RELIGION A PERSONAL MATTER
Some men say that they will test the holiness of Christ’s religion by the holiness of Christ’s people. You have no right, I reply, to put the question to any such test as that. The proper test that you ought to use is to try it yourselves — to “taste and see that the Lord is good.” By tasting and seeing you will prove His goodness, and by the same process you must prove the holiness of His Gospel. Your business is to seek Christ crucified for yourselves, not to take the representation of another man concerning the power of grace to subdue corruption and to sanctify the heart. Inasmuch as God has given you a Bible, He intended you to read it and not to be content with reading men. You are not to be content with feelings that rise through the conversation of others; your only power to know true religion is by having His Holy Spirit operating upon your own heart that you may yourself experience what is the power of religion. You have no right to judge religion from anything extra or external from itself. And if you despise it before you have tried it yourself, you must stand confessed in this world as a fool, and in the next world as a criminal. And yet this is so with most men. If you hear a man rail at the Bible, you may usually conclude that he never reads it. And you may be quite certain if you hear a man speak against religion, that he never knew what religion was. True religion, when once it takes possession of the heart, never allows a man to quarrel with it. That man will call Christ his best lend who knows Christ at all. We have found many who have despised the enjoyments of this world, but we never found one who turned from religion with disgust or with satiety, after having once enjoyed it. No! no! you choose your own delusions, and you choose them at your own risk; you foster them at your own peril. For, if you take your religion from other people and are led by the example of professors to discard religion, you are nevertheless guilty of your own blood. God has not left you to the uncertain chart of men’s characters: He has given you His own Word; the more sure word of testimony, whereunto you do well that ye take heed.