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Perfect Church-Order

“the bond of perfection,” Col. 3:14. This is perfect church-order. Take a company of sticks, some long and some short, some great and some little, some straight and some crooked. As long as there is a good firm band about them, you may carry them where you please, and dispose of them as you will: break this band, and every thing will appear crooked that is so. If this band, — that is, our perfection, — be loosed, every one’s crookedness will appear, one to be too long, one to be too short; one too big, one too little; one crooked, and one straight; there is no keeping them together. All the order in the world will never keep a church together if the band of love be loosed.

~John Owen

from a sermon entitled The Mutual Care of Believers Over One Another, preached on September 6, 1678; volume 16 of Works, page 478-9

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