Shaker Commentary from the Past:

This E-Text 2004, 2013   Pass the WORD Services.
E-Text Copyright renews with each published update.

On-line at PTW: December 25, 2004
  Last update: January 30, 2013

A Brief COMPEND of the  Practical Principles
by which the  United Society is  Guided in All its Institutions.



1st. Purity in mind and body, including a virgin life, as exemplified and inculcated by Jesus Christ, as the way that leads to God. Blessed are the pure in heart; for they shall see God.”

2rd. Honesty and integrity in all their words and dealings; according to the precept of the Saviour, “As ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.

3rd. Humanity and kindness to both friend and foe. “Charity never faileth.”  “Love is the fulfilling of the law.”   “Overcome evil with good.”  This rule comprehends the proper conduct towards all the animal creation.

4th. To be “diligent in business serving the Lord.” All labor with their hands, according to their strength and abilities; all are industrious, but not slavish. “Idleness is the parent of want.”

5th. To use prudence, economy, temperance and frugality, but not parsimony; agreeable to the Apostolic injunction, “Let your moderation be known to all.”

6th. To keep clear of debt. “Owe no man anything but love and good will.”

7th. The suitable education of children, in scriptural and other useful knowledge and science. Their schools are acknowledged, by the District Superintendents, to be at least equal to any country schools in the states where they are located.

8th. A united interest in all things is their general order; but none are required to come into it, except as a matter of free choice; for this order is not a principle; but is the result of mutual love and unity of spirits; and cannot be supported where the selfish relations of husband, wife, and children exist. This order is the greatest and clearest demonstration of practical love. “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”

9th. Suitable employment and exercises to be provided for all, according to their genius and circumstances. Their general employment are agriculture, horticulture, and useful mechanical arts. Thus all may be busy, peaceable, and happy.

10th. All are suitably provided for, in health, sickness, and old age; all being equally of the one “household of faith.” And, from a comparison of statistics, it is evident that, on an average, the health and longevity of the members fully equal that of the individuals of any community of which we have any account.


Indeed, to sum it all up, to seek and practice every virtue, without superstition, is the leading tenet of their profession. “Add to your faith, virtue,” etc.


Published by the Shakers in their book,   “Testimony of Christ's Second Appearing”
4th edition, 1856;  COMPEND


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