I saw this quote in the blogosphere recently, and verified it, but now I forget who put me onto it. So I apologize to the friend out there whom I cannot now acknowledge. But this is how Spurgeon as a new Christian felt about the church:
"I felt that I could not be happy without fellowship with the people of God. I wanted to be wherever they were, and if anybody ridiculed them, I wished to be ridiculed with them, and if people had an ugly name for them, I wanted to be called by that ugly name, for I felt that, unless I suffered with Christ in his humiliation, I could not expect to reign with him in his glory."
C. H. Spurgeon, Autobiography, Volume 1: The Early Years, page 145.
This humility, this love, is rare today. But Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. Let's honor him by reestablishing in our generation the unique prestige and true dignity and proper authority of our churches.