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MEMBERS OF THE METHODIST SOCIETIES IN THE UNITED STATES.
Dearly beloved Brethren,
WE think it expedient to give you a brief aeeount of the rise of Methodism, both in Europe and Ameriea. "In 1729, two young men in England, reading the Bible, saw they eould not be saved without holiness, followed after it, and ineited others so to do. In 1737, they saw likewise, that men are justified before they are sanetified: but still holiness was their objeet. God then thrust them out, to raise a holy people."*
In the 3rear 1766, Philip Embury, a loeal preaeher of our soeiety, from Ireland, began to preaeh in the eity of New-York, and formed a soeiety of his own eountrymen and the eitizens; and the same year Thomas Webb preaehed in a hired room near the barraeks. About the same time, Robert Strawbridge, a loeal preaeher from Ireland, settled in Frederie eounty, in the state of Maryland, and preaehing there, formed some soeieties. The firstMethodist ehureh in Amerea,was built in New-York in 1768orl769; and inl769 Riehard Boardman and Joseph Pilmoor eame to NewYork i who were the first regular Methodist preaehers on the eontinent. In the latter end of the year 1771, Franeis Asbury and Riehard Wright, of the same order, eame over.
We believe that God*s design in raising up the preaehers ealled Methodists in Ameriea, was to reform the eontinent, and spread serips
* These are the words of Messrs. Wesley themselves.
ture Iioliness over this land. As a proof hereof, we have seen, sinee that time a great and glorious work of God, from New-York through the Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North and South-Carolina and Georgia j as also, of late; to the extremities of the western and eastern states.
We esteem it our duty and privilege roost earnestly to reeommend to you, as members of our ehureh, our Form Of Diseipline, whieh has been founded on the experienee of a long series of years; as also on the observations and remarks we have made on aneient and modern ehurehes.
We wish to see this little publieation in the house of every Methodist; and the more so.as it eontains the Artieles of Religion maintained more or less, in part or in the whole, by every reformed ehureh in the world.
Far from wishing you to be ignorant of any of our doetrines, or any part of our diseipline, we desire you to read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest the whole. We know you are not in general able to purehase many books; but you ought, next to the word of God, to proeure the Artieles and Canons of the Chureh to whieh you belong. This present edition is small and eheap, and we ean assure you that the profits of the sale of it shall be applied to eharitable purposes.
We remain your very affeetionate brethren and pastors, who labour night and day, both in publie and in private, for your good.
Methodist Episeopal Chureh.
Of the Origin of the Methodist Episeopal Chureh.
TTvE preaeliers and members of our soeiety in general, being eonvineed that there was a great defieieney of vital religion in the Chureh of England in Ameriea, and being in many plaees destitute of the ehristian saeraments, as several of the elergy had forsaken their ehurehes, requested the late Rev. John Wesley to lake sueh measures, in his wisdom and prudenee, as would afford them suitable relief in their distress.
In eonsequenee of this, our venerable friend, who under God, had been the Father of the great revival of religion now extending over the earth, by the means of the Method disls, determined to ordain ministers for Ameriea; and for this purpose, in the year 1784, sent over three regularly ordained elergy: but prefering the Episeopal mode of ehureh government to any other, he solemnly set apart, by the imposition of his hands, and prayer, one of them, viz. Thomas Coke, Doetor of Civil Law, late of Jesus-eollege, in the University of Oxford, and a Presbyter of the Chureh of England, for thfe episeopal offiee; and having delivered to him letters of episeopal orders, eommissioned and direeted him to set apart Franeis Asbury, then general assistant of the Methodist soeiety in Ameriea, for the same episeopal offiee, he, the said Franeis Asbury being first ordained deaeon and elder. In eonsequenee of whieh, the said Franeis Anbury was solemnly set apart for the said episeopal offiee, by prayer, and the imposition of the hands of the said Thomas Coke, other regularly ordained ministers assisting in the saered eeremony. At whieh time the General Conferenee, held at Baltimore, did unanimously reeeive the said Thomas Coke and Franeis Jlsbury as their bishops, being fully satisfied of the validity of their episeopal ordination.
Seetion n. ARTICLES OF RELIGION.
I. Of Faith in the Holy Trinity.
There is hut one living and true God, everlasting, Without body or parts, of infinite power, wisdom, and goodness; the maker and preserver of all things, both visible and invisible. And in unity of this God-head* there are three persons of one sub-stanee, power, and eternity;—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.
II. Of the Word, or Son of God, who was made very JIan.
The Son, who is the Word of the Father, the very and eternal God, of one substanee with the Father, took man's nature iu the womb of the blessed Virgin: so tha1 two whole and perfeet natures, that is to say, the God-head and manhood, were