Now, nothing in this world is so suited to take off reverence, as boldness and frequency. Where men make bold, and where they [are] frequent,—as in a multitude of duties many are bold and frequent,—it works off the reverence of God. That is carnal boldness. But the more frequently you make your accesses unto God with spiritual boldness, the more will your hearts be filled with a reverence of God continually. And the more frequently you make your approaches unto God in outward duties without this holy and humble reverence, whatever your gifts be, reverence of God will decay.
What poor, slight, withering things, have I seen some men grow to be, under a fair outward conversation, and multiplication of duties ! And you may take this measure with you in all your duties ;—if they increase a reverence of God, they are from grace; if they do not, they are from gifts, and no way sanctify the soul wherein they are.
– John Owen –
from a sermon on The Christian’s Work of Dying Daily, volume 9 of Works, page 344