Abbildungen der Seite

CCT 21 1893

Mr. Savage's Books.

1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00




1.00 1.00 1.00

SERMONS AND ESSAYS. Christianity the Science of Manhood. 187 pages. 1873

$1.00 The Religion of Evolution. 253 pages 1876

1.50 Life Questions._159 pages. 1879 The Morals of Evolution.

191 pages. 1880
Talks about Jesus. 161 pages. 1881
Belief in God. 176 pages. 1882
Beliefs about Man,

130 pages.

1882 Beliefs about the Bible. 206 pages 1883 The Modern Sphinx. 160 pages. 1883 Man, Woman and Child. 200 pages. 1884 The Religious Life. 212 pages 1885

1.00 Social Problems. 189 pages 1886 My Creed. 204 pages. 1887

1.00 Religious Reconstruction. 246 pages Signs of the Times. 187 pages. 1889 Helps for Daily Living. 150 pages 1889 Life. 237 pages. 1890 Four Great Questions concerning God. 86 pp. 1891.' Paper .25 The Evolution of Christianity. 178 pages 1892

1.00 Is this a Good World ? 60 pages. 1893. Paper

25 Jesus and Modern Life. 230 pages 1893

Light on the Cloud. 176 pages. 1876. Full gilt

1.25 Bluffton: A Story of To-day. 248 pages 1878

1.50 Poems. 247 pages. 1882. Full gilt With portrait

1.50 These Degenerate Days. Small.“ 1887. Flexible

.50 The Minister's Hand-book. For Christenings, Weddings, and Funerals. Cloth

.75 Sacred Songs for Public Worship. À Hymn and Tune

Book. Edited by M. J. Savage and Howard M. Dow.

1.00 Leather

1.50 Unitarian Catechism. With an introduction by E. A. Horton. Pnce, Paper, per copy,

20 cents.

Per doz., 1.50 Cloth,



[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


Mr. Savage's weekly sermons are regularly printed in pamphlet form in "Unity Pulpit.' Subscription price, for the season, $1.50; single copies, 5 cents.

GEO. H. ELLIS, Publisher,

141 Franklin St., Boston, Mass.


Or, Religious Unity, How and What?

"The body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of the body, being many, are one body."— 1 COR. xii. 12.

It did not seem to me possible to deal with the World's Parliament of Religions as I did last Sunday and carry the matter no further. It seemed to me that the wisest thing I could do was to make that a starting-point to consider some of the present encouraging and hopeful tendencies in the religious world. For we waste our strength unless we have definite and clearly thought out ideals towards which to direct our knowledge and energy.

Which way, then, is the world moving in this matter? Which way shall we try to help it on?

I do not think we are to expect too much, or, at any rate, too immediate results. There are certain classes of minds which accustom themselves to think of the world as growing old, decrepit, hastening towards decay. There are those who think that the world day is far spent, that we are in the latter part of the afternoon, and that the night is coming. You are familiar with my attitude on this general subject. I believe rather that we are in the first flush of the world's morning, the earth is only beginning to be civilized in little spots here and there, and especially is this so in the matter of religion, which, very naturally, on account of the sacredness with which men look at it, is the last thing in the world people are willing to improve, the last thing, because they

[ocr errors]

regard it as so sacred a thing that they hesitate to touch it. I believe, then, that we are not to expect that suddenly this year, or next year, or next century, the world is to become wrought over into the shape of our own ideals. The sun has risen and the light is beginning to spread; but it will be many a long hour yet before his rays have reached down into the deepest and darkest ravines, and the whole earth is flooded with its light. But we will rejoice in the signs of its coming, and we will try to note what things are to become visible in this wider light of truth.

The tendency of truth is always towards unity, not necessarily, mind you,- for this is an important distinction, - towards uniformity. The tendency of civilization is towards unity everywhere, and necessarily so, because, when you are considering any department of life or thought, there is, and must be, only one truth. As the world becomes educated, its enmities and prejudices pass away, and it is willing to see things as they are. It discerns this one truth, and naturally gravitates towards it, so coming into relations of unity instead of antagonism.

You see this, for example, in regard to the universe itself. Go back far enough in the history of the world, and there is no such thought as a universe. The different forces that make up the universe were looked upon as antagonistic. It was a chaos. The sun, moon, winds, lightnings, the seas, the mountains, each represented a god, not necessarily at one with the other gods, but in everlasting enmity, so that there was, as I said, not only diversity, but chaos and antagonism in the thought of the world.

But we have come at last to a period in human civilization where we have discerned that it is not only a multiplicity of worlds, but a universe. It is one force that swings the suns and the planets in their orbits, and works out this magnificent harmony in the midst of endless diversities.

And so in regard to humanity itself. It was long ages after men began to live and to plant cities and to work at political civilization before there came into their minds and

hearts the thought of humanity, the solidarity of the race. That is a modern idea. Even in ancient Greece at the time of Plato (and those of you who have good memories will recall my having said this before) there was no sense of the unity of mankind, no sense of the unity of the race. If it was a virtue in the mind of Plato for a man to love Athens, it was equally a virtue in his mind for the same man to hate a foreigner. It is only in the modern world that we have come to a sense of a common humanity, and are beginning to talk about universal brotherhood.

The same truth is illustrated in science. Only a few years ago, and we talked about heat and light and electricity and magnetism, and all these different forces of the world, as though they were entirely independent of each other. We have found out- and that is one of the grandest triumphs of modern science-that they are not, that there is a unity deeper than any diversity, and that all these various. manifestations of force are merely manifestations of one force.

The same thing is true in chemistry. We are every day reducing the number of what we call elements till I think it is the dream of those farthest advanced that by and by we shall come to the discovery that all those things that we speak of as distinct and separate elements are only forms and manifestations of one central, universal element.

This is the tendency everywhere; and it is not strange that at last this tendency should be felt in religion, that people should begin to wonder whether, whatever the diversity of form, there may not be unity here, and whether we may not think out a scheme for that unity, and so cease all bitterness and antagonism and warfare. For, as I told you last Sunday, the bitterest wars that men have ever fought have been religious wars. But that is not an accident, mind you. That is nothing against religion itself. It is simply that men have. honestly felt that here they were dealing with the supreme matter of life, and they dared not be false to what they have believed to be the highest commanding truth of God.


This World's Parliament has started people to thoughts concerning this great matter. That Parliament was not a cause : it was only a symptom. It was the manifestation of what has existed all along, only people have not known it, people have not thought about it.

Now, I wish in the first place this morning to help you to see what is one of the profoundest truths: that, in one sense, there never has been more than one religion, and never can be. Religion, any one religion, take Christianity, take Buddhism, take the religion of the Parsees, when you analyze it, you find it is made up of two groups of ideas, two elements enter into it. There is, in the first place, a purpose that animates it, its aim, its goal, the one thing for which it exists. And then there are their theories, their methods, the means by which it hopes to bring to pass this one thing for which it exists. In other words, the purpose of every religion is to bring men to God, to reach right relations between man and God. Because it has been felt in all ages that, if man could become rightly related to the divine, that would carry with it right relations everywhere else, through all the lower spheres and activities of life. So the one and only grand end and aim of every religion that the world has ever seen has been to find God, to bring men practically into right living relations with him. Study the lowest and the crudest efforts of the fetish-worshipper, and he has his conception of God and his conception of himself and his conception of the relation that exists between himself and God. He has a dream of a better relation, something that ought to exist; and the purpose of all his religion, whatever it may be, however crude, however superstitious, the purpose of it is to bring himself and his fellow-worshippers into right relations with his God. Study the religion of Moloch, bloody and cruel ; study the religion of the Hebrews at the time of the great temple of Solomon: they were simply trying to get into right relations with God. When Jesus came, he told them, you remember, that God cared very little about external ceremonies. What Jesus wished was to help them to find God. He was simply

« ZurückWeiter »