Social dissipation, as witnessed in the ball-room, is the abettor of pride, the instigator of jealousy, it is the sacrificial altar of health, it is the defiler of the soul, it is the avenue of lust and it is the curse of every town in America.
The gymnasium of running, walking on stilts, climbing, etc., steels and makes hardy single powers and muscles, but dancing, like a corporeal poesy, embellishes, exercises, and equalizes all the muscles at once.
The ball-room is one way and a very broad way, too, to ruin. May God help every lover of the race to sound a note of alarm both to those already astray and to those who thus far have not set foot in the slippery path.
Where wildness and disorder are visible in the dance, there Satan, death and all kinds of mischief are likewise upon the floor. For this reason I could wish that the dance of death were painted on the walls of all ball-rooms, in order to warn the dancers, not by the levity of their deportment, to provoke the God of righteousness to visit them with a sudden judgment.
No amusement seems more to have a foundation in our nature. The animation of youth overflows spontaneously in harmonious movements. The true idea of dancing entitles it to favor. Its end is to realize perfect grace in motion; and who does not know that a sense of the graceful is one of the higher faculties of our nature?
The uniform testimony of all religious specialists is that as the love of dancing increases, the love of the Lord and his work decreases. The spirit of the dance is not the spirit of the Master. If the one be harbored the other will not remain. Where the experiment is tried of retaining both, a horrible muddle is the result, a corruption that disgraces the holy vocation wherewith we are called. The dance is a deadly poison to the higher life and he who professing Christianity takes it into his spiritual system wounds our Lord afresh, and by the act classes himself with the traitors of old who killed the worlds only hope by nailing Christ to the cross.
I love these rural dancesfrom my heart I love them. This world, at best, is full of care and sorrow; the life of a poor man is so stained with the sweat of his brow, there is so much toil and struggling and anguish and disappointment here below, that I gaze with delight on a scene where all those are laid aside and forgotten, and the heart of the toil-worn peasant seems to throw off its load.