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but with living, sometimes, alas! with dying men and women. That better industrial country which we seek,— do any of us know just where it lies? We know that many a river-mouth which promises to open up a highway to its shores grows narrower as we go on; and we hear the warning of the prophet sounding in our ears, "Elsewhither for a refuge, or die here!" But equally we know that there is a better
country somewhere further on.
It is still undiscovered; but
it will loom some day upon our eyes, or, if not upon ours,
"Others shall sing the song,
Others shall right the wrong,
And all we fail of win."
And the religious America,- that, too, is undiscovered. "For they seek a better country, even a heavenly." There is nothing very heavenly in our present situation,—a hundred jarring sects, a majority of which imagine severally that theirs, and only theirs, is the accepted plan of salvation. I find the religious future of America, that better, undiscovered country that we seek, prefigured by the harmony of our United States. We would have no separate State abandon the traditions of its history; but, cherishing these as generously as may be, we would have each alive and thrilling with the sense of a great common history and goal. So we would have no separate church abandon its tradition ; but we hope and trust that there will come a time when it shall be gladly recognized that Christianity is more than any sect, and religion more than Christianity or any other separate faith, and that humanity is more than religion, and sweeps into its wide embrace all earnest and inspiring souls and all who need their earnestness and inspiration. In that day shall be made good the prophecy of Lessing's Nathan,— "What makes me seem to you a Christian makes you seem to me a Jew." In that day the barriers between the sects shall offer no more obstruction to those going back and forth among them than the parallels of latitude or longitude offer to the keels that bear the interchanging products of the
world to their due ports, agreeable to the needs of various
The voyage of Columbus has inspired full many a splendid song, the briefest of them all the best. Hear now its second half :
"Trust to the guiding God; follow the silent sea.
Were shore not yet there, 'twould now arise from the wave;
And ever will perform the promise genius gave."
But nature is not linked to genius so eternally and so irref ragably as to faith and hope and love. Obedient to their promise and command, the better country which we seek, the true America of politics and education and industry and religion, shall arise from out the waste of ignorance and conflict and misunderstanding that now swells and moans between us and our heart's desire. And in this quest we are discoverers all. These things will come to pass only when every individual mind and heart and will responds to the divine commands which issue forth, new every morning and fresh every evening, from deep heart of God. Just in proportion as the individual man and woman, youth and maid, yea, and the little child, speaks the hard word of truth and leaves unsaid the word that ought not to be spoken, cleaves to the right through good and ill-report, desires to know and follow what is simple truth, is strong and brave to raise the oppressed and fallen and to cleave the oppressor down, can sacrifice one's sect and dogma to religion and morality, and one's selfish greed or narrow patriotism to the welfare of mankind, just in proportion as these ideals are made real, the America for which all good men should long and work and pray will lift itself above the far horizon of our hope and dream. It is of every day that dawns that Lowell sang:
"Remember whose, and not how short it is!
A lavish day! One day with life and heart
IF Mr. Longfellow had never been the minister of our own society, I could not have refrained from speaking of his life and his example in some special way, so blessed is his memory in all our churches, so interesting and significant was the part he took in the religious movement of our time. He was one of a group of men of whose sympathies and aspirations it has been fulfilled as it was written,
"Mark how one string, sweet husband to the other,
To think of one of them is to think of all of them,- Longfellow, Johnson, Frothingham, Weiss, Higginson, and Wasson. Five of the six spoke at one meeting of the Free Religious Association; and such "large utterance no other day in my whole life recalls, nor such a headache as I got withal. All these sat somewhat loosely to the Unitarian tradition, Longfellow less so than the others, except Frothingham, who began as a conservative and only gradually assumed the independency of his last years, while latterly his sympathy has been almost perfect with our broadening Unitarian ways. Johnson was an independent almost from the start, and Higginson soon left the ministry, though he has been preaching ever since, in his own high, poetic way; and Weiss did so at last, while Wasson through his life of pain and deprivation approximated to us more and more, and we to him in generous rivalry. For all the likeness of these men, their several individuality was as distinct as possible. The most unlike of all, both in appearance and in the habits of their work and thought, were Longfellow and Johnson, the t