Deeply and painfully saddening!
(from Octavius Winslow's, "The Inner Life")
A careful observance of the 'religious world,'
will force upon your mind the painful conviction,
that while 'religious profession' is greatly on
the increase, 'vital godliness' is on the decline.
While the quantity of religion is increasing,
its quality is deteriorating.
The vast number.....
whose Christian profession is avowed;
whose religious character is recognized;
whose theological creed is sound;
whose conversation is pious;
whose sacred observances are rigid;
whose benevolence is applauded;
whose zeal is admired;
who pride themselves upon their eloquent
preacher, and their favorite religious author;
but who yet are....
living in the world, and
living as the world, and
living for the world, is
deeply and painfully saddening!
Where is the salt?
Where are the really living souls?
Where are those who know what true conversion is?
Where are those who are following Christ, and are living for God?
Where are the possessors of the true spiritual life?
Alas! the world has become so like the Church,
and the Church so closely resembles the world!
The world has become so religious, and
the Church has become so carnal; that it
is difficult to see any essential difference!