Charles Buck Theological Dictionary
Something that unbends the mind, by turning it off from care. It seems to be something lighter than amusement, and less forcible than pleasure. It is an old simile, and a very just one, that a bow kept always bent will grow feeble, and lose its force. The alternate succession of business and diversion preserve the body and soul in the happiest temper. Diversions must, however, be lawful and good. The play-house, the gaming-table, the masquerade, and midnight assemblies, must be considered as inimical to the morals and true happiness of man. The most rational diversions are conversation, reading, singing, music, riding, &c. They must be moderate as to the time spent in them, and expense of them; seasonable, when we have (as Cicero observes) dispatched our serious and important affairs.
See Grove's Regulation of Diversions; Watts's Improvement of the Mind, vol. 2: sec. 9. Blair's Sermons, vol.ii. p.17. Burder's Sermon on Amusements; Friend's Evening Amusements.
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Buck, Charles. Entry for 'Diversion'. Charles Buck Theological Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/cbd/d/diversion.html. 1802.