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MR. SAVAGE'S BOOKS.

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1882

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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.

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The Morals of Evolution.

191 pages.
1880

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Talks about Jesus. 161 pages. 1881
Belief in God. 176 pages. 1882

1.00 Beliefs about Man. 130 pages. Beliefs about the Bible. 206 pages.

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1.00 The Modern Sphinx. 160 pages. 1883 Man, Woman and Child. 200 pages.

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1.00 The Religious Life. 212 pages. 1885 Social Problems. 189 pages. 1886 .

1.00 My Creed. 204 pages. 1887. Religious Reconstruction. 246 pages.

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Signs of the Times. 187 pages. 1989
Helps for Daily Living. 150 pages. 1889
Life. 237 pages. 1890 .
Four Great Questions concerning God. 86 pp. 1871.

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The Evolution of Christianity. 178 pages.
Is this a Gond World? 60 pages. 1891. Paper

.25 Jesus and Modern Life. 230 pages. 1893.

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MISCELLANEOUS.
Light on the Cloud. 176 pages. 1876. Full gilt .
Bluffron: A Story of To-day. 248 pages. 1878
Poems. 247 pages. 1832. Full gilt. With portrait
These Degenerate Days. Small. 1887. Flexible
The Minister's Hand-book. For Christenings, Wed-

dings, and Funerals. Cloth
Sacred Songs for Public Worship. A Hymn and Tue

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

Leather.
Unitarian Catechism. With an Introduction by E. A.
Horton. Price, Paper, per copy, 20 cents.

Per
dozen
Price, Cloth, per copy, jo cents. Per dozen

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

GEO. H. ELLIS, Publisher,

141 Franklin St., Boston, Mass.

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A MAN IN CHURCH.

JESUS founded no church, he appointed no sacraments, he authorized no ritual, he formulated no creed. Indeed, he left no written word upon the subject in any way whatsoever. He was a new life, as other great men before him and since his day. He cast a spiritual word and seed into the field of the hearts of those who heard him; and this seed, after the order of natural and divine laws, bore fruit and produced results which have lasted until to-day. And these results, I have no doubt, will increase and broaden until they touch and lift the life of mankind.

But, though Jesus founded no church, it was perfectly natural that there should be a church. After his death it was confidently and universally expected that he would appear again before a great while to finish his work, and establish the supernatural kingdom of God upon the earth. The Jews had become accustomed to their little local gatherings for religious purposes in their synagogue as well as for the more general gatherings for worship in the temple; and it was natural that those who had come to believe that Jesus was the Messiah should meet on the day when they believed he had risen from the dead, so that the church took shape as naturally as a seed sprouts or a bud blossoms.

No one was leader by any supposed divine authority in these early churches. There was no formulated method at first in regard to what they should do or as to what they should believe it was only the natural coming together of loving disciples, men and women, to talk over his life, to keep in memory things he had said to them, to bring as many other people as possible to believe in them, and to wait for his coming. But when year by year went by, and the

heavens remained the same, and there was no sound of a trumpet on high or the bursting through of legions of angels, they did not lose their faith in him, they did not lose their belief in the divine principle which he had taught: they simply came to the conclusion that they must have misunderstood, must have misinterpreted, him in some way; and so they kept on believing that he would come in his own good time.

Now, in this condition of affairs you will see how very natural it was that written records should spring up, outlines of his life, fragments of his words; and in this natural human way we have our Gospels. You will also see, as you put yourselves back by the power of imagination into these oldtime conditions, how inevitable it was that a closer organization should take place. There appeared men who stood higher than their fellows in the matter of authority. These were the disciples or the apostles or some one else who had seen Jesus, who had heard him speak. They were naturally looked upon as leaders or as ones to speak with authority not possessed by others. Then there would be the next remove, those who had seen and talked with certain ones who had seen Jesus. Then, of course, men would arise who had some natural ability in the way of leadership, as always in any association some man comes to the front to whom others defer, whose words carry more than usual weight, and who has some natural ability in the way of control over other

So in the most natural way in the world, after a long course of years, the Catholic Church with all its hierarchy came into being as naturally as human governments grow, as naturally as any other despotism of the world has ever grown.

Now, the Catholic Church, of course, had the Bible,— the record, as they believed, of that early condition of affairs; but they had also, as they claimed, the living spirit, which spoke with the same authority as it did in the earlier time. They believed that it was important that certain ideas should be held. The creed, in other words, held a high place in the

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Catholic Church.. But there was something that held a higher place that was the order of the Church, its ritual, its ceremonial, its sacraments. The most important thing in the Catholic Church has always been that a man should be a member of it, should obey it, and should do the things that were appointed. Not so much inquisition has been made into the state of his mind, into precisely what he believed, so long as he was an obedient child of the Church. This, I say, grew up with perfect naturalness; and the Church itself became the one source of authority to those who accepted its teachings.

At the time of the Protestant Revolution there was a beginning of a great change; and the most important thing for us to notice is that it was the substitution of a book for the Church as the ultimate authority among Christians. The doctrines were not changed very much; but the Protestant Church was less formally organized, and less emphasis was laid upon the ceremonial, upon the sacrament, more emphasis came to be laid on a belief, upon the Bible, interpreted after the orthodox authority of the time. I wish you to notice and that is the only thing that is of special importance so far - how natural a thing it was for the Catholic and Protestant churches to come into being and to be what they were, although Jesus himself did not organize any church, did not appoint any sacraments, did not formulate any creed. Ages went by; and Jesus became further and further moved from human thought and human knowledge, the teachings of Jesus became of less importance, and beliefs about him came to the front, and were regarded as supreme.

But where are we to-day in this matter? We, who are here this morning, represent thousands and thousands of people in the civilized world who no longer believe in the authority of the Church or in the authority of the book. We no longer believe in the conception of the universe which was held when these two authorities came into being, we no longer believe that this race is lost, we no longer believe that the condition of our souls in the future life depends

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upon our obeying the Church or believing in the infallibility of the book. These things are gone for free, educated, earnest men and women. The Church came into existence to save men from the supposed results of the fall of man,came into existence in the forms of which I have been speaking, to deliver men from punishment in another life, to save, to redeem. There are a great many people to-day who, having given up these conceptions of God and of man, wonder why we do not give up the Church, wonder if there is any room for the Church in our modern conception of things. I wish to show, if I can,- and it seems to me in one way a very simple and easy task, -- that the Church does not depend for its existence upon any of the theories of Christendom which have been held or on any of the theories that are held concerning religion anywhere on the face of the earth. The Church is a divine and human necessity. It does not depend on an infallible body of people nor on an infallible book. I believe that the Church is to stand strong, and to become more instead of less in the future, because I believe its only adequate universal and eternal foundation is the spiritual nature of man.

“God is Spirit,” said Jesus; "and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” Man, too, is spirit; and, as spirit answers to spirit, so there is that in humanity that calls ever for God. Man is animal; and there are a hundred animal hungers that appertain to his physical life. Man is an intellectual being; and he has intellectual hungers, wants, and desires. Man is an affectional being ; and he loves, and he would be loved in return. But none of these things are so essential, are so at the very heart of humanity, as is the spiritual hunger that finds its expression in the religious life of man. Not only in Christendom do we find it, but all round the wide world. So soon as man climbs up out from the animal, so soon as he stands on his feet, so soon as he looks with a questioning eye to the stars, so soon is religion born. He has everywhere felt that this ('xternal universe was but the garment of some spiritual

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