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falling very hard, was stunned and nearly killed ; but providentially for him, a woman came along the road, and finding him in that condition, bled him, and he revived ; and being taken to a house, he sat up and exhorted the people with freedom.

CHAPTER IV.

From the year 1779, to the time of our being

formed into a regular church, in 1784. 1779.-On the 18th day of May, the seventh conference was held at the Broken back church in Fluvanna county in Virginia.

Previous to this conference, the preachers in the northern states held a preparatory conference at Thomas White's, in Delaware state, in order that their sentiments might be carried by brother William Waters, to the conference in Virginia : for it was judged to be improper for brother Asbury to leave his solitary retreat, to go to Virginia. However the conference determined that brother Asbury ought to act as general assistant in America.

At the preparatory conference (so called) the preachers concluded for every exhorter, and local preacher, to go by the directions of the assistants, where, and only where they were appointed to labour.,

There were two new circuits taken in at this conference, namely, Matichen and Delaware. The name of one circuit in Virginia was changcd from Lunenburg to Mecklenburg; and some of the circuits which had been left out of the minutes last year, were inserted in the minutes for this year, viz. Philadelphia, Chester, and Frederick. James-City circuit was left out of the an. nual minutes for this year. We had twenty circuits in all; and forty-four preachers were sent to them, to travel and preach among the people.

We had a large addition of members to the society this year. In the different circuits we added 2482 members. In some places the work of God spread rapidly, and bore down all before it. But in many places the societies were thrown into great disorder and confusion, by reason of the war which continued to rage through the land. Many of the men were drafted, and taken into the army, and many people left their homes to keep out of the way of the enemy, and to save their property, by carrying it with them.

The form of the annual minutes' was changed this year in a few points : and the first question stands thus: “ Who are admitted on trial ?" the first question used to be, who are admitted into connection?

Another question was “ what shall be done with the preachers who were upon trial last year ?" Answer. “Let them continue upon trial until next conference.” Before this conference, it had been a constant practice to take a preacher upon trial for one year only, and then admit him into full connection. But from that time, it has been a constant practice even to the present day, to keep a young preacher on trial for two years at least, before he is admitted into full connection. And at the expiration of two years, if the conference have doubts concerning the piety, gifts, or usefulness of the preacher, they continue him on trial for three years, or a longer time, as they may judge best

But if the preacher is approved of, and there is no objection to him, after he is entered the first year, admitted on trial, he is entered the second year, remaining on trial; and after he has travelled two years, he is entered, admitted into full connection, and becomes a regular member of the conference.

For the first time the following question was asked: “ Who desist from travelling?" Answer. “Robert Cloud , William Duke." Previous to this

year, no account had been taken of those preachers who had left the travelling connection, or as it was termed, “desisted.”

The preachers this year agreed to consider all the Methodist preachers who take money by subscription, as persons excluded from the Me. thodist connection,

In the course of this year there were great troubles and distresses in the Methodist connection, both among preachers and private members; owing to an unhappy division which took place among the travelling preachers. Many of var travelling preachers in Virginia and NorthCarolina, seeing and feeling the want of the instituted means of grace among our societies ; (and there being but few church ministers in that part of the country, and most part of them strangers to heart-felt religion) concluded, that if God had called them to preach, he had called them also to administer the ordinances of baptism and the Lord's Supper. They met together at the conference held at the Broken Back church this year, and after consulting together, the conference chose a comunittee for the purpose of ordaining ministers. The committee thus chosen, first ordained themselves, and then proceeded to ordain and set apart other preachers for the same purpose, that they might administer the holy ordinances to the church of Christ. The preachers thus ordained, went forth preaching the gospel in their circuits as formerly, and administered the sacra. ments wherever they went, provided the people were willing to partake with them. Most part of our preachers in the south, fell in with this new plan; and as the leaders of the party were very zealous, and the greater part of them very pious men, the private members were influenced by them, and pretty generally fell in with their

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measures. However, some of the old Methodists would not commune with them ; but steadily adhered to their former customs.

The preachers north of Virginia, were opposed to this step so hastily taken by their brethren in the south, and made a stand against it, believing that unless a stop could be put to this new mode of proceeding, a separation would take place among the preachers and the people. There was great cause to fear a division, and both parties trembled for the ark of God, and shuddered at the thought of dividing the church of Christ. The preachers in the south were very successful in their ministerial labours, and many souls were brought to God in the latter part of that year; and the christians were very lively in religion. These things all united to confirm the preachers in the belief, that the step they had taken was owned and honoured of God. And at that time there was very little room to hope that they would ever recede from their new plan, in which they were so well established. But after all they consented, for the sake of peace, and the union of the body of Methodists, to drop the ordinances for a season till Mr. Wesley could be consulted.

1780.-On the 24th day of April, the eighth conference met in Baltimore, where the northern preachers only attended'; for the Virginia preachers had a conference appointed in that state. The proceedings of both must be considered together, as it respects the general work.

At the conference which was held in Baltimore, and that which was held in Virginia, there were three new circuits taken in: one in Delaware state called Sussex, and one on the eastern shore of Maryland, called Dorset; and one in North Carolina, called Yadkin. Some of the old circuits were left out of the minutes, and we

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