Be of the same mind one toward another.
Rom. 12: 16.
Harmony is the imperative virtue for the Christian Church.
Before other virtues can be manifest, there must first be concord
and unity of heart among all. It is impossible that outward
circumstances of human life be always the same; much dissimilarity
in person, station, and occupation is inevitable. To this
very unlikeness and to the natural depravity of flesh and blood
is due the discord and disagreement of men in this world. Let
one become conscious of personal superiority in point of uprightness,
learning, skill or natural ability, or let him become
aware of his loftier station in life, and he immediately grows
self-complacent, thinks himself better than his fellows, demands
honor and recognition from all men, is unwilling to yield or
to serve an inferior and thinks himself entitled to such right
and privilege because of his superiority and virtue.
This matter of harmony is the first and most necessary commandment
enjoined by the doctrine of faith; this virtue is the
first fruit which faith is to effect among Christians, who are
called in one faith and one baptism. It is to be the beginning
of their Christian love. For true faith necessarily creates in
all believers the spirit that reasons: "We are all called by one
Word, one baptism and Holy Spirit, to the same salvation; we
are alike heirs of the grace and blessings of God. Although
one has more and greater gifts than another, he is not on that
account better before God. By grace alone, without any merit
of ours, we are pleasing to God. Before him none can boast
When one imagines himself better than his fellows, desiring
to exalt and glorify himself above others, he is really no longer
a Christian, because he is no longer in that unity of mind and
faith essential to Christians. Christ with his grace is always
the same, and cannot be divided or apportioned within himself.
So long as unity of faith and oneness of mind survive, the true
Church of God abides, notwithstanding there may be some weakness
in other points. Of this fact the devil is well aware ; hence
his hostility to Christian unity. Christians should, therefore,
be all the more careful to cherish the virtue of harmony, both
in the Church and in secular government.