This was written over 150 years ago by Thomas Reade (c. 1850). I wonder what he would write about church-goers today...
The power of true religion is so little felt by the bulk of professing Christians.
There are four evils which mark the decaying state of Christians in general:
- their love of the world;
- their love of ease;
- their fear of man;
- their distrust of God's providence.
The New Testament believers were just the reverse of all this:
- they despised the world, and its flattering allurements;
- they took up the cross, and denied themselves;
- they boldly confessed Christ, and suffered for His sake;
- they trusted God for all things, and so took joyfully the the confiscation of your property.
And what was the blessed fruit?
- They abounded in consolation;
- they grew in grace;
- they shone as lights in the world;
- they felt joy and peace in believing.
But now we see professing Christians, even many of whom we charitably hope well . . .
- languid in their graces,
- timid in their confession,
- afraid of consequences,
- and fearful of trusting God.
Sad symptoms these, of spiritual decay!
[From Grace Gems]