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As to the consistency of the members of our society joining themselves in the meetings or public entertainments of those called free-masons, we have deliberated upon the subject, and according to our present judgment, think it not consistent with our religious profession; and advise that quarterly and monthly meetings dissuade their members therefrom: and if any do join therewith, contrary to the advice herein contained, that they be dealt with.
As our time passeth swiftly away, and our delight ought to be in the law of the Lord; it is advised that a watchful care be exercised over our youth, to prevent their going to stage-plays, horse-races, entertainments of music and dancing, or any such vain sports and pastimes, and being concerned in lotteries, wagering, or other species of gaming. And if any of our members fall into either of these practices, and cannot be prevailed upon, by private labor to decline them, the monthly meeting to which such belong, should be informed thereof; and if they be not reclaimed by further labor, proceed to testify our disunity with them.
HIRELING MINISTRY, AND THEIR
OUR ancient testimony against a hireling ministry, or any contributions to the maintenance and support thereof, being founded on the example and precepts of our Lord and his primitive followers and disciples; it is the sense of this meeting, that friends be careful to support the same, by a faithful testimony against contributing towards their salaries, by tax or otherwise, and against the building or repairing of their meeting-houses.
WHEREAs some persons professing with us, have proved so base and unworthy, as, when they have run themselves into debt, to remove themselves or their effects, to prevent justice; whereby those creditors who are friends, have been deprived of an opportunity of the common method of friends, specified in the minute of 1697, respecting arbitrations; it is hereby declared, that the last paragraph of said minute, which prohibits friends to sue or arrest one another, is not intended to prevent such evil persons in those practices from being dealt with by a legal process, as the nature of the case may require: of which circumstance the monthly and quarterly meetings are the proper judges; so it is not doubted but they will do justice to the parties concerned therein. And this meeting doth request every monthly meeting to appoint and depute proper persons out of their several meetings, for such friends as have occasion, to advise with, in the intervals of monthly meetings, and if they see cause, to give liberty to recover as above. 1720.
And as it may happen that by sudden losses or unforeseen accidents, or otherwise, a friend may be reduced, and unable to pay all just debts, and his creditors, falling suddenly upon him by suits or attachments, foreclose a due proportion of a just debt due to a friend, if the advice specified in the minute of 1697, respecting arbitrations, be strictly attended to ; it is therefore to be understood, that in all such sudden or extraordinary occasions, friends are left to their liberty to secure their just debts in a legal manner; provided they, in all cases, submit the attachment to come into a general average, upon a just settlement with all the other equitable demands, and to receive their dividends according to their demands with all the rest.