Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Influence of Family Worship on Children

The Episcopal Recorder, Saturday April 29, 1848.

Influence of Family Worship on Children

The simple fact that parents and offspring meet together every morning and evening for reading the word of God and prayer, is a great fact in household annals. It is the inscribing of God’s name over the lintel of the door. It is the setting up of God’s altar. The dwelling is marked as a house of prayer. Religion is thus made a substantive and prominent part of the domestic plan. The day is opened and closed in the name of the Lord. From the very dawn of reason, each little on grows up with a feeling that God must be honored in everything; that no business of life can proceed without him; and that the day’s work or study would be unsheltered, disorderly, and in a manner profane, but for this consecration. When such a child comes, in later years, to mingle with families where there is no worship, there is an unavoidable shudder, as if among heathen or infidel companions. In Greenland, when a stranger knocks at the door, he asks, “Is God in this House?” and if they answer “Yes,” he enters.

As prayer is the main part of all family worship, so the chief benefit to children is, that they are the subjects of such prayer. As the great topic of the parent’s heart is his offspring, so they will be his great burden at the throne of grace. And what is there which the father and mother can ever do for their beloved ones, that may be compared with their bearing them to God in daily supplication? And when are they so likely to do this with melting affection, as when kneeling amidst a group of sons and daughters? And what prayers are more likely to be answered, than those which are offered thus? The direct influence of family prayer is then to bring down the benediction of Almighty God upon the children of the house. Divine authority, the example of all the godly in every age, and the practical benefits which are ever accruing from it, commend it to the adoption of every Christian household."

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Sir Walter Scott on the Sabbath

Today brought a rainstorm, the rainstorm brought a leak in the roof, and the leak in the roof brought about moving a bunch of books to prevent water damage. Out of that comes the Episcopal Recorder, a newspaper from the 1840s. Soon to be for sale, I have been flipping through it and realized that it has pieces written by men I admire and respect. These include John Newton, William Jay, Thomas Chalmers, among others. What caught my eye, however, was this small bit by Sir Walter Scott on the Sabbath. I doubt that most people who read Scott would know that this was his opinion on the matter.

Sir Walter Scott on the Sabbath
from The Episcopal Recorder, Philadelphia, Saturday morning, May 15, 1847. Vol. XXV.-- No.9. Rev. G W Ridgely, Editor. Stavely & McCalla., No. 12 Pear Street, Publishers.

It may not be without its use, the submitting to our readers the following opinion on the Sabbath question, of one whom none could certainly accuse of bigotry, viz: Sit Walter Scott. It is taken from the Quarterly Review of 1828: "If we believe in the Divine origin of the commandment, the Sabbath is instituted for the express purposes of religion. The time set apart is the Sabbath of our Lord--a day on which we are not to work our own works or think our own thoughts. The precept is positive, and the purpose clear. To our eternal benefit a certain space of every week is appointed, which, sacred from all other avocations save those imposed by necessity and mercy, is to be employed in religious duties. The Roman Church, which lays so much force on the observances merely ritual, may consistently suppose that the time claimed is more than sufficient for the occasion, and dismiss the peasants, when mass is over, to any game or gambol which fancy may dictate, leaving it with the priests to do on behalf of the congregation what further is necessary for the working out of their salvation. But this is not Protestant doctrine, though it may be imitated by Protestant Churches. The religious part of a Sunday's exercise is not to be considered as a bitter medicine, the taste of which is as soon as possible to be removed by a bit of sugar. On the contrary, our demeanor though the rest of the day ought to be not sullen, certainly, but serious, tending to instruction. Give to the world one-half of the Sunday, and you will find that religion has no strong hold of the other. Pass the morning at church, and the evening according to your taste or rank, in the cricket field, or at the opera, and you will soon find thought of the evening hazards and bets intrude themselves on the sermon, and that recollections of the popular melodies interfere with the psalms. Religion is thus treated like Lear, to whom his ungrateful daughters first denied one-half of his stipulated attendance, and then made it a question whether they should grant him any share of what remained. --- Glasgow Courier.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Another "Apology" - but not quite truely Sorry

Readers - many of whom are no doubt no longer readers (and thus not reading this) because of my lengthy lapse in posting:

My lapse was partly for the reasons stated in previous posts. They are true. But there are weightier matters that influenced my hiatus from posting than I previously mentioned. Namely, I'm now married. The time I previously had put into books and these postings was spent getting to know this person the Lord put in my life - as an astute reader might imagine.

As pieces fall back into place and we find a schedule amidst the business of adjusting to a new life, we hope that will I find time to come back to this. Look for my return in the fall, if not before -- and if I do not post, please gently remind me of my purpose to do so.