Bible Reading Tea
Short Account by Miller of one of these meetings.
A very common meeting was the Bible reading held in
Andrew Miller, one of the early Brethren writers, recounts that some thirty members gathered together at about 5:30 in the evening for tea [the evening meal].
They were plain in their dress with no ornaments. They did not discuss general news, and politics would have been regarded as profanity. [He points out that the Brethren did not vote at elections]. When tea was ready, things became quiet and they waited until someone prayed. At about seven o'clock people found a seat all having their Bibles and a hymnbook. After a little wait a hymn was sung and a prayer given. The head of the house then asked if any brother had a portion of the word on his mind that he would like to share.
Discussion [by the men] continued until about nine o'clock and then after a hymn and prayer the meeting dispersed at about ten o'clock.
These meetings were different from the Fellowship Meeting which was a more serious Bible study on a predetermined topic and involved only men, and the Social Tea Meeting which was a home social gathering although it may end in a worship time at about nine o'clock.
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