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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." We fear there is altogether a fault in this matter, and that few of us are clear. Which of us spend as many hours a day in God's work as we did formerly in man's work? We talk,—talk or read 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. 2. Steadily spend all the morning in this employment, or at least five hours in the 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.
Of 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. 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.
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 everything so far as is consistent with truth.
7. Labour in honour each to prefer the other before himself.
8. We recommend a serious perusal of The Causes, Evils, and Cures of Heart and Church Divisions.
Of Supernumerary and Superannuated or Worn-out Preachers.
A supernumerary preacher is one so worn out in the itinerant service as to be rendered incapable of preaching constantly; but at the same time is willing to do any work in the ministry which the Conference may direct, and his strength enable him to perform.
A supernumerary preacher, who refuses to attend to the work assigned him, unles in case of sickness, or other unavoid
cause or causes, shall not be allowed to exercise the functions of his office, nor even to preach among us; nevertheless, the final determination of the case shall be with the Annual Conference of which he is a member, who shall have power to acquit, suspend, locate, or expel him, as the case may be.
Every superannuated preacher, who may reside without the bounds of the Conference of which he is a member, shall annually forward to his Conference a certificate of his Christian and ministerial conduct, together with an account of the number and circumstances of his family, signed by the Presiding Elder of the district, or the preacher in charge of the circuit or station within whose bounds he may reside; without which the Conference shall not be required to allow his claim.
Quest. What directions shall be given concerning local preachers?
Answ. 1. The Quarterly Conference shall have authority to license proper persons to preach, and renew their license annually, when, in the judgment of said Conference, their gifts, grace, and usefulness, will warrant such renewal; to recommend suitable candidates to the Annual Conference for Deacons' or Elders' orders in the local connexion, for admission on trial in the travelling connexion, and to try, suspend, expel, or acquit, any local preacher in the circuit
or station against whom charges may be brought. Provided, that no person shall be licensed to preach without the recommendation of the society of which he is a member, or of a Leaders' meeting. Nor shall any one be licensed to preach, or recommended to the Annual Conference to travel, or for ordination, without first being examined in the Quarterly Conference on the subject of doctrines and discipline. (See part i, ch. iii, § 4, page 39.)
2. A licensed local preacher shall be eligible to the office of a Deacon, after he has preached four years from the time he received a regular license, and has obtained a testimonial from the Quarterly Conference, after proper examination, signed by the President, and countersigned by the Secretary; and after his character has passed in examination before, and he has obtained the approbation of, the Annual Conference.
3. A local Deacon shall be eligible to the office of an Elder, after he has preached four years from the time he was ordained a Deacon, and has obtained a recommendation from the Quarterly Conference of which he is a member, certifying his qualifications in doctrine, discipline, talents, and usefulness, signed by the President, and countersigned by the Secretary. He shall, if he cannot attend, send to the Annual Conference such recommendation, and a note certifying his belief in the doctrine and Discipline of our Church. The whole being examined by the Annual Conference, ar
if approved he may be ordained: provided, nevertheless, no slaveholder shall be eligible to the office of an Elder or Deacon, where the laws will admit of emancipation, and permit the liberated slave to enjoy freedom.
4. Every local Elder, Deacon, or preacher, shall be amenable to the Quarterly Conference where he resides, for his Christian character and the faithful performance of his ministerial office. He shall have his name recorded on the journal of said Conference, and also enrolled on a class paper, and shall meet in class; and in neglect of the above duties, the Quarterly Conference, if they judge it proper, may deprive him of his ministerial office. And when a preacher is located, or discontinued by an Annual Conference, he shall be amenable to the Quarterly Conference of the circuit or station where he had his last appointment, or at the place where he shall reside at the time of his location.
Whenever any Elder, Deacon, or preacher, shall remove from one circuit or station to another, he shall procure from the Presiding Elder of the district, or from the preacher having charge, a certificate of his official standing in the Church at the time of his removal, without which he shall not be received as a local preacher in other places.
5. The Presiding Elders and the preachers in charge, are required so to arrange the appointments, wherever it is practicable, as to give the local preachers regular and ystematic employment on the Sabbath.