Nationalism - in other words, the dividing of the church into bodies - consisting of such and such a nation, is a novelty, not above three centuries old, although many dear children of God are found dwelling in it.
I add, that those who are bent on restoring the whole church ought to be well instructed in the word, and to abstain from doing anything under the pretext of simplicity.
I had always owned them to be the Word of God... the careful reading of the Acts afforded me a practical picture of the early church; which made me feel deeply the contrast with its actual present state; though still, as ever beloved by God.
Jude has a very different character. It is not the cradle of Christianity, or of the assembly on earth: it is its decay and its death here below. It does not keep its first estate.
But the more we search the Scriptures, the more we perceive, in this doctrine, the fundamental truth of the gospel - that truth which gives to redemption its character, and to all other truths their real power.
During my solitude, conflicting thoughts increased; but much exercise of soul had the effect of causing the scriptures to gain complete ascendancy over me.
Some respected and beloved brethren insist that the forming and organising of churches is, according to God's will, the only means of finding blessing in the midst of that confusion which is acknowledged to exist.
I know that those who esteem these little organised associations to be the churches of God, see nothing but mere meetings of men in every other gathering of God's children.
To rest satisfied with existing evils, as if we could do nothing, is not obedience; but neither is it obedience to imitate the actions of the apostles.
This truth of the gathering together of God's children is in Scripture seen realised in various localities, and in each central locality the Christians resident therein composed but one body: Scripture is perfectly clear on that head.
I go farther, and say, that it is plainly our duty to desire pastors and teachers to take the care of such congregations, and that God did raise up such in the church as we see it in the word.