Saturday, June 27, 2009

What We Need Most

A selection from a letter by Rev. J. H. Thornwell, to R. J. Breckinridge about the low state of spiritual life in the Presbyterian denomination to which they belonged, and the solution to what ailed her. The letter was written January 17, 1842.

I am satisfied that what of all things we need most, is a revival of pure religion in all our churches. The cause of Missions lags, and all our interests decay, because the Spirit of Life, to a mournful extent, is withdrawn from our congregations. The Church has almost dwindled down into a secular corporation; and the principles of this world, a mere carnal policy, which we have nick-named prudence, presides in our councils. Until she becomes a spiritual body, and aims at spiritual ends by appointed means, and makes faith in God the impulsive cause of her efforts, our Zion can never arise and shine, and become a joy and a praise in the whole earth. It is my fervent prayer that God would bless us, and that right early.

The Life and Letters of James Henley Thornwell, first published in 1875, republished by the Banner of Truth, 1974, p. 228.

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