« 上一頁繼續 »
this nation, have furnished many useful lessons to those who
have escaped the troubles of which others have partaken; and for lo we desire that these lessons may not be without their practical ng ate good effect. They should teach us not to trust in uncertain
riches, and they should be a warning to parents to be careful Le how they enlarge their domestic establishments, and not to hold
out to their children expectations of ease and abundance, nor to train them up in habits of delicacy and indulgence. O! that
both parents and their offspring might fix their hopes of happi. ing liness on that which is substantial and eternal, and endeavour to mers be good stewards of the temporal blessings bestowed upon them. bodies Such we believe to be the concern of many of our dear friends. are Di Among the evils of later times has been the practice of india Tot viduals trading beyond their capital, and that of carrying on El their business by means of a fictitious credit :-practices very
dangerous in their effects, and utterly inconsistent with that Christian moderation and contentment which the precepts of the gospel enjoin, and in which our true happiness consists.
It becomes those who are attached to the cause of Truth, who love our principles, and are desirous of promoting the best interests of our Society, to remember that they are not exempt from danger. Dear friends of this description, and especially you who are young, accept a word of caution offered to you in Christian love. If you attend not to the witness of God in your own hearts, and seek not to be delivered from the spirit of this world, you may, contrary to any apprehensions that you now entertain, be introduced into future trouble : you may obstruct your own usefulness in the Church, mar the designs of Infinite Wisdom concerning you, and, when it is too late, have bitterly to regret the want of timely withstanding the first temptations of the enemy.
And we would tenderly invite those who may have acquired a competency of outward substance, to watch the proper period at which they may withdraw from the cares of business, and
when disengaged from the regular concerns of trade, to beware bide how they employ their property in investments which may in.
volve them anew in care and anxiety. We affectionately desire that neither these nor other cares may disqualify thein from acting the part of faithful stewards in the employment of their time, their talents, and their substance, or from being concerned above all things, through watchfulness unto prayer, to have their lamps trimmed, and oil in their vessels; that when the solemn close of life shall come, they may, through redeeming love and mercy, be prepared to enter into the joy of their Lord.
Signed in and on behalf of the Yearly Meeting, held in Lon. don, by adjournments from the 24th of the 5th month to the Ist of the 6th month inclusive, 1826.
Clerk to the Meeting this Year, VOL. XII.
hose whose views of religious truth are not so intelligible, ind whose worship is not so simple as yours, conduct pubic services in the absence of their ministers, let it not be said that you either cannot or will not do it in such cases : and those who belong to the congregation should make a point of attending when the service is conducted by one of their brethren, and make it evident that it is to the worship they attend, and not merely to a minister who is appointed to officiate regularly.
2. Some of your churches experience pecuniary difficulties, and cannot make the provision for your ministers which their labours deserve, and which you would wish to make for them. If these difficulties cannot be removed, they may probably be diminished by proper exertions, and the adoption of judicious plans. Let it be impressed on your minds, not only that “the labourer is worthy of his hire," and that " they who preach the gospel should live by the gospel;" but that it is for your benefit that your ministers should be kept as free as possible from worldly cares and embarrassments, and the fatigues and perplexities of worldly business, that they may be at leisure to give themselves to study and the work of the ministry, and feel themselves at liberty to attend more entirely to what concerns your spiritual edification. It must be a pleasure to you to see them and their families comfortable and respectable. Besides, they onght, if practicable, to be enabled to exercise hospitality, and to set an example of liberality to the poor, the sick, the infirm and the aged. I am far from censuring your conduct, my brethren, in reference to pecuniary exertions, for I know of no district where a better disposition has been shewn by churches to promote the interest of their ministers, according to their ability and means, than among you : still, perhaps in some places your plans may be capable of improvement, and your exertions of being rendered more effective. All the members of a congregation should do what they can to support the cause, and those who are in quite humble circumstances may best contribute their mite by monthly or even weekly subscriptions, which suitable persons may be appointed to receive, as is done among the Methodists, who it is well known raise considerable funds by small weekly contributions. It is likely more would be done, and some difficulties obviated in some churches, if every one did his part according to his ability : and allow me to ask, 'whether, while some persons in better circumstances have all along shewn the greatest liberality there are not others who have not contributed according to their means, and even some who have done scarcely any thing for the cause? I accuse no one, but I appeal to the consciences of you all. Let every individual ask himseli whether he be contributing in proportion as God hath, in his providence, blessed him. I am anxious that fruit should abound to your profit, that you should lay up treasure in heaven, a good foundation against the time to come: for he that soweth sparingly shall reap sparingly, and he that soweth plentifully shall reap plentifully. I trust, if soine of your churches are in depressed circumstances while others are in a more flourishing condition, that the latter will, as was formerly the case, shew a readiness to assist and strengthen the former. If, after all, you feel difficulties which cannot at present be removed, do not despond; but go on steadily and zealously in the work of the Lord, and, he will make even your difficulties work for your good, and in due time deliver you from all your troubles both as individuals and as churches. Do what you can, leave the rest to God, and fear not but all things will issue well.
3. In order to increase and strengthen your congrega. tions, and to effect a revival of the cause among you, it is highly desirable, wherever it can be made practicable, that you should obtain openings for village preaching, and have occasional religious services at moderate distances from your regular places of Worship, that the attention of stran. gers may be excited, and your hearers on the Lord's-day increased. The plan of village preaching has been found effectual among different parties of Christians, for the revival of country congregations when in a low state; I have witnessed the good effects of it in several instances, and earnestly recommend it to your consideration and adoption.
4. In some parts of your district you stand much in need of persons to act as occasional preachers, after the manner of those called local preachers among the Methodists, who are of essential importance among that now numerous body of Christians. Such preachers we have in some parts of the kingdom, and their labours bave already been found beneficial to the cause. Considerable judgment and prudence is no doubt necessary in determining on the persons to be employed as occasional preachers : you must not engage all who may offer themselves, nor all who are capa. ble of talking fluently; but make yourselves sure that their