Let us mark how, in these days of ours, he works, and tempts, and rages: –
He comes as an angel of light, to mislead, yet pretending to lead; to blind, yet professing to open the eye; to obscure and bewilder, yet professing to illuminate and guide. He approaches us with fair words upon his lips: liberality, progress, culture, freedom, expansion, elevation, science, literature, benevolence, – nay, and religion too. He seeks to make his own out of all of these; to give the world as much of these as suits his purpose, as much as will make them content without God, and without Christ, and without the Holy Ghost…
He sets himself against God and the things of God in every way. He can deny the gospel; or he can dilute the gospel; or he can obscure the gospel; or he can neutralize the gospel; – just as suits his purpose, or the persons with whom he has to do. His object in regard to the gospel is to take out of it all that makes it glad tidings to the sinner; and oftentimes this modified or mutilated gospel, which looks so like the real, serves his end best; for it throws men off their guard, making them suppose that they have received Christ’s gospel, even though they have not found in it the good news which it contains.
He rages against the true God, – sometimes openly and coarsely, at other times calmly and politely, – making men believe that he is the friend of truth, but an enemy to its perversion. Progress, progress, progress, is his watchword now, by means of which he hopes to allure men away from the old anchorages, under the pretext of giving them wider, fuller, more genial teachings. He bids them soar above creeds, catechisms, dogmas, as the dregs of an inferior age, and a lower mental status. He distinguishes, too, between theology and religion, warmly advocating the latter in order to induce men to abandon the former. He rages against the divine accuracy of the Bible, and cunningly subverts its inspiration by elevating every true poet and philosopher to the same inspired position. So successfully has he wrought in disintegrating and undermining the truth, that there is hardly a portion of it left firm. The ground underneath us is hollow; and the crust on which we tread ready to give way, and precipitate us into the abyss of unbelief.
-Horatius Bonar, God’s Morning: or, Thoughts on Genesis (London: Nisbet, 1875), pp. 365-6
As quoted in Evangelicalism Divided: A Record of Crucial Change in the Years 1950 to 2000, by Ian H. Murray, Banner of Truth Publishers, pp. 323-4