If you walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them;…
There are many who make light of the common worship of the sanctuary, and who are in the habit of depreciating the interest and value of its influences. They tell us that Nature's temple is far grander than any human shrine; that the voices of the birds are a sweeter minstrelsy than that of a mediocre choir; that they find "sermons in stones" whose eloquence is mightier and more penetrating than that of a poor preacher with his string of stale platitudes; and that, therefore, a pleasant country walk is more profitable and sanctifying than an hour spent in the stuffy atmosphere of church or chapel. Nay, even their own fireside has more powerful charms, for have they not Bibles at home, and cannot they read for themselves? and can they not obtain far better sermons for a few pence per volume than they are likely to hear? No doubt there is much truth in such reasoning, but it ignores the social needs of human nature. Man is a social being; social worship is therefore a necessity of his nature. And its necessity has been universally felt. "Groves, mountains, grottoes, caves, streams, valleys, plains, lakes, as well as altars and temples, have been consecrated as the abodes of gods." Everywhere men have sought out some shrine at which to offer common and united worship. And in Christian ages the house of prayer has ever been held in honour, and its services regarded as hallowed privileges by the best and wisest men. They meet a deep-seated need of human hearts. As Dr. Geikie has said, "There is a breadth of human experience, and of understanding of Divine things to be obtained in the great congregation, in the common confessions, the common prayers, the common praises, the common exhortation of the sanctuary, which would be sought in vain in solitudes." As long as human nature is unchanged, the place of public worship cannot be superseded.
Parallel VersesKJV: If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them;