any other individual the organization and initiatory success of the association are due. He was made its first president, and presided over its deliberations for two years, being succeeded for a like term by Mr. Z. Sidney Sampson. At the close of Mr. Sampson's second term, in the fall of 1885, Dr. Lewis G. Janes was chosen as his successor, and has been re-elected in each succeeding year.
The association, which at first assumed the rather formidable title of "The Association for the Promotion of Moral and Spiritual Education," continuing for a time its Sunday morning meetings at the Second Unitarian Church, met also in private parlors on Friday evenings, and during its first season devoted its sessions to the discussion of certain fundamental philosophical problems and to the study of Herbert Spencer's work on The Study of Sociology. The doctrine of evolution, which, indeed, had entered largely into the discussion of ethical topics in the previous studies of the Sunday-school class, thus inspired and directed the work of the association from its inception. Its members, often differing in theology, in politics, and in speculative views, were agreed in finding in the scientific method, especially as inspired and illumined by the evolution idea, a common pou sto, on which they could unite in fruitful study and discussion.
From 1883 to 1885 the association continued its meetings in private parlors, studying the natural evolution and ethical foundations of the Oriental religions, with preliminary lectures on the Origin of the Religious Idea, and Fetichism; Confucianism, Brahmanism, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, the Religions of Ancient Egypt, and the Hebrew Religion were thus reviewed during the first season, several evenings being devoted to each topic. At one meeting Prof. Charles D. B. Mills, of Syracuse, gave an interesting lecture on Our Aryan Home, and at another Baboo Amrita Lai Roy, now the editor of the Hindoo Magazine in Calcutta, described the social and religious status of his people in India at the present day. The work of the next season involved a similar treatment of the Greek and Roman Religions, Primitive Christianity, Gnosticism, and Neo-Platonism. The lectures on Primitive Christianity, which were delivered by Dr. Janes, were subsequently compiled in book form and have had a considerable sale. Other occasional lectures of this period were printed in the Westminster Review, the Index, Boston Commonwealth, Unitarian Review, and elsewhere, thus reaching and creating a larger public interest in the association and its work. As one of the results of its Oriental studies, the association obtained honorable recognition abroad, and became the authorized recipient of the first complete English translation of that monumental work, the great epic poem of India, the Mahabharâta, published, mainly for gratuitous distribution, by the Datavya Bharâta Karyalaya, at the