[From Grindrod's Compendium, 1842]
The original Rules of the Society-Rules of the Band-Societies-Directions to the Band-Societies-Regulations to prevent improper Persons joining the Society-For the efficient Exercise of Discipline in large Towns--Relating to Attendance upon Society-Meetings and Love-Feasts-Observance of the Lord's Day- Public Worship-The Lord's Supper-Baptism-Family Religion-Marriage-Evils prohibited-Rules relating to Bankruptcies.
1. IN the latter end of the year 1739, eight or ten persons came to me in London, who appeared to be deeply convinced of sin, and earnestly groaning for redemption. They desired, as did two or three more the next day, that I 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 we might have more time for this great work, I 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 more as desired to join with them, (for their number increased daily,) I gave those advices from time to time which I judged most needful for them ; and we always concluded our meeting with prayer suited to their several necessities.
2. This was the rise of the United Society, first in London, and then in other places. Such a society is no 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 own salvation, each society is divided into smaller companies, called classes, according to their respective places of abode. There are about twelve persons in every class; one of whom is styled the Leader. It is his business,
I. To see each person in his class, once a week at least, in order
To inquire how their souls prosper;
To advise, reprove, comfort, or exhort, as occasion may require ;
To receive what they are willing to give, towards the support of the Gospel :
II. To meet the Ministers and the Stewards of the society once a week, in order
To inform the Minister of any that are sick, or of any that walk disorderly, and will not be reproved;
To pay to the Stewards what they have received of their several classes in the week preceding; and
To show their account of what each person has contributed.*
4. There is only one condition previously required in those who desire admission into these societies; namely, "a desire to flee from the wrath to come, to be saved from their sins." But wherever this is really fixed in the soul, it will be shown by its fruits. It is therefore expected of all who continue therein, that they should continue to evidence their desire of salvation,
First, By doing no harm, by avoiding evil in every kind especially that which is most generally practised. Such is
The taking the name of God in vain:
The profaning the day of the Lord, either by doing ordinary work thereon, or by buying or selling:
Drunkenness ; buying or selling spirituous liquors, or drinking them, unless in cases of extreme necessity:
Fighting, quarrelling, brawling; brother going to law with brother; returning evil for evil, or railing for railing; the using many words in buying or selling
The buying or selling uncustomed goods
The giving or taking thinqs on usury that is unlawful interest :
Uncharitable- or unprofitable conversation ; particularly speaking evil of Magistrates or of 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 or costly apparel;
The taking such diversions as cannot be used in the name of the Lord. Jesus ;
The singing those songs, or reading those books, which do not tend to the knowledge or love of God
Softness, and needless self-indulgence
Laying up treasures upon earth :
Borrowing without a probability of paying; or taking up goods without a probability of paying for them.
5. It is expected of all who continue in these societies, that they should continue to evidence their desire of salvation,
Secondly, By doing good, by being in every kind merciful after their power, m they have opportunity; doing good of every possible sort and as far as is possible, to all men:
To their bodies, of the ability that 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, reproaching, or exhorting all they have any intercourse with ; trampling under foot that enthusiatic doctrine of devils, that " we are not to do good, unless our heart be free to 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, because the world will love its own, and them only.
By all possible diligence and frugality, that the Gospel be not blamed.
By running with patience the race that 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 offseouring of the world ; and looking that men should say all manner of evil of them falsely, for the Lord's sake.
6. 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
The supper of the Lord;
Family and private prayer;
Searching the Scriptures ; and
Fasting or abstinence.
7. These are the general Rules of our societies: all which we are taught of God to observe, even in his written word, the only rule, and the sufficient rule, both of our faith and practice. And 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 made known unto them who watch over that soul, as they that 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.
May 1st, 1743.
* The following are Mr. Wesley's own words relative to this subject. See Minutes of Conference at London, 1782.
Q. 31. Have the weekly and quarterly contributions been duly made in all our societies ?
A. In many it has been shamefully neglected. To remedy this,
1. Let every Assistant (Superintendent) remind every society that this was our original rule : Every member contributes one penny weekly, (unless he is in extreme poverty,) and one shilling quarterly. Explain the reasonableness of this.
2. Let every Leader receive the weekly contribution from each person in his class.
3. Let the Assistant ask every person, at changing his ticket, "Can you afford to observe our rule?" and receive what he is able to give.
THE design of our meeting is, to obey that command of God, "Confess your faults one to another, and pray for one another, that ye may be healed?"
To this end. we intend,-
1. To meet once a week, at 1east.
2. To come punctually at the hour appointed, without some extraordinary reason.
3. To begin (those of us who are present) exactly at the hour, with singing or prayer.
4. To speak each of us in order, freely and plainly, the true state of our souls, with the faults we have committed in thought, word, or deed, and the temptations we have felt, since our last meeting.
5. To end every meeting with prayer, suited to the state of each person present.
6. To desire some person among us to speak his own state first, and then ask the rest in order, as many and as searching questions as may be. concerning their state, sins, and temptations.
Some of the questions proposed to every one before he is admitted among us may be to this effect :-
1. Have you the forgiveness of your sins?
2. Have you peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ?
3. Have you the witness of God's Spirit with your spirit, that you are a child of God?
4. Is the love of God shed abroad in your heart?
5. Has no sin, inward or outward, dominion over you?
6. Do you desire to be told of your faults?
7. Do you desire to be told of all your faults, and that plain and home ?
8. Do you desire that every one of us should tell you, from time to time, whatsoever is in his heart concerning you?
9. Consider! Do you desire we should tell you whatsoever we think, whatsoever we fear, whatsoever we hear, concerning you?
10. Do you desire, that in doing this, we should come as close as possible, that we should cut to the quick, and search your heart to the bottom ?
11. Is it your desire and design, to be, on this and all other occasions, entirely open, so as to speak every thing that is in your heart without exception, without disguise, and without reserve ?
Any of the preceding questions may be asked as often as occasion offers : the four following, at every meeting :-
1. What known sins have you committed since our last meeting?
2. What temptations have you met with ?
3. How were you delivered ?
4. What have you thought, said or done, of which you doubt whether it be or not? *
*These Rules were drawn up December 25th. 1738; and the Directions were drawn up December 25th 1744.
You are supposed to have the faith that overcometh the world. To you, therefore, it is not grievous-
I. Carefully to abstain from doing evil : in particular~-
1. Neither to buy nor sell any thing at all on the Lords day.
2. To taste no spirituous liquor, no dram of any kind, unless prescribed by a.Physician.
3. To be at a word both in buying and selling.
4. To pawn nothing, no, not to save life.
5. Not to mention the fault of any behind his back, and to stop those short that do.
6. To wear no needless ornaments, such as rings, earrings, necklaces, lace, ruffles.
7. To use no needless selfindulgence, such as taking snuff or tobacco, unless prescribed by a Physician.
II. Zealously to maintain good works: in particular~-
1. To give arms of such things as you possess, and that to the uttermost of your power.
2. To reprove all that sin in your sight, and that in love, and meekness of wisdom.
3. To be patterns of dilligence and frugality. of self-denial. and taking up the cross daily.
III. Constantly to attend on all the ordinances of God : in particular,-
1. To be at church and at the Lord's table every week, and at every public meeting of the bands.
2. To attend the ministry of the word every morning, unless distance, business, or sickness prevent.
3. To use private prayer every day; and family prayer, if you are at the head of a family.
4. To read the Scriptures, and meditate therein. at every vacant hour. And -
5. To observe, as days of fasting or abstinence, all Fridays in the year
At different periods the Conference has recommended to the people of their charge, to avail themselves of this early ordinance of Methodism. At the Conference of 1806, it was resolved, That what are called fellowship-meetings shall not be permitted to be set up in the place of band-meetings; and that all the Superintendents be required to restore the proper Methodist meetings wherever they have been superseded or neglected. In 1812 the following Minute was passed; namely:-
To revive and extend band-meetings,
1. Let every Superintendent address to the believers under his care, met in their respective societies, a strong and appropriate exhortation on the excellency of band-meetings.
2. Let him meet all the Leaders of the societies, and form out of their classes as many bands as possible, from those believers who do not at present meet in 'band, and who are willing so to do; putting into each band those who are most acquainted with each other.
3. Let him afterwards receive the applications of all the members of the bands with the utmost kindness and attention, so as to remove them from one band to another, and to meet the desires of each as far as possible.
4. The weekly meetings, commonly called the meetings of the public bands, shall be established and attentively preserved, wherever the number of those who meet in band will admit of it.
5. Love-feasts for the members of the band-societies shall be occasionally held in every place where it is practicable.
And in 1821 the following Minute was adopted; namely:-
We again exhort all our people, who have opportunity, to meet in band, as an old established usage in our Connexion, and an important means of improvement in personal religion : and the Preachers are directed to hold general meetings of the bands in every society where it is practicable.
1. IN order to prevent improper persons from insinuating themselves into the.society, the Preachers are directed to give notes on trial to none but those who are recommended by persons whom they know, or until they have met three or four times in class, and are recommended by the Leader. They are farther required to give society-tickets to none but such as are recommended by a Leader, with whom they have met in class two months on trial ; and to give them the Rules of the Society the first time they meet.*
2. As some of our people have, in different parts of the kingdom, been imposed upon in various ways by swindlers, who professed to be members of our society, no person shall be received into any society without a certificate, signed by one of the Itinerant Preachers in the Circuit, from whence he professes to have come.+ The Preachers are required strictly to observe this rule in future.
Printed notes for the purpose, with blanks, ready to be filled up, may be had by the Superintendents, on application to the Book-Steward.++
* Large Minutes. , + Minutes, 1797.
++ Ibid., 1809. For the rules relating to the exclusion of members, see Leaders'-Meeting, chap. v., pp. 143-151.
For the preservation of Christian harmony and order, and the due exercise of our established discipline, in those populous towns and neighbourhoods where it has been, or may hereafter be, found necessary to divide our societies into two or more separate Circuits, and thus to place them under distinct spiritual jurisdictions, the following regulations are deemed requisite; namely:-
1. In all cases, it shall be considered as the standing rule of our Connexion, that the Preachers shall strongly advise and encourage the members of our societies to meet in classes which belong, to the Circuits in which they reside ; and that the contrary practice, though it cannot in all cases be prohibited, is to be prudently, and as far as possible, discountenanced.
2. Whatever relaxation of this general rule may be deemed expedient, in particular circumstances, as to private members who reside in towns which are divided into different Circuits, it is a settled and uniform principle of to our discipline, that persons acting as Local in Preachers, Class-Leaders, Stewards, Conductors of prayer-meetings, or Exhorters, or sustaining any other office in our body, shall belong to the Circuits in which they severally reside, and shall confine their stated and regular labours within the geographical boundaries of those Circuits ;-unless the Superintendent of their own respective Circuits shall deem it advisable, in rare and extra ordinary cases, and for some special purpose, connected with the prosperity of the work of God, to consent to a temporary suspension of this principle. N. B. The regulations stated in the first and second articles of the preceding minute, are founded on the obvious reason that without them no security can be obtained for the purity and good order of our body ; because, in many cases, no efficient religious inspection could be exercised, either by the Preachers, or by the Local Preachers'-Meeting and Leaders'-Meeting, in reference to the characters of non-resident members or officers. and thus the most dangerous violations or evasions of discipline might occur. It is also to be remembered, that as of old, when "the people had a mind to build," they " repaired every one over against his own house." so Christians are bound especially and primarily to serve God and his cause in those places where his providence has fixed the bounds of their habitation ; "not pleasing themselves " nor " seeking their own profit " only, but cheerfully consulting, in all their religious arrangements and exertions, the edification of others, the order of the church of God, and the general good.*
3. We agree strongly to advise the members of our society, especially in large towns. to meet in those classes which are the nearest to their respective places of residence ; in order that their attendance may be less liable to interruption, and that they may be visited with greater facility by their Leaders.+
*Minutes, 1827. + Ibid., 1821.
1. THE Conference directs that the societies be met regularly after preaching on the Sunday, and frequently on the week-day evenings in country places, which are not visited by the Itinerant Preachers on the Lord's day;* and advises that only every alternate meeting be Open to strangers, and that the same person be not admitted above three times..+
2. In order to admittance to these meetings, the members of the society are required to Show their tickets ; and if, in any case, the Stewards and Leaders are not exact, in seeing to this, others must be employed who have more resolution.++
3. No person, who is unwilling to join our society, is allowed to attend a love-feast more than once ; nor then without a note from a Travelling Preacher. The Conference charges both the Preachers and Stewards uniformly to enforce this "old rule " and further enacts, that any person who is proved to have lent a society-ticket to another, who is not in society, for the purpose of deceiving the door-keepers, shall be suspended for three mouths.§
4. No love-feast or band-meeting can be held but by the consent of the Superintendent; nor any funeral sermon be preached without his consent, and for those only who die happy in the Lord.||
*Minutes 1820. + Large Minutes. + Ibid. § Minutes, 1808.|| Large Minutes. See also Minutes, 1806.
1. SEVERAL members of our society, by their strict and conscientious observance of the Sabbath, have been much distressed, barbers in particular. To relieve them from this difficulty, let no member of our society employ any barber on the Sunday; and let all our people, who possibly can, employ only those barbers who make a conscience of abstaining from Sabbath-breaking.*
2. The Conference, afraid that some of our people are not sufficiently attentive to this ordinance of God, strongly recommends the religions observance of the Lord's day ; and desires the Superintendents to exclude every person from the society who buys or sells on that sacred day, unless the sin be acknowledged and forsaken; except in the cases of medicine for the sick, or of supplying necessaries for funerals.+
3. Let none of our people make any wake or feast, neither go to any, on the Lord's day, but bear a public testimony against them. And no person ought to continue a member of our society who learns the military exercise, as a volunteer, on the Lord's day ; nor any one who, after having been warned of the evil, will attend in order to see them exercise on that day.++
4. The Conference solemnly calls upon the members of our society, conscientiously to sanctify the Sabbath-day, both individually, and in their families; especially, by a regulax attendance upon the public worship of Almighty God in the forenoon, as well as on the subsequent services of the day; and by suffering as few persons under their care as possible to be detained at home.§
5. To maintain and promote among all our people a strict and conscientious observance of the Sabbath, the Conference solemnly confirms its former Minutes on that important branch of Christian duty; and requires our Preachers, e"cially the Superintendents, to enforce them on the attention and practice of our people. In particular we express our disapprobation of Sunday baking. And we also advise all our friends mildly, but steadily, to discountenance the plan of teaching the art o.f twitiny on tke Lord's day, to the children of Sunday-schools, as one which has an injurious effect both on Teachers and scholars ; occupies a considerable portion of the Lord's day, that n-dght be more profitably employed in catechetical.and other religious instruction; and, being wholly secular in its direct object and tendency, is, in our judgment, an unjustifiable infringement of the sanctity of the Sabbath.**
6. The Conference, having heard with lively satigfaction, that the subject of the increasing profanation of the Lord's day, under various forms, has lately been brought under the consideration of Parliament, and believing that the abatement of this grievous evil is vitally important to the best interests of our country and of religion, earnestly recommends that our societies and congregations should give their zealous support to all local societies ,which are, or may be, formed for the promotion of this object ; and that they should be ready, if called upon by the parliamentary friends of the cause, to support it by congregational petitions, or otherwise, as may be deemed most expedient.*1
A General Fast shall be held in all our societies, the first Friday after New-Year's-Day ; after Lady-Day ; after Midsummer-Day and after Michaemias-Day.*2
*Large Minutes. + Minutes, 1795. ++Large Minutes. § Minutes, 1821. *1 Minutes, 1823. *2 Ibid., 1832. Large Minutes.
1. Whereever divine service is performed in England on the Lord's day, in church hours, the officiating Preacher shall read, either the Service of the established Church, our venerable father's Abridgment or at least the Lessons appointed by the Calendar; but the Conference recommends either the full Service, or the Abridgment.1 And for the purpose of rendering our public religious services more instructive and edifying to our congregations, the Conference further directs, that at every such service, whether in the afternoon or evening of the Lord's day, or on the week-day ,evenings, at least one chapter of the holy Scriptures shall be read before the sermon is preached. At every annud Meeting of the District-Committees, the Chairman shall inquire, whether this rule has been observed in the several Circuits of his District, and report accordingly to the Conference.2
2. The Conference requests that all our chapels maybe furnished with hassocks, or with kneeling-boards ; so that every excuse may be taken away from those who persist in the irreverent and unscriptural custom of sitting while at prayer ; and further directs all our Preachers strongly to urge on their congregations, the propriety of standing while they sing the praises of God.3
3. Let no instruments of music be introduced into the singers' seats, except a bass-viol, should the principal singer require it. Let no books of hymns be henceforth used in our chapels, except the hymn-books printed for oux BookRoom. Let no pieces, as they are called, in which recitatives, by single men, solos, by single women, fuguing, (or different words sung by different voices at the same time,) are introduced, be sung in our chapels. Let the old, simple, grave, and devotional style be carefully preserved ; which, instead of drawing the attention to singing and the singers, is so admirably calculated to draw off the attention from both, and raise the soul to God only.
... (to be corrected)
SECTION X.-CONCERNING THE SACRAMENT OF BAPTISM.
1. The sacrament of baptism shall be always administered in England, according to the Liturgy of the established Church, or according to the Abridgment of that Liturgy by Mr. Weeley ; but it is understood that the person who administers shall have full liberty to give out hymns, and to use exhortations, and extemporary prayer.1
2. Let the ordinance of baptism, if possible, be always administered in the public congregation.2. And the Conference farther directs, that it be administered, not at the close of the public service, but before the sermon; 3 and, in general, that it be administered only to the children of our own members, and those of our regular hearers.4
3. To afford, in certain instances, some additional facilities for the administration of the ordinance of baptism, the Conference enetts, That those Preachers on trial, who shall be deemed proper to be appointed for this purpose by their respective Superintendenta, shall be allowed to administer this holy sacrament. But this permission extends only to ministration, in cases where children cannot be brought to the house of God, and where there are circumstances of great emergency, which will not allow the administration to be conveniently delayed.5
4. Proper books, with printed forms, for the registration of baptisms, shall be provided, and the necessary record regularly made, and signed by the officiating Minister, whenever baptism is administered in our chapels.6
6. Let a small fee be taken for registering baptisms, where the parents can afford to pay it ; and let all such fees, after deftayidg the expense of the register-book, be given to the poor, or added to some of our public fimds.7
Minuu% ISK Ibid., 1840. Ibid., 1812.
% Ibid., 1840. 11 Ibid., 1812.
1. This Conference earnestly enforces upon all our people a conscientious and uniform attention to the important duties of family religion, and solemnly exhorts them to maintain the practice of daily prayer in their houses; to have stated times allotted for this purpose; to fix their morning worship, for instance, just before breakfast, and their evening worship just 'before supper; to make the daily reading of the Holy Scriptures a constant part of their domestic devotion; to require not only so~ but all the members of their respective families to be present at the time of family worship; and to allow of no excuses, except in case of sickness, or other unavoidable emergencies; and, once at least in every week, to catechise their children and servants, and converse with them individually on the business of religion.
2. We require all our Preachers to make particular inquiries into the state of family religion in their Circuits to enforce the duties above mentioned in the Leaders'-Meetings and in the society-meetings ; and to speak on the subject closely and strongly to every class, in their quarterlyvisitations of the societies.1
3. The Preachers are solemnly enjoined to hold regular weekly meetings with the children of our people, under the age of fourteen years, on the most convenient day of the week, in every town where a Preacher has a stated residence, according to our ancient rule and practice.
4. The attention of the Preachers is earnestly directed to the necessity and importance of making some elfectual arrangement in every town, where a Preacher resides, for obtaining ~ral access, at stated times, to the young persons of Methodist families, between the ages of fourteen and twenty, with a view to promote their spiritual welfare by instruction, exhortation, and prayer.2
5. For the further promotion of the spiritual welfare of the young people connected with our societies and families, let our Preachers frequently and affectionately address them on their peculiar dangers and duties; guarding them against all sinful conformity to this world ; and especially enforcing upon them, in the meetings of the societies, those important rules which require our members to refrain from "taking such diversions as cannot he used in the name of the Lord Jesus' and from "singing those songs, or reading those books which do not tend to acknowledge and love of God." 3,
1 Minutes, 1829. 2 Ibid., 1841. 3 Ibid., 1812. 4 Minutes, 1811. 5 Ibid., 1840. 6 Ibid., 1827.
THE judgment of the Conference, as to the duty of the members of our societies in reference to the present law of marriage, is,-
1. That, in unison with the general stream of authorities, in both the Jewish and Christian churches, the ecclesiastical law of this country, ever since the epoch of the Reformation, has affirmed the degrees of consanguinity and affinity, within the limits of which the divine Lawgiver has prohibited marriage, to be such as are expressed or implied in Lev. xvili. ; and that, therefore, such marriages alone "are godly and agreeable to the laws," which are contracted between persons not included in those prohibitions.
2. That, from the same auspicious period to the year 1835, the civil or political law of England has adopted the ecclesiastical view which is before stated, concerning marriage, by regarding all marriages, within such prohibited degrees, as voidable by the ecclesiastical courts, on proper process commenced during the lives of the contracting parties; and, since the year 1835, by pronouncing all such marriages actually void, without the interposition of any legal process whatsoever.
3. That, on the great New-Testament principle of submission to every ordinance of man, for the Lord's sake," the Conference is solemnly of opinion, that the members of our societies are bound, by the law of Christ, to conform themselves, in all arrangements concerning marriage, to the institutions of their country ; and especially because, in the very form of their enactment, there is a national recognition of the authority of the divine will, as made known to mankind in the holy Scriptures.
4. The Conference, moreover, deems itself now called upon to declare, that it is by no means comely, nor of good report, for members of our societies to repair to certain parts of the United Kingdom, or to foreign countries, in the hope of there finding facilities for contracting marriages within the prohibited degrees, and without any intention of fixing their permanent residence in those countries.1
5. Some of our members have married with unbelievers, yea, with unawakened persons: this has had fatal effects. They had either a cross for life, or turned back to perdition. To put a stop to this, let every Preacher enforce the Apostle's caution, "Be not unequally, yoked with unbelievers." Let him openly declare, that whosoever does this, will be expelled the society. When any such are expelled, let a suitable exhortation be subjoined. And let all be exhorted to take no step in so weighty a matter, without advising with the most serious of their Christian friends.2
1 Minutes, 1841. 2 Large Minutes.
1. Those, Schoolmasters and Schoolmistresses who receive dancing-masters into their schools, and those parents who employ dancing masters for their children, shall be no longer members of our society.
2. To prevent or remedy the evils of dram-drinking, evil speaking, unprofitable conversation, lightness, expensiveness, or gaiety of apparel, and contracting debts without due care to discharge them, or smuggling, buying or selling uncustomed goods, the Preachers are directed solemnly and frequently to warn the societies against these evils, and read in every society the sermon on Evil Speaking. Let the Leaders, also, closely examine, and exhort every person to put away the accursed thing. Let the Preachers warn every society, that those who are guilty cannot remain with us. Extirpate smuggling, buying or selling uncustomed goods, out of every society. Let none remain with us who will not totally abstain from every kind and degree of it. Speak tenderly, but earnestly and frequently, of it in every society near the coasts; and diligently disperse among them the Word to a Smuggler. Extirpate bribery ; the receiving any thing, directly or indirectly, for voting at an election ; show no respect of persons herein, but expel all that touch the accursed thing. Largely show in public the wickedness of thus selling our country; and every where disperse the Word to a Freeholder.1
3. None of us shall, either in writing or conversation, speak lightly or irreverently of the Government under which he lives. We are to observe, that the oracles of God command us to be subject to the higher powers; and that "honour to the King" is there connected with the "fear of God."2
IN order to prevent scandal, when any of our members become bankrupt,
1. Let the Superintendent talk with him at large. And if he has not kept fair accounts, or has been concerned in the base practice of raising money by coining notes, (commonly called the bill-trade,) let him be immediately expelled from the society*
2. Let all our Superintendents faithfully act according to this rule.
3. if any member be found to have speculated in business, -aso"every la-ful denible probability of his being able to meet beyond a re and, he shall be suspended from the privileges of the society for one year at least.
4. If any Of Our members who have formerly failed in business, shall afterwards, by the blessing of God, have acquired property, we earnestly exhort them, to demonstrate their integrity by paying their former deficiencies as soon as possible.+
* large Minutes. + Minutes, 1820.