« EdellinenJatka »
out of the quarterly meeting they belong to, or to attend the sittings of neighboring yearly meetings or quarterly meetings belonging thereunto, they seasonably communicate the same to the elders of their respective meetings, for their advice and concurrence, before they move it to the monthly meeting, in order for a certificate. And when their concern extends to visiting the churches, within any other of the yearly meetings on this continent, they proceed in like manner. And when the monthly meeting has given its certificate, they acquaint the quarterly meeting therewith, for its concurrence, which is to be first had, before the friend proceed. And when the concern extends to Europe, or beyond sea, as the most weighty, clear and deliberate evidence should be obtained in so important a service, in which the reputation of society may be more immediately concerned, it is therefore recommended, that, unless such considerations should prevent, as the quarterly and monthly meeting may judge sufficient, the approbation of the yearly meeting of ministers and elders should be likewise obtained.
QUERIES FOR MEETINGs of MINISTERS AND ELDERs.
1. Are ministers and elders careful to attend their meetings for divine worship, bringing their families with them? Do they diligently attend meetings for discipline, encouraging such of their families to this duty as are suitable : 2. Are ministers, in the exercise of their gifts, careful to wait for divine ability, and thereby preserved from being burdensome? 3. Are the lives and conversation of ministers and elders clean and blameless amongst men 7 Are they in unity one with another, and with the meeting they belong to, harmoniously laboring together for truth's honor 4. Do they rule their own houses well, bringing up their families in plainness which truth requires, in dress, language, and true moderation ? And are they good examples in these respects themselves 7 5. Are they peace-makers in families, and in the church, careful to maintain the discipline, not to screen their own families therefrom, and to administer justice as faithful servants? It is agreed that none travel abroad as ministers, without being first recommended to and accepted by the quarterly meeting as such, and that none appoint meetings out of the limits of the quarterly meeting they belong to, without a certificate from the monthly meeting or the concurrence thereof. It is further earnestly and affectionately recommended, that ministers and elders watch over one another for good, to help those who are young in the ministry in the right line, discouraging forward spirits that run into words without life and power, advising against affectation of tones and gestures, and every thing that would hurt their service: yet encouraging the humble, careful traveller, speaking a word in season to them that are weary. And let all dwell in that which gives ability to labor successfully in the church of Christ, adorning the doctrine they deliver to others, being examples of the believers in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, and in purity.
IN the love of Christ we earnestly exhort you to watch diligently over the flock of God, and deal in due time, and in a spirit of Christian love and tenderness, with all such as walk disorderly amongst you, in order to reclaim and restore them by brotherly counsel and admonition; and when, after patient waiting, you find that your Christian labor of love hath not its desired effect, you neglect not to testify against and disown such persons, and thereby prevent the reproach and dishonor which may be brought upon our holy profession through their means, that the end and design of our wholesome discipline may be answered.
We think it both unseasonable and dishonorable, when persons apply to monthly meetings on account of marriage, or for relief in case of necessity, or any similar occasion, then to object to them such offences as the meeting, through neglect of its own duty, have suffered long to pass by unreproved and unnoticed. 1743.
It is the ancient and constant sense of friends, that any person denied by a monthly meeting, is adjudged as disowned by friends, and to stand and remain in that state, till by his repentance,
or by the reversal of such denial by a superior meeting, he is reconciled to friends, or reinstated in membership among them; with which this meeting hath unity, and therefore confirms the same. 1727.
When a person commits an offence, as soon as it comes to the knowledge of the meeting wherein he resides, he not being a member thereof, that meeting shall acquaint the meeting of which he is a member therewith. The meeting of which he is a member shall then proceed to visit and deal with him, unless by reason of distance it be not convenient; in which case, it shall apply to the monthly meeting in which the offender resides, to act for it and visit him, and report its proceedings to the meeting of which he is a member; which meeting shall receive his acknowledgment, or disown him, as in its judgment the case shall require.
If the offender remove, after dealing be commenced, the meeting that had him under its care shall continue the same, if he be equally within its reach, or otherwise write to the meeting into the compass of which he is removed, which meeting shall proceed therein, and report to the meeting of which he is a member, which meeting shall receive his acknowledgment or proceed to deny him as aforesaid. But if the monthly meeting where the offence is committed judge the case to be of such a nature as to require its more speedy dealing and even disowning the offender, for the clearing of truth according to our ancient care and practice; it is at liberty so to do, giving the meeting the offender did belong to as early notice thereof as it can. 1747, 1782.