Monday, February 4, 2013

A prophetic commentary on the West

It may be that the vast increase of wealth in the last twenty-five years has insensibly introduced a plague of worldliness, and self-indulgence, and love of ease into social life. What were once called luxuries are now comforts and necessaries, and self-denial and “enduring hardness” are consequently little known. It may be that the enormous amount of controversy which marks this age has insensibly dried up our spiritual life. We have too often been content with zeal for orthodoxy, and have neglected the sober realities of daily practical godliness. Be the causes what they may, I must declare my own belief that the result remains. There has been of late years a lower standard of personal holiness among believers than there used to be in the days of our fathers. The whole result is that the spirit is grieved! and the matter calls for much humiliation and searching of heart.

For a book that was published  well over 100 years ago, the concerns raised by J. C. Ryle in this excerpt from Holiness are incredibly relevant and shockingly similar to what one might say about today's Christian experience.

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