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6. How shall we fend labourers into those parts where they Te moit of all wanted ? Many are willing to hear, but not to bear the expence. Nor can it as yet be expected of them: Stay till the word of God has touched their hearts, and then they will gladly provide for them that preach it. Does it not lie upon us in the mean time to supply their lack of service ? To raise a general fund, out of which from time to time, that expence may be defrayed ? By this means those who willingly offer them felves, may travel through every part, whether there be focicties or not, and stay wherever there is a call, without being burdensome to any. Thus
may the gospel, in the life and power thereof, be spread from sea to sea. Which of you will not rejoice to throw in your mite to promote this glorious work?
“ Beside this, in carrying on fo large a work through the continent, there are calls for money in various ways and we must frequently be at confiderable expence, or the work must be at a full stop. Many too are the fronal distresses of our preachers, or their families, which require an immediate fupply.- Otherwise their hands would hang down, if they were not constrained to de
from the work. “ The money contributed will be brought to the en. suing conference.
« Men and brethren, help! Was there ever a call. like this since you first heard the gospel sound? Help to relieve your companions in the kingdom of Jesus, who are pressed above measure. Bear
ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. Help to feed forth able, willing labourers into your Lord's harvest :: So shall ye be assistant in saving fouls from death, and hiding a multitude of fins. Help to propagate the gorpel of your salvation to the remotest corners of the earth, till the knowledge of our Lord shall cover the land as the waters cover the fea. So shall it appear to ourselves and all men, that we are indeed one body, united by one spirit; fo shall the baptized heathens be yet again constrained to say, "See how these christians love one another?"
The addreks to the people given in this fection is itself both an explanation and application of the whole subject. The following fcriptures also will serve to illustrate the subject :
Luke viii. 1-3. He (Christ) went throughout every city and village, preaching and fhewing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God; and the twelve were with him, and certain women, Mary, called Magdalene,--and Joanna the wife of Chuza, HeFod's steward, and Susanna, and many others, which ministered unto him of their substance. i Cor. ix. 9. It is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that tread. eth out the corn. 2 Tim. i. 16-18. The Lord give mercy unto the house of Onesiphorus; for he oft refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain. But when he was in Rome, he fought me out very diligently, and found me. The Lord grant unto him, that he may find mercy of the Lord in that day: and in how many things he ministered unto me at Ephesus thou knowest very well. See also the scripture-references in the potes on the oth fection of this chapter.
Of the Chartered Funda Quest. 1.
HAT further provifion, shall be made
for the distreffed travelling preachers, for the families of travelling preachers, and for superannuated and worn-out preachers, and the widows and orphans of preachers ?
Answ. There shall be a chartered fund, to be fupi ported by the voluntary contributions of our friends; the principal ttock of which shall be funded under the direction of trustees, and the interest applied under the direction of the general conference, according to the following regulations, viz.
1. THAT no fum exceeding fixty-four dollars, shall in any one year be applied to the use of an itinerant, fuperannuated, or worn-out single preacher.
2. That no fum exceeding one hundred and twen ty-eight dollars in any one year, shall be applied to the
CHA P. II.
The Nature, Design, and general Rules of
the United Societies.
1. N the latter end of the year 1739, eight or ten
persons came to Mr. Wesley in London, who appeared to be deeply convinced of firi, and earneftly groaning for redemption. They desired (as did two or three more the next day) that he would'ipend some time with them in prayer, and advise them how to flee fium the wrath to come; which they saw continually hanging over their heads. That he might have more time for this great work, he appointed a day when they might all come together, which from thence forward they did every week, namely on Thursday in the evening. To these, and as many more as desired to join with them (for their number increased daily) he gave those advices from time to time which he judged moft. needful for them; and they always concluded their meeting with prayer fuited to their several pecessities.
2. This was the rise of the UNITED Society, first in Europe and then in America. Such a fociety is no other than "
a company of men having the form and feeking the power of godliness, united in order to pray together, to receive the word of exhortation, and to watch over one another in love, that they may help each other to work out their falvation.”
3. That it may the more easily be discerned, whether they are indeed working out their own salvation, each society is divided into smaller companies, called claffes, according to their respective places of abode. There are but twelve persons in every class; one of whom is Hiled The Leader. It is his duty,
I. To see each person in his class once a week at least, in order,
1. To enquire how their souls prosper ;
2. To advise, reprove, comfort, or exhort, as occafion may require ; 3.
To receive what they are willing to give, towards the relief of the preachers, church and poor.
II. To meet the minister and the stewards of the soci. ety once a week; in order,
1. To inform the minister of any that are fick, or of any that walk disorderly, and will not be reproved.
pay to the stewards what they have received of their several classes in the week preceding.
3. There is one only condition previously required of those who desire admission into these societies, a desire to flee from the wrath to come, and to be saved from their fins. But wherever this is really fixed in the foul, it will be Mewn by its fruits. It is therefore expected of all who continue therein, that they should continue to evidence their desire of salvation,
First, By doing no harm, by avoiding evil of every kind: especially that which is most generally practised: Such as
The taking the name of God in vain :
The profaning the day of the Lord, either by doing ordinary work thereon, or by buying or felling.
Drunken lefs : or drinking spirituous liquors, unless in cases of necessity :
The buying or selling of men, women, or children, with an intention to enslave them :
Fighting, quarrelling, brawling, brother going to law with brother; returning evil for evil; or railing for railing: the uling many words in buying or felling:
The buying or selling goods that have not paid the duty :
The giving or taking things on ufury, i. e. unlawful intereft :
This part refers wholly to towns and cities, where the poor are generally numerous, and church-expences considerable.
Uncharitable or unprofitable conversation : particularly speaking evil of magiftrates or of ministers :
Doing to others as we would not they should do unto us :
Doing what we know is not for the glory of God: As
The putting on of gold and costly apparel :
The taking such diversions as cannot be used in the name of the Lord Jesus:
The singing those fongs, or reading those books, which do not tend to the knowledge or love of God:
Softness and needlefs felf-indulgence:
Borrowing without a probability of paying; or taking up goods without a probability of paying for them.
4. It is expected of all who continue in these focieties, that they should continue to evidence their desire of Salvation,
Secondly, By doing good, by being in every kind merciful after their power, as they have opportunity, doing good of every possible fort, and as far as is posfble, to all men :
To their bodies, of the ability which God giveth, by giving food to the hungry, by clothing the naked, by visiting or helping them that are fick or in prison.
To their fouls, by instructing, reproving, or exhorting all we have any intercourse with; trampling under foot that enthusiastic doctrine, that “ we are not to do good, unless our hearts be free to it."
By doing good, especially to them that are of the household of faith, or groaning fo to be; employing them preferably to others, buying one of another, helping cach other in business: and so much the more, because the world will love its own and them only.
By all pofiible diligence and frugality, that the gospel be not blamed.
By running with patience the race which is set before them, denying themselves, and taking up their cross daily : submitting to bear the reproach of Christ, to be as the