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The Third day of the week they named Tuesday, in honor of one of their idols called Tuisco. The Fourth day of the week they called Wednesday, from the appellation of Woden, another of their idols. The Fifth day of the week was called Thursday, from the name of an idol called Thor, to which they paid their devotions on that day. The Sixth day of the week was termed Friday, from the name of Friga, an imaginary goddess by them worshiped. The Seventh day of the week they styled Saturday, as is supposed from Saturn or Seater, by them then worshiped.* In the ages of Popish superstition, not only the use of such heathenish names and customs was indulged, but also other unsound and unscriptural practices in religion were invented and introduced. For when the profession of the Christian religion became national, multitudes of the heathen priests, whose interest lay in the performance of rites, ceremonies, and sacrifices, embraced prevailing Christianity with selfish views, and labored early, with too much success, to find employment for themselves, by imposing on the people a new set of ceremonies and sacrifices, bearing some resemblance to those, which in their former state of heathenism they had been accustomed to. From this corrupt source sprang the Popish sacrifice of the mass, the celebration of which, at particular times and on particular occasions, gave rise to the vulgar names of Michaelmas, Martinmas, Christmas, and the like. Seeing therefore that these appellations and names of days, months, and times, are of an idolatrous or superstitious original, contrary to the divine command, the practice of good and holy men in former ages and repugnant to the Christian testimony borne by our faithful friends and predecessors in the truth, for the sake of which they patiently endured many revilings; let neither the reproach of singularity nor the specious reasonings of such as would evade the cross of Christ, turn you aside from the simplicity of the gospel, nor discourage you from keeping to the language of truth, in denominating the months and days according to the plain and scriptural way of expression, thereby following the example of our worthy elders, and coming up in a noble and honorable testimony against these and all other remains of idolatry and superstition.
*See Verstegan and Sheringham.
DE F A M ATION AN ID DETR ACTION.
ADVISED, to watch against all tale-bearing and defaming friends or others, or evil-speaking tending thereunto; and to shut out all occasions of offences, contentions and divisions, and to put a speedy stop thereto, passing righteous judgment upon all who appear instruments of divisions and offences, contrary to that peaceable truth and gospel we profess to be guided by. Be kind and tender-hearted one to another, earnestly laboring for universal love, union, and peace in our religious society.
But when any hath received offence from another, let him first speak privately to the party offending, and endeavor reconciliation between themselves; and not whisper or aggravate matters against one another, behind their backs, to the making of parties, and the breach wider. 1692.
Let those just and ancient commands of God be observed, Levit. xix. 16, “Thou shalt not go up and down as a tale-bearer among thy people:” and Exodus xxiii. 1, “Thou shalt not raise a false report.” In the fear of the Lord stand against all whisperers, backbiters, tale-bearers, defamers, and slanderers, and against all whisperings, backbitings, tale-bearing, reproaching, and slandering; and put a speedy stop thereto, as much as in you lies; for such works of darkness and envy tend to division and discord, and the righteous law of God goes against both the authors, fomentors, receivers and encouragers thereof. 1695. Be careful to avoid all backbitings, whisperings, and tale-bearings; for “the words of a tale-bearer,” says the wise man, “are as wounds,” Prov. xviii. 8, tending to the defamation and lessening of the characters of one another. Be not, therefore, like those of whom the prophet complains, “Report, say they, and we will report it;” but when you hear a thing tending to the defamation of any, inquire of the reporter, whether he has acquainted the person affected thereby with such a report; if not, caution him to forbear spreading the same, lest the reputation of the innocent be injured thereby. Endeavor to put a speedy stop to all such wicked practices, and works of darkness, justly condemnable, not only in the authors, but in the encouragers thereof. “He that worketh deceit,” says the Royal Psalmist, “shall not dwell within my house; he that telleth lies shall not tarry in my sight.” Psal. ci. 5, 7. 1738. We remind you to stand upon your guard against all whispering, backbiting and detracting spirits, who busy themselves in spreading evil surmisings one of another, and to discourage every practice of that nature, observing the advice of the apostle, “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil-speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: and be ye kind one to another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.” Eph. iv. 31, 32. Always mindful of the precept of our Lord, “Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.” Matt. vii. 12. 1784. It is the advice of this meeting, that any person charged with defamation or scandal, ought to be proceeded against in the manner and by the several steps following. First, the person defamed, or supposed to be defamed, in his own person, or any other to whom the knowledge of the case shall come, is to go to the accused, and tell him his fault, or supposed fault, between them alone, and, by the best method he is capable of labor to convince him of it, in order to his acknowledgment of the truth, and to his repentance, if he appears to be guilty. But if the accused shall appear, either through ignorance not to apprehend the validity of the proof, or through wilfulness not to yield to it, or being convinced, shall refuse to make such satisfaction as the nature of the case requires; (that being the consequence of true repentance;) in such case let the accuser take with him one or two more of the monthly meeting the accused belongs to, if it may be conveniently done; and if the accused thinks fit, he may bring with him one or two friends also of the same monthly meeting, if it may be conveniently done; and they, together, in the wisdom of God, to endeavor to obtain the true knowledge of the case, by hearing witmesses, if there be occasion. And if they all judge him guilty, and he doth not make satisfaction; or