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need not have a written creed, but it must have convictions and purposes if it is to be a vital power in the world. And for a statement of convictions and purposes, large, free, inclusive, and rational, I doubt if any religious organization can find anything much broader, stronger, or better than these four fundamental principles, corner-stones of the platform on which the Parliament of the world's faiths found its basis of agreements.
The possible results to which I have here referred as growing out of the Parliament are of the nature of changes to be effected in existing religious institutions and methods through the slow processes of evolution and under the transforming touch of scientific truth and of a clearer conception and intenser feeling of human brotherhood. let me suggest, in conclusion, two ways in which a more immediate effect may be produced. First, why may not a Parliament of the World's Faiths. be continued and perpetuated, its sessions to be held every five years in different cities and countries of the globe? Such meetings would serve to keep alive and further to cultivate the spirit of fraternity among the faiths, to which so strong an impulse has now been given, and would hasten the forces of evolution in their transforming, educating, and unifying work. An ecumenical council every five years, to consist of representatives from all the great religions and churches of the world, selected for their learning, devoutness, character, and practical ability, would serve as a valuable.
international exchange for religious ideas and methods, and might become a mighty power in advancing the interests of humanity and establishing the principles of justice and peace in the conduct of nations toward each other. Second, and finally, why should not those who are finding sectarian traditions and methods of any kind to be fetters, those who have already come out to this large place of liberty, hospitality, and fraternity in religion, and care not for any of the denominational names and conflicts except as they may represent heroic history, those who stand now essentially on the fundamental principles which the great historic faiths of the world are shown to hold in common,— why should not these draw together and join their forces in churches of the new dispensation, in churches of the new covenant of man with man and of the new thought of the Eternal,- that new thought of the Eternal which science teaches carries in its bosom a closer, surer covenant between the Eternal Power and man than ever the Hebrews conceived to have been made between their nation and Jehovah? The name of this coming religion awaits. Its organization awaits. But its spirit, its thought, its aspiration, are here. They are in the atmosphere of this new age. They call for apostles to voice the new faith, and to organize its service around the earth. And of whatever name these churches may be, and whether they be new churches or old ones transformed by new ideas, may they be linked together by this common bond,
-in that, to use the quaint New Testament phrase, they shall all be "lively stones" in the structure of the coming universal, catholic Church of humanity.
"Tread, kingly gospel, through the nations tread!
Be all to thy blest freedom captive led,
And Truth, the great Emancipator, reign."
In time of war vessels are often despatched from port by governments under sealed orders. Not even do their commanders know their ultimate destination or the special mission which they are to discharge. They only know at the start the general direction which they are to take. They sail out on the expanse of the ocean with no particular port in view, but directed only to steer for a certain position of latitude and longitude on the open sea; and, not until that position is reached, are the sealed orders which they carry in their pockets to be opened. Then for the first time they learn whither they are to voyage and for what task they have been sent.
And this very aptly illustrates the course of human life in general. We all begin the voyage of life under sealed orders. Not a child is born whose future is not wrapped in mystery. There in embryo is the man or woman; but what will be the career of the man or woman nothing in the child fully foretells, nor can the parents prophesy it. What talents it may develop, what vocations will be chosen or necessitated, what tasks and responsibilities may be assumed, what trials and tragedies or what successes and happinesses may
come in the unfolding story,- all these are a sealed book in infancy. We start in life on an open sea. We know the harbor from which we depart, and we linger near its familiar shores; but we know not the harbor to which we sail nor the duties which await us there. Yet Time is a master that outranks all other authorities, and bids us. depart. We can only have, at first, general directions, which are to be given in parental training and education, and which are to take us, as it were, to a certain moral and mental latitude and longitude, where the orders which contain our calling in life may be opened to reveal the mission on which we are sent.
Yet these general directions are of supreme importance for the time. There is a certain mental and moral equipment which is necessary to any kind of success in life, whatever the vocation or career is to be. And this equipment is what the home and school training should give to youth. As these general directions at the beginning of life's voyage are all the guidance that we can possibly have, so it is a matter of the gravest moment that they be faithfully followed. The whole difference between success and failure in the special calling afterward may depend on such obedience. The commander who sails from port under sealed orders knows well that his first duty is to steer for the spot where his orders are to be opened. If he sail over the ocean according to his own free fancy before going to the spot indicated, or if he go in