the First Week of Advent
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Spurgeon's Illustration Collection
Holy water, indeed! a vile mixture, neither fit for man nor beast. You see this liquid virtue at the doors of all the churches ready for the brows of the faithful, but what is far more curious, you observe it in little pots placed for use in the cemeteries; and that the passer-by may give the dead a showery benediction, there are little sprinkling brushes in the pots with which to scatter the precious mixture. A mother's tears over her dead babe are far more in place than such foolery. Holy water! bah! See how the rain pours down from yonder black cloud which has passed over the rugged crags of Pilatus; that sort of holy water is infinitely more likely to moisten the clay of the defunct, and bring plenteous blessing to the living, than all the hogsheads of aqueous fluid that priests ever mumbled over. Holy water, indeed! If there be such a thing, it trickles from the eye of penitence, bedews the cheek of gratitude, and falls upon the page of holy Scripture when the word is applied with power. Standing where, when the rain is over, one can see the fair Lake of Cucerne brimming with crystal, and the clouds among the Alpine peaks all charged with moisture, rendered golden by the sun's clear shining, one feels indignant at the idea that the little driblets of nastiness in yonder pots and shells should be venerated, and all nature's reservoirs accounted common or unclean. It needs no small measure of prudence to restrain a man from tumbling pots and pans and holy liquids headlong to the ground. Human folly, how far wilt thou not go when priests lead thee by the nose!
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Spurgeon, Charles. Entry for 'Holy Water'. Spurgeon's Illustration Collection. https://www.studylight.org/​dictionaries/​eng/​fff/​h/holy-water.html. 1870.