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DR.DALLINGER ON PRAYERAND SANITARY PRECAUTIONS

The Bey. W. H. Dalllnger, L.L T>, TT.R. S „eto., Governor of Wealey College*, Sheffield, Is well known In the aoientififr world as an eminent astronomer, and alto aa President of the Koyal Mlorosooploal Soolety. During the smallpox epidemic which has been raging for oome time m Sheffield. England, Dr. Dalllnger declined to usa a prayer whloh waa being offered m the ahurohei of the town. Ha did ao on the ground that a people bad no right to atk God to violate His own laws, or to prevent the oonnequeDcea of peralatent violation on their part. Thla action waa. severely orUlolsed by oorrespondenta !oj the local press; and we give firDallloger'a reply to bis drltfes, whfoh* Is based on the self-evident truth fchafc " Whatsoever a man aoweth that sbaH he also reap." , 1. Whatever may be our judgment as to the relation of prayer to man's destiny. I presume that it will be universally admittad that Christ taught and employed It m Its highest and troest form. That being so, we fiod that »ne^.n£f.r element In what He taught as pr *»« w«> " Thy will ba done on earth, *, | t f^f" heaven;" and the «übHmW of Hb otE aot of prayer ia a moment t>f p^dlng ,nd unutteraWe agony was « NeveVtheleS no? as I will but as Thoa wilt." In aho,t „ Christ taught It the majesty and mlgh! of prayer Is ab»o ute aud ohlld-like aubmlailon to the will of God. Now, It happens that m some things physloal we know the will of God as absolotely and completely as <we can know anything. We know, for example, that it Is God's will—established fot ever m heaven—that every living thing shall brlog forth after its kind. Show me, then, the farmer that sows turnips, and then calls his household together to pray to the Almighty that the turnip seeda may be caused to bring forth wheat } The chemist has learned by experiraenfc, and Indaotlon that oxygen and hydrogen? m csrtaln proportions unite with immenseexpansion, determined by the pr&tenee of fire. In the house of a neighbor gas haa* escaped In dangerous quantities. Now, we know that to take a light there will bet destructive of property and dangerous to. life. Does any one believe that It would; ba aa aot of piety on the part of any man. In tbesß olronmstanoeo, to kneel and pray outside the bouse that the flame might nofe be suffered to effeot on explosion, and then to go m where the explosion would be in* evitable 1 Are we to think of prayer as something that Induces God to stultify the Immutability of His will by countermandIng the natural •equenoe of His; pbysloal laws, to prevent ns from reaping the consequence of having broken thoae laws ? Tnat Is not, and can never be, my view of the Immutable Power whose laws are perfect. In all supplication touching the thh»» of nature and the present life we prey» not to change Godl^ wiU_that were blasphemy—but to be mentally ,and morally changed. ' c 0 His. But lf we know as will, shall we pray to Him, •■ o 2rtM> a8»ln»Ht? 1 trow not. 3. No*r, as certainly as we know the laws of eclipses, or the properties, of triangles; as certainly as we know the baoillus of anthrax and Its deadly power, we know that patients Buffering from zjmotta diseases, or Immediately oonval-. eaoent from them are throwing off olondat of living matter that mast be as Inevitably perilous, If they are allowed to go amongst: great masses of the people, to the welfare of a community, as we kotw that tnohlnlsed pork eaten raw, or only/ partially cooked, by large numbers, wilt mean agony for most and death for many. Should we be Christians If, with onr eyes open, we* ate trlohlnlaed pork and then went up to pray that we might not be trtohtolaedt He. may think ao who likes, I do not, I honor God, by honor of, and obedlenoe to, His laws. ni TheD| J ■*»lf»In tbeae «***■» when w * all know of the contagious nature of small' pox,, both dnring and for some time aftei the endurance of the disease, we have.any justlfioatlon, as a people, m allowing the stricken poor to be visited by their neighbours ; the oonvalescent t still pouring off olonds of contagion, to go to our museums, pioture galleries, and places of amusement and to travel m our omnibuses and rallI ways dally ; or what la nearly as bad, to allow persons from strloken homes to do the same for days and weeks ; and then to turn to Almighty God and pray that He will break His own lawa and prevent these sources of contnglon from doing tut harm ? It would be as rational for a> graxlw to put one valuable beast to feed on the ground on whloh another had just fallen down m death with anthrax and expeefc no evil to follow it he only prayed that no evlLmlght arise. I should tell him that In my judgment he insulted God by mb "prayer." * The eaionea of prayer Is honor to God's •HI In all physloal matters where we reoogntae what that will Is, and supreme sub* mission to it where we do not fully understand it. We all pray "Thy will be done on earth . . , . give us this day our dally bread " But men In the mass, have learned unmistakably that God'a "willon earth" Is that their dally prayer for bread shall ba answered, by work j and none will pray more reverently and, I trust, devoutly than I " from, plague, pestilence, and famine good Lord deliver us," while we work Uka men of God to obey His lawa m relation to these.' Bot it is diffioult to let peatthmoe walk In oar midst, and then tojm to God and implore Him to prevent the consequenoes ot doing so frona taking plaoe. I tried tostir qp, soon of my fellow-towns* men as I ooold renoa to a senae of their responsibility and their duty. « Is not required by those who know m.o that I should cay It was not W pp&yer but to the object to <rh!oh th» prayer was direoted that I pointed my deolamation, and to whloh, H'-h eaaa)

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http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AG18890128.2.16

Bibliographic details

DR.DALLINGER ON PRAYERAND SANITARY PRECAUTIONS, Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2048, 28 January 1889

Word Count
1,049

DR.DALLINGER ON PRAYERAND SANITARY PRECAUTIONS Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2048, 28 January 1889

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