Wednesday, September 1, 2010

benumb and stupify the faculties...

Bernard Whitman continues his "Excuses for Neglecting Public Worship Examined"

"2. The second excuse which I shall consider is this; fatigue caused by the labors of the preceding week. I well know there are times and seasons when extra exertions seem necessary. And they doubtless unfit a person for a profitable religious observance of the sabbath. But such periods seldom occur. And if a person is able to be about, I believe he would suffer no inconvenience from attending church. Nay, I think he would feel much better so to do, than he would to benumb and stupify his faculties by a whole day's idleness and sleep. To prepare himself for the sanctuary; to breathe the pure atmosphere; to meet the joyful countenances of his acquaintances ; to unite in the soothing voice of devotion; to have his feelings enlivened by animating music; to have his mind stored with useful reflections, would have a most salutary effect on his spirits. In no other way could he obtain so much real relaxation, receive so much pure enjoyment, and become so well prepared for the labors of the ensuing week. This excuse therefore will seldom apply. to perform the duties, encounter the temptations, submit to the trials, and enjoy the pleasures of life, but to enjoy the felicity and perform the duties of a heavenly inheritance; and in this way we may make the sabbath answer the end for which it was designed.

But why should any one wish to disqualify himself by excessive labor for the public worship of God ? The sabbath was made for man; for his best interests; for his highest improvements; for his richest happiness. We have rational and immortal souls. These we are to educate for a spiritual world, where our labors, enjoyments, society will be pure and intellectual. And that all might have an opportunity of acquiring these qualifications for felicity, our merciful Father has set apart one seventh part of our time for this most important purpose...

But if we neglect to improve this day religiously ; if we spend it in sleep, or idleness, or unnecessary business, or improper reading, or unlawful amusements, or sinful dissipation, we become more worldly minded and depraved. We lose our relish for the purer joys of religion. We contract hurtful and dangerous habits. Our influence and respectability are diminished. In times of sickness and bereavement we are deprived of the consolations of the gospel. In some instances we become thoroughly abandoned. And in the hour of death, our past neglect will fill our mind with anguish, and darken our prospect of a blessed immortality.. Let this not be the case with any of you. Amidst the follies and trials and vices of the world, do have one day in seven in which you can forget these perishing vanities, and look forward to that everlasting rest which remains for the children of God. You can labor enough for the support of these frail decaying bodies, without encroaching on the season of sacred meditation and worship. Let there never be occasion for you to say that you are too much fatigued to attend on the public worship of your Maker. For such an excuse will not be satisfactory in the court of conscience or heaven."

Blessings

2 comments:

Doc Häagen-Dazs said...

Howabout the first family reunion in years to watch a whole day of World Cup soccer?

boston unitarian said...

Hello Doc,
I would probably let you off the hook but Rev. Whitman seems a stickler...
Its great to hear from you! Hope all goes well and
Blessings, BU