1789 Pastoral Letter from the General Assembly (quoted in Jim Singleton’s August 25 talk)

“Dear Friends and Brethren: The aspect of divine providence, and the extraordinary situation of the world, at the present moment, indicate, that a solemn admonition by the ministers of religion and other church officers in General Assembly convened, has become our indispensable duty . . . A solemn crisis has arrived, in which we are called to the most serious contemplation of the moral causes which have produced it, and the measures which it becomes us to pursue . . . Formality and deadness, not to say hypocrisy; a contempt of vital godliness, and the spirit of fervent piety; a desertion of the ordinances, or a cold and unprofitable attendance upon them, visibly pervade every part of the Church, and certain men have crept in amongst us, who have denied, or attempt to explain away the pure doctrines of the gospel; to introduce pernicious errors which were either not named, or named with abhorrence, but which have, within a few years since, been embraced by deluded multitudes . . . God hath a controversy with us – Let us prostrate ourselves before him! Let the deepest humiliation and sincerest repentance mark our sense of national sins; and let us not forget, at the same time, the personal sins of each individual, that have contributed to increase the mighty mass of corruption.” (in Keith Hardman, Seasons of Refreshing, 108)