The people called “Methodist” have a spiritual discipline that guides their lives daily. One of the reasons why they are called Methodist because of their strict adherence to these rule in their daily lives as an expression of their obedience to the Great Commandment,( Matthew 22:34-40, Mark 12:28-34 & Luke 10:25-28,); and Great Commission, (Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15-20,) given by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to all his followers.
GENERAL RULES OF THE METHODIST SOCIETY
“There is only one condition previously required of those who desire admission into these societies: “a desire to flee from the wrath to come, and to be saved from their sins.” But wherever this is really fixed in their souls it will be shown by its fruits.
It is therefore expected of all who continue therein that they should continue to evidence their desire of salvation,
First: by doing no harm, by avoiding evil of every kind, especially that which is most generally practice such as:
A. By doing no harm to our relationship with God:
1. The taking of the name of God in vain;
2. The profaning of the day of the Lord, either by doing ordinary work therein or by buying and selling;
3. Doing what we know is not for the glory of God.
4. Laying up treasures upon earth.
B. Doing no harm to others:
1. Slave holding; buying or selling slaves.
2. Fighting, quarreling, brawling, brother going to law with a brother; returning evil fort evil, or railing; the using of many words in buying or selling.
3. The giving or taking of things on usury- i.e. unlawful interest.
4. Borrowing without of probability of paying; or taking of up goods without a probability of paying for them.
5. Doing unto others as we should not do unto us.
C. Doing no harm to the government and leaders;
1. The buying or selling goods that have not paid the duty.
2. Uncharitable or unprofitable conversation; particularly speaking evil of magistrates or of ministers.
D. Doing no harm to yourself;
1. Drunkenness; buy6ing or selling spirituous liquors, or drinking them, unless in cases of extreme necessity.
2. Softness and needless self-indulgence.
3. The putting on of gold and costly apparels.
4. The singing those songs, or reading those books which do not tend to the knowledge or love of God.
It is expected of all who continue in these societies that they should continue to evidence their desire of salvation,
Secondly: By doing good, by being in every kind merciful after their power, as they have opportunity, doing good of every possible sort, and as they have opportunity to all men.
A. By doing good for the physical needs of others, such as: Giving food to the hungry, by clothing the naked by visiting or helping that are sick or in prison.
B. By doing good especially for their souls: By instructing, reproving, or exhorting all we have intercourse with; trampling under foot that enthusiastic doctrine that “we are not to do good unless our hearts be free to do it.”
C. By doing good especially to them that are of the household of faith. Employing them preferably to others; buying one of another; helping each other in business; and so much the more because the world will love its own ands them only.
D. By practicing diligence and frugality, that the gospel be not blamed.
E. By running with patience the race which is set before them, and taking their cross daily; submitting to bear the reproach of Christ, to be as the filth and off scouring of the world; and looking that men should say all manner of evil of them falsely for the Lord’s sake.
It is expected of all who desire to continue in these societies that they should continue to evidence their desire of salvation,
Thirdly: by attending upon all the ordinances of God, such as:
A. The public worship of God.
B. Family and Private prayer.
C. The ministry of the Word, either by read or expounded.
D. The Supper of the Lord.
E. Searching the Scriptures.
F. Fasting or abstinence.
These are The General Rules of our societies; all of which we are taught of God to observe them, even in his written Word, which is the only rule, and the sufficient rule, both of our faith and practice. If there be any among us who observe them not, who habitually break any of them, let it be known unto them who watch over that souls as they who must give an account. We will admonish him of the error of his ways. We will bear with him for a season. But then, if he repent not, he hath no more place among us. We have delivered our own souls.
Today, as it has been, we urge and challenge all people called Methodist, together with all other Christian to join us in our desire to flee from the wrath to come and be saved from our sins.”