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by my brethren; and lacking room to argue properly a controverted topic, I pass it by for the present, and proceed to speak of the duties and authority of evangelists and overseers.
1. OF EVANGELISTS—THEIR DUTIES.
The prime duty of an evangelist, as the term imports, is to proclaim the good news of salvation; as Paul says to Timothy, “ Preach the Word." This is a most responsible task-it is a most arduous worka lofty and noble mission. It demands a deep insight into the beauties and glories of the gospel; an intimate acquaintance with the Bible; a large acquaintance with human nature, in its ever-varying phases; a knowledge of the times we live in, and the peculiar forms of opposition to be met; a faith in God that will lift the soul above the fear of man, and the many discouragements that throng the preacher's life; a love of humanity that will prompt to all patient labor and long-suffering; a spiritual mindedness that will bear the laboring soul to heaven for refreshment, and charm it away from the numerous lures and snares which a carnal world is too ready to offer; and a holy life which will give emphasis and eloquence to all that the lips utter. The evangelist must be what Paul calls Timothy—a “man of God." 1 Tim. vi. 11. One true man, properly equipped for this work, and going forth in the spirit of Christ, is a most potent instrumentality. It is impossible measure or to estimate his force in the moral universe. He is clothed with much of the strength of God. He gathers a kind of almightiness about him, which, wielded skillfully and fearlessly in the name of Jesus, makes angels shout for joy, and demons flee shrieking from the battle-field to their dens of darkness. His words never die. They live in hearts and consciences which tremble to their eternal reverberations, and in lives which they have quickened into holy activity in the cause of God. His affectionate utterance of the love of God, is as sweet to the sin-sick soul as "strains which angels use.” His exhortation to obedience is like a trumpet-call, rousing the dead to life. His rebuke of sin is like the scathing thun. derbolt. His exposures of talsehood and delusion like the sweep of the tempest. Nay, when the last echo of the songs of earth shall be drowned in the crash of falling worlds-when trumpet-call, and lightning-blast, and tempest-sweep, are all annihilated and forgotten; and all earth’s potentates howl amid the empty and blasted ruins of their vaunted greatness, the “man of God” shall stand sablimely amid ten thousand glad monuments of his earthly labors; the echoes of his pleadings, prayers, songs, and rebukes, will come rolling joy. fully back through the halls of memory; and, as he places one hand on the cross he bore, and the other on the crown he has won, he will “ rejoice in the day of Christ, that he did not run in vain, neither labor in vain.”
It is a second duty of the evangelist to foster his converts, and instruct them in all the counsels of God. To leave new converts without food or shelter, a prey to the devouring wolf, is neither humanity nor wisdom. It is foolish, for in a large majority of cases, the labor of the evangelist in converting them, is lost. It is cruel, for the starvation of the soul, the crushing of the new-born spirit in all the pure hopes and loves which have been kindled, and its abandonment to the powers of darkness, to helpless, hopeless chains of captivity, involves suffering and shame for time and eternity, which, if they be the fruits of an evangelist's neglect, will not greatly redound to his honor at the judgment seat. The example of the apostles at Jerusalem, (Acts ii.,) of Paul and Barnabas at Antioch, (Acts xi. 22–30, and xiv. 28, also xv. 36-41,) clearly shows, that in the wisdom of primitive times, every territory gained was carefully fortified and diligently cultivated ; and that the original evangelists felt in conscience bound to see to the nurture and training of those whom they had been instrumental in bringing to the Lord. It was with this view that Paul tarried so long at Ephesus. (Acts xx. 17–32.)
A third daty of the evangelist is, to organize and inaugurate a suitable ministry in every church he plants. (See Acts xiv. 21-24.) In harmony with this, it is to be observed that the apostolic instructions relative to the qualifications and ordinations of bishops and deacons, are given to evangelists, and not to churches, in the epistles to Timothy and Titus. This is a significant fact. In the light of these Scriptares, we hold it to be the sacred daty of the evangelists to see that none but suitable persons are appointed to office in the church; to refuse absolutely to ordain any person as to whose qualifieations he is in doubt; and to keep in his own hands the charge of such a church, until suitable ministers can be provided. He is not bound to tie himself down to that particular church, but to provide for them proper labor, and, like Paul and Barnabas, to return ere long, and see how
We hold it to be another duty of the evangelist, to correct disorders in existing churches. (Titus i. 5.) If false doctrines are taught, and the existing eldership cannot remedy it, the evangelist is bound to step in and confute the gainsayers. (1 Tim. i. 3-4, and vi. 3-5, and iv. 1-5.) If the eldership is at fault, it belongs to the evangelist to investigate, and to restore order and peace. (1 Tim. v. 1; also, verse 19-22.) In a word, whether evils exist in a church, which fail of remedy for want of a proper presbytery, or through the derilictions of the overseers, whether it be error in doctrine, or error in practice, it is
the duty of the evangelist to correct it, and not suffer a wild and irresponsible eldership, nor yet a fierce and turbulent democracy, to “lord it over God's heritage."
Finally, it is the duty of the evangelist to educate other faithful men for the work, that they may be able to teach others also. (2 Tim. ii. 2.) Thus Paul trained Timothy. Thus Paul and Barnabas took others, younger, with them. None but an evangelist can properly train others for the work. The practical part of the mission, without which all intellectual training is useless, can be had only in the field. Under the eye and care of the overseers, young men may be trained for usefulness in churches-(and such, we apprehend, were the deacons or ministers of the primitive church,)—but no man can learn, in an indi. vidual church, how to perform “the work of an evangelist.”. Such are, in brief, the duties of an evangelist. They demand all his timeall his energy
As to his authority, it becomes us to speak with much care. Such is the last of power in the human heart, and so fearfal are the oppressions which have grown out of an undue assumption of authority, on the part of such officers, that the free children of God are alarmed almost at the utterance of the word authority. The Saviour taught a wholesome lesson on this to his apostles, (Matt. xx. 24-29.) Yet the apostles had authority, and so, too, must all officers in the Christian church have authority, unless their office be a mere name, and their duties a farce. The authority of every Christian minister corresponds, in magnilude and extent, with the duties of his office. If it be the duty of the evangelist to preach the word, then must he have authority to preach the word. If it be his duty to set in order the things that are wanting in imperfect churches, then has he the authority to do so. If it be his duty to ordain elders, you cannot deny him the authority. But where duty ends, there authority ends. As it is not his duty to make laws for the government of the churches of God, nor to make a creed, nor to oppress the conscience, nor to establish eccle. sisastical councils to settle questions of faith and discipline, so neither has he authority for any such proceedings. Such seems to me to be the common sense view of the question of authority. Allow me farther to say, that as the apostles frequently laid aside their authority, that they might rather affectionately plead with the erring, and as they have warned evangelists not to strive, but to be gentle toward all men, in meekness instructing those who oppose themselves; it accords more with the genius and spirit of Christianity to rely for authority on the moral power gained by goodness, meekness, and long-suffering, rather than on claims set up theoretically, and pertinaciously argued and insisted on as sustained by the mere letter of Scripture teaching, Nor should we ever forget the precious lesson taught us in this sen. tence—“Yea, all of you, be subject one to another."
[CONCLUSION NEXT MONTH.7
THE SPIRITUAL AMBROTYPE. The renovation of man through the gospel of Christ, may be figuratively styled the Spiritual Ambrotype. So striking and so numerous are the points of analogy between these two processes, that it may
be neither uninteresting nor unimproving to trace them in detail.
In the first place, the image or picture formed in the Ambrotype, is, unlike that of the Daguerreotype, unfading and permanent. Hence the name Ambrotype, from the two Greek words, ambrotos, immortal; and lupos, image. The permanency of the picture depends upon the character of the material on which it is formed, and, since in the Ambrotype the material employed is glass, which is both transparent and unchangeable, the image fixed upon it and socured by it from contact with the air, and yet visible through it, is appropriately termed an Ambrotype-an imperishable type or image. So in the process of the renovation of the soul, it is designed to form, upon the undying or immortal nature of man, the glorious image of Christ, visible through every portion of that imperishable material which it adorns, and to which it is forever united. Nay, between the glass and the human nature, in one of its aspects, there is also this striking similarity, that both are constructed out of perishable matter-man from the dust, and glass froni common earthly materials; and as these latter, uniting in the furnace, totally change their character, and yield the lustrous and unchanging glass, so God, out of the perishable dust of humanity, constructs a permanent spiritual being, that shall bear, through eternal ages, the glorious image of the Redeemer.
But, to enter into a more minute comparison, and trace these processes through their different stages, I would remark here, that in order to the reception of the desired image, a certain preparation is required, both with respect to the glass and with respect to man. 1 shall not here stop to inquire into the nature of this preparation, or consider how it is effected; but simply advert to the fact, that, in the Ambrotype, the glass plate receives a certain chemical preparation sensitive to natural light, and that, in conversion, there is the prerequisite of "an honest and good heart;"* sensitive to spiritual light-the "light of life.” Now, the plate being thus prepared, the utmost care is taken to permit no light to fall upon it, except that which reaches it through the lens, behind which it is placed, and by means of which the reflected rays from the person whose likeness is to be taken are converged upon it. It is not, therefore, until every thing is carefully
# Luke viii. 15.
and properly adjusted, that the artist cautiously uncovers the lens, • through which alone he desires the light to pass to the plate, in order to form the picture. As this prepared plate may represent the prepared heart, so the lens may fitly represent the gospel of God's grace, through which the image of Jesus is reflected upon the soul. And as care is needed lest, by a free exposure to the light of the world, the whole surface of the plate should be darkened and rendered incapable of receiving any distinct image, so in the renovation of the heart, the utmost attention is required that the appropriate light of heaven alone should reach it through the gospel, which is designed to impart the likeness of Christ. Oh! it is most important that no false light, from fallible human teachers, should fall upon the awakened soul, and that no premature or rash exposure to the glare of the vain and senseless idols of the world, should darken and destroy it forever. And this care is necessary, not only when the prepared heart is first to be subjected to proper spiritual influences, but afterwards also, until its liability to injury, from full exposure, has been obviated; just as the plate which has received the proper impression through the lens, is still secluded from the common light, until its sensitiveness to injurious impressions has been removed. And this may fitly suggest how important it is that the young convert, whose heart has received its first impressions of divine grace, should be carefully secluded from the glittering vanities of the world, and kept in the close security of protecting influences;—in the secret closet of private prayer; within the sacred pale of the divine and solemn ministries of the house of God, until the susceptibility to injurious impressions shall have been overcome, and knowledge and experience in the divine life shall have im. parted ability to endure the temptations of the world. Alas! how often is it the case, that the young rejoicing convert, with his whole nature all alive to spiritual and moral impressions, is left ungarded by pastoral care or Christian affection, or even by parental love; and allowed to mingle with the vain and frivolous, and to continue, as be. fore conversion, engaged in a giddy round of vain and empty pleasures and employments! How seldom do we see exerted the prudent consideration which the case demands !-the sacred authority which Christianity confers !--the tender solicitude which religious experience prompts! What wonder is it that the heart, upon which the happiest impressions may have been made by the gospel, and which might, with proper care, have been made to glow with holy love and the bright image of Jesus, should, thus neglected and exposed, soon become so darkened and obscured that no subsequent attendance upon religious rites or formal duties, nor long.protracted continuance of outward church relations, shall ever be able to develop clearly one