It was two hundred and eighty-eight years ago that a band of people, small in number but large in faith and in loyal devotion to right, came together for a public thanksgiving to God for their first scanty harvest, wrested from nature by untold toil, privation, and self-sacrifice, in the wilderness of a strange land. This harvest was rejoiced over, not merely as the material means for satisfying the needs of the so-called physical man, but because it indicated their partial release from a state and church government which was too tolerant of evil, according to a rising moral Standard.

As we look back, we are thankful to the Pilgrim Fathers for their high ideals, intrepid courage, and brave persistency in separating themselves from all that would soil their sense of honor, justice, and religion, or that would interfere with their rights of conscience to worship God with less of formalism and dogmutism. Yet we may see today precisely the same need of purification from a reliance on forms or ceremonies as a means to holiness, and the need to be rid of a reliance on drugs, matter, or mortal mind, as means to health. We hear the same call of reason to come out from the popular but ignorant superstitions about God, in order to gain in some measure a rational concept of Him as infinite good, the divine Principle of all goodness, working according to immutable law, which can therefore be understood instead of remaining a myster. We hear the same demand of conscience to love right because it is right, regardless of any reward; to love goodness for the sake of good, and to express this love in the more practical ways of honesty, justice, mercy, charity, cooperation, and a consecrated pocketbook.

November 20, 1909

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