“The church of the Lord Jesus is the chosen agent for the exhibition of the manifold wisdom of God. The unfolding, the clear and full display of this wisdom, will necessarily present all the attributes of the divine Being in their harmonious, their sublimest operations.
These operations will develop the scheme of that ‘salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.’ It is not surprising then, that the church in her progress to full maturity, presents to the view of angels those things into which they desire to look.
If the church in the changes through which she passes to the completion of her honored destiny, attracts the gaze of ‘the principalities and powers in the heavenly places,’ she should be no less an object of intense regard to ‘all men’ on this earth.
But to those who are found in her membership and her ministry, her interests, her success, her honor, should be most dear. With those, her spiritual nature and constitution, her high obligations, and exalted destiny, should be subjects of profound study and growing importance.”
–W.B. Johnson, The Gospel Developed (1846) as quoted in Polity: A Collection of Historic Baptist Documents, Ed. Mark Dever (Washington, D.C.: 9Marks Ministries, 2001), 166.