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efficacy of this most holy faith, ye may become strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might, which will enable you to worship God in spirit with acceptance, and preserve you in a lively frame of mind, from a drowsy and lukewarm spirit, which in all our religious assemblies, ought to be guarded against with the utmost care and circumspection. In this lively faith and pure life of Christ, you will have victory over the world, over your desires after the grandeur and perishing things thereof, and over all corrupt customs and fashions, which are contrary to the purity of the gospel, and our ancient Christian testimony. 1736. The importance of steadfastly maintaining our ancient principles, respecting the doctrines of the Gospel, coming renewedly under our consideration, we earnestly recommend and enjoin upon quarterly and monthly meetings, and upon all faithful friends, to be watchful over our members, as it regards the profession of their faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, both as to his outward coming in the flesh, wherein he tasted death for every man, and was the propitiatory sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world, suffering the just for the unjust, that we might be brought unto God through him;—and to his spiritual appearance in the heart, for “unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time, without sin, unto salvation.” And if in any instance there should be manifested any deviation from our Christian principles in these respects, that they proceed to labor with such in the spirit of meekness and wisdom, endeavoring to bring them to a sense of their I
departure from our acknowledged principles, that if possible they may be restored to soundness of faith. And if there should be any who should persist in their errors, notwithstanding such labor in brotherly love, that our testimony be maintained by testifying against such. 1829. In all your religious meetings for the worship of Almighty God, let your minds be seasoned with an awful sense of real and true devotion, and be ye exemplary to the flock of Christ. Let the solemn gravity of your deportment be such as may demonstrate to others, that you are in earnest in the great duty of waiting upon and worshiping God in spirit; that serious and tender-hearted inquirers may be encouraged to come and partake, in your assemblies, of that inward and spiritual consolation and refreshment, which the Lord is graciously pleased to impart to the souls of such as are humbled in his sight, and approach his holy presence with reverence and fear. 1744. Take care, we beseech you, in this day of ease and liberty, lest a spirit of lukewarmness and indifferency prevail over you, to the stopping of the streams of the water of life, and rendering you like the barren heath in the desert, which knoweth not when good comes. We entreat you to be especially watchful in this behalf, that an indolent and sluggish disposition appear not among you, to the stumbling of such serious inquirers as may attend our meetings, in expectation of that life and power, which the observation of your indifference and unconcernedness may give them too just cause to suspect that ye yourselves are strangers to. 1741.
Let not the smallness of your numbers discourage you from constantly attending those meetings, inasmuch as the words of Christ remain unchangeably true and steadfast, “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” Matt. xviii. 20. But it hath been justly observed, that where remissness and neglect of attending meetings for worship have prevailed, it hath been too often an inlet to further declension, and such other undue liberties as truth and its guidance do by no means admit of.
We therefore tenderly exhort such as, through fear of neglecting their temporal concerns, or other considerations, are kept from a due attendance of these meetings, seriously to consider that gracious promise left upon record; “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.” Some of us have to testify, by blessed experience, that our affairs have not suffered by giving up our time, during the few hours set apart for religious worship; but on the contrary our minds have been thereby greatly strengthened to come up with propriety in the duties we owe to God, to our families, and to all mankind. 1758.
As it hath pleased divine goodness clearly to manifest amongst us the way of life and salvation, and to instruct us where and how to wait for him, prize, we beseech you, these precious privileges; keep all your meetings in the name of the Lord, and let your minds be established in an humble waiting upon him, with reverence and fear; so shall strength be added to strength, and, being more
closely united to him, you will experience the indwelling of his blessed spirit. 1761. When gathered in your religious assemblies, be truly concerned to retire to the divine and heavenly gift, which will minister to every state and condition though you may have no outward teaching, and will direct you to wait, without being restless or uneasy, till it be a proper time to break up your meeting with that decency and solemnity, which should attend our minds in such service. [1755.] And be not apt, as the manner of some is, at the close of your meetings, hastily to enter into discourses about the affairs of this life, much less the vain amusements thereof; a practice inconsistent with the Christian gravity, which at such times ought, in a special manner, to season the minds of persons so lately assembled for the worship of God, in spirit and in truth. 1748. Persons professing with us, who absent them. selves from our religious meetings, either on Firstday or other days of the week, and disregard the repeated advice and endeavors of friends to stir them up to this necessary duty, are to be dealt with by the monthly meeting to which they belong, even to disowning such, if the case require it. 1770.
IT is recommended that one or more faithful friend or friends, of either or both sexes, be appointed out of each particular meeting as standing elders by the monthly meeting, whose duty it is to help young ministers, and give advice to all others as occasion may require; to encourage our youth and others in virtue, and in a reverent and early attention to, and belief in, the divine appearance and operation of the spirit of Christ in their own hearts, and in a venerable esteem of the Holy Scriptures, and a frequent reading and meditating therein; and to that plainness, moderation and simplicity, which is becoming our holy profession; to stir up those who are or may be deficient in the due attendance of our meetings; and in general to watch over the flock of Christ; being themselves examples in faith, meekness and charity. 1709, 1728, 1760.
In the appointment of Elders, the following order is to be observed:—
As these are officers of the church at large, let the monthly meeting, after it has approved such as it adjudges duly anointed and qualified for that