Review and Herald, May 16, 1854
EXAMINATION OF ISAIAH II, AND MICAH IV.
… Look at the so called church of the present day. Who is she most pleased with, the humble, self- denying, cross-bearing members, who are crucified to this world, or the rich, the “respectable” in the sight of the world, and those that can make show? Which do they most regard? Is it not a fact, that the latter are more pleasing to an exalted church than the former? And are not the churches “multiplying a spurious brood of strange children?” Where is their deadness to the world, its praise and its frowns? They dare not speak out against a popular sin, nor defend an unpopular truth. Reputation is at stake, and every other principle must give place to that. Said an old pilgrim, not long since, “When our church was small and poor, we were spiritual, lively in religion, and a happy band; but now we are numerous, fashionable, and like the world, and I do not feel at home.”
The church had multiplied a spurious brood of strange children; and such is the case almost universally. Yet she is saying, like the Laodicean church, “I am rich and increased in goods and have need of nothing,”Yes, she boasts of her schools, her colleges, her theological seminaries, her talented ministry, her richly endowed institutions. In her own eyes she sits “as a queen,” and is “no widow and shall see no sorrow.” So has the world fallen in love with the church that even the soldiers, with their guns, cannons, drums and fifes, will all join with it in celebrating the birth of the Prince of Peace; and Ministers are to be educated at the Military Academy to be Chaplains in the army and navy! Truly, how much that looks like “learning war no more!”
Not only that, but our churches at Christmas and other holidays, can have exhibitions in their meetinghouses that please the children of strangers about as well as the theatre! No wonder the church of this age is talking of conquering the the world, when she herself has fairly gone over to the world, and has become like the intoxicated man who thinks the ground rises up to him when he has fallen down to that. No wonder such a church is in convulsions on hearing the dreadful sound, “Behold the Bridegroom cometh.” She wish to see him! No, she is pleasing herself with the children of strangers.
But let us inquire, what else does the prophet say of this “peace and safety” crying church? He says, [verse 7,] “Their land also is full of silver and gold, neither is there any end of their treasures.” See the thousands and millions that these churches have laid up in one form or another; either in the hands of individual members, or corporate bodies; if possible to show their contempt of him” who though he was rich, for our sakes became poor;” acting as if their greatest desire was to be independent of God himself, and showing that they have no confidence in him…
— Geo. Storrs, in Mid. Cry 1844