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tin Martyr says of them: “That after their country was destroyed, and their city laid waste, they repented not, but proceeded still in their execrations of Christ, and of all that believed in him ;" Dial. cum. Trypt., p. 335. And Tertullian adds: “That seeing from the time of Tiberius to Vespasian they repented not, their land was made desolate, and their cities burned with fire.” Justin Martyr declares again in his apology, written in the year of our Lord one hundred and forty, that they were in all places, “ As great enemies to the Christians as the heathens were, and as ready to torment and kill them, when they could do it ; and that this was evident from the last Jewish war, in which their captain, Barchochebas, commanded only the Christians to be tormented, if they refused to deny, and to blaspheme the Lord Jesus Christ;" p. 72. From this period to the days of Constantine, the fathers generally represented them as a nation whose ears were shut, and their hearts hardened ; declaring, * That the Scriptures had clearly foretold they should be disinherited, and fall off from the grace of God.” Origin testifies, " That God had turned his providence from the Jews to the Gentiles; that they were wholly deserted, and they retained nothing of what before was venerable among them, nor any footsteps of the divine presence with them; that after the crucifixion of our Lord, they were perfectly deserted, and not to be converted till the end of the world;" Adv. Celsum., l. 2, p. 62. Tertullian says: “ That from the time they crucified their Lord, God had taken from them the prophet, wise men, and the Holy Spirit, and had left them destitute of his grace; and that only at his second coming he should be received by them who had thus rejected him ;” Adv. Marcion, l. 3, c. 23. And from the days of Constantine down to the present period, the same blindness has remained upon this people, and they have cherished the same enmity to Christ, and hostility to the Christian religion, as did their forefathers.
If, then, the rejected Jews, who were cast off for their infidelity, have not yet been brought in, the prophecies respecting their conversion to the Christian religion, and their restoration to the divine favor, remain to be accomplished. And this event has been as clearly and distinctly foretold by the prophets, and especially by St. Paul, as any thing in the Bible. Indeed, these things have been stated with so much clearness and precision in the holy Scriptures, it is difficult to perceive how any man can believe the Bible and deny them; for St. Paul as fully and as distinctly asserts, that the unbelieving Jews, who were cut off and rejected from the advantages and privileges of the new covenant, for their blindness and infidelity, shall be converted to the Christian faith, and restored to the divine, when the fulness of the Gentiles be come in, as words can convey ideas; and we might as well deny the whole Scripture testimony as to deny this doctrine. It is not contended that the Jews are to be brought in, in a state of carnality and unbelief; but that they, through faith, shall embrace the Christian religion, and,
then, at their conversion, they are to be married to the Lamb, and so again become the people of God. This is the doctrine so clearly and plainly taught by St. Paul, and serves as a key to unlock the prophecies respecting this singular people. Hence, we infer that the world cannot be destroyed till all the prophecies and promises respecting this people are accomplished, and, consequently, that it will not be destroyed in eighteen hundred and forty-three.
The New Testament Preacher.-By Elder E. Shaw. It is true, beyond all reasonable contradiction, that the ministry of the church forms its character, and, to a great degree, moulds its sentiments. Whether we look at the Catholic or Protestant church, this truth is apparent. Long established errors are perpetuated, and new ones are introduced, everywhere, and at any time, provided the ministry is strongly and perseveringly engaged in them. So, also, on the other hand, reform will certainly prevail, and old truth will be maintained, if the ministry is found firmly and unflinchingly engaged in behalf of it. Scripture, reason, and observation, combine to establish immovably these facts.
If such are the results of the character and sentiments of the Christian ministry, whether they be good or bad, then surely it is of immense importance that the ministry be of the right kind, and that the true standard be clearly presented, and every means employed to place it on a right foundation, and to so mould it, that its influence may produce such effects as are clearly shown in the word of God to have followed the labors and influence of the primitive gospel preachers.
It is undeniable that there are errors in the church, and among the ministry, and that these have been brought in through the influence of erroneous standards. Standards of human creation admit nothing to rise higher than themselves; therefore, a ministry moulded by human standards mușt necessarily bring in and perpetuate error, perversion, and distraction, among the people of God.
But we are thrown back upon first principles. Human standards are death to the ministry, and ruin to the church. They first divide, then destroy. To none of them can we safely go; in none of them can we safely confide. But when we turn our eyes to the New Testament, there we find the truth; the unadulterated truth, as taught from heaven. The model is here given for every preacher of the gospel ; and the standard is perfect. We may not fully understand this standard, owing to the prejudice of education, and the darkness of the human understanding ; still, it is perfect,
and so far as we conform to it, we are right beyond all controversy. Besides, the character of the gospel preacher, there given, is plain, and not hard to be understood, provided we receive it in its obvious sense, shorn of all mysticism. But, admitting every objection that can be raised, it still remains a truth, that we can find no certainty relative to the doctrine or character of the preacher by having recourse to human rules; and it is equally true, that all we gain from the New Testament on these points is correct, and according to the will of God; and all the influence exerted by the preacher whose doctrine and character are derived from this source, is invariably good, and promotes the best interests of the church and of the world.
With these facts before us, who can but see and feel that the true minister of Christ must be formed and moulded in all things according to the directions given in the New Testament? Such an one is emphatically a New Testament preacher.
As the design of this article is to impress more deeply, both upon preachers and churches, the vast importance of a scriptural improvement in the ministry, in order to a proper advancement in holiness in the churches, I shall call attention to several directions to preachers, as given in the holy oracles of the New Testament; because nothing can make a New Testament preacher, but for him to be conformed to that holy book, and to feel, to act, and to think in strict accordance with its divine directions. Such a man, and no other, is to be regarded as a New Testament preacher.
I. He that would preach the gospel as the ancients did, must first be partaker of its benefits, in his own soul. Christ first made men his disciples, and then sent them to preach. Paul was first converted, then entered upon the work of the ministry. “The husbandman that laboreth must be first partaker of the fruits.” As this point is conceded on all hands, these brief remarks may suffice.
II. The New Testament preacher must possess good natural capabilities. 1. Without a door of utterance he cannot speak to edification, instruction, or comfort; therefore, he must be able to speak with a good degree of fluency and distinctness. This is a natural gift with many; and where it exists in nature, it may be greatly improved by use, and by observing certain rules; but where no gift of utterance exists, there can be no hope that such an one is designed of God for a preacher. 2. He must possess a mind, to a good degree, strong and discriminating. There are men who evince their piety, and who speak with fluency; but still their minds are so weak, and their judgment so imperfect, that they are never capable of performing the duties of a pastor ; and even as evangelists, they can never be safely trusted alone, but must be under the watchful eye of some wise and prudent man of God; or, by some injudicious management, they will build again the things they have destroyed, and throw into confusion what a little good judgment might have continued peaceful and prosperous. A little
attention to the New Testament will show that the first ministers were men of discernment, sound mind, and good judgment. But they complained of some who knew nothing, prated against them, understanding neither what they said, nor whereof they affirmed. It would be better for the church if no such pretenders were within her borders at this day. 3. A natural aptness, and disposition to be firm, industrious, and persevering, seem absolutely necessary and indispensable in the minister of the New Testament. Such were all those whose history is given in the book of God. Such, I say, seems to have been their natural turn, and to have characterized them before they entered the ministry. Matthew faithfully filled his office as receiver of the customs, till Jesus called him. Simon and Andrew, James and John, industriously pursued the fishing business, when fishes could be caught, and mended their nets at intervals; and when other business seemed to fail, we hear Peter say, I go a fishing ; and the others at once say, “ We also will go with thee.” And their perseverance led them to toil all night, though they caught nothing. This natural turn of mind was of incalculable service to them in the ministry, and is clearly seen in all their history. Paul showed the same aptness, and perseverance, in persecuting the church of God, that he did in building it up, in after life. A dull, dronish, stupid, and undecided man, seems quite unfit for the gospel ministry, and does not at all compare with the natural turn and temperament of those whose history is recorded in the Bible.
III. The gospel ministry should employ all the time and powers of those who engage in it. Paul said to a young minister, * Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them." Peter said, * We have left all, and followed thee.” Although Paul wrought occasionally with his hands, yet it was only when he saw no door open to employ all his time in preaching, or when his own wants, or the good of the cause, required it. So Peter, and others, continued in the work of preaching, regardless of all worldly considerations, till a short respite gave them time to spend one night in fishing. Then, the moment he heard his master say, “ Feed my sheep,” he was ready to enter upon the work, employing all his time and talents in the great cause.
There is work enough in the ministry to employ all the time and powers of any man of God; and the wants of Zion call for it. It is true, those who give themselves wholly to the work of the ministry, must receive a support from some source or other, than the labor of their own hands. But God has made ample provisions for this. He does not send a man into the war at his own charges. He does not require his servants to feed the flock, and not eat of the milk of the flock. But they that wait at the altar, are partakers of the altar. So God has ordained that those who preach the gospel, should live of the gospel. Paul clearly represents that God has given his servants this power over the churches; and that, if they are partakers of the
spiritual things communicated by the gospel minister, he ought also to receive of their earthly substance, sufficient to supply his temporal wants. But if they fail to do this when able, or if duty calls him where there are no friends able to do it, then the circumstances justify the preacher in procuring his own sustenance, by pursuing, for the time being, some lawful business, sufficient to relieve him from present want. But when present wants are supplied, he is bound to go on with his master's work, and give himself wholly to it. The fact that Paul wrought at tent-making, and Peter went a fishing, is no sort or degree of justification for those ministers, who leave the work of the ministry, and plunge into worldly projects 'to get rich. Nothing but stern necessity can justify a preacher in relaxing his labors, to attend to worldly pursuits. The first preachers said it was not meet that they should leave the word of God to serve tables. But, said they, “We will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.”
ÎV. As to the private character of a New Testament preacher, it should be kept in mind, that he is bound to the strictest observance of those rules of private life, plainly laid down in the book of God. It is the maintenance of this private character, that gives the gospel minister confidence and hope, in common with other Christians; and it is this that gives him influence in the community, while they behold in him every mark of an honest Christian, and the strongest possible proof that he fully believes the truth of what he preaches. The New Testament sets forth this private character in the following particulars: 1. He must be blameless—that is, he must be guiltless, innocent. Without a clear moral character, a preacher falls into reproach, and brings dishonor upon the cause he pleads. Blameless is a sweeping word; it condemns every species of wrong, and enjoins every kind, and every degree, of honesty, uprightness, morality, and piety. 2. He must be sober—that is, he must be calm, free from inordinate passion ; serious, solemn, grave. This is an important trait in the preacher's character. A light, trifling, vain appearance, in a minister, not only proves his heart not to be imbued with the spirit of the gospel, and prevents his holding communion with heaven, but it necessarily prevents sinners from receiving good at the hands of such a man. 3. He must be given to hospitality—that is, he must be in the practice of entertaining strangers. No other man has a better opportunity to exercise hospitality, and no other man is more bound to do it. Not that it is right for every traveller to live upon him, or that he is bound to feed and lodge every one who may take advantage of his office. But placed as he is, he should not feel disposed to free himself from the obligation to entertain strangers, to a reasonable extent. 4. He must not be given to wine. He must be a perfectly temperate man, abandoning and avoiding whatever intoxicates. 5. He must not be a brawler—that is, he must not wrangle and quarrel. A contentious, disputing, quarrelling preacher, is a curse to the church,