The Reverend Harry Emerson Fosdick has just preached his last sermon as pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of New York. Under the curse of heresy, he leaves a pulpit where for six years he has preached with the bold courage of his broad convictions. Today he is probably the newest and the greatest force in modern religious thinking and as such he comes in contact with the stern limits of the Presbyterian dogma.
No one in recent years has appealed to Harvard quite so much as Dr. Fosdick. His powerful and open treatment of subjects which have too long been obscured by superstition, ceremonialism, and sheer mummery, appeals to the critically-minded undergraduate. There is a feeling about Fosdick's work that he preaches nothing that he does not believe. He has been received at the University with an enthusiasm which perhaps has added to the sombre conviction that Harvard is a college of atheists.
In ridding themselves of such a great thinker, the Presbyterian Church doubtless feels that is safe-guarding public morals. What it has really done is to shut out the humanizing effect of unhampered religious thinking, binding the congregations closer and closer to the worn out dongmas of past centuries. Right or wrong, Dr. Fosdick's has been a new voice in a land of monotones.