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REVIVAL LECTURES - LECTURE XXI. - THE BACKSLIDER IN HEART. paragraph 2 What backsliding in heart is not - What it is - What are its evidences - What are its consequences - How to recover from such a state.

THE BACKSLIDER IN HEART

 

 


REVIVAL LECTURES - LECTURE XXI. - THE BACKSLIDER IN HEART. paragraph 3 What backsliding in heart is not - What it is - What are its evidences - What are its consequences - How to recover from such a state.

The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways. - Proverbs 14:14.

 

 


REVIVAL LECTURES - LECTURE XXI. - THE BACKSLIDER IN HEART. paragraph 18 What backsliding in heart is not - What it is - What are its evidences - What are its consequences - How to recover from such a state.

1. Manifest formality in religious exercises. A stereotyped, formal way of saying and doing things, that is clearly the result of habit, rather than the outgushing of the religious life. This formality will be emotionless and cold as an iceberg, and will evince a total want of earnestness in the performance of religious duty. In prayer and in religious exercises the backslider in heart will pray or praise, or confess, or give thanks with his lips, so that all can hear him, perhaps, but in such a way that no one can feel him. Such a formality would be impossible where there existed a present, living faith and love, and religious zeal.

 

 


REVIVAL LECTURES - LECTURE XXI. - THE BACKSLIDER IN HEART. paragraph 20 What backsliding in heart is not - What it is - What are its evidences - What are its consequences - How to recover from such a state.

3. Religious bondage is another evidence of a backslidden heart. God has no slaves. He does not accept the service of bondsmen, who serve Him because they must. He accepts none but a love service. A backslider in heart finds his religious duties a burden to him. He has promised to serve the Lord. He dare not wholly break off from the form of service, and he tries to be dutiful, while he has no heart in prayer, in praise, in worship, or in any of those exercises which are so spontaneous and delightful, where there is true love to God. The backslider in heart is often like a dutiful, but unloving wife. She tries to do her duty to her husband, but fails utterly because she does not love him. Her painstaking to please her husband is constrained, not the spontaneous outburst of a loving heart; and her relationship and her duties become the burden of her life. She goes about complaining of the weight of care that is upon her, and will not be likely to advise young ladies to marry. She is committed for life, and must therefore perform the duties of married life, but it is such a bondage! Just so with religious bondage. The professor must perform his duty. He drags painfully about it, and you will hear him naturally sing backslider's hymns:

 

 


REVIVAL LECTURES - LECTURE XXI. - THE BACKSLIDER IN HEART. paragraph 26 What backsliding in heart is not - What it is - What are its evidences - What are its consequences - How to recover from such a state.

7. A want of interest in God's Word, is also an evidence of a backslidden heart. Perhaps nothing more conclusively proves that a professor has a backslidden heart, than his losing his interest in the Bible. While the heart is full of love, no book in the world is so precious as the Bible. But when the love. is gone, the Bible becomes not only uninteresting but often repulsive. There is no faith to accept its promises, but conviction enough left to dread its threatening. But in general the backslider in heart is apathetic as to the Bible. He does not read it much, and when he does read it, he has not interest enough to understand it. Its pages become dark and uninteresting, and therefore it is neglected.

 

 


REVIVAL LECTURES - LECTURE XXI. - THE BACKSLIDER IN HEART. paragraph 62 What backsliding in heart is not - What it is - What are its evidences - What are its consequences - How to recover from such a state.

The text says, that "the backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways."

 

 


REVIVAL LECTURES - LECTURE XXI. - THE BACKSLIDER IN HEART. paragraph 67 What backsliding in heart is not - What it is - What are its evidences - What are its consequences - How to recover from such a state.

5. The backslider in heart will be full of his own mistakes. He is not walking with God. He has fallen out of the Divine order. He is not led by the Spirit, but is walking in spiritual darkness. In this state he is sure to fall into many and grievous mistakes, and may get entangled in such a way as to mar his happiness, and, perhaps, destroy his usefulness for life.

 

 


REVIVAL LECTURES - LECTURE XXI. - THE BACKSLIDER IN HEART. paragraph 69 What backsliding in heart is not - What it is - What are its evidences - What are its consequences - How to recover from such a state.

6. The backslider in heart will be filled with his own lustings. His appetites and passions, which had been kept under, have now resumed their control, and having been so long suppressed, they will seem to avenge themselves by becoming more clamorous and despotic than ever.

 

 


REVIVAL LECTURES - LECTURE XXI. - THE BACKSLIDER IN HEART. paragraph 71 What backsliding in heart is not - What it is - What are its evidences - What are its consequences - How to recover from such a state.

7. The backslider in heart will be filled with his own words. While in that state, he will not, and cannot, control his tongue. It will prove itself to be an unruly member, full of deadly poison. By his words he will involve himself in many difficulties and perplexities, from which he can never extricate himself until he comes back to God.

 

 


REVIVAL LECTURES - LECTURE XXI. - THE BACKSLIDER IN HEART. paragraph 73 What backsliding in heart is not - What it is - What are its evidences - What are its consequences - How to recover from such a state.

9. The backslider in heart shall be full of his own folly. Having rejected the Divine guidance, he will evidently fall into the depths of his own foolishness. He will inevitably say and do multitudes of foolish and ridiculous things. Being a professor of religion, these things will be all the more noticed, and of course bring him all the more into ridicule and contempt. A backslider is, indeed, the most foolish person in the world.

 

 


REVIVAL LECTURES - LECTURE XXI. - THE BACKSLIDER IN HEART. paragraph 75 What backsliding in heart is not - What it is - What are its evidences - What are its consequences - How to recover from such a state.

10. The backslider in heart will be full of his own troubles. God is against him, and he is against himself. He is not at peace with God, with himself, with the Church, nor with the world. He has no inward rest. Conscience condemns him. God condemns him. All that know his state condemn him.

 

 


REVIVAL LECTURES - LECTURE XXI. - THE BACKSLIDER IN HEART. paragraph 77 What backsliding in heart is not - What it is - What are its evidences - What are its consequences - How to recover from such a state.

11. The backslider in heart will be full of his own cares. He has turned back to selfishness. He counts himself and his possessions as his own. He has everything to care for. He will not hold himself and his possessions as belonging to God, and lay aside the responsibility of taking care of himself and all that he possesses. He does not, will not, cast his cares upon the Lord, but undertakes to manage everything for himself, and in his own wisdom, and for his own ends. Consequently, his cares will be multiplied, and come upon him like a deluge.

 

 


REVIVAL LECTURES - LECTURE XXI. - THE BACKSLIDER IN HEART. paragraph 78 What backsliding in heart is not - What it is - What are its evidences - What are its consequences - How to recover from such a state.

12. The backslider in heart will be full of his own perplexities. Having forsaken God, having fallen into the darkness of his own folly, he will be filled with perplexities and doubts in regard to what course he shall pursue to accomplish his selfish ends. He is not walking with, but contrary to God. Hence, the providence of God will constantly cross his path, and baffle all his schemes. God will frown darkness upon his path, and take pains to confound his projects, and blow his schemes to the winds.

 

 


REVIVAL LECTURES - LECTURE XXI. - THE BACKSLIDER IN HEART. paragraph 79 What backsliding in heart is not - What it is - What are its evidences - What are its consequences - How to recover from such a state.

13. The backslider in heart will be filled with his own anxieties. He will be anxious about himself, about his business, about his reputation, about everything. He has taken all these things out of the hands of God, and claims them and treats them as his own. Hence, having faith in God no longer, and being unable to control events, he must of necessity be filled with anxieties with regard to the future. These anxieties are the inevitable result of his madness and folly in forsaking God.

 

 


REVIVAL LECTURES - LECTURE XXI. - THE BACKSLIDER IN HEART. paragraph 80 What backsliding in heart is not - What it is - What are its evidences - What are its consequences - How to recover from such a state.

14. The backslider in heart will be filled with his own disappointments.

 

 


REVIVAL LECTURES - LECTURE XXI. - THE BACKSLIDER IN HEART. paragraph 82 What backsliding in heart is not - What it is - What are its evidences - What are its consequences - How to recover from such a state.

15. The backslider in heart must be full of his own losses. He regards his possessions as his own, his time as his own, his influence as his own, his reputation as his own. The loss of any of these, he accounts as his own loss. Having forsaken God, and being unable to control the events upon which the continuance of those things is conditioned, he will find himself suffering losses on every side. He loses his peace. He loses his property.

 

 


REVIVAL LECTURES - LECTURE XXI. - THE BACKSLIDER IN HEART. paragraph 84 What backsliding in heart is not - What it is - What are its evidences - What are its consequences - How to recover from such a state.

16. The backslider in heart will be full of his own crosses. All religious duty will be irksome, and, therefore, a cross to him. His state of mind will make multitudes of things crosses that in a Christian state of mind would have been pleasant in a high degree. Having lost all heart in religion, the performance of all religious duty is a cross to his feelings. There is no help for him, unless he returns to God. The whole course of Divine providence will run across his path, and his whole life will be a series of crosses and trials. He cannot have his own way. He cannot gratify himself by accomplishing his own wishes and desires. He may beat and dash himself against the everlasting rocks of God's will and God's way, but break through and carry all before him he cannot. He must be crossed and recrossed, and crossed again, until he will fall into the Divine order, and sink into the will of God.

 

 


REVIVAL LECTURES - LECTURE XXI. - THE BACKSLIDER IN HEART. paragraph 85 What backsliding in heart is not - What it is - What are its evidences - What are its consequences - How to recover from such a state.

17. The backslider in heart will be filled with his own tempers. Having forsaken God, he will be sure to have much to irritate him. In a backslidden state, he cannot possess his soul in patience. The vexations of his backslidden life will make him nervous and irritable; his temper will become explosive and uncontrollable.

 

 


REVIVAL LECTURES - LECTURE XXI. - THE BACKSLIDER IN HEART. paragraph 86 What backsliding in heart is not - What it is - What are its evidences - What are its consequences - How to recover from such a state.

18. The backslider in heart will be full of his own disgraces. He is a professor of religion. The eyes of the world are upon him, and all his inconsistencies, worldly-mindedness, follies, bad tempers, and hateful words and deeds, disgrace him in the estimation of all men who know him.

 

 


REVIVAL LECTURES - LECTURE XXI. - THE BACKSLIDER IN HEART. paragraph 87 What backsliding in heart is not - What it is - What are its evidences - What are its consequences - How to recover from such a state.

19. The backslider in heart will be full of his own delusions. Having an evil eye, his whole body will be full of darkness. He will almost certainly fall into delusions in regard to doctrines and in regard to practices. Wandering on in darkness, as he does, he will, very likely, swallow the grossest delusions. Spiritism, Mormonism, Universalism, and every other ism that is wide from the truth, will be very likely to gain possession of him. Who has not observed this of backsliders in heart?

 

 


REVIVAL LECTURES - LECTURE XXI. - THE BACKSLIDER IN HEART. paragraph 88 What backsliding in heart is not - What it is - What are its evidences - What are its consequences - How to recover from such a state.

20. The backslider in heart will be filled with his own bondage. His profession of religion brings him into bondage to the Church. He has no heart to consult the interests of the Church, or to labor for its up-building, and yet he is under covenant obligation to do so, and his reputation is at stake. He must do something to sustain religious institutions, but to do so is a bondage. If he does it, it is because he must, and not because he may.

 

 


REVIVAL LECTURES - LECTURE XXI. - THE BACKSLIDER IN HEART. paragraph 90 What backsliding in heart is not - What it is - What are its evidences - What are its consequences - How to recover from such a state.

21. The backslider in heart is full of his own self condemnation. Having enjoyed the love of God, and forsaken Him, he feels condemned for everything. If he attempts religious duty, he knows there is no heart in it, and hence condemns himself. If he neglects religious duty, he of course condemns himself. If he reads his Bible, it condemns him. If he does not read it, he feels condemned. If he goes to religious meetings, they condemn him; and if he stays away, he is condemned also. If he prays in secret, in his family, or in public, he knows he is not sincere, and feels condemned.

 

 


FROM THE PENNY PULPIT, SERMON 2 - PLEASING GOD. paragraph 53

(2.) This accounts for the fact, that backsliders in heart are ever the most unhappy of mankind--the man that backslides in heart from God is wretched. I deeply pity the man who is a backslider. I pity the husband who has a backsliding wife--I pity the wife who has a backsliding husband--I pity the children who have backsliding parents--I pity the parents who have backsliding children--I pity the minister who has a backsliding church, and I pity the church who has a backsliding minister; the effect is, that the backslider in heart is filled with his own ways--he is wretched wherever he is, and the language of his heart will often be--