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1. To give alms of such things as you possess, and that according to your ability.
2. To reprove those who sin in your sight, and that in love and meekness of wisdom.
3. To be patterns of diligence and frugality, of self denial, and taking up the cross daily. III. Constantly to attend on all the ordinances of God: in particular,
1. To be at church, and at the LORD's table, and at every public meeting of the bands, at every opportunity.
2. To use private prayer every day; and family prayer, if you are the head of a family. 3. Frequently to read the Scriptures, and meditate thereon. And,
4. To observe, as days of fasting or abstinence, all Fridays in the year.
Of the privileges granted to serious persons who are not of our church.
Quest. 1. How often shall we permit those who are not of our church to meet in class? Answ. At every other meeting of the class in every place, let no stranger be admitted. At other times they may; but the same person not above twice or thrice.
Quest. 2. How often shall we permit strangers to be present at our love feasts?
Answ. Let them be admitted with the utmost caution; and the same person on no account above twice or thrice, unless he be come a member.
Quest. 1. Do we observe any evil which has prevailed in our church with respect to marriage?
Answ. Many of our members have married with unawakened persons. This has produced bad effects; they have been either hindered for life, or have turned back to perdition.
Quest. 2. What can be done to discourage this?
Answ. 1. Let every preacher publicly enforce the apostle's caution, "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers," 2 Cor. vi, 14.
2. Let him declare, whoever does this will De put back on trial for six months.
3. When any such is put back on trial, let a suitable exhortation be subjoined.
4. Let all be exhorted to take no step in so weighty a matter, without advising with the most serious of their brethren.
Quest. 3. Ought any woman to marry without the consent of her parents?
Answ. In general she ought not. Yet there may be exceptions. For if, 1. A woman believe it to be her duty to marry if, 2. Her parents absolutely refuse to let her marry any Christian: then she may, nay, ought to marry without their consent. Yet even then a Methodist preacher ought not to be married to her.
We do not prohibit our people from marrying persons who are not of our church, provided such persons have the form, and are seeking the power of godliness; but we are determined to discourage their marrying persons who do not come up to this description. And even in a doubtful case, the member shall be put back on trial
Quest. Should we insist on the rules concerning dress?
Answ. By all means. This is no time to give any encouragement to superfluity of apparel. Therefore give no tickets to any till they have left off superfluous ornaments. In order to this, 1. Let every one who has the
charge of a circuit, read the thoughts upon dress, at least once a year in every large society. 2. In visiting the classes, be very mild, but very strict. 3. Allow of no exempt case better one suffer than many. 4. Give no tickets to any that wear high heads, enormous bonnets, ruffles, or rings.
Of bringing to trial, finding guilty, and reproving, suspending, or excluding, disorderly persons from society and church privileges.
Quest. How shall an accused member be brought to trial?
Answ. 1. Before the society of which he is a member, or a select number of them, in the presence of a bishop, elder, deacon, or preacher, in the following manner: Let the accused and accuser be brought face to face; but if this cannot be done, let the next best evidence be procured. If the accused person be found guilty by the decision of a majority of the members before whom he is brought to trial, and the crime be such as is expressly forbidden by the word of God, sufficient to exclude a person from the kingdom of grace and glory, let the minister or preacher who has the charge of the circuit, expel him. If the accused person evade a
trial, by absenting himself, after sufficient notice given him, and the circumstances of the accusation be strong and presumptive, let him be esteemed as guilty, and be accordingly excluded.-Witnesses from without shall not be rejected.
2. But in cases of neglect of duties of any kind, imprudent conduct, indulging sinful tempers or words, or disobedience to the order and discipline of the church: First, let private reproof be given by a preacher or leader; and if there be an acknowledgment of the fault, and proper humiliation, the person may be borne with. On a second offence, the preacher or leader may take one or two faithful friends. On a third offence, let the case be brought before the society, or a select number, and if there be no sign of real humiliation, the offender must be cut off.
3. If a member of our church shall be clearly convicted of endeavouring to sow dissensions in any of our societies, by inveighing against either our doctrines or discipline, such person so offending, shall be first reproved by the senior minister or preacher of his circuit, and, if he persist in such pernicious practices, he shall be expelled from the
4. Nevertheless, if in any of the abovementioned cases the minister or preacher