Titled & Compiled by my friend, Dr. James White
"We have to deal with a spirit, I know not how to denominate it, unless I call it a spirit of moderatism in the pulpits of protestant churches. Men have begun to rub off the rough edges of truth, to give up the doctrines of Luther and Zwingle, and Calvin, and to endeavour to accommodate them to polished tastes. You might go into a Roman Catholic chapel now-a-days, and hear as good a sermon from a Popish priest as you hear in many cases from a Protestant minister, because he does not touch disputed points, or bring out the angular parts of our Protestant religion. Mark, too, in the great majority of our books what a dislike there is to sound doctrine! the writers seem to fancy that truth is of no more value than error; that as for the doctrines we preach, it cannot matter what they are; still holding that
"He can't be wrong whose life is in the right. There is creeping into the pulpits of Baptists and every other denomination, a lethargy and coldness, and with that a sort of nullification of all truth. While they for the most part preach but little notable error, yet the truth itself is uttered in so minute a form that no one detects it, and in so ambiguous a style, that no one is struck with it. So far as man can do it, God's arrows are blunted, and the edge of his sword is turned in the day of battle. Men do not hear the truth as they used to.
"But I think that the worst battlement the churches have now, is an earthwork of great and extreme caution. It is held to be improper that certain obnoxious truths in the Bible should be preached; sundry reasons are given why they should be withheld. One is, because it tends to discourage men from coming to Christ. Another is, because certain persons will be offended on account of these rough edges of the gospel. Some would say, "O keep them back! You need not preach such and such a doctrine. Why preach distinguishing grace? Why divine sovereignty? Why election? why perseverance? why effectual calling? These are calculated to offend the people, they cannot endure such truths." If you tell them about the love of Christ, and the vast mercy of God, and such like it will always be pleasing and satisfying; but you must never preach deep searching law-work, you must not be cutting at the heart and sending the lancet into the soul-that would be dangerous. Hence most churches are shielding themselves behind an ignominious bulwark of extreme caution. You never hear their ministers spoken against; they are quite safe behind the screen you will be very much puzzled to tell what are the real doctrinal views of our modern divines. I believe you will pick up in some poor humble chapel more doctrinal knowledge in half an hour, than in some of your larger chapels in half a century. God's church must be brought once more to rely upon the pure truth, upon the simple gospel, the unalloyed doctrines of the grace of God.