The Protestant Missions — June 17, 2011 at 2:01 am

Rev. Clay MacCauley dedicates a Unity Hall in Tokyo-1894!


A group of delegates to the 1920 International Congress of Religious Liberals at Boston, where I gave my maiden speech in America. (Left to Right) Rev. Clay MacCauley, Rev. T. Rhondda Williams, Prof. S. Ushigasaki, Rev. Jabez T. Sunderland, myself, Rev. Chas. W. Wendte, Rev. Samuel A. Eliot, Rev. Basil Martin, Rev. Christopher J. Street, Rev. Samuel M. Crothers.

In March, 1894, the Unitarians dedicated in Tokyo a two-story building to which the name Unity Hall was given. It contained an audience room, a library, and rooms for the use of a school. An extract from the dedicatory address of Rev. Clay MacCauley, D.D., will show the importance that he attached to the building:

“If, in beginning what I have to say, I should assert that in the modern history of Japan no event of more importance than this has taken place, most of those who hear me would think my words the extreme of absurdity and pretension. But, in a deep sense, this assertion is neither absurd nor pretentious. Let me say why. The purpose with which Unity Hall is to be made a gift to the Japanese people is this. Here we intend to give a home to a school of learning in which the highest human relations, those which are manifested in religion, morals, and social order, may not only be studied, but be also understood clearly and unquestionably; and further that from here the result of such study may be made practical in life. Here religion, morals, and socisd order are to be subjected to the same methods of investigation as those which characterize all objects of the science and philosophy of the present age. Here no tradition as such will control our work. Here, so far as possible, our high studies have been freed from prejudice.”

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