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theories as rapidly as France, nor elaborate them as extensively as Germany; we safely introduce more that is new into our varied life than the most progressive nation of Europe. This practical talent is active in the churches. Everywhere, and in all the Protestant communions, the cultivated common sense of the masses is eliminating the useless in ceremony and creed, and directing Christian activity into channels of moral and social reform. The church that has been in the past devoted to the worship of God is hereafter to be chiefly employed in the Service of Man. A ministry given to expounding creeds and administering ordinances must henceforward-here in practical America-dedicate itself to all real reform, to the end that the people at large may attain better conditions of life for body and mind, and a more rational faith in God and the future.

Once more. A talismanic word with our people has ever been that divine word,-epitomizing past, present and

future--PROGRESS. We are a progressive people. Constitutions, customs, creeds, precedents that stand in the way of the advancing "rights of man" are doomed. All that hinders a more perfect liberty and a more rational faith must decrease, for the life of the people must increase. We believe in our manifest destiny as the "last, best hope of earth." If we did not, death would be upon us. All churches feel the power of this puissant sentiment. All communions are progressing. Some are moving faster than others. A few are engaged in bitter conflict with that progress which is ever the "stride of God," but nevertheless all advance toward liberty and truth. The battle waged between age and youth is not long in doubt. The old dies hard, but it dies. Youth attains strength and wisdom with many a bitter lesson, but strength and wisdom are its own.


The American Church is the coming fact. It will be reverent toward liberty. will seek truth in the religion of all

races. It will apply that truthand all truth-to the problems of human life. It will be filled with that spirit of progress which demands not only the better, but the best, and that without end.

All hail! The American Church. No dark crimes against our common humanity shadow its temples. By no mysterious rites does it assume to lead credulity to God. Here no creed fetters brain or conscience, and here no man ministers save as a friend of the people, a lover of his race. Welcome the church that is to be, fair product of our nation's life and growth. Thrice welcome, for it is manly. It is womanly. It is Chris-. tian. It is American.

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