When the Holy Spirit was poured out upon the early church, the brethren loved one another. “They … did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, praising God, and having favor with all the people: and the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.” Those primitive Christians were few in numbers, without wealth or honor, yet they exerted a mighty influence. The light of the world shone out from them. They were a terror to evildoers wherever their character and their doctrines were known. For this cause they were hated by the wicked and persecuted even unto death.
The standard of holiness is the same today as in the days of the apostles. Neither the promises nor the requirements of God have lost aught of their force. But what is the state of the Lord’s professed people as compared with the early church? Where is the Spirit and power of God which then attended the preaching of the gospel? Alas, “how is the gold become dim! how is the most fine gold changed!”