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There is no controversy among reputable and conscientious men and women, whether inside or outside of the Church, as to the binding obligation of righteousness. No man is absolved from any part of the moral law by the need of making money. He who buys a voter, corrupts a legislature, lies to a customer, cheats a railroad corporation, adulterates his goods, makes false returns of taxable property, steals public lands or public privileges, or does any of those things which, reduced to their lowest terms, can be described as perjury and ordinary lying, stealing, concealed defalcation, robbery, or spoliation of the property of other men, is an enemy to the public. There is no difference of opinion as to the moral quality of such transactions, but there are wide differences among the wise and good as to the methods by which such sins shall be rebuked and virtue encouraged. One thing seems to us certain: Sin does not seem to be sinful until its opposing virtue appears in the world. The terrors of the law and the shamefulness of sin have their part and do their work; but nothing makes evil-doing so grotesque, absurd, and useless as does a fine exhibition of probity and honor set over against it.—The Christian Register.

Religion in the Bible is human souls dominated by the Spirit, throbbing and pulsating with the same divine energy which holds the world to its work. This will seem entirely inadequate to those who insist on what they call clear thinking, just as Paul's assertion that the kingdom of God is not in words but in power, must have seemed entirely unsatisfactory to the legalists who listened to him. Still the open secret is that the power of the Book is this manifoldness of the consciousness of a living God, and a trusting to His spirit when it spoke. It was this constant experience of God, this living in Him and His purposes, this infinite variety of contact with the source of life, that makes the whole Book echo with one vast cry of "Immanuel, God with us." Here is the inspiration of that ultimate optimism which forever stretches like a vision beyond the evil of the present as it lies heavily on the souls of those who bear the burden of the world's sins on their hands. Perhaps some day the world will discover the divine fact, that the Biblical consciousness of God, which is so broad, so vital, and so infinite in the variety of its expression in experience that it transcends definition and escapes human limitations, is the true source of an everlasting confidence, and that we shall never exhaust the fountain from whence the world draws its supplies of faith.—The Universalist Leader.

What to-day America needs, and what we believe American congregations really desire, is neither poetry nor philosophy, neither entertainingly fresh interpretations of Scripture nor polemical criticism, nor defence of theologies, old or new, but just such messages as it is beginning to get from lay preachers: the duty and the beauty of common honesty, common purity, common humanity, and the power in the living God to enable common men to realize this beauty and fulfil this duty, despite all the glamour and glitter of false ideals and all the pressure of a commerical age and an illeducated public conscience.—The Outlook.

August 26, 1905

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