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-views of the inspiration of the Scriptures have not diminished the reverence paid to the Bible, or the influence of that sacred book; that both the ethical and the spiritual elements of the New Testament are now in higher honor than ever; that more of Christ's religion has passed into politics, ethics, and philosophy in our time, than in any previous day: and this, for the very reason that the old barriers, shutting religion up in its own domain, separating the God of nature from the God of grace, and pronouncing life profane, and only the Church and the future sacred, are broken down. During the Roman Catholic ages, the church took the world into its own bosom, and had faith enough in itself, to impose its rules and ideas over the whole of society; so that its pleasures, cares, business, politics, were all ecclesiastically legitimated and sanctioned. Of course, it diluted piety and secularized sanctity by this course; but it preserved breadth and some sort of large and generous connection between faith and affairs. When the Reformation took Christianity up, it instantly shut the church gates upon the world; let in only its chosen and elected disciples, and pronounced a ban upon men and things, as much broader and deeper than ever Pontiff thundered forth, as the human race is larger than any sect or city or private heretic. The world is now turning Catholic again, not Roman Catholic, but true Catholic. That is to say, it will have no church smaller than the human race; no Saviour less than a universal Saviour; no religion shallower than the human soul, or less diversified and various than human life; no creed that does not acknowledge - what it knows to be true- the worth and essential rectitude of human nature, the impartial Fatherhood of God, the legitimacy of human instincts and the significance and glory of human life. The Catholic Church, in its modern and divine dimensions, takes in saints and sinners, life and death, time and eternity, pleasure and prayer, week-days and Sundays, science and revelation, instinct and inspiration, nature and grace, body and soul. And at the head of all, under God, Maker of heaven and earth, of man and angels, of soul and body, it puts Jesus Christ, the friend and Saviour of sinners, who came to unite God and

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man, heaven and earth, to adorn and dignify our nature, and to illustrate and glorify human life, and conquer even death itself; who pronounced the sabbath to be made for man, and not man for the sabbath; who whipped traders in religion out of the Temple, spurned Pharasaic pride, wept over fallen virtue, embraced the penitent, took feeble infancy and trembling womanhood under his protection, went about doing good, and died blessing his persecutors, and trusting implicitly the very God that left him to perish of his own fidelity and holiness.

To get this, the real creed of Christendom, fitly stated and acknowledged, is the problem, the sublime duty, and immortal vocation of the religious thinkers and leaders of our age. This is what the pregnant heart of our immediate future labors with. We know how all great reformations of science, politics, manners, religion, are predicted and 'preluded by struggling efforts and intimations; as the grand theme of a noble symphony, taken up in broken hints, by opposite instruments, flute and horn, viol and reed, tossing from one to the other the tangled thread, — weaving in their chords with ever-thickening harmony and clearer purpose, until,—all the forces mustered and brought into line, the whole vast. orchestra breaks into the majestic movement, so long predicted and so carefully and richly prepared for; and, melody and harmony made one, the musical revelation bursts forth, complete in thunderous sweetness and soul-compelling beauty and sublimity. So it is with all the great movements of the human mind and heart; so with political, so with religious reformations. For half a century, the creed of Christendom has been promising, more or less clearly, a new reformation. Yet so bound up was it with the learning, the prescriptive rights, the family pride, the university subscription oaths, the conventional usages, and even the landed and pecuniary inheritances of the chief nations of Christendom, that it was next to impossible to loosen truth from the moorings of error, and unharness the heavenly and deathless steed from the broken chariot of use and wont. But this unnatural conjunction is, in its essence, temporal. It may be long, but it


cannot be for ever. We who belong to a body of Christians among the earliest and the most outspoken in our protest against the erroneous dogmas of the popular creed; who, for nearly a century, here and in England, have pleaded for the dignity of human nature, the derived and created position of Jesus Christ, the rights of reason and untrammelled criticism in the study of the Scriptures, the rationality of Christianity, and the untechnical and practical character of religion; who have been put outside the pale of the so-called evangelical churches, denounced as infidels, enemies of the cross of Christ, deists, atheists; who even now are denied the sympathy and fellowship of our fellow-believers, solely for this protest, without any pretence that we are less pure or Christian in our lives and characters, we who have seen this sacred work of reformation, so long delayed in the church, have felt that it was all the while going on in the world, in literature, science, politics; and that the day would come when the church would meet a tide flowing in from the popular heart and soul which would flood it with the very ideas we have tried so long with our small reservoirs and smaller pipes to carry into the creeds of the church. That day has come; and, as when one goes out with lanterns in the small hours of the decaying night to fight against the darkness, and suddenly meets the dawn, we cannot but feel that Liberal Christianity, coming in like the broad daylight from all round the horizon of experience and thought, is soon destined to extinguish our tapers and candles, in a general flood of day.

We can have no possible anxiety about the creed of the next century. It will take care of itself, and be as liberal and generous as our utmost desires. But the present and the next generation will be between the new and the old, and very largely fall into the emptiness and vacuity of the transition. Liberal Christians have for the next quarter of a cen tury their most glorious opportunity; this is the providential day of their power, the harvest-time of their long and often hopeless labors. Let them only think what the progress, the purity, the intelligence of society would be, if their religious



views and feelings consciously pervaded the nation; what a change would come over the manners, the business, the domestic life, the amusements, the whole complexion of things; and it will inspire them to any necessary sacrifices in behalf of their precious faith, and convince them of the duty of devising the most energetic measures to uphold and propagate their Christian creed and theory of religion.

There is a general conviction pervading the whole liberal body at this moment, that the time for action has arrived. We have noble schemes for reanimating our whole work. We want to set in motion each and every part of our machinery by a grand concerted movement; to invigorate with a manly life our literary and denominational organs; to diffuse our opinions by earnest missionaries and by wide-spread essays, expressly prepared to meet the new times; to organize still more completely our whole body by formal and thoroughly representative delegations, in our national conference, meeting biennially, with authority to originate and carry out general denominational schemes; further, to endow Antioch College as the great central seat and fountain of our Western influence, by means of a liberal education of the promising young men, whom, we believe, the New America, now rising from the ashes of our late war, will send us as the prophets and priests of an emancipated future; to enrich Meadville, and make it at last what we always meant it should be, a chief source of our coming ministers; meanwhile, to do the best we can to uphold feeble churches; to found new ones in all great centres; to broaden, by new and more active measures, the influence of those that already have life and power; to take possession of the open domain of the Pacific Coast; and to reap the glorious harvest which waves in the light and heat of the national reawakening, which has torn as many chains from the whites as the blacks, and broken as many imprisoning creeds and false dogmas as it has prison-bars and dungeon-gates.



An Address read before the Ministerial Conference, May 25, 1869. By A. D. MAYO.

A FEW months ago, one of the most cultivated, religious, and truly venerable of the judges of the courts of the United States said to a Unitarian clergyman: "This country is now passing through a religious revolution, no less decisive in its character than the great social and political revolution through which we have lately passed." It was more than a happy illustration that coupled the religious and political state of our nation in this remark. In a country where thought is free and all human institutions are perpetually reconstructed by the will of the people, we can never understand the drift of one, without careful comparison with all. Our industrial, intellectual, social, political affairs are surging along the same channels as our turbid religious life. Indeed, all these tendencies are the natural outcome of the actual religious faith or unbelief of the American people. In revolutionary periods, like the present, the political life of the country is the best mirror in which its religious life can be reflected. Looking into that national mirror, we plainly see three political tendencies, so decisively marked that they cast all others into subordinate shadow. The political turmoil of the war has now subsided, leaving these three tendencies so distinctly defined that there can be little hope of their extinction or union.

First, we see in every community an increasing class, who believe republican institutions and government a failure. Differing in many questions of detail, not yet thoroughly organized for political action, cutting across the lines of the great rival parties, this class is a unit in its out-and-out denial of the principle of equality of human rights, on which our whole political system is founded. It believes in the government of the whole people by an aristocracy, and confident

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