Although the following exhortation appeared in The Christadelphian magazine over one hundred years ago, its
warnings are as timely today as ever they have been.There has always been the need to remind members of the
household of faith of the privileges and benefits of assembling together to strengthen, encourage and build one
another up in faithful service to our God.

Nehemiah tells us that at the rebuilding of the wall of Jerusalem the builders were separated one from another on the wall, and as they were in constant danger of an assault from the enemy, and would not perhaps be able to contend against them single-handed, they were to gather together to the point from whence the sound of the trumpet might proceed. And as to this trumpet-sound that brought them together, it would not matter whether it came from a silver bugle or a ram’s horn. It would probably be either a ram or bullock’s horn as, throughout the record, the simplest things, and those least to be desired are mostly chosen by God for His purpose, as in their weakness His strength is made perfect. Samson’s weapon was only a jawbone of an ass, and David’s, a sling and stone.

Now “these things were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope”. We are building upon the wall of Salvation, and are scattered abroad at some distance from each other, engaged in the work; and although each one is provided with his sword, and some are skilful in the use of it, yet there are some who require instruction in the use of it to give them courage, and enable them to face even a single enemy. At intervals, the blast of the Gospel trumpet is heard; sometimes the notes are rung out from a silver bugle in its sweetest and clearest tones, and sometimes from a ram’s horn in not so melodious a cadence; but no matter; it is the Gospel warning to face the foe, and every brother and sister who is blessed by God with health and strength, and who is heartily engaged in the building process, should gather to the spot from whence the blast proceeds, and where the Gospel banner is unfurled.

There was a very bad habit that some of the brethren and sisters appear to have had in Paul’s time, and I am sorry to say it is not peculiar to his days, viz, that of neglecting to assemble themselves together. Paul exhorted them to assemble together, and I can only repeat his words and urge upon our brethren and sisters the importance of this. It is one of the commands of the Holy Spirit through Paul, and the neglecting of it is one step towards growing weary in well doing. We are commanded by Paul to meet together, and strengthen one another, and build each other up in the faith, exhorting one another daily, and where should the Brother of Christ be found but with Christ? When brethren pray for His return, do they indeed wish for it when they neglect to meet Him at the opportunities they have of doing so? For has he not said, Where two or three are gathered together in My name there am I in the midst? Brethren, where is our faith? If Christ were there in person, every brother and sister would be at their posts, but is it because He is not in the midst personally manifested to our eyes that He is not in our assemblies? No; He is as surely in our presence as though we actually saw Him, and taking account of the actions and hearts of those present, and placing a mark against the absentees who have conferred with flesh and blood, and who, having put their hand to the plough, are regretfully looking back upon the world. Such are not fit for the Kingdom of God. If any man love the world the love of the Father is not in him. Jesus will spue the lukewarm out of his mouth.

We have even the word of Yahweh Himself, that they that feared the Lord spake often one to another, and the Lord hearkened and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon His name. From this it is manifest that they that fear not the Lord do the contrary. Let us not imagine, like the Laodicean brethren, that we are rich in the promises of God and have need of nothing, when we are poor, and miserable, and blind, and naked, through the deceitfulness of sin. We require to feed daily upon the sincere milk of the word. By the word our spiritual life will be sustained; thus we may strengthen the things that are ready to die, and be made wise unto salvation through being rich in faith, which has been like gold most precious, tried and purified in the fire of affliction; and thus shall we have garments unspotted from the world that the shame of our nakedness do not appear when Jesus comes upon the world as a thief. To do this we require to keep in memory the things that have been preached unto us, for there is a possibility of letting them slip, and we are more liable to do so if we continue to separate ourselves from our brethren. Unity is strength, and a threefold cord is not quickly broken. Moreover, Jesus tells us, except we abide in the vine, we cannot bring forth fruit, which amounts to this: that if we neglect to meet with Him at the appointed times, to gather strength from Him as the Vine, He being more immediately present where two or three are gathered together in His name, we are in very great danger of becoming unprofitable branches, fit only for the fire or the dunghill. He also says we are the salt of the earth that seasons everything, and if the salt lose its savour, wherewith can it be salted? It is worthless, and is cast out to be trodden under foot of men.

But, brethren, we have not so learned Christ. Having laid hold of the first principles of his doctrine, let us go on unto perfection, helping to build upon the foundation that has been already laid by the prophets and apostles, Jesus himself being the chief corner-stone, in whom all the whole building, fitly framed together, groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord; in whom we also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit; for know ye not, brethren that we are the temple of the living God if we do whatsoever He commands us? Some among us may feel they are so strong in the faith that they need not the appointed meetings to keep alive their spiritual strength. Well, let such remember that there are some among us who are weak and need continued support, and those who are strong are commanded to support the weak and feeble. Therefore, our strong brethren should attend all the meetings to strengthen those who may be weak, and give them that spiritual food of which they have such a good supply.

“Hearken, my beloved brethren” Jesus says, “Blessed is that servant whom his Lord, when he cometh, shall find giving his household their portion of meat in due season; verily he will make him ruler over all that he hath”. Now, we know that in such an hour as we think not the Son of Man cometh. Therefore, we must be always abounding in the work of the Lord, that when He comes upon the world as a thief in the night, we may be found at our post of duty watching, and may be counted worthy to stand before the Son of Man, and may hear Him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant; thou has been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things; enter thou into the joy of the Lord”.