The Power of the Pulpit

Please read this article regarding the impact of our government and society at large upon a Christian college. Then read the following excerpt from a 18th century author:

What if the pulpits of this land were put under Papal interdict? What if some cruel and tyrannical ‘Act of Uniformity’ were to exile even two thousand of her ministers? What if Papacy should procure a revocation of the charter that gives liberty of conscience, and speech, and preaching? or Atheism should pass a resolution that there is no God, and should close our churches, and bid us all speak no more in his name? Tell me, ye who rail so eloquently at God’s ministers, have you any expedient to bridge the chasm? What fountains of life have you to open in the desert, and what trees of righteousness to plant in the parched wilderness? Drain it of these waters, if you will; burn it over, if you will; and then bear in mind that on you rests the responsibility of reclaiming it. Piety sickens at such a view; humanity weeps over it. Such a land were a defiled inheritance, ‘given to salt, and that cannot be healed’. Let infidelity ever become so rife among us, and so rampant as to disrobe our ministry, and close our churches; and whatever else might be the result, proof would not be wanting that moral power had been withdrawn from the land. Let her pulpits be closed for a quarter of a century, and the result cannot be doubtful. More practical evil would flow from such a destitution, than from all other causes put together. Law would vanish with religion. No corrupt propensity would be kept under restraint; there would be no corrective, and no limit but selfishness to the depravity of the human heart. The virtuous would be driven to despair, and the vicious to the darkness and crimes of paganism. It would be a Pagan land, dark and dreamy as though the Sun of righteousness had never risen upon it. Owls would dwell there, and satyrs would dance there; and around such a dreadful cavern of iniquity, the dragons of the pit would linger and dwell as it their own habitation. And the curse of God would be upon it, as it was upon Sodom; and he would extirpate the inhabitants of it as he did the nations of Canaan. His judgments would go forth against it, and as though seven thunders uttered their voices, it would be said in haven, ‘WOE, WOE, WOE TO THE LAND THAT IS NOT THE LAND OF SABBATHS. AND CHURCHES, AND MINISTERS!”

The Power of the Pulpit by Gardiner Spring (1785-1873)


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