Friday, September 3, 2010

sleeping mariners...

"I just don't feel like going to church today" won't cut it with Bernard Whitman.  His "Excuses for Neglecting Public Worship Examined" continued...

"4. The fourth and last excuse which I shall examine is this; the want of an inclination. Some persons are heard to express themselves in the following terms. We pay our proportion for the support of public worship. We molest none in the enjoyment of their religious sentiments. We attend church when we feel disposed. And if we absent ourselves most' of the time, it is no one's business. If you were at sea, and observed a vessel fast approaching the fatal rocks, with the captain and crew sound asleep, should you not feel it your duty to awaken the slumberers, and warn them of their danger ? Certainly, responds every feeling heart. But, exclaims the awakened seamen, the vessel is our own, the cargo is our own, our lives are our own, and what business had you to disturb our repose ? If we please to trust ourselves to the mercy of the winds and waves and rocks, it is no one's business. But, say the benevolent, we performed this act of kindness from the best of motives; solely for your  good. And when you realize your danger as sensibly as we do, you will feel truly grateful for your deliverance.

 Now this is precisely the answer which obedient Christians should give to those who offer this excuse of indisposition for religious exercises. We give you, my friends, this advice and exhortation solely for your happiness. We know as surely as experience and observation can teach us, that by absenting yourselves from christian worship, you deprive yourselves of one of the purest sources of earthly felicity You set an example which you would lament to see followed by your families and friends and neighbors. You are forming habits which give you no satisfaction, even at the present moment, but which will yield you the most bitter fruits in seasons of trouble and affliction. This we profess to know as certainly as you know that the sleeping mariners were in danger of shipwreck; for these effects have almost invariably followed these causes...

Blessings

2 comments:

Doc Häagen-Dazs said...

Mariners cansleep as long as crew mates are on watch.

boston unitarian said...

Hey Doc,
And yet when it is your turn to watch, you must be vigilant! Thanks for writing and
Blessings, BU