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tended to unite the travelling preachers together. I will mention five of them.

Q. 1. Does not dram-drinking too much prevail among our people.

Q. 3. Do none contract debts without due care to pay them?

Q. 3. Are the band meetings kept up ?

Q. 4. Is there nothing immoral in any of our preachers ?

Q. 5. What preachers travel now, and where are they stationed ?

It was then urged that none must break our rules under the penalty of being excluded from our connexion. All was settled in the most amica. ble manner.

At that time it was customary to have the Quarterly Meeting on Tuesday, and to preach, settle their business and holda love-feast, and some times a watch night. After a while it became a custom in country places for the Quarterly Meeting to continue for two days together. After further trial, it was thought best to have the Quarterly Meetings on Saturday and Sunday; which is now the constant practice in most places. One weighty reason for this last plan was, that many of the slaves could not attend these meetings, except on the Lord's day; another reason was,

that many

of the wealthy people would come to hear us on the Sabbath, at such meetings, who would not be at the trouble of coming to meeting on any other day: and lastly, many of the poor people, especially those of our own society, could not spare time, or procure horses to come to such meetings un. less they were on the Sabbath.

1773. In the beginning of this year, Robert Williams came to Petersburg in Virginia, and began to preach first in the town, and then through various parts of the country. He was the first Metho

dist preacher that ever came into that part of Virginia. He was a plain, artless, indefatigable preacher of the gospel, and often proved the goodness of his doctrine, by his tears in public, and by his life and conduct in private. His manner of preaching was well calculated to awaken careless sinners, and to encourage penitent mourners. He spared no pains in order to do good. He has frequently went to church to hear the established clergy, and as soon as divine service has ended, he has went out of the Church, and standing on a stump, block, or log, has begun to sing, pray, and then preach to hundreds of people. It was common with him after preaching to ask most of the people that he spake with, some question about the welfare of their souls ; and to encourage them to serve God. Soon after he began to preach through the country from Petersburg into the north part of North Ca. rolina, the fruit of his labours began to appear, and souls were awakened and brought to the knowledge of God. And the name of Robert Williams, still lives in the minds of many of his spiritual children.

Previous to the coming of Mr. Williams into that part of Virginia, there had been a gracious revival of religion by the means of Mr. Jarratt's preaching ; who was a clergyman of the church of England, so called at that time. In the year 1770, and 1771, there was a considerable out-pouring of the spirit, at a place called White Oak. It was there that Mr. Jarratt first formed the people into a society, that they might assist and strengthen each other. The good effects of this were soon apparent ; convictions were deep and lasting ; and not only knowledge, but faith, and love, and holiness conti. nually increased.

In the year 1772, the revival was more considerable, and extended in some places, for fisty or sixty

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miles round, and many sinners were truly converted to God,

The revival of religion which first began under the ministry of Mr. Jarratt, was greatly increased by the labours of the Methodist preachers, who, uniting with Mr. Jarratt in the same blessed work, were greatly owned and honoured o God,and had the pleasure of seeing the work of the Lord prospering greatly in their hands,

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From the first Conference in 1773, to the Con

ference in 1779. 1773.—In the spring of this year, Mr. Wesley sent two more preachers to America, viz. Thomas Rankin, and George Shadford, who landed in Philadelphia, on the third day of June. Mr. Rankin had been a travelling preacher for eleven years ; and Mr. Shadford had travelled five years. Mr. Rankin began to travel in 1762, and of course had travelled longer than any of the other preachers in the United States. From that time Mr. Rankin had the superintendancy of the Methodist connection in America, and was stiled the General Assistant.

Immediately after Mr. Rankin's arrival in Philadelphia he called the travelling preachers together, and on the 14th of July, 1713, the first conference that was ever held in America, began in Philadelphia. There were six or seven travelling preachers at it, most of whom were Europeans. William Waters of the Western shore of Maryland began to travel this year; and he was the first travelling preacher that was raised up among the Methodists in America.

The minutes of that conference were taken down in writing, as were the minutes of all the succeeding conferences for several years after ; and none of the annual minutes were published until the year 1785. From that time our minutes have been published annually. However, in the year 1795 we had all the minutes from 1773 to that time published, and bound in one book. In the preface of this book it is said, “Many of our travelling preachers have expressed a desire to have the minutes of our yearly conferences pub


lished, in the order in which they have occurred ; and are of opinion that a book of this kind would be pleasing, and entertaining ; especially to the travelling and local preachers; wherein may be seen the growth of Methodism. This little publication contains in substance, a brief history of the rise and progress of the travelling ministry, and the success of their labours through the United States."

The minutes of this conference, were introduced as follows.

“ Minutes of some conversations between the preachers in connection with

The Revd. Mr. John Wesley." The following queries were proposed to every preacher:

1. Ought not the authority of Mr: Wesley and the English conference, to extend to the preachers and people in America, as well as in GreatBritain and Ireland ?

A. Yes.

2. Ought not the doctrine and discipline of the Methodists, as contained in the English minutes to be the rule of our conduct, who labour in the connection with Mr. Wesley ?

A. Yes.

3. If so, does it not follow, that if preachers de viate from the minutes, we can have no fellow. ship with them till they change their conduct ?

A. Yes,

The following rules were agreed to, by all the preachers present :

1. Every preacher who acts in connection with Mr. Wesley and the brethren who labour in America, is strictly to avoid administering the ordinan. ces of baptism and the Lord's supper.

2. No person or persons to be admitted to our loye-feasts oftener than twice or thrice, unless they

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