The endeavor to get the results of religious living without going through the processes, to secure possession of the fruits of character without enduring the discipline, is renewed in every generation, and the long and unbroken history of defeats does not seem to exhaust the credulity of men and women. We are willing to do everything except work out our salvation. We want a royal road to faith; are not willing to take the long, quiet path which is open to each one of us. We long for a great and final vision of God. We are eager for a complete and permanent settlement of all our doubts. At the beginning of the journey we want the enlargement, liberation, and certainty which can be found only at the end. We forget the significance of the divine commendation, "Well done, good and faithful servant." We change it to read, "Well thought," or "Well felt, good and faithful servant!" We want to feel the presence of God. We want to be able to think our way to Him in perfect clearness. We are not willing, hour by hour, day by day, year by year, with infinite patience, so to enlarge ourselves by work and life that we shall be fitted to stand in His presence and great enough to realize Him in our thought. We want strength, but we are not willing to exercise; we simply wish to pray for it. We want peace, but we are not ready to set our lives in order. We want trust and that quiet faith which is the source of joy and happiness, but we are not willing to gain faith in the one way in which it can be gained—by patient continuance in well-doing.

September 4, 1909

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