Delusive signs!

John Angell James)

There are delusive signs of spiritual health and vigor.

Increased ability and disposition to 'talk of religion' in
the way of explaining and defending its doctrines, may
be mistaken for an increased influence of it in the heart.
Yet this may be nothing but the working of pride, or an
effusion of vanity.

To have a knowledge of the truths of Scripture, without
an experience of their influence upon the heart, is only
walking to the bottomless pit with the torch of truth
in our right hand!

Zeal for some peculiar notions or forms, may be thought
to be pure concern for God's glory. Yet all the while it
may only be the most rancorous party spirit.

Liberality in giving may be merely self-righteousness
or ostentation.

Undeviating formality may be erroneously thought
to be ardent devotion.

Enthusiastic attachment to some novel opinion, may
be erroneously supposed to be spirituality of mind.

These are but a few specimens of the errors into which
people fall, in judging spiritual health and vigor. And
they tend to show the vast importance of our having
a scriptural knowledge of the correct tests of personal