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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 1

Conference of 1769

Conference of 1769.

"It has long been my desire that all those Ministers of our Church who believe and preach salvation by faith, might cordially agree between themselves, and not hinder but help one another. After occasionally pressing this in private conversation, wherever I had opportunity, I wrote page 24 down my thoughts upon the head, and sent them to each in a letter. Out of fifty or sixty to whom I wrote, only three vouchsafed me an answer. So I give this up. I can do no more. They are a rope of sand, and such they will continue.

"But it is otherwise with the Travelling Preachers in our Connexion. You are at present one body. You act in concert with each other, and by united counsels. And now is the time to consider what can be done, in order to continue this union. Indeed, as long as I live there will be no great difficulty. I am, under God, a centre of union to all our Travelling as well as Local Preachers.

"They all know me and my communication. They all love me for my work's sake: and therefore, were it only out of regard to me, they will continue connected with each other. But by what means may this connexion be preserved when God removes me from you?

"I take it for granted, it cannot be preserved, by any means, between those who have not a single eye. Those who aim at anything but the glory of God, and the salvation of men,—who desire or seek any earthly thing, whether honour, profit, or ease,—will not, cannot, continue in the Connexion; it will not answer their design."*

* Minutes, vol, i., pp. 87, 88.