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The proposed conference of all the churches of Christendom, with the exception of the Roman Catholic and the Unitarian churches, which will meet at Lausanne next summer has a most interesting purpose. The object of this world conference on faith and order will be to discuss the possibility of church unity throughout the world.
The accomplishment of so worthy an ideal would be occasion for rejoicing. Yet it must be admitted that the hope for such a millenium is slight.
Human beings take delight in any semblance of external unity. Chambers of Commerce, Rotary Clubs, Fraternal Organizations are convenient heads under which to submerge individual differences and man uses them to the full extent of their powers. Christians are no exception to this rule, and the ultimate hope of most christians is that some day there may be a universal church.
Such a hope is practically rendered impotent by the fundamental difficulty of religion,--the difficulty of determining a creed which will satisfy all conceptions of the Divine Power and Purpose. In this age of individuality, this difficulty is graver than ever before; and, in the past, church unity has always split on that rock of a universal creed.
It is too much to hope that this council at Lausanne can find a way by which a perfect creed can be created. The conference will meet, will deliberate and will adjourn; and that is about as far as church unity will progress.
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