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INASMUCH as we have a large body of youth growing up, the offspring of friends, these call for our special care and concern, that they may be preserved in the way of truth, in which our forefathers walked; and in order thereto, we tenderly recommend to all parents and guardians, first, that they take heed to themselves, that their own spirits be rightly seasoned and directed, for the help and good government of their children; and then that they have a constant watchful eye in love over them for their good, and keep them as much as possible within their notice and observation; for this we are sensible of, that the miscarriages of youth have very much proceeded from their being imprudently indulged, or left to themselves, by which means they become exposed to the danger of evil examples, on the one hand, and vicious, corrupt principles on the other, with which the world too much abounds. And therefore we earnestly and tenderly advise all parents and guardians to be watchfully concerned in this respect, and that they take all proper occasions, both by example and instruction, to help their children;
and that mothers of children as well as fathers, as they have frequently the best opportunities, would take particular care to instruct them in the knowledge of religion, and the Holy Scriptures; because it has been found by experience that good impressions early made on the tender minds of children, have proved lasting means of preserving them in a religious life and conversation. This practice was enjoined strongly upon the people of Israel by Moses and Joshua, the servants of the Lord, who required them to read or repeat the law to their children; and the apostle Paul takes notice of Timothy as being well instructed in the Holy Scriptures from a child; and of the unfeigned faith which dwelt in his grandmother Lois, and his mother Eunice, (2 Tim. i. 5,) who, no doubt, had a religious care of his education. But when parents or guardians are deficient in such their care, we recommend to monthly meetings, that they stir them up thereto, either by visiting them in their families, or in such manner as in the wisdom of God they may see meet; that so the doctrines of the gospel, and a conversation agreeable thereunto, may be maintained unto all generations. 1731. It is the sense and judgment of this meeting, that the natural right of membership extend to all children, born of parents who are both members, and should one of the parents be disowned, it shall not prejudice the right of those children born afterwards, provided the other parent remain in membership.
That where but one of the parents is a member,
become so by application or otherwise, their children shall not be considered members, unless such parent make application to the monthly meeting, on account of their children, and the meeting judge such children suitable to be admitted as members. And it is advised, that, where but one of the parents is a member of our society, they endeavor to bring up their children agreeably to truth, as far as is in their power, and, when they think it suitable for them to be members, not to neglect asking the care of friends in their behalf. 1774.
IT is our principle, and hath ever been our practice, to be subject to whatsoever government is set over us, either by doing or suffering. 1660, renewed in 1782. This is our principle, and hath ever been our practice, to obey authority by doing or suffering, not disputing whether the authority in itself be absolutely of God or not; yet being an at thority over us, we are to obey it either by doing or suffering, because it is an authority. 1661, renewed 1782. Advised, to walk wisely and circumspectly towards all men, in the peaceable spirit of Christ Jesus, giving no offence or occasions to those in outward government, nor way to any controversies, heats, and distractions of this world, about the kingdoms of it; but to pray for the good of all, and submit all to that divine power and wisdom which rules over the kingdoms of men. 1689. This meeting was well satisfied, and very glad of the sense it had of the innocency and peaceableness of the body of friends in general, towards the civil government under which we live, and enjoy our present liberty in the peaceable exercise of our tender consciences towards Almighty God, to whom we are humbly thankful for the same, being obliged to demean ourselves not only as a grateful people, but as a Christian society, to live peaceably and inoffensively under the present government, as we have always done under the various revolutions of government, ever since we were a people, according to our ancient Christian principle and practice; in which we hope we shall ever persevere, according as we are enjoined by our peaceable Saviour Jesus Christ, and the Christian advice of his faithful servants and ministers among us: we being a people clear, in the sight of God, from all evil designs, plots, and conspiracies whatsoever; and hope we shall continue a people always quiet in the land, having nothing but love and good will to all men. We are persuaded, that this our ancient Christian testimony, publicly owned among us, none can gainsay, nor any faithful friends can ever decline; being assured, that the Lord will, in his own due time, remove all offences and causeless jealousies and reproaches, tending to cloud our innocency, and will set his own power, and the peaceable kingdom of his dear Son, over all. 1692. We cannot for conscience sake actively comply with some things enjoined by human laws, yet the principles we profess, as well as the Holy Scriptures, require that we should “render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's,” and be punctual in the payment of every tribute which we can justly do without acting in opposition to that sacred illumination bestowed upon us by the Father of Lights, not only to teach, but also to enable us to perform