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plan of a funded charity. This was the source of its weakness and ultimate inefficiency. This mode of dispensing the dividends of gifts for ecclesiastical purposes was much more popular, in the time of the institution of this fund, than it is at the present. Sanctioned by the example of the Established Church in the mother country, it had been quite extensively adopted in this, and many local Churches were thought to be permanent and prosperous by their funded endowments. The day had not fully come for disbursing the gifts of the people as fast as received, or as fast as they were needed. For institutions that depend on the munificence of a few individuals, as colleges or hospitals, the funding of gifts for their support is still, and perhaps may be the only way to enable them to meet the end of their creation. But it is a system, now in disfavor, where appeals for help are made directly to the people, and where their duty and their sympathy may be constantly invoked. It is repudiated by the great benevolent enterprises of the day. One of the evils of this policy, of the past, is the over-estimate that is generally made of the amount of its avails. This has been true in respect to the Chartered Fund. The Church, by some indefinite belief, supposed it was doing much more than it ever has done. But few, indeed, thought it was only paying about two per cent. to every claimant. Akin to this evil, and partly growing out of it, the funding principle causes a lack of personal responsibility, and a consequent inactivity, in the people, in behalf of the objects to be benefited, because they suppose the work is already done by others. It is a notorious fact, that in Churches or associations relying on their invested funds for support there is usually but little enterprise or enthusiasm, and those connected with them come to possess narrow views of duty and a chronic illiberality. The divine order is that each generation shall do the work properly belonging to it, and educate the next for even greater activity and liberality. No man can have a like interest in an enterprise to which he contributes nothing, as he will have for one to which his mind, and heart, and purse have been tributary. Funded charities, so far as they remove from the people the duty of giving for their objects, destroy the near and healthy relations that should exist between them. The limited resources of the Chartered Fund has doubtless saved the Church

from any of the calamities that we have named. Dr. Bangs says of it: "It may be questioned whether, by inducing a false dependence in the public mind, this fund has not defeated the objects of its institution and disappointed the expectations of its benevolent founders and patrons." The same objections that apply to it may be urged with equal force to the centenary and other invested funds for the relief of worn-out ministers.

It was just like John Wesley to make the press turn preacher; in his own words, "to enter every open door" to preach Christ. It was just like his followers in America to do the same thing. Not because they were simple imitators, but they saw it was an effectual way to do their work to spread scriptural holiness over the land. Almost immediately after the organization of the Church they initiated a plan for printing and circulating books. The connectional economy of the Church gave it great facilities for making this plan successful. By it a literature has been given the country that has essentially aided in educating the people in the doctrines of Methodism, and making the Church homogeneous in creed and government. That it was proposed, at so early a day as history shows, to appropriate the profits of the "Book Concern" to assist the worn-out preachers, is more an evidence of the necessity for helping them, than it is of the wisdom in using these profits for such a purpose. The aid it gave was needed, but it is doubtful whether it were wise to make the appropriation. It was a doubtful expediency that made the ministers, who were the conductors of the book publishing establishment, liable to the suspicion that their zeal in the circulation of books was in any degree attributable to the "profits" they were to receive from it. It is true, in fact, that these profits were only incidental, and their chief motive was the dissemination of the truth; nevertheless, the specified use that should be made of them gave to their work, in the eyes of the world, a selfish aspect, and so far it detracted from and lowered the evangelical mission of the Book Concern. The real, as well as professed, design of the establishment is to circulate the words. of truth in their most attractive and useful form, and to the greatest possible extent. Nothing should be allowed in any way to interfere with this design. The best talent the world

can furnish, the most thorough art that enterprise can develop, the widest distribution that energy and facility can give, and the most favorable terms that the purchaser can receive, should all be made tributary to render efficient and further the great design of the "Concern." Its work is not even incidentally to make profits, but attractive and valuable literature; and its issues should be the demand of every household in the land. It is not to support the ministry, but to enlighten and save the people. Every cent that may be spared from its permanent and needed capital should be employed in improving the quality, and giving wider diffusion to its issues. Every cent diverted from such employment impinges the usefulness and efficiency of the institution. Let it have one object and only one, and to that give its undivided, liberal, and energetic efforts; let the Church directly provide for the support of all its ministers. There are other objections to taking the profits of the Book Concern for the relief of superannuated men, the same as there are to depending on the dividends of the Chartered Fund. The sums thus furnished will be inconsiderable to the amount required, and relying on them for this object will diminish the liberality of the people.

The "fifth collection" is the chief support of the disabled ministers of the Methodist Church. More than three fourths of all the moneys now received for them is through this collection. Because it is so generally taken in the Churches, and may be ultimately their only supply, it is proper to consider some of the reasons that commend it to our confidence.

Not the least of these reasons is, that it is a good way for the Church to meet its obligations to care for these men. With many, perhaps with the most who contribute, the impulse to give arises from sympathy for their needy state, increased by respect for their integrity, and a remembrance of their labors and life of self-denial. In some cases this sympathy may be intensified from personal good received from their past ministrations. To such the work is chiefly one of charity. But the recipients have generally held relations to the givers that make the giving a duty. There has, indeed, been no literal promise to pay, to constitute an acknowledged debt, but there have been services rendered under circumstances that make the duty to pay an obligation in equity. In other Churches there

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is but little, if any, special provision made in behalf of their worn-out ministers. This does not, probably, arise from any want of love or care for these men, but because they are already provided for in the compensation given them while in active service. There are reasons why the Methodist Church, more than any others, should make such provision. In other Churches the minister and the people are each a party to a contract, in which he engages to render them ministerial serv ice for a stipulated amount. He may collect it by legal process if necessary. Now it is a recognized principle, in regard to the proper compensation for labor, that the amount paid should be sufficient to enable the workman to support himself while employed, and have a surplus beyond the demands of the economy of the present for the emergencies of sickness and old age. The presumption is that ministers of other Churches, like any other employés, adopt this principle, and their terms have respect to the wants of the future. They provide for themselves; and the people, by meeting their terms, place themselves beyond any obligations to provide for them.


The Methodist minister performs his work without stipulations for pay. How much he shall receive is left wholly with the people. If, in deciding this, the "party of the other part were required to make the amount correspond to the value of services received, or to provide for the event of future disability, the minister would have less need for any other provision; but they are only required, by the Discipline, to make an estimate for his "support," "to give him a comfortable living." We do not say that this standard for the estimate is unwise; there are reasons why it is the best; but if the doctrine is true, as we have stated, of what is due to labor, there will usually be, beyond his receipts, an amount to which in equity he is entitled, a residuary, that shall provide for him in his disability. This residuary is the fifth collection. By it the Church meets its obligations to provide for her superannuated ministers.

Besides the equity of this collection, there is in the manner of taking it somewhat the nature of a charity. It is unpledged, the amount given is left to the generosity of the giver, and it is made in behalf of the needy. It is well that its beneficiary character should be acknowledged and appreciated, because of the good influence it will thereby exert on both giver and

receiver. There will be a virtuous influence, with this view of it, in keeping alive the love of the people for their ministers after the day of their active duty has ceased. It will call to mind, and render fresh again, the esteem in which they were held in former days. The condition of a worn-out minister would be truly pitiable if, after having been for many years respected and honored in the Church, he must be set aside and forgotten when the time of infirmity comes. But the tendency of human nature is to honor the active rather than the passive virtues, and any means that will counteract this tendency, and keep him with due appreciation in the minds and hearts of the people, will confer on him a blessing not less precious than the material aid it can bring. It is scriptural philosophy, that those who receive our help secure our love. This is the true exposition of the Saviour's words: "It is more blessed to give than to receive." The giver is the greater lover. The fifth collection, by giving the people an opportunity annually to contribute to its funds, will, at the same time, preserve their love for the men whose lives have been given to serve them.

This collection has the merits of economy and expediency, as well as moral. It is very simple in its workings. It is unexpensive in its application. It has the advantage of taking directly from the people for the object for which it is designed. Its history proves it to be acceptable to them from its increase and general popularity. And, most valuable of all, it is capable of expansion, so that it may be extended to any degree that the necessity of the case requires.

Success in obtaining funds, for whatever object, will much depend on the manner of disbursing them. It is so, espe cially, when they are to be used for charitable or beneficiary purposes. And the amount hereafter to be received for wornout ministers will be increased or diminished as it shall be wisely and equitably given to the claimants. This paper would be incomplete without a review of the manner the Church has disposed of the moneys committed to her care in behalf of these claimants.

Respecting the moneys obtained by the "Preachers' Fund" and other similar mutual assurance organizations, the presumption is that they were paid according to contract, or as their funds were sufficient to meet the bond. The special collec

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