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How may the Church be kept free from complicity in known evils, so that it will stand indeed as an unbiased witness for truth, as a disinterested helper of mankind? I say it is not an easy thing, and yet it is a question which always must trouble us and for which we must seek some answer. The answer cannot be found in a return to the separatism of the Pharisee or even of the Puritan, and yet we must make clear where the Church stands on the moral issues of the day. We must make it plain that it stands for honesty, that it stands for justice, that it has sympathy for the men who are striving for a livelihood. Whatever its answer to one specific question may be, it is not in any way determined by worldly gain,—in other words, that it cannot be bought. One thing is perfectly clear to me, and it is that, if the higher life of our country is to be preserved, we must get rid of many of the things which seem to us to be necessary.

The Church always needs money, but just at the present time it needs something else infinitely more. It needs to demonstrate beyond the shadow of a doubt that the desire for more money does not in the slightest degree influence the broad lines of its policy. It is moral independence which is being threatened in America. To him who would live an ideal life the first necessity is to so arrange his manner of life and his ambitions as to achieve the maximum of freedom. The idealist is one who cares supremely for things that have no money value.

July 15, 1905

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