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sin and ought to be exposed. How shall we expose it, if we do not in some such way as this? It prevails to a most alarming extent in the churches; and the elders will be held accountable in the great day for failing to expose it by enforcing the law of Christ. The fault of the present state of things does not belong to the members, in my judgment. It belongs to the public men. They have been afraid to touch it. I have mentioned this plan'at several places, on my recent trip to Warsaw, and it was approved by every person to whom I have named it. The brethren at Liberty and Owenton agreed to adopt and practice it.
I named it to some of my brethren before I started from home and since my return, and I have thus far found few objectors. I feel confident that the system needs but to be known, to be adopted.
What a most disgraceful spectacle it would be to see the sheriffs travelling the commonwealth to collect taxes to support the governinent, without authority, and without having fixed a ratio for each citizen! Much more absurd and ridiculous to make appeals as if the Lord had not demanded it of us: and to make demands which defy every principle of justice and equality!
We have passed the infancy of the reformation. We should act as men. It is time that we should extend the kingdom, and have the gospel sounded over the length and breadth of this republic. Yea, we should have it sounded in Europe.
To those with whom I have the pleasure of a personal acquaintance no apology is necessary to conciliate a favourable hearing upon this subject. That no unfavourable impressions may be made upon the minds of strangers, an appeal to facts may be permitted, even if they have a persunal bearing. For about thirteen years I have been engaged most laboriously in this reformation. I quitted public life, and relinquished the practice of law, that I might devote all my energies to the cause of Christianity, as set forth by the apostles eighteen hundred years ago. About half of the time in which I have been thus engaged, I refused to receive the assistance of the brethren. Finding that I was encroaching upon the estate I possessed, I resolved to receive whatever was presented to me. The result
has been a considerable diminution of my property, notwithstanding I have practised great economy.
During the whole time I have expended several hundred dollars per annum, in maintaining the cause. Justice would say that the cause ought to sustain the man.
I could have been sustained if I had made permanent arrangements to preach for special congregations. I had the general cause too much at heart to do this ; and it is still my resolve. This disclosure is not made by way of complaint; nor is this essay designed for my own benefit; the good of the cause demands it at our hands. We must, one and all, make sacrifices. We have the noblest examples in the persons of the prophets, the apostles, and the martyrs of the first and second centuries. To crown the whole we have the example of our Lord on Mount Calvary. Let us endeavour to imitate hinn from the cradle to the grave—and from the cross to the skies. May each one of the citizens of the kingdom be emulous in doing the most good. Let each one pause before he would put a stumbling-block in the way of those who are disposed to do good. J.T. JOHNSON.
REMARKS. The foregoing essay, delivered by J. T. Johnson to the multitudes who assembled froin the different states to listen to the discussion held in Lexington, is rather of a novel and startling character. It will excite the blush of alarm in many, and be variously viewed by all the brethren hoth in this country and in the United States.
It appears there are some who readily approve of it, while others will designate it inquisitorial and oppressive, and only suitable to be associated with Sir Robert Peel and his obnoxious Income Tax; or, in other words, such a detailed arrangement for obtaining money for evangelical purposes, not being found in the Bible, it must be rejected as a húman invention never once to be named among the disciples of Jesus. Be this as it may, it cannot be denied but the proposition in the eleventh and twelfth items are both reasonable and Christian-like. They read as follows: “ Let those who cannot see the propriety of this measure bear with those who prefer its adoption ; and let those who prefer to aid by subscription or otherwise do so."
These items partake of that noble and liberal spirit wherewith Christ makes all his people free. Let no one dogmatize his brother because he may differ in his opinion respecting the mode he shall adopt in contributing his mite to send the gospel to the ends of the earth. “Let every one of you give as the Lord hath prospered him," is a positive law of the New Testament; but the question is, who is to see that it be carried into practice ? According to brother Johnson the elders of the church are to do this; but if, on examination, they themselves are found to be equally deficient in liberality, who is to correct them ? Alas, what days are these in which we live! Truly they are searching times, and will prove to be so when once the law of the New Testament, which condemns the covetousness and dishonesty at present in existence amongst the professors of religion, can be brought into full operation.
We shall now turn for a moment to the Scriptures of truth on this subject. We there read that the first Christians were steadfast in the apostles' doctrine, the fellowship, (contributions,) the breaking of bread, and prayers." Each of these parts of worship were attended to on every first-day of the week : they are all simple, appropriate, salutary, and divine, and cannot, in our judgment, be altered or improved with impunity
If the rich will not give more than the poor because the amount they give is unknown to the brethren, or because there is no subscription list " alphabetically arranged,” to be submitted to the elders for their adjustment, it is evident such
persons do not at present understand their profession; at least they do not understand their responsibilities to the Lord in this one particular.
We are great advocates for the disciples of Jesus having one book, the Bible, as their bond of union; one bread, one wine, and one fellowship or contribution to supply all the pecuniary obligations of the body.
It is true the correct and proper division of the contribu. tions to support the different items of expenditure in the church, have been matters of disputation in some places, even where the one fellowship has been strictly adhered to. This has arisen from the fact of some few of the disciples being opposed to sending out evangelists at the expense of the church. In order therefore, to meet this difficulty and still retain the one fellowship, and the peace and harmony of the body; at the same time allow every brother to give according to his view of the truth, a speciality has been made in reference to the contributions on the first Lord's days in February, May, August, and November. The whole of the proceeds of these four collections are devoted to the support of evangelists. This plan refers to the congregation in Nottingham, and perhaps, in two or three other places; and we beg to say in conclusion, that if the disciples of Jesus, after the teaching and exhortations of the Holy Spirit have been properly presented to them, will not obey his laws, in reference to this and all other matters, we can, as yet, see no authority for the interference of the elders to compel them to do so. There are some things connected with the disciples of Jesus, of which He alone can be the judge.
Lexington, November, 1843. WHILE at Lexington, during the discussion, the preaching brethren met upon one occasion, to relate their experience in evangelizing. We were fortunate enough to be present. A brother from Texas, being present, gave us some interesting details of his efforts at proclaiming the gospel in that country, in which he organized several churches. Brother Gaston favoured the brethren also with an account of his labours in Ohio--of the efforts made by the brethren in this region for the spread of the gospel; concluding by an exhortation to the preaching brethren, to labour for a higher standard of Christian character. Brother John T. Johnson spoke of the important obligation resting on the congregations to do more for the propagation of the gospel abroad; exhorted the brethren to proclaim their whole duty in this great enterprize-to do it without fear, but with affection, regardless of popularity. He averred it as his belief, that many of the proclaiming brethren felt a mistaken delicacy in teaching to the churches their bounden duty to support the proclamation of the gospel. There was one fact stated by brother Johnson which struck us with much force. In alluding to difficulties in churches, he remarked that, he never knew difficulties to exist in congregations that were doing all in their power for the spread of the gospel; and he accounted for it, by showing, that when a congregation was zealously engaged in its great paramount duty-sending forth the Word of Life-the heart of the body was so filled and elated with the great enterprize, that there was no room left for the roots of bitterness to spring up. Will our congregations think of this ? Here is a panacea for all difficulties. Idleness is the parent of contention, as well as of other vices. Awake then to industry, to paramount duty, nay, to your glorious privileges ye sleeping congregations ! For our part, we cannot understand the spirit of that body of Christians which looks at the battle afar off, where all it professes to hold dear—the salvation of souls—is at stake, without rendering assistance in the fight. It is acting like some of the tribes when Deborah and Barak fought the battle of the Lord. "Gilead abode beyond Jordan;" Dan slumbered in his ships; Asher lingered on the sea shore, and the “ divisions of Reuben" detained him, when the Lord called all his people to do battle against the mighty! The inhabitants of Meroz were cursed for not appearing in that ancient and memorable battle fought on the shore of old Kishon. In the language of the record, "they came not to the help of the Lord,” and this was their condemnation. It is a glorious privilege, the highest honour that we can receive in time, lo be suffered by the Lord to fight in his cause. By the right of birth into his kingdom we become his acknowledged soldiers, and it is painful to see any sell the high privilege of their birthright for a mess of pottage--for the poor paltry things of time. Kings and priests to God are we, but who erer heard of a priest, without an offering, without sacrifice ? Are we priests when we offer nothing– do nothing? Let