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Mr. GLOVER has honoured my first letter with a reply, and he might possibly feel slighted, if I were to pass by him in silence. It is laudable in a young man like Mr. Glover to devote a portion of his leisure to the study of the Bible; but what a conflict he must have had with his modesty when he determined to turn author, and enlighten the world with his theological disquisitions. Speaking of my letter, he says, " It is evident this pamphlet is written from alarm, lest the power and income of the itinerant preachers, should be too much exposed, by a comparison with our constitution.” Mr. G., I am told, belongs to the law; and I think it does not become him to prate against the salaries of Methodist preachers. Such a pious man as he evidently is, will not, I presume, deny that the care of men's souls deserves as liberal a remuneration, as the care of their estates; he ought, therefore, to stop till he has brought the income of lawyers down to the level of ours, before he complain that ours is too high. Can it be that he is casting an envious glance at my salary, because his own is not equal to it? If this be the case, I cannot forbear saying, when I look at the princely style in which many of his brethren live, that he must be either one of the most unfortunate men that ever lived, or else one of the greatest simpletons that his profession ever produced.
The agreement I exhibited between itinerant ministers and the evangelists of sacred scripture, has excited mighty alarm among the Protestants. They perceive that the permanency of the evangelical office must be destroyed, or their system is at an end. And yet prior to the publication of my letter, they were not harrassed with any scruples upon the subject. An article appeared in their Magazine for August and September last, entitled, “The employment of, and provision for, itinerant ministers, evangelists, or missionaries.” This article was published also in the
form of a pamphlet; and it is generally believed that the reasonings it contained determined the yearly meeting to employ this class of officers. Here the sameness of itinerant ministers, or evangelists, is taken for granted!
Mr. G. labours hard to prove that a scripture evangelist was an “extraordinary officer;" that his office consisted, as far as we can judge, of nothing but preaching; and that the office was only temporary in its duration. Thus at page 9, he sums up what he conceives he had previously demonstrated. “I have endeavoured to show,” says he, “ that if the duty of an evangelist is merely to preach the gospel, then every preacher is an evangelist that if it does not consist of preaching, we have no ground to judge of the nature of the office--that we have no proof of its being a permanent office.” The first of these positions is intended to put every preacher upon a level with an evangelist; the second denies that any duty belongs to the office of an evangelist besides preaching, and the third denies the permanency of the office. Let us suppose all these proved, and then what is the amount of his demonstrations ? Why, that, since the evangelists were merely preachers, and their office of preaching only temporary, there ought not to have been any preaching since the primitive times ! In the name of common sense, then, why do the Protestants employ preachers and missionaries? A man must possess more cunning than a lawyer to reconcile such things as these !
But Mr. G. is not disheartened at the greatest difficulties; nor does he shrink from adopting the greatest absurdities. Having proved to his own satisfaction, perhaps, that Timothy was an “extraordinary officer," he desires his readers to keep this in mind while 2 Tim. iv. 1-5 is under examination. He remarks upon it, page 7, “ Now what is the obvious meaning of this passage ? Most undoubtedly, that, amid the trials and opposition from those ` having the form of godliness but denying its power,' and who ' turning away their ears from the truth unto fables,' would not endure sound doctrine,' Timothy should be watchful, endure the affliction in patience, but oppose it by doing the work of an evangelist, that is, by preaching the grand truths of the gospel, faithfully and steadily, as the only effectual means of checking the progress of error." And pray what is there which is extraordinary in this ? Ought not every minister to be watchful, patient, and preach the gospel faithfully and steadily? Mr. G. speaks out plainly here again as to the duties of the evangelical office. "Timothy was to oppose false doctrine“ by doing the work of an evangelist, that is, by preaching the gospel, as the only effectual means of checking the progress of error.” Preaching is undoubtedly included in the work of an evangelist; but when it is asserted that this is the only means he possesses of opposing error and vice, the position is not tenable. I have shown that Timothy and Titus had the ordering and governing of the churches where they resided; and a little common sense is sufficient to satisfy any man that the exercise of discipline is as necessary to the purity of the church as a faithful ministry
Mr. G. seems to be aware that his cause is lost, if Timothy and Titus are allowed to have been evangelists. I had remarked, “Titus was an officer similar to Timothy.” Mr. G. says,
66 We admit this." All I have to do, therefore, is, to show that Timothy was an evangelist; and my proof is contained in the words where he is exhorted to do the work of this office. In opposition to this, Mr. G. says, page 8, “ We know nothing of Timothy in the character of an evangelist.” He also lays great stress upon it, and repeats it twice within a few lines, page 7, that "Timothy is never once called an evangelist.” Mr. G. assures us that he did the work of an evangelist " by preaching the gospel.” We have seen above, that preaching is the only work he assigns to the evangelical office and to Timothy; if he, therefore, did the whole work of the office, and if that was his proper work, which is not denied, he must necessarily have been an officer, that
is, an evangelist. I must also remind Mr. G. that though Timothy is exhorted in this passage to preach the word, and in another text is said to have preached it, yet he is never in the New Testament called a preacher. If he will have the goodness to explain to me how Timothy could do the work of a preacher without being a preacher, I will concede that he might do the work of an evangelist without being an evangelist. But till this be done, I shall take it for granted that the title of evangelist belonged to Timothy and Titus, as well as to Philip; and though I have rested my cause upon these three, I think the New Testament affords abundant evidence that evangelists were rather numerous.
As the work of these evangelists is recorded in the New Testament, we can be at no loss to know what belongs to their office. It is plain enough that they, 1. Preached the gospel. 2. Were itinerant preachers. 3. Baptised their converts, and formed them into churches, 4. Governed the churches, as Timothy and Titus did those of Ephesus and Crete. 5. Were wholly devoted to their work. 6. Appointed others to the same office. All this I have proved at large in my first letter. Now I ask in the name of reason and religion, what is there in all this work which will not want doing while there shall be an unconverted sinner, and a church
earth ? A writer in the Protestant Magazine for last month is not quite so chivalrous as Mr. Glover: he does not attempt to show that the office of a scripture evangelist included nothing but preaching, and then insist that the office was merely temporary. His capacity, though shallow enough, could comprehend, that, if these points were demonstrated, the ministry would be destroyed. He therefore distinguishes between the literal and the scriptural meaning of the word evangelist. He does not, like Mr. G., accuse me of ascribing too much to the evangelists of holy writ; he merely contends that their office was extraordinary and temporary, and that if the word be applied to any now,
must be in its literal sense, as denoting merely one who announces good news; in which sense every local preacher is as truly an evangelist as Mr. Isaac himself.” He says, “ Mr. Isaac, we apprehend, is not aware that Mr. Tucker used the term in question, in a very different sense to the one intended by him. Mr. T. well knew, that evangelist literally denotes one who announces good news, and in this sense it was that he used it; and never conceived that any one would suppose that he intended to convey the idea, that modern evangelists, (if preachers may be so termed,) had a right to the same prerogatives, as the evangelists of the New Testament." This is all news to me.
But this writer has not said that he has Mr. Tucker's authority for this exposition of his sentiments; and it happens that he has explained himself upon this point with sufficient precision. He propounds an objection to his proposal of having stipendiary evangelists, in these words, “ That evangelists, if popular men, might possibly make parties in various parts of the circuits, in which they would labour; and thereby either disturb the tranquillity, and interrupt the harmony of the connexion, or cause partial separations from the body.” To this he replies, * But is it either a rational, or an orthodox proceeding thus to anticipate visionary objections against scriptural practices and scriptural precepts, merely because their occurrence may be supposed to be within the bounds of possibility ? Upon this basis, it would be easy to erect an argument in proof that the divine appointment of bishops in the churches of christianity, was an unwise enactment; for the bishop of Rome, availing himself of that character, ultimately assumed an independent and supreme dominion in the church, as his legitimate right.” From which it is certain, if there be any meaning in words, that Mr. Tucker understood the employment and support of evangelists in the present day, to have the sanction of "scriptural practices, and scriptural precepts." But he would be a clever fellow who could produce scripture precepts