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person evade a trial, by absenting himself, after sufficient notice given him, and the circumstances of the accusation afford strong presumption of guilt, let him be esteemed as guilty, and be accordingly excluded. Witnesses from without shall not be rejected.
2. But in cases of neglect of duties of any kind, imprudent conduct, indulging sinful tempers, or words, the buying, selling, or using, intoxicating liquors as a beverage, or disobedience to the order and discipline of the Church: (see part i, ch. v, § 3, quest. 3, page 80) First, let private reproof be given by a preacher or leader; and if there be an acknowledgment of the fault, and proper humiliation, the person may be borne with. On a second offence, the preacher or leader may take one or two faithful friends. On a third offence, let the case be brought before the society, or a select number; and if there be no sign of real humiliation, the offender must be cut off.
3. If a member of our Church shall be clearly convicted of endeavouring to sow dissensions in any of our societies, by inveighing against either our doctrines or discipline, such person so offending shall be first reproved by the senior minister or preacher of his circuit, and if he persist in such pernicious practices, he shall be expelled from the Church.
4. Nevertheless, if in any of the abovementioned cases the minister or preacher differ in judgment from the majority of the society, or he select number, concerning
the innocence or guilt of the accused person, the trial, in such case, may be referred by the minister or preacher to the ensuing Quarterly Conference.
5. If there be a murmur or complaint from any excluded person, in any of the above-mentioned instances, that justice has not been done, he shall be allowed an appeal to the next Quarterly Conference: except such as absent themselves from trial, after sufficient notice is given them: and the majority of the Travelling and Local Preachers, Exhorters, Stewards, and Leaders present, shall finally determine the case.
After such forms of trial and expulsion, such person shall have no privileges of society or of sacraments in our Church, without contrition, confession, and satisfactory reformation.
Quest. 2. How shall disputes between members of our Church concerning the payment of debts or otherwise be settled?
Answ. 1. On any dispute between two or more of the members of our Church, concerning the payment of debts, or otherwise, which cannot be settled by the parties concerned, the preacher who has the charge of the circuit shall inquire into the circumstances of the case; and shall recommend to the contending parties a reference, consisting of one arbiter chosen by the plaintiff, and another chosen by the defendant; which two arbiters so chosen shall nominate the third; the three arbiters being members of our Church.
But if one of the partics be dissatisfied with the judgment given, such party may apply to the ensuing Quarterly Conference of the circuit, for allowance to have a second arbitration appointed; and if the Quarterly Conference see sufficient reason, they shall grant a second arbitration, in which case each party shall choose two arbiters, and the four arbiters shall choose a fifth, the judgment of the majority of whom shall be final: and any person refusing to abide by such judgment shall be excluded the Church.
And if any member of our Church shall refuse, in cases of debt or other disputes, to refer the matter to arbitration, when recommended by him who has the charge of the circuit, or shall enter into a lawsuit with another member before these measures are taken, he shall be expelled, unless the case be of such a nature as to require and justify a process at law.
2. Whenever a complaint is made against any member of our Church for non-payment of debt; when the accounts are adjusted, and the amount ascertained, the preacher having the charge shall call the debtor before a committee of at least three, to show cause why he does not make payment. The committee shall determine what further time shall be granted him for payment, and what security, if any, shall be given for payment; and in case the debtor refuses to comply, he shall be expelled; but in such case he may appeal to the Quarterly Con
ference, and their decision shall be final. And in case the creditor complains that justice is not done him, he may lay his grievance before the Quarterly Conference, and their decision shall be final; and if the creditor refuse to comply, he shall be expelled.
Quest 3. What shall be done in case of insolvency on the part of any of our members?
Answ. 1. The preachers who have the oversight of circuits are required to execute all our rules fully and strenuously against all frauds, and particularly against dishonest insolvencies: suffering none to remain in our Church on any account who are found guilty of any fraud.
2. To prevent scandal, when any of our members fail in business, or contract debts which they are not able to pay, let two or three judicious members of the Church inspect the accounts, contracts, and circumstances of the case of the supposed delinquent; and if he have behaved dishonestly, or borrowed money without a probability of paying, let him be expelled.
THE ORDER OF BAPTISM.
1. LET every adult person, and the parents of every child to be baptized, have the choice either of immersion, sprinkling, or pouring.
2. We will on no account whatever make a charge for administering baptism, or for burying the dead.
The Ministration of Baptism to Infants. The minister coming to the font, which is to be filled with pure water, shall use the following.
Dearly beloved, forasmuch as all men are conceived and born in sin, and that our Saviour Christ saith, None can enter into the kingdom of God, except he be regenerate and born anew of water and of the Holy Ghost; I beseech you to call upon God the Father, through our Lord Jesus Christ, that of his bounteous mercy he will