to give us, a new moral plan to propose to us, a better way to suggest, a sin to rebuke, a nation to create, a statute-book to tear asunder, a corrupt custom to assail,” -you get at least one of the elements of pulpit usefulness, Independence.
The other is, Capacity.
What is this desk?
There is no mystery in it. You want thought, growing out of moral purpose, and a man who dares to speak it; and then you have a pulpit.
But you take an able man from Harvard College, with five languages and three philosophies, and tell him: “Teach Unitarianism; if you teach us anything else, go!
Read the Bible
, teach from it, preach from it; but beware lest you find anything in it that the Christian Examiner
does not approve!”
Of what use listening to the preaching of such a man?
You have contracted beforehand that he shall tell you nothing you do not already know.
I alluded to the fact that the clergy have education.
They know enough.
They have the culture of all ages garnered in those brains of theirs.
The only difficulty is the habitual caution which treads on eggs without breaking the shells.
In the very last Christian Examiner
,--the representative of the freest of all the sects, and perhaps I should do no injustice to the others if I were to say that it represents the widest culture of all the sects,--there is an article on Woman's Rights.
It cannot afford to do justice to the scarred and able-headed pioneers who, sacrificing themselves to public ridicule and disgust, have made with their bodies the firm ground upon which the writer treads, and have given him ideas and the courage to utter them; but it is obliged to say that it sees no use in Woman's Rights Conventions and outside agitation, etc. To be sure not, except to supply those pages to which timid respectability looks up, sure that the Scribes and Pharisees have already believed