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them at liberty to accomplish their marriage according to our rules, and appoint two friends of each sex, to attend and see that good order is observed, that a certificate be prepared, and after being signed by the parties at their marriage, be audibly read, and that a sufficient number of witnesses be thereto subscribed. It is further advised that the said marriage be accomplished decently, gravely, and weightily; and that the parties themselves, their parents and others concerned, do take care at the houses or places where they go after the meeting is over, that all behave with becoming sobriety; and the said overseers are to make report to the next monthly meeting, and take care that the marriage certificate be recorded. It is advised to solemnize our marriages at the usual week-day meeting, to which the woman belongs, or at the close of a monthly meeting in a public méeting of men and women friends, unless circumstances may induce the monthly meeting to permit it otherwise; it being understood that the parties are to be present at the monthly meeting when permission is granted them to accomplish their marriage, if it be their intention to do so at the close of said meeting. Monthly meetings are at liberty, when they think any peculiarity of circumstances, of either of the parties proposing marriage, warrant a deviation from our general practice, to shorten the time of their receiving their answer, by adjourning a monthly meeting; having especial care, that the time for inspecting the clearness of the parties, be not less than two weeks from their making their proposals, and receiving the meeting's answer.
FORM OF A MARRIAGE CERTIFICATE.
[As near as circumstances will admit.]
Whereas, A. B. of —, son of D. and E. B. of —, in the county of and state of —, and S.T. daughter of M. and M. T. of —, in the county of have declared their intentions of taking each other in marriage, to — monthly meeting of the Society of Friends, held in —, according to the good order used among them; and their proceedings, after due inquiry and deliberate consideration thereof, being allowed by the said meeting; they appearing clear of all others, and having consent of parents (or guardians) concerned.
Now these are to certify to all whom it may concern, that for the full accomplishing of their said intentions, this — day of the – month in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and , they, the said A. B. and S.T. appeared . at a religious meeting of the aforesaid society in s ; and he the said A. B. taking the said S. T. by the hand, did openly declare as followeth : “In the presence of this assembly I take this my friend S. T. to be my wife, promising, through: Divine assistance, to be unto her a faithful and affectionate husband, until death shall separate us.” And the said S. T. did then and there declare in like manner as followeth: “In the presence of this assembly I take this my friend A. B. to be my husband, promising, through Divine assistance, to be unto him a faithful and affectionate wife, until death shall separate us.” Or words of the like import.
And the said A. B. and S. T. as a further confirmation thereof, have hereunto set their hands: She,
after the custom of marriage, adopting the name of her husband.
And we, whose names are hereunto subscribed, being present at the solemnization of their said marriage, have set our hands as witnesses thereunto, the day and year above written.
Agreed that it be recommended, that according to the ancient practice among friends, they take care that such men and women friends as do make suit or concern themselves in proposals of marriage, one to the other, do not dwell in the same house, from the time they begin to be concerned, until their marriage. This meeting having deliberately considered the great exercise brought upon our society, by divers in profession with us, who are joined in marriage contrary to our known principles, and the wholesome discipline established among us, with persons either of our own or other persuasions, doth earnestly advise that all friends use their utmost endeavors to prevent such marriages, whensoever the parties' inclinations may come to their knowledge. And it is the sense and judgment of this meeting, that where any do marry, contrary to the established rules of the society, they should be dealt with in a spirit of Christian love and tenderness, agreeably to our known discipline. Monthly meetings are authorized, if the case
require it, to disown such parents or guardians, as encourage the marriages of their children and those under their care, (members of our religious society.) contrary to the good order established amongst us, if after Christian and brotherly labor with them, they cannot be brought to a due sense of their error, and a satisfactory acknowledgement of the same. We also recommend the good order of friends relating to marriage, that it be carefully preserved and duly maintained in the first and earliest proceedings leading thereunto, as well as the orderly solemnization thereof; and if any persons, contrary to the repeated advice and established order of friends, shall, under any pretence whatsoever, presume to take each other in any meeting for worship, without the consent of the monthly meeting to which they belong, such proceeding being of a clandestine nature, tending to make void the just care of friends in that case, we advise that the monthly meeting do not fail to testify against the practice, as well as against the persons concerned therein. 1730, 1847. MASTERS, MISTRESSES, AND SERVANTS.
ADVISED, that servants professing the truth behave themselves in due subjection, humility and plainness, as becomes their profession and places: and likewise, that masters and mistresses behave themselves toward their servants according to the apostle's direction. Eph. vi. 5, 6, 9. Col. iv. 1. 1 Tim. vi. 1, 2. Titus ii. 9, 10. 1 Pet. ii. 18, 19, 20. 1703.
A religious care is recommended toward our servants, that all appearance of pride, idleness and vain conversation, in them, may be discouraged; and that they may be exhorted to attend First-day and week-day meetings, and have a sense of God's love upon their spirits, and therein partake with us of the sweetness of truth; and in the discharge of their duty to God, and to their masters and mistresses, know peace in themselves. 1718.
And it is further advised, that all parents and masters of families do use their utmost care and endeavors to keep their youth duly to meetings, and to prevent the indecent straggling abroad of their children and servants, especially on the Firstdays, and other times allowed them to attend meetings, and to keep them out of all tumultuous crowds or gatherings of rude people. 1726.