Continuing Horatius Bonar’s Words to Winners of Souls (see here for book information)…
Let us, then, meet this “earnestness,” which is now the boast, but may ere long be the bane, of the age, with that which alone can bring down its feverish pulse, and soothe it into blessed calm, “the gospel of the grace of God.” All other things are but opiates, drugs, quackeries; this is the divine medicine; this is the sole, the speedy, the eternal cure. It is not by “opinion” that we are to meet “opinion”; it is the Truth of God that we are to wield; and applying the edge of the “sword of the Spirit” to the theories of man (which he proudly calls his “opinions”), make him feel what a web of sophistry and folly he has been weaving for his own entanglement and ruin.
It is not opinions that man needs: it is TRUTH. It is not theology: it is God. It is not religion: it is Christ. It is not literature and science; but the knowledge of the free love of God in the gift of His only-begotten Son.
“I know not,” says Richard Baxter, “what others think, but for my own part I am ashamed of my stupidity, and wonder at myself that I deal not with my own and others’ souls as one that looks for the great day of the Lord; and that I can have room for almost any other thoughts and words; and that such astonishing matters do not wholly absorb my mind. I marvel how I can preach of them slightly and coldly; and how I can let men alone in their sins; and that I do not go to them, and beseech them, for the Lord’s sake, to repent, however they may take it, and whatever pain and trouble it should cost me.
“I seldom come out of the pulpit but my conscience smiteth me that I have been no more serious and fervent. It accuseth me not so much for want of ornaments and elegancy, nor for letting fall an unhandsome word; but it asketh me, ‘How couldst thou speak of life and death with such a heart? How couldst thou preach of heaven and hell in such a careless, sleepy manner? Dost thou believe what thou sayest? Art thou in earnest, or in jest? How canst thou tell people that sin is such a thing, and that so much misery is upon them and before them, and be no more affected with it? Shouldst thou not weep over such a people, and should not thy tears interrupt thy words? Shouldst thou not cry aloud, and show them their transgressions; and entreat and beseech them as for life and death?’
“Truly this is the peal that conscience doth ring in my ears, and yet my drowsy soul will not be awakened. Oh, what a thing is an insensible, hardened heart! O Lord, save us from the plague of infidelity and hardheartedness ourselves, or else how shall we be fit instruments of saving others from it? Oh, do that on our souls which thou wouldst use us to do on the souls of others!”