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THOMAS CURTIS,..................Philadelphia, Pa.
SETH HINSHAW,................ .Greensboro, Indiana.
ALFRED H. LOVE and WILLIAM Lloyd presented papers on the subject of Property and Land Monopoly, which, after being read, were referred to a Committee, with instructions to report on the subject next year. The Committee are ALFRED H. LOVE, WILLIAM LLOYD, THOMAS GARRETT, John Wilson, JACOB L. Paxson.
The Clerks announced that they had requested the following friends to assist in revising and publishing the Proceedings of the Meeting, and to unite with them in issuing the Call for the Meeting next year, viz: ELIZABETH JACKSON, FRANK DARLINGTON, EDWARD WEBB, THOMAS GARRETT, PRISCILLA GAWTHROP, John G. JACKSON, MARY F. SMITH, WILLIAM BARNARD, ALICE JACKSON, Simmons COATES, Sarah H. HALLOCK, JOSIAH JACKSON, HENRY M. Smith, HENRIETTA W. Johnson, MARY P. Wilson, LYDIA Cox, JAMES T. GAWTHROP, REBECCA FUSSELL, ELIZA AGNEW.
JOSEPH A. DUGDALE, from the Committee of Correspondence, presented a General Epistle, which was adopted and directed to be signed by the Clerks, and forwarded to such Meetings as are known to be kindred in sentiment and purpose to this.
Mary F. Davis made a few appropriate and touching remarks, after which the concluding minute was read, as follows:
We close our Sixth Annual Convocation under a deep sense of gratitude to the Author of our being, for the opportunity afforded us of being once more “ of one accord in one place,” of engaging in the discussion of great practical and humanitary questions, of helping one another in the search for truth, of testifying against popular wickedness, and lifting up the standard of reform, and of cultivating among ourselves the spirit of love and good-will; and we separate with renewed confidence in the anti-sectarian principles of our Association, a more lively faith in their ultimate triumph, and a firm resolve to use our utmost endeavors to advance the cause of truth and righteousness.
JOSEPH A. DUGDALE,
EXPOSITION OF SENTIMENTS.
ADOPTED BY THE PENNSYLVANIA YEARLY MEETING OF
To the Friends of Pure and Undefiled Religion, and to all Seekers after
Truth, of whatever name or denomination, the Pennsylvania Yearly Meeting of Progressive Friends sendeth Greeting : M
DEAR FRIENDS :—Having been led, as we trust, through obedience to the revelations of truth, to form a Religious Association upon principles always too little regarded and often trampled under foot by professing Christians and popular sects, we are constrained to address you in explanation of our leading sentiments, purposes, plans, and hopes. If, as we believe, the basis of our organization, and the arrangements we propose for the culture of man's religious powers, are in harmony with the Divine laws, and adapted to the wants of human nature and the demands of the present age, it is certainly incumbent upon us to diffuse the knowledge thereof as widely as possible; and if, on the other hand,“ the light that is in us be darkness," it is proper that we should invoke your earnest efforts to redeem us from our errors, and turn our feet into the highway of holiness and truth. We, therefore, ask your serious and unprejudiced consideration of the matters presented in this Exposition, so that, whether you shall accept or reject our propositions, your conclusions may minister to your own peace of mind and growth in the love and practice of the truth.
In our efforts to apply the principles of Christianity to daily life, and to social customs and institutions which we deemed subversive of individual and national morality, as well as in conflict with the laws of God, we encountered the hostility of the popular sects, to one or an. other of which most of us belonged, and to which we were bound by ties that grew with our growth and strengthened with our strength. Mingling with the chime of church bells and with the tones of the preacher's voice, or breaking upon the stillness of our religious assem. blies, we heard the clank of the slave's chain, the groans of the wounded and dying on the field of bloody strife, the noise of drunken revelry, the sad cry of the widow and the fatherless, and the wail of homeless, despairing poverty, driven
“By foul Oppression's ruffian gluttony
Forth from life's plenteous feast;"
king up the ps in spite of hengs, the suppresor
and when, in obedience to the voice of God, speaking through the holiest sympathies and purest impulses of our Godlike humanity, ve sought to arouse our countrymen to united efforts for the relief of human suffering, the removal of giant wrongs, the suppression of foul iniquities, we found the Church, in spite of her solemn professions, arrayed against us, blocking up the path of reform with her serried ranks, prostituting her mighty influence to the support of wickedness in high places, smiling complacently upon the haughty oppressor, “justifying the wicked for a reward," maligning the faithful Abdiels who dared to stand up for the truth and to testify against popular crimes—thus traitorously upsetting the very foundations of the Religion she was sacredly bound to support and exemplify, and doing in the name of Christ deeds at which humanity shuddered, obliterating her indignant 'blushes only with the tears that welled up from the deeps of her great, loving heart.
For a time, though not without deep mortification and discourage ment, we bore this appalling delinquency, thinking in our short-sightedness that it was mainly the result of a temporary mistake, and not of an incurable leprosy tainting the whole body. In the patience of hope" we toiled on, seeking to reform alike the Church and the world, and deeming it certain that the former would speedily abandon her false and sinful position, and “come up to the help of the Lord” against the hosts of unrighteousness and oppression. Our hopes in this respect were doomed to a sad and bitter disappointment. The leaders of the Church, instead of retracing the false step which they had taken, grew more and more hostile to the cause of Christian Reform, while there was not found in the body enough of moral principle to reject their counsels and repudiate their impious claims to a Divine warrant for their criminal apostacy. Inflated with spiritual pride, and claiming to be the anointed expounders of God's will, they mocked at Philanthropy as no part of religion, exalted in its place the Dagon of man-made Disciplines,
arged obedience to the decisions of Yearly Meetings or other ecclesi. astical assemblies, as the sum of human obligation, bade us stifle the gushing sympathies which link us to our kind, and passively “wait God's time” for the removal of the evils that afflict and curse our race; as if God had not revealed his purpose of doing this work by human instrumentality—as if there were times when deeds of charity and mercy are offensive in His sight—as if the cry of suffering Humanity and the emotions it stirs within us were not a sufficient revelation of His will, and we were bound to wait in listless inactivity for some supernatural or miraculous manifestation of His authority and power ! Alas! how many have thus waited, until at last the spiritual ear has become too dull and heavy to vibrate under the gentle tones of the “still, small voice," and the heart so hard and cold, that it has ceased to beat at the cry of mortal woe! Superstition has woven around their souls her impenetrable veil, excluding the warm sunlight of God's presence, paralyzing their moral energies, and leaving their holiest sympathies to stagnate for lack of use; thus unfitting them for the work the good Father sets before them in common with all His children, and defeating the great end and purpose of their earthly life.
When we refused to obey the mandate of our ecclesiastical rulers, choosing to hearken to the voice of God rather than unto the voice of man, we found our worst foes in our own religious households; the rod of ecclesiastical power was lifted above our heads, and some of us were made to understand that excommunication was the price to be paid for the exercise of that liberty which Jesus proclaimed as the birthright of his disciples. We might have devoted our energies, to the acquisition of wealth, and, in imitation of the example of many who stood high in the Church, entered into close relations with men devoid of religious principle in the pursuit of that object, and no voice of censure or reproof would have been lifted against us; but when we associated with noble men and women, not of our sect, for the purpose of abolishing slavery, war, intemperance, and other crying abominations, and our zeal for humanity made us indifferent to the forms of the Church, though more than ever alive to the great principles she had so long professed to believe and revere, we were treated as offenders; and the strange spectacle was witnessed of bodies, claiming to be God's representatives on earth, excluding from their pale, men and women of blameless lives for loving peace, purity and freedom so devotedly, as to be willing to co-operate with all whose hearts prompted them to labor for the promotion of those heavenly virtues. Thus were the great and en