Quaker Heritage Press > Online Texts > The Old Discipline > Queries


It is agreed that the nine queries belonging to meetings for discipline, be read, deliberately considered and answered in each preparative and monthly meeting once a year; in order to convey an explicit account in writing to the quarterly meetings next preceding the yearly meeting that so this meeting may be clearly informed of the state of all our meetings.

Also, that the first, second and eighth of those queries be read, considered, and explicit answers to them made in writing in the two quarterly meetings preceding the one before mentioned, and also in the preparative and monthly meetings which report thereto. But none of the queries are to be read or answered in those quarterly meetings for discipline which immediately succeed the yearly meeting nor in the preparative or monthly meetings which report to those quarters.

It is not considered as obligatory on any meeting to read the above queries oftener than is here mentioned, or to read any others than such as are to be answered. Nor is the reading and answering of them enjoined on any preparative meeting, where the members of that and the monthly meeting are the same. -- 1806.

It is further agreed that at the time when the nine queries are read in the preparative and monthly meetings, the advices and caution subjoined, shall be also distinctly read and solidly pondered; as a means of putting the members present upon considering, whether there be any occasion for an extension of care in those respects: and, if there is, of stirring them up to a faithful discharge of their duty as individuals, one towards another.

First Query. Are all our religious meetings for worship and discipline duly attended; is the hour observed; and are friends clear of sleeping, and of all other unbecoming behaviour therein?

Second Query. Is love and unity maintained amongst you. Are tale-bearing and detraction discouraged. And where any differences arise, are endeavours used speedily to end them?

Third Query. Are Friends careful to bring up those under their direction, in plainness of speech, behaviour, and apparel; in frequent reading the holy scriptures; and to restrain them from reading pernicious books and from the corrupt conversation of the world?

Fourth Query. Are Friends careful to discourage the unnecessary distillation or use of spirituous liquors, frequenting taverns and places of diversion; and to keep in true moderation and temperance on the account of marriages, burials and other occasions?

Fifth Query. Are poor Friends necessities duly inspected, and they relieved or assisted in such business as they are capable of. Do their children freely partake of learning to fit them for business: And are they and other Friends children placed among Friends?

Sixth Query. Do you maintain a faithful testimony against oaths; an hireling ministry; bearing arms, training, and other military services; being concerned in any fraudulent or clandestine trade; buying or vending goods so imported, or prize goods; and against encouraging lotteries of any kind?

Seventh Query. Are Friends careful to live within the bounds of their circumstances, and to keep to moderation in their trade or business: Are they punctual to their promises, and just in the payment of their debts; and are such as give reasonable grounds for fear on these accounts timely laboured with for their preservation or recovery?

Eighth Query. Do you take due care regularly to deal with all offenders in the spirit of meekness, without partiality or unnecessary delay, in order for their help; and where such labour is ineffectual, to place judgment upon them in the authority of truth?

Ninth Query. Is due care taken to keep a regular record of births and burials?

And in the preparative and monthly meetings, when all the foregoing queries are read and answered, the following advices are to be read with a suitable pause between them:

That no young or single persons make or encourage proposals of marriage with each other without consent of parents or guardians, or keep company with those who are not of our religious society, upon that account; and if parents give their consent to, or connive at their children's thus keeping company, or marrying, that they be dealt with according to our discipline: And if any of our members have been present at marriages accomplished contrary to the rules of our discipline, that they also be dealt with.

That all public gifts and legacies be strictly applied to the uses intended by the donors; or, if any unforeseen occurrence should render such compliance difficult or impracticable, that an early application be made to the meeting for sufferings for its advice or assistance; and that timely care be taken for the renewal of trusts.

That Friends intending removal be careful to apply for certificates; and that the cases of such who remove without certificates, or of sojourners coming from other places and appearing as Friends, without producing certificates, be properly attended to.

That Friends carefully inspect the state of their affairs once in the year; and make their wills and settle their outward estates whilst in health.

And it is further recommended that in conducting the affairs of our meetings, Friends endeavour to manage them in the peaceable spirit and wisdom of Jesus, with decency, forbearance and love of each other.

The following queries are also to be read, considered and answered once a year, in each monthly and quarterly meeting, and a report thereof made in writing to this meeting: and it is recommended that in answering the query respecting schools, monthly meetings furnish their respective quarters with particular accounts of the situation and circumstance of the several schools within their limits, and that the quarterly meetings convey to this meeting a summary statement thereof.

First Query. What ministers and elders deceased, and when?

Second Query. What new meeting houses built, or new meetings settled?

Third Query. Are there schools established for the education of our youth, under the care of teachers in membership with us, and superintended by committees appointed either in the monthly or preparative meetings?

Fourth Query. Are the queries addressed to the quarterly, monthly and preparative meetings read and answered therein as directed? -- 1755, 1782, 1806.

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