Not a mere Sunday affair

(Timothy Shay Arthur, "Religion in Common Life" 1858)

True religion is more than a correct set of doctrines. It includes a life of good deeds in the world. Unless such a life is led, no matter what a man's faith may be — his religion is vain. Piety, which means devotion to God; and Charity, which consists in acting justly among men — make, when united, the true Christian. Charity is essential; for, if a man does not love his brother whom he has seen — then how can he love God whom he has not seen? Worship, therefore, in the absence of charity, is vain; and the prayers of one who does not deal justly and humanely with his fellow-men, can never ascend into Heaven.

Religion is for the daily life, and cannot be put aside at the close of the Sunday worship service. In every department of business; in every office and profession; and in every household duty — men and women must be governed by the divine precepts of the Bible, or they cannot move a step heavenwards, no matter how devoutly they may have worshiped in the Sunday service.

Religion, to be of any real use to a man, must come down into all his daily duties, and regulate his actions by the divine standard — God's Word. It must make him patient, thoughtful of others, self-denying, watchful against evil, and, above all, just in even the smallest things, towards his fellow-man.

"So in everything, do unto others — what you would have them do unto you!" This is the divine standard. It is in the world, where Christian graces reveal themselves, if they exist at all. True religion is not a mere Sunday affair — but the regulator of a man's conduct among his fellow-men. Unless it does this, it is a false religion, and he who depends upon it for the enjoyment of heavenly felicities in the next life, will find himself miserably deluded!