[Charles Samuel Tator in New York Observer.]

In all walks of life this is an age of chaos, an age crying aloud for leadership. It is the church's great opportunity. History shall record this period as that of the awakening of the world consciousness, and the bursting into full flower of the spirit of universal brotherhood, and great will be the name of the church if it is found in the van; but remorse will be its lot if it be found wanting in leadership, if it has closed its eyes to the vision and turned its back on the opportunity. God's work will go forward, as it went forward over the religious institutions of the ages past. The church as a religious institution must move forward with God's advancing purpose, or His hosts will march forward, marking their progress by the institutions left behind—we have history's attest to that fact. A religious institution may put the body of Jesus in a tomb, but it cannot hinder the progress of the Christ. If ministers will now have the courage to lead the people to the heights where their social consciousness may be awakened, where the cries and the prayers of the people mingle in the air as one clear call for leadership, the church will advance—a Gideon's band perhaps—but a force to whom the victory is already assured. There were churches in Christ's day, but one voice only that the common people heard gladly. [Rev. T. Rhonda Williams in Christian Commonwealth.]

Religion today is suffering enormously because there are so many people who hold by opinions and theories which they do not faithfully work at in life; they will not discover their inadequacy because they are not sufficiently in earnest about them. I do not mean that they are consciously insincere, but that they are not in earnest in the sense that demands thoroughness in the application of theory to life. They hold their creeds, but their creeds do not hold them, and men who hold their creeds and are not held by them will probably continue to hold them all the days of their life. They only become earnest about them when some one attacks them, but the earnestness that is wanted is not the earnestness that defends the creed against attack, but the earnestness that puts the creed into life. There are thousands who, if they would only carry their theories and opinions to the real test that comes through living, would discover their inadequacy and would then become the leaders of some new expression of the old religious spirit. Today, when so much is said about the decline of the churches, what Christians need to do is to press in upon the center, to rediscover the very soul of religion, to possess it and be possessed by it, and then to find how far the present institutions and forms are adequate to express it. [Christian Register.]

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August 26, 1911

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