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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 1

Conference of 1746

Conference of 1746.

"Q. How shall we try those who think they are moved by the Holy Ghost, and called of God, to preach?

"A. Inquire, 1. Do they know God, as a pardoning God? Have they the love of God abiding in them? Do they desire and seek nothing but God? and are they holy in all manner of conversation?

"2. Have they gifts (as well as grace) for the work? Have they (in some tolerable degree) a clear, sound understanding? Have they a right judgment in the things of page 9 God? Have they a just conception of salvation by faith? and has God given them any degree of utterance? Do they speak justly, readily, clearly?

"3. Have they fruit? Are any truly convinced of sin, and converted to God, by their preaching?

"As long as these three marks concur in any, we believe he is called of God to preach. These we receive as a sufficient proof that he is moved thereto by the Holy Ghost.

"Q. But how shall we know whether they concur or not in any particular person?

"A. 1. If he is near us, we will talk with him on the three preceding heads, and then hear him preach.

"2. We will desire him to write down or relate the reasons why he thinks he is called of God thereto.

"3. We will examine those who seem to have been convinced of sin, or converted to God, by his preaching.

"4. If he is at a distance, we will desire the Assistant to do this; and to inquire what is the judgment of the society in that place concerning him.

"Q. What method may we use in receiving a new Helper?

"A. A proper time for doing this is at a Conference, after solemn fasting and prayer."*

* Minutes of Conference, vol. i., pp. 20, 30.