Sheep love to be together; they do not like being alone;
there are no animals which seem to take such pleasure in being in a flock,
and cling to each other's company so faithfully.
And so is it with true Christians:
it is their delight to meet each other and be together, if possible.
It is their continual sorrow and complaint that far too often they have to journey on alone,
without any who are like-minded to commune with,
about the things which their souls love most;
and this is a very sore trial.
Friends and relations may be kind and affectionate,
they may have everything to make this world enjoyable -
but what Christ's sheep sigh and crave after is to have with them
people who can enter into their secret feelings,
who understand the unseen workings of their inward man,
who can comprehend the hidden warfare which goes on in their hearts
- people with whom they can take sweet counsel about their souls' health and souls' trials,
with whom they can converse freely and unreservedly about their Lord and Master
and their hopes of forgiveness through His name.
~ J.C. Ryle
Tract: The Character of the True Christian