“When Christ uttered, in the judgment hall of Pilate, the remarkable words—‘I am a king,’ He pronounced a sentiment fraught with unspeakable dignity and power. His enemies might deride His pretensions and express their mockery of His claim, by presenting Him with a crown of thorns, a reed and a purple robe, and nailing Him to the cross.
But in the eyes of unfallen intelligences, He was a king. A higher power presided over that derisive ceremony, and converted it into a real coronation. That crown of thorns was indeed the diadem of empire; that purple robe was the badge of royalty; that fragile reed was the symbol of unbounded power; and that cross the throne of dominion which shall never end.”
–J. L. Reynolds, “Church Polity or The Kingdom of Christ (1849)” in Polity: A Collection of Historic Baptist Documents, Ed. Mark Dever (Washington, D.C.: 9Marks Ministries, 2001), 298.
“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.