The following preamble and articles precede the constitution: --
"We, the representatives of the associated Methodist churches, in general convention assembled, acknowledging the Lord Jesus Christ as the only HEAD of the church, and the word of God as the sufficient rule of faith and practice, in all things pertaining to godliness, and being fully persuaded that the representative form of church government is the most scriptural, best suited to our condition, and most congenial with our views and feelings as fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; and whereas, a written constitution, establishing the form of government, and securing to the ministers and members of the church their rights and privileges, is the best safeguard of Christian liberty. We, therefore, trusting in the protection of Almighty God, and acting in the name and by the authority of our constituents, do ordain and establish, and agree to be governed by, the following elementary principles and constitution: --
"1. A Christian church is a society of believers in Jesus Christ, and is a divine institution.
"2. Christ is the only Head of the church, and the word of God the only rule of faith and conduct.
"3. No person who loves the Lord Jesus Christ, and obeys the gospel of God our Savior, ought to be deprived of church membership.
"4. Every man has an inalienable right to private judgment in matters of religion, and an equal right to express his opinion in any way which will not violate the laws of God, or the rights of his fellow-men.
"5. Church trials should be conducted on gospel principles only; and no minister or member should be excommunicated except for immorality, the propagation of unchristian doctrines, or for the neglect of duties enjoined by the word of God.
"6. The pastoral or ministerial office and duties are of divine appointment, and all elders in the church of God are equal; but ministers are forbidden to be lords over God's heritage, or to have dominion over the faith of the saints.
"7. The church has a right to form and enforce such rules and regulations only as are in accordance with the holy Scriptures, and may be necessary or have a tendency to carry into effect the great system of practical Christianity.
"8. Whatever power may be necessary to the formation of rules and regulations, is inherent in the ministers and members of the church; but so much of that power may be delegated, from time to time, upon a plan of representation, as they may judge necessary and proper.
"9. It is the duty of all ministers and members of the church, to maintain godliness, and to oppose all moral evil.
"10. It is obligatory on ministers of the gospel to be faithful in the discharge of their pastoral and ministerial duties, and it is also obligatory on the members to esteem ministers highly for their works' sake, and to render them a righteous compensation for their labors.
"11. The church ought to secure to all her official bodies the necessary authority for the purposes of good government; but she has no right to create any distinct or independent sovereignties."
We omit the constitution, as the preceding elementary principles sufficiently develop the peculiarities of this denomination.