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It is our principle, and hath ever been our practice, to be subject to whatsoever government is set over us, either by doing or suffering. 1660, renewed in 1782. This is our principle, and hath ever been our practice, to obey authority by doing or suffering, not disputing whether the authority in itself be absolutely of God or not; yet being an authority over us, we are to obey it either by doing or suffering, because it is an authority. 1661, renewed 1782. Advised, to walk wisely and circumspectly towards all men, in the peaceable spirit of Christ Jesus, giving no offence or occasions to those in outward government, nor way to any controversies, heats, and distractions of this world, about the kingdoms of it; but to pray for the good of all, and submit all to that divine power and wisdom which rules over the kingdoms of men. 1689. This meeting was well satisfied, and very glad of the sense it had of the innocency and peaceableness of the body of friends in general, towards the civil government under which we live, and enjoy our present liberty in the peaceable exercise of our tender consciences towards Almighty God, to whom we are humbly thankful for the same, being obliged to demean ourselves not only as a grateful people, but as a Christian society, to live peaceably and inoffensively under the present government, as we have always done under the various revolutions of government, ever since we were a people, according to our ancient Christian principle and practice; in which we hope we shall ever persevere, according as we are enjoined by our peaceable Saviour Jesus Christ, and the Christian advice of his faithful servants and ministers among us: we being a people clear, in the sight of God, from all evil designs, plots, and conspiracies whatsoever; and hope we shall continue a people always quiet in the land, having nothing but love and good will to all men. We are persuaded, that this our ancient Christian testimony, publicly owned among us, none can gainsay, nor any faithful friends can ever decline; being assured, that the Lord will, in his own due time, remove all offences and causeless jealousies and reproaches, tending to cloud our innocency, and will set his own power, and the peaceable kingdom of his dear Son, over all. 1692. We cannot for conscience sake actively comply with some things enjoined by human laws, yet the principles we profess, as well as the Holy Scriptures, require that we should “render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's,” and be punctual in the payment of every tribute which we can justly do without acting in opposition to that sacred illumination bestowed upon us by the Father of Lights, not only to teach, but also to enable us to perform every duty with uprightness and integrity, both to God, and to those who, in the course of his providence, are placed in authority. 1757. For the preservation of our fellow-members, it appears necessary for this meeting to issue forth the following advices, viz:— That they strictly adhere to our long professed and invariable principle, against being concerned in pulling down and setting up, or bringing about revolutions in outward government, by outward force, human policy or contrivance; and also that they be not deceived with the flattering prospect of being clothed with secular authority, either legislative, judicial, or executive, knowing these things have a tendency rather to brace the mind with pride, and expose to various temptations, than to humble the creature; therefore shun temptation, seek humility, the way to be clothed with authority in the truth, and be contented with the honor and dignity thereof. 1782. It is our sense and judgment, that no friend can, consistently with our Christian testimony, run, or make, or countenance on his behalf to be made, any short entries of goods, wares or merchandise, imported, on which the government have laid any impost, duties or excise; but that a true and honest manifest thereof be exhibited to the proper office for receiving the same; and if there should be any who have a conscientious scruple against the payment of imposts, duties or excise, which may now or hereafter be required, they acquaint the officer or the government therewith, who we doubt not will be tender in that respect; as we, as a people, mean to be subject to the laws passively, where our consciences restrain from active compliance therewith. And if any of our members should act inconsistently herewith, or should buy or vend any goods, knowing them to be run or short entered, that monthly meetings deal with such as disorderly walkers. Liberty of conscience being the common right of all men, and particularly essential to the well being of religious societies, hence we hold it to be indispensably incumbent upon us to maintain it inviolably among ourselves; and therefore advise and exhort all in profession with us, to decline the acceptance of any office or station in civil government, the duties of which are inconsistent with our religious principles, or in the exercise of which they may be under the necessity of exacting of their brethren any compliances against which we are conscientiously scrupulous. And if any persons in membership with us, notwithstanding this advice, shall persist in conduct so reverse to our principles and religious liberty, it is the sense of this meeting that they be treated with as in other cases of offence; and, if they cannot be brought to see and acknowledge their error, that the monthly meeting to which they belong should proceed to testify our disunity with them. And it is the sense and judgment of this meeting, that friends ought not, in any wise, to be active or accessory in electing, or promoting to be elected, their brethren to offices or stations in civil government, the execution whereof tends to lay waste our christian testimony, or to subject their brethren or others to sufferings on account of their conscientious scruples. Believing that we are called to show forth to the world, in life and practice, the blessed reign of the Messiah, the Prince of Peace; under the influence of these principles, we cannot consistently join with such as form combinations of a hostile nature against any; much less in opposition to those placed in sovereign or subordinate authority; nor can we unite with or encourage such as revile and asperse them, for it is written, “Thou shalt not speak evil of the ruler of thy people.”—Acts xxiii. 5. 1775.

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