While I really did like the “clever commercial“, it was not so clever to deserve a headline position for 6 weeks. So to get it off of the top of my site and for your own edification, here are a few quotes from my current reading, Personal Declension and Revival of Religion in the Soul by Octavius Winslow (1808-1878). I know that sounds like a ridiculously long title and may lead you to think, “Boring!” But such a judgment would be way too hasty. The forty pages I have read so far are packed full of heart-wrenching words for this follower of Christ with an ever-present evil tendency to forsake my first love, Jesus Christ.
The first paragraph of the book exposes the problem he is addressing in this work:
“If there is one consideration more humbling than another to a spiritually-minded believer, it is, that, after all God has done for him–after all the rich displays of his grace, the patience and tenderness of his instructions, the repeated discipline of his covenant, the tokens of love received, and the lessons of experience learned, there should still exist in the heart a principle, the tendency of which is to secret, perpetual, and alarming departure from God.”
And . . .
“The state of secret departure from God may exist in connection with an outward and rigid observance of the means of grace; and yet there shall be no spiritual use of or enjoyment in, the means. And this, it may be, is the great lullaby of his soul. Rocked to sleep by a mere formal religion, the believer is beguiled into the delusion that his heart is right, and his soul prosperous in the sight of God. Even more than this, a declining believer may have sunk so deeply into a state of formality, as to substitute the outward and the public means of grace for a close and secret walk with God.”
One more . . .
“The loss of spiritual enjoyment, not of a spiritual perceptionof the loveliness and harmony of the truth, shall be the symptom that betrays the true condition of the soul. The judgment shall lose none of its light, but the heart much of its fervour; the truths of revelation, especially the doctrines of grace, shall occupy the same prominent position as to their value and beauty, and yet the influence of these truths may be scarcely felt.”