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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.
OF THE MEANS OF GRACE.
Of Public Worship.
Quest. 1. WHAT directions shall be given for the establishment of uniformity in public worship among us, on the Lord's day?
Answ. 1. Let the morning service consist of singing, prayer, the reading of a chapter out of the Old Testament, and another out of the New, and preaching.
2. Let the afternoon service consist of singing, prayer, the reading of one or two chapters out of the Bible, and preaching.
3. Let the evening service consist of singing, prayer, and preaching.
4. But on the days of administering the Lord's supper, the two chapters in the morning service may be omitted.
5. In administering the ordinances, and in the burial of the dead, let the form of Discipline invariably be used. Let the Lord's prayer also be used on all occasions of public worship in concluding the first prayer, and the apostolic benediction in dismissing the congregation.
6. Let the society be met, wherever it is practicable, on the Sabbath-day.
Quest. 2. Is there not a great indecency sometimes practised among us, namely, talking in the congregation before and after service. How shall this be cured?
Answ. Let all the ministers and preachers join as one man, and enlarge on the impropriety of talking before or after service; and strongly exhort those that are concerned to do it no more. In three months, if we are in earnest, this vile practice will be banished out of every Methodist congregation. Let none stop till he has carried his point.
Of the Spirit and Truth of Singing. Quest. How shall we guard against formality in singing?
Answ. 1. By choosing such hymns as are proper for the congregation.
2. By not singing too much at once; seldom more than five or six verses.
3. By suiting the tune to the words.
4. By often stopping short, and asking the people, "Now! do you know what you said last? Did you speak no more than you felt?"
5. Do not suffer the people to sing too slow. This naturally tends to formality, and is brought in by those who have either very strong or very weak voices.
6. In every large society let them learn to sing; and let them always learn our tunes first.
7. Let the women constantly sing their parts alone. Let no man sing with them unless he understands the notes, and sings the base as it is composed in the tune-book.