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[The Christian Register]

Never since civilization began to make its mark upon modern nations has there been a time that could be more perfectly described as one that tried men's souls. Not only are the hearts of men and women and little children failing them for fear, not only is panic, pestilence, starvation, and earthquake threatening all the inhabited places of Europe, but also every principle of religion, every doctrine of the divine Providence, every relation between humanity and the infinite wisdom, is now upon trial and scrutinized anew. Is there any God? Is there any Providence? Is there any efficacy in prayer? Is there a Lord of hosts, a God of battles, who directs the movements of armies and to some gives victory and to others defeat and despair, and have the prayers of men and nations anything to do with the outcome of the tremendous upheavals which now affright human beings of every race and nation?

In times like these it is by a natural instinct that men are moved to seek the help of some higher power and to entreat for displays of omnipotence in guiding the counsels of nations and deciding the fate of battles. Beliefs concerning what prayer is, what it has done, and what it may be expected to accomplish, are numerous, and the discussion of them is useless.

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February 27, 1915

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