by J.C. Ryle
"Needs of the Times!" 1879
There is a common complaint in these days, that there is a lack of power in Christianity, and that the church does not shake the world as it did in former years. Shall I tell you what the reason is, in plain words? It is the low tone of life which is so sadly prevalent among professing believers. I believe we fall far short in our standard of Christian practice.
The times require a higher standard of personal holiness, and an increased attention to practical religion in daily life.
I must honestly declare my conviction, that there never has been . . . so much profession of religion–without practice, so much talking about God–without walking with Him, so much hearing God’s Words–without doing them, as there is at this present date!
Never were there so many empty tubs and tinkling cymbals!
Never was there so much formality–and so little reality!