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and plainly, as soon as may be, else it will fester in your heart. Make all haste to cast the fire out of your bosom. 55. Rule 8. Avoid all affectation. A preacher of the
Gospel is the servant of all.
56. Rule 9. Be ashamed of nothing but sin.
57. Rule 10. Be punctual. Do everything exactly at the time. And do not mend our rules, but keep them ; not for wrath, but conscience' sake.
58. Rule 11. You have nothing to do but to save souls, therefore spend and be spent in this work; and go always, not only to those that want you, but to those that want you most.
Observe! it is not only your business to preach so many times, and to take care of this or that Society, but to save as many as you can; to bring as many sinners as you 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 Methodist Discipline! Therefore you will need to exercise all the sense and grace you have.
59. Rule 12. Act in all things, not according to your own will, but as a son in the Gospel. As such, it is your duty to employ your time in the manner which we direct; in preaching and visiting from house to house; in reading, meditation and prayer. Above all, if you labor 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 most for His glory.
60. Smaller advices which might be of use to us are perhaps these: 1. Be sure never to disappoint a congregation. 2. Begin at the time appointed. 3. Let your whole deportment be serious, weighty, and solemn. 4. Always suit your subject to your audience. 5. Choose the plainest text you can. 6. Take care not to ramble, but keep to your text, and make out what you take in hand. 7. Take care of anything awkward or affected, either in your gestures, phrase, or pronunciation. 8. Do not usually pray extempore above eight or ten minutes (at most) without intermission. 9. Frequently read and enlarge upon a portion of Scripture; and let young preachers often exhort without taking a text. 10. Always avail yourself of the great festivals by preaching on the occasion.
The duty of Ministers and Probationers-Matter and manner of preaching-Visiting from house to house.
61. The duty of a minister or probationer is,-1. To preach; 2. To meet the Societies and Classes; 3. To visit the sick.
62. A minister or probationer shall be qualified for his charge by walking closely with God, and having His work greatly at heart, and by understanding and loving discipline, ours in particular.
63. A minister or probationer should use all the means of grace himself, and urge the use of them on others, such
1. Prayer-private, family, and public; consisting of deprecation, petition, intercession, and thanksgiving. 2. Searching the Scriptures. 3. The Lord's Supper.
4. Fasting and Abstinence.
5. Christian Conference.
Ministers should manifest an interest in the spiritual welfare of each other, by speaking freely to each other upon the subject of personal religion. They should take great care not to despise each other's gifts, or speak lightly of each other, defending each other's character in everything, as far as is consistent with truth.
64. The best general method of preaching is,—1. To convince; 2. To offer Christ; 3. To invite; 4. To build up: And to do this in some measure in every sermon.
65. The most effectual way of preaching Christ is to preach Him in all His offices; and to declare His law, as well as His Gospel, both to believers and unbelievers. Let us strongly and closely insist upon inward and outward holiness in all its branches.
66. It is by no means advisable for us to preach in as many places as we can without forming any Societies.
We should endeavor to preach most,-1. Where there is the greatest number of quiet and willing hearers; 2. Where there is most fruit.
We ought diligently to observe in what places God is pleased at any time to pour out His Spirit more abundantly, and at that time to send more laborers than usual into that part of the harvest.
67. We can further assist those under our care by instructing them in their own houses.
Family religion is wanting in many homes. What avails public preaching alone? We must, yea, every minister and every probationer must instruct the people from house to house. Let this be done, and that in good earnest.
The Election and Ordination of Ministers, and their
68. A minister is constituted by election of the Annual Conference, and by laying on of the hands of those duly appointed thereto.
69. The duties of a minister are,—
1. To conduct all parts of Divine worship.
2. To administer Baptism and the Lord's Supper.
3. To solemnize Matrimony, and in general to perform all the work of a Christian minister.
70. No minister who ceases to travel without the consent of the Annual Conference, certified under the hand of the President, 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.
71. After approval of the Annual Conference, a General Superintendent, with the President of the Annual Conference, may issue a commission, to which the seal of the Conference shall be attached, to authorize a minister of the Church to ordain, according to our form of ordination, such missionary or missionaries as may be stationed in distant parts of our work.
The Reception of Ministers from other Churches. 72. Ministers who offer to unite with us from other Christian Churches may be received in the following
1. If they come to us with proper testimonials from any accredited Methodist Church, they may be received according to such credentials, provided they give satisfaction to the Annual Conference of their willingness to conform to our Church government and usages.
2. Candidates for the ministry from any body of Methodists, or from other Evangelical denominations, may be received as candidates for our ministry, provided they give satisfaction that they are suitable persons to exercise the office; and that they believe in the doctrines and approve of the discipline, government and usages of our Church. The Chairman and any two ministers (members of the Conference) of the District within the bounds of which any such candidate may be travelling or resident, are authorized to act as a committee on behalf of the Annual Conference, to admit him into our Church; and he may be employed until the ensuing Annual Conference; and if he be recommended by an annual District Meeting he may be received as a probationer for the ministry.
3. Ministers of other Evangelical Churches who may desire to unite with our Church, may be received according to our usages, on condition of their taking upon them our ordination vows when required, without the re-imposition of hands, giving satisfaction to an Annual Conference of