affairs which are not second in importance to the authorized and legalized agencies of the state.
Among the voluntary associations which are doing effective work in the moral education of the people, and in the wise direction of public sentiment toward the practical solution of our social and political problems, the Ethical Society holds a unique and important place. For a goodly number of intelligent minds—agnostics and independents in their theological views—it has already to a large extent supplanted the Church as an agency for moral, and in a qualified and unconventional sense, of religious education. Its aim is broader than that of any of the organizations devoted to specific social or political reforms; it strives not only to afford the means for wise altruistic efforts in applying ethical data to the practical problems of social life, but also, and in a special sense, to discover the true scientific and philosophical principles which underlie applied ethics and sociology.
The work of Prof. Felix Adler and his able coadjutors, Dr. Stanton Coit, Mr. Salter, Mr. Sheldon, Mr. Weston, and Mr. Mangasarian, as teachers of a noble type of ethical theory, and earnest workers among the poor and ignorant of our great cities, is worthy of all praise, and has received the cordial recognition of many who are not in full sympathy with the philosophical foundation on which the able and scholarly teaching of Prof. Adler and his disciples appears to be based.
The Brooklyn Ethical Association, which is the subject of this sketch, has no connection, however, except through its general sympathetic attitude toward noble workers for common ends, with the societies over which Prof. Adler and his devoted associates preside. This association, which has become known to the public through its efforts to bring the problems of ethics, sociology, and religion to the test of scientific and evolutionary principles, is itself a product and illustration of natural development. It did not spring, full grown, from the brain of any individual, and its ultimate success has doubtless far exceeded the expectations of any who were promoters of the earliest stages of its growth. Its original nucleus was an adult class in ethics connected with the Sunday school of the Second Unitarian Church of Brooklyn, N. Y., of which the Rev. John W. Chadwick has been for twenty-seven years the honored minister. For several years this class had been conducted by Dr. Lewis G. Janes, using as text-books such suggestive works as Spencer's Data of Ethics, Mill on Liberty, Graham's Creed of Science, Sidgwick's History of Ethics, and others of a similar character.
In the season of 1881-'82 this class was temporarily in charge of Prof. Franklin W. Hooper, now the able manager of the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences, and to him more than