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accomplishing. The Reformers have been the instruments of the conversion of thousands who, in consequence of their itinerant habits, have sought a home in other churches. One whole conference went off in Ohio, and joined the Methodist Protestant Church. Some ten years since, more than one half of the ministers of the Massachusetts Conference, and several societies, seceded, and joined the Protestant Methodists. Then, again, it requires some humility and attachment to principle to induce men to stand long with a small and persecuted people. Reformers have had seceders from them-I will not call them apostates and all these things taken into the account, we have abundant reason to thank God that our labour has not been altogether in vain.
I might have added, under the head of “ articles of religion,” that the Reformed Methodist Church has always had an article against war, offensive and defensive. I add it here, for I have aimed to give every“ radical” as well as “fanatical” trait in the history of this people. For if the public have any interest in the history of this branch of the Church of Christ, they are most interested in those portions wherein they differ from others. And surely, we need be ashamed of nothing but our sins. And I must add another fact: it might be expected that a body formed upon the democratical principle of the Reformed Methodist Church would be anti-slavery in its character. The Reformed Methodists have from the beginning had Mr. Wesley's general rule with respect to " buying or selling, men,
“ women and children, with an intention to enslave them," and not that spurious interpolated one now in the Discipline of the Methodist Episcopal Church; and when the recent anti-slavery discussion sprung up, this body was prompt to respond to this effort to rid the church and country of this “sum of all villanies.” They soon added an article to the Discipline, excluding apologists for this sin against “God, man, and nation,” from the church. And we are happy to add, that they have great harmony on this question.
In conclusion, Mr. Editor, I shall thank you for allowing space in your History of the whole Church, for transmitting to posterity the brief record of this body of Christians which I have furnished; but the haste with which it has been written, and amidst the pressing cares which at present devolve upon me, and the want of statistics and records, I must beg to urge as an apology for deficiencies.
TRUE WESLEYAN METHODIST CHURCH.
BY REV. J. TIMBERMAN,
PASTOR OF TIJE FIRST TRUE WESLEYAN METHODIST CHURCIJ, CITY OF NEW YORK.
The polity of the original Wesleyan societies rested upon the principle that their illustrious founder had a right to control every minister and preacher, and every member of his societies, in all matters of a prudential character. As he himself states, he had the exclusive power to appoint, when, where and how, his societies should meet; and to remove those whose lives showed that they had no desire to flee the wrath to come; and this power remains the same, whether the people meeting together were eight hundred or eight thousand. He exercised a similar power over the preachers, to appoint each, when, where and how to labour, and to tell any,“ If I see causes, I do not desire your help any longer.” Mostly, the members of these societies were members of the Church of England ; some were members of the dissenting churches. Mr. Wesley was a minister of the Church of England, and as such he died; and with very few exceptions, his preachers were laymen. He was their tutor and governor. He was the patron of all the Methodist pulpits in England and Ireland for life: the sole right of nomination being vested in him by the deeds of settlement. He was also the patron of the Methodist societies in America, and as such, he is acknowledged by the Methodist Episcopal Church as its founder. That he is the author of the Episcopacy of that church, is questioned by some for the following reasons: 1st. It was not until some years after the institution of Episcopacy in 1784, that Mr. Wesley's authority was alleged as its basis. But without any mention of Mr. Wesley, the itinerant preachers declared in their first minutes : “ We will form ourselves into an Episcopal Church," &c. 2d. Mr. Wesley alleged no other authority than himself to ordain ministers, but his right as a presbyter. 3d. He solemnly forbid Mr. Asbury to assume the title of bishop in his letter to Mr. Shinn, dated London, Sept. 20th, 1788, in which he says: “One instance of this, your greatness, has given me great concern. How can you, how dare you suffer yourself to be called a bishop? I shudder at the very thought. Men may call me a man, or a fool, or a rascal, or a scoundrel, and I am content; but they shall never, with my consent, call me a bishop. For my sake, for God's sake, for Christ's sake, put a full end to this.” Signed, John Wesley. 4th. Some of the first symptoms indicative of dissatisfaction with the new economy were evinced by those preachers, who were well acquainted with Mr. Wesley's sentiments on this subject, and had themselves been made to feel the tremendous power of this economy among Methodists, namely, Episcopacy. On no question have they been so equally divided. No changes, however, have been effected. The Episcopacy still maintains its prerogatives in their original integrity. In 1824, memorials and petitions were presented to the General Conference, complaining of the government being so constituted and administered, as to exclude the local preachers and the lay members from every sort of participation in their own government, as Methodists. But some of these petitioners were satisfied with the plea of expediency; still the most of them took the ground of right. All of them claimed a representative form of government. The Conference replied, that they knew no such right, nor did they comprehend any such privileges. From that time the controversy assumed a new character, the result of which was the call of a convention of all Methodist families, to a representative form of church government, to be held at Baltimore, Maryland, in November, 1828. Here, a provisional government, under the formal articles of association, was adopted, to continue for two years; after which, another convention was also held in Baltimore, and continued its sessions from the 2d to the 23d of November, 1830. One hundred and twelve persons were elected as members, eighty-one of whom attended. A constitution and discipline were adopted; called, “ the Constitution and Discipline of the Protestant Methodist Church.” In this, much contemplated by Reformed Methodists was gained, and prosperity greatly attended said church. But many things contemplated by True Wesleyans were not yet gained; for the true founder of Wesleyan Metho
l dism was not only opposed to the Episcopal form of church government, as it exists in America among the Methodists, but also to slavery as it exists in this country. And yet this vile system is cherished by both Episcopal and Protestant Methodists; therefore, both churches are still agitated by those who were not one in sentiment upon Episcopacy and slavery. True Wesleyans and some of the chief men are engaged in this latter reform with Mr. Hervey, who calls this system of slavery the vilest system ever seen beneath the sun. In the Methodist Episcopal Church, were Rev. Leroy Sunderland, Orange Scott, Luther Lee, J. Horton, E. Smith, C. Prindle, &c. In the Protestant Methodist Church, were Rev. John Crocker, Hiram Mackee, R. McMurdy, G. Pegler, Dr. Timberman, J. Culver, &c. These, with a host of others from different associated Methodist Churches, united in calling a convention of ministers and laymen, for the purpose of forming a Wesleyan Methodist Church, free from Episcopacy, intemperance and slavery; which convention was held at Utica, New York, on May 31st, 1843. And after many days' peaceful deliberation, the glorious design of this convention was accomplished, viz., the formation of a Discipline, called “the Discipline of the Wesleyan Methodist Church in America,” granting to all men their rights, and making them free and equal, according to the word of God and the preamble of the Declaration of Independence of these United States. They also organized six annual conferences, including the chief portions of the Northern and Eastern States, connected with which, are many interesting societies, and talented ministers and preachers, which number about twenty thousand members, and about three hundred itinerant ministers and preachers, besides a greater number of unstationed ministers and preachers. Thus much for the history of this branch of the Church of Christ. We now come to notice secondly, the doctrines of the True Wesleyan Methodist Church.
1. A Christian church is a society of believers in Jesus Christ, assembled in any one place for religious worship, and is of divine institution.
2. Christ is the only Head of the Church ; and the word of God the only rule of faith and conduct.
3. No person who loves the Lord Jesus Christ, and obeys the gospel of God our Saviour, ought to be deprived of church membership.
4. Every man has an inalienable right to private judgment, in matters of religion; and an equal right to express his opinion, in any way which will not violate the laws of God, or the rights of his fellow
5. Church trials should be conducted on gospel principles only; and no minister or member should be excommunicated except for immorality, the propagation of unchristian doctrines, or for the neglect of duties enjoined by the word of God.
6. The pastoral or ministerial office and duties are of divine appoint
ment, and all elders in the Church of God are equal; but ministers are forbidden to lord it over God's heritage, or to have dominion over the faith of the saints.
7. The church has a right to form and enforce such rules and regulations only, as are in accordance with the holy scriptures, and may be necessary, or have a tendency, to carry into effect the great system of practical Christianity.
8. Whatever power may be necessary to the formation of rules and regulations is inherent in the ministers and members of the church; but so much of that power may be delegated from time to time, upon a plan of representation, as they may judge necessary and proper.
9. It is the duty of all ministers and members of the church to maintain godliness, and to oppose all moral evil.
10. It is obligatory on ministers of the gospel to be faithful in the discharge of their pastoral and ministerial duties; and it is also obligatory on the members to esteem ministers highly for their work's sake, and to render them a righteous compensation for their labours.
ARTICLES OF RELIGION.
I. Of Faith in the Holy Trinity. There is but one living and true God, everlasting of infinite power, wisdom, and goodness: the Maker and Preserver of all things visible and invisible. And in unity of this Godhead there are three persons of one substance, power, and eternity, the Father, the Son (the Word), and the Holy Ghost.
II. Of the Son of God. The only begotten Son of God was conceived of the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried, to be a sacrifice, not only for original guilt, but also for the actual sins of men, and to reconcile us to God.
III. Of the Resurrection of Christ.-Christ did truly rise again from the dead, taking his body, with all things appertaining to the perfection of man's nature, wherewith He ascended into heaven, and there sitteth until He shall return to judge all men at the last day.
IV. Of the Holy Ghost.—The Holy Ghost, proceeding from the Father and the Son, very and eternal God.
V. The Sufficiency of the Holy Scriptures for Salvation.— The holy scriptures contain all things necessary to salvation; so that whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man, that it should be believed as an article of faith, or be thought necessary or requisite to salvation. In the name of the