Religious Items

We do not come to God by sacrifices, by proxy, by mechanical force, or by philosophy, but by the same method we come to any human person, by approaching Him in our own presence. prayer is the deepest personal quest, because it opens the heart and inner life to Another, and seeks the same from Him. It is person touching Person, person seeking Person. Men are not a mass like the substance of the earth, or the stars in heaven, to be lifted or cast down, to be set in orbits and started going, to be weighed in balances, or to be expanded by heat or contracted by cold. We are not pebbles on the sea in an endless swash of the tides of Divine forces or stars' dust in the oceans of space to fall on the passing planet, or swim about, lost, in the vast tides of time. Oh, the din of this mechanical idea of life and God, which men have conceived! The rattle and clank of its infernal working almost deafens one's soul.

No! we are men, persons, whom the Divine Person seeks, whom our souls make quest for that we may have converse with Him, that He may help us, that He may make us noble, holy, like Himself. Our communion, our relation with Him, is not to be in terms of space and time, of pounds pressure or horse-power, in impacts of propulsive force, or measures of friction and inertia. We are not things, neither is He a Thing.

We are to talk to Him, He is to hear us. He is to speak to us, we are to hear Him. He loves us, we are to receive love. We are to love Him, His heart will be glad in our love. He is to work with and for us, we are to work with and for Him. Friends we may be, He the Mighty and Able, we the needy; He the Merciful and Helpful, we the petitioners of His grace. We may walk with God, work with God, talk with God, trust God, live with God, labor for God. And prayer, prayer as we used to offer it,—asking His help and comfort, deliverance from trouble, salvation of our friends, the sparing of our sick, and the daily guidance,—we may make with reason and justification, and will make, as soon as we break from the new scepticism that, under guise of wisdom, made us prisoners, and come back into the freedom of the old faith of Christ, that God is Father and Lord of the Universe.

December 26, 1901

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