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8. Avoid all affectation. A preacher of the gospel is the servant of all.
9. Be ashamed of nothing but sin.
10. Be punctual. Do everything exactly at the time. And do not mend our rules, but keep them; not for wrath but conscience' sake.
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 your business only 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.
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 in which we direct: in preaching, and visiting from house to house; in reading, meditation, and prayer. Above all, if you labour 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.
Quest. 2. Are there any smaller advices which might be of use to us?
Answ. 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 texts 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 gesture, 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.
Of the Duty of Preachers to God, themselves, and one another.
Quest. 1. What is the duty of a preacher ?
2. To meet the societies, classes, and general bands.
3. To visit the sick.
4. To preach in the morning where he can get hearers. We recommend morning preaching at five o'clock in the summer, and six in the winter, wherever it is practicable. Quest. 2. How shall a preacher be qualified for his charge?
Answ. By walking closely with God, and having his work greatly at heart and by
understanding and loving discipline, ours in particular.
Quest. 3. Do we sufficiently watch over each other?
Answ. We do not.
Should we not fre
quently ask each other, Do you walk closely with God? Have you now fellowship with the Father and the Son? At what hour do you rise? Do you punctually observe the morning and evening hours of retirement? Do you spend the day in the manner which the Conference advises? Do you converse seriously, usefully, and closely ? To be more particular: Do you use all the means of grace yourself, and enforce the use of them on all other persons? They are either instituted or prudential.
I. The instituted are,
1. Prayer private, family, and public; consisting of deprecation, petition, intercession, and thanksgiving. Do you use each of these? Do you forecast daily, wherever you are, to secure time for private devotion? Do you practise it everywhere? Do you ask everywhere, Have you family prayer? Do you ask individuals, Do you use private prayer every morning and evening in particular?
2. Searching the Scriptures, by
(1) Reading: constantly, some part of every day; regularly, all the Bible in order; carefully, with notes; seriously, with prayer before and after; fruitfully, immediately practising what you learn there?
(2) Meditating: At set times? By rule?
(3) Hearing: Every opportunity? With prayer before, at, after? Have you a Bible always about you?
3. The Lord's supper: Do you use this at every opportunity? With solemn prayer before? With earnest and deliberate selfdevotion?
4. Fasting: Do you use as much abstinence and fasting every week, as your health, strength, and labour will permit ?
5. Christian conference: Are you convinced how important and how difficult it is to order your conversation aright? Is it always in grace? Seasoned with salt? Meet to minister grace to the hearers? Do you not converse too long at a time? Is not an hour commonly enough? Would it not be well always to have a determined end in view? And to pray before and after it?
II. Prudential means we may use either as Christians, as Methodists, or as preachers. 1. As Christians: What particular rules have you in order to grow in grace? What arts of holy living?
2. As Methodists: Do you never miss your class or band?
3. As Preachers: Have you thoroughly considered your duty? And do you make a conscience of executing every part of it? Do you meet every society? Also, the leaders and bands?
These means may be used without fruit. But there are some means which cannot; namely, watching, denying ourselves, taking up our cross, exercise of the presence of God
1. Do you steadily watch against the world? Yourself? Your besetting sin?
2. Do you deny yourself every useless pleasure of sense? Imagination? Honour? Are you temperate in all things? Instance in food: (1) Do you use only that kind and that degree which is best both for body and soul? Do you see the necessity of this? (2) Do you eat no more at each meal than is necessary? Are you not heavy or drowsy after dinner? (3) Do you use only that kind, and that degree of drink, which is best both for your body and soul? (4) Do you choose and use water for your common drink? And only take wine medicinally or sacramentally?
3. Wherein do you take up your cross daily? Do you cheerfully bear your cross, however grievous to nature, as a gift of God, and labour to profit thereby?
4. Do you endeavour to set God always before you? To see his eye continually fixed upon you? Never can you use these means but a blessing will ensue. And the more you use them, the more you will grow in grace.
Of the Duties of those who have the Charge of Circuits or Stations.
Quest. 1. What are the duties of the Elder, Deacon, or preacher, who has the special charge of a circuit ?
Answ. 1. To see that the other preachers in his circuit behave well, and want nothing.