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June 12, 1938

Delivering the baccalaureate sermon for the Class of 1938, Willard L. Sperry, dean of the Harvard Divinity School, took his text from Psalm 137:4 “How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land?” Contrasting the “familiar and sheltered scene” of the college with the “strange land” the world outside was becoming, he said “The margin of uncertainty for untold millions of persons in this world is wider today than ever before,” and, he added, “Nothing is more sure than that the future has in store for all of us journeys into what will be culturally far countries, perhaps even mental exile in alien space.”­­ Therefore, he warned, the old ways “of religion, whether in faith or morals, are not going to suffice our need. We shall need new insights into the nature of truth and duty.”

The New York Times

The Years