« AnteriorContinuar »
DOCTRINES AND DISCIPLINE.
HISTORICAL STATEMENT, GENERAL RULES, AND
ARTICLES OF RELIGION.
ORIGIN OF METHODISM.
91. 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 for 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 they 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 more 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 meeting with prayer suited to their several necessities.
92. This was the rise of the UNITED SOCIETY,first in Europe, and then in America. 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."
THE GENERAL RULES.
03. 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 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 of every kind, especially that which is most generally practiced: such as,
The taking of the name of God in vain;
The profaning the day of the Lord, either by doing ordinary work therein, or by buying or selling;
Drunkenness, or drinking spirituous liquors unless in cases of necessity;
Fighting, quarreling, 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 goods that have not paid the duty;
The giving or taking things on usury, i. e., 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
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, or reading those books, which do not tend to the knowledge or love of God;
Softness or needless self-indulgence;
Borrowing without a probability of paying, or taking up goods without a probability of paying for them.
94. 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