prayed sincerely and earnestly for anything, but it came; at some time ? no matter at how distant a day ? somehow, in some shape, probably the last I should have devised ? it came. And yet I have always had so little faith! May God forgive me, and while he condescends to use me as his instrument, wipe the sin of unbelief from my heart!?
(b) The condescension to human blindness, God may sometimes submit to a formal test of his faithfulness and power ? as in the case of Elijah and the priests of Baal.
<230710> Isaiah 7:10-13 ? Ahaz is rebuked for not asking a sign ? in him it indicated unbelief. 1Kings 18:36-38 ? Elijah said, ?let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel. Then the fire of Jehovah fell and consumed the burnt offering? Romaine speaks of ?a year famous for believing.? <402121>Matthew 21:21, 22 ? ?even if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou taken up and cast into the sea, it shall be done. And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.? ?Impossible?? said Napoleon; ?then it shall be done?? Arthur Hallam, quoted in Tennyson?s Life, 1:44 ? ?With respect to prayer, you ask how I am to distinguish the operations of God in me from the motions of my own heart. Why should you distinguish them, or how do you know that there is any distinction? Is God less God because he acts by general laws when he deals with the common elements of nature?? ?Watch in prayer to see what cometh. Foolish boys that knock at a door in wantonness, will not stay till somebody open to them, but a man that hath business will knock, and knock again, till he gets his answer.?
Martineau, Seat of Authority, 102, 103 ? ?God is not beyond nature simply ? he is within it. In nature and in mind we must find the action of his power. There is no need of his being a third factor over and above the life of nature and the life of man.? Hartley Coleridge: ?Be not afraid to pray ? to pray is right. Pray if thou canst with hope but ever pray, Though hope be weak or sick with long delay; Pray in the darkness, if there be no light. Far is the time, remote from human sight When war and discord on the earth shall cease; Yet every prayer for universal peace Avails the blessed time to expedite. Whate?er is good to wish, ask that of heaven, Though it be what thou canst not hope to see; Pray to be perfect, though the material leaven Forbid the spirit so on earth to be; But if for any wish thou dar?st not pray, Then pray to God to cast that wish away.?
(c) When proof sufficient to convince the candid inquirer has been already given, it may not consist with the divine majesty to abide a test imposed by
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