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Evening Star, Issue 15692, 5 January 1915
Theke may seeni little connection between praying and recruiting, Praying and yet we. venture to and think that if His MaRecruiting, jesty's request to observe last Sunday as a day of national intercession in behalf of speedy victory and an honorable peace was acceded to in the right spirit, the result will bo a stimulus to enlistment, lor. after all, tit the bottom of true prayer is self-sacrifice. Paradoxical as it may eeom, the more the Empire prays at this crisis of its history the more men will be forthcoming to shoulder the rifle, the more moi.ey will be furaished t<> provide the ammunition, and tho more optimistic energy will be thrown into the campaign. In the early days of our religion no one was regarded as having a right to pray—to solicit tho aid of the Almighty—until he had symbolised the offering of himself in tho service of Jehovah's purposes by placing sacrifice on the altar of invocation. At the door of the tabernacle of the people of Israel was a table holding 12 loaves of bread representing tho consecration of tho industry of the 12 tribes. Upon the basis of this surrender of human energy to the use of the Omnipotent was alone founded tho claim to petition for His help. It ia remarkable, with what uniformity all tho effective prayers recorded in Holy Writ embody this spirit. Abraham interceded on behalf of Lot, and tho power of his intercession lay in the fact that ho had himself first taken up arms to deliver Lot from a military oppression. Judah with surpassing eloquence beseeches Joseph to liberate Benjamin lest the grey hairs of his father bo borne down with sorrow to tho grave. But the power of tho prayer is not so much in tho trembling lip, the glistening tear, the tenderness thrilling in every tone, but in the brave and generous proposal which closes and crowns his appeal. " Now, "therefore, I pray thee let thy servant "abide instead of the lad, a bondsman to " my lord; and let the lad go up with his "brethren." That is prayer; it is the offering of oneself in tho cause, for which one pleads. A wonderful illustration of what effectual prayer means is given in Sir Walter Scott's 'Heart of Midlothian.' Effie Deans is condemned to death. All the resources of law have been exhausted unavailing!}' to procure, first her acquittal and then the mitigation of her sentence. Jeario Deans, her sister, resolves upon an appeal to a higher power—to that fount of mercy, the British King. Everything that can be done by the means at her disposal is accomplished. Hers is no idle reliance upon the clemency of the Sovereign. ■She sets out to tramp the distance from Edinburgh to London that she might personally 'plead her cause before the Koyal person. She walks from 25 to 50 miles a day, manifesting a remarkable perseverance in overcoming tho obstacles to access to tho Sovereign. At length she succeeds in obtaining an interview with Queen Caroline, who is the substantial power behind the throne of her husband, George 111. Against a predisposition to refuse | her request on the part of tho Queen [jjeanig i»lead»j, and wins because her
glowing and earnest solicitation had been preceded by tho prodigal bestowal of her own efforts. Hero is the secret of successful entreaty both to human and Divine aid. There is no warrant in Scripture or in common senso that prayer will be answered which is incited by a mere desire to shift tho task upon the Almighty. Such a languid, idle, and craven waiting upon Providence would bo an impudent presumption. But it is an inspiring spectacle, rich with promise of triumph, to assault with solicitation the omnipotence of Heaven when tho loins are girded for battle and the hands grasp with resolution tho weapons of war. This is to avow ourselves the lineal descendants of Cromwell, who taught his men to trust in God but to keep their powder dry. It is plain that practically all the religious bodies in the Empire are instilling such a spirit of prayer and dependence upon the Almighty. Let this spirit prevail and the elderly attendants at our churches will realise that they have no justification and no authority for praying to God for deliverance if they are keeping back their sons or keeping closed their pockets.' Let this spirit prevail, and the young men of our churches will feel the lash of conscience if they affect to pray for tho peace or victory they are not prepared to fight for.
Evening Star, Issue 15692, 5 January 1915
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