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in human life, and truthfulness in utterance, or justice in action, will maintain a harmony of the inner life, whether outwardly there be poverty or wealth. These two orders of law are independent, yet interwoven in their application to the complex life of man. Immorality will find its accompaniment in physical disorder; the repentance which has healing power within the mind will not heal the body, yet may there be advance in moral life by reason of the weakness and suffering which repentance can not remove. Such is at once the independence and the interdependence of physical and moral law, in accordance with the fixedness of law in each case, and the harmony of both under one government, by means of subordination of the physical to the moral.
There are thus two spheres, physical and moral, but one life, brought to harmony under the laws of both spheres. What then is the bearing of this distinction of spheres on the problem of the efficacy of prayer, viewing the question only in the light of science and philosophy? An obvious bearing, in so far as the conditions of physical and moral life are set forth and distinguished; but no determining value for interpretation of the possible influence of prayer as concerning a life subject at once to physical and moral conditions. Prayer can be exercised in accordance with scientific teaching, only by intelligent recognition of the physical conditions of life; in accordance with philosophy, only by intelligent acknowledgment of the subordination of physical life to moral. If then, we turn to the teaching of science, making account of all that it includes as to fixed laws applicable to ever-varying conditions, there is nothing in it to warrant the conclusion that there can be no interposition from a higher sphere in order to secure application of physical law for attainment of moral ends. The whole product of scientific investigation leaves clear the possibility of the administration of a moral government in accordance with subordination of physical law to the attainment of its higher ends. It does not help the understanding of the government of the world, but rather hampers our reflection, if it be suggested that there are two spheres, physical and moral, and that the application of prayer is restricted to one of these spheres. Human life can not be so severed into parts; it is a unity self-regulated by harmony of submission to moral and physical law, and it must be governed by the Supreme Ruler in the harmonious application of these laws. There is no sphere of life into which the moral does not enter, and accordingly no sphere within which prayer, which necessarily rests on moral conditions, may not apply.
If next we pass to Scripture teaching concerning prayer, where alone we find full instruction on the subject, in precept, example, and a variety of encouragements, it will appear that the warrant for prayer is found exclusively in the divine promise, and that the application of that promise is to every phase of life, subject to moral conditions which are explicitly revealed. Prayer is a privilege divinely bestowed through the Saviour, in accordance with which fellowship with God is granted on the merits of the Redeemer. Its nature reveals the true harmony between God and the moral creature, as a reality transcending all physical existence and all knowledge coming from study of physical law. The accepting of this privilege, and the continuance of its exercise are the tokens of returning harmony of sinful man with the holy God. Elevation in the exercise by steadily extending inclusion of a wider circle of personal desire and activity within the area of conscious fellowship with God, is the advance of the moral nature into fuller harmony with God, and with the whole government of the universe. The teaching of Scripture which assures of all this, and guides man towards realization of it, clearly distinguishes between material and moral good, yet does not exclude the one any more than the other, but subordinates the physical to the moral, harmonizing the two in recognition of the supreme importance of all that is moral. It does not exclude desire of temporal good, but restricts its illustration to desire of "daily bread,"—assures us that our Father knoweth we have need of such good, and will supply it,—and promises that having given most freely what is best, he will assuredly give that which is least.
If then it be said that the answer to prayer is a miracle of divine interposition in human history, of which science finds no trace, we do not marvel, for science does not extend its observations to the inclusion of what pertains to the higher life of man. If any man asks for evidence in an exclusively physical sphere that God answers prayer, he asks that evidence should be discovered apart from the conditions involved. A more unscientific demand there could not be. When he refuses to admit that there can be any trustworthy evidence of the answer of prayer apart from the test he proposes, he either misunderstands the Christian doctrine of prayer, or he is criticising a conception of prayer other than the Christian one. If we turn to the philosophy of human life as subjected to moral law, and called to its perfect fulfilment, we do not find any thing but harmonious truth in the suggestion that God cares more for the moral life of man than for the physical universe. If we turn to Scripture, receiving its teaching as to prayer, we find that the promised interposition in man's behalf is even less an illustration of divine power than of Divine righteousness; an evidence that the Divine Ruler seeks righteousness above all things, for the entire significance of the exercise is this, trust in the holy One, and fellowship with Him through life. On this ground alone does He promise an answer to prayer, in this promise making moral conditions the essential test for use of the privilege, requiring the suppliant to subordi