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Of the Election and Ordination of Travelling Deacons, and of their Duty.
Quest. 1. How is a Travelling Deacon constituted?
Answ. By the election of a majority of the Annual Conference; and the laying on of the hands of a Bishop.
Quest. 2. What is the duty of a Travelling Deacon ?
Answ. 1. To baptize and perform the office of matrimony, in the absence of the Elder.
2. To assist the Elder in administering the Lord's supper.
3. To do all the duties of a travelling preacher.
N. B. Whenever a preacher on trial is selected by the Bishop for a mission, he may, if elected by an Annual Conference, ordain him a Deacon before his probation ends.
No Deacon who ceases to travel without the consent of the Annual Conference, certified under the hand of the President of the Conference, except in case of sickness, debility, or other unavoidable circumstances, shall on any account, exercise the peculiar functions of his office, or even be allowed to preach among us: nevertheless, the final determination in all such cases is with the Annual Conference.
Of the Reception of Preachers from the Wesleyan Connexion, and from other Denominations.
Quest. 1. In what manner shall we receive those ministers who may come to us from the Wesleyan connexion in Europe or Canada?
Answ. If they come to us properly accredited from either the British, Irish, or Canada Conference, they may be received according to such credentials, provided they give satisfaction to an Annual Conference of their willingness to conform to our Church government and usages.
Quest. 2. How shall we receive those ministers who may offer to unite with us from other Christian Churches?
Answ. Those ministers of other evange lical Churches, who may desire to unite with our Church, whether as local or itinerant, may be received according to our usages, on condition of their taking upon them our ordination vows, without the reimposition of hands, giving satisfaction to an Annual Conference of their being in orders, and of their agreement with us in doctrine, discipline, government, and usages: provided the Conference is also satisfied with their gifts, grace, and usefulness. Whenever any such minister is received, he shall be furnished with a certificate, signed by one of our Bishops, in the following words, namely:
This is to certify, that
Conference as a travel
ling preacher, [or has been admitted as a local preacher on circuit,] he having been ordained to the office of Deacon, [or an Elder, as the case may be,] according to the usages of the Church, of which he has been a member and minister; and he is hereby authorized to exercise the functions pertaining to his office in the Methodist Episcopal Church, so long as his life and conversation are such as become the gospel of Christ.
Given under my hand and seal, at this day of in the year of our Lord Quest. 3. How shall we receive preachers of other denominations who are not in orders?
Answ. They may be received as licentiates, provided they give satisfaction to a Quarterly or an Annual Conference that they are suitable persons to exercise the office, and of their agreement with the doctrines, discipline, government, and usages of our Church.
Of the Examination of those who think they are moved by the Holy Ghost to preach.
Quest. How shall we try those who profess to be moved by the Holy Ghost to preach? Answ. 1. Let the following questions be asked, namely:-Do they know God as a pardoning God? Have they the love of God
abiding in them? Do they desire 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.
Of the Method of Receiving Travelling Preachers on Trial.
Quest. How is a preacher to be received on trial?
Answ. 1. By the Annual Conference.
2. In the interval of the Conference, by a Bishop, or the Presiding Elder of the district, until the sitting of the Conference.
But no one shall be received unless he first procure a recommendation from the Quarterly Conference of his circuit or station. We may then, if he give us satisfaction, receive him on trial. And before any such candidate is received into full connexion, or ordained Deacon or Elder, he shall
give satisfactory evidence respecting his knowledge of those particular subjects which have been recommended to his consideration.
When a preacher's name is not printed in the Minutes, he must receive a written license from a Bishop, or Presiding Elder.
Observe! taking on trial is entirely dif ferent from admitting a preacher into full connexion. One on trial may be either admitted, or rejected without doing him any wrong:-otherwise it would be no trial at all.
At each Annual Conference, those who are received on trial, or are admitted into full connexion, shall be asked whether they are willing to devote themselves to the missionary work; and a list of the names of all those who are willing to do so shall be taken and reported to the Corresponding Secretary of the Missionary Society; and all such shall be considered as ready and willing to be employed as missionaries whenever called for by either of the Bishops.
Of Receiving Travelling Preachers into Full Connexion.
Quest. What method do we use in receiving a preacher at the Conference into full connexion?
Answ. After solemn fasting and prayer, every person proposed shall then be asked, before the Conference, the following ques