WILLIAM S PLUMER
The test of real character is to be sought in each man’s experience. He who has never exercised faith, repentance, love, humility, hope, and joy, cannot be profited by his mere theories and speculations on these subjects. All knowledge which is unfelt and inoperative, puffs up the mind and hardens the heart. It is better to have the workings of gracious affections than to be able to define them, or to speak ever so learnedly respecting them. The great use of a large part of divine truth is rightly to affect our minds and hearts, and so to control our practice. It is often doubted whether the present age is remarkable for depth of religious feeling. In many cases ministers preach a low experience. The consequence is painful laxity in pious practice. Among many professors there is a manifest disinclination to converse on vital subjects in experimental and practical piety. This is a great evil. Although hypocrites may babble on such topics, yet true Christians should not thereby be deterred from telling what God has done for their souls, or from diligently seeking to discover and commend the highest style of holy living.