Sterry, Peter - The unity of man
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
THE Rise, Race, and Royalty OF THE Kingdom of God IN THE Soul of MAN - Peter Sterry
A mutual forbearance, indulgence, allowance, and kindness a∣mong all honest hearts of different perswasions, and practices, has not only thy own interest, but the concern of all thy Brethren, and the welfare of the whole Christian World after the highest manner contained in it. For it is the safety, stability, security, strength, and subsistence of a good interest, and of all good men, in the midst of a very unkind, angry and wicked World; Whose rage doth not terminate in the extirpation of any one particular sect, or party of good men, but would by degrees, and as fast as it can, blot out goodness it self.
Our walking with all lowliness and meekness, with long suffering, forbearing one another in love; And, our endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. It is most plain ... That the unity of the Church of God, is not an agreement in inward O∣pinions. and outward forms; But an Unity of Spirit; an Unity in that Spirit, which is the common Soul of the Church, the spe∣cificating form, the constituting and conserving Principle of all true Christianity.
We are not united to Christ, and to one ano∣ther, by the same Opinions, and Forms; but by one and the same Spirit, nor can any Opinions and Forms divide us from Christ, (and therefore ought not to separate us from each other) if they have not in their own nature an enmity to the heavenly image of Christ, which is Spirituality; Or to the natural image of him which is morality.
It is again expresly told us... That the way to preserve this Vnity of the Spirit in the Body of Christ, is by walking towards one another with all lowliness and meekness, with long-suffering, forbear∣ing one another in love; And not by a proud, haughty, impa∣tient, peevish and angry, imposing of our own Notions, and modes of Religion upon them. This may indeed be a mistaken piece of hu∣mone policy to serve our own Worldly interest upon Christianity; but I am very sure, there is nothing of the true Spirit of Christ in this temper, not of a right endeavouring to keep the Vnity of his Spirit in such a proceeding.
How clear is it again from this Scripture. That the bond of Peace has its strength, and root, not in an Unity of knowledge and uniformity of worship, but in the Unity of a Divine Spirit;