True and False Service

"There be many things that move, and yet their motion is not an argument of life. A windmill when the wind serveth, moveth, and moveth very nimbly too; yet this cannot be said to be a living creature. No, it moveth only by an external cause, by an artificial contrivance. So it is also if a man see another man move, and move very fast, in those things which of themselves are the ways of God: you shall see him move as fast to hear a sermon as his neighbor doth; is as forward and hasty to thrust himself a guest to the Lord's table (when God hath not bid him) as any. Now, the question is, what principle sets him a-work? If it be an inward principle of life, out of a sincere affection and love to God and His ordinances, it argueth that man hath some life of grace; but if it be some wind that bloweth on him-the wind of state, the wind of law, the wind of danger, of penalty, the wind of fashion or custom-to do as his neighbors do; if these or the like be the things that draw him thither, this is no argument of life at all: it is a cheap thing, it is a counterfeit and dead piece of service."

--Martin Day (ca. 1660)

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