[From Grindrod's Compendium, 1842]
THE: Conference renews its former order, that no recommendatory letters, nor countenance of any kind, shall be given by the Preachers to persons who attempt to raise, among our people, private and unauthorized collections for chapels.
The Conference again directs, that no stranger, from America or elsewhere, be suffered to preach in any of our places, unless he come fully accredited ; if an Itinerant Preacher, by having his name entered on the Minutes of the Conference of which he is a member: and if a Local Preacher, by a recommendatory note from his Superintendent.+
Minutes, 1838. + Ibid., 1807.
LET none of our friends who travel on business expect to be entertained at the Preachers'-houses ; neither let the people crowd into the Preachers-houses: let no one think that he has a right to go there, unless he has some particular business. The Preachers'-houses ought to be kept clean an ' d decent.
A Preacher's wife ought to be a pattern of cleanliness in her person, clothes, and habitation. And she should also be a pattern of industry, always at work for herself, her husband, or children.*
THE Conference is of opinion, that, in general, women ought not to 'be permitted to preach amongst us, 1. Because a vast majority of our people are opposed to the practice. 2. Because their preaching does not at all seem necessary, there being a sufficiency of Preachers, whom God has accredited, to supply all the places in our Connexion with regular preaching. But if any woman among us think she has an extraordinary call from God to speak in public, (and the Conference is sure that it must be an extraordinary call that can authorize it,) it is farther of opinion, she should, in general, address her own sex, and those only. And upon this condition alone should any woman be permitted to preach in any part of our Connexion ; and when so permitted, it should be under the following regulations: 1. She shall not preach in the Circuit in which she resides, until she has obtained the approbation. of the Superintendent and Quarterly-Meeting. 2. Before she goes into any other Circuit to preach, she shall have a written invitation from the Superintendent of that Circuit, and a recommendatory note from the Superintendent of her own Circuit.*
THE Conference judges, that in some of the larger chapels where some instrumental music may be deemed expedient in order to guide the congregational singing, organs may be allowed, by special consent of the Conference: but every application for such consent shall be first made at the District Meeting ; and, if it obtain their sanction, shall be then referred to a Committee at the Conference, who shall report their opinion as to the propriety of acceding to the request, and also as to the restrictions with which the permission to erect an organ ought, in that particular case, to be accompanied. +
* Minutes. 1803. Ibid., 1820.
1. No ordination shall take place in our Connexion, without the consent of the Conference ; nor shall gowns or bands be used among us. And if any brother shall break the above mentioned rule, he thereby excludes himself from the Connexion.1
2. To prevent the contracting of nervous disorders, the Preachers are directed, to take as little meat, drink, and sleep, as nature will require ; to drink no dram on any consideration ; and to eat very light, if any, supper. Never to go out of the house to supper at any time. To be always at home before nine o'clock, if possible. And to use full as much exercise daily, as they did before they were Preachers.2
3. No Preacher is to use tobacco for smoking, chewing, or snuff., unless it be prescribed by a Physician. And all our people are desired not to provide pipes or tobacco for any of our Preachers.3
4. Every Preacher is charged to be "merciful to his beast not only to ride moderately, but to see that his horse be taken proper care of"4
5. No Preacher is, on any consideration, to leave his Circuit between the Midsummer and Michaelmas quarter-days.5
6. The Conference feels it a solemn duty to express its conviction. that the practice of obtaining Preachers from other Circuits, for the purpose of preaching anniversary sermons for chapels, schools, Missions, and other public objects, though it be, when restrained within reasonable limits, allowable and beneficial, and justified by the peculiar connexional character which distinguishes our ministry, has. however, of late years, been carried, in various instances, to a most improper and injurious extent ; injurious, especially, to certain important Circuits, whose congregations and societies are thus deprived, in an undue degree, of the pulpit labours, and private pastoral services, of their own appointed Ministers. The Conference, therefore, enjoins it as a sacred duty upon all the Preachers, and especially on those excellent brethren who are most frequently selected for such occasions. to restrict their engagements of that kind within such bounds as will consist with their paramount and indispensable obligations to their Circuits. And, in reference to those Preachers who sustain the office of Superintendency, or who are at present stationed in any Circuit where agitation and division have recently occurred, the Conference especially inculcates and enjoins the duty and necessity of such a restriction of their assistance to other Circuits as has now been recommended.6
7. The Superintendents are directed to appoint a special society-meeting, to be held at each principal chapel in their Circuits, either in the afternoon of the Lord's day, or on some convenient evening in the week, for the purpose of having -the. Pastoral Address read to the society, and made the subject of suitable remarks and exhortations.7
1 Large Minutes. The repeal or non-repeal of this rule, by the act of a former Conference, has recently been a point in dispute amongst respectable parties in the Connexion. It is, however, now understood, on all hands, that whatever be the true state of that question, no Wesleyan Minister is at liberty to assume the "gown," as a sacred vestment, without the consent of the Conference previously obtained.
2 Large Minutes. 3 Ibid. 4 Ibid.
5 Ibid. Sanctioned attendance at the Conference is certainly an exception to this rule.
6 Minutes, 1836.
7 Ibid., 1841.