Our Christian Disciplines tweet the Debate

John S made an inter­est­ing com­ment at the end of my last post (all ) about live twit­ter­ing tonight’s Pres­i­den­tial Debate got me think­ing about a Quak­er response to the debates might be. As I’ve admit­ted I can be rather snarky and par­ti­san. So I pre­pared some inter­est­ing quotes from some old Quak­er tes­i­monies and have been sprin­kling them through­out my twit­ter commentary. 

  • 1762: Friends ought not be active in elect­ing to offices, the exe­cu­tion where­of tends to lay wast our Chris­t­ian testimony
  • <1879: Mem­bers should main­tain inof­fen­sive, cir­cum­spect emeanour towards all men, man­i­fest­ing peace­able spir­it of Christ.
  • <1879: Friends should avoid those heats & con­tro­ver­sies respect­ing the poli­cies and govt’s of the world.
  • 1874: The mere nat­ur­al wis­dom and will of man have no palce in the church of Christ.
  • 1808: The preser­va­tion of love and uni­ty is a duty in every state of reli­gious attainment.
  • 1853: It is upon the sim­plic­i­ty of the Truth as it is in Jesus that our tes­ti­mo­ny to plain­ness and mod­er­a­tion rests.
  • <1879: Friends are to avoid elect­ing brethren to civ­il govt as may sub­ject them to temp­ta­tion of vio­lat­ing testimonies.
  • 1808: Friends are not to unite in war­like mea­sures, either offen­sive or defen­sive, we are subj of Messaih’s peace­ful reign.
  • 1843: Fds must decline accep­tance of any office or sta­tion in civ­il govt w/duties incon­sis­tent w/our reli­gious principles.
  • 1843: Friends warned vs. rais­ing & cir­cu­lat­ing paper cred­it w/appearance of val­ue w/o intrin­sic reality.
  • 1843: Friends should be open-hearted and lib­er­al in rais­ing funds for relief for mem­bers in indi­gent circumstances.
  • 1843: So may we be liv­ing mem­bers of the Church mil­i­tant on earth; and inhab­i­tants of that city which hath foundations.
  • 1853: The stan­dards which the world adopts in pur­suit of trade and desire for rich­es in not safe for dis­ci­ple of Christ.
  • 1853: May no Friends involve them­selves in worldy con­cerns dis­qual­i­fy for right use of their time, tal­ents & tem­po­ral substance.

The quotes are culled from “Chris­t­ian Advices” (1879) and “Rules of Dis­ci­pline” (1843), both pub­lished by Philadel­phia Year­ly Meet­ing. I think these are Ortho­dox and Hick­site respec­tive­ly, but I’m not an expert in the inves­tiga­tive details nec­es­sary to dif­fer­en­ti­ate between year­ly meet­ing pub­li­ca­tions. If any­one knows “Chris­t­ian Advices” says it’s avail­able from the Friends Book­store at 304 Arch Street; “Rules of Dis­ci­pline” is print­ed by John Richards of 130 N. Third Street.

  • I always like sprinkles.

  • Phil Antho­ny

    John Richards was a Hick­site print­er. I checked that out with Swarth­more four or five years back when I got hold of a Dis­ci­pline pub­lished in the 1860s for some research I was doing. Not sure about the Chris­t­ian Advices, but the address makes it sound Ortho­dox. Right next door to some his­toric meet­ing­house down that way, isn’t it?

    • @Phil: thanks for chim­ing in. Yes, I assumed the Advices were Ortho­dox due
      to being sold in the book­store there by the Ortho­dox Arch Street
      meet­ing­house. I wish Swarth­more or some­one com­piled a list chart­ing all of
      the major Philadel­phia print­ers and dis­trib­u­tors and put it up on their

      For those con­fused about this con­ver­sa­tion: Philadel­phia Friends split into
      two branch­es in 1827 and each was so sure of its right­ful claim to
      Quak­er­ness that they both kept the “Philadel­phia Year­ly Meet­ing” name and
      refused to acknowl­edge even the exis­tence of the oth­er body. They both
      pub­lished books of dis­ci­pline, advices, the jour­nals of impor­tant ministers,
      etc. To fig­ure out who pub­lished what you often have to look at the printer
      and know which side they were on. Very sil­ly, hmm?

  • This and your pre­vi­ous post inspired me to write one of my own. Thanks, Eileen

  • Sor­ry, I don’t seem to be reg­is­tered here, so my link isn’t show­ing up. The post is at http://​www​.imper​fect​seren​i​ty​.com