To be Given Up to the Work

Dearest Brother,

Not one of the passages which Mr.- quotes applies to the question. That those who have occupations, as - and others, should evangelise all they can, is all very well, but that is not being given up to the work of evangelising where God has called us to it. - speaks of deacons or evangelists. But deacons are not evangelists. Serving tables was set up that the apostles might not be hindered in evangelising; and when Stephen and Philip became evangelists, they gave up their place as deacons, at any rate Philip, for he left Jerusalem.

Next, that when a person is an aged widow, or an elderly matron, she should teach young wives to be stayers at home is all well, but what it has to say to an evangelist having an occupation - I am at a loss to see.

Providing for ones own-though, of course, a man is bound to cherish and care for his wife-speaks of a wholly different and indeed opposite case; that the church should not be charged with widows who had children, but that they, or young members of their family, should provide for them. I have gone through them all, and none apply at all, unless 2 Corinthians 12:13,14; nor does that. Paul had no wife, and no home, and no fortune, and tells us he had no certain dwelling-place. He would not take from the Corinthians because they were fond of money, but talks of it as a wrong, and that it was an extraordinary thing (but he took from others for the gospel's sake); and in 1 Corinthians 9 he discusses the whole matter on the ground that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.

Peter led about a sister, a wife, and Paul insists that he and Barnabas had the same right, so did the brethren of the Lord, and the apostles. (1 Cor 9:5) So that the direction of the word is quite plain: and heaps of brethren have done so on the Continent. If they have families, no doubt they must have a house; but the Lord has taken care of them, and their families have been educated, and get on just as other people`s have. In one case there were eleven children. Of course, such cases require faith in a woman to undertake when in it. I have often seen them have more courage than men. My experience is wholly against him, called to be an evangelist, taking up a means of providing by other occupation. It is putting this world and human care before God`s calling; and their spiritual work is spoiled in its very root. It is a wholly different thing, and the opposite as to faith, where those who have occupations break out of their bounds to evangelise. If a man be called of God to give himself up to evangelising, that is another matter, but departing from the path of faith is a serious thing.

“Trust in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him.”


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