Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Sleeping in Church

Presbyterian Magazine
February, 1854.
edited by Rev. C. Van Rensselaer, D.D.
Philadelphia, C. Sherman, printer.

“On Sleeping in Church,” p62.

  1. Do not sleep too long and late Sabbath mornings. Nothing is gained by it but additional drowsiness. The Scripture holds good emphatically here, as it respects extra sleep, “to him that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance,” even in church.
  2. Spend a few moments, before going to church, in serious meditation on the case of Eutychus, mentioned in Acts 20.9, and remember if any accident should occur to you, you have not Paul for your minister to remedy it.
  3. Bear in mind that if you fall asleep, the preacher may treat you merely as the furniture of the pew, much as an old minister in Norwich, Conn., did his sleeping hearers, many years ago. “I come now,” said he, “to the third head of my discourse, to which I ask the serious and candid attention of all who are not asleep,” giving a marked and peculiar emphasis to the last word.
  4. Remember, if the sermon is peculiarly dull, that you meet with a double loss.
    “If all want sense,
    God takes a text and preaches patience.”
  5. Bethink yourself that it may be the last time in this world that you will have the opportunity of struggling against drowsiness under a sermon.
  6. Last of all, resolve that when you make your pew your lodgings, you will pay for the privilege of the nap, and put into the plate or into the Lord’s treasury its cash value at the best hotels.—N.Y. Evangelist.
**I can't say which of them I appreciate the most, but it's probably either comparing myself to Eutycus or paying to the church a rate set by an 1854 NY hotel!

Samuel Clifford's directions to Those who have suffered from Depression in the Past - Part 2

An edited and (quite) abridged excerpt from The Signs and Causes of Melancholy, with directions suited to the case of those who are afflicted with it. Collected out of the works of Mr. Richard Baxter, for the sake of those, who are wounded in Spirit. By Samuel Clifford, minister of the Gospel London, Bible and Three Crowns, 1716. Extracted from Pages xi-xlvi.

To the Reader, by Samuel Clifford

II. Look upon the Devil as your implacable Enemy and resist his Temptations. Because by his sin he forfeited and forever lost the happiness he once enjoyed, the Devil envies your happiness, and if he can find a way to make it happen, you will be as miserable as he is. Don’t be ignorant of his devices. Keep far enough out of harms way: while you pray to God not to lead you into temptations, don’t throw yourselves onto temptations. The devil will show you the Bait, and conceal the hook. If he can get you first to look at and then to play with the bait, before you know it, you may be taken with the hook. This was the method he used with Eve, first to question the truth of God, next to look upon the forbidden object, and then to take and eat of the fruit of the forbidden tree. You have felt by sad experience the Devil’s attitude toward you, when you were continually assaulted with his horrid temptations, and it should make you know he is an enemy of your body and soul. As you fear God, or love yourselves, put on the whole armor of God. Stand to your spiritual arms, and stand your ground against this enemy of your salvation. Reflect on the malice and enmity shown towards you, when he throws his fiery darts with such hellish rage and fury into you; and let this teach you to proclaim and carry on, a perpetual war against him.

You say, "and You, who were dead and are alive and lives for evermore, the great Captain of my Salvation, who has led captivity captive, I make my application to You; in myself I have no might against this strongman, but I come to you for Help. I am Yours, save me. I have renounced the Devil in my profession of faith and stand by my covenant engagements: I hate the Devil and all his Works. Preserve me by your Grace from his Temptations, or if I must be tempted, let it not be above my strength. After you have rescued me out of the Paws of this devouring Lion, do not let me be swallowed up by him."