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[The Christian Register]

The man who, thinking of God, cannot bow in any temple as well as in any mountain, has thought vainly of God, and the consistency with one faith which cannot recognize and assimilate the truth and beauty and goodness in other faiths is a fatal consistency, the sign that it lives in a mental cubiculum.

Appreciativeness will go farther toward a desirable church unity than any possible doctrinal agreement. Indeed, the effort to attain unity by doctrinal mergers always ends in developing more obstacles than it began with. But appreciativeness violates no consistency, forestalls no conclusions, interferes with no freedom, and embarrasses no loyalties. It makes a genial climate in which the best growths come to fruition. It makes it natural and easy to follow Emerson's advice: "Always put the best interpretation on a tenet." No one is likely to put the best interpretation on a tenet in a mood of scrupulous definition; but in a mood of appreciation the best interpretation comes by nature. Appreciation is the dinner-table around which people draw, inclined to like each other and ready to come to the best possible understanding. It is the after-dinner disposition out of which come good nature and harmony. It is the temper in which it is not easy to make friction.

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August 7, 1915

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