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trine, Repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ: 4. The place, I have taught you publicly, and from house to house: 5. The object and manner of teaching, I ceased not to warn every one, night and day, with tears: 6. His innocence and self-denial herein, I have coveted no man's silver or gold: 7. His patience, Neither count I my life dear unto myself. And among all other motives, let these be ever before our eyes: 1. The Church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood: 2. Grievous wolves shall enter in; yea, of yourselves shall men arise, speaking perverse things.
Write this upon your hearts, and it will do you more good than twenty years' study. Then you will have no time to spare; you will have work enough. Then likewise no preacher will stay with us who is as salt that has lost its savour. For to such this employment would be mere drudgery. And in order to it, you will have need of all the knowledge you can procure, and grace you can attain.
The sum is, Go into every house in course, and teach every one therein, young and old, to be Christians inwardly and outwardly; make every particular plain to their understandings; fix it in their minds; write it on their hearts. In order to this there must be line upon line, precept upon precept. What patience, what love, what knowledge, is requisite for this! We must needs do this, were it only to avoid idleness.
Do we not loiter away many hours in every week? Each try himself: no idleness is consistent with a growth in grace. Nay, without exactness in redeeming time, you cannot retain the grace you receive in justification.
Quest. 2. Why are we not more holy? Why do we not live in eternity? Walk with God all the day long? Why are we not all devoted to God? Breathing the whole spirit of missionaries?
Answ. Chiefly because we are enthusiasts; looking for the end without using the means. To touch only upon two or three instances: Who of us rises at four, or even at five, when we do not preach? Do we know the obligation and benefit of fasting or abstinence? How often do we practise it? The neglect of this alone is sufficient to account for our feebleness and faintness
of spirit. We are continually grieving the Holy Spirit of God by the habitual neglect of a plain duty. Let us amend from this hour.
Quest. 3. How shall we guard against Sabbath-breaking, evil-speaking, unprofitable conversation, lightness, expensiveness or gayety of apparel, and contracting debts without due care to discharge them?
Answ. 1. Let us preach expressly on each of these heads. 2. Read in every society the sermon on evil-speaking. 3. Let the leaders closely examine and exhort every person to put away the accursed thing. 4. Let the preachers warn every society that
none who is guilty herein can remain with us. 5. Extirpate buying or selling goods which have not paid the duty laid upon them by government out of our Church. Let none remain with us who will not totally abstain from this evil in every kind and degree. Extirpate bribery, receiving anything, directly or indirectly, for voting at any election. Show no respect to persons herein, but expel all that touch the accursed thing. And strongly advise our people to discountenance all treats given by candidates before or at elections, and not to be partakers, in any respect, of such iniquitous practices.
Of Employing our Time profitably, when we are not travelling, or engaged in Public Exercises.
Quest. 1. What general method of employing our time shall we advise?
Answ. We advise you, 1. As often as possible to rise at four. 2. From four to five in the morning, and from five to six in the evening, to meditate, pray, and read the Scriptures with notes, and the closely practical parts of what Mr. Wesley has published. 3. From six in the morning till twelve, (allowing an hour for breakfast,) read, with much prayer, some of our best religious
Quest. 2. Why is it that the people under our care are not better?
Answ. Other reasons may concur, but the chief is, because we are not more knowing and more holy.
Quest. 3. But why are we not more knowing?
Answ. Because we are idle. We forget our first rule, "Be diligent. Never be unemployed. Never be triflingly employed. Neither spend any more time at any place than is strictly necessary."
We fear there is altogether a fault in this matter, and that few of us are clear. Which of us spend as many hours a day in God's work as we did formerly in man's work? We talk,-talk or read what comes next to hand. We must, absolutely must, cure this evil, or betray the cause of God. But how? 1. Read the most useful books, and that regularly and constantly. 2. Steadily spend all the morning in this employment, or at least five hours in the four and twenty. "But I have no taste for reading." Contract a taste for it by use, or return to your former employment. "But I have no books." Be diligent to spread the books, and you will have the use of them.
Of the Necessity of Union among ourselves.
Let us be deeply sensible (from what we have known) of the evil of a division in principle, spirit, or practice, and the dreadful consequences to ourselves and others. If we are united, what can stand before us?
If we divide, we shall destroy ourselves, the work of God, and the souls of our people.
Quest. What can be done in order to a closer union with each other?
Answ. 1. Let us be deeply convinced of the absolute necessity of it.
2. Pray earnestly for, and speak freely to, each other.
3. When we meet, let us never part without prayer.
4. Take great care not to despise each other's gifts.
5. Never speak lightly of each other.
6. Let us defend each other's character in everything so far as is consistent with
7. Labour in honour each to prefer the other before himself.
8. We recommend a serious perusal of The Causes, Evils, and Cures of Heart and Church Divisions.
Of Supernumerary and Superannuated or Worn-out Preachers.
A supernumerary preacher is one so worn
out in the itinerant service as to be rendered incapable of preaching constantly; but at the same time is willing to do any work in the ministry which the Conference may direct, and his strength enable him to perform.
A supernumerary preacher, who refuses to attend to the work assigned him, unles in case of sickness, or other unavoid