Quaker Heritage Press > Online Texts > The Old Discipline > Oaths
"But above all things my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea, be yea; and your nay,nay; lest ye fall into condemnation." James 5:12.
From the year 1718 to 1771, divers minutes of this meeting appear, declaring that oaths administered by clerks or others, under the notice and connivance of Friends, either in court or elsewhere, violate our ancient testimony. And it is earnestly recommended to quarterly and monthly meetings, that where any under our name are parties to the administration of oaths, to be careful to proceed in dealing with them; and if they will not decline the practice and give suitable satisfaction to the meeting they belong to, to testify against them agreeably to the rules of our discipline.
As it is our duty to support our Christian testimony against oaths, faithful Friends are desired to extend brotherly labour towards those who deviate therefrom, and if such labour proves unsuccessful, monthly meetings should testify their disunity with them.
And Friends in all places are exhorted carefully to avoid electing or promoting their brethren to such stations in civil government as may subject them to the temptation of violating this testimony; and where any members shew an inclination or desire of soliciting or accepting of such offices, timely care should be taken to caution them against it. And in the execution of instruments of writing requiring witnesses, it is recommended that Friends endeavour to procure such persons for this purpose, as will attest the same by affirmation. -- 1762, 1806.