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dation in our ministry, as, we trust, will contribute highly to its purity, to the dignity of the ministerial office, and to the ada vantage of our people.
6. We have here also made the same restriction for the prefer. vation of our important itinerant plan, in respect to the đeacons' withdrawing themselves from the general work, without the consent of the yearly conference, which was made before in the case of the elders, and which has been spoken to in the notes on the former section.
Of the Method of receiving Preachers, and
of their Duty. Quest. 1. ITOW is a preacher to be received ?
11 Antw. 1. By the yearly conference. 2. In the interval of the conference, by the bishop, or presiding elder of the district, until the sitting of the conference. · 3. When his name is not printed in the minutes, he must receive a written licence from the bishop or prefading elder.
Queft. 2. What is the duty of a preacher ?
4. To preach in the morning, where he can get hearers. · N. B. We are fully determined never to drop morning preaching, and to preach at five o'clock in the summer, and fix in the winter, wherever it is practicable.
Queft. 3. What are the directions given to a preacher ?
Answ. 1. Be diligent. Never be unemployed; nea ver be trillingly employed. Never trifle away time; neither spend any more time at any place than is strictly necessary.
2. Be serious. Let your motto be, holiness to the Lord. Avoid all lightness, jefting, and foolila talking. 3. Converse sparingly and cautiously with women. 1 Timothy, v. 2.
4. Take no step towards 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 every thing. You know the judge is always supposed to be on the prisoner's side.
6. Speak evil of no one; else your word especially would eat as doth a canker. Keep your thoughts within in your own breast, till you come to the perfon con*cerned.
7. Tell every one under your care, what you think wrong in his conduct and temper, and that plainly, as foon as may be: else it will fefter 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 fin. . 10. Be punctual. Do every thing exactly at the time. And do not mend our rules, but keep them ; not for wrath but conscience' fake.
11. You have nothing to do but to save fouls. Therefore spend and be spent in this work. And go always not only to those that want, but to those that want you most. · Obferve! It is not your business only to preach so many times, and to take care of this or that fociety: But to save as many souls as you can; to bring as many finners as you possibly 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 Methodift 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, is such it is your duty to employ your time in the manner which we di.
xect; 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 moft for his glory,
Que. 4. What method do we use in receiving a preacher at the conference?
Anfw. After solemn fasting and prayer, every perfon proposed Shall then be asked, before the conference, the following questions (with any others which may be thought necessary) viz. Have you faith in Chrift? 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 the 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; especially the first, tenth, and twelfth? Will you keep them for conscience' fake? 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 fafting or abftinence, both by precept and example? Are you in debt?
We may then, if he gives us satisfaction, receive him as a probationer, by giving him the form of discipline, inscribed thus : To A. B. “ You think it your duty to call finners to repentance. Make full proof hereof, and we shall rejoice to receive you as a fellow-labourer." Let him then carefully read and weigh what is contained therein; that if he has any doubt, it may be removed. Observe! "Taking on trial is entirely different from admitting a preacher. One on trial may be either admitted or rejected, without doing him any wrong; otherwise it would be no trial at all. Let every one that has the charge of a circuit, explain this to thofe who are on,
trial, as well as to those who are in future to be propofed for trial.
. But no one shall be received, unless he first procure a recommendation from the quarterly meeting of his cir. cuit.
After two years' probation, being approved by the yearly conference, and examined by the president of the conference, he may be received into full connection, by giving him the form of discipline inscribed thus : As long as you freely consent to, and earnestly endeavour to walk by these rules, we all rejoice to acknowledge you as a fellow-labourer.
'N. B. If any preacher absent himself from his circuit without the leave of the presiding elder, the presiding elder shall, as far as possible, fill his place with another preacher, who shall be paid for his labours out of the salary of the absent preacher in proportion to the usual allowance.
NO TE .
If we duly consider the articles containing the duties of a preacher, and the manner in which he must fill up those duties, from the nature and situation of the work in which he is engaged, we may venture to address him in the words of the great apof. tle, 2 Tim. iv. I, 2. “I charge thee, therefore, before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who snall judge the quick and the dead, at his appearing and his kingdoni, preach the word; be instant in feason, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all longfuffering and doctrine.” And we may add, with the wise nian, Ecclef. xi. 6. “In the morning low thy feed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand : for thou knowvest not whether shall profper either this or that, or whether they both fhall be alike good.” To preach almost every day, and to meet focieties or claffes seves ral times in the week, and to visit the fick, not only in the towns, but as far as practicable on the plantations, is a work which requires no small degree of diligence and zeal: and no person is fic to be a travelling preacher, who cannot fill up thefe duties inceflantly all the year round, except occasional indispositions incapaci. tate him for a season; or some reasonable and urgent necessity call him away for a little time.
Let us now-take a view of the twelve rules for the direction of a preacher.
I. Let every moment be employed to the glory of God! This is the substance of the first rule. And how agreeable is this to the written Word: Ecclef. ix. 10. “ Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might : for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom in the grave, whither thou goest.” Eph. V. 15, 16. “ See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” I Tim. iv. 15. “Meditate upon these things, give tb filf wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.” At the same time that we should endeavour to lie fully open, in all our sermons, to the influences of the Holy Spirit of God, “ we should not offer to the Lord our God of that which doth cost us nothing," 2 Sam. xxiv. 24. Time is one of the most precious talents man pose sesses: O that those words of the poet may be engraven on every preacher's heart,
well Pay no
2. Let all your deportment be grave, according to those come mands of the apostle, Eph. v. 4. “ [Let] neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jefting, which are not convenient be once named among you :) but rather giving of thanks.” Col iv. 5,6. « Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man." 1 Tim. iv. 12. “ Let no man despise thy youth, but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in fpirit, in faich, in purity.” A minister of the gospel should preach, not only by his fermons, but by his actions, his common conversati. on his whole example, yea, even by his looks. He should be every where a flame of fire. Wherever he is, the eyes of all are upon him. He cannot be neutral, but in every place will do either good or evil.
3. Preserve chastity even in the most delicate sense of the word. Remember those words of our Lord, Matt. v. 28. “ Whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her, hath committed adultery with her already in his heart :” and, therefore, see that you “make a covenant with your eyes," Job xxxi. 1.-- that you “ entreat the elder women as mothers, the younger as 'fifters, with all purity;”. I Tim. v. 2. - . and that you "flee youthful lufts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart," 2 Tim. ii. 22.
4. What St. Paul fays of the rives of the deacons, belongs as: much to the wives of preachers. “lven fo must their wives be grave, not flandei ers; sober, faithfui in all things," I Tim. iii..