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AGREED, that the choosing of arbitrators is proper in cases of difference about a man's property. 1684.
Whereas it sometimes happeneth to the hurt of truth, and grief of many friends, that differences do arise amongst some professing truth, about outward things: it is therefore by this meeting thought convenient, and advised, that when any friend or friends shall hear of any such difference betwixt any friends in that meeting to which they do belong, that they forthwith speak to and tenderly advise, the persons between whom the dif. ference is, to make a speedy end thereof; and if that friend or those friends do not comply with their advice, that then they take to them one or two friends more, and again exhort them to end their difference; and if they or either of them refuse, then to let them know, that it is the advice and counsel of friends, that they should each choose an equal number of indifferent, impartial and judicious friends, to hear and speedily determine the same; and that they do bind themselves to stand to their award and determination, or the award and determination of the major part of them, that shall be made and signed by the arbitrators. Also this meeting doth advise, that if any person professing the truth among us, and esteemed a friend, shall refuse speedily to end the difference, or refer it as before advised, complaint be made of that person unto the monthly meeting to which he doth belong: and if after admonition he shall refuse so to refer his case, that then the meeting do testify against such person, and disown him to be of our society, until he shall comply with the equal methods and agreements of our society, and by such his compliance doth declare that he is for peace, and doth seek and desire it. And when any person, so refusing, is testified against by the meeting and disowned, the other person may have his liberty to seek his remedy against him at law. 1697. Advised, that in all cases of controversy and dif. ference, the persons concerned therein either speedily compose the difference between themselves or make choice of some faithful friends to determine the same; or otherwise, if they cannot agree upon the choice, to submit to the monthly meeting's choice of certain persons meet to inspect and determine the controversy, and to stand to their award and final determination thereof; that such controversies may not be continued, to cause a reproach. 1692. And it is the advice of this meeting, that persons differing about outward things do, as little as may be, trouble public ministering friends with being arbitrators in such cases. 1697.
And that all persons differing, be exhorted by the monthly meeting to which they belong, when their cases are referred, and judgment and award made, signed and given thereupon, as aforesaid, to stand to and perform the said award, which they have bound themselves to perform: And if any shall refuse so to do, then the monthly meeting to which such person doth belong, upon notice thereof to them given, shall appoint a suitable committee to labor with him, and if he do not make it evident, that there is manifest error or injustice, they admonish him thereunto; and if after admonition he persist to refuse, then the meeting is to testify against him as before; but if such error or injustice be made to appear, then the matter is to be reconsidered by the same or other arbitrators, as in the , judgment of the monthly meeting may appear best, and such correcting judgment be final. And the bonds of arbitration are not to be considered binding and final, where evident error or injustice is made to appear, and it is advised that bonds be written accordingly; but where this is not manifest, such bonds be conclusive and final.
It is the sense and judgment of this meeting, that if any person professing truth with us, shall arrest, sue, or implead at law, any other of our members, before he hath proceeded in the methods herein before recommended, that such person doth therein depart from the principle of truth and the known way thereof, and acts contrary thereunto, and ought to be dealt with by the meeting he belongs to, for the same; and if he shall not give satisfaction to the meeting, for such his disorderly
proceeding, by condemning it, and himself therein, that then he be disowned by the meeting. 1697.
And if the party so sued or arrested, taking with him, or, if under confinement, sending one or two friends to the person who goes to law, shall complain thereof, the said person shall be required immediately to stay proceedings; and if he does not comply with such requisition, the monthly meeting to which he belongs shall disown him, if the case
require it. 1782. It is understood that so much of the minute as doth relate simply to the entering into bonds; and so far as arbitrations may be refused on account of disputes and questions in law, relating to executors or trustees, where the property is not their own;— that in both these cases, there be a particular and special regard had to the nature and circumstances of things, it not being either now, nor at the time of making the said minute, the intent of this meeting, in the above described or other cases, to lay any unwarrantable burthen upon any brother, nor upon THE following method is to be observed in proceeding in Arbitrations.
the church of God. 1720.
1. Each party having chosen one or two indif. ferent, impartial and judicious friends, those so chosen are to agree upon a third or a fifth friend, unless the parties first agree in the nomination, whose name shall be inserted with the others in the bonds of arbitration, or other written agreement. 2. The arbitrators should not consider themselves as advocates for the party by whom they were chosen, but men whose incumbent duty it is to judge righteously, fearing the Lord. They should shun all previous information respecting the case, that they may not become biased in their judgments before they hear both parties together. 3. The parties are to enter into written engagements or bonds, if either of them require it, to abide by the award of the arbitrators, or a majority of them, to be made in a limited time. 4. Every meeting of the arbitrators must be made known to the parties concerned, until they have been fully heard; nor shall there be any separate private meetings between some of the arbitrators, or with one party separate from the other, on the business referred to them; and no representation of the case of one party, either by writing or otherwise, is to be admitted, without its being fully made known to the other, and, if required, a copy to be delivered to the other party.