Away then with that cowardly language which some of us are apt to indulge in when we speak of one period as more dangerous than another; when we wish we were not born into the age of revolutions, or complain that the time of quiet belief is past, and that henceforth every man must ask himself whether he has any ground to stand upon or whether all beneath him is hollow. We are falling into the temptation when we thus lament over it. We are practically confessing that the Evil Spirit is the Lord of all; that times and seasons are in his hands. Let us clear our minds from every taint of blasphemy. God has brought us into this time; He and not ourselves or some dark demon. If we are not fit to cope with that which He has prepared for us, we should have been utterly unfit for any condition that we imagine for ourselves. In this time we are to live and wrestle, and in no other. Let us humbly, tremblingly, manfully look to it, and we shall not wish that the sun could go back its ten degrees, or that we could go back with it. If easy times are departed it is that difficult time may make us more in earnest; that they may teach us not to depend upon ourselves. If easy belief is impossible, it is that we may learn what belief is, and in whom it is to be placed. If an hour is at hand which will try all the inhabitants of the earth, it is that we may learn for all to say, “Lead us not into the temptation” of our times; that so we may be enabled with greater confidence and hope to join in the cry of every time, “Deliver us from Evil.”

~ F.D. Maurice, Sermons on the Lord’s Prayer, quoted in Reckitt, Maurice to Temple, 211.

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