Quaker Heritage Press > Online Texts > The Old Discipline > Plainness
We tenderly exhort all, seriously to consider the plainness and simplicity which the gospel enjoins, and to manifest it in their speech, apparel, furniture, salutations and conversation, into which our forefathers were led by the Spirit of Christ, in conformity with his precepts and example; and for which they patiently suffered long imprisonments, and great persecutions; being convinced that it was their duty thus to bear a testimony against the vain spirit of the world. -- 1746.
The spirit of truth, which led our ancients to lay aside every thing unbecoming the followers of Christ, still leads in the same path, all who submit to its guidance; we therefore earnestly entreat all Friends to watch over themselves in this respect. The example of our blessed Saviour, his immediate followers, and of virtuous and holy men in all ages, ought to make a due impression on every considerate mind, and especially on such as have had the advantage of a guarded education.
We also tenderly advise, that Friends take heed, especially those who should be exemplary to others under their care, that they exercise plainness of speech without respect of persons, in all their converse among men; and not balk their testimony by a cowardly compliance, varying their language according to their company; a practice of very ill example, rendering those who use it contemptible, and looked upon as a kind of hypocrites, even by those with whom they so comply; this seems to be cautioned against by the apostle, when he advises, 1 Tim. "That the deacons be grave, not double tongued;" plainly importing that it is inconsistent with the gravity of the gospel. -- 1743.