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Hearing, - i.e. right hearing, — is not easy: attention, self-application, thinking of the thing said, not of the manner nor the man, — above all, listening in a spirit of prayer, as before God, — all are necessary to right hearing. — C. J. VAUGHAN, D.D., Notes for Lectures on Confirmation, Lect. vii.
After some short pause, the old Knight, turning about his head twice or thrice, to take a survey of this great metropolis, bid me observe how thick the City was set with Churches, and that there was scarce a single steeple on this side Temple Bar. - 'A most heathenish sight,' says Sir Roger; 'there is no Religion at this end of the town. The fifty new Churches will very much mend the prospect; but church-work is slow, church-work is slow. * * *
We are obliged to devotion for the noblest buildings that have adorned the several countries of the world. It is this which has set men at work on Temples and public places of worship, — not only that they might, by the magnificence of the building, invite the Deity to reside within it, but that such stupendous works might, at the same time, open the mind to vast conceptions, and fit it to converse with the Divinity of the place. For every thing that is majestic imprints an awfulness and reverence on the mind of the beholder, and strikes in with the natural greatness of the Soul. — ADDISON, Spectator, 383, 415.
Burke, - I am told, — has somewhere said that the spires of the Churches are the “conductors” which divert the lightning of God's wrath from the City:
Is not that (Sunday,] the chief day for traders to sum up the accounts of the week, and for lawyers to prepare their briefs. — Swift, Argument against abolishing Christianity.
The poet's skill was pressed into the service of Religion, but it required paid professional talent to give effect to the outpourings of his imagination. Thus it was also in the public worship of the Christian Church : the hymn of praise first burst forth in simple music, which all could execute, rudely, perhaps, but heartily, - in honor of God. Afterwards, as Christian art progressed, the paid professional choir did that, as deputies, which the congregation did before; and the refinements of music were purchased at the expense of the united adoration of the multitude. — ARCHDEACON R. W. BROWNE, Hist. of Greek Classical Literature, vol. i, book i, ch. vi.
They kept their holidays and festivals with as much rigor as they kept their Sundays. On these days they assembled on the mound or in the trenches; and one of the Priests or Deacons (for there were several amongst the workmen) repeated prayers, or led a hymn or chant. I often watched these poor creatures, as they reverentially knelt their heads uncovered, — under the great bulls, celebrating the praises of him whose Temples the worshippers of these frowning idols had destroyed, - whose power they had mocked. It was the triumph of truth over paganism. Never had that triumph been more forcibly illustrated than by those who now bowed down in the crumbling halls of the Assyrian Kings. — A. H. LAYARD, Discoveries at Nineveh, ch. ix.
The devotion of the Poet, or the Philosopher, may be secretly nourished by prayer, meditation, and study ; but the exercise of public worship appears to be the only solid foundation of the religious sentiments of the people, which derive their force from imitation and habit. — GIBBON, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, chap. 28.
Such was the Religion of this worthy man, [an industrious laborer;] and such must be the religion of most men in his station. Doubtless, it is a wise dispensation that it is so. For so it has been from the beginning of the world ; and there is no visible reason to suppose that it can ever be otherwise.— W. H., Few Words on Many Subjects, p. 182.
Yet there is also a great and enduring comfort to the Traveler in Christendom. However uncouth may be the speech of the races amongst whom the Pilgrim sojourns, however diversified may be the customs of the regions which he visits, let him enter the portal of the Church, or hear, as I do now, the voice of the Minister of the Gospel, and he is present with his own, though Alps and Oceans may sever them asunder. There is one spot where the Pilgrim always finds his home. We are all one people when we come before the Altar of the Lord.— SIR F. PALGRAVE, Merchant and Friar, ch. iii.
A particular notice, — writes Mr. L*****,- is taken of midnight in all the Churches here. A service beginning at half past 11, ends at a quarter past 12 a.m. on the ist of January 1876. This is not a cheerful service : it is something like mustering the people to see who is missing.–31 Dec. 1875.
Light burdens long borne grow heavy.— HERBERT, Facula Prudentum.
PHIS is the history of most of mankind; a
y thoughtless childhood, careless youth, too thoughtful manhood; one half of life without thought, the other with misplaced thought; thoughtful of things of time and sense, thoughtless of Him who made them, and of their real selves. What does almost every countenance we see in this vast thronging City, rude or refined, express, but thoughtlessness, or a wrong thoughtfulness, a vacant, self-enjoying look, or carefulness about things of this life? So rare is thoughtfulness, that if any look thoughtful, men think he must have some sorrow. To be what Swift calls “grave,” is to have some hidden anxiety or grief. To be a “serious” person, is a name of reproach. To be careful about the Soul, is to be fain to be better than others. “Man walketh to and fro in a vain show," - an image, shadow, sporting himself with, following after, grasping at, shadows, and himself