Hezekiah Harvey was a prominent Baptist preacher, teacher and author in the 19th century. His comments here on the importance of the church are strikingly relevant today.
â€œThe gospel becomes a permanent and aggressive power on earth only through the church, the divinely constituted organization, to which God has committed it, and through which it is appointed to act on men. The pietism which, in the professed interest of spiritual religion, undervalues the outward institutions of the gospel, finds no sanction in Scripture; on the contrary, the church, with its heaven-given ministry and ordinances, there stands in the foreground as Godâ€™s agency for the conservation of his truth and the conversion of the world.â€
–H.H. Harvey, Timothy to Peter, An American Commentary on the New Testament (Philadelphia: American Baptist Publication Society, 1890), 129.
Several of Harvey’s books can be found online here.