by T. De Witt Talmage

T. DeWitt Talmage
Psalm 20:2

If you should ask fifty men what the church is, they
would give you fifty different answers. One man would
say, "It is a convention of hypocrites." Another, "It
is an assembly of people who feel themselves a great
deal better than others." Another, "It is a place for
gossip, where wolverine dispositions devour each
other." Another, "It is a place for the cultivation of
superstition and cant." Another, "It is an arsenal
where theologians go to get pikes and muskets and
shot." Another, "It is an art gallery, where men go to
admire grand arches and exquisite fresco and musical
warble and the Dantesque in gloomy imagery." Another
man would say, "It is the best place on earth except
my own home." "If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my
right hand forget her cunning."

Now, whatever the church is, my text tells you what it
ought to be - a great, practical, homely, omnipotent
help. "Send thee help from the sanctuary." The pew
ought to yield restfulness for the body. The color of
the upholstery ought to yield pleasure to the eye. The
entire service ought to yield strength for the moil
and struggle of everyday life. The Sabbath ought to be
harnessed to all the six days of the week, drawing
them in the right direction. The church ought to be a
magnet, visibly and mightily affecting all the homes
of the worshipers. Every man gets roughly jostled,
gets abused, gets cut, gets insulted, gets slighted,
gets exasperated. By the time the Sabbath comes he has
an accumulation of six days of annoyance; and that is
a starveling church service which has not strength
enough to take that accumulated annoyance and hurl it
into perdition. The businessman sits down in church
headachy from the week's engagements. Perhaps he
wishes he had tarried at home on the lounge with the
newspapers and the slippers. That man wants to be
cooled off, and graciously diverted. The first w ...

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