From the Book, Personal Declension and Revival of Religion in the Soul. “
The spirit of prayer may decline in the believer, and he may not at once be sensible of it. The form and the habit of prayer may for a while continue, the domestic altar sustained, and even the closet occasionally visited; – but the spirit of prayer has evaporated, and all is coldness and dullness, the very torpor and frigidity of death! But of what real worth is the habit of prayer apart from the spirit of prayer? just what this planet would be without the sun, or the body without the living, animating, breathing soul, – what but a cold, lifeless form? Yes; and a believer may be beguiled into this lamentable state, and not a suspicion of its existence be awakened; he may observe his accustomed habit, and use his empty form, and not suspect that all is cold and breathless as death itself.