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of his property; or that he cannot, in a case of necessity, bring his equitable claim be. fore a Christian tribunal; but, whilst he compels others to do justly, he must not forget, that it is his own duty to love mercy. He is not to exact the uttermost farthing from a poor and distressed brother. He is not to take his fellow-servant by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest. Whatever he may exact in this uncharitable way, notwithstanding it be his lawful claim, it becomes filthy lucre; for, most assuredly, it defiles
Again : Titus is admonished by the same apostle, that a bishop must not be given to filthy lucre; but a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate. (Titus, i. 7, 8.)
Here we learn, that the revenues of the church become filthy lucre when they are either treasured up in a sordid penurious manner, inconsistent with the spirit of discreet hospitality, and the habits of edifying society, or else are prodigally lavished in riot and dissipation-in a vain ostentatious show, beyond what the rank of the minister
may demand; or in excessive, self-indulgence, contrary to the rules of sobriety, jus. tice, holiness, and temperance.
Another thing which may render the minister's revenue sordid and defiled,, is his making of it the principal object of his at. tention and regard, to the exclusion of that care and vigilance, for the spiritual welfare of the flock, which in his station ought to be the prevailing motive-the governing principle of his profession. Thus, our Lord distinguishes the interested hireling from the good shepherd :--The good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep; but he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth. The hire. ling fleeth, because he is an hireling-because his thoughts are fixed only upon his secular reward-and careth not for the sheep. (John, x. 11-13.) : It is not the intention of this passage to criminate the minister because he receiyeth a temporal reward; for, as we have already seen, our Lord bimself has declared, with reference to this subject, that the labourer
is worthy of his meat, and of his hire: and it is his express ordinance, that they which preach the Gospel should live of the Gospel. But the charge preferred against the unworthy pastor is this—that, whilst he neglects the arduous duties of his station, he makes his secular reward the great object of his care, and the chief motive of his profession; that, if he can but secure this, he is easily prevailed upon to desert his trust, to withs draw into the shades of a spurious liberality, and abandon the sheep to the mercy of the scattering wolf, or of the insidious thief, whether he approach the fold in the garb of a schismatic, a fanatic, or an infidel.
This man's hire is to him filthy lucre': it is not the reward of a just and faithful service. His own liand, therefore, defiles it. How does the heedless pastor ground his claim to any reward' whatsoever? His pera son is not familiar to the flock : his voice is known to them only by the repeated Calls for his unmerited' hire: his very habits have disqualified him for the effecting of any useful purpose. Should he make an unwonted effort to warn the flock of their
peril, the sheep, instead of avoiding the wolf, would turn with astonishment to gaze at the stranger.
But let us extend our view of this subject, which, in itself, is neither uninteresting nor unimportant.
As the two covenants which God made with man are declared by the same spirit, and directed to the same end; as the moral obligations under both these covenants are the same ; our Lord and his apostles often derive their moral instrictions from the Old Testament, ' and from this source the distinction between the good and the bad shepherd more especially flows. It may, therefore, be proper for us to weigh a few of the particulars which are delivered, in the older scriptures, upon the case before us.
The sons of Eli, as to their appointment; Were lawful and duly-constituted priests of the Lord, by whose ordinance a liberal reward was annexed to their office. But, by their riotous and unhallowed way of living, and by their indecent rapacity, in exacting the perquisites of their station, whilst they disregarded its duties, they made the people
of the Lord to transgress, so that men abhorred the offering of the Lord.
In this aversion to the sacred ordinances, the Israelites were highly culpable. The Lord's offering was still holy, being sanctified by his express appointment. They ought to have attended to their own duty, and to have left the crimes of the priests to the justice of God, who best knows how and when to call them to account. But as the priests, by their atrocious conduct, gave immediate occasion to the publie delinquency, they were, by the divine wrath, marked out for the more signal punishment: at the same time, the congregation was humbled for its transgression, by the loss of the ark of God's covenant. To the sons of Eli the emolument of their office was filthy and fåtal lucre, because it was not sanctified by a holy and temperate disposition of mind, and a faithful discharge of their sacred duty.
Let us now attend to a general declaration of the same Scriptures. The Lord, by the mouth of Ezekiel, thus reproves the greedy shepherds, who regard only their