What God Allows
In 1811 Asbury looked much as he had forty years earlier when he arrived in America, the inevitable effects of age notwithstanding. He suffered an increasing range of illnesses but still managed to attend all eight annual conferences in 1811 and all nine in 1812 and 1813. He made notes on individual preachers to help him organize their appointments, some of which survive in a notebook for 1810–1813. The church had some brilliant preachers and many capable ones, but shortages obliged Asbury to employ many marginal candidates. Gradually Asbury relinquished the responsibility of appointing preachers to their circuits to William McKendree. Asbury even considered returning to England, but could not because of the war. At the 1812 General Conference Asbury stayed mostly in the background. In 1813 Asbury wrote a valedictory address to McKendree stressing two themes: the necessity of an itinerant ministry and the apostolic authority of the episcopacy.
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