An Essay On Going to Church

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J.W. Luce & Company, 1905 - Church - 60 pages

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Page 55 - MAN, that is born of a woman, hath but a short time to live, and is full of misery. He cometh up, and is cut down like a flower ; he fleeth as it were a shadow, and never continueth in one stay.
Page 44 - ... in that building must have sowed a separate evil passion in my young heart. Yes ; all the vulgarity, savagery, and bad blood which has marred my literary work, was certainly laid upon me in that house of Satan ! The mere nullity of the building could make no positive impression on me; but what could, and did, were the unnaturally motionless figures of the congregation in their Sunday clothes and bonnets, and their set faces, pale with the malignant rigidity produced by the suppression of all...
Page 17 - In my consciousness there is a market, a garden, a dwelling, a workshop, a lover's walk — above all, a cathedral. My appeal to the masterbuilder is : Mirror this cathedral for me in enduring stone ; make it with hands ; let it direct its sure and clear appeal to my senses, so that when my spirit is vaguely groping after an elusive mood my eye shall be caught by the skyward...
Page 23 - Inside such churches you will often find not only carefully-cherished work from the ages of faith, which you expect to find noble and lovely, but sometimes a quite modern furnishing of the interior and draping of the altar, evidently done, not by contract with a firm celebrated for its illustrated catalogues, but by someone who loved and understood the church, and who, when baffled in the search for beautiful things, had at least succeeded in avoiding indecently commercial and incongruous ones. And...
Page 59 - ... isms" and creeds with our vain lust for truth and happiness, and going in without thought or belief or prayer or any other vanity, so that the soul, freed from all that crushing lumber, may open all its avenues of life to the holy air of the true Catholic Church.
Page 7 - All the drugs, from tea to morphia, and all the drams, from beer to brandy, dull the edge of self-criticism and make a man content with something less than the best work of which he is soberly capable. He thinks his work better when he is really only more easily satisfied with himself ... To the creative artist stimulants are especially dangerous.
Page 43 - To this day, my flesh creeps when I recall that genteel suburban Irish Protestant church, built by Roman Catholic workmen who would have considered themselves damned had they crossed its threshold afterwards. Every separate stone, every pane of glass, every fillet of ornamental ironwork 19 half-dog-collar, half -coronet - in that building must have sowed a separate evil passion in my young heart.
Page 48 - Heaven by mistake. Unfortunately for the interest of this narrative, I woke, or wandered off into another dream, before the critical moment arrived. But it goes far enough to show that I was by no means an insusceptible subject; indeed, I am sure, from other early experiences of mine, that if I had been turned loose in a real church, and allowed to wander and stare about, or hear noble music there instead of that most accursed ' Te Deum ' of Jackson's and a senseless droning of the
Page 15 - ... to the saint far more surely than to the man who grows coarser and fatter with every additional hundred a year, and who calls the saint an ascetic. A comparison of the works of our carnivorous drunkard poets with those of Shelley, or of Dr. Johnson's dictionary with that of the vegetarian Littre, is sufficient to show that the secret of attaining the highest eminence either in poetry or in dictionary compiling (and all fine literature lies between the two), is to be found neither in alcohol nor...
Page 16 - I can discover, placing myself at more than my natural disadvantages relatively to those colleagues of mine who patronise the slaughter-house and the distillery. But then I go to church. If you should chance to see, in a country churchyard, a bicycle leaning against a tombstone, you are not unlikely to find me inside the church if it is old enough or new enough to be fit for its purpose. There I find rest without languor and recreation without excitement, both of a quality unknown to the traveller...

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