Free and Open Churches

   These words express the idea embodied in a movement in the American Church that has been making for many years to make the House of Prayer what it was originally, viz. free for all people, no reserved or rented pews, but every seat free and unreserved, so that high and low, rich and poor alike shall be equal in the Father's House; and open not simply when there is a service, but open all the time for private prayer as well as public. This movement is growing rapidly so that to-day more than half of our churches are thus free, and a great many of them are kept open all day long every day in the week. It is found that many earnest and devout souls, homeless perhaps, or dwellers in hotels or boarding-houses where there is little or no privacy, as well as others, gladly avail themselves of this privilege of the Open Church and find comfort in it. A society for the promotion of Free and Open Churches has been organized for many years with headquarters in Philadelphia.

American Church Dictionary and Cyclopedia. — New York, Thomas Whittaker. . 1901.

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