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Sec. 18. Of the necessity of union among ourselves................ 158

Sec. 19. Of the method by which immoral travelling ministers or

preachers shall be brought to trial, &c. ....


Sec. 20. How to provide for the circuits in time of conference,

and to preserve and increase the work of God......... 164

Sec. 21. Öf local preachers.......


Sec. 22. Of baptism ....


Sec. 23. Of the Lord's supper


Sec. 24. Of public worship.....


Sec. 25. Of the spirit and truth of singing.


Chap. II. Sec. 1. The nature, design, and general rules of our

united societies.........


Sec. 2. Of class meetings


Sec. 3. Of the band societies...


Sec. 4. Of the privileges granted to serious persons who are not

of our church......


Sec. 5. Of marriage..


Sec. 6. Of dress


Sec. 7. Of bringing to trial, finding guilty, and reproving, suspend.

ing, or excluding disorderly persons from society, &c. .......... 189

Chap. III. Sacramental Services, &c.

Sec. 1. The order for the administration of the Lord's supper... 193

Sec. 2. The ministration of baptism to infants.........


The ministration of baptism to such as are of riper years. 202

Sec. 3. Form of solemnization of matrimony..


Sec. 4. Order of the burial of the dead....


Chap. IV. Form and manner of making and ordaining bishops,

elders, and deacons.

Sec. 1. Form and manner of making deacons.....


Sec. 2. Form and manner of ordaining elders


Sec. 3. Form of ordaining a bishop.........


Part II. Sec. 1. Of the boundaries of the annual conferences, &c. 211

Sec. 2. Of building churches, and the order to be observed therein 228

Sec. 3. Of the qualifications, appointment, and duty of the stew.

ards of circuits.....


Sec. 4. Of the allowance to the ministers and preachers, and to

their wives, widows, and children.........


Sec. 5. Of raising annual supplies for the propagation of the gos.

pel, for making up the allowance of the preachers, &C......... 240

Sec. 6. Support of missions...


Sec. 7. Of the chartered fund...


Sec. 8. Of the printing and circulating of books, and of the profits

arising therefrom......


Sec. 9. Local preachers to have an allowance in given cases.... 273

Sec. 10. Of slavery.....


APPENDIX. Notes on the Discipline ........






The Methodist Societies were originally governed by the General Rules, drawn up by the Wesleys, in 1743, and by the regulations adopted in the conferences, which were held yearly from 1744. These regulations were first published in the Minutes from year to year. They were afterward collected together and printed, with some slight alterations, in a tract entitled “The Large Minutes." The same rules and regulations, so far as applicable to their condition, governed the Methodist Societies in America, from the time of their first formation in 1766. At the first conference, in 1773, the preachers formally recognized “the doctrine and discipline of the Methodists,” as contained in the English Minutes, to be “the sole rule of their conduct.” They adopted, however, at successive conferences, some additional regulations, rendered necessary by their peculiar circumstances. These were inserted, from year to year, in the Annual Minutes, until 1784, when the Methodists in America ceased to constitute mere societies, and were duly organized into a church. To learn, then, what was the Discipline of the Methodist Societies in America, prior to 1784, the Large Minutes must be compared with the Annual Minutes of the American conferences. The Large Minutes will be found below, in connection with the Discipline of 1784. Those portions of the Annual Minutes which relate to discipline are as follows :

1773. At the first conference, held in Philadelphia, June, 1773, “the following queries were proposed to every preacher :

Quest. 1. Ought not the authority of Mr. Wesley and that conference to extend to the preachers and people in America, as well as in Great Britain and Ireland ?

Ans. Yes.

Quest. 2. Ought not the doctrine and discipline of the Methodists, as contained in the Minutes, to be the sole rule of our conduct, who labour in the connection with Mr. Wesley in America ? “ Ans. Yes. Quest. 3. If so, does it not follow, that if

any preachers deviate from the Minutes, we can have no fellowship with them till they change their conduct ?

Ans. Yes.

“The following rules were agreed to by all the preachers present

1. Every preacher, who acts in connection with Mr. Wesley and the brethren who labour in America, is strictly to avoid administering the ordinances of baptism and the Lord's supper.

2. All the people among whom we labour, to be earnestly exhorted to attend the Church, and to receive the ordinances there ; but in a particular manner, to press the people in Maryland and Virginia to the observance of this minute.

“3. No person or persons to be admitted into our love-feasts oftener than twice or thrice, unless they become members; and none to be admitted to the society meetings more than thrice.

“4. None of the preachers in America to reprint any of Mr. Wesley's books, without his authority (when it can be gotten) and the consent of their brethren.

“5. Robert Williams to sell the books he has already printed, but to print no more, unless under the above restrictions.

“6. Every preacher who acts as an assistant, to send an account of the work once in six months to the general assistant."

1774. In 1774 the following regulations were adopted :

“All the preachers to change at the end of six months.

“ This conference agreed to the following particulars :

“1. Every preacher who is received into full connection is to have the use and property of his horse, which any of the circuits may furnish him with.

2. Every preacher to be allowed six pounds, Pennsylvania currency, per quarter, and his travelling charges besides.

“ 3. For every assistant to make a general collection at Easter in the circuits where they labour, to be applied to the sinking of the debts on the houses, and relieving the preachers in want.

“4. Wherever Thomas Rankin* spends his time, he is to be assisted by those circuits."

1775. In 1775 the following directions are added:

“ Thomas Rankin* is to travel till the month of December, and then take a quarter in New-York.

“The preachers in New-Jersey to change in one quarter.

“Webster and Cooper to change with Gatch and Watters at the end of six months.

" The preachers in Brunswick and Hanover to change as the assistant thinks proper.

“ Thomas Rankin's deficiencies to be paid out of the yearly collection.

“The preachers' expenses from conference to their circuits to be paid out of the yearly collection.

* The general assistant.

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