Monday, 17th August, 2009

king

“[…] while the subject thus offers itself I will hear briefly of that shame which people are so apt to have for their religious affections. This is so visible that I believe scarcely anybody ventures to discourse on the solemn truth of religion in common conversation, or to mention such terms as heaven and hell, unless to utter an unmeaning curse, or a complaint that blasphemes. If a man appears really struck with the concerns of another world and manifests them by his conduct and conversation, he is generally thought melancholy or mad. I do not say that an ostentation in religious deportment is a disagreeable thing! But because this is a fault, is indifference a merit? Am I to be ashamed of a good cause, tho’ another thing, because another brings disgrace on it? himself by it? who refuses a post of honour chiefly because its last proprietor was a disgrace to it? and is not Christianity an honour? Shame on the man who thinks it is not. The truth is, our hearts are cold. We do not feel the love of God in them and therefore we are both careless and ashamed. We are caught out of countenance by those who are indifferent and kept in awe by fear of being ridiculous.”

Deleted text, MS.42083

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