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Meditation 1094
Faith or Fact

Prayer

by: Henry M. Taber

Comment by JT: The arguments for the ineffectiveness of prayer have not changed much since Taber's day. He approvingly quotes the Rev. John W. Chadwick as saying: “... why dig a drain to hinder typhus, when a prayer will keep it off? Why spend money for fire-engines, if fire can be checked by repeating the litany and penitential prayers Why seek to stay the plague of grasshoppers by rational device, when a fast day will procure Almighty interference?

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PRAYER.

“I would prevail, if prayers might prevail.” – I Henry vi.

THE most useless and inconsistent and illogical occupation that one can engage in is that of prayer. There is not a single reliable record of an answer to prayer in the history of all the ages. For. centuries the ignorant faith of those wedded to religious beliefs has found voice in orisons, which, had there been a listening, compassionate Divinity, would have vibrated on the ear of such Deity, with presumably welcome results. But no answer has ever come from that great storehouse of (supposed) beneficence, sympathy and pity. The God of such zealots is as deaf to all the prayers of his petitioners as are the gods of brass and stone and wood of (what are called) the “heathen.”

A single verse (by Charles Stephenson) will illustrate how God answers prayer:

“‘O God, have mercy,’ a mother cried,
As she humbly knelt at the cradle side;
‘O God, have mercy and hear my prayer
And take my babe in thy tender care;
The angel of death is in the room
And is calling aloud for my babe to come;
Thou, thou alone, hast power to save;
O God, have mercy – ‘tis all I crave.’
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
A tiny grave, ‘neath a willow’s shade,
Telleth the answer the Merciful made.”

Professor Felix Adler says: “To those who bear within them the awe-struck sense of the sublimity and mystery that envelops the Infinite Cause of causes – Life of life – prayer is an impossibility...

“The moment the Infinite ceases to be invested with human personality, though its existence, its height and power and glory, be never so real and certain to you, from that moment you can no longer use the form of prayer… Hence we see why so many persons of the present day have ceased to pray... There is no arm stretched out from above to intervene in our behalf.”

Colonel Ingersoll asks the question: “Has any blow been saved; has any storm been stopped; has any pestilence been stayed – because of prayer?

“They have stormed the stars with their passion cry
For hope or mercy or justice here;
Plead that their darlings should never die,
Plead with many a sob and tear.

“Folly! for never an answer came,
And never an arrow was turned away:
It sped to its beautiful mark the same
Whether they prayed or scorned to pray.” – (Kenneth Lamar.)

Even Luther has said that “we see by experience that God does not take care of the temporal life.”

Rev. R. Heber Newton thus ridicules the unreasonableness, the inconsistency, of prayer : “If prayer were always answered, its power could then be calculated as is the power of steam or electricity. It would be measurable, ponderable, merchantable force. Prayer would be an order upon Omnipotence, a draft to be duly honored when presented, a faucet opening the conduits of force, a wire tapping the battery of the Infinite energy… Man has only to wire his orders to heaven and supplies are shipped at once.”

Rev. D. Dallinger refused to obey an order of the Archbishop of York, England, for prayer to stay the ravages of smallpox, saying that it would be “mockery,” and adding: “As smallpox came among us by physical law broken, so will it depart by physical law obeyed.”

Winwood Reade says : “It is as foolish to pray for rain as it would be to pray that the sun should set in the middle of the day.”

Professor Noah K. Davis, of the University of Virginia, says: “To ask in prayer for any change in the order of nature is to ask for a violation of the law of nature.”

Leslie Stephens says: ”We still pray for a fine harvest, but we really consult the barometer, and believe more in the prophecies of meteorologists than in an answer to our prayers.”

Father McGuire’s advice to those contemplating praying for rain, was, “Wait till the wind changes!”

“The bended knee and lifted hands
Implore the gods in vain
Not all the priests of all the lands
E’er brought – or stayed-the rain.”

Rev. John W. Chadwick says: “So long as men believed in special providences, there was a premium on poor sanitary and social regulations: why dig a drain to hinder typhus, when a prayer will keep it off? Why spend money for fire-engines, if fire can be checked by repeating the litany and penitential prayers (as was claimed by a Boston rector?) Why seek to stay the plague of grasshoppers by rational device, when a fast day will procure Almighty interference? ... Prayer, considered as a petition for miraculous interference, is irrational, be the petition for a material or spiritual advantage.”

Renan says: “Men, nowadays, pray less and less, for they know that no prayer was ever effective.”

George Jacob Holyoke says: “He who thinks the world can be put right by prayer, is a fool if he engages in personal effort to do it.”

In Tuttle’s Ethics of  .Science (p. 270) it says: “The utterance of prayer is like the dog baying the moon.”

A writer in the Twentieth Century says: “If I can influence the Deity of the popular imagination by prayer, I am master of the Universe, and God is my subaltern-doing my bidding.”

If there be a personal God (as is claimed by orthodox Christianity,) and if He be a merciful being, holding the relationship to the people of the world which the father of a family holds to his children; and if He be a loving Father (all of which is also claimed by Christians,) is it possible that He can be apathetic, or insensible to, or unaffected by the pains and sorrows and anguish, the sufferings, the trials, the woes, to which frail human nature is heir? Can He be indifferent to the wails of the widow, the helplessness of the orphan, the grief of him, or her, who has parted with wife, or husband, or child ? Has He no inclination to stay the havoc of war, to arrest the bullet ere it has sped its way to the quivering flesh of some doting father, or loving husband, or dutiful son? Is he unmoved at the shrieks of the wounded, the moans of the dying, who have become victims of some railroad catastrophe? Hundreds of thousands of shipwrecked mariners and passengers have struggled against the merciless waves – with hope in their hearts and prayer on their lips – clinging to their loved ones, until, under a sense of helplessness and despondency and despair, they sank beneath the cruel waters, to rise no more: while the Christian God was utterly heedless to their cries of anguish. Hundreds of thousands of those whom lightning and tornado and earthquake have visited-many on bended knee, in supplication that the impending calamity be stayed – have indulged in hope of rescue by an all-powerful and ever-loving Being, who proved deaf to all entreaty.

Pestilence and famine have ravaged and desolated all countries, in all ages, decimating populations, and presenting a sickening picture of want and wretchedness; and yet the Omnipresent has, apparently, known nothing of the inflictions of these gaunt messengers of horror and ghastliness.

Prayers have, for centuries, ascended to a supposed justice-loving humane Omniscient; that the iniquity of slavery, the debasement of woman, the wrongs of tyranny, the evil of intemperance, the perniciousness of superstition, may be redressed; but all such prayers have been as useless as if addressed to the wrong-doers themselves.

Prayers, on each side of hostile forces, to the same “God of battles,” show the absurdity of such prayers. France was Catholic and Germany Protestant, but both prayed to the same God. He then heard the prayer of the Protestants. At the massacre of St. Bartholomew, it was the fiend-like voice of the adherents of Charles IX to which He gave a willing ear. Sometimes He seemed to have favored the followers of Catholic Mary and again of Protestant Elizabeth. The prolongation of the “ Thirty Years’ War,” with its accompanying horrors, seemed to demonstrate the difficulty which the “Ruler of Nations” had in determining to which of the contestants He would award ultimate success. And seven long years of carnage and privation seemed requisite for Him to decide as to whether the United States of America should be the slave of Great Britain or a free and independent nation.

In our four years of conflict with the slave oligarchy, God seems to have had a preference for slavery, and then apparently changing his mind in favor of freedom, gave final victory to the North. Such we must conclude to have been the vacillating course of Deity, if indeed there be a Deity.

Christianity demands that we submit to the ”powers that be.” Also that we should pray for our rulers, but never for freedom from rule.

Lord Sherbrooke asks: “Where has a nation been freed by submission and prayer?”

Greg, in his Creeds of Christendom, says: “Prayer to be a bona fide, effective agent, in obtaining any boon, must operate on an impressible and mutable will.”

Henry Wood, in the Arena for January, 1892, says : “In view of the immutability of Law, what is the promise of prayer? Is not any petition, that would strive to change the divine order, superfluous?”

In Volney’s Ruins (p. 85) we read: “Christians have said that God is without variableness, and still they pray to Him to change.”

Colonel Ingersoll says : “ If God is immutable, then all the prayers of all people, in all ages, have been in vain; if He is vacillating, then the attribute of Omniscience must be taken from Him.”

To quote Professor Oswald : “Superstition says pray and you shall receive. Science says sow and you shall reap.”

TO quote Colonel Ingersoll again : “Prayer and miracle are twin sisters of superstition... Fear falls upon the earth and prays – courage stands erect and thinks.”

Colonel Ingersoll also (conclusively) shows the utter absurdity of prayer by stating that “chaplains often pray for such impossibilities as that wisdom may be given to Congress!”

The futility of prayer must be admitted (without hesitation or question) by those religionists who are believers in the doctrine of predestination. This doctrine and its results, so far as relates to prayer, are clearly set forth by an article in the Presbyterian of Nashville, Tenn., viz.: “ The doctrine that God, from all eternity, foreordained what comes to pass and thus shut Himself up to one way of doing things, limiting His present sovereignty by His eternal decree, seems rather a discouragement than an incentive to prayer. If things were unchangeably fixed a cycle of millions of years before we were born, they are past praying for.”

Christians pray to Jesus, and yet the prayer of Jesus himself (when on earth) was unheeded. He prayed that the cup of bitterness, which his enemies held to his lips, might pass from him ; but even his prayer availed not.

In the August number for 1894 of the Freethought Magazine, a correspondent gives an account of a supposed conversation between Rev. Moses Collect and Mr. Fullmind, in the village of Harmony, where Mr. F––––– after paraphrasing one of the Christian doxologies, so as to conform to the evolution theory, thus: “Praise bud, from whom all blossoms flow,” said that “prayer was the act of teasing a suppositious being for a hypothetical and unmerited advantage over one’s fellows;” and which definition of prayer was so true to fact that it met with the cordial approval of “Dominie Collect.”

In the Freethought Magazine for Sep. ‘94, is an article by Eliza Mowry Bliven, in which she shows how prayer retards progress, by the reliance which religious people place on prayer; such retarding of progress being in exact proportion to the faith in, and reliance upon, prayer, which the person who prays possesses. Surely, if people believe that some superior power would accomplish for them what they desired, there would be an absence of stimulus to exertion on their part; therefore belief in the efficacy of prayer tends to restrain efforts to prosecute undertakings, which all thoughtful, practical persons know must be carried on without the slightest aid from any superior or supernatural power. If those who pray “Give us this day our daily bread,” really believe in actual answers to such prayers, the millions of Christian toilers in the world would sit quietly and complacently by, trusting, with the most abiding confidence, in the assurance of Christ himself that they need take “ no thought for their lives, what they shall eat or what they shall drink, nor for their bodies, what they shall put on.” The fact that all who pray for daily sustenance are constantly engaged in some bread-winning work, proves their insincerity – their hypocrisy.

Professor Draper has drawn a contrast between the Christians and the Moors, of the middle ages, showing the cleanliness, order, learning and refinement of the latter and the reverse of these accomplishments or practices, owing to superstition, bigotry, ignorance and cruelty, of the former, and adds: “When smitten with disease, the Christian peasant resorts to a shrine; the Moorish one to an instructed physician.”

Many persons believe, as did Archdeacon Paley, that it is not expected that prayers will be answered, but that they are simply acknowledgments of dependence upon a Superior being, or are regarded as one of the methods of worship, or as a form of church service, or, perhaps, as acts supposed to be pleasing to God and uttered for His glory and in His praise; and yet a selfish hope for personal benefit is at the bottom of every prayer. Thomas Paine, writing to Samuel Adams, in 1803, says : “A man does not serve God by praying, for it is himself he is trying to serve, and as to hiring praying men to pray, as if the Deity needed instruction, it is in my opinion an abomination… You, my friend, will find, even in your last moments, more consolation in the silence of resignation than in the murmuring wish of a prayer.”

Prayer is offered to sanction injustice, robbery and even murder. It is a well-known practice of the Italian brigand to pray to the Virgin Mary as he is about to drive his stiletto to the heart of the wayfarer.

In Yorkshire, England, in October, 1893, the strikers organized a prayer meeting, which was well attended, and the most fervent prayers were uttered for the success of their work of destruction and murder.

A negro was lynched at Frederick, Md., on November 17, 1895. Immediately preceding which some officers of the Salvation Army, who formed part of the lynching mob, solemnized the occasion, and gave a religious sanction to the act about to be performed, by reciting the “Lord’s Prayer!”

It is not the purpose of this article to make more than a passing allusion to the enormity of the practice of taxing those who regard prayers as utterly useless and absurd, for the purpose of placing chaplains in Congress, in our legislatures, in our army, navy, prisons, etc.; but the wrong and the absurdity of such practice must be patent to every just and to every thinking being. There is not one out of ten, or perhaps one out of fifty who ever gives the slightest attention to the prayers of chaplains. The custom has become a mockery and is treated generally with ridicule. The Star (newspaper) of Washington recently said that “as a rule the prayer of the Senate Chaplain is daily delivered to an almost empty chamber... The ignoring of the prayer has grown to be a habit of the Senate.”

It is related of Judge Davis of Illinois-when President pro tempore of the Senate-that he entered the Chamber one day with the Chaplain, and the only senator present was Mr. Butler of South Carolina. Judge Davis, with all the solemnity and gravity usually observed by him, gave a stroke with his gavel and said : “The senator from South Carolina will come to order.”

At the peace Congress held in London in 1890, the Chairman, Sir Hugh de Burgh Lawson, decIared that he was opposed to opening this session of the Congress with prayer, as it was inconsistent with the practice that obtained in his country of placing the eldest son in the army, “ where he is taught to run his enemies through.”

The new and unsupposititious “ Pilgrim’s Progress,” a progression from the “slough of (superstitious) despond” to the solid rock of rational hope and independent thought, entitled Travels in Faith, by Capt. Robert C. Adams, of Montreal (son of the late Rev. Dr. Nehemiah Adams of Boston), is a most interesting work, and from its article on “Prayer” I take pleasure in quoting: “The shaking of the Joss-sticks in China, the whirling of the prayer-wheel in Burmah, the seven daily prostrations of the Mussulman, the counting of beads in Rome, and the prayer-meetings of Protestants, are alike, in their measure of success or failure… If the Supreme Power in the universe acts only through natural laws, prayer is irrational and useless, unless it can be proved that prayer is a natural force... The sailor who prays for a fair wind really asks that other sailors may have a head wind; and supposing that sailors pray, God is daily besought that the wind may blow from every point of the compass… Prayer is not only usually futile, but often injurious. It concentrates the mind upon itself and promotes selfishness… Prayer has been the resort of laziness and has often paralyzed effort.”

Captain Adams quotes from Dr. Hammond to prove the effect the imagination has in producing cures, and instances a case of cure by the Croton Water, used in New York City, poured from a bottle labeled Lourdes Water, the patient, in unbounded faith, thinking it was what the label indicated it to be.

That the effect of the imagination also shows itself in seeming answer to prayer cannot be disputed. There are too many instances thereof to occasion serious doubt. The mind of the true believer in prayer, and in answers thereto, is so thoroughly imbuded with faith, in the belief that “ God is the hearer and answerer of prayer,” we must admit, as a psychological fact, that prayers are (at least apparently) answered.

Such (apparent) answers are, undoubtedly, simply and solely the operation of will, intensified by the “zeal of credulity.” But no tranquil or thoughtful or logical mind can give credence to any claim that nature answers prayer or that there is a personality, somewhere in the universe, who has the faculty of so changing the invariable laws of nature as to do violence to those laws at the behest of any enthusiastic visionary.

As Clifford Howard says: “Prayers are productive of beneficial results, through purely natural causes... While the efficiency of prayer is undoubted, its effects are not due to the supposed interposition of a supernatural power, but to the well known influence of the imagination over physical conditions.”

Professor Henry Drummond, of Glasgow, says: “We have been accustomed to look for spiritual gifts (joy and peace and rest and faith and love) to come in answer to prayer. They don’t come in that way… I have met people who have been praying all their lives for these things and have not got them. The usual methods of sanctification are all futile.”

In 1872, Sir Henry Thompson wrote to Professor John Tyndall, suggesting a plan by which the “absolute calculable value of prayer” could (almost certainly) be ascertained. “A careful clinical observation ” (for instance) to estimate the extent or degree in which prayer is effective, would, it was thought, be a proper test, and so it was proposed that inmates of the wards of a selected hospital should, during a period of not less than three years, be made the object of special prayer by the whole body of the faithful, and the result be compared with that of an equal number of years when no such “special” effort had been made and when but a few comparatively of the faithful had prayed.

Sir Henry argued that if prayer was effective, it would be proved by the result of such a concentration of prayer – such an avalanche of application – in comparison with those years when prayers were limited to a very much smaller number of persons. He urged the trial on the ground that “no more interesting subject of enquiry can exist for the honest believer than the extent of man’s influence with heaven.”

Professor Tyndall, in endorsing the propriety of Sir Henry Thompson’s proposed test, calls to mind the matter in dispute between Newton and Arago – the former claiming that light traveled faster in water than in air, the latter that the reverse was true. The question was submitted to a “test” and was conclusive against Newton.

Professor Tyndall sees no good reason why a test of a question which has a vast number of persistent and intelligent adherents on both sides, as to the efficacy of prayer, should not likewise be submitted by both disputants. He does not contend for the extinction or displacement of prayer, but that, in his opinion, “physical nature is not its legitimate domain,” and that “ no good can come of giving it a delusive value by claiming for it a power in physical nature.”

And for this honest effort of endeavoring to determine, in a practical manner, one of the most important questions of the day, Professor Tyndall has been accused of “insolence, outrage, profanity and blasphemy,” by those who reject every scientific thought which conflicts with the superstitions of theology.

The Nation tells us that Professor Tyndall was substantially anticipated in his “prayer-test” by the natives of Hawaii, who, years before, had “challenged the missionaries to a competitive test of the value of prayer and a heathen sacrifice, as a means of stopping the dangerous flow of lava from Manna Loa.” It is understood that the Christians had not as much confidence in the success of their prayer as the Sandwich Islanders had in their sacrifices, and so the missionaries declined to apply the test.

On last “Thanksgiving day” what might be considered a true “test” of the efficacy of prayer was made, when the “Christian Endeavors” from all parts of the country convened at Cleveland, Ohio, and in a united and earnest and solemn and protracted effort, engaged in prayer for the conversion of Colonel Ingersoll. Ought not such an aggregation of sincere, praying Christians to have prevailed, if the tripartient, but unitive, Deity, to whom they prayed, sympathized with them in the object of their prayers and if, also, there were indeed any “ Father, Son and Holy Ghost ” to listen to them, or to any other prayers?

If any thing so inconceivable, as such conversion, had taken place what an impulse would Christianity have acquired, what rejoicings, what anthems of praise, what hallelujahs of triumph would have sounded long and loud throughout the length and breath of Christendom!

Just imagine, if you can, this giant intellect, this matchless genius, the sublimity of whose mental visions is unexcelled; whose imagery (as was said of the eloquent Kossuth) is like “the tracery upon a Damascus blade,” whose cogent logic, stirring utterances, touching pathos, laughter-moving wit, whose devotion to freedom, love for his brother man, sympathy for the oppressed and needy, whose championship of right, of justice, of unrestrained thought, whose generosity, geniality, broad-mindedness, large heartedness, have won for him the admiration, the esteem, the gratitude and the love of his fellows – imagine such a captive in the hands of the enemies of mental liberty!

Shades of departed martyrs to Christian bigotry, persecution and cruelty! fear not the impossible.

Prayers by such narrow-minded, shriveled-hearted, religious zealots are futile, senseless and insulting.

Ingersoll is too good a man and too ideal a character to become the target of such insolence.

Shakespeare’s was the supreme genius of the seventeenth century, Voltaire’s the master mind of the eighteenth century and Ingersoll’s is the most brilliant intellect of the nineteenth century. All three, disbelievers in the dogmatic theology of their respective times. Toward such conspicuous and majestic figures in the realm of thought, have the arrows of religious fanaticism and degrading superstition, steeped in the gall and venom of ignorance and bigotry for the last three centuries, been directed.

In 1880 another thorough test of the efficacy of prayer was had when prayers ascended for weeks from millions of American Christians, for the life of President Garfield, but all likewise, in vain.

In Francis Galton’s Inquiries into Human Faculties, a chapter entitled “ Objective Efficacy of Prayer,” is devoted to a presentation of results obtained by-a comparison between those who use prayer as a means for the attainment of certain ends and those who do not make such use of prayer. He shows that the agency of prayer is not recognized by the medical faculty. He also states that far more numerous prayers are offered for the long lives of sovereigns than for others, and yet that sovereigns are, on the average, the shortest lived of all. Comparing the lives of clergymen, lawyers and physicians, he shows that the former (though it is their profession to pray, and for whom more prayers are offered than for the other classes), are the shortest lived of the three professions. The Liturgy of the English church provides prayers for the nobility, that they may be ”endued with wisdom, understanding,” etc.; prayers, also, are especially offered for the religious, that their reason may be preserved. And yet, this author states that both these classes are peculiarly subject to insanity. The author is also unaware of any occasion where any writer on meteorological science had discovered that the weather has been modified by prayer. He also remarks on the fact that missionaries and others engaged in pious enterprises have no immunity from danger, which is appreciated by life insurance companies. Further, he questions if commercial undertakings, which have been inaugurated with prayer have been any more successful than those undertakings which have dispensed with prayer opening; and shows what disastrous results attended at least one business enterprise, viz., the Royal British Bank, the proceedings of which were opened with prayer.

President Cleveland, following the improper and unauthorized examples of his predecessors of more recent years, issued a proclamation “appointing and setting apart” the 28th of November last as a day of thanksgiving and prayer.

By what authority did he do this? Does he find warrant therefor in the Constitution of the United States, or in the laws of Congress ? If not, what business has he to ursurp such authority ?

The American Sentinel says: “Who has appointed the President of the United States, the high priest of the nation – the Pontifex Maximus of the American stomach?”

These Thanksgiving day proclamations show to what extent we have departed from the secular idea of our government, as established by its founders. As an illustration, President Jefferson refused to appoint any days of thanksgiving and prayer during his administration, and on being petitioned, in 1808, to proclaim a day of prayer and fasting, denied such petition, using this language: “I consider the government of the United States as interdicted by the Constitution from intermeddling with religious institutions, doctrines, discipline or exercises.”

Presidents Washington and Madison held similar views.

The language of President Cleveland’s proclamation is: “I hereby appoint and set apart… as a day of thanksgiving and prayer to be kept by all our people; “and he calls upon all to “humbly beseech the Lord,” etc.

What sublime impertinence!

Probably not more than one-tenth of the people of the United States believe in prayer, and yet he has the assurance to ask all the people to humbly beseech the Lord!

The New York Tribune of Sept. 18, 1892, says: "A clergy man spoke of prayer as touching the electric button which rings in heaven.”

The Rev. Mr. Moody, who was a passenger on the steamer Spree in December, 1892, which came near foundering at sea, must have had an (electric) apparatus of that kind, for he had the assurance to claim that the vessel, cargo, passengers and crew were all saved by his interposition, through prayer! To the credit of many others of the clergy, they protested against the vanity of this man in assuming that his intimacy and influence with the “supreme intelligence” was such that, had it not been for his individual supplication, all would have been lost.

Have any of our fashionable people any intelligent conception of the uses of prayer or have they ever studied its effects? They utter their prayers or read their prayer-books by rote and without the slightest exercise of the faculty of the understanding. Most of them indulge in prayer as a pastime, or as they would any other of the fashionable practices or pleasures of life.

“She went from opera, park, assembly, play,
To morning walks ; and prayers three hours a day.”

Miss Susan H. Wixon, of Fall River, recently delivered an admirable address on the subject: “Will the coming woman go to church?” Her conclusions were that the “coming woman ” would not go to church, because (when the coming  woman came) there would be no church to go to, that is, to any church where they read the Bible indiscriminately, sing praises to the “ unknown quantity” called the Trinity, or pray to an impossible Deity. So we may assume that the coming woman will not pray and for a similar reason, viz., that there will be no church to go to, where prayers are a requisite. We may likewise ask the question: Will the coming man pray? Assuredly not, if the coming woman don’t pray. Intelligent, reflecting beings have been

“Taught by millenniums of barren prayer”

its utter uselessness.

Rev. Minot J. Savage asks: “Will they pray in the church of the future?” and adds: “The only thing in the prayer of the past that any new theory of the universe threatens to outgrow and leave behind is that which all noble men and women ought to be glad to be rid of. We have outgrown that conception of prayer which supposes that we, petty, ignorant, petulant, changing children, have power to interfere with the magnificent mechanism of the universe.”

Let us learn wisdom from the heathen (so-called) and subscribe to the sentiment of the Japanese (Shinto) poet, Michizane:

“Only if our inner heart is in harmony with the true way
The gods will protect us, even though we do not pray.”

 

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