[Rev. Samuel A. Eliot, D.D., in The Christian Register.]

The glory of mankind is surely in the sense of expectation. We are yonder-minded beings. Our prerogative is the consciousness of things that eye has not seen nor ear heard, nor even the heart of man conceived. The interest of life lies more in what we want than in what we have; that has been the faith of every seer and the strength of every reformer. It has not been mere wilfulness, it has been the profoundest faith,—a faith that dared to think of human history not as a great flat plain on which men aimlessly wandered, always coming back to the dead camp-fires of preceding hosts, but rather as a shining mountain track up which men were to strive toward the possible heights of honor. Such ideals entering into the life of any nation or communion, stir the imaginative and the spiritual ardors of mankind and do more for human progress than all the knowledge, the science, the material gain that have ever been wrought out since the beginning of intelligence.

I know that these promptings of faith and hope are not ours to originate. That is the work of God in our hearts. It is ours to receive and to obey these promptings. The divine powers are ready for our acceptance, but they do not force themselves upon us. The Holy Spirit respects the reserve which is everywhere the law of spiritual intercourse. But like all living powers, faith is strengthened by its own acts, by the prayers which utter the hopes which God has quickened, and by the works which turn dream into reality. Our hearts' desires, our ideals, the faiths of the soul, are kept bright by the corresponding fulfilments of a life. He who takes it for his essential life to work out that which God works in him, will fill his soul and his world of opportunities with a divine dynamic. He who in patient endeavor seeks to overcome evil with good, to upbuild righteousness and truth, he who loves his friends and fellowships, his church, his country, for the sake of what is best and blessed in them, will never in any valley of the shadow of discouragement or failure lose sight of the fulfilment of the promises. He will ever press forward toward "the unwaning lights of the city of an eternal King." [The Living Church.]

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July 19, 1913

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