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YEARLY MEETING OF FRIENDS,
HELD IN LONDON,
QUARTERLY AND MONTHLY MEETINGS
GREAT BRITAIN, IRELAND, AND ELSEWHERE,
FROM 1681 TO 1857, INCLUSIVE :
WITH AN HISTORICAL INTRODUCTION,
AND A CHAPTER COMPRISING SOME OF THE EARLY EPISTLES AND RECORDS
OF THE YEARLY MEETING.
IN TWO VOLUME S.
AMONG the various means available by the Christian Church for the promotion of truth and righteousness is that of epistolary communication. The blessing to mankind in having such a means of communication cannot be too highly valued, and, under the guidance of heavenly wisdom, it is calculated powerfully to promote the hastening of that day when “The knowledge of the Lord shall cover the earth, as the waters cover the sea.”
At a very early period of our religious Society, epistolary exhortations were addressed to its members. Nor was the Society singular in this respect; other nonconforming bodies of that remarkable period in English history adopted a similar practice. Although Epistles had been issued from the Yearly Meeting of Friends held in the North of England, and occasionally from General Meetings held in other parts of the kingdom, it was not until the establishment of the Yearly Meeting in London that these documents partook more particularly of the character of General Epistles to the body at large, whether at home or abroad.
These communications of the exercises and travail of the Church in its collective capacity, for the spiritual welfare of its members wherever situated, adapted to the particular state of the body at the time they were respectively given forth, contain, in the aggregate, a large amount of deeply instructive matter, the reading of which, we