But the dangers against which the Mas- ter bids us guard ourselves, whenever we try to pray, become especially formidable at a time like this. I will try to open your eyes to them this morning. I. It would be difficult, I think impos- sible, to prove that our Lord ever com- manded his disciples to pray. " Watch and pray, lest ye enter into temptation," is shown by the context to be the granting of a privilege rather than the enforcement of a duty. Jesus always assumes that his dis- ciples pray ; teaches them plainly that un- less they pray they cannot do what they must do. A man cannot work unless he eats. The harder he works the more im- peratively he will realize his need of food. But there are no commandments in any code declaring that men shall eat. If they have no appetite they cannot ; if they have ? they do not need to be commanded. But nothing is more common with reli- gious teachers than to tell men it is their duty to pray, as it is their duty to tell the truth. Thus men have been led to assume that they can pray by resolving to do so, and 34 THE WORLD TO COME. the result is, so little real prayer tliat per- haps a majority are able to doubt whether praying is not folly, and to feel the need of prayer -tests to prove that our Father in heaven is to be thought of in the figure of parental considerateness rather than under the form of parental obstinacy or deafness.