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another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. James v, 16.
To this end we agree,
2. To come punctually at the hour appointed, without some extraordinary reason prevents.
3. To begin exactly at the hour with singing or prayer:
4. To speak, each of us in order, freely and plainly, the true state of our souls, with the faults we have committed in tempers, words, or actions, and the temptations we have felt, since our last meeting.
5. To end every meeting with prayer suited to the state of each person present
6. To desire some person among us to speak his own state first, and then to ask the rest in order as many and as searching questions as may be, concerning their state, sins, and temptations.
Some of the questions proposed to one before he is admitted among us may be to this effect: 1. Have
the forgiveness of your sins ? 2. Have you peace with God, through our LORD JESUS CHRIST ?
3. Have you the witness of God's Spirit with your spirit, that you are a child of God?
4. Is the love of God shed abroad in your heart?
5. Has no sin, inward or outward, dominion over you?
6. Do you desire to be told of your faults ?
7. Do you desire to be told of all your faults, and that plain and home ?
8. Do you desire that every one of us should tell
from time to time, whatsoever is in our heart concerning you ?
9. Consider ! Do you desire we should tell you whatsoever we think, whatsoever we fear, whatsoever we hear, concerning
10. Do you desire that in doing this, we should come as close as possible, that we should cut to the quick, and search your heart to the bottom ?
11. Is it your desire and design to be on this and all other occasions entirely open, so as to speak without disguise, and without reserve ?
Any of the preceding questions may be asked as often as occasion requires; the four following at every meeting :
1. What known sins have you committed since our last meeting ?
2. What particular temptations have you met with ?
3. How were you delivered ? 4. What have you thought, said, or done, of which
doubt whether it be sin or not? Directions given to the Band Societies,
December 25, 1744. You are supposed to have the faith that overcometh the world. To you, therefore, it is not grievous :
I. Carefully to abstain from doing evil : in particular,
1. Neither to buy nor sell anything at all on the Lord's day.
2. To taste no spirituous liquor, no dram of any kind, unless prescribed by a physician.
3. To be at a word both in buying and selling.
4. Not to mention the faults of any behind his back, and to stop those short that do.
5. To wear no needless ornaments, such as rings, ear-rings, necklaces, lace, or ruffles.
6. To use no needless self-indulgence.
II. Zealously to maintain good works: in particular,
1. To give alms of such things as you possess, and that according to your ability.
2. To reprove those who sin in your sight, and that in love and meekness of wisdom.
3. To be patterns of diligence and frugality, of self-denial, and taking up the cross daily.
III. Constantly to attend on all the ordinances of God: in particular,
1. To be at church, and at the LORD's table, and at every public meeting of the bands, at every opportunity.
2. To use private prayer every day; and family prayer, if you are the head of a family.
3. Frequently to read the Scriptures, and meditate thereon. And,
4. To observe, as days of fasting, or abstinence, all Fridays in the year.
OF SUNDAY SCHOOLS AND THE RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION OF CHILDREN.
Quest. What shall we do for the rising generation ?
Answ. 1. Let Sunday schools be formed in all our congregations where ten children can be collected for that purpose. And it shall be the special duty of preachers having charge of circuits and stations, with the aid of the other preachers, to see that this be done; to engage the co-operation of as many of our members as they can; to visit the schools as often as practicable; to preach on the subject of Sunday schools and religious instruction in each congregation at least once in six months; to lay before the Quarterly Conference at each quarterly meeting, to be entered on its journal, a written statement of the number and state of the Sunday schools within their respective circuits and stations, and to make a report of the same to their several Annual Conferences. Each Quarterly Conference shall have supervision of all the Sunday schools and Sunday-school societies within its bounds, which schools and societies shall be auxiliary to the Sunday-School Union of the Methodist Episcopal Church; and each Annual Conference shall report to said Union the number of auxiliaries within its bounds, together with other facts presented in the
annual reports of the preachers as above directed.
2. It is recommended that each Annual Conference, where the general state of the work will allow, request the appointment of a special agent, to travel throughout its bounds, for the purpose of promoting the interests of Sunday schools; and his expenses shall be paid out of collections which he shall be directed to make, or otherwise, as shall be ordered by the Conference.
3. Let our catechisms be used as extensively as possible, both in our Sunday schools and families; and let the preachers faithfully enforce upon parents and Sunday-school teachers the great importance of instructing children in the doctrines and duties of our holy religion. Let the preachers also publicly catechise the children in the Sunday school, and at special meetings appointed for that purpose. It shall also be the duty of each preacher in connexion with reporting the Sabbath-school statistics at each Quarterly Conference, to state to what extent he has publicly or privately catechised the children of his charge.
4. It shall be the special duty of the preachers to form Bible classes wherever they can, for the instruction of larger children and youth; and where they cannot superintend them personally, to appoint suitable leaders for that purpose.
5. It shall be the duty of every preacher of a circuit or station to obtain the names of the children belonging to his congregations,