A SOFT AND EFFEMINATE CHRISTIANITY
There is some danger of falling into a soft and effeminate Christianity, under the plea of a lofty and ethereal theology. Christianty was born for endurance; not an exotic, but a hardy plant, braced by the keen wind; not languid, nor childish, nor cowardly.
It walks with strong step and erect frame; it is kindly, but firm; it is gentle, but honest; it is calm, but not facile; obliging, but not imbecile; decided, but not churlish. It does not fear to speak the stem word of condemnation against error, nor to raise its voice against surrounding evil, under the pretext it is not of this world, it does not shrink from giving honest reproof, lest it come under the charge of displaying an unchristian spirit.
It calls sin sin, in whomsoever it is found, and would rather risk the accusation of being actuated by a bad spirit than not to discharge an explicit duty. Let us not misjudge strong words used in honest controversy. Out of the heat a viper may come forth; but we shake it off and feel no harm.
The religion of both Old and New Testaments is marked by fervent testimonies against evil. To speak smooth things in such a case may be sentimentalism, but it is not Christianity... It is a betrayal of truth and righteousness. I know that charity covers a multitude of sins; but it does not call evil good, because a good man has done it; it does not excuse inconsistencies, because the inconsistent brother has a high name and a fervent spirit; crookedness and worldliness are still crookedness, though exhibited in one who seems to have reached no common height~of attainment. -
By Horatius Bonar. 1818-1899