It is a miserable thing to be a backslider. Of all unhappy things that can befall a person, I suppose that it is the worst. A stranded ship, a broken-winged eagle, a garden overrun with weeds, a harp without strings, a church in ruins, all these are sad sights — but a backslider is a sadder sight still. A wounded conscience — a mind sick of itself — a memory full of self-reproach — a heart pierced through with the Lord’s arrows — a spirit broken with the inward accusation — all this is ataste of Hell. It is Hell on earth.
Truly that saying of the wise man is solemn and weighty, “The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways.” Proverbs 14:14. Now what is the cause of most backslidings? I believe, as a general rule, one of the chief causes is neglected private prayer. Of course the secret history of falls will not be know until the last day. I can only give my opinion as a minister of Christ, and a student of the heart. That opinion is, I repeat distinctly — that backsliding generally first begins with neglect of private prayer.