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THE TRUE WESLEYAN METHODIST CHURCH.
BY THE REV. J. TIMBERMAN,
PASTOR OF THE FIRST TRUE WESLEYAN METHODIST CHURCH, CITY OF NEW YORK.
The polity of the original Wesleyan | after the institution of Episcopacy, in 1784, societies rested upon the principle that that Mr. Wesley's authority was alleged their illustrious founder had a right to con- as its basis. But without any mention of trol every minister and preacher, and Mr. Wesley, the itinerant preachers deevery member of his societies, in all mat. clared in their first minutes : “We will ters of a prudential character. As he form ourselves into an Episcopal Church,” himself states, he had the exclusive power &c. 2d. Mr. Wesley alleged no other to appoint, when, where and how, his authority than himself to ordain ministers, societies should meet; and to remove those but his right as a presbyter. 3d. He sowhose lives showed that they had no de- lemnly forbid Mr. Asbury to assume the sire to flee the wrath to come ; and this title of bishop in his letter to Mr. Shinn, power remains the same, whether the peo- dated London, Sept. 20th, 1788, in which ple meeting together were eight hundred he says: “One instance of this, your or eight thousand. He exercised a simi- greatness, has given me great concern. lar power over the preachers, to appoint How can you, how dare you
suffer yourcach, when, where and how to labor, and self to be called a bishop? I shudder at to tell any, “If I see causes, I do not de- the very thought. Men may call me a sire your help any longer.” Mostly, the man, or a fool, or a rascal, or a scoundrel, members of these societies were members and I am content; but they shall never, of the Church of England; some were with my consent, call me a bishop. Por members of the dissenting churches. Mr. my sake, for God's sake, for Christ's sake, Wesley was a minister of the Church of put a full end to this.” Signed, John England, and as such he died; and with Wesley. 4th. Some of the first sympvery few exceptions, his preachers were toms indicative of dissatisfaction with the la ymen. He was their tutor and governor. new economy were evinced by those He was the patron of all the Methodist preachers, who were well acquainted with pulpits in England and Ireland for life : Mr. Wesley's sentiments on this subject, the sole right of nomination being vested and had themselves been made to feel the in him by the deeds of settlement. He tremendous power of this economy among was also the patron of the Methodist so. Methodists, namely, Episcopacy. On no ciclies in America, and as such, he is ac- question have they been so equally di. knowledged by the Methodist Episcopal vided. No changes, however, have been Church as its founder. That he is the effected. The Episcopacy still maintains author of the Episcopacy of that church, its prerogatives in their original integrity. is questioned by some for the following In 1824, memorials and petitions were reasons: 1st. It was not until some years presented to the General Conference, complaining of the government being so con-, others from different associated Methodist stituted and administered, as to exclude the Churches, united in calling a convention local preachers and the lay members from of ministers and laymen, for the purpose every sort of participation in their own of forming a Wesleyan Methodist Church, government, as Methodists. But some of free from Episcopacy, intemperance and these petitioners were satisfied with the slavery; which convention was held at plea of expediency; still the most of them Utica, New York, on May 31st, 1843. took the ground of right. All of them And after many days' peaceful delibera. claimed a representative form of govern- tion, the glorious design of this convention ment. The Conference replied, that they was accomplished, viz., the formation of knew no such right, nor did they compre- a Discipline, called “the Discipline of the hend any such privileges. From that time Wesleyan Methodist Church in America,” the controversy assumed a new character, granting to all men their rights, and makthe result of which was the call of a con- ing them free and equal, according to the vention of all Methodist families, to re- word of God and the preamble of the Depresentative form of church government, claration of Independence of these United to be held at Baltimore, Maryland, in No- States. They also organized six annual vember, 1828. Here, a provisional gov- conferences, including the chief portions ernment, under the formal articles of asso. of the Northern and Eastern States, con. ciation, was adopted, to continue for two nected with which, are many interesting years; after which, another convention societies, and talented ministers and was also held in Baltimore, and continued preachers, which number about twenty its sessions from the 2d to the 23d of No. ihousand members, and about three hun. vember, 1830. One hundred and twelve dred itinerant ministers and preachers, persons were elected as members, eighty- besides a greater number of unstationed one of whom attended. A constitution ministers and preachers. Thus much for and discipline were adopted ; called, " the the history of this branch of the Church Constitution and Discipline of the Protes- of Christ. We now come to notice setant Methodist Church.” In this, much condly, the doctrines of the True Wescontemplated by Reformed Methodists was leyan Methodist Church. gained, and prosperity greatly attended said church. But many things contemplated by True Wesleyans were not yet
ELEMENTARY PRINCIPLES. gained; for the true founder of Wesleyan 1. A Christian church is a society of Methodism was not only opposed to the believers in Jesus Christ, assembled in Episcopal form of church government, as any one place for religious worship, and it exists in America among the Metho- is of divine institution. dists, but also to slavery as it exists in this 2. Christ is the only Head of the country. And yet this vile system is Church; and the word of God the only cherished by both Episcopal and Protes- rule of faith and conduct. tant Methodists; therefore, both churches 3. No person who loves the Lord Jesus are still agitated by those who were not Christ, and obeys the gospel of God our one in sentiment upon Episcopacy and Saviour, ought to be deprived of church slavery. True Wesleyans and some of membership. the chief men are engaged in this latter 4. Every man has an inalienable right reform with Mr. Hervey, who calls this to private judgment, in matters of religion; system of slavery the vilest system ever and an equal right to express his opinion, seen beneath the sun. In the Methodist in any way which will not violate the Episcopal Church, were Rev. Leroy Sun. laws of God, or the rights of his fellow. derland, Orange Scott, Luther Lee, J. men. Horton, E. Smith, C. Prindle, &c. In 5. Church trials should be conducted the Protestant Methodist Church, were on gospel principles only; and no minis. Rev. John Crocker, Hiram Mackee, R. ter or member should be excommunicated McMurdy, G. Pegler, Dr. Timberman, J. except for immorality, the propagation of Culver, &c. These, with a host of lunchristian doctrines, or for the neglect
of duties enjoined by the word of / wherewith He ascended into heaven, and God.
there sitteth until He shall return to judge 6. The pastoral or ministerial office all men at the last day. and duties are of divine appointment, and IV. Of the Holy Ghost.—The Holy all elders in the church of God are equal; Ghost, proceeding from the Father and but ministers are forbidden to lord it over the Son, very and eternal God. God's heritage, or to have dominion over V. The Sufficiency of the Holy Scrip. the faith of the saints.
tures for Salvation.—The holy scriptures 7. The church has a right to form and contain all things necessary to salvation ; enforce such rules and regulations only, so that whatsoever is not read therein, nor as are in accordance with the holy scrip- may be proved thereby, is not to be retures, and may be necessary, or have a quired of any man, that it should be betendency, to carry into effect the great lieved as an article of faith, or be thought system of practical Christianity.
necessary or requisite to salvation. In 8. Whatever power may be necessary the name of the holy scriptures, we do to the formation of rules and regulations derstand those canonical books of the Old is inherent in the ministers and members and New Testament, of whose authority of the church; but so much of that power there is no doubt in the Church. may be delegated from time to time, upon The canonical books of the Old Testa. a plan of representation, as they may ment are: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, judge necessary and proper.
Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, 9. It is the duty of all ministers and Ruth, the First Book of Samuel, the Se. members of the church to maintain godli- cond Book of Samuel, the First Book of ness, and to oppose all moral evil. Kings, the Second Book of Kings, the
10. It is obligatory on ministers of the First Book of Chronicles, the Second gospel to be faithful in the discharge of Book of Chronicles, the Book of Ezra, their pastoral and ministerial duties; and the Book of Nehemiah, the Book of Esit is also obligatory on the members to ther, the Book of Job, the Psalms, the esteem ministers highly for their work's Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, the Songs of Solosake, and to render them a righteous mon, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, compensation for their labors.
Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Oba.
diah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakuk, ARTICLES OF RELIGION. Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Mal.
achi. 1. Of Faith in the Holy Trinity.-- The canonical books of the New Tes. There is but one living and true God, ever. tament are: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, lasting, of infinite power, wisdom, and the Acts, the Epistle to the Romans, First goodness: the Maker and Preserver of all Corinthians, Second Corinthians, Galathings visible and invisible. And in unity tians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, of this Godhead there are three persons First Thessalonians, Second Thessaloof one substance, power, and eternity, the nians, First Timothy, Second Timothy, Father, the Son (the Word), and the Holy Titus, Philemon, Hebrews, James, First Ghost.
Peter, Second Peter, First John, Second II. Of the Son of God.—The only be John, Third John, Jude, Revelation. gotten Son of God was conceived of the VI. Of the Old Testament.—The Old Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, Testament is not contrary to the New; suffered under Pontius Pilate, was cruci. for both in the Old and New Testament fied, dead, and buried, to be a sacrifice, everlasting life is offered to mankind not only for original guilt, but also for the through Christ, who is the only mediator actual sins of men, and to reconcile us to between God and man, wherefore they God.
are not to be heard who feign that the III. of the Resurrection of Christ.-old fathers did look only for transitory Christ did truly rise again from the dead, promises. Although the law given from taking his body, with all things apper. God by Moses, as touching rites and ceretaining to the perfection of man's nature, monies, doth not bind Christians, nor ought the civil precepts thereof of neces judgments : yet are they pleasing and sity be received in any commonwealth; acceptable to God in Christ, and spring yet, notwithstanding, no Christian whatso- out of a true and lively faith, insomuch as ever is free from the obedience of the by them a lively faith may be as evidently ten commandments, which are called the known as a tree is discerned by its fruit. moral law.
XII. Of Sin after Justification.-Not VII. Of Relative Duties.—Those two every sin willingly committed after justifigreat commandments which require us to cation, is a sin against the Holy Ghost, love the Lord our God with all our hearts, and unpardonable ; wherefore, repentance and our neighbors as ourselves, contain is not denied to such as fall into sin after the sum of the divine law, as it is revealed justification ; after we have received the in the scriptures, and are the measure Holy Ghost, we may depart from grace and perfect rule of human duty, as well given, and fall into sin, and by the grace for the ordering and directing of families of God, rise again to amend our lives. and nations and all other social bodies, as And therefore they are to be condemned, for individual acts, by which we are re- who say they can no more sin, as long as quired to acknowledge God as our only they live here; or deny the place of forsupreme ruler, and all men created by giveness to such as truly repent. Him, equal in all natural rights. Where- XIII. Of Sacraments. --Sacraments fore all men are bound so to order all ordained of Christ are not only badges or their individual and social acts, as to ren- tokens of Christian men’s profession ; but der to God entire and absolute obedience, they are certain signs of grace, and God's and to secure all men the enjoyment of good will toward us, by which he doth every natural right, as well as to promote work invisibly in us and doth not only the greatest happiness of each in the pos- quicken, but also strengthen and confirm session and exercise of such rights. our faith in him.
VIII. Of Original or Birth Sin.- There are two sacraments ordained of Original sin standeth not in following of Christ our Lord, in the gospel ; that is to Adam, (as the Pelagians do vainly talk,) say, Baptism and the Supper of our Lord. but it is the corruption of the nature of XIV. of Baptism.-Baptism is not every man, that naturally is engendered only a sign of profession, and mark of difof the offspring of Adam, whereby man ference, whereby Christians are distin. is wholly gone from original righteous guished from others that are not baptized; ness, and of his own nature inclined to but it is also a sign of regeneration or the evil, and that continually.
new birth. The baptism of young chil. IX. Of Free Will.—The condition of dren is to be retained in the church. man after the fall of Adam is such, that XV. Of the Lord's Supper.- The he cannot turn and prepare himself by his Supper of the Lord is not only a sign of own natural strength and works, pleasant the love that Christians ought to have and acceptable to God, without the grace among themselves one to another, but of God by Christ working in us, that we rather it is a sacrament of our redemption may have a good will, and working with by Christ's death ; insomuch that, to such us when we have that good will.
as rightly, worthily, and with faith receive X. Of the Justification of Man.-We the same, it is made a medium through are accounted righteous before God, only which God doth communicate grace to the for the merit of our Lord and Saviour, heart. Jesus Christ, by faith, and not for our XVI. Of the one Oblation of Christ own works or deservings; wherefore that finished on the Cross.—The offering of we are justified by faith only, is a most Christ, once made, is that perfect redempwholesome doctrine, and very full of com- tion and propitiation for all the sins of the fort.
whole world, both original and actual; XI. Of Good Works.--Although good and there is none other satisfaction for sin works, which are the fruit of faith, and but that alone. Wherefore, to expect salfollow after justification, cannot put away vation on the ground of our own works, our sins and endure the severity of God's or by suffering the pains our sins deserve, either in the present or future state, is de- | the Champlain Conference, Eastern Pennrogatory to Christ's offering for us, and a sylvania, and New Jersey. In this condangerous deceit.
ference are contained thirty-five stations XVII. Of the Rites and Ceremonies and thirty ministers. of Churches.-It is not necessary that 4. Alleghany Conference includes that rites and ceremonies should in all places part of Pennsylvania west of the Alleghany be alike; for they have always been dif- Mountains, that part of Ohio east of the ferent, and may be changed according to Scioto river, and Western Virginia. We the diversity of countries, times, and find included in this conference thirteen men's manners, so that nothing be or stations and circuits, and eleven ministers. dained against God's word. Every par- 5. Miami Conference includes the State ticular church may ordain, change, or of Ohio west of the Scioto river, the States abolish rites and ceremonies, so that all of Indiana, Illinois, and the Territories of things may be done to edification. Wisconsin and lowa, containing twelve
XVIII. Of the Resurrection of the stations and circuits, and five ministers. Deul.-There will be a general resurrec- 6. Michigan Conference embraces the tion of the dead, both of the just and the State of Michigan, containing nine stations unjust, at which time the souls and bodies and fourteen ministers, of men will be reunited, to receive together Reserve List of Preachers—Contains a just retribution for the deeds done in the nine preachers. body.
Thus making the summary, as before XIX. Of the General Judgment.-stated, reckoning from the best data in our There will be a general judgment at the possession, of six conferences, including end of the world, when God will judge all about three hundred ministers and preachmen by Jesus Christ, and receive the ers, who itinerate, and upwards of three righteous into his heavenly kingdom, hundred other ministers and preachers where they shall be for ever secure and who are as yet unstationed; and about happy; and adjudge the wicked to everlast- twenty thousand communicating members ing punishment suited to the demerit of of the respective churches belonging to their sins.
this division of the vineyard of our com
mon Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. STATISTICS OF THE TRUE WESLEYAN Having thus seceded from the other CHURCH.
branches of the Methodist Church, after Boundaries of Annual Conferences.- much prayerful deliberation, and purely 1. The New England Conference com- from conscientious motives, whilst our prises the New England States, except devout and fervent prayer is, that grace, that portion of Vermont west of the Green mercy, and peace, from God the Father, Mountains. In the bounds of this confer- and his anointed Son, Jesus, our Saviour, ence are contained thirty-four circuits and through the effectual operations of the congregations, and nineteen ministers. Holy Ghost, the Comforter, may be mul
2. Champlain Conference includes that tiplied abundantly unto all who love and part of Vermont west of the Green Moun. long for the appearance of the great God, trins; that part of New York State which our Saviour: we would go forward in relics north and east of Black river, and a lying on the grace of that God which line running from Carthage to the west maketh rich and addeth no sorrow, in accorner of Vermont. This conference con complishing the work which God has tains at present, nine stations and eleven given us to do; whilst we would ever look ministers.
to the Redeeming Saviour to work in us 3. New York Conference comprises so to will and to do of his own good pleasure. much of New York as is not included in / Amen.