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This is to certify, that
Conference as a travel
ling preacher, [or has been admitted as a
local preacher on circuit,] he having been ordained to the office of Deacon, [or an Elder, as the case may be,] according to the usages of the Church, of which
he has been a member and minister; and he is hereby authorized to exercise the functions pertaining to his office in the Methodist Episcopal Church, so long as his life and conversation are such as become the gospel of Christ.
Given under my hand and seal, at day of in the year of our Lord Quest. 3. How shall we receive preachers of other denominations who are not in orders?
Answ. They may be received as licentiates, provided they give satisfaction to a Quarterly or an Annual Conference that they are suitable persons to exercise the office, and of their agreement with the doctrines, discipline, government, and usages of our Church.
Of the Examination of those who think they are moved by the Holy Ghost to preach.
Quest. How shall we try those who profess to be moved by the Holy Ghost to preach? Answ. 1. Let the following questions be asked, namely:-Do they know God as a pardoning God? Have they the love of God
abiding in them? Do they desire nothing but God? And are they holy in all manner of conversation?
2. Have they gifts (as well as grace) for the work? Have they (in some tolerable degree) a clear, sound understanding, a right judgment in the things of God, a just conception of salvation by faith? And has God given them any degree of utterance? Do they speak justly, readily, clearly?
3. Have they fruit? Are any truly convinced of sin, and converted to God by their preaching?
As long as these three marks concur in any one, we believe he is called of God to preach. These we receive as sufficient proof that he is moved by the Holy Ghost.
Of the Method of Receiving Travelling Preachers on Trial.
Quest. How is a preacher to be received on trial?
Answ. 1. By the Annual Conference.
2. In the interval of the Conference, by a Bishop, or the Presiding Elder of the district, until the sitting of the Conference.
But no one shall be received unless he first procure a recommendation from the Quarterly Conference of his circuit or station. We may then, if he give us satisfaction, receive him on trial. And before any such candidate is received into full connexion, or ordained Deacon or Elder, he shall
give satisfactory evidence respecting his knowledge of those particular subjects which have been recommended to his consideration.
When a preacher's name is not printed in the Minutes, he must receive a written license from a Bishop, or Presiding Elder.
Observe! taking on trial is entirely dif ferent from admitting a preacher into full connexion. One on trial may be either admitted, or rejected without doing him any wrong:-otherwise it would be no trial at all.
At each Annual Conference, those who are received on trial, or are admitted into full connexion, shall be asked whether they are willing to devote themselves to the missionary work; and a list of the names of all those who are willing to do so shall be taken and reported to the Corresponding Secretary of the Missionary Society; and all such shall be considered as ready and willing to be employed as missionaries whenever called for by either of the Bishops.
Of Receiving Travelling Preachers into Full Connexion.
Quest. What method do we use in receiving a preacher at the Conference into full connexion?
Answ. After solemn fasting and prayer, every person proposed shall then be asked, before the Conference, the following ques
tions, (with any others which may be thought necessary,) namely:-Have you faith in Christ? Are you going on to perfection? Do you expect to be made perfect in love in this life? Are you groaning after it? Are you resolved to devote yourself wholly to God and his work? Do you know the rules of society ?-of the bands? Do you keep them? Do you constantly attend the sacrament? Have you read the form of Discipline? Are you willing to conform to it? Have you considered the rules of a preacher, (see § 9,) especially the first, tenth, and twelfth? Will you keep them for conscience' sake? Are you determined to employ all your time in the work of God? Will you endeavour not to speak too long or too loud? Will you diligently instruct the children in every place? Will you visit from house to house? Will you recommend fasting, or abstinence, both by precept and example? Are you in debt?
Then if he give us satisfaction, after he has been employed two successive years in the regular itinerant work on circuits or in stations, which is to commence from his being received on trial at the Annual Conference, and being approved by the Annual Conference, and examined by the President of the Conference, he may be received into full connexion.
A Missionary employed on a Foreign Mission may be admitted into full connexion, if recommended by the Superintendent of the Mission where he labours,
without being present at the Annual Conference for examination.
Of the Rules for a Preacher's Conduct. Quest. 1. What are the directions given to a Preacher ?
Answ. 1. Be diligent. Never be unemployed: never be triflingly employed. Never trifle away time: neither spend any more time at any place than is strictly necessary.
2. Be serious. Let your motto be, Holiness to the Lord. Avoid all lightness, jesting, and foolish talking.
3. Converse sparingly, and conduct yourself prudently with women. 1 Tim. v, 2. 4. Take no step toward marriage without first consulting with your brethren.
5. Believe evil of no one without good evidence; unless you see it done, take heed how you credit it. Put the best construction on everything. You know the judge is always supposed to be on the prisoner's side.
6. Speak evil of no one; because your word, especially, would eat as doth a canker. Keep your thoughts within your own breast, till you come to the person concerned.
7. Tell every one under your care what you think wrong in his conduct and temper, and that lovingly 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.