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PENNSYLVANIA YEARLY MEETING
firngrrsaihr firirnha, HELD AT LONGWOOD, CHESTER COUNTY,
FIFTH MONTH, 1856.
ON First-day morning, the 18th of Fifth month, 1856,Tn1i Pussvnvasm YEARLY MEETING OF PROGRESSIVE 'annns convened in the meeting-house at Longwood, Chester County. The house was densely crowded, and hundreds, unable to get within the walls, remained on the adjoining grounds. Prayer was offered by J ossrn A. Deanne, alter which the Call issued by the Committee of Arrangements was read, as follows:
Upon the undersigned devolves the pleasant duty of inviting the friends of Truth, Purity, and Progress, without distinction of sect or name or nation, to attend the Focn'rn Aswan Coxvocarrox or Paoeanssrve FRIENDS, to be held in the meeting-house at Longwood, Chester 00., Pa., commencing on F irst~day, the eighteenth of Fifth month, 1856, at 10 o’clock, A. M., and continuing as long as circumstances may seem to require—probably for three days.
The Progressive Friends have no creed as abasis of association. Their object is not to build up a Sect, armed with ecclesiastical power, and endowed with authc'ity to define the boundaries of thought and restrain the freedom of speech and actidn, but to unite persons of every shade of theological opinion, in one SPIRIT OF Lon-2, to “ do good unto all men as the have opportunity," to cultivate in themselves whatsoever is pure, generous an ennobling; to worship God in the service of Humanity; to investigate those questions of individual and social duty, which the experiences of daily life and the conflicts of sects, parties, classes, and nationalities, are perpetually evolving; to vindicate the primordial rights of man, and plead the cause of the poor, the ignorant, the degraded, and the oppressed; to testify against those systems of popular wickedness which derive their support from a. false Church and a corrupt Government; to promote the cause of “pure and undefiled religion," by a firm resistance to the impositions of Church~craft and , Priest-craft; to elevate the standard of ublic morals, by teaching men to revere,
,U as paramount to all human codes, the aw written by the finger of God in their
_ own minds and hearts; to exemplify the spirit of Universal Brotherhood, and to proclaim the evangel of “ Peace on earth, good will to men.”
All those who desire to co-operate with us, and these we represent, in this a work of beneficence and love, are earnestly invited to meet with us, at the time and place above named. Nay, more—in the language of the Hebrew prophet, we say, “ Whosoever WILL, let him come."
JOSEPH A. DUGDALE congratulated the meeting in view of the propitious circumstances under which it had convened, and introduced SAMUEL J. MAY, minister of the Unitarian Church, Syracuse, New York, who read the following hymn, asking all who could do so, to unite with him in singing it:
Wmuz Thee I seek, protecting Power, In every joy that crowns my days,
And may this consecrated hon! My heart shall find delight in praise,
Thy love the power of thought bestowed, When gladnes wings my favored hour,
To Thee my thoughts would soar; Thy love my thoughts shall flll;
Thy mercy o‘er my life hath flowed, Resigned, when storms of sorrow lower,
In each event of life, how clear My lifted eye without a tear
Each blessing to my soul more dear, My steadfast heart will know no fear,
After the singing, in which several friends joined, SAMUEL J. MAY delivered a very impressive discourse upon “FALSE loans or Goo AND HIS GOVERNMENT," which was heard with close attention and deep interest. LUCRETIA Mon also uttered an earnest testimony on the same subject.
JOSEPH A. DUGDALE, in view of the unusual amount of business upon the table and of his own feeble health, asked that OLIVER J Olmsox might be permitth to assist the Clerks in the discharge of their duties. The request was complied with. The meeting was then briefly addressed by W'ILLIAM LLOYD.
Epistles were read from the WATERLOO (N. Y.) and OHIO YEARLY MEETINGS or anxns or IIUMAN Paoonsss—bodies formed on principles the same as ours—and from the FRIENDS or Human Pnooasss in North Collins, Erie C0,, N. Y. These communications conveyed cheering intelligence of the progress of religious and social reform, and breathed a spirit of fraternal afl'ection and sympathy, which made them peculiarly welcome. EDWARD \Vsna, Rurmsnv \an, PHILENA HEALD, ELIZABETH Jscnson, LEA Poser, Parson.“ Bansaan, and Joan G. Jacxsox, were appointed a Committee to prepare replies.
Letters, expressing a warm interest in the objects of our association and a hearty concurrence in the anti-sectarian and progressive principles upon which it was formed, and containing messages of fraternal affection, were received from the following absent friends, fiz : ‘
Grateful for the timely words of sympathy and counsel received from these beloved friends, the Meeting directed the Clerks to send to each of them a copy of its proceedings. The letters were referred to the Committee of Publication, with instructions to publish them, or such portions of them as they may deem advisable. '
The reading of these letters elicited remarks from DAvIn A. WASSON, (Minister of the Free Church in Groveland, Mass), LUCRETIA Mon, Eussmcs BARNARD, and E. FIsII.
Committees were appointed as follows :—