Thursday, May 8, 2014

Defamation and Detraction ~ Rules of Discipline of the Yearly Meeting of Friends Held in Philadelphia 1806

"Friends are every where exhorted to maintain a strict watch over themselves and each other against the subtle and mischievous spirit of tale-bearing and detraction -- the manifest tendency of which is to lay waste the unity of the body, by sowing the seeds of disesteem, strife, and discord among brethren and neighbours; as well as to unfit those who either propagate or listen to evil reports, for being of that service to the persons reflected upon, which they might be if the order prescribed by our blessed Lord to his church, was strictly observed, viz. "If thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that, in the mouth of two or three witnesses, ever word may be established. And if if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church; but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee an an heathen man and a publican."
It is therefore advised that, in whomsoever this weakness appears, it may be immediately checked; and, if any one gives way to it, to the obvious injury of another's reputation or interest, let him or her be faithfully admonished; and, if they persist, and cannot be prevailed with to give due satisfaction, the preparative or monthly meeting should be informed of it, and deal further with them; when, if this produce not the desired effect, they should be testified against.
And, if any member who offends in this respect, shelters him or herself under a pretence, that they say no more than they have heard from others, but will not discover who they are: Such reporters or tale-bearers should in like manner be dealt with, and testified against as being themselves the authors."

Rules of Discipline
of the Yearly Meeting of Friends
Held in Philadelphia 1806 ~  'The Old Discipline'



Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Age of Progress ~ Eve Balfour

"When a new generation has arisen, taught to have a living faith in the Christian ideals, to value and conserve its soil, and to put service before comfort, then not only will our land have citizens worthy of it, but it will also be a land of happy contented people, for it is important to remember that happiness is a by-product. It is, moreover, a by-product of activity, not of ease. It cannot be found ready made. Nor can it be fashioned out of those things usually covered by the term ‘a higher standard of living’ – material comfort, more leisure, more money, more gadgets. Important as they are, these are static things. Happiness, which must not be confused with pleasure, results only from those activities which develop personality and character. It can be achieved in varying degrees through the physical exertion of work or play, through the mental exertion of acquiring knowledge, through the spiritual exertion of creative effort, through the exercise of skill, through service; perhaps most of all through service. If we seek happiness as an end in itself, it will elude us; if we make service our aim, happiness will flow automatically. This is as true for a nation as for an individual. We shall never succeed in building a ‘better and happier world’ until we recognize it. When we do, we shall discover that we are on the high road to building a Christian society, for happiness through service is a creative force of unlimited power for good. In its atmosphere ecology – the most needed of all the sciences – could flourish, and could in time help us to become truly aware that everything in heaven and earth is but part of a single whole. Then for the first time in many a century could we justifiably claim to be entering on an age of progress."






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