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Charles Buck Theological Dictionary
A term used to denote the settlement of a pension upon a minister, or the building of a church, or the severing a sufficient portion of tithes for a vicar, when the benefice is appropriated. Among the Dissenters, they are benefactions left to their place or congregation, for the support of their ministers. Where the congregation is poor or small, these have been found beneficial; but in many cases they have been detrimental. Too often has it tended to relax the exertions of the people; and when such a fund has fallen into the hands of an unsuitable minister, it has prevented his removal; when, had he derived no support from the people, necessity would have caused him to depart, and make room for one more worthy.
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Buck, Charles. Entry for 'Endowment, Ecclesiastical'. Charles Buck Theological Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/cbd/e/endowment-ecclesiastical.html. 1802.