To Him they must be playthings and toys

by Thomas Spurgeon, (Charles Spurgeon's son)
"Spiritual Worship" 1896

"For God is Spirit, so those who worship Him
 must worship in spirit and in truth." John 4:24

If God were merely a material deity, I might bring
Him fruits, and flowers, and music, and so on.

If He were a God of ritual, I might deck myself
with crosses, burn candles to Him, and waft
incense in His honor.

But our God is a Spirit who rejoices more in the
falling tear, the upheaved sigh, the heart prayer
and the heart praise rendered unto Him, than in
all the decorations and symphonies and temples
of a man made ritual.

What does the Spirit care for your painted windows,
your snow white altars, and your glittering brasses,
and I know not what else besides?

To Him they must be playthings and toys. If
He takes any notice of them at all, it must be
to laugh at them, and to hold them in derision.

Man's traditions and inventions must pale before
the appointment Christ has made; in every place
true worshipers may offer up their praises and
prayers without the gestures and genuflexions,
the rituals and paraphernalia of Romanism and

Every 'rite' is a wrong, unless it has a "Thus says
the Lord" to back it up. Gladly would I commit all
these inventions of man to the flames.

There are multitudes of worshipers up and down
this world of ours. But only a small proportion,
alas! alas! of that great host, are true worshipers.

"The Father seeks such" whose worship is not
encumbered with ceremonial; whose minds are
not fastened upon ritual and fettered by ceremony,
but who truly worship the Father through the Son.