Friday, April 22, 2011

Head versus Heart

This frightens and convicts me (from John Brown's Commentary on First Peter):

It is painful to think that it is no uncommon thing for a person to be able to talk plausibly about these principles of Christianity, to reason conclusively in their support, and to be zealous even to rancour against those who deny, or even doubt, their truth; while he yet continues a total stranger to their transforming efficacy, the slave of selfishness, malignity, and worldliness. And what is the most lamentable part of this sad history, the infatuated man seems in a great measure unaware of the shocking inconsistency he is exhibiting, in displaying the most unchristian tempers in defense of Christian truth. He mistakes his knowledge and zeal about certain propositions - which, it may be, embody Christian truth - for Christianity itself; and looking, it would seem, on orthodoxy of opinion as the sum and substance of religious duty, wraps himself up in an overweening conception of his own attainments, and resigns himself to the pleasing dreams of a fancied security, from which but too frequently he is first and for ever awakened by hearing the awful mandate, "Depart from me, I never knew you;" and by finding his place assigned him with the hypocrites, in the regions of hopeless misery.

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