If a single line of Scripture can be produced to prove that the present system of things is to be marked by gradual improvement, religiously, politically, morally, or socially, then by all means be hopeful….But where is such a clause to be found? Simply nowhere. The Testimony of the Bible, from cover to cover; the distinct teaching of Holy Scriptures, from beginning to end; the voices of the prophets and Apostles in unbroken harmony, all without a single divergent note, go to prove, with a force and clearness perfectly unanswerable, that the present condition of things, so far from gradually improving, will rapidly grow worse…
—C. H. Mackintosh, Notes on Deuteronomy
It is impossible but that the church of Rome must spread, when we who are the watchdogs of the fold are silent, and others are gently and smoothly turfing the road, and making it as soft and smooth as possible, that converts may travel down to the nethermost hell of Popery. We want John Knox back again. Do not talk to me of mild and gentle men, of soft manners and squeamish words, we want the fiery Knox, and even though his vehemence should “ding our pulpits into blads,” it were well if he did but rouse our hearts to action.
—Charles Haddon Spurgeon, Sermons