A week-night meeting widens the pulpit till all the people can stand on it. Such a service tests one’s piety. No credit for going to church on Sabbath. Places of amusement are all closed, and there is no money to be made. But week-nights every kind of temptation and opportunity spreads before a man, and if he goes to the praying circle he must give up these things. The man who goes to the weekly service regularly through moonlight and pitch darkness, through good walking and slush ankle-deep, will in the book of judgment find it set down to his credit. He will have a better seat in heaven than the man who went only when the walking was good, and the weather comfortable, and the services attractive, and his health perfect. That service which costs nothing God accounts as nothing.
A week-night service thrusts religion in the secularities of the week. It is as much as to say, “This is God’s Wednesday, or God’s Thursday, or God’s Friday, or God’s week.” You would not give much for a property the possession of which you could have only one-seventh of the time, and God does not want that man whose services he can have only on Sabbath. If you paid full wages to a man and found out that six-sevenths of the time he was serving a rival house, you would be indignant; and the man who takes God’s goodness and gives six-sevenths of his time to the world, the flesh and the devil is an abomination to the Lord. The whole week ought to be a temple of seven rooms dedicated to God. You may, if you will, make one room the holy of holies, but let all the temple be consecrate.
The week-night service gives additional opportunity of religious culture, and we find it so difficult to do right and be right that we cannot afford to miss any opportunity. Such a service is a lunch between the Sabbath meals, and if we do not take it we get weak and faint. A truth coming to us then ought to be especially effective.
If you are on a railroad train, and stop at the depot, and a boy comes in with a telegram, all the passengers lean forward and wonder if it is for them. It may be news from home. It must be urgent or it would not be brought there. Now, if while we are rushing on in the whirl of every-day excitement, a message of God meets us, it must be an urgent and important message. If God speaks to us in a meeting mid-week, it is because there is something that needs to be said before next Sunday.
The sabbath evening tea-table.
When this evening comes we do not have any less on our table because it is a sacred day, but a little more. On other evenings we have in our dining-hall three of the gas-burners lighted, but on Sabbath evening we have four. We try to have the conversation cheerfully religious.