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[47] Darwin and his co-laborers sought truth, making the mistake at first of thinking that matter and the facts of matter were all that were real. The leaders of to-day seek money and the power money can give, making the still more serious error of thinking that money, which may purchase freedom from the consequences of outraged social laws, can likewise placate the everlasting laws of God.

And yet in this commercial intoxication, signs are not wanting to show that the higher faith is still present and vigorous, and that a reaction of righteousness is already setting in. The spirit of unity is invading almost every communion; all pulpits more and more are placing the emphasis of religion upon the same changeless essentials of faith; as never before spiritual things are magnified; and there is less that is artificial, less of make-believe in the whole Christian church. The vast fortunes annually given for the noblest social purposes, the growing liberality of the sects, the vigorous and confident efforts being made to establish peace and good will between industrial interests and between nations—all of these are indicative of the vitality, the virility, and the power of that force that we call religion.

It has been a great and good half-century; all in all, the world has not seen its like before. As never before the cause of real religion has triumphed gloriously; it has come forth from all opposition more powerful than ever. Man is a religious being; faith in God and good is inevitable; the forms, the creeds, and the churches of religion may be utterly destroyed, but for faith and religion themselves there is no death. The history of these years since the fathers first met together to form this society shows that neither wars, nor the wisdom of this world, nor the love of gain and gold can destroy man's interest in the deepest things of life, in God, in duty, and in destiny. ‘So mightily grew the word of God, and prevailed.’

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