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The Genius and Theory of Methodist Polity, or the Machinery of Methodism.
Practically Illustrated through a Series of Questions and Answers:

Electronic Edition.

Turner, Henry McNeal, 1834-1915

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(title page) The Genius and Theory of Methodist Polity, or the Machinery of Methodism. Practically Illustrated through a Series of Questions and Answers.
Bishop H. M. Turner, D.D., LL.D.
xii, 318 p.
Publication Department, A. M. E. Church
Call number 287.8 T947G (Divinity School Library, Duke University Libraries)

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Library of Congress Subject Headings, 21st edition, 1998

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Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1885, by
In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.


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        IN consideration of the possible union of the A. M. E. Church and the A. M. E. Zion Church*

        * The reason the organization and government of the A. M. E. Z. Church is not treated and quoted more largely in this book, is because we were told that that Church had nothing in print bearing upon it. Since, however, we learn Bishop Moore had written such a work some years ago. Sorry we did not know of it; if we can procure it, we hope to supplement this book with the organization and mode of operation of our sister church in the near future.

--committees having been appointed by the respective bodies at their late General Conferences to meet and treat with a view to the accomplishment of that much-desired result--also, being apprized of the general anxiety for such a union, both among the ministry and laity of the two denominations, and believing that the consummation is only a question of the near future, is my only apology for dedicating this little work to the BISHOPS AND MINISTRY of these two leading branches of AFRICAN METHODISM. Should they find anything in the same that will enable them to make their ministry more effective, I shall be grateful to the GIVER OF ALL GOOD. This little work is by no means what I intended to make it, but if I find this to be profitable, I shall, the Lord willing, enlarge and amplify it, and at the same time treat other phases of our common Methodism not reached in the present writings.


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        Methodist Polity, having been unanimously adopted by the General Conference of the A. M. E. Church, in its session of May, 1888, on motion of Rev. John T. Jenifer, D.D., and made a guide book for the ministry and laity in said church, and given the sanction of authority by the same, it is just and proper that I should say that the first and second chapters were written in their entirety since the General Conference adopted the book. The author is, therefore, wholly responsible for the contents of these two chapters. The other modifications and enlargements, which were made at the time of revision, were indicated in the first edition, and present no new aspects except what may appear so in their amplifications. Thus the contents are the same except the first and second chapters.


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        THE following pages are intended to supply a want long felt among the neophyte ministry and laity of our church. Even college training seldom, if ever, fits young men for practical work in the Methodist ministry. There is a qualification that comes only through years of experience--an ordeal of toil and hard labor which is indispensable to an effective ministry; and a ministry that is void of effectiveness is worthless to God and man. The young minister, therefore, who allows himself to be flattered into the idea that he is fitted for the pastorate because he happens to understand a little about the rules of college classicality, is laboring under a lamentable mistake, a mistake he may discover too late to remedy; the sooner, therefore, he rids himself of it the better for him and the people he may serve.

        This small work, which has been written at intervals, or at spare times, will be found wanting occasionally in both connection and symmetry; repetitions of questions and answers will doubtless be found. But I am sure the reader will be charitable when he discovers them, in consideration of the fact that the book has been written while thousands of other duties engaged attention, and my travels were incessant. No one, therefore, could expect a regular line of thought pursued. The repetitions, however, in some instances, may

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serve to make the subject treated more transparent. I have endeavored also to avoid all technical terms and to use the simplest language, so that the laymen as well as the uneducated ministry could understand.

        In the preparation of this work I am greatly indebted to the voluminous works of Bishop McTyeire, Bishop Wayman, Bishop Baker, Bishop Simpson, Bishop Payne, Bishop Tanner, Dr. Whitehead's Life of Wesley, Life and Times of Bishop McKendree, Watson's Life of Wesley, Watson's Institutes and Dictionary of the Bible, Buck's Theological Dictionary, Appleton's Cyclopedia, Encyclopedia Britannica, Porter's Helps to Official Members, Haddan and Stubbs' Church History, Cutts' Turning Points in History, Clarke's Commentaries, Stevens' Church Polity, Mosheim's Church History, Waddington's Church History, Canon Wordsworth's Elements of the Church, Summers' Systematic Divinity, Southwell's What is the Church? Randall's Churchman, Eusebius' Ecclesiastical History, Gibbon's History of Rome, Hore's Eighteen Centuries of the Church, Dean Stanley's Christian Institution, Jahn's Biblical Archæology, Judge Henry and Bishop Harris' Ecclesiastical Law, Burton's Ecclesiastical History, Horne's Introduction to the Study of the Scriptures, Sherman's History of the Discipline, Smith's Bible Dictionary, Neander's Life of Christ, Disciplines of the A. M. E. Church, A. M. E. Z. Church, M. E. Church South, M. E. Church, General Conference Minutes and other minor works which I cannot recall at present.

        While many things in this small work may appear novel and somewhat odd to those who have not studied Methodism--for too few of our preachers have, and

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few of them would be willing to be tested by an examination--I am sure they will find nothing that conflicts with it in word or spirit.

        All I have endeavored to do in these pages was to bring out and set before the preachers and people the soul of operative Methodism, that fact which is far more important than the mere body. Methodism is as much a creature of a soul as its members, and till we reach its soul it can never reach our souls. I have also tried to define the duties of each functionary in the church, from the most subordinate to the most exalted; and to set forth the rights of our lay members, and to show that they are more than creatures of mere ministerial whims, to be kicked out of the church at pleasure, without charges, specifications, trials, time to prepare, and many other prerequisites to which no attention is frequently given. Few people are aware that it takes ten times the labor to turn a person out of the church it does to get him into it; that members have vested rights which cannot be trampled upon with impunity. Scores of ministers also have but little definite knowledge of the prerogatives that inhere in their respective positions; but if they will study this little work, I believe they will be prepared to comprehend them more clearly and discharge them more fully.

        Hoping the Great Head of the Church may make these pages a blessing to many now living and to others unborn,

I am, very truly


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Page 1




        1 Question. What is the church of Christ?

        Answer. The visible church of Christ is a congregation of faithful men, in which the pure word of God is preached, and the sacraments duly administered, according to Christ's ordinance, in all those things that of necessity are requisite to the same. (See 13 Art. Relig.)

        2 Q. What does the term "church" mean?

        A. Primarily, it means "the Lord's House" (), but ordinarily implies an organized body of Christian believers, observing the same rites and acknowledging the same ecclesiastical authority.

        3 Q. What is meant by "congregation"?

        A. An assembly of persons, especially an assembly of persons met for the worship of God, and for religious instruction.

        4 Q. What is a "sacrament"?

        A. A sacred ordinance enjoined by Christ, the Head of the Christian Church, to be observed by his followers, and which binds us to him anew--a rebinding.

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        5 Q. How many sacraments are there?

        A. Two, Baptism and the Lord's Supper, or, as it is more properly called, "The Holy Eucharist."

        6 Q. How does Baptism bind us to Christ anew?

        A. It is a public declaration that we have espoused the cause of Christ, and that our hearts are open to his grace and will, and that we will serve, honor and obey him all the days of our lives.

        7 Q. Do we enter into any covenant; if so, what?

        A. We covenant to "renounce the devil and all his works, the vain pomp and glory of the world, with all covetous desires of the same, and the carnal desires of the flesh, and that we will not follow, nor be led by them."

        8 Q. What is meant by "The Visible Church?"

        A. Organization, faith in Christ our Saviour, a living ministry, plans for its perpetuation and ordinances of divine service. The Church is visible as far only as it is seen by men; it is invisible as it is known by God.

        9 Q. Who are the members of the Visible Church?

        A. All who profess and call themselves Christians, having been baptized in the name of Christ, are members of the visible Church, but only those who are sincere believers are members of the invisible Church.

        10 Q. Is there an invisible church also?

        A. Yes; and all truly converted and regenerated persons are members of it; although in some instances they may not be members of the visible Church, such as infants and in some possible cases heathens.

        11 Q. Who constitute the invisible Church?

        A. Such as have "joy and peace in the Holy Ghost," and love their neighbors as they do themselves. The

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members of the invisible Church are those only whose names are written in heaven.

        12 Q. What other name is often used?

        A. It is sometimes referred to in works on theology as the "Church Mystical." The invisible church may be reckoned as the soul or vitalizing force of the visible church. The visible church is the body and the invisible church is the circulating power.

        13 Q. What do the visible and invisible church constitute?

        A. The church militant, or military church, which is engaged in constant warfare against the world, the flesh and the devil, and in that respect is distinguished from the "church triumphant."

        14 Q. What do you mean by "Church Triumphant?"

        A. The church triumphant is in heaven, and consists of those who have washed their robes and made them immaculate and pure "in the blood of the Lamb."

        15 Q. The church militant then is upon earth?

        A. Yes; and comprehends all Christian denominations; viz., Methodists, Presbyterians, Baptists, Congregationalists, Episcopalians and many others.

        16 Q. Do you mean to say that it takes all the church denominations of the world to constitute the "church militant?"

        A. I do. For all these so-called churches are only so many religious societies forming the "Church militant," which are recognized by Christ in the aggregate.

        17 Q. Is the visible church a unit in doctrine and Polity?

        A. No. The visible church is composed of many distinct organizations, which differ in Creeds, Articles of Faith, and opinions as to what the Bible teaches. But all must accept Jesus Christ as their Saviour before they can be recognized as a Christian body.

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        18 Q. What are the different forms of church government called, and why?

        A. Some are denominated Episcopal, because they are presided over by Bishops; others are said to be Presbyterial, because Presbyters are at the head of affairs; while still others are called Congregational, because the will of the congregation is the highest authority in them.

        19 Q. What number of persons is necessary in a congregation or assembly for the Worship of God?

        A. "Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst," says Jesus. Tertullian, who lived in the third century, the first man to oppose infant baptism, says, Three are sufficient to constitute a church, even though they be laymen.

        20 Q. What form of Church Government does the Bible prescribe?

        A. None whatever. Dr. Bangs says, "No specific form of church government is prescribed in the Scriptures, and therefore it is left to the discretion of the church to regulate these matters as the exigencies of time, place and circumstances shall dictate to be most expedient, and likely to accomplish the most good, always avoiding any and everything which God has forbidden." Bishop Tomline and Mr. Watson say the same. The Bible is a mere Code of sacred principles and virtues, which may be fermented by prayer and faith in God, and appropriated to our eternal salvation; but the mode of their application is left to the highest and purest judgment of the Church.

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        21 Q. Have we any evidence that God had a church on earth before the day of Pentecost?

        A. Yes; in the fact that he had a people before that day, who were organized for his service, with institutions of his own appointment. Abraham believed God's promise of a Saviour. Noah was a perfect man and a preacher of righteousness, and Job had faith in a Redeemer.

        22 Q. Where do we find the church before Christ, most beautifully and systematically organized, and its entire machinery given in detail?

        A. In the twenty-eighth chapter of Exodus; read it. The Bible calls this organization "the Church." (See Acts vii. 38.)

        23 Q. Where was this church located?

        A. "In the wilderness," and Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar were its ministers, and St. Paul says it had "ordinances of divine service and a worldly sanctuary." A sanctuary, of course, means a place in which to worship God in public; church houses are called sanctuaries at the present day.

        24 Q. Did Christ, while on earth, ever organize another church?

        A. No; He recognized and was a member of the church organized "in the wilderness." He read the Scriptures and taught in the synagogues on the Sabbath day, and in the Temple, whither the Jews resorted to worship. There were only two sacraments in the Jewish Church, circumcision and the Passover, and our Lord was circumcised in the Temple and partook of the Passover as God had ordained.

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        25. Q. How far back can we trace the church of which Christ was a member?

        A. About fifteen hundred years before the birth of John the Baptist, in Acts vii. 38, it is said there was a church in existence during the journey from Egypt to the promised land. The Israelites went out of Egypt about the year A.M. two thousand five hundred and fourteen, and John the Baptist was born about A.M. three thousand nine hundred and ninety-nine. Taking the former from the latter date, the exact difference is one thousand four hundred and ninety-two years.

        26 Q. What became of that church which existed so long before John the Baptist was born?

        A. It was carried into the promised land, where its members "desired to find a tabernacle for the God of Jacob." There Solomon built a house or temple for the Lord and consecrated it to His worship forever. And from there the word of the Lord radiated, emitting rays of the prophetic gospel into every land and among all people.

        27 Q. Was the Temple built for religious uses purely, or for civil and political purposes?

        A. When Jesus drove the traders out of it on one occasion, He said, "My house shall be called the house of prayer, but ye have made it a den of thieves." In this "house of prayer," which stood at Jerusalem, God's word was read and expounded and the sacraments (circumcision and the Passover) were duly administered; civil questions were frequently disposed of also.

        28 Q. Were Baptism and the Lord's Supper then recognized as sacraments in the Church; if they were not, why?

        A. No; because circumcision called for blood. God had said, "without the shedding of blood there is no

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remission of sins," and there is no blood-shedding in Baptism. The Lord's Supper could not have been of use, because the bread and wine used in it represented the broken body of our crucified Redeemer.

        29 Q. Was the consecration of Aaron and his sons to the ministry of the "church in the wilderness" the beginning of that church?

        A. No; it was only a more permanent organization and formal establishment of the visible affairs belonging to it. For there are some evidences of an organized Church among the Israelites while in Egypt. Note the following expressions: "Let us go and do sacrifice to the Lord." "We will go three days' journey into the wilderness and sacrifice to the Lord our God as he shall command us." "Let my people go, that they may hold a feast unto me in the wilderness." "Go and gather the elders of Israel together." All of these words were uttered while Israel was still in Egypt, and imply that there was organization among God's people long before the consecration of Aaron. The church as an organization is really first seen in Genesis iv. 3, 4. "It came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering." This evidently teaches us that God had an assembly or congregation of worshippers in the primitive days of man's existence upon the earth. The church of God is therefore without a date, in regard to its antiquity. To the promise given immediately after the fall of man, That the seed of the Woman shall bruise the serpent's head, may be traced the birth of the church of God.

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        30 Q. What conclusion may be drawn from the facts narrated and many more of a similar nature?

        A. That God has always had a people who worshipped and served him,--a Church, a ministry and "ordinances of divine service."

        31 Q. What was the first mode of church superintendency called? And why?

        A. Patriarchal--Because it obtained in an age in which the father of the family performed all the religious services for his household.

        32 Q. How long did this mode of church government exist?

        A. From Adam until the departure of the Israelites from Egypt.

        33 Q. What was the second period denominated? And why?

        A. The Levitical period or age--because the priests--sons of Levi--performed the rites of the church for all the people, as the Patriarchs had formerly done on a smaller scale. The church under the priesthood is sometimes called "The Hebrew church" and "The Jewish Church" and "The Israelitish Church."

        34 Q. What was the Church called in the third period of its history? And why?

        A. The Christian Church--Because some of the common people of Antioch gave the name Christian to all those who followed Christ, and his followers have gloried in the name for eighteen hundred years.

        35 Q. In the foregoing you stated that Christ was a member of the "Church in the wilderness," or, as it is often called, the Israelitish or Jewish Church. Did he recognize that church, especially after he was baptized by John?

        A. Yes. For it was the church of God still, although in our Saviour's time the ministry of that church had

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become exceedingly corrupt; yet He recognized them as having divine authority, and after this manner counselled His disciples, "The Scribes and the Pharisecs sit in Moses' seat: all, therefore, whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do, but do not after their works." Dr. Adam Clarke says, "Christ meant for His disciples to observe all things read out of the Law and prophets, and all things which the Scribes taught consistent therewith." Our Lord Jesus Christ did not come to destroy the Law and the prophets, but He came to purge the church of its impurities, idolatries, superstitions, corruptions, vices, and to reform and re-establish it; as well as through His crucifixion to fulfill His promised atonement, and leave with it the Holy Spirit, to reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of a judgment to come. And as Dr. Abel Stevens says, "To give the church a MORAL DISCIPLINE rather than any form of ecclesiastical government."



        36 Q. We have taken a meagre glance at the church of God, through the Patriarchal and Levitical dispensations; may we not with profit take a superficial survey of it under the Christian?

        A. We may with inestimable profit, I think, for no one is in a proper condition to appreciate and value his own church or denomination, unless he has some idea of its origin. While form, polity and regulations may be very beautiful and in some instances quite effective for

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good; yet, there is a historic prestige that mankind will ordinarily look for about a Christian Church or denomination.

        37 Q. Who is the Head of the Christian Church?

        A. Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

        38 Q. Was he always the Head of the Church of God?

        A. Yes. He is "a High-priest forever after the order of Melchizedek," who was without precession or succession,--just as Christ is "without beginning of days or end of years." The Head of the Church of God and Church of Christ is the same. Jesus says, "I and my Father are one," and again he says, "All that the Father hath are mine." "He is Head over all and blessed forever."

        39 Q. Can a church prosper if it be severed from its Head?

        A. It cannot. Jesus says, "As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine, no more can ye, except ye abide in me." Again He says, "Without me ye can do nothing." But the church is directed only by the Bible. Whatever is not written therein, nor proved thereby, is not required to be believed as an article of faith nor a matter of duty.

        40 Q. In taking our baptismal vows, we are asked if we "believe in the Holy Ghost, the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints," etc. What is meant by the Holy Catholic Church?

        A. The term Catholic is from a Greek word, which means general or universal, and comprehends all of the followers of Christ regardless of denominational titles or minor points of distinction--the church militant.

        41 Q. In what respect are we to regard this general church Holy?

        A. In respect to Christ Jesus its Head. Its Holy

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calling--Holy regeneration--Holy Baptismal vows and service--Holy offices performed in it--Holy lives required of its members,--and the inheritance, Holy and undefiled, which God has promised to its faithful members.

        42 Q. But suppose bad men, and basely wicked preachers should get into the church sometimes; would it still be the Holy Catholic Church?

        A. It would by all means. Such men, women and even preachers have mingled with it, in all ages; the most cruel human monsters have been found among its Bishops. "All are not Israel who are of Israel."

        The church is the Ark in which were clean and unclean animals,--the Holy City in which the Jebusites remained mixed with God's faithful people,--the apostolic company, in which was a Judas as well as Peter, James and John. St. Paul recognized the church at Corinth, although it contained persons "contentious, carnal, envious, fornicators, litigious and insubordinates."

        St. Paul, again, calls the Society at Galatia a church, though some of their number had relapsed into Judaism. The church of Pergamus contained Nicolaitans, that of Thyatira a Jezebel, and that of Laodicea was lukewarm; yet they were still churches. Jesus says, "Let the tares and the wheat grow together until the harvest."

        43 Q. Is it the duty of all persons to become members of the church; and if so, why?

        A. Yes; every person should be a church member who desires to be saved. God having instituted the church on earth, in which men are to receive the means of grace and salvation, and having neither revealed nor provided any other way than this, if we do not enter into the privileges of the church, we deny ourselves the blessings which help to a Christian life, and endanger

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our eternal happiness. The Bible represents the church as the "body of Christ;" again "His espoused;" again, "His Bride;" again, "His vineyard;" again, "The Kingdom of heaven;" again, "the pillar and ground of truth," and again, "the mother of us all."

        44 Q. You told us that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is the Head of the church, both under the old and new dispensations. Who were the Apostles?

        A. The twelve disciples whom Christ called and appointed to accompany him during His three years' ministry on earth. We might call them the twelve first preachers and teachers of the New Testament dispensation. True, Matthias, Paul and Barnabas were also called apostles, because of their contemporarity and intimate connection with the honored twelve; but no other deacon, elder or Bishop has ever assumed that title.

        45 Q. St. Paul speaks of a large number of church officials in his day; were they all to be permanent except the Apostles?

        A. We judge not, as the church has never attempted to keep them up by specific designation; yet, in a measure, most of them have been retained in one character and another.

        46 Q. Will you give us a list of the sacred offices mentioned by St. Paul?

        A. Yes. In 1 Cor. xii. 28, we have a minute catalogue. God hath set some in the church--1st, Apostles; 2d, prophets; 3d, teachers; 4th, after that miracles; 5th, gifts of healing; 6th, helps; 7th, Governments (or Governors); 8th, diversities of tongues. As Dr. Abel Stevens says, "We have here eight different sorts of spiritual men, and if we add the tenth verse, we will there find, 9th, discerning of spirits, and 10th, interpretation

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of tongues." (See also Eph. iv. 12, another classification.)

        47 Q. Since the days of the Apostles, it seems from all history, that ministers of almost every grade have been constituted or set apart by the imposition of hands and prayer; whence this custom and by what authority?

        A. The custom is very ancient. Jacob laid his hands upon the heads of Ephraim and Manasseh, and "blessed the lads." Jesus "laid his hands upon little children and blessed them." St. Paul says (2 Tim. i. 6), "Wherefore I put thee in remembrance, that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands." Grotius declares, in his learned history of the primitive church, that, "all the rulers and elders of the synagogue were ordained by the imposition of hands, from whence the custom was translated into Christianity." Dr. Abel Stevens says, "The titles of the church officers, among the first Christians, were borrowed from the synagogues," "And from the synagogues they derived the right of ordination by the imposition of hands." Again, Dr. Stevens says, "The office of Deacon, like that of Presbyter, was derived from the synagogue; three Deacons officiated in each synagogue." (Also see Dr. Adam Clarke on Acts vi. 4.) Dr. Clarke also says "the title of Bishop came from the synagogue."

        48 Q. Did not our Lord Jesus Christ ordain to the ministry while he was in the flesh upon earth?

        A. Yes; but it is doubtful whether the ordination which Christ performed was that of laying on hands. In Mark iii. 14, we read as follows, "And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach." But the word ordain in

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the Greek is epoiese, and in the Vulgate fecit, which means to make, appoint, choose. And our Lord uses the latter term in John vi. 70, where he says, "Have not I chosen you twelve and one of you is a devil?" Dr. Adam Clarke says, "Here is nothing of what we call ordaining; Christ simply appointed them to be with him." The learned Bishop Stillingfleet says, "Ordination of presbyters or elders is from the Jews; their priests were not ordained but succeeded by birth to office;" but the rulers and elders of the synagogue received ordination by the "imposition of hands." Thus it would appear that Christ ordained, no one while upon earth, beyond a call--a choice--a selection of such as he sent out to preach the Gospel.

        49 Q. Why did the apostles copy the models of the synagogue rather than the temple services and orders?

        A. Because the Temple and its Priests, with all its forms and services, were only typical, and were then passing away. Had the apostles essayed to follow the temple worship, with its washings, sacrifices, incense burnings, and things too numerous to mention, it would have been a positive declaration of their ignorance of Christ or their unbelief in His Messiahship.

        50 Q. Were not the Hebrew Priests ordained to their office, as ministers of the Gospel are, before entering upon duty; take for example a High Priest?

        A. They were consecrated, not ordained by imposition of hands. Their bodies were washed, sacred robes put upon them, a bullock was offered for a sin-offering, a ram for a burnt-offering, another ram for consecration, with their meat and drink-offerings. Part of the blood of the ram of consecration was sprinkled around the altar, and a part was put upon the right toe, thumb and ear, to

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signify that atonement was made for the whole man; and to consecrate him to the service of God, another part of the blood, mingled with anointing oil, was sprinkled on the above-mentioned extremities of his body and on his garments. After these ceremonies, which lasted for seven days, during which time the priest remained in the tabernacle or temple, a sin-offering to expiate former guilt, and a burnt-offering to procure acceptance, were offered for him. After thus being consecrated, they took the oversight of the tabernacle or temple. So you see it took seven days to consecrate a High Priest, while it takes but a short time to ordain an elder or Bishop. While we will examine the subject of ordination hereafter, we might say in this connection, the nearest service, among the Levitical Priests, that approaches to our ordination, was the anointing them with the sacred oil; but this was done when prophets and kings entered upon duty as well as the priests. The Church of England holds, that her Bishops, Priests and Deacons correspond to those of High Priests, Priests and Levites; while we hold that the Rulers, Elders and Deacons of the synagogues better answer to our Bishops, Elders and Deacons.


        51. Q. What advantages did the model of the synagogues give? Were they not built to represent the temple as much as possible?

        A. Yes. "But they found," says Richard Watson, "in the institution of the synagogues, a plan admirably adapted to the simplicity and purity of Christianity, and which was capable of being applied to the new dispensation.

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It secured the assembling of the people on the Sabbath, the reading of the Scriptures, the preaching of sermons and the offering of public prayers and thanksgivings. It provided, too, for the Government of the church by a council of elders ordained solemnly to their office by imposition of hands and prayer. It admitted of a presidency chosen by the others, which was necessary for order and unity, and by which age, piety and gifts might preserve their proper influence in the church. It was the first step of scriptural episcopacy to episcopacy in another form." And I may add that the synagogues were scattered in all directions, both among the Jews and Gentiles; they were often converted into Christian churches, and they had deacons, elders and rulers (answering to Bishops)--in short, the machinery of the synagogues was the nearest to that which Christianity proposed to run throughout the new dispensation.

        52 Q. What ordinance then did Christ institute in the Christian church, or the church of the new dispensation?

        A. The Holy Eucharist or the Lord's Supper, which he first instituted in the evening and at the close of the Passover Supper. He Baptized none, nor did he ordain after the manner of laying on of hands. He did, however, Baptize with fire and with the Holy Spirit, and ordain to the ministry by enduing them with power from on high.

        53 Q. We have noticed a few facts connected with apostolic times. Let us pass on to some Post-Apostolic events. At what date does the New Testament history close?

        A. About A.D. 63 or 64, as far as the Acts of the apostles is concerned. Some of the epistles, particularly those of Timothy and Titus, furnish a little historical

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information besides, which are supposed to have been written after the Acts of the Apostles--about 66 or 67 A.D.

        54 Q. What is the source of information about the church after the apostolic times?

        A. The writings of profane historians and those Christians who were uninspired, known as the fathers, such as Josephus, Seutonius, Pliny, Eusebius, Justin, Jerome, Tertullian, Irenæus, Chrysostom, Ambrose, Hilary, Athanasius and other historians and divines.

        55 Q. What were the duties of deacons in the primitive church?

        A. At first, they were a sort of stewards, whose duty it was to wait upon the poor of the church, but afterwards they became helpers in the ministry--assistant ministers--known as "holy functionaries."

        56 Q. What were the duties of Elders?

        A. To perform all the functions of the ministry.

        57 Q. What were the duties of Bishops?

        A. They were, in a measure, the overseers, overlookers or superintendents of the church--presiding over the elders and directing them in their labors. At the first councils of the apostles the presiding officer was called a Bishop. Mr. Watson says, "At a very early period, probably from the time of the apostles themselves, a distinction arose between Bishops and presbyters" (elders) yet, the term appears to have been used interchangeably at times.

        58 Q. Who first obtained the title of Bishop?

        A. James the Less, if we except Christ, who is called, "The shepherd and Bishop of our souls."

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        59 Q. Were females permitted to fill these offices?

        A. Women were appointed to the office of deacon, but not that of elder or Bishop, chiefly for the reason, some men think, that the itinerant system is not adapted to women. The objection to them being called to the higher ministry, is thought by great scholars to be more upon the ground of inexpediency than divine disfavor.

        60 Q. What were the forms of worship in the apostolic and post-apostolic periods?

        A. From all we can gather from history, about the same as now. They met upon the Sabbath or first day in the week--read the Scriptures--expounded and commented upon the same--sung--prayed--often shouted praises to God aloud--told their experience when convenient--in some instances confessed their faults to each other--made vows and pledges to live more devoted to Christ and closed with collections for the church or poor. I find that Amen has been used by Christians in all ages to express approval in time of worship, or to terminate religious service.

        61 Q. You said in the foregoing that a church must have the "pure word of God preached, and the sacraments duly administered, according to Christ's ordinance." What indispensable functionary must a "congregation" have to make it a church?

        A. A Pastor, or an ordained minister, who can preach the "pure word of God" and administer the sacraments.

        62 Q. Is the ordination of the minister an indispensable prerequisite?

        A. Yes, it has been so held in all the ages of the Christian Church, as we have said before. The Hebrew or Jewish priests were not ordained by the laying

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on of hands, because they were typical and temporary; but as the Gospel ministry is to be perpetual--coeval with the existence of man--a form of ordination, by the laying on of hands, is necessary for its transmission to future ages.

        63 Q. Do all Christian societies or bodies observe a form of ordination?

        A. All who are recognized as church denominations do. History records some religious bodies who tried to ignore this sacred form, but they were of short duration. The Quakers have no form of ordination to this day, however; but they are non-progressive.

        64 Q. Is there any such thing as a succession of ordinations back to the apostolic times?

        A. We think there is. Dr. Abel Stevens says: "There is a succession in a qualified sense." Mr. Watson says: "There can be no doubt of a Presbyterial (elders) succession, which runs back to the earliest ages."


        65 Q. What is meant by Apostolic succession?

        A. That there has been a regular chain of Bishops, from the days of the Apostles to the present, and whoever has not received ordination through this line has not received the seal of divine authority, and is therefore not a legitimate Christian minister--a doctrine or theory which cannot be proven by historic narration or catalogue. But that there has been a chain or a series of ordinations, amounting to a concatenation, through bishops, presbyters or elders, is quite evident. We may not be able to name each ordainer in succession, any more than we can name our fathers and mothers in

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succession to prove that we are not brutes; yet the fact of the church existing in all ages, and ordination being the universal rule, demonstrates the perpetuation of the ordination series.

        Ministerial succession and the succession claimed by the Roman Catholic Church, or the prelatical claim of the High-Church party of England, or the Protestant Episcopal High-Church party, are two different things, and those who confound them are either wanting in scholarship or cool and deliberate judgment. To deny ministerial succession is to assume that--well, say--the Methodist Church came from nowhere--no legitimate source; that it is a mere secular association. But to deny the High Church and Roman Catholic Church theory of a succession through a line of Bishops, and that all who have not received ordination from them are spurious and illegitimate, carries with it no such assumptions.

        66 Q. Does not the Roman Catholic Church claim her apostolic succession through her Popes?

        A. No; the Popes of Rome never ordain any one. They do not ordain the Bishops of their church. Popes themselves, Cardinals, Archbishops and such like church dignitaries are not ordained at all to their positions. They only have three orders--Deacon, Priest (elder) and Bishop. Therefore, they only claim apostolic succession through the Bishops--the same as the Greek Church, Coptic Church, Church of England and the Protestant Episcopal Church. Several Protestant divines and theologians have attempted to show that if there ever was any such thing as Apostolic succession in the Roman Catholic Church, the fact that so many of her

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Popes had been corrupt men, and the further fact that one was a woman, had broken the line and vitiated the entire chain of succession. But they were evidently ignorant of the fact that the succession is claimed to be through the Bishops, and not through the Popes. One Pope never knows who his successor will be, as the Cardinals never elect till the predecessor is dead; so that a dead Pope could hardly ordain a living Pope. That fact alone shows the illogicalness of such reasoning. That the Roman Catholic Church has a succession that runs back to near the times of primitive Christianity, or the primitive church, all persons acquainted with history will admit. But we deny her power to present historically an unbroken catalogue--succession, as she claims to have.

        67 Q. Did I understand you to say, there is no such thing as Apostolic succession, or an ordination, which has come down to the present time, through a chain of Bishops, from the Apostles?

        A. No; I would not dare say such a thing. I only said there was no historic catalogue of such a line or chain of Bishops. For example, like St. Matthew gives genealogically of the ancestry of our Lord Jesus Christ, in his first chapter, or St. Luke gives in the third chapter, or the learned Calmet gives of the Hebrew highpriests. The presumption of history is in favor of a succession. As Bishop Hooker says: "Rather than deny a ministerial succession by the imposition of hands, I had rather believe the succession passed beyond the Apostles to the Aaronic Priesthood," while the HighPriest was not really ordained. But no one upon the face of the globe knows about the truth of the theory of succession but God. History certainly does not

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record the links in such a chain. True, presbyterial ordination is quite ancient, and may be coeval with Episcopacy, although most of the presbyterial, as any historian will concede, has come from Episcopal dissenters or malcontents. While we are bound to grant that the Presbyterial form has accomplished much good in the salvation of men, I nevertheless believe the Episcopal form is more in unison with the divine plan. The great Ignatius, who lived one hundred years after the birth of Christ, says: "The Bishop, Presbyters (elders) and Deacons were appointed according to the will of God."

        68 Q. Does any church, that confers only one ordination, hold to Apostolic succession?

        A. Yes, the Presbyterian Church does, and a few others, but not on the Roman Catholic Church theory.

        69 Q. From whence did the African M. E. Church procure the right to ordain ministers of the Gospel?

        A. From the Church of England and the Protestant Episcopal Church of the United States.

        70 Q. How did she get it from the Church of England?

        A. Rev. John Wesley, A.M., a great and holy man, was a priest, presbyter, or elder in that church in England, and he and four or five other ministers of the same church, and of the same grade of ordination ordained Rev. Thomas Coke, LL.D., another minister of the same church and grade, a Bishop. And Bishop Coke came to the United States and he, with other ministers, ordained Rev. Francis Asbury, a man of great piety, also, a Bishop. And the said Bishop Asbury ordained to the ministry Rev. Richard Allen, also a good and faithful man. After many years of faithful service in the

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church, the said Rev. Richard Allen, with a number of other ministers and laymen founded the A. M. E. Church, and he was elected first Bishop of the same.

        71 Q. Did they rest his ordination to the Bishopric upon the mere ground that he was a minister of the Gospel and had been elected to the office of a Bishop?

        A. No. Several elders, assisted by Rev. Absalom Jones of the Protestant Episcopal Church ordained him a Bishop as Mr. Wesley and others had done Dr. Coke years before, by the imposition of hands and prayer, reading of the Scriptures, imposing obligations and administering to him the Lord's Supper.

        72 Q. Where did Rev. Absalom Jones receive his ordination? and what was his ministerial rank?

        A. He was ordained a priest by Bishop Wm. White, D.D., of the Protestant Episcopal Church, who had been ordained a Bishop, by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Primate of the church of England,--the same church from which Mr. Wesley received his ordination as a Priest.

        73 Q. What grade or form of ordination would that enable Bishop Allen to transmit to the A. M. E. Church?

        A. ECCLESIASTICAL EPISCOPACY, or to use the definition of Bishop Whittingham, "CONVENTIONAL EPISCOPACY." But I prefer the first definition, because Episcopal Methodists usually hold, that the strength of their Episcopacy is in the election of the person to be a Bishop, and not in the ordination, as it is presbyterial, and that no number of Presbyters or Elders can impart an ordination higher than they possess themselves. Therefore they hold that a Bishop with them is only primus inter pares,--a Presbyter Bishop.

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        74 Q. Is that the universal theory maintained by Episcopal Methodists?

        A. No. Many hold that the voice of the church in calling a man to the Bishopric, and giving him consecration amid vows and affirmations, imparts a rank, an order, which not only imposes more responsibilities, but a superior grade. There is as much authority found in the history of the primitive church for conceding a higher ecclesiastical order to the Bishop, as there is for conceding to the deacon any ministerial order at all.


        75 Q. You have quite satisfactorily shown, that the Methodist Episcopal Church, Methodist Episcopal Church South, and Methodists in general, received a presbyterial ordination from the English Church, which you call through the co-operation of election and ordination, "ECCLESIASTICAL EPISCOPACY." You have further shown, that the Protestant Episcopal Church received her ordination and organization from the Church of England, and that the African M. E. Church received a presbyterial ordination jointly from the Church of England and the Protestant Episcopal Church, which carries the entire claim of all Methodists back to the Church of England, for the right to ordain persons to the Christian ministry. Now from whence comes the church of England?

        A. This question will be hard to answer, for we have no definite history of its organization.

        76 Q. Did the church of England not shoot off from the Roman Catholic Church, in consequence of a rupture between Henry VIII., King of England, and Clement II., Pope of the Roman Catholic Church, because the Pope refused his consent to the divorce of Queen Catharine, of Aragon, his lawful wife, that the King might marry Anne Boleyn, her maid of honor?

        A. The Church of England took advantage of that rupture, to declare her independence from Papal Supremacy.

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But she had an existence which antedated that event by at least a thousand years.

        77 Q. Have you ever examined the history of the church of England from a Presbyterial as well as from an Episcopal standpoint?

        A. Yes, I have spent hundreds of dollars for books to examine this question, that I might ascertain what my ordination as a Deacon, Elder or Bishop was worth, for if it was worth nothing--came from nowhere--rested upon no foundation, I wanted to know it, so that I might stop humbugging the people. How could I dare to assume to be the pastor of a church, expect support and claim rights and prerogatives which the ordination imparts, when I possessed no more than the people I was pretending to serve? I would be a base impostor, a counterfeit, a cheat and a robber. Therefore, I have purchased histories, and the writings of several Fathers of the primitive church, and spent years in reading them to satisfy my conscience, to see whether or not I am an ordained minister of our Lord Jesus Christ.

        78 Q. What would be a summary of the history of the Church of England?

        A. I concur with the historian, Barrett, who says:

  • From the first to the seventh century she may be called 'The British Church,'" and was without the shadow of Romish influence.
  • From the seventh to the eleventh century she may be called the 'Anglo-Saxon Church.' This was not a new Church, but the British Church with a comparatively mild infusion of Romanism.
  • From the eleventh to the sixteenth century she may be called the 'Anglo-Romish Church.' This was
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    the same British Church, with a strong infusion of Romanism.

  • From the sixteenth to the nineteenth century she may be called 'The English Church,' which, like each of the other names, does not indicate a new Church, but only a new state, viz.: the state in which ancient British privileges had been resumed, by a thorough expulsion of Romanism in any form."

        This old historic Church has now branches in many lands, and through presbyterial ordination, it has denominational branches of many names and forms of religious service and worship.

        79 Q. What does he say about the ancient authorities?

        A. He says, "Many ancient authorities concur in the testimony that St. Paul himself preached in Britain about the year 60. In the second century the British Church was fully organized. In 314 three British Bishops were present at the Council of Arles. When Augustine, the first emissary of the Roman Church, came to England, A.D. 596, he found the British Church fully established with one Archbishop and seven Bishops."

        80 Q. What says that learned Methodist theologian, Rev. Richard Watson, about this church?

        A. He says, "When and by whom Christianity was first introduced into Britain, can not at this distance of time be exactly ascertained. Eusebius, indeed, positively declares that it was by the Apostles and the Disciples. Bishops Jewel and Stillingfleet, Dr. Cove and others, insist that it was St. Paul, and Baronius affirms, on the authority of an ancient manuscript in the Vatican library, that the gospel was planted in Britain by Simon

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Zelotes, the apostle, and Joseph of Arimathea, and that the latter came over A.D. 35, or about the twenty-first year of Tiberius, and died in this country [England]. According to Archbishop Usher the British Churches had a school of learning in the year A.D., 182, to provide them with proper teachers, and it appears that they flourished, without dependence on any foreign church, till the arrival of Austin the Monk, in the latter part of the sixth century." Mr. Watson further says, "Episcopacy was early established in this country, and it ought to be remembered to the honor of the British Bishops and clergy, that during several centuries they withstood the encroachments of the Romish Church."

        81 Q. What says Clement of Rome, and others of fame?

        A. He says, "But whether the British Church was planted by one of the Apostles, or by one of their immediate successors, it is certain, from the writings of the ancient fathers, Tertullian, Origen, Athanasius and others, that there were Christian Churches existing in Britain, so early as the second century, or within about a hundred years of the death of the last apostles." Mosheim, whose church history all denominations accept as authority, says, "We are assured by the most unexceptionable testimonies that Christ was worshipped as God, among the Germans, Spaniards, Celts, Britons and many other nations, but which of them received the Gospel in the first, and which in the second century, is a question unanswerable at this distance of time." Spence, in his "Equitable Jurisdiction," says, "So early as the second century, Tertullian at Carthage in Africa, could record the progress of Christianity in Britain, even beyond the bounds of the Roman conquest." Dr.

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Bright, the historian, says, "Between A.D. 196 and 201, places in Britain not yet visited by the Romans were subject to Christ." Origen, born in Alexandria, A.D. 185, says, "The power of our Lord and Saviour is both with those in Britain who are divided from our world," etc. Bright says, "The great Council of Arles, A.D. 314, shows among the Bishops present, the names of three from Britain." Haddan & Stubbs, vol. 1, page 7, give the names of these three English Bishops as "Eborius, Restitutus and Adelfius." Again, Constantine the Great in his "Letter to the Churches respecting the Council of Nice, A.D. 325, includes the Britons among those who accepted the ruling of this Council as to the calculation of Easter." Haddan & Stubbs, vol. 1, page 9, say, "In A.D. 359, three British Bishops took part in the Council of Ariminum." Again, Chrysostom, from A.D. 387 to A.D. 407, and Jerome, from A.D. 378 to A.D. 400, bear witness that there was settled, "a church in Britain, with churches, altars, Scriptures, discipline, holding the general faith, and having intercourse with both Rome and Palestine." But why continue to refer to these authorities? I have given them from historians and theologians of all church creeds and denominations. True, we could compose a book out of them alone, but why waste time and space, when, "out of the mouth of two or three witnesses, every word shall be established?" And no greater witnesses can be found on earth, than I have quoted to prove the existence of the British church, in the days or primitive Christianity, hundreds of years before the Roman Catholic Church ever thought about sending her monks there as missionaries. Thus history shows, that the Church of England came in a direct

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line from this old British Church, which had Bishops, Presbyters, Deacons, Church houses, Altars, prayers, songs, preaching, the sacraments, fast days, Easter services and synods or Councils as early, if not earlier than the church of Rome.


        82 Q. Well, you have shown that the British Church approaches the Apostolic age very closely; and you have shown it from authorities which the learned world would not dare to disrespect. Now, will you tell us at what time the Roman Catholic Church was sent into Britain, or England, if you choose that name?

        A. I will. Pope Gregory I., surnamed the Great, sent Augustine and forty monks (missionaries) there to convert the old Pagan Saxons, A.D. 596, which was the first entrance of the Romish Church into that territory. Let us here quote a little more history, which may throw some light upon the time and circumstances. The historian Edward Cutts, in his "Turning-Points of English History," says: "One day, as Gregory the Archdeacon was crossing the Forum in the city of Rome, he saw groups of slaves exposed for sale. One group of children attracted his attention,--their complexions were fair, eyes blue and hair flaxen. He asked from what country they came, and was told they were Angles. He said, 'They would not only be Angles, but Angels, if they were Christians.' He then asked, 'From what province do they come?' and was told they came from 'Deira' (now 'York'). 'Truly,' said he, 'they should be called de-ira (from the wrath of God), and brought to the mercy of Christ. And how is their king named?' said he. 'Aella,' was the reply. 'Yea,' said Gregory,

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'may Alleluias be sung there.' " These captive slaves were Saxon Pagan children of the conquering race, which had overrun England and driven the Britons into Wales and Cornwall. This good man Gregory became Pope Gregory the Great, A.D. 592. Remembering the Saxon captives, he determined to send missionaries there to convert the nation. The historian Bede, who was born A.D. 673, tells us "that in A.D. 596 Pope Gregory sent Augustine and forty monks to convert the Pagan Saxons."

        But without being tedious in quoting the exact words of history, suffice it to say, after many hardships and discouragements, Augustine with his monks landed on the Isle of Thanet in August, A.D. 596, and was kindly received by Ethelbert, the Saxon King of Kent. Says Bede: "In the year 603 (seven years after he landed), Augustine, with the aid of King Ethelbert, drew together a conference of the Bishops of the next province of the Britons, at a place which is called Augustine's Oak to this day, and proposed fraternal admonitions and unity with the Biships of Britain; that they all should preach the Gospel together to the Gentiles. But the British Biships answered that they could not depart from their ancient customs without the consent and leave of their people." This conference, therefore, failed; but a second one was appointed, to which seven of the Bishops of the Britons came, with a number of their most learned men. Here stood the representatives of the Church of Rome and the Ancient British Church, face to face, right in the very heart of England. The Ancient British Church, of which Tertullian, Origen, Athanasius, Hilary, Chrysostom and Jerome had written. But the union sought by Augustine was not

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effected, nor was it ever, by the consent of the British Church.

        Sir William Blackstone, in his Commentaries, says: "The Ancient British Church, by whomsoever planted, was a stranger to the Church of Rome and all its pretended authorities." Haddan and Stubbs, Vol. I., tell us, "that while Paulinus, a missionary appointed by Augustine (after he failed to unite with the British Ancient Church), is said to have baptized in Northumbria as many as ten thousand persons a day, and planted the Romish Church in four of the seven Saxon kingdoms, yet, in fifty years, it had passed away. The work of Augustine had been fruitless of permanent results everywhere save in Kent."

        83 Q. Thank you for the historic accounts of the entrance of the Romish Church into England, and for some of the details of its representatives meeting with the British bishops. Will you now give me a brief sketch of the later career of the British Church?

        A. I will; but it must be brief, indeed, as we have consumed so much space upon the existence of the British Church prior to the arrival of Augustine and his forty missionaries in England. Nevertheless, I have scarcely touched the historic proofs that might be compiled sustaining the fact. Now, let me say, to trace the British Church, up through the hundred and fifty years' struggle with the Saxons, which terminated in the Saxon conquest, which Hume, Vol. I., describes so lucidly, and the Norman conquest under William the Conqueror in A.D. 1066, till King John surrendered his crown to the Pope of Rome in A.D. 1213, would require more space and time than we are able to give the subject.

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        Let me say, at this point, no one could properly realize the ordeal through which the old British Church had to pass, not fully acquainted with English history. It must be remembered that the dark ages have set in, and wars, revolutions and corruptions stalk abroad; one party succeeds another; the Britons, Saxons, Scots, Normans, Danes, Welsh, Romans, Popes, archbishops, cardinals, generals, admirals and many other mighty actors play prominent parts, and the church is sometimes on this side of the revolution, and sometimes on that. But the student of history will find the old British Church maintaining her individuality, though somewhat Romish at times, up till long after the Norman Conquest, notwithstanding the removal of all her bishops who supported King Harold after A.D. 1066. We see this Ancient Church in A.D. 729 dealing with the cycle of time. Again, in A.D. 809 she is accepting the same. Again, after the conquest of William of Normandy by the aid of Pope Alexander II., her Archbishop of Canterbury is removed from office. And thus the Church mixed with corruption, immorality in some instances, and some Romish vices, comes down the highway of centuries, till John the King of England takes off his crown, and hands it over to Pope Innocent III. in A.D. 1213. While I grant that the British Church and the Church of Rome made some terms of agreement in the ninth century, which compromised the original purity of the British Church, or we might call it at this period the Anglo-Saxon Church, yet I deny that history gives an instance where any Pope of Rome ever claimed England for the Church till after King John, who, in an unfortunate hour of military weakness, surrendered his crown

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to the Pontiff. The question now arises,--How long was the British or Anglo-Saxon Church absolutely under the Roman Catholic Church? We answer,--From A.D. 1213 until A.D. 1530; if we estimate from the revolt of King Henry VIII., it will be exactly 317 years. But as King Henry of England would not allow the reformers of the British Church to rid it of its Roman corruptions, and as he lived 17 years after his revolt, we owe it to the truth of history to add the 17 years to 317, which would make the entire time the British Church was a vassal of the Church of Rome 334 years.

        84 Q. But did not these 334 years' subjugation to the Roman Catholic Church blot out the original existence of the old British Church?

        A. No. For all the time she was subject to the church of Rome, history assures us, she was protesting against the corruptions of the Roman See, and trying to throw off the Roman yoke. Her Bishops in England refused to obey at least a score of orders which came from the Pope of Rome.

        85 Q. Was not her ministerial ordination vitiated or corrupted, while mixed with the Roman Catholic Church?

        A. No. For both churches claim apostolic succession any way. The Roman Church claims St. Peter for her founder, and the British Church claims St. Paul, so instead of weakening the claim, it doubles its strength, if there be any virtue in the theory at all.

        86 Q. But since the English Church was, as you affirm, restored at the reformation, can we say that she could have been properly called a church while she was infected with so many papal corruptions as she was before it?

        A. Yes; under Popery she was a church, although in

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an error by reason of enforced obedience or subjection by civil authority. The Israelitish Church remained a church even under Ahab. The Jewish Church still existed under the Pharisees and Scribes. The Ark of God was still the Ark of God, even when in the hands of the Philistines, and the vessels of the Temple were holy even at Babylon. The English Church was as much the old English Church after she was reformed as Naaman was Naaman after he had washed in the river Jordan and been healed.

        87 Q. Did any sovereign of England ever protest against the church of Rome before King Henry VIII. got mad at the Pope and threw off his civil authority?

        A. Yes; Egfrid, king of Northumberland; King Alfred, his successor; King Edward, the Confessor; King Henry I., and several other sovereigns.

        88 Q. But did not King Henry VIII. bring about the revolution which freed the English Church from Roman Catholicism for corrupt purposes?

        A. Yes; for a most base purpose. So was the Temple of Solomon built by cedars of Lebanon hewn by workmen of heathen Tyre. Jehu did not please God, the Bible informs us, but his reformation did. Nebuchadnezzar was idolatrous, but his edict for the services of God was religious. The bloody and cruel Herod repaired the Temple; but Jesus Christ, the Son of God, preached in it. The colored race was freed as a war measure, but they accepted freedom as a Divine providence

        89 Q. Now what do you claim for the African M. E. Church, through this old British Church, which you say has come down to us through all these centuries of years?

        A. I claim for the A. M. E. Church just what the

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Presbyterian, Moravian and the Reformed Dutch Churches do through other channels, that we have a consecutive chain of ordinations back to the primitive days of the Christian Church.

        90 Q. What? Do you mean a line of orders, through a succession of Bishops, back through the English Church, then the Anglo-Romish Church, then the Anglo-Saxon Church, and then the old British Church, up to the Apostles?

        A. No. I cannot say anything about the Apostles; nor do I claim a line of orders through prelatical Bishops, for the reason that I know better, as neither Mr. Wesley, Dr. Coke, Richard Allen, Absalom Jones, nor any of the founders of the Methodist Churches were Bishops; they were only Priests, Presbyters or Elders; but I do claim that through them, and the Church of England, the A. M. E. Church has a ministerial (Presbyterially) succession to the primitive days of the Christian Church, and that our right to ordain men to preach the Gospel, baptize, give the Communion, and pastor churches came from somewhere and not from nowhere. And thus the A. M. E. Connection is a Christian Church, and not a mere association of men and women, with no historic foundation or authority.

        I hold further, that our Episcopacy, consisting as it does of a call from the entire Connection and the consecration of its Bishops, amounts to ECCLESIASTICAL EPISCOPACY.

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        91 Q. When was the African M. E. Church organized?

        A. In the month of April, 1816.

        92 Q. By whom was it organized?

        A. Rev. Richard Allen and fifteen others.

        93 Q. Will you give me the names of the other fifteen?

        A. I will. Jacob Tapsico, Clayton Durham, James Champion, and Thomas Webster, of Philadelphia; Daniel Coker, Richard Williams, Henry Harden, Stephen Hill, Edward Williamson and Richard Gailliard, of Baltimore, Maryland; Peter Spencer, of Wilmington, Delaware; Jacob Marsh, Edward Jackson, and Wm. Andrews, of Attleborough, Pennsylvania; and Reuben Cuff, of Salem, New Jersey.

        94 Q. Why did these men organize a new church?

        A. Because they were treated unchristianly by their white brethren.

        95 Q. To what white brethren do you refer?

        A. To those of the Methodist Episcopal Church, of which they were members.

        96 Q. Will you tell me in what that unchristian treatment consisted?

        A. In pulling them from their knees while at prayer, forcing them to back seats and in the gallery, and using abusive language to them.

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        97 Q. What was the result of this treatment?

        A. It led to them building a church, where they could worship God unmolested.

        98 Q. What church was built?

        A. Bethel Church in Philadelphia.

        99 Q. Did they really build a new house?

        A. No; they purchased a blacksmith shop and removed it to their lot on Sixth street near Lombard street.

        100 Q. When did this transaction occur?

        A. In the year 1787, the lot was bought, and the house was built in 1793.

        101 Q. What were they doing from 1787 up to 1816, when they permanently organized?

        A. They were contending for their religious rights.

        102 Q. Did God raise them up any friends from among the white people?

        A. He did, namely, Dr. Benjamin Rush, R. Ralston, Wm. McKean, Richard Mosely, Jupiter Gibson and Bishop White, of the Protestant Episcopal Church.

        103 Q. Who was elected and ordained the first Bishop of the A. M. E. Church?

        A. Rev. Richard Allen, a good and great man, who had been ordained to the Christian ministry seventeen years before, by Bishop Francis Asbury of the M. E. Church.

        104 Q. When was Richard Allen consecrated a Bishop?

        A. April 11th, 1816.

        105 Q. Did Bishop White ordain Rev. Richard Allen a Bishop?

        A. No; I wish it had been possible, but Bishop Allen was ordained to the Episcopacy by five regularly-ordained ministers, among whom was Rev. Absalom Jones.

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        106 Q. Who was Absalom Jones?

        A. A priest of the Protestant Episcopal Church, who had been ordained by Bishop White.

        107 Q. What does tradition say about him?

        A. Tradition says that Jones bore the greetings of Bishop White, and assisted in this ordination by Bishop White's consent.

        108 Q. What does this establish?

        A. That our ordination is not bogus, and connects the A. M. E. Church with historic Christianity.

        109 Q. Do you mean that the ordiantion of the A. M. E. Church is Episcopally historic?

        A. No. I mean that it is Presbyterially historic, or, in other words, that through the ordination of four Methodist ministers and Absalom Jones, a Priest of the Protestant Episcopal Church, Bishop Allen received a succession of hands, though through Priests, Presbyters, or elders, which gives his ordination the stamp of primitive Christianity, and made him, through the call of the entire church an ECCLESIASTICAL BISHOP, though not prelatically apostolical.

        110 Q. Do we find anything in history about the creation of a Presbyter-Bishop?

        A. Yes. The Church in Alexandria made one by the imposition of the hands of elders, A.D. 246; and the great Reformer, Rev. Martin Luther, D. D., with three others, ordained Nicolas Amsdorf a Bishop, January 20, A.D. 1542. Archbishop Usher tells us it was successively done in olden times; and Mr. Wesley and three others ordained Dr. Thomas Coke a Bishop September 10, A.D. 1784. According to Archbishop Usher, the status of the Bishop of Alexandria was never questioned by the church or his Episcopal colleagues.

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        111 Q. Is historic ordination either Episcopally or Presbyterially essential to the establishment of a Christian Church?

        A. It is so held by all Christian denominations that amount to a Church.

        112 Q. Is that held as a cardinal postulate in the A. M. E. Church?

        A. Yes; for it will not allow even preachers who are not ordanied to baptize, marry or consecrate the Lord's supper. If they do, they are expelled from the church for it; as guilty of sacrilege. Proper and legitimate ordination is held by the A. M. E. Church to be a Divine rite or ordinance, and any attempt upon the part of an unordained person to exercise its prerogatives, is a desecration of the sacred rite.

        113 Q. Has the ordination of the A. M. E. Church ever been strengthened or augmented since the consecration of Bishop Allen to the Episcopacy?

        A. Yes, considerably strengthened. Ministers in full orders have united with the A. M. E. Church from the Presbyterian, Lutheran, Congregational, Episcopal, and Baptist Churches, as well as from all branches of Methodism; and they in turn have helped, by the imposition of hands, to ordain our Bishops and Elders. So that, if the A. M. E. Church had started with a bogus ordination (Presbyterially), it would have been as genuine as any by this time, as it is in possession of the ordinations of all the leading churches of the land.

        114 Q. Then ordination is not regarded in the A. M. E. Church as a sacrament?

        A. By no means. The Church of Rome, however, holds that it is a sacrament; but Methodists simply maintain that it is a divine rite or ordinance, which imposes sacred obligations, equally as binding as sacramental

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vows; for, until ordination is conferred, the preacher cannot administer the Holy Sacraments. While ordination is not a sacrament, it is an indispensable prerequisite to the administration of the sacraments.



        115 Q. What is meant by Conference in Methodist government?

        A. A formal meeting of ministers and members to do church business.

        116 Q. What are like assemblies called in other churches?

        A. Synods, conventions, associations, councils, presbyteries, etc.

        117 Q. How many kinds of conferences does your church hold?

        A. Five, the General Conference, Annual Conference, District Conference, Quarterly Conference, and Church Conference.

        118 Q. Which of these conferences possesses the highest powers?

        A. The General Conference, which meets every four years.

        119 Q. What are the powers of this conference?

        A. It has full power to make rules, regulations and modifications under certain limitations and restrictions.

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        120 Q. Can any of the other conferences make laws?

        A. Yes; provided they do not conflict with those made by the General Conference.

        121 Q. How far would the laws made by other conferences be recognized?

        A. Only to the extent of the membership or bounds of the conference that made the laws.

        122 Q. Who compose the General Conference?

        A. All the bishops, general officers, ministerial and lay delegates elected by the several annual conferences and electoral colleges. General officers were deprived of membership by the General Conference of 1888, by a mere resolution; but according to the usages of Methodism, a two-thirds vote of all the Annual Conferences was necessary. Therefore they are really members yet.

        123 Q. How are the delegates elected?

        A. The ministers of each Annual Conference elect one representative for every twenty of their number, while each official board within the bounds of an Annual Conference sends one of its number to compose an electoral college, and they elect two laymen to represent the laity in the General Conference.

        124 Q. When did the General Conference become a delegated body?

        A. In May, 1868, at its session in Washington, D. C., both ministerial and lay delegates were provided for. Prior to that time the General Conference was composed of all the ministers who had been traveling six consecutive years.

        125 Q. How long does a session of the General Conference last?

        A. Generally about three weeks. However, there is no limit to the time.

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        126 Q. What class of men should compose the General Conference?

        A. Men of sound piety, rarely those who have not had at least ten years' experience, with good common sense, and who love the church.

        127 Q. Do the lay and ministerial delegates deliberate together or separately?

        A. Together. They act as one body. Other Episcopal Methodists sometimes divide the ministerial and lay delegates when an important issue is pending; yet, no measure can pass without the concurrence of both wings of their General Conference. We may have to come to the same mode of deliberation, but no special need has yet been developed.

Limitations and Restrictions.

        128 Q. What are the "limitations" called under which the General Conference makes laws and regulations?

        A. The Restrictive Rules. They are very few, but are intended to put the vital interests of the church beyond the reach of extraordinary and impassioned legislation.

        129 Q. How could a change or modification be made on any subject protected by the Restrictive Rules?

        A. Really there is no provision made for that at all, except the 5th restriction, which may be altered by a two-thirds vote of the General Conference. As for the other restrictions, I see no way to legally alter them without the consent of every man, woman and baptized child in the church. Nevertheless, a two-thirds vote of the General Conference, all the Annual

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Conferences, and all the churches might be recognized.

        130 Q. What is the purpose of these constitutional limitations and restrictions?

        A. To give stability to the church and its doctrines. Where a change is so difficult to make, it will not be made unless the wisdom and necessity of it are very plainly seen.

        131 Q. Could our Articles of Religion and standards of theology be altered or revoked at all?

        A. They could not legally without the unanimous consent of the entire connection.

        132 Q. Is there any veto power provided to intercept rash, imprudent and prejudicial legislation by the General Conference?

        A. No, there is none; yet, the necessity of such an inhibition is seen and felt, especially in recent years.

        133 Q. Why did not the great founders and organizers of Methodism provide for such a contingency?

        A. Because they were pious and holy men, and it did not enter their minds that men would rise up and try to run the Church of God as a political club.

        134 Q. What remedy has been suggested?

        A. Several, but we will only name a few: 1st, that the unanimous disapproval of the Board of Bishops to any measure passed, after three days' meditation, should serve as a veto. 2d, that the Board of Bishops and all the general officers should constitute an upper house, and no measure should become a law until it passed both houses. 3d, that the Board of Bishops and one elder elected from each episcopal district should constitute an upper house, and no measure should become

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law till it received the majority approval of this also. 4th, that one delegate at large should be elected by each Annual Conference, and they should form a church senate--rather, be to the church what the United States Senate is to the nation.

        135 Q. Is it likely that the General Conference of the A. M. E. Church will be converted into two bodies?

        A. No, not for the present at least, but fears are entertained that the time will come, owing to the rapid growth of the church, when either a double legislative house will be called for, or the power to veto hasty legislation demanded.

        136 Q. When does a new law enacted by the General Conference, or any change, modification or alteration become binding upon the ministry and members of the church?

        A. Legally speaking, not till they are all codified and printed in the Discipline, which is alone binding, unless the Bishop should announce the same in advance of their publication, and then they would not be of force without being announced through the proper organ of the church.

        137 Q. Suppose, when the Discipline is compiled, one portion or provision of a law should contradict or appear to contradict another, what would be the remedy?

        A. The General Conference of 1872, which held its session in Nashville, Tennessee, made provision for such a contingency by authorizing the Board of Bishops to give such an interpretation of said law as would perpetuate the running machinery of the church till the next session of the General Conference.

        138 Q. Does the General Conference, which meets only once in four years, always find it necessary to make new rules and regulations?

        A. Yes. The cause of Education, Missions, Book

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Department, Finance, Sabbath-Schools, and the election of general officers, sometimes Bishops, creation of new Annual Conferences, and the adjustment of the church to the times, all require new legislation and regulations to be made once in four years, to meet the growing want of the church.

        139 Q. In what form does the General Conference publish its laws?

        A. In a book called "The Discipline," which every member of the church should purchase, read and study. It stands in importance next to the Holy Scriptures themselves.

        140 Q. Does the General Conference always carefully consider and weigh all questions presented to it, before taking action upon them pro or con?

        A. No. The cultured and thoughtful men of the church can seldom have an opportunity to consider questions as the fathers did. We hope, however, a reformation is just ahead of us. Cool deliberation is rather wanting of late years.

        141 Q. Who presides over the General Conference?

        A. The Bishops, from day to day, as their seniority entitles them to the Chair. The General Conference opens with the oldest or senior Bishop in the Chair, and then each takes his turn as his day arrives, grading his right to the Chair by the date of election.

        142 Q. If one General Conference enacts a law, can another repeal it?

        A. No. Civil law-making bodies repeal; ecclesiastical bodies let the old laws, or rules, simply drop into disuse. No church law-making body, with any sense or experience, will attempt to repeal.

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        143 Question. What is an Annual Conference?

        Answer. The ministers occupying a certain territory, organized into an ecclesiastical body, for the purpose of transacting the business of that division of the church.

        144 Q. How are the Annual Conferences bounded?

        A. Sometimes by State lines, and sometimes by natural lines, for the convenience of the work. Large States may be divided into two or more conferences, while the New England States compose but one Annual Conference.

        145 Q. Who compose an Annual Conference?

        A. All the traveling ministers and preachers within its limits, and such local preachers as have conformed to the rules granting them admission.

        146 Q. Are Annual Conferences equally divided in ministerial and lay members?

        A. No. An Annual Conference may be composed of twenty ministers, or it may have three hundred; and the same liberty prevails with the laity. There is no definite number in either case.

        147 Q. How are names for these conferences derived?

        A. In some instances from States, as the Ohio and North Carolina Conferences, and sometimes from cities, as the Baltimore and Philadelphia Conferences.

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        148 Q. How often does an Annual Conference meet?

        A. As the name implies--once a year. They are sometimes called yearly conferences.

        149 Q. How is an Annual Conference subdivided?

        A. Into District Conferences, according to the number of Presiding Elders.

        150 Q. How is a District Conference subdivided?

        A. Into Quarterly Conferences, according to the number of circuits and stations.

        151 Q. What is the principal business of an Annual Conference when in session?

        A. To admit candidates for the pastoral work on trial; receive reports of pastors for the year's work; receive ministers into full connection who have served an acceptable probation; examine into the moral, religious and official character of all its members; to try, acquit, censure, suspend or expel such as are guilty of a crime or misconduct, or of disseminating false doctrine; examine into the qualifications of candidates for deacon's and elder's orders, and elect the same, provided they have completed the course of study. Also, to promote the work of Sabbath-schools, missions, education, church publications, temperance and equity, within its bounds, and to gather and distribute funds for the relief of worn-out ministers, their widows, orphans, and decent interments; and, finally, for the Bishop to appoint the ministers to their fields of labor for another year.

        152 Q. What is the length of an Annual Conference session?

        A. The law requires it to sit at least a week.

        153 Q. Who is the presiding officer?

        A. A Bishop; in case no Bishop is present, it is

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proper for the senior Presiding Elder to call the house to order, conduct religious services, and hear a motion for a presiding officer till the Bishop arrives.

        154 Q. Suppose no Bishop should put in an appearance during the conference session?

        A. Then the president of the conference would proceed with everything except ordinations; candidates for orders may be elected, but he cannot ordain them. He may make out the appointments with the Presiding Elders, and adjourn the session. But modesty would suggest the widsom of the president returning to the appointment he served the previous year, and await the pleasure of the Bishop.

        155 Q. By whom is the place of meeting selected?

        A. By the Annual Conference.

        156 Q. Who fixes the time of meeting?

        A. The presiding Bishop.

        157 Q. Are preachers who are on trial members of the Annual Conference?

        A. They are not. Preachers on trial may speak, but cannot vote without permission, except as to where conference shall meet; they vote then by right of custom.

        158 Q. How long is a preacher kept on probation?

        A. Not less than two years; but the time may be extended indefinitely.

        159 Q. What is the object of probation?

        A. To try and prove the candidate by such experimental tests as will satisfy the conference that he is a suitable person to be placed in charge of churches and souls. Should the conference not be satisfied in two years, the time may be extended.

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        160 Q. When a minister in orders comes from another church and is admitted into the Annual Conference, is he on the same trial as a regular probationer?

        A. A minister thus coming and qualifying by taking our ordination vows has all the rights the other ministers enjoy; yet, he is naturally on trial for two years; this trial is a mutual one; the conference tries him and he tries the conference, so as to see if he can conform to its rules and regulations. As to his right to vote on questions before the conference, our Bishops differ in their interpretations of the law. Some say he may, others that he cannot. I think he can vote unless objections are made. Then it would devolve upon the conference to grant or deny him the privilege, or to say how far they would limit him in the exercise of his franchise.

        161 Q. Can a minister on probation vote for delegates to the General Conference?

        A. They did until the General Conference of 1888, which deprived them of that privilege. There was no specific law for it, however, but they did so by the grant of the Annual Conferences. They can do so no more, however.


        162 Q. Who determines the number and boundaries of the Annual Conference?

        A. The General Conference, the highest judicatory.

        163 Q. What provision is made for the supervision of Annual Conferences?

        A. Among others, this: Every Annual Conference must keep a record of its proceedings; said record must be signed by the presiding Bishop and the Secretary, and a copy of the same be sent up to the General Conference which meets quadrennially.

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        164 Q. What disposition is made of these journals there?

        A. A committee appointed by the General Conference should examine them and report any irregularity that may appear, and thus uniformity of procedure and administration be perpetuated.

        165 Q. Can an Annual Conference overrule the decision of a Bishop?

        A. No. Not when he decides a law point, but in the general business of an Annual Conference the WILL of the conference is supreme. The Bishop has no power to tell the members how to vote, or threaten, or punish ministers for not voting as he may desire. Still, the Bishop must guard all law points, and compel the conference to respect every part of the Discipline.

        166 Q. Can an Annual Conference vote a man to membership against the will of a Bishop and compel him to give the objectionable man work?

        A. By no means, unless the candidate meet every requirement of the law. 1st. He must have mastered all the studies laid down in the lists of prerequisites. 2d. He must have all the moral, religious and official requirements the law demands. Then if the Bishop refuses him recognition, he can appeal to the Bishops' Council or General Conference, and have the Bishop overruled.

        167 Q. When a motion is made and seconded, can a Bishop rule it out in an Annual Conference?

        A. He can, provided it is in contravention of law. But he must state the law upon which he bases his objections to the resolution. He cannot rule it out, however, because he disapproves of the measure.

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        168 Q. Is a Bishop required to write all his legal decisions given in an Annual Conference?

        A. He is by order of the General Conference of 1872. This does not include every little parliamentary decision, however, nor the general running work of the conference, for then there would be no end to them.

        169 Q. Is there not a similarity between the government of an Annual Conference and that of the United States?

        A. There is. The President of the United States has a veto power, so as to protect the Constitution, and the Bishop has a veto power in an Annual Conference, so as to protect the Discipline.

        170 Q. Am I to understand that an Annual Conference is devoid of judicial powers?

        A. By no means. It has them to the extent of determining the guilt or innocence of its members, and such as can appeal to it under the law. But it has no power to construe, interpret or define the provisions of the Discipline as such. That right vests only in the Bishops in the interval of the General Conference.

        171 Q. Cannot an Annual Conference legislate and adjudicate its matters and business in harmony with the Discipline?

        A. Most certainly; that is what it must do, but at the same time the final exposition of the law is with the Bishop, the same as with the Presiding Elder in Quarterly Conference, or a pastor in his official board. If it were otherwise these functionaries could not be held responsible for allowing matters to go wrongly.

        172 Q. Does history show that the Church in any age has ever patterned after the Civil Governments of the land?

        A. No. Governments in many instances have patterned

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after the church. But in the trial of members, the forms of civil trials are accepted, where no specific church law, exist. The Bishop, Presiding Elder and Pastor, under such circumstances act as a civil judge.



        173 Q. What is a district?

        A. It is a portion of the territory of an Annual Conference, a dozen or more circuits, stations or missions.

        174 Q. What is a circuit?

        A. It is a collective term, implying several churches or charges under one minister, who has the spiritual oversight of them, he being in charge of them all, goes round among them, and is often denominated circuitrider.

        175 Q. Is there any Scriptural precedent for circuit traveling?

        A. Yes. It is written of Samuel the prophet: "And he went from year to year in a circuit to Bethel and Gilgal and Mizpeh, and judged Israel in all those places, and his return was to Ramah."

        176 Q. What is the extent of a circuit?

        A. Circuits differ in size. In thinly inhabited regions a circuit may be one or two hundred miles around; in thickly settled regions, ten or fifteen miles.

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        177 Q. How long is a minister usually making the round of a circuit?

        A. There are two-week circuits, three-week circuits and four-week circuits; four weeks is the longest limit; circuit ministers should have mid-week services also.

        178 Q. Why, in some instances, have such large circuits?

        A. Because sometimes the laborers are few, and by this means people get the gospel who otherwise would not. And more, the Lord has ordained that those who preach the gospel shall live by the gospel, and the churches are often so poor that several of them must be joined together in order to support a pastor.

        179 Q. When is a circuit called a mission?

        A. When it is not self-supporting and has to be aided in part or wholly from the missionary funds in sustaining a pastor.

        180 Q. What is the difference between a circuit and a station?

        A. A station is where the pastoral charge consists of only one church. When two churches are so close together that a pastor can preach at both the same Sabbath, it is called a station also.

        181 Q. What church officer has the oversight of a district?

        A. The Presiding Elder.

        182 Q. Can a station or circuit pastor organize new work and enlarge his pastoral charge without the permission of the Presiding Elder?

        A. Of course he can, or without the permission of the Bishop; it is his business to extend the work.

        183 Q. Which has priority in rank, a station or a circuit?

        A. A circuit, by all means; circuits existed long before stations. The Wesleyans have no stations.

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        184 Q. What are the relative advantages of the two to the respective pastors?

        A. A. station is more conducive to learning, giving the pastor more time for study and meditation. But circuits are more conducive to spiritual and moral development.

        185 Q. Are there not ministers who are not fitted for both classes of charges?

        A. There are. A man who does not study regularly will wear out in any station in four or five months. Then there are other men who are good, but imprudent; I mean not cautious in their remarks, and will say things thoughtlessly that will work injury to themselves and the church; such men should always be traveling. There are others, again, who are not tidy in their dress, with clean collars, and head combed, etc. These may be religious men, but soon wear out in a station, while if they are on a circuit their constant travel will be an excuse for them.

        186 Q. Has not the station minister a better chance to cultivate his preaching powers?

        A. Not at all. The circuit minister can preach along the way, through the woods, over the hills, till, as it was said of Bishop Bascom, when he arrives at his appointment he is charged with thunder.


        187 Q. Who compose the District Conference?

        A. All the traveling ministers, local preachers and one steward from each Quarterly Conference within every Presiding Elder District. All except the preachers are elected prior to the meeting of the District Conference.

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        188 Q. When shall the District Conference meet?

        A. It meets at the call of the Presiding Elder, yet, if the assessment of the Presiding Elder has to be arranged for at the District Conference, it must be called within six weeks after the adjournment of the Annual Conference. Nevertheless, if the Presiding Elder finds it absolutely impossible to meet so early, he must adjust the call to possibilities. The Bishop, however, can call it to meet at any time.

        189 Q. Who determines the number and boundaries of the District Conference?

        A. The Annual Conference.

        190 Q. How long does a District Conference continue in session?

        A. Generally two or three days; a longer time if it is profitable.

        191 Q. Who presides over this conference?

        A. A Bishop, or in his absence a Presiding Elder; if both are absent, conference elects a chairman, who proceeds with business.

        192 Q. What subjects are considered before the District Conference?

        A. The spiritual condition of the several charges is inquired into. The whole territory is scanned to see if there is any unoccupied ground where a mission might be established, or that can be embraced by extending the lines of the circuits. Pastors and stewards arrange for the Presiding Elder's allowance under the law. The business condition of the people may be considered within the district. Plans may be adopted to aid the finances, not in violation of the laws of the Discipline. It shall consider the condition of the Sunday-schools of

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the district, and the best method of supporting them. See if the ministers, itinerant and local, are taking the church literature. The Presiding Elder may inquire into the books and studies of the preachers, connectional literary societies, etc.

        193 Q. How are the financial and temporal affairs of the church affected by the District Conference?

        A. They are all helped. One good example here brought out provokes others to go and do likewise. The officers of a circuit or station who have been measuring themselves by themselves learn in this exposition and comparison of financial systems how defective their own is, and they are improved. These improved methods enhance the work of the church and stimulate each other generally.

        194 Q. What advantage does the Sunday-school cause receive?

        A. Much every way. The District Conference is the best form of Sunday-school convention. One of the duties prescribed is to inquire into the Sabbath-schools, and the manner of conducting them. Here are assembled the workers, or those who ought to be, men who know the real difficulties to be overcome. They are in no danger of becoming mere theorists, and having other church interest in hand, they are not likely, in pushing this one, to run into extremes. The Sabbath-school cause will never prosper, especially in the country, unless the class of men who mainly constitute a District Conference take hold of it in deep earnest.

        195 Q. What of the social power of a District Conference?

        A. Laborers in the Lord's vineyards, who have toiled apart and remained strangers on adjoining circuits, are here brought together, and join hands and are strengthened.

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The social element of our religion ought to be cultivated, and thus maintain the doctrine of the communion of saints: "They that feared the Lord spake often one to another."

        196 Q. What of the moral and religious influence of the District Conference?

        A. It is good in mutual edification. It is expected at these conferences prominence should be given to religious exercises, such as preaching, prayer-meetings, lovefeasts, and the administration of the holy sacraments. Revivals and protracted meetings frequently grow out of them and always should. Equally removed from the Quarterly and Annual Conferences, larger and more inspiring than the former, and less absorbed in business than the latter, the District Conference affords the best facilities for effective preaching for Christian fellowship and spiritual development.

        197 Q. What is one of the chief differences between the District Conference and the Quarterly and Annual Conferences?

        A. The District Conference is much like the first conferences held by Mr. Wesley, in which free and extensive "conversations" were held on various church interests.

        198 Q. Should these interchanges of words and thoughts be encouraged?

        A. By all means. The grandest and most effective plans for the accomplishment of good often are suggested by a casual remark from one who does not understand the force of his own utterance. A pastor, Presiding Elder or Bishop, who desires to hear no one but himself, is a bigot, and unfit for his office.

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District Camp-Meetings.

        199 Q. When was the District Conference instituted in the A. M. E. Church?

        A. Its existence has been implied ever since the adoption of the Presiding Elder system, which was done by the General Conference of 1868.

        200 Q. Was it on the large scale and in the legal form we now have it?

        A. No. Its duties were defined and made a permanent institution in the church by the General Conference of 1876.

        201 Q. Can a District Conference organize a high school?

        A. There is no objection that I know of; I have heard of some trying the experiment, but do not know of any that have succeeded.

        202 Q. Should not a District Conference consider the district parsonage for the Presiding Elder?

        A. It should, and buy and furnish the same, locating it at some convenient place most accessible to every point in the district. A district is as much bound to furnish a house for the Presiding Elder as a circuit or a station is for their pastor, notwithstanding no attention scarcely has ever been given to that duty in our church.

        203 Q. If a District Conference bought a parsonage, would the Presiding Elder be bound to live in it the same as other pastors?

        A. Most assuredly, and if he did not, the district would not be bound to furnish house expenses, unless the elder could show that the location was sickly, and

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would involve the health and life of his family At the same time the house must be comfortable, and ought to be convenient to water and a school centre for the benefit of his children; otherwise the elders' objection to the place would be legal.

        204 Q. Suppose his wife objects?

        A. Then that is his misfortune and not the church's. Our law supposes man and wife to be one; if she desires to be an opposite factor, they must settle that between themselves; the church has nothing to do with it, and is by no means responsible for it.

        205 Q. Is there any other great interest the District Conference might serve?

        A. Yes; it should assist the Presiding Elder in arranging for district camp-meetings.

        206 Q. Suppose the entire District Conference should object to holding a camp-meeting, is the Presiding Elder bound thereby?

        A. Not at all; he can exercise his own judgment still. Nevertheless, he should weigh well the objections, and if reasonable, respect them; if not, proceed, for camp-meetings are held to be the creatures of the Presiding Elders alone.

        207 Q. Are not camp-meetings of very recent date?

        A. Not at all. The Israelites were commanded to dwell in booths seven days every year, and to observe it as a statute forever. And a booth means temporary shelter of boards or boughs of trees. And in the days of Nehemiah we find the people going forth into the mountains and bringing pine branches, olive branches, myrtle branches, palm branches, and branches of thick trees to make booths, in which to worship God and hear

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his law read. Besides, the exercise is healthy, while it is a reminder of where those worshipped who have transmitted the church to us.

        208 Q. Do you understand that God sanctions camp-meetings?

        A. Yes; and more than that, God instituted them, and they have had the approval of the Holy Spirit in all ages, when held for the salvation of souls, and not merely for riot, money-making and pastime.

        209 Q. Is it not said that people do much wickedness at camp-meetings, etc.?

        A. Yes, and that may be true; much wickedness may be carried on there, but the same people would do three times as much at their homes. Then, that is no argument against these meetings at all; if camp-meetings were gotten up to encourage vice, then they would be responsible, but they are intended to abolish it, and often do it to a marvelous extent.

        210 Q. Are there any other benefits growing out of district meetings?

        A. It greatly aids in the Episcopal supervision of the temporal and spiritual interests of the church, and can be made beneficial in other respects.

        211 Q. Can a member appeal from the action of a quarterly conference to the District Conference?

        A. Yes, if the Bishop is presiding, or if the Presiding Elder was not present at the quarterly conference appealed from, yet, the case must be in a proper condition to have the right of appeal.

        212 Q. Does the District Conference arrange for the support of the Presiding Elder?

        A. Yes, it first calculates what his and family's

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board shall be, then his fuel, house-rent and traveling-expenses, and adds four hundred dollars salary, and sums up the amount and assesses each station, circuit, and sometimes strong missions, according to their abilities, to make up the full amount, which the Presiding Elder collects (if not collected before) at his quarterly meetings.


Composition and Business.

        213 Q. What is a Quarterly Conference?

        Answer. It is a stated meeting of the church officers of a circuit, station or mission, to attend to the business of the church.

        214 Q. How often does it meet?

        A. Four times a year, as its name implies.

        215 Q. Who compose the Quarterly Conference?

        A. The Quarterly Conference is composed of the traveling ministers on a circuit, station or mission; all the local preachers, either ordained or unordained; all the exhorters, stewards, class-leaders, and male superintendent of the Sabbath-school, provided he be a member of the church where the Sabbath-school is located.

        216 Q. What is the business of this body?

        A. It takes cognizance of all the temporal and spiritual affairs of the church or churches for which it is

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held; hears written reports from the stewards and trustees covering their affairs for the past three months, including all moneys raised and when, and all moneys paid out and what for. It also hears reports from the Sabbath-school superintendents, leaders of the choirs, and any other church organization. It examines the moral, religious and official character of its members, grants license to proper persons to preach or exhort, renews the license of local preachers and exhorters annually, confirms or rejects the nomination of stewards, etc.

        217 Q. Has it any judicial duties and powers?

        A. Yes. It acquits, suspends or expels accused local preachers, and is a court of appeal for laymen who may have been censured or expelled by lower courts.

        218 Q. What other duties has it?

        A. No preacher can be admitted into the Annual Conference on trial without first procuring a recommendation from the Quarterly Conference, and candidates for deacon's and elder's orders in the local ministry must first be approved by their Quarterly Conference.

        219 Q. What is the difference between a Quarterly Conference and a quarterly meeting?

        A. None. These terms are used interchangeably; strictly speaking, the last refers to the religious service, which usually includes Saturday and Sunday, and is a season of more than ordinary interest, wherein, besides preaching, the sacraments (baptism and the Lord's supper) are administered and love-feast is held, while the first refers to the official body simply transacting business. The quarterly meeting always, however, includes the Quarterly Conference, for the reports of the stewards,

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trustees, Sabbath-school and choir, which have been adopted by the Quarterly Conference, must be read before the people at the quarterly meetings.

        220 Q. What number of the Quarterly Conference is necessary to make a quorum for the transaction of business?

        A. When a regular call has been made by the Presiding Elder, any number of members present can proceed with business.

        221 Q. Is this so in reference to the other four conferences?

        A. This rule applies to all, except the General Conference, wherein a majority of all the delegates-elect is necessary for a quorum, because the General Conference makes laws, and the other conferences keep them. The other conferences meet oftener, and their duties are judicial and executive rather than legislative.

        222 Q. Why is the time of meeting left to the judgment of the Presiding Elder?

        A. Because his duty is to hold all the Quarterly Conferences in his district, and he must therefore have the power to regulate their assembling in order to get round four times a year. Should any one else appoint it, though he be the pastor, and transact business without the Presiding Elder's knowledge or consent, everything done will be illegal, unless it is ordered by the Bishop, for reasons which may appear to him legitimate.

        223 Q. Has any Quarterly Conference the right to meet in secret session and refuse admission to the members to hear and see what goes on?

        A. No. It is the high court of the church, and no one can bar the members out, unless it be to attend to some private matter involving character or reputation. The members have a right to hear all reports, and see what goes with their moneys, etc.

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        224 Q. Are there not other persons who are members on the Quarterly Conference than those you enumerated?

        A. Well, yes. All general officers are members of such Quarterly Conferences as are designated by the Bishop. Then, there are the supernumerary and superannuated ministers, who are not designated by the Discipline in the list of membership, yet are intended to come under the term of local ministers, for the reason that they are local when not in active work.

        225 Q. What relation to the ministry does the Quarterly Conference bear?

        A. A very important relation. All ministers of every office and grade must first be licensed by the church of which they are members. There they begin. That body, composed by a large majority of laymen, must recommend all who afterward become pastors, and no local preacher can reach deacon's or elder's orders without its consent.

        226 Q. What prerequisite is necessary to obtaining license to preach?

        A. First, an examination by the Presiding Elder, then by the pastor, and then by every member of the body who may desire.

        227 Q. Can any member of the Quarterly Conference ask the candidate questions?

        A. Most assuredly. They can interrogate him in the course of studies laid down in the Discipline, require him to preach before them, read, write, calculate, and answer all questions touching his conversion, sanctification,

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call to the ministry, as well as those that affect his life and character.

        228 Q. Can they examine local preachers, too, at any time after giving them license?

        A. Certainly. It is the duty of the Quarterly Conference to renew the license of all unordained local preachers every year, and no Quarterly Conference can legally renew the license of a preacher till he has been publicly examined before the conference. A mere resolution for renewal before examination should always be ruled out by the Presiding Elder, and he mal-administrates the intention and spirit of the law if he allows such a motion to pass. Some experts in the law say, that even local deacons are subject to yearly examinations, and I do not see why they should not be; as I see it, elders alone are exempted. If itinerant deacons have to be examined from year to year by the Annual Conference, local deacons have no more rights.

        229 Q. How ought a vote to be taken on licensing preachers, or on recommending them for orders?

        A. The better way is by ballot, that every one may vote candidly, conscientiously and act without personal or social constraint in so grave a matter.

        230 Q. What, then, is the relative importance of the Quarterly Conference in our ecclesiastical economy?

        A. It is very high. Its executive and judicial work is closely related to the church in its order and prosperity. Its functions are organic, and in the present system cannot be dispensed with.

        231 Q. What supervision does the District Conference hold over the Quarterly Conference?

        A. None as I see. I notice, however, that some

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Methodist connections send their Quarterly Conference records up to the District Conference for annual examination and approval. I wish it was the express law of our church also, as so few records are kept; it might improve us in that direction.

        232 Q. Is it the duty of Presiding Elders to sec that the records are carefully kept?

        A. It is, but few, I regret to say, do it.

        233 Q. Why should the proceedings of the Quarterly Conference be recorded?

        A. Because the unrecorded action of the Conference is of no legal authority. The minutes of the conference should be kept by a secretary, and read and approved at the close of the session when they are taken. They cannot properly be approved by a subsequent session.

        234 Q. Of what value are these records?

        A. Much every way. They preserve important facts in the history of the church, and authenticate acts that concern Christian character, ministerial standing, and church property.

        235 Q. What provision is made for preserving the journals in permanent and convenient form?

        A. One of the stewards is elected who is known as the Recording Steward. To him the secretary of the Quarterly Conference turns over the minutes when approved, and he records them in a book of which he is the custodian. Should he go out of office, another must be chosen to take his place and books, and thus the records are kept for the benefit of the work, for the inspection of the Bishop, and for the uses of history.

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        236 Q. What may be said in general of the Quarterly Conference?

        A. It ought to be magnified in public estimation; those who are members of it should be made to feel it an honor to attend its sessions, and discharge their official duties conscientiously, and all the religious services connected with it ought to be occasions of special interest and spiritual edification. It should be announced weeks beforehand, and the people instructed to fast and pray, and to cleanse themselves from all ungodliness and worldly lusts, and to place themselves in that relation with God which will secure his smiles and benedictions.

        237 Q. Can the preacher in charge vote, discuss questions and take full part in the Quarterly Conference proceedings?

        A. Yes; he is a member of the Quarterly Conference. But if he is presiding over the conference he must act in all respects as the Presiding Elder.



        238 Q. Has the A. M. E. Church any meeting known as a Church Conference?

        A. Yes; such a Conference has been in existence ever since the birth of the church; but it only had the right of custom and expediency, which naturally vest in self-government, until the General Conference of 1888, which approved of such a Conference, owing to the duties of a church congregation which arise from time to time.

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        239 Q. What duties do you refer to?

        A. Well, for instance, calling the roll of membership, recommending persons to the Presiding Elder and members of the Quarterly Conference for license to preach, adopting petitions to the Bishop and Annual Conference for the ordination of local deacons and elders for the use of the church, trying persons before the whole congregation of members, as is sometimes done, and as the Discipline permits, when the reasons are sufficient, but which should never be done in a station, and rarely on a circuit.

        240 Q. Then what must a Church Conference be?

        A. A meeting of the members and ministers residing and worshiping at a given place for the consideration and transaction of local church business.

        241 Q. Who should preside over this Conference?

        A. The minister in charge.

        242 Q. How often should it meet?

        A. Not over once a month, nor less than once in three months.

        243 Q. What is the object of the Church Conference?

        A. To encourage church love, patriotism and unity; give all the members information of what is being done in church work; seek their co-operation in all its enterprises of benevolence and mercy, the sick, the poor and needy, in efforts to build up the Sabbath-school; search out for poor children, and enlist all the members in measures for extending the kingdom of God at home and abroad, such as home and foreign missions, literary societies, lectures and sinless sociables for the young, etc.

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        244 Q. At what time should it meet?

        A. In the week, if possible; but on the Sabbath, if that will secure the greatest number of members. But if on the Sabbath, the hour of public worship must not be interfered with, and no discussions permitted calculated to excite bitterness or bad feelings among the members; if so, the pastor must dismiss the meeting at once.

        245 Q. Should any record be kept of its proceedings?

        A. A secretary should be elected annually at the first meeting after the Annual Conference. His duty should be to make a record of the proceedings, and keep them in a book.

        246 Q. Should the roll of members be called?

        A. It might be, if necessary, though it is not expedient at all, unless the roll of membership is under consideration.

        247 Q. Should inquiry be made into the moral conduct or character of members at this meeting?

        A. By no means. This is not the place for entertaining charges, complaints or making accusations against each other. Other tribunals have been provided for that purpose, and to attempt the examination of character in the Church Conference would pervert the good designed and injure the church. Indiscreet persons would get up strife and schism, and every evil work would follow such an abuse of the Church Conference.

        248 Q. Then how about trying members before the body of the church?

        A. It should never be done if it can be avoided. That provision of the Discipline was intended to meet the wants of sparsely-settled circuits, where it was impossible

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to get the members together, except on Sabbath days, and then members of the Quarterly Conference cannot participate, as it would destroy the right of appeal.


        249 Q. What other business ought to be performed by the Church Conference?

        A. The pastor ought to report to the church his labors, burdens, cares, and point out places where they could work for the glory of God. The officers ought to give information of their work, and suggest plans for the help of members; explain the indebtedness of the church, and fix upon a time for making great efforts to raise money; create committees to help with the poor, sick and distressed, as the more feet and hands the church employs, the better for it spiritually, morally, financially and progressively.

        250 Q. How might this conference be made helpful to the Sabbath-schools?

        A. By enlisting teachers and other workers; often, in attending appointments, the circuit minister organizes a Sabbath-school and puts it in operation, and it expires before he returns. The people, in many instances, are mean enough to regard it as his school and not theirs. If the matter was fully considered in a Church Conference, the result might be different by making them see and feel that the Sabbath-school is theirs, and it is their duty to nurse it and protect it.

        251 Q. What else might be considered?

        A. Whether or not the church is doing its duty for the cause of missions; for a church that has not the spirit of missions has not the spirit of Christ. Are our

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religious publications circulated, namely, Christian Recorder, Church Review, Sabbath-School Review, etc.; can the church extend its work by establishing additional prayer-meetings, either in the church or at the houses of members; is there any place in the neighborhood around where the exhorters could be useful, and where applicants for license could exercise their gifts beforehand, which they can do by permission of the pastor?

        252 Q. What should be the chief object and end of a Church Conference?

        A. To put all the members to work for our Lord Jesus Christ; that all should realize that they belong to the body of Christ, as Paul says, "For the body is not one member, but many." "Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular."

        253 Q. Do you not think many church troubles arise from unemployed members?

        A. They almost invariably come from that source. If we do not keep the people employed in good works, they will employ themselves in evil things; man cannot be neutral.

        254 Q. Then do you mean to say that all can do something for the glory of God?

        A. Yes; all can do something, and these Church Conferences should, with the advice and consent of the pastor, find work for every member.

        255 Q. Suppose some are too weak, may they not be excused?

        A. No well member is too weak. St. Paul says, "Nay, much more those members of the body which seem to be more feeble are all necessary." This takes in everybody.

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        256 Q. But suppose some of the members are not well spoken of; what then?

        A. Every member of a church not charged and found guilty is in a condition to do work for the church; they may not suit here, but will suit there. There is a place for them; hunt till you find it. Here the pastor should come down from his ministerial loftiness, and the weakest and most suspicioned member should come from the lowest plains, and all be on a level, to plan, devise and suggest measures that will marshall the forces with their varied gifts to work for the church and the honor of heaven.



        257 Q. What is an Official Board?

        A. It is the weekly meeting of the spiritual officers of a church, provided for in the General Rules.

        258 Q. What name did this meeting formerly bear,--I mean in the early days of Methodism?

        A. It was called "the leaders' meeting." But in 1872 the General Conference legislated it into a board and defined its duties and limitations, though it existed by custom under the same restrictions from the earliest days of the connection and of the Methodist Church.

        259 Q. Of whom is this board composed?

        A. All the class-leaders, stewards and exhorters, with the pastor in charge, who ex-officio is chairman.

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        260 Q. What are the duties of this board?

        A. To meet the minister once a week; to inform him of any who are sick, or who walk disorderly, and will not be reproved; for the leaders to pay over to the stewards what they have received from their several classes the week preceding toward the relief of preacher, church or poor; for the class-leaders to report any who may have left without certificate, those who neglect their classes, those who have died; inquire into rumors touching the moral or religious character of any member, or send out committees of inquiry, and committees to restore delinquent members by appealing to them for reformation; drop probationers who absent themselves from the church in willful disregard of its authority; for the stewards to pay over to the minister whatever is due him; make any report the pastor may require of them, and for the stewards, leaders, exhorters and local preachers to receive any orders of duty the pastor may choose to give.

        261 Q. Why are local preachers denied membership in the Official Board?

        A. They are not denied membership; they never were members; but for a great while in the history of our church they were allowed to come into the board and participate in matters about which they never concerned themselves on the outside, and in many instances they were great annoyances to the pastors and legal members of the board, both by meddling with the pastor's support and presuming upon their ministerial standing as authority for stirring up strife in other respects; therefore, the General Conference defined their status.

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        262 Q. Can local preachers not be legal members of the board under any circumstance whatever?

        A. No; for they are barred by the General Rules, which limit membership to the ministers, stewards and class-leaders. Yet they can be leaders or stewards, and thereby get membership, but not as local preachers per se.

        263 Q. How is it, then, that exhorters are members of the Official Board?

        A. That is a grave question. They were not made members in the act of the General Conference of 1872. They sustained the same relation to the board as that of a local preacher, and I think it was a clerical mistake which placed them in the list of membership. They, too, are barred by the General Rules, which the General Conference has no power to overried. The truth is, the General Conference has no power that can legally make either local preachers or exhorters members of the Official Board.


        264 Q. Has the Official Board the power to try and expel members?

        A. No. Such procedure is regarded as maladministration, and the pastor guilty of so torturing the laws, if found out, will be dealt with accordingly.

        265 Q. The expulsion of a member, then, by the Official Board is not binding?

        A. No. A person so expelled is not expelled; the trial was a farce; therefore, the expulsion is null and void, and the accused is still a member of the church, and the Bishop and Presiding Elder would be bound under the law to protect such a member in his church privileges.

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        266 Q. Why cannot this Board try and expel members?

        A. Because it would destroy the right of an appeal provided for in the third Restrictive Rule. The same officers, or a majority of them, who compose the Official Board, compose the Quarterly Conference, to which the lay members only can appeal for redress, if they think the first trial was not adjudicated fairly, and to appeal to the same persons would be no appeal at all.

        267 Q. When and why should the pastor change a leader?

        A. The pastor should invariably make these changes in his official seat while presiding over the Official Board. The leader may or may not be present. He may change a leader because of age and infirmity; because he willfully neglects his duties; because he is ignorant and will not improve his intellect; or dirty in his person and renders himself repulsive to his members; or his moral and religious life may be bad; or he may be disloyal to the church and its rules; his financial reports may be suspicious; he may be destitute of natural gifts and Christian graces; and he may be indolent. For any of these reasons, the pastor is justified in changing him. A man should never be the leader of a class, who is not proud enough of it to take care of himself and those committed to his oversight.

        268 Q. How long should a leader be in charge of the same class?

        A. Just as long as he is profitable. Some men can hold a class a lifetime, and some never succeed. Sometimes it is profitable to exchange leaders among themselves and give them different classes.

        269 Q. Why give the pastor this power over a leader?

        A. Because the pastor, like the Bishop of a conference,

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is responsible for the spiritual success of the church, and its peace and harmony, and class-leaders are virtually assistant pastors; therefore, if the pastor could not remove the leader at his option, he would be unable to run the machinery of the church, for which he is held responsible by the Annual Conference.

        270 Q. If the pastor should remove a leader from his class, has the Presiding Elder the power to restore him to the position over the head of the pastor?

        A. No; nor a Bishop either; the Bishop, or even the Presiding Elder, might, in the interest of peace and harmony, change or remove the pastor. But they could not then restore the leader any longer than a new pastor took possession of the church. A class-leader is purely the creature of the pastor.

        271 Q. Can the pastor move a steward from office also?

        A. He cannot move him from office permanently, but he can, for reasons to him sufficient, suspend him from the exercise of his functions till the meeting of the Quarterly Conference.

        272 Q. Can the Presiding Elder then restore him to his office?

        A. Not at all; the Presiding Elder has no restorative powers in the matter. The majority of the Quarterly Conference, however, can refuse to withdraw their confirmation, or sanction his removal, which naturally leaves him in office as a steward. But as the stewards are the pastor's cabinet, and are his private counselors, as well as the custodians of his character and support, the Quarterly Conference rarely ever forces a man upon the pastor whom they know to be objectionable to him, even though they may vindicate the steward's character and approve of his conduct in the premises.

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        273 Q. Does anything more of importance come under the Official Board?

        A. yes. There are several other things it can pass upon. The most important is determining the penalties for minor faults and offenses where humiliation and repentance are allowed. The pastor, with the board, can inflict mild punishment, such as denying the Lord's Supper and Love-feast for one or two months.

        274 Q. Would it be any violation of law for a pastor and his board to set a member back a limited time for a minor offence?

        A. None whatever, as there is no specific law pro or con, and the Board is the court of investigation, and can dispose of minor matters, even affecting character, since it does not involve a trial and expulsion.


        275 Q. Who is an exhorter?

        A. One who has been licensed to read a Scripture lesson, make a practical application of its teachings to the congregation, ply his powers in the prayer-meeting, yet not formally to announce a text and confine himself to its exposition, but who can speak at liberty from any portion of Scripture that will excite the people to repentance and reformation.

        276 Q. Is authority to exhort the first step to the ministry?

        A. It may be, or it may not. Bishop Hedding says: "Those who are not called to expound God's Holy

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Word may be useful in this mode of spiritual excitation." An exhorter may not feel himself called to preach the gospel as a specialty, yet be prompted to use his powers for the saving of souls.

        277 Q. But is it not preaching, after all?

        A. Well--yes. An exhorter is what might be defined as a margin or random preacher. St. Luke tells us in the third chapter,--"That John (the Baptist) preached many things unto them in his exhortations."

        278 Q. Is the office of an exhorter authenticated by the sacred Scriptures?

        A. Yes. It abounds in the New Testament both by precept and example. St. Paul exhorted regularly, and so did other apostles. The spirit of exhortation has been committed to the church, and will be a permanent institution in the Christian Church as long as there is a sinner upon earth.

        279 Q. How old is the office of an exhorter in the Methodist Church?

        A. The office runs coeval with Methodism in any form. We find Methodist preachers licensing exhorters as far back as 1769, and assigning them work; but we first read of exhorters in the British Methodist Church in 1746, doing effective work in soul-saving.

        280 Q. By whom are exhorters licensed?

        A. Formerly by the pastor in charge, after giving satisfaction to said pastor of their fitness for the work. But of late years they must produce to the Quarterly Conference a recommendation from the class of which they are members, and after passing a creditable examination before that body, they may be licensed.

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        281 Q. Are they examined to the same extent as one applying for license to preach?

        A. No; not by more than half.

        282 Q. What are the requisites for a license to exhort?

        A. Bishop Hedding says: "They should have gifts for the work,"--"speak justly, readily, clearly, and have fruits." Again,--"Have any been truly convinced of sin and converted by their preaching?" But we have no course of study in our Discipline for exhorters, for the reason that much depends upon their own usefulness in procuring an exhorter's license.

        283 Q. Are there not men who are only adapted to this kind of work?

        A. Yes. Hundreds are trying to preach now, who are ordained deacons and elders, and who will never be anything, in fact, but exhorters while they live; Heaven never designed that they should be.

        284 Q. Is it not, after all, a high calling to be an exhorter?

        A. Certainly it is. A good exhorter can bring more persons to Christ and His Church than thousands of preachers who are able to teach the profound doctrines of the Bible, and analyze a text systematically. It is one of the special offices of the Holy Spirit, as I have before stated.

        285 Q. What are the duties of an exhorter?

        A. To employ his talents and time in the Sabbath-school as a teacher; lead and manage prayer-meetings under the appointment of the elder, deacon or preacher having the charge. He should be powerful in prayer,--a man full of the Holy Ghost; he should always be ready to speak in thundering tones to the wicked, and offer them salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. He should be bold, defiant, aggressive, and wield the

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battle-axe of the gospel on all occasions like a master. He is not expected, as a preacher, to be systematic in his remarks; therefore he should always be ready. He should be a man on fire.

        286 Q. Are the licenses of exhorters renewed yearly, as are the licenses of local preachers?

        A. Yes; just the same in every respect. The exhorters must be examined annually also to ascertain what improvement they are making.

        287 Q. Does a man necessarily have to become an exhorter before making application for preacher's license?

        A. Not at all. Neither office presupposes the other. If an applicant to preach can stand the examination, the way is open for him.

        288 Q. To whom are exhorters responsible for the duties imposed?

        A. To the pastor in charge. An exhorter is bound to obey all orders imposed by the pastor, or the pastor can suspend him at any moment, till the meeting of the Quarterly Conference, which has the power to revoke his license.


        289 Q. It is reported that the Bishops of the A. M. E. Church, while in council at Detroit, Mich., in 1884, resolved to encourage evangelists by appointing one, if possible, in each Annual Conference to do evangelistic work. Who is an evangelist?

        A. An evangelist is one, says the learned Calmet, "who publishes good news, or declares happy tidings."

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They were next in order to the apostles, and were sent out by them, not to settle anywhere, but to travel through the primitive churches, and build up what the apostles had begun.

        290 Q. Have we any examples in the early church?

        A. Yes; Philip the Deacon, Timothy, Titus, Mark, Silas, etc., were evangelists.

        291 Q. Did this gift, grace or special endowment die out or cease to exist with the apostles?

        A. No; they were still in the church at work in the times of the Emperor Trajan about the year A.D. 116. I know the position is assumed by men of rare learning, that their office was temporary, and expired with the apostles and prophets, but history does not appear to sustain it. Besides, it is doubtful if the Holy Spirit ever created any temporary offices.

        292 Q. What appears to have been the character of their work?

        A. They appear to have been attached to no particular church; to have been commissioned by the apostles to instruct the nations, or did so, if they preferred, voluntarily; to have abandoned every worldly attachment, including their homes; to have consecrated their lives to traveling and preaching; that they acted in some instances as assistant apostles; and, therefore, ordained deacons and elders, but had no authority to set apart and ordain their own successors in office. They appear to have traveled under the immediate direction of the Holy Ghost.

        293 Q. What qualification then would be necessary to constitute an evangelist?

        A. None; but, as St. Paul says, "The manifestation of the Spirit to be given to profit withal," "for

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there are diversities of spiritual operations." An evangelist may be a preacher, deacon, elder or Bishop; a special gift compounded with other functions in the ministry.

        294 Q. What then would be his chief calling?

        A. To save souls and build up churches and congregations by spiritual arguments and Bible doctrines, presented forcibly, grandly and eloquently.

        295 Q. Does the Discipline of the A. M. E. Church recognize such an office?

        A. Not abstractly, but concretely, it does.

        296 Q. Then did not the Bishops transcend their authority when they resolved upon such a functionary?

        A. By no means. Nobody can make an evangelist but God himself; but where they could be found the Bishops resolved to utilize them in helping weaker brethren to spiritualize their churches and congregations.

        297 Q. Have they the power under the law?

        A. They have. They are the chief pastors and must use their judgments, when not in contravention to specific law, in promoting the interest of the church and the glory of God. Bishops who do not think, plan and devise measures for the good of the church over which they preside are not worthy of their office.

        298 Q. Would not such a functionary create a jealousy among the pastors?

        A. No; not if they were pastors indeed. They would rejoice at the arrival of a soul-stirring evangelist. Christ says: "He that is not against me is for me."

        299 Q. What did the General Conference of 1888 do, in regard to evangelists?

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        A. It recognized the office by not reversing the action of the Council of Bishops in Detroit, Mich., in 1884.

        300 Q. Then it would appear that evangelists are permanent officials in the A. M. E. Church?

        A. Yes, and have the same authority as any other portion of the ministry.

        301 Q. Who appoints evangelists to their fields of labor and gives them orders and defines their duties?

        A. The presiding Bishop of the conference, "But the evangelists are responsible to their Annual Conferences for their behavior, while they may not report their work as regular pastors," says Bishop Simpson.


        302 Q. What is a call to preach the gospel?

        A. Such a divine manifestation and spiritual impulse as leads the individual to a conviction of duty in that direction.

        303 Q. Who is to be the judge of the genuiness of a call by the Holy Ghost to preach the gospel?

        A. The person making the application for license to preach, as the call rests solely with his own experience, and only God can read the heart.

        304 Q. What steps are necessary to obtain a license to preach in the A. M. E. Church?

        A. Before any person can be licensed to preach as a local preacher, which is the first step toward the ministry, he must bring a recommendation from the church

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of which he is a member, and be personally examined before the Quarterly Conference upon the course of studies prescribed for local preachers, together with his gifts and graces for preaching.

        305 Q. How do we try those who profess to be called to preach and desire to enter the traveling work?

        A. In three ways. They are asked if they know God as a pardoning Saviour, as those who offer to teach others the way of salvation must themselves have an experimental knowledge of it. The blind cannot lead the blind.

        306 Q. How does St. Paul put the order of conversion and preaching?

        A. Conversion is first. "God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given us the ministry of reconciliation."

        307 Q. Being satisfied with the religious experience and character of one who professes to be called to preach, what is the second particular of inquiry?

        A. Is he able and apt to teach? Has he gifts as well as graces for the work? Has he in some tolerable degree a clear, sound understanding, a right judgment in the things of God? Does he speak justly, readily and clearly?

        308 Q. What else is necessary?

        A. Has he fruits? Have any been truly convinced of sin and converted to God by his preaching? Are believers edified and built up by him? As long as these three marks--gifts, grace and usefulness--concur in any one, we believe him to be called of God to preach. These we receive as sufficient proof that he is moved by the Holy Ghost to preach.

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        309 Q. Do you mean to say that no one should be admitted into the traveling work who has not had fruits in the conversion of some one?

        A. I do mean that very thing. Any one who has been a local preacher, exhorter, Sabbath-school superintendent, class-leader, steward, or a layman, long enough to exercise his gifts, and has not been the instrument, in the hands of God, of some one's conversion, has no call from the Holy Spirit to preach.

        310 Q. What are those called who are being tried for the ministry?

        A. They are called probationers and licentiates, licensed, but not yet ordained. The Holy Scriptures require that some trial be previously had before any are fully admitted into the ministry, that this sacred office be not degraded by being committed to weak or unworthy men. St. Paul ordered Timothy, "Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men's sins."

        311 Q. What is the difference between a licentiate and an ordained minister?

        A. The licentiate preaches and exhorts only; to him the sacraments are not committed. The Quarterly Conference votes a license, but for ordination the Annual Conference must concur. The Quarterly Conference may refuse to renew a license at the end of a year, and it is thereby withdrawn, or ceases to exist; but one invested by ordination with the rights and character of the ministry can be deprived only on a formal arraignment and trial.

        312 Q. How long must a probationer remain on trial before he can be admitted to the ministerial office?

        A. Two years is the limit, but some remain three, four and longer.

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        313 Q. Does any licentiate or probationer ever fail to be admitted?

        A. Some do; otherwise it would be no trial.

        314 Q. If a church request the Annual Conference to ordain a deacon or an elder, is the conference not bound to do it, particularly if he is local?

        A. By no means. He must have gifts, graces, fruits, and then stand his examination on the course of studies. Local preachers should be as able, as learned and as polished as the itinerant ministers. They have to preach the same gospel and address and appeal to the same people. Then an ignorant local preacher is dangerous in a church.

        315 Q. Would it not be well for all applicants for preacher's license to spend a year or so as exhorters?

        A. That is just my opinion. Give them a chance to drill a little; in common parlance, "Let them try their hand a while." Yet I would not like to see that made a law in our church.

        316 Q. What does the apostle John say that seems to bear with special force upon this subject--I mean as it relates to ministerial tests?

        A. "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God, because many false prophets are gone out into the world."

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        317 Q. Has not the doctrine of a divine call to the ministry been objected to among some professing Christians?

        A. Yes; some professing Christians, but really dead formalists, have objected even to the doctrine of a change of heart and the witness of the Holy Spirit; therefore, it is not strange that they object to a call to preach the gospel by the same Spirit they virtually say does not exist.

        318 Q. What is the cause of this daring presumption upon the part of some who would bear the name of Christian?

        A. The cause is simple. They have never been born again, as our Lord enjoins, and therefore know nothing about the operations of the Holy Spirit. Their Christianity is only intellectual formalism, which worships through forms, abstractions and speculations, and retires from service none the more enlightened than if they were respectable people outside of any church.

        319 Q. What is the general experience of those who are truly called to the ministry?

        A. They are overwhelmed with the thought of its responsibility: they contrast its greatness with their littleness; its holiness with their unworthiness; its difficulties with their weakness, and nothing but a sense of duty impels them forward.

        320 Q. What was the language of St. Paul upon ministerial burdens?

        A. "For necessity is laid upon me,--yea, woe is unto me if I preach not the gospel."

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        321 Q. What then may be said of a call to the ministry?

        A. The profoundest humility is associated with the conviction of this call.

        322 Q. Is the Christian ministry a profession?

        A. No. It is often so denominated; but the term is misapplied. It is a vocation, because the true minister is called of God. Jesus said to the first ministers: "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go forth and bring fruit."

        323 Q. Ministers are spoken of in the New Testament as "embassadors." What are the points in common between them?

        A. Embassadors do not appoint themselves, neither do they represent themselves. They are not chosen by the people to whom they go. They are appointed by the king, president or sovereign that sends them, and by him only. St. Paul, speaking for himself and companions, says: "Now then we are embassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us. We pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God."

        324 Q. Has Jesus given us any directions for replenishing the ministry?

        A. "The harvest truly is great; but the laborers are few. Pray ye therefore, the Lord of the harvest that He would send forth laborers into the harvest."

        325 Q. All earnest Christians are laborers in a sense. Have we any warrant in the Bible for regarding ministers as a distinct class of laborers?

        A. Yes; in the context of the Scriptures just quoted, Jesus is sending out the seventy evangelists--two and two--without purse or scrip or the ordinary worldly provision for support. They are to be feb by those for

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whom they preach, and pray, and minister; "for," said He, "the laborer is worthy of his hire."

        326 Q. What other evidence have we of this distinction?

        A. Ministers are spoken of as messengers, watchmen, angels (not celestial but terrestrial), and stewards of the Lord; they are shepherds and the people are the flock; they are builders and husbandmen, while to the people it is said, "Ye are God's husbandry;" "Ye are God's building;" certain qualifications are laid down for ministers that are not required of other Christians. Certain charges are addressed to them that are not applicable to the people, and certain promises are made to them as such. In a peculiar and eminent sense they are laborers together with God.

        327 Q. Does the church expect of them separation and consecration?

        A. In their ordination vows they are solemnly reminded, "into how high a dignity and to how weighty an office" they are called, and are exhorted to apply themselves wholly to this one thing, and draw all their cares and studies this way, laying aside the study of the world and the flesh.

        328 Q. Was any provision made for ministerial subsistence or support, under the Mosaic economy, which is still of force?

        A. Yes; under the Israelitish dispensation one-tenth of all the production of the lands and increase of the flocks was consecrated to the use of the sacred ministry (priest, tabernacle and temple service), and that provision (of the old church law) is still in force.

        329 Q. What Scripture authority have you for such an assertion?

        A. When Jesus told his disciples to go and preach

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to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, he said to them, "Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses, nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves; FOR THE WORKMAN IS WORTHY OF HIS MEAT," implying most emphatically that our Saviour meant to ratify or confirm the same rule or order for the New Testament dispensation which existed under the old dispensation. But we will notice ministerial support in our further consideration of the MINISTRY.



        330 Q. Do the Holy Scriptures provide for the support of the ministry, when they give themselves absolutely to the work of soul saving?

        A. Yes. (See 1st Corinthians, ix. 7. Deut. xxv. 4.)

        331 Q. How were the ministers supported before the coming of Christ?

        A. A. tenth of all the offerings (oblations) were reserved for their support (that is, of all their substance).

        332 Q. What does St. Paul say of this plan for the support of the ministry after Christ?

        A. That as God had ordained this (plan) for those who served in the temple, so it was to be perpetuated for those who continued to preach the Gospel (see 1st

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Corinthians, ix. 13, 14). The same law for ministerial support which existed under the old, exists under the new dispensation. In short, one dollar out of every ten, one hundred out of every ten hundred throughout the wide earth, properly belongs to the Church of Christ.

        333 Q. Did the ministry of the Church of God preach the Gospel before Christ came?

        A. Yes; St. Paul says, the Gospel, in the days of "Esaias" was not believed (see Romans x. 16). And that "the Gospel was preached before to Abraham." (See Galatians, iii. 8.)

        334 Q. What does St. Paul mean by the beginning of the Gospel (see Philippians iv. 15)?

        A. Only the introduction of the Gospel at Philippi, when he went there from Macedonia.

        335 Q. When was that?

        A. In A. D. 50, about seventeen years after the day of Pentecost. (See Horne's "Chronology.")

        336 Q. When was the law,--"as the Lord hath prospered,"--"a tenth of all their substance,"--introduced?

        A. It is not known. The custom is very ancient. Abraham paid tithes to Melchizedek. (See Genesis xiv. 20; also see Leviticus xxvii. 30-32.)

        337 Q. What does our Lord say about it in Matthew xxiii. 23?

        A. "Ye pay tithes of mint, etc., and neglect the weightier matters of the law, etc. These ought ye to have done, and not to leave the others undone."

        338 Q. What advice does St. Paul give to the Corinthians on this subject?

        A. "Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store as God hath prospered him."

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        339 Q. Is there any other provision in the Bible for the support of the ministry than that given before Christ?

        A. There is not. Offerings according to the degree of success in business is the only gospel plan. Christ, being a member of the Israelitish church, simply perpetuates the plan for ministerial support which had been in vogue for at least twenty-five hundred years before He was born of woman.

        340 Q. What did our Lord tell the seventy whom He sent out to preach?

        A. The laborer is worthy of his hire. (See Luke x. 7.)

        341 Q. What does St. Paul say as a clincher to ministerial support?

        A. See Romans x. 14, 15. The logical conclusion of the Bible is that upon the support of the ministry depends the success of the Christian Church.

Support Under the Gospel.

        342 Q. What plans under the gospel dispensation have been advanced favoring ministerial support?

        A. Those to whom they minister spiritual things are to minister to them carnal things. As in the Old Testament dispensation, they which waited at the altar were partakers with the altar, "even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel."

        343 Q. What then is the duty of the people in this respect?

        A. To supply the temporal wants of their pastors, so that they may give themselves wholly to study, prayer and the ministry of the word of the Lord.

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        344 Q. What is the relation of the pastor to the people in respect of church guidance and government?

        A. To pastors is committed the administration of discipline. Therefore, St. Paul says, "Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God, whose faith follow." Again, "Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves, for they watch for your souls as they that must give an account, that they may do it with joy and not with grief."

        345 Q. Do the Holy Scriptures qualify this on the other side?

        A. In his exhortation to the elders, Peter says, "Feed the flock of God, which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that shall not fade away."

        346 Q. Has any church, conference, convention, synod, or assembly the right to determine rules and regulations for the ministry not indicated or sanctioned by the Holy Scriptures?

        A. No; not if it claims the Bible as its warrant of authority.

        347 Q. What may be replied to the objection that since we see ministers who are not learned or eloquent, therefore God does not select and call them?

        A. Human wisdom would doubtless choose great and eloquent men only for the propagation of the gospel, and then its success would be attributed to the human means employed. We, perhaps, with the world before us to choose from, would have chosen a dozen men like Demosthenes and Cicero, and not the fishermen of

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Galilee, such as Peter, and James, and John, plain men who were criticised as unlearned and ignorant. But God's ways are not as our ways, nor His thoughts as our thoughts.

        348 Q. Because one is called to preach, does it therefore follow that he is qualified?

        A. No; but we must not dispense with the use of means in mental preparation and enlightenment, for these are the correlatives of the call. Any other assumption would be fanaticism. In order to teach we must learn--the very call implies study.

        349 Q. What is Paul's direction to Timothy, a young preacher?

        A. "Study to show thyself approved unto God; a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."

        350 Q. Have not men who were regarded as ignorant by the world been of great use to the church, even in efforts to preach the gospel?

        A. Yes; when they were reputed as men of great piety, and displayed great Christian experience, and were extraordinarily gifted in prayer and song. These were, however, properly exhorters, and not preachers.

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Deacon and Elder's Orders.

        351 Q. You have stated possibly more than once how license to preach is obtained. Now, how is such license authenticated?

        A. By the signatures of the Presiding Elder, or President, and the Secretary of the Quarterly Conference.

        352 Q. How long does this license remain good?

        A. As has been indicated, for one year, at the end of which time it must be renewed by the Quarterly Conference, after the holder has been examined upon some topic connected with his calling; otherwise, the license expires by limitation.

        353 Q. By what name is the licensed person then called?

        A. A licentiate, or a local preacher.

        354 Q. How long after that before he may be ordained a deacon?

        A. A local preacher is eligible to the office of a deacon after he has preached four years from the time he was licensed, and has obtained a recommendation from the Quarterly Conference by the request of the church of which he is a member.

        355 Q. Should he be known as a Rev. till then?

        A. By no means. A preacher is not a minister, and

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cannot carry before his name Rev. until he becomes one, which follows ordination only.

        356 Q. What probation has a local deacon before he is eligible to the office of an elder?

        A. Four years from his ordination to the diaconate, provided he has obtained a recommendation from his Quarterly Conference, certifying to his qualification in doctrines, discipline, talents and the necessity of his services on the circuit or station where he resides.

        357 Q. What body passes upon this recommendation?

        A. The Annual Conference examines into the character and qualifications of the candidates for orders; and, if satisfied with attainments and the necessities of the case, elects.

        358 Q. When a traveling preacher enters the field, how long does he remain before he is eligible to deacon's orders?

        A. Two years is the time of probation, but he may not be able to pass even then.

        359 Q. Is it the same for elders?

        A. Yes; every traveling deacon must remain in that office for two years more before he is eligible to the office of elder.

        360 Q. How are deacons and elders ordained?

        A. By the election of an Annual Conference, Scripture readings, prayer, placing them under solemn obligations, and the laying on the hands of a Bishop. Several elders assist in laying on hands when an elder is ordained.

        361 Q. Are there any exceptions in the time of probation?

        A. Yes; when the Bishop selects and appoints a man to do missionary work, the Annual Conference may

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elect him to deacon's and elder's orders sooner if they judge it expedient.

        362 Q. What is this service called?

        A. The ordination or consecration of men for the sacred ministry.

        363 Q. Do the British Methodists, or Wesleyans, ever ordain local preachers?

        A. No; the English Methodists never ordain them so long as they remain local. Those only are ordained to whom the care of souls is committed.

        364 Q. What is the difference between our custom of ordaining local ministers and the British Methodists who do not?

        A. Ours is the result largely of expediency, and theirs is strictly apostolic, as I have been able to understand it.

Local, Traveling and Female Preachers.

        365 Q. What is the official difference between a local and traveling minister?

        A. The local preacher, or minister, remains at home, preaching wherever it is convenient. He is allowed, under his obligations, to pursue secular business, and thus provide for himself and family.

        366 Q. What are the duties of a traveling minister?

        A. He holds himself in readiness to go wherever the church needs him, in the exercise of his ministry to act in all things, not according to his own will, but to engage his time in the manner the authorities of the church direct. He cannot follow any secular calling, and must be supported by the people for whom he

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preaches and labors, who are also bound to provide him a home.

        367 Q. Are local preachers ever employed to do pastoral work?

        A. They are, if needed. The Bishop or Presiding Elder can appoint them to vacancies created in the interval of the Annual Conference, or as a supply when pastors are scarce. Yet, the appointing power must not involve them in material loss. When so appointed, their pay is the same as a regular pastor, provided they give their entire time.

        368 Q. Should pastors expect full pay unless they devote their full time to the people?

        A. They should not, and cannot require it.

        369 Q. To what tribunal are preachers responsible for their moral, religious and official conduct?

        A. The local to the Quarterly Conference, and the traveling to the Annual Conference.

        370 Q. Has any church but the Methodist adopted the plan of preaching the gospel by other than pastors and ordained ministers?

        A. Yes; under different names--as lay evangelists, lay readers, lay preachers, and some have been eminently successful.

        371 Q. Has not the A. M. E. Church made, in many instances, fearful blunders in licensing so many local preachers, particularly in the same congregation?

        A. No; I cannot say that she has, if they were in the main pious men. The blunder is in the executive department; I mean in the pastors and Presiding Elders, for not compelling them to go out and preach. Good men will often become corrupt and disturbers, if

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they are allowed to go unemployed. Let the pastors find work for them.

        372 Q. Can a pastor send local preachers outside of his immediate pulpit?

        A. Most assuredly. The pastor of a church is the Bishop of all his local preachers. He can employ their talents on the Sabbath as he may dispose--in his Sabbath-schools, or in the adjacent country, teaching, preaching or holding prayer-meetings.

        373 Q. But suppose the local preachers will not obey him?

        A. Then let the pastor, with the aid of the proper committee, suspend them till the next Quarterly Conference, which will be bound to take away their license, without satisfaction is given of a reformation. As Bishop Capers once said, "Every preacher must preach, and every preacher must be under preaching orders."

        374 Q. Then you imply that much of the trouble that grows out of interfering and meddlesome local preachers is due to the pastors not having them at work?

        A. Just so. Let the pastors keep them employed, sending them out every Sabbath from one to five miles around to preach, exhort, take probationers into the church, etc., and they will not have time to plan and execute mischief.

        375 Q. Should women preach also?

        A. Upon this question I hesitate to speak; yet in Bible times there were prophetesses and deaconesses, and women who helped the apostles in various ways.

        376 Q. Did not St. Paul order women to be silent in the church?

        A. Yes; but only in the Greek churches, where women kept their faces veiled, and, according to custom,

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only disreputable women harangued the public. Therefore, St. Paul advised the Christian women to place themselves on the side of respectability, that the gospel be not blamed. "Let not your good be evil spoken of."

        377 Q. In the event of a Quarterly Conference licensing women to preach, should not that be the limit of their ministerial functions?

        A. It possibly should; for while they were prophetesses under the Mosaic dispensation, they were never admitted into the priesthood; and while they were deaconesses under the New Testament dispensation, we have no account of them being recognized as apostles.

        378 Q. But what does the learned Calmet say?

        A. He says: "They served the church in those offices which the deacons could not themselves exercise--visiting those of their own sex in sickness, or when imprisoned for the faith. They were persons of advanced age when chosen, and appointed to the office by imposition of hands. It is probably of these deaconesses that the apostle speaks, where he describes the ministering widows."

        379 Q. At what time does history say the order of deaconesses was abrogated?

        A. It was abrogated in France in the Council of Orange, A.D. 441, and gradually disappeared in the Western Church, but did not become extinct in the Greek Church till the twelfth century; so that deaconesses existed in the church for eleven hundred years after Christ.

        380 Q. Why would you object to women being ordained ministers, if deaconesses were ordained in apostolic times?

        A. Because it does not appear that, although set apart for their work by the imposition of hands, they were

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allowed to preach under the apostolic constitution, which constitution is of very doubtful credibility. They may have had the right to administer baptism, but certainly not the privileges of the pastor.

        381 Q. What special reasons existed, if any, for assigning them to their own sex?

        A. Because in those days men were not allowed, under the civil proprieties, to visit the female portion of families, and, until Christianity could change the customs, aged women appear to have been selected for religious visitation and ministration.

        382 Q. Has the A. M. E. Church any officers that are similar to them?

        A. Yes; the General Conference in 1884 adopted the following:

        WHEREAS, Female evangelists are becoming very numerous, and, as they are not amenable to any one, therefore, be it

        Resolved, That those sisters who have, and who shall receive licenses from the hands of any of our ministers in the future, shall be subject to the same requirements as local preachers, and they shall be amenable to the Quarterly Conference of the church of which they are members, subject to all the requirements of a local preacher.

        383 Q. Then do you mean to say that the action of the General Conference of 1884 recognizes female preachers, and gives them a legal standing in the A. M. E. Church, the same as local preachers, when licensed and doing evangelistic work?

        A. Yes; the language of the resolution is emphatic, applying to those then holding license and to such as may be licensed in the future, provided they hold membership in some Quarterly Conference.

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        384 Q. How are itinerant ministers classified?

        A. Into three classes,--effective, supernumerary and superannuated.

        385 Q. What is an effective minister?

        A. One who is always ready to do any work, and go anywhere he may be assigned by the appointing power.

        386 Q. What would be the result of a minister refusing to go where assigned?

        A. According to Methodist rule, he is guilty of a grave offence against the regulations of the church. If the failure be not justified by sickness, debility or other uncontrollable circumstances, he is liable to be suspended till the ensuing Annual Conference, and then expelled.

        387 Q. Who is the judge of the offence?

        A. A committee summoned by the Presiding Elder in the interval of the Conference, and the Conference, when it meets, gives the final verdict.

        388 Q. Suppose he fails to meet the committee when ordered by the Presiding Elder?

        A. Unless he is known to be sick or prevented by high water or other natural causes, the committee will proceed with the trial as if he were present, and pronounce

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the decision and publish the same; but the Conference can review it when it meets.

        389 Q. Suppose the disobedient minister is in the district of another Presiding Elder?

        A. That is no bar to the Presiding Elder proceeding with the trial. As the law presumes he is in the proper district, the law expects him to be there, if he is not.

        390 Q. Suppose the minister finds the itinerant work too hard for him, and desires to avoid some unpleasant appointment to which the Bishop has assigned him?

        A. Then he should have honorably located at the previous Annual Conference, which is ever bound to grant such a request.

        391 Q. Cannot a minister resign an appointment to a Bishop or a Presiding Elder in the interval of the Conference?

        A. Yes; he may, for good reasons, for the same kind of reasons he would under any circumstances resign an appointment; but he has no power to resign an appointment because he does not like it; should he do so, the ensuing Conference will hold him guilty of leaving his work.

        392 Q. What is a supernumerary minister?

        A. Bishop Wayman says--so do other expounders of Methodist law--that a supernumerary preacher is one who is so disabled by affliction as to be unable to take regular work, but will do so as far as he is able.

        393 Q. What says Bishop Payne?

        A. He says that a supernumerary preacher is one who is above the number for which the Bishop has work, or one awaiting work.

        394 Q. Which of these Bishops is correct?

        A. Both; Wayman, by the interpretation of Methodist

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custom, and Payne, by the definition of the term.

        395 Q. Who is a superannuated preacher?

        A. One who is worn out in the itinerant service, and to whom no work is assigned.

        396 Q. Are any provisions made for the support of superannuated ministers?

        A. Yes; each Annual Conference allows them a small amount yearly, whatever they are able to appropriate.

        397 Q. What may be done when a traveling minister is complained of as unacceptable, inefficient, and as no longer useful to the people?

        A. The Annual Conference investigates the case, and if the complaint is well founded, and he does not give the Conference satisfaction that he will amend, or retire voluntarily, it may locate him without his consent. This is generally called involuntary location.

        398 Q. Can a traveling minister be located without his consent as a penalty for misconduct or immorality?

        A. By no means; for that would be casting a reproach upon the moral character of our local ministry, which must be just as irreproachable and incorruptible as that of the traveling ministry.

        399 Q. What is the position of one who has been located without his consent?

        A. He is remitted in good standing to the community where he lives, or desires to live, which has power to depose him from the ministry, if he should there prove unacceptable or inefficient.

        400 Q. What method is prescribed in admitting a preacher into full connection at the Conference?

        A. After solemn fasting and prayer, every person

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proposed shall be asked, before the Conference, certain questions touching his Christian experience and his willingness to be subject to the discipline of the church--special emphasis being laid upon the requirements of the itinerancy.

        401 Q. Which is the most important requirement the candidate assents to?

        A. "Above all, if you labor with us in the Lord's vineyard, it is needful that you should do that part of the work which we advise, at the times and places which we judge most for his glory." This is called the enlisting clause.

        402 Q. How is this ceremony concluded?

        A. If his answers are satisfactory, the Conference, by a majority vote, may admit him. But if the Conference is not satisfied, he may be continued longer, or discontinued, and his name appears upon the minutes as discontinued, and he falls back to the local ranks.

        403 Q. What is the custom of the English Methodists in respect to probation?

        A. They require the candidate to travel four years on trial, during which time he cannot marry.

        404 Q. Are we not rather unwise in admitting so many men into our Conferences who, in many respects, are incompetent, and then burdened with large families?

        A. We are; among other evils that grow out of such a custom is, that the preacher is at one place, and the wife and children at another, forced apart by a necessity that grows of scanty work and large families, which, in many instances, is destructive to morals, and terminates in jealousy, wrangle and separation, and is ruinous to the minister, wife and virtually fatherless children.

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        405 Q. How do you manage to keep effective men in the itinerant ranks?

        A. First, by adhering to the plan of probation, putting candidates for the traveling work on two years' trial before final admission. Second, involuntary location, which rids the itinerancy of inefficient and unacceptable men.

        406 Q. Does the Annual Conference always exercise this precaution, and thus keep up an effective itinerant ministry?

        A. By no means, I am sorry to say; in many instances, men who should be located for ineffectiveness are promoted to the Presiding Eldership, a position which requires the greatest ability in the church to properly fill.

        407 Q. Suppose a preacher should be admitted on trial and his health fails, should the conference receive him into full connection nevertheless?

        A. Not at all. His physical condition is as much on trial as his moral and official character. His reception would involve his immediate superannuation, a place held in sacred trust for such old worn-out veterans as have rendered the church great and protracted service.

        408 Q. What is the better course in dealing with those whose probation brings to light either physical, mental, or moral unfitness for the itinerancy?

        A. Lay them aside at once, so they may return to other pursuits for a living, and not encourage them to go farther, where they will be an encumbrance and a burden to themselves and the church.

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        409 Q. What is an effective ministry?

        A. A ministry that holds the membership of the church together; increases its membership and congregation; can instruct the people, lead revivals and bring souls to Christ; that sets an example in good works, such as fasting, praying, searching out the poor and needy; to relieve and comfort them; can induce the people to give of their means to meet the requirements of the church, and thus be an instrument in God's hands for good.

        410 Q. What if a minister has no gifts for revival work?

        A. Then he is unfitted for pastoral work in a Methodist church, and unless the church has other employment for him, such as writing, teaching, managing some department, or editing a paper, he had better retire from the itinerant ranks.

        411 Q. May not a pastor be devoid of revival gifts, and still have a spiritualized church?

        A. Most assuredly; not, however, unless he leads off, puts his officers and people at work, invites his brother ministers to assist him, and exhibits an interest in the salvation of souls.

        412 Q. Does the success of a church depend upon what we commonly call big preaching?

        A. By no means; some of the deadest churches are pastored by some of the most learned and eloquent men, while some of the most lively churches are pastored by men who cannot preach at all--who are mere exhorters, yet they are usually men who live righteously and who pray, sing, fast and work much.

        413 Q. Which is the most necessary in the ministry, to be a great preacher or a great worker?

        A. No man is a great minister in whom both of these

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requisites do not centre. Both are indispensable; a great preacher can always be a great worker, but a great worker can not, however, always be a great preacher, yet a minister should strive to be both.

        414 Q. What is meant by the examination of character in an Annual Conference?

        A. At every annual session of the conference the roll of ministers is called, and at the call of each name the Bishop inquires if there is anything against his "moral, religious or official character;" if there is, any member of the conference can hold up his hand, which marks him and thus stops the passage of his character.

        415 Q. What is the effect of this mark?

        A. It brings any and all causes of complaint before the conference, which proceeds to investigate the same, and either determines his guilt or acquits him, and passes his character. If there is no complaint at all, when the name is announced, the Bishop declares his character passed.

        416 Q. When a minister's character passes at an Annual Conference, does that prevent complaints and charges being still made against him during the same session?

        A. No; the Bishops have decided that his character can be reopened, but not upon any issue that has been under consideration. It must be upon charges unknown to the conference when his character passed.

        417 Q. For what purpose is this annual examination of characters kept up?

        A. To guard against an impure, neglectful, ignorant, mischievous and worthless ministry, and to preserve to the church an efficient pastorate.

        418 Q. Do all Christian denominations observe this rule?

        A. No. It is peculiarly Methodistic, and is essential

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to the itinerant system, that no evil report follow a minister when transferred or removed into a strange community.

        419 Q. In changing pastors, does it not derange the work and bother the next minister?

        A. Not in the least when the rules are adhered to. Each pastor is required to report to the conference the status of the work he has served, viz.: the several churches, preaching places, number of members, officers, subscribers to the church literature, and to leave to his successor a full account of the entire work. Where this is done, the incoming pastor can go right to work, and there is no trouble, and where a pastor fails to do it, he is guilty of a breach of our rules.

        420 Q. Suppose a minister is too negligent to have his church books kept, or keep them himself; what then?

        A. Such a pastor ought to be dropped from the conference, or starved out by the people. He is not fit for the pastorate in any respect. He may be a good preacher, but not fit to pastor a church.


        421 Q. What suggested the itinerant system in the economy of Methodism?

        A. History does not fully state. It appears to have grown out of necessity on the one hand, and the idea of apostolic custom upon the other--a consequent evidently, of field preaching inaugurated by Whitefield.

        422 Q. Do you think it has met with divine favor?

        A. I do, for the reason that no church, since the days of the apostles, has grown so rapidly and impressed its power for good upon the world. Not even those that

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had the sword to aid them have increased their membership more rapidly.

        423 Q. Is there not quite a resemblance between the itinerant plan and the customs which prevailed in Bible times?

        A. We think so. The prophets, apostles, evangelists and the primitive preachers were all migratory in their ministerial labors.

        424 Q. What is the condition of a Methodist congregation when a pastor is not satisfactory to a majority or a large minority?

        A. Those who are not pleased can wait patiently for the expiration of his time, knowing it will last for a short term only. Christian forbearance will also incline them to do so.

        425 Q. What is the principle of itinerancy?

        A. The greatest good to the greatest number. In this way the most people can be reached and saved by the gospel.

        426 Q. What are some of its subsidiary advantages?

        A. It gives freshness and variety to preachers and to people, and thus meets a want of human nature that cannot be ignored without loss. It prevents staguation by too much sameness.

        427 Q. What did John Wesley say about it?

        A. He said that "congregations got as dead as a stone when his preaching was confined to the same people for a long time together."

        428 Q. How does the itinerancy agree with the diversity of gifts which the Holy Spirit has imparted to the ministry?

        A. The philosophy of the system is therein seen. No preacher has all the gifts of the Spirit, but, as the scripture saith, "Every man hath his proper gift of

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God, one after this manner and another after that." A congregation ministered to by several in turn is in a favorable condition for an all-sided culture and a full proclamation of the gospel. "All are yours"--whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas--and the people need them all. "Variety" is the order of nature, whether seen in the earth beneath or in the heavens above.

        429 Q. How is the itinerancy maintained?

        A. All the societies and congregations are one church. The preachers all make up one body of pastors. From the latter are drawn those who serve the former, and as nearly as possible the right man for the right place.

        430 Q. How is the distribution effected?

        A. By mutual concession this is left to an umpire, a president, a superintendent, selected by both; the Bishop, who, with the advantages of the best counsel as to the condition, wishes and wants of preachers and people, makes the appointments.

        431 Q. What length of time may an itinerant minister remain in one charge?

        A. Four years is the longest limit, yet the Bishop can change him yearly if he thinks it best.

        432 Q. Has the church grown as fast under the four-year limitation as the two?

        A. No; not by a great deal. Few men are able to feed an intelligent congregation four years with fresh preaching, and the moment the pulpit becomes stale, it loses its power for good. It takes a great man to present the gospel in new colors for two years, much less four.

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        433 Q. What is the limit generally allowed by Methodists for pastoring a charge?

        A. The British Methodist, three years; M. E. Church, three years; M. E. Church, South, four years, and the A. M. E. Z. Church, three years.

        434 Q. Who are reckoned as some of the most eminent itinerant men upon record?

        A. St. Paul, in the early ages of the church; John Wesley, the founder of Methodism; Bishop Asbury, of the M. E. Church, and Bishop Quinn, of the A. M. E. Church. But few men of modern times have equaled Bishop Asbury.

        435 Q. What does history say of Bishop Asbury's labors?

        A. It says, his circuit was from New England southward to Georgia, and westward to Tennessee and Kentucky, which he made annually for thirty years. He crossed the Alleghany Mountains sixty times, traveled two hundred and seventy thousand miles on foot and horseback, preached sixteen thousand four hundred and seventy-five sermons, besides over ten thousand exhortations and lectures which he delivered; sat in two hundred and twenty-four Annual Conferences; ordained four thousand ministers, and preached the gospel forty-five years, and for the first fifteen years without ordination.

        436 Q. Should not the example and labors of Bishop Asbury humiliate much of our pride and hush many of our excuses?

        A. I think so; especially that class who are afraid to open their mouths, who will not brave either cold or heat, nor make any sacrifice for the church or the salvation of souls.

        437 Q. What does history say of the labors of Mr. Wesley?

        A. That in an itinerant ministry of fifty years he

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traveled over two hundred and seventy-five thousand miles, and preached forty thousand five hundred and sixty sermons, besides delivering an infinite number of exhortations.

        438 Q. What is said of his liberality during the same period of fifty years?

        A. That he gave away to the poor, needy and his toiling brethren one hundred and twenty-five thousand dollars, and lived on a hundred and forty dollars a year himself, nor would he allow himself to spend more on his own subsistence.

        439 Q. What is said of the labors of Bishop Quinn?

        A. That he traveled over three hundred thousand miles, preached nearly thirteen thousand sermons, delivered over ten thousand exhortations, and organized nearly a thousand preaching centres.

        440 Q. Did all these preaching centres develop into churches?

        A. No; many of them died out for the want of preachers to hold them. His travels were mainly in the Western States, where at that time pious men were scarce, and the people were very ignorant; ministerial men were, therefore, hard to procure, and many that he did license and send out were incompetent, and thus failed to hold the work assigned them.

        441 Q. Have not ministerial sacrifice and labors degenerated of late years?

        A. Yes; most fearfully, in the A. M. E. Church, at least; most of our young ministry have but little idea of the heroic spirit that should characterize a Methodist preacher.

        442 Q. How do you account for it?

        A. 1st. The histories of great pioneer preachers are

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not read; thus their examples impart no inspiration to the young men of our day.

        2d. The professors of theology in our schools which train young men are not trained themselves; therefore they cannot train others.

        3d. Ministers are not rated for the souls they bring to Christ, but for the money they report to Conference.

        4th. There is more importance attached to learning and systematic preaching than to the accompanying power of the Holy Spirit.

        443 Q. What does history say about Bishop Bascom's preaching, even before he was a deacon?

        A. That he traveled three thousand miles on foot and horseback; preached four hundred times in three hundred days, and received twelve dollars and ten cents for his labors and mighty work accomplished; for he was without an equal in his day, in point of pulpit power and eloquence. Strong men fell before his preaching as dead, while thousands were brought to Christ and saved through faith.


Executive Department of the Church.

        444 Q. What is a Bishop in the A. M. E. Church?

        A. One who has the general oversight of the connection; presides over General and Annual Conferences;

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may preside over District and Quarterly Conferences; makes out the appointments of all ministers annually, with the assistance of the Presiding Elders; ordains deacons, elders and Bishops, with the assistance of the other ministry, etc.

        445 Q. What does the word Bishop mean?

        A. It answers to the Greek word Episcopos, and means overseer or superintendent.

        446 Q. How is a Bishop made?

        A. He is elected by the General Conference after fasting and fervent prayer for divine direction, and then consecrated by solemn and protracted service, and the laying on of the hands of at least one Bishop and five elders upon his head, invoking, at the same time, the Holy Spirit upon him.

        447 Q. How does the General Conference elect?

        A. It lays aside all other business, and appoints judges of election, calls the roll of members, each member walking forward and depositing his ballot as his name is called, and whoever gets the majority of all the votes cast is declared elected.

        448 Q. Who puts the candidates for the Bishopric in nomination?

        A. No one, as no one is supposed to be a candidate. The Lord is supposed to choose his own Bishop by inclining the members to vote for the right man.

        449 Q. Suppose, when the votes are counted, no one has a majority of all the votes cast, what follows then?

        A. The conference proceeds with a second ballot, and a third ballot, and so on until some one is elected.

        450 Q. Are Bishops itinerant ministers also?

        A. They are. The general superintendency is the genius of Episcopal Methodism, and the duty of a

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Bishop is to travel at large among the churches and people of his district in order to preach, give directions and oversee both the spiritual and temporal affairs of the church.

        451 Q. Can he cease to travel?

        A. Not without the consent of the General Conference; otherwise he cannot exercise the Episcopal office, unless sickness or inability in some respect shall prevent him.

        452 Q. To what body is he amenable for the faithful performance of his duties?

        A. To the General Conference, which meets quadrennially. This being the body that inducted him into office and imposed his duties, it has a right to see that he faithfully executes them.

        453 Q. How does the General Conference take cognizance of a Bishop?

        A. The General Conference appoints a committee on Episcopacy, composed of one member from each Annual Conference, which reviews his labors for the past four years, as well as his moral, religious and official character, and this committee reports to the body of the General Conference, which has power to suspend, expel or reprimand him for improper or imprudent conduct.

        454 Q. As the chief executive, what is the duty of a Bishop?

        A. To see that all the rules and regulations enacted by the General Conference are faithfully carried out in every part of the church, and that the Articles of Religion, General Rules and Doctrines of the Church are cautiously observed.

        455 Q. How is the work divided among the Bishops?

        A. The General Conference, through the Episcopal Committee, at each session, divides up the whole connection

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into as many Episcopal districts as there are Bishops and assigns each Bishop to one of the said districts.

        456 Q. What does the Board of Bishops think of this action upon the part of the General Conference?

        A. A majority of them regard it with disfavor, and do not hesitate to pronounce it an invasion of their vested prerogatives, while a minority are rather indifferent.

        457 Q. Is the four-year district plan thought to be better than annual alternations of the Bishops?

        A. Yes; we think it is for the present, principally for the reason that our church has not an adequate supply of able, experienced, broad-minded and comprehensive ministers to pastor our first-class churches and supply the demands for Presiding Elders. Therefore, a Bishop should remain in a work long enough to become somewhat acquainted with his preachers, and know personally the needs of the churches.

        458 Q. How are the several districts known from each other?

        A. They are numbered, and are called First, Second, Third Districts, etc.

        459 Q. Does the Episcopal district system limit the supervision of the several districts to the respective Bishops appointed over them?

        A. No; not in fact, yet a large majority of our ministers and members think so; but a Bishop has the right to exercise his Episcopal prerogatives in any part of the connection he may be found, whether he by special assignment be in charge of that district or not; otherwise, the Restrictive Rules bearing upon Episcopacy would be null and void.

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        460 Q. What does the Restrictive Rule say?

        A. It says: "The General Conference shall not change or alter any part or rule of our government so as to do away with Episcopacy, or destroy the plan of our Itinerant General Superintendency."

        461 Q. Then the superintendency would not be general if the Bishops' power was limited to only one district, I understand you to say?

        A. Yes; that is my meaning. The very term general means everywhere and on all occasions when acting in the exercise of his office.

        462 Q. How do the Bishops manage to make the superintendency general under the district system?

        A. They meet and hold an Episcopal Council once or twice a year, and each Bishop makes a report of his work to the council, and the said council gives such general directions as it may there agree upon. The General Conference of 1888 declared the Bishops in power all over the connection notwithstanding the district system.

        463 Q. What are the advantages of this programme?

        A. The unity of the church is maintained; also uniformity of usage, doctrine and administration are perpetuated.

        464 Q. What is the philosophical inference of the Bishops' Council as held by Episcopal Methodists?

        A. That the Bishops, as such, are not only one body, but one man, superintending the general affairs of the church.

        465 Q. Is this theory sustained by existing facts?

        A. No. Therefore the General Conference of 1872 tried to unify the Bishopric by requiring all decisions made by the Bishops to be published, and for every

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other Bishop to conform to that decision, unless overruled by the Council of Bishops or the General Conference.

        466 Q. What was the origin of Episcopacy?

        A. It is a very ancient, if not an apostolic form of church government. Dr. Beecher, of the Congregational Church, a man of great learning and research, says "that Episcopacy furnishes the assurance of an unbroken unity, from Jesus Christ through the apostles by a line of authentic Bishops."

        467 Q. What theory is held by non-Episcopal Christians in regard to ministerial rank?

        A. Most of them recognize one ordination as adequate to all purposes, and hold to the theory of ministerial parity or equality, while a few others extend their ordination to deacons and elders, but deny the third ordination as either scriptural or as being sanctioned by the customs of the primitive church.

        468 Q. Then this would seem to be a debatable subject?

        A. Yes; it has been debated in the Christian church since the days of the Reformation, which began A.D. 1517. Prior to that time ecclesiastical history scarcely mentions a discussion over it. Even the much agitated question of apostolic succession never marshaled its opposers or defenders till about the middle of Queen Elizabeth's reign, which began A.D. 1558.

Executive Department of the Church.

        469 Q. What is the collective body of Bishops called?

        A. When in official session the body of Bishops is called the Bishops' Council, or the Episcopal Council.

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        470 Q. How often, and for what purpose, do they meet?

        A. They are compelled to meet at least once a year, at which time they review the administration of each other, hear reports from each other's districts, inquire into the spiritual, financial, educational and material growth of each other's work. They enter into council upon such matters as affect the general interest of the church, and devise measures for future success. The Bishops of the A. M. E. Church are to meet semiannually hereafter.

        471 Q. Who is the chairman or president of the Bishops' Council?

        A. The senior or oldest Bishop in Episcopal orders.

        472 Q. What are the judicial duties of a Bishop?

        A. To hear and decide appeals from Quarterly Conferences on questions of law, when he shall be presiding in an Annual Conference, and to decide all questions of law coming before him in the regular business of an Annual Conference. Other questions involving church troubles and ministerial disorder he can dispose of at any time.

        473 Q. How shall a Bishop define or interpret a question of law?

        A. By an order of the General Conference, adopted in 1872, he is required to write it out in full, that it may appear in the printed minutes for future reference or review.

        474 Q. Is there any provision for an appeal from the decision of a Bishop?

        A. Yes; when a Bishop has decided a question of law, the Conference has the right to appeal from such decision to the General Conference for a final verdict.

        475 Q. Can the Bishops' Council, when in a regular or called session, review, reverse or modify the decision of a Bishop?

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        A. No; I believe that power has never been conceded to the Bishops' Council, for the reason that there has never been any legislation requiring it; yet I have known the Bishops to do it. It is evidently implied in the very existence of the Council.

        476 Q. Has the Bishops' Council any veto power upon the hasty or animated legislation of the General Conference?

        A. None whatever.

        477 Q. Do any of the great Methodist connections place an embargo, temporary or otherwise, upon hasty legislation in their chief or highest judicatories?

        A. Yes; two of which only I am able to recall at present: the British Methodist Church, which through its "legal hundred" can veto any legislation, and the M. E. Church, South, which can for a limited time through the objection of its Bishops.

        478 Q. What provisions exist for guarding the Constitution and established Rules in the M. E. Church, South?

        A. When any rule or regulation is adopted by their General Conference, which, in the opinion of the Bishops, is unconstitutional, the Bishops may present to the Conference which enacted said rule or regulation their objections thereto, with their reasons in writing; and if the General Conference shall, by two-thirds vote, adhere to its action on said rule or regulation, it shall then go down to the Annual Conferences, and must, before becoming a law, receive the concurrent recommendation of three-fourths of all the members of the several Annual Conferences who shall be present, voting.

        479 Q. Do you not think that a like rule would be of great benefit in our church also?

        A. I do, provided it was limited to the general phases

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of Methodist polity, and not to the choice and selection of men for positions of responsibility, as the Bishops' opinion, in that respect, should count for no more than other ministers.

        480 Q. Wherein is the trial of a Bishop peculiar from other persons?

        A. In that he has no appeal. If a private member is expelled, he may appeal from the committee that tried him to the Quarterly Conference; the local preacher can appeal to the Annual Conference, and the traveling minister to the General Conference.

        481 Q. How is this accounted for?

        A. Because, as the highest officer in the church, he is tried by the highest court; beyond there is no tribunal for review and correction.

        482 Q. Are there any securities for justice in this court of original jurisdiction which may be regarded as equivalent to an appeal from the sentence of a lower court?

        A. Yes, several. The General Conference, the original and final court for the trial of a Bishop, is made up of men from every part of the church, and is therefore free from local prejudice.

        483 Q. What other?

        A. Convening once in four years, and usually in session for nearly a month, this body, when sitting as a court, is supposed to be comparatively free from errors arising from haste and heat of passion. Also, this court is presumed to be composed of mature men, noted for intelligence and moral character--men who are expounders and makers of law themselves. The source of errors so frequent in lower courts is largely avoided. From the nature of the case, this court acts in the eyes of the whole church, and has every reason that can

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be drawn from this fact to proceed with circumspection.

        484 Q. What conclusion may be derived from the foregoing?

        A. That a Bishop may safely trust to this tribunal for a first and final hearing, and if, in the lower courts, there were such deliberation, patience and guarantees for justice, there would be less use for forms of appeal. It is analogous to civil government, where the chief executive and judicial officers of a State, or of the United States, when impeached, are tried by the highest court and have no appeal from its findings or sentence.

Executive Department of the Church.

        485 Q. Has the appointing power been primarily vested in the Bishops from the birth of Episcopal Methodism?

        A. It has.

        486 Q. Has there ever been any effort made to deprive the Bishops of this power or to limit this power?

        A. Yes. The General Conference of the M. E. Church, November the 1st, 1792, then embodying all Methodists in America, had this question under protracted consideration: 1st. Shall the Bishop appoint the preachers to the circuits? 2d. Shall a preacher be allowed an appeal from the appointment of the Bishop, if dissatisfied with it?

        487 Q. What disposition was made of the matter?

        A. The first was decided in the affirmative, and the second was decided in the negative.

        488 Q. Did it in any aspect ever assume form again?

        A. It did in after years, when it was proposed to transfer the power of choosing Presiding Elders and

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stationing the preachers from the Bishops to the Annual Conferences.

        489 Q. What put a final quietus to the agitation of this question?

        A. The memorable paper of Bishop McKendree, read before the General Conference.

        490 Q. What did he say about it?

        A. The Bishop said: "Take this prerogative from the Bishops, and there will remain with them no power by which they can oversee the work, or officially manage the administration; and therefore the (General) Conference must, in justice, release them from their responsibilities as Bishops. . . . But such a change in the government would deprive the General Conference of an important, perhaps an essential, part of their authority, and put it out of their power to enforce and carry our system of rules into effect. This will appear from the peculiar relation between the Bishop and the (General) Conference, or the connection between making our rules and enforcing them. The Bishops are chosen by the General Conference, and are the repositories of executive power, are held responsible as overseers of the whole charge. By calling upon them, the administration, in every part of the work, may be brought under the inspection and control of the General Conference. But if the power of superintending the work were taken from the Bishops, they must be released from the responsibility; and if they should be released, there would be no person or persons accountable to the General Conference for the administration; and consequently the connection between making rules and enforcing them would be dissolved. The legislative body

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would then have no control over the executive--no power to enforce their rules or laws. The several Annual Conferences are under the control of the General Rules, enforced by responsible superintendents; so that, if a preacher should depart from the Discipline or doctrine of the church, it is the Bishop's duty to correct, remove from office, or bring him to trial, according to the Discipline. Should an Annual Conference dissent from the doctrine or Discipline of the church, the Bishop should enter his protest and bring the case before the ensuing General Conference. Should the Bishop join with the conference in such a departure, the next General Conference will call him to an account for it; and by this medium the General Conference takes cognizance of the acts of the Annual Conferences; so that while the Bishops serve as a centre of union and harmony among the conferences, they (i. e., the Annual Conferences) become responsible to, and are brought under the inspection and control of the General Conference." (Life and Times of Wm. McKendree, pp. 356, 357.)

        491 Q. How has Bishop McKendree's review of that question been regarded by Episcopal Methodists?

        A. It has been accepted from that time (1820) up to the present, as authority, by all branches of the same.

        492 Q. From whence came Episcopacy in the Methodist Church?

        A. Rev. John Wesley, A.M., a great and good man of England, and the founder of the Methodist connection, both in Europe and America, set apart and consecrated (in 1784) Rev. Thomas Coke, D.C.L., a Bishop of the Methodist Church in America, who (Coke) consecrated

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secrated to the same office Rev. Francis Asbury the same year in Baltimore, Md. Bishop Allen's ordination has been set forth in the first chapter.

        493 Q. Who ordained Wesley and Coke?

        A. Both had received ordination to the diaconate and priesthood from the Bishops of the Church of England prior to their connection with Methodism.

        494 Q. Does history give another instance?

        A. Yes; Rev. Martin Luther, D.D., the great founder of the Reformation, assisted by three other Presbyters (elders), ordained the first Lutheran Bishop, Rev. Nicholas Amsdorf, January 20th, 1542. And thus originated the Lutheran Episcopacy of Germany and Europe.

        495 Q. What has the Christian world thought of this source of Episcopal authority or rights?

        A. Opinions, views and discussions have been infinite pro and con. Methodists, however, generally maintain that the Bishopric is an office, and not a divine order.

        496 Q. What did the learned Richard Watson say of Methodist Episcopacy in America?

        A. He said: "Their (American) Episcopacy is founded upon the principle of Bishops and Presbyters of the same degree--a more extended office only being assigned the former (Bishops) as in the primitive church, who presided in the meetings of the Presbyters (elders), and invested with the government of several churches, with their respective Presbyteries (Conferences)."

        497 Q. Has any Methodist Bishop ever ordained to the ministry candidates who had not been elected by an Annual Conference?

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        A. None that I can recall, except Bishop Asbury, who was allowed large discretion, by reason of the fact that he was a great pioneer Bishop; distances were great, and travel inconvenient.

        498 Q. Has any Bishop ever exercised authority somewhat similar?

        A. Yes; in some instances Bishops have, by written certificate, empowered licentiates to baptize and marry, where they had given special evidence of fitness, and the work was in great need of that kind of service. Yet it is an unusual exercise of prerogative. Though some latitude ought to vest in the Bishops where emergencies exist, as they are responsible for the extension and protection of the church as no other one can be. Bishops Harris and Simpson, of the M. E. Church, have so empowered licentiates in extreme necessities, and we have heard that Bishop Payne of our church has done the same.

Executive Department of the Church.

        499 Q. What is the theory of Episcopacy as generally maintained by Episcopal Methodists?

        A. That it is an expedient form of church order, promotive of ministerial efficiency, and doctrine, and purity, and Christian unity, but that it does not exist in the church jure divino, and thus become an indispensable necessity.

        500 Q. What results from this theory?

        A. That while we are Episcopal, we fellowship with Presbyterian and Congregational Churches.

        501 Q. Are all Methodists under an Episcopal form of government?

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        A. No. A common classification of Methodists is into Episcopal and non-Episcopal.

        502 Q. Which is the principal body of non-Episcopal Methodists?

        A. The Wesleyan Methodists of Great Britain. Their Conference is a body of Elders or Presbyters, exercising legislative and judicial powers, with a president annually elected.

        503 Q. Why are they non-Episcopal?

        A. Because in England there were Bishops with whose jurisdiction Mr. Wesley would not seem to interfere. In America the case after the Revolution was different.

        504 Q. Can you give his words on this point?

        A. In his letter explaining the ordination of Dr. Coke as Bishop, and through him Rev. Francis Asbury, for the Methodists of this country, he said: "As our American brethren are now totally disentangled from both the State and from the English hierarchy, we dare not entangle them again either with the one or the other. They are now at full liberty simply to follow the Scriptures in the Primitive Church."

        505 Q. What did Mr. Wesley recommend?

        A. That they be organized into an Episcopal Church; and to this end he not only ordained their first Bishop, but he abridged the Liturgy and Ritual of the Church of England into forms of ordination for Bishops, Elders and Deacons, and also for the administration of the Holy Sacraments--all of which the first American General Conference, in 1784, accepted and adopted.

        506 Q. Was Bishops Coke's and Asbury's ordination to the Episcopacy wholly satisfactory?

        A. It would appear from history that they entertained

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some scruples or doubts. As they both sought re-ordination at the hands of Bishops White and Seabury, of the Protestant Episcopal Church, but as the Methodists contemplated remaining a separate organization, under the government of their existing Bishops, the proposition was not acceded to.

        See "Appleton's Cyclopædia," pages 56 and 197.

        507 Q. What has been said by eminent Wesleyan authority in England?

        A. That it is to American Methodism we must look for Wesley's ideal of church government. Here the scheme most nearly agreeing with his views of the Scriptures and the Primitive Church has been adopted.

        508 Q. What were Mr. Wesley's views upon this subject?

        A. He held, with a number of learned and trustworthy scholars and divines, that neither Christ nor his apostles prescribed any particular form in church government; that the Scriptures only lay down general principles, and leave the details to Christian expediency and existing circumstances.

        509 Q. How do we receive ministers who offer to unite with us from other Christian churches, and present proper evidences of ordination according to their rights and usages?

        A. After they have been properly recommended, and the Annual Conference satisfied of their gifts, graces, and usefulness, and of their agreement with us in doctrine and discipline, they are recognized as in orders without the re-imposition of hands, after taking upon themselves our ordination vows.

        510 Q. Are there any examples of Episcopal ordination in the Primitive Church by Presbyters or Elders?

        A. One example occurs in the great Church of Alexandria, founded by St. Mark, which, in the time of

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Heraclas, who died A.D. 246, upon the death of a Bishop, the elders of that city elected and ordained another, without calling in any other Bishop to do it for them.

        511 Q. Who assisted Mr. Wesley in ordaining Dr. Coke a Bishop?

        A. History informs us he was aided by other Presbyters or Priests of the Church of England, September 10th, 1784.

        512 Q. Did any distinguished Prelate ever venture an opinion that would seem to sanction the ordination of a Bishop by Presbyters or Elders?

        A. Archbishop Usher, when asked by the King if he had found in antiquity that "Presbyters did ordain," replied, "Yes, I will show your majesty more--even where Presbyters alone successfully ordained Bishops," and pointed to the case at Alexandria as an instance.

        513 Q. Did Archbishop Usher hold that Bishops, Presbyters or Elders were equal in orders?

        A. No; he believed in the third ordination, and that the Bishopric was the highest.

        514 Q. Do the Methodist Episcopal Church and the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, entertain the same views on the Episcopacy?

        A. No. While both have a general itinerant superintendency, Southern Methodism holds that the Episcopacy is, constitutionally, a co-ordinate part of the church government and authority; that Bishops are officers and pastors of the whole church, though elected by the General Conference; that although Barnabas and Saul were accredited ministers of the gospel, they were, nevertheless, by fasting and prayer and the laying on of hands, set apart or separated, to a special

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work in the ministry. (See Acts xiii. 2, 3.) This, though an "order" jure humano and different from jure divino, yet justifies the third ordination and carries with it authority.

        515 Q. What is the position of the Methodist Episcopal Church?

        A. That a Bishop is merely an officer of the General Conference--in a sense its creature--and may be summarily deposed, or set aside, at its will, by a majority vote, by preamble and resolution, without showing cause. This is clearly set forth in the discussions which divided the M. E. Church in 1844. (See Gen. Conf. Minutes of 1844.)

        516 Q. What position does the African Methodist Episcopal Church assume upon this point?

        A. That a Bishop is an authoritative functionary in the church--is invested with certain rights and prerogatives inherent in the office; that he cannot be deposed without due process of trial and conviction for a crime committed, and that he has the right to enforce the rules enacted by the general Conference, and is therefore a responsible factor in the church, both at the General and Annual Conferences and elsewhere; as such is accountable for the failure or success of the connection, except when confronted by specific legislation, and is in duty bound to oversee its spiritual, educational and temporal affairs.

        517 Q. Should a candidate be elected to Deacon's or Elder's orders and should the Bishop regard him unworthy of ordination, is the Bishop compelled to ordain him nevertheless?

        A. They are in all Episcopal Methodist Churches except the A. M. E. Church. Bishops Payne, Campbell,

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Shorter and Brown have decided that the Bishops can bar the ordination of a candidate whom they may judge unfitted; and as their decisions have never been overruled by the Council of Bishops, or reversed by the General Conference, the power is conceded.

        518 Q. Can a Bishop in the A. M. E. Church give the casting vote in case of a tie in an Annual or General Conference?

        A. They invariably do it, and their right has never been questioned; to the contrary, the General Conferences of 1872, 1880, 1884 and 1888 asked for it without a dissenting voice. In the General Conference of the M. E. Church in 1840, Bishop Andrew (May 19th) gave the casting vote, and the same was accepted; but Bishop Hedding (May 28th), in the same General Conference, refused to give the casting vote, denying that a Bishop had the right to do so. Thus the resolution then pending was lost.

        519 Q. Can a Bishop in the A. M. E. Church offer a resolution, speak to a pending question, or vote in the General Conference?

        A. The right to offer a resolution or make a motion has never been formally denied, while it has been partially questioned. They may speak unless objections are made, when it requires a majority vote to allow them to proceed. They are invariably expected to vote when the roll is called and the yeas and nays are taken. In the General Conference of 1804 (M. E. Church), Bishop Asbury made seven motions and Bishop Coke thirteen, not all of which prevailed. This liberty, however, has been curtailed in late years.

        520 Q. What theory would seem to justify a Bishop in taking part in the proceedings of a General Conference?

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        A. Bishop McKendree defined the General Conference to be composed of Bishops and representatives from the Annual Conferences; that the representatives and the General Superintendents who compose the General Conference do not act as separate and distinct bodies; and yet, such are their respective relations to their constituents, that they form a check on each other in order to preserve the constitutional rights and privileges of the preachers and people.

        See Life and Times of McKendree, Vol. II., pp. 364, 365.

        521 Q. Is there any other?

        A. Yes; the general officers all speak and vote by virtue of their responsibilities to the General Church. And the Bishops evidently have as weighty a claim upon the attention of the General Conference as a general officer can possibly have. Yet, it would be highly imprudent, regardless of his conceded rights, for a Bishop to be constantly on the floor wrangling with every minor question.

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Assistant Executive Department of the Church.

        522 Q. What is a Presiding Elder in the A. M. E. Church?

        A. He is a high ministerial functionary, charged with weighty responsibilities. He is, in fact, an assistant Bishop, or Superintendent--a sub-episcopate.

        523 Q. What gave rise to Presiding Elders in the Methodist Church?

        A. It was developed out of necessity in the early days of American Methodism. After the organization of the church, Mr. Wesley requested that no more Elders be elected and ordained than were absolutely necessary for the administration of the sacraments, and out of eighty-three preachers then in the field only twelve were selected as Elders, and that the church might have the benefit of their services, these Elders were authorized to travel, not only over their own circuits, but over contiguous circuits, where the preachers were not ordained, that they might overlook the work and administer baptism and the Lord's supper--and thus evolved the Presiding Eldership.

        524 Q. How is a Presiding Elder appointed?

        A. By the Bishop; but he shall not allow any Elder to preside in the same district more than four years consecutively.

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        525 Q. What are the duties of a Presiding Elder?

        A. To travel through his appointed district in order to preach and to oversee the spiritual and temporal affairs of the church; preside over Quarterly Conferences and District Conferences in the absence of a Bishop, and to take charge of all the Elders, Deacons and preachers, both local and traveling, and also exhorters in his district; be present and take the oversight of quarterly meetings, and see that the reports of trustees, stewards and Sabbath-schools, or the substance of them, are read or set forth quarterly before the people; that the members, where the Quarterly Meeting Conference is held, may be apprised regularly of the temporal and spiritual condition of the church.

        526 Q. How often is he to visit each pastor's charge in his district?

        A. Four times a year; when, besides attending the quarterly meetings, he is to call together the members of the Quarterly Conference over which he presides.

        527 Q. What are his relations to the other preachers?

        A. In the absence of the Bishop, he is to take charge of all the traveling and local preachers and exhorters in his district, and to see that those who are effective are doing service for the church.

        528 Q. How far does his jurisdiction extend?

        A. If, first of all, in the absence of a Bishop, a necessity arises for any of the traveling preachers on his district to be changed, the Presiding Elder shall make the change. But the General Conference of 1884 restricted the Presiding Elders, by requiring them to obtain the consent of a majority of the legal members, provided that it does not meet the approval of the said

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preacher or the preacher holding the charge. The Presiding Elders now cannot, as formerly, change preachers from place to place ad libitum. If any preacher dies or leaves his work, the Presiding Elder, as far as possible, fills his place with another.

        529 Q. What is required of the Presiding Elder concerning any pastor who neglects his duty?

        A. To correct the evil, as far as possible, at the very time; and when the inquiry is made at the Annual Conference, "Is there anything against his moral, religious or official character?" the Presiding Elder reports the names of all the delinquent preachers within his district.

        530 Q. In case a traveling minister is accused of immorality, in the interval of the conference, what is the Presiding Elder to do?

        A. In the absence of the Bishop, he calls the accused before a committee of investigation, and, if found guilty, suspends him until the session of the Annual Conference, and supplies his place with another preacher.

        531 Q. Can a Presiding Elder remove a pastor from his work in the interval of the conference, unless he be suspended, and leave him without work?

        A. By no means, unless the Presiding Elder has a fund from which the deposed peacher can draw his subsistence. When a minister receives an appointment at the Annual Conference, the said conference virtually contracts with him for employment till its next session; and for a Presiding Elder to remove him and leave him without work is to break the contract, and would be a case of grave maladministration upon the part of the Presiding Elder. Any pastor so treated should immediately inform the Bishop, who is bound to take cognizance of it immediately.

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        532 Q. What is expected of a Presiding Elder toward candidates for admission on trial, orders or into full connection?

        A. He must direct their attention to those studies prescribed as prerequisites in our Book of Discipline, and give them all necessary assistance in preparing for examination by the committees. He should examine them himself on his quarterly rounds and thus help in their preparations.

        533 Q. What are the Presiding Elder's duties toward local preachers and exhorters?

        A. To take cognizance of all the local preachers and exhorters in each circuit, station or mission, and to assist the pastor in charge in giving them systematic and regular employment, so that such labor as they may be able to perform shall be most profitable to the church; and, through the Quarterly Conference, to inquire annually into the gifts, labors and usefulness of each by name. He shall examine each local preacher and exhorter also upon their studies before renewing their annual license, and send them out to work in adjacent missions and preaching-places, so that the borders of Zion may be extended.

        534 Q. Besides executive, are there any judicial duties attached to this office?

        A. Yes. The Presiding Elder must decide all questions of law which may arise in the regular business of the Quarterly Conference, subject to an appeal to the Bishop or the next Annual Conference; he may require all such questions to be submitted to him in writing. The Presiding Elder, like the Bishop, is not allowed to decide any "imaginary" or "supposed" cases, but only such as arise in the transaction of business.

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Assistant Executive Department of the Church.

        535 Q. It would appear from the foregoing that the Presiding Eldership is a part of the executive department of our church. Is that so?

        A. Yes; the Presiding Elder is to take care that every part of the Discipline be enforced within his district.

        536 Q. What other directions are in the Discipline concerning him?

        A. He is to attend the Bishops when present in his district, and to give them, when absent, all necessary information, by letter, of the state of his district.

        537 Q. During the session of the Annual Conference, what is his work?

        A. To attend his preachers while making their annual reports; see that they do not misrepresent any part of their work; present the recommendations of Quarterly Conferences; for admissions on trial, orders in the local ministry, and represent every interest in his district. While other members are free to speak, for or against, he is looked to especially for information to guide the conference safely in acting upon these matters. He is also expected to give all necessary information involving the character of the ministers of his district, and should any of them fail to attend the Annual Conference he must supply the statistical reports of the charge.

        538 Q. What is another and most important duty of a Presiding Elder?

        A. To give the Bishop all information in his possession for the proper making out of the appointments,

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regardless of his personal likes or dislikes of the preachers.

        539 Q. Should a Presiding Elder be a man of prejudices?

        A. Under no circumstances. A man of personal prejudices, pro or con, is neither fit to be a Bishop nor a Presiding Elder. Such a man would make out appointments with a view to rewarding his friends and punishing his enemies, or his imaginary enemies, and any one so disposing of the power entrusted to him by the church would be unworthy of his office and a curse to the church.

        540 Q. By what process do the Presiding Elders advise with the Bishops concerning the appointments?

        A. At certain hours during the session of the Annual Conference, the Bishop calls together all the Presiding Elders (which meeting is called the Episcopal Cabinet), and in this cabinet meeting the wants, wishes, fitness, adaptability and intelligence of pastors and churches are patiently canvassed so that a suitable distribution of the ministers may be made for the ensuing year.

        541 Q. By what mode do they proceed in making out the appointments in the Episcopal Cabinet?

        A. Each Presiding Elder appears in the cabinet with his recommendations and requests written out, and after solemn and fervent prayer for the guiding presence of the Great Head of the church, the Bishop calls upon the Presiding Elder of the first district for his recommendations, and as the Elder proceeds to suggest pastors for the respective churches, the names of the preachers suggested, and the stations or circuits for which the suggestions or recommendations are made by the Presiding Elder are carefully canvassed, so that the Bishop

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can get all the light possible from all the members of the cabinet, and when he is satisfied he approves or disapproves, and thus proceeds with each Presiding Elder district, and with the name of each minister or member of the conference till all of the circuits, stations and missions are supplied with pastors.

        542 Q. Should a Bishop refuse to accede to any recommendation made by a Presiding Elder or the entire Cabinet of Elders, would such a refusal imply disrespect toward said Elder or Elders?

        A. Not in the least, for the church expects the appointments to emanate from the Bishop's judgment, and not from the Elders per se. Besides, the General Conference holds the Bishop responsible for the appointments, and not the Presiding Elders. Even if they mislead him by their counsel, the Bishop is nevertheless individually responsible. Yet the Bishop is in duty bound to hear their counsel.

        543 Q. Are Presiding Elders a necessity in our church?

        A. Yes; they are indispensable. Think of it. There are only eleven Bishops in the A. M. E. Church, which extends over the civilized portion of North America, with mission centers in distant lands, with forty-four Annual Conferences, with about two thousand traveling ministers and over four hundred thousand members, with eight or ten distinct departments, and other varied interests. Yet these eleven Bishops are charged with the general administration of all this great work, and are bound to see that all the rules and regulations of the General Conference are carried out. Now, it is impossible for the Bishops personally to superintend every portion of this vast field, and visit every point annually,

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but by the aid of the Presiding Elders they can accomplish their work.

        544 Q. What relation does the Presiding Elder hold to the Episcopacy?

        A. The Presiding Eldership, as Bishop McKendree said, is not separate and distinct from it, but is inseparably connected with a certain important function of the Episcopacy, and included in it.

        545 Q. Why do the Bishops appoint Presiding Elders?

        A. This question has already been answered. But the Bishops are responsible alone to the General Conference for the administration of the church, and therefore Presiding Elders, as their assistants, must be deputized by them.

        546 Q. What are the powers of Presiding Elders?

        A. They represent the official authority of the Bishop within their districts, and in his absence exercise all his functions, ordination excepted.

        547 Q. To whom is a Presiding Elder responsible or amenable?

        A. Like other itinerants, he is amenable to the Annual Conference for his moral and religious conduct, and for the general work of a Methodist minister; but for his special work as Assistant Superintendent over a district, he is amenable to the Bishop, who has the power of appointment and removal.

        548 Q. May it happen, then, that the conference approves and the Bishop disapproves the same man?

        A. It does so occur sometimes. In answer to the question, "Is there anything against his moral, religious or official character?" his character passes--that is, the conference, to the extent of its jurisdiction, approves.

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But the Bishop may not find him suitable, or the most suitable, for this special service, and so may change, remove or decline to re-appoint.

        549 Q. Is a Presiding Elder re-appointed every year to his field of labor, or does one appointment to a district hold good for four years?

        A. The certificate of every itinerant minister expires annually, or at his subsequent conference, unless prevented from attending conference by Provindential causes. In such an event his appointment holds good till his successor arrives, or he gets directions from the appointing power.

        550 Q. What class of ministers should be selected for Presiding Elders?

        A. Men of large and broad views, cool and calculating heads, established piety, well informed, able preachers, good singers, fervent in prayer, given to fasting and self-denial, free from prejudice, kind, generous and charitable to ministers, members and children, not inclined to give or receive insults, nor to the use of abusive language, industrious, practical in business, and learned in Methodist doctrine and polity.

Assistant Executive Department of the Church.

        551 Q. Why does the phrase, "Quarterly Meeting Conference," so frequently occur in our Book of Discipline, and in all the old Methodist Disciplines? Why not Quarterly Conference only?

        A. History says the founders of Methodism intended thereby to forever unite and make inseparable the Quarterly Conference and the quarterly meeting, so

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that the Presiding Elders and the people should know that one included the other.

        552 Q. What are the quarterly meeting duties of a Presiding Elder?

        A. He should urge the people to fast and pray on the previous Friday, preach Friday night; and should have public worship both on Saturday and Sunday. He should preach Saturday at eleven o'clock, by all means, and have preaching or religious service at three and seven o'clock, if possible. He should hold love-feast at six o'clock Sabbath morning, preach and administer the Holy Communion at eleven o'clock, hold service again at three and seven o'clock. He should invite persons forward both for prayer and membership with the church; baptize and receive into full membership, when such cases are presented to him; inform the people of the spiritual and temporal condition of the church, including money collected and for what it was spent, and debts pending.

        553 Q. Could a Presiding Elder endure such hard work from week to week the year round?

        A. Likely not, if his health were poor. But we mean that it is his business to do it or see that it is done. He has the presence of the pastor to assist him, and the power to call preachers to his aid from adjacent portions of the work.

        554 Q. Suppose he is holding a quarterly meeting at a station where the pastor administers the Lord's Supper to his members once a month on a stated Sabbath, as every pastor of a station ought to do, and the quarterly meeting should be on the Sabbath following, should the Presiding Elder administer the Lord's Supper at his quarterly meeting nevertheless?

        A. Not at all. Where there are stated monthly communions, that is sufficient; and the Presiding Elder

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will be glad to spend that time in trying to bring souls to Christ. As every good Presiding Elder will always endeavor to make his quarterly meeting a special time for the ingathering of souls, as well as in trying to raise money for his own quarterage, or, if his quarterage is raised, collecting other finances for the pastor or other interests of the church.

        555 Q. You say the Presiding Elder should urge or demand the people to fast and pray the Friday previous to the quarterly meeting. How could a Presiding Elder order the people to fast on the previous Friday when he might not reach the place of the quarter before Saturday morning himself?

        A. The Presiding Elder gives the order to the people through the pastor of the work. Indeed, the pastor should not wait for orders from the Presiding Elder; he himself should fast and call upon his members to do the same before every quarterly meeting, and thus prepare the hearts of the people for a gracious outpouring of the Holy Spirit during the quarter and afterwards.

        556 Q. Is it customary in the A. M. E. Church to have public service on Saturday, as well as Sunday, upon quarterly meeting occasions?

        A. No; I am sorry to say it--that old time-honored rule of Methodism has almost died out in our church. The conferences of Illinois and Missouri are all that observe the rule, to my knowledge; but it is a Methodistic rule and custom, nevertheless, and is rigidly observed by the British Wesleyan Church, and very largely by the M. E. Church, both North and South.

        557 Q. Would it be proper for a Presiding Elder to hold a quarterly love-feast on Monday or Tuesday night after the quarterly meeting of the previous Saturday and Sunday?

        A. No; it is not exactly Methodistic, as the lovefeast (a service which Mr. Wesley borrowed from

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the Moravians) was instituted in the Methodist Church as a preparational service to the Lord's supper, and should always be held at some hour before partaking of the emblems of the broken body and shed blood of Christ.

        558 Q. At which time did the early Christians hold lovefeast--before or after the Holy Communion?

        A. The learned Drs. Lightfoot, Whitby and Townley concur in the opinion that the love-feast was held previous to the administration of the Lord's supper; but St. Chrysostom gives an account of it as being held afterwards. It is possible that the primitive Christians had no fixed time except to make it an accompaniment of the Lord's supper; yet it is strictly Methodistic to hold it before. Presiding Elders, however, should be allowed to utilize contingencies.

        559 Q. It has been said by ministers making some pretension to learning in our church that a Presiding Elder could not open the doors of the church, receive a member into full membership, baptize or perform any official duty on the Sabbath of his quarterly meeting. Is such a construction of our regulations and usages true?

        A. No, and those who say so know nothing about the genius and theory of Methodism. It is equal to saying that neither the Bishop nor the regular pastor can do it. The Bishop is the pastor (in chief) of all the churches in the connection, and the Presiding Elder is the pastor (in chief) of all the churches in his district, and all the prerogatives that vest in the lower pastors are vested in the higher, unless restricted by a specific law, and there is no moral or religious-service restriction, found in the law. Such an assumption is therefore literally monstrous.

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        560 Q. Has a Presiding Elder any right to interfere with the running machinery of the church between the Quarterly Meeting Conferences?

        A. None whatever, unless invited by the pastor in charge, or summoned by virtue of a disturbance. Otherwise, he comes in and goes out as a mere visiting minister.

        561 Q. What of a Presiding Elder who visits among the members of a church, and speaks direspectfully and reflectingly of its pastor?

        A. He is simply out of his place, and is infinitely a worse man than the pastor. If the pastor is a bad man, the Presiding Elder should proceed against him and suspend him, or should surrounding circumstances make that impracticable, he should lay the conduct of the pastor before the Bishop. Till then he should be silent.

        562 Q. What is the duty of a Presiding Elder when he changes a preacher from the charge assigned him at the Annual Conference by the Bishop?

        A. He should report the removal or change, and the reasons therefor, at once to the Bishop.

        563 Q. Are the duties of a Presiding Elder confined to Quarterly Conferences and quarterly meetings?

        A. Not by any means. Bishop McKendree says of the Presiding Elder: "It is his business fully to attend to every part of the execution of the Discipline. He is interested in every charge, and the pastor is, in some sense, his aid. Administering discipline, giving the sacraments and pastoral visitations, are all a part of his work."

        564 Q. Is a Presiding Elder confined to circuits, stations and missions only in his district?

        A. No. He plans for new fields and should be an

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effective leader in home missions. It is his duty to search for and establish new preaching places, and supply those places with such supernumeraries and local preachers, and even exhorters, as he may have at command. He has the right to authorize even laymen or lay women to organize and carry on prayer-meetings till the work assumes such proportions as will demand higher attention.

        565 Q. What has the Presiding Elder done for the itinerant pastorate in our church alone?

        A. He has multiplied and strengthened it greatly. Young, inexperienced men, and unordained men, through his supervision, have become available, effective and successful pastors. It would have been inexpedient, if not cruel, to have sent them out alone, but an adviser, helper, director was at hand in the Presiding Elder. By him our doctrines, usages and customs have been maintained and administration of law made uniform. The Presiding Eldership has been the mightiest agency in the progress of Methodism wherever it existed.



        566 Q. What are trustees in the African Methodist Episcopal Church?

        A. Trustees are church officers, elected by the respective church congregations throughout the connection,

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for the purpose of holding the legal title to the respective church lots, church edifices, parsonages, school-houses, cemeteries, and all other church property which belongs to the members of said connection.

        567 Q. What is meant by the phrase members of the said connection?

        A. All the members of the African Methodist Episcopal Church constitute by its genius and theory but one great body. Yet, for the convenience of its members living in different portions of the world, separate church organizations and other local interests exist for the benefit of the whole.

        568 Q. In what respect does this church differ from the Congregational and Baptist?

        A. With them each congregation is separate with its pastors, and claims to be independent of every other congregation, and thus sovereign, and have no common unity among their members and ministers and central source of legislation, where the laws and rules are binding that are enacted.

        569 Q. What number of trustees are elected for the respective churches or places of worship?

        A. Three, five, seven or nine. But none shall have less than three nor more than nine.

        570 Q. What are the qualifications of trustees?

        A. They shall be twenty-one years of age, and members of the church of six months' standing, except in case of missions, new work or other emergencies, when probationers or persons friendly to the church may act as trustees for the time being.

        571 Q. Can a woman serve as a trustee?

        A. Yes; there is no specific law in the church against

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it. She has the right to vote for trustees, and might be voted for, where the laws of the State did not contravene. But, as the trustees are temporal officers, and are bound to keep order, even to the extent of quelling a riot, or possibly attending the courts of the land, the position is hardly adapted to the sphere of females.

        572 Q. What are the duties of trustees?

        A. To manage all the temporal matters of the church, not otherwise provided for, guard all the real estate, churches, parsonages, school-houses and other property owned by the people in the connection. They shall make improvements upon said property only when authorized to do so by a majority of the legal voters of the respective churches and congregations; procure, by purchase or hire, a house for the minister's family, furnish it comfortably and provide fuel for use.

        573 Q. Are these all the duties involved?

        A. No. They must either do it themselves or employ a sexton to open and close the church at the proper hours of worship; keep the same clean, decent and comfortable, and supply the pulpit with drinking-water. They must see that order, quiet and good behaviour are observed in and around the church; attend seating the people; see that they do not run in and out during preaching. They may, in Trustee Board, upon the nomination of the pastor, elect a limited number of young men as ushers to aid in seating the people, preserving order and lifting penny collections. They shall represent the members in all law-suits, and defend the property before the courts in the interest of the legal members of the connection, and do such things, all and singular, as honest and faithful Christians, to whom the

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interest of the members has been committed, ought to do.

        574 Q. To whom is the sexton of a church subject?

        A. To the pastor in charge, who may dismiss him if neglectful of his duties, and appeal to the trustees for another, more dutiful and obedient.

        575 Q. How are trustees elected?

        A. Wherever the law of the land requires a specific mode of election, that mode shall be observed in electing trustees. But where the law does not intervene, they shall be elected annually by the members of the church.

        576 Q. By what mode do the members elect?

        A. The minister in charge appoints the time and place for holding the election, and must give notice of the same from his pulpit from one to two Sabbaths previously. The minister, at the meeting of the election, nominates twice the number to be elected, and every member of the church twenty-one years of age, and in full communion, and who may be present at the time, has the right to vote for such of the nominees as he may choose.

        577 Q. How do the members vote for the nominees?

        A. The law implies that they must vote by ballot. Should the members, however, not be able to write, as a whole, they sometimes use black and white beans as ballots, and when pressed for time in country churches, the minister often places two names at the time before the people, and they vote by raising their right or left hands.

        578 Q. Suppose, when the minister in charge places his

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nominations before the members, they should fail to elect any of them, what then?

        A. The minister must nominate another set, and thus continue till the people make a selection, as the law expects the members to be satisfied with those to whom they are to trust their interest. The minister in charge shall then make a declaration of the result.

        579 Q. How shall the trustees be installed into office?

        A. The minister in charge should have them to appear before the altar, either then or at the earliest convenience, before the congregation, and ask them the following question: Do you promise, in the presence of God and this congregation, that you will faithfully perform the duty of trustees, and obey the laws and regulations as set forth in the Discipline of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and defend the same against every attempt to violate the said laws and regulations, THE LORD BEING YOUR HELPER? And, after their assent, introduce them to the members and congregation as their trustees for the ensuing year, that the people might know them in person, and respect, obey and reverence them in the discharge of their official duties.


        580 Q. What if a trustee should cease to be a member of our church?

        A. Any trustee, ceasing to be a member of our church, by reason of expulsion or otherwise, immediately ceases to be a trustee, except in case of debts, or where he is a joint security, and then no longer than such relief can be given as will satisfy the creditors.

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        581 Q. Who is the chairman of the Trustee Board?

        A. The minister in charge is always chairman of the Board of Trustees (where the laws of the State or Territory do not otherwise provide), and his signature is necessary at all times to make the acts of the trustees valid. In the absence of the minister in charge, he may appoint a president pro tem., and in all such cases his signature is legal.

        582 Q. To what body are the trustees responsible for their report?

        A. The trustees shall make a report of all moneys received and when, and all moneys expended and what for, to the Quarterly Conference, which report, if adopted, the Presiding Elder must have read to the members of his quarterly meeting. The Quarterly Conference being the high court of the church, it has a right to review the doings of the trustees in full, and while it cannot remove them, it can impeach them, and thus disqualify them, and require the membership, with the pastor, to meet and supply their places; though Bishop Payne said, unofficially, "that as the trustees are amenable to the Quarterly Conference, the law implied power to impeach, suspend and remove." As this is somewhat a disputed point, no risk is ventured when the Quarterly Conference impeaches and disqualifies and remands the impeached back to the membership of the church for final disposition. But the members have no power to restore them to office, for impeachment by the Quarterly Conference disqualifies them or any one of them for the time, as the Quarterly Conference is the high court of the church.

        583 Q. In case of the death of a trustee, how shall the vacancy be filled?

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        A. If not indispensable to the good of the church, the vacancy might remain till the end of the year, or the pastor may call the membership together and have them supply the vacancy. It is customary, however, for the trustees, when in regular session, to elect one to supply the vacancy themselves, and have the Quarterly Conference to confirm.

        584 Q. Do the Bishops hold any chief claim upon the property of the connection?

        A. No; Bishop Wayman says, neither the Bishops, the General nor the Annual Conferences have ever claimed the church property beyond placing an estoppel upon any proceedings designed to divert the use of the property from the purposes for which it was originally intended.

        585 Q. What, then, do the Bishops definitely claim and demand?

        A. All that the Bishops demand is the mere right to supply the pulpit with properly accredited ministers and preachers of the A. M. E. Church, who shall preach and expound the Word of God, administer the Holy Sacraments and carry out the provisions of the Book of Discipline.

        586 Q. What if the trustees should close the doors of the church upon the minister sent by the Bishop?

        A. Bishop Baker, of the M. E. Church, says: "If the trustees of any church should refuse to receive the minister or preacher, and shut the doors against him, the court would issue a peremptory mandamus, commanding the trustees to admit the preacher thus appointed to said church;" and the same would apply to the A. M. E. Church. The great jurist, Chancellor Wadsworth, says: "That over the church, as such, the legal or temporal tribunals do not profess to have any jurisdiction whatever,

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except so far as it is necessary to protect it, or where it is necessary to protect the civil rights of others, and to protect the public peace. All questions relating to the faith and practice of the church and its members belong to the church judiciary, to which they have voluntarily subjected themselves." Another jurist, eminent for learning, Judge William J. Henry, of New York, says: "The civil government has no just or lawful authority over the conscience, or faith, or form of worship, or church creed, or discipline, as long as their fruits neither undermine the civil supremacy, demoralize society, nor disturb its peace and security. But if a disturbance should arise, the members of a church should first appeal to their own ecclesiastical courts." The above authorities, learned in civil and ecclesiastical law, show that the trustees have no right to close the doors upon a minister properly accredited before first appealing to the church authorities and judicatories.

        587 Q. Suppose it should happen that the trustees should know that the minister was guilty of a crime expressly forbidden in the Word of God and the Bishop nor Presiding Elder had not been apprised of it?

        A. Even then it would not be the business of the trustees to close the doors or attempt to eject the pastor. The Board of Stewards are the guardians of the pulpit and altar, and the Book of Discipline informs them what to do in such cases.

        588 Q. Can any portion of the church property be mortgaged or placed in security to raise money to pay the salary or allowance of the pastor by the trustees?

        A. By no means. The General Conference of 1880 decided against such a procedure, also the Council of Bishops in its annual session of 1884, and made it a

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grave penalty for a pastor to receive such money if it should happen to be thus illegally gotten; nor can the trustees mortgage the church for anything without a majority vote of the legal members thereof. Besides, it is not the business of the trustees, as such, to raise the pastor's salary. It is the legal duty of the stewards to collect and pay the pastor his entire allowance, including his salary, board and traveling expenses, and as the pastor is the chairman of the board of stewards, he is chiefly responsible for his own allowance. Every pastor enters the ministry of the A. M. E. Church with a full knowledge of this fact, and takes the risk. Thus such a mortgage would be null and void.

        589 Q. How often should the pastor call the trustees together for the transaction of business?

        A. Once a month in all of our stations, and once a quarter on all of our circuits--oftener if necessary.

        590 Q. Can trustees speak in the Quarterly Conference?

        A. They can on all matters connected with their business, and at other times by permission.

        591 Q. Should the Trustee Board have a secretary?

        A. By all means, and regularly kept books of their doings, open to the inspection of the Bishop or Presiding Elder.

        592 Q. What should the trustees do with the deeds of property belonging to the members?

        A. See that they are properly drawn up as per Discipline, send them to the ensuing Annual Conference for inspection and approval, and when correct have them recorded in harmony with the laws of the State, and let the treasurer of the Trustee Board, or the secretary, or any one the board or pastor may make its custodian,

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carefully preserve a copy and transmit the same to their successors in office.

        593 Q. Can the trustees legally hold property not incorporated by civil law?

        A. Bishop McTyeire says: "Trustees can legally protect church property against all lawless violence and injury, even if the society has never been legally incorporated, and may maintain an action against the trespassers for the injury which is done."

        594 Q. Will you give me the decision made by the Council of Bishops, relative to the claimants of back pay?

        A. Yes; here it is; read it:

        We, the Council of Bishops of the African M. E. Church, convened in official session, and the legal interpreters of all laws enacted by the General Conference of said Church, having been informed that some of the pastors of said Church have entered legal proceedings in the Courts of some of the States, to recover back salary and allowance after their removal from the Charges or Churches they had pastored.

        Assert and aver, that no pastor, or minister acting as pastor, in any of our Churches, is authorized by the polity, genius or usages of our Church to enter suit, legal proceedings or prosecution, in any civil or State Court, for any salary, allowance or back pay which might be due him. The pastors are the directors of their respective Churches or Congregations, and as such can, at any convenience, collect or see collected their own support, and are chiefly responsible for any failure to get their support. The pastors, moreover, can select their stewards, and secure men who will deal justly with them, and procure their support if the means are obtainable. All claims for back support expire when the pastor is removed from a Church or Congregation, unless it be for moneys loaned, or for work performed by special contract. Nor has the pastor any right to take the advantage of the ignorance of his Trustees, and contract with them for his support, when the law of our Church makes it the duty of the Stewards.

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        We aver, however, that it is the duty of all the members and officers to pay their pastors the support provided for in our book of discipline. But, in case they fail, it is not recoverable through the Courts of the land, to the detriment of the peace and harmony of the Church. Our Church law, re-echoing the teaching of the Holy Scripture, is rigid against one brother going to law with another, and each pastor is bound to keep that law, and not himself rush into the civil Courts for a support which he has the right to collect. And any pastor so doing or acting forfeits his ministerial standing in the A. M. E. Church. The same also applies to Presiding Elders, and did apply to Bishops when they were paid by their districts.

BISHOP A. W. WAYMAN, Chairman.

BISHOP J. M. BROWN, Secretary of Bishops' Council.



        595 Q. What are stewards in the African Methodist Episcopal Church?

        A. Stewards are spiritual officers in the church, charged in part with temporal responsibilities; they serve three tables--the table of the Lord, the table of the minister and the table of the poor.

        596 Q. In what respect?

        A. 1st. They provide elements for the Lord's supper. 2d. They make estimates for the support and expenses of the ministry, and take measures, by private and public collections, for paying the same. 3d. They inquire into the cases of the needy and distressed, and, out of a church fund raised for that purpose, relieve them according to

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the liberality of the members. Stewards were early appointed by Mr. Wesley to receive, account for and disburse the collections, and in the primitive days of Methodism they also performed duties of which they in part are now relieved by the trustees.

        597 Q. Do the pastor and stewards when in official session constitute a Board by themselves, I mean without the presence of the class leaders?

        A. Yes; the stewards with the pastor are constituted a Board by the General Rules, which no power can over-rule in the church.

        598 Q. What are the qualifications of stewards?

        A. They must be men of solid piety, practical business habits, who both know and love the Methodist doctrine and Discipline. They must be men of good natural and acquired ability to transact the temporal business of the church.

        599 Q. What is the relation of stewards to the pastor in charge?

        A. The stewards constitute the pastor's cabinet, and therefore they are an important factor in the running machinery of the church. Being selected and chosen by the pastor as his aides-de-camp, from among all the other members of the church, they hold a relation to the pastor far more intimate and responsible than any other persons connected therewith.

        600 Q. Then it would appear that the stewards share a part of the successes and failures of the pastor's administration?

        A. They do. They sustain the same relation to a pastor that a Presiding Elder does to a Bishop, because they are a part of the pastor, as they constitute his private advisers, and any blunder the pastor may be upon the verge of making, it is their business, either individually

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or collectively, to warn him at once, and if he will not hear them, and still persists in a course that is likely to result in his failure, it is their duty to secretly call the Bishop's or Presiding Elder's attention to it, that authority may operate where advice is unheeded and thus ward off coming trouble.

        601 Q. What is the duty of stewards?

        A. They are to take an exact account of all the moneys or other provisions collected for the support of the preachers in the circuit or station; make an accurate return of every expenditure of money, whether to the preachers, church, sick or poor; seek out the needy and distressed in order to relieve and comfort them; attend the Quarterly Conferences of their circuit or station; to give advice; read their reports for the last quarter; present plans for the extension of the work and for the benefit of existing circuits or stations; attend committees for the application of money for churches and give counsel in matters of arbitration; write circular letters to the societies of the circuit when occasion requires; register the marriages and baptisms; provide elements for the Lord's supper, provide for baptisms and wait upon the minister in the administration of the same; prepare the table for love-feast services and serve in the distribution of the same; they are to stand up during the time that the pastor is administering the Lord's supper to the people, and see that the people kneel around the altar properly, and that no more approach the altar at a time than can conveniently kneel around it, so that the pastor may not be compelled to bend over the heads of some to hand the elements of the Lord's supper to others in the rear, which is highly improper,

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and no stewards should force the pastor to do so by a neglect of their duties; seek out for ministers to fill the pulpit when the pastor is sick or absent and no one is left in charge of the pulpit by the pastor; visit the different classes when necessary, and encourage the people to pay their class dues to their leaders and aid the class-leaders in whatever respect they are able; be more liberal, if possible, than others, and thus set an example of liberality in behalf of the minister, church and poor, and be subject to the Bishop, elders, deacons and preachers of the circuit or station.

        602 Q. To whom are the stewards accountable for the performance of their duties?

        A. They are accountable to the pastor in charge of the work for the constant and regular discharge of their duties, and finally to the Quarterly Conference, which has power to remove them when they fail or refuse to do their duty. For willful neglect or refusal to discharge their duties, the pastor can suspend them and fill the vacancy till the next meeting of the Quarterly Conference, which shall dispose of the case.

        603 Q. What number of stewards is allowed to a circuit or station?

        A. Not less than three, nor more than nine.

        604 Q. How are stewards appointed?

        A. They are nominated by the pastor in charge of the circuit or station, and confirmed by the Quarterly Conference.

        605 Q. How are stewards put into office?

        A. After they have been elected by the Quarterly Conference, the Presiding Elder or Pastor should present them to the people on the Sabbath of the Quarterly

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Meeting, by calling them before the altar, and obligate them as follows: Do you promise, in the presence of God, that you all and singular will faithfully discharge the duties of stewards in this church, the Lord being your helper? And if they assent, let them be introduced to the people as stewards.

        606 Q. How long may the stewards hold their office?

        A. They can only serve for one year at a time, unless by some accident no successors are elected at the expiration of that time; then they hold over till an election is held.

        607 Q. Who is the chairman of the Board of Stewards?

        A. The minister in charge of the circuit or station.

        608 Q. Who arranges with the pastor for his support or allowance?

        A. The Board of Stewards.

        609 Q. Is it not customary for ministers going into new work to call together all of the officers, including trustees, stewards, class-leaders, local preachers and exhorters, to arrange for their support?

        A. Yes. It is a common thing to do so; but such preachers are either ignorant of the law and duty of stewards, or they voluntarily adopt this course because of what they conceive to be good policy, whereas it is bad policy; for it is imparting a false education to the people and inconveniencing their successors, who may know the law.

        610 Q. How are the Board of Stewards usually divided, so as to make them the more effective officers?

        A. 1. By electing one of their number as secretary, who is called the RECORDING STEWARD, who records all the business of the Official Board, including baptisms, marriages, deaths, roll of members, list of probationers

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and Conference moneys in a book regularly labeled for the use of the Board.

        2. A TREASURER, who holds the moneys of the Board and pays the minister as directed by the same. He is usually called the PREACHER'S STEWARD, for the reason he is supposed to plan and devise more measures for raising the preacher's support.

        3. POOR STEWARD, which, Mr. Wesley said, "furnished the minister and stewards with the names and addresses of sick and poor members, in order that pastoral attention may be given and means furnished for their relief."

        4. HOLY STEWARD,--a sobriquet generally applied, but not irreverently at all, to the steward who provides elements for the Lord's Supper and for love-feasts, and water for baptismal purposes.

        But, while this division may exist among the stewards, yet each one is personally bound to render any service to the church that he may see to be needed.


        611 Q. What is a circuit steward?

        A. A circuit steward is one that estimates the salary of the circuit minister and apportions the amount among the several congregations composing the circuit, and communicates, by person or letter, with the several congregations for the collection of said apportionment. He is also the officer who generally attends to procuring a residence for the pastor's family, and in some instances becomes the agent of the trustees of the different churches in renting and furnishing a residence for the pastor where the circuit has no regular personage.

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        612 Q. What did Bishop McKendree say about the result of stewards not discharging their duty?

        A. He said: "Stewards should remember that if they fail to discharge their duties, the cause of God would inevitably suffer. No other members of the church feel at liberty to act in this capacity without an appointment; and unless the finances of the church are properly managed, the ministers must be embarrassed, or retire from the work."

        613 Q. Is the recording steward the secretary of the Official Board?

        A. Yes. The Official Board has no secretary except the one furnished by the Steward's Board, for it is the duty of the recording steward to record the business of the Official Board.

        614 Q. Why, then, does the Discipline say, "The Official Board shall annually elect a secretary, who shall keep a strict account of its proceedings?"

        A. It is a part of that hasty legislation which too often is thoughtlessly rushed through our General Conferences without due consideration. The Discipline, in defining the office and duty of stewards, requires them to keep a labeled record, and all the accounts that arise in the Official Board, and then says, "the Official Board shall elect a secretary," which literally makes two secretaries for the same board, and for recording the same business and items, for there can be no Official Board without the stewards. The General Rules determine that point; therefore the election of a secretary by the Official Board is uprecedented, unmethodistic, and can have no legal sanction while the General Rules exist.

        615 Q. Did you say that the stewards should remain upon

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their feet and guard the altar while the Lord's supper is being administered; if so, what is meant?

        A. The stewards are spiritual officers, as has been already said, and the pastor's chief assistants in running the church. Their business is to attend and wait around him while he ministers in holy things, and render all needed help; attend around the altar when the pastor calls persons forward for prayer; find such as may come a place to kneel, and when persons come forward to join on probation, seat them if necessary, but be around them at all events; place such persons as may come forward to be received into full membership in proper positions; also, such as may come forward for baptism, whether children or adults, and when the Lord's supper is being administered at least three stewards should stand around the altar and see that the communicants are kneeling in proper positions, and that no unbaptized, suspended, expelled, intoxicated or improper person is allowed to take communion.

        616 Q. What else is required of the stewards?

        A. They are to guard the pulpit and altar from any improper encroachment or desecration, while the trustees guard and defend the other portion of the church and yard, and in view of these grave, weighty and sacred responsibilities the stewards should be polite, mild in expression, respectful to people and children, and especially clean in their dress and person, that the church of the living God may suffer no harm or blame through these responsible officers.

        617 Q. Who is the treasurer of the Official Board?

        A. One of the stewards elected by the Stewards' Board.

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        618 Q. Why does the Discipline direct the Official Board to elect annually its own treasurer to hold all moneys collected or obtained under the auspices of the stewards?

        A. It is another one of those conflicts of the law which has grown out of hasty legislation in our General Conferences. The stewards, with the pastor, constitute the Executive Department of the church, and therefore are a board corporate under the law, protected by the Restrictive Rules, and, as such, are responsible to the Quarterly Conference and members for the faithful discharge of their duties and use of the people's money, and, as such, are bound to elect their own secretary and treasurer, as much so as the trustees; otherwise they could not be held responsible for the faithful discharge of their duties, and even if the Official Board did usurp the power to elect a secretary and treasurer, they would have to elect stewards; otherwise it would destroy the board by forcing irresponsible men into it, not confirmed by the Quarterly Conference. The only power in the church that could elect and force into the Stewards' Board a secretary and treasurer would be the Quarterly Conference, and it would have no right to do so unless it intended to disorganize the Stewards' Board.


        619 Q. What constitutes the Board of Stewardesses in the A. M. E. Church?

        A. The stewardesses are a collection of sisters, numbering not less than three nor more than nine, who

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assist the stewards, class-leaders, and pastor in managing the spiritual, and sometimes the temporal, affairs of the church, but cannot always be recognized as a board, as they have no legislative or judicial discretion, but are merely assistants.

        620 Q. How are they appointed?

        A. They are nominated by the preacher in charge and confirmed by the Board of Stewards only in a regular stewards' meeting.

        621 Q. To whom are they responsible?

        A. To the pastor and Board of Stewards, which has power to remove them whenever it may seem to the interest of the church.

        622 Q. How often are they appointed?

        A. They have no limited term of office; they hold during the pleasure of the Board of Stewards. They may, however, be elected annually, and possibly should.

        623 Q. What should be the character of the stewardesses?

        A. They should be highly pious women of irreproachable reputations, and of sufficient age and standing in the community to guarantee respectability. They should be able to read the Holy Scriptures, sing and offer prayer in the sick-room without timidity or fear, and not too sensitive and proud to go among the lowly, poor and needy and work for God among the people, including adults and children.

        624 Q. What are the duties of stewardnesses?

        A. They are especially charged with looking after the females of the church; going into sick-rooms and attending to such duties among the females as might be imprudent for a man to perform; to attend and prepare the females for baptism, and to accompany and direct

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mothers around the altar when they are having their children baptized; take special care of all female mourners when they approach the altar for prayer, and see that they are properly cared for; look after all females under religious excitement, and attend around the altar when needed or necessary. They should assist the stewards in preparing the table for the Lord's supper and love-feast; prepare the parsonage for the incoming preacher and call upon the trustees for necessary comforts of the same; report to the minister, stewards and class-leaders anything that they may see disorderly in a member, provided they think the attention and services of such officers are needed, and do all such things as are becoming mothers in Israel.

        625 Q. Are stewardesses members of the Official Board or Quarterly Conference?

        A. No. Yet they may attend either for any specific business, if requested by the pastor or stewards. Nevertheless, great caution should be exercised in requiring them to be present in these boards at nights.

        626 Q. Should the pastor call the stewardesses together at stated times for the transaction of business?

        A. No. There is no provision made in the law, or even implied, for stewardesses to hold stated meetings; yet the pastor may call them together from his pulpit whenever he adjudges it necessary; but even then such stewardess meeting should be held in the day-time, in order to avoid any conflict which might arise with their husbands or in their families, that the gospel may not be blamed.

        627 Q. Can a minister and his Board of Stewards create more than three, five, seven or nine stewardesses?

        A. No. I have heard, however, that some pastors,

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with their stewards, have pretended to make fifteen and twenty stewardesses. But it shows that they are either unpardonably ignorant or willful violators of the laws of the church. In either case it demonstrates their unfitness for the ministry.

        628 Q. What about women preaching in the A. M. E. Church?

        A. We have discussed that subject in Section II., of the Chapter entitled LOCAL AND TRAVELING PREACHERS. Turn to it, and read it, as it covers all we have to say.

        629 Q. I understand the General Conference of the M. E. Church, in 1888, created the office of Deaconesses, and has given certain rules for their regulations. What about it?

        A. Well, they are female church workers, that about answer to our stewardesses. They are called Deaconesses, but are far from corresponding with the old apostolic Deaconesses.

        630 Q. Please give a short sketch of the creation and duties of Deaconesses in the M. E. Church?

        A. All right. Here is the law copied directly from the discipline of the M. E. Church. It reads as follows:


        The duties of the Deaconesses are to minister to the poor, visit the sick, pray with the dying, care for the orphan, seek the wandering, comfort the sorrowing, save the sinning and, relinquishing wholly all other pursuits, devote themselves, in a general way, to such forms of Christian labor as may be suited to their abilities.

        No vow shall be exacted from any Deaconess, and any one of their number shall be at liberty to relinquish her position as a Deaconess at any time.

        In every Annual Conference within which Deaconesses may

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be employed, a Conference Board of nine members, at least three of whom shall be women, shall be appointed by the Conference to exercise a general control of the interests of this form of work.

        This Board shall be empowered to issue certificates to duly qualified persons, authorizing them to perform the duties of Deaconesses in connection with the Church, provided that no person shall receive such certificate until she shall have served a probation of two years of continuous service, and shall be over twenty-five years of age.

        No person shall be licensed by the Board of Deaconesses except on the recommendation of a Quarterly Conference, and said Board of Deaconesses shall be appointed by the Annual Conference for such term of service as the Annual Conference shall decide, and said Board shall report both the names and work of such Deaconesses annually, and the approval of the Annual Conference shall be necessary for the continuance of any Deaconess in her work.

        When working singly each Deaconess shall be under the direction of the Pastor of the Church with which she is connected. When associated together in a home all the members of the home shall be subordinate to and directed by the Superintendent placed in charge.

        631 Q. Do you approve of this plan of female work?

        A. I approve of anything that puts the people to working for God and his church. Women ought to be utilized in any way suitable to their condition and circumstances, while I think Deaconesses is not the proper name for them. I believe God will bless their efforts to do good.

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        632 Q. What are class-leaders in the African Methodist Episcopal Church?

        A. They are sub-pastors, and as such are appointed by the preacher in charge. The minister is bound to take heed of all the flock over which the Holy Ghost has made him overseer, and to enable him to discharge this duty the more effectively, the leader is a proxy-pastor.

        633 Q. What did Bishop Hedding say about class-leaders?

        A. He said: "If the leaders cannot, or will not, do their duty, let them be changed for others who will be more faithful; and then, if it be necessary, appoint other agents to assist the leaders (assistant leaders), so as to be sure and have a report from all the members. Sometimes, when females are to be searched out, visited, comforted, exhorted or reproved, it may be very proper and useful to appoint judicious and pious persons of their sex to perform that service (we have stewardesses), and thus the sisters may follow the example of those in the apostolic church, who labored with St. Paul in the gospel."

        634 Q. What should be the qualifications of class-leaders?

        A. They should be of deep personal piety, mature experience, ability to give religious counsel and advice, wisely and affectionately, and to influence the members,

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young and old, to the systematic discharge of their Christian duties. They should be well versed in the Discipline of the church, daily readers of the Bible, sufficiently familiar with the Holy Scriptures to apply the Word of God to the varied cases of every person they may lead. They should read the lives of persons eminent for piety; commit to memory the sayings of holy men in all ages, the better to become acquainted with the different shades of experience and the Christian duties devolving upon the church. They should be good singers, and should have from twenty to forty hymns committed to memory; should be men who observe family prayer at their homes, and see that their children attend both Sabbath-school and public preaching, and they themselves, regularly. They should be men who attend the house of God forenoon on the Sabbath, and worship when all nature lends a helping hand, and not wait till Sabbath night to bestir themselves, when the owls, bats, coons, frogs and other animals, which are afraid of light, creep forth from their dark retreats. They should also be polite, mild in expression, accustomed to speaking to the members, not gossippers, news-carriers, haughty, light, triflers and given to too much joking, but on all occasions should be grave and venerable.

        635 Q. What are the qualifications of an assistant leader?

        A. The Discipline does not provide for and recognize the office of an assistant leader, yet they have existed in the Methodist Churches since 1771, possibly earlier, but history does not confirm it. Assistant leaders are generally appointed by the leaders themselves, and not by the pastor. Some pastors, however, claim the right

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to confirm them, and other pastors claim the right to appoint them. Where the pastors appoint the assistant leaders, they are generally allowed to represent the leader in charge, in his absence, at the Official Board. They should have the same qualifications of a regular leader. This would be an excellent method, if generally adopted, to utilize young men and train them for effective leaders in the future.

        636 Q. Who instituted the class-leadership?

        A. Mr. Wesley, at the very birth of Methodism. Each society (congregation) was divided into small companies, called classes, according to their respective places of abode, and one of them was appointed the leader.

        637 Q. What is meant by their respective places of abode?

        A. In the primitive days of Methodism, class-meetings were rarely held at the place where they met to have preaching. The members in different neighborhoods met and held class-meetings in each other's parlors or sitting-rooms often, till they went the circuit of their dwellings. Thus the meaning of their respective places of abode.

        638 Q. How many members are allowed to a leader?

        A. Primitive Methodists only allowed twelve, including the leader, to a class, and the General Rules really provide only for that number yet. But all branches of Methodism have departed from that old custom, so that our classes now number from ten to fifty, and sometimes more. But no leader can do justice to over fifteen or twenty members without an indefinite number of assistant leaders.

        639 Q. What is the duty of class-leaders?

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        A. The General rules, which is the fundamental law of Methodism, in speaking of the leader, says: "It is his duty, 1. To see each person in his class once a week at least, in order, first, to inquire how their souls prosper; second, to advise, reprove, comfort or exhort, as occasion may require; third, to receive what they are willing to give towards the relief of the preachers, church and poor. 2. To meet the ministers and stewards of the society once a week, in order, first, to inform the minister of any that are sick, or of any that walk disorderly and will not be reproved; second to pay the stewards what they have received from their several classes in the week preceding.

        640 Q. What should a leader infer when he meets his class and finds a member absent?

        A. That the member is sick, or dead, or has been unexpectedly summoned away from home, or that there is indisposition in the family, for every good Methodist will endeavor to be at class.

        641 Q. What should the class-leader do then?

        A. Inquire after the cause of the absence, in person, or through his first or second assistant leaders, if he has any. Yet, a class-leader should not be presumed to be a regular church constable, running day and night after church criminals.

        642 Q. What should a class-leader do with a member who constantly neglects class and will not amend his ways?

        A. Before reporting him to the pastor, the leader, with a number of members, should visit the house of the said delinquent--sing, pray, and lead him a few times at his own residence, and if this with the other means that the Discipline provides, does not reform him

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let the leader report him to the minister, as the law requires, and the law will naturally take its course; but the pastor should visit the delinquent, also, as well as the leader before he applies the law; no pastor can expel members for neglecting class, until he has visited them and urged reformation.


        643 Q. What if a class-leader allows an expelled member to enjoy the privilege of class-meeting, or furnish such with a ticket for love-feast?

        A. He shall instantly be removed by the preacher in charge, says the law; yet, when a leader is endeavoring to recover a lost member, he is invariably allowed to exercise his judgment in permitting an expelled member to visit his class. There is not so much secrecy attached to class-meetings as formerly, and inasmuch as a leader has the right to exhort, he should be allowed to use his gifts and privileges to the best advantage.

        644 Q. How may the leaders of classes be rendered more useful?

        A. Let them be diligently examined concerning their method of conducting class. Let this be done with all possible exactness, at least once a quarter, taking sufficient time, and allowing the class-leader to give full illustrations.

        645 Q. Who shall examine the class-leaders concerning their gifts and usefulness?

        A. The pastor in charge should do it in the Official Board at his pleasure. But the Presiding Elder should always make it a part of his Quarterly Conference duties, though he may only have time to examine two or three.

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        646 Q. What particular feature of a class-leader's duty should be the most carefully examined into?

        A. The ability of the leader to advise, reprove, comfort, or exhort, as the occasion may require.

        647 Q. Why is this so necessary in a class-leader?

        A. Because upon this qualification, more than any other, is suspended his power for good or evil with his class. If the leader is ignorant, indolent and does not read and keep himself posted in the Scriptures and all religious matters, he will become common, insipid, and a drone to his members, and fall into the use of the same set of words till his members become as familiar with them as with the fingers upon their hands, which ends his usefulness at once.

        648 Q. What then is necessary to his effectiveness?

        A. After hearing his members relate their varied experiences, he should, as the General Rules require, suit his remarks to their several conditions, and advise, reprove, comfort, or exhort, just as the stated conditions of the members require or demand. The leader who studies, prays and prepares himself so to address his members will be always effective, successful, and an instrument for good in the hands of God.

        649 Q. What portion of the Discipline, of all others, should a class-leader be most familiar with?

        A. The General Rules, because these rules embody the very heart, constitution and fundamentalities of practical Christianity, as understood and required to be lived by every branch of Methodism, and formed the landmarks and catalogue of religious duties for over forty years before the twenty-five ARTICLES OF RELIGION were drawn up and adopted by Mr. Wesley and his associates.

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        650 Q. Then it would appear that class-leaders should make the study of the General Rules a specialty?

        A. Yes. Next to the Word of God, Methodist ministers and class leaders should familiarize themselves with the General Rules. They furnish material for the pulpit, for the class-room, for the mourner, for the backslider, for the sinner, as well as for the Christian. No one observing the provisions of these rules will ever lose membership in the church, the respect and confidence of civil society, nor a place at the right hand of God when done with earth.

        651 Q. What is meant by the trial leader, or the probationer's leader?

        A. The Discipline provides that all persons uniting with our church on probation shall be placed upon a separate class or classes. This makes it compulsory upon the pastor to appoint them a special leader and, from the organization of Methodism to the present such a leader has been known as the trial leader, or the probationer's leader.

        652 Q. Why was it adjudged necessary to place the probationers upon a class to themselves?

        A. Because the General Rules which were drawn up by the two great Wesleys--John and Charles--and adopted in 1743 for the use of the Methodist societies, provides that persons having the form and seeking the power of godliness could join the church on six months' probation--that is, before they experience justification by faith, or, as we commonly say, are converted; therefore, it was thought that the kind of training needed by these unconverted, but penitent seekers, was different from that which would be profitable to regular Christians; hence, men of age, great experience, adapted to training

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the young, were appointed over these classes and known as the trial leaders.

        653 Q. Is this rule still enforced in the African Methodist Episcopal Church?

        A. Certainly, and in every other Methodist Church that has the General Rules in its Book of Discipline, and holds them sacred, as every Methodist is in duty bound to do. Trial leaders, however, should be men of such age and godly lives as will always be examples of such Christian piety and fatherly bearing that the probationer may never suffer harm through the effects of their conduct or influence.

        654 Q. How do the English class-leaders often stir up their delinquent members who neglect class meetings?

        A. Send them the following cards--often printed: Mr. James Farnell, your class leader, sends his kind regards, and will be happy to see you at class next Tuesday, at seven and a half o'clock in the evening. He is sure you will be greatly benefited, and his heart will be greatly relieved by your presence.



        655 Q. We often hear of members of the church being brought to trial and expelled, suspended, reprimanded and censured. What is the object of all such trials and punishments?

        A. To rid the church of bad persons who are incorrigible, after every effort possible has been made to save

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them. No church member should be expelled until every form of advice, exhortation, counsel, rebuke, reproof and endeavors to reclaim the person have been exhausted, for expulsion from the church implies disgrace. Immorality and expulsion are regarded by the public as inseparable, so that when a person is expelled, his Christian standing in the church is not only severed, but his reputation in the community where he resides is injured, his or her family is reflected upon to a greater or less extent. Hence the reason so many persons have gone to the civil courts to have their characters vindicated, when the church trials have been hasty, and in many instances unjust, and in other instances the trials were before preachers who were ignorant of both church and civil law; thus the results.

        656 Q. What is the moral and religious philosophy of church trials and punishments?

        A. To make offenders better--to induce them to think upon their evil ways, repent of their sins, reform their habits, and seek and find everlasting life. Also to deter others from pursuing a similar course of conduct. Any trial that does not contemplate the salvation of the person tried is wicked, and will turn upon the prosecutor.

        657 Q. How shall an accused member be brought to trial?

        A. Before a select committee (which should never be less than five nor more than fifteen), of the church of which he is a member, in the presence of a Bishop, Elder, Deacon or licentiate, since he is the pastor, or is authorized to try the case by competent authority. I mean by competent authority, when the pastor is the prosecutor or a witness, then the Bishop or Presiding

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Elder must appoint another minister to try the case, as the pastor cannot be the prosecutor or witness and presiding officer, too; nor can the pastor himself appoint another minister to preside. But while the other minister is trying the case, says Bishop Baker, he is in full charge of the church till the trial is over.

        658 Q. For what length of time, after the commission of an offence, can a person be tried?

        A. Bishop Baker says, "That any crime, committed at however remote a period, if it be within the time in which the accused has been a member of the church, it is indictable, but it can not be extended to any period beyond membership," while Bishop Harris, of the same church, differs, and says, "The limit should be within reason, and that circumstances should operate." Bishop Brown in reviewing a case before the Alabama Conference, ruled out an allegation upon the ground that it was several years old, but said, "a man who had two or three wives had no limitation-bar to his offence." I am like Bishops Harris and Brown; when an offence against the church becomes old, and the person has been a consistent member ever since, it does appear that time and circumstances should be a bar to a trial, or should operate as a bar.

        659 Q. What were the effects of expulsion or excommunication among the ancient Israelites and afterwards the Jews?

        A. Excommunication, among the ancient Jews, deprived the person of many social rights and enjoyments, and affected in some instances, says "Horne's Introduction," "their civil status, and entailed upon them grievous burdens." In short, it was a disgrace.

        660 Q. What does Jesus say about it?

        A. He said, "If thy brother shall trespass against

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thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone. If he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother; but if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word shall be established; and if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church, but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as a heathen man and a publican." Expel him, I think, is what Christ meant.

        661 Q. What did St. Paul say about it?

        A. He said, "If any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed; yet, count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother." St. Paul again says to Titus, "A man that is an heretic after the first and second admonition reject." Everything we can find in the Scriptures relative to excommunicating members, shows that Bishop Payne was right when he told the Florida Conference, "Let the last thing you do be to expel a member from the church."

        662 Q. For what may a person be expelled from the church?

        A. Anything, or rather for any crime, expressly forbidden by the Word of God, and sufficient to exclude a person from the kingdom of grace and glory, which is generally termed "IMMORAL CONDUCT."

        663 Q. What constitutes immoral conduct?

        A. Wilful disobedience of the moral law or Ten Commandments. All the Ten Commandments are equal in magnitude and enormity, and for the violation of either a person is liable to expulsion, no more for one than another, says Dr. Boyd, when no hope of a reformation is seen.

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        664 Q. What is imprudent and unchristian conduct?

        A. Neglect of duties, indulging sinful tempers, uttering sinful words, buying, selling or using intoxicating liquors, speaking evil of ministers, dealing in lotteries, playing cards, sowing dissension, gambling in any form, disobedience to the order of Discipline of the church, insubordination, dancing and such like conduct. 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 offense the preacher or leader may take one or two discreet members of the church. On a third offense let him be brought to trial, and, if found guilty, and there still be no signs of real humiliation, he shall be expelled.

        665 Q. After a member has committed the offense, and has been tried and found guilty, can be still be borne with, if he shows signs of real humiliation?

        A. Bishop Harris, of the M. E. Church, says "he can." Everything must be done by the minister to save a member to the church, as expulsion implies damnation.

        666 Q. When a member habitually neglects the means of grace, namely, Public worship, class-meetings, the Lord's Supper, love feast, family and private prayer, reading the Scriptures, prayer-meetings, &c., what shall be done with him?

        A. Let the preacher in charge visit him, and explain the consequences, if he continues in such course. And if he do not amend, let the preacher in charge bring the case before a select committee (at least five) and if he be found guilty and there are no signs of a reformation, let him be expelled.

        667 Q. Under what circumstances would a Bishop or a Presiding

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Elder be justified in presiding at the trial of a lay member, when either might be appealed to?

        A. "A Bishop can preside," says Bishop Baker, "when there is no pastor of a church; so could a Presiding Elder." If a church has a pastor, it is his business, however, as the case might, by appeal, come before the Quarterly Conference for review, and ultimately reach the Annual Conference.

        668 Q. When a member is under trial, who decides all questions of law bearing upon the case, pro or con?

        A. If a layman is being tried the preacher in charge decides all law points. Each decision must, as all other proceedings connected with a trial, be written down, otherwise the Presiding Elder can rule out anything or the entire trial, if brought before him for review. I do not mean every speech or word uttered; but all points of evidence must be recorded by the secretary, or, as we have just said, the Presiding Elder can declare the trial a nullity.


        669 Q. Who has the right to prefer charges against members for immoral, imprudent or unchristian conduct?

        A. Any member of the church or the connection. In the form of a Bill of charges and specifications, no pastor can call a member to trial upon rumors, gossip or flying reports. Yet, he can send out committees from his Board to examine into rumors, who can investigate the matter and have charges formulated if they are reasonably true.

        670 Q. Can a member be called to trial without written charges preferred, and a copy of the same furnished to the accused

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long enough before the time for the accused to prepare for the defense?

        A. No, the accused must have a copy of the charges and reasonable time to prepare, if it takes a month. They must have time to look up witnesses, if they have any; give a list to the preacher in charge, that he may summons them at the same time he summonses the witnesses for the prosecution, get the depositions or sworn testimony of absent witnesses and make such other preparation as is reasonable, and in keeping with church trials.

        671 Q. How long may the pastor or elder allow a trial to proceed?

        A. Neither the pastor, elder nor Bishop has anything to do with the length of a trial. It may last a week or more. It must last, however, till all the witnesses, documentary evidence and pleadings desired by either side have been heard, unless there should be a large number of witnesses who only state the same thing when a less number is sufficient to prove or disprove the count--three witnesses are enough to prove any one fact in a civil court.

        672 Q. Has any member, when under trial, the right to be represented by an attorney?

        A. Yes; if they choose to get another member to represent them, it is their privilege to do so. Bishop Payne has allowed civil lawyers to come into his Conferences and represent ministers under trial. Bishop Campbell also conceded the right. Dr. H. J. Young, in the famous trial with the trustees of our New York church, allowed white lawyers not members of any church to appear and plead before him pro and con. A gentleman, not a member of our church, represented

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his wife before a church court in the presence of the writer. Any member is justified in doing any honorable thing to save him from the disgrace of expulsion.

        673 Q. Can a lay member be tried before members of the Quarterly Conference?

        A. No; for should there be an appeal to the Quarterly Conference from the lower court, the member or members of the Quarterly Conference before whom the accused was first tried would not be competent to rehear the case. The trial must be before laymen (sometimes women may be used) who are not members of the Quarterly Conference.

        674 Q. Can members of another A. M. E. Church serve on the committee before whom the accused is tried?

        A. Yes. "The whole trial can be before members of another church," says Bishop Harris. The ends of justice are often better served when members of another A. M. E. Church impartially hear and dispose of the case; there can then be no prejudice if any prejudice should exist. But another pastor cannot preside unless the regular pastor is disqualified by reason of being a witness or the prosecutor.

        675 Q. Has a minister the right to prefer charges against a member and preside himself at the trial, or put a steward, local deacon or local elder in the chair?

        A. If a pastor presents charges against a member of his church, he naturally becomes the accuser, and is wholly disqualified from presiding at the trial. Bishop Baker says in such a case (where the pastor becomes the accuser): "The Presiding Elder or Bishop shall appoint some other preacher in charge of the church to try the case." When the case is disposed of, the pastor

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proper can then resume the charge. As for a steward or any local preacher presiding at the trial of a member is mere idle talk.

        676 Q. Has a member a proper trial without a copy of a written charge and ample time to prepare for defense?

        A. No; anything less than that would be no proper trial, and unless it was a proper trial it would be no trial at all. It would merely be a mob. Hundreds of our members are mobbed out of the church; and in all such cases the Presiding Elders are duty-bound to declare such trials null and void, which is a restoration of the person to membership. But he must order a legal trial to be had at the same time, as the charges may be correct.

        677 Q. Has the pastor the right to decide who is a competent witness as soon as they take the stand and commence giving in evidence?

        A. No; if there is anything disqualifying a person from acting as a witness in a case, it must be determined after hearing argument pro and con before they take the stand. Otherwise, it would appear the witness was ruled out because the evidence being given was not pleasing to the pastor, which he has no right to meddle with.

        678 Q. After testimony is given before a committee, has the pastor the right to rule out or decide what is proper testimony or not?

        A. No, not after it has been given without objections. If the evidence was improper or out of place, the witness should be stopped at the moment and told so, where the counsel could protect the witness under law, if right.

        679 Q. If the pastor should prefer charges against a member of his church, and thus disqualifying himself from acting as

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chairman during the trial of said member, could not the Presiding Elder himself conduct the trial?

        A. Yes; under very extraordinary circumstances he might. So could a Bishop, says Baker, "when virtually he is the preacher in charge," though only for a short time by either contingency or intention. The Presiding Elder, however, being the chairman of the Quarterly Conference, and having to preside over the appeal cases of lay members, should not be placed in a condition to prejudge any case that might come before him for a re-hearing at the Quarterly Conference.

        680 Q. How would the Presiding Elder, acting as chairman at the primary trial of a member, appear to raise a doubtful issue in the administration of ecclesiastical justice?

        A. Bishop Baker says: "It is a principle universally regarded in civil proceedings, that no judge shall be counsel, nor act as attorney, nor advise, nor assist any party in any case which will come before him; and the principle is so manifestly founded in justice that it should not be disregarded in ecclesiastical proceedings." Therefore, should exceptions be taken to the primary trial, the rulings of the chairman almost invariably form a part, and would disable the Presiding Elder from reviewing the case in the Quarterly Conference,--I mean, provided any exceptions should be taken.

        681 Q. Should the Presiding Elder appoint another minister in charge of a church while a case between the real pastor and member was pending, would the minister trying the case be the actual pastor in all respects?

        A. Yes. Otherwise, he would be hampered, and to hamper him would be to hamper justice, and the trial would be a farce. Therefore, he must be in full possession till the matter is disposed of.

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        682 Q. I have heard of members being tried before two committeemen; was that lawful?

        A. No. Three is the lowest number our Discipline allows; five ought to be the lowest; any number under three, however, is no trial at all, and the person is not expelled, although he may be declared expelled.

        683 Q. Would it not be in violation of our Discipline, and an injustice to the accused, for any chairman of a trial to appoint the time of trial in the day, or at any other time when the defendant's witnesses could not attend?

        A. The trial should be set for a time when most convenient to all parties concerned. The chairman should not seek a time when he knows the witnesses cannot be present, but ordinary business is not a sufficient reason for the absence of the defendant's witnesses.

        684 Q. Can an accused member object to being tried by a member of the committee, when he or she may think the committee man has prejudices against them?

        A. Yes, says Bishop McTyeire; "they can object to one out of three, two out of five, three out of seven, and so on." But no honest pastor would keep any one upon the committee who was objected to, unless he saw the objections were for the purpose of evading any trial at all.

        685 Q. Would it be lawful for a chairman or pastor to retire with the jury or committee, when they go out to make up the verdict?

        A. No. The chairman has no business with the committee; he must give all instructions in open court, upon the law, evidence, or any information desired or necessary.

        686 Q. Has the pastor the power to grant the accused a new trial in case the verdict of the committee should be, for any reason, unjust, not according to law, new evidence discovered, and such like?

        A. Our Book of Discipline does not say so; yet, the

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right is implied, as the pastor occupies the character of a civil Judge, while the Quarterly Conference is the appellate court, and can confirm, overrule and grant new trials. Nevertheless, the pastor should hear argument pro and con in his court before he grants the new trial. He should not grant it on the street, along the road or from one-sided evidence; but he can form his court anywhere he pleases, in the church or in his house; he is the Court, true, but he must hear arguments pro and con, to make his decision official, after which he grants the trial or not, as he may understand the law in the case.

        687 Q. Can the members of a committee take part in the proceedings of a trial?

        A. No. They can ask questions when they do not understand an item, or some thing; but the moment they express an opinion about the merits of the case, or commence to argue the question before the Court, they must be dismissed. The committee of trial is a jury, and must hear alone, till they retire to make up a verdict.

        688 Q. Can a member of the committee give in testimony or evidence?

        A. No. Anything the committee may know cannot affect the case, nor can he express it before the court. The trial and its results rest alone upon the evidence presented to the Court. What a member of the committee mav know is his private matter.


        689 Q. Do you mean to say, that if I were on a committee of five, nine, eleven or any number, and a case was being tried before me, that I, as a member of the committee, could not state what I personally knew of the case being tried?

        A. Yes, I mean just that; you can not be a juryman

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and a witness too. What you know is a private matter when you go on the committee, nor would any honest committee allow you to relate your personal knowledge of the case, because if you were biased with a personal knowledge, you would be a mean, treacherous man for going on the committee; you should have remained off and told what you knew, otherwise you are basely dishonest.

        690 Q. When a church court is organized to try a case, what should the chairman first ask them?

        A. Brethren, James Smith is charged with a crime forbidden by the word of God, I have constituted you a court to hear the same and determine the guilt or innocence of the accused, have you, upon your Christian honor, anything in your heart against brother Smith which would prevent you from giving an impartial decision after you have heard the case? Should all answer, There is nothing, the chairman should then turn to the accused, and ask him, Do you see any one on that committee which I have appointed to hear the charge and specifications preferred against you, whom you believe would not give you a just and impartial verdict? And if he says no, the court is properly organized, but not till then.

        691 Q. Should the chairman swear witnesses in a church court the same as in a civil court?

        A. There is no objection to it, and as Bishop Harris and Judge Henry say, that "the church is justified in following the civil forms, where no specific church forms exist," it would be eminently proper to obligate them to the truth by kissing the Bible.

        692 Q. But suppose a witness objected to kissing the Bible?

        A. I should at once suspect his integrity, for an honest

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Christian man who loves the Bible and lives by its rules, should be glad to kiss it. No man, particularly, not a member of our church, should ever be allowed to testify in a church court, without kissing the Bible.

        693 Q. Who should act as secretary or keep the records of the court, when a member is being tried?

        A. The recording secretary of the Official Board; yet, the chairman can appoint whoever he likes, as it is his court, and, as there is no legal trial without keeping the records for review by the Presiding Elder or Bishop. While he may appoint any competent scribe he desires, he should not, however, be a member of the committee trying the case.

        694 Q. How long after a trial is over before the committee must return a verdict of guilty or not guilty?

        A. After a few moments' deliberations, if possible, but if they can not agree, the chairman may grant them whatever time he likes.

        695 Q. But suppose they cannot agree at all upon a verdict?

        A. Then let them be dismissed and a new committee appointed and a new trial had. It is a mistrial.

        696 Q. In case of a new trial, does everything start anew?

        A. Yes. Nothing that took place before the court dismissed, can be referred to in the new trial. Every witness testifies as though they had never been heard before. They are presumed to say the same things, however.

        697 Q. Can a member, tried and acquitted upon a charge, be tried for the same acts a second time?

        A. No. A member once acquitted can not be tried for the same act, but may be tried again if the same act is repeated, provided the act was not justified in the first trial.

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        698 Q. Give me a short form of charges and specifications which is so often referred to in the trial of members?

        A. All right. Here is but a short form. In drawing up a bill of indictment the following should be observed, says Bishop McTyeire:

  • A statement of the charge.
  • The specification or specifications by which it is sustained, arranged under it; each specification should be numbered.

        This order should be observed until every charge is presented, and the different specifications are arranged under their appropriate heads. (See Form page 293.)

        699 Q. Suppose a member charged and ordered to trial, after due notice, should be absent, what then?

        A. Unless it was on account of sickness, or some other good reason for absence, which the accused could not control, the court would proceed with the case. But the charges must be established by evidence even then, before he could be expelled. The pastor could not expel till the committee rendered a verdict of guilty, although the accused be absent wilfully.

        700 Q. Suppose the accused should come in court and confess guilt, what then?

        A. The trial need go no farther. The fact must be recorded upon the minutes, however, and the committee can render a verdict accordingly.

        701 Q. Does it require a unanimous verdict of the committee to find the accused guilty or to acquit, as in the civil courts?

        A. No. Our Book of Discipline says a majority, hence the necessity of not less than five, although, three is tolerated where members are scarce and difficult to get together. Seven and nine are good numbers.

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        702 Q. Suppose all the charges and specifications in an indictment should not be established or proved in the judgment of the committee?

        A. Then, let them bring in a verdict accordingly; state what they find the accused guilty of, and what not guilty of, in the charges and specifications of the indictment.

        703 Q. Do the committee, when they find the accused guilty, also fix the penalty?

        A. No. The pastor pronounces the sentence of expulsion, suspension, censures, etc.; he is the judge of the law, and its application, when the committee finds the accused guilty. But Bishop Hedding says, "For scandalous crimes expulsion should undoubtedly take place; also, for contumacy and contempt." Bishop McTyeire says, "The law allows alternative censures." Bishop Hedding says, "Prior to 1808 the preacher in charge could determine the guilt and expel also; but, deciding upon the guilt of the accused was taken away, while fixing the grade of penalties remains with the preacher in charge," subject to reviews by the Bishop or Presiding Elder.

        704 Q. Will you give me a form of a church trial?

        A. I will. A form too, that will cover any trial however high or low:

  • Let the Presiding officer sing, pray and comment upon the gravity of the meeting and the interest at stake.
  • Appoint secretary and call the roll of committee, if they are present.
  • Ask the committee if they have any prejudice against the accused.
  • Ask the accused if he is satisfied with every member of the committee.
  • Read the charge and specifications.
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  • Ask the accused if he is guilty or not.
  • Send out each class of witnesses, so only one can be called at a time.
  • Witnesses for the prosecution examined and cross-questioned by the accused.
  • Witnesses for the accused examined and cross-questioned by the prosecution.
  • Rebutting testimony by the prosecution.
  • Rebutting testimony by the accused.
  • The prosecutor heard in his argument.
  • The accused heard with his defence.
  • The prosecutor closes, unless defence desires to explain a point.
  • The Presiding officer explains any law to the committee he may think necessary, but he has nothing to do with the verdict; the committee must be free.
  • The committee retires and deliberates.
  • Committee returns with the verdict.
  • Presiding officer pronounces the sentence.
  • The decision and sentence entered on record by the secretary.
  • Appeal taken if desired, or notice given, and the same entered upon the minutes.

        705 Q. Will this form apply to members, preachers and Bishops alike?

        A. Yes. With some minor variations in case of an Elder or Bishop.

        706 Q. Is this form in harmony with Methodist authorities?

        A. It is, for I have examined them all.


        707 Q. Is this form of procedure not quite lengthy?

        A. Possibly it is, but it is a terrible thing to be expelled from the church; and no one should be without a fair trial. Moreover, if the civil courts allow such

Page 194

trials to secure the ends of justice, what ought a court of the church of God do?

        708 Q. Are class leaders, stewards, trustees and exhorters tried before the Quarterly Conference?

        A. No, they are tried before laymen the same as other members for their religious and moral characters, but may be tried for their official characters before the Quarterly Conference, and dismissed from office. They are official laymen, and are subject to lay trials.

        709 Q. What if a pastor should threaten a committee if they did not bring in a verdict to suit him?

        A. He should be reported to the Bishop at once, for it would be a grave offense, and such a pastor should be moved at once. And any sane Bishop would do it, unless he exhibited humility and signs of reformation.

        710 Q. When a member is found guilty and expulsion is the penalty, when and where shall the pastor proclaim the expulsion?

        A. The old-time Methodist preachers used to expel members at love-feast. Of late years they perform it often in general class. The proper place and time, however, is in the Church Conference, which has been legalized by the General Conference--explained else-where in this book. But under no circumstances should a person be expelled from the pulpit in the public congregation, before saint and sinner.

        711 Q. How long after members have been expelled before they can join the church again?

        A. At the next subsequent meeting, if the doors are open, provided they are not expelled for a crime that they persist in living in. For example, if a man were expelled for having two wives, he could not join while he persisted in living with two wives.

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        712 Q. When a person has been expelled for a crime--well, say for stealing, idolatry, Sabbath breaking, adultery, telling lies, killing, blaspheming the name of God, or any of the high crimes, must he confess and beg pardon before he can rejoin the church?

        A. No; Bishop Hedding says "The highest penalty the church can inflict is expulsion." The church can require nothing after expulsion. For a person to return and join the church on probation, is begging all the pardon required or that any church should desire. Dr. John R. Pickett, than whom there was no abler expounder of Methodist rules, used to expel members and open the doors of the church immediately, for their return. Our Baptist brethren often require pardon begging, as a pre-requisite to membership after expulsion, but not Methodists.

        713 Q. But does not the law of the A. M. E. Church say that a minister expelled for adultery shall not be allowed to preach for four years after rejoining the church?

        A. Yes, but it is a wrong law, as it makes the violation of one of the ten commandments a greater sin than another, whereas, all the ten commandments are equal, and the church has no right to magnify one and minify the other. It is doubtful whether a man expelled from the ministry should ever be allowed to reenter the pulpit. I do not think he should.

        714 Q. Suppose a member is tried for slander, has he the right to prove his statement true if he can?

        A. Yes; Bishop McTyeire says "It is lawful to prove the truth of his statements as a ground of justification."

        715 Q. What is the difference between the trial of a layman, I mean members, class-leaders, stewards, trustees and exhorters, &c., and the trial of local preachers?

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        A. In the trial of a layman the committee finds him guilty or not guilty. But the pastor gives the sentence, or applies the penalty according to law, while a local preacher is tried before a Quarterly Conference, which determines his guilt and affixes the penalty, leaving the Presiding Elder only to pronounce the sentence, be it expulsion, censure, reprimand, &c. But the local preacher can appeal to the Annual Conference for a rehearing, while the layman can only appeal to the Quarterly Conference.

        716 Q. What is the difference between the trial of a local preacher or minister and an itinerant preacher or minister?

        A. While the local minister is tried before the Quarterly Conference, the itinerant minister is tried before the Annual Conference, and can appeal to the General Conference, if necessary.

        717 Q. Can a local Deacon or Elder be tried before a Quarterly Conference?

        A. Most assuredly. And the Quarterly Conference can demand his Deacon or Elder's parchment if it should expel him from the ministry or church. A local minister, while ordained by the Annual Conference, is ordained for the Quarterly Conference, or the church where it has Jurisdiction.

        718 Q. What kind of members should be selected to constitute a committee to try another when under charges?

        A. Bishop Hedding says: "They should be wise, pious, and candid men, who will do justice to the accused and to the church." Bishop Baker says: "They must be men of acknowledged virtue and integrity." Again Bishop Baker says: "The Preacher in charge is required to Receive, Try and Expel members according

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to the Discipline," which shows that, whatever may be the spotless character of the committee, they are only to find a verdict of guilty, or not guilty, or to what extent the accused is guilty or not guilty. But, says Bishop Baker, "receiving, expelling, censuring, reprimanding," denying members the privileges of class-meetings, love-feasts, the Lord's Supper, for a limited time, not to exceed six months, belong absolutely to the pastor. He should advise with his Board of Stewards, however, if he feels the need of consultation.

        719 Q. How are probationers tried?

        A. They are not formally tried as full members. The official Board holds jurisdiction over probationers; yet, the official Board may direct a formal trial, if it desires or thinks justice demands it. Formerly, the preacher in charge held supreme control of the status of probationers, and could drop them as well as receive them. But the General Conference of 1872 made the official Board the high court of the probationers; beyond that they have no appeal.

        720 Q. Suppose a pastor does not know how to try a member?

        A. Then he is a poor tool, and should leave the pastorate at once.

        721 Q. Will you now give me the form of trials for local and itinerant ministers, Bishops, &c.?

        A. No. Every minister should understand the law sufficiently to defend himself. However, the general principles that govern the trials of the laity apply to the ministry. The forms of the court may vary somewhat, but the procedure is about the same.

        722 Q. Suppose a member should be brought before the civil courts, for some crime forbidden in the Word of God, should

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the church proceed to expel the member so charged before the courts could dispose of the case?

        A. No. Bishops Payne, Wayman and Brown have waited for the courts to dispose of cases, when ministers were indicted, and the same must apply to members; yet, the church court is by no means bound by the verdict of the civil courts.



        723 Q. When a member has been tried before a committee selected by the pastor, or the society of which he is a member, and is dissatisfied for the reason that he believes injustice has been done him, what redress has he?

        A. If an an itinerant minister he can appeal to the General Conference; if a local preacher he can appeal to the Annual Conference, but if he be a lay member or a class leader, steward, trustee, or exhorter, he can appeal to the Quarterly Conference only.

        724 Q. Is the right of an appeal inherent in the constitution of Methodism?

        A. It is, under certain limitations. The General Conference "shall not do away with the privileges of ministers, preachers and of our lay members of trial by a committee, or society and of an appeal," yet the condemned person must signify an intention of appeal within a given time.

Page 199

        725 Q. Which court is to judge whether the party has a right to appeal?

        A. The court appealed to, and not the court appealed from, nor can the minister in charge deny or refuse the appeal.

        726 Q. Can any court, even the court appealed to, refuse to hear an appeal when the Restrictive Rules make no conditions, and forbid the same to the legislation of the General Conference?

        A. It is very doubtful; yet the General Conferences of all Methodist Churches have ventured to regulate appeals by express enactments, and such great judgment must be respected. Some order, system or custom should certainly govern appeals to avoid confusion and ecclesiastical anarchy. Nevertheless, great license should be given to the right of an appeal, as the Restrictive Rules contemplate.

        727 Q. When a person absents himself from a trial, does not that destroy the right of appeal?

        A. Yes; if he does it willfully. Bishop Baker says, however: "Mere absence from the place of trial does not show that the accused person evaded a trial by absenting himself in the meaning of the Discipline; therefore he has the right to show to the Quarterly Conference that his absence from the trial was not designed or his fault, and if he so satisfies the Quarterly Conference his appeal holds good and must be heard."

        728 Q. How long may an appeal remain before the church, awaiting final adjudication?

        A. All appeals for members must be brought before the next ensuing Quarterly Conference. Nevertheless, sickness, unavoidable absence from home, and providential causes ought to have merited consideration, if a longer time is desired.

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        729 Q. Can a Quarterly Conference try an appeal when the testimony is not duly and properly recorded?

        A. When accurate minutes have not been taken in the original trial before the society, or a select committee (says Bishop Hedding), the cause should be referred back for a new trial. Bishop Payne says: "The appeal must be limited to the recorded testimony; any new evidence calls for a new trial."

        730 Q. What is the difference between the trial and the appeal courts?

        A. In the trial court the church is prosecuting the accused member for some alleged offense against its laws or rules. In the appeal court, the accused member is really prosecuting the court below for not administering justice to him.

        731 Q. Then it would appear that the appellant has the closing argument, in person or by his attorney?

        A. Yes; in all appeal courts the appellant has the concluding remarks just as the representative of the church has in the trial.

        732 Q. To what extent can the appeal court award punishment?

        A. It cannot award any. The appeal court must either affirm or reverse the decision of the court below, or remand the case for a new trial.

        733 Q. What if there should be a tie vote upon any of these three propositions?

        A. The Presiding Elder might, as the Bishops do in the General Conference, give the casting vote, otherwise the accused is not found guilty.

        734 Q. Suppose the accused should desire to present new evidence in the appeal court, which he did not have or know of in the trial, could the appeal court consider it?

        A. By no means. It would be the duty of the appellate

Page 201

court to remand the case for a new trial. Any new evidence would call for a new trial.

        735 Q. When an appeal is taken by a member to the Quarterly Conference, and the conference orders the case back for a new trial, what is the precise relation of the appellant to the church?

        A. He is an accused member, and the pastor should proceed to try him again, unless the charges are with-drawn.

        736 Q. What relation does an accused member sustain to the church pending a trial?

        A. There is no defined relation. He is still entitled to the respect of pastor and members, and is presumed to be innocent till proven guilty. Yet, if he is an officer of the church, he must vacate the office till the matter is disposed of. He is naturally denied the Lord's supper, speaking in love-feasts, class-meetings, etc., if the charge is for immorality.

        737 Q. Could he not visit his class-meetings if he desired to do so?

        A. Yes; he could visit his or any other class, but he could not lead in prayer, be examined publicly by the leader, and receive the recognition of a regular member; although the leader might, in passing, halt and exhort him, or say a word of consolation to him, if he felt inclined. The privileges of an accused member, however, are about whatever is granted by the preacher in charge, who still has the oversight of him.

        738 Q. When the appellate court reverses the decision of the court below, in what position does it place the appellant?

        A. He is reinstated in his former membership, regardless of the court below. But the restoration to membership does not carry with it restoration to the office of

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leader or steward; that belongs to the executive department of the pastorate alone.

        739 Q. When a decision on a point of law is made by the Presiding Elder in the Quarterly Conference, that affects the membership of a member of that conference, is such action final?

        A. Yes; provided he takes no appeal to the Bishop of the next Annual Conference, which he can do, from the Presiding Elder's decision.


        740 Q. When lay members and such as are tried as laymen have appealed to the Quarterly Conference, and still believe justice has not been accorded, can they carry their cases any higher?

        A. Yes; but only when the appeal is from the decision of the Presiding Elder or chairman of the Quarterly Conference, or the Quarterly Conference acts under his decision contrary to the meaning and intent of the Discipline, or maladministration is apparent. All grades of members from any church court can appeal to the Presiding Bishop when maladministration is manifest, and the Bishop is bound to review the case. But unless these conditions exist the Quarterly Conference places a finality upon the appeal.

        741 Q. Can a Quarterly Conference try and expel its members from the church?

        A. Only local ministers and preachers who can appeal to the Annual Conference for redress if they desire, but the Quarterly Conference can only remove stewards, exhorters, etc., from office, and if necessary remand them to the pastor for trial. The Quarterly Conference could not expel and then be a court of appeals. It can impeach

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leaders and compel the pastor to remove them from office also.

        742 Q. Suppose a Presiding Elder allowed a Quarterly Conference to expel a leader or a steward from the church, would he not be out of the church?

        A. No; and the pastor would be bound to recognize such a member until he gave him a fair trial, and report the conduct of the Presiding Elder to the next Annual Conference.

        743 Q. Where may an exhorter appeal?

        A. An exhorter is tried as other lay members, and can only appeal to the Quarterly Conference.

        744 Q. Under what circumstances may appeals not be entertained?

        A. 1. When the accused willfully absents himself from the trial.

        2. When he does not indicate an intention to appeal.

        3. When no censure or reproof was administered as a penalty.

        4. When the apellant declares himself withdrawn from the church subsequently to the adjudication of his case and his intention to appeal.

        But unless one of these conditions exists the appeal must be heard. And even in the above cases circumstances may modify the seeming inexorabilities of the law.

        745 Q. What are the grounds of an appeal?

        A. Bishop McTyeire says: "Any material irregularity in the proceedings of the court below, declining to admit important testimony, hurrying to a decision before the testimony is fully taken, or the discovery of new, material testimony, a manifestation of prejudice in the case, or mistake or injustice in the decision of the presiding officer at the trial, are all proper grounds of appeal."

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        746 Q. What is the mode of conducting an appeal before the Quarterly Conference?

        A. Bishop McTyeire says:

  • A statement or communication from the appellant setting forth his appeal and the grounds of it.
  • The charges, specifications and the judgment of the court below are heard.
  • Inquiring if conditions of appeal are met.
  • When admitted, reading the records of the trial.
  • The appellant himself or counsel is heard.
  • The court below, by its representative, replies.
  • The appellant closes.
  • The appellant and representatives of court below retire, and the Quarterly Conference decides the case.

        747 Q. What is the mode of conducting an appeal before an Annual or General Conference?

        A. The correct method is as follows:

  • A statement or communication from the appellant, setting forth his appeal, and the grounds of it.
  • The charges and specifications, and the judgment of the Court below, are read.
  • Inquiring if conditions of appeal are met.
  • If they are met, reading the records of the trial.
  • The appellant himself, or through counsel, is heard.
  • The Court below, by its representative, replies.
  • The appellant closes.
  • The appellant retires, and the conference decides the case.

        748 Q, When an appeal is brought before a conference, is a motion to admit it necessary to bring it before the body for disposition?

        A. No. I am aware some authorities so teach, but it is wrong; if all the previous requirements have been complied with, the conference must hear it. Bishop Harris and Judge Henry, in their "Ecclesiastical Law," say: An appeal is granted as a matter of strict right. Bishop Baker says: A motion to admit may serve to inquire

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whether the accused was absent, and if so, was it as per Discipline; if he had given notice of an appeal at the proper time; if he had declared himself withdrawn from the church since the trial from which he appeals. (See conditions elsewhere.)

        749 Q. Do not some Quarterly Conferences refuse to admit the appeal by resolution, and thereby drive the appellant from before the body, before hearing the merits of the case?

        A. Yes; when a weak or a malicious minister is presiding. But no minister with sense and respect for right will put such a motion. A Quarterly, Annual or General Conference is obliged to hear an appeal, if the prerequisites have been complied with, for they are appeal courts.

        750 Q. Could an Annual or General Conference send an appeal case before a committee of their own creation, if they desired to do so, for adjudication?

        A. Yes; but still the appellant would have the right to appeal from said committee to the body of the conference in case he deemed it extremely necessary.

        751 Q. Can any other power than a court of appeals order a new trial?

        A. No; not according to Methodist usage; yet, it does appear that, as our forms of trial are so largely drawn from the civil courts, the pastor in charge, like a presiding judge, is allowed, under certain contingencies, to hear arguments pro and con for a new trial, and that he, like a judge in civil courts, is allowed to set aside the verdict of the committee and grant a new trial provided he believes, from all the evidence and facts in the case, that the accused has not had a fair and impartial decision from the committee, especially if he finds out

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that previously existing prejudice shaped the findings or decision.

        752 Q. Has any Methodist body ever forbid their pastors, by special enactment, from exercising this privilege?

        A. None as I know of. The A. M. E. Church, I am sure, never has, nor any of the other Episcopal Methodist Churches, as I recollect, but they all follow the same usage, and the custom has been reduced by years of usage to virtually a common law.

        753 Q. Then it is evident that the pastor is allowed, under some circumstances, to grant a new trial. Do you think the chairman of the Quarterly and Annual Conferences should be allowed the same privilege?

        A. No; not necessarily, for the conferences, being composed of select men, usually learned in the law, noted for piety and living at distances from each other, are not liable to the local prejudices that may exist in small congregations; but both a Bishop in an Annual Conference and a Presiding Elder in a Quarterly Conference have the power to set aside, when the law has not been complied with, a verdict in a preliminary trial, which is equal to granting a new trial.

        754 Q. Well, according to Methodist usage, how would a pastor get a new trial for a member whom he may think has not been dealt with justly, if he had doubts about granting a new trial himself?

        A. The pastor would wait till the meeting of the Quarterly Conference and ask of it permission to set aside the decision of the committee and give the said member a new trial. When the trial is proceeded with, as though no trial had ever been held in the case, there must be a new presentation of charges, specifications and a new notification of the party, witnesses, evidence and

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rendering of verdict. New testimony may also be taken and old withdrawn.

        755 Q. How does Bishop McTyeire say appeals may reach the highest seats of authority?

        A. He says appeals may be taken from the decision of a preacher in charge to the Presiding Elder, from the Presiding Elder to the Bishop, and from the Bishop to the College of Bishops, or from the select committee, or society, to the Quarterly Conference, from the Quarterly Conference to the Annual Conference, and from the Annual Conference to the General Conference.

        756 Q. Does that rule operate in the A. M. E. Church?

        A. Well, yes, so far as decisions are concerned. A pastor's decision may be carried up through the channels of the church to the Bishops' Council; but the sentences of church courts could not, unless they were passed up through sufferance. Such cases, however, would have to be extraordinary in their character and magnitude.

        757 Q. When a pastor of a church tries a member and violates, or rather misapplies, the law to the injury of the good name of said member, and pleads ignorance of the law as an excuse for so doing, does that exempt him from the charge of maladministration?

        A. By no means. The pastor of a church must know the law and govern his church by its provisions; ignorance of the same is equal to a willful perversion of it, and such pastors are guilty of maladministration.

        758 Q. Suppose a Quarterly Conference should exhibit such prejudice toward an appellant that the Presiding Elder was satisfied that he could not get an impartial review of the case, what would be the duty of the Presiding Elder?

        A. In such an exhibition of prejudice or excitement, it would be the duty of the Presiding Elder to defer

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hearing the appeal till a better spirit prevailed, or to order the case to another Quarterly Conference, where the appeal could be heard and considered in the proper spirit. No Presiding Elder should allow an appeal to come before a Quarterly Conference when it exhibits manifest prejudice toward the appellant, or if the appellant believes he could not get an impartial decision. Both the pastor and Presiding Elder can remove a case before an impartial court. The pastor can call in members of another sister church to form a committee of trial, and a Presiding Elder can remove an appeal to another Quarterly Conference.

        759 Q. Has a presiding elder the power to transfer an appeal from one Quarterly Conference to another?

        A. Certainly he has, provided it is in his own district; he has no power, however, to remove it beyond his own jurisdiction.

        760 Q. Can a member appeal from any penalty less than an expulsion?

        A. Yes; he can appeal from a censure, reproof or even a reprimand, to protect his or her good name, for the Church has no jails, penitentiaries or money fines to inflict, but a bad name from the Church is a great injury.

Page 209



        761 Q. You have told us much about preaching, Conferences, and class-meetings, while describing the duties of the Leaders, Stewards, and many things about the church. Now what about Love-Feasts?

        A. Love-Feast is a devotional service, which is observed by the Moravians and Methodists, and generally precedes the administration of the Lord's Supper, and is intended to be preparatory to the same.

        762 Q. Whence its origin?

        A. The love-feast, or Agapæ, as the Greek has it, Bishop Baker says, was instituted in the Apostolic age. But had the learned Bishop searched history a step further, he would have discovered similar feasts long before the age of the Apostles. The Apostles, however, may have improved and Christianized the old form and given it a new cast; but a like service long antedates the Apostolic age. (See Deut. xii. 18; also Deut. xxvi. 12.) The Greeks and Romans both had feasts of about the same kind, in connection with their sacrifices, and made them advantageous to the poor and needy. In imitation of either the Jew or Gentile love-feasts, or possibly both, the early Christians, in each church, had likewise their love-feasts, when the members contributed for the needy according to their several abilities. And, as the love-feast of the Jews especially had been annexed

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to their sacrifices, the primitive Christians connected their love-feasts with the commemoration of the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ at the Lord's Supper. And it was usually held on the Lord's day just before or after the supper. I think it was held in the early morning before. The learned Dr. Whitby, in commenting upon 1 Cor. xi. 21, is of the opinion that love-feasts were held before the Lord's Supper. But Chrysostom mentions an instance where the love-feast succeeded the Supper of the Lord. However, history, sacred and profane, concur in establishing the fact, that love-feasts, in one form and another, and for one object and another, are very ancient.

        763 Q. Well, how did the primitive Christians conduct their love-feasts?

        A. They ate and drank together in token of Christian affection for each other. They washed their hands before partaking of the repast (hands-washing much needed now in some cases); offered prayers. Services were conducted by a Bishop or Elder. Portions of the Scriptures were read. Questions were propounded to the minister, and he answered them for the benefit of all present. Religious intelligence from other churches was related. Letters from Bishops and those planting churches read. Those who had been put to death for the Gospel were mentioned, and their deaths referred to, if triumphant. Psalms and hymns were sung; experiences and growth in grace were related. Collections for the poor were lifted, and the prisoner prayed for.

        764 Q. Has it not been held, that there were sacred mysteries, certain signs, pass-words, and possibly hand-grips, associated with love-feasts in the early days of the church?

        A. Yes; and likely there were. Christians were

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hunted down like wild beasts; at times, murdered in every conceivable form. So if they had such signs, tokens and grips, for mutual recognition and protection, all honor to their sagacity!

        765 Q. Did not love-feasts in the Western Church finally fall into bad repute?

        A. Yes, some impure persons gave occasion for the belief that the same kind of immoralities was practiced in the Christian love-feasts as were indulged among the pagans. Hence, they were discontinued in the Western Church A.D. 397.

        766 Q. Who revived the love-feasts so far as we are able to glean from history?

        A. The Moravians.

        767 Q. From whom did Mr. Wesley copy the institution and give it to the Methodist church?

        A. From the Moravians, as early as 1737. Mr. Wesley says, "I joined in one of their love-Feasts. It was begun and ended with thankgiving and prayer, and celebrated in so solemn a manner, that the Christians of the apostolic age, would have allowed it to be worthy of their churches." But why consume time in dealing with love-feasts in all ages, and their establishment in the Methodist church? Suffice to know we have them, and millions in time and eternity will bless God for them. For we use them as the early Christians did, to help us to bridle our tongues and to promote love toward God and man.

        768 Q. When should love-feasts be held in Methodist churches?

        A. The object of love-feasts in Methodism, is to prepare the church for the Lord's supper. To have the people bury all bickerings, malice, envy and strife, and

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if any are not speaking, to get them to make up and start upon a new Christian career. So this necessitates holding the love-feast before the Lord's supper.


        769 Q. How long before the Lord's Supper?

        A. Well, it should be in less time than a week. Thursday night before the Sabbath of the communion is the most common time. Some have it Friday nights, and others early Sabbath morning. The time is of no great moment, the object is to clean the church up spiritually before the communion.

        770 Q. What should be read at every love-feast?

        A. The General Rules.

        771 Q. What! read the General Rules twelve times a year if you have love-feast and communion once a month?

        A. Yes, they should be read at every love-feast, if not all, enough of them for the minister to enforce with strong comments. That is the order of Mr. Wesley, the founder of Methodism. Nor can any minister on earth find better instruction to impart.

        772 Q. Is the love-feast a Sacrament like the Lord's Supper and Baptism?

        A. No, this service is not enjoined by Christ; it is an old form of worship which the church finds useful, having the example of ages behind it.

        773 Q. Is it proper when the bread and water is handed around to eat the bread or hold a piece in your hand, and at the word of the pastor rise and break it with each other?

        A. Methodists follow both modes. Some eat it and others rise and break it, and afterward shake hands.

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        774 Q. Why use bread and water for this service?

        A. A world-renowned divine says the term bread means GOOD--good will--and water is emblematical of a purification. Love-feast is intended to signify a re-washing, preparatory to the Holy Communion, when the church should be clean and ready.

        775 Q. What else did the early Methodists do at love-feast?

        A. They read out the names of members who were expelled, and commended them to the prayers of the Church. They also announced the names of all probationers who had been dropped; also, all members who had been set back, or suspended from love-feast, class meetings, the Lord's Supper, for one, two, or even six months, and commended them to the prayers of the Church, and announced the names of all whose suspension had expired, and lifted a collection for the poor. The minister mentioned the names of sick or poor persons who needed the visitations of the members, and finally opened the doors of the church.

        776 Q. Should not that custom still be kept up?

        A. Yes, it should, and stop exposing every fault and misfortune before the world, which only helps to weaken the Church and bring Christianity into ridicule. As members are not tried and expelled for the benefit and protection of the world, but of the Church, and beyond the Church it is nobody's business.

        777 Q. Can any person come into love-feast at any time?

        A. No. Two stewards are required to keep the doors of entrance into love-feast, and admit no one without a quarterly ticket from his or her leader, and then not later than the members begin to give in their experience.

        778 Q. Are quarterly tickets always given to members?

        A. Yes. Where the pastor adheres to the rules of

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the Church, he will supply his leaders with quarterly tickets every three months, and the leaders supply their members.

        779 Q. Do not some pastors give the members yearly tickets?

        A. Yes. While it is not the law of the church, yet yearly tickets are better than none.

        780 Q. What is the rule, or usage, when the leaders give out quarterly tickets?

        A. For the members in turn to give the leaders a quarter of a dollar for the quarterly collection. While this is not law, it is an old custom, and members should observe it.

        781 Q. Can any person, not a member of the church, visit love-feast?

        A. Yes, but not over three times.

        782 Q. Suppose a member should come to the love-feast door and desire to come in, and had no quarterly ticket?

        A. He could send word to his leader, and he could send him a ticket or come and pass him in; or, if the leader was sick or absent, the pastor could order him let in.

        783 Q. Suppose a strange member of our church were to desire admission, what then?

        A. His quarterly ticket would be good from his own church, or a member could vouch for him, who knew him; otherwise he should see the pastor before the meeting, and convince him of his membership, and get a permit, or stay out.

        784 Q. Suppose the settlements are sparse, and tickets upon circuits and missions should be impracticable, what then?

        A. Well, the love-feast could go on without tickets,

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but the pastor should inquire if they are all members who are in the house.

        785 Q. In conclusion, what are the benefits of the love-feast?

        A. It has many benefits. Malice is dropped, trespasses are forgiven, insults overlooked, speech is restored to silent-tongued members, promises are made for better living, and the heart in general is purged and cleaned out.


        786 Q. What other phases of Methodism do you propose to notice?

        A. There is much that might be discussed or commented upon very profitably, but as we have glanced at the principal parts--I mean the leading features of operative Methodism -I think we had better close till we see the result of what has been noticed.

        787 Q. What else might be considered with profit?

        A. Well, the General Rules, twenty-five Articles of Religion, the band societies, singing, public worship, and a great many matters not yet referred to, still are indispensable to the success of the church.

        788 Q. What are the General Rules anyhow?

        A. They are the constitution of Methodism--one of the most unique and complete systems of moral ethics found anywhere upon the face of the globe, and ought to be known by heart by every Methodist in the world.

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        789 Q. What did the primitive Methodists do with these rules?

        A. They read them at every love-feast to the members and once a quarter to all the people from the pulpit or altar, and prized them next to the Bible itself?

        790 Q. What is still the duty of every Methodist minister?

        A. To read the General Rules on every love-feast occasion, study them regularly, and to weave them into their sermons next to the Word of God.

        791 Q. How often should a Methodist preacher open the doors of the church for the reception of probationers?

        A. At every sermon he delivers, but under no circumstance should he allow a whole Sabbath to pass without it, even though it be a station; otherwise that preacher is like one that sows but fails to reap.

        792 Q. In what particular do the most of our pastors shamefully neglect their officers and members?

        A. In many things, but especially in not training them when to respond, Amen, while going through the communion service, baptismal service and such like. The pastors should train their officers in their Official Boards, and their members in love-feast, if at no other time.

        793 Q. What else do they do that looks little and childish?

        A. Allow the members to repeat the Lord's prayer and General Confession behind them, instead of with them, just as though they were children at their mother's knee.

        794 Q. How should the General Confession and Lord's prayer be proceeded with?

        A. Just as though the whole congregation was one man praying in one breath, which can easily be done

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when the pastor is not too negligent to give his members a little training.

        795 Q. What advantage is derived from the unit manner of which you speak?

        A. It makes the service impressive, beautiful, intelligent and attractive, and thus reaches the hearts of the ungodly and causes them to reverence divine worship.

        796 Q. What benefit have choirs been to our public worship?

        A. Very little. Most of them have been not only nuisances, but curses to our churches; not because they need be--they might be blessings. They are as old in the church as the time of David, but it is owing to the fact that only one in a hundred will sing in reach of the people, and whatever keeps the people from singing keeps them from worshipping God, and thus destroys the vital power of the church.

        797 Q. Should not a pastor take part in prayer-meetings at times?

        A. Yes, at any time. A pastor who is too high strung to lead a prayer-meeting is too high strung to be of any account, and should be invited to employment in some other field at the earliest moment.

        798 Q. What is meant by fasting?

        A. To not eat anything from morning till night, and give the time to prayer and spiritual devotion, was the custom of the ancients.

        799 Q. When did they fast?

        A. In times of sorrow and great lamentation, whether the sorrow was personal or among the people collectively.

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        800 Q What length of time do Methodists fast?

        A. They, too, fast from morning till night. The ancients did not eat from the rising of the sun to the going down of the same. Methodists abstain from all food from supper to supper time again.

        801 Q. What is meant by abstinence?

        A. The ancients meant by it not to eat any meats of a particular kind, but Methodists eat none of any kind during the day. They, however, eat vegetables, fruits, eggs, and sometimes a little fish. Some interpret abstinence to eat nothing whatever till after mid-day.

        802 Q. Is drinking water allowed when a person fasts or abstains?

        A. I find in no instance where water is interdicted. It may, therefore, be left to the conscience of the individual, yet it should not be used excessively.

        803 Q. Wherein does fasting or abstinence benefit Christians or those who are seeking the forgiveness of their sins?

        A. The philosophy of it will bear elaborate comment, but it is sufficient for the present to say that fast days have been observed from Moses to the present time by the worshipers of God. It also met the approval of Jesus, and those who fast and pray have always been spiritually strong, accomplishing more for God and the church than those who did not.

        804 Q. What physical benefits are said by doctors to come from fasting?

        A. That it cleanses the stomach, purges out the effete matters, makes the person more healthy and thus prolongs life.

        805 Q. But suppose it makes you sick, as many people say it does?

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        A. Well, it would be no cross if it did not, and Jesus says we are to take up our cross and follow him; medicine makes us sick, too, but it makes us better in the end. It is enough for us to know that Christ enjoins it. Our duty is to fast if it kills us, for the reason that God requires it, and we are not to count our lives dear to us when God speaks.


Inquiries from Several Ministers, Personal and by Letter.

        806 Q. Has a local preacher the right to sit within the altar, in time of service, when it is disagreeable to the officers of the church, or any considerable portion of them?

        A. A local preacher has no special claims upon the altar, whether it is disagreeable to any one or not. The altar is a part of the pulpit, and as such belongs to the pastor alone in the absence of the Bishop and Presiding Elder when they are there officially. Bishop J. M. Brown decided years ago in Baltimore that the only portion of our ministry entitled even by courtesy to a seat within the altar were the following:

        1st. Itinerant ministers. 2d. Superannuated elders. 3d. Local elders who have rendered great service to the church. 4th. Distinguished ministers of other denominations when paying a fraternal visit. A seat within the

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altar is equal to a seat within the pulpit, and should not be entered by any minister without an invitation by the pastor, nor would any minister acquainted with ministerial proprieties or etiquette ever think of doing so. For a minister to walk into a church and take a seat within the altar without being asked by the pastor is bad manners and great disrespect.

        807 Q. When a minister is baptizing a child or an adult, is it proper to pour or apply the water three times--once for the Father, once for the Son and once for the Holy Ghost?

        A. No; but it is highly improper, if not heterodoxical. The minister who thus baptizes denies the unity of the Godhead, and teaches the people that the three persons are three Gods, and not that the three persons in the Godhead are only one God, as the Holy Scriptures set forth. One application of the water in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost is all that is necessary to constitute baptism.

        808 Q. For what can the minister order the church opened by virtue of disciplinary powers vested in him?

        A. I think I have already answered this question, but for fear I have not, I will here state the pastor can order or open the church for the following objects:

        1st. For worship of any kind. 2d. For services of morality. 3d. For literary or educational purposes. But for all temporal or secular purposes the pastor must have the consent of the trustees.

        809 Q. Has a Presiding Elder the right to change the time for the Quarterly Conference after the last Sabbath before the time designated?

        A. Not unless the cause is of the most extreme nature, such as sickness, death, or something of the kind, as the

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pastor can preside over the conference if the Presiding Elder is absent.

        810 Q. Where ought a minister to stand when collecting money for any cause?

        A. In the altar or in front of the pulpit; it is highly improper to stand in the pulpit and do it. A minister should never use the pulpit for any purpose other than to preach, sing, pray and deliver religious lectures. When he collects money, opens the door of the church, receives into full membership, baptizes, delivers literary or secular lectures, etc., he should leave the pulpit and take a position in the altar.

        811 Q. When is the proper time for holding watch-night services?

        A. From one till six o'clock Christmas morning. Christ is supposed to have been born about three o'clock Christmas morning, and no Christian upon the face of the globe should be in bed at that hour. Every church upon earth should be lit up and filled with people praising God at the time Christ was born of woman. The primitive Christians, says history, were all up watching Christmas morning for hundreds of years after the birth of Christ, praising God in loudest strains.

        812 Q. Is a Presiding Elder compelled to sign the License of a local preacher, when voted to him by the Quarterly Conference, notwithstanding he may know the local preacher--applicant is not capable? Baker says the Presiding Elder is compelled.

        A. No. In the A. M. E. Church neither the Presiding Elder nor Bishop is bound to License a man or give him an appointment when they know him to be disqualified. Bishop Payne decided that question in 1862, in the Baltimore Conference, and his decision has

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never been reversed by any General Conference nor by the Bishop's Council. Bishop Payne further decided that a Bishop was not bound to ordain a preacher if he knew any disqualifying reasons, and that decision has never been reversed either.

        813 Q. When a licentiate has served one year, and is ordained to the diaconate under the missionary rule, does it exclude him from his examination as per discipline, Chapter II., page 401, in discipline of 1884?

        A. No, and the man who would advocate it is foolish.

        814 Q. Should class leaders, in opening their class service, read the Holy Scriptures?

        A. Yes, General rules too, if convenient; it would make them appear more intelligent, and it would be highly beneficial to the members.

        815 Q. Has a class leader or an exhorter the right to pronounce the apostolic benediction after religious services?

        A. No; only an ordained minister has that right, yet they must dismiss the people in some formal manner. And till the church provides them with some form of dismission I think it might be tolerated.

        816 Q. Should an official member be marked in the last Quarterly Conference of the year for failing to pay his dollar money?

        A. Yes, and the presiding officer make the inquiry to know if he refuses, or if it is willful neglect; if so, hold him responsible, for how can a Pastor succeed without the co-operation of his officers? The Annual Conference holds the Pastor responsible for this neglect.

        817 Q. Has a Pastor the right to negotiate for property or furniture for the church or parsonage?

        A. No, this is the work of the trustees. But he can co-operate with them, as he should in everything.

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        818 Q. When a District Conference assesses the several churches for the Presiding Elder's support, can an official Board change the amount fixed upon any special church?

        A. No, unless the Presiding Elder agrees to it. Then, even, it should have the consent of the Presiding Bishop, as he is the only one who can revise the action of the District Conference.

        819 Q. Can a Pastor suspend a steward and refuse to call his name on the roll at the Quarterly Conference?

        A. No, the steward is a member of the Quarterly Conference, and it must dispose of the case.

        820 Q. If the members of an Annual Conference vote their next session at a given place, and the stationed Pastor sees it impossible to hold the Conference there, what ought to be done?

        A. Let the pastor report to the Presiding Elder, and let him report to the Bishop, and inform him of the place that got the next highest number of votes at the previous Annual Conference, and the Bishop will announce the Conference there.


        821 Q. How much money should the trustees have in hand before they commence the building of a new church?

        A. At least one-third, if possible, and the people in such a condition as to raise the second third by the time the house is completed.

        822 Q. Ought not each Quarterly Conference to keep on hand local preachers and exhorters' license to avoid the difficulty we sometimes have to get them when expelled, as they generally claim to have bought them?

        A. No, it is the business of the Presiding Elder to keep them on hand; but the Quarterly Conference should pay for them to avoid that trouble. The Annual

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Conferences pay for Deacons' and Elders' Certificates of ordination. Also for all pastoral appointments for the same reason.

        823 Q. When a Bishop or a presiding elder goes to a church on official business, is it proper to charge them for their board?

        A. The pastor and stewards are bound to get them a place to stop; if the church chooses to pay for it, that is not the business of the Presiding Elder or Bishop. It is a mean church, and the pastor is meaner, not to be willing to accommodate any brother a reasonable time.

        824 Q. Have trustees of the A. M. E. Church the right in their board, and the pastor absent, to transact any business without his knowledge?

        A. No. But the pastor when leaving his charge should always appoint some one to preside in the trustee meeting. The pastor has no right to notice any trustee meeting trumped up in his absence, possibly to do what they feared or hesitated to do in his presence. See what is said about the pastor's signature in the chapter on trustees.

        825 Q. When a pastor has an appointment at any point upon his circuit, and is not able to fill it, and sends a local preacher as a supply, must the stewards pay his traveling expenses?

        A. Most assuredly. Do you suppose the stewards are robbers?

        826 Q. Shall probationers who have never been baptized, be allowed to take of the holy sacrament?

        A. No. They should first be baptized, which is the door of entrance into our church, provided it was not performed in infancy.

        827 Q. If an ordained preacher comes to us from another denomination

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can he administer or assist in administering the sacrament of the Lord's Supper, before he takes our ordina tion vows?

        A. No. Because our law requires all such persons on coming to us, to take our ordination vows, although we consider their ordination valid.

        828 Q. Should not a minister coming from a Church which recognizes only one ordination, be ordained the second time before he acts as an Elder in the A. M. E. Church?

        A. The Bishops thought so, and recommended such a law to the General Conference of 1884, but it refused to enact it.

        829 Q. Are local preachers who are members of the Annual Conferences, to have their characters examined at each session by both Quarterly and Annual Conferences?

        A. Yes. Nobody asks the local preachers to join the annual conferences; they join at their own option, and they must take the responsibility. They can be ordained deacon and elders without being members of the annual conference, provided, their respective churches can show that they are needed. But local preachers usually join the Annual Conference to appear as big men, so they can talk and vote among the itinerants and help to vote the suspension or expulsion of the itinerant ministers, if they choose. Now, must the itinerant ministers through some strange grace turn them loose, because the Quarterly Conference is obliged to examine their characters? No, if they want double honor, let them take double fare. A Quarterly Conference is the arena of local preachers.

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        830 Q. What does the Discipline mean by "NOT SPEAKING TOO LONG OR TOO LOUD" when a minister is preaching the gospel?

        A. Mr. Wesley, when he wrote that provision, had reference to a class of noisy, boisterous ranters, which had partially turned Methodist preaching into ridicule, who neither had system, rule, order nor regard for time; therefore, it was necessary to somewhat check these ravers; hence this interdiction.

        831 Q. What does God say about it?

        A. "Cry aloud; spare not; lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show my people their transgressions, and the house of Jacob their sins."

        832 Q. What is meant by lifting up the voice like a trumpet?

        A. We learn from one of the Hebrew Talmuds that when the jubilee trumpets were blown, announcing the great year of release from debt and freedom to the slave, that the trumpet-blast waxed louder and louder, till the sound was heard through the land, and the echo returned in the shouts of the people. So God meant for His ministers to proclaim His word louder and louder, till the people responded in shouts of salvation.

        833 Q. Then Mr. Wesley never intended to instruct the

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Methodist ministry not to use their strongest utterances in the pulpit if they felt so prompted by the Holy Spirit?

        A. By no means; for Mr. Whitefield, his compeer, was heard at times from three to four miles, and the Christian world has justly classed him as the foremost preacher of his day.

        834 Q. What does Dr. Hall say about preaching?

        A. He says that the more force men put into their sermons, when accompanied by the Spirit, the better lungs they have, and the longer they live; that a sermon should always produce perspiration, as it is healthy; that force in preaching is healthy for the preacher physically, and healthy for the people religiously; also, that hard preaching is blessed almost universally with advanced age and a quiet and peaceful death.

        835 Q. How, then, should a man preach the gospel, so far as his physical labor or exertion extends?

        A. He should labor as hard to enforce the Word of God and move sinners to repentance as he would in any other occupation. He should maul men as laboriously with the truth as he would maul rails in the forest.

        836 Q. How many sermons can a man preach consecutively?

        A. I have preached three times on Sabbath and every night in the week for four months. I have known men to do the same for six and ten months. I have read of men who did if for years. The more a man preaches, the stronger he becomes, the more he can preach, and the better he can preach.

        837 Q. How did the preachers of the old dispensation speak to the people?

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        A. They must have spoken with great force and power. We find that Ezra, the scribe, stood upon a pulpit of wood, fashioned like a small tower, and preached to fifty thousand souls, till they bowed their heads and wept excessively, and with uplifted hands exclaimed, Amen! Amen!

        838 Q. What is the chief weapon of the church under the New Testament dispensation?

        A. Revival preaching, all the types, shadows, symbols, sacrifices, ceremonials, forms and predictions of the old dispensation, having centred and terminated in our Lord Jesus Christ, and the grace of God having appeared unto all men. There is nothing to do now but arouse the people to duty and stir the multitude to accept God in their hearts and lives.

        839 Q. How was the Christian dispensation introduced?

        A. It was introduced in a great revival, conducted by John the Baptist, the most eloquent, forcible and soul-stirring preacher who had lived up to that time.

        840 Q. Did not John the Baptist have advantages over the preachers of this day?

        A. No; we have a thousand advantages over John the Baptist; but while space will not allow us to enumerate them, one alone will suffice to establish the fact. John the Baptist had not the Holy Ghost to endue him with power from on high, as we have had since the day of Pentecost, yet he called possibly a million of people to the wilderness to listen to his burning words.

        841 Q. Then you infer that, as the Christian dispensation was born in a revival, revival work and revival preaching is God's order for the Christian dispensation?

        A. No; I infer no such thing; that is the order; the

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fact is too plain and too well-established to require an inference.

        842 Q. What was the manner of John's preaching?

        A. Elijah was his model. His subjects were few, plain and important; his style was vehement, images bold, his deportment solemn, his actions eager, and his morals strict, just as all ministers should be.


        843 Q. What kind of a preacher was Jesus?

        A. He was the prince of preachers; he was simple, majestic; he alternated between softness and severity; he was indefatigable in zeal; denounced wrong in withering terms; hurled death and eternal destruction in the face of all kinds of sin; spared no class, sect or titled pomp; yet he was merciful, tender and loving to the penitents; drew the people of every grade to hear his soul-ravishing words. So great were his charm and attraction that, when he would cross the Sea of Galilee, the multitudes would walk around it and throng him on the other side.

        844 Q. Does God expect us to draw the people like Jesus did?

        A. Yes; and thousands of preachers have done it since, and thousands will do it in the future.

        845 Q. Can a preacher accomplish as much as the Son of God, and he a fallible creature?

        A. Yes; and more than the Son of God. Jesus said: "The works that I do ye shall do; and greater works than these shall ye do, because I go unto my Father," and will send the Comforter (Helper), "and he shall guide you into all truth." A preacher who

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has the Holy Ghost in him, that could not run every devil out of hell itself, ought to quit and go at something else.

        846 Q. Have any instances been recorded where preachers have had a success similar to our Lord Jesus Christ in preaching?

        A. Yes; St. Peter preached on the day of Pentecost, and three thousand souls, through the power of the Holy Spirit, accompanying his words, were made to cry out: "Men and brethren, what shall we do?" And the entire three thousand repented, and were baptized and received into the church. St. Paul stood before Felix and "reasoned of rightcousness, temperance and a judgment to come, till Felix trembled and answered, Go thy way." Also, Firmianus Lactantius, known in history as the Christian Cicero, preached about A. D. 320, till his opposers quaked, staggered and fell to the ground, calling upon the God they had hated, to save their souls.

        847 Q. Can you instance any more cases?

        A. Yes; scores of them. But space will not permit it; yet we will notice a few more: Jerome Narni preached in Lent at Rome, and half the city went home from his sermons, crying along the streets, "Lord, have mercy upon us; Christ, have mercy upon us." When Connecte, that good man, preached, the ladies lowered their head-dresses and committed quilled caps by hundreds to the flames. From the pulpits of Salamanca, Mr. Narni induced eight hundred students to forsake the world and become penitents, and frightened forty pompous prelates, who were wasting time, back to their fields of labor. Would to God some

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one could rise up and frighten a hundred or two of the tramp preachers of the A. M. E. Church to their work.

        848 Q. Who was the greatest ministerial success history records?

        A. Paulinus who went as a missionary from Rome to Northumbria, A. D. 601, and who preached with such marvelous and startling power that ten thousand persons asked for baptism in one day and received it.

        849 Q. Can preachers accomplish as much in our day as those you have mentioned, and the hundreds you have not named?

        A. Yes, and more too; for there is not the persecution to confront now that they had. Besides, look at D. L. Moody, Sam Jones, H. L. Hastings and others, who are marshaling their tens of thousands daily for heaven, and thousands of other preachers could do the same if they would live and labor for it.

        850 Q. Why is it they do not bring men and women to Christ as do these good men you have named?

        A. They do not live, study, plan, scheme, pray, fast and strive for it. There is too much levity, jocoseness, nonsense, worldly-mindedness, and too little interest for souls felt in the ministry, and unless there is a revival in the salvation of souls aroused very soon, we will have to write the epitaph of our church.


        851 Q. Is there anything discouraging in the work of the A. M. E. Church?

        A. Well--yes. I have just been footing up the statistics of the A. M. E. Church, and find about seven thousand preachers in the church, itinerant and local,

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and only twenty-one thousand probationers--about three probationers to every one preacher--when we ought to have at least a hundred thousand. Our increase is scarcely equal to the deaths. But this is not all: our membership is less than in 1880. We have gone backward instead of forward, unless our statistics are wrongly reported.

        852 Q. What do you think of it?

        A. The great question is, what does God think of it? What do angels think of it? What do Bishops Allen, Waters, Brown, Quinn, Nazery, Dickerson, Cain and Shorter think of it? What do all the fathers of the church in heaven think of it? How do our consciences feel about it? O! you preaching men of the A. M. E. Church, awake! awake!! awake!!! God calls upon us to "cry aloud and spare not," and we had better do it. O thou God of heaven and earth, stir our ministry!

        853 Q. How ought the ministry to awake?

        A. "Woe unto me if I preach not the gospel," is the declaration of Holy Writ. The ministry need keep that awful WOE before them, and to that end preach--preach often, preach loudly, preach eloquently, earnestly, prayerfully, and faithfully; preach till men fear, tremble and their knees smite each other and their hearts sink within them; preach till the people weep, cry out, lament their sins and turn to God.

        854 Q. Suppose they can't move the people, in consequence of their being such devils?

        A. Yes; that is a common saying among worthless, irreligious and unfaithful preachers. But it is a lie, both upon God and his people. No man is a devil

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while he lives. When God is ready to allow him to be a total devil, he sends him to hell. But grant it could be, still God sends us to preach to every man, and says that signs and wonders shall follow. If a few faithful preachers could roll back the curtains of the dark ages, which had hung in blackness over the world for a thousand years, and, through Christ, light up the moral earth, despite the ignorance, superstition and persecutions of that day, let no preacher say, "I can't," in this day.

        855 Q. Some preachers argue that the gospel should be dispensed quietly, modestly and rather silently, like the silent forces of nature. What about it?

        A. The silent forces of nature--let us repeat it, the silent forces of nature. Nature has no silent forces. Let us see: Rivers rise, roar and drive everything before them, even to great granite boulders. Old ocean lifts her waves sky-high and dashes mountains to pieces. Winds in cyclones sweep the land and make continents tremble. Electricity sounds her battle-gongs in the heavens till man and beast and earth itself seem affrighted. The sun, the god of day, and dispenser of innumerable blessings, shoots out fiery billows to the distance of two hundred thousand miles, and if it was not for dead ether, the roar would resound through space for billions of miles. The internal fires of the earth roll in angry floods, and hurl up mountains higher than clouds ever float. The planets in space, while riding in their orbits, generate a music which makes the universe a literal orchestra. Let the preacher go and do like-wise--preach till he stirs the universe of human hearts, the universe of immortal souls.

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        856 Q. What is the last call or invitation to sinners left on record in the Bible?

        A. "The Spirit and the bride say come, and let him that heareth say come, and let him that is athirst come, and whosoever will, let him partake of the water of life freely."

        857 Q. What lessons does this last invitation teach?

        A. 1st. That God the Father, Son and Holy Ghost invites the sinner to repent and be saved. 2d. That the bride, or church, invites him through the Bible, the ministry, exhorters, leaders, stewards, trustees, Sabbath-school teachers, lay members, probationers, hymns, shouts, praises, press and all her agencies and institutions, as well as through the triumphant deaths of her faithful members. 3d. Let him that heareth say come. Let all sinners, swearers, gamblers, Sabbath-breakers and liquor drinkers, who have heard the invitation, although they have not come themselves, pass the invitation of that God whose bread they eat, along the line. Let them tell what they have read in the Bible or heard from the pulpit. 4th. Let him that is athirst come. Let those feeling the need of salvation come, be they in high or low stations. Let them come from the jail, dungeon, penitentiary, whiskey saloon, or from the gallows itself, and take of the water of life freely.

        858 Q. What is the import of this last invitation?

        A. That the Holy Spirit, the executive officer of the Godhead; that the church through her ministers and all her machinery; that the members personally, of all grades and classes; that the seekers, mourners, and all who have been impressed, are authorized and even commanded to speak to some one else, and tell them that

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God says, "Whosoever will, let him take of the water of life freely."

        859 Q. What did the Methodist Conference say, as early as 1780, about preachers rising in the morning to engage in prayer, reading, meditation and preparing to preach the gospel?

        A. "All our preachers should make it a conscience to rise at four or five in the morning; that it was a shame for a preacher to be in bed till six o'clock."

        860 Q. How long may a minister lie in bed, and be a faithful student and powerful as a preacher?

        A. Eight hours, if feeble; never longer, unless confined by sickness. But five or six hours is sufficient time for sleep; longer than that produces dullness, stupidness, laggardness and general worthlessness.


        861 Q. Where did the Ritual or Liturgic Service of the A. M. E. Church come from?

        A. It is a part of the service of the Rev. John Wesley's Prayer Book, which the General Conference adopted in 1880.

        862 Q. Where did John Wesley get the original form of his Prayer Book?

        A. From the Church of England.

        863 Q. Does the A. M. E. Church use the entire form?

        A. No; yet the entire Prayer Book was adopted in 1880, and could be used, if any minister and his congregation desired. All our ritual service is taken from

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it, viz.: The Lord's Supper, Baptism, Burial of the Dead, Marriages, Ordinations, &c.

        864 Q. What part is commonly used in Congregational worship?

        A. The Ten Commandments, Te Deum, and Litany, with responses by the people.

        865 Q. Has any Methodist Church, besides the A. M. E. Church, ever adopted the Wesley Prayer Book?

        A. Yes, the British Wesleyan Church, M. E. Church in 1784, and the M. E. Church South in 1866.

        866 Q. Do their laws compel the pastors to use this service in all their Congregational worship?

        A. No; none, except the British Wesleyan Church; and then compulsion only exists when the President of the Conference preaches. All can use it, however, when they have a progressive pastor to lead them in the service.

        867 Q. Suppose the congregation desired the service, and the pastor objected?

        A. Then the pastor, if an honest man, would resign; otherwise the Bishop should remove him, as the members can demand any service or labor from the pastor the law provides for them.

        868 Q. But suppose all the people did not desire this form of service?

        A. Then the pastor should divide the service up, if he desired peace; use it one part of the day, and omit it the other, and thus train them gradually, as every Christian will soon enjoy it, because the ten commandments especially are the words of God Himself.

        869 Q. What has been said by eminent divines about this form of worship?

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        A. Dr. Adam Clarke (Methodist) says: "Next to the Bible, the English Liturgy is the book of my heart." Prof. Shield, of Princeton, says: "Next to the Bible, the Prayer Book is the most wonderful product of any age." Dr. Beecher says: "No religious form can stand a moment in comparison with the Prayer Book." Rev. Albert Barnes says: "No one who delights to worship God can dislike the Prayer Book." Dr. Hopkins (Presbyterian) says: "Our church needs some sacred form of worship, like the Book of Common Prayer." Bishop Payne says: "Our members need this service to inspire their devotions." Bishop Dickerson said: "Since the choirs have stopped congregational singing, the people must have something to do besides giving a little money, and this service is the thing." Dr. Hopkins (Presbyterian) again says: "The spirit of Protestantism requires that the people shall take part in the public worship of God, and thus make it common worship." "Not for the minister to say, Let us sing, and the response come only from a half-dozen in the organ-loft. Let us pray, which means, Let me pray."

        870 Q. Do the assumptions of history support this form of public worship, by reason of its antiquity?

        A. It might be safely assumed that a mode of worship which has been employed by the Church under both the Old and New Testaments must have strong reason to recommend it. But the services of the temple, where God was pleased eminently to manifest His glory, was in a high degree elaborate and liturgical. The people had their large vocal part in the worship. A great orchestra of trumpets and cymbals, psaltery and harps, accompanying the trained voices of the Levites,

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swelled the volume of praise. "All the children of Israel fell down on their faces to the ground, and worshipped and praised the Lord, saying, 'For He is good, for His mercy endureth forever.' " And as the Psalm was chanted describing God's marvelous works of creation and providence, still the people gave back their glad multitudinous chorus: "O give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good," sang the priests: "Who overthrew Pharaoh and his hosts in the Red Sea; who smote great kings, and slew mighty kings; Sihon king of the Amorites, and Og king of Bashan," and, after each clause, came rolling back the earthquake shout of the people, "For His mercy endureth forever."

        This example of prescribed and ritual devotion was very early followed by the Christian Church. It will not be denied by any student of history, that for fifteen hundred years at least, the worship of the Church, in all its main branches, has been conducted by means of prescribed forms. This carries us back to about A.D. 400; but the perfected shape in which we soon after find the great Oriental Liturgies, those called by the names of St. Mark, St. Basil, St. Chrysostom, and others, suggests the strong probability that their elements were drawn from a much earlier period. Many of the prayers (those entitled ad pacem) refer distinctly to the existence of persecution, which did not prevail after the year 323. And the lately published "Doctrine of the Twelve Apostles," which is attributed by eminent critics to a period somewhere between A.D. 80 and A.D. 150, contains a precise service of prayer for the administration of the Lord's Supper.

        Certainly there must be some moderate presumption,

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at least, in favor of a mode of worship in which, for almost three thousand years, the great body of the Church has forever participated.



        871 Q. When was the convention held that organized the African M. E. Church into an independent and separate connection?

        A. The Organic convention assembled on April 7th, and the first Bishop was elected on the 9th and ordained on the 11th of the same month in the year 1816.

        872 Q. What number of delegates were present?

        A. Sixteen.

        873 Q. What number of members, circuits, stations and church officers had the A. M. E. Church in 1816?

        A. We are not able to state, for the reason that if any report exists, we have never seen it. Tradition says the records of the first convention were lost, but the church never materially suffered on that account, as many of the founders lived for a generation afterwards, and have given us full narratives of all the essential business transacted. Dr. Tanner has collected, however, several historic items contemporaneous with the times, which the reader would do well to examine. You will find them in his "Outlines of History."

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        874 Q. About what was the strength of the church at the end of the first decade or ten years?

        A. In the year 1826 there were:

        Bishops, 1.

        Annual Conferences, 2.

        Itinerant preachers, 17.

        Circuits, 10.

        Stations, 2.

        Missions, 5.

        Total membership, 7937.

        Money raised for all purposes, $1,151.75.

        875 Q. What salaries did the ministers receive at the end of the first decade?

        A. The ten pastors belonging to the Philadelphia Conference received in the aggregate only $604.20, and the six pastors in the Baltimore Conference, $448.30.

        876 Q. Did they give their whole time to the itinerant ministry for such a small income?

        A. They did. True, some did a small business besides, but they allowed nothing to prevent the faithful discharge of their ministerial duties.

        877 Q. What about the second decade, or 1836?

        A. There were in 1836:

        Bishops, 2.

        Annual Conferences,

        Itinerant preachers, 37.

        Circuits, 18.

        Stations, 8.

        Missions, 10.

        Churches, 86.

        Value of property, $43,000.

        Money raised for all purposes, $1,485.88.

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        878 Q. What is thought of the amount of money reported as raised for all purposes at the end of the second decade?

        A. It is most stubbornly denied by several of the older men of our ministry as being correct. The report makes the sum total far too small, according to the statement of those who ought to know, but it must be remembered building expenses were not then itemized as now.

        879 Q. What about the third decade?

        A. There were in the year 1846:

        Bishops, 3.

        Annual Conferences, 6.

        Ministers, 69.

        Stations, 16.

        Circuits and missions, 40.

        Churches, 198.

        Value of property, $90,000.

        Money raised for all purposes, $7,231.03.

        Schools supported, 3.

        Missionary societies, 3.

        Publication department, 1.

        880 Q. Who of the Bishops had died up to this time?

        A. Only Bishop Allen. Bishop Waters died in 1847.

        881 Q. What information can you give us about the fourth decade?

        A. We have none before us at present, though the church is abundantly supplied with statistics for 1856, and they will in due time be laid before the world. The fourth decade found the church largely manned by men of fine scholarship and in many instances of surprising abilities.

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        882 Q. What can be said about the fifth decade?

        A. There were in 1866:

        Bishops, 4.

        Annual Conferences, 16.

        Preachers, 360.

        Stations, 80.

        Circuits, 112.

        Missions, 159.

        Churches, 477.

        Value of property, $843,000.

        Sunday-school teachers, 10,000.

        Volumes in libraries, 117,818.

        Church members, 153,000.

        For support of schools, $135,593.

        883 Q. Have you the statistics of the sixth decade?

        A. No, not in full; therefore we will give the items of 1880, just four years later, which will make no material difference.

        884 Q. Will you give a synopsis of the church in the year 1880?

        A. There were in 1880:

        Annual Conferences, 40.

        Bishops, 9.

        General officers, 3.

        Itinerant ministers, 1837.

        Local preachers, 9760.

        Members, 391,044.

        Total membership, 402,638.

        Sunday-schools, 2345.

        Teachers, 15,454.

        Pupils, 154,549.

        Volumes in libraries, 193,358.

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        School-houses, 88.

        Churches, 2051.

        Parsonages, 402.

        Total value of property, $2,448,671.86.

        885 Q. What is thought of the correctness of some of these calculations?

        A. Some of them have been regarded as too high and some too low, but as all the minutes have been published, it is only a question of time when the necessary verifications will take place. I think them mainly correct, however, and demonstrate the wisdom of the great founders of the A. M. E. Church.

        886 Q. What departments of value have the A. M. E. Church that might be included in the total estimate?

        A. Wilberforce University, near Xenia, Ohio; Allen University, at Columbia, S. C.; Paul Quinn College, Waco, Texas; Morris Brown College, Atlanta, Ga.; Kittrell College, Kittrell, N. C.; the Divinity School, Jacksonville, Fla.; Brown University, Quindaro, Kansas; Turner's Industrial College, Shelbyville, Tenn.; Bethel Institute, Little Rock, Ark.; and several other smaller centres of learning, which might be valued at the lowest calculation at $300,000.

        887 Q. What other property values has the A. M. E. Church?

        A. The Publication department at 631 Pine street, Philadelphia, Pa.; the Sunday-school Union Building, Public Square, Nashville, Tenn., and such connectional property as is found in the several departments of the church, the real value of which, in the aggregate, I am not able to state.

        888 Q. At about what rate is it estimated the property value of the A. M. E. Church increases?

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        A. The lowest estimate is, that we build about three churches in four weeks the year round, including large and small, and about thirty-six parsonages a year. Parsonage building is on the increase of late years; school buildings are on the increase also.


        The following questions were drafted for the purpose of mapping out a line of examination for those entering our traveling ministry as the Discipline directs. They are by no means as difficult as were propounded to me during the nine hours I was under examination. Yet, while easy and simple, I think them adequate to all necessary requirements upon entering the itinerancy. Should any of them be thought hard to answer, let the candidate prepare himself, as he should, in advance. The committees of examination, of course, will ask any other questions growing out of these which the occasion may suggest. Strange that English grammar should be omitted in the catalogue for admissions, yet, it does not appear in the Discipline for 1884; committees should require it, however, as it was evidently an omission. Remember, these questions are for admissions only, and not for deacons and elders' orders, which should be higher and far more extended.

        The General Conference of 1888 having adopted this form, young men run no risk in preparing to answer these questions, as they can hold the committees to them.

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        1. What is your age? What family have you? How long have you been a church member? When licensed to preach? Do you enjoy religion? Do you claim sanctification? Have you the witness of the Holy Spirit?

        2. Do you drink whisky? Do you advocate temperance in your sermons? If not, will you? What books have you? What are your hours of study? Have you read the Bible through? If not, will you? Will you read it daily?

        3. Do you fast? How often? When did you fast and pray last?

        4. Have you considered the hardships of traveling work? Will you conform to it? Will you obey orders? Go where appointed?

        5. Will you keep your wife on your work? Have you considered the danger of leaving your wife at a distance? Will you see that your family attend church regularly?

        6. Can you sing? Will you sing regularly? Hold family worship? Will you both be decent in your person and polite to people? Etc., etc.


        1. What is orthography, and what does it embrace?

        2. What is articulation, and what does it embrace?

        3. What are oral elements, and how are they divided?

        4. How may letters be classed?

        5. Give a definition for each of the following terms, viz.: Vowel, diphthong, proper diphthong, improper diphthong, triphthong, consonant, alphabetic equivalents, dental, lingual, palatal, cognate.

        6. What is a word? Define a primitive, a derivative, a simple, a compound word.

        7. Define syllable, monosyllable, dissyllable, trisyllable, polysyllable.

        8. What is accent? What its use?

        9. What is expression of speech? Give its general divisions and define them.

        10. What is the difference between prose and poetry?

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        1. What is writing?

        2. From how many and what sources were the ancient systems of writing probably derived?

        3. What are the three essentials of good writing?

        4. What does uniformity include?

        5. How are the small letters divided?

        6. What are the rules for sloping and spacing?

        7. What is the rule for shading?

        8. What systems of penmanship have you studied, if any, and why do you prefer it?

        9. Have you studied book-keeping--single or double entry? If so, whose system?

        10. Are you conversant with the art of off-hand flourishing and drawing? How much time have you devoted to this branch of penmanship?


        1. Of what does orthography treat? And how are the letters of the English alphabet divided?

        2. Which are the vowels? How many and what sounds have they respectively?

        3. Spell and define ten names of parts of the human body.

        4. Spell and define ten pieces of clothing?

        5. Spell and define ten parts of a building.

        6. Spell and define ten pieces of household furniture.

        7. Spell and define ten mathematical terms.

        8. Spell and define ten geographical terms.

        9. Spell and define ten names "genus mammalia."

        10. Spell and define ten names of reptiles and fishes.


        1. What is arithmetic? Of what does it treat, and how is it classified?

        2. What is notation? What is numeration? Give the rules for each.

        3. What is Roman notation? What letters are used? What their values?

        4. What is addition? What is the sign? Give the rule.

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        5. What is subtraction? What is the sign? On what principle does the operation depend? And what is the rule?

        6. What is multiplication? What is the sign? On what principle does it depend? And what is the rule?

        7. What is division? What is the sign? On what principle does it depend? And what is the rule? 1st, for short. 2d, for long division?

        8. Recite the following tables, viz.:

  • United States currency.
  • English currency.
  • French currency.
  • Troy weight.
  • Apothecaries' weight.
  • Avoirdupois weight.
  • Civil time.
  • Long measure.
  • Surveyor's measure.
  • Cloth measure.
  • Square measure.
  • Land measure.
  • Cubic measure.
  • Liquid measure.
  • Angular measure.


        1. What is geography? What does it comprise? How many and what motions has the earth?

        2. What are natural divisions of land? Of water? Describe them.

        3. What is a zone? How many? Locate them. Give names of principal mountains and rivers on the globe; tell where they are.

        4. What is climate? Upon what does it depend?

        5. Into how many general classes or races is mankind divided? Describe each class; tell their peculiarities.

        6. What do the political divisions of the world include Give definitions.

        7. What is a hemisphere? How is the earth divided with respect to hemispheres? Name the countries in each.

        8. Name the capital city of each country of the globe, and tell where situated.

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        9. How is the United States bounded? What is its area and population?

        10. Name and bound each State and Territory in the United States.


        1. Name the original thirteen colonies, and tell when and by whom settled.

        2. What causes produced the Revolutionary War? When did it commence? When close?

        3. How many States are there in the Union? What is the national motto?

        4. Who delivered the "Dred Scott" decision? What was that decision?

        5. What caused the late Civil War? How many men were under arms on either side? Name the leading generals and principal land and naval engagements?

        6. When and by whom was the Emancipation Proclamation issued? Who were its chief beneficiaries? In what way?

        7. What was the intention of the framers of the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments? What the result of their adoption?

        8. Which two Presidents were assassinated? When? By whom, and under what circumstances?

        9. Name the colored men who have represented their States in the United States Senate or House of Representatives, or represented the General Government at foreign courts.

        10. Name all the Presidents and tell the political party to which they belonged.

        11. Name those Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States who declared the Civil Rights Bill unconstitutional? If one dissented from that opinion give his name.


        1. Why was the A. M. E. Church organized? When and by whom?

        2. Name all the Bishops; tell when elected and ordained to that office. If any have deceased, tell whom, where and when.

        3. How many Articles of Religion do we accept, and what do they severally treat of? Give the substance of each.

        4. Repeat the General Rules; directions for the bands; explain

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the duties of a leader, and the best method of conducting class-meetings.

        5. Give an exposition of the composition and powers of a General Annual, District and Quarterly Conference, Board of Trustee, Official Board, Board of Stewards, Stewardesses, and of the Select Number.

        6. What are the duties and powers of a Bishop? Presiding Elder? Elder in charge? deacon? traveling licentiate? local preachers and exhorters?

        7. What is probation? How are probationers received? How members from other denominations?

        8. What is the duty of preachers to God, themselves and one another? Do you ever contract debts without the probability of paying them?

        9. What is the best general and most effective way of preaching?

        10. Have you read our form of Discipline carefully? Do you both know and love it, and will you conform yourself there-unto in all things as a son in the gospel?


        What does the word theology mean? The word scripture? What does Testament signify? Apocrypha means what? State something of the translations of the Bible. What is meant by a Divine revelation? What does oral revelation mean? What was the necessity for a revelation? Explain a miracle. What is meant by prophecy? State the fulfillment of some. How is the existence of God proved? What are the attributes of God? Name them. What is meant by the Trinity? What was the office of Christ? The Holy Ghost? What is repentance? Justification? Sanctification? Faith? Hope? Charity? What is growth in grace? What is an angel? A devil? Prove by the scriptures a future state. A resurrection. A general judgment. What is the moral law? What duties do we owe to God? To our neighbor? Define baptism. What is the church? Etc., etc.


        1. Give the history of the church from the creation to the

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deluge, and tell what you know of the principal characters mentioned.

        2. Name the principal events and persons, from the deluge to the departure of the Israelites from Egypt.

        3. What were the chief incidents connected with the forty years' wandering in the wilderness?

        4. Give the origin of the priestly and prophetic offices, and tell what were the peculiar duties of each.

        5. At what time were there judges in Israel? Name them severally. Tell how long each judge served and under what circumstances they came into the office.

        6. Name the several kings of Judah and of Israel; their character. Tell when and under whom the ten tribes revolted, and what caused the final seventy years captivity and dispersion.

        7. Which are the principal events in the history of the church, from the captivity to the restoration under Zerubbabel and Nehemiah?

        8. Name all the major and minor prophets; their prophecies, and cite any fulfillments thereof.

        9, Give the history of the church from the restoration by Cyrus to the ascension of Christ, and name the principal actors and the parts they performed.

        10. Tell what was God's method for the redemption of mankind, and means employed before and since the coming of Christ. How may the church now be known?


        1. Name and locate the bones in the human body.

        2. Describe and classify the muscular system.

        3. Which are the organs of nutrition and what their office?

        4. What substances enter into the composition of blood?

        5. Give the divisions of blood vessels, their composition and character.

        6. Which is the true and rational theory of the circulation of the blood?

        7. How is secretion and excretion accomplished? of what does the skin consist? what is insensible perspiration?

        8. What is respiration? what organs are employed? by

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what organs effected? the difference between inspired and expired air?

        9. Describe the nervous system; tell how nervous force is produced; name the special senses; tell their uses and action. What influence has external agents on the physical and intellectual condition of man?


        1. What difficulties have been raised concerning our personal identity implied in the notion of present and future existtence, and how may they be obviated?

        2. What analogical proof can you produce of the government of God by means of rewards and punishments?

        3. How would you prove from analogy that our probationary life implies trials, difficulties and dangers?

        4. Is there such a thing as universal necessity? If so, in what way will it influence our practice?

        5. Is God's government a scheme or constitution? If so, how much of it may we comprehend?

        6. In what does the importance of Christianity consist and are we competent of judging what was to be expected in a revelation?

        7. Explain the system of Christianity in relation to the appointment of a Mediator and the redemption of the world by Him.

        8. Is revelation universal? If not, does this supposed deficiency invalidate its claims? If not, why?

        9. Give the particular evidence in favor of Christianity.

        10. What objections can be urged against the analogy of nature to religion, and by what arguments may those objections be silenced?

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To Presiding Elders and Pastors of the A. M. E. Church:

        The following is merely the form of Quarterly Conference reports, which every Presiding Elder must see prepared by the respective boards, read before the Quarterly Conference, corrected, if necessary, adopted by the said conference and read before the church twice, if convenient, and once without failure, so that the members may be kept posted as to the condition of their churches. This has always been the law of our church, but a great many of our churches have failed to keep the rule up. Hence much of the trouble which grows out of money matters. These reports are to be read by the secretaries of the respective boards on the Sabbath of the quarterly meeting, when the Presiding Elder is there in person, and while he has the general oversight and direction of affairs, as he naturally has on the Sabbath of the quarterly meeting. Remember, it is the business of the Presiding Elder to see that these reports are made to the people, and for him to give any other explanation necessary for the people's enlightenment. He also should preach at least twice on that day out of the three services, if able, and if not, employ the best talent in his reach, so as to make it an extraordinary occasion, that a general revival may possibly follow the quarterly meeting, and souls may be born to God. He should also open the doors of the church, administer the Lord's supper, unless in stations where they have stated monthly Sabbaths for the same, baptize and receive into full membership if any are presented to him on that day, and if his assessment has been raised by the pastor, then he is to assist in raising the pastor's salary.

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PHILADELPHIA, PA., August 25, 1884.

To the Chairman and Members of the First Quarterly Conference
of Bethel A. M. E. Church. Greeting:

        We, the Board of Trustees, most respectfully beg leave to submit our report for the first quarter, ending August 25th, 1884, which we certify upon our honor and Christian integrity is correct



Remaining in the treasury from last quarter $125 00



June 6th--11 o'clock $ 22 00
June 6th--8 o'clock 28 50
July 10th--11 o'clock 19 25
July 10th--8 o'clock 26 00
August 7th--11 o'clock 15 75
August 7th--8 o'clock 30 00
June 15th--From supper given for church 40 00
July 8th--Lecture by Dr. John Blank 25 50
July 20th--Sabbath-school concert 21 00
August 8th--Donation by James Smith 5 00
August 13th--Contribution by society 12 00
Sum total $370 00



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June 7th--Fuel for pastor $ 3 00
June 11th--Dining table for parsonage 8 00
June 16th--Paid sexton 10 00
June 30th--Organist for services (if paid) 8 00
July 4th--Broom for sexton 50
July 6th--Gas bill 9 25
July 8th--Pitcher for pulpit 1 00
July 8th--Repairing stove 8 00
July 10th--Digging well for parsonage 70 00
July 19th--Rent for parsonage 12 00
August 2d--New floor in school-house 95 00
August 13th--One ton of coal $7 00
August 15th--Water-bucket for parsonage 1 00
Total amount $233 25
Leaving in the treasury $136 75

        We, the trustees, beg also to say our department is in good condition, etc. The people are generous, and good behaviour characterizes their deportment, etc. We still owe Mr. Williams three hundred dollars on the church, etc.

        As we have no authority to build, enlarge, or purchase without the consent of a majority of the legal members of the church, we respectfully suggest the need of a personage for our minister, etc., and would ask for authority to purchase the vacant lot adjacent to the church, for the erection of a suitable building to that end, etc.

        Hoping the Great Head of the Church will continue his blessings upon pastor and people, we subscribe ourselves your obedient servants,

        HENRY J. JONES,

        WM. M. JOHNSON,




        WM. MITCHELL, Secretary.


        I concur in the correctness of the report.

JAMES PORTER, Pastor and Chairman.


PHILADELPHIA, PA., August 25, 1884.

To the Chairman and Members of the Second Quarterly Conference of the St. James A. M. E. Church, Greeting:

        We, the Board of Stewards, most respectfully beg leave to submit our report for the quarter ending August 25th, 1884, to the correctness of which we most positively affirm, etc.

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Remaining in treasury last quarter $ 75 00
From Class No. 1 5 00
From Class No. 2 7 50
From Class No. 3 8 00
From Class No. 4 6 25
Etc., etc., etc., etc  
June 6th - Public collection 50 00
June 8th--Public collection 45 00
August 9th--Public collection 38 00
From quarterly tickets 28 00
July 10th--Love-feast collection 12 00
August 2d--Sacramental collection 15 00
Sum total $289 75



June 4th--Pastor's board $ 10 00
June 6th--Pastor's salary 50 00
June 10th--Pastor's traveling expenses 8 00
June 25th--Elements for Lord's supper 2 50
June 30th--P. E. assessment 25 00
July 5th--Hymn book for pulpit 2 00
July 7th--100 Order of Church Service 3 00
July 8--Pastor's salary 50 00
August 5th--Bishop's traveling expenses 12 00
August 13th--Paid to poor members 15 00
August 21st--New Bible for church 7 00
August 25th--Bread for Love-feast 25
Total $184 75
Leaving in treasury 105 00



June 22d--Dollar money raised $123 00
July 27th--Missionary money 40 00
August 8th--Contingent money, etc., etc 10 00
Total conference money $173 00

        We further beg to say that since our last quarter twenty-five have joined on probation, twelve children and five adults have

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been baptized, eight persons have been admitted to full membership, three members of precious memory have crossed the narrow stream of death to join the heavenly hosts, two couples have been united in holy wedlock, one has been expelled, we are sorry to say; two have been suspended from the spiritual privileges of the church--one for two months and one for five months. Our pastor is still well beloved, while our local preachers and exhorters are punctual to Sabbath-school, prayer-meetings, and doing all in their power to extend the church by building up missions, and our church, spiritually, is in fine condition, etc., etc.

        Trusting you will remember us regularly at a throne of grace, we have the honor to be your faithful servants,


        WM. H. BRYANT,



        JOHN SMITH, Secretary,


        I concur in the correctness of the report.

        JAMES PORTER, Pastor and Chairman.

        NOTE.--The same order that obtains with trustees and stewards is the rule that governs the Sabbath-school superintendents and leaders of the choirs, as well as any other organization under the jurisdiction of the church. All are to make a quarterly report to the Conference, and after it is adopted by the Quarterly Conference it is to be read to the congregation at large. The people, saint and sinner, who make up the congregation, have a right to know what goes with their money to the last cent, and the business of the Presiding Elder is to see that every cent is accounted for. And any board or organization in a church that cannot account for the money entrusted to them must be impeached by the Quarterly Conference, and, after due time to make corrections, removed. Trustees cannot be removed by the Quarterly Conference, but they can be impeached, and thus disqualified, and the members compelled to fill their places. But it must be borne in mind that the pastor

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of the church is the chairman of both the Trustees and Stewards' Board, and is chiefly responsible for these reports, yet circumstances may compel his absence at times through sickness, distance, etc. Should this occur, however, it does not serve as a bar in the preparation of the Quarterly Conference reports by the respective officers. Our last General Conference made a positive order requiring pastors of all stations at least to hold weekly services in the form of preaching and prayer-meetings together, one night in the week. This order must be obeyed.

        This form must be rigidly adhered to, or some one similar to it, or the Presiding Elder and pastor must consent to a change. After these reports have been read they must be recorded in a book, kept for that purpose, and carefully preserved in the archives of the church. Remember, also, the Presiding Elders are to extend the church by organizing missions, new work, and appointing preachers to them, etc.


        The following parliamentary rules were drafted by the writer and adopted by the General Conference. They are inserted here to serve somewhat as a guide for Annual, Quarterly and District Conferences; also, for the use of official boards. But for full information upon rules bearing on all questions, see Bishop Wayman on Discipline:

        Rules of Order for the Government of the General Conference of the A. M. E. Church, adopted at the session held in Atlanta, Ga., May 1, 1876; and also at the General Conferences of 1880 and 1884.

        1. The conference shall convene at 9 o'clock A.M. and adjourn at 2 o'clock P.M., unless otherwise ordered.

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        2. The president shall take the chair at the precise hour to which the conference stood adjourned, and cause the Holy Scriptures to be read, singing and prayer, and on the appearance of a quorum (one-third) shall have the journal of the preceding day read--which journal shall be approved (with corrections if necessary), after which business shall proceed in the following order: 1. Reconsideration, if any. 2. Unfinished business. 3. Reports of Standing or Special committees. 4. Resolutions, Petitions, Memorials, Appeals. But notice of all motions to reconsider the action of the previous day must be given while the journal is being read, unless the said notice was announced on the day previous; otherwise the chair shall disregard them. The president shall strictly require the order or orders of the day to be taken up and considered at the time appointed, unless otherwise directed by a two-thirds vote.

        3. The president shall decide all questions of order, subject to an appeal to the conference; but in case of such an appeal, the president and appellant only shall be heard.

        4. The president shall appoint all committees not otherwise ordered; but any member may decline serving on more than one committee at the same time, unless on a special committee.

        5. All motions and resolutions shall be reduced to writing, if the president, secretary or any three members request it.

        6. When a motion is made and seconded, or a report is read and presented by the secretary, or stated by the president, it shall be deemed in possession of the conference: but any motion may be withdrawn by the mover at any time before decision or amendment.

        7. No new motions shall be made or resolutions offered until the one under consideration is disposed of, except a motion for adjournment, laying on the table, previous questions (none of which are debatable), indefinite postponement, referring to a committee, offering a substitute, postponement to a certain time, an amendment, an amendment to an amendment, or recommitting (which are debatable).

        8. No member shall be interrupted while speaking, except by the president to call him to order when he departs from the question or uses personalities or discourteous language; but

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any member may call the attention of the president to the subject when he deems the speaker out of order; and a member may explain if he thinks himself misrepresented, and should any one refuse to come to order when so called, he may be silenced for a day by the president, unless he makes the chairman a satisfactory apology.

        9. When any member is about to speak, debate or deliver any matter to the conference, he shall rise from his seat and respectfully address the chair.

        10. No person shall speak more than twice on the same subject, nor more than ten minutes at a time, without special permission (unless to correct willful misrepresentation), nor shall any member speak more than once until every member desiring to speak shall have spoken, though he may represent another by his consent.

        11. When any member rises to speak, it shall be the duty of the chair to announce the name of the speaker and his conference.

        12. No member shall absent himself from the conference without permission from the chair, unless he is sick or otherwise unable to attend.

        13. No member shall be allowed to vote on any question who is not within the bar at the time when such question is put by the president, except by special permission.

        14. Every member who shall be within the bar at the time a question is put shall vote, unless excused.

        15. All questions pertaining to petitions, resolutions or amendments, to change the Discipline, shall first be read before the conference, and lie over a day before being altered, rescinded or repealed, if desired by one-third of the Conference, unless on the last day of the session.

        16. All resolutions offered to amend, enlarge or change the phraseology of the Discipline shall be read three consecutive times before the conference, if desired by any member, and referred to the appropriate committee, if necessary.

        17. The previous question shall never be demanded upon any resolution before two members shall have been heard pro and con, if desired.

        18. A motion to lay an amendment upon the table removes

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the whole question from before the house for the present, and if not lifted from the table is equal to an indefinite postponement of the subject; but it does not destroy the right of the further consideration of the question at any future time.

        19. Privileged questions are as follows: 1st, motion to adjourn; 2d, motions relating to the rights and privileges of the conference; 3d, motions relating to members individually; 4th, motions for the order of the day.

        20. When a question of order is raised, all other business must be suspended until the point is settled. The president must decide the point without debate, subject to an appeal to the conference; but nothing is a point of order that does not involve a supposed breach of the rules or special order.

        21. Reasonable time should be given for the minority to report before final action shall be taken on the report of the majority.

        22. Should the conference at any time go into the committee of the whole, the presiding Bishop may call one of the elders to the chair.

        23. When a member rises and gives notice of an intention to offer a resolution, he may preface it.



        889 Q. What number of departments has the A. M. E. Church?

        A. Publication Department, Financial Department, Sabbath-school Department, Educational Department, Quarterly Review Department, Missionary Department and Literary Department.

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        890 Q. Will you explain the laws governing these several departments, and the services respectively rendered by them to the connection?

        A. Yes; I could do it, but the departments of the church have been fully set forth in "The Outlines of African Methodist Episcopal Church History," by the learned Dr. B. T. Tanner--see page 115--and as every minister and member is presumed to have it, I think it would be a useless waste of time to treat the subject again.

        891 Q. Are the laws and rules of any of these departments permanent?

        A. All are subject to the fluctuating legislation of the General Conference, except possibly the Literary Department, which I think is destined to be fixed and permanent for some years to come.

        892 Q. By what name is it known?

        A. The society is known by the name of the "Connectional Literary, Historic and Educational Association of the A. M. E. Church."

        893 Q. When was this association legislated into existence?

        A. By the General Conference of 1880.

        894 Q. What is the object of this Connectional Association?

        A. The cultivation of literature, the study of history, science, philosophy and the promotion of Christian education among the members of our church and ministry, and such other persons as may desire to unite with them.

        895 Q. How are the objects of this association to be attained?

        A. By annual efforts in the wide field of general literature--I mean by writing biographical sketches of

Page 262

eminent persons, living or dead, also monograms of places, churches, institutions and essays upon all the great questions of the day; also by aiding young men and ladies of talent and good moral character, who give evidence of a noble future.

        896 Q. How can the members and ministers of our church in all parts of the world belong to the same association?

        A. It can be done quite easily. The Connectional Association is really composed of as many auxiliary associations as there are Annual Conferences in the connection, which auxiliary associations meet every year at the several Annual Conference sessions, but all are under the same rules and regulations.

        897 Q. Does the Connectional Association, as such, have a regular set of officers? If so, will you define them?

        A. I will. The officers of the Connectional Association consist of a president, of as many vice-presidents as there may be Bishops of the A. M. E. Church, and one of the Presiding Elders of each Episcopal district, all of whom are elected at the annual meeting; also one recording and one corresponding secretary, a treasurer and a librarian; also a board of managers of one from each Episccpal district, the Bishops also being ex-officio members of the board, all of whom perform the duties usually devolving upon such officers in any well regulated association.

        898 Q. Into how many divisions is the Connectional Association formed?

        A. Three--rather, there are three separate constitutions--one for the Connectional Association proper, one for the Annual Conferences and one for the several churches, besides the by-laws, which are intended to apply to all the divisions alike.

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        899 Q. Where can these three constitutions and by-laws be found?

        A. They can all be found in "The Budget," compiled and published by Dr. B. W. Arnett, for 1884; also in this book, from which they can be copied and utilized at pleasure.

        900 Q. What amount is required to be paid in annually by the members of the auxiliary associations?

        A. One dollar for initiation and fifty cents as an annual fee; but the members of the church associations pay such monthly fees as they may determine upon, since the fee is not less than ten cents per month, and ten per cent. of both is then sent to the connectional treasurer, who is bound to return a receipt.

        901 Q. Who are members of the conference auxiliary associations by virtue of an act of the General Conference?

        A. Every traveling preacher, including probationers; also all the local members of the Annual Conferences.

        902 Q. What relation do Presiding Elders hold to the associations?

        A. Every Presiding Elder is the president of the district over which he presides, and is to see that literary associations are established in all the churches in his district, and is to hold the pastors responsible for their support and maintenance.

        903 Q. Suppose there should be a pastor in the district who had not the literary qualifications necessary to manage such an association?

        A. Then let the Presiding Elder call the people together and organize the association himself, and select a man competent to preside over and manage the institution.

Page 264

        904 Q. Can either the minister or trustees refuse the use of a church to such an association?

        A. No, for the reason that they are created and organized by an act of the General Conference, which no power in the A. M. E. Church can overrule, that being the highest judicatory known to the connection.


        905 Q. What provision has been made for the purpose of securing harmony and unity of action throughout the entire connection, that a common incentive may prevail everywhere?

        A. The president of the Connectional Association shall annually give, through the columns of the Church papers not less than four nor more than six different subjects in the form of original essays, book reviews, criticisms, poetic productions, etc.

        906 Q. What shall follow the announcement of these different subjects by the president?

        A. Every member of an Annual Conference throughout the connection shall write an essay upon whichever one of the designated subjects he may select of not less than ten nor more than twenty-five pages of cap paper.

        907 Q. What shall be done with the essays when written?

        A. They shall be examined by a competent committee at the session of the association at each Annual Conference, and the essay taking the prize on each one of the respective subjects shall entitle the author to not less than five nor more than twelve dollars, according to the capacity of the conference treasury.

        908 Q. What disposition shall be made of these prize essays?

        A. The several essays taking the prizes at the Annual Conferences shall be sent or carried to the annual meetings of the Connectional Association, to be re-examined

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for the connectional prizes, and the several essays taking the connectional prizes shall entitle the author to not less than fifteen nor more than twenty-five dollars each, according to the strength of the treasury, and the several connectional essays taking the several prizes on the respective subjects designated shall be published together in pamphlet form yearly and sold at cost price, for the purpose of replenishing our treasury and giving to our church the best thoughts and ablest reasoning of our own ministers and members.

        909 Q. These prize essays, when published in a book, you say, are to be sold for the purpose of replenishing the treasury?

        A. Yes. But not only for that purpose; far more is contemplated than the mere sale and financial benefits. The chief object is to get our best thoughts and finest talents before the people; make it a great medium for conveying such information to the young men and women of the land as will give inspiration and noble incentives to higher aims.

        910 Q. Then the whole A. M. E. Church is virtually one great literary association?

        A. That is what the General Conference of 1880 intended to make it in conjunction with Christian principles and godly lives and deportment; ministers who will not study and fit themselves to instruct the people are to be taught that our pulpits are not designed for them.

        911 Q. Do you mean to imply that a man cannot preach without learning?

        A. I do mean to imply that no man can preach without constant and hard study. There are different grades of learning. A blind man may not know a letter, yet be learned in the gospel, in history, in science and philosophy,

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because he is a regular student through such agencies as he may utilize.

        912 Q. What further information have you to give about the CONNECTIONAL LITERARY, HISTORIC AND EDUCATIONAL ASSOCIATION?

        A. I think enough has been said to at least call attention to it. It was nt my purpose at first to do more, as the constitutions and by-laws have all been published in another part of this book. Let everybody turn to them and read them carefully.


        1 This chapter and sections are a part of the Turner Catechism, which was published some years ago. We believe that, although it was published for children, there are several items meagrely treated which may be profitable to some of our young ministers and lay members, and insert it here for the use of such as can find benefit in reading the same.

The Holy Bible.

        913 Q What good book should all men revere?

        A. The Holy Bible.

        914 Q. What is the Bible?

        A. The Word of God.

        915 Q. What does the word Bible mean?

        A. THE BOOK.

        916 Q. What does the Bible teach us?

        A. The law of God and how to obey it.

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        917 Q. How is the Bible divided?

        A. Into the Old and New Testaments.

        918 Q. What does the Old Testament tell us?

        A. All about the creation, and the first ages of the world.

        919 Q. Of what does the New Testament tell us?

        A. Of the life, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, and the early history of the Church.

        920 Q. In what language was the Bible first written?

        A. The Old Testament in Hebrew, and the New in Greek.

        921 Q. Why is the Bible called the word of God?

        A. Because it was written by God's direction.

        922 Q. In what manner?

        A. Holy men wrote it as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

        923 Q. What proves the Bible to be from God?

        A. Because it teaches things that only God could know.

        924 Q. What are some of these things?

        A. How the world was created, and what will be its end.

        925 Q. Can you name anything else?

        A. Yes, it tells about a heaven for the good, and a hell for the bad.

        926 Q. Could man have known these without the Bible?

        A. No, never.

        927 Q. If the Bible is so valuable, how should we treat it?

        A. We should love it, and read it continually.

        928 Q. At what age should a child begin to study the Bible?

        A. Just as soon as he or she can read it.

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        929 Q. What does the Bible tell us first?

        A. That God in the beginning created the heavens and the earth.

        930 Q. At what time was that beginning?

        A. No one knows but God.

        931 Q. Were the six days of creation sun-measured days?

        A. It is supposed they were great periods, but were days with God.

        932 Q. How long has it been since the creation of man?

        A. About six thousand years.

        933 Q. What was made on the first day?

        A. Light.

        934 Q. What was made on the second day?

        A. The firmament, which was called heaven.

        935 Q. What was made on the third day?

        A. Trees and all kinds of plants and vegetables.

        936 Q. What was made on the fourth day?

        A. The sun, moon and stars.

        937 Q. What was made on the fifth day?

        A. Fish and all kinds of fowls.

        938 Q. What did God make on the sixth day?

        A. Man, whom He made in His own likeness.

        939 Q. Did all men come from Adam, the first man?

        A. Yes, all nations, kindred and people.

        940 Q. Was Adam the father of both white and colored people?

        A. Yes, out of one blood God made all men.

        941 Q. Why are there so many colors among men?

        A. For the same reason there are many colors among flowers.

        942 Q. Does God care any more for one man than another?

        A. No. He has no respect of persons.

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        943 Q. Does God make any distinction with men?

        A. None, except between the righteous and the wicked.

        944 Q. Will He punish all alike who are sinners?

        A. Yes, the wicked shall be turned into hell.

        945 Q. Where did God place Adam and Eve?

        A. In the Garden of Eden.

        946 Q. What were they commanded to do?

        A. To take care of the Garden.

        947 Q. What were they allowed to eat?

        A. Of all the fruit of the trees except one.

        948 Q. What tree was that?

        A. The tree of knowledge of good and evil.

        949 Q. Did they obey God in this command?

        A. No; being tempted of the devil they disobeyed.

        950 Q. What did they do?

        A. The woman ate of the forbidden fruit and gave to the man, and he likewise ate.

        951 Q. What did they become then?

        A. Sinners.

        952 Q. What then happened to them?

        A. God was displeased with them and drove them from the Garden.

        953 Q. For what reason were they driven from the Garden?

        A. That they might not eat of the tree of life and live forever.

        954 Q. Was any curse put upon them?

        A. Yes, that they should work hard all their lives.

        955 Q. Did the curse extend any further?

        A. Yes, that they should have sickness, pain and death.

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        956 Q. Are we affected by the Fall of Adam?

        A. Yes, his Fall corrupted his posterity.

        957 Q. How?

        A. Adam was a representative of all who sprang from him; and consequently they are born under the curse put upon him.

        958 Q. What is man's condition now?

        A. He is sinful and miserable.

        959 Q. Is there no way to get rid of sin?

        A. Yes, by obtaining forgiveness from God.

Salvation through Jesus Christ.

        960 Q. For what purpose did Jesus Christ come from heaven?

        A. To save sinners.

        961 Q. Are all men saved through Christ?

        A. Yes, if they will believe on Him.

        962 Q. What did Christ do to save sinners?

        A. He became man, lived, suffered, died and rose again.

        963 Q. How did He become man?

        A. Though He was God, He took upon Him man's nature, and was born of a woman.

        964 Q. What did Christ suffer for us?

        A. The abuse of the world, and the death of the cross.

        965 Q. Why did Christ thus suffer and die?

        A. To make an atonement for the sin of the world.

        966 Q. How did His death atone for the sin of the world?

        A. By satisfying the justice of God.

        967 Q. Had Christ not died what would have become of men?

        A. They all would have been forever lost.

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        968 Q. Did Christ make this atonement for all mankind?

        A. Yes, by the grace of God, He tasted death for every man.

        969 Q. What does Christ say about Himself?

        A. I am the way, the truth and the life.

        970 Q. What else?

        A. No man cometh unto the Father but by me.

        971 Q. What proves Christ to have been a man?

        A. He ate, slept, wept, hungered and thirsted.

        972 Q. What proves that He was God?

        A. In His own name He healed the sick, cast out devils, and raised the dead.

        973 Q. What took place when Christ was crucified?

        A. The earth quaked, the sun was darkened and the rocks were rent.

        974 Q. What did the wicked then say?

        A. "Truly this man was the Son of God."

        975 Q. What example is taught us in the life of Christ?

        A. Perfect goodness, and true holiness.

        976 Q. What is the chief end of man?

        A. To serve and glorify God.

        977 Q. Who helps us to serve and glorify God?

        A. The Holy Ghost.

        978 Q. Who is the Holy Ghost?

        A. The Spirit of God.

        979 Q. How does the Spirit of God help us?

        A. He comes into our hearts to make us like God.

        980 Q. Does He come to us because we are good?

        A. No, He comes to sinners also.

        981 Q. Why does the Holy Ghost come to sinners?

        A. Because He is sent to make them holy.

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        982 Q. Why is God so good to sinners?

        A. Because Christ loved them and died to save them.

        983 Q. When does Christ save sinners?

        A. When they repent and forsake their sins.

        984 Q. What else must we do to be saved?

        A. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.

        985 Q. What will God do if we repent and believe?

        A. He will pardon our sins for Christ's sake.

        986 Q. Does God only pardon for the sake of Christ?

        A. Yes, for His sake and not our own.

        987 Q. What else will God do for us?

        A. He will send His Holy Spirit to make us holy.

        988 Q. What do holy people always do?

        A. They keep all God's commandments.

        989 Q. What is the character of those who keep His commandments?

        A. They are regarded as righteous.

        990 Q. How, for their own sake?

        A. No, for the sake of Christ.

        991 Q. Then we receive the righteousness of Christ, do we?

        A. Yes, through Him alone are we made righteous and holy.

How to find Christ through Prayer.

        992 Q. Did you say Christ was born of a woman?

        A. He was, His mother was the Virgin Mary.

        993 Q. Where was Jesus Christ born?

        A. In Bethlehem of Judea.

        994 Q. When was He born?

        A. In the days of Herod, the king, and Augustus, Emperor of Rome.

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        995 Q. Where is Christ now?

        A. In heaven, but His presence fills heaven and earth.

        996 Q. What does He do in heaven?

        A. He intercedes and prays for us.

        997 Q. What then is He called?

        A. Our Advocate.

        998 Q. How are we to pray to God to be benefited?

        A. In His name.

        999 Q. What is it to pray in Christ's name?

        A. To pray believing we shall be saved.

        1000 Q. What else is Christ for us?

        A. Our Prophet, Priest and King.

        1001 Q. How is Christ our Prophet?

        A. He teaches us God's will by His Word and Spirit.

        1002 Q. How is He our Priest?

        A. He gave Himself a sacrifice for us and prays for us.

        1003 Q. How is He our King?

        A. He gives us laws, defends us, and conquers our foes.

        1004 Q. How then should we come to Christ in prayer?

        A. Humbly, yet boldly by faith.

        1005 Q. Why should we thus come to Christ?

        A. Because Christ sympathizes with us when we suffer, and are in trouble.

        1006 Q. What did Christ say about children?

        A. "Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not."

        1007 Q. What reason did He give?

        A. "For of such is the Kingdom of heaven."

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        1008 Q. Before Christ ascended to heaven what did He tell His disciples?

        A. "Go into all the world and preach my Gospel."

        1009 Q. What does the word "Gospel" mean?

        A. Glad tidings, or good news.

        1010 Q. What are the glad tidings of the Gospel?

        A. That Jesus Christ died to save sinners.

        1011 Q. To whom is this Gospel to be preached?

        A. To every creature, or to all people.

        1012 Q. What came of preaching the Gospel

        A. The Christian Church.

        1013 Q. Who compose the Christian Church?

        A. All true believers.

        1014 Q. How many Sacraments has the Church?

        A. Two.

        1015 Q. What are they?

        A. Baptism and the Lord's Supper.

        1016 Q. What does Baptism signify?

        A. The cleaning of the heart from sin.

        1017 Q. Does the water cleanse the heart?

        A. No; it is the Holy Spirit; water is only the outward sign.

        1018 Q. What do you mean by outward sign?

        A. As water cleanses the body, so grace cleanses the soul.

        1019 Q. What do we become on being baptized?

        A. Members of the Church of Christ.

        1020 Q. What is done in taking the Lord's Supper?

        A. Christians eat bread and drink wine together.

        1021 Q. What do the bread and wine signify?

        A. The body and blood of Christ given to save sinners.

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        1022 Q. Why do Christians partake of the Lord's Supper?

        A. They take it in remembrance of Christ till His coming again.

        1023 Q. Who are at liberty to partake of this Sacrament?

        A. Members of the Church, who repent of their sins, and love one another.

The Resurrection and Judgment.

        1024 Q. What does the Bible teach us about the result of sin?

        A. By sin death came into the world.

        1025 Q. But does not Christ save all Christians from dying?

        A. No, all must die; but Christ will raise them again.

        1026 Q. Will Christ raise us to life after we have been dead?

        A. Yes, our souls do not die; it is only the body.

        1027 Q. Then He will raise the body, will He?

        A. Yes, in the morning of the resurrection.

        1028 Q. What will then take place?

        A. The soul and body will come together and live again.

        1029 Q. Will the body ever die again?

        A. No, for the saints will be like Christ.

        1030 Q. Will the body be raised just like it was buried?

        A. No, it shall be changed and made immortal.

        1031 Q. Will the body of sinners be raised too?

        A. Yes, they will be raised, but not changed.

        1032 Q. Why will not their bodies be like Christ?

        A. Because they do not act like Him here on earth.

        1033 Q. Is it only those who imitate Christ here who in the resurrection will be like Him?

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        A. Yes, and none others.

        1034 Q. To what shall the wicked be raised?

        A. To the resurrection of damnation.

        1035 Q. To what shall the good and holy be raised?

        A. To the resurrection of eternal life.

        1036 Q. What will be the condition of those then living?

        A. The righteous shall be changed and made glorious.

        1037 Q. What will then happen to the wicked?

        A. They will be driven away into everlasting punishment.

        1038 Q. What will become of little children then?

        A. Good children will be raised as the righteous.

        1039 Q. Will little babies be raised?

        A. Yes, they will also rise with the Christians.

        1040 Q. Will Christ ever return to this world?

        A. He will, at the end of time.

        1041 Q. Will people then see him?

        A. Yes, every eye shall see Him.

        1042 Q. How will He come the next time?

        A. Suddenly, in great power, with His holy angels.

        1043 Q. For what purpose will He come the second time?

        A. To judge the living and the dead.

        1044 Q. How can He judge the dead?

        A. He will first raise them from their graves.

        1045 Q. Where will He judge them?

        A. Up in the air.

        1046 Q. What will He then do?

        A. Separate the wicked from the good.

        1047 Q. Where will be wicked then go?

        A. To a place of everlasting misery, called Hell.

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        1048 Q. Did God make hell for men?

        A. No, He made it for the devil and the fallen angels.

        1049 Q. Why for them, and not for man?

        A. Because they sinned against God before man was created.

        1050 Q. Why then are bad people sent to the same place?

        A. Because as sinners they act like devils, and must go with devils.

        1051 Q. Did not God make some men to go to hell?

        A. No, men were made to enjoy heaven.

        1052 Q. What is heaven?

        A. Heaven is the throne of God.

        1053 Q. What kind of a place is it?

        A. A place where the good are eternally happy.

        1054 Q. What kind of a place is hell?

        A. A place where the wicked are tormented with fire and brimstone forever.

        1055 Q. What shall take place when the Judgment is over?

        A. The world shall be destroyed, and a new earth shall be made where Christ will dwell with His saints forever.

The Moral Law.

        1056 Q. Has God given any special law to man?

        A. Yes, the ten commandments.

        1057 Q. By whom were they given?

        A. By Moses on Mount Sinai.

        1058 Q. Upon what were these commandments written?

        A. Upon two tables of stone.

        1059 Q. Where do we find these commandments recorded?

        A. In the twentieth chapter of Exodus.

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        1060 Q. How did God first deliver them to men?

        A. He clothed Himself in fire and smoke, and spake with the voice of thunder.

        1061 Q. What took place while God was thus speaking?

        A. The mountain trembled beneath Him.

        1062 Q. What did the people do?

        A. Being awfully frightened they cried out for God to stop.

        1063 Q. What did God then do?

        A. He taught His law to Moses, and Moses taught the people.

        1064 Q. What are the ten commandments called?

        A. The Moral Law.

        1065 Q. Will you repeat the Ten Commandments?

        A. I will:

  • Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
  • Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, nor any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; and showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
  • Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain: for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
  • Remember the Sabbath-day to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work: but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy
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    daughter, thy man-servant, nor thy maid-servant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath-day and hallowed it.

  • Honor thy father and thy mother; that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.
  • Thou shalt not kill.
  • Thou shalt not commit adultery.
  • Thou shalt not steal.
  • Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
  • Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife, nor his man-servant, nor his maid-servant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is thy neighbor's.

        1066 Q. What are we taught in the first commandment?

        A. Our duty to God.

        1067 Q. What are we taught in the second?

        A. To worship no idol.

        1068 Q. What does the third commandment teach?

        A. Not to take the name of God in vain.

        1069 Q. What does the fourth commandment require?

        A. To keep the Sabbath-day holy.

        1070 Q. What does the fifth require?

        A. To honor and obey our parents.

        1071 Q. What does the sixth forbid?

        A. All kind of murders and injuries.

        1072 Q. What does the seventh forbid?

        A. All uncleanness and filthy language.

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        1073 Q. What are we taught by the eighth?

        A. Not to steal, cheat or rob.

        1074 Q. What does the ninth forbid?

        A. Lying, slander, and speaking evil of others.

        1075 Q. What does the tenth commandment forbid?

        A. All envying and coveting of our neighbor's goods.

        1076 Q. How did Jesus say we could keep them all?

        A. Love the Lord with all our heart and our neighbor as ourselves.

        1077 Q. Will you repeat these commandments in verse?

        A. I will.


                         1. Thou shalt have no gods but Me;
                         2. Before no idol bow thy knee;
                         3. Take not the name of God in vain;
                         4. Nor dare the Sabbath-day profane;
                         5. Give both thy parents honor due;
                         6. Take heed that thou no murder do;
                         7. Abstain from words and deeds unclean;
                         8. Nor steal tho' thou art poor and mean;
                         9. Nor make a willful lie, nor love it;
                         10. What is thy neighbor's dare not covet.


                         With all thy soul, love God above,
                         And as thyself thy neighbor love.

        Teacher. Lord, have mercy upon us.

        Children. And incline our hearts to keep this law.

The Lord's Prayer.

        1078 Q. What is prayer?

        A. Asking God for His Spirit and grace.

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        1079 Q. Who has taught us how to pray?

        A. Our Lord Jesus Christ.

        1080 Q. What is the prayer He taught us called?

        A. The Lord's Prayer.

        1081 Q. Can you repeat the Lord's Prayer in verse?

        A. I can.


                         Our Father in Heaven, we hallow Thy name;
                         May Thy kingdom in Heaven and earth be the same;
                         O, give to us daily our portion of bread;
                         For 'tis from Thy bounty that all must be fed;
                         Forgive our transgressions and teach us to show
                         The mercy we ask to our bitterest foe;
                         Keep us from temptation, deliver from sin--
                         Thine the power and the glory forever. Amen.

        1082 Q. How many petitions are in the Lord's Prayer?

        A. Six is the general estimate.

        1083 Q. Which is the first petition in the Lord's Prayer?

        A. Hallowed be Thy name. [This is an address to God.]

        1084 Q. What is the second petition?

        A. Thy kingdom come.

        1085 Q. What is the third petition?

        A. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

        1086 Q. What is the fourth petition?

        A. Give us this day our daily bread.

        1087 Q. What is the fifth petition?

        A. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.

        1088 Q. What is the sixth petition?

        A. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from all evil.

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        1089 Q. Is God able and willing to give us the things we ask for in this prayer?

        A. O yes, for His is the kingdom, the power, and the glory.

        1090 Q. Are we always to use these words in praying?

        A. No. Jesus said, "After this manner shall ye pray."

        1091 Q. Then this is merely a form or petition of prayer, is it?

        A. Yes, but we ought to use this prayer too, quite often.

        1092 Q. Should children learn this prayer while young?

        A. Yes, as soon as they can talk they should learn it.

The Apostles' Creed, and Baptism.

        1093 Q. What is meant by Creed?

        A. A form of words expressing articles of faith.

        1094 Q. How many Creeds are there?

        A. A large number are upon record.

        1095 Q. What three have most generally been cited as authority?

        A. The Apostolic, Athanasian, and the Nicene Creeds.

        1096 Q. Which of the three does the A. M. E. Church hold sacred?

        A. The Apostles' Creed.

        1097 Q. Why does the Church not give its approval to the other two?

        A. Because they were drawn up for a special purpose.

        1098 Q. What was that special purpose?

        A. To refute the false doctrine of an impostor.

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        1099 Q. Who was that impostor?

        A. Arius, a learned man, who lived in the fourth century.

        1100 Q. What false doctrine did he teach?

        A. That Jesus Christ was inferior to God the Father.

        1101 Q. Who drew up the Apostles' Creed?

        A. It is supposed they did it themselves, while at Jerusalem.

        1102 Q. At what time?

        A. Shortly after our Lord's ascension to heaven.

        1103 Q. What reason is given for the Apostles adopting this Creed?

        A. That they all might agree in points of doctrine.

        1104 Q. Then this Creed was their guide after their separation, was it?

        A. Yes, that they all might preach one faith whereever scattered.

        1105 Q. Does the Apostles' Creed embrace the leading points in the Gospel?

        A. We believe it does; and is so regarded by the Christian Church.

        1106 Q. Will you repeat the Apostles' Creed?

        A. I will.

        I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ His only begotten Son, our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate; was crucified, dead, and buried; the third day He arose from the dead; He ascended to heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from whence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

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        I believe in the Holy Ghost; the holy Catholic*

        *Catholic means universal.

Church; the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

        1107 Q. What is Baptism?

        A. A covenant made with the Church to obey and faithfully serve God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost, by the application of water.

        1108 Q. Is not the application of water alone to the person, baptism?

        A. No, unless a person covenants, bargains and affirms that he will forsake all sin, and obey and serve the Three-one God, or that he will obey the Old Testament Scriptures, and all that Jesus Christ directed, and all that the Holy Ghost inspired the Apostles to write, he is not baptized.

        1109 Q. Then baptism in not in the water, it is the covenant, is it?

        A. Yes, it is the covenant entered into.

        1110 Q. Suppose water was applied without this covenant?

        A. Well, the person would not be baptized, though it was administered by all the preachers in the world.

        1111 Q. But suppose you were to sing and pray at the time?

        A. No difference, it would not be baptism.

        1112 Q. Of what use is water at all?

        A. Water is the sign or seal of the covenant, and outwardly confirms our inward motives.

        1113 Q. Is the baptism of infants who cannot make a covenant, worthless?

        A. O no, their parents make a covenant for them.

        1114 Q. Is there a covenant of baptism?

        A. There is.

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        1115 Q. What does it require?

        A. It requires us to renounce the devil and all his works, the vain pomp and glory of the world, with all covetous desires of the same, and the carnal desires of the flesh, so that we will not follow nor be led by them.


General Rules.

        (1). In the latter end of the year 1739, eight or ten persons came to Mr. Wesley, in London, who appeared to be deeply convinced of sin, and earnestly groaning after redemption. They desired, as did two or three more the next day, that he would spend some time with them in prayer, and advise them how to flee from the wrath to come, which they saw continually hanging over their heads. That he might have more time for this great work, he appointed a day when they might all come together, which, from thenceforward, they did every week, namely, on Thursday, in the evening. To these, and as many others as desired to join with them (for their number increased daily), he gave those advices from time to time, which he judged most needful for them; and they always concluded their meetings with prayer suited to their several necessities.

        (2). This was the rise of the UNITED SOCIETY, first in Europe, and then in America. Such a society is no

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other than a company of men having the form and seeking the power of godliness, united in order to pray together, to receive the word of exhortation, and to watch over one another in love, that they may help each other to work out their salvation.

        (3). That it may the more easily be discerned whether they are indeed working out their salvation, each society is divided into smaller companies (called classes), according to their respective places of abode. There are about twelve persons in a class, of whom one is styled the "Leader." It is his duty,

        I. To see each person in his class once a week, at least; in order,

        1. To inquire how their souls prosper.

        2. To advise, reprove, comfort or exhort, as occasion may require.

        3. To receive what they are willing to give towards the relief of the preachers, church and poor.

        II. To meet the ministers, and the stewards of the society, once a week; in order,

        1. To inform the minister of any that are sick, or of any that walk disorderly, and will not be reproved.

        2. To pay the stewards what they have received from their several classes in the week preceding.

        3. There is only one condition previously required of those who desire admission into these societies--a desire to flee from the wrath to come, and to be saved from their sins. But wherever this is really fixed in the soul, it will be shown by its fruits. It is then expected of all who continue to evidence their desire of salvation:

        First. By doing no harm; by avoiding evil of every

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kind, especially that which is most generally practiced--such as,

        The taking the name of God in vain.

        The profaning the day of the Lord, either by doing ordinary work therein, or by buying and selling.

        Drunkenness, or the drinking of spirituous liquors, unless in cases of necessity.

        The buying and selling of men, women and children, with an intention to enslave them.

        Fighting, quarrelling, brawling; brother going to law with brother; returning evil for evil, or railing for railing; the using of many words in buying and selling.

        The buying and selling goods that have not paid duty.

        The giving or taking things on usury, that is, unlawful interest.

        Uncharitable or unprofitable conversation, particularly speaking evil of magistrates or ministers.

        Doing to others as we would not they should do unto us.

        Doing what we know is not for the glory of God; as,

        The putting on of gold and costly apparel.

        The taking such diversions as cannot be used in the name of the Lord Jesus.

        The singing those songs, and the reading those books which do not tend to the knowledge or love of God.

        Softness, and needless self-indulgence.

        Laying up treasure on earth.

        Borrowing without a probability of paying; or taking up goods without a probability of paying for them.

        (4). It is expected of all those who continue in

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these societies, that they shall continue to evidence their desire of salvation:--

        Secondly. By doing good; by being in everything merciful according to their power, as they have opportunity; doing good of every possible sort, and, as far as is possible, to all men.

        To their bodies, of the ability which God giveth, by giving food to the hungry, by clothing the naked, by visiting or helping them that are sick or in prison.

        To their souls, by instructing, reproving or exhorting all we have any intercourse with; trampling under foot that enthusiastic doctrine, that we are not to do good unless we feel our hearts free to do it.

        By doing good, especially to them that are of the household of faith, or groaning so to be; employing them preferably to others, buying one of another, helping each other in business; and so much the more, as the world will love its own, and them only.

        By all possible diligence and frugality, that the gospel may not be blamed.

        By running with patience the race which is set before them, denying themselves, and taking up their cross daily, submitting to bear the reproach of Christ, to be as the filth and offscouring of the world, and looking that men should say all manner of evil of them falsely, for the Lord's sake.

        (5). It is expected of all who desire to continue in these societies, that they should continue to evidence their desire of salvation:--

        Thirdly. By attending upon all the ordinances of God. Such are:

        The public worship of God.

        The ministry of the word, either read or expounded.

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        The Supper of the Lord.

        Family and private prayer.

        Searching the Scriptures, fasting or abstinence.

        (6). These are the general rules of our societies; all of which we are taught of God to observe, even in his written word, which is the only rule, and the sufficient rule, both of our faith and practice.

        All these we know his Spirit writes on every truly awakened heart. If there be any among us who observe them not, who habitually break any of them, let it be known unto them who watch over that soul, as they who must give an account.

        We will admonish him of the error of his ways; we will bear with him for a season; but then if he repent not, he hath no more place among us.

        We have delivered our own souls.


        The following Constitution and By-Laws, mainly drafted by the writer, have been appended for the purpose of giving them a wider circulation, and thus enabling the brethren to keep our literary rules and laws convenient for use. Let every minister carefully examine them, and see that one of these literary societies is organized in his church, and if he has no mind to take part in its proceedings, let him induce others to do it, and it will help both him and his congregation:

        President, Bishop H. M. Turner, D.D., LL.D., Atlanta, Ga.; Vice-Presidents, Bishops D. A. Payne, D.D., LL.D., A. W.

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Wayman, D.D., J. P. Campbell, D.D., LL.D., J. A. Shorter, T. M. D. Ward, D.D., J. M. Brown, D.D., D.C.L., Wm. F. Dickerson, D.D., R. H. Cain, D.D.

        Episcopal District Presidents: First District, Rev. T. G. Steward, D.D.; Second District, Rev. W. H. Hunter, D.D.; Third District, Prof. S. T. Mitchell, A.M.; Fourth District, Rev. C. S. Smith, M.D.; Fifth District, Rev. T. B. Caldwell, D.V.M.; Sixth District, Rev. M. B. Salter, D.D.; Seventh District, Rev. M. E. Bryant, A.M.; Eighth District, Professor James Porter; Ninth District, Rev. J. H. Jones.

        Recording Secretary, Rev. Richard Harper, B.D., Nashville, Tenn.

        Corresponding Secretary, Rev. J. T. Jennifer, D.D., Boston, Mass.

        Treasurer, Lewis Winters, Esq., Nashville, Tenn.

        Historiographer, Rev. B. W. Arnett, D.D., Wilberforce, Ohio.

        Board of Managers: First District, Rev. Wm. H. Thomas; Second District, W. G. Alexander; Third District, Rev. Theo. A. Thompson, D.D.; Fourth District, Rev. J. C. C. Owens; Fifth District, W. H. H. Butler, D.D.; Sixth District, Rev. L. R. Nichols; Seventh District, T. C. Denham; Eighth District, Rev. W. H. Weathers; Ninth District, Rev. A. M. Green, A.M.

        Executive Committee: Rev. J. H. A. Johnson, D.D., Rev. J. W. Beckett, B.D., John P. Turner, M.D., Rev. A. W. Upshaw, A.M., J. M. Cargile, Rev. James T. Morris.


        Constitution of the Connectional Literary, Historic and Educational Association of the African M. E. Church.


        This association shall be known by the title of "THE CONNECTIONAL LITERARY, HISTORIC AND EDUCATIONAL ASSOCIATION

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        The object of this association will be the cultivation of literature, and the study of history, science, philosophy, and the promotion of Christian education.


        The object of this association shall be attained by annual efforts in the wide field of general literature, by biographical sketches of eminent persons who have passed away, and of living persons who have distinguished themselves in the arts, the mechanics, the sciences, and in benevolent or evangelistic labors in behalf of mankind; and also by writing monograms of particular places or particular Christian churches, and by aiding indigent young persons of talent and good moral character, who give evidence of a noble future.


        Any member of the church or person of good character may become a member of this association by the annual payment of fifty cents and an initiation fee of one dollar.


        Auxiliary associations shall be organized in every one of our Annual Conferences, which shall contribute one-tenth of their annual avails to the funds of the Connectional Association, which one-tenth from the auxiliaries shall be forwarded by order of its president to the treasurer of the Connectional Association within twenty-four hours after the rise of the auxiliary; and every member of the Annual Conference shall be a member of the auxiliary association by virtue of express law in our Book of Discipline. (See page 105.)


        The officers of this Connectional Association shall consist of a president, of as many vice-presidents as there may be Bishops of the A. M. E. Church, and one of the presiding elders of each Episcopal district, all of whom shall be elected at the annual

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meeting. Also there shall be one recording and one corresponding secretary, a treasurer, and a librarian; also a board of managers of one from each Episcopal district; the Bishops also being ex-officio members of the board, all of whom shall perform the duties usually devolving upon such officers in any well-regulated association, organized for the promotion of the objects named in article second.


        The president shall call annual and extra meetings of the Association, see that the provisions in the constitution and all rules adopted in pursuance thereof are carried out, press the organization of auxiliary associations in all our conferences, and through them in all our churches and congregations. The vice-presidents shall superintend their respective districts and see that associations are organized through the territory of the same, and report the condition of their districts annually. The vice-presidents shall also require reports from the several pastors in their districts quarterly, if desired, touching the work accomplished, and aid the president in executing the provisions of this constitution.


        That harmony and unity of action may exist through the entire connection, and a common incentive everywhere prevail, the president shall annually give, through the columns of the Church papers, not less than four nor more than six different subjects, in the form of original essays, book reviews, criticisms, poetic productions, etc. And every itinerant minister throughout the connection shall write an essay upon whatever one of the designated subjects he may select (others also, if they desire), not less than ten nor more than twenty-five pages of cap paper, which essays shall be examined by a committee at each Annual Conference (read, if possible), and the essay taking the prize on each one of the respective subjects shall entitle the author to not less than five nor more than twelve dollars, according to the capacity of the conference treasury. And the several essays taking the prizes at the several Annual Conferences shall be sent or carried to the annual meetings of the

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Association, to be re-examined for the connectional prizes, and the several essays taking the connectional prizes shall entitle the author to not less than fifteen nor more than twenty-five dollars each, according to the strength of the treasury. And the several connectional essays taking the several prizes on the respective subjects designated shall be published together in pamphlet form yearly and sold at cost price, for the purpose of replenishing our treasury, and giving to our church the best thoughts and ablest reasoning of our own ministers and members.


        The board of managers shall have power to appoint a sub or executive committee consisting of seven (who shall also be members of the board), to execute the purposes of the Association, which they may not be able to accomplish at their regular meetings. The meetings of the board of managers shall be held annually. The meetings of the sub or executive committee shall be quarterly, and shall be held at the seat of the operations of the Connectional Association, which shall be in the city of Washington, D. C.


        Any young man who has given such evidence, as canon ten of our Discipline requires, that he has been called to the Christian ministry, and is approved and recommended by a Quarterly Conference of our church, shall be helped to the extent of the ability of the funds of the Association.


        Any young man or woman of good moral character, and whose circumstances of poverty are such as to prevent them securing such an education as will qualify them for efficient preachers and teachers, shall be established in this society, to give such aid as will enable them to pursue a proper course of study to be more effectual in the discharge of the important duties committed to their care.


        Every presiding elder shall be the chief president of his district, and see that the respective churches and congregations in

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his work be organized into literary associations, and report the same or have them reported to his Annual Conference, and to the Connectional President, when required.


        This constitution may be amended at any time on the suggestion of any member of this Association, notice having been given, however, at a previous meeting, of the amendment and its import, which shall always be submitted to the Council of Bishops for their final approval, and no amendment will be considered valid without such approval.



        This Association shall be known as The Literary, Historic and Educational Association of the -- Annual Conference. Every member and probationer of an Annual Conference shall be a member of this Association, and shall pay fifty cents annually.


        The object of this association shall be:

        a. The intellectual and moral improvement of its members in knowledge and in religion.

        b. The promotion of the cause of Christian education.

        1. Through our own wilberforce and Allen Universities, and other educational interests of our church.

        2. Through our publishing department. Its meetings shall be held annually at the time and place of the sitting of the Annual Conference.


        This association shall be governed by a president, two vice-presidents, a secretary, a treasurer, a librarian, and a board of five managers.

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        The president shall preside at all meetings of the association, and, through the secretary, shall summon the members to attend the annual and extra meetings when necessary. He shall be competent to discharge all other duties usually imposed upon presidents; but he may waive the right of presiding whenever a majority of the association request, if that majority believe that the best interests of the association demand it, or will be promoted by so doing. In his absence either of the vice presidents may preside in his stead.


        The secretary shall conduct the correspondence of the association, shall keep faithful records of its proceedings, make a detailed report of its condition, including his views of its prospects, at the annual meetings, or extra meetings, if necessary, and prepare an abstract of the same for publication.


        The treasurer shall keep the money and other property of the association not entrusted to the librarian; he shall make an accurate, written statement of the condition of the treasury to each annual meeting, also to an extra meeting if it be required; but, if such statement be demanded of him at any extra meeting, he shall be notified at least thirty days before the extra meeting.


        The librarian shall be the custodian of the library, which shall embrace the books, pamphlets, manuscripts, pictures, busts, ancient coins, etc., of the association, and shall report in detail the condition of the same at each annual meeting.


        The board of managers, or executive committee as it may be called, shall have power to oversee the library and the treasury in the interval of the annual meetings; to execute all orders of the annual meetings according to their letter and spirit; but neither their letter nor spirit are they permitted to construe

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so as to defeat any one of the objects contemplated and expressed in Article II. They shall also have power to devise such plans and measures as will promote the interests and objects of the association. The president, secretary, treasurer and librarian are ex-officio officers of the board, a majority of whom shall constitute a quorum.


        The modus operandi of the association can attain its ends--

        a. By personal cultivation of head and heart according to the Word of God. "Thou that teachest another, teachest thou not thyself?" Therefore let us teach ourselves in order that we may be prepared to teach others. Our first work, therefore, is to educate ourselves. English grammar, geography, history, arithmetic are the first things to be mastered, because they are fundamental. Thoroughness in these will make other sciences easy of acquisition; therefore, let us master these before we aspire to the mastery of more difficult and higher studies, then give attention to science, philosophy, the classics, etc.

        b. By plans wisely made and skillfully executed we can, we must, promote the cause of Christian education among our people.

        c. By planning wisely and executing skillfully for the success of our Publishing Department; we must emancipate it from its indebtedness, then erect a more commodious house; by helping to make the literature readable and popular; by securing wide circulation and permanent support for our church literature.

        d. By persuading our adult members to attend the night schools which are accessible to them.

        e. By devoting one service every Sabbath, say afternoon, to Sunday-school instruction, gathering the adults as well as the children and youth into the Sunday-schools, in order that we may diffuse Scriptural knowledge among the masses, wherever this is practicable.


        For the purpose of stimulating the energies of the association there shall be district meetings, at which the exercises shall

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consist of a lecture by one of the great thinkers of the community, the State or the country, who shall be invited to lecture to the association on some subject relative to the studies, or work, or aims of the association, and the reading of essays.


        This constitution may be amended by an annual meeting, after the amendment proposed shall have been under consideration and discussion at least two days.


        For the organization of this Historic and Literary Association:

  • We ought to study literature and science, because they furnish seed thoughts for the mind.
  • We ought to study history because it furnishes data for comparing the past with the present, also for calculating the probabilities and possibilities of the future.
  • We ought to work in behalf of our colleges, schools and Publishing Department, because it is proper, right and Christian-like to do so. they are educational forces by means of which our people can be enlightened and made intelligent, useful Christians--intelligent as well as Christian, and truly Christian as well as widely intelligent.
  • We are despised if we are ignorant and poor; therefore it is our duty to employ the most efficient means to remove this formidable objection against us. We know of no means so efficient as Christian education. We are training Christian teachers and Christian ministers at Wilberforce and in our other schools. We are also diffusing Christian literature through our Publishing Department. Next to our own families they claim our attention and demand our support.
  • In conclusion, we say that by our colleges and schools, our press and our own Sunday-schools, we ought to help to diffuse general intelligence and Bible knowledge among the masses, until the knowledge of the Lord shall cover the entire race as the water covers the sea. This ought to be our work for the present, our work for the future, in which we ought to persist
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    until we triumph. But who is sufficient in these things? In Jehovah is our sufficiency; for Jehovah is the Lord God Almighty, in whom let us trust.

        The following is the constitution for the organizations in the several churches in our connections:



        For the respective churches and congregations throughout the entire connection of the A. M. E. Church, which the pastors and presiding elders are required to organize and keep in operation. One night in each week should be set apart in every church for these exercises, but under no circumstances must the meeting be less than one night every month.


        This association shall be known as "The Connectional Literary, Historical and Educational Association" of the A.M.E. Church, for -- church in -- city.


        The object of this association shall be--

        1. The moral, intellectual, scientific, philosophic and historic improvement of its members.

        2. To stimulate self-reliance in our young men and ladies, and to develop the latent powers of our people generally, especially in a literary direction, in all our churches.

        3. To encourage a high, social pastime, where the young and middle-aged can resort without the necessity of running after balls, and lounging around grog shops, bar-rooms and other places of vice and immorality.

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        The officers of the association shall consist of a president, two vice-presidents, a secretary (two if desired), a treasurer, librarian, lecturer, marshal (with assistants if necessary), three, five or seven managers, and a chaplain, who shall hold their respective offices one year.


        The president shall preside at all meetings of the association; open and close as per constitution; strictly enforcing the rules. He shall call any member to order, acting disorderly, three times, and if he refuse to obey upon the third call, he shall fine him at his discretion, not exceeding fifty (50) cents. He shall examine into late attendance, absence from regular or extra meetings, neglect of duties or orders, and impose fines for the same. The president shall call the vice-president to the chair when he desires to leave it; sign all orders on the treasurer; submit all motions to the house; call extra meetings at his discretion; appoint, in conjunction with the lecturer, persons to speak, debate, lecture, read papers or essays, sing, give sociables, and other exercises.


        In the absence of the president the first vice-president shall perform all the duties of the president. He shall also read the constitution to the association once a quarter, and oftener if required by a majority of the members present.

        He shall constitute one of the managers, and be the chairman of said board, and shall accompany the president in any procession.


        The secretary shall record all the proceedings of the meetings of the association; call the regular roll of members; read the minutes of the previous meeting; write notices to absent members and for extra meetings; write orders upon the treasurer, with the approval of the president; answer all official inquiries connected with his duties, and submit his books for the inspection of the managers when requested.

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        The assistant secretary (if needed) shall perform such duties as shall be assigned him by the secretary or president.


        The treasurer shall hold all moneys of the association, not exceeding twenty-five dollars ($25.00). All over that shall be banked. He shall keep a correct account of all orders, receipts and expenditures, which may pass through his hands, and pay all orders from the secretary, signed by the president; submit a quarterly report of the state of the treasury. When the association desires it may demand a reasonable bond of the treasurer.


        The librarian shall keep a complete list of all books in the library, keep the same in order, note the names of all books loaned out, and the names of the persons to whom loaned; see that they are returned in good order, or demand the price of the same; loan no member over two books at a time, and only then when the member borrowing has a question to debate or a lecture to prepare. He shall report to the association once a quarter.


        The lecturer shall arrange all lectures, addresses, debates, readings and literary exercises of the association, subject to the approval of the president, and shall lecture himself at least once in two months, and oftener if ordered by the president. He shall also seek for distinguished persons, white and colored, male or female, to lecture before the association; but all his appointments must meet the approval of the president.


        The marshal shall assist in preserving order; see that persons passing to and fro walk lightly; arrange for regular and extra meetings, public demonstrations; serve written or verbal orders from the president upon any member; assume command of processions on public occasions; that is, in case of a turnout at a funeral, etc.

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        The managers shall inspect the property of the association semi-annually; examine the records of the secretary, treasurer, librarian, and give their approval to the reports of said officers quarterly or semi-annually; make annual reports of everything; serve orders upon members and ex-members for the property of the association retained longer than a month at a time, except by special agreement. The managers shall be the trustees of the association, and the trustees of none of our churches can prevent them using the churches for the purposes aforesaid. They can only make them pay for lights, fuel and sexton-fee, unless the marshal act as sexton for the association. The pastors, however, will see that there is no conflict, as each are creatures of the General Conference.


        The chaplain shall open the meetings with prayer or have it done, or the exercises may be opened by reading a chapter in the Bible. The chaplain shall visit any who are sick, report any needy cases to the association for relief. He shall also install the officers at their annual election, and encourage persons to join the association, as well as try to reform way-ward members.


        Church membership shall not be a prerequisite for membership in this association. All denominations are welcome to unite with it; also persons belonging to no church at all. Nevertheless, it is expected that all persons uniting with the same will endeavor to maintain habits of civility, decent behavior, encouraging respectability, and be vigilant in the impartation of knowledge, as the object of the association is the annihilation of ignorance and vice.


        Punctual attendance, obedience to orders, efforts to advance the objects of the association, seeking for persons to unite with the same, collecting books, minerals, various specimens, bones, shells and other property, such as telescopes to examine the

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heavens, microscopes to examine objects invisible to the eye, and other literary and scientific apparatus, will be expected of all the members of this organization; and those found most faithful to its interests should be rewarded with positions of honor or enduring mementoes.


        The members shall pay such a monthly fee as they may determine upon, since such fee is not less than ten cents per month each, ten per cent. of which shall be sent to the Connectional Treasurer, for which he shall return his receipt.


        Anything in this, the constitution for the government of the associations in the several churches, which conflicts with the Constitution of the Connectional Literary, Historical and Educational Association, is hereby declared null and void.


        1. None but regular members of the association shall be eligible to nomination or election to office.

        2. The president shall express no opinion regarding any motion before the house while in the chair, but can fill the chair with the vice-president or a member, and discuss at pleasure on the floor. In case of a tie he shall give the casting vote.

        3. Sickness or absence from home shall be an excuse from the performance of duty; but all other excuses must be determined by the president or managers, unless they give it to the association to determine.

        4. When two members rise to speak at the same time, the president shall decide which has the floor.

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        5. Every motion shall receive a second before being stated by the president; till then it is not the property of the house. But the mover shall have the right to withdraw any motion before it comes to a vote.

        6. The president shall decide the constitutionality of all disputed questions, subject to an appeal to the association. In all business meetings no one shall speak more than five minutes, nor more than twice upon the same subject without permission, except distinguished guests.

        7. The president shall be removed from office for bad conduct in the following manner: 1. He must be impeached by the Board of Managers. 2. He must be tried before over two-thirds of the members of the association, and convicted by two-thirds of the members thereof. Any member shall have a right to go before the Board of Managers and show why the president should be impeached; but the said Board may disregard the charges if it adjudges them insufficient.

        8. Any other officer, save the president, for bad conduct, may be removed by the Board of Managers; but such officer can appeal to the association if he or she thinks injustice has been done them.

        9. No member shall take exceptions to the ruling or decision of the president without quoting the law upon which such exceptions are founded. Then, if said member appeals to the house, only the president and appellant shall be heard before taking the vote upon said appeal.

        10. An amendment to an amendment may be in order; an amendment destroying or altering the intention of the original motion may be in order; but an amendment which brings a different subject before the house shall not be in order. A motion to strike out a sentence or phrase and insert another in lieu thereof shall be in order. But no amendment proposing to get rid of the whole question is in order. That must come up as a substitute for the whole, or under an indefinite postponement.

        11. Privileged rights are as follows: 1. A motion to adjourn. 2. Lay on the table. 3. Order of the day. 4. Indefinite postponement. 5. Division of the house. 6. Previous question. Business motions, amendments, postponed to a certain time,

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points of order, are naturally in order whenever a member can get the floor. Yet the president must not allow any of these privileges and rights to be abused, as it is the intention to clothe the president of the association with ample power to preserve order under all circumstances.

        12. A motion to adjourn, while always in order, is not in order--(1) when a member is speaking; (2) when the yeas and nays are being called; (3) when the members are voting in any manner; (4) when adjournment was the last preceding motion; (5) when it has been decided to take the previous question. A motion to adjourn to a certain time is debatable.

        13. Non-debatable questions are--(1) to adjourn; (2) lay upon the table; (3) order of the day; (4) to read an official paper; (5) previous question after two have spoken pro and con. This does not imply, however, that more than two may not speak upon the question.

        14. Applications for membership may be written or presented by a member in person. When the name of the applicant is announced publicly, the secretary shall record it, unless objections are made; and should there be objections, the application shall be referred to the managers, and their decision shall be final.

        15. When a member desires to leave the association for reasons, such member shall report the same to the managers, who may honorably retire said member; otherwise, the managers may read the name out publicly. When a member is going to move away entirely, he is entitled to a certificate of membership in good standing, and under no circumstances must such certificate be refused when asked for.

        16. When a member is addressing the association, no one shall interrupt him, except--(1) to call to order; (2) ask a question with his consent; (3) ask to explain a misunderstanding; but such interrogatories shall not assume the form of a speech.

        17. The surviving members of the association shall always see that a deceased member, however unfortunate he may have been, receive a decent interment.

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No. 1.

Exhorter's License.

        The bearer hereof..........., having been duly recommended, and having been examined by the Quarterly Conference of........... Church, of ........... District, of ........... Annual Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, is hereby authorized to exhort, according to the rules and regulations of said church. License to be renewed annually after an examination (if creditable). But if he does not study, license must not be renewed.

        Signed, in behalf of said Quarterly Conference,

        ..........., P. E.

        Date ...........

No. 2.

Local Preacher's License.

        The bearer hereof, ..........., having been duly recommended, and having been examined, as the Discipline directs, by the Quarterly Conference of ........... Church, of ........... District, of ........... Annual Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, is hereby authorized to preach the gospel, according to the rules and regulations of said church. To be renewed annually, after an examination (if creditable).

        Signed, in behalf of said Quarterly Conference,

        ..........., P. E.


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No. 3.

Local Preacher or Exhorter's License.

        This is to certify that the bearer, ........... is licensed to the AFRICAN METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH.

        Signed in behalf of the Quarterly Conference of said Church, to be renewed once a year, so long as his life corresponds with the Gospel, and he submits to the rules of the Discipline of said Church. But he must be examined before this license can be renewed each year.

        Given under my hand...........

        Presiding Elder. ...........18

No. 4.

Recommendation for Admission on Trial into the Traveling Connection.

        To the Bishop and Members of the ........... Annual Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, to be held at ..........., 18...........

        DEAR FATHERS AND BRETHREN:--..........., having been examined by the Quarterly Conference of ........... Church, of...........District, of...........Annual Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, according to the rules and regulations of the same, is hereby recommended as a suitable person for admission on trial into the traveling connection. Signed in behalf of said Quarterly Conference, ..........., P. E. ..........., Sec.


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No. 5

Recommendation for Local Deacon's Orders.

        To the Bishop and Members of the ........... Annual Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, to be held at ..........., 18...........

        DEAR FATHERS AND BRETHREN:--..........., having been for ... years consecutively a local preacher, and having been duly examined by the Quarterly Conference of ........... Church, of ........... District, of ........... Annual Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, is hereby recommended as a suitable person to be ordained Deacon. ........... church prays for his ordination for the benefit of the said church.

        Signed in behalf of said Quarterly Conference, ..........., P. E. ..........., Sec.


No. 6.

Reception into Conference of an Ordained Minister from another Church.

        This is to Certify that........... has been admitted into ........... Conference as ........... preacher, ........... he having been ordained to the office of ........... according to the usages of the ........... Church. And he is hereby authorized to exercise the functions pertaining to his office, in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, so long as his life and conversation are such as becomes the Gospel of Christ.

        Given under my hand and seal at ........... this ........... day of ........... in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and ............, Bishop.

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No. 7.

Certificate of the Reception of a Local Preacher.

        This is to Certify that the Bearer, ........... formerly of the ........... Church, has been received, after a satisfactory examination in doctrine and discipline, by the Quarterly Conference of...........of the ........... Annual Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, as a Local Preacher, he having been ordained to the office of........... according to the usages of the ........... Church, of which he was a member and minister; and he is hereby authorized to exercise the functions pertaining to his office in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, so long as his conduct and teaching agree with the Gospel of Christ.

        Signed ..........., Bishop of African Methodist Episcopal Church.

        Date........... 18...........

No. 8.

Certificate of Location.

        The ........... Annual Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, of which ........... has been a member, consents that he shall cease to travel from this date. He is, therefore, authorized to exercise his ministry as a local........... in this Church, according to the rules and regulations ordained by the same. We commend him to the ministers and members of the Church, wherever he may travel, so long as he observes our rules and doctrine.

        ..........., Bishop.

        ..........., Secretary.

        Date........... 18...........

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No. 9.

Infant Certificate of Baptism.*

        This Certifies that on the ........... day of ........... in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and ..........., ............ was baptized by me........... in ........... County, State of ........... Names of parents.

        ...........Member of ...........Conference A. M. E. Church.

No. 10.

Adult Certificate of Baptism.*

        This certifies that on the ........... day of ........... in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and ..........., ........... was by me baptized in ........... Church, in ........... County, State of...........

        Remember your baptismal vows, that you are a member of the Church of Christ, and that you are to train your children in the fear and admonition of the Lord.

        Member of ...........Conference A. M. E. Church.


        * While no minister in our Church can charge for baptizing either a child or an adult, yet, they may charge a reasonable fee for the printed Certificates of Baptism, which the minister can only get with the Church seal upon them, from the Publishing House of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, for which he must pay. All children or adults are in duty bound to procure certificates of their baptism, to avoid the mistakes and blunders of the past, where parents and guardians have died, leaving no trace of baptism upon the records of the Church. Ministers must furnish their baptized with certificates, and also see that a proper record is kept.

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No. 11.

Sabbath School Certificate of Membership.

        This certifies that ........... is a member of ........... Sunday-school, connected with ........... Charge, ........... District, ........... Annual Conference, African Methodist Episcopal Church.

        ..........., Pastor.

        ..........., Superintendent.

No. 12.

Certificate of Full Membership.

        This is to certify that ........... of ..........., was received a full member into the African Methodist Episcopal Church, according to the usages of said Church, and that the same is entitled to all the rights and privileges enjoyed by any other member in the world, so long as the conduct of the party is in keeping with the discipline of said Church. We, therefore, commend the bearer to the Bishops, Ministers and members of the same everywhere............ Member of ........... Conference, African Methodist Episcopal Church.


        To be framed and hung up in the house.

No. 13.

Trustee Certificate, A. M. E. Church.*

        * This certificate should be handed to the Trustees when installed before the congregation. They can be procured of the A. M. E. Church Publishing House, also Leaders' Members' and all other certificates.

        This is to certify that ........... was at a regular Trustee election, held by the members of ........... Church, elected a Trustee, to serve for one year, subject to the laws, regulations, usages and customs of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. All members and persons concerned will please respect him in the discharge of his official duties.

        ..........., Pastor.

        Date..........., 18...........

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No. 14.

Steward's Certificate, A. M. E. Church.*

        * This certificate should be handed to the Stewards when installed before the congregation. They can be procured of the A. M. E. Church Publishing House, also Leaders', Members' and all other certificates.

        This is to certify that........... was, upon the nomination of the Pastor and the confirmation of the Quarterly Conference, elected a Steward of ........... Church, to serve for one year, subject to the laws and regulations of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. All members will respect him in the discharge of his official duties.

        ..........., Pastor.

        Date ..........., 18...........

No. 15.

Class Leader's Certificate, A. M. E. Church.

        This is to certify that........... having the respect and confidence of the Pastor and members of the Church worshiping at ........... has been appointed the Leader of Class No. ..........., during the pleasure of the Pastor of said Church. He is authorized to sing, pray, see each person in his class once a week, in order to inquire how their souls prosper, to advise, comfort, reprove, rebuke and exhort as occasion may require. And receive what the class is willing to give toward the relief of preacher, church and poor, and meet the minister and stewards once a week and report, as the discipline provides. We commend him to the members of his class as their subaltern pastor, and to the Church as a spiritual father.

        ..........., Pastor.

        Date..........., 18...........

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No. 16.

Certificate of Membership in the African Methodist Episcopal Church.

        This is to certify that the bearer, ........... has been an acceptable member of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, in ........... Charge, ........... District, ........... Conference.

        ..........., Pastor.

        Date..........., 18...........


        My Dear Christian Comrade:--Accept a word of exhortation and advice. Having received your Certificate, you take leave of a people with whom you have held sweet counsel, and now you are like a child away from home. But remember, Church-membership is a duty as well as a privilege, and while your Certificate entitles you to membership in any Methodist Society, you must present it to a pastor where you wish to be a member. The Methodist Church is so widely disseminated that it is not likely you will settle where there is no class; but if you do, you may hear the voice of the Master bidding you start one, which is your privilege and duty, if possible. At all events, be identified with God's people, of one name or another, and let not the probability of a short stay in one place hinder you from handing in this letter to some African Methodist Episcopal Church, if possible. You may be tempted to delay this duty. Various motives and reasons may present themselves. In your eyes the Church-members may seem cold, distant, and unsocial, and their customs strange to you; and you may be inclined to say, "I will wait awhile, and see how things will go;" but while you wait, or stand off, Satan will be at work to seduce you and lead you from duty, God and heaven. Many thousands have been lost to the Church and Heaven by this "waiting to see." This danger is great when persons move to a distant point, where a change is considerable in the outward circumstances, church-arrangements, and social habits of the people. But let not the richness, nor the poverty, the purple and fine linen, nor plain clothes, spires, pews and fine cushions, nor the plain log meeting-house, the reading of sermons, the existence of organs, choirs, and Christians sitting in time of prayer, nor congregational singing, nor a humble, earnest company, keep you out of the Church that has done so much for you. With all their different ways, are they not God's chosen ones, "a holy nation, a royal priest-hood, a peculiar people?" Say in the language of Scripture, "I will go with you." May the Lord bless you in all your relations in your new home, and make you holy, useful, and happy--a living branch of the true vine!--is the earnest prayer of your pastor and the brothers and sisters you leave behind.

        Your affectionate pastor.

Page 313

Presiding Elder's Form of Appointments.

        Copied from Presiding Elder I. L. Butt, of the Virginia Conference.


No. 17.


Virginia Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.

PLACES. First Quarter. Second Quarter. Third Quarter. Fourth Quarter. PASTORS.
Danville Station May 6 Aug. 20 Nov. 4 Jan. 6 Rev. Geo. D. Jimmerson
Harmony Circuit. May 13 Aug. 26 Nov. 4 Jan. 13 Rev. G. W. Pinkart.
Jacksonville Circuit May 20 Aug. 30 Nov. 8 Jan. 11 Rev. Lemuel Sears.
Martinsville Circuit May 27 Sept. 2 Nov. 11 Jan. 20 Rev. F. F. Crawford.
Penn Store Mission May 31 Sept. 5 Nov. 14 Jan. 17 Rev. Jesse Young.
Leatherwood Circuit June 1 Sept. 7 Nov. 16 Jan. 23 Rev. S. P. Cormick.
New Haven Circuit June 3 Sept. 8 Nov. 17 Jan. 25 Rev. Richard Lemons.
Chatham Circuit . . June 10 Sept. 10 Nov. 18 Jan. 27 Rev. J. Cuffee.
Rocky Mt. Circuit. June 17 Sept. 16 Nov. 25 Feb. 3 Rev. A. B. Jenning.
Boon's Mill Circuit June 24 Sept. 20 Nov. 28 Feb. 7 Rev. Peter Shepherd.
Cave Spring Circuit July 1 Sept. 23 Dec. 2 Feb. 10 Rev. Robert Armsted.
Salem Station . . . July 8 Sept. 30 Dec. 9 Feb. 17 Rev. J. H. Scott.
Blacksburg Circuit July 15 Oct. 7 Dec. 13 Feb. 24 Rev. G. T. Mussington.
Max Meadow's Cir. July 19 Oct. 14 Dec. 15 Feb. 27 Rev. G. W. Nickolson.
Red Bluff Circuit. . July 22 Oct. 17 Dec. 17 Feb. 29 Rev. James E. Blunot.
China Branch Circ. July 29 Oct. 19 Dec. 20 Mar. 2 Rev. George Rose.
Grason Circuit July 26 Oct. 21 Dec. 22 Mar. 5 Rev. G. W. Blount.
Wytheville Station. Aug. 5 Oct. 21 Dec. 23 Mar. 9 Rev. G. W. Taylor.
Bland County Miss. Aug. 9 Oct. 25 Dec. 27 Mar. 13 Rev. Edward Mitchell.
Glade Spring Circuit Aug. 11 Oct. 27 Dec. 29 Mar. 15 Rev. S. Smith.
Lynchburg Station Aug. 13 Oct. 28 Dec. 31 Mar. 17 Rev. G. G. Vreeland.
Amherst Circuit Aug. 16 Nov. 1 Jan. 3 Mar. 23 Rev. George Lee.

        Reverend and Dear Brothers:--You will insist upon fasting and prayer on Fridays before Quarterly Meeting. Quarterly Conference in the Stations Friday night. Preaching on all Circuits at 11 o'clock A.M. Saturday, and Quarterly Conference immediately after preaching. If you wish me to visit some of the other churches while on the Circuit, you will prepare accordingly in the time allotted you.

        Arrange for your Quarterly Love-Feast that I may be present. You will please strictly comply with the law of the Book of Discipline, page 117, section 7, paragraph 4. The District Conference will be held at Danville on the 18th day of August, 1887.

        Each Circuit and Station will bring a contribution to defray expenses.

        The Sunday-School Institution will meet on Monday, August 22d, after the District Conference. Each Sabbath-school will bring or send one dollar to help defray expenses. The Electoral College at Danville, second Wednesday in September, 1887.

        Rally for your "Missionary Collection" on Easter Sunday. "Children's Day," collection, twelfth of June. The eleventh of September is "Endowment Day." Make an increase all along the line, Brethren, for Education, and above all let us bring our District to the front in "Dollar Money."

        Labor to show yourselves workmen approved of God.

Yours truly, I. L. BUTT, P. E.

Page 314

A Form copied from Rev. Jacklin Strange, Presiding Elder in the Virginia Annual Conference.



Name of place..............................................................County.
Date, .............................................................18........


1. Are there any appeals from members of this society?  
2. Are there any applications for license to preach or exhort?  
3. Are there any licenses to be renewed?  
1st. Of Preachers  
2d. Of Exhorters  
4. How many persons have been received on probation?  
1st. At A  
2d. At B  
3d. At C  
5. How many persons have been received into full membership?  
1st. At A  
2d. At B  
3d. At C  
6. How many persons are to be received into full membership this quarter?  
7. How many members have been received by certificate?  
8. How many have left with certificates?  
9. How many have left without certificates?  
10. How many have been expelled from this society, or any of the societies?  
11. How many members have died this quarter and what were their names?  
12. What number of full members in this society or on this circuit?  
If on a circuit--1st. At A  
2d. At B  
3d. At C  
13. What number of probationers in this society or on this circuit?  
If a circuit--1st. At A, &c.  

Page 315

14. What has been the increase of full members this quarter?  
15. How many infants and adults have been baptized this quarter?  
1st. Infants  
2d. Adults  
16. What are the names of those who have been baptized?  
17. How many Sunday-schools and what number of pupils? Schools.  
If a circuit Pupils at A  
Pupils at B  
Pupils at C  
18. What number of books in the library or libraries?  
If a circuit 1st at A and so on.  
19. How much collected for Sunday-school purposes?  
1st at A and so on.  
20. How and for what purpose has this amount been appropriated?  
21. How much has been collected to pay the minister or ministers this quarter?  
For Presiding Elder at A  
For Presiding Elder at B  
For Presiding Elder at C  
For Pastor at A  
For Pastor at B  
For Pastor at C  
22. Has anything been collected for building purposes or repairs?  
How much? How has it been expended?  
23. What is the present indebtedness?  
1st. Of the Trustees  
2d. Of the Stewards  
1. How much raised on Quarterly Meeting day?  
2. How much paid to Presiding Elder of this amount?  
3. How much paid to Pastor of this amount?  
4. How much dollar-money raised this quarter?  
5. What number of Periodicals taken?  
6. Have you Mission Work?  

Name of Pastor

Page 316


        In drafting charges and specifications for the trial of an accused member of the church, there should be a brief statement, defining the offence by name, says Bishop Harris of the M. E. Church, such as lying, defamation of character, dishonesty, imprudent conduct, indulging sinful tempers or words, disobedience to the order of Discipline of the church, neglecting prayer-meetings, neglecting class-meetings, etc. Each charge ought to have one or more specifications, suitable to the charge. The following forms may assist in giving an idea of the proper manner of preparing charges and specifications. The charges and specifications must be so varied in the several cases as to meet the facts or evidence relied upon for conviction. The bill of charges must be signed by one or more members of the church, and must be addressed to the pastor in charge of the church or circuit in which the accused person holds membership.

Form 1.--Immorality, or Immoral Conduct.

No. 19.

VICKSBURG, MISS., April 5, 1889.

Pastor in charge of Bethel A. M. E. Church.

        DEAR BROTHER:--The undersigned, a member in regular standing in the A. M. E. Church, beg to complain of JOHN WILSON, a member of your charge, for being guiliy of immoral conduct, and while I deeply regret it, a sense of my religious obligation compels me to hereby prefer the following charge:


        Specification 1.--The said JOHN WILSON, on the ..... day of ....., 1889, at ....., did write and publish in violation of the rules of our Discipline, the following false and libelous matter of, and concerning JAMES SMITH, to wit:--(Here copy the writing complained of.)

        Specification 2.--The said JOHN WILSON, on the ..... day of ....., 1889, at ....., did utter and maliciously publish, in violation of the rules of the said Discipline, the following defamatory and libelous matter of, and concerning JAMES SMITH, to wit:--(Here copy the matter published.)

        Specification 3.--The said JOHN WILSON, on the ..... day of ....., 1889, at ....., did, with wicked intent and purpose, utter and thus publish in the hearing of several persons, the following slanderous and untruthful words, namely, that JAMES SMITH is a LIAR and a THIEF.

Very obediently,


Page 317

Form 2.--Imprudent, or Unchristian Conduct.

        In this class of cases preliminary labor is necessary before the accused is liable to be arraigned and tried, and it should be averred in the complaint that such preliminary labor has been performed, for without such averment there is nothing to show that the person is liable to be tried as per Discipline. The following form may be used:

No. 20.

CHARLESTON, S. C., April 5, 1889.

Pastor in charge of Emanuel A. M. E. Church.

        DEAR BROTHER:--The undersigned, with emotions of deep regret, is compelled to complain to you of the conduct of HENRY SIMPSON, a member of your charge, who indulged sinful tempers, and was afterwards reproved as our Discipline allows, yet the said HENRY SIMPSON was guilty of a second transgression, and he was again reproved as our Discipline permits, yet, notwithstanding these repeated reproofs, the said HENRY SIMPSON continues impenitent, and persists in indulging sinful tempers, thereby bringing reproach upon the church. Therefore, the undersigned charges him as follows:


        Specification. The said HENRY SIMPSON, on the ..... day of ....., 1889, at ..... and at other places, did, on three several occasions, become angry and boisterous, exhibiting and indulging sinful tempers, contrary to the rules of the Discipline.

Yours, obediently,


Page 318

Form 3.--Neglect of the Means of Grace.

No. 21.

BOSTON, MASS., April 5, 1889.

Pastor in charge of Charles Street A. M. E. Church.

        DEAR BROTHER:--Inasmuch as THOMAS WALKER, a member of your church, had for a long time neglected Class-Meetings, and, having so neglected, was visited repeatedly by his leader, and then by the preacher, who explained to him the consequences, should he continue such neglect, and yet, not-withstanding such visits and explanation, he does not amend, but continues to neglect Class-Meetings. Therefore, the undersigned complains to you of the conduct of THOS. WALKER, and hereby charges him as follows:


        Specification 1. The said THOMAS WALKER, unmindful of his duty, and in violation of the rules of the Discipline, does habitually neglect Class-Meetings.

        Specification 2. The said THOMAS WALKER, in thus disregarding the rules of our Discipline, is bringing our religious services into disrepute, and is, therefore, doing great harm to our religion by his bad example.

Yours, obediently,