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ence, provided that he signify to the said Quarterly Conference his determination to appeal; in which case the said president shall lay the minutes of the trial above mentioned before the said Annual Conference, at which the local preacher, Deacon, or Elder, so appealing, may appear: and the said Annual Conference shall judge, and finally determine, from the minutes of the said trial, so laid before them.
2. When a local Elder, or Deacon, shall be expelled, the Presiding Elder shall require of him the credentials of his ordination, to be filed with the papers of the Annual Conference within the limits of which the expulsion has taken place. And should he, at any future time, produce to the Annual Conference a certificate of his restoration, signed by the president, and countersigned by the secretary, of the Quarterly Conference, his credentials may be restored to him.
Quest. 2. What shall be done in cases of improper tempers, words, or actions?
Answ. The person so offending shall be reprehended by the preacher having charge. Should a second transgression take place, one, two, or three faithful friends, are to be taken as witnesses. If he be not then cured, he shall be tried at the next Quarterly Conference, and if found guilty and impenitent, he shall be expelled from the Church.
Quest. 3. What shall be done when a local Elder, Deacon, or preacher, fails in busi
ness, or contracts debts which he is not able to pay?
Answ. Let the preacher in charge appoint three judicious members of the Church to inspect the accounts, contracts, and circumstances, of the supposed delinquent; and if in their opinion he has behaved dishonestly, or contracted debts without the probability of paying, let the case be disposed of according to the answer to question one of this section.
Of bringing to Trial, finding guilty, and reproving, suspending, or excluding, Disor derly Persons from Society and Church Privileges, and of Insolvencies, and the settlement of Disputes.
Quest. 1. How shall an accused member be brought to trial?
Answ. 1. Before the society of which he is a member, or a select number of them, in the presence of a Bishop, Elder, Deacon, or preacher, in the following manner :-Let the accused and accuser be brought face to face; but if this cannot be done, let the next best evidence be procured. If the accused person be found guilty by the decision of a majority, of the members before whom he is brought to trial, and the crime be such as is expressly forbidden by the word of God, sufficient to exclude a person from the kingdom of grace and glory, let the minister or preacher who has the charge of the circuit expel him. If the accused
person evade a trial, by absenting himself, after sufficient notice given him, and the circumstances of the accusation afford strong presumption of guilt, let him be esteemed as guilty, and be accordingly excluded. Witnesses from without shall not be rejected.
2. But in cases of neglect of duties of any kind, imprudent conduct, indulging sinful tempers, or words, the buying, selling, or using, intoxicating liquors as a beverage, or disobedience to the order and discipline of the Church: (see part i, ch. v, § 3, quest. 3, page 80) First, let private reproof be given by a preacher or leader; and if there be an acknowledgment of the fault, and proper humiliation, the person may be borne with. On a second offence, the preacher or leader may take one or two faithful friends. On a third offence, let the case be brought before the society, or a select number; and if there be no sign of real humiliation, the offender must be cut off.
3. If a member of our Church shall be clearly convicted of endeavouring to sow dissensions in any of our societies, by inveighing against either our doctrines or discipline, such person so offending shall be first reproved by the senior minister or preacher of his circuit, and if he persist in such pernicious practices, he shall be expelled from the Church.
4. Nevertheless, if in any of the abovementioned cases the minister or preacher differ in judgment from the majority of the society, or he select number, concerning
the innocence or guilt of the accused person, the trial, in such case, may be referred by the minister or preacher to the ensuing Quarterly Conference.
5. If there be a murmur or complaint from any excluded person, in any of the above-mentioned instances, that justice has not been done, he shall be allowed an appeal to the next Quarterly Conference: except such as absent themselves from trial, after sufficient notice is given them: and the majority of the Travelling and Local Preachers, Exhorters, Stewards, and Leaders present, shall finally determine the case.
After such forms of trial and expulsion, such person shall have no privileges of society or of sacraments in our Church, without contrition, confession, and satisfactory reformation.
Quest. 2. How shall disputes between members of our Church concerning the payment of debts or otherwise be settled?
Answ. 1. On any dispute between two or more of the members of our Church, concerning the payment of debts, or otherwise, which cannot be settled by the parties concerned, the preacher who has the charge of the circuit shall inquire into the circumstances of the case; and shall recommend to the contending parties a reference, consisting of one arbiter chosen by the plaintiff, and another chosen by the defendant; which two arbiters so chosen shall nominate the third; the three arbiters being members of our Church.
But if one of the partics be dissatisfied with the judgment given, such party may apply to the ensuing Quarterly Conference of the circuit, for allowance to have a second arbitration appointed; and if the Quarterly Conference see sufficient reason, they shall grant a second arbitration, in which case each party shall choose two arbiters, and the four arbiters shall choose a fifth, the judgment of the majority of whom shall be final: and any person refusing to abide by such judgment shall be excluded the Church.
And if any member of our Church shall refuse, in cases of debt or other disputes, to refer the matter to arbitration, when recommended by him who has the charge of the circuit, or shall enter into a lawsuit with another member before these measures are taken, he shall be expelled, unless the case be of such a nature as to require and justify a process at law.
2. Whenever a complaint is made against any member of our Church for non-payment of debt; when the accounts are adjusted, and the amount ascertained, the preacher having the charge shall call the debtor before a committee of at least three, to show cause why he does not make payment. The committee shall determine what further time shall be granted him for payment, and what security, if any, shall be given for payment; and in case the debtor refuses to comply, he shall be expelled; but in such case he may appeal to the Quarterly Con