Salvation by Ceremonies?

    I turn with loathing from gaudily decorated churches, dedicated to salvation by ceremonies, daubed with paint, smothered with glitter, and bedizened with pictures, dolls, and all sorts of baby prettinesses.

    I turned aside from them uttering, "If your god accepts such rubbish as this, he is no God to me- my God is too sublime, too noble, too great minded to take delight in your genuflections, and stage play devotions."

    When I behold processions with banners, and crosses, and smoking censers, and see men who claimed to be sent of God, and yet dress themselves like Tom-fools, I do not care for their god, but reckon that it was some heathenish idol whom I scoff at and despise.

    Has it never struck you that ceremonial salvation would be a very wicked way of salvation? What is there, for instance, about drops of baptismal water which could make men better? What is there about confirmation that should assure you of the forgiveness of your sins? What is there about receiving a piece of bread and drinking a drop of wine that should confer grace? Might you not remain as bad at heart and as wicked after all these ceremonies as you were before?

    And is it not a violation of the eternal principles of morality that a man should be endowed with grace while still his soul clings to sin?

    Now, if there be no effect in water to make you hate sin, and no result from the priest's hands to make you love God, and no result from sacraments to make you holy and heavenly-minded, why do you trust in them?

    Surely it is immoral in the highest degree to tell a man that by outward ceremonies, which cannot change the life, he shall have his sin forgiven!

    The gospel gives not a vestige of confidence to anybody who hopes to be saved by the performances of ritualism.

    The gospel is so simple, so divine; how is it that so many cast it aside, and take up with these sillinesses which are the inventions of man?

    Only divine grace can turn you from the delusive path of trusting in vain religious ceremonies for salvation!

Topics: Churchianity
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