“His earnestness has subdued me” by John Angell James

“There is a silent and almost unconscious process often going on in the mind of those who are listening to the sermons of a preacher really laboring for the conversion of souls. ‘Is he so earnest about my salvation, and shall I care nothing about the matter? Is my eternal happiness so much in his account, and shall it be nothing in mine? I can meet cold logic with counter arguments; or at any rate, I can raise up objections against evidence.

I can smile at the artifices of rhetoric, and be merely pleased with the displays of eloquence. I can sit unmoved under sermons which seem intended by the preacher to raise my estimation of himself, but I cannot stand this earnestness about me. The man is evidently intent upon saving my soul. I feel the grasp of his hand upon my arm, as if he would pluck me out of the fire. He has not only made me think, but he has made me feel. His earnestness has subdued me.'”

–John Angell James, An Earnest Ministry: The Want of the Times (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 1847/1993), 30-1.

[HT: TSS]

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