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TO THE MEMBERS
METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCII.
DEARLY BELOVED BRETHREN,- We think it expedient to give you a brief account of the rise of Methodism, both in Europe and America. “In 1729, two young men, in England, reading the Bible, saw they could not be saved without holiness: followed after it, and incited others so to do. In 1737, they saw, likewise, that men are justified before they are sanctified: but still holiness was their object. God then thrust them out to raise a holy people.
In the year 1766, Philip Embury, a local preacher of our society, from Ireland, began to preach in the city of
* These are the words of Messrs. Wesley themsolvos.
New-York, and formed a society of bis own countrymen and the citizens; and the same year, Thomas Webb preached in a hired room near the barracks. About the same time, Robert Straw bridge, a local preacher from Ireland, settled in Frederick county, in the state of Maryland, and, preaching there, formed some societies. The first Methodist church was built in New York in 1768 or 1769; and in 1769 Richard Board man and Joseph Pilmoor came to NewYork; who were the first regular Methodist preachers on the continent. In the latter end of the year 1771, Francis Asbury and Richard Wright, of the same order, came over.
We believe that God's design in raiso ing up the preachers called Methodists in America, was to reform the continent and spread Scripture holiness over these lands. As a proof hereof, we have seen, since that time, a great and glorious work of God, from New York, through the Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North and South Caro. lina, and Georgia; as also, of late, to the extremities of the western and eastern states.
We esteem it our duty and privilege most earnestly to recommend to you, as members of our Church, our FORM OF DISCIPLINE, which has been founded on the experience of a long series of years; as also on the observations and remarks we have made on ancient and modern Churches.
We wish to see this little publication in the house of every Methodist; and the more so, as it contains the articles of religion maintained more or less, in part or in whole, by every reformed Church in the world.
Far from wishing you to be ignoran! of any of our doctrines, or any part of our discipline, we desire you to real, mark, learn, and inwardly digest, the whole. You ought, next to the word of God, to procure the articles and canons of the Church to which you belong. This present edition is small and cheap, and we can assure you that the profits
of the sale of it shall be applied to cha ritable and religious purposes.
We remain your very affectionate brethren and pastors, who labour night and day, both in public and in private, for your good.
Sec. 3. Of the Annual Conferences....... 84
Sec. 4. Of the Quarterly Conferences............ 37