Seraph or demon?
(John Angell James, "Christian Love" 1828)
Many conclude that they are true Christians, because
of the intensity of their religious feelings. Possessed
of much excitability and warmth of temperament, they
are, of course, susceptible of deep and powerful
impressions from true religion. They are not without
joy--and they are not without their religious sorrows.
Their tears are plentiful--and their smiles in proportion.
See them in the house of God, and none appear to feel
more under the preaching of the Word than they do. The
sermon exerts an influential power over their affections,
and the preacher seems to have their hearts at command.
They talk loudly of "happy frames and precious seasons".
But follow them from the house of God to their own
homes--and, O, how changed the scene! The least
offense, perhaps an unintentional one--raises a storm
of angry passion, and the man who looked like a seraph
in the sanctuary--seems more like a demon at home!
Follow them from the Sabbath into the other days of
the week, and you will see the man who appeared all
for heaven on the Sunday--all for earth on the Monday!
Follow them from the assembly of the saints to the
places of business--and you will see the man who
looked so devout; now . . .
irritated and quarrelsome,
selfish and unfair,
crude and insulting,
envious and malicious!
Yes! And perhaps in the evening of the same day,
you will see him at a prayer meeting, enjoying, as
he supposes, the holy season!
Such is the delusion under which many are living!
Their religion is, in great part, is a mere selfish