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Fure of his heart, bringeth forth that which is evil; for of the
Quest. WHAT regulations shall be made for the extir
pation of the crying evil of African flavery?
Anfw. 1. We declare, that we are more than ever convinced of the great evil of the African slavery which ftill exifts in thefe United States; and do most earnestly reccommend to the yearly conferences, quarterly meetings, and to those who have the overfight of diftricts and circuits, to be exceedingly cautious what perfons they
admit to official ftations in our church; and in the cafe of future admiffion to official ftations, to require fuch fecurity of those who hold flaves, for the emancipation of them, immediately or gradually, as the laws of the ftates refpectively, and the circumftances of the cafe will admit and we do fully authorife all the yearly conferences to make whatever regulations they judge proper, in the prefent cafe, refpecting the admiffion of perfons to official ftations in our church.
2. No flave-holder shall be received into fociety, till the preacher who has the overfight of the circuit, has fpoken to him freely and faithfully on the fubject of flavery.
3. Every member of the fociety who fells a flave, fhall immediately, after full proof, be excluded the fociety. And if any member of our fociety purchase a flave, the enfuing quarterly meeting fhall determine on the number of years, in which the flave fo purchased would work out the price of his purchase. And the perfon fo purchafing, fhall immediately after fuch determination, execute a legal inftrument for the manumiffion of fuch flave, at the expiration of the term determined by the quarterly meeting. And in default of his executing fuch inftrument of manumiffion, or on his refufal to fubmit his cafe to the judgment of the quarterly meeting, fuch member fhall be excluded the fociety. Provided alfo, That in the cafe of a female flave, it fhall be inferted in the aforefaid inftrument of manumiffion, that all her children who fhall be born during the years of her fervitude, fhall be free at the following times, namely-every female child at the age of twenty-one, and every male child at the age twenty-five.-Nevertheless, if the member of our fociety, executing the faid inftrument of manumiffion, judge it proper, he may fix the times of manumiffion of the children of the female flaves before mentioned, at an earlier age than that which is prescribed above.
4. The preachers and other members of our fociety are requested to confider the fubject of negro-flavery
with deep attention, till the enfuing general conference; and that they impart to the general conference, through the medium of the yearly conferences, or otherwife, any important thoughts upon the subject, that the conference may have full light, in order to take further fteps towards the eradicating this enormous evil from that part of the church of God to which they are united.
Of the Sale and Ufe of Spirituous Liquors.
Queft. Wing the fale and ufe of fpirituous liquors?
directions fhall be given concern
Anfw. If any member of our fociety retail or give fpirituous liquors, and any thing diforderly be tranfacted under his roof on this account, the preacher who has the overfight of the circuit shall proceed against him as in the cafe of other immoralities; and the perfon accused shall be cleared, cenfured, fufpended or excluded according to his conduct, as on other charges of immorality.
Far be it from us to wish or endeavour to intrude upon the proper religious or civil liberty of any of our people. But the retailing of fpirituous liquors, and giving drams to customers, when they call at the ftores, are fuch prevalent customs at prefent, and are productive of fo many evils, that we judge it our indifpenfable duty to form a regulation against them.The caufe of God, which we prefer to every other confideration under heaven, abfolutely requires us to ftep forth with humble boldness in this respect.
CHA P. II
Of building Churches, and the Order to be ob ferved therein.
Quest. 1. S any thing advisable in regard to building?
plain and decent; but not more expensively than is abfolutely unavoidable: otherwife the neceffity of raising money will make rich men neceffary to us. But if fo, we must be dependent on them, yea, and governed by them. And then farewell to Methodift-difcipline, if not doctrine too.
2. No perfon fhall be eligible as a trustee to any of our churches or fchools, who is not a regular member of our fociety.
3. No perfon who is a trustee, fhall be ejected while he is in joint fecurity for money, unless fuch relief be given him as is demanded, or the creditor will accept. Quest. 2. Is there any exception to the rule, "Let the men and women fit apart?"
Anfw. There is no exception. Let them fit apart-in all our churches.
Que. 3. Is there not a great indecency fometimes practifed amongst us, viz. talking in the congregation before and after fervice? How fhall this be cured?
Anfw. Let all the minifters and preachers join as one man, and enlarge on the impropriety of talking before. or after fervice; and ftrongly exhort those that are con cerned, to do it no more. In three months, if we are in carneft, this vile practice will be banished out of every Methodist congregation. Let none ftop till he has carried his point.
Quest. 4. What shall be done for the fecurity of our preaching-houses, and the premises belonging thereto?
Anfw. Let the following plan of a deed of fettlement, be brought into effect in all poffible cafes, and as far as the laws of the ftates refpectively will admit of it, viz.
HIS INDENTURE, made this
in the year of our Lord one thoufand
in the state of
aforefaid, of the other part,
of the fum of
(if the grantor be married, infert the name of his wife) of the one part, and trustees, in truft for the ufes and purposes herein after-mentioned, all of the in the state of WITNESSETH, that the faid (if married infert the name of his wife) for and in confideration pounds, fpecie, to in hand paid, at and upon the fealing and delivery of these prefents, the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged, hath (or have) given, granted, bargained, fold, releafed, confirmed, and conveyed, and by these prefents doth (or do) give, grant, bargain, fell, release, confirm, and convey unto them, the faid and their fucceffors (trustees, in truft for the uses and purposes herein after mentioned and declared) all the eftate, right, title, intereft, property, claim, and demand whatfoever, either in law or equity, which he the faid
(if married, here infert the name of his wife) hath (or have) in, to, or upon all and fingular a certain lot or piece of ground, fituate, lying, and being in the and ftate aforefaid, bounded and butted as follows, to wit, (here infert the feveral courfes and diftances of the ground to the place of beginning) containing and laid out for acres of ground, together with all and fingular the houses, woods, waters, ways, privileges, and appurtenances thereto belonging,