A FORM OF DISCIPLINE, FOR THE Ministers, Preachers, and Members OF THE METHODIST Episcopal CHURCH in AMERICA. Considered and approved at a CONFERENCE Held at BALTIMORE, in the State of MARYLAND, On Monday the 27th of December, 1784: IN WHICH The Reverend THOMAS COKE, L. L. D. and the Reverend FRANCIS ASBURY, presided. Arranged under proper HEADS, and METHODIZED in a more acceptable and easy Manner.




SECTION I. Of the Rise of Methodism (so called) in Europe and America.

Quest. 1. WHAT was the Rise of Methodism, so called, in Europe?

Answ. In 1729, two young Men, reading the Bible, saw they could not be saved without Holi­ness, followed after it, and incited others so to do. In 1737, they saw likewise, that Men are justified before they are sanctified: but still Holiness was their Object. God then thrust them out, to raise an holy People.

Quest. 2. What was the Rise of Methodism, so called, in America?

Answ. During the Space of thirty Years past, certain Persons, Members of the Society, emigrated from England and Ireland, and settled in various Parts of this Country. About twenty Years ago, Philip Embury, a local Preacher from Ireland, began to preach in the City of New-York, and formed a Society of his own Countrymen and the Citizens. About the same Time, Robert Straw­bridge, a local Preacher from Ireland, settled in [Page 4] Frederick County, in the State of Maryland, and preaching there formed some Societies. In 1769, Richard Boardman and Joseph Pilmoor, came to New-York; who were the first regular Methodist Preachers on the Continent. In the latter End of the Year 1771, Francis Asbury and Richard Wright, of the same Order, came over.

Quest. 3. What may we reasonably believe to be God's Design, in raising up the Preachers called Methodists?

Answ. To reform the Continent, and spread scripture Holiness over these Lands. As a Proof [...] seen in the Course of fifteen Years a great and glorious Work of God, from New-York through the Jersies, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, North and South Carolina, even to Georgia.

SECTION II. On the Method of holding a Conference, and the Business to be done therein.

IT is desired that all Things be considered as in the immediate Presence of God. That every Person speak freely whatever is in his Heart.

Quest. 1. How may we best improve our Time at the Conference?

Answ. While we are conversing, let us have an especial Care to set God always before us.

2. In the intermediate Hours, let us redeem all the Time we can for private Exercises.

3. Therein let us give ourselves to Prayer for one another, and for a Blessing on our Labour.

[Page 5] Quest. 2. What is the Method wherein we usually proceed in a Conference?

Answ. We enquire,

  • 1. What Preachers are admitted?
  • 2. Who remain on Trial?
  • 3. Who are admitted on Trial?
  • 4. Who desist from travelling?
  • 5. Are there any Objections to any of the Preach­ers? Who are named one by one.
  • 6. How are the Preachers stationed this Year?
  • 7. What Numbers are in Society?
  • 8. What is collected for the contingent Ex­pences?
  • 9. How is this expended?
  • 10. What is contributed toward the Fund for the superanuated Preachers, and the Widows and Orphans of the Preachers?
  • 11. What Demands are there upon it?
  • 12. Where and when shall our next Conferences begin?

Quest. 3. Is there any other Business to be done in Conference?

Answ. The electing and ordaining of Bishops, Elders and Deacons.

SECTION III. On the Nature and Constitution of our Church.

WE are thoroughly convinced, that the Church of England, to which we have been united, is deficient in several of the most im­portant Parts of Christian Discipline; and that (a few Ministers and Members excepted) it has lost the Life and Power of Religion. We are not [Page 6] ignorant of the Spirit and Designs it has ever disco­vered in Europe, of rising to Pre-eminence and worldly Dignities by Virtue of a national Establish­ment, and by the most servile Devotion to the Will of temporal Governors: and we fear, the same Spirit will lead the same Church in these United States (tho' altered in its Name) to similar Designs and Attempts, if the Number and Strength of its Members will ever afford a Probability of Success; and particularly, to obtain a national Establishment which we cordially abhor as the great Bane of Truth and Holiness, the greatest Impediment in the World to the Progress of vital Christianity.

For these Reasons, we have thought it our Duty to form ourselves into an Independent Church. And as the most excellent Mode of Church Govern­ment according to our maturest Judgment, is that of a moderate Episcopacy; and as we are persuaded, that the uninterrupted Succession of Bishops from the Apostles, can be proved neither from Scripture nor Antiquity; we therefore have constituted ourselves into an Episcopal Church, under the Direction of Bishops, Elders, Deacons, and Preachers, according to the Forms of Ordination annexed to our Prayer Book, and the Regulations laid down in this Form of Discipline.

SECTION IV. On the constituting of Bishops, and their Duty.

Quest. 1. HOW is a Bishop constituted?

Answ. By the Election of a Majority of the Conference, and the laying on of Hands of a Bishop, and the Elders present.

[Page 7] Quest. 2. What is his Duty?

Answ. To preside as a Moderator in our Confe­rences; to fix the Appointments of the Preachers for the several Circuits; and in the Intervals of the Conference, to change, receive or suspend Preach­ers, as Necessity may require; to travel through as many Circuits as he can, and to settle all the spiritual Business of the Societies.

Quest. 3. To whom is the Bishop amenable for his Conduct?

Answ. To the Conference: who have Power to expel him for improper Conduct, if they see it necessary.

Quest. 4. If the Bishop ceases from travelling at large among the People, shall he still exercise his Office among us in any Degree?

Answ. If he ceases from travelling without the Consent of the Conference, he shall not hereafter exercise any ministerial Function whatsoever in our Church.

Quest. 5. If by Death, Expulsion or otherwise there be no Bishop remaining in our Church, what Method shall be pursued?

Answ. Let the Conference immediately elect a Bishop, and let the Elders or any three of them, consecrate him to his Office.

SECTION V. On the constituting of Elders, and their Duty.

Quest. 1. HOW is an Elder constituted?

Answ. By the Election of a Ma­jority of the Conference, and by the laying on of Hands of a Bishop, and the Elders present.

[Page 8] Quest. 2. What is his Duty?

Answ. 1. To travel through his appointed Dis­trict.

2. To administer Baptism and the Lord's Supper; and to perform all Parts of Divine Service.

3. In the Absence of a Bishop, to take Charge of all the Deacons, travelling and local Preachers, and Exhorters.

4. To change, receive or suspend Preachers.

5. To direct in the Transaction of all the spiri­tual Business of his Circuit.

6. To take Care that every Part of our Disci­pline be enforced.

7. To aid in the public Collections.

8. To attend his Bishop when present, and give him when absent, all possible Information, by Let­ter, of the State of his District.

N. B. No Elder that ceases to travel without the Consent of the Conference, certified under the Hand of a Bishop, shall on any Account exercise the peculiar Functions of his Office among us.

SECTION VI. On the constituting of Deacons, and their Duty.

Quest. 1. HOW is a Deacon constituted?

Answ. By the Election of a Ma­jority of the Conference, and the laying on of the Hands of a Bishop.

Quest. 2. What is the Duty of a Deacon?

Answ. 1. To baptize, and perform the Office of Matrimony in the Absence of the Elder.

[Page 9]2. To assist the Elder in administering the Lord's Supper.

3. To see that the other Preachers in his Circuit behave well, and want nothing.

4. To renew the Tickets quarterly, and regu­late the Bands.

5. To appoint all the Stewards and Leaders, and change them when he sees it necessary.

6. To hold Watch-Nights and Love-Feasts.

7. To hold Quarterly Meetings, and therein di­ligently to enquire, both into the temporal and spiritual State of each Society.

8. To take Care that every Society be duly sup­plied with Books: particularly with the SAINTS' REST, INSTRUCTIONS FOR CHILDREN, and the PRIMITIVE PHYSIC, which ought to be in every House.

9. To take an exact Account of the Numbers in Society, and bring it to the Conference.

10. To send an Account of his Circuit every Quarter, to his Elder.

11. To meet the Men and Women apart in the large Societies, once a Quarter.

12. To overlook the Accounts of all the Stew­ards.

13. To appoint a Person to receive the Quarterly Collection in the Classes, and to be present at the Time of receiving it.

14. To see that Public Collections be made quarterly.

15. To move a yearly Subscription through those Circuits that can bear it, for building Churches.

16. To chuse a Committee of lay Members, to make a just Application of the Money, where it is most wanted.

[Page 10] Quest. 3. What other Directions shall we give the Deacons?

Answ. Several.

1. Take a regular Catalogue of the Societies in Towns and Cities, as they live in Streets.

2. Leave your Successor a particular Account of the State of the Circuit.

3. See that every Band-Leader have the Rules of the Bands.

4. Vigorously, but calmly, inforce the Rules concerning needless Ornaments and Drams.

5. As soon as there are four Men or Women Believers in any Place, put them into a Band.

6. Suffer no Love-Feast to last above an Hour and a Half.

7. Warn all from Time to Time, that none are to remove from one Circuit to another without a Note of Recommendation from the Elder or Dea­con in these Words: A. B. the Bearer has been an acceptable Member of our Society in C. and inform them, that without such a Certificate, they will not be received into other Societies.

8. Every where recommend Decency and Clean­liness.

9. Read the Rules of the Society, with the Aid of the Preachers, once a Year, in every Congrega­tion, and once a Quarter in every Society.

10. On any Dispute between two or more of the Members of our Society which cannot be set­tled by the Parties concerned, the Deacon shall inquire into the Circumstances of the Case, and having consulted the Stewards and Leaders, shall, if agreable to their Advice, recommend to the con­tending Parties a Reference consisting of one Arbi­ter, chosen by the Plaintiff, and another by the Desendent; which two Arbiters so chosen, shall [Page 11] nominate a third (the three Arbiters being Mem­bers of our Society) and the Decision of any two of them, shall be final. But if either of the Par­ties refuse to abide by such Decision, he shall be immediately expelled.

N. B. If any Member of our Society enter into a Law-suit with another Member before these Mea­sures are taken, he shall be expelled.

No Deacon that ceases to travel without the Con­sent of the Conference, certified under the Hand of a Bishop, shall on any Account exercise the pecu­liar Functions of his Office.

SECTION VII. On the Method of receiving Preachers, and their Duty.

Quest. 1. HOW is a Preacher to be received?

Answ. 1. By the Conference.

2. In the Interval of the Conference, by the Elder.

3. When his Name is not printed in the Minutes, he must receive a written Licence from his Elder.

Quest. 2. What is the Duty of a Preacher?

  • 1. To preach.
  • 2. To meet the Societies of Classes, and Bands.
  • 3. To visit the Sick.
  • 4. To meet the Leaders.
  • 5. To preach in the Morning, where he can get Hearers.

N. B. We are fully determined never to drop Morning-Preaching; and to preach at five o'Clock in the Summer, and at six in the Winter, where­ever it is practicable.

[Page 12] Quest. 3. Are the Preachers to read our Liturgy?

Answ. All that have received a written Direction for that Purpose, under the Hand of a Bishop or Elder, may read the Liturgy, as often as they think it expedient.

Quest. 4. What are the Directions given to a Preacher?

Answ. 1. Be diligent. Never be unemployed. Never be triflingly employed. Never trifle away Time; neither spend any more Time at any Place than is strictly necessary.

2. Be serious. Let your Motto be, Holiness to the Lord. Avoid all Lightness, jesting and foolish Talking.

3. Converse sparingly and cautiously with Wo­men.

4. Take no Step towards Marriage without first consulting with your Brethren.

5. Believe Evil of no one: Unless you see it done, take Heed how you credit it. Put the best Construction on every Thing. You know the Judge is always supposed to be on the Prisoner's Side.

6. Speak Evil of no one: Else your Word espe­cially would eat as doth a Canker. Keep your Thoughts within your own Breast, till you come to the Person concerned.

7. Tell every one under your Care, what you think wrong in his Conduct and Tempers, and that plainly as soon as may be: Else it will fester in your Heart. Make all Haste to cast the Fire out of your Bosom.

8. Do not affect the Gentleman. You have no more to do with this Character than with that of a Dancing-Master. A Preacher of the Gospel is the Servant of all.

[Page 13]9. Be ashamed of nothing but Sin.

10. Be punctual. Do every Thing exactly at the Time. And do not mend our Rules, but keep them; not for Wrath but Conscience sake.

11. You have nothing to do but to save Souls. Therefore spend and be spent in this Work. And go always not only to those that want, but to those that want you most.

Observe. It is not your Business to preach so many Times, and to take Care of this or that Society: But to save as many Souls as you can; to bring as many Sinners as you possibly can to Re­pentance, and with all your Power to build them up in that Holiness, without which they cannot see the Lord. And remember! A Methodist Preacher is to mind every Point, great and small, in the Methodist Discipline! Therefore you will need to exercise all the Sense you have.

12. Act in all Things, not according to your own Will, but as a Son in the Gospel. As such it is your Part to employ your Time in the Manner which we direct: Partly in preaching and visiting from House to House: Partly in reading, Medita­tion and Prayer. Above all, if you labour with us in our Lord's Vineyard, it is needful you should do that Part of the Work which we advise, at those Times and Places which we judge most for His Glory.

Quest. 5. What Method do we use in receiving a Preacher at the Conference?

Answ. After solemn Fasting and Prayer, every Person proposed shall then be asked, before the Con­ference, the following Questions (with any others which may be thought necessary) viz. Have you Faith in Christ? Are you going on to Perfection? Do you expect to be made perfect in Love in this [Page 14] Life? Are you groaning after it? Are you resolved to devote yourself wholly to God and his Work? Do you know the Rules of the Society? Of the Bands? Do you keep them? Do you constantly attend the Sacrament? Have you read the Form of Discipline? Are you willing to conform to it? Have you considered the Rules of a Preacher; espe­cially the first, tenth and twelfth? Will you keep them for Conscience Sake? Are you determined to employ all your Time in the Work of God? Will you endeavour not to speak too long or too loud? Will you diligently instruct the Children in every Place? Will you visit from House to House? Will you recommend Fasting or Abstinence, both by Precept and Example? Are you in Debt?

We may then, if he gives Satisfaction, receive him as a Probationer, by giving him the Form of Discipline, inscribed thus: To A. B. "You think it your Duty to call Sinners to Repentance. Make full Proof hereof, and we shall rejoice to receive you as a Fellow-Labourer." Let him then carefully read and weigh what is contained therein; that if he has any Doubt, it may be removed. Observe! Taking on Trial is entirely different from admitting a Preacher. One on Trial, may be either admitted or rejected, without doing him any Wrong; other­wise it would be no Trial at all. Let every Dea­con explain this to them that are on Trial.

After two Years Probation, being recommended by the Elder or Deacon, and examined by the Bishop, he may be received into full Connection, by giving him the Form of Discipline, inscribed thus: As long as you freely consent to, and earnestly endeavour to walk by these Rules, we shall rejoice to acknowledge you as a Fellow-Labourer.

N. B. Let none who are local, preach or exhort [Page 15] in any of our Societies without a Note of Permission from the Deacon: Let every local Preacher or Ex­horter take Care to have this renewed yearly: And let every Elder insist upon it.

SECTION VIII. Of the Collections that are made, and how the Money is to be expended.

Quest. 1. HOW many Collections are to be made in a Year?

Answ. 1. A Quarterly Collection from the Members of the Society, to supply the Preachers; and when that is deficient, a Public Quarterly Col­lection: If there be any Overplus, let one third be reserved for future Deficiencies; one third be given to the Poor in general; and one third applied to the building or improving of our Churches.

2. A Yearly Collection from all our Members that are of Ability, for the building of convenient Churches.

3. A Collection at Love-Feasts, and on sacra­mental Occasions, for the Poor of our own Society.

4. An Annual Collection or Subscription for the College.

5. An Annual Public Collection for the Contin­gencies of the Conference, which shall be applied,

1. To discharge the Deficiencies of those Preach­ers, who shall not have received their full Salary in their Circuits: and,

2. To defray the Expences of our Missions to distant Parts of the Continent.

[Page 16] Quest. 2. What is the regular annual Salary of the Bishops, Elders, Deacons and Preachers?

Answ Twenty-four Pounds Pennsylvania Cur­rency, and their travelling Expences.

Quest. 3. What shall be annually allowed the Wives of the married Preachers?

Answ. Twenty-four Pounds Pennsylvania Cur­rency, if they are in want of it.

SECTION IX. On Class-Meeting.

Quest. 1. HOW may the Leaders of Classes be rendered more useful?

Answ. 1. Let each of them be diligently exa­mined concerning his Method of meeting a Class. Let this be done with all possible Exactness, at least once a Quarter. In Order to this, take sufficient Time.

2. Let each Leader carefully inquire how every Soul in his Class prospers: Not only how each Per­son observes the outward Rules, but how he grows in the Knowledge and Love of God.

3. Let the Leaders converse with the Elder and Deacon frequently and freely.

Quest. 2. Can any Thing more be done in Order to make the Class-Meetings lively and profitable?

Answ. 1. Change improper Leaders.

2. Let the Leaders frequently meet each other's Classes.

3. Let us observe which Leaders are the most useful: And let these meet the other Classes as often as possible.

4. See that all the Leaders be not only Men of sound Judgment, but Men truly devoted to God.

[Page 17] Quest. 3. How shall we prevent improper Persons from insinuating themselves into the Society?

Answ. 1. Give Tickets to none till they are re­commended by a Leader with whom they have met at least two Months on Trial.

2. Give Notes to none but those who are recom­mended by one you know, or till they have met three or four Times in a Class.

3. Read the Rules to them the first Time they meet.

Quest. 4. How shall we be more strict in receiv­ing and excluding Members?

Answ. In large Societies we may read the Names of those that are received and excluded, once a Quarter.

Quest. 5. What shall we do with those Members of Society who wilfully and repeatedly neglect to meet their Class?

Answ. 1. Let the Elder, Deacon, or one of the Preachers, visit them, wherever it is practicable, and explain to them the Consequence if they con­tinue to neglect, viz. Exclusion.

2. If they do not amend, let the Deacon exclude them in the Society; shewing that they are laid aside for a Breach of our Rules of Discipline, and not for immoral Conduct.

SECTION X. On the Duty of Preachers, to God, them­selves and one another.

Quest. 1. HOW shall a Preacher be qualified for his Charge?

Answ. By walking closely with God, and having [Page 18] his Work greatly at Heart: And by understanding and loving Discipline, ours in particular.

Quest. 2. Do we sufficiently watch over each other?

Answ. We do not. Should we not frequently ask each other, Do you walk closely with God? Have you now Fellowship with the Father and the Son? At what Hour do you rise? Do you punctually observe the Morning and Evening Hour of Retire­ment, viz. Five o'clock? Do you spend the Day in the Manner which the Conference advises? Do you converse seriously, usefully and closely? To be more particular: Do you use all the Means of Grace yourself, and inforce the Use of them on all other Persons? They are either instituted or prudential.

I. The Instituted are,

1. Prayer; Private, Family, Public; consisting of Deprecation, Petition, Intercession and Thanks­giving. Do you use each of these? Do you fore­cast daily wherever you are, to secure Time for private Devotion? Do you practice it every where? Do you ask every where, Have you Family Prayer? And do you ask Individuals, Do you use private Prayer every Morning and Evening?

2. Searching the Scriptures, by

  • (1) Reading; constantly, some Part of every Day: regularly, all the Bible in order: carefully, with Mr. Wesley's Notes: seriously, with Prayer before and after: fruitfully, immediately practising what you learn there?
  • (2) Meditating: At set Times? By Rule?
  • (3) Hearing: Every Opportunity? With Prayer before, at, after? Have you a Bible always about you?

3. The Lord's Supper: Do you use this at every Opportunity? With solemn Prayer before? With earnest and deliberate Self-Devotion?

[Page 19]4. Do you use as much Abstinence and Fasting every Week, as your Health, Strength and Labour will permit?

5. Christian Conference: Are you convinced how important and how difficult it is to order your Con­versation aright? Is it always in Grace? Seasoned with salt? Meet to minister Grace to the Hearers? Do you not converse too long at a Time? Is not an Hour commonly enough? Would it not be well always to have a determinate End in View? And to pray before and after it?

II. Prudential Means we may use, either as Christians, as Methodists, as Preachers, or as Mi­nisters.

1. As Christians: What particular Rules have you in order to grow in Grace? What Arts of Holy Living?

2. As Methodists: Do you never miss your Class or Band?

3. As Preachers: Do you meet every Society? Also, the Leaders and Bands?

4. As Ministers: Have you thoroughly consi­dered your Duty? And do you make a Conscience of executing every Part of it?

These Means may be used without Fruit. But there are some Means which cannot; namely, Watching, Denying ourselves, taking up our Cross, Exercise of the Presence of God.

1. Do you steadily watch against the World? Yourself? Your besetting Sin?

2. Do you deny yourself every useless Pleasure of Sense? Imagination? Honour? Are you temperate in all Things? Instance in Food. (1) Do you use only that Kind, and that Degree, which is best both for your Body and Soul? Do you see the Ne­cessity of this? (2) Do you eat no Flesh Suppers? [Page 20] (3) Do you eat no more at each Meal than is neces­sary? Are you not heavy or drowsy after Dinner? (4) Do you use only that Kind and that Degree of Drink which is best both for your Body and Soul? (5) Do you chuse and use Water for your common Drink? And only take Wine and other Liquors medicinally?

3. Wherein do you take up your Cross daily? Do you chearfully bear your Cross (whatever is grievous to Nature) as a Gift of God, and labour to profit thereby?

4. Do you endeavour to set God always before you? To see His Eye continually fixed upon you? Never can you use these Means, but a Blessing will ensue. And the more you use them, the more will you grow in Grace.

SECTION XI. On the Necessity of Union among ourselves.

LET us be deeply sensible (from what we have known) of the Evil of a Division in Princi­ple, Spirit or Practice, and the dreadful Conse­quences to ourselves and others. If we are united, what can stand before us? If we divide, we shall destroy ourselves, the Work of God, and the Souls of our People.

Quest. 1. What can be done in order to a closer Union with each other?

Answ. 1. Let us be deeply convinced of the ab­solute Necessity of it.

2 Pray earnestly for, and speak freely to each other.

[Page 21]3. When we meet, let us never part without Prayer.

4. Take great Care not to despise each other's Gifts.

5. Never speak lightly of each other.

6. Let us defend each other's Character in every Thing, so far as is consistent with Truth.

7. Labour in Honour each to prefer the other before himself.

SECTION XII. Of the Trial of those who think they are moved by the Holy Ghost to preach.

Quest. 1. HOW shall we try those who profess to be moved by the Holy Ghost to preach?

Answ. 1. Let them be asked the following Ques­tions, viz. Do they know God as a pardoning God? Have they the Love of God abiding in them? Do they desire and seek nothing but God? And are they holy in all Manner of Conversation?

2. Have they Gifts (as well as Grace) for the Work? Have they (in some tolerable Degree) a clear, sound Understanding, a right Judgment in the Things of God, a just Conception of Salva­tion by Faith? And has God given them any De­gree of Utterance? Do they speak justly, readily, clearly?

3. Have they Fruit? Are any truly convinced of Sin, and converted to God by their preaching?

As long as these three Marks concur in any one, we believe he is called of God to preach. These we receive as sufficient Proof that he is moved by the Holy Ghost.

[Page 22]

SECTION XIII. Of the Spirit and Truth of Singing.

Quest. 1. HOW shall we guard against Forma­lity in singing?

Answ. 1. By chusing such Hymns as are proper for the Congregation.

2. By not singing too much at once; seldom more than five or six verses.

3. By suiting the Tune to the Words.

4. By often stopping short, and asking the People, "Now! Do you know what you said last? Did you speak no more than you felt?"

5. Do not suffer the People to sing too slow. This naturally tends to Formality; and is brought in by those who have either very strong or very weak Voices.

6. In every large Society let them learn to sing; and let them always learn our Tunes first.

7. Let the Women constantly sing their Parts alone. Let no Man sing with them, unless he un­derstands the Notes, and sings the Base as it is pricked down in the Tune-Book.

8. Introduce no new Tune till they are perfect in the old.

9. Recommend our Tune-Book every where: And if you cannot sing yourself, chuse a Person or two at each Place to pitch the Tune for you.

10. Exhort every Person in the Congregation to sing, not one in ten only.

11. Sing no Hymns of your own composing.

12. If a Preacher be present, let him alone give out the Words.

13. When the Singers would teach a Tune to the Congregation, they must sing only the Tenor.

[Page 23]

SECTION XIV. Rules by which we should continue, or desist from, Preaching at any Place.

Quest. 1. IS it adviseable for us to preach in as many Places as we can, without form­ing any Societies?

Answ. By no Means: We have made the Trial in various Places; and that for a considerable Time. But all the Seed has fallen by the Way-side. There is scarce any Fruit remaining.

Quest. 2. Where should we endeavour to preach most?

Answ. 1. Where there are the greatest Number quiet and willing Hearers.

2. Where there is the most Fruit.

Quest. 3. Ought we not diligently to observe, in what Places God is pleased at any Time to pour out His Spirit more abundantly?

Answ. We ought: and at that Time, to send more Labourers than usual into that Part of the Harvest.

SECTION XV. On the Matter and Manner of Preaching, and other Public Exercises.

Quest. 1. WHAT is the best general Method of Preaching?

Answ. 1. To invite: 2. To convince. 3. To offer Christ. 4. To build up: And to do this in some Measure in every Sermon.

Quest. 2. Are there any smaller Advices relative to Preaching, which might be of Use to us?

[Page 24] Answ. Perhaps these: 1. Be sure never to dis­appoint a Congregation. 2. Begin precisely at the Time appointed. 3. Let your whole Deportment before the Congregation be serious, weighty and solemn. 4. Always suit your Subject to your Audi­ence. 5. Chuse the plainest Texts you can. 6. Take Care not to ramble, but keep to your Text, and make out what you take in Hand. 7. Take Care of any Thing aukward or affected, either in your Gesture, Phrase or Pronunciation. 8. Print nothing without the Approbation of the Conference, and one of the Bishops. 9. Do not usually pray ex tempore above eight or ten Minutes (at most) without Intermission. 10. Frequently read and en­large upon a Portion of the Notes: And let young Preachers often exhort without taking a Text. 11. Always avail yourself of the great Festivals by preaching on the Occasion. 12. Be courteous to all.

Quest. 3. Have not some of us been led off from practical Preaching by (what is called) preaching Christ?

Answ. Indeed we have. The most effectual Way of Preaching Christ, is to preach him in all his Offices; and to declare his Law, as well as his Gospel, both to Believers and Unbelievers. Let us strongly and closely insist upon inward and outward Holiness in all its Branches.

SECTION XVI. Against Antinomianism.

Quest. 1. WHAT can be done to guard against Antinomianism?

Answ. 1. Let all the Preachers carefully read over Mr. Wesley's and Mr. Fletcher's Tracts. 2. Let [Page 25] them frequently and explicitly preach the Truth, but not in a controversial Way. And let them take Care to do it in Love and Gentleness: Not in Bit­terness, returning Railing for Railing. 3. Answer all the Objections of our People as Occasion offers. But take Care to do this with all possible Sweetness both of Look and Accent.

Quest. 2. Wherein lies our Danger of it?

Answ. 1. With Regard to Man's Faithfulness, Our Lord himself taught us to use the Expression. Therefore we ought never to be ashamed of it. We ought steadily to assert upon his Authority, that if a Man is not faithful in the unrighteouss Mammon, God will not give him the true Riches.

2. With regard to working for Life, which our Lord expressly commands us to do. Labour (erga­zesthe) literally work for the Meat that endureth to everlasting Life. And in Fact every Believer till he comes to Glory, works for, as well as from Life.

3. We have received it as a Maxim, that "A Man is to do nothing in order to Justification:" Nothing can be more false. Whoever desires to find Favour with God, should cease from Evil, and learn to do well. So God Himself teaches by the Prophet Isaiah. Whoever repents, should do Works meet for Repentance: And if this is not in order to find Favour, what does he do for them?

Once more review the whole Affair.

1. Who of us is now accepted of God?

He that now believes in Christ with a loving, obedient Heart.

2. But who among those that never heard of Christ?

He that according to the Light he has, scareth God, and worketh Righteousness.

3. Is this the same with, He that is sincere?

[Page 26]Nearly, if not quite.

4. Is not this Salvation by Works?

Not by the Merit of Works, but by Works as a Condition.

5. The grand Objection to one of the preceed­ing Propositions, is drawn from Matter of Fact. God does in Fact justify those who by their own Confession neither feared God, nor wrought Righte­ousness. Is this an Exception to the general Rule?

It is a Doubt whether God makes any Exception at all. But how are we sure that the Person in question never did fear God, and work Righteous­ness?

His own thinking so, is no Proof. For we know how all that are convinced of sin, undervalue them­selves in every Respect.

6. Does not talking without proper Caution of a justified or sanctified State, tend to mislead Men? Almost naturally leading them to trust in what was done in one Moment? Whereas we are every Mo­ment pleasing or displeasing God, according to our Works; according to the whole of our present in­ward Tempers, and outward Behaviour.

SECTION XVII. How to provide for the Circuits in the Time of Conference, and to preserve and increase the Work of God.

Quest. 1. WHAT can be done to supply the Circuits, during the Sitting of the Conference?

Answ. 1. Let all the Appointments stand accord­ing to the Plan of the Circuit.

[Page 27]2. Engage as many Local Preachers and Exhort­ers as will supply them; and let them be paid for their Time in Proportion to the Salary of the Tra­velling-Preachers.

3. If Preachers and Exhorters cannot attend, let some Person of Ability be appointed in every Society, to sing, pray, and read one of Mr. Wes­ley's Sermons.

4. And if that cannot be done, let there be Prayer-Meetings.

5. Wherever you can, in large Societies, appoint Prayer-Meetings.

Lastly, let a Fast be published at every quarterly Meeting for the Friday following; and a Memo­randum of it be written on all the Class-Papers. Also be active in dispersing the Books among the People.

SECTION XVIII. Of employing our Time profitably, when we are not travelling, or not engaged in Public Exercises.

Quest. 1. WHAT general Method of em­ploying our Time would you ad­vise us to?

Answ. We advise you, 1. As often as possible to rise at four. 2. From four to five in the Morn­ing, and from five to six in the Evening, to medi­tate, pray and read, partly the Scriptures with Mr. Wesley's Notes, partly the closely practical Parts of what he has published. 3. From six in the Morning till twelve (allowing an Hour for Breakfast) read in Order, with much Prayer, the Christian Library, and other pious Books.

[Page 28] Quest. 2. Why is it that the People under our Care are not better?

Answ. Other Reasons may concur; but the chief is, because we are not more knowing and more holy.

Quest. 3. But why are we not more knowing?

Answ. Because we are idle. We forget our first Rule, "Be diligent. Never be unemployed. Never be triflingly employed; neither spend any more Time at any Place than is strictly necessary." I fear there is altogether a Fault in this Matter, and that few of us are clear. Which of you spends as many Hours a Day in God's Work, as you did formerly in Man's Work? We talk, talk—or read History, or what comes next to Hand. We must, abso­lutely must, cure this Evil, or betray the Cause of God. But how? 1. Read the most useful Books, and that regularly and constantly. Steadily spend all the Morning in this Employment, or at least five Hours in four and twenty. "But I have no Taste for reading." Contract a Taste for it by Use, or return to your former Employment. "But I have no Books." Be diligent to spread the Books, and you will have the Use of them.

SECTION XIX. On Baptism.

LET every adult Person, and the Parents of every Child, to be baptized, have the Choice either of Immersion, Sprinkling or Pouring.

N. B. We will on no Account whatever receive a Fee or Present for administering Marriage, Bap­tism or the Burial of the Dead: Freely we have received, freely we will give.

[Page 29]

SECTION XX. On the Lord's Supper.

Quest. ARE there any Directions to be given concerning the Administration of the Lord's Supper?

Answ. 1. Let those who chuse, receive it kneel­ing; and those who do not, either standing or sit­ting.

2. Let no Person that is not a Member of our Society, be admitted to the Communion, without Examination, and some Token given by an Elder or Deacon.

SECTION XXI. On unlawful Marriages.

Quest. 1. DO we observe any Evil which has lately prevailed among our Societies?

Answ. Many of our Members have married with unawakened Persons. This has had fatal Effects. They have been either hindered for Life, or turned back to Perdition.

Quest. 2. What can be done to put a Stop to this?

Answ. 1. Let every Preacher publicly inforce the Apostle's Caution, "Be ye not unequally yoked together with Unbelievers."

2. Let him openly declare, Whoever does this, will be expelled the Society.

3. When any such is expelled, let a suitable Ex­hortation be subjoined.

4. Let all be exhorted to take no Step in so weighty a Master, without advising with the most serious of their Brethren.

[Page 30] Quest. 3. Ought any Woman to marry without the Consent of her Parents?

Answ. In general, she ought not. Yet there may be Exceptions. For if, 1. A Woman be under the Necessity of marrying: If, 2. Her Pa­rents absolutely refuse to let her marry any Christian: Then she may, nay, ought to marry without their Consent. Yet even then a Methodist-Preacher ought not to marry her.

SECTION XXII. On Perfection.

LET us strongly and explicitly exhort all Be­lievers to go on to Perfection. That we may all speak the same Thing, we ask once for all, Shall we defend this Perfection, or give it up? We all agree to defend it, meaning thereby (as we did from the Beginning) Salvation from all Sin, by the Love of God and Man filling our Heart. The Papists say, "This cannot be attained till we have been refined by the Fire of Purgatory." Some Professors say, "Nay, it will be attained as soon as the Soul and Body part." Others say, "It may be attained before we die: A Moment after is too late." Is it so, or not? We are all agreed, we may be saved from all Sin before Death. The Substance then is settled. But as to the Circumstances, is the Change gradual or instantaneous! It is both the one and the other. "But should we in Preaching insist both on one and the other?" Certainly we should insist on the gradual Change; and that ear­nestly and continually. And are there not Reasons why we should insist on the instantaneous also? If there be such a blessed Change before Death, should [Page 31] we not encourage all Believers to expect it? And the rather, because constant Experience shews, the more earnestly they expect this, the more swiftly and steadily does the gradual Work of God go on in their Souls; the more careful are they to grow in Grace; the more zealous of good Works, and the more punctual in their Attendance on all the Ordinances of God; (whereas just the contrary Effects are observed, whenever this Expectation ceases.) They are saved by Hope, by this Hope of a total Change, with a gradually increasing Sal­vation. Destroy this Hope, and that Salvation stands still, or rather decreases daily. Therefore whoever would advance the gradual Change in Be­lievers, should strongly insist on the instantaneous.


Quest. 1. SHOULD we insist on the Rules con­cerning Dress?

Answ. By all Means. This is no Time to give any Encouragement to Superfluity of Apparel. Therefore give no Tickets to any, till they have left off superfluous Ornaments. In order to this, 1. Let every Deacon read the Thoughts upon Dress, at least once a Year in every large Society. 2. In visiting the Classes, be very mild, but very strict. 3. Allow of no exempt Case, not even of a married Woman: Better one suffer than many. 4. Give no Tickets to any that wear High Heads, enormous Bonnets, Ruffles or Rings.

[Page 32]

SECTION XXIV. On the Privileges granted to serious Per­sons that are not of the Society.

Quest. 1. HOW often shall we permit Strangers to be present at the Meeting of the Society?

Answ. At every other Meeting of the Society in every Place, let no Stranger be admitted. At other Times they may; but the same Persons not above twice or thrice.

Quest 2. How often shall we permit Strangers to be present at our Love-Feasts?

Answ. Let them be admitted with the utmost Caution; and the same Person on no Account above twice or thrice, unless he becomes a Member.

SECTION XXV. On visiting from House to House; guard­ing against those Sins that are so common to Professors, and inforcing Practical Religion.

Quest. 1. HOW can we further assist those under our Care?

Answ. 1. By instructing them at their own Houses. What unspeakable Need is there of this? The World says, "The Methodists are no better than other People." This is not true. But it is nearer the Truth than we are willing to believe. For 1. Personal Religion either toward God, or Man, is [Page 33] very superficial among us. We can but just touch on a few Generals. How little Faith is there among us? How little Communion with God? How little living in Heaven, walking in Eternity, Deadness to every Creature? How much Love of the World? Desire of Pleasure, of Ease, of getting Money? How little brotherly Love? What continual Judg­ing one another? What Gossipping, Evil-speaking. Tale-bearing? What Want of moral Honesty? To instance only one Particular; Who does as he would be done by, in buying and selling?

2. Family-Religion is wanting in many Branches. And what avails Public Preaching alone, though we could preach like Angels? We must, yea, every Travelling-Preacher must instruct them from House to House. Till this is done, and that in good Ear­nest, the Methodists will be little better than other People.

Our Religion is not deep, universal, uniform; but superficial, partial, uneven. It will be so, till we spend half as much Time in this Visiting, as we now do in talking uselessly. Can we find a better Method of doing this than Mr. Baxter's? If not, let us adopt it without Delay. His whole Tract, intitled, Gildas Salvianus, is well worth a careful Perusal. Speaking of this visiting from House to House, he says, (p. 351.)

"We shall find many Hindrances, both in our­selves and the People.

1. In ourselves, there is much Dulness and Lazi­ness, so that there will be much ado to get us to be faithful in the Work.

2. We have a base, man-pleasing Temper, so that we let Men perish, rather than lose their Love; we let them go quietly to Hell, lest we should offend them.

[Page 34]Some of us have also a foolish Bashfulness. We know not how to begin, and blush to contradict the Devil.

4. But the greatest Hindrance is Weakness of Faith. Our whole Motion is weak, because the Spring of it is weak.

5. Lastly, we are unskilful in the Work. How few know how to deal with Men, so as to get within them, and suit all our Discourse to their se­veral Conditions and Tempers: To chuse the fittest Subjects, and follow them with a holy Mixture of Seriousness and Terror, and Love, and Meekness?

But undoubtedly this private Application is im­plied in those solemn Words of the Apostle, I charge thee before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the Quick and Dead at his appearing, preach the Word, be instant in Season, out of Season: Re­prove, rebuke, exhort, with all Long-suffering.

O Brethren, if we could but set this Work on foot in all our Societies, and prosecute it zealously, what Glory would redound to God. If the common Lukewarmness were banished, and every Shop, and every House busied in speaking of the Words and Works of God; surely God would dwell in our Habitations, and make us His Delight.

And this is absolutely necessary to the Welfare of our People, some of whom neither believe nor re­pent to this Day. Look round and see how many of them are still in apparent Danger of Damnation. And how can you walk, and talk, and be merry with such People, when you know their Case? Methinks when you look them in the Face, you should break forth into Tears, as the Prophet did when he looked upon Hazael, and then set on them with the most vehement Exhortations. O, for God's Sake, and the Sake of poor Souls, bestir [Page 35] yourselves, and spare no Pains that may conduce to their Salvation!

What Cause have we to bleed before the Lord this Day, that we have so long neglected this good Work! If we had but engaged in it sooner, how many more might have been brought to Christ? And how much holier and happier might we have made our Societies before now? And why might we not have done it sooner? There are many Hin­drances: And so there always will be. But the greatest Hindrance was in ourselves, in our Little­ness of Faith and Love.

But it is objected, 1. This will take up so much Time, we shall not have Leisure to follow our Studies.

We answer, [...]taining Knowledge is a good Thing, but saving Souls is a better. 2. By this very Thing you will gain the most excellent Know­ledge, that of God and Eternity. 3. You will have Time for gaining other Knowledge too. Only sleep not more than you need; and never be idle or triflingly employed. But, 4. If you can do but one, let your Studies alone. I would throw by all the Libraries in the World rather than be guilty of the Loss of one Soul.

It is objected, II. "The People will not sub­mit to it." If some will not, others will. And the Success with them, will repay all your Labour. O let us herein follow the Example of St. Paul. 1. For our general Business, Serving the Lord with all Humility of Mind: 2. Our special Work, Take Heed to yourselves and to all the Flock: 3. Our Doc­trine, Repentance towards God, and Faith in our Lord Jesus Christ: 4. The Place, I have taught you publickly, and from House to House: 5. The Object and Manner of Teaching, I ceased not to warn every [Page 36] one, Night and Day, with Tears: 6. His Innocence and Self-Denial herein, I have covetted no Man's Silver or Gold: 7. His Patience, Neither count I my Life dear unto myself. And among all other Mo­tives, let these be ever before our Eyes: 1. The Church of God, which he hath purchased with his own Blood. 2. Grievous Wolves shall enter in; yea, of yourselves shall Men arise, speaking perverse Things.

Write this upon your Hearts, and it will do you more good than twenty Year's Study. Then you will have no Time to spare: You will have Work enough. Then likewise no Preacher will stay with us who is as Salt that has lost its Savour. For to such this Employment would be [...] Drudgery. And in order to it, you [...] need of all the Knowledge you can procure.

The Sum is, Go into every House in course, and teach every one therein, young and old, if they belong to us, to be Christians inwardly and out­wardly Make every Particular plain to their Un­derstandings; fix it in their Minds; write it on their Hearts. In order to this, there must be Line upon Line, Precept upon Precept. What Patience, what Love, what Knowledge is requisite for this? We must needs do this, were it only to avoid Idle­ness. Do we not loiter away many Hours in every Week? Each try himself: No Idleness is consistent with Growth in Grace. Nay, without Exactness in redeeming Time, you cannot retain the Grace you received in Justification.

Quest. 2. Why are we not more holy, why do not we live in Eternity? Walk with God all the Day long? Why are we not all devoted to God? Breathing the whole Spirit of Missionaries?

Answ. Chiefly because we are Enthusiaists; look­ing for the End without using the Means. To [Page 37] touch only upon two or three Instances: Who of you rises at four? Or even at five, when he does not preach? Do you know the Obligation and Be­nefit of Fasting or Abstinence? How often do you practise it? The Neglect of this alone is sufficient to account for our Feebleness and Faintness of Spi­rit. We are continually grieving the Holy Spirit of God by the habitual Neglect of a plain Duty. Let us amend from this Hour.

Quest. 3. How shall we guard against Sabath-breaking, Evil-speaking, unprofitable Conversation, Lightness, Expensiveness or Gaiety of Apparel, and contracting [...] without due Care to discharge them?

Answ. 1. [...] preach expressly on each of these Heads. 2. Read in every Society the Sermon on Evil-speaking. 3. Let the Leaders closely exa­mine and exhort every Person to put away the accursed Thing. 4. Let the Preacher warn every Society, that none who is guilty herein, can remain with us. 5. Extirpate Smugling, buying or selling uncustomed Goods, out of every Society. Let none remain with us who will not totally abstain from eve­ry Kind and Degree of it. 6. Extirpate Bribery, re­ceiving any Thing, directly or indirectly, for voting at any Election. Shew no Respect of Persons here­in, but expel all that touch the accursed Thing.

Quest. 4. What shall we do to prevent Scandal, when any of our Members fail in Business, or con­tract Debts which they are not able to pay?

Answ. Let the Elder or Deacon desire two or three judicious Members of the Society to inspect the Accounts of the supposed Delinquents; and if they have behaved Dishonestly, or borrowed Money without a Probability of paying, let them be sus­pended till their Credit is restored.

[Page 38]

SECTION XXVI. On the Instruction of Children.

Quest. WHAT shall we do for the rising Generation? Let him who is zeal­ous for God and the Souls of Men begin now.

Answ. 1. Where there are ten Children whose Parents are in Society, meet them an Hour once a Week; but where this is impracti [...], meet them once in two Weeks.

2. Procure our Instructions [...], and let all who can, read and commit them to Memory.

3. Explain and impress them upon their Hearts.

4. Talk with them every Time you see any at Home.

5. Pray in Earnest for them. Diligently instruct and exhort all Parents at their own Houses.

6. Let the Elders, Deacons and Preachers take a List of the Names of the Children; and if any of them be truly awakened, let them be admitted into Society.

7. Preach expressly on Education; "But I have no Gift for this." Gift or no Gift, you are to do it; else you are not called to be a Methodist-Preacher. Do it as you can, till you can do it as you would. Pray earnestly for the Gift, and use the Means for it.

[Page 39]

SECTION XXVII. On Building Churches, and on the Order to he observed therein.

Quest. 1. IS any Thing advisable in regard to Building?

Answ. Let all our Churches be built plain and decent; but not more expensively than is absolutely unavoidable: Otherwise the Necessity of raising Money will make Rich Men necessary to us. But if so, we must be dependent on them, yea, and governed by them. And then farewel to the Me­thodist-Discipline, if not Doctrine too.

N. B. 1. That no Person shall be eligible as a Trustee to any of our Churches or Colleges, that is not in constant Church-Communion, and a regular Leader or Member of a Class. 2. That no Person that is a Trusttee, shall be ejected while he is in joint Security for Money, unless such Relief be given him that is demanded; or that the Person who makes the Loan will accept.

Quest. 2. Is there any Exception to the Rule, "Let the Men and Women sit apart?"

Answ. There is no Exception. Let them sit apart in all our Churches.

Quest. 3. But is there not a worse Indecency than this, Talking in the Congregation, before and after Service? How shall this be cured?

Answ. Let all the Ministers and Preachers join as one Man, and enlarge on the Impropriety of Talking before or after Service; and strongly ex­hort those that are concerned to do it no more. In [Page 40] three Months, if we are in Earnest, this vile Practice will be banished out of every Methodist-Congregation. Let none stop till he has carried his Point.

SECTION XXVIII. On raising a general Fund for the Pro­pagation of the Gospel.

Quest. HOW may we raise a general Fund for carrying on the whole Work of God?

Answ. By a yearly Collection, and, if need be, a quarterly one, to be raised by every Assistant in every principal Congregation in his Circuit. To this End, he may then read and enlarge upon the following Hints in every such Congregation.

"How shall we send Labourers into those Parts where they are most of all wanted? Many are wil­ling to hear, but not to bear the Expence. Nor can it as yet be expected of them: Stay till the Word of God has touched their Hearts, and then they will gladly provide for them that preach it. Does it not lie upon us in the mean Time to supply their Lack of Service? To raise a general Fund, out of which from Time to Time that Expence may be defrayed? By this Means those who willingly offer themselves, may travel through every Part, whether there are Societies or not, and stay wherever there is a Call, without being burdensome to any. Thus may the [Page 41] Gospel, in the Life and Power thereof, be spread from Sea to Sea. Which of you will not rejoice to throw in your Mite to promote this glorious Work?

"Besides this, in carrying on so large a Work through the Continent, there are Calls for Money in various Ways, and we must frequently be at consider­able Expence, or the Work must be at a full Stop. Many too are the occasional Distresses of our Preach­ers, or their Families, which require an immediate Supply. Otherwise their Hands would hang down, if they were not constrained to depart from the Work.

"The Money contributed will be brought to the ensuing Conference.

"Men and Brethren, help! Was there ever a Call like this since you first heard the Gospel-Sound? Help to relieve your Companions in the Kingdom of Jesus, who are prest above Measure. Bear ye one another's Burdens, and so fulfil the Law of Christ. Help to send forth able, willing Labourers into your Lord's Harvest: So shall ye be assistant in saving Souls from Death, and hiding a Multitude of Sins. Help to propagate the Gospel of your Salvation to the remotest Corners of the Earth, till the Knowledge of our Lord shall cover the Land as the Waters cover the Sea. So shall it appear to ourselves and all Men, that we are indeed one Body united by one Spirit; so shall the baptized Heathens be yet again constrained to say, "See how these Christians love one another."

[Page 42]

SECTION XXIX. Of the Method of raising a Fund for the Superannuated Preachers, and the Widows and Orphans of Preachers.

Quest. 1. HOW can we provide for Super­annuated Preachers, and the Wi­dows and Orphans of Preachers?

Answ. 1. Let every Preacher contribute two Dol­lars yearly at the Conference.

2. Let every one when first admitted as a Tra­velling-Preacher, pay twenty Shillings Pennsylvania Currency.

3. Let this Money be lodged in the Hands of the Treasurers.

4. Let there be three Treasurers, three Clerks (each of whom shall keep a separate Account) and three Inspectors, who shall annually lay before the Conference an exact State of the Fund.

5. Let these nine form a Committee for the Management of the Fund; three of whom shall be competent to proceed on any Business; provided one be a Treasurer, another an Inspector, and the third a Clerk.

6. Out of this Fund, let Provision be made, first, for the Worn-out Preachers, and then for the Widows and Children of those that are dead.

7. Every Worn-out Preacher shall receive, if he wants it, not usually more than Twenty-four Pounds per Year, Pennsylvania Currency.

8. Every Widow of a Preacher shall receive yearly, if she wants it, during her Widowhood, twenty Pounds.

[Page 43]9. Every Child of a Preacher shall receive once for all, if he wants it, twenty Pounds.

10. But none shall be intitled to any Thing from this Fund, till he has paid Fifty Shillings.

11. Nor any who neglects paying his Subscrip­tion for three Years together, unless he be sent by the Conference out of these United States.

12. Let the Fund never be reduced to less than one hundred Pounds.

13. Let every Assistant, as far as possible, bring to Conference the Contribution of every Preacher left behind in his Circuit.

SECTION XXX. Concerning Cokesbury-College.

AS a College has been erected with the Appro­bation of the Conference, for the Benefit of the Connection; and as the whole Direction of the Seminary ultimately rests with the Conference; we are determined to support it under such Regula­tions as the Conference from Time to Time shall order, concerning its literary, temporal and spiritual Interests: And therefore the Counsels, the Autho­rity and the Aid of the Conference are earnestly requested for the Support of the Institution; that the necessary Collections may be raised, the Design of the Seminary be fully explained and strongly re­commended to the People, and all the Objections which any of our mistaken Friends may entertain, be fully answered.

[Page 44]

SECTION XXXI. On the Printing of Books, and the Appli­cation of the Profits arising therefrom.

AS it has been frequently recommended by the Preachers and People, that such Books as are wanted, be printed in this Country, we therefore propose,

1. That the Advice of the Conference shall be desired concerning any valuable Impression, and their Consent be obtained before any Steps be taken for the Printing thereof.

2. That the Profits of the Books, after all the necessary Expences are defrayed, shall be applied, according to the Discretion of the Conference, to­wards the College, the Preachers' Fund, the Defi­ciencies of Preachers' Salaries, the distant Missions, or the Debts on our Churches.



Of the Rise of Methodism (so called) in Europe and America. Page 3
On the Method of holding a Conference, and the Busi­ness to be done therein. p. 4
On the Nature and Constitution of our Church. p. 5
On the Constituting of Bishops, and their Duty. p. 6
On the Constituting of Elders, and their Duty. p. 7
On the Constituting of Deacons, and their Duty. p. 8
On the Method of receiving Preachers, and their Duty. p. 11
Of the Collections that are made, and how the Money is to be expended. p. 15
On Class-Meeting. p. 16
On the Duty of Preachers, to God, themselves, and one another. p. 17
On the Necessity of Union among ourselves. p. 20
Of the Trial of those who think they are moved by the Holy Ghost to Preach. p. 2 [...]
Of the Spirit and Truth of Singing. p. 22
Rules by which we should continue, or desist from, Preaching at any Place. p. 23
On the Matter and Manner of Preaching, and other Public Exercises ibid
Against Antinomianism. p. 24
How to provide for the Circuits in the Time of Con­ference, and to preserve and [...] Work of God. p .26
On employing our Time profitably, when we are not travelling, or not engaged in Public Exercises. p. 27
On Baptism. p. 28
On the Lord's Supper. p. 29
On unlawful Marriages. ibid
On Perfection. p. 30
On Dress. p. 31
On the Privileges granted to serious Persons that are not of the Society. 32
On visiting from House to House; guarding against those Sins that are so common to Professors, and inforcing Practical Religion. ibid
On the Instruction of Children. p. 38
On Building Churches, and on the Order to be observed therein. p. 39
On raising a general Fund for the Propagation of the Gospel. p. 40
Of the Method of raising a Fund for the Superannu­ated Preachers, and the Widows and Orphans of Preachers [...] p. 42
Concerning [...] College. p. 43
O [...] the Printing of Books, and the Application of the Profits arising therefrom. p. 44

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