been so The work of Titus was similar. He uncourteous as to say that Timothy was not a permanent bishop or pastor was not one, but only a brother. Again, in any church, but was left by Paul in Timothy was not bishop of Ephesus, Crete to act for the churches in the oror settled pastor of the church there. dination of their bishops or elders, When Paul, according to Acts xx. 1, Paul did not intend that he should settle went into Macedonia in the year 60,
there, for in chapter iii. 12, he says, he besought Timothy to abide at Ephe- " when I shall send Artemas unto thee, sus to regulate certain disorders in the or Tychicus, be diligent to come unto church at that place — “ to charge some me to Nicopolis,"— we find him exthat they teach no other doctrine.”' pected at Troas, on a mission to the Addressing him at Ephesus in the 1st church at Corinth, — and on another to Epistle to Timothy, he informs him Dalmatia. what qualifications should be possessed He was never settled, but labored for by teachers, bishops, and deacons. He the churches wherever the providence tells him to “rebuke not an elder, but of God opened the way. entreat him as a father;” to “lay hands It is not essential to the argument suddenly on no man ;” that is, to or- that we should be able to adduce a dain no one for the church hastily. score of instances like these, but only These directions imply that the church to mark, the nature of the work perat Ephesus was to have officers who formed by these evangelists. As we were other persons than Timothy. are not arguing with believers in EpisThey were given Timothy as direc- copacy, it is not necessary to prove tions to aid him in securing proper that they were not diocesan bishops, men for the offices in the church. But that they did not ordain men by their further, the sojourn of Timothy at own authority. They performed the Ephesus was not intended by Paul to ceremony of ordination for, and in the be permanent, as it would have been name of, the churches, as did other had he, in modern language, been set- ministers. They preached, they baptled over the church. In the second tized, and, by parity of reason, adminEpistle, probably written from Rome, istered the ordinances of the church, Paul says, “ Do thy diligence to come and possessed the same prerogatives to shortly unto me.” “Do thy diligence act for churches at their request in to come before winter.” Hence it ap- matters now committed to councils, as pears that Timothy, at the request of did bishops or elders. The angels of the apostle, spent several years at the seven churches in Asia Minor could Ephesus on a special mission, from not have performed more official acts than did these men. They were not are settled ministers, as we learn from surpassed in this respect by any mod- the recent missionary enterprise underern pastor, even those who have been taken in New England by one who was gettled from three to seven times. But lately a beloved secretary of the Amerto prove beyond question that the order ican Home Missionary Society, there of New Testament evangelists was not is need of ministerial effort to gather merely a temporary measure for those believers into little churches, to preach times, we have only to apply the old to them, to carry them through a peprinciple, “Ratio manet, lex manet.” riod of weakness. It requires no mean
4. The circumstances which rendered order of talent, no imperfect degree it necessary to establish the order of of experience and piety for this work. evangelists in the days of primitive The infancy of such churches must be Christian churches still exist, even in watched over by men who can be to nominally Christian lands, and will them all that any installed minister can continue to exist until the millennium. be to his church; and yet these church
This is a sufficient answer to the as- es can not settle a preacher because the sertion that no provision is found in the men who preach to them must each Scriptures for the perpetuation of this have several churches in the same order of men. If this be so, which is condition under their care, or because doubted, the reply is, the command to where the preacher spends all his time continue the order exists in the still ex- with one church, it is too unsettled itself isting circumstances which at first led to think of settling its minister, — too to its institution. There is no direct dependent on missionary aid to assume command to continue the order of dea the obligations of a church receiving a cons in modern churches. If it be said pastor. This is the “logic of events" the qualifications of deacons are given, by which we prove that the New Testhus implying the permanency of the tament order of evangelists is now valorder, then the charge of Paul to the id. These are “ the stubborn facts" evangelist Timothy gives the qualifica- which some of our brethren overlook tions of the order, and implies its per- when they write of the uncongregamanence. We infer that the diaconate tional way of ordaining ministers” should continue, because the state of without installing them over some parthings which led the Head of the church ticular church, and intimate that we to appoint it still continues. What are guilty of spiritual concubinage at better reason than this do we need for the West. (“Cong. Quarterly,” 1864, continuing the office of evangelists? page 360.) If so, we are less guilty than In the days of the apostles, there was some of the evangelists mentioned in need of men to go, like Philip to Sama- the New Testament. They often had ria, and preach and secure the existence more than several of these young conof new churches. There was need of cubines; Western ministers generally men to preach to churches that could have only from one to four. not have settled pastors and to take But how should the order of evangecare of them, as Titus did of the lists be ordained? This is not a diffichurches in the Island of Crete, until cult question. Indeed it is, in practice, men could be found who could be or- solved by our New England churches. dained elders or pastors of them. In In the contest of our Puritan fathers wide regions of our own country, we against Episcopal ordination, they took find to-day that the same necessity ex- the ground “ that the essence of the ists. In thousands of communities, and outward call of an ordinary officer consome of them in regions where there sisted in his free election by the church and his acceptance of that choice"—that until elected by another church to its “in churches where there are no elders, pastoral office; but he is deemed an orimposition of hands on officers elected dained minister. It will be impossible may be performed by some of the breth- to change this custom. It need not be ren orderly chosen by the church for changed. that service”—that“particular church- The ordination of Timothy may have es are the first subjects of this power of been by the Presbytery of a particular ordaining.” (“ Apology for the Liber- church. It was certainly in accordance ties of the Churches in New England," with the wishes and wants of the pages 61, 62.) The theory was, that or- churches, and it qualified him to be a dination must be an act of some partic-“stated supply" at Ephesus, or to exular church, for itself. The person or- ercise the functions of the ministry dained must become the pastor of the elsewhere. By whom such men as church ordaining him, and hence their Barnabas and Titus and Philip were custom was,
a new imposition of ordained, we are not told. A divine hands upon every new call to an exer- call to the ministry is the principal and cise of the ministry.” (Ib. 148.) That only essential point. Good order reis, the dismission of a minister so far quires that one so called should be forunordained him that the next church mally inducted into the ministerial ofcalling him must perform the ceremony fice by those to whom Christ has deleagain. But this theory was not strict- gated that power. If ordained by some ly carried out. In a letter of Charles church for its own pastoral office, in the Morton, he says, “Yet to us who came intention of that church he may be orfrom Europe, Mr. Bayley and myself, it dained for them so long as it is wise for (the imposition of hands) was abated.” him to remain, and, also, for service af
It was too much to treat those good ter that as an evangelist, until settled men as wholly unordained, and in mod- as pastor of some other church. If a ern installations the same custom pre- suitable person for the ministry sees a vails. The candidate is viewed as more field in which he can do the work of an a minister than a licentiate, as virtually evangelist, he may ask some church for ordained and only to be installed pas- ordination, that he may go and perform tor. We have a feeling that one who has it. If a church not prepared to receive been once solemnly ordained, and has a pastor can find a man qualified for performed all the functions of the min- ordination, it may call a council to oristerial office, is not really unordained dain him without installation. by honorable dismission. By common But we have only to analyze the act consent such ministers are allowed to of installation and settlement, to show preach and administer the sacraments. that one who is ordained and preaching In practice, our churches do not abide to a church or churches, without forby the logic that a pastor is ordained mal installation is entitled, as respects by some church for its own pastorate, his people, and in councils where sent and that when he leaves this, he ceases by his people to act for them, to the to be an ordained minister. The local same rights and powers that pertain to church, in feeling and in practice, or- installed ministers. The essential things dains the candidate for life or during in a settlement are a divine appointgood behavior. If he is dismissed hon- ment to preach, and a contract between orably, he is furnished with papers the minister and the people, pledging commending him to the churches “ as him to faithful service, and them to an able and devoted minister of the Christian co-operation and to his mategospel.” A pastor of course he is not, rial support.
Leaving out of view the mixed and installation will make it no less so, and unscriptural arrangement of church it may embarrass both parties. and society which prevails in New Where such a custom prevails, as at England, and making the church, as it the West, churches can be regulated in was in the primitive days of Christian- the matter of fellowship with each ity, the only party in the agreement other in a very simple way. with the preacher, one who by mutual Our Associations examine the creconsent is chosen by a church to act as dentials of ministers coming to us and its religious teacher, and is desired by asking a recognition, and our conferthe church to fill, in all respects, the of- ence of churches receives no church fice of a minister of the gospel for it, is into its body until its covenant and virtually just as much its pastor in re- articles of faith have been submitted spect of rights and duties, as he could for examination. be if a council should meet and sanc- In the West we find it necessary to tion the agreement.
adopt such action. We believe it scripIf the council, according to our tural. We shall restrict and weaken theory, has no installing power orig- ourselves if we refuse to go beyond inating in itself, - if this power is from the doctrine of our old “standards” the church and is exercised by the on this question. They were formed council for it, - a minister who has en- in the mold of circumstances, which tered into a contract with a church has do not surround us. They contain complied with the essential thing, and truth, but not all truth; they were wise the church may deem him its minister for conditions of society then existing, and ask him to be its moderator, - to and for similar conditions now existing. control its pulpit, to represent it in But I misapprehend the genius of councils, — with just as much propriety Congregationalism if it has no expanas if a council had reviewed the pro- sive power— no power to adapt itself ceedings and sanctioned them. This is to new circumstances, none to advance the practice in the West, and no evils with light and order into the regions of result from it. Where the mongrel moral chaos which Christ bids us enter. system of church and society does not if the system is only adapted to comexist, there is no need of installation to munities already Christianized, it is not legalize the contract. Our churches the gospel. If it will do for New Engwill be held by moral obligation, and land, but is not fit for the West, it is by legal too, if the contract is a matter not the gospel; for the gospel is adaptof record on the books; yet a ministered to regenerate the West, and to rewill rarely ever find it necessary to ap- construct the South. The hour has peal to Cæsar for help to collect his
come for Congregationalism to develop salary if he is a prudent man and fit its evangelizing agencies. It has the to be in the ministry. We would not, order of evangelists. Let it increase however, recommend that the custom their number, understand their effiof installation by a council be dispensed ciency, and give them its moral and with when the contract between people material support.' and preacher can be made with a prospect of permanence. But where this
1 For comments upon this article, see Ediis a matter of experiment and doubt, tor's Table.
THE PARAMOUNT CLAIMS OF THE WORK OF PAROCHIAL
BY REV. A. 8. CHESEBROUGII, GLASTENBURY, Conx. In a given locality, Christian piety and to which frequent reference is must exist in individuals and in house- made in the inspired record of their holds, rudimentally, at least, prior to labors. the establishment of a church. But a In the grand enterprise of subduing church having been gathered and or- the world's rebellion, it is easy to ganized, its first great duty is the thor- see that the Captain of our salvation ough Christianization of all the indi- selected such“ bases” of operations as viduals and families which are within its would enable His people to hold their more immediate reach, or which consti- ground against opposition, and furnish tute its proper parish, a work that the best centers from which to act agincludes the spiritual culture and edifi- gressively upon the kingdom of Satan. cation of its own members. This is They were to begin their work, as we called the first great duty of the local have seen, among their “ brethren and church, a duty paramount to all others, kinsmen according to the flesh,” whose inasmuch as it has reference to a semi- language they spoke, whose habits of nal enterprise, absolutely essential to thought they understood, whose prejuthe realization of the true idea of a dices they had shared, whose interests church, and infolding within itself the were dearer to them than those of any very life-germ of all associated efforts other nation. These their fellow-counto Christianize and save the world. trymen had been, in common with
1. Christian obligation seems to in- themselves, under the training of that crease in the ratio of the nearness in divinely ordained system of religion, which others stand related to us, and of which was designed as a schoolmaster their susceptibility to be benefited by us. to bring them unto Christ," and hence It is on this principle, that“ if any pro- were, by their knowledge of the true vide not for his own, and especially God, and of the nature and claims of for those of his own house, he hath de- His service, and of the realities of a nied the faith and is worse than an spiritual and future world, susceptible, infidel.” Do we not here also discover beyond all other people, to impressions the main reason why God's covenant from distinctively Christian truths. people received the first offer of the And though the Jewish mind tended gospel ? When our Lord first sent strongly to formalism and bigotry, yet forth the Apostles, “ He commanded it was incomparably in advance of the them, saying, go not into the way of world besides, in respect to its prethe Gentiles, and into any city of the paredness for the gospel. Hence in Samaritans enter ye not; but go rather preaching this gospel, as completed to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” by the resurrection and ascension of its So, also, subsequently to the resurrec- Author, the apostles were to make tion, He declared to them His will, their “beginning at Jerusalem.” Here " that repentance and remission of sins they were, so to speak, to clear a place, should be preached in his name among lay out their ground, and plant the all nations, beginning at Jerusalem,”. foundations of that spiritual edifice a charge which they faithfully obeyed, which was to exceed in glory the