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tions, (with any others which may be thought necessary,) namely:-Have you faith in Christ? Are you going on to perfection? Do you expect to be made perfect in love in this life? Are you groaning after it? Are you resolved to devote yourself wholly to God and his work? Do you know the rules of 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, (see § 9,) 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?
Then if he give us satisfaction, after he has been employed two successive years in the regular itinerant work on circuits or in stations, which is to commence from his being received on trial at the Annual Conference, and being approved by the Annual Conference, and examined by the President of the Conference, he may be received into full connexion.
A Missionary employed on a Foreign Mission may be admitted into full connexion, if recommended by the Superintendent of the Mission where he labours,
without being present at the Annual Conference for examination.
Of the Rules for a Preacher's Conduct. Quest. 1. 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 ne
2. Be serious. Let your motto be, Holiness to the Lord. Avoid all lightness, jesting, and foolish talking.
3. Converse sparingly, and conduct yourself prudently with women. 1 Tim. v, 2. 4. Take no step toward marriage without first consulting with your brethren.
5. Believe evil of no one without good evidence; unless you see it done, take heed how you credit it. Put the best construction on everything. You know the judge is always supposed to be on the prisoner's side.
6. Speak evil of no one; because 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 temper, and that lovingly and 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. Avoid all affectation. A preacher of the gospel is the servant of all.
9. Be ashamed of nothing but sin.
10. Be punctual. Do everything 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 you, but to those that want you most.
Observe! it is not your business only to preach so many times, and to take care of this or that society; but to save as many as you can; to bring as many sinners as you 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 and grace 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 duty to employ your time in the manner in which we direct: in preaching, and visiting from house to house; in reading, meditation, and prayer. Above all, if you labour with us in the 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. 2. Are there any smaller advices which might be of use to us?
Answ. Perhaps these: 1. Be sure never
to disappoint a congregation. 2. Begin at the time appointed. 3. Let your whole deportment be serious, weighty, and solemn. 4. Always suit your subject to your audience. 5. Choose 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 anything awkward or affected, either in your gesture, phrase, or pronunciation. 8. Do not usually pray, extempore, above eight or ten minutes (at most) without intermission. 9. Frequently read and enlarge upon a portion of Scripture; and let young preachers often exhort without taking a text. 10. Always avail yourself of the great festivals, by preaching on the occasion.
Of the Duty of Preachers to God, themselves, and one another.
Quest. 1. What is the duty of a preacher?
2. To meet the societies, classes, and general bands.
3. To visit the sick.
4. To preach in the morning where he can get hearers. We recommend morning preaching at five o'clock in the summer, and six in the winter, wherever it is practicable. Quest. 2. How shall a preacher be qualified for his charge?
Answ. By walking closely with God, and having his work greatly at heart: and by
understanding and loving discipline, ours in particular.
Quest. 3. Do we sufficiently watch over
Answ. We do not.
Should we not fre
quently 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 hours of retirement? 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 enforce the use of them on all other persons? They are either instituted or prudential.
I. The instituted are,
1. Prayer: private, family, and 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 practise it everywhere? Do you ask everywhere, Have you family prayer Do you ask individuals, Do you use private prayer every morning and evening in particular?
2. Searching the Scriptures, by
(1) Reading: constantly, some part of every day; regularly, all the Bible in order; carefully, with notes; seriously, with prayer before and after; fruitfully, immediately practising what you learn there?
(2) Meditating: At set times? By rule?