Monday, August 18, 2008

Speaking About Religion or Possessing Religion?

A selection from a letter by Thomas Chalmers to is friend, William Wilberforce, member of the English Parliament. The letter was written June 25, 1822:

We had a visit from Mr. Gray of Sunderland lately, one of the good men of the Church of England. It is truly refreshing to have a visit from such; it always puts me in mind of a saying of Brainerd’s, that he has heard hundreds speak about religion, but not above one or two speak religion. We Scotch speak about it—look at the matter intellectually—come forth with our didactic and metaphysical speculations about the thing; but the evangelical English, as far as I can observe, possess the thing; and possessing it, they have by far the most effective ingredient of good preaching, which is the personal piety of the preacher himself.

Letters of Thomas Chalmers, edited by William Hanna, first published 1853, reprinted by The Banner of Truth, 2007, pp 98-99.

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