We live by faith; but Faith is not the slave Of text and legend. Reason's voice and God's, Nature's and Duty's, never are at odds. What asks our Father of His children, save Justice and mercy and humility, A reasonable service of good deeds, Pure living, tenderness to human needs, Reverence and trust, and prayer for light to see The Master's footprints in our daily ways? No knotted scourge nor sacrificial knife, But the calm beauty of an ordered life Whose very breathing is unworded praise! - A life that stands as all true lives have stood Firm-rooted in the faith that God is Good.
The genius of the Methodist movement, which enabled it to conquer the raw lives of workingmen in industrial England, and the raw lives of men and women on the American frontier, was the "class meeting" - ten members and their leader, meeting regularly for mutual encouragement, rebuke, nurture, and prayer.
The happiest, sweetest, tenderest homes are not those where there has been no sorrow, but those which have been overshadowed with grief, and where Christ's comfort was accepted. The very memory of the sorrow is a gentle benediction that broods ever over the household, like the silence that comes after prayer. There is a blessing sent from God in every burden of sorrow.
Prayer is the soul's sincere desire, Uttered or unexpressed, The motion of a hidden fire That trembles in the breast. Prayer is the burden of a sigh, The falling of a tear, The upward glancing of an eye When none but God is near. Prayer is the simplest form of speech That infant lips can try; Prayer, the sublimest strains that reach The Majesty on high. Prayer is the Christian's vital breath, The Christian's native air, His watchword at the gates of death; He enters heav'n with prayer. Prayer is the contrite sinner's voice, Returning from his ways, While angels in their songs rejoice And cry, "Behold, he prays!" The Saints in prayer appear as one In word and deed and mind, While with the Father and the Son Their fellowship they find. Nor prayer is made on earth alone: The Holy Spirit pleads, And Jesus at the Father's throne For sinners intercedes. O thou by whom we come to God, The Life, the Truth, the Way! The path of prayer thyself hast trod; Lord, teach us how to pray. Music: George Careless, 1839-1932, #145
Anything that dims my vision for Christ, or takes away my taste for Bible study, or cramps me in my prayer life, or makes Christian work difficult, is wrong for me; and I must, as a Christian turn away from it.