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W O MEN'S ME ET IN G S.
OUR women's meetings being set up and approved in the love of God, and by his wisdom and power; and being of manifest service, and helpful in the church; it is the earnest desire and advice of this meeting, that they may be upheld and encouraged. 1707. And in order that the service of women's meetings may be the more extensive, it is recommend that each monthly meeting of women friends depute representatives to attend the service of their quarterly meetings; and each quarterly meeting depute representatives to the yearly meeting. That they proceed in answering the queries, appointing all the proper officers, and conducting the business necessary to their meetings, as the men's meetings are advised, under Queries, Monthly Meetings, Quarterly Meetings, and Yearly Meetings. In regard to the matter of men and women's meetings being united in disowning and receiving members, it is agreed, when any person requests the care of friends, and when any friend is taken under dealing in any monthly meeting, such meetIng, whether men's or women's, acquaint the other thereof, in order for their uniting their sympathy, and help, if they think it best; and when the meeting to which application is made, or by which the friend may be under dealing, is about to receive, restore or disown the person under care, that both meetings be aquainted therewith, and their concurrence or unity manifested before the conclusion be entered; and when the approbation of both men and women is obtained, the same be entered on the minutes of each meeting. And it is advised, that men and women be attentive and ready in their monthly and quarterly meetings to unite their assistance to each other, when it appears useful and best, whether expressly desired or not ; and that testimonies of denial be read, approved and minuted, in both meetings, and then be signed by the clerk of the men's meeting, if respecting a man, and if a woman, by the clerk of the women's meeting.
THE good and blessed intent and end of this * all our assemblies is, with the Lord's assistance, for his honor in the promoting and maintaining of our Christian society and religion, in life and practice, in all the parts and branches thereof. 1695. It is the fervent desire of this meeting, that the business and concerns thereof be solidly, in the fear of God, managed and carried on, without contention or striving; and with as few words, and in as pertinent expressions to the matter in hand, as may be, for expediting the affairs thereof without loss of time, or any ways disordering the meeting; but one at a time speaking, and standing up, that all things may be done decently, and in good order. 1710. That the quarterly meetings be careful annually to depute such friends to attend the service of the yearly meeting, as are men fearing God, of good conversation, weighty spirits, prudent and sincere, well acquainted with the affairs of truth, and diligent attenders of meetings for discipline at home; whose practice and conversation are answerable to the testimony they profess to bear; men known to be faithful and conscientious. 1714, 1733. Advised, that no representatives withdraw from the meeting before it ends, without leave first requested and granted, that the service of the meeting may not be neglected. 1709.
It behooveth us, in all such our assemblies, to have our minds seasoned with a sense of the weight of the work we are engaged in, and to exert ourselves with a holy zeal for the cause of God, and the promotion of his truth; carefully watching against an exalted spirit, which would strive for mastery and dominion; laboring in love and in the meekness of wisdom to be helpful one unto another, that “Nothing may be done through strife or vain glory; but, in lowliness of mind, let each esteem other better than themselves.” Phil. ii. 3. 1747.
It is agreed, that the Yearly Meeting for New England be held on Rhode Island, beginning with a meeting of ministers and elders, at the 9th hour on Seventh day after the second Sixth day in the sixth month, at Newport; that the meetings for worship on First day, begin at the 10th hour in the morning and the 4th hour in the afternoon, both at Portsmouth and Newport; and that the meeting for church discipline begin at the 9th hour on Second day morning, at Newport. And that the former clerk, or in his absence the clerk of the meeting for sufferings, act as clerk at that sitting; at the conclusion of which sitting the representatives are to meet and agree upon a clerk for the year, and report the same to the adjournment.
Agreed, that all papers that come before this meeting, as well as quarterly and monthly meetings, except such as are from immediate correspondents, be first examined by a committee to be from time to time appointed, before they be read in our meetings.
Y O U TH.
WE earnestly beseech our friends, and especially the youth among us, to avoid all such conversation as may tend to draw out their minds into the foolish and wicked pastimes with which this age aboundeth ; particularly balls, gaming-places, horseraces, and play-houses; those nurseries of debauchery and wickedness, the burthen and grief of the sober part of other societies, as well as of our own; practices wholly unbecoming a people under the Christian profession, contrary to the tenor of the doctrine of the gospel, and the examples of the best men in the earliest ages of the church. For, as “evil communications corrupt good manners,” so it is the duty of men professing religion, who live in this world in order to obtain a better, not only to shake their hands from holding of bribes, and stop their ears from hearing of blood, but also to shut their eyes from seeing evil. Isai. xxxiii. 15. 1739.
And dearly beloved youth, in an humble sense of the continued visitations of the Father's love and an experience of their blessed effects, we entreat you, by the mercies of God, receive its holy impressions, submit to its discipline. This will preserve you from the deplorable effect of Satan's transformations, inspire you with holy resolutions,