There are other people who are prejudiced against public worship. You see, I am starting at the very beginning, those matters with regard to religion which are elementary. Of course, we are told that we shut ourselves up on a Sunday in these dreary buildings of ours, and here we sit, in a horrible state of misery, listening to the most awful twaddle that ever was taught, our singing being nothing better than droning, and the whole of our worship being something very terrible!
If I were to read to you the descriptions of an English Sabbath which I have sometimes seen in newspapers, they might make you almost weep tears of blood to think that we poor souls should suffer so much as we do; only you know that we are altogether unconscious of any such suffering. We really have been under the notion that we very much enjoyed ourselves while worshipping the Lord in his house. Many of us have the idea that the Sabbath is the happiest day in all the week to us, and that, when we hear the gospel preached, it is sweeter than music to us, and makes our hearts leap within us for very joy.
Of course, we are very much obliged to our friends for telling us how dull and how unhappy we are, and for wishing us to be in a better condition. We can only say that, not being enabled to perceive any of these sorrows, we would advise them to retain their pity, and exercise it upon themselves, for they certainly need it far more than we do.
To any of you who make remarks of the kind I have indicated, I say,- Do your difficulties concerning public worship really arise out of your attending the house of God, out of your hearing the gospel preached,- out of your joining in the songs and praises of God’s people? Oh, no! it is those people who never come to our services who believe the Sabbath to be dull, the house of God to be dreary, and the preaching of the gospel to be a monotonous sound from which every sensible man would escape. I put the question of my text to every person who is prejudiced against the Bible, and prejudiced against our public worship in God’s house, “Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it thee?”
C H Spurgeon, 1882.
Living in the World 6 November 2020
This article is the contents of an address first given in February 2020 at the Westminster Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Newcastle, UK. * * * LIVING in the world. How are Christians to live in the world? The question can be answered in many ways. The topic is potentially vast in scope — that becomes more […]
When coming to consider plagues throughout history and some Christian responses, it is appropriate to begin with this extract from the 1662 Book of Common Prayer: O Almighty God, who in thy wrath did send a plague upon thine own people in the wilderness, for their obstinate rebellion against Moses and Aaron; and also, in […]