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CHAPTER III.

Of calling the brethren to council.

As often as any weighty matters have to be debated in the monastery, let the Abbot call together all the Brethren, and himself declare what is the point under deliberation. Having heard their counsel, let him prudently weigh it with himself, and then do what he shall judge most expedient. The reason why we ordain that all be called to Council, is because the Lord often revealeth to the younger what is best. And let the Brethren give their advice with all subjection and humility, and presume not stiffly to defend their own opinion, but rather leave it to the discretion of the Abbot; and what he shall think more expedient, to that, let them all submit; for, as it becometh the disciples to obey their master, so doth it behove the master to dispose all things with forethought and justice.

In all things, therefore, let all follow the Rule as their master, and from it let no man rashly swerve. Let no one in the monastery follow his own will. Neither let anyone presume, within or without the monastery, to contend insolently with his Abbot. If he do so, let him be subjected to regular discipline. Let the Abbot, however, do all things with the fear of God, and in observance of the Rule, knowing that he shall undoubtedly give an account of all his judgments to God, the most just Judge. If any matters of less moment have to be done for the benefit of the monastery, let him take counsel with the seniors only, as it is written: “Do all things with counsel, and thou shalt not afterwards repent thee of it.”3535Eccli. xxxii. 24..


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