April the Fourteenth Religion as Mere Magic
"And when the ark of the covenant of the Lord came into the camp, all Israel shouted with a great shout."
-- 1 SAMUEL iv.1-11.

They were making more of the ark than of the Lord. Their religion was degenerating into superstition. I become superstitious whenever the means of worship are permitted to eclipse the Object of worship. I then possess a magic instrument, and I forget the holy Lord.

It can be so with prayer. I may use prayer as a magic minister to protect me from invasive ills. I do not pray because I desire fellowship with the Father, but because I should not feel safe without it. The ark is more than the Lord.

It can be so with a crucifix. A crucifix may become a mere talisman, and so supplant the Lord. I may wear the thing and have no fellowship with the Person. And so may it be with the Lord's Supper. I may come to regard it as a magic feast, which makes me immune from punishment, but not immune from sin. It may be a minister of safety, but not of holiness.

So let mine eyes be ever unto the Lord! Let me not be satisfied with the ark, but let me seek Him whose name is holy and whose nature is love.

april the thirteenth pure gold
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