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As the subject of temperance is engaging the at
For Friends' Intelligencer and Journal.
The following minutes of the yearly meeting are PHILADELPHIA YEARLY MEETING TEM- the first that particularly appeared under the title of PERANCE WORK.
Spirituous Liquors," in 1777:
1777.-An increasing concern and exercise having
prevailed amongst Friends in several of our quartention of many at the present time, I have
terly meetings, respecting the unnecessary use of spirthought it would interest not a few Friends to know
ituous liquors which had greatly tended to the corwhen our religious society became interested in the
ruption and depravity of the morals of mankind, subject, and how patiently it labored therein for near
thereby increasing guilt in our country, under which a century ere it became mostly clear of having its
consideration this meeting is engaged to exhort and members engaged in dealing in spirituous liquors, or
admonish Friends to use great caution in that of disusing them as a drink.
tilling, or the encouraging of distilling, or using disI have therefore appended some extracts from the
tilled or spirituous liquors of any kind. And in reautobiography of our esteemed friend, the late Samuel
gard to the practice of destroying grain by distilling Comfort. He, being much interested in the cause,
spirits out of it: It is the sense and judgment of this collected a statement of the action of the yearly meet
meeting, that such practice be wholly discouraged and ing in reference thereto from 1738 to 1832. The query,
disused amongst Friends, and that Friends ought not amended a few years after 1832, remained so until
to sell their grain for this purpose, nor use or partake 1873, when the subject again claimed the attention of
of liquors made out of grain ; which this meeting the yearly meeting and was changed to its present
directs the quarterly and monthly meetings to take form. It will be seen that the work has interested
proper notice of, and make report of their case to the Society for nearly a hundred and fifty years.
next yearly meeting. H. M. L.
1778.—The advice of last year again recommended. Philadelphia, Ninth month 22d.
1779.- A fresh concern is now revived to enforce The first record on the subject of spirituous liquors
the advice communicated to our quarterly and by the yearly meeting was in 1738 :
monthly meetings in 1777 and repeated last year, to 1738.—The proposal of Philadelphia Quarterly dissuade the members of our religious Society from Meeting, respecting the great number of public houses, the keeping of houses of public entertainment, and being considered, it is recommended to such of the retailing spirituous liquors, and against distilling such Friends of the quarterly and monthly meetings, be- liquors from grain or selling it for that purpose, or longing to this meeting as are magistrates, that they making use of such liquors. Friends in their several use their endeavors to lessen the number of persons meetings are earnestly desired to use their further recommended for that service, and that Friends be endeavors to those who do not regard this united careful not to sign petitions to recommend any but sense and judgment of their brethren, agreeably to such as are proper persons, or where there is a real the sense of this meeting expressed in the minutes necessity.
before mentioned. 1746.—We entreat our young Friends with readi- 1780.-As it appears that the endeavors used to ness to receive and give place to the labor of love, discourage the distillation of spirits from grain, and and wholesome admonitions bestowed on them by selling it for that purpose, and to dissuade any of our their parents and others, and to renew our advice not members from keeping public houses, have been atonly to the young, but those of riper years, to avoid tended with some good success, the care of Friends is the keeping of much company and resorting to tav
desired to be continued in these matters, agreeably to erns and ale houses, as great inconvenience attends the sense and judgment of this meeting last year, and this practice, not only the subjecting yourselves to if any continue in those practices, or others should the temptation of drinking to excess; but hereby an undertake them, to send an account to the meeting opportunity is offered for men of currupt minds, to sow the evil seeds of loose principles, perhaps to the The subject was revived from year to year, until calling in question the great truths of religion con- at last monthly meetings were authorized to testify tained in the Holy Scriptures.
against such as continued to persist in the practice 1777.—Considering the snares and difficulties, to of distilling or selling spirits from grain. and the our young people and others, which are attendant on subject relative to the distillation, importation, dealkeeping houses of public entertainment, beer houses ing in, and unnecessary use of spirituous liquors was and dram shops, whereby the reputation of truth has recommended to the quarterly and monthly meetings. greatly suffered, and in some places the children and In 1796 the following minute was made in the families concerned herein have been brought into dis- yearly meeting and sent to the subordinate meetings: grace and loss, both spiritually and temporally, it is 1796.-The meeting being at this time painfully the united sense and judgment of this ineeting, that exercised with the accounts of so many remaining Friends ought not to give way to the desire of out- under the idolatrous spirit of covetousness as to preward gain arising from such employments, but keep fer temporal gain to unity with their brethren, in a themselves clear thereof by attending to the point- firm unshaken testimony against the unnecessary use ings of pure wisdom, which will lead us to seek a of, and profit sought from a traffic in spirituous liqway of supporting ourselves and families, in business uors. Under the weight and pressure of this deeply more consistent with our holy profession and not interesting concern, quarterly and monthly meetings liable to such snares and dangers.
are afresh urged to renew their patient and persever
ing labor with such, manifesting that the practice, if distillation or sale of spirituous liquors, and are they continued in by any of our members, cannot admit careful to discourage the use thereof as a drink" of any countenance while there is a faithful adher
1873. The query was changed to its present form. ence to the Divine principle of good-will to men. The concern was kept alive for several years and
From the Christian Register. much labor bestowed, and there were sometimes
WHAT IS TRUE CIVILIZATION? more and sometimes fewer engaged therein.
BY CAZXEAU PALFREY, D. D. in 1830, the following, together with other concerns and exercises of the yearly meeting was sent THERE is in human nature a native tendency to down in the Extracts:
progress, or at least a native susceptibility of it. 1830.- A concern has been revived in this ineet- The operation of this tendency is the theme of hising that our testimony against the unnecessary use of tory. The most highly endowed and active races distilled spirituous liquors may be faithfully main- have lifted themselves out of barbarism, advanced in tained, and a desire felt that the work of reformation knowledge and arts, and achieved what we call a civbe promoted by the advancement of this righteous ilization. History is a narrative of a succession of cause amongst our members; that the use of ardent these civilizations, each of which has risen, culmispirits as a drink, and the desolating effects thereof nated, suffered decadence, and given place to anothmay be avoided, and the fruits of temperance and
No one, however, has flourished entirely in moderation be increasingly manifested in all our con- vain. Each has realized something substantial, which duct and business of life.
it has left as an enduring possession to its successor. 1832.—The yearly meeting in considering the state But no one has had at its centre a principle of suffiof society having proceeded to the fourth query, the cient vitality to insure its perpetuity. The civilizasubject of the distillation, common use and traffic in tion of Greece and Rome was mainly, though not exspirituous liquors, occasioned a lively interest. After clusively, sensuous. It consisted largely in the muldue deliberation a committee of forty-five Friends was tiplication of the means of luxurious living. But the appointed to consider the proper course for this meet- uncontrolled senses tend natually to excess and deging to take in order to advance the testimony of truth radation. The decay of Roman civilization presents and promote the good of society.
one of the saddest chapters of human history. What 13th of the month and 6th of the week. The com- Rome finally became, amid all her wealth, art, and mittee to whom was referred the above subject pro- literature, is sufficiently shown by the concurrent duced the annexed report, which was read, and after testimony of Paul in his terrible arraignment of the solid and deliberate consideration united with by the heathen world, the indignant verses of Juvenal, and meeting. viz. :
the sarcastic prose of Tacitus. In solidly deliberating on the weighty subject commit
Another example of the lapse of a superficial civted to them, and after a free expression of sentimentit was
ilization into luxury, and thence into gross sensualiagreed to propose to the yearly meeting that the words ty and moral degradation, is seen in the condition to “out of grain" be expunged from the paragraph, page 60 of which France was brought in the times of Louis XV., the Discipline under the head of Moderation and Temper- when the shameless licentiousness of a dissolute
And it was the judgment of the committee that court engendered a pestilential moral atmosphere, monthly meetings ought to take an early opportunity, ten- which required a fierce tempest of revolution for its derly to treat with such of our members who are concerned
dispersion. either in the importation, distillatiou or sale of spirituous And what shall be said of the civilization of our liquors. And if, after faithful, patient labor to convince them of the awful demoralizing effect of their conduct, and
own age and conntry? What promise is there in our
condition of a higher and more enduring type of civits inconsistency with the testimony of our religious soci
ilization than has yet been realized ? In answer to ety, they cannot be prevailed upon to relinquish the business, that said meetings be at liberty to put the discipline
this question it is usual to point to the wonderful as now amended, in practice against them. And the com
discoveries and inventions of the age,-to the mamittee are also of the judgment, that a tender religious care
chinery by which the power of human hands has ought to be extended to such of our members as are in the been multiplied by millions, to the rapid developuse of spirituous liquors as a drink, or handing it out in ment of the material resources of nature, the discovharvest, or at other times, in order to dissuade them from ery of mighty physical forces, and the subjection of the practice.
them to man's daily service. The steam-engine, the Signed on behalf of the committee, all the members be- last improvements of the printing-press, the railroad, ing present.
the telegraph, the telephone,-these, which, though HALLIDAY JACKSON.
not exclusively ours, have yet their widest operation ISAAC TOWNSEND.
among us, are thought to be the surest pledges of an In a few years froin the above date, by the patient enduring progress. They may indeed become so, labor of concerned Friends, all were induced to give but not necessarily. Everything depends on the use up the business of dealing in spirituous liquors rath- that is made of them. They are simply power which er than lose their right of membership, and the So- may be directed to a good or a bad end. The railciety was cleared from the subject it had so long la- road easily lends itself to monopoly, and enables a bored in for a reformation. The fourth query was
few individuals to direct the courses of traffic to their amended by taking the word "unnecessary” out of private advantage instead of the public good. The it, and altering it to stand " Are Friends clear of the telegraph is liable to a similar abuse in unscrupulous
hands. Or it might become a terrible instrument under the control of a despotism, and arm it with a power unknown to that of Rome, which was said to make a dungeon of the whole habitable earth. The press may become a fountain of moral corruption. The mighty explosive forces which have come to the knowledge of this generation, and which have been so useful in leveling the highways of traffic and travel, may be used by ignorant and wicked men in waging a fruitless war between the laboring and employing classes, whose claims can be adjusted only by mutual love. Not therefore to power over physical forces, but to the character that stands behind that power and directs its use, are we to look for the surest signs of civilization. Just in proportion as man gains power over the external world does he need a corresponding moral development, both to preserve the harmony of his own nature and to fit him for his more extended sphere. When important trusts are put into a man's hands, he is often required to give bonds for a faithful administration of them. So, when man is intrusted with extraordinary powers over nature, he ought to be placed under the bonds of firm and strict moral principle for a wise and beneficent employment of them for the good of his race. Thus only does dominion over nature become a real blessing and a means to the true elevation of all mankind. The most complete mastery over physical forces that man can be imagined to gain would at best only make of him a mighty giant, whereas he was meant to be a seraph.
Thus have men been striving, unconsciously or with the dimmest sense of what they were aiming at, for higher and fuller life. Their conception of social and individual well-being has been partial. Some have placed it in one thing and some in another. Elements of good and evil have been variously, sometimes grotesquely, mingled in them. Now, this blind impulse receives its complete interpretation only in Christ. In him, humanity comes to a full consciousness of its own ideal perfection. If we were asked for a complete definition of the idea of civilization, for an exhaustive inventory of the contents of that word, what would we say but that it is the condition of a community of which every member is a well-developed man in mind, body, and soul-all whose facul
world in which Christ's sacred presence has been felt for ages. Something of Christ's spirit is the indefeasible inheritance of every native of Christendom. Some of Christ's law has been organized in all Christian society. The reformer is indebted to Christ for his idea, and Christ has prepared the favorable circumstances in which he undertakes its realization. Every good thing, really conducive to a healthy civilization, that he can attempt to accomplish, is a part of Christianity. If there is any seeming evil connected with religion that he seeks to remove, it is a corruption of Christianity, which its true friends also would gladly see abolished.
Why does a nation ever grow old ? It has a constant influx of fresh life: the young are ever present to fill the vacated places of the old, to carry on the national idea, to fulfil the national purpose. It would seem that a nation, with its successive generations closely interwoven, might exist and act as a long-lived person, and continue while the world lasts. Why is it that history only exhibits a succession of decayed nations ? The chief reason scems to have been that the central principle of the nation's life, the idea that inspired it, was limited, that it was at length exhausted, and then progress stopped, and the national spirit died out. In other words, the national life was not deeply seated enough to last. But suppose the informing principle of a nation's life to be an inexhaustible one, capable of indefinite expansion, of unfolding to satisfy the ever rising and ever widening aspirations itself inspires, and creating new forms of society to meet the exigencies of an ever progressive community. That were an experiment that has never yet been tried. We see no reason why such a nation should ever die. Now, this is precisely the condition of a thoroughly Christian nation. A community composed of individuals filled with the spirit of Christ, tending to the production of a Christian life, would have at its heart an inexhaustible principle of life, it would have for its moving impulse an ever progressive ideal. It would inherit the promise, “Whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die."
For Friends' Intelligencer and Journal. THE TEMPERANCE PLEDGE.
cannot spare one of these elements out of our idea of a true civilization, and we can add nothing to them to make that idea more complete. Yet this is but a description of the perfect man in Christ Jesus. I say, then, that the highest civilization man can aspire to or imagine, and, the kingdom of Christ, of God, of heaven on earth, are one and the same thing. Truly, as Paul says, what men waited for with earnest expectation, amid groans and travail, was the manifestation of the sons of God,-of Christ, the well-beloved son, and of those who became sons of God through likeness to him.
Thus is Christ the bright morning star of human progress, perpetually heralding new dawns, ever pointing to a perfect day. A reformer in a Christian land cannot act independently of Christ. He is in a
," in the INTELLIGENCER AND JOURNAL, of Ninth month 26th, has doubtless attracted the attention, and to some extent aroused the righteous indignation of all temperance workers who read this valuable weekly paper. To the credit of the Society of Friends be it said that it occupies as advanced ground upon the subject of temperance reform, and includes, in proportion to its membership, as many active workers in the good cause, as any other religious body. Many of these workers have, in all probability, made repeated use of the temperance pledge in their efforts to reclaim the unfortunate men with whom they have come in contact: they have done so believing it to be a perfectly proper way to attain the desired end, and it is with great surprise that they read an article like the one referred to, which is a labored effort to prove that the temperance pledge is as objectionable, when
viewed from the religious standpoint, as the taking of sign it, and offer to sign it with them-here is someoaths, etc. The writer has signed the temperance thing tangible, and entirely within their comprehenpledge frequently and has induced others to do so, sion, and they will take this first step in a right diand believing that there is nothing in that act incon- rection, if our powers of persuasion are great enough sistent with the religion of him who came" to seek to lead them to it. And once having taken this step and to save those that were lost," he desires to pro- they may in the future attain to the lofty heights of test against any such erroneous construction, and to faith and true religion where they may enjoy the present a few reasons why the pledge should be taken. spiritual companionship of those who like our friend
The temperance pledge is merely a written or I. W. G. are spiritually minded. The temperance printed promise to do what all should do, but what pledge has been to many a man the first step toward many do not do-abstain from the use of intoxicants a life that has redeemned a misspent past--toward a as a beverage. It is no doubt true, as I. W. G. inti- life of right-thinking and true-doing; in a word, mates, that the indwelling spirit now teaches that in- toward a truly religious life. And we believe that to toxicants must not be used, yet the time is not long offer this means of reformation to those who may be past when members of the Society of Friends who helped by it, and to urge them to use it, is to obey in claimed to be led by the same divine light, both used truth the command of the spirit of Christ in the and sold intoxicating drinks. They were good peo- soul-as quoted by I. W. G. in his communicationple, too, and were consistent members of the Society, “Let the dead bury their dead, but go thou and but their moral vision was still obscured, or they preach the kingdom of God.” But let the preaching lacked the knowledge of the evil which we now pos- be done in a language that all may understand, and sess, and so they unwittingly did that which the let us not hesitate to use means of grace that may spirit of truth will not now permit us to do. And reach and reclaim any poor wanderer, no matter how thus it seems possible for a lack of knowledge to lead far he may have strayed. conscientious people astray, even while they think
I. R. they are being led by the truth.
own level. Thus man, though he may be placed by all men occupied the high religious ground which I.
circumstances in an improper sphere, will rise or fall W. G. takes, promissory notes and all contracts would
by virtue of his own gifts and ability to his regulation not be needed in the business world, for then a man's
height. verbal promise would be as good as his bond. But, unfortunately, humanity has not yet reached that
We are the builders of our own temples. God and lofty plane, and we must deal with men as we find
nature furnish the material and permit human skill them--not as we would have them or as they ought
to work it into shape. The great lack of soul power to be.
and mental energy renders most of us imperfect archi
tects. Too late we learn we are the master mechanics The temperance pledge is especially valuable be
of fate--and the little span of life finds us waiting cause it índuces men to make a full self-committal to tota! abstinence. A man who merely has the mental
houseless with our implements of labor rusted and purpose, the good intention, to abstain, is not nearly
our given material wasted, crying, “ Lord I have been as likely to do so, as the one who has signed the
misused, my efforts unappreciated. Take me to thy
The worth and beauty of a life may not always be tween an ill-formed purpose and a well-defined
reckoned by its successes. God scores our efforts ; promise "in black and white."
and there is a long column in his account book for In conclusion, let us suppose a case which will ef
earnest endeavor. fectually test the value of the pledge. Here are a half dozen uneducated laboring men, who spend three- Days that are beautified by firm faith and smiling fourths of their poor wages in getting drunk, and then patience are sunshine to the possessor and his neighgo home and abuse their wives and children. (It re- bors. quires no imagination whatever to see this picture: it
S. L. OBERHOLTZER. can be seen all about us in its hideous reality every day). Led, as we believe, by the spirit of him who True life can never be developed among throngs came "to seek and to save" just such poor fellows as and noises. We must betake ourselves into desert these, and believing that they are his and our“ breth- places. In a word, we must get away from men, and ren,' we go to them some day after they have recov- view life from such distance as may be realized by ered from the effects of drink and try to induce them intimate, divine fellowship. As it is necessary to to give up their drinking habits and lead better lives. stand back from his work in order that the artist may Now, how shall we proceed? If we use the meta- see how it is shaping itself, so it is often necessary physical language of our friend I. W. G., these men for us who are doing Christ's work to retire into soli. will know nothing of what we say, for they are so ig- tary places, that we may look at it from the altar of norant as to scarcely know they have a soul. But if worship, or perhaps from the valley of humiliation. we present the temperance pledge and urge them to - Joseph Parker.
INTELLIGENCER AND JOURNAL.
called upon in business meetings to consider and act upon matters relating to their government, they must
remember that this right which is sometimes highly HOWARD M. JENKINS, Managing Editor.
prized is peculiar to our organization, and that in ASSOCIATE EDITORS:
other denominations they are governed by laws in HELEN G. LONGSTRETH.
LOUISA J. ROBERTS.
whose making they have no share. This equality in SUSAN ROBERTS.
RACHEL W. HILLBORN.
the church is one of the blessings which we owe to LYDIA H. HALL.
the wisdom of George Fox, but it must also be as
sumed that the women of his time were earnest and PHILADELPHIA, TENTH MONTH 10, 1885.
true, and worthy to share in the solemn trusts com
mitted to them. Sincerity and earnestness should *** It should be explicitly understood that the editors do not accept any responsibility for the views of correspondents and still be characteristic of the women of our Society. contributors who sign their articles. The signature—whether by a full name, initials, or other characters-must be the voucher OUR STANDARD OF TRADE OR BUSINESS. , for an independent expression.
It has often been said, and quite recently in an ad** As a rule, we cannot notice communications unaccom- dress published in the columns of our own paper, panied by a name. We need to know who it is that addresses us.
that Friends as a society, in the views they held and
the morality they practised, were at the time of their WOMEN IN THE CHURCH.
rise, and for many years thereafter, far in advance of THE Christian Union, in a review of an editorial,
the people by whom they were surrounded. It is “As to Woman's Preaching” in the Congregation- not now our purpose to dwell upon this fact, as in alist, shows the growing liberality of the times. Not
these latter days too many of us have relied too many years since, the Apostle Paul was cited as the much upon the good name and good deeds of our unanswerable authority for the silence of women in ancestors, but we want to put the query whether we the churches, but now we hear occasional confessions of the day are keeping our standard high and pure? of their service in church affairs even beyond the Especially on the subject of "trade or business." limits of the Christian festival, the pic-nic or the fair. We rejoice to see modern society slowly yet surely In a few liberal congregations women sometimes fill advancing in manners and morals as education, the pulpit without“ unsexing themselves,” and every- civilization and religious truth progress, and although where they are counted upon as the faithful workers very much remains to be done cre the Christian in Bible classes and Sabbath-schools, but still a com- standard is reached, yet we believe we are traveling plete equality of man and woman in religious wor- towards it. As a religious body entrusted with the ship and in the exercise of the ministerial function is precious legacy of keeping bright the “light” that so far from being recognized by the church-going world. surely guided our predecessors, is it not well for us
To Friends who so fully believe in the right of wo- to pause and consider our present status on this one man to teach and to preach without regard to what point, of trade? We need to examine into, and perwas the proper sphere for her in the first century, it haps revise, our code as set forth in our Book of sounds strange to hear any argument upon the ques- Discipline, lest we fall short of the advanced thought tion-somewhat like it would to revive the question -
of to-day. Or it may be we do not reach the standof the rightfulness of human slavery. We have so ard therein laid down, inasmuch as we occasionally long been accustomed to see our sisters stand bravely hear of some member being engaged in that which is before our congregations, and, in the power which is unlawful to us. Let there be a close examination by from on high, give utterance to the thoughts which those whose duty it is to keep watch and ward over they believe will be helpful to their hearers, that we the flock. And if any are found to be remiss in can scarcely imagine what our simple service would 'trade or business ” let them be dealt with tenderly, be were their lips sealed and their vocal offerings ex- justly and with great charity, but let them not discluded. For this freedom we are thankful, for the honor the church by any unlawful support. For opportunity which women enjoy to be helpful to our there is but one law for our people—that of righteousown liberal Society, we are grateful, and rejoice that
We may grow in influence through our culture, our lines have been cast in these favored places. our wealth, or soundness as to doctrine, but the
In the independent assemblies of women there is query what lack I yet ?” will still be mournfully need every one for to be on the alert to contribute what- uttered, if we neglect in any measure to live up to the ever of strength or wisdom she may possess, that the true standard of right dealing one with another in the whole body may be wise and strong, remembering ranks of trade, or engage in any traffic that tends to that women of other faiths have not the opportunity impoverish or retard the growth of mankind towards of sharing in church government. When women are a fuller and higher christian standard.