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It's many a long year since I've had time and opportunity to bring my thoughts to dwell on holy things. Ever since I left my mother's side, I've been a wanderer in my mind, as much as in my body." "Poor Jack! I understand and feel for your sufferings; but a better time will come, when you may return to the habits of your youth, and to the observances of your church."

The prophet here sets forth, as did Isaiah in later times, the great principles of moral obligation as paramount over all ceremonial observances. He strikes a blow at all pharisaism and all self-righteousness, and inculcates obedience to direct commands as the highest duty of man.

But this good came of it, that they were ready to listen to this strange and new thing that was brought to their ears, in which so much was made of the Lord's authority, of apostolic teaching and apostolic example, and so little of traditions, theories, and time-honored observances, of which the Bible knows nothing, but which have been sanctified by universal acceptance.

"I will do without Cambridge," said Angel at last. "I feel that I have no right to go there in the circumstances." The effects of this decisive debate were not long in showing themselves. He spent years and years in desultory studies, undertakings, and meditations; he began to evince considerable indifference to social forms and observances.

A preacher ought to have one child who did more than merely acquiesce in religious observances, and Thea and the boys were glad enough that it was Anna and not one of themselves who assumed this obligation. "Anna, she's American," Mrs. Kronborg used to say.

Peter, who was called upon to testify that Jesus wished the Jews to remain Jews, and that circumcision and all the observances were needed, answered that he did not know which was the truth, Jesus not having spoken plainly on these matters, and neither one nor the other seemed to understand that it was of no avail that Jesus should have been born, should have died and been raised from the dead by his Father if the law were to prevail unchanged for evermore.

The colour mounted into his face, but he did not shrink from what he meant to say. "And you have made us all feel that you regard the practices and observances by which we try to fill and inspire our lives, as mere hateful folly and superstition!" He checked himself. "Is that too strong?" he added, with a sudden eagerness. "If so, I apologise for and withdraw it!"

Superstition attracts, because it is indulgent to immorality by providing means by which God can be pacified. But it carries its antidote along with it, for it keeps alive the sense of God's existence; and when it has produced its natural effects, when the believer rests in his observances and lives practically as if there was no God at all, the conscience again awakes.

We indeed deny that confidence should be placed in certain observances, as though they made righteous. And Epiphanies has elegantly said that these observances ought to be praised dia tehn egkrateian kai dia tehn politeian, i.e., for restraining the body or on account of public morals; just as certain rites were instituted for instructing the ignorant, and not as services that justify. Sixthly.

Primitive man hurled his stone-pointed arrows at wild beasts, and as he advanced to a higher state of the observances of the laws of force he fashioned bows to give a greater impulse to his missiles. For hundreds of years the bow and arrow constituted the principal weapon of the chase, and finally became the instrument of offence and defence for armored knights, warriors and heroes.

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