By Horatius Bonar
You say that you do not feel yourself to be a sinner; that you are not anxious enough; that you are not penitent enough. (Bonar here is addressing beleivers who do not sense or feel that they are worthy of God’s goodness and grace, and so seek to torture and beat themselves up so that they can feel worthy and thus in their minds more acceptable to God)
Be it so. Let me, however, ask you such questions as the following: -
1. Does your want of (Lack of) feeling alter the gospel? Does it make the good news less free, less blessed, less suitable? Is it not glad tidings of God's love to the unworthy, the unlovable, the insensible? Your “not feeling your burdens” (Not sensing or feeling convicted of your sin or duties as a beleiver) does not affect the nature of the (Written) gospel, nor change the gracious character of Him from whom it comes. It suits you as you are, and you suit it exactly. It comes up to you on the spot, and says, Here is a whole Christ for you, - a Christ containing everything you need. Your acquisition of feeling would not qualify you for it, nor bring it nearer, nor buy its blessings, nor make you more welcome, nor persuade God to do anything for you that He is not at this moment most willing to do.
2. Is your want (Lack) of feeling an excuse for your unbelief? Faith does not spring out of feeling, but feeling out of faith. The less you feel the more you should trust. You cannot feel aright till you have believed. As all true repentance has its root in faith, so all true feeling has the same. It is vain for you to attempt to reverse God's order of things.
3. Is your want (Lack) of feeling a reason for your staying away from Christ? A sense of want (Your Emptiness and lack) should lead you to Christ, and not keep you away. "More are drawn to Christ," says old Thomas Shepherd, "under a sense of a dead, blind heart, than by all sorrows, humiliations, and terrors." (This is was the sad state of things then as it is today some 140 years later – Though we note that there were and are a few preachers that were and are acceptions, John Wesley, George Whitfield, Charles Finney, and DL Moody to name a few where the conviction of God and a powerful brooding of the Holy Spirit brought many to Jesus Christ) The less of feeling or conviction that you have, you are the more needy; (You should be more alarmed, and more seeking of God) and is that a reason for keeping aloof from him? Instead of being less fit for coming, you are more fit. The blindness of Bartimeus was his reason for coming to Christ, not for staying away. If you have more blindness and deadness (Unsensing or unfeeling of God’s presence, and the Holy Ghost’s conviction) than others, you have so many more reasons for coming, so many fewer for standing afar off. If the whole head is sick and the whole heart faint, you should feel yourself the more shut up to the necessity of coming, - and that immediately. Whatever others may do who have convictions, you who have none dare not stay away, nor even wait an hour. You must come!
4. Will your want of feeling make you less welcome to Christ? How is this? What makes you think so? Has he said so, or did he act, when on earth, as if this were his rule of procedure/ Had the woman of Sychar any feeling when he spoke to her so lovingly? Was it the amount of conviction in Zaccheus that made the Lord address him so graciously, "Make haste, for today I must abide at thy house?" The balm of Gilead will not be the less suitable for you, nor the physician there the less affectionate and cordial, because, in addition to other diseases, you are afflicted with the benumbing palsy. Your greater need only gives him an opportunity of showing the extent of his fullness, as well as the riches of his grace. Come to him, then, just because you do not feel. "Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out." Whatever you may feel, or may not feel, it is still a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. Do not limit the grace of God, nor suspect the love of Christ. Confidence in that grace and love will do everything for you; want of confidence, nothing. Christ wants you to come; not to wait, nor to stay away.
5. Will your remaining away from Christ
remove your want of feeling? No. It will only make it worse; for it is a
disease which he only can remove. So that a double necessity
is laid upon you for going to Him. Others who feel more than you may
linger. You cannot afford to do so. You must go immediately to Him who is
exalted "a Prince and a Saviour, to give repentance to