Saturday, 18 May 2013
I came across the following poem by William Blake the other day which seems to reflect a negative view of the coldness of the Church and the lack of a spirit of joy and celebration. Okay I will not go as far as to say we should introduce beer into the church, but the other points are noted especially the contrast between the warmth of the ale-house and the cold of the church, whether that be physical coldness or a lack of welcome.
Dear Mother, dear Mother, the Church is cold,
But the Ale-house is healthy & pleasant & warm;
Besides I can tell where I am used well,
Such usage in Heaven will never do well.
But if at the Church they would give us some Ale,
And a pleasant fire our souls to regale,
We'd sing and we'd pray all the live-long day,
Nor ever once wish from the Church to stray.
Then the Parson might preach, & drink, & sing,
And we'd be as happy as birds in the spring;
And modest Dame Lurch, who is always at Church,
Would not have bandy children, nor fasting, nor birch.
And God, like a father rejoicing to see
His children as pleasant and happy as he,
Would have no more quarrel with the Devil or the Barrel,
But kiss him, & give him both drink and apparel.
The Little Vagabond - William Blake, Songs of Experience
John Wesley was almost in despair. He did not have the faith to continue to preach. When death stared him in the face, he was fearful and ...