‘Thus, on the day o’ solemn things, The bell that in the steeple swings To fauld a scaittered faim’ly rings Its walcome screed; An’ just a wee thing nearer brings The quick an’ deid.’
These words from A Lowden Sabbath Morn – R L Stevenson
A long way we have travelled from these epic verses
The strictures of habit and belief cast readily aside
Church bells conveniently muted, sleep left undisturbed
The call to prayer a distant wistful echo in our ears
No longer do we acknowledge preachers’ admonitions
Or the authority of Sessions or Assemblies
Are we on a hand-cart to hell?
Rather than a golden chariot to paradise
But do we care? What of our inexorable progress
From the quick to the dead? Has fear gone with belief?
Our confident exterior shows no sign of terror
And we fill our secular Sundays with worldly pleasures
And yet, and yet………..
Is there not still some emptiness in our soul
Amidst the clamour of play and pleasure
Turn down the volume and we may yet hear
The whisper of that Still Small Voice