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of the society. Upon the event of the after considerable labor. The committee success of this move of the General Con. was composed of the following : James ference of the M. E. Church, our Church, Varick, George Collins, Charles Anderson, our property will be transferred into the Christopher Rush; their discipline was hands of Methodist preachers in Confer- completed and adopted on the 20th of Sepence. Therefore,

tember, A. D. 1820, in the city of New Resolved, that we cannot receive any York. longer, a preached from the Methodist Thus they progressed for one year, parEpiscopal Conference nor any service tially organized, as the now known confrom them, as respects church govern nections during the progress of the said ment; as we are highly dissatisfied with year. Asbury church, distinct from Zion, their proceedings in the above case. (which was raised by William Miller while

Be it further Resolved, that a commit. disconnected with Zion church,) formed a tee of three be appointed to inform the connection with Zion Church, under her Presiding Elder of the district, or the new govervment. Also, the same year, ruling Elder of New York city, of the two other societies, from New Haven, Ct., above resolutions of this Meeting: the and Philadelphia, Pa., formed a connection following were the committee, George Col. with the African Methodist Episcopal Zion lins, Thobias Hawkins, William Brown. Church, in New York, subsequent to It was also Resolved, that William M. which, the same year, application was Stilwell our present Elder from the white made to the white Bishops and Conferences conference, continue his services with us of the Methodist Episcopal Church, to esthe remainder of this year. Thus was tablish an Annual Conference for the Afrithe African Methodist Episcopal Zion can Methodist Episcopal Church, to be Church disconnected with the white Bish- under the presidency of a white bishop, ops and conference. In a short time after which application was negatived by Bishop this, in the same year, measures were McKendree and the New York Annual adopted by the A. M. E. Church, to esConference : for the particulars in this tablish their own government. (In which case, see the History of the African Methothey met with little or no opposition from dist Episcopal church, by C. Rush. From the white Methodists: for the particulars the failure of this move, the ministers of of which, see History of said Church, by the A. M. E. church, (composed of the C. Rush.)

above named distinct societies,) met, acThey proceeded to the establishment of cording to arrangement, on the 21st June, their ecclesiastical government, lst, by 1821, to hold their first Annual Confer. the election of Elders to take pastoral ence, in Zion Church, in the city of New charges, as there were no ordained minis. York. ters among them to take pastoral charges ; Joshua Soul, then elder, now bishop of the as they had applied to the white Bishop of Methodist Episcopal Church, and Dr. Wm. the Methodist Episcopal Church to ordain Phebus, were invited to attend the meettwo ministers, which application was neg. ing, which they did. Dr. Wm. Phebus was atived, therefore, they were necessitated elected president of the conference pro ex to take Mr. Wesley's plan of necessity, viso. Joshua Soul was appointed secreand elect Elders, which was done with tary, and the conference commenced ac. entire consent of the Church, and with the cordingly. The number of ministers in assistance of William M. Stilwell, (Elder attendance were 22, the number of memof the Protestant Methodist church, who bers reported at the conference were 1426; was ordained in the Methodist Episcopal the financial receipt 35 dollars : thus was church, and seceded from Methodist Epis- the first Annual Conference of said de. copal church in its cism) the church nomination. The next movement of said elected two Elders, Abramam Thompson, Church was the ordination of its elders, James Varick. 2d, They proceeded to (which had only been elected) by the imappoint a committee to form a discipline position of hands, which was succeeded in from the discipline of the Methodist Epis- at the next Annual Conference, in June copal church, which they succeeded in | 17, 1822. James Covel, Sylvester Hutch. ivson ular" elders of the Methodist protestant towards God, also good works ; but though Church,) were solicited to assist in the or- they are the fruits of faith, and follow dination of elders, which they cordially after justification, yet they cannot put consented to, and three elders were or away our sins, but we produce go works, dained during the conference sitting : the as our duty to God; and then the merits following were the persons : Abraham of Christ are bestowed upon us. Thompson, James Varick, Leven Smith. 5. They believe in justification by faith Thus were established the Discipline, An. in the merits of Jesus Christ. nual Conference and the ordination of the 6. In the doctrine of faith as the gift of said church ; thus the Annual conference God, but must be put into exercise by convened, for seven years successively, man, at each of which conventions, it appointed 7. Also the doctrine of sanctification or its president. At the Annual Conference, christian perfection; that is, that a chrisMay 15, 1838, the Rev. Christopher Rush, tian can live, a conscience void of offence was elected the permanent superintendent toward God and man, that he can order for four years. Thus was fully establish- his conduct so before God and man as not ed the African Methodist Episcopal Church to encourage his carnal nature in the in America.

least ; then the Holy Spirit is bestowed

richly upon him ; forming in him a new II.-DOCTRINES. — FIRST OF THEIR

nature, in opposition to his carnal; thus FAITH.

his spiritual nature becomes predominant ; 1. They hold the doctrine of three God ruling upon the main altar of the persons in the Eternal Godhead, the Holy heart, then he is sanctified, or entirely Trinity, these three equal in power and consecrated to the service of God. glory the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, 8. They believe in a possibility of sinthe Son, the Eternal Logos, which was ing after justification or sanctification. made flesh and dwelled among men ; being 9. They discountenance the doctrine God and man in the person of Jesus of superogation; also the doctrine of purChrist, who possessed two natures in one gatory. person, never to be completely separated. 10. They believe in the sacrements ; That he was born of the Virgin Mary; the Lord's Supper ; Baptism ; and Holy that he suffered in this world, was cruci. Matrimony: fied, dead, and was buried, and rose again a. The sacrament of the Lord's Supper and ascended into Heaven, having made they believe substantially to be the seal full Redemption for all men, on the con- of our obligation, to obey and serve God ditions of obedience to God. That He with all our hearts. That it is the great will Judge the world in the last day. They memorial of the death and passion of also believe that the Holy Ghost proceeds Jesus Christ, by which our souls are refrom the Father and the Son, by which freshed in hope of eternal life through the souls of men are justified, and their Christ. Also, that the humble penitent nature sanctified.

who truly repents, is entitled to its benefits, 2. They hold the doctrine of the suffi- as much so as those who have been jusciency of the Scriptures, with the Holy tified. Spirit for salvation ; also the validity of b. Baptism : that it is a sign or scal of the thirty-nine canonical books of the Old faith in Christ, or faith in the Christian Testament, also the twenty-seven of the Religion; it is also the sign or seal of the New Testament.

regeneration of the heart; also a sign of 3. They also admit the doctrine of hu- membership of Christ's kingdom: as to man depravity, as the consequence of the its subjects, children or adults ; adults who fall, or original sin. That man, in his are true penitents. Children are entitled natural state aster the fall, was totally to it because they are classed among unable to do any thing acceptable with christian believers; substantially, by the God, without his grace, by which he is scriptures, they are cntitled to it as membrought into his favor.

bers of Christ's kingdom; they are entitled to it as being truly among the rege- , with to do good, especially to them that nerates. As to the mode any one is are of the household of faith, or groaning equally important.

so to be, employing them in preference to 11. They believe that rites and cere others buying and selling one of another, monies of churches may vary as necessity helping each other in business ; also inmay require.

structing children in christian theory and 12. That christian men may make practice. civil oath to sustain truth and justice. 10. Submiting to bear christian reThey admit that it is the privilege of proaches, suffering men to say all manner Christians in their religious exercises, to of evil of us falsely for the Lord's sake. enjoy themselves physically to any extent 11. They practice regular attention to that does not infringe upon moral or na- all the ordinances of the Lord: such as tural law; they do not admit that their the public worship of God; the ministry religious enjoyment or impulse should be of the word either_read or expounded; circumscribed by the mere feeling or the Supper, of the Lord; family and pricustoms of the common refinement of our vate prayer; searching the scriptures. present age.

Those are the principal doctrines of the faith and practice of the African Methodist

Episcopal Church in America. SECOND OF THEIR PRACTICE. 1. The entire consecration of the Chris

III. GOVERNMENT-FIRST ECCLESIAStian Sabbath.

TICAL ORDERS. 2. They practice entire temperance, all use of spirituous liquors are prohibited 1. The order of spiritual functionaries except in case of necessity.

consists in a superintendent, who is elected 3. They are to avoid all traffic in sla. to his office every four years by the sufvery, in any way.

frage of the members of the general con. 4. They are to avoid fighting, quarrel- ferance ; at the expiration of his term, he ing, and brawling, and breaking all civil is re-elected, or another in his place; he law, one with another, maintaining a must be an elder previous. His business peaceable deportment.

is to preside at the general and annual 5. They are to avoid all evil retalia- conferences ; to ordain deacons and elders tion,

in the church with the assistance of other 6. To observe the strictest honesty and elders, also to appoint the preachers of justice in all dealings, without the use of each annual conference, to their pastoral many words, in buying or selling, not charges; and also to travel round the giving or taking any thing on usury or general connection, as often as possible; unlawful interest.

he has no regular stipulated salary, but 7. To avoid uncharitable or unprofit- his compensation is anomalous. able conversation, doing to others what 2. Functionary, is the Eldership, (the we would not others do unto us.

highest of holy orders, as resting upon 8. Practice nothing but what they con- divine appointment of orders in the Chrisceive to tend to the glory of God, avoiding tian Church,) he is elected by the Annual the wearing of costly apparel and gold Conference to receive holy orders, and ornaments, singing songs, reading novels, then ordained by the superintendant, as. and all unnecessary self-indulgences, lay- sisted by elders, His office is to take ing up treasure upon earth; borrowing pastoral charges wherever the superin. without a probability of paying; taking tendant may appoint him, to preach on up goods without a probability of paying the same as often as practicable, admin. for them.

ister the sacrament, to baptize and marry, 9. To do all the good they can, by to preside at Quarterly Conferences, give being merciful according to their power; statistics of his charge annually, and give by clothing the naked, feeding the hungry; licenses to preach, his salary is anomalous. helping them that are sick or in prisons ; 3. Deacon: he is elected to receive this instructing all they have any intercourse order by the Annual Conference, (after he has travelled two years in the itin. | Its business is to over look the moral conerancy,) then ordained by the superin- duct of its members, to elect candidates tendant, with the elder's assistance. His for holy orders, to receive candidates on duty is to preach at the requisition of the probation, and into full membership; to elder in whose charge he is, to assist in propose the establishment of new districts the administration of the eucharist, to bap to the General Conference, also to receive tize and administer matrimony, and to statistics of its pastoral ministers, and to try disorderly members in the absence of try and expel immoral members. the elder.

3. The Quarterly Conference. This 4. Licensed preacher, he receives his body meets quarterly, and is composed of authority from the Quarterly Conference, the entire officiary over which it holds in concert with the elder. His duty is to jurisdiction. The minister holding paspreach at the requisition of the pastor of toral charge presides over it. Its duty is the charge where he resides. His ser

to look over the moral conduct of the of. vices are gratuitous.

ficiary, to try and expel immoral mem5. Exhorter, his licenses are given by bers, to propose any articles for general the elder, and Quarterly Conference; his government to the Annual Conference, duty is to exhort, without selecting par

for their legislation, &c. ticular texts. His services are gratuitous.

4. Trustees Meeting.--This body con6. Are class leaders, whose duty it is venes monthly, and is composed of the to take charge of from twenty to thirty trustees and stewards of a church. Its lay members, to meet them weekly for duty is to look over the temporalities of religious instruction, exhortation, correc. the society of their jurisdiction, to see tion, or reproof. They are elected by the that there is a proper disbursement of Quarterly Conference, annually.

their monies, and proper grants of bar. 7. Are temporal functionaries. They gains, &c.

5. Leaders Meeting.–This body meets are trustees and stewards, and are elected annually, generally by the Quarterly leaders and class stewards. Its business

monthly, and is composed all the class Conference, or by the male members of is to report, to the pastor in charge, the the society with which they are connected, moral conduct of the laity of the church, as the society may determine in its con- and to report deaths, marriages and stitution. Their business is to control the

sick. temporalities of the society, to make or grant bargains for it, to receive and disburse all its monies, properly.

IV. STATISTICS. Thus ends the official department of

The African M. E. Church, in Ameri. said church.

ca, in A. D. 1847,) had two general su

perintendants, Christopher Rush and Wil. SECOND.- THE CONVENTIONAL DE- liam Miller, the latter of whom died some PARTMENT.

time since, and the election of another is

delayed for the General Conference in 1. The General Conference. — This 1848. It has also four Annual Confer. body convenes every four years, is com- ences, one established in New York, in posed of all the travelling ministers of the 1821 ; one in Philadelphia, established in connection. Its power is to elect the su- 1823; one in Boston, Mass., established in perintendant, to confirm any ruler or 1845, and one in Baltimore, Md., estabrulers of general government of said lished in 1845. Those conferences extend church, that may have been proposed and their influence into some eleven states of acted upon by the several Annual and the Union, the District of Columbia, and Quarterly Conferences of the sole con- also Nova Scotia. It has 75 travelling nection,

ministers, from 150 to 200 local preachers 2. The Annual Conference. - This and exhorters, also 5000 lay members, body convenes annually, and is composed and 50 churches, with a great many con. of the travelling ministers of a district. I gregations without churches.

HISTORY

OP

THE MENNONITES.

BY CHRISTIAN HERR.*

The names of Ecolampadius, Luther, Simon, a native of Witmarsum, born in Zwinglius, Melancthon, Bucer, Bullinger, Friesland, A. D., 1495. He, as well as Calvin, and others, whom God in his pro- all his cotemporaries, was educated a Cavidence raised up as humble instruments tholic, and in his twenty-fourth year, he to reform, to no small extent, abuses undertook the duties of a priest in his which had crept into the church, are fami- father's village, called Pinningum, in Friesliar to almost every ordinary reader; land; although in utter darkness of mind while that of Menno Simon is little known, and worldliness of spirit, yet not without although he was cotemporary with Luther, some tenderness of conscience and appa. Zwinglius, and others, and with some of rent piety. In 1530, he was induced to whom he had personal interviews—with examine the New Testament for himself. Luther and Melancthon, in Wittenberg; “I had not,” says he, “proceeded far with Bullinger, at Zurich; and at Stras. therein, before I discovered that I was de. burg, with Bucer.

ceived." His mind was completely In an article necessarily brief as this changed; he renounced his former views, must be, the question, Whether the Men and embraced the doctrines of the New nonites are descendants from the Wal. Testament, and which he zealously advodenses ? cannot be discussed. The testi. cated. mony, however, of Dr. Y peij, Professor of He now commenced to travel, with a Theology at Groningen, and a member of view to consult with some of his cotempothe Dutch Reformed Church, may here be raries, such as Luther, Bucer, Bullinger, appropriately introduced, on this point. In and others; having done so, he strenuously a work written by the Professor, published opposed the Munsterites. “He condemn. at Breda, 1813, he

says:

“We have now ed,” says Mosheim, “the plan of ecclesi. seen that the Baptists, who were formerly astical discipline of the Munsterites, that called Anabaptists, and in later times was founded on the prospect of a new Mennonites, were the original Waldenses; kingdom, to be miraculously established and have long in the history of the Church by Jesus Christ on the ruins of civil gn. received the honor of that origin.” This vernment, and the destruction of human testimony is borne from high official au- rulers, and which had been the pestilentia! thority in the Dutch Reformed Church. source of such dreadful commotions, such

The Mennonites freely acknowledge execrable rebellions, and such enormous that they derived their name from Menno crimes."

Menno Simon plainly foresaw to what * This article has been prepared by the aid horrid extremities the pernicious doctrines of the Rev. Christian Herr, of Peqnea, Lan of the Munsterites were calculated to lead caster county, a Bishop in the Mennonite Church, and has his approbation.—En. • Mosheim, Eccl. History, vol. ii. p. 132.

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