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In connection with the Visitation Day Exercises of the Divinity School held last evening in Divinity Chapel Dean Fenn and President Lowell made short addresses.
Dean Fenn spoke of the necessity on the part of the clergy of cultivating the professional spirit in the best sense of the term. This professional spirit has not to do with mere externals but with the habitual temper and attitude of men. It should contain two elements, loyalty to one's colleagues, and loyalty to the standards of the profession. Loyalty on the part of a minister to his colleagues in the ministry is absolutely essential, and respect should be paid especially to the older men of the profession. The true professional spirit includes a determination to maintain both the intellectual and the moral standards that should exist in the clergy.
Influence of the Clergy.
President Lowell in his address spoke of the influence and power the clergy has had in the past, and of the way in which the prestige of the clergy has varied in different periods of the world's history. The clergy does not today have as great power and influence as it has had in certain periods of the past, but this situation has not been brought about to any great degree by the growth of scientific skepticism. In the very attempt to remove the causes of its own existence the Christian clergy has suffered in loss of prestige and power. The diffusion of the Christian spirit exists today to an extent which has never been known in the history of the world before, and if the clergy does not hold the same position of power and influence that it has in times past in the world's history, it is due to the result of the very success that has attended the work of the profession. The possibility that lies before young men in the ministry today who are active, energetic, and earnest in building up a new and greater usefulness on the part of the clergy, has perhaps never before been equalled.
Another reason for the lack of prestige and influence of the clergy today is the rivalry that exists among the great number of different sects in this country. It is true, however, that today our educational institutions are laying very little stress on denomination, and even the churches themselves have very much more respect for one another than ever before. The work of making still closer and more potent the co-operation among the sects is one of the greatest opportunities that lies before the clergy today, and in taking advantage of this opportunity the clergy may hope to regain power to a degree which it has not known for a long time.
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