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ALTHOUGH we do not feel disposed to enjoin any particular mode, with respect to burials, yet we recommend the attention of friends to the practice of the society, as anciently described, viz:
“If the corpse of the deceased be near any public meeting house, it is usually carried thither, for the more convenient reception of those that accompany it to the grave yard; and it so falls out sometimes, that while the meeting is gathering for the burial, some or other have a word of exhortation, for the sake of the people there met together; after which the body is borne away by the young men, or those that are of their neighborhood, or that were most of the intimacy of the deceased party; the corpse being in a plain coffin, without any covering or furniture upon it. At the ground, they pause sometime before they put the body into its grave, that if any there should have any thing upon them to exhort the people, they may not be disappointed, and that the relations may the more retiredly and solemnly take their last leave of the corpse of their departed kindred, and the spectators have a sense of mortality, by the occasion then given them to reflect upon their own latter end.”
And in order that burials be commendably and decently accomplished, as well as for the assistance of those immediately concerned, monthly meetings are advised to appoint some solid friends to attend thereat.
Being very desirous that friends should keep a commendable plainness and simplicity in the burial of the dead, as well as in other respects, it is the advice of this meeting, that no monuments be set up in our burial grounds near or over the dead bodies of friends or others, except a plain stone not to exceed fifteen inches in height above the surface of the ground, on which no inscription shall be made other than the name, date of death, and age of the deceased. And it is advised, that the several monthly meetings take care that, in these respects, our testimonies be carefully maintained. And also to see that all burial grounds be properly inclosed. 1852.
According to the primitive simplicity and innocency of friends, it is the advice of this meeting, that no friends imitate the world in any distinction of habit or otherwise, as marks or tokens of mourning for the dead. 1717.
Advised against imitating the vain custom of wearing, or giving mourning, and all extravagant expenses about the interment of the dead. 1724.
INASMUCH as we have a large body of youth growing up, the offspring of friends, these call for our special care and concern, that they may be preserved in the way of truth, in which our forefathers walked; and in order thereto, we tenderly recommend to all parents and guardians, first, that they take heed to themselves, that their own spirits be rightly seasoned and directed, for the help and good government of their children; and then that they have a constant watchful eye in love over them for their good, and keep them as much as possible within their notice and observation; for this we are sensible of, that the miscarriages of youth have very much proceeded from their being imprudently indulged, or left to themselves, by which means they become exposed to the danger of evil examples on the one hand, and vicious, corrupt principles on the other, with which the world too much abounds. And therefore we earnestly and tenderly advise all parents and guardians to be watchfully concerned in this respect, and that they take all proper occasions, both by example and instruction, to help their children;
and that mothers of children as well as fathers, as they have frequently the best opportunities, would take particular care to instruct them in the knowledge of religion, and the Holy Scriptures; because it has been found by experience that good impressions early made on the tender minds of children, have proved lasting means of preserving them in a religious life and conversation. This practice was enjoined strongly upon the people of Israel by Moses and Joshua, the servants of the Lord, who required them to read or repeat the law to their children; and the apostle Paul takes notice of Timothy as being well instructed in the Holy Scriptures from a child; and of the unfeigned faith which dwelt in his grandmother Lois, and his mother Eunice, (2 Tim. i. 5,) who, no doubt, had a religious care of his education. But when parents or guardians are deficient in such their care, we recommend to monthly meetings, that they stir them up thereto, either by visiting them in their families, or in such manner as in the wisdom of God they may see meet; that so the doctrines of the gospel, and a conversation agreeable thereunto, may be maintained unto all generations. 1731. It is the sense and judgment of this meeting, that the natural right Qf membership extend to all children, born of parents who are both members, and should one of the parents be disowned, it shall not prejudice the right of those children born afterwards, provided the other parent remain in membership. That where but one of the parents is a member,
become so by application or otherwise, their children shall not be considered members, unless such parent make application to the monthly meeting, on account of their children, and the meeting judge such children suitable to be admitted as members. And it is advised, that, where but one of the parents is a member of our society, they endeavor to bring up their children agreeably to truth, as far as is in their power, and, when they think it suitable for them to be members, not to neglect asking the care of friends in their behalf. 1774.