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by the strictest Obligations from all schismatical factious, and turbulent Behaviour in those facred or civil Societies whereof we are Members. And unless we do sincerely endeavour to fulfil these Obligations, however we may monopolize Godliness to our own Party, and claw and canonize one another,we are Saints of a quite different strain from those blessed ones above, and are acted by the fatious Spirit of the Devil, whose Business it is to foment Divisions, and kindle Disturbances and Commotions where-ever he comes. This therefore must be our great Care, if we design for Heaven, to root out of our Tenipers all Inclination to Contention and Discord, and to compose our selves into a sedate and peaceable, calm and gentle frame of Spirit; and not only to avoid all unnecessary Quarrels and Contentions our selves, but so far as in us lies to be Peace-makers between others, and preserve a friendly Union with and among our fellow members. And if through humane Frailty and Infirmity, through our own Ignorance or the plausible Pretences of Seducers, through the too great Prevalence of our Worldly Interest or the Principles of a bad Education, it should be our Misfortune to be insensibly misled into unwarrantable Dislents and Divisions, yet still to keep our Minds in a teachable temper, and our Ears open to Truth and Conviction; to be desirous of Accommodation, and willing to hear the Reasons on both sides, and as soon as we are convinced of our Error, to repent of our Division and immediately return to Unity and Peace.

Which if it be our constant Pradice and Endeavour, we shall by Degrees form our Minds into such a peaceable and amicable Temper, that when we go into the other World where we shall be perfectly disengaged from all temporal Interests and throughly convinced of all our erroneous Prejudice, our Souls will be effectually contempered to the quiet and peaceable Society of the Blessed ; who having no private Interests to pursue, no particular Affections to gratific, no Ends or Aims but what are common to them all, which is to adore, and imitate and love that never-failing Spring whence all their Felicity flows, it is impossible there should be any Occasion administred by any of them of any Schism or rupture of Communion. And so those happy. People live in the most perfect Unity and Concord, as being all united in their ends, and tied together by their heart-strings. For they having no counter Opinions or cross Interests to divide them, nothing but Truth shining in their minds, nothing but Goodness reigning in their Wills, it is imposible there should be any disenting Brother among theni, any Non-conformist to the blessed Laws of their Coninunion ; but conspiring together as they do in the same Mind and Interest, and in the same peaceable Intentions and Affections, they must needs walk hand in hand together in a most perfect Uniformity. So that if we would live for ever with these blessed Folk, we must nom endeavour to calm and compose our selves into their Temper ; to discharge our Minds, as much as we are able, of every froward and contentious Humour, and reduce oor Wills to a perfect loathing of them that fo being qualified for their Society we may be admitted to it when we go away from this wrang


ling World. And then how unspeakably happy shall we be, when with Minds perfectly refined from all Contention and Bitterness we shall be received into the Company of those calm and sedate Spirits, and bear our part in their sweet and placid Conversation, wherein they freely communicate their minds to one another without the least Fierceneß or Infolence, Captiousneßor Misconstruction, Clamour or Contention for Victory, and do eternally discourse over the wise things of Heaven, and still perfectly concenter both in their Understandings and Wills; wherein like so many Stars in Conjunction they mingle Light with one another, and do peaceably communicate the treasures of their knowledge without the least bandying or Controversie. For though some of them do doubtless know much more than others, yet there being no Intermixture of Error in the Knowledge of any, it is imposible they should oppose or contradict one another, because whatso, ever is true, agrees with everything that is true. And being thus united in Mind and Judgnient, they freely communicate their thoughts without ever disputing one anothers Sentences, which renders it impossible for them ever to quarrel or disagree.So that all their Communion is a perfect Concordof Souls; wherein there is no such thing as a Schismor Division,as passing cruel Censures or affixing hard Names or bandying Anathema's at one another, but in Mind & Heart they are all as perfectly one as if they were all animated by one and the same Soul, And thus they live unspeakably happy in the mutual exercise of an everlasting Peace, and all their Conversation with one another is perfect Harmony without Discords.


IV. As we are rational Creatures related to one another, we are obliged modestly to submit to our Superiours, and chearfully to condescend to our Inferiours in those respective Societies whereof we are Members. These two I put together, because they are Relatives, and as such do mutually explain and contribute light to each other. Now ir being necessary to the Order and End of all Societies that their Members should be distinguished into superiour and inferiour Ranks and Stations; that some fhould be trusted with the power of Commanding, and others reduced to the condition of Obedience, that fo in this regular Subordination they may every one in their several stations be obliged to aid and affift each other, and according to their feveral Capacities to contribute to the good of the Whole ; which in a state of Equality(wherein every Man would be absolute Lord of himself) cannot be expected, considering the different Hu mours and Interests by which Men are acted ; this, I say, being upon this account "necessary, it is upon the same account equally necessary that they should mutually perform those Offices to one another, which are proper to their respective Ranks and Stations. That Superiours should look upon themselves as Trustees for the Publick Good, whom God hachi invested with Authority over others not to domineer and gratifie their own imperious Wills, but to provide for and secure the Common-weal; and consequently to take care that they do not prostitute their power to their own private Avarice or Ambition, but that they employ it for the Common Good and Benefit of their Subjects and Inferiours; that they be ready


to do them all good Offices, to compassionate their Infirmities, consult their Conveniencies, and comply with all their reasonable Supplications ; considering that for this End they derived their Authority from God who is the Fountain of Authority, to whom they are accountable for their good and bad Administration of it. And so for the Inferiours, it is no less necessary for the Common Good, that they perform their parts towards those that are above them; that they behave themselves towards them, with all that Loyalty and Modesty, Respect and Submision which their place and Authority calls for ; that they reverence them as the Vicegerents of God, and address to them as to sacred Persons, and render a chearful. Obedience to that divine Authority that is stampt upon all their juft Laws and Commands; considering that in their several Degrees, they represent the Person of the great Soveraign of the World, to whom we owe an intire Subjection, and consequently are in every thing to be obeyed and submitted to, that he hath not expresly countermanded. For that Subjects and Superiours should thus behave themselves towards one another, is indispensably necessary to the Welfare of all Societies.. For whilst the Inferiours of any Society do obstinately refuse to submit to the Will of their Superiours, and the Superiours to condescend to the Common Good of their Inferiours, they are contending together, either for a Confufion or a Tyranny; and if the Superiours prevail, Tyranny follows ; if the Inferiours, Confusion : either of which is extremely mischievous, not only to the Society in general, but to each of the contending Parties.



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