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[Rev. Alfred J. Cardall in The Universalist Leader] Carlyle once gave expression to the passionate longing of countless men and women in the despairing wish that God would speak again. In the earlier days he thought he could hear the voice of the infinite in the speech and life of great souls.

"The longing of men." Why this expression of Carlyle; why this longing of men? That it exists, we ourselves, possibly, find true in our own yearning. Analyzing it, it reveals two conditions: a sense of need, also a recognition of man's absorption in the things of the world. Is it not out of a sense of need that this longing arises? There is something lacking, something being called for by the very nature of man himself. He is not satisfied. With all the progress of the age, with all the refinements, with all the increase of earth's varied store, he yet yearns for something apparently beyond his reach. There is something wanting in his own life. There is a keen sense of need.

Then, too, this longing of man may come from a recognition of man's absorption in the things of the world. So engrossed do men and women become in the activities of daily life that they hear not the voice of God in the common places or the uncommon places, in the messages of men, or in the duties of life. So loud are the calls from elsewhere, that the voice of God is not heard. Like Carlyle, men have felt, and do feel, that the voice was heard in the earlier days, when at least the speech and action of great men reflected the utterances of the infinite for the guidance of their fellows and men were reminded that God was still in the world and in the conduct of life. Even when some great soul does arise to give a message of God to the sons of men, they are so absorbed in the intense activities of the day that it comes only as a moment's stir.

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April 24, 1915

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