The Actress in High Life eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 297 pages of information about The Actress in High Life.

“To the formalist and the negligent,” L’Isle replied, “the liturgy is but a form; but to the earnest churchman it is a thing of life.  Using it, the Christian congregation, priest and layman, pastor and flock, join in an united confession of their sins, in the profession of their common faith, in prayer for mercies needed, in thanksgiving for blessings bestowed.  God’s praise is sung, his pardon to repentant sinners authoritatively pronounced, the sacraments ordained by Christ are reverently administered, and the whole body of revealed truth and sacred history systematically recited to the people in the course of each year—­a most profitable teaching to the young and ignorant, who cannot search the Scriptures for themselves.  This is a true Christian public worship, complete in itself.  Nor do we neglect preaching as a means of instruction and exhortation, without holding it to be an always essential accompaniment, much less, as you do, the right arm in the public worship of God.”

“And to this form of words, made by man,” objected Moodie, “you attribute a divine character, little, if at all, below that which belongs to the word of God.”

“So far as it consists of the language of Scripture, rightly applied, it is divine,” said L’Isle.  “But it is an error to say that our liturgy, or any other worthy to be named, was made by a man, or the men of any one age.  It has a more catholic origin than that.  The spiritual experience of devout men of many centuries of Christianity, realizing the needs of sinful humanity in its intercourse with its Maker and Redeemer, and the comforting Spirit, have helped to build it up, and thus adapted it, in its parts of general application, to the spiritual wants, at all times, of every child of Adam.”

“You speak up finely for your formal service, sir,” said Moodie; “and I may not be scholar enough to answer you.  But every spiritual minded man knows that it only fetters the spirit in prayer.”

“Yet we might infer,” said L’Isle, “from a passage in the Revelations of St. John, that a liturgy is used by the four and twenty elders who stand before the throne.”

“You and Moodie do not seem to get any nearer to each other,” said Mrs. Shortridge, “in your rambles through the mazes of controversy.”

“We only need here a well-trained son of Rome,” answered L’Isle, “to make confusion worse confounded.  Luckily, Moodie and I can fight out our duel in quiet, without having a dexterous adversary come in as thirdsman, and kill us both.”

The muleteer, who had shown signs of impatience unusual with him, now pointed to the sun; in a few minutes they were again on the road, which was but a bridle-path, and the country promised less and less as they rode on.  Their guide looked around doubtingly, and at length turned aside to a half ruinous cottage, the only habitation they had seen for miles, where he closely questioned an old woman whom he found there as to the way before them.  Little satisfied with

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The Actress in High Life from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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