Quaker Heritage Press > Online Texts > The Old Discipline > Meetings for Worship


Dear Friends, keep all your meetings in the authority, wisdom, and power of truth, and unity of the blessed Spirit; and the God of peace be with you. And it is advised, that such as come late to meetings, or, when there fall asleep, or are restless, or do not stay in the meeting, but go forth unnecessarily, or otherwise demean themselves unbecoming our holy profession on those solemn occasions, be tenderly and seasonably admonished.

We exhort all to a Christian exercise and zeal in the performance of worship to Almighty God; and as we are not capable in our own strength to perform this great duty, we recommend to a diligent waiting in true silence and retirement of mind, for the renewed sense of the inward power and virtue of his Spirit, whereby we shall be qualified to worship him in an acceptable manner. Let our faithfulness and sincerity herein appear, by the humility, meekness and circumspection of our lives and conversation, adorning the doctrines and principles of truth, as they were declared by Christ and his apostles: those who have been preserved in faithfulness therein, having to testify from that experience which cannot deceive, that it hath been very profitable; and therefore cannot be easy without encouraging and putting forward their children, apprentices and servants to this religious duty, as well as other behaviour suitable thereunto. And if this useful practice was more generally attended to, it would do more for us and them than any outward acquisition of wealth; and without doubt, some of those who have been placed under our direction, may with thankfulness have to view our pious care in taking them from worldly business to seek a city eternal in the heavens.

This meeting recommends, that Friends who are exercised in the discipline, would early extend their brotherly love and care, in visiting such amongst us who neglect their duty in attending our meetings for public worship. And as a wilful neglect of this important duty is a manifest evidence of ingratitude to the Divine Being, contrary to the example and practice of the primi- tive believers in Christ, and our religious testimony: it is the sense of this meeting, that as such who are thus insensible of their religious duty, disunite themselves from Christian fellow- ship with Friends, monthly meetings after having fully discharged their duty towards them, and finding their endeavours to reclaim them ineffectual, should testify our disunion with them.

As the minds of many are turned towards Friends, and the appearance of a drowsy spirit in our religious meetings, is offensive, and may be a cause of stumbling to sober inquirers, it is earnestly desired that this weakness may not exist among us, and as indulgence therein must necessarily have a disqualifying effect, it is the sense and judgment of this meeting, that quarterly, monthly, and other meetings should be cautious of employing such members in the weighty services of the discipline.

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