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BY LYMAN ABBOTT
TWO KINDS OF PRAYER I have been a praying man all the fifty-two thy son: make me as one of thy hired servyears of my life. I observe stated daily times of ants. prayer; but, far more than that, I have for years sought to maintain an attitude of prayer, by
The father in the parable gave the son which I mean that I consciously make an effort what he asked for : “ He divided unto them to open my mind and spirit to any impression his living.” But when the son returned the which the divine Spirit may be willing to make father made him what he had not asked for. upon me.
He asked to be made a hired servant; he Many of the things about which I have prayed was made a son : “ This my son was dead, have come to pass, but never in such a way that
and is alive again.” I could trace the relation of cause and effect
The Bible contains many illustrations of and say that so and so has come to pass because I prayed. As far as I can see, the value of
these two kinds of prayer. Jacob, fleeing in
exile from his home, where he has cheated prayer has been altogether subjective. As far as the practical events of life are concerned,
his aged father and robbed his twin brother, they would have come to pass as they have
sees in his sleep a ladder reaching from earth whether or not I have prayed. In fact, the
to heaven and the angels of God ascending same holds true largely in what is commonly and descending upon it. The vision does called the spiritual sphere. And there is the not suggest to him that heaven and earth are whole problem of intercessory prayer! When one, and that the celestial spirit may be carone prays for the safety or, for that matter, for ried into earthly affairs. It only suggests to the spiritual enlightenment of some one else, him that perhaps he can get the aid of celes. is any relation between what follows and the
tial powers to win for him the successful intercessory prayer provable ?
achievement of his sordid ambitions, and he LL that it is possible for me to do in
makes a vow, saying : this brief article is to touch upon
If God will be with me, and will keep me in one point respecting prayer, which
this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, seems to me of vital importance, and recom
and raiment to put on, so that I come again to
my father's house in peace, and Jehovah will be mend a little volume by Dr. Harry Emerson
my God, then this stone, which I have set up for Fosdick, entitled “ The Meaning of Prayer," i
a pillar, shall be God's house; and of all that to you and to any of my readers who are thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth perplexed-as who has not been at times ?
un by your problem. In this little volume Dr. Fosdick notes
Contrast with this Paul's prayer for his the distinction between the two prayers of the
fellow-Christians in Ephesus : Prodigal Son, “ Give me ” and “Make me."
For this cause I bow my knees unto the
Father from whom every family in heaven and And he said, A certain man had two sons: on earth is named, that he would grant you, and the younger of them said to his father, according to the riches of his glory, that ye may Father, give me the portion of thy substance be strengthened with power through his spirit that falleth to me. And he divided unto them in the inward man, ... that ye may be filled his living. And not many days after the younger with all the fullness of God. son gathered all together, and took his journey
Jacob's prayer is, Give me; Paul's prayer into a far country; and there he wasted his
is, Make me. substance with riotous living. ... But when he came to himself, he said, How many hired
Paul himself illustrates both kinds of prayer: servants of my father's have bread enough and the prayer for physical succor from pain ; the to spare, and I perish here with hunger! I will prayer for spiritual wisdom and strength to arise and go to my father, and will say unto gain a larger life through the ministry of pain. him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and Tormented by a thorn in the flesh, he prayed in thy sight: I am no more worthy to be called earnestly that it might depart from him. i The Meaning of Prayer. By Harry Emerson Fosdick.
Give me, was his cry, and the relief he asked Young Men's Christian Association Press.
was not given. Then he changed his prayer
to a thanksgiving for the physical infirmity able that the kingdom of heaven is like from which he had sought rescue, because in an estate which the landlord puts in the that physical infirmity the power of God's charge of his servants while he goes into a helpful companionship was made manifest : far country, leaving the responsibilities of “ Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in the estate upon them. God often throws us my infirmities, that the power of Christ may on our own resources. Even the prayer, rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in Give us our daily bread, he answers by givinfirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in ing us, not a loaf, but a fruitful soil. I think persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake: it is Mrs. Stowe who has said that “No” is for when I am weak, then am I strong." as much an answer as “ Yes.” God often
Our real prayers are cur supreme master- answers our request with “No” and we ful desires. Not what we ask for are our mistakenly call our prayers" unanswered prayers, but what we strive for. The masterful prayers." The Master in Gethsemane prayed, desire of the Preacher-King was for knowledge “Let this cup pass from me," and the answer and pleasure and houses and vineyards and was, “It cannot pass from thee;" and the gardens and orchards and silver and gold and Master accepted the answer, though it was men singers and women singers and musical brought to him by the traitor Judas. instruments of all sorts; and this lifelong But that the other prayer, the prayer prayer was granted. His life prayer was, “Make me what thou desirest me to be," is Give me ; and at the end he hated all the answered by wisdom, strength, and comfort labor which he had taken under the sun bestowed is attested by a mass of testimony and counted his life a vanity made of vanities. quite sufficient to establish the fact in any The prayer of the Psalm singer of Israel was, court of justice or for any expert in historical Make me: “Search me, O God, and know research. The question most discussed by my heart; try me, and know my thoughts: skeptics is, Docs God give us things in and see if there be any wicked way in me, answer to prayer ? The faith of the devout and lead me in the way everlasting." And soul is that God is our great companion, with he reports what had been the answer to this whom we may live in intimate fellowship and prayer :
from whose unvoiced but not unexpressed How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, friendship we derive a clearness of vision O God!
freed from our low and selfish desires, a How great is the sum of them!
strength which makes us wish to share with If I should count them, they are more in our Master the pains and perils of our great number than the sand:
campaign, and that soldierly joy in self-sacriWhen I awake, I am still with thee.
fice which is more than comfort. The Father The Bible justifies praying for things. does not promise that his children, if they cry To substantiate this assertion we need noth- unto him, shall not pass through cleansing ing more than the petition in the Lord's waters and purging fires ; what he promises Prayer, “Give us this day our daily bread.” is, “When thou passest through the waters, Experience is called upon in religious books I will be with thee ; and through the rivers, and addresses on prayer to prove that this they shall not overflow thee; when thou request for things is often offered not in walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be vain. But certainly it does not always bring burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon the thing desired.
thee.” If the Master taught us that we may Of intercessory prayer for others I may ask our heavenly Father for good gifts, write at some future time. he also taught us in more than one par- The Knoll, Cornwall-on-Hudson.
MY IMMIGRANT NEIGHBORS
BY GERTRUDE BARNUM
MT HE boys called themselves “the or justice in a neighbor resulted in broken
Push," and it seemed an appropriate windows, mud-clogged doors, derailed fences, 1 name, as they wedged themselves tarred sidewalks. A popular neighbor, on through to the front of any crowd—“ Dago," the other hand, had but to step to the door “Sheeny," " Mick," and " Nigger”-forced to enlist from three to ten willing and effion in a jammed mass by pressure from cient servants. On the whole, in the beginbehind.
ning, the Push was a just, nay, a generous The Push was made up of very indi- body, though kindergarten methods were vidual entities, closely as these might stick neither practiced nor understood by its together against a common enemy. Their members. nicknames indicated this individuality. Streaks was their acknowledged leader. “Happy Hooligan," " Chicken,” “Stilts,' Although only twelve when first we knew him, “ Buffalo," “ Monkey,” were recognizable at he was streaking in the wrong direction. Wan, a glance. Other names were easily ex- thin, and hoarse, he usually was without an plained " Beeswax" for the son of a Ger- overcoat and wore shoes split so that the cold man cobbler, “ Duds” for the small boy slush oozed through. The sole support of a from the rag-shop, “Pickles " for the lad mother and two younger children, he ran from the Heinz factory, “ Hoochty Woocht," errands as district messenger from four in a satirical substitute for an unpronounceable the afternoon until twelve, one, and two Slavic name, and “ Streaks” for the Irish o'clock at night, his sharp little greenish eyes messenger boy. They were a formidable missing none of the sights of the night lifegroup, whose deeds were often done in to which he ministered. His plausible speech darkness. Their language was such as might foretold an easy following in his father's footbe acquired by eavesdropping around saloons, steps down the side-cuts of life to the brideumpiring teamsters' fights, and culling the well. Having a vivid mind and opportunipages of sport and crime in the yellow jour ties for observation in extraordinary realms, nals of fact and fiction. Many of their games Streaks was easily the center of interest in were savage, especially the “ Indian Gaunt- the few hours he could spend with his pals. let,” in which one by one they would run His influence, powerful from the first, became between a double line of braves who took supreme after he acquired the cigarette habit “cracks" at their defenseless faces and heads and a police court record. with caps, leather ball-gloves, book-straps, The Push had arrived at the lead-pipegeographies, or other implements of torture stealing stage when Policeman O'Dowd was ruled “fair” by the “ Big Chief.” When assigned to our beat. “Cheese the new first we knew them they seemed friendly cop !" cried they. Indians, glad to help in community tasks, The “new cop” was especially detailed to such as cleaning up and fencing in a vacant a settlement playground just opened for the lot for gardening purposes. They knew district. At once he enlisted the brains and where to get implements of peace as well as brawn of every boy in our parts for the conof war. Wheelbarrows, spades, brooms, bas- struction of additions to the meager original kets, and boards were easily available in a equipment of the place. Soon it became a neighborhood used to doing its own work. common ambition to evoke the reluctant Hammers, saws, putty, rope, nails, and wire approval of the taciturn and mighty O'Dowd, seemed to drop like gentle rain from heaven. whose standards of efficiency were high. It was well to question the sources of these There were swing-seats, “ teeter-tauters," and supplies before utilizing them, however. And turning bars to be planed and sand-papered ; eagerness to help sometimes rose to a frenzy ropes to be fitted and fastened; benches to which was impossible to control from the out. be built ; short-jump and long jump markers side and must be directed by the “strong measured for, sunk, and braced ; tally-boards men” of the Push itself. A lack of tact to be propped. A day's work with O'Dowd
left the group "all in " as to physical strength, and mentally entirely absorbed with reminiscences of past humiliations and triumphs, or anticipation of future accomplishments and glory.
Next followed tests for the strength grades.” Right here it was that Streaks lost his grip on the popular imagination With mortification he “fluked the stunts” which even “ third-class men” could “ pull off.” Competitors in running and jumping contests developed a lofty scorn for the “cigarette fiend." Vainly he hung around the outskirts of the playground sounding his shrill, once magic, finger-whistle. Sorrow fully he slunk off alone to reflect upon the fickleness of the crowd. To achieve the height, breadth, and chestiness of O'Dowd had become the paramount aim of his former admirers.
O'Dowd, biding the proper time, at length went in search of his fallen rival to ask his aid in hammock-making. Years before the big policeman had been a sailor, and now came his chance to utilize an old knack, to point the moral that strength was not all a “ feller” needs. Deftness, too, he demonstrated, was worth cultivating. Soon Streaks became an adept in weaving hammocks and basket-ball nets. The Push paused in its running, turning, climbing, and hand-springing to form an envious ring awaiting an opportunity to “get in on the new game.” Gradu
ally each was pressed into service. There were rope ladders to be constructed, tennis nets and rackets to be mended, cradle-swings to be woven, May-pole twists to be fashioned, besides innumerable sailors' knots to be practiced and mastered.
All the while the imagination of the youths was stirred by old sailors' tales, full of the color and music and poetry of the sea, with its hidden depths and mystical treasures ; and yarns of bravery and unselfish devotion held the circle wonder-struck, while new veins of interest and character were opened up in the minds of the maturing lads.
Streaks excelled all the rest in skill with string and rope. Moreover, his superior imagination, responding to the stimulus of O'Dowd's sea tales, wove romances that later formed the basis of games and corner vaudeville“ stunts” through which first he regained leadership over his companions and later acquired a position in the “ movies."
My last recollection of the boys was of a much washed and combed group, sitting by right of conquest in the front row of a settlement “movie" and serving as fans for Streaks, who was shown on the screen enacting a highly moral part. As I studied their alert faces and sturdy forms that evening O'Dowd's influence was plainly discernible. I was ready to agree with him that at last the chances in life of the Push had become fully “fifty-fifty.”
THE READER'S VIEW
BEER NO CURE FOR ALCOHOLISM We, the undersigned members of the Unitarian Temperance Society, ask space in your pages to enter a protest against articles now flooding the press written apparently to keep intact the business of the breweries by constantly affirming that prohibition is always a failure and beer well-nigh harmless. Typical of such literature is “ Alcohol and Society," by John Koren, written originally for the “ Atlantic Monthly,"
We protest against the idea that beer is the cure for the drink evil. Distilled liquors were not used to any extent for beverage purposes in England until about the time of Henry VIII, and yet we all know that England was cursed with drunkenness from ale and wine long ere this. Noi only does beer cause drunkenness, it also leads to immoderate drinking. Take, for example, the fact that in Germany the extreme accessibility of beer has so fostered the taste
for alcohol that Germany is no longer primarily a beer-drinking country, forty-nine per cent of her consumption being (according to Gabrielssohn's well-known figures) distilled liquors. Says Professor Gustav von Bunge, “Beer in Germany is worse than the whisky pest, because more apt to lead to immoderate drinking.”
As for the non-hygienic disease-making quality of beer, we refer the reader to Professor Bollinger's researches; he found, among other things, that in Munich, Germany, one out of every sixteen hospital patients died of beerdrinker's heart.
We note in some of these articles that beer below two and one-fourth per cent becomes harmless. But Mr. Mjven, from whom the “Brewers' Year Book” draws this conclusion, says that he found this solution apparently harmless as far as digestion went, but adds that the point where alcohol becomes altogether harmless is a purely technical one and should in no way stay the hand of temperance workers. The amount is so small as to be practically negligible for ordinary beverage purposes.
Moreover, Georgia tried from 1908-16 a “near” or light beer experiment, but gave it up, because, according to Judge Broyles, of Atlanta, a light-beer law is unenforceable, as you cannot have a chemist with every barrel to see that the beer is light.
As for assertions giving the impression that the case against moderate drinking is not proved, we believe that Dr. Benedict, at the Carnegie Nutrition Laboratory, Boston, has proved beyond cavil that thirty to forty-five cubic centimeters of alcohol (about a wineglass of whisky)“slows down” neuro-muscular action.
As for prohibition being nowhere successful, we refer our friends to the recent survey made by the State University at Kansas showing that in 1913–14 the per capita consumption of Kan sas was eighty-six per cent less than that of the country at large.
Charles Stearns. Lyman Rutledge.
Abbot Peterson. William H. Parker. Mrs. Frank L. Young. Elizabeth Tilton. Edgar Weirs.
last summer I was most agreeably surprised in one of our conversations-well, suppose I repeat it for you as nearly as I can recall it; the child was then ten years old:
“We have a good teacher now. We have pictures; one of them is 'Aurora.'”
“ The only 'Aurora' I know is Guido's."
“This is Guido's. Some of them like it best because it has bright colors, but I like 'Sir Galahad' best."
“Do you know who wrote about Sir Galahad ?"
“Oh, yes, Tennyson. "My strength is as the strength of ten because my heart is pure.' And we have 'The Sower.'” When this was described and the artist's name given, I spoke of “The Angelus," and after a minute hearing she said, “Yes, I've seen that, but it isn't in the school."
Then I asked:
Instantly came the names of the Central Powers, and just as easily those of the Allies. And when I spoke of the relationship of the sovereigns, saying how much the Czar resembled King George, “Don't he, though !" came promptly, showing that she knew for herself.
“Have you studied about this in school ?" “Oh, we have 'Current Events.'"
There was more in like fashion, with all of which I entertained our club at home later.
Not until I saw Miss Smith's article in a late Outlook did I know who had done all this for these children.
Later, one bright, beautiful morning, when the child came on an errand for her father, and I said, “Isn't it good to be alive!” her face lighted up. She said, “I know some lines that end so," but they wouldn't come at her call. I told her how they were nicely laid away in her brain and would come, and then she could tell me. So a day or two ago she came joyfully in, saying, “They came while I was washing dishes." Here they are:
" Here and yonder, high and low,
I am glad that l'ın alive!"
C. A. H.
"DARKNESS MADE LIGHT". Thursday evening, August 3, the Exchange and Training School for the Blind, 110 Living ston Street, Brooklyn, New York, was totally destroyed by fire. Many blind people of Brooklyn have received financial benefit from this agency. The darkness which has fallen upon the blind youth and the blind man has not obliterated the eagerness for self-support.
The blind workers must have another workshop. Making a living is not an easy thing for any young person. To any one who has found the way especially hard the fight of the sightless for self-support must make a strong appeal.
Contributions may be sent to the Brooklyn Association for Improving the Condition of the Poor, 104 Livingston Street, under the auspices of which Association the workshop is maintained.
* * *
THAT LITTLE COUNTRY SCHOOL As a summer resident of many years a few miles from the country school of which Miss Smith writes so pleasantly [The Outlook, July 26, 1916] and which she has taught so well, I should like to give my testimony to her ability as seen in one result.
Through these years I have watched the development of one scholar in many ways, but
RUSSIAN AND AMERICAN HIGH SCHOOLS
In The Outlook of July 19 I read an article by Isaac Levine on the relative values of the Russian and American high schools that interested me very much, for I also have been a student in the Russian gymnasia, and am now a student in an American high school.
The chief points in the article are these two: (1) the American school needs a new force of teachers and a centralized form of government; (2) the American school is governed by a spirit