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Of Dress. Quest. Should we insist on the rules concerning dress?
Ansu. By all means. This is no time to encourage superfluity in dress. Therefore, let all our people be exhorted to conform to the spirit of the apostolic precept, “not to adorn themselves with gold, and pearls, and costly array." 1 Tim. ii, 9.
Of Marriage. Quest. 1. Do we observe any evil which has prevailed in our Church with respect to marriage ?
Ansu. Many of our members have married with unawakened persons. This has produced bad effects; they have been either hindered for life, or have turned back to perdition.
Quest. 2. What can be done to discour
Ansu. 1. Let every preacher publicly enforce the apostle's caution, “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbeliev. ers.” 2 Cor. vi, 14.
2. Let all be exhorted to take no step in so weighty a matter, without advising with the most serious of their brethren.
Quest. 3. Ought any woman to marry without the consent of her parents ?
Answ. In general she ought not. Yet there may be exceptions. For if, 1. A woman believe it to be her duty to marry: if, 2. Her parents absolutely refuse to let her marry any Christian: then she may, nay, ought to marry without their consent. Yet even then a Methodist preacher ought not to be married to her.
We do not prohibit our people from marrying persons who are not of our Church, provided such persons have the form, and are seeking the power of godliness; but we are determined to discourage their marrying persons who do not come up to this description.
THE MEANS OF GRACE.
Public Worship. Quest. 1. What directions shall be give en for the establishment of uniformity in public worship among us on the Lord's day?
Ansu. 1. Let the morning service consist of singing, prayer, the reading of a chapter out of the Old Testament, and another out of the New, and preaching.
2. Let the afternoon service consist of singing, prayer, the reading of one or two chapters out of the Bible, and preaching.
3. Let the evening service consist of singing, prayer, and preaching.
4. But on the days of administering the Lord's Supper, the two chapters in the morning service may be omitted.
5. In administering the ordinances, and in the burial of the dead, let the form of Discipline invariably be used. Let the Lord's Prayer also be used on all occasions of public worship in concluding the first prayer, and the apostolic benediction in dismissing the congregation.
6. Let the Society be met, wherever it is practicable, on the Sabbath-day.
Quest. 2. Is there not a great indecency sometimes practiced among us, namely, talking in the congregation before and after service ? How shall this be cured ?
Answ. Let all the Ministers and Preachers join as one man, and enlarge on the impropriety of talking before or after seryice; and strongly exhort those that are concerned to do it no more. In three months, if we are in earnest, this vile praotice will be banished out of every Methodist congregation. Let none stop till he has carried his point.
SECTION II. The Spirit and Truth of Singing. : Quest. How shall we guard against formality in singing ?
Ansu. 1. Choose such hymns as are proper for the occasion, and do not sing too much at once; seldom more than four or five yerses.
2. Let the tune be suited to the sentiment, and do not suffer the people to sing too slow.
3. In every Society let due attention be given to the cultivation of sacred music.
4. If you cannot sing yourself, let one or two be chosen in each Society to lead the singing.
5. As singing is a part of Divine worship in which all ought to unite, therefore exhort every person in the congregation to sing, not one in ten only.
Class-meetings and Love-feasts. Quest. 1. How may the Leaders of classes be rendered more useful?
Ansu. 1. Let each of them be diligently examined concerning his method of meeting a class. Let this be done with all possible exactness, at least once a quarter. In order to this, take sufficient time.
2. Let each Leader carefully inquire how every soul of his class prospers : not only how each person observes the outward rules, but how he grows in the knowledge and love of God.
3. Let the Leaders converse with those who have the charge of their circuits, frequently and freely.