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proceeding, by condemning it, and himself therein, that then he be disowned by the meeting. 1697. And if the party so sued or arrested, taking with him, or, if under confinement, sending one or two friends to the person who goes to law, shall complain thereof, the said person shall be required immediately to stay proceedings; and if he does not comply with such requisition, the monthly meeting to which he belongs shall disown him, if the case require it. 1782. It is understood that so much of the minute as doth relate simply to the entering into bonds; and so far as arbitrations may be refused on account of disputes and questions in law, relating to executors or trustees, where the property is not their own;– that in both these cases, there be a particular and special regard had to the nature and circumstances of things, it not being either now, nor at the time of making the said minute, the intent of this meeting, in the above described or other cases, to lay any
unwarrantable burthen upon any brother, nor upon the church of God. 1720.
THE following method is to be observed in proceeding in Arbitrations.
1. Each party having chosen one or two indif. ferent, impartial and judicious friends, those so chosen are to agree upon a third or a fifth friend, unless the parties first agree in the nomination, whose name shall be inserted with the others in the bonds of arbitration, or other written agreement. 2. The arbitrators should not consider themselves as advocates for the party by whom they were chosen, but men whose incumbent duty it is to judge righteously, fearing the Lord. They should shun all previous information respecting the case, that they may not become biased in their judgments before they hear both parties together. 3. The parties are to enter into written engagements or bonds, if either of them require it, to abide by the award of the arbitrators, or a majority of them, to be made in a limited time. 4. Every meeting of the arbitrators must be made known to the parties concerned, until they have been fully heard; nor shall there be any separate private meetings between some of the arbitrators, or with one party separate from the other, on the business referred to them; and no representation of the case of one party, either by writing or otherwise, is to be admitted, without its being fully made known to the other, and, if required, a copy to be delivered to the other party.
5. The arbitrators are to hear both parties fully, in the presence of each other, whilst either hath any fresh matter to offer, until a certain time, to be limited by mutual agreement. Let no evidence or witness be withheld or rejected. 6. If there should appear to the arbitrators, or to any of them, to be any doubtful point of law, they are jointly to agree upon a case, and consult counsel thereupon. The arbitrators are not required to express in the award their reasons for their decision. One writing of the award is to be delivered to each party. It is recommended to arbitrators to propose to the parties, that they should give an acknowledgement in writing, before the award be made, that they have been candidly and fully heard. Matters of defamation are not subjects to be arbitrated, until the defamation is proved, and that some injury is sustained by the defamed, in his trade, calling, or property; and in that case the damage should be submitted to arbitration. 1782. But where damage is not proved to be sustained, the person defaming is liable to be dealt with, as provided under the head of Defamation.
It being recommended to the meeting for sufferings, to take the oversight of all writings proposed to be printed, which relate to our religious principles or testimonies, our members who may have any such publications in view, are to lay them before the said meeting for its advice and concurrence. And it is the sense of this meeting, that if any friend shall print or publish any such writing, without laying it before said meeting, or against the advice of said meeting for sufferings, such persons should be complained of to the monthly meeting they belong to, and if they cannot be convinced of the impropriety of their conduct, be testified against, as opposed to the peace and good order of the society.
This meeting doth earnestly exhort all parents, heads of families, and guardians of minors, that they prevent, as much as in them lies, their children, and others under their care and tuition, from having or reading books and papers tending to prejudice the profession of the Christian religion, to create the least doubt concerning the authenticity of the Holy Scriptures, or of those saving truths declared in them, lest their infant and feeble minds should be poisoned thereby, and a foundation laid for the greatest evils. And it is earnestly recommended to all members of our religious society, that they discourage and suppress the reading of plays,. pernicious novels, and other bad books. And printers and booksellers-in profession with us, are cautioned against printing, selling or lending such books, as it is a practice inconsistent with the purity of the Christian religion. And friends are desired to be careful in the choice of all books in which their children and families read, seeing there are many, under the specious titles of promoting religion and morality, which contain sentiments repugnant to the truth as it is in Christ Jesus. And monthly meetings are desired to provide the families of poor friends, with friends' books, and such as are adapted to the instruction and edification of their children. It is recommended, that the meeting for sufferings do distribute friends' books in such manner, and such places, as it may think proper.