“I know thy works, and thy labor, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil; and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles and are not, and hast found them liars: and hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast labored, and hast not fainted.” How exalted a character! How rich a piety! How fine an eulogium! Surely there is nothing here to condemn. Yes, there is. Mark what follows. “Nevertheless, I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.” See that. Dwell upon it. No attainments, no eminence, can compensate for a decline of “first love.” Christ will allow no plea of extenuation to be put in; much less any defence to be set up. Hence what follows, “Remember, therefore, from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do thy first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.” — Rev. ii. 5. But perhaps it will be said, all that Christ required in this case was that they should only recover lost ground, return to their former state, and continue as they were. Ah, but what must have been their first love, when their diminished affection was so great? What must have been their first works, when their secondary ones were so signal? And moreover the rebuke did not necessarily imply that they were to be satisfied with even this. They had declined just because they had neglected to advance, and it was therefore strongly implied that they must advance in order that they might not again recede."—John Angell James "The Necessity of Progress"