The GOSPEL TRUTH
CHARLES G. FINNEY'S
XV. PAPISTICAL REASONS FOR PRIESTLY CELIBACY.
1. Marriage embarrassing to the spiritual life. Answer:(1) It is a help, as it prevents temptation.
(2) It cultivates many forms of virtue.
(3) It is in accordance with our nature.
(4) It is a necessity of the race, and its continuance.
2. Inconsistent with the example of Christ and Paul. Their example justified by peculiar reasons.
3. Paul wished that all men were unmarried. Answer:(1) This, if it proves anything, proves too much.
(2) The wish was the result of the peculiar circumstance of the church at the time.
4. Paul's teaching and example imply a disapproval of marriage. Answer:(1) Not more so of priests, than of all.
(2) Paul guarded against this inference by expressly declaring marriage honorable in all, ministers and people.
5. Revelation represents those "who have not defiled themselves with women" as being more highly honored in heaven. Answer:(1) Whatever this means, it is not peculiar to ministers.
(2) The intercourse of the married is not defiling.
(3) The passage has reference to fornication and adultery.
(4) Paul considered marriage, with its duties and privileges as not defiling the bed.
(5) Paul denounced "forbidding to marry."
6. It is better for the spirit to deny and crush the flesh.(1) Then our animal nature is a mistake.
(2) Then we are justified in not propagating the race.
(3) Restraint within divinely appointed limits, and not the utter denial and annihilation of our constitutional appetites, is our law.
(4) Enoch walked with God 400 years and begat sons and daughters.
7. A family is a hindrance to a minister in his work. Ans.:(1) This is exceptional. The reverse is the rule.
(2) If this were a necessary result, it should have prohibited the marriage of apostles and ministers.
(3) Paul asserts that he and Barnabas were at liberty to marry.
(4) A well-ordered family a constant help to a minister in many ways.
(5) The help more than counterbalances the hindrance.
8. A single man is less expensive to the church. Answer:(1) No minister at all would cost less still, in dollars.
(2) But to do without a minister would be too expensive.
(3) Churches can't afford to be without a whole pastor.
(4) A pastor's wife more than pays for her support.
(5) It is a shame for the church to take this view.
(6) This is seriously urged by the ritualists of England today.
(7) Especially as it respects curates and the lower clergy.
(8) They plead for an expensive clergy for the upper classes.
(9) And hence, for celibacy of the lower clergy, because they will be less expensive to the people.
(10) A minister can often keep house as cheaply as he can board - his garden, fruit, washing, and mending.
(11) Most congregations can pay him easier in the products of their industry.
(12) It is generally dangerous for a minister to board. It creates jealousy of the family in which he boards.
(13) Also, the woman where he boards.
(14) He needs the sacred enclosure and confidence of his own family.
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