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[The Universalist Leader]

The pious believer of the old school is having a difficult time adjusting himself to the new and enlarged conception of religion which is brought to his attention constantly. This believer has lived long in a state of mind when he accepted a very plain and simple notion of what religion is. It was always something very definite, very tangible. He has always identified his spiritual experience with a visible church or an ancient book or an ancient creed or an observance of certain ritualistic formulas. Religion, to him, has always been inseparable from and identical with one or more of these objective realities. He thought he knew just what religion was, where he could locate it, and just where it begins and ends in human experience. And now he finds that something has gone amiss. He is bewildered at much that he hears.

Here are men talking about religion, acting as though they take religion seriously who have no religion, so far as any standard with which our puzzled traditionalist is familiar, is concerned. Religion seems to have moved out of its ancient abiding-places. It has lost its distinguishing marks. It has, to our observer, ceased to be real. He fears that religion is vanishing from the world.

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August 8, 1914

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