the corruptions that are in the world. It is our labor to lead
them out of all evil into good and virtuous practices in all
   Yet, that there are many people out of our Society, who
 live as pernicious lives as your petitioners have stated, we
 do not deny; nor will it be contested by any persons of
 candor and morality. These characters are plenty enough
 in this part of the country, to give our youth a fair opportu-
 nity to choose whether to follow their example, in a life of
 drinking, rioting, gambling and other pernicious practices,
 or to lead a life of piety and steady habits, taught by our
 Society. Therefore, if a life of piety and steady habits un-
 fit youth and children for becoming useful members of so-
 ciety, it will be no hard task to discover for what society it
 unfits them. And furthermore, we merely state, that if the
 education and deportment of our youth and children, were
 compared with those of the children of some of the aforesaid
 petitioners, it would at once appear that they were not
 competent judges how children ought to be educated.
   It is alleged in said petition, that we "1 persuade young
people to sign the church covenant," c
   .answer; We deny the allegation. We never persuade
any person to sign the covenant; it must be an act of their
own choice; without being excited by fear or any compul-
sory means, for no one is permitted to sign it, until they first
manifest it to be their own free and voluntary choice, and
if any have signed it on any other condition, they have acted
the part of a dissembler, and consequently will receive the
portion of the hypocrite.
  From the aforesaid petition, it appears that if a man re-
ceives faith, and joins with a particular religious sect, his
wife, children and property, with all his natural and civil
rights must be wrested from him, and placed under the
civil officers of the town.
  Answer; Could there such a law exist in this far famed
land for its religious freedom  That a man must be strip-
ped not only of his wife, children and property, but also of
his natural rights, as an equivalent for the privilege of wor-
shipping God agreeable to the dictates of his own consci-
ence   How would it appear under the Monarchical
Government of England, where a man can enjoy the same
liberty to worship God, by paying only one tenth of the
proceeds of his property 
  Should there be such a law enacted, that would extend