It’s a fantastic eye-opener from the past revealing our current condition.
The language is lofty and somewhat cumbersome for today’s readers. And in a few places, I have paraphrased the wording for better understanding. See if what it describes sounds familiar.
“It is sadly true that a very large portion of the population are strangers to the genuine spirit of the Christian religion, and almost, if not altogether, unacquainted even with the history of its facts and the extent of its influence in the land of our inheritance.
“Causes have been operating – and of [recent] years with fearful rapidity and strength – to produce a state of moral [deliberate obscurity] and practical atheism among us, appalling in magnitude and of alarming consequence. It has [recently] become customary to sneer at the Puritanism of our fathers, and to speak with contempt of [their lifestyle] and the [so-called] bigotry of their faith.
“This impious treatment, by the present corrupters of society, of a generation of men whose lofty principles and illustrious virtues they seem utterly unable to comprehend, is well adapted not only to arouse the deepest indignation, but also [to stir up the most animated] concern.
“There are two [places] from which these evil influences chiefly proceed. A class of men without conscience, and reckless of moral restraint, have gained [the highest forms of popularity], and assume from their prominent position to mold and direct the public sentiment of the nation. Their general influence upon the public morals has been like the wind of the desert – poisonous, withering, and destructive. Another and very large class…moving in the lower walks of life form a significant element of our American population, whose hard and vicious instincts, gratified without [the slightest show of guilt] and paraded everywhere in the most offensive manner, would seem [to indicate that they are near] incapable of reformation. Apparently insensible to all the nobler sentiments of public morality and virtue, and ever ready to perform their [friendly] part in the general demoralization, they demand that all…shall pander to their depraved appetites, as the price of their patronage and support. In this reciprocal play of the baser passions, the common principles of morality are daily sacrificed, and the strong and the weak join hands in carrying down the nation to the very verge of ruin.
“No man can observe the conditions of society in our country, and the obvious impulses of human conduct, without feeling that the perils against which the fathers warned us, and which have been so faithfully and constantly pointed out by [many faithful] ministers of [the Christian religion], have, notwithstanding, increased at a fearful rate….
“And, while every period [of human history] has exhibited the signs of public degeneracy, none in our history presents more fearful proofs of the impiety and [stubbornly persistent in wrong-doing] of great masses of people. We have abandoned in great measure, the faith and practice of our ancestors, in putting aside [the lawful and rightful supremacy] of the Christian ordinances and doctrines. The natural result is, that we have corrupted our ways in all the circles of society and in all the pursuits of life.
“We have become as a field rank with the growth of all the vices and heaped with the pollution of mighty crimes.
“The rigid training of former times through [strong families], discipline, and instruction has been greatly relaxed, if not in many cases [completely] neglected.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Rev. Mark H. Creech