I have to thank David Robertson for drawing my attention to the following Burns quote:
In the Cottars Saturday Night
Compar’d with this, how poor Religion’s pride,
In all the pomp of method, and of art;
When men display to congregations wide
Devotion’s ev’ry grace, except the heart,
The Power, incens’d, the pageant will desert,
The pompous strain, the sacerdotal stole;
But haply, in some cottage far apart,
May hear, well-pleas’d, the language of the soul;
And in His Book of Life the inmates poor enroll.
David quoted this verse in connection with the current state of affairs within the national kirk.
Burns’ quote is fascinating because the national bard hated hypocricy and at times seemed to demonstrate an intolerance for self-righteousness and false piety that was in itself very christ-like.
This quote from Burns is intriguing because it raises the question of where true religion is to be found. According to Burns it is not in the pomp and ceremony of sophisticated and established religious gatherings, it is instead in the simplicity of the home.
It is interesting that during times of revival believers do seem more inclined to gather with other believers in the informal context of the home — the place of fellowship– not performance.