Quaker Heritage Press > Online Texts > The Old Discipline > Convinced Persons


It is concluded that the following order be observed respecting persons who apply for admittance into membership, and request to come under the care of Friends: That they apply to the overseers or elders, who, when they are easy so to do, are to lay it before the preparative meeting; and after that meeting is fully satisfied, by paying a solid visit, or otherwise, they are to lay the case before the monthly meeting; which meeting shall appoint some suitable Friends to inquire into the persons' life and conversation, and also to take a solid opportunity of conference with the party, in order the better to understand whether his or her motives for such request be sincere, and on the ground of true convincement; and make report of their sense of the persons' suitableness to become a member; on which when the meeting is satisfied, a minute should be made, signifying the acceptance of such into membership, and appointing a Friend or two to acquaint the person thereof, requesting his or her attendance at the next monthly meeting.

But in all such cases, Friends are exhorted to attend carefully to the advice of the apostle, "Lay hands suddenly on no man:" the neglect of such caution having often been injurious both to the individuals and to the society: to them, by settling them in a false rest; and to the society, by adding to its numbers, without increasing its joy.

Wherefore, we desire, that on every application of persons to be received into membership with us, monthly meetings may be deep and weighty in their deliberations and result; and when united in believing that the applicants are clearly convinced of our religious principles, and in a good degree subject to the divine witness in their own hearts, manifested by a circumspect life and conduct, said meetings are at liberty to receive such into membership, without respect to nation or colour.

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