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5. The arbitrators are to hear both parties fully, in the presence of each other, whilst either hath any fresh matter to offer, until a certain time, to be limited by mutual agreement. Let no evidence or witness be withheld or rejected. 6. If there should appear to the arbitrators, or to any of them, to be any doubtful point of law, they are jointly to agree upon a case, and consult counsel thereupon. The arbitrators are not required to express in the award their reasons for their decision. One writing of the award is to be delivered to each party. It is recommended to arbitrators to propose to the parties, that they should give an acknowledgement in writing, before the award be made, that they have been candidly and fully heard. Matters of defamation are not subjects to be arbitrated, until the defamation is proved, and that some injury is sustained by the defamed, in his trade, calling, or property; and in that case the damage should be submitted to arbitration. 1782. But where damage is not proved to be sustained, the person defaming is liable to be dealt with, as provided under the head of Defamation.
It being recommended to the meeting for sufferings, to take the oversight of all writings proposed to be printed, which relate to our religious principles or testimonies, our members who may have any such publications in view, are to lay them before the said meeting for its advice and concurrence. And it is the sense of this meeting, that if any friend shall print or publish any such writing, without laying it before said meeting, or against the advice of said meeting for sufferings, such persons should be complained of to the monthly meeting they belong to, and if they cannot be convinced of the impropriety of their conduct, be testified against, as opposed to the peace and good order of the society.
This meeting doth earnestly exhort all parents, heads of families, and guardians of minors, that they prevent, as much as in them lies, their children, and others under their care and tuition, from having or reading books and papers tending to prejudice the profession of the Christian religion, to create the least doubt concerning the authenticity of the Holy Scriptures, or of those saving truths declared in them, lost their infant and feeble minds should be poisoned thereby, and a foundation laid for the greatest evils. And it is earnestly recommended to all members of our religious society, that they discourage and suppress the reading of plays, pernicious novels, and other bad books. And printers and booksellers in profession with us, are cautioned against printing, selling or lending such books, as it is a practice inconsistent with the purity of the Christian religion. And friends are desired to be careful in the choice of all books in which their children and families read, seeing there are many, under the specious titles of promoting religion and morality, which contain sentiments repugnant to the truth as it is in Christ Jesus. And monthly meetings are desired to provide the families of poor friends, with friends' books, and such as are adapted to the instruction and edification of their children. It is recommended, that the meeting for sufferings do distribute friends' books in such manner, and such places, as it may think proper.
ALTHOUGH we do not feel disposed to enjoin any particular mode, with respect to burials, yet we recommend the attention of friends to the practice of the society, as anciently described, viz:
“If the corpse of the deceased be near any public meeting house, it is usually carried thither, for the more convenient reception of those that accompany it to the grave yard; and it so falls out sometimes, that while the meeting is gathering for the burial, some or other have a word of exhortation, for the sake of the people there met together; after which the body is borne away by the young men, or those that are of their neighborhood, or that were most of the intimacy of the deceased party; the corpse being in a plain coffin, without any covering or furniture upon it. At the ground, they pause sometime before they put the body into its grave, that if any there should have any thing upon them to exhort the people, they may not be disappointed, and that the relations may the more retiredly and solemnly take their last leave of the corpse of their departed kindred, and the spectators have a sense of mortality, by the occasion then given them to reflect upon their own latter end.”
And in order that burials be commendably and decently accomplished, as well as for the assistance of those immediately concerned, monthly meetings are advised to appoint some solid friends to attend thereat.
Being very desirous that friends should keep a commendable plainness and simplicity in the burial of the dead, as well as in other respects, it is the advice of this meeting, that no monuments be set up in our burial grounds near or over the dead bodies of friends or others, except a plain stone not to exceed fifteen inches in height above the surface of the ground, on which no inscription shall be made other than the name, date of death, and age of the deceased. And it is advised, that the several monthly meetings take care that, in these respects, our testimonies be carefully maintained. And also to see that all burial grounds be properly inclosed. 1852.
According to the primitive simplicity and innocency of friends, it is the advice of this meeting, that no friends imitate the world in any distinction of habit or otherwise, as marks or tokens of mourning for the dead. 1717.
Advised against imitating the vain custom of wearing, or giving mourning, and all extravagant expenses about the interment of the dead. 1724.