Old Meeting House Congregational Church (1643)

The Best Hidden Church in Norwich

The legacy

Every Christian has to acknowledge a debt to books of devotion. The great Charles Spurgeon inherited a library of Puritan books which transformed his life. The books written by Christians in the past constitute an invaluable corrective to our tendency to compromise. Left to ourselves, we easily slip from the highest. We excuse our faults and failings as amiable weaknesses. When we see how those who have attained spiritual power have had to discipline themselves, we realise afresh where our slackness is leading us. At the same time, we have to be on our guard against a subtle temptation in reading devotional books. We are conscious of a heightened emotional and devotional thrill. Our hearts respond to the higher call. We feel how much we really want to be our best selves. But if we are not careful we leave it at that. We take the will for the deed. We are satisfied that we have felt good and resolved to be good, and expect the day to be better than yesterday. We forget that before the new thought or the higher vision are really ours, they have to be expressed in action. I may feel the glow of a new resolution to be absolutely loving all day, but it means nothing if I am irritable at the first test. Ideals are deceivers till they are actualised. Holy thoughts must lead to holy acts, or they become unholy deceptions. How much of what I learned to-day in my devotional hour have I implemented in actual conduct? That is the test, and the only one, of the reality of my devotion.



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