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Territories, and throughout the British possessions of North America, and also the planting of successful Missions in South America and in Mexico. Moreover, the Methodist Episcopal Church, in its organic form and in spiritual power, has been successfully planted in Africa, Asia, and Europe, and God has given it great prosperity in those countries.
During the period in which this work has been thus extending, the Church bas revised and enlarged its legislation to meet the new demands created by its own success, as well as by the evernew conditions of the diverse peoples among whom it strives to build up the kingdom of God. Our Book of Discipline, at first small and simple, has thus gradually become larger, more varied in its topics, and more important by reason of the magnitude of the activities which it regulates. Its provisions for our expanding educational, mission ary, and publishing work are illustrations of this statement.
The peculiar Constitution and Administrative Rules of our Church, to which its prosperity is largely due, require careful study. The Itinerant Ministry, the Sub-pastorate through Classes, the Episcopacy, the Presiding Eldership, the Con
ferences in their gradation, the Local Ministry, the Judicial Administration, the Interdependence of the Ministry and the Laity, with the welldefined duties and rights of each, are severally parts of a coherent system which cannot be duly valued, profitably used, or wisely modified except by those who through loving and faithful care have become familiar with it both as a living whole and in its manifold details.
We therefore earnestly wish that this volume may be found in the house of every Methodist ; and the more so because it contains the Articles of Religion maintained more or less, in part or in whole, by every evangelical Church in the world.
The Order of Worship herein set forth we commend to your scrupulous observance. In substance, it has been received from our Fathers, has been approved by the sober judgment and enjoined by the supreme authority of the Church, and, if uniformly observed, will continue to be both a token and bond of unity throughout our widespread communion.
We are not willing that you should be ignorant of any of our Doctrines or of any part of our Discipline, but desire you to read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest the whole. You ought, next to
the Holy Scriptures, to understand the Articles of Religion and the Rules of the Church to which you belong
We remain your very affectionate Brethren and Pastors,