Wednesday, November 21, 2007

"Then" and "Now"

Extract from a letter by John Leland to Rev. John Taylor, Dec 10, 1830:

A new order of things has taken place in the religious department, since I began to preach. Then, when I went to meeting, I expected to hear the preacher set forth the ruin and recovery of man, and labor with heavenly zeal to turn many unto righteousness. His eyes, his voice, and all his prayers, and deportment, gave evidence that his soul travailed in birth for the salvation of his hearers. But now, when I go to meeting, I hear high encomiums on Sunday-schools, tract societies, Bible societies, missionary societies, anti-mason societies, etc., with a strong appeal to the people to aid with their money those institutions which are to introduce the millennium; assuring the people that ‘every cent may save a soul.’ I do not wish to be the bigoted old man, who always finds fault with new customs, though ever so great improvements; but, when I see the same measures pursued that were in the third century, I am afraid the same effects will follow.

The Writings of the Late Elder John Leland, 1845, reprinted by Church History Research and Archives, 1986, p. 602.

No comments: