Context: Delivered to the graduating class of the Harvard Divinity School Thesis: Humans should use their morals

as their guide to how to act; religion is unnessecary because it forces doctrine which disvalues the original intentions of Jesus. Divinity School Address Natural and Moral Compass ( over soul connection)faith by force is not as strong 147 Your morals are unwritten and will guide you to do the right thing - You know what is good and what is bad, no one else can tell you the difference between good and bad - “He who does a good deed, is by the action, is instantly ennobled himself. He who does a mean deed is by the action itself contracted.” (104 at the bottom) What goes around comes around - Good actions return with good actions from others -“ See again as the perfection of the Law as it applies itself to the affections, and becomes the law of society. As we are, so we associate. The good, by affinity, seek the good; the vile, by affinity, the vile. Thus of their own violation, souls proceed into heaven, into hell.” (105, at the top) - There is constant interaction between God and humans - Moral laws are self-acting -Even small bad deeds will yield large bad returns Evil is the absence of good - There is no innately evil force in the world - “Evil is merely privative, not absolute…Benevolence is absolute and real.” (105, middle of second paragraph) Man desires to be good -“ This sentiment lies at the foundation of society, and successively creates all forms of worship. The principle of veneration never dies out. Man fallen into superstition, into sensuality, is never wholly without the visions of moral sentiment.” (105 beginning of second paragraph) -Holiness is preempted by moral sentiment - Reason and logic gives us a base for the ability to be divine Own Standards of Achievement There are ways to measure moral achievement other than being a priest or attending mass - “Society’s praise can be cheaply secured, and almost all men are content with those easy merits; but the instant effect of conversing with God, will be, to put them away.” (115, start of second paragraphs) - People other than priests deserve compliments of their good actions - “ The imitator dooms himself to hopeless mediocrity. The inventor did it because it was natural to him, and so in him, it has a charm.” (114, end of second paragraph) - Do not degrade others because they claim to do good, compliment them because they are good - Depend on yourself, friends and family to set your virtues - Work for praise, large amounts of world yield large rewards

Act to make change (connect to civil disobedience) Good is shown in difficult times - “So it is in rugged crisis, in unweariable endurance, and in aims which puts sympathy out of the question, that the angel is shown. But these are heights that we can scare remember and look up to, without contrition and shame. Let us thank god that such things exist.” (116, end of first paragraph) - We work well under pressure - “The evils of that the church is now is, are manifest. The question returns. What shall we do? I confess, all attempts to project and establish a Cultus with new rites and forms, seems to me vain.” (116, start of second paragraph) - Because the church is in a bad place, it is the perfect time to make a change - The burden in on us, what will we do? - Need to speak out with the truth Interpreted religion clouds the original intentions Jesus was well intentioned with good ideas - Saw greatness of every man - Saw that others worked through him - Peoples’ interpretations of his teachings distorted the original meaning - “Jesus Christ belonged to the true race of prophets. He saw with open eye the mystery of the soul” (107, first line of second full paragraph) - Lost sight of what his actions were -“ Thus is he, as I think, the only soul in history who has appreciated the worth of a man” (107, last line) Taught Christianity exaggerates the person of Jesus - Church instructs that one must accept interpretations - Tells you what you need to do, instead of just acting - “You shall not own the world; you shall not dare, and live after the infinite Law that is in you, and in company with the infinite beauty which heaven and Earth reflect to you in all lovely forms, but you must subordinate your nature to Christ’s nature; you must accept your interpretations; and take his portrait as the vulgar draw it.” (108 after break) - Forcing religion takes away the point of it, thus, religion and priests are pointless because they teach about morals, which are personal -Only the spirit can teach Priests must be sure of their calling to serve (We do not have real faith) Offers a warning to future priests - Questions their calling, wishes that they reconsider and verify their calling before further progressing - One must have a calling/belief in what you do  “Always the seer is the sayer.” (109, middle) - Cannot preach without belief in what you are saying -Priest should help others achieve goodness, not aim to convert and educate

- “ From the views that I have already expressed, you will infer the sad conviction of which I share, I believe, with numbers, the universal decay and now almost death of faith in society.” (110, middle of second full paragraph) - When an unconvinced preacher steps up, the church members loose interest, and the sermon has no meaning or significance - Make sure that faith is real - Preachers are loosing human touch and ability to connect/ reach out to others - “The true preacher can always be known by this, that he deals out to the people his life, -- life passed through the fire of thought” (111, end of first paragraph) - “But with whatever expectation, it is still true, that tradition characterizes the preaching of this country; that is comes out of the memory, and not out the memory, and not out of the soul; that it aims at what is usual, and not what is necessary and eternal, thus, historical Christianity destroys the power of preaching, by withdrawing it from the exploration of the moral nature of man.” (112, ten lines up from bottom) People come to church because they are bored - “It seemed strange that people should come to church. It seemed as if their houses were very unentertaining.” (111, start of second paragraph) - Many churchgoers feel no moral obligation to be there, but feel societal pressure to attend - This takes away from the worth of the church that originally devoted members valued - Churchgoers don’t understand religion, but they try to, thus the church is false - “ The stationariness of religion; the assumption that the age of inspiration is past, that the Bible is closed; the fear of degrading the character of Jesus by representing him as a man; indicate with sufficient clearness the falsehood of our theology.” (114, first line) Connection!!!