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We live in a time, peculiarly favorable to every attempt that can be made for human inprovement and happiness. Nor is it alone in those departments, to which science, with her new and wonderful discoveries, has extended her influence, that we find a new spirit of excitement, and of enterprise. The fact, that the long known mechanic powers are, of late, found to possess capacities, very far beyond all the uses to which they had been applied ; and the fact too, not less interesting and important, of the discovery of a new mechanical agent, which may be applied alike to works the most simple, and the most complex; to the greatest and grandest operations, and to those which are most minute; has given an impulse to inquiry, and to the spirit of discovery, and effort, in every department of human knowledge. The idea is awakened, and is abroad, that nothing is to be deemed impracticable, till it has been fairly tried; and that no exertion for an object is to be relaxed, while any means remain, which may be employed for its attainment. It is felt, that there may be new applications of the known capacities of human nature, not yet hinted at in any of our systems of mental philosophy; and even that new moral agents may be discovered, which may be employed to accomplish in the moral world, changes and improvements, as great as have been extended to the various departments of art, by the power of a new physical agent.' In Europe, and in our own country, great are the changes that have been accomplished, within the last fifty years, by the systems of education, which have been devised and adopted, and which are widely extend

March and April, 1826; and Professor Ware's Address, delivered before the Berry Street Conference, on the 31st May.

ing; by the multiplication of books, which grows with the multiplication of readers; by the new views which have been opened, and are every where obtaining increased and increasing attention ; of religious liberty, and of religious rights; and which are awakening new convictions, and new interests, and are giving a new impulse to thought and action. Great are the changes of opinion, which are spreading, and which will continue to spread, through the nations, of the nature and ends of civil government; of the rights of the ruled and of the duty and accountableness of rulers. And, I am happy to say, that, compared with any former time since the days of the Apostles, great, throughout Christendom, is the revolution that has been produced in opinion and in feeling, concerning the relation of man to man; and concerning our capacity, and obligation, to extend to others the blessings, with which God in his mercy has distinguished us, in the religion which he has given us by his Son. But the principle which, more than any other, has given life, and efficiency, to our systems of education, which has peculiarly multiplied and extended books, and which has spread widely the new sentiments, that have obtained of religious liberty, and of religious rights; the principle, which has given diffusion to the new views which are received of the nature and ends of civil government, and which has attempted, and done, what has never before been done, for the universal extension of our religion, is, the principle of voluntary association. And if we may infer what it may do, from what it has done, where shall we fix the limits of its power, and of its consequences ? Look alone to the Bible societies, the anti-slavery societies,

the peace societies, and the religious missionary societies of England and of America, and say, what is to arrest their progress, and their effects ? Opinion has been called the lever, by which society is now moved, and its vast operations are directed, and controled. But I should rather call it the ground on which the lever is fixed, by which the world is moved. The mighty agent, by which those changes have been accomplished, which are every day exciting new admiration, and new expectations concerning the moral and the political condition of the world, is, the power of voluntary association. It is a power, which, like knowledge, and like wealth, may be made as conducive to evil as to good. But let all the virtuous and the wise feel its importance, and faithfully avail themselves of it, and employ it with the calm, and steady, and persevering zeal which should characterize christians; and, with God's blessing on the work, it will not long be doubtful to any mind, whether indeed the enterprise be feasible, of the conversion of the world.

I will only add my hearty good wishes for the prosperity of your association; and my hope that, while we are aiming at the advancement of our religion at home, we may all be excited to do what we can, to bring “every knee to bow in the name of Jesus, and every tongue to confess him to be Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” With great respect and affection,

I am truly yours,

JOSEPH TUCKERMAN. Chelsea, June 8th, 1826.





American Unitarian Association.



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