Quaker Heritage Press > Online Texts > The Old Discipline > Conduct and Conversation
Advised that such be dealt with, who are given to lying, swearing, cursing; men and women unlawfully or unseemly keeping company with each other, or any other scandalous practice; and where any are guilty of gross or notorious crimes, or such other disorderly or indecent practices as shall occasion public scandal, after being dealt with by the overseers or other concerned Friends, if they are brought to a sense thereof, such offenders ought without improper delay, to remove the scandal, and clear, as much as in them lies, our holy profession therefrom, by acknowledging the offence, and condemning the same in writing under their hand, to the satisfaction of the monthly meeting whereto they belong. And where any such offender refuseth so to acknowledge and condemn the fault, the said monthly meeting ought speedily to testify against him or her, and the fact.
If any in membership with us shall blaspheme, or speak profanely of Almighty God, Christ Jesus, or the Holy Spirit, he or she ought early to be tenderly treated with for their instruction, and the convincement of their understanding, that they may experience repentance and forgiveness; but should any, notwithstanding this brotherly labour, persist in their error, or deny the divinity of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, the immediate revelation of the Holy Spirit, or the authenticity of the Scriptures; as it is manifest they are not one in faith with us, the monthly meeting where the party belongs, having extended due care for the help and benefit of the individual without effect, ought to declare the same, and issue their testimony accordingly.
It is the earnest concern of this meeting that in all our dealings and transactions among men, strict justice may be observed, and that no motivates of pecuniary interest may induce any of our members to impose on each other, or on their neighbours; and it is desired that monthly meetings may be careful to extend suitable admonition against a spirit of covetousness, and against every appearance of deviation from strict justice in any of our members.
Frequent waiting in stillness on the Lord for the renewal of strength, keeps the mind at home in its proper place and duty, and out of all unprofitable association and converse, whether amongst those of our own, or other professions. Much hurt may accrue to the religious mind by long and frequent conversation on temporal matters, especially by interesting ourselves unnecessarily in them; for there is a leaven in that propensity, which being suffered to prevail, indisposes and benumbs the soul, and prevents its frequent ascendings in living aspirations towards the fountain of eternal life.