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Full text of "A discourse at the annual examination of the students in the Theological Seminary, Columbia, S.C., July, 1839"

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M.mmwis.iL mK&mzm&^m'Ni 


Students in the Theological Seminary, 


July 1S39. 


Profesnor of Theology. 


©olumfifa, s. c 


Opposite the Court irojse and adjoining the Pujt Office. 



To the Ministers, Elders and Members of the Presbyterian Church- 

es in South Carolina. 

Beloved Brethren in Christ — 

With Christian affection and an ardent desire for the welfare and prosperity of our 
Zion, I address to you the views and statements, contained in the following discourse, 
upon a subject most deeply interesting to us all. I pretend not to strict accuracy as to 
numbers and calculations, but only at substantial correctness in the general results.— 
I beg you will not regard me as a self-constituted censor, but rather as a brother, ex- 
pressing my honest convictions as to the causes of evils we all deplore, and as to the 
remedial measures necessary for their removal. Believing, as 1 most solemnly do, 
that the present mode of supporting and employing the Ministry, so widely prevalent 
among us, is criminal and ruinous; I could not forbear to lay the subject fully before 
3'ou. Should your sentiments be in unison with mine, I trust you will make united, 
vigorous and immediate efforts to produce the necessary change. And should your 
opinions be opposed to mine, I may hope you will still give me the credit of good in- 
tentions. With fervent desires and prayers for the spiritual increase and edification of 
all our churches, I subscribe myself, 

Christian Brethren, 

Your fellow labourer in the Vineyard, 

And your servant for Christ's sake, 



I have chosen a subject so vitally important to success in the 
Ministry, and to the prosperity of our Chinches, as to claim our 
special attention on this occasion. As this Institution is chiefly 
designed to furnish an able, efficient Ministry, it must be deeply 
interesting, not only to candidates for the sacred office, but to all 
the churches in our connexion, to inquire what are the true 
causes of the languishing, discouraging state of our Zion, and 
to discover, if possible, the real obstacles which so greatly hin- 
der ministerial success and efficiency. In attempting to give a 
brief general view of the circumstances which have exerted an 
influence so disastrous, my remarks will have direct reference to 
our denomination in this State. My personal knowledge of the 
condition of our churches in the adjoining States, is not sufficient 
to enable me to decide in what degree they are affected by simi- 
lar evils. 

While thus our attention is directed to the state of the Presby- 
terian Churches in South Carolina, minute accuracy of informa- 
tion must not be expected. But as I have spent thirty years in 
the Ministry, in this State, some general knowledge upon this 
subject must have been obtained ; and as my attention has been 
directed to the official records of the past, and the present, I 
trust that a plain and candid statement of my views and impres- 
sions, in relation to this matter, will not be regarded as obtru- 
sive or inappropriate. If it be true, that our churches, throughout 
the State, are generally in a feeble, declining condition, and that 
the labours of our Ministers are not crowned with much visible 
success ; it is surely incumbent upon us all to discover, if possible, 
whether there may not be opinions, habits or practices, preva- 
lent among us, which have a most pernicious tendency to blight 
and destroy our spiritual prosperity. 

Our first inquiry therefore is, what are the present condition 
and prospects of our Churches'? The answer is painful and 
discouraging. It cannot be denied that very many of our con- 
gregations are in a declining state. A comparison of the sta- 
tistics of our denomination, with those recorded thirty years ago, 
exhibits a rate of increase deplorably small. While other de- 
nominations have doubled, trebled or quadrupled their Churches 
and Ministers, during that period; ours has hardly advanced at 
all. The number of Pastors in the upper country, was nearly as 

great in 1805, as it is now; at least twenty-five churches, which 
then existed, are now extinct, and within the last ten years, about 
thirty of our ministers have removed from the State. The uni- 
form testimony, heard from many of our most numerous and 
efficient congregations, is, that they are either stationary or 
declining. It is readily admitted, that emigration has enfeebled 
our churches ; but that evil has been felt equally by other 
denominations, which have increased rapidly notwithstanding. It 
is also true that our denomination has increased, both in strength 
and numbers, in the middle and lower countiy, by the establish- 
ment of flourishing churches, in Charleston, Columbia, Camden, 
Cheraw, and other places. But this exception affords the strong- 
est support to the position I shall maintain ; because these 
churches have risen and become strong, under the influence of 
a system entirely opposite to that which, I contend, has fatally 
prevented the increase and prosperity of the great body of our 

The question then returns, how can we account for this ex- 
ceeding contrast, between our progress and that of sister churches ? 
In order to meet this inquiry, we must ascertain whether there 
has been any remarkable deficiency, on our part, as to the ap- 
pointed means of grace — the public Ordinances of the Gospel. 
My full conviction is, that such a deficiency does exist — that the 
provisions, divinely made for the sustenance and increase of the 
Church of God, have by us been criminally neglected, and that 
this capital error has produced all these discouragements. Hence 
it has happened that, with an able, pious, learned ministry, with 
a system of doctrines purely scriptural, and with a form of 
government eminently calculated for the extension of the 
Gospel — we have accomplished so little, in building up the 
kingdom of the Redeemer. This dereliction of duty, so disas- 
trous in its consequences, is justly chargeable upon our churches 
and our ministers. The churches have neglected to secure and 
support the ministry of the Gospel ; and the ministers have been 
criminal, in yielding to the unjust and unscriptural requisitions 
of the people. I find no difficulty in thus distinctly stating what 
I verily believe to be the real causes, why the Presbyterian 
Church in this State, has remained nearly stationary for thirty 
years — why so many of her congregations have ceased to exist — 
why most of those which do exist remain so feeble — and why 
our detachment of the Lord's army has achieved so little in the 
field of conquest. How could it be otherwise, when so many 
of our congregations are, by their own neglect and indifference, 
wholly destitute of the ministry of the Gospel — when so many 
wealthy churches are less than half supplied with the ordinances 
of the house of God, because they will not support the ministry — 
and when in oar churches generally, there is a famine of spiri- 
tual food, because the ministers are driven by necessity to waste 
their energies in secular employments. Instead of being at a 

loss to know why our state is so Lad, .1 am only surprised that 
it is not vastly worse. If it had been the design to exterminate 
Presbyterianism utterly, mure efficient measures could hardly 
have been devised, than those which have been adopted in many 
instances, by its professed friends. Nothing but a miracle can 
save a church from falling into decay, when her ministry and 
ordinances are taken away. For those who trust to special in- 
terpositions, while they criminally neglect their bounden duty, 
are justly left to eat the bitter fruits of their own criminal negli- 

While I thus feel myself compelled, by a sense of duty, to 
prefer these grievous charges against the churches of our own 
beloved Zion, I acknowledge that it is incumbent on me clearly 
to substantiate my accusations ; and to show, by the authority of 
scripture and by indubitable facts, that it is owing to a deliberate 
neglect of duty positively enjoined, that the condition and 
prospects of our churches generally are so discouraging. 

We proceed then to inquire what are the spiritual provisions, 
which have been appointed by our beloved Redeemer, for the 
sustenance and edification of his churches, and for their exten- 
sion and increase. It is evident from these Divine arrangements, 
that it is the good pleasure of God, that churches should be 
planted, and nurtured, and multiplied, by the instrumentality of 
human efforts and appointed means. Therefore, while it is a 
precious truth — that there can be no true church, no spiritual life, 
no success of the Gospel — without the special presence and gra- 
cious influences of the Holy Spirit; yet it were just as absurd to 
expect such results without the diligent use of the provided means, 
as to expect health and vigour without necessary food. It is thus 
perfectly scriptural to decide, that those who sow sparingly, by 
neglecting to avail themselves of all the spiritual provisions which 
Divine wisdom has made, must expect to reap sparingly in the 
harvest time of Gospel blessings. It would be dishonouring 
Christ to suppose, that he made arrangements for the gathering, 
sustaining and increasing his church, in the days of the Apostles, 
which were not required to secure the end in view : and if such an 
assemblage of means were indispensable in the days of miracu- 
lous gifts and inspiration, how much greatez is the necessity of 
all such aids, in the present state of the Christian world. We 
appeal therefore, to the sacred records for testimony, as to the 
provisions made by our Saviour, for the support and extension of 
the blessed Gospel. The apostle testifies (Eph. 4, xi.) that the 
ascending Saviour gave some, Apostles, and some, Prophets, and 
some, Evangelists, and some, Pastors, and Teachers \for the perfect- 
ing of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the ed'fying of the 
body of Christ. And a similar declaration is made by the same 
inspired servant of Christ, in his first Epistle to the Corinthians. 
And God hath set some in the Church, first Apostles, secondarily 
Prophets, thirdly Teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healing, 


helps, governments, diversities of tongues. These passages are 
sufficient to evince how ample a provision was made for public 
preaching, and pastoral instruction, in the Apostolic churches. 
No modern churches on earth are so richly supplied with the 
living ministry, with laborious devoted pastors, and with the pub- 
lic services of religion, as those early communities of the friends 
of the Redeemer. But let us try to discover what directions 
were given, as to the labours of the ministry, and the correspond- 
ing duties of the people. Ministers were commanded, to he 
instant in season and out of season — to reprove, rehuke, and exhort 
with all long suffering and doctrine. They taught publicly, and 
from house to house — teaming and reproving every man. And the 
people were commanded, to receive the word with meekness, watch- 
ing thereunto toith all diligence, not forsaking the assembling of them- 
selves together, but receiving divine truth, not as the word of man, 
but {as it is in truth) the word of God, which effectually worheth in 
them that believe. Thus by these express declarations of scrip- 
ture, selected from many of similar import, it is manifest, that 
ample provision was made by the Head of the Church, to pre- 
serve the ordinances of public worship ; and that it is thus deci- 
ded by Divine authority, that enlarged privileges of religious in- 
struction, where they can be enjoyed, are essential to the spiritual 
prosperity of every Christian congi'egation. 

Admitting then, that at least equal privileges are indispensable 
to the sustenance and extension of churches now, I proceed to 
state what amount of religious advantages and means of instruc- 
tion must be enjoyed by a church, in our day, in order to her 
possessing the treasures of privilege provided and bequeathed by 
the King of Zion, and without which there is no rational or 
scriptural expectation of welfare and enlargement. And this in- 
ventory of gospel blessings, which evei'y Christian congregation 
is bound to obtain, solemnly admonishes every minister of Christ, 
and every candidate for the sacred office, of the ai'duous pastoral 
labours, the unremitting diligence, the devotion of all the energies 
of mind and body, and the constant unremitting discharge of 
clerical duties and obligations — all of which are essential to min- 
isterial fidelity, and without which, there is neither promise nor 
prospect of success in the ministry of reconciliation. 

1. It is essential to the spiritual prosperity of a church to en- 
joy the regular ordinances of worship every Sabbath. — To be 
satisfied with less than this, or to suppose that preaching every 
second Sabbath is sufficient, is pi-actically to impeach the Divine 
wisdom. God has set apart every Sabbath for religious worship, 
and what God hath joined together let no man put asunder. Who 
will dare to pronounce the weekly provision of spii'itual food, 
which the Lord has appointed, superfluous and unnecessary. It 
is as utterly impossible for a church to be in a vigorous flourish- 
ing condition, with her sanctuary closed and her pulpit silent 
half the Sabbaths, as for a man to be strong and healthful who 

keeps fast every other clay. It is true in both cases, life may he 
sustained, but it will be feeble, sickly and miserable. Jt is true 
there are churches, in new settlements, and amongst the poor 
and helpless, where regular preaching cannot be enjoyed. But I 
solemnly warn every congregation which shuts up the house of 
God on the Lord's day — and I warn every minister who consents 
to such an arrangement, to be ready, with the plea of absolute 
necessity, to present before the judgment seat of Christ. 

2. But besides the regular instructions of the sanctuary, all the 
families of a christian congregation are entitled to faithful pastoral 
visitation ; and every individual has a claim upon pastoral care. 
That minister who does not frequently visit every house-hold of 
his flock, and thus know their spiritual state, has no pretension 
to parochial fidelity. How can he watch for souls as one who must 
give account — how can he icarn every man, and teach every man in 
all wisdom — how can lie give to every o?ie a portion in due season — 
if he do not know the spiritual state of every individual in his 
congregation ] Woe to that minister, who must come to a per- 
sonal, solemn interview with any of his hearers, for the first time, 
before the bar of God. And woe to that congregation, who 
neglect or refuse to make provision for a full discharge of pasto- 
ral duty. 

3. It is moreover indispensable to the flourishing state of a con- 
gregation, and especially to its increase, that frequent meetings 
should be held in the various districts or neighborhoods within its 
limits ; that the Gospel may be preached from house to house, 
and that the messages of grace may be carried to those who can- 
not or will not come to the house of God. 

4. Equally precious and necessary are frequent and stated 
prayer-meetings under pastoral direction. How essential is it 
that a minister should often meet his church members, and hold 
with them seasons of special prayer ; that he should attend, with 
the Elders, district prayer meetings, in various places within his 
charge, and that the youth should often be assembled for the pur- 
pose of earnest supplication on their behalf. If a church is to 
grow in grace, and shine as a light in the world ; and if sinners 
within its borders are to be converted, it will be in answer to the 
frequent, importunate and fervent prayers of the Pastor and his 

5. To watch over the souls of the young, to be faithful to the 
children of his charge, is an arduous, laborious and most impor- 
tant part of clerical duty. Such labours every church must enjoy, 
or she is poor indeed. The infant members of a church have a 
solemn claim upon the watch and care of the Pastor, which he 
cannot disregard, without criminal unfaithfulness. Regular cate- 
chetical instruction he is bound to impart to all the children under 
his care. The superintendence and direction of Sunday-Schools, 
those valuable auxiliaries to pastoral labours, and collecting the' 
youth into Bible classes, for the purpose of enriching their minds 

with scriptural knowledge, and reaching their hearts with gospel 
doctrine, afford opportunities for doing good which no faithful 
minister will neglect. Diligent pastoral labours, in this most in- 
teresting department, are justly claimed by every church; and 
deplorable is the state of any church, which is satisfied without 
them. It is hardly necessary to add, that a Christian minister 
must be faithful and constant in visiting the sick, the dying, and 
the bereaved — must be known and endeared to his people as an 
angel of mercy in every house of mourning, as the counsellor 
of the perplexed, the guide of the inquiring and anxious, and the 
consoler of the penitent and broken-hearted. 

I have thus given an imperfect account of the duties and em- 
ployments of the ministry, showing what priceless treasures, what 
invaluable blessings, Christ has bestowed upon the Church, in the 
appointment of Pastors and Teachers. And every church is 
privileged to enjoy such a ministry ; and wherever it is not en- 
joyed there is a famine of that bread of life, a destitution of those 
spiritual provisions, which Divine goodness has appointed for the 
comfort and sustenance of Christians. I take for granted, what 
could be easily proved, that the original arrangements, as to 
ministerial duties, and as to the varied means of instruction be- 
stowed upon the Apostolic Churches, are at least equivalent to 
the course of labours I have now described. And it is my solemn 
conviction, that all these services are absolutely necessary, where 
it is possible to procure them, to a prosperous state of any church. 
And I confess it seems to be as presumptuous for any congrega- 
tion to dispense with any of these pastoral labours; as it would 
have been for the churches planted by the Apostles, to send away 
part of the sacred teachers whom the Holy Ghost had appointed 
among them. Which of the departments of pastoral labour, as 
now specified, can be dispensed with, without a grievous robbery 
of the privileges, which constitute the fair inheritance, bequeathed 
by the Redeemer to the church, purchased with his blood ? 
Wherever such labours have been enjoyed, the deprivation of 
any part, would excite mourning and lamentation. And wherever 
Christians are contented and satisfied in destitution of these servi- 
ces, it is manifest that they do not know the extent, either of their 
necessities or of their privileges. 

If, then, it be admitted that such duties are incumbent on every 
Pastor, and that every church is entitled to expect, and bound to 
require, such services ; it follows undeniably that the labours of 
every congregation imperiously demand the entire time and ta- 
lents, bodily and mental energies of its minister. Whether a con- 
gregation be large or small, the man who furnishes those spiritual 
provisions appointed for a Christian people, must have his hands, 
his head and his heart fully occupied ; and he can have no time 
for other employments. From the same premises it is equally 
plain, that no human being can perform the duties of the Ministry 
in more than one congregation. While it is freely admitted that 


when necessity requires it, missionary services may be per* 
funned by a minister in several destitute neighborhoods, or among 
scattered, vacant congregations ; yet such labours cannot be le- 
garded as pastoral, and all people who have only such occasional, 
partial ministrations, are really destitute of the Christian Minis- 
try — -are suffering a spiritual famine, and have no part nor lot in 
the rich inheritance of gospel ordinances, bequeathed by the Sa- 
viour to his churches. When any community of professing 
Christians suffer this sad deprivation from invincible necessity, 
their case is deplorable. But much more to be pitied are those, 
who willingly remain in such destitution, because they love to 
have it so ; or because they refuse to make those efforts and 
sacrifices, which are necessaiy to secure such inestimable bless- 
ings. How then are we to regard those numerous and wealthy 
congregations, who either divide the labours of a minister be- 
tween two or three churches, and thus render it impossible that 
he should be faithful to either ; or compel him to resort for sub- 
sistence to some secular employment ; thus utterly incapacitating 
him for the discharge of his clerical duties. Such are instances 
of popular delusion and of selfish folly, which can hardly find a 
parallel. What would be thought of employing a school-master 
to teach two schools, ten miles apart, dividing his labours be- 
tween them ; and requiring him besides, to make shoes while 
his pupils were reciting, so as to obtain his services at half 
price] Arid yet this would be quite a rational arrangement, in 
comparison with that of a divided partial ministry. It is some- 
times regarded as a noble act of charity, for a church to give 
up half the labours of their minister to assist the destitute. But 
this is going a little too far in generosity. So charity requires 
us to feed the hungry. And yet what would you think of a 
man, who left his own family without a morsel of food every 
other day, in order to supply the wants of those too indolent 
to provide for themselves. It is an act of charity also to clothe 
the naked ; but we are not therefore required to strip off our own 
garments and give them away. The real truth is, that those who 
are so liberal in depriving themselves and their families of the 
blessings and provisions of the Gospel, and bestowing them upon 
others, give a convincing evidence how little they prize them. — 
If they really estimated divine ordinances, more precious than 
gold, more valuable than houses or lands, they would not be 
quite so ready to bestow them upon their neighbours. 

I have thus stated explicitly the amount of labours, included 
in the appropriate and indispensable duties of the pastoral office ; 
and the absolute necessity of such a ministry to every church, 
in order to the enjoyment of the gilts and blessings bestowed 
by Christ upon all his people ; and in order to any scriptural 
expectation of the edification of believers. 

The question now arises, whether the churches of our con- 
nexion, in this State, are furnished with such privileges, such 



provisions, such services. If they were, it would he totally inex- 
plicable that the present state of things should exist, that there 
should have been almost no increase for so many years ; and that 
so many churches should be stationary — so many declining — so 
many extinct. But if, on the contrary, it be a fact, as undenia- 
ble as it is deplorable, that only a few of our churches have full 
pastoral labours ; that the great majority rest satisfied with a 
meagre substitute for the fulness of the blessings of the Gospel 
of Christ, and that this destitution in most cases is entirely volun- 
tary — then there can be no difficulty in explaining all that is un- 
favourable and discouraging in the condition of such churches. 
It would indeed be matter of astonishment, if any denomination 
should flourish, under such circumstances. True, the grace of 
God is sovereign and free. He has mercy on whom he will have 
mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth. Still, the kingdom of 
grace is regulated by laws as invariable as those of nature. 
And there is no more reason to expect a church, destitute of a 
scriptural ministry, to be fruitful, efficient and increased by large 
accessions, than there is to gather a rich harvest of grain from 
a field unploughed, unfenced, uncultivated. But the appeal is 
to facts. There are some churches, within our borders, where 
the undivided labours of a minister have been enjoyed from their 
origin, and in which the various departments of pastoral duty 
before mentioned, have been filled with more or less fidelity. 
What is the result 1 In every such instance within my know- 
ledge, the church has been gathered from the world within thirty 
years, contains hundreds of communicants, exerts a blessed in- 
fluence upon the community, and contributes largely to supply 
the destitute, and sustain all our pious institutions. It may be 
objected, that the state of such churches is not so flourishing 
as might be expected, if so much depended upon a regular 
ministry. 1 reply, that the real progress of a church is to be 
estimated frequently, by the magnitude of the obstacles it over- 
comes, and the power of hostile influences with which it suc- 
cessfully contends. Tried by this test, the churches in our large 
towns are proved to have been favoured with very signal prospe- 
rity. Had any one of them been closed half the time, or enjoyed 
half the labours of a pastor, it could not have existed a single 
year. It would long since have passed into oblivion. 

But what is the real condition of our churches generally 1 I 
am fully convinced that the time has come, when the true state 
of things must be distinctly known and fully examined. The 
question therefore, above stated, illicits the following facts. In 
the four Presbyteries of this State, there are about ninety con- 
gregations, and thirty-four pastors. Seven or eight of the churches 
are supplied with a pastor to each. There are of course more 
than eighty congregations, with less than thirty pastors among 
them. So that the average supply to each church is about one 
third of a minister's time. Stj manv, however, are totallv vacant. 


that most of the larger churches have preaching half the time, 
and two or three have worship two Sabbaths out of three. — 
Thus many of the Presbyterian meeting-houses, and some of 
them with large congregations, are silent and deserted every 
Sabbath. More than half our members in communion are, on 
every Lord's day, destitute of the spiritual food appointed to 
nourish the flock of Christ. Upon half our families each Sab- 
bath does not smile, nor gladden them with the summons to go 
up to the house of the Lord ; and alas, our youth spend half 
their Sabbaths, unblessed by the restraints and salutary influ- 
ences of public worship. But this view of the case, appalling as 
it is, does not disclose its worst features. If all our ministers, 
few in number as they are, and with their time and labours so 
divided, were enabled to devote themselves wholly and labori- 
ously to their pastoral duties, and zealously attend to the visiting, 
catechising, and counselling their people ; if they employed their 
time in itinerating through their extensive charges, preaching 
frequently, and holding prayer meetings in the different neigh- 
bourhoods ; regularly instructing the youth in Bible-classes, and 
sustaining and regulating the sunday-schools ; a vast amount of 
good would be effected, and much of the direful influence of 
pastoral destitution counteracted. But, while such a course of un- 
tiring labour and fervent zeal is pursued by some of our brethren, 
with the most blessed results ; it is feared that a greater number 
do not thus wholly give themselves to the work. With many, 
the week is spent in temporal business to provide a support for 
their families. Their hearts may burn with desire to spend and 
be spent in the labours of the Lord's vineyard, but they feel con- 
strained to leave the Word of God, and serve tables — constrained 
to employ themselves in providing things honest in the sight of 
all men, so that they may owe no man any thing. In conse- 
quence of all these lamented deficiencies, the condition of most of 
our congregations, is one over which all the friends of our church 
must mourn. With most distinguished advantages, we make little 
progress. With an excellent form of government, pure and 
scriptural standards of doctrine, and an able and faithful ministry, 
we may justly be charged with supineness and inefficiency. 

In view, therefore, of these discouragements, and the disastrous 
effects of the present arrangements in our denomination, we pro- 
ceed next to inquire into the causes of these deplorable evils. 
There must be sad delinquency some where. There must be 
criminal negligence, as well as mistaken opinions, to produce so 
much dereliction of duty, so much destitution of privilege. As to 
the immediate cause of this deplorable state of things, there 
can be no question. It is the habitual, systematic neglect, 


ministry. It seems to be a sentiment widely prevalent, that it is 
not the incumbent duty of christians, to give a Competent main- 


tenance, to those who serve them and their families in the sacred 
office. The habit has been extensively formed, of being satisfied 
with having a sermon once in two or three weeks, and dispensing 
with pastoral services almost entirely. And, as it has been found 
that such labours can be obtained very cheaply, the arrangement 
has generally been very satisfactory. Of this the inevitable result 
has been, that as ministers cannot live without means of subsis- 
tence, and as clerical celibacy is not in accordance with Pro- 
testantism, most of our clergy have felt themselves compelled to 
follow some secular avocation, in order to provide for their fami- 
lies. Hence it has followed necessarily, that most of the duties, 
whose discharge demands the whole time, energy, heart and soul 
of the Christian pastor, have been either very slightly performed, 
or else wholly neglected. For it is absolutely impossible, for 
any mortal man to be employed in planting or school-keeping, 
and yet obey the apostolic charge, to give himself wholly to the 
work of the ministry, to be instant in season and out of season, and 
to give attendance to reading, exhortation and doctrine, that his 
profiting may appear to all. 

Here, then, we discover the evil which has brought such a 
withering blight upon our spiritual prospects ; which has turned 
the garden of the Lord almost to a desert ; which has paralyzed 
our powers, and hindered our labours, while the fields have been 
white all around us for the harvest. Oh ! if we could estimate 
the contrast between our present state, and that which would 
have been produced if all our churches had enjoyed the full 
labours of the ministry for the last thirty years ; we should find 
no language to express our emotions of deep regret and humilia- 
tion. But all these enormous calamities, these wide-spread deso- 
lations, must be traced to their proper source — the refusal of our 
people to support their ministers, and thus to enable them to 
perform the duties of their holy vocation. And this refusal has 
not the smallest plea of necessity. It is wholly inexcusable and 
criminal. There is no lack of resources. Our denomination is 
abundantly able to support double the number of our present 
ministers, without the smallest inconvenience. If our members 
were to devote to this purpose half the per centage on their 
income, which the ancient church were required by the divine 
law to pay to the support of religious worship, the amount 
would be more than sufficient to give a competent salary to thrice 
as many mininsters as we now have. 

Even the small congregations, containing only ten or twelve 
families each, could sustain a minister, and be none the poorer. 
Such a little community, as has often been proved by actual ex- 
periment, would actually derive temporal advantage from such an 
expenditure. For it is an established maxim, that the destitution 
of the Christian ministry occasions expenditures vastly greater 
than those incurred by its maintenance. It is a fact worthy 


of notice, that those congregations Which supporl theii min- 
isters liberally, are liberal towards all the institutions of Chris- 
tian benevolence. And the reverse of this is also line. .Little 
aid can be expected by our charitable institutions from those 
who do not give a competent salary to the minister. 1 know a 
congregation by no means numerous, which pays .S2.000 annually 
to its minister; and yet the same congregation has contributed 
more than $3,000 annually t'oi several years to other religious 
objects. And there are other congregations equally wealthy and 
much more numerous, which pay from $250 to $400 annually for 
preaching, and a much less sum to benevolent institutions. It may 
therefore be regarded as a settled point, that a Christian) commu- 
nity, not prizing the Gospel sufficiently to give a bare subsistence 
to a Pastor, cannot feel any deep interest, in diffusing the light of 
Christianity throughout the world. But I am not arguing the 
question, whether the ministry is entitled to a support, or whether 
the members of the church are under obligation to provide for 
the temporal wants of their pastor. These points are settled by 
the express and repeated declarations of the Word of God. My 
simple object is to show how grievously the injunctions of divine 
authority, in this matter, a7 - e set at nought by Presbyterians in 
South Carolina. Look at the facts of the case. "With the excep- 
tion of seven or eight churches, the charge of neglecting to support 
the ministry can be sustained, against our whole denomination. I 
know not that there is one church, with the ahovc stated exception, 
which pays half a competent salary. And the average amount 
among all our churches, is less than one fourth of the sum necessary 
for the comfortable maintenance of a clergyman's family. Do not 
suppose that I am pleading for large salaries. A]\ I contend for 
is a plain, simple competence, which will exempt the minister from 
want and distress, and enable him to give himself wholly to his 
sacred duties. In the country, I suppose a salary from $600 to 
$800, would be sufficient ; while in the towns and villages a larger 
sum is requisite. If these moderate claims were acknowledged, 
and such a support given to our ministers, so that every congre- 
gation could enjoy the entire labours of a faithful servant of Christ, 
what, a transformation would be witnessed. Our waste places 
would soon be like the Garden of the Lord. But how humili- 
ating is the fact, that three fourths of our churches raise less than 
8200 each upon an average to support the ministry ; and even this 
miserable pittance is badly paid. And I am pained to add, that 
some of the oldest, richest and largest congregations in the State, 
abundantly able each to support two ministers, raise with difficulty 
from $300 to $400, and employ a minister only part of his time. 
Do they wonder why it is that they are stationary or declining, and 
that they have only about the same number of members as they 
had twenty years ago ] I do not. To those unacquainted with 
the peculiar circumstances of the case, this state of things may ap- 


pear inexplicable. And it is indeed very mysterious, how Chris- 
tians can pursue a course so utterly at war with their dearest in- 
terests, and with the success of the cause which they have most at 
heart. Let us direct our attention, for a moment, to the causes of 
the apathy and parsimony which Presbyterians evince in relation 
to this subject. 

1st. It is an ancient custom, established from time immemorial, 
to keep ministers on short allowance, and thus compel them to 
work for their living. And it seems as if the the present genera- 
tion regarded it as a reproach upon the memory of their fathers, 
to adopt any new arrangements. 

2nd. Our people generally, are not convinced that the prosperity 
of the church requires that its ministers should give their whole 
time and attention to their pastoral duties. It is a common remark, 
that congregations have gone on pretty well with two sermons a 
month, without either prayer-meeetings, lectirres, Bible-classes or 
family visitations ; and therefore it is concluded that these things 
are unnecessary. It is true, churches have been kept alive on the 
old system ; and so a crew of sailors, on a wreck, are kept alive 
with half a biscuit and a gill of water per day. But in neither 
case, I presume, is there much to boast of as to strength or comfort. 
If our congregations were really aware, how essential it is to have 
the entire labours of a pastor, they would by no means consent to 
his following any other occupation, nor would they share his 
services with another people. In temporal affairs they would act 
more wisely. They would hardly encourage a physician, who 
should have two residences, twenty miles apart, and residing a 
week at each alternately. They would hardly share one cook 
between two families, and keep fast every other clay. They would 
hardly employ a watchman to guard two villages, spending anight 
alternately in each. And yet neither of these arrangements would 
be more absurd, than the division of a minister's labours between 
two or more distinct congregations. So that it is only necessary 
that the subject should be understood, to insure a correction of the 

3i*d. Another circumstance which has contributed to this de- 
plorable state of things, is the sparsely scattered residences of our 
members, rendering it difficult to feel or act as an united congre- 
gation. But it should be remembered that the only way to remedy 
the evil, is to have a ministry so diligent and efficient, as to fill and 
multiply churches, and thus reduce the territory, occupied by a 
single congregation, within convenient limits. 

4th. The prevalence of the evil we complain of has been at- 
tributed to the worldly spirit, and the want of zeal and spirituality, 
in some ministers of the Gospel. If there be any such who pre- 
fer to preach now and then for a small salary, rather than to be 
wholly devoted to the work with a full support — if there be any 
who prize the privilege of making money by worldly business all 


the week, more than the honour of winning souls to Christ — if 
there be any who choose to preach in two churches, in order to save 
the labour of preparing more than two sermons pur month, — I bay, 
if there be such ministers, they will of course exert a decided in- 
fluence in opposition to the arrangements which 1 am endeavour- 
ing to recommend. 

5th. I add but one more probable cause of the great reluctance 
of many, in our denomination, to give a competent support to those 
who preach the Gospel. We are compelled by their heartless in- 
difference, and their extreme reluctance to increase their contri- 
butions, to come to the conclusion, that they do not highly prize 
the preaching of the Gospel, nor esteem the labours of a Christian 
minister as really valuable to themselves or their families. This 
we must infer from the liberality of many wealthy Presbyterians, 
towards objects which they do hold in high esteem, contrasted with 
the close-fisted parsimony they exhibit, in the aid they afford in 
sustaining the Christian ministry. When objects, whose claims 
they acknowledge, are presented to them, their means are 
abundant. But when the wants of the ministry are urged, they 
are always very short of funds. They feel the value of educal ion, 
and cheerfully pay several hundred dollars per annum, to procure 
for their children the best instruction they can obtain. But for 
him who educates them for eternity, for him who laboriously in- 
structs them in that knowledge which makes wise unto salvation, 
a miserable pittance of ten or twelve dollars is deemed quite a 
munificent remuneration. Such Christians prize bodily health, 
and to preserve or restore it, they willingly pay large sums to their 
Physicians. But when called upon for one tenth of the amount of 
their medical bills, to aid in giving a bare subsistence to the men 
who toil day and night to promote their spiritual health, they ap- 
pear to feel as if they were doing an act of charity. They feci 
the reasonableness of giving full compensation to all the artizans, 
whose employments they consider necessary to the welfare of 
society. They would not think of asking a Mechanic, an Over- 
seer, or an Engineer, to devote his time and skill to their service 
merely for his food and clothing ; and yet they are unwilling, even 
on such terms, to sustain those who act as their servants for Christ's 
sake* In a word, whatever employment promotes temporal in- 
terests, or gratifies pride and ambition, meets a ready and willing 
reward. But those labours, which are designed to promote spiri- 
tual good, and secure the blessings of immortality, are held in low 

*It would be amusing; to witness the astonishment and indignation with which a 
Master Mechanic would receive an offer (Void a company of Gentlemen to superintend 
the erection of a Bridge or a Mill ; proposing to him, as the company could not afford 
to pay him a sufficient sum to bear bis expenses, that he should make wheel-barrows 
to pay for his hoard, while engaged in their service. And yet this would not he more 
degrading than the oilers of settlement gravely made by rich congregations to Minis- 
ters of the Gospel. Such treatment of Clergymen seems to evince a determination on 
the part of the people to give their preachers abundant opportunity for the exercise of 
self-denial and patience under insults and injuries. 

estimation, and are very poorly remunerated. In worldly, irreli- 
gious men, such a manifest preference of temporal good to the 
blessings of the Gospel is to be expected, as a matter of course. 
But when such feelings are manifested by the members of our 
churches — we can only say " Tell it not in Gath." — "It is a lamen- 
tation and shall he for a lamentation." 

But even upon worldly principles, men commit a most egregiou3 
error, when they despise the institutions of religion, and take no 
interest in their support. The value of property, and the safety 
and comfort of human society, are most signally promoted by the 
influence of public worship and religious institutions. Every plan- 
ter in this State, whether he know it or not, enjoys double the 
income, and possesses twice as much wealth, as he would have if 
there were no churches — no preaching — no Christian ministry. 
There is not an intelligent land-holder in Texas, who would not 
gladly give half his territory, to place the remainder in the midst 
of a regular Christian community. So it is manifest, that those 
who support the Gospel grudgingly, are actually undermining the 
stronghold of their temporal prosperity. Every good citizen 
readily and promptly pays his taxes, because he duly estimates the 
necessity of civil government. And J believe the position to be 
capable of entire demonstration, that true policy, as well as the 
Divine authority, should lead men, on the very same principles, in 
the absence of higher ones, to give a liberal support to the institu- 
tions of the Gospel.* On the whole, upon this point, is it not 
clearly evinced that those Presbyterians, who refuse to contribute 
their reasonable share, according to their means, to support a re- 
gular, efficient ministry, must be regarded as holding in very low 
estimation, all the privileges of the Christian dispensation. 

When I have visited some of the ancient, numerous congrega- 
tions of the northern section of the State, and have seen their 
churches embowered in groves of venerable oaks, and thronged 
with hearers, I have urged the anxious inquiry, why it was that 
such sanctuaries were left in silence and solitude for so many 

* A few years ago, in an adjoining State, a Gentleman of high respectability, but by 
no means wealthy, subscribed one hundred dollars per annum towards the support of 
the Minister of the church lie had recently joined. Many of his friends and fellow 
church members remonstrated with him on the extravagancp of his subscription. His 
noble reply I remember well, as I had it from his own lips: u You are mistaken," 
said he, "my friends, in supposing that I cannot well afford this amount to support 
" the Gospel, or that I am injuring my family by this liberality. I have tried it now 
" two years, and find it a very profitable investment, even in a pecuniary point of view. 
" [ never laid up so much money as I do now. Formerly I attended the Races with 
" my family; nnd never at a less expense than $100 annually. Formerly I found it 
" necessary to run up a bill of $150 annually for 'Old Jamaica Rum,' 'Real Cognac 
"Brandy,' and Genuine Holland Gin. Formerly my sons and myself belonged to a 
" Sunday Dinner Club, which involved an expense of $60 or .$70 more. These sever- 
" al items of expenditure I have lately concluded to lay aside ; and to employ the 
" funds which they used to consume, in promoting interests which I esteem nobler, 
" and securing advantages and gratifications which I greatly prefer. You thus clearly 
" perceive that, in this matter of paying $100 annually for the support of public wor- 
" ship, I am realizing a clear gain of $"200 or $300 per annum, without any self-denial 
" or sacrifice whatever." 

sabbaths of tho year,, and why such promisng fields of pastoral la- 
bour were not fully e-uk^N a.ted. I have been told in answer, that 
money was so sear<;e';;>ka:. h \?3fi.fp,und impossible to raise a lew 
hundred dollarstp s s up.p«H-'t .«j*entiie ministry. And this, perhaps, 
among an hundred '^imiliesV soruoi of who*!) enjoy an income of 
several thousand dollars per annum; By this statement, 1 have 
been led to such reflections as these. J lore is a community who 
have money enough to support schools, to build spacious houses, 
to pay ibr fine horses and carriages, to wear costly clothing, and 
fare sumptuously every day — and yet they cannot pay a few dollars 
for each family to secure the invaluable blessings of a devoted 

There is one class of our church members, who are most deeply 
interested in this subject, for on them rests a fearful responsibility. 
I allnde to those to whom God has given wealth, or rather has 
entrusted large possessions to their stewardship. In all communi- 
ties rich men exert a controlling influence either for "ood or evil. 
But a wealthy member of a church occupies a station in which he 
must necessarily be instrumental in bringing blessings or curses 
upon all around him. He cannot possibly avoid proving a nursing 
father to the church, or its most destructive enemy. His influence 
cannot fail to be instrumental in the salvation or ruin of many im- 
mortal souls. When such a man feels and acts rightly, and aids the 
caiiso of religion, and the institutions of the church, liberally, accord- 
ing- to his ability, his example will fie followed, and the treasury of 
benevolence and piety will be full. The Pastor will have a com- 
petence, and be able to devote himself wholly to his flock, and the 
church, inconsequence, will flourish as a vine which t7ie Lord hath 
planted, or as a tree by the water courses bringing forth fruit in its 

This is not imagination, such instances have occurred. I know a 
church, of another denomination, to whose aid, in its feebleness, 
one of its wealthy members gave £500 per annum for several \ ears. 
This enabled them to secure the entire labours of an able, faithful 
minister, wdio has been successful in gathering a large, flourishing 
congregation. In the case, also, of a still smaller church, in a dif- 
ferent denomination, the entire services of a devoted Pastor are 
now enjoyed, through the liberality of three individuals, who con- 
tribute $600 per annum, and thus render the prospects of the con- 
gregation very animating. Had either of these chinches adopted 
the Presbyterian plan, and engaged preaching twice. per month, 
with the understanding that the preacher should keep school for a 
living — what would have been the result, think ye, as to its success 
and prosperity ? It is with heart-felt pleasure I can refer to one 
similar instance among ourselves. There is a small, feeble church, 
in one of our presbyteries, which has languished for many years, 
under the exhausting, paralizing influence of a partial ministry ; 
but has now, by a large subscription of a wealthy member, been 
enabled to secure the entiu services of a Pastor, and is therefore 



rapidly increasing in numbers and prosperity. Now permit me to 
ask, in what possible way such a sum could have been appropriated, 
to produce an equal amount of real substantial good. If I had ac- 
cess to each of fifty rich men in our communion, I would say — "for 
Christ's sake go thou and do likewise." We thus see what an 
amount of enlargement and prosperity might arise to the church, 
from the liberality of its wealthy members. But it is equally evi- 
dent, what a chilling discouragement, what a fatal counteraction is 
produced, in many of the churches, by the backwardness and par- 
simony of their rich members, in supporting the ministry. For 
instance, a church member with a known income of $12,000 or 
$15,000 per annum, subscribes $20 towards the Pastor's salary. Of 
course those who have one tenth of his income feel satisfied with 
giving $2. Another less wealthy church member has a large fami- 
ly of children and servants, amounting in all to fifty or one hun- 
dred, who all enjoy or may enjoy the instructions of the sanctuary — 
the privileges of public worship. He, however, pays only $12 or 
$15 towards the support of the minister. Hence, the man who has 
no family, and occupies but a single seat, satisfies his conscience by 
paying fifty cents. In this way it is, that the rich members of our 
communion ai'e indirectly instrumental of a great portion of 
the deplorable evils, which are crushing our churches into the dust. 
A tremendous responsibility rests upon such men. They have it 
perfectly in their power to repair these desolations, to resuscitate 
expiring churches, to give the bread of life to famishing thousands 
in our own denomination, and to enrich the several churches to 
which they belong, with all the provided blessings of the Gospel : 
and if they refuse to do their duty, I can only say that before the 
bar of God they must answer for the consequences. 

There is one other view of the prevalent arrangements in our 
denomination, which I cannot omit to present on this occasion. I 
mean the criminality which is inseparable from the engagement of 
a minister in worldly business, and the division of his labours be- 
tween two or more congregations. The necessary and uniform 
effect of either of these plans, is not only that his public services 
are inconstant and inefficient, but that pastoral labours will be 
almost wholly neglected. It cannot be that a man, who toils in 
the drudgery of a school, or a farm, all the week, can preach the 
Gospel with power and effect. Aud it is manifestly out of his 
power, to go from house to house as a messenger of salvation. — 
Consequently the means of grace are not effectual ; the church 
becomes cold and formal ; its children wander in forbidden paths ; 
sinners are not converted ; and the ways of Zion mourn. I tremble 
to think, that if our churches had enjoyed an entire-devoted min- 
istry for the last thirty years, many thousands would have embraced 
the Saviour, who are now in the gall of bitterness and bond of 
iniquity, or beyond the reach of mercy. And this I say in the 
most perfect consistency with the sovereignty of grace, and the ne- 
cessity of the creative energy of the Holy Spirit, in the conversion 


of the soul. Now, in reference to these multitudes, whose salvation 
has been prevented, humanly speaking, by this failure in duty — on 
whose skirts will their blood be found 1 — of whom will their souls 
be required ? Great guilt exists somewhere. For myself I be- 
lieve it rests partly on those churches, which might have enjoyed 
all the privileges of the Gospel, and have voluntarily remained des- 
titute of them ; and partly on ministers who have consented to 
such destitution. For if it be criminal in a people to be satisfied 
with half a minister's time, either through coldness orcovetousness; 
it is certainly equally ciiminal in a minister, to yield himself an 
instrument of unrighteousness by entei'ing into such an engage- 
ment, and thus assisting the people to rob themselves and their 
children of the bread of life. There is also a frightful aspect of 
this practice presented by its connection with the most solemn vows 
and covenant engagements. When people present a call to a 
minister, they solemnly invite him to undertake the labours of the 
pastoral office among them, according to the Divine institution. — 
.But what sheer mockery is this, when it is perfectly undei'stood, 
that only a small portion of pastoral duties are to be performed. 
Let us read a sentence in some of these calls. "And that you may 
be free from worldly cares and avocations, we promise to pay you Two 
Hundred and, Fifty Dollars every year." Would it not be better 
to change the phraseology thus — "and, that you may be plunged 
mto cures and, perplexities, and be compelled to resort to some worldly 
avocation to get your bread,'" fyc. On the other hand, look at the 
position of the minister. He solemnly accepts the call, and en- 
gages to assume the awful charge of a thousand souls. In his or- 
dination he swears to be zealous and faithful, in the labours of his 
office, and to discharge all the dx/ies of a pastor. This he swears 
to do, when, in many cases, he knows that he shall only preach to 
them a part of the time, and when he can have neither expectation 
nor intention of devoting his whole time to pastoral labours ; as 
his time is to be employed in making up the deficiency of his salary. 
Moreover, he receives a solemn charge, in the name of the Lord 
Jesus Christ, to make fvll proof of his ministry, to preach publicly 
and from house to house ; to he constant in season and out of season; 
to feed the flock over which, the Holy Ghost has made him overseer, 
and to /catch for souls as one who must give account. All this he 
binds his soul to do, and so becomes the watchman and guardian 
over so many families and so many souls ; when he is perfectly 
aware that his situation will put it out of his power, to act as a 
pastor to those families, or a spiritual guide to those souls. It is 
painful to lay open these appalling inconsistencies and profanations 
which exist among us, sanctioned by custom ; but it is necessary 
to expose them, in order to insure their extirpation. It is by no 
means designed to imply any general censure of our clergy, for 
neglect of duty; for many of them arc distinguished by the most 
untiring zeal and laborious fidelity, under very discouraging cir- 
cumstances ; and in the case of others, not so characterized, the 


delinquency is rather to be attributed to a vicious system, than to 
personal unfaithfulness. The simple object I have in view is to 
prove incontestibly, that the practice adopted by most of our 
churches, in failing to support the ministry, and in being satisfied 
with very imperfect and inadequate pastoral labours, has been 
productive already of the most injurious effects ; is totally at war 
with the principles and institutions of the New Testament; is in- 
separable from the most criminal dereliction of duty ; and threatens 
utterly to destroy the welfare and prosperity of our denomination. 

In proof of such a ruinous tendency in the state of things, I 
have called your attention — 1st. To the numerous churches of 
our order which are wholly destitute of a regular ministry, or only 
partially supplied with public preaching, but have no adequate 
pastoral labours ; all of whose destitution results from unwil- 
lingness to afford a competent support for the Christian ministry. 

2nd. To the large number of our clergy who are not wholly 
devoted to their sacred duties, but gain their subsistance princi- 
pally, from secular occupations. 

And Srdly. To the disastrous effects of these delinquencies upon 
the condition of the chui'ches, the success of the ministry, and 
the progress and prospects of our denomination. It has also 
been my purpose to show, that these arrangements aie not only 
unwise and suicidal, but absolutely criminal in a high degree ; 
inasmuch as they amount to a practical refusal, to comply with 
precepts given by Divine authoiity, and to sustain institutions 
established by Christ himself. It is my solemn conviction that 
this sin amonar us, is similar to that of offerino; the blind aud 
the lame in sacrifice, or withholding the tithes and offerings from 
the house of the Lord ; and that it brings upon those guilty of 
it the same awful malediction. And in vindication of these pain- 
ful statements, T have solemnly appealed to undeniable facts. 
Compare the history and state of those congregations which have 
enjoyed full pastoral labours, with the history and state of those 
congregations which have had only a partial supply of preaching, 
and but little efficient pastoral labour ; and let the result of such 
comparison decide as to the correctness of the views I have pre- 
sented. I rejoice in knowing and testifying that some of our 
ministers, who do not receive half a support, do nevertheless de- 
vote themselves entirely and laboriously to their sacred duties, 
and that their portion of the vineyard exhibits the blessed effects 
of such faithful culture. And I know also, that a minister may 
officiate in two houses of worship, so contiguous, that he preaches 
to the same congregation ; and that such division of labour may 
not be specially injurious. But these are only exceptions to the 
general rule, and do not at all affect the positions I maintain. As 
far as I am able to decide such a question of fact, I fully be- 
lieve that there is no church within our borders which can be 
called vigorous and flourishing, where such destitution as has 
been described, is allowed to exist. And on the contrary, I am 


equally confident, that every church, which has fully enjriyed the 
spiritual provisions and institutions, designed and bestowed l>v 
Christ for her edification, does exhibit, in her past history and 
present condition, unequivocal evidence of the presence and fa- 
vour of her covenant Head. 

As I have thus unreservedly staled my impressions as to these 
prevalent, threatening evils; I proceed briefly to express my views 
as to the proper remedy. 

If it be true that such ecclesiastical habits and usages do pre- 
vail among us, destructive to the vital interests of our connexion, 
the only course of safety and wisdom, is that of immediate re- 
formation. In order for this, it is necessary that every church 
now partially supplied, should take prompt and decisive mea- 
sures to have the entire labours of a faithful minister, and to 
secure such minister a competent salary ; and that, every Pastor 
should resolve to confine his labours to a single congregation, to 
abandon all secular employments, and to give himself wholly to 
his great office. Wherever a congregation, fully able to support 
the ministry, refuses or neglects so to do, and consequently the 
Pastor is compelled either to sustain his family by secular busi- 
ness, thereby obstructing his parochial labours ; or to seek 
another field ; it is my solemn conviction that the latter alterna- 
tive should be unhesitatingly adopted. For I cannot believe 
that a ministry can be useful, where it is not sufficiently prized 
to secure its support. 

Such, I verily believe, are the measures of reform imperiously 
required, in our denomination, in order to arrest the progress of 
declension, and to open a scriptural prospect of prosperity and 
enlargement. Let these measures be adopted, and 1 have the 
fullest confidence that our churches would be doubled in num- 
bers and spiritual strength, in two years. Let. all the required 
offerings be brought in, and the Lord will pour vs out a blessing, 
that there shaM not be room to receive it. Then the efficiency of 
an able, educated ministry, and the power of the doctrines of our 
standards, will be fully manifested. Then our flourishing churches 
shall train up a noble army of devoted young men, to occupy 
the walls of Zion. And thus our church would arise and shine, 
her light being come and the glory of the Lord having risen upon 
her. In order to enjoy this prosperity, it is only necessary that 
every church, in faithful reliance upon the Divine blessing, should 
simply do its duty. 

Put if things go on as in years past, the most gloomy antici- 
pations must be indulged. The Divine blessing is not to be ex- 
pected, by those who neglect and undervalue the Divine institu- 
tions. We must apprehend, therefore, severe judgments. Do 
I speak of future evils I Alas, the sad tokens of Divine displea- 
sure are already seen. I would solemnly say to the churches — 
your condition is alarming. Your prospects are shrouded in 
darkness. The process of desolation has commenced, and it is 

• 22 

likely to go on with fearful vapidity. You are compelling faith- 
ful pastors to abandon your borders for lack of support. You are 
driving your choice young preachers to other fields, where they 
can labor to some purpose. * Most of the thirty pastors who have 
removed from the State within ten years, would have remained 
with us, if suitable provision had been made for their support. 
Still more of your temples will be desolate. Your youth will 
wander from the right way — your Seminary will die, and your 
enemies will triumph. And all this will be in consequence of 
your refusal to comply with those regulations which Christ has 
established in his kingdom. I testify to you, therefore, in the 
name of the Lord, that unless you make provision for the en- 
joyment of all the ordinances of God's house, and the entire 
work of the ministry, you will sin against God. And be sure 
your , sin will find you out. Will a man rob Godl yet ye have 
robbed mc, saith the Lord., in tithes and offerings. Therefore I 
trill curse your blessings ; yea, I have cursed them already because 
ye do not lay it to heart. 

In conclusion, I have a few words to say to those before me, 
who are candidates for the holy ministry. This subject is of 
high importance to you, my dear young brethren, as it involves 
all your future prospects of success and usefulness. Although 
this discourse is designed especially to direct the attention of our 
denomination generally, to the necessity of a devoted and well 
supported ministry, yet my remarks have had a constant refe- 
rence to your benefit. I think it entirely needless, to address 
any farther arguments to you upon this subject. I doubt not 
that your minds are fully made up, that when you enter the pas- 
toral office, it must be under circumstances to enable you to 
devote yourselves wholly to the particular churches over which 
the Holy Ghost may make you overseers. I trust you will set 
your faces like a flint against all proposals, arguments and per- 
suasions, designed to induce you to become instrumental in up- 
holding and perpetuating the ruinous system of a divided or 
partial ministry. While you will be ready to preach to the desti- 
tute, and to labour in missionary fields at home or abroad, I 
beseech you never to listen to any overtures, to take a pastoral 
charge, without such a provision as will enable you to devote 
your whole time and attention to your sacred duties. Reject 
with abhorrence the temptation to obtain a large income by teach- 
ing or farming, in connexion with the work of the ministry, or to 
live an easy indolent life, by preaching in different congregations ; 
and cherish a deep conviction that your occupation in this world 
is to be the ministry, the whole ministry, and nothing but the ministry. 

* The evidence, that this deplorable evil has already occurred in an alarming de- 
cree, is furnished by the statistical records of this Seminary. Of all the natives of 
tl is State, who have been connected with this Institution, and have entered the minis- 
try, more than half are settled out of the State. And of the eight who have recently 
received license, all but two have already chosen their location out of South Carolina. 



The following remarks, omitted in the Discourse for lack of time, but having a 
direct bearing upon the general subject, are hereto appended. 

It is very plamful and humiliating, to any friend of our denomination, to witness 
the neglected, dilapidated condition of many of our houses of worship. I am no 
advocate for costly, splendid churches ; but on the contrary, 1 am fully sensible, that 
in case of necessity, a log cabin, or a tent by the river side, maj be a sanctuary 
signally honoured by the Divine presence. Still it is unquestionable, that thestafc 
Of religious feeling in a community, and the degree in which they prize Christian 
ordinances, may usually be correetlv estimated, by the care aial liberality fhej bestow 
upon the house of God. As we are forbidden by Divine authority to serve God with 
that which costs us nothing, it seems fairly inferrable that parsimony and ni gligem e, 
in providing suitable buildings I'm- religious solemnities, are dishonourable to (bid, and 
indicate criminal indifference to his sacred institutions. A reproach is thus brought 
upon the cause of the Redeemer: for it is utterly impossible to convince the world, 
that Christians do really prize tin' Gospel as their must precious treasure, while it- 
external habiliments are suffered to be mean and degrading. 

Let a building, erected in honour of a statesman, remain unfinished, and fall into 
ruin and neglect ; who would fail to perceive, that the fervour of popular favour and 
gratitude had subsided 1 The same conclusion is unavoidable, as to the state of re- 
ligious feeling in those congregations, where similar indications appear as to the 
Temples the) have dedicated to the living God. There are in fact no better ereteria 
of the real sentiments of any community, in relation to any institution, than zeal 
and liberality in favour of every thin.; connected w ith that institution. If, tin- instance, 
a traveller in any pari of the I nited States, should remark thai the school-houses are 
rough, mi an buildings, of logs or slabs; he cannot hesitate in his conclusion, 
thai the cause of education drags heavily in that region. On the contrary, it he 
should see, what maj be seen now, in one of the western Slates, a thousand hand- 
some school-houses in progress of erection, he knows that the tide of public opinion, 
there, runs strongly in favour of a system of thorough instruction, lor the young. 
The same process of moral reasoning applies to tie case in hand. While it is conce- 
ded that the positive evidence, of a flourishing slate of religion, arising from splendid, 
costlj churches, is not conclusive, because such munificence may result from pride 
and ostentation; yet the negative evidence, afforded by the careless ueglecl of bouses 
of worship, and their consequent meanness and dilapidation, incontestablj proves, 
thai religion i- not flourishing. It would be wholly inconsistent with the princi- 
ples, which govern human conduct universally, if men, whose hearts were supremely 
engaged in the love and sen ice of < ihrist, should n ince toed apathy and indinen nc< . 
as to thi external accommodations of sacred ordinances. When, therefore, we see 
men of property and energy, attending public worship, with their families, bom year 
to v ear, in an old, ricketty building, hardlj affording -lull* r from the weather: we 
are very slow to believe, dial those men are heartily eu^aL'ed in Christianity, and 
thai thev highly prize its privileges. It may be so. But one thing is certain— they 
exhibit their attachment in a very unusual way. Their token- of respect and kind- 
le--, have a wonderful resemblance to the ordinary marks of contempt. If favour 
ami regard are thus manifested, how could dislike anil indiffl made known ? 

The effect produced, upon the minds of infidels and worldly men, l>\ the prevail- 
ing practice, m;n be clearly perceived by the following anecdote. Two gentle- 
men of high standing as politician';, — one regarding Christianity with respect, the 
other an avowed deist -were travellin rand passedby a Presbyterian meet- 

ing-house of th iption above referred to. "lam surprized," said the former, 

•'that so respectable a congregation, as I know that to be, which worships here, 
should show so little respect to die faith they embrace, as to perform their devo- 
tions in such a barn as this." ''It is quite good enough,' replied hid companion, 


" foi the worship of a God who was born in a stable." Such an impious sarcasm, 
from the lips of a malignant enemy, should rouse Christians to contemplate the fright- 
ful aspect and fatal tendency of the conduct of those, who dwell in their ceiled houses, 
surrounded with neatness and elegance, while ike House of God ties waste* I beseech 
mi In-, ihren. to whom these remarks, are applicable, n> -ive them a very serious con- 
sul 'ration. They receive their friends with a noble hospitality, in their richly fur* 
ttished apartments; while the presence chamber, in which they meet the King of 
Zion, is rough, shattered and filthy. 

I am aware that the common excuse is, "1 am only one — I cannot control the con- 

re ation. While I very much lament this state of things, it is beyond my power to 
eit'eet a reformation." Such an apology is utterly inadmissible, unless those who 
oner it have made repeated, vigorous efforts. And should such efforts be made, even 
bj a few, they would be crowned with the most complete 1 success. It is my firm 
conviction, that in every congregation, now destitute of a decent, commodious meet- 
ing house, there are three or four individuals, who could, with the utmost ease and 
convenience, supply the defect, whether their brethren would assist or not. And yet, 
how many congregations there are, where the known aggregate income of the mem- 
bers of each, amounts to scores of thousands; and yet their houses of worship would 
not sell, on an average, for three hundred dollars. Do they "honour the Lord with 
their substance and with the first fruits of all their increase 1" 

1'ut it is uol the only subject of painful regret, that in so many instances our sacred 
edifices are discreditable ; the same neglect and parsimony are exhibited, quite as 
extensively, iu the. church furniture, and the vessels employed in holy ordinances. 
Many of the pulpits are like sentry-boxes, perched up almost to the hare rafters. And 
while the price of a large pulpit Bible is not more than $3 — yet how poorly sup- 
plied are some of the congregations in this respect. 

And I feel con trained to call the attention of many of our breathren 1<> the sacra- 
mental \essels which they use in celebrating the Lord's supper. I do not know that 
my feelings are right, but 1 cannot avoid regarding it as a desecration, to administer 
the sacrament in such vessels. I know that externals are unessential, and that when 
necessity demanded, the use of wooden-spoons or gourd-shells would be sanctioned. 
But the question relates to the use of cheap, mean utensils, when there is wo necessity. 
For one, 1 must saj solemnly and conscientiously, that when Christians, who in their 
own houses spread their mahoganv tables w ith porcelain and silver, celebrate the Lord's 
Supper upon rough boards, with jugs, earthen pitchers, decanters, tumblers or tin-cups. 
I cannot be persuaded, that such things are "lovely" or "of good report." They seem 
to me to be in direct violation of the Apostolic pre cept — "Let every thing be dune decently 
and in onler.'" And even allowing that the minds of the communicants are so spirit- 
ual, as to be wholly unaffected by such degrading associations] yet regard should be 
had to those who ore without, in whom such things will not fail to excite contempt and 
derision. To say that a brown pitcher, a black jug, and a tin cup, are just as proper 
vehicles for the sacramental w ine as any other, is to set at nought the common feelings 
of mankind. Not more revolting to judicious minds would be the proposal to ordain a 
Minister in a Barber's shop, or a Cobbler's stall. 

I doubt not the practice of using such rude furniture, in holy ordinances, originated 
when real poverty, and the difficulty of obtaining desirable articles, formed a valid ex- 
cuse for using such substitutes as were at baud. But now, when there are so many 
wealthy members in every Church, and when a good service of communion plate can 
be obtained for forty dollars; an adherence to a habit, which has at least the appear- 
ance of niggardliness and contempt, and which gives pain to the pious and triumph to 
the profane, must be regarded as utterly inexcusable. 

It cannot have escaped the notice of every candid reader, that all ihese practices 
which have been so freely animadverted upon, both in the discourse, and in the appen- 
dix, are intimately associated together. The}- all proceed from the same moral causes, 
and constitute an harmonious system of Ecclesiastical abuses. It is utterly needless 
to point out the intimate connexion, between the refusal to give Ministers a competent 
support, the partnership in the pastoral office, the neglect of the building and preser- 
vation of suitable Church Edifices, and the use of improper and degrading articles in 
celebrating religious ordinances. 1 hese evils belong together. They proceed from the 
covetuousness,or the deplorable prejudices, and the spiritual apathy of professing Chris- 
tians. The disastrous effects of these things I have attempted to unfold. But the 
half is not told. I cannot close this appendix, without again beseeching all our breth- 
ren to ponder the sad consequences which have already been produced. In this way 
Religion in general, and Presbyterianism in particular, have fallen into popular con- 
tempt. Neither the Churches nor the Ministers, where these evils prevail, have either 
dignity or respectability, in the eves of the world. Of course the profession of the 
Christian Ministry is regarded in a contemptible and degrading light. Hence it comes 
to pass, that it requires the self-denial of a martyr, to induce learned, talented men to 

enter the sacred office. And this accounts for the alarming feet, that only a small 
portion, of the pious graduates, Irom our .Southern Colleges, devote themselves to the 
study of Theology. This fact should be proclaimed so loudly, that all our churches 

should take the alarm. Let it be repeated and generally knovi n, that scores of excellent, 
pious men, in this and the adjoining States, have been driven away from the ministry, 
by the circumstances of neglect and degradation, in which most of our clergy are 

placed. And the evil is increasing- We cannot expect that all those, who are quali- 
fied to become pastors, are'prepared to encounter all the trying difficulties and priva- 
tions, the systematic ingratitude and indifference, which they must expect to cluster 
around their path, if they enter the ministry. When will the churches awake to the 
alarming fact, that, by the measures they are pursuing, they are absolutely shrouding 
their prospects of a future ministry in utter darkness. At ibis moment, there are many 
valuable pious young men, who have finished their College course, and who possess 
most promising talents lor the ministry — but they shrink back and utterly refuse to give 
themselves to the «ork, for reasons amply detailed in these pages. 

But the effects produced upon the popular mind, by* the habits of many of our 
churches, with regard to worship and ordinances, are so maifestlj pernicious, as pain- 
fully to strike every observer. Enter a worshipping assembly, in a neat and becoming 
Edefice, where a regular stated ministry is enjoyed— and you will find a silent, solemn 
and devout attention, to the word and ordinances ot the Gospel. You may there see 
the blessed efficacy of Christian institutions, upon all those who regularly enjoy them. 
In such congregations you will witness no scenes of disorder and irrevolence. Your 
devotions will not be disturbed, nor your feelings tortured, by the cries of infants, the 
hustling of servants, the handing about pitched of water, or tiie constant going out and 
returning of groups of young men, in the midst of the service. Such improprieties 
cannot occur in well regulated, congregations j for such is the moral influence ftf re- 
ligious ordinances, when properly administered and respected, that all who attend 
statedly upon them are constrained to render the homage of a reverential deportment. 
Whether the same good order is preserved, in congregations where only a partial 
ministry is enjoyed, where the house of worship is a mere shell, and where the people 
are. seated on rough benches "in most admired disorder," — I do not pretend to declare. 
But if it be trni', thai in such placfes of worship, there isa lamentable want of solemnity 
ftnd decorum, and that many who attend them evince no reverence for sacred things; 
no surprize should be excited. Such disorders are the results to be expected from 
such negligence as to the externals of religion. And while Christians treat the minis- 
try and the sanctuary", as if they felt no interest in them — as if they did not prize them 
as worthy of either care or expense; the inevitable effect will be, to render the Gospel 
and all its privileges contemptible and worthless, in the estimation of worldly men. 
Brethren of the Presbyterian Churches of South Caorlina, permit me earnestly and 
affectionately tb entreat your candid attention to these statements and your united co- 
operation ill rolling awav tin's,' reproaches from Our beloved Zion. Then shall she 
look forth as the morning, clear as lite sun, fair as the moon, mid IcrrihU us an army 
with banners. 

P. S. — The prevalent style of church-buildim: in the State is remarkable for inele- 
gance and inconvenience. Every church should be so constructed as to afford the 
rreatest facility for hearing, and place lb" audience in front of the preacher. In moat 
of our congregations these requisites are wholly neglected. No conceivable form of a 
church is worse calculated to promote these objects, than the one most frequently met 
with. It costs no more to erect a building on a good plan than on a bad one. In several 
instances the expenditure has been sufficient, to complete a handsome, commodious 
edifice, and yet In high galleries and a high pulpit, placed on one side of the' building, 
the failure, as to convenience and symmetry, is complete. Out of Charleston I know 
of only one Presbyterian Church in the Stale, which, in its proportions, size and archi- 
tecture, affords a good model for imitation — and that one is at Camden. It is neat, 
simple and elegant; placing every hearer in full front view of the preacher, and render- 
ing the feeblest voice distinctly audible. What hinders the erection of twenty such, 
faring the present year .' Surelj they are needed, and aurel] the means to build them 
are abundant.