" Oh, where are kings and empires now, Of old that went and came ? But holy Church is praying yet, A thousand years the same".

Might it not go on praying a thousand years more, and no better result come of it ? If we must pray, let us pray to men ; for there all the trouble lies. Could you, 0 Churches, but open the hearts of your worshippers, as you seek to move the heart of God, the need for all other prayer would soon be gone. Religion is not seeing the evil and wrong in the world, and trusting that somehow in the counsels of God it is all for the best, but in confidently attacking the evil and the wrong, and in leading on the good, as John Stuart Mill says, to its distant and yet not uncertain triumph. The truest revelation, the truest voice of the nature of things, is not in what we see, but in our thoughts of what ought to be. Trust thy dreams, O Reformer ! thou comest never so nigh to the heart and spirit of things as in them. This that thou seest, this that seems so strong, so secure, so impregnable, will after a time vanish away ; and what thou thinkest of, what thou art called visionary for daring to think of, will then be the real!

To the finest flower of New England culture, to Emerson, was given the insight into the essential identity between morals and religion.1 I scarcely know what true thought of mine the reader will not find, stripped of its imperfections of statement, in him. It was he who long ago spoke of the consolation, the hope, the grandeur that come alone out of the culture of the moral nature.2 Theology was to him the rhetoric of morals.3 " The mind of this age," he says, " has fallen away from theology to morals. I conceive it to be an advance." Unbelief to him was losing hold of the moral intuitions.4 Religion was the practices, private and social, in honor of the moral sentiment.5 The commanding fact which he never lost sight of was the sufficiency of this sentiment.6 He will not allow that ethics do not satisfy affection,7 or that they give only a rule, and not the spirit by which the rule is animated.8 All the religion we have, he says, is the ethics of one or another holy person.9 And whenever the sublimities of character are incarnated in a man, we may rely that awe and love and insatiable curiosity will follow in his steps.10 "No man," he says, "can tell what religious revolutions await us in the next years; and the education in the divinity colleges may well hesitate and vary. But the science of ethics has no mutations; and whoever feels any love or skill for ethical studies may safely lay out all his strength and genius in working that mine. The pulpit may shake, but this platform will not. All the victories of religion belong to the moral sentiments." He has a faith that America shall introduce a pure religion,1 since a true nation loves its vernacular tongue, and will not import its religion, as we have ours from Judea.2

1 The Sovereignty of Ethics (in Lectures and Biographical Sketches).

2 Divinity School Address.

8 Character (in Lectures and Biographical Sketches).

4 The Preacher. 5 Sovereignty of Ethics.

6 Ibid. 7 ibid.

8 Character (in Lectures and Biographical Sketches).

9 Sovereignty of Ethics. 10 Character.

It is a grand task, to attempt to translate the old truths of the moral nature into the language of to-day. Theology is not more, but less than the truth. Life in the future shall not be less, but more freighted with significance than ever before; for no longer shall men be wondering spectators of a divine task accomplishing in the world, but themselves the accomplishers of it, themselves the hands by which the eternal purpose realizes itself.

1 Sovereignty of Ethics.

2 Character.