Inexcusable Irreverence And Ingratitude
Again, dear friends, there are some who think of God a little, but they never offer him any humble, spiritual worship. Do not imagine that God can be worshipped by anything which is merely mechanical or external, but which is from the heart. A strange god must that god be who is pleased with what some men call worship. I have been into many a Romish church, and seen upon the altar paper flowers that would have been a disgrace to a tap-room; and I have said, “Is God pleased with this kind of thing?” Then I have been into a better building, and I have seen crucifixes and altars adorned like a fine lapidary’s shop; and I have said to myself, “They might adorn a bride; but God cares not for jewels.” Is your conception of God that he desires your gold and your silver, and your brass and your fine linen, and all these adornments? Thou thinkest that he is such an one as thyself. Surely, thou hast poor conceptions of God. When the organ peals out its melodious tones, but the heart is not in the singing, dost thou think that God has ears like a man, that can be tickled with sweet sounds? Why hast thou brought him down to thy level? He is spiritual; the music that delights him is the love of a true heart, the prayer of an anxious spirit. He has better music than all your organs and drums can ever bring to him. If he wanted music, he would have not asked thee, for winds and wave make melodies transcendently superior to all your chief musicians can compose. Does he want candles when his torch makes the mountains to be great altars, smoking with the incense of praise to the God of creation? Oh, brethren, I fear that it has been true of many who externally appeared to be devout, “when they knew God, they glorified him not as God”! Weep over your sin: now have you glorified him as God. Fall on your face, and be nothing before the Most High: now you have glorified him as God. Accept his righteousness; adore his bleeding Son; trust in his infinite compassion. Now you have glorified him as God, for “God is a Spirit, and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” How far, my dear hearers, have you complied with that requisition?
-Charles Spurgeon (Sermon 2257)
At the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington
On Lord’s-day Evening, July 13th, 1890.