Imatges de pÓgina
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SECTION IX.

Of the Duties of those who have the charge of Circuits.

Quest. 1. What are the duties of the elder, deacon, or preacher, who has the special charge of a circuit?

Answ. 1. To see that the other preachers in his circuit behave well, and want nothing.

2. To renew the tickets for the admission of members into love feast quarterly, and regulate the bands.

3. To meet the stewards and leaders as often as possible.

4. To appoint all the leaders, and change them when he sees it necessary.

5. To receive, try, and expel members, according to the form of discipline.

6. To hold watch nights and love feasts. 7. To hold quarterly meetings in the absence of the presiding elder.

8. To take care that every society be duly supplied with books.

9. To take an exact account of the numbers in society in their respective circuits, and deliver in such account to the annual conference, that they may be printed in the minutes.

10. To give an account of his circuit quarter to his presiding elder.

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11. To meet the men and women apart, in the large societies, once a quarter, whereever it is practicable.

12. To overlook the accounts of all the stewards.

13. To appoint a person to receive the quarterly collection in the classes.

14. To see that public collections be made quarterly, if need be.

15. To encourage the support of missions and Sunday schools, and the publication and distribution of Bibles, tracts, and Sunday school books, by forming societies and making collections for these objects in such way and manner as the annual conference to which he belongs shall from time to time direct.

16. To lay before the quarterly conference at its last meeting annually, to be entered on its journal, a written statement of the number and state of the Sunday schools in the circuit or station, and to report the same, together with the amount raised for the sup port of missions, and for the publication of Bibles, tracts, and Sunday school books, to his annual conference.

17. To raise a yearly subscription in those circuits that can bear it, for building churches,

and paying the debts of those which have been already erected.

18. To choose a committee of lay members to make a just application of the money where it is most wanted.

Quest. 2. What other directions shall we give him?

Answ. Several.

1. To take a regular catalogue of the societies in towns and cities, as they live in the streets..

2. To leave his successor a particular account of the circuit, including an account of the subscribers for our periodicals.

3. To see that every band leader have the rules of the bands.

4. To enforce, vigorously, but calmly, all the rules of the society.

5. As soon as there are four men or women believers in any place, to put them into a band.

6. To suffer no love feast to last above an hour and a half.

7. To warn all from time to time, that none are to remove from one circuit to another, without a note of recommendation from the preacher of the circuit, in these words: "A. B,, the bearer, has been an acceptable member of our Church in C;" and to inform them that, without such a certificate,

they will not be received into the Church in

other places.

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8. To recommend every where decency and cleanliness.

9. To read the rules of the society, with the aid of the other preachers, once a year in every congregation, and once a quarter in every society.

10. On any dispute between two or more of the members of our Church, concerning the payment of debts, or otherwise, which cannot be settled by the parties concerned, the preacher who has the charge of the circuit shall inquire into the circumstances of the case; and shall recommend to the contending parties a reference, consisting of one arbiter chosen by the plaintiff, and another chosen by the defendant; which two arbiters so chosen, shall nominate the third; the three arbiters being members of our Church.

But if one of the parties be dissatisfied with the judgment given, such party may apply to the ensuing quarterly meeting conference of the circuit, for allowance to have a second arbitration appointed; and if the quarterly meeting conference see sufficient reason, they shall grant a second arbitration, in which case each party shall choose two arbiters, and the four arbiters shall choose

a fifth, the judgment of the majority of whom shall be final; and any person refusing to abide by such judgment, shall be excluded the Church.

And if any member of our Church shall refuse, in cases of debt or other disputes, to refer the matter to arbitration, when recommended by him who has the charge of the circuit, or shall enter into a lawsuit with another member before these measures are taken, he shall be expelled, unless the case be of such a nature, as to require and justify a process at law.

The preachers who have the oversight of circuits, are required to execute all our rules fully and strenuously against all frauds, and particularly against dishonest insolvencies; suffering none to remain in our Church on any account, who are found guilty of any fraud.

'To prevent scandal, when any of our members fail in business, or contract debts which they are not able to pay, let two or three judicious members of the Church inspect the accounts, contracts, and circumstances of the case of the supposed delinquent; and if he have behaved dishonestly, or borrowed money without a probability of paying, let him be expelled.

Whenever a complaint is made against any

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