Propensity for amusements and entertainments

(J. A. James, "
Hindrances to Earnestness in Piety" 1847)

A great hindrance to earnest piety, is the taste for
amusement, which characterizes the present day.

Every age has had its sources of pleasure, and its means
and methods of diversion—to relieve the mind from the
fatigue and oppression of the more serious occupations
of life. The human mind cannot be kept always upon the
stretch, nor can the heart sustain, without occasional relief,
its burden of care. I would not rob the believer of his few
brief holidays, nor condemn as irrational or unchristian,
his occasional oblivion of worldly vexations amidst the
beauties of nature, or the pleasures of the social circle.
There is a time to laugh—as well as to weep.

Still, it may be seriously questioned, whether among
professing Christians, the propensity for amusements
and entertainments
has not been growing too fast, and
ripened into something like a passion for worldly pleasures.

The very craving after diversion and amusement, which there
is in some people, shows a morbid state of the soul. It might
be supposed, judging from the representations of true religion
which we find in the word of God, and from the general principles
contained in it—that a Christian has rendered unnecessary, all
such sources of enjoyment, which worldly people resort to.

To hear all this talk, then, about the necessity of entertainment;
and the impossibility of relieving the exhaustion of labor, and the
monotony of life, without parties, games, and diversions—sounds
very like a growing weariness of the yoke of Christ!

This growing desire after amusement marks a low state of piety.
The godly Christian is very well content to forego many things
in which the people of the world see no harm.