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renews its advice to our members to abstain from all alcoholic drinks. Monthly Meetings are desired to again extend care and labor in reference to this subject, and report the result of their labors next year. We desire that in making the usual inquiries, it may not be a mere lifeless collecting of statistics, but that our members may be impressed with the duty of self-denial in this matter.
Twenty-fourth of the month and Fifth of the week.A report from the Committee to examine the Treasurer's account was read and approved, and subordinate meetings are requested to forward to our Treasurer their respective proportions of the sum of $2000 therein proposed to be raised for the use of this meeting, as also of $2000 for the use of the Indian Committee and of $1500 for the Committee on Education, in all $5500. (For Report of Treasurer's Committee, see page 29.)
A report was received from the Committee having the charge of Westtown Boarding School, which was interesting and satisfactory to the Meeting. Desires were felt and expressed for the encouragement of the Committee, and of the officers of the Institution, in prosecuting their labors, and especially in watching over and promoting the religious welfare of the pupils; and that it may be preserved in the future as it has been in the past, truly a “Friends' School.”
(For Westtown Report, see page 30.)
The Committee to propose an addition to the Indian Committee reported that they were united in recommending Edward Maris, Josiah Wistar, John W. Tatum, John G. Haines, Morris S. Cope and Henry Marshall. This nomination was approved, and they accordingly appointed, with the exception of Morris S. Cope, who was absent.
The following Minute was received from the Committee appointed by the Yearly Meeting to visit the Subordinate Meetings; it was referred to the Meeting for Sufferings for their care:
At a meeting of the Committee appointed by the Yearly Meeting
to visit the subordinate meetings, etc., held Fourth Month 18th, 1890.
In visiting our meetings, we have observed in some places evidences of neglect in the outbuildings and surroundings of the meeting houses, arising perhaps, in some cases, from a want of funds. Our attention has also been called to the disadvantages which result to Friends in the performance of Divine worship, from the joint occupancy of the premises with those who separated from us in 1827; which is mentioned for the information of the meeting. By direction and on behalf of the Committee.
GEO. J. SCATTERGOOD, Clerk.
Twenty-fifth of the month and Sixth of the week.— The following interesting and satisfactory report was received from the Committee appointed two years ago to visit our Subordinate Meetings and members. The Committee having suggested that the time had come for their release, the Meeting united therewith, and the Committee was released.
TO THE YEARLY MEETING.
The Committee appointed by the Yearly Meeting in 1888 to visit its subordinate meetings and members has continued to be engaged during the past year in the service for which it was set apart. All of the meetings for worship and the Quarterly Meetings have been repeatedly visited by some of our number. Most of the Monthly Meetings have also been attended more than once, and in a number of meetings the members have been visited in their families.
The minds of many of the Committee have been drawn out also towards others not in membership with us, and a
considerable number of meetings to which the public was invited, have been held in or near different neighborhoods where Friends reside. These have generally been well attended, and in many instances a lively interest has been shown by some present, and much openness to receive what was offered ; and we may acknowledge with gratitude that the solemnizing presence of the Head of the Church has been felt on many of these occasions, to our comfort and encouragement.
The personal intercourse resulting from thus frequently mingling with our members has been marked by much kindness and hospitality, and assistance has been freely rendered by individual members, and by the committees appointed by the Quarterly Meetings, in carrying out the concern in which we have been engaged. We trust that this intercourse has been attended with spiritual benefit to both the visitors and the visited, and as our hearts have been tendered from time to time by the influence of Divine love, the bond of unity among us has been strengthened.
Our sympathies have been enlisted on behalf of the burden-bearers, who in some places are but few in number among an increasing population, and who have the responsible oversight of the flock in various small meetings; desiring that such may hold fast the profession of their faith without wavering. As they are brought under exercise for the right conducting of their religious gatherings, seeking to know for themselves the place of worship and true prayer, they experience that refreshment and enjoyment of communion with their Lord that incites them to a regular attendance on such occasions, and an increased attachment to our religious profession.
In considering the situation of some of our members who live remote from any of our meetings, and are thus deprived of the strength which results from association with exercised Friends, we have felt desirous that such should not be unmindful of the declaration of our Saviour, “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." The visitations of the Lord's spirit are vouchsafed in every place, and his preserving power is known by those who diligently heed its manifestations, and thus experience the Kingdom of God to be set up and
established within them. Frequent retirement with the mind turned to the Great Teacher of his people, not only in religious meetings, but when we are engaged in our daily avocations, we believe will be blessed; and will be attended with that insight into spiritual things which gives a right understanding of the mysteries of the heavenly kingdom, and as our members are faithful therein, the testimonies of truth which our forefathers were led into will become precious to them, and we shall be made willing faithfully to support them. As the love of Christ and the unity of the spirit are allowed to prevail in the members of our different meetings, they will be drawn into religious fellowship, and a qualification will be received to join in worshiping Him, who has visited their souls with the day-spring from on high.
We would encourage all our members to the diligent attendance of all their religious meetings, both for worship and discipline, and when in them to keep a watchful guard against the intrusion of worldly thoughts, earnestly seeking to turn their minds towards heavenly things and that which belongs to their soul's eternal interests. Were all assembled thus exercised, Christ's presence in their midst would be more fully realized, and true spiritual worship would be rendered, whether in silent aspirations or in vocal utterances. May all submit themselves to the one true baptism, which can alone fit any for the reception and occupancy of spiritual gifts ; in order that our church may become the strong and healthy body which its glorious Head designs.
In visiting among the families of our members, we have been deeply pained by observing in some of them a departure from the self denial inculcated by our Saviour, evidenced by the presence of musical instruments in their houses. We believe the practice of music has its root in a worldly spirit, and that under its beguiling influence the mind is often led away from that attention to the voice of Christ in the soul, and those aspirations after communion with Him, which constitute its highest happiness. When under the effectual operation of the spirit of Christ, George Fox was enlightened to see the nature and tendency of many things which were common among the professors of religion in his day. He says; “I was moved also to cry out against all
kinds of music, and against the mountebanks playing tricks on their stages, for they burdened the pure life and stirred up people's minds to vanity.”
We have felt very desirous that our young people and others should not allow themselves to indulge in this gratification, either in the domestic or social circle, or by attending at public gatherings where musical performances are introduced as part of the entertainment; fully believing that such indulgences are inconsistent with that self denial and bearing of the cross into which our Saviour would lead his humble and obedient followers, and that a taste for these gratifications often prepares the way for associations very hurtful to a growth in grace.
An unwillingness to bear the cross as shown by the use of insincere expressions and what are called “compliments," and the plural forms of speech in addressing a single individual, has also, we believe, stunted the spiritual growth of some of our members, and prevented the reception by them of those gifts which we believe would have been conferred upon them, for their own help and the edification of the body, had they been more faithful. In viewing these evidences of worldly conformity, we have felt earnest desires that by obedience to the manifestations of Divine grace, the tide of worldliness in our religious Society may be checked, and that a righteous zeal may be revived in individuals and in the body faithfully to maintain in their spirituality those self denying practices and testimonies which Friends were called to in the beginning, and in the support of which many of them endured great privations and sufferings.
Christ's Kingdom is not of this world. His people are not of the world, even as He is not of the world. Let us keep in view a clear line of distinction between the Church and the world. Conforming to worldly customs in style of living and in social intercourse, leads away from the simplicity that becomes the Christian. Self denial in all points that are regulated by the dictates of fashion, rather than by the demands of comfort and convenience, and sincerity of heart, will strengthen us in the Divine life, and bring us to be better acquainted with the voice of Christ. As we cease to do evil and learn to do well, the understanding is enlarged in the knowledge of his will, and we become pre