TO THE MEMBERS OF THE THREE MONTHLY MEETINGS IN THE CITY OF PHILADELPHIA
David Bacon, John Parrish, Jacob Tompkins, John Elliot, Nicholas Waln, and Daniel Drinker
Philadelphia: Kimber, Conrad, & Co., Printers, 1805.
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Our minds have been sorrowfully affected under the consideration of themany failurres and bankruptcies which of latter times have taken place among us, to the wounding of the testimony of truth, the reproach of our Christian profession, and the ruin and distress of individuals and families. Of the causes which have led thereto we do very fully disapprove, and declare our disunity with; [P. 2] and as we seriously wish that more instances of this kind may be avoided, we think it right to warn and caution all against improperly grasping after the things of the world, and engaging in hazardous undertakings of the counsel and wisdom of truth, whereby they may be rendered incapable of being punctual to their promises and just in the payment of their debts.
Repeated and salutary advices have been given, both publically and in private, which if attended to, would have preserved many who have fallen into great straits and difficulties.
Many causes which might be enumerated have contributed to produce these sorrowful effects; but there is one that has particularly engaged our attention, to wit, The practice of giving and taking promissory notes, called accomodation paper, and endorsing them one for another, and thus improperly becoming sureties, [P. 3] sometimes even to a greater amount than such parties are capable of paying....How much better would it be, to be contented with such trade and business as are within the reach of our capitals; and never to enter into any engagements or promises without providing funds of our own to comply with punctually?
We are also engaged to caution every individual against imprudently entering into joint securities with others; for by these practices, many innocent wives and children have been inevitably and unexpectedly involved in ruinous and deplorable circumstances. We therefore earnestly desire Friends to keep strictly on their guard, that none through any specious prentences of rendering acts of friendship to others with safety to themselves, may risque their own peace and reputation, and the security of their families: in order hereunto, we recommend the salutory advice of the wise man to their [P. 4] special notice and regard...."Be not thou one of them that strike hands, or of them that are sureties for debts: If thou hast nothing to pay, why should he take away thy bed from under thee?"
Finally dear Friends, we recommend all to attend carefully to the principle of grace and truth in their own minds, which is sufficient to preserve and keep us from falling; and leads to do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly.
Signed, by appointment, on behalf of the said meetings, respectively held on the 26th, 27th, and 29th of the Third month, 1805.