Tuesday, July 03, 2018

 The following quote is about the belief that many share that when we are young it is natural to 'sow our wild oats' and as we get older we can attend to things of religion.

  "Nothing can be more offensive to a good mind than the eagerness to claim, for some portions of our time, a kind of holiday-escape from the presence of duty and the consecration of pure affections; to thrust off all noble thoughts and sacred influences into the most neglected corner of existence; and drive away Religion, as if it were a haggard necromancer that must some time come, instead of a guardian-angel that must never go. 
It is shameful to sanction the low-minded sentiment which so often says of early life, that it is the time for enjoyment, and makes this an excuse for dispensing with everything else, and declining all demands of Christian duty.

  For my own part, I can form no more odious image of human life, than a youth of levity and pleasure, followed by a maturity and age of severity and pietism. Both sights, in this succession, are alike deplorable: a young soul without wonder, without reverence, without tenderness, without inspiration: with superficial mirth, and deep indifference: standing on the threshold of life's awful temple, with easy smile, without uncovered head, or bended knee, or breathless listening! 
Is that the time, do you say, for enjoyment? Yes: for innocent pursuits and pleasures, and for enthusiasm, for conviction, for depth of affection, and devotedness of will: but if there be no tints of heaven in that morning haze of life, it will be vain to seek them in the staring light of later noon.

  Everyone may have noticed examples of young people, long spending their best powers, the mellow heart, the supple thought, the agile will, in the service of themselves, - at length, with the retreating juices of nature and sin, they then become baked by the drying heats of life into the professing saint; - but they are like the rotting tree, simply decaying into the grotesque semblance of some thing human or ghostly, which is no product of its proper vitality, and does but mimic other natures when the functions have departed from its own.

Usually, the religion thus embraced is taken up, less because it is heartily believed and trusted, than because a distrust has arisen of every thing else. It is the penance of an uneasy mind; - a memorial for pardon addressed as to an enemy, not the quest of shelter with an Eternal friend." James Martineau.

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