Familiarity with sacred things

(J. C. Philpot, "New Years' Address, 1858")

"Take heed unto yourselves!" Acts 20:28

This was Paul's public warning to the elders of
the church at Ephesus. It was Paul's private
warning to his friend and disciple, his beloved
son, Timothy. And do not all who write or speak
in the name of the Lord need the same warning?

Familiarity with sacred things has a natural
tendency to harden the conscience, where
grace does not soften and make it tender.

Men may preach and pray until both become a
mere mechanical habit; and they may talk about
Christ and His sufferings until they feel as little
touched by them as a 'tragic actor' on the stage,
of the sorrows which he impersonates.

Well, then, may the Holy Spirit sound this note of
warning, as with trumpet voice, in the ears of the
servants of Christ. "Take heed unto yourselves!"