Ecclesiastical: Part 1 Prefatory

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Having been lately appealed to by several belated friends, in difficulty from questions in their localities, as to what some call discipline in the Church, for the results of my fifty years' experience, I felt that they were not worth much. After looking to the Lord, however, I bethought me that I might, at least, show love, and pass afresh through the word as written by our God on the subject. I did so, and jotted down the remarks which are found in these papers. When a dear young brother had made a clean copy of it for me, I asked him, " What do you say to its contents?"
His answer was, " I found much food for thought in it, but can give no judgment formed upon it as yet."
I gave the copy to another who is in the work to correct for me, and made the same inquiry of him.
His answer was, " It contains much that has to be weighed; much in it, in the aspect in which you look at it, is new to me." I think he judged that it was in itself worth perusing, though his perusal of it was as my fellow-helper.
To him I said, " If it will help ours to examine the word of God afresh upon the subject, I would, after prayerful correction, publish it." For we have need, in these parts, having learned that God's assembly is " holy," of a little help now to the better understanding and appropriating of what is meant by the " One Assembly," which is holy; as men say, the " Holy Catholic Church." It is not for me, on the one hand, to dogmatize; or, on the other, to keep back from my brethren anything which I can honestly say I judge to be of God, and for their good. " Let the rest judge."
Sydney, N.S.W., 1877.