Since the apostles of the Lamb have finished their course with us in the flesh, no history of the church of God should be allowed to lure us from the doctrine which they taught, the judgments they recorded, the ordinances they have enjoined; nothing is to be added nor aught diminished from the perfect standard of faith and order they established, which is confirmed by all the valid authority of earth and heaven. What they have bound on earth is bound in heaven, and what they have loosed on earth is loosed in heaven. The question with us now is not or should not be: What was believed or practiced in the church one hundred or a thousand years ago, but rather, what was the faith which was once delivered to the saints? We are not now to ask: Are our ministers by succession of ordination, through the dark ages of papal abominations – traceable to the apostles? But rather let it be asked: Are they such men as the Holy Ghost commanded the church to separate to the work whereunto He had called them?
Gilbert Beebe, 1800-1881