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occur, the clerk was to have the power of calling a special meeting.
Each person, on delivering a case, was to pay a small fee. Out of these fees the clerk's salary and incidendal expenses were to be paid. But the surplus was to be given to the poor.
The parties were to enter into arbitration: bonds, as is usual upon such occasions.
Each party was to choose out of this association, or standing committee, one arbitrator for himself, and the association were to choose or to ballot for a third. And here it will be proper to observe, that this standing association appeared to be capable of affording arbitrators equal to the determination of every case. For, if the matter in dispute between the two parties were to happen to be a mercantile question, there were merchants in the association, If a question relative to shipping, there were ship-owners in it. If a question of in, surance, there were insurance-brokers also, A man could hardly fail of having his case determined by persons, who were competent to the task. Though this beautiful institution was thus
publicly introduced, and introduced with considerable expectations and applause, cases came in but slowly. Custom and prejudice are not to be rooted out in a moment. In process of time, however, several were offered, considered, and decided, and the presumption was, that the institution would have grown with time. Of those cases, which were determined, some relating to ships were found to be particularly intricate, and cost the arbitrators considerable time and trouble. The verdicts, however, which were given, were in all of them satisfactory. The institution at length became so popular, that, incredible to relate, its own popularity destroyed it! So many persons were ambitious of the honour of becoming members of the committee, that some of inferior knowledge and judgment, and character, were too hastily admitted into it. The consequence was, that people dared not trust their affairs to the abilities of every member, and the institution expired, after having rendered important services to numerous individuals, who had tried it. When we consider that this institution
has been tried, and that the scheme of it has been found practicable, it is a pity that its benefits should have been confined, and this for so short a period, to a single town. Would it not be desirable, if, in every district, a number of farmers were to give in their names to form a standing committee, for the settlement of disputes between farmer and farmer? or that there should be a similar institution among manufacturers, who should decide between one manufacturer and another? Would it not also be desira. ble, if, in every parish, a number of gentlemen, or other respectable persons, were to associate for the purpose of accommodating the differences of each other? For this beautiful system is capable of being carried to any extent, and of being adapted to all stations and conditions of life. By these means numerous little funds might be established in numerous districts, from the surplus of which an opportunity would be afforded of adding to the conforts of such of the poor as were to distinguish themselves by their good behaviour, whether as labourers for farmers, manufacturers, or others. By these means, also, many of the
quarrels in parishes might be settled to the mutual satisfaction of the parties concerned, and in so short a space of time as to prevent them from contracting a rancorous and a wounding edge. Those, on the other hand, who were to assist in these arbitrations, would be amply repaid ; for they would be thus giving an opportunity of growth to the benevolent feelings, and they would have the pleasing reflection, that the tendency of their labours would be to promote peace and good-will amongst men.
Management of the poor - Quakers never seen as
beggars-George Fox began the provision for the Quaker-poor-Monthly meetings appoint overseers--Persons, passed over, are to apply for relief and the disorderly may receive it in cer. tain cases--Manner of collecting for the poor if burthensome in one monthly meeting, the lurthen shared by the quarterly—Quakers gain settlements by monthly meetings as the other poor
of the kingdom ly parishes. There are few
parts of the Quaker-constitution, that are more worthy of commendation than that which relates to the poor.
All the members of this Society are considered as brethren, and as entitled to support from one another. If our streets or our roads are infested by miserable objects imploring our pity, no Quaker will be found among them. A beggar of this denomination would be a phænomenon in the world.