A Quote from Difficult Times–Guess the Speaker and the Date

Never perhaps in all history””certainly never within the recollection of living men and women””has the world and civilization been so shaken to its very foundations; never before in all the world have those things which enabled men to perceive the finger of God in things on the earth been so assaulted and outraged and obscured as in the cruelties and terror of the world war. Never in the memory of living men and woemn has the world been in so shattered and chaotic a condition in its social and economic aspects as it is to-day. The horrors of the aftermath of war,””pestilence, famine, starvation, loss of family and friends, and means of livelihood””bear down upon countless of thousands of the people of the world. Perhaps it is not strange that under these burdens many in the agony and bitterness of despair are tempted to cry out that they are forsaken. And when in their despair they cry out, Where is God?, perhaps it is not surprising that many new and strange preachers should spring up to lure men away with fair promises and false hopes, and with misguided exhortation to say: “Follow me, and I will show you a new way to the Promised Land”; and others, inspired by the Devil himself to say: “Let us destroy this world with its civilization and divide the spoils among ourselves.”

Just as commerce and industry stagger and reel in the receding wave from an unsound prosperity, just as economic currents when turned from their natural channels swirl round and round in a whirlpool of confusion threatening to draw to destruction in the vortex much of the world’s economic fabric, so too, do the resulting passions and despair of men and women tend to tear them away from the moorings of their old faith and to cast them adrift to be tossed hither and thither, the prey of the winds and the whims of every passing hour.

No fair googling or researching first, etc.–take a guess. Then see who it is and read it all.


Posted in * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, History, Notable & Quotable

4 comments on “A Quote from Difficult Times–Guess the Speaker and the Date

  1. Karen B. says:

    Wow, Kendall, what a powerful quotation.

    I’m finding myself really stumped to think of an answer… I can guess some preachers who might have said/written these words, but the dates are wrong – they were not living at the time of world war.

    I’m thinking it is post WW1. Wonder if this line Just as commerce and industry stagger and reel in the receding wave from an unsound prosperity suggests during the great depression, early 1930s?

    I guess I’ll go with my very first thought which was Bonhoeffer, but I’m probably WAY off, and say early 1930s.

  2. Stefano says:

    Same reasons for 1935, but the “who” is a little harder… someone British? Please tell me it’s not FDR!

  3. Stefano says:

    I notice that someone edited the speech to add “and [sic]woemn”. Any particular reason?

  4. Sarah says:

    One of the ABC’s post WWI?