UMBRELLA FOR UNPLEASANT SUNDAYS;
34 GOOD REASONS WHY I ATTEND CHURCH ON SUNDAYS,
New-York Protestant Episcopal Tract Society
Tract No. 209
1. Because God has blessed the Sabbath Day, and hallowed it—making no exceptions for rainy Sundays.
2. Because I expect my Minister to be there—and should be surprised if he were to stay at home for the weather.
3. Because, although he has been faithfully present through many storms, I see that his health is as good as mine, who have so frequently staid away.
4. Because my absence, for slight reasons, will lead him to think that there is some personal objection to him, when, perhaps, he is devoting every energy to the salvation of his charge.
5. Because my non-attendance is calculated to paralyze his exertions, and lead him to suppose that his visits and sermons are useless.
6. Because, if his hands fall through weakness, I shall have great reason to blame myself, as I have not sustained him by my prayers and presence, as I should.
7. Because, in preaching the doctrines of Scripture, and enforcing the discipline of the Church (to both which he is solemnly pledged,) he has difficulties enough to encounter, without my increasing their number.
8. Because God had blessed me with the means of obtaining such precautions against the weather that I am in no real danger.
9. Because my presence is more needed on Sundays when there are few, than on those days when the Church is crowded.
10. Because, by staying away, I may lose the sermon that would have done me great good—and shall lose the prayers which invariably bring God’s blessing on the true heart.
11. Because whatever station I hold in the Church, my example must influence others—for if I stay away, why not they?
12. Because, on any important business, bad weather does not keep me in the house—and Church attendance is, in God’s sight, very important. (See Heb.)
13. Because, among the crowds of pleasure-seekers, I see that no bad weather keeps the delicate female from the ball, the party, or the concert.
14. Because, among other blessings, such weather will show me on what foundation my faith is built. It will prove how much I love Christ—for true love rarely fails to meet an appointment.
15. Because, a fear that my clothes might suffer, shows that I think more of them, than that beauty and holiness which God so approves.
16. Because I am Christ’s soldier, signed with his cross—and he is a poor soldier who retreats to his house because of a cloud.
17. Because those who stay from Church because it is too warm, or too cold, or too rainy, frequently absent themselves even on fair Sundays. They intended to go to Church last Sunday, but—
18. Because, though my excuses satisfy myself, they still must undergo God’s scrutiny—and I must be well grounded to bear that. (See Luke, 14 c. 16 v.)
19. Because the friends of God are so few in this world that the Church cannot afford to lose one. “Friends in need are friends indeed.”
20. Because there is a special promise, “where only two or three meet together” in God’s name, he is in the midst of them.
21. Because absence from Church, for reasons which would not keep me from going to buy a pencil on week days, must be discouraging to all true friends of the Church, particularly its vestrymen and wardens.
22. Because the Church has great reason to complain, that when, on any excitement, there is scarcely seats for the people—when any change of weather occurs, there is scarcely people for seats.
“The friends that in her sunshine come,
When clouds arise, are flown”
23. Because an avoidable absence from Church, is an infallible evidence of spiritual decay. Disciples first follow Christ at a distance, and then, like Peter, do not know him.
24. Because my faith is to be known by self-denying, good works, and not by the rise and fall of the thermometer.
25. Because, after all, I may find disagreeable Sundays blessings in disguise. At least, I sing—
Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take,
The clouds you so much dread,
Are big with mercies, and shall break
In blessings on your head.
26. Because the punctual attendance of another denomination, on what I suppose a defective worship, is a call on me to be equally punctual on a service I believe to be perfect.
27. Because I think it very inconsistent to speak of our liturgy, as so superior to any other mode of worship, and, for the slightest excuse, absent myself from its performance.
28. Because my belief in the apostolic institution of Episcopacy, demands from me an apostolic attendance on its ministry. And in those days, an Emperor’s threats could not keep from worship, much less a lowering cloud of warm sun.
29. Because such yielding to surmountable difficulties, prepares for yielding to those entirely imaginary, until thousands never enter a Church, and yet think that they have good reasons for such neglect.
30. Because, if from fear of cold or heat, I can neglect worship, the East Indian and Laplander should never attend, and missionaries should be withdrawn from such unfavorable climes.
31. Because so far from relaxing that diligent Church attendance, which marked the time of my confirmation, I should be more diligent, as I see the DAY approaching.
32. Because, by a suitable arrangement on Saturday, I shall be able to attend Church without exhaustion; otherwise, my late work on Saturday night, will be as great sin as though I worked on Sunday itself.
33. Because, though I should lose some custom by an early closing of my business on Saturday night, I should cheerfully make such sacrifice, for the favor of God and the testimony of my own conscience.
34. Because I know not how many more Sundays God may still vouchsafe me; and it would be a poor preparation for my first Sunday in Heaven, to have sighted my last Sunday on Earth.