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[The Homiletic Review]

Real morality is a spirit, not a mere performance, the spirit whose ceaseless pursuit of an ever flying goal by the forward looking few has gradually lifted the morals of the many, stage by stage, from their lowest to their present level. When preachers teach that "morality is not enough without religion," they run off track laid down by Christ and raise a false issue. They rouse a combative spirit in men who need to be rid of the delusion that their good morals are real morality. They also foster a deplorable proneness in the church to rely on "the merits of Jesus Christ" to atone for their moral neglect to work out their own salvation by loyal imitation of him.

The current popular distinction between religion and morality as differing in value is as mischievous a delusion as any that has obsessed the world. It afflicts the church with such moral anemia that ethical culture societies rise to teach that "religion is fervent devotion to the highest moral ends." Yet Christ taught by precept and example that real morality is religion at work for advancement, personal and social, toward goodness like that of our Father in heaven, and that real religion is morality aspiring toward that divine ideal. In the life of Christ we see these two fused together, inseparably one.

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December 30, 1916

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