Saturday, November 15, 2014

  "How often do you fall in with one who feels himself above the superstition of real prayer; who is conscious of no personal relations beyond this world; to whom the whole expression and organism of religion is but a discipline for social duty, ---- a discipline necessary for the feeble, becoming for the good, but empty for the wise; who is rather its patron than its disciple, and maintains churches for the world as he keeps a nursery for his children, with as little idea of spending his own adult and earnest life there; and who looks on times and places of devotion, on the voice of contrition and aspiration, on the swelling hymn, on the impassioned words of psalmist and prophet, and the memorials of a Savior's sacrifice, as an overwrought provision for sustaining the daily moralities of life.

Serving God's will in the constant course of a faithful, manly, kindly career, is out of his element; he has no burden to lay down, no height to seize: always equal to himself, he wants no reminder, appropriates no confession, and receives every ideal demand upon him as flowing water receives falling sparks. And, so, he looks down on all special worship as a weakness to which he cannot descend; and, if ever social connection or hereditary ties commit him to the interests of a Christian church, he upholds it for others rather than himself instead of humbly offering in it the best that he has, and all that he is, to the real and living God." James Martineau.

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