Friday, July 24, 2009
Francis Wayland on the Value of Mid-week Meetings
Photo: Francis Wayland (1796-1865)
Francis Wayland in Notes on the Principles and Practices of Baptist Churches (1857):
These meetings are of great importance to the spiritual prosperity of the church. Christians are prone to lose the impression of one Sabbath before the next Sabbath arrives. An intermediate meeting of some sort is useful to break the hold of the world upon the heart, and turn the thoughts upon God and eternity. Such meetings should by all means be encouraged, and they will be found to have great effect upon the soul of the believer.
The preaching, on such occassions, may be more familiar than on the Sabbath. The audience is composed of men and women who have turned aside from the pressures of worldly business for the sake of spiritual refreshment. They need it, and they should have it. Dry discussion and learned interpretation are here out of place. Practical or experimental truth is far more apposite. Something is needed which shall enable the man, with a deeper sense of Chrsitian obligation, and a firmer hold upon Christian hope, to enter anew upon the cares of every-day life. He who will devote himself to furnishing this refreshment to pilgrims on the way to Zion, will not lose his reward (pp. 330-31).