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corded in a proper book, in the monthly meeting, to which the parents belong; avoiding the accustomed ceremonies and festivals."
“ Their burials are performed with the same Their busimplicity. If the body of the deceased be near any public meeting place, it is usually carried thither, for the more convenient reception of those, that accompany it to the burying-ground. And it so falls out sometimes, that while the meeting is gathering, for the burial, fome or other has a word of exhortation, for the sake of the people there met together. After which the body is borne away by young men, or else by those, that are of the neighbourhood, or those that were most of the intimacy of the deceased party; the corpse being in a plain coffin, without any covering or furniture upon it. At the ground they pause some time before they put the body into the grave; that, if any there should have any thing upon them, to exhort the people, they may not be difappointed; and that the relations may the more retiredly and folemnly take their last leave of the body of their departed kindred, and the spectators Have a sense of mortality, by the occasion then given them, to reflect upon their own latter end: otherwise they have no set rites, or ceremonies, on those occasions. Neither do the kindred of the deceased ever wear mourning; they looking upon it, as a worldly ceremony and piece of pomp; and that what mourning is fit for a Chriftian to liave, at the departure of a beloved relation, or friend, should be worn in the mind, which is only sensible of the loss: and the love they had to thein, and the remembrance of them, to be outwardly expressed by a respect to their advice, and care of those they have left behind them, and their love of that they loved, which conduct of theirs, though unmodifh or unfashionable leaves nothing of the substance of things neglected, or
&c. but a sense of
undone: and as they aim at no more, so that sini.
“ These things, to be sure (continues W. Penn) things not gave them a rough and disagreeable appearance from afiecwith the generality: who thought then turners of singularity, the world upside down; as, indeed, in some sense
they were; but in no other than that, wherein duty, &c. Paul was so charged, viz. to bring things back into
their primitive and right order again. For these,
“ It was not very easy, to our primitive friends, to make themselves Nights and spectacles, and the Scorn and derision of the world; which they easily foresaw must be the consequence of so unfashionable a conversation in it. But here was the wifdom of God seen, in the foolishness of these things; first, that they discovered the satisfaction and concern, that people had in, and for the fashions of this world, notwithstanding their high pretences to another; the greatest honesty, virtue, wisdom and ability were unwelcome without them. Secondly, It seajonably and profitably divided conversation; for this, making their society uneasy to their relations and acquaintance, gave them the opportunity of more retirement and solitude ; wherein they met with better company, even, the Lord God, their Redeemer; and grew strong in his love, power and wisdom; and were thereby better qualified for his service. And the success abundantly fhewed it: Blessed be the name of the Lord.”
“ And though they were not great and learned in the esteem of the world, (for then they had not wanted followers, upon their own credit and authority) yet they were generally of the most fober of the several persuasions, they were in, and of the most repute, for religion; and many
of thein of good capacity, substance and account among men.
“ And also some among them wanted not for parts, learning or cftate; though then, as of old, not many wise or noble, &c. were called; or, at least, received the heavenly call; because of the cross, that attended the profession of it, in sincerity. But neither do parts or learning make men the better Christians, though the better orators and disputants and it is the ignorance of people about the divine gift, that causes that vulgar and mischievous mistake. Theory and practice, speculation and enjoyment, words and life, are two things.”
Of their dir.
Of their church discipline, from the same author,
which they used as a Christian and reformed foci-
“ This people encreasing daily both in town
“ They were also very careful, that every one, who belonged to them, answered their profession, in their behaviour among men, upon all occasions; that they lived penceably, and were, in all things, good examples. They found themselves engaged to record their sufferings and services; and in the case of marriage, which they could not perform in the usual methods of the nation, but among themselves; they took care that all things were cłçar between the parties, and all others, and it
was then rare, that any one entertained an inclination to a person, on that account, till he, or she, had communicated it secretly to some very weighty and eminent friends among them, that they might have a fense of the matter; looking to the counsel and unity of their brethren, as of great moment to them. But because the charge of the poor, the number of orphans, marriages, fufferings and other matters, multiplied; and that it was good, that the churches were in some way and method of proceeding in such affairs, among them, to the end they might the better correspond, upon occasion, where a member of one meeting might have to do with one of another; it pleased the Lord, in his wisdom and goodness, to open the understanding of the first instrument of this dispen- C. Fox, the sation of life, George Fox, about a good and orderly firit inftruway of proceeding; who felt a holy concern to visit the churches, in person, throughout this nation, to begin and establish it among them: and by his epistles, the like was done in other nations and provinces abroad; which he also afterwards visited and helped in that service."
« Now the care, conduct and discipline I have been speaking of, and which are now* practised among this people, are as follow:
“ This godly elder, in every county where he travelled, exhorted them, that some out of every meeting of worship, should meet together, once in the month, to confer about the wants and occasions of the church. And as the case required, so those monthly meetings were fewer, or more in number, in every respective county; four or fix meetings of worship usually making one monthly meeting of business. And accordingly the brethren met him from place to place, and began the faid meetings, viz. for the poor, orphans, orderly walking, integrity to their profession, births, marriages, burials, sufferings, &c. And these monthly ineetings
should • Written in 1694.