« PreviousContinue »
not be satisfied with this whole process of probation, considered in all its parts, must be rigid indeed. But we bless God for the whole of this economy, and do attribute to it, under his grace ar.d providence, the purity of our ministry. When we consider the importance of the gospel minifiry, this severe process is by no means exceflive.
“ Now then,” says St. Paul, “ we are ambasadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us,” 2 Cor. v.
And again, " Whether any do inquire of Titus, he is my partner and fellow-helper concerning you; or our brethren be inquired of, they are the messengers of the churches, and the GLORY Of** CHRIST,” viii. 23. “ Try the fpirits,” says St. John, “ whether they are of God; because many false prophets are gone out into the world," 1 John iv. I.
Of the Salaries of the Ministers and Preachers.
HAT is the annual salary of the bi
shops, elders, deacons, and preachers ? Answ. Sixty-four dollars, and their travelling expences.
Quest. 2. What shall be annually allowed the wivesof the married preachers ?
Answ. The wife of every travelling preacher shall have the same claim to a yearly salary of fixty-four dollars, as a travelling preacher.
Quest. 3. What plan shall we pursue in appropriating the money received by our travelling minifters for marriage-fees?
Answ. In all the circuits where the preachers do not receive their full quarterage, let all such money be given into the hands of the ftewards, and be equally divided between the travelling preachers of the circuit. In all other cases the money. shall be disposed of at the difcretion of the yearly conference.
N. B. No minifter or preacher whatsoever shall receive any money for deficiencies, or on any other account; out of any of our funds or collections, without: irft giving an exact account of all the money, clothes, and other presents of every kind, which he has receiv. ed the preceding year.
NO TE S. The duty which lies upon the people to support their ministers, is established by the following scriptures: viz. 1 Cor. ix, 7, 11, 13, 14. " Who goeth a warfare any time at his own charges? who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof? or who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock? -If we have fown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things !---Do ye not know, that they which minister about hoły things, live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar, are partakers with the ab tar? Even so hath the Lord ordained, that they which preach the gospel, should live of the gospel.” Gal. vi. 6. “ Let him that is taught in the word, communicate unto him that teacheth, in all good things."
Those who read this section attentively, will see the impossibility of our ministers becoming rich by the gospel, except in grace. And here there is no difference between bishops, elders, deacons, or preachers, except in their travelling expences, and consequent"ly in the greater labours of one than the other. The gifts they have to impart, are not filver and gold, but, through the Divine blefiing on their labours, and the operations of the Holy Spirit accompanying their word, “ love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance." And we may add, that the impossibility of our enriching ourselves by our ministry, is another great preservation of its purity. The lovers of this world will not long continue travelling preachers. Indeed, we may add, that a great many of the preachers do 'not receive the whole of their annual pittance, generally, we believe, through the poverty, but sometimes perhaps through the inattention of our friends.
The clàuse concerning the allowance for a preacher's wife, may need some explanation. The wife is to have the same claim in respect to falary as the travelling preacher: so that if there be a married and a single preacher in the fame circuit, and the money for the support of the ministry be not sufficient to make up all the falaries, the whole is to be divided into three parts, one part of 'which belongs to the wife.
SE C ΤΙ Ο Ν Χ.
Of the Duties of those who have the Charge of
HAT are the duties of the elder,
deacon, or preacher, who has the special charge of a circuit?
Antw. 1. To see that the other preachers in his cir. cuit behave well, and want nothing.
2. To renew the tickets quarterly, and regulate the bands.
3. To meet the fiewards and leaders, as often as poffible.
4. To appoint all the stewards and leaders, and change them when he sees it necessary.
5. To receive, try, and expel members according to the form of difcipline.
6. To hold watch-nights and love fealls.
7. To hold quarterly meetings in the absence of the prefiding elder.
8. To take care that every fociety be duly supplied with books.
9. To take an exact account of the numbers in fo. ciety, and bring it to the conference.
10. To send an account of his circuit every quarter to his presiding elder.
1. To meet the men and women apart in the large societies once a quarter, wherever it is practicable.
12. To overlook the accounts of all the stewards.
13. To appoint a person to receive the quarterly col. lection in the classes.
14. To see that public collections be made quarterly, if need be.
15. To raise a yearly subscription in those circuits that can bear it, for building churches, and paying the debts of those which have been already erected.
16. To choose a committee of lay-members to make a just application of the money, where it is most wanted.
Quest. 2. What other directions shall we give him? Anfw. Several :
1. To take a regular catalogue of the societies in towns and cities, as they live in streets.
2. To leave his successor a particular account of the state of the circuit,
3. To see that every band-leader have the rules of the bands.
4. To enforce vigorously, but calmly, all the rules of the society.
5. As soon as there are four men or women believers in
any place, to put them into a band.
7. To warn all, from time to time, that none are to remove from one circuit to another, without a note of recommendation from a preacher of the circuit in these words : “ A. B. the bearer has been an acceptable member of our society in C.” and to inform them, that, withont, fuch a certificate, they will not be received into other societies.
8. To recommend every where decency and cleanliness.
9. To read the rules of the society, with the aid of the other preachers, once a year in every congregation, and once a quarter in every society.
10. On any dispute between two or more of the members of our society, concerning the payment of debts or otherwise, which cannot be settled by the parties concerned, the preacher who has the charge of the circuit, thall inquire into the circumstances of the case; and, having consulted the stewards and leaders, shall, if agreeable to their advice, 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 a third; the three arbiters being members of our society.
But if one of the parties be dissatisfied with the judgment given, such party may apply to the ensuing quarterly meeting of the circuit, for allowance to have a fecond arbitration appointed ; and if the quarterly meeting fee fufficient reason, they shall grant a second arbi. tration; in which case, each party shall choose two arbiters, and the four arbiters shall choose a fifth, the judgment of the majorities of whom shall be final; and any party refufing to abide by fuch judgment, shall be excluded the society.
And if any member of our fociety shall refuse in cafes of debt or other disputes, to refer the matter to aro' bitration, when recommended by him who has the charge of the circuit, with the approbation of the ftewards and leaders ; or shall enter into a law-suit with another member before these measures are takan, he shall be expelled.
The preachers who have the oversight of circuits are required to execute all our rules fully and strenuously against all frauds, and particularly against dishoneft insolvencies; suffering none to remain in our society, on any account, who are found guilty of any fraud.
11. The preacher who has the charge of a circuit, shall appoint prayer-meetings wherever he can, in his circuit.
12. He shall take care that a fast be held in every fociety in his circuit, on the Friday preceding every quarterly meeting ; and that a memorandum of it be written on all the class-papers.
13. He shall also take care, that no unordained local preacher or exhorter in his circuit shall officiate in public, without forft obtaining a licence from the prefiding elder or himself. Let every unordained local preacher and exhorter take care to have this renewed yewly: and let him who has the charge of the cireuit, infilt upon it.
When we consider the duties of the office described in this fece tion, we shall feel no difficulty in allowing, that it is an office of no small importance.
1. The person who holds it, is to watch over the other travelling preachers in his circuit, not with the eye of a severe judge, but with that of a tender elder brother. He should indeed be faithful to his colleagues, and tell them all their faults: but he has no power to correct them. He is to bear an equal share with them in the toils of a travelling preacher, besides having upon him the care of all the churches in his circuit. But if his colleagues will not observe his reasonable directions, or behave grofslv. amiss, he must inform his presiding elder, whose duty it is, as fron as possible, to judge of and rectify every thing. He is also to use his influence with the people, that his fellow-labourers may