I believe the practice of calling on the churches to close...

Springfield (Vt.) Reporter

I believe the practice of calling on the churches to close their doors during epidemics is altogether wrong. In the first place, the churches of Vermont are not likely to be overcrowded, and the ventilation is good. The people are assembled for a comparatively short time, and it is not likely that those who have bad colds or do not feel well will attend the services. In these days people are too apt to seek an excuse for not attending, and if they have a real reason they will stay home. I do not believe that any disease is spread by church congregations.

The most important reason for keeping the churches open is spiritual and moral. We know that disease spreads largely through panic. Worrying weakens the powers of resistance. Now the church is the great source of spiritual power. It tends to calm and allay fear, it puts people into the attitude of trust and confidence in God which reacts on the body and makes it strong to resist disease.

Again, we used to call people to worship and to supplicate the God in whose hands are our lives, especially in these times of trials, when many are sick and dying. Instead of closing the churches and discouraging worship, we ought to have extra services and urge the people to pray and believe. Therefore, I say, let the churches be the last to close. The theaters, the stores, the shops, are all much more prolific causes of the spread of disease than the church is. Let us use the power of Christianity in checking disease; let us prove our belief in the principles of Christianity by turning to God for help in our trials.

Enjoy 1 free Sentinel article or audio program each month, including content from 1898 to today.

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.