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sails, though cautiously, for a change of course. Who knows but that that aged corporation, relic of a by-gone time and theology, rejuvenated by a hundred new members and a new secretary, may yet come up abreast with the age, and at the next Parliament of Religions gather its missionaries and their expected heathen converts, still declining conversion, into one happy company under the bond of human fraternity?
But we must not expect, outwardly, any immediate great results. The progress will be slow: at first it may seem imperceptible. Yet it is coming. The great and powerful churches of Christendom are not going to drop their sectarian sceptres in the life-time of many, if any, of us. The benevolent Cardinal Gibbons, who, on the opening day of the Parliament, spoke with such entire sympathy with the larger breadth and brotherhood of the platform and seemed so fully at home upon it, when subsequently he gave his discourse on the service of his own church to the world, fell as if by habit and traditional beliefs, not corrected by scholarly research, into the extravagant claims that there was only the faintest glimmer of moral light on earth before Christianity was born, and that since that era Catholicism has led the world in advancing the interests of civilization and humanity. Thus many of the participants in the Parliament will drop naturally again into the routine work and phrases of the sects. Sectarianism and dogmatism have had. such a vigorous life and held kingly sway so long
that they will die hard.
Their sceptres are beginning to waver, but few of us shall ever see them entirely prostrated in the dust. Yet we shall nay, do already see them floating the white flags of truce and amity and co-operation.
And when, too, we consider the differences among the religions of the earth, differences of ceremony and custom, and even of belief, which are based on differences of environment and the traditions of centuries, it is evident that it would be irrational to expect great transformations in any brief period of time. Some of these differences, it is likely, will remain in perpetual existence. Truth and sincerity do not require that all religions shall be pared and fitted to one pattern, more than that all individual persons shall be fashioned after one model of temperament. Such uniformity is neither to be expected nor desired. But, with the differences, there may yet be unity in spirit and aim and work,-unity, also, in the fundamental principles of belief and purpose. And this kind of unity among the world's faiths is already dawning. This is the fraternity of religions which the World's Parliament has made evident as a possibility, and has done not a little to further toward realization. More frequently than any other this idea kept pressing into utterance in the addresses of the seventeen days. "This Parliament," said the Catholic Archbishop of New Zealand, "begins a new era for mankind of true brotherly love." The eloquent and inspired Mozoomdar, apostle of
the Brahmo-Somaj of India, that modern theistic church growing from the roots of ancient Brahmanism, said that he represented a religious society "whose only creed is the harmony of religions, and whose only denomination is the unity of all denominations." It was the white-robed Dharmapala who pleaded for "mutual benevolence, tolerance, gentleness, love, brotherhood, compassion,' in the name of the gentle Buddha. And Prince Wolkonsky, of Russia, and of the Russian Greek Church, asked, "Why should it not be that all these religions which have so much in common should sink their differences and find a common ground of action in the interest of mankind?" Principal Grant, from Canada, exclaimed that it was cause for profound humiliation and shame that Christianity, with the example and teaching of its founder before it for nineteen centuries, had only just found the right way to religious unity and fraternity. The Brahman monk from India, Vivekananda, in orange-colored robes and turban, "fervently believed that the new liberty bell which rang that morning on the assembling of the Parliament was to ring out the death-knell to all fanaticism, to all persecution with the sword or the pen, and to all uncharitable feeling between brethren, wending their way through different paths to the same goal." Hon. Pung Kwang Yu, imperial delegate from China, found the famous word of his great teacher Confucius, "reciprocity," as expressing the sum of human duty, illustrated with new
meaning and glory in the Parliament, which he called a noble school of comparative religion, where "each may discover what is excellent in other religions than his own." The high priest of Japanese Shintoism believed that "all the various religions of the world are based on the fundamental truth of religion, and that, since it is now impracticable to combine them into one religion, the special religionists ought at least to conquer hostile feelings, to try to find out the common truth hidden under different forms of religious thought, and to combine their strength in working for the common objects of the religions," and especially against wars and disputes between nations, and for international justice and peace, and for a supreme court of the world to take international disputes from the tribunal of war to the tribunal of equity and reason. Dr. Momerie, the Broad Churchman from England, said: "To each religion have been attached creeds and dogmas which the founders never anticipated. This conference will enable us to see more clearly the fundamental truths. It will show how unimportant are the differences of creed, and how important are the things on which we are agreed." The venerable editor of the New York Evangelist, Dr. Field, spoke of his training under the straitest sect of the Puritans, but of his own observations in personal travel among the different religions in the East as teaching him that they are "all sharers of the one Infinite Light and Love." A young Mo
hammedan delegate from Constantinople, with an unpronounceable name, said that "the young men of the Orient, from the waters of Japan to the Ægean, have the keenest interest in the outcome of this Parliament as a basis for the brotherhood of man."
And so the words of amity and brotherhood among the faiths kept pressing to the lips, and, white-winged, flew out into the free air. From Japan and Australasia, from China and Canada, from Greek Church and Quaker preacher, from English Churchman and American Presbyterian, from ancient Armenia and the newest State of the New World, the sentiments of brotherhood were heard, as they went their way, to echo and re-echo around the globe. It may almost be said, indeed, that this Parliament of Religions has given the creed of the coming universal Church, if such a Church shall ever grow out of the growing fraternity of feeling among the different faiths, and shall ever have occasion to state its beliefs. Though the Parliament stated nothing by resolutions, yet by general assent it seemed to be assumed, and individually was again and again declared, that the common foundation on which the various faiths stood there together was the recognition of Supreme Being, without any anxiety to make or require a definition of the supreme existence and attributes, a recognition of human brotherhood, and an expressed purpose to search for all truth and to toil unceasingly for human welfare. A church