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of them have spoken, the meeting, as usual, is concluded by singing and prayer.
Watch-nights are rather similar to the vigils of the ancients, which they kept on the evenings preceding the grand festivals. They are held once a year. On these occasions, three or four of the preachers officiate, and a great concourse of people attend. The service commences between eight and nine at night. After one of the ministers has preached, the rest pray and ex. hort, giving out at intervals suitable hymns, wbich the congregation join in singing till after twelve o'clock, when they usually conclude.
Love-feasts are held quarterly, which are designed particular ly for the members of their own church. No person is admitted, who is not a member, above twice or thrice. The meeting begins with singing and prayer. Afterwards, small pieces of bread, or plain cake, and some water, are distributed ; and all present eat and drink together, in token of their Christian love to each other. Then, if any persons have any thing particular to say concerning their present Christian experience, or the manner in which they were first brought to the knowledge of the truth, they are permitted to speak ; when a few of them have spoken, a collection is made for the poor, and the meeting is concluded with singing and prayer. This institution has no relation to the Lord's Supper. The elements of the Lord's Supper are bread and wine ; but at the love-feasts, bread and water only are used. The Methodists consider the former as a positive institution, which they are bound to observe as Christians; the latter as merely prudential. They have also nu: merous prayer-meetings, at which it frequently happens that some one will give an exhortation to the people.
Their Funds. They have a small fund located in Philadel: pbia, called the Charter-fund. The avails of it go to the support of the travelling Preachers ; together with the profits arising from the sale of Books which are published by them. They have an increasing book-establishment located at New York, which furnishes their Societies with books throughout the United States.
Their Salaries.--Each travelling Preacher is allowed 100 dollars- If married, bis wife is allowed $100, Each child under 7 years, $16-over 7 and under 14 years, $24. They bave collections in each class once a quarter, and" in their congregations. Those Preachers who are superanuated are allowed the same as when they travelled. The widows of those Preachers who have died in the travelling connection, continue their claim. Though they are allowed what is above stated, yet it their funds and collections are not sufficient to pay them in full, they have no demand, Their twelve Conferences are divid. ed into seventy-four Districts, which are under the care of sev: enty-four Presiding Elders. In these districts-six hundred and sixty-three circuits and stations are included.
The number of Methodists in the United States, according to their Minutes of 1823, are 312,540. They have 1226 travelling Preachers, besides nearly four thousand local preachers. In 1769 the first regular Methodist Preacher came to America--their first conference was held in 1773.
THE WHITFIELDIAN, OR CALVINISTIC METHO:
Many of the modern Calvinistic Methodists do not follow all
Some, however, are so liberal in their opinions respecting the
Mr. Baxter's design was to reconcile Arminianism and Cal-
KILHAMITES, OR NEW CONNEXION METHODISTS..
In the year 1797, a separation took place of several memo bers from the old Wesleyan connexion.
The Methodist New Connexion declare the grounds of this separation to be church-government and discipline, and not doctrines. They object to the Old Methodists, for having formed a hierarchy, or priestly corporation ; and they say, that in so doing, they have robbed the people of those privileges, which, as members of a Christian church, they are entitled to by reason and Scripture. The New Connexion, have, therefore, attempted to establish every part of their church gove ernment on popular principles, and profess to have united, asmuch as possible, the ministers and the people in every de partment of it.
These Methodists are upon the increase, but not with a rapidity usually attendant on their elder brethren. Their prese ent numbers are about 7000, or 8000.
This sect deserves to be ranked amongst the most respecta: ble and valuable of all the Dissenters from the established church in Great Britain. By their own account, this community derive their origin from the ancient Bohemian and Moravian Brethren), who existed as a distinct people ever since the year 1457, when, separating from those who took up arms in de fence of their protestations against Popish errors, they form. ed a plan for church-fellowship and discipline, agreeable to their insight into the Scriptures, and called themselves, at first, Fratres Legis. Christi; or Brethren after the Law of Christ, and afterwards, on being joined by others of the same persuasion in other places, Unitas Fratrum, or Fratres Unitatis. By degrees they established congregations in various pla. ces, and spread themselves into Moravia and other neighbour ing states.
Though the brethren acknowledge no other standard of truth than the sacred Scriptures, they in general profess to adhere 10 the Augsburg. Confession of Faith. Both in their Summary of Christian doctrine (which is used for the instruction of their children,) and in their general instructions and sermons, they teach the doctrine of the Trinity, and in their prayers, hymns, and litanies,.address the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; in the same manner. as is done in other Christian churches. Yet they chiefly direct their hearers to Jesus Christ, as the appointed channel of the Deity, in whom God is known and made mani: fest to man. They recommend love to him, as the constraining
principle of the Christian's conduct ; and their general manner is more by beseeching men to be reconciled to God, than by alarming them by the terrors of the law, and the threatenings against the impenitent, which they, however, do not fail occasionally to set before their hearers.
All the great festivals celebrated in other Protestant churches, are attended to by them with due solemnity; and, during the whole of the Passion-week, they have daily services for the contemplation of our Lord's last discourses and sufferings. On Maunday Thursday they celebrate the Lord's Supper, and also on every fourth Sunday throughout the year. They have prescribed forms of prayer for baptisms, both of children and adults, and for burials ; a litany, which is read every Sunday morning, and one for early service on Easter-morning, besides others which they call liturgies, and which are chiefly sung and chaunted.
Some of their services consist entirely in singing, (the whole congregation joining,) when a succession of verses forms a connected contemplation of some Scripture subject. Two texts of Scripture are appointed for every day in the year. Their or: dination services, their manner of celebrating the Lord's Sup. per, and other church transactions, peculiar to themselves, are very solemn and impressive. Their chapels are without pews, but have moveable benches. Plainness, neatness, and convenience, are their chief study in their construction. Persecutions originally, and afterwards inclination, caused the Moravian Brethren to have a predilection for forming settlements, where they may live without disturbance, and in which their children and young people are not exposed to the alurements of vice, nor obliged to see and hear the conduct and language of the profane and dissolute. In these settlements they have separate houses for single men, single women and widows. In these houses, all persons who are able, and have not an independent support, labour in their own occupation; and contribute a stipulated sum for board and lodging.Com, munity of goods, does not, nor ever did, exist among them, though it has been often reported and very generally believed: Even the contributions towards their charitable establishments and missions are perfectly, voluntary.
Their church is episcopal ; but though they consider episcopal ordination as necessary to qualify the servants of the church for their respective functions, they allow to their bishops no elevation of rank or pre-eminent authority. The Moravian Church, from its first establishment, has been governed by Synods, consisting of deputies from all the Congregations, and by other subordinate bodies, which they call Conferences. According to their regulations, episcopal ordination, of itself, does not confer any power to preside over one or more congregations ; and a bishop can discharge no office except by the appointment of a Synod, or of its delegate, the elder's conference of the unity. Presbyters among them can perform every function of the bishop, except ordination. Deacons are assistants to Presbyters, inuch in the same way as in the Church of England. Deaconesses are retained, for the purpose of privately admonishing their own sex, and visiting them in their sickness ; but they are not permitted to teach in public, and far less to administer the sacraments. They have also Seniores Civiles, or lay-elders, in contradistinction to spiritual elders or bishops, who are appointed to watch over the constitution and discipline of the unity of the brethren, &c. The Synods are generally held once in seven years, and besides all the bishops, and the deputies sent by each congregation, those women who have appointments as above described, if on the spot, are also admitted as hearers; and may be called upon to give their advice in what relates to the ministerial labour among their own sex ; but they have no decisive vote in the Synod. The votes of all the other members are equal. In questions of importance, or of which the consequence cannot be foreseen, neither the inajority of votes, nor the unanimous consent of all present, can decide : but recourse is had to the lot, which, however, is never made use of except after mature deliberation and prayer; nor is any thing submitted to its decision which does not, after being thoroughly weighed, appear to the assembly eligible in itself.
The Synod takes into consideration the inward and outward state of the unity, and the concerns of the congregations and missions, and takes cognizance of errors in doctrine, or deviations in practice, &c. Towards the conclusion of every Synod, a kind of executive board is chosen, which is called the Elders' Conference of the Unity. At present it consists of thirteen elders, and is divided into four committees, or departments. 1. The Missions' department. 2. Helpers' department. 3. The Servants' department. 4. The Overseers' department.
Besides, this general Conference of Elders, which superintends the affairs of the whole unity, there is a conference of elders belonging to each congregation ; which directs its affairs, and to which all the members of the congregation are subject. This body, which is called the “ Elders Conference of the Congrega-tion," consists, 1. of the Minister ; 2. of the Warden ; 3. of a Murried Pair, who care particularly for the spiritual welfare of the married people ;. 4. of a Single Clergyman, to whose care the single men and boys are more particularly committed ; and 5. of those Women who assist in caring for the spiritual and temporal welfare of their own sex, and who, in this conference, have equal votes with the men. The Elders' Conference of each Congregation is answerable for its proceedings to the Elders' Conference of the Unity; and visitations from the latter to the former, are held from time to time, that the affairs of each congregation, and the conduct of its immediate governors, may be intimately known to the supreme executive government of the whole church. In every country they have superintendants of their congregations in it, whom they call Provincials. These