Advices 15, 16, and 17 of the Elders at Balby
15.That all Friends that have callings and trades, do labour in the thing that is good, in faithfulness and uprightness, and keep to their yea and nay in all their communications: and that all who are indebted to the world, endeavour to discharge the same, that nothing they may owe to any man but love one to another.
Comment: This is the sort of advice that only seems profound when you contemplate trying to live by it. The part about trying to discharge one's debts is the one that has been most challenging to me (not that I've entirely succeeded in keeping to yea and nay or being faithful and upright, but I speak comparitively). To the extent that we can live by such advice, and support one another in doing so as well, we can begin to deserve the reputation for integrity and character that Friends still seem to enjoy.
16.-That no-one speak evil of another, neither judge one against another; but rather judge this, that none put a stumbling-block or occasion to fall in his brother's way.
Comment: I'm afraid many of us fall far short of this advice. It sounds so obvious and even trivial. But we easily neglect it and thereby do great harm to ourselves, one another, and our religious community.
17.-That none be busy bodies in others' matters, but each one to bear another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ; that they be sincere and without offence, and that all things that are honest, be done without murmuring, and disputing, that you may be blameless and harmless. the sons of God without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, amongst whom they may shine as lights in the world.
Comment: Like I said...
Labels: Balby advices