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[254] and failed. Then he said, “What a fool I have been all my life, trying to make a million of minds beat time together!” But there is one thing which can melt multitudes together, which can make a million of men one. It is not metaphysics, it is not dogma, but it is purpose,--the same which moulds a political party into one thunderbolt, the same which at all times aggregates men, travelling over different routes, and actuated by different motives, to one single end.

You are not as new in that as your enemies would have it believed; for it is a singular but forgotten fact that the first churches in New England, the first three in this city, and the general church throughout New England at its earliest day, had no statement of doctrine in their creeds. They confined themselves to a simple statement of purpose; for our fathers did not attempt to refine, they felt,--which has always been the strength of all ages,--and obeying, with simple, childlike loyalty, that instinctive feeling, they shaped their churches to serve their age. You are in that but the descendants, the legitimate children of New England ideas. Not that I think it necessary to prove that Protestantism sustains us, but simply to show that the ignorance and shortsightedness of critics fail to see that you are not an abnormal monster, but the normal growth of New England progress. I should spend the whole hour that you give me if I insisted, as it deserves, on this first or this second element of your difference from the churches about you, but it is enough to state them.

Let us look now for a moment at the essence of the pulpit, and in order to that, in a moment, I will read you my text. There is no mystery about a pulpit. There is no necessary connection between a church and a pulpit, a very common mistake. You may have as much or as little of a church as you please. I believe in

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