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require it, to disown such parents or guardians, as encourage the marriages of their children and those under their care, (members of our religious society,) contrary to the good order established amongst us, if after Christian and brotherly labor with them, they cannot be brought to a due sense of their error, and a satisfactory acknowledgement of the same. We also recommend the good order of friends relating to marriage, that it be carefully preserved and duly maintained in the first and earliest proceedings leading thereunto, as well as the orderly solemnization thereof; and if any persons, contrary to the repeated advice and established order of friends, shall, under any pretence whatsoever, presume to take each other in any meeting for worship, without the consent of the monthly meeting to which they belong, such proceeding being of a clandestine nature, tending to make void the just care of friends in that case, we advise that the monthly meeting do not fail to testify against the practice, as well as against the persons concerned therein. 1730, 1847. MASTERS, MISTRESSES, AND SERVANTS.
Advised, that servants professing the truth behave themselves in due subjection, humility and plainness, as becomes their profession and places: and likewise, that masters and mistresses behave themselves toward their servants according to the apostle's direction. Eph. vi. 5, 6, 9. Col. iv. 1. 1 Tim. vi. 1, 2. Titus ii. 9, 10. 1 Pet. ii. 18, 19, 20. 1703.
A religious care is recommended toward our servants, that all appearance of pride, idleness and vain conversation, in them, may be discouraged; and that they may be exhorted to attend First-day and week-day meetings, and have a sense of God's love upon their spirits, and therein partake with us of the sweetness of truth; and in the discharge of their duty to God, and to their masters and mistresses, know peace in themselves, 1718.
And it is further advised, that all parents and masters of families do use their utmost care and endeavors to keep their youth duly to meetings, and to prevent the indecent straggling abroad of their children and servants, especially on the Firstdays, and other times allowed them to attend meetings, and to keep them out of all tumultuous crowds or gatherings of rude people. 1726.
Advised, that friends, in the several quarterly and monthly meetings, take special care that the titles of friends' meeting-houses and burial-grounds be made secure, according to law. 1703.
It having been represented to us, that in divers parts losses have been sustained by our society, by not timely looking into and securing the titles of meeting-houses, burial-grounds, and charitable bequests; we have to recommend to quarterly and monthly meetings, to make timely and careful inspection into what hands and trusts the same are secured; and, if they find occasion, by the death of any friend or otherwise, to add some others to the trust, or make any alteration, so that friends may not be deprived of the benefit of such meetinghouses, burial-grounds, and charitable bequests; and that the quarterly and monthly meetings keep exact records of all such trusts and conveyances. 1737.
MEETING FOR SUFFERINGS.
This meeting being under a weighty concern for friends who are or may be under sufferings and difficulties, on account of our religious testimony, doth appoint a meeting for sufferings, consisting of not less than twenty-five members, who are desired, with diligence, caution and due care, to proceed in such weighty matters as may come before them, humbly waiting for the influence of divine wisdom to direct their minds from time to time, so that their results may tend to their own peace, and to the welfare of our religious society. They are desired to take cognizance of all grievances arising amongst us, wherein any friend or friends may be affected in his or their person or property, or in regard to our Christian testimony, to advise, counsel and assist, as best wisdom may direct: and any aggrieved friend or friends may apply to them, either in a collective or separate capacity, as the circumstances of the case may require.
The said meeting is to view manuscripts proposed to be printed, and correspond with the meetings for sufferings or yearly meetings of London, Philadelphia, or elsewhere, to represent the
state of the affairs of friends here, or as occasion may require; and in general to represent this meeting in all cases where the reputation and interest of truth and our religious society are concerned, provided they do not meddle with matters of faith and discipline not already determined in the yearly meeting. There should be at least ten members present to constitute a meeting, who should concur on all occasions; and, in matters of great importance, notice is to be given, as far as may be, to all the members. The said meeting is to draw on the treasury of this meeting in its recess, for the money lodged therein, from time to time as occasion may require; being accountable for the same, and keeping records of all their proceedings, which are annually to be laid before this meeting, or such committee as it may appoint to inspect or view the same. 1775, 1776, 1783.