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Local Preachers to have an Allowance in certain Cases.
1. Whenever a local preacher fills the place of a travelling preacher by the approbation of the Presiding Elder, he shall be paid for his time a sum proportional to the allowance of a travelling preacher; which sum shall be paid by the circuit at the next quarterly meeting, if the travelling preacher whose place he filled up were either sick or necessarily absent: or, in other cases, out of the allowance of the travelling preacher.
2. If a local preacher be distressed in his temporal circumstances, on account of his service in the circuit, he may apply to the Quarterly Conference, who may give him what relief they judge proper, after the allowance of the travelling preachers and of their wives, and all other regular allowances, are discharged.
Of the Qualifications, Appointment, and Duty, of the Stewards of Circuits and Stations.
Quest. 1. What are the qualifications necessary for Stewards?
Answ. Let them be men of solid piety, who both know and love the Methodist doctrine and discipline, and of good natural and acquired abilities to transact the temporal business.
Quest. 2. How are the Stewards to be appointed?
Answ. The preacher having the charge of the circuit shall have the right of nomination; but the Quarterly Conference shall confirm or reject such nomination.
Quest. 3. What are the duties of Stewards?
Answ. To take an exact account of all the money or other provisions collected for the support of preachers in the circuit; to make an accurate return of every expenditure of money, whether to the preachers, the sick, or the poor; to seek the needy and distressed in order to relieve and comfort them; to inform the preachers of any sick or disorderly persons; to tell the preachers what they think wrong in them; to attend the quarterly meetings of their circuit; to give advice, if asked, in planning the circuit; to attend committees for the application of money to Churches; to give counsel in matters of arbitration; provide elements for the Lord's supper; to write circular letters to the societies in the circuit to be more liberal if need be; as also to let them know, when occasion requires, the state of the temporal concerns at the last quarterly meeting; to register the marriages and baptisms; and to be subject to the Bishops, the Presiding Elder of their district, and the Elder, Deacon, and travelling preachers of their circuit. (See also § 5, art. 2, p. 184, and § 6, answ. 2, page 189.)
Quest. 4. To whom are the Stewards ac
countable for the faithful performance of
Answ. To the Quarterly Conference of the circuit or station, which shall have power to dismiss or change them at pleasure.
Quest. 5. What number of Stewards are necessary in each circuit?
Answ. Not less than three, nor more than seven, one of whom shall be the Recording Steward.
Of raising Annual Supplies for the Propagation of the Gospel, making up the Allowance of the Preachers, &c.
1. Every preacher who has the charge of a circuit shall earnestly recommend to every class or society in his circuit to raise a quarterly or annual collection by voluntary contribution, or in such other way or manner as they may judge most expedient from time to time; and the moneys so collected shall be lodged with the Steward or Stewards of the circuit, to be brought or sent to the Annual Conference, with a regular account of the sums raised for this purpose in the classes or societies respectively.
2. Wherever there remains in the hands of the Stewards a surplus of the moneys raised for the use of the circuit preachers, after paying the allowance of the preachers in the circuit, let such surplus be brought or sent to the Annual Conference.
3. Every preacher who has the charge of
a circuit shall make a yearly collection, and, if expedient, a quarterly one, in every congregation where there is a probability that the people will be willing to contribute; and the money so collected shall be lodged in the hands of the Steward or Stewards, and brought or sent to the ensuing Annual Conference. To this end, he may read and enlarge upon the following hints:
"How shall we send labourers into those parts where they are most of all wanted? Many are willing to hear, but not to bear the expense. Nor can it as yet be expected of them. Stay till the word of God has touched their hearts, and then they will gladly provide for them that preach it. Does it not lie upon us, in the mean time, to supply their lack of service? To raise money out of which, from time to time, that expense may be defrayed? By this means, those who willingly offer themselves may travel through every part, whether there be societies or not, and stay wherever there is a call, without being burdensome to any. Thus may the gospel, in the life and power thereof, be spread from sea to sea. Which of you will not rejoice to throw in your mite to promote this glorious work?
Besides this, in carrying on so large a work through the continent, there are calls for money in various ways, and we must frequently be at a considerable expense, or the work must be at a full stop. Many, too, are the occasional distresses of our preachers, or their families, which require an im
mediate supply, otherwise their hands would hang down, if they were not constrained to depart from the work.
"The money contributed will be brought to the ensuing Conference.
"Men and brethren, help! Was there ever a call like this since you first heard the gospel sound? Help to relieve your companions in the kingdom of Jesus, who are pressed above measure. Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. Help to send forth able and willing labourers into your Lord's harvest: so shall ye be assistants in saving souls from death, and hiding a multitude of sins. Help to propagate the gospel of your salvation to the remotest corners of the earth, till the knowledge of our Lord shall cover the land as the waters cover the sea. So shall it appear to ourselves and all men, that we are indeed one body, united by one spirit; so shall the baptized heathens be yet again constrained to say, 'See how these Christians love one another!"
4. A public collection shall be made at every Annual and every General Conference, for the above purposes.
5. Let the annual produce of the Charter Fund, as divided among the several Conferences, be applied with the above contributions: but so as not to militate against the rules of the Charter Fund; and also the annual dividend arising from the profits of the Book Concern. Out of the moneys so collected, and brought to the respective An