In the following quote, Thomas Chalmers (1780-1847) is urging that the Church of Scotland in his day stick to its parish principles, that is, attaching a church to a district, charging its minister to evangelize it, and giving preference to its residents in seating during the services. A church should be a local, or a ‘territorial’ church. It should not operate on the law of supply and demand, thus drawing any and all irrespective of residence. When it does, as Chalmers here points out, it occasions the worst in those who are already religious, fostering a culture of religious fastidiousness – and church-hopping.
Without a territorial arrangement, the “population” of the parish “might still abide in a state of unmoved heathenism; and the chapel congregation, instead of being formed or recruited out of their families, will be drawn very much at the expense of previous congregations, from that class of the community whose habits of church-going are not only already established, but may be said to have been refined into fastidiousness; to whom change is luxury, and who, ever agog on the impulse of novelty, are, in fact, the deadliest adversaries of that territorial system, wherein the great strength of our establishment lies” (Collected Works 16:184).
Again, Chalmers exposes the commercialization of religion that has only grown from embryo to full monster.