Quaker Heritage Press > Online Texts > The Old Discipline > Queries for Meetings of Ministers and Elders


It is also concluded, that of the following four queries, formed for the use of the meetings of ministers and elders, the first three be read and distinctly answered in writing three times in a year, by each preparative meeting of that kind, to its respective quarterly meeting: and that all the said four queries shall be in like manner read and answered, by the preparative to their quarterly meetings next preceding the yearly meeting of ministers and elders; that the quarterly meetings may be enabled to transmit a clear and distinct statement of those answers to that meeting.

First Query. Are ministers and elders careful to attend meetings for divine worship, bringing their families with them. Do they diligently attend meetings for discipline, encouraging such of their families to this duty as are of proper age, and suitable deportment?

Second Query. Are ministers sound in word and doctrine; careful to minister in the ability which God gives, and thereby kept from burthening the living?

Third Query. Are the lives and conversation of ministers and elders clean and blameless amongst men: are they in unity one with another, and with the meeting they belong to, harmoniously labouring together for truth's honour?

Fourth Query. Are they good examples in uprightness, temperance and moderation; and careful to train up their families in plainness of dress and simplicity of manners, becoming our religious profession?

And it is earnestly and affectionately recommended, that ministers and elders watch over one another for good, to help those who are exercised in the ministry in the right line, discouraging forward spirits that run into words without life and power, advising against affectation of tones and gestures, and every thing that would hurt their service; yet encouraging the humble careful traveller; "speaking a word in season to them that are weary." And let all dwell in that which gives ability to labour successfully in the church of Christ, adorning the doctrine which they deliver to others, being examples of the Believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, and in purity. -- 1755, 1795, 1806.

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