Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Advice to Preachers

A couple of days ago I shared Wesley's 1747 Rules for Preaching. As I came to the end of Heitzenrater's excellent Wesley and the People Called Methodists last night, I came across some later "advice" for preachers (p.297).
Wesley would have been 83 or 84 at the time which these were written, which may be the reason for the mellowing of the "rules" to merely advice.
Advice to Preachers, August 1, 1786
1. Always to conclude the service in about an hour.
2. Never scream.
3. Never lean upon or beat the Bible.
4. Wherever you preach, meet the Society.
5. Do not, without the utmost necessity, go home at night.
6. Never take part against the Assistant (the earliest form of District Superintendent).
7. Never preach a funeral but for an eminently holy person; nor then, without consulting the Assistant. Preach none for hire. Beware of panegyric, particularly in London.
8. Have love-feasts in more places.
9. Introduce no new tunes. See that none sing to slow, and the women sing their parts. Exhort all to sing, and all to stand at singing, as well to kneel at prayers.
10. Let none repeat the last line, unless the Preacher does.
11. Inform the Leaders, that every Assistant is to change both the Stewards and Leaders when he sees good. And that no Leader has power to put any person either in or out of the Society.

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