"All the churches, in those primitive times, were independent bodies; or none of them subject to the jurisdiction of any other .Nor does there appear in this first century any vestige of that consociation of the churches of the same provinces, which gave rise to ecclesiastical councils, and to metropolitans ." -Mosheim, Ecclesiastical History, Vol. 1, pg. 72).
"During a great part of this century (first century,dm) all churches continued to be as at first, independent of each other, or were connected by no consociation or confederation. Each church was a kind of small independent republic, governing itself by its own laws, enacted or at least sanctioned by the people. But in the process of time it became customary for all the Christian churches within the same province to unite and form a sort of larger society or commonwealth; and in the manner of confederated republics, to hold their conventions at stated times, and there deliberate for the common advantage of the whole confederation" (Ibid, pg. 116).
"These churches, whenever formed, became separate and independent bodies, competent to appoint their own officers and to administer their own government without reference to subordination to any central authority or foreign power. No fact connected with the history of these primitive churches is more fully established or more generally conceded, so that the discussion of it need not be renewed at this place" -Lyman Coleman, Ancient Christianity Exemplified, pg. 95).