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To those who desire to know the order of development of the thoughts contained in this volume, I would
first public utterance on Evolution, outside of my own church, was given in June, 1871, to the graduating class of the Harvard Divinity School. To them I said, in a sermon on “The Preacher's Office": "I discharge a brother's duty to you when I declare my deliberate conviction that science will be able to maintain against all comers her own account of the advent and development of organic life on the planet. I believe that she will eventually be able to prove that life has been developed out of life from the lowest round of the ladder of being to the highest; that not only has reptile sprung from fish, bird and mammal from reptile, but that our own bodies have been developed as the head of the same grand series. ... You will, then, I believe, live to see the doctrine of evolution victorious all along the line; and, if this be so, your business as preachers will be to fill that idea full of God.”
Of the sermons contained in this book, that on “Religion and Evolution" was first given in Chicago to the Western Conference in the autumn of 1872;
that on “God, ” to the National Conference at Saratoga early in the eighties; “One Lord and His Name One” was given in June, 1888, in the Divinity Chapel at Harvard, before the Alumni of the Divinity School, the occasion being the semi-centennial anniversary of Emerson's great address in 1838. I have always deeply appreciated the high honor of being selected to give this address. It is somewhat enlarged in the printed sermon. The next follow in the order of their delivery. “Experimental Theology" was given to the Berry Street Conference in May, 1901; “Fate and Freedom,” to the National Conference in 1903; "God Minus Man,” to my own congregation last year; “Immortality” was given in 1893.
The barriers of sect and creed are now falling down before our very eyes, and I dedicate this little book to all earnest minds who are seeking after God by whatever name they may be called. If any word contained in its pages helps a few such minds in their great search, that is the reward I desire. I trust that no word can be found that is in any way unbrotherly.
I have not hesitated to repeat some highly important ideas in the sermons entitled “One Lord and His Name One” and “Experimental Theology." I have dealt in some detail with the vast importance to religious thought of the Theory of Vortex Atoms, as that theory gives, I believe, the only possible account
of the wonderful way in which God turns His glory into clay for our sakes. To me always the atom is a vortex of spirit-substance within spirit-substance. Only thus, I believe, can Thought behold the All-pervading Unity which includes within itself all things, beings, and worlds.
For the publication of this book my special thanks are due to the zealous, loving, and effectual co-operation of my congregation and Sunday-school, and to the persistent and determined energy of my colleague, Rev. Albert Willard Clark, without which this work could not have been accomplished.
S. R. CALTH ROP. PRIMROSE HILL, Syracuse, N.Y.,
April 12, 1905.