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Prayer and Life

Prayer and Life

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Published by glennpease
BY BENJAMIN JOWETT, M.A.

LORD, TEACH US TO PRAY, AS JOHN ALSO TAUGHT HIS DISCIPLES.
LUKE xi. i.
BY BENJAMIN JOWETT, M.A.

LORD, TEACH US TO PRAY, AS JOHN ALSO TAUGHT HIS DISCIPLES.
LUKE xi. i.

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Published by: glennpease on Feb 27, 2014
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PRAYER AND LIFE BY BENJAMIN JOWETT, M.A.LORD, TEACH US TO PRAY, AS JOHN ALSO TAUGHT HIS DISCIPLES. LUKE xi. i. THIS has been thought to be an age in which the Christian religion is beset by great dangers and sur rounded by peculiar difficulties. There is said to be a conflict going on between experience and faith, between the old and the new, between the traditions and doctrines of the Church and the critical spirit of modern times. People ask, What is to become of us or of our children in the next generation, or fifty or a hundred years hence, when the foundations which are beginning to loosen have altogether given way ; when the doubts which are now whispered in the closet are proclaimed on the housetop ; when, as time goes on, the Christian world is divided more and more into two opposing armies of the maintainers of reason and revelation ? Shall we be Christians any longer when the facts of Scripture history have been subject 1 Preached at Balliol, May 18, 1884.
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xv.] DIFFICULTIES OF FAITH 265 to the same sort of microscopic criticism as the his tories of Greece or of Rome ? Shall we be able to pray any longer when the sequence and order of nature are more clearly understood ; when the wind and the rain, and the life and the death of man, are observed to follow as certain laws as the stone which falls to the ground or the rivers which find their way into the sea ? And there will not be wanting those who will apply to this age the language of Scripture about the latter days in which deceivers will wax worse and worse, who will, perhaps, hear in the very advance of knowledge the footfalls of a distant anti christ ; who, when in the natural course of human things their own sect or party or opinion begins to decline, will imagine that the world too is coming to an end. This is not the first, and will not be the last, age in which the Christian faith has seemed to be encircled with peculiar dangers. There have been many latter days in the history of the Church : in the times of the Apostles themselves, as we gather from the Epistles of St. Paul and the Book of Revelation ; in the tenth
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century, when men began to think that the world, for its misery, its wickedness, its violence, could no longer go on (in the description of which the great Catholic historian uses the remarkable expression, * Christ was still in the ship, but asleep ) ; at the Reformation too, that great earthquake of Europe and of Christendom, the movement of which has hardly yet ceased, and 266 PRAYER AND LIFE [xv. still seems to affect us from a distance ; or, in the first French Revolution, when the highest hopes of mankind seemed to be suddenly cast down into the depths of despair. But there is a reflection which may tend to quiet the minds of those who live, or believe them selves to live, in times of trial or difficulty. It is this : All such times of movement and change have appeared different to those who have looked back upon them from afar and to those who were living in the midst of them. They have been seen by after ages more as a part of a larger whole, as having a great, but still only a subordinate, place in the scheme of Providence ; the truth that was in them has been separated from the error ; the temporary excitement
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