A love for pleasure, diversion and recreation

(John Angell James, "An Earnest Ministry" 1847)

One characteristic of our age is an ever-growing taste
for elegance, refinement, and luxurious gratification.

But just in proportion as we multiply the 'attractions of
earth'--is the danger of our making it our all--and leaving
heaven out of sight. This is now affecting the church, and
the godly and self-denying spirit of our practical Christianity
is in danger of being weakened, and of degenerating into a
soft and sickly wastefulness.

Elegance, extravagance, luxurious entertainments
and expensive feasts, are beginning to corrupt the
simplicity that is in Christ. And amid our . . .
  sumptuous homes,
  gorgeous furniture,
  costly dress, and
  mirthful decorations,
professors of religion are setting their affections too
much upon things upon earth, and turning away from
the glory of the cross--to the vanities of the world!

Akin to this, is a continually augmenting desire after
amusement, for which droves are constantly yearning.
A love for pleasure, diversion and recreation, is an
ever-increasing appetite--and there are those who are
ever ingenious and ever busy to supply its demands.
Men are continually inventing new kinds of diversions
and endless devices, to blot from the mind all
considerations of eternity.

The people, it is affirmed, must have recreation.
Be it so--but let it be of a healthful kind--a taste
for wholesome literature, quiet home enjoyments,
and, above all, the sacred delights of true piety.

Who will call them off from these 'painted nothings',
and make them feel how vain are all these things?
Who will set up a barricade against the billows of
this ocean of worldly-mindedness, and guard the
piety of the church from being entirely swept away
by a flood of worldliness and ungodliness?