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tinto whom it was said, “ Let all the angels of God worship him."*
Thus, my friend, I have laid before you some of those evidences which satisfy my mind, as to the essential dignity, and underived glory of the Son of God. I commit what I have written to the divine blessing, and still remain your foul's real friend and faithful pastor.
JAMES UPTON. January 29, 1800.
ON THE SALARIES OF MINISTERS.
To the Editor of the Evangelical Magazine. Sir, L VERY good minister of Christ is continually caring
U for the spiritual welfare of his flock! Is it not reason. able that the people should, with a corresponding anxiety; care for the temporal welfare of their minister. But it is to be lamented that there are many good people, who never 1pend a thought about the matter. Easy themselves, and enjoying many comforts, they never once enquire, “ How “ does the paitor live in these hard tivies? While he labours " with unremitting zeal for our eternal happiness, do we se communicate to him a sufficient portion of this world's “ goods, for the support of himself and his family?”
In what way ministers should live, persons of any li. berality of sentiment will in general agree. Consider what ideas people in this country entertain of the character of a ininister, and of the appearance he should make in society : some regard is due to it. All thow and splendour are en. tirely out of the question : they neither suit him nor his of. tice. The other extreme is equally improper. As Christ's servant should not be a gaudy fop, fo neither ought he to be a fqualid beggar. His dress and that of his family should te decent. His habitation such as a person of the middle rank in society might enter, without thinking himself degraded thereby : and he thould be enabled to procure bimiclf and his family not only the bare necessaries, but the convenie cies of life in frugal moderation. To these his talents, liis education, his application to study, and the labour of office, lay an unanswerable claim. Ordinary atten
* Heb. i. 6. See also Rev. v. 12, 13. VOL, IX.
tion tion to business in mechanics or tradesmen, with a moderate Thare of abilities, will procure him more. Where there is a large congregation of fix or seven hundred persons, he ihould receive a sufficiency to be able to give his children a good education, to put them out apprentices and support them during that time; and likewile to be forward in contributing to every good work in favour of religion and benevolence. If he should likewise have it in his power to leave behind him to liis wife and children a few hundred pounds for their support, is it too much ? He must be a man of talents, prudence and labour, to raise, and keep up such a congregation : and the exercise of these talents in any other employment would have bidden fair for opulence. It is hard indeed, if fix or seven hundred people cannot do all this without laying any unreasonable burden on themselves.
Such are the claims made in behalf of the ministers of the Gospel. Are they unreasonable? Let the principles of equity decide. I plead not for favour, but for justice.
But it will be proper to enquire what provision is actually made for their support. The writer is grieved to state that the enquiry will present a very painful view of things. Some may be surprized to hear him affert with confidence, that there are not thirty ministers among the Seceders or Difsenters from the church of England, at the present time (according to the rate of the articles of living for the last three years), who have a wise and four children, that can lay by one penny of their annual salary. More than one half of the ministers who have such a family, cannot live upon their income; and, if they have no private property, or do not follow some other employment, must run in debt. Whether this be the provision which is suitable for the laborious and faithful ministers of Jesus Christ, let every man of a liberal, nay, of an equitable mind, feriously consider and judge. I am coulident that I speak to a class of men who need only to have matters fairly represented in order to produce a change for the better.
But as I cannot do justice to the subject in a single letter, I Mall reserve ny farther observations to a future opportunity, in the mean time I hope ihele hints, and those of your other correspondents on' the same subject, will excite the attention and sympathy of the religious public.
A FIFTH VILLAGE DIALOGUE, (On the Evil Nature and Effects of Stage Plays)
BETWEEN FARMER LITTLEWORTH, MR BRISK (MR. DOLITTLE'S
CURATE), MR. SMIRKING ( ASSISTANT TO DR. DRONISH),
AND THE FARMER'S FAMILY.
Sam comes Home from Mapleton, late in the Evening after an Affray
at a Public House,
Miss Nancy. TATHER, here is Sam come home from Mapleron with
I fuch a bruised face, bloody handkerchief, and his livery all over dirt; and he appears to be half drunk, And the lantern is broken all to bits!
Farmer.- What can he have been at ? Why don't he come in? Miss N.-He is only stopping to scrape off some of the dirt, and to wash himself in the back kitchen. (Sam comes iv.]
F.-Why, Sam, in the name of wonder, where have you been, to come hoine in this condition?
Sam.-0 master! if you will forgive me, I'll tell you all about it.
F.-Forgive you! why, what have you been doing? Tell the truth first, and after that, I'll tell you whether I shall forgive you.
S.-Why, master, when my young mistreftes were at Mr, Lightman's, the lawyer's, to tea, in came Mr. Brisk and Mr. Smi: king, and made an agreement that they should all go to the play.
F.-Aye; I thought by their whisperings and dressings that they had some such project in their heads. But how came you in such a pickle, young man ?
S.-Sir, my young mistresses gave me fixpence to go to the Nay's Head, because I might not stand out in the cold, while they were all at the play; and there Squire Bluser's footman, and Lord Rakili's gentleman, did nothing but jeer my young mistresses, by asking, which they understood belt, dancing or making butter and cheese? And then they snetr'd and jeer'd at their dress.
F.-Why did you not let thema (neer and jeer on, and go away about your business?
S.-Why, I thought I must stop and spend my fixpence. And then they began their romance on me, and asked, how many more of the plow-boys the farmer had put in livery? And I said to hem, as how, they might have been plow-boys once, as well as I. Then they swore desperate oaths at me, and would make me drink; and laid, I should run the gauntlet; then they knocked me down, and as foon as I could. I ran away as fast as I was able; but they followed me into the freet, anii would bring me back again. But I would not come, so they rolled me in the dirt, and beat me fadly;, and the whole firect was in an uproar; and ilie lantern was broke all to smash.. “F. -Oh, Nancy, my child! what a mercy from God it is, that we are not in the broad way that leadeth unto deitruction, and that we have no* the bible before us!
Miss Nancy.-A mercy indeed, father, for 'till we went to hear Mr; Lovegood, we were all alike. The Lord he praired for his grace!
(After some other conversacion, in coine the two ministers and the
two daughters. Mr. Brisk. Well, Sir, we have brought home your daughters quite fafe and found; though I am afraid it is a little later than your ulual time for Supper and beil.
F.-On, no, Sir; for sometimes I come home almost as late as this, when I come ifrom the kicture at Mr. Lovegood's church. And for sure, my daughters can have been in no bad ways when tiey have been with men of your c.otli; though Sam has told me a strange story.
Brisk. -Why, I contess, Mr. Litileworth, it was I that persuaded your daughters to go to the play. I am sure it is a very innocent and rational amusement.
F.--I can't thank you for that, Sir; for while you was at the playhouse, Sam, and ever so many other servants were at the alehouse; he is come home in a fine trim.
Mifs Polly --- But, father, may’nt the gentlemen have a bit of supper for their kindneis in bringing us hoinc?
F.--Aye, aye, child, I have no objection against that. Dame, see what there is the pantry. Nancy, help your mother to bring it out.
[It is done accordingly. } F.-Will one of you gentlemen ask a blessing ?
[Mr. Brifk lays a careless grace.] F.- ind pray, gentlemen, did you ask a blessing before you went to the play, and took my daughters with you; and can you return thanks to God now you are come away? for in every thing we thould give thanks.
Smirking. Why, Sir, how caine that thought into your head.
F.-I bad it fron the bible; and for sure, you genılemen çan't be so ig. norant of that book, as not to know, that you ministers are directed to “ give yourselves continually unto prayer.” And that all of us thou'd “ pray always, with all prayer and fupplication in the Spirit;" that wę Mould " continue inftant in prayer;" yea, that we should " pray without cezfing."
'Siniiking.--But, Sir, if you take these texts in so strict a fenfe, How is the business of the world to be carried on?
F.-Wiv, the lense in which I take theie words is, that we should be als ways in iucn a holy habit and frame of mind, as to be at all times in a fit diate for prayer; and that we can he looking up to God in frequent prayer while wc are at our daily labour. And I am sure, when this is the cale, the world will go on a thouland times better than it does at present,
Brisk.--Well, Sir, such a frame of mind is not amis, especially at the latier end of our lives.
F.-However, you, gentlemen, would advise us to put off these things till the latter end of our lives, while God's word directs us to " he always ready;" yet you ministers are instructed to give - yourselves wholly to these things, that your profit ng may appear unto all men." Now; pray, Şir, if any of the people had been taken for death, and had sent for you to have gone to prayer, and to auminifter the holy facran:ent to them, how would you have telt in the midlt of your devotions after having heard lo much of the profane fuff and nonsense they talk over at these plays? What fort of prayers would yours have been ? could you have drawn near with a true heart “ in full assurance of faith,” before a holy God ?: ***
Mr. Smirking.-I must leave you, Mr. Brilk, to answer that question ;
for being co-pastor with Dr. Dronith, among the rational dissenters, we are not in the habit of being called upon on thele occasions; but there things Drould be no bar against a candid and liberal intercourse with each other; for in all the principal points of religion we seein very well agreed.
Brisk.-(Answers tor himself) Why, Mr. Littleworth, that is not a pro. bable case.
Fi-But, in my opinion, it is a very probable case; and I did hear of one minister who was called out of a Puppet Shew, to go to prayer with a man that was likely to die ; and in every parish there always must be some who are fick, and near their end. If you are not lent for ottener than you are, it is because your negligence bas made them careless, even to their dying moments; and no wonder that they think so little of the prayers of minit. ters who pray fo little for themselvese
Mr. Smi king.-Mr. Brilk, I believe we had better walk home, for Mr. Littleworth feenis quite angry with us.
F.-No, no, genilemen, I am not angry, though, I confess, I am grieved at heart, that iny daughiers Mould have been led io such places by gentlemen of your profission, where, I am sure, they could get nothing but wickedness. I always was hospitable to my neighbours; and you are welcome to liop, and I wish you would, that we may talk over matters before my daughters; for, lo speak plainly, your example hardens them much in their vain ways.
Mr. Smirking.--Why, Sir, I thank you, for your civiliiy, but I think, from the dreary notions of religion you have lately adopted, you have taken up luch high prejudices against plays as are not just; for, in many plays, there are a variety of fine lellons of moraliiy, if we would but attend to them,
F.-Ah, and they are all the worse for that, as it makes the wicked things in them go down the more glib. And we luppose we have a licence to hear all the foolish, lewe ftories and blafphemous romances, because they are melled up with a little morality? Pray, Sir, do the people that go to thole places, go after religion and morality, or after vanity ani mirth?
Brisk -- Why, Sir, we go after a little innocent amusement to be sure, and it we hear of bad things we need not practise them.
F.-But do they, whose hearts are good and upright, think that they are at liberty to go after things that are bad? Or if I hear things which are bad, is that likely to make me good ? Belides, I am directed to " cease to hear the instruction that causeih us to err.” Pray, did either of you, gentlemen, ever find that wicked people, at any time, were made more moral by going after these loose fellows, that go romancing about the country with their plays and morality?
Sinirking.---- I don't know that we have; but they might have been the better if they would; for I Still maintain it, that the: 0 are p.ays which contain many excellent frokes of morality.
F.-Well, if Lam to go afier their noniense and ribaldry for the sake of their morality, I houki allo expect to be made a better man, if I ihould hire some wicked witich to cute and blafpheme, and use all wanner of filthy foolish talk, made up of iewdness, craft, and pride, provided I had one of you gentlemen army cibow, to give me a little of your morality at the lame time. But I thould be glad to hear by what law we go when we attend such abominable partimes, and use fuch wicked language? Have either of you, gentlemen, any right to tell us a set of vain, filthy, romancing liories, and every now and then bring out a mocking oath, and then mtfs it up with a little morality for cur initructiun? * Smirking. Oh, no, Mr. Littleworth, we did not say so!