Monday, September 15, 2008

Memorable Worship

One of the books I've been reading is David McCullough’s 1776. This weekend, I read this memorable paragraph. For context, it’s about one of George Washington’s young officers. He and the rest of the Continental Army had just arrived in New York City after leaving Boston, from which they’d driven British:

With twenty or more churches of differing denominations to choose from (something unknown in Massachusetts), the lieutenant attended as many as possible — and "English" church (most likely Trinity Church on Broadway, which was Church of England), a Congregational meeting, a high Dutch church (probably Old Dutch Church on Garden Street), where only Dutch was spoken, and the city’s one synagogue, Shearith Israel, on Mill Street. He liked the Dutch church best, he decided, preferring the priest’s manifest piety to the "pomp" of the English church, though he understood not a wood of the Dutch sermon. On a later Sunday he and a friend attended a Quaker meeting, but after sitting through two hours during which not a word was said, they happily repaired to a nearby tavern.

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