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Frederick Douglass Diary - page 45 of 72
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did not seem insincere. They evidently thought their worship was pleasing to their God. One man spun around like a top forty or fifty times without stopping. I thought he would certainly fall to the floor but he did not but after resting a few minutes proceeded with his whirling till the close of the meeting. Another man worked himself up to a perfect frenzy, jumping up and down and at last fell to the floor rigid as our dead. During all the worship their beating on large tambourines, blowing on a reed instrument, a kind of chant, and momentary interjections of recitations from the Koran. The whole performance was sad to behold, sad to think that rational being could be made to believe that such physical contortions could be pleasing to God or secure his favor. Yet how much better is the form of worship adopted by many other denominations, and is it not thought that man should imagine to secure Divine favor by telling God how good and great he is and how much they love and adore him. God is glorified not by such worship, but by a spirit of obedience to the laws of our being as established by the Almighty and written in the very constitution of things. Burnt offerings, incantations and muscular action silence reason and degrade manhood.
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