Infomotions, Inc.Painted Windows Studies in Religious Personality / Begbie, Harold, 1871-1929



Author: Begbie, Harold, 1871-1929
Title: Painted Windows Studies in Religious Personality
Publisher: Project Gutenberg
Tag(s): miss royden; christ; church; religion; bishop; spiritual; father knox
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Title: Painted Windows
       Studies in Religious Personality

Author: Harold Begbie

Release Date: February 9, 2005 [EBook #14996]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ASCII

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[Illustration: BISHOP GORE]




PAINTED WINDOWS

STUDIES IN
RELIGIOUS PERSONALITY

BY

A GENTLEMAN WITH A DUSTER
AUTHOR OF "THE MIRRORS OF DOWNING STREET"

WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY KIRSOPP LAKE

     _It was simply a struggle for fresh air, in which, if the windows
     could not be opened, there was danger that panes would be broken,
     though painted with images of saints and martyrs. Light, coloured
     by these reverend effigies, was none the more respirable for being
     picturesque._

     J.R. Lowell.

WITH ILLUSTRATIONS BY EMILE VERPILLEUX

     G.P. PUTNAM'S SONS
     NEW YORK AND LONDON
     The Knickerbocker Press
     1922

_For the information presented in the biographical records connected
with the several chapters the publishers desire to express their
indebtedness to "Who's Who."_




FOREWORD

BY PROFESSOR KIRSOPP LAKE


No one who believes that the Christian churches have in the past been
the moral leaders of western civilization can fail to be interested in
the presentation of some of the English religious leaders by "A
Gentleman with a Duster" especially if, like myself, he have some
passing acquaintance with most of them. Nor can any neglect to regard
seriously his warning that the Church is failing as a moral leader.

What is the reason for that failure? It cannot, I think, be found in
lack of earnestness; for today all the guides of the churches in England
are serious, upright men, who would gladly lead if they could. Nor is it
because they are voices uttering strange announcements in the
wilderness; if they have a fault it is rather that they have so little
to announce. The defect which is disclosed by the pictures given by "A
Gentleman with a Duster" is primarily intellectual, and I propose to
devote to its explanation the introduction which the publisher has asked
me to write for the American edition of _Painted Windows_.

From the third century to the eighteenth the Christian Church presented
views of life and theories of the origin, weakness, and possible
redemption of human nature, which were both self consistent and
rational. It offered men an infallible guide of life, to be found in the
Church, the Bible, and the Christ. Different branches of the Christian
church emphasised one or the other, but the three formed in themselves
an indivisible trinity. Nor did the laity doubt that this presentation
was correct. The clergy were the professional and expert exponents of an
infallible revelation which they had studied deeply and knew better than
other men, and on which they spoke with the authority of experience. It
was firmly believed that to follow their teaching would lead to future
salvation; for the centre of gravity in life for seriously minded men
was the hope of attaining everlasting salvation in the world to come.

The situation today is changed in two directions. The Church, the Bible,
and even the Teaching of Jesus are no longer regarded as infallible.
History first abundantly proved that the voice of the Church was not
inerrant; then science discredited the biblical account of man's origin
and development; and finally the "kenotic" theory of Bishop Gore showed
that what were considered the _ipsissima verba_ of the Lord himself
could no longer be regarded as infallible. The _coup de grace_ to the
belief that Jesus must be followed literally was administered by
official sermons during the war. This does not mean that men and women
within or without the Church do not admire and venerate the teaching of
Jesus and regard him as the best teacher whom they know. But they are
not willing to accept _all_ his teaching; they have been forced to admit
that it is sometimes lawful to resist evil by force; they doubt whether
he is to appear as the Judge of the living and the dead; they accept
much of his teaching and try to follow it because they believe that it
is true, but they do not believe that it is true because it is his
teaching. It is therefore impossible today for educated men, even among
those who most sincerely adopt it, to settle a moral argument by an
appeal to the teaching of Jesus. The tragedy is that there are probably
as many today outside the Church who endeavour to follow Jesus, but do
not call him Lord, as there are within the church who reverse this
attitude. For good or for evil (and I think it is for evil), the Church,
especially the Church of England, seems to have decided that to say
"Lord, Lord" is the pass-word to the Kingdom of Heaven.

Equally important with this great change in thought, which has abandoned
the infallible trinity of Church, Bible, and Jesus, is the fact that the
best of our generation have shifted the centre of endeavour from the
future salvation of the individual to the present reformation of this
world for the benefit of coming humanity. The best men of our time are
troubling very little about the salvation of their own souls; not
because they are indifferent or unbelieving, but because they believe
that if our lives are continued after death it will be a natural and not
a supernatural phenomenon, of which no details can be known. They have
relegated the whole apparatus of Heaven and Hell to the limbo of
forgotten mythologies. The continuance of life to which they look
forward is progressive and educational, not fixed or punitive. Moreover,
most of them would say, with complete reverence, that the work which is
set before them by the Purpose of Life, as they understand it, is to
make a better world, materially, morally, and intellectually, as an
inheritance for children who are yet unborn. They are not much disturbed
if they are told that they are not Christians, for they are supremely
indifferent to names.

Nevertheless their presence in the world today is the concrete problem
to be faced by Liberal Churchmen. To consistent Catholics such as Father
Knox it is not, I suppose, a problem at all. He would say that such men
deserve every adjective of approbation in the dictionary; but they are
not Christian. If Christianity means a fixed set of opinions, "a faith
once delivered to the saints," Father Knox is right; such men are not
Christians, but, if so, the fact that they are not is the death warrant
of the Church, for they represent progress to a higher type than that of
the Christianity of the past.

But the liberal Christian does not accept the view that the Church ought
to exist for the preservation of traditional opinions. In his heart he
feels that such men would have been accepted by Jesus as his disciples,
and therefore he believes that the Church can and ought to be reformed
so as to make room for them. For this Reformation he has no fixed and
rigid programme, but there are three things which he thinks the Church
must provide.

The first necessity is the right understanding of life. It cannot be
given by any theory of the universe which, like the biblical one, is in
glaring contradiction to the facts of modern science[1]. Nor is it
conceivable that belief can be fixed so as to be unalterable.
Intellectual correctness is relative, and Truth cannot be petrified into
Creeds, but lives by discussion, criticism, correction, and growth.

[Footnote 1: Mr. Bryan is right in maintaining that evolution and the
whole scientific concept of life is unbiblical, though wrong in thinking
that that settles the question.]

The second necessity is the purification of the human spirit. Generation
after generation of Christians on their way through the world have
endeavoured to follow the moral teaching of the Church, but the friction
and pressure of life always bring with them many impurities, the swell
of passion, the blindness of temper, and the thrust of desire, which a
mere appeal to reason cannot remedy because it condemns but does not
remove the evil. In the future as in the past, the Church must find
means to satisfy men's need and desire for purification.

The third is closely allied to the second. It is "the helping hand of
grace." No organized religion is complete or satisfactory which does not
understand that when weak and erring human beings call from the depths,
the helping hand of grace is stretched out from the unknown. The origin
and nature of grace is a metaphysical and theological problem; its
existence is a fact of experience. And that same experience shows that
though grace may work apart from institutions it does in fact normally
work through them.

These are the three things which the Liberal wishes to keep in the
Church. He knows that to do this the traditional forms of church life
require great changes, but he wishes to preserve the institutional life
of the Church as a valuable inheritance. To him it is clear that
Christians who in one generation invented the theology, the sacraments,
the thoughts, practices, and ordinances of the past, have the right in
another generation to change these. The continuity of the Church is in
membership, not in documents.

But the Liberals fall into two groups. There is the left wing which
expresses itself with clearness and decision, which is not afraid of
recognizing that the Church in the past has often been wrong and has
affirmed as fact what is really fiction. Those who belong to it are
sometimes driven out by official pressure, and more often are compelled
to yield to the practical necessities of ecclesiastical life, but their
influence is greater than their numbers. The danger which would face the
Church if they were allowed to have more prominence, is that their
plainness of speech would lead to disruption. The danger is a real one,
and the leaders of churches do right to fear it.

Over against this is the right wing of Liberals. There is probably
little difference in the matter of private opinion between them and the
left wing, but they are more concerned with safeguarding the unity of
the Church. They endeavour to do this by using the old phraseology with
a new meaning, so that, for instance, members of this party feel
justified in stating that they accept the creed, though they do not
believe in it in the sense which was originally intended. This is
technically called "reinterpreting," and by a sufficient amount of
"reinterpreting" all the articles of the creed (or indeed anything else)
can be given whatever meaning is desired. The statement that God created
the heavens and the earth becomes in this way an affirmation of
evolution; the Virgin Birth affirms the reality of Christ's human
nature; and the Resurrection of the Flesh affirms the Immortality of the
Soul. Performed with skill, this dialectical legerdemain is very
soothing to a not unduly intelligent congregation and prevents any
breach in the apparent continuity of the Church's belief. It also
prevents any undue acrimoniousness of theological debate, for debate is
difficult if words may be interpreted to mean the opposite of their
historical significance. The danger is that the rising generation will
refuse to accept this method, and that it will lead to deep and
irretrievable intellectual confusion. This is what Father Knox clearly
saw to be the intellectual sin of the "Foundationers."

Nevertheless, when all is said it is easy to criticize but difficult to
advise. As "A Gentleman with a Duster" has seen, the desire of the
church leaders whose portraits he paints is to preserve the Church
through a period of transition. I doubt the wisdom of their policy,
though I recognize the difficulty of their task and appreciate their
motives.

I doubt the wisdom of the policy because I think that though it may
satisfy the older members of the Church and so preserve continuity with
the past, it is doing so at the expense of the younger generation and
sacrificing continuity with the future. It may conciliate those who have
power to make trouble in the present; but it is only the young who are
now silently abandoning the Church, that have the power to give life in
the future. It is always safer to agree with the old, but it is
infinitely more important to convince the young; and the reason for the
failure which troubles "A Gentleman with a Duster" is that
ecclesiastical life in England is failing to convince the young. Is it
better here?

     CAMBRIDGE, U.S.A.,
     February 5, 1922.




INTRODUCTION TO THE AMERICAN EDITION


Some of the men whose personalities I attempt to analyse in this volume
are known to American students of theology: almost all of them, I think,
represent schools of thought in which America is as greatly interested
as the people of Europe.

Therefore I may presume to hope that this present volume will find in
the United States as many readers as _The Mirrors of Downing Street_ and
_The Glass of Fashion_.

But, in truth, I hope for much more than this.

Perhaps I may be allowed to say that I think America can make a
contribution to the matter discussed in these pages which will outrival
in its eventual effect on the destinies of the human race the
contribution she has already made to world politics by the inspiration
of the Washington Conference.

For the American brings to the study of religion not only a somewhat
fresher mind than the European, but a temperamental earnestness about
serious things which is the world's best hope of creative action.
Moreover there is something Greek about the American. He is always
young, as Greece was young in the time of Themistocles and AEschylus. He
is conscious of "exhilaration in the air, a sense of walking in new
paths, of dawning hopes and untried possibilities, a confidence that all
things can be won if only we try hard enough." With him it is never the
exhaustion of noon or the pathetic beauty of twilight: always it is the
dawn, and every dawn a Renaissance.

Since this, in my reading, is the very spirit of the teaching of Jesus,
I feel that it must be in the destiny of America more quickly than any
other nation to recognise the features of Christ in those movements of
the present day which definitely make for the higher life of the human
race. I mean the movements of science, psychology, philosophy, and the
politics of idealism.

If I expect anywhere on the face of the globe a response to my
suggestion that a new definition of the word "Faith" is a clue to the
secret of Jesus, it is in America. If I hope for recognition of my
theory that Christ should be sought in the living world and not in the
documents of tradition, it is also to America that I look for this hope
to be realised. The work of William James, Morton Prince, and Kirsopp
Lake encourages me in this conviction; but most of all I am encouraged
by that youthful spirit of the American nation which looks backward as
seldom as possible, forward with exhilaration and confidence, that
manful spirit of hope and longing which is ever in earnest about serious
things.

Here, then, is a book which goes to America with all the highest hopes
of its author--a book which attempts to throw off all those long and
hopeless controversies of theology concerning the Person of Christ which
have ever distracted and sometimes devastated Europe, to throw off all
that, and to show that the good news of Jesus was the revelation of a
strange and mighty power which only now the world is beginning to use.




INTRODUCTION


By means of a study in religious personality, I seek in these pages to
discover a reason for the present rather ignoble situation of the Church
in the affections of men.

My purpose is to examine the mind of modern Christianity, the only
religion of the world with which the world can never be done, because it
has the lasting quality of growth, and to see whether in the condition
of that mind one cannot light upon a cause for the confessed failure of
the Church to impress humanity with what its documents call the Will of
God--a failure the more perplexing because of the wonderful devotion,
sincerity, and almost boundless activity of the modern Church.

As a clue to the object of this quest, I would ask the reader to bear in
mind that the present disordered state of the world is by no means a
consequence of the late War.

The state of the world is one of confusion, but that confusion is
immemorial. Man has for ever been wrestling with an anarchy which has
for ever defeated him. The history of the human race is the diary of a
Bear Garden. Man, so potent against the mightiest and most august
forces of nature, has never been able to subdue those trivial and
unworthy forces within his own breast--envy, hatred, malice, and all
uncharitableness--which make for world anarchy. He has never been able
to love God because he has never been able to love his neighbour. It is
in the foremost nations of the world, not in the most backward, in the
most Christian nations, not the most pagan, that we find unintelligent
conditions of industrialism which lead to social disorder, and a vulgar
disposition to self-assertion which makes for war. History and Homicide,
it has been said, are indistinguishable terms. "Man is born free, and
everywhere he is in chains."

This striking impotence of the human race to arrive at anything in the
nature of a coherent world-order, this bewildering incapacity of
individual man to live in love and charity with his neighbour, justifies
the presumption that divine help, if ever given, that an Incarnation of
the Divine Will, if ever vouchsafed, must surely have had for its chief
mercy the teaching of a science of life--a way of existence which would
bring the feet of unhappy man out of chaos, and finally make it possible
for the human race to live intelligently, and so, beautifully.

Now if this indeed were the purpose of the Incarnation, we may be
pardoned for thinking that the Church, which has been the cause of so
much tyranny and bloodshed in the past, and which even now so willingly
lends itself to bitter animosities and warlike controversies, has
missed the whole secret of its first and greatest dogma[2].

[Footnote 2: I asked a certain Dean the other day whether the old
controversy between High Church and Low Church still obtained in his
diocese. "Oh, dear, no!" he replied; "High and Low are now united to
fight Modernists."]

Therefore in studying the modern mind of Christianity, persuaded that
its mission is to teach mankind a lesson of quite sublime importance, we
may possibly arrive in our conclusion at a unifying principle which will
at least help the Church to turn its moral earnestness, its manifold
self-sacrifice, and its great but conflicting energies, in this one
direction which is its own supremest end, namely, the interpretation of
human life in terms of spiritual reality.

To those who distrust reason and hold fast rather fearfully to the
moorings of tradition, I would venture to say, first, that perilous
times are most perilous to error, and, secondly, in the words of Dr.
Kirsopp Lake, "After all, Faith is not belief in spite of evidence, but
life in scorn of consequence--a courageous trust in the great purpose of
all things and pressing forward to finish the work which is in sight,
whatever the price may be."

     "_The distinction between right and
     wrong disappears when conscience
     dies, and that between fact and
     fiction when reason is neglected.
     The one is the danger which besets
     clever politicians, the other the nemesis
     which waits on popular preachers."
                       --Kirsopp Lake._




CONTENTS

     CHAPTER                                       PAGE
            FOREWORD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  iii
            INTRODUCTION TO THE AMERICAN EDITION .   xi
            INTRODUCTION . . . . . . . . . . . . .   xv
        I.--BISHOP GORE. . . . . . . . . . . . . .    1
       II.--DEAN INGE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   21
      III.--FATHER KNOX. . . . . . . . . . . . . .   47
       IV.--DR. L.P. JACKS . . . . . . . . . . . .   67
        V.--BISHOP HENSLEY HENSON. . . . . . . . .   87
       VI.--MISS MAUDE ROYDEN. . . . . . . . . . .  103
      VII.--CANON E.W. BARNES. . . . . . . . . . .  121
     VIII.--GENERAL BRAMWELL BOOTH . . . . . . . .  139
       IX.--DR. W.E. ORCHARD . . . . . . . . . . .  155
        X.--BISHOP TEMPLE. . . . . . . . . . . . .  169
       XI.--PRINCIPAL W.B. SELBIE. . . . . . . . .  191
      XII.--ARCHBISHOP RANDALL DAVIDSON. . . . . .  203
     XIII.--CONCLUSION . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  216




BISHOP GORE

GORE, Rt. Rev. CHARLES, M.A., D.D., and Hon. D.C.L., Oxford; Hon. D.D.,
Edinburgh and Durham; Hon. LL.D., Cambridge and Birmingham; b. 1853; s.
of Hon. Charles Alexander Gore and d. of 4th Earl of Bessborough, widow
of Earl of Kerry. Educ.: Harrow, Balliol College, Oxford (Scholar).
Fellow Trinity College, Oxford, 1875-95; Vice-Principal of Cuddesdon
College, 1880-83; Librarian of Pusey Library, Oxford, 1884-93; Vicar of
Radley, 1893-94; Canon of Westminster, 1894-1902; Hon. Chaplain to the
Queen, 1898-1900; Chaplain in Ordinary to the Queen, 1900-1901; Chaplain
in Ordinary to the King, 1901; Editor of Lux Mundi; Bishop of Worcester,
1902-4; Bishop of Birmingham, 1905-11; Bishop of Oxford, 1911-1919.




PAINTED WINDOWS




CHAPTER I

BISHOP GORE


_He is in truth, in the power, in the hands, of another, of another
will . . . attracted, corrected, guided, rewarded, satiated, in a long
discipline, that "ascent of the soul into the intelligible
world."_--WALTER PATER.

No man occupies a more commanding position in the Churches of England
than Dr. Gore. I am assured in more than one quarter that a vote on this
subject would place him head and shoulders above all other religious
teachers of our time. In the region of personal influence he appears to
be without a rival.

Such is the quality of his spirit, that a person so different from him
both in temperament and intellect as the Dean of St. Paul's has
confessed that he is "one of the most powerful spiritual forces in our
generation."

It is, I think, the grave sincerity of his soul which gives him this
pre-eminence. He is not more eloquent than many others, he is not
greatly distinguished by scholarship, he is only one in a numerous
company of high-minded men who live devout and disinterested lives. But
no man conveys, both in his writings and in personal touch, a more
telling sense of ghostly earnestness, a feeling that his whole life is
absorbed into a _Power_ which overshadows his presence and even sounds
in his voice, a conviction that he has in sober truth forsaken
everything for the Kingdom of God.

One who knows him far better than I do said to me the other day,
"Charles Gore has not aimed at harmonising his ideas with the Gospel,
but of fusing his whole spirit into the Divine Wisdom."

In one, and only one, respect, this salience of Dr. Gore may be likened
to the political prominence of Mr. Lloyd George. It is a salience
complete, dominating, unapproached, but one which must infallibly
diminish with time. For it is, I am compelled to think, the salience of
personality. History does not often endorse the more enthusiastic
verdicts of journalism, and personal magnetism is a force which
unhappily melts into air long before its tradition comes down to
posterity[3].

[Footnote 3: The genius of the Prime Minister, which makes so
astonishing an impression on the public, plainly lies in saving from
irretrievable disaster at the eleventh hour the consequences of his own
acts.]

Mr. Joseph Chamberlain was once speaking to me of the personality of
Gladstone. He related with unusual fervour that the effect of this
personality was incomparable, a thing quite unique in his experience,
something indeed incommunicable to those who had not met the man; yet,
checking himself of a sudden, and as it were shaking himself free of a
superstition, he added resolutely, "But I was reading some of his
speeches in Hansard only the other day, and upon my word there's nothing
in them!"

One may well doubt the judgment of Mr. Chamberlain; but it remains very
obviously true that the personal impression of Gladstone was infinitely
greater than his ideas. The tradition of that almost marvellous
impression still prevails, but solely among a few, and there it is
fading. For the majority of men it is already as if Gladstone had never
existed.

We should be wise, then, to examine the mind, and only the mind, of this
remarkable prelate, and to concern ourselves hardly at all with the
beauty of his life or the bewitchments of his character; for our purpose
is to arrive at his value for religion, and to study his personality
only in so far as it enables us to understand his life and doctrine.

Dr. Gore lives in a small and decent London horse which at all points in
its equipment perfectly expresses a pure taste and a wholly unstudied
refinement. Nothing there offends the eye or oppresses the mind. It is
the dignified habitation of a poor gentleman, breathing a charm not to
be found in the house of a rich parvenu. He has avoided without effort
the conscious artistry of Chelsea and the indifference to art of the
unaesthetic vulgarian. As to the manner of his life, it is reduced to an
extreme of simplicity, but his asceticism is not made the excuse for
domestic carelessness. A sense of order distinguishes this small
interior, which is as quiet as a monk's cell, but restful and gracious,
as though continually overlooked by a woman's providence.

Here Dr. Gore reads theology and the newspaper, receives and embraces
some of his numerous disciples, discusses socialism with men like Mr.
Tawney, church government with men like Bishop Temple, writes his books
and sermons, and on a cold day, seated on a cushion with his feet in the
fender and his hands stretched over a timorous fire, revolves the many
problems which beset his peace of mind[4].

[Footnote 4: Concerning modernising tendencies, Father Ronald Knox says,
"I went to a meeting about it in Margaret Street, where crises in the
Church are invested with a peculiar atmosphere of delicious
trepidation."]

Somewhere, in speaking of the Church's attitude towards rich and poor,
he has confessed to carrying about with him "a permanently troubled
conscience." The phrase lives in his face. It is not the face of a man
who is at peace with himself. If he has peace of mind, it is a Peace of
Versailles.

One cannot look at that tall lean figure in its purple cassock, with the
stooping head, the somewhat choleric face, the low forehead deeply
scored with anxiety, the prominent light-coloured and glassy eyes
staring with perplexity under bushy brows, which are as carefully combed
as the hair of his head, the large obstinate nose with its challenging
tilt and wide war-breathing nostrils, the broad white moustache and
sudden pointed beard sloping inward; nor can one listen to the deep,
tired, and ghostly voice slowly uttering the laborious ideas of his
troubled mind with the somewhat painful pronunciation of the
elocutionist (he makes _chapell_ of Chapel); nor mark his languorous
movements and the slow swaying action of the attenuated body; one cannot
notice all this without feeling that in spite of his great courage and
his iron tenacity of purpose, he is a little weary of the battle, and
sometimes even perhaps conscious of a check for the cause which is far
dearer to him than his own life.

One thinks of him as a soul under a cloud. He gives one no feeling of
radiance, no sense of a living serenity. What serenity he possesses at
the centre of his being does not shine in his face nor sound in his
voice. He has the look of one whose head has long been thrust out of a
window gloomily expecting an accident to happen at the street corner.
FitzGerald once admirably described the face of Carlyle as wearing "a
crucified expression." No such bitterness of pain and defeat shows in
the face of Dr. Gore. But his look is the look of one who has not
conquered and who expects further, perhaps greater disaster.

He has told us that "a man must be strong at the centre before he can be
free at the circumference of his being," and in support of this doctrine
he quotes the words of Jesus, "It is better to enter into life halt or
maimed rather than having two hands or two feet to go into hell." Has he
reached strength at the centre, one wonders, by doing violence to any
part of his moral being? Is his strength not the strength of the whole
man but the strength only of his will, a forced strength to which his
reason has not greatly contributed and into which his affections have
not entirely entered? Is this, one asks, the reason of that look in his
face, the look of bafflement, of perplexity, of a permanently troubled
conscience, of a divided self, a self that is both maimed and halt?

How is it, we ask ourselves, that a man who makes so profound an
impression on those who know him, and who commands as no other teacher
of his time the affectionate veneration of the Christian world, and who
has placed himself whole-heartedly in political alliance with the
militant forces of victorious Labour, exercises so little influence in
the moral life of the nation? How is it that he suggests to us no
feeling of the relation of triumphant leadership, but rather the spirit
of Napoleon on the retreat from Moscow?

We learn from his teaching that no one can be a Christian without "a
tremendous act of choice," that Christ proclaimed His standard with
"tremendous severity of claim," that "it is very hard to be a good
Christian," and that we must surely, as St. Peter says, "pass the time
of our sojourning here in fear." All of which suggests to us that the
Bishop has not entered into life whole, even perhaps that sometimes he
looks back over his shoulder with a spasm of horror at the hell from
which he has escaped only by the sacrifice of his rational integrity.

Let us recall the main events of his history.

He was educated at Harrow and Balliol, and exercised a remarkable
spiritual influence at Oxford, where he remained, first as
Vice-Principal of Cuddesdon College and then as Librarian of Pusey
House, till he was forty years of age.

During these years he edited the book called _Lux Mundi_ in which he
abandoned the dogma of verbal inspiration and accepted the theory that
the human knowledge of Christ was limited. This book distressed a number
of timid people, but extended the influence of Dr. Gore to men of
science, such as Romanes, as well as to a much larger number of
thoughtful undergraduates.

For a year he was Vicar of Radley, and then came to London as a Canon of
Westminster, immediately attracting enormous congregations to hear him
preach, his sermons being distinguished by a most singular simplicity, a
profound piety, and above all by a deep honesty of conviction which few
who heard him could withstand. Weller, the Dean's verger at the Abbey,
has many stories to tell of the long queues at Westminster which in
those days were one of the sights of London. The Abbey has never since
recovered its place as a centre of Christian teaching.

Up to this time Dr. Gore's sympathy for the Oxford Movement was merely
the background of a life devoted to the mystical element and the moral
implications of the Christian religion. He was known as a High
Churchman; he was felt to be a saint; his modernism was almost
forgotten.

It was not long before his tentative movement towards modernism ended in
a profession of Catholic principles which allied him with forces
definitely and sometimes angrily ranged against the Higher Criticism. He
became a Bishop. Almost at once the caressing fingers of the saint
became the heavy hand of the dogmatist. He who had frightened Liddon by
his tremulous adventure towards the mere fringe of modernism became the
declared enemy, the implacable foe, of the least of his clergy who
questioned even the most questionable clauses of the creeds. He demanded
of them all a categorical assent to the literal truth of the miraculous,
in exactly the same sense in which physical facts are true. Every word
of the creeds had to be uttered _ex animo_. "It is very hard to be a
good Christian." Yes; but did Dr. Gore make it harder than it need be?
There was something not very unlike a heresy hunt in the diocese over
which the editor of _Lux Mundi_ ruled with a rod of iron.

I remember once speaking to Dr. Winnington Ingram, Bishop of London,
about the Virgin Birth. He told me that he had consulted Charles Gore on
this matter, and that he agreed with Charles Gore's ruling that if
belief in that miracle were abandoned Christianity would perish. Such is
the fate of those who put their faith in dogmas, and plant their feet on
the sands of tradition.

Dr. Gore's life as a Bishop, first of Worcester, then of Birmingham, and
finally of Oxford, was disappointing to many of his admirers, and
perhaps to himself. He did well to retire. But unfortunately this
retirement was not consecrated to those exercises which made him so
impressive and so powerful an influence in the early years of his
ministry. He set himself to be, not an exponent of the Faith, but the
defender of a particular aspect of that Faith.

Here, I think, is to be found the answer to our question concerning the
loss of Dr. Gore's influence in the national life. From the day of the
great sermons in Westminster Abbey that wonderful influence has
diminished, and he is now in the unhappy position of a party leader
whose followers begin to question his wisdom. Organisation has destroyed
him.

Dr. Gore, in my judgment, has achieved strength at the centre of his
being only at the terrible cost of cutting off, or at any rate of
maiming, his own natural temperament. Marked out by nature for the life
of mysticism, he has entered maimed and halt into the life of the
controversialist. With the richest of spiritual gifts, which demand
quiet and a profound peace for their development, he has thrown himself
into the arena of theological disputation, where force of intellect
rather than beauty of character is the first requirement of victory.
Instead of drawing all men to the sweet reasonableness of the Christian
life, he has floundered in the obscurities of a sect and hidden his
light under the bushel of a mouldering solecism--"the tradition of
Western Catholicism." It is a tragedy. Posterity I think, will
regretfully number him among bigots, lamenting that one who was so
clearly

     . . . born for the universe, narrow'd his mind,
     And to party gave up what was meant for mankind.

For, unhappily, this party in the Church to which, as Dean Inge well
puts it, Dr. Gore "consents to belong," and for which he has made such
manifold sacrifices, and by which he is not always so loyally followed
as he deserves to be, is of all parties in the Church that which least
harmonises with English temperament, and is least likely to endure the
intellectual onslaughts of the immediate future.

It is the Catholic Party, the spendthrift heir of the Tractarians,
which, with little of the intellectual force that gave so signal a power
to the Oxford Movement, endeavours to make up for that sad if not fatal
deficiency by an almost inexhaustible credulity, a marked ability in
superstitious ceremonial, a not very modest assertion of the claims of
sacerdotalism, a mocking contempt for preaching, and a devotion to the
duties of the parish priest which has never been excelled in the history
of the English Church.

Bishop Gore, very obviously, is a better man than his party. He is a
gentleman in every fibre of his being, and to a gentleman all
extravagance is distasteful, all disloyalty is impossible. He is,
indeed, a survival from the great and orderly Oxford Movement trying to
keep his feet in the swaying midst of a revolutionary mob, a Kerensky
attempting to withstand the forces of Bolshevism.

There is little question, I think, that when his influence is removed,
an influence which becomes with every year something of a superstition,
something of an irritation, to the younger generation of
Anglo-Catholics--not many of whom are scholars and few gentlemen--the
party which he has served so loyally, and with so much distinction, so
much temperance, albeit so disastrously for his own influence in the
world, will perish on the far boundaries of an extremism altogether
foreign to our English nativity.

For to many of those who profess to follow him he is already a
hesitating and too cautious leader, and they fret under his coldness
towards the millinery of the altar, and writhe under his refusal to
accept the strange miracle of Transubstantiation--a miracle which, he
has explained, I understand, demands a reversal of itself to account for
the change which takes place in digestion. If they were rid of his
restraining hand, if they felt they could trust themselves without his
intellectual championship, these Boishevists of sacerdotalism, these
enthusiasts for the tyranny of an absolute Authority, these episcopalian
asserters of the Apostolical Succession who delight in flouting and
defying and insulting their bishops, would soon lose in the follies of
excess the last vestiges of English respect for the once glorious and
honourable Oxford Movement.

If any man think that I bear too hardly on these very positive
protagonists of Latin Christianity, let him read the Anglican chapters
in _A Spiritual AEneid_. Father Knox was once a member of this party and
something of a disciple of Dr. Gore, who, however, always regretted his
"mediaeval" theology.

A member of this party, marching indeed at its head and its one voice in
these degenerate days to which men of intelligence pay the smallest
attention, Bishop Gore has lost the great influence he once exercised,
or began to exercise, on the national life, a moral and spiritual
influence which might at this time have been well-nigh supreme if the
main body of the nation had not unfortunately lost its interest for the
man in its contempt for, or rather its indifference to, the party to
which he consents to belong.

But for the singular beauty of his spiritual life, one would be tempted
to set him up as an example of Coleridge's grave warning, "He, who
begins by loving Christianity better than Truth, will proceed by loving
his own Sect or Church better than Christianity, and end in loving
himself better than all."

I find him in these late days no nearer to Rome, not an inch nearer,
than in the days of his early manhood, but absolutely convinced that
Christ founded a Church and instituted the two chief sacraments. He will
sacrifice nothing in this respect. His whole mind, which is a very
different thing from his whole spirit, leans towards authority, order,
and coherence. He must have an organised society of believers, believers
in the creeds, and he must have an absolute obedience to authority
among these believers.

But he is a little shaken and very much alarmed by the march of
modernism. "When people run up to you in the street," he said recently,
and the phrase suggests panic, "and say, 'Oh! what are we to do?' I have
got no short or easy answer at all." A large, important, and learned
body of men in the Church, he says, hold views which are "directly
subversive of the foundations of the creeds." He calls this state of
things evidence of "an extraordinary collapse of discipline." But that
is not all. He is alarmed; he is not content to trust the future of the
Church to authority alone. "What are we to do?" He replies:

"First, we must not be content to appeal to authority. We must teach,
fully teach, re-teach the truth on grounds of Scripture, reason,
history, everything, so that we may have a party, a body which knows not
only that it has got authority, but that it has got the truth and reason
on its side."

The claim is obviously courageous, the claim of a brave and noble man,
but one wonders, Can it be made good? It is a long time since evolution
saw Athanasius laid in the grave, a long time since the Inquisition
pronounced the opinions of Galileo to be heretical and therefore false.
"It is very hard to be a good Christian." Did Athanasius make it easier?
Did the Inquisition which condemned Galileo make it easier still?

Dr. Gore thinks that the supreme mistake of Christianity was placing
itself under the protection and patronage of national governments. It
should never have become nationalised. Its greatest and most necessitous
demand was to stand apart from anything in the nature of racialism.

He mourns over an incoherent humanity; he seeks for unifying principles.
The religion of an Incarnation must have a message for the world, a
message for the whole world, for all mankind. Surely, surely. But
unifying principles are not popular in the churches. It is the laity
which objects to a coherent Gospel.

He sighs for a spiritualised Labour Party. He shrinks from the thought
of a revolution, but does not believe that the present industrial system
can be Christianised. There must be a fundamental change. Christianity
is intensely personal, but its individualism is of the spirit, the
individualism of unselfishness. He laughs grimly, in a low and rumbling
fashion, on hearing that Communism is losing its influence in the north
of England. "I can quite imagine that; the last thing an Englishman will
part with is his property."

Laughter, if it can be called laughter, is rare on his lips, and is
reserved in general for opinions which are in antagonism to his own. He
laughs in this way at the makeshift compromises of statesmen and
theologians and economists saying that what those men hate more than
anything else is a fixed principle. He quotes with a sardonic pleasure
the capital saying that a certain statesman's idea of a settled policy
based on fixed moral principles is a policy which will last from
breakfast-time to luncheon--he repeats the last words "from
breakfast-time to luncheon," with a deep relish, an indrawing of the
breath, a flash of light in the glassy eyes.

He remains impenitent concerning his first instinct as to England's duty
at the violation of Belgium's neutrality. We were justified in fighting;
we could do no other; it was a stern duty laid upon us by the Providence
which overrules the foolishness of man. But he is insistent that we can
justify our fiery passion in War only by an equal passion in the higher
cause of Peace--no, not an equal passion, a far greater passion.

We lost at Versailles our greatest opportunity for that divine
justification. We showed no fervour for peace. There was no passion in
us; nothing but scepticism, incredulity, and the base appetite for
revenge. We might have led the world into a new epoch if at that moment
we had laid down our sword, taken up our cross, and followed the Prince
of Peace. But we were cold, cold. We had no idealism. We were poor
sceptics trusting to economics--the economics of a base materialism.

But though he broods over the sorrows and sufferings of mankind, and
views with an unutterable grief the dismemberment of Christendom, he
refuses to style himself a pessimist. There is much good in the world;
he is continually being astonished by the goodness of individuals; he
cannot bring himself to despair of mankind. Ah, if he had only kept
himself in that atmosphere! But "it is very hard to be a good
Christian."

As for theology, as for modernism, people are not bothered, he says, by
a supposed conflict between Religion and Science. What they want is a
message. The Catholic Church must formulate a policy, must become
intelligent, coherent.

He has small faith in meetings, pronouncing the word with an amused
disdain, nor does he attach great importance to preaching, convinced
that no Englishman can preach: "Even Roman Catholics can't preach in
England." As for those chapels to which people go to hear a popular
preacher, he calls them "preaching shops," and speaks with pity of those
who occupy their pulpits: "That must be a dreadful life--dreadful, oh,
quite dreadful!" Yet he has a lasting admiration for the sermons of
Charles Spurgeon. As to Jeremy Taylor, "I confess that all that turgid
rhetoric wearies me."

He does not think the Oxford Movement has spent itself. On the contrary,
the majority of the young men who present themselves for ordination are
very largely inspired by the spirit of that Movement. All the same, he
perceives a danger in formalism, a resting in symbolism for its own
sake. In its genesis, the Oxford Movement threw up great men, very great
men, men of considerable intellectual power and a most profound
spirituality; it is not to be expected, perhaps, that such giants should
appear again, and in their absence lesser men may possibly mistake the
symbol for the thing symbolised, and so fall into the error of
formalism. That is a danger to be watched and guarded against. But the
Movement will continue, and it will not reach its fulfilment until under
its pressure the Church has arrived at unity and formulated a policy
intelligent and coherent.

So this great spirit, who might have given to mankind a book worthy to
stand beside the _Imitation_, and given to England a new enthusiasm for
the moral principles of Christianity, nurses a mechanistic dream and
cherishes the hope that his Party is the Aaron's rod of all the
Churches. Many would have followed him if he had been content to say
only, "Do as I do," but he descended into the dust of controversy, and
bade us think as he thinks. Nevertheless, in spite of this fatal mistake
he remains the greatest spiritual force among the Churches of England,
and his books of devotion will be read long after his works of
controversy have fallen into that coldest of all oblivions, the oblivion
of inadequate theologies.




DEAN INGE


INGE, Very Rev. WILLIAM RALPH, D.D., C.V.O., 1918; Dean of St. Paul's
since 1911; b. Crayke, Yorkshire, 6th June, 1860; s. of late Rev.
William Inge, D.D., Provost of Worcester College, Oxford and Mary, d. of
Ven. Edward Churton, Archdeacon of Cleveland; m. 1905, Mary Catharine,
d. Ven. H.M. Spooner, Archdeacon of Maidstone, and g.d. of Bishop Harvey
Goodwin; three s. two d. Educ.: Eton, King's College, Cambridge, Bell
Scholar and Porson Prizeman, 1880; Porson Scholar, 1881; Craven Scholar
and Browne Medalist, 1882; Senior Chancellor's Medalist, 1883; 1st Class
Classics, 1882 and 1883; Hare Prizeman, 1885; Assistant Master at Eton,
1884-88; Fellow of King's, 1886-88; Fellow and Tutor of Hertford
College, Oxford, 1889-1904; Select Preacher at Oxford, 1893-95, 1903-5,
1920-21; Cambridge, 1901, 1906, 1910, 1912, 1913, 1920; Bampton
Lecturer, 1899; Hon. D.D., Aberdeen, 1905; Paddock Lecturer, New York,
1906; Vicar of All Saints' Ennismore Gardens, S.W., 1905-7; Lady
Margaret Professor of Divinity and Fellow of Jesus College, Cambridge,
1907-l1; Hon. Fellow of Jesus College, Cambridge, and of Hertford
College, Oxford; Academic Committee Royal Soc. of Literature; Gifford
Lecturer, St. Andrews, 1917-18; Romanes and Hibbert Lecturer, 1920; Hon.
D.Litt., Durham, 1920.

[Illustration: DEAN INGE]




CHAPTER II

DEAN INGE


_Some day, when I've quite made up my mind what to fight for, or whom to
fight, I shall do well enough, if I live, but I haven't made up my mind
what to fight for--whether, for instance, people ought to live in Swiss
cottages and sit on three-legged or one-legged stools; whether people
ought to dress well or ill; whether ladies ought to tie their hair in
beautiful knots; whether Commerce or Business of any kind be an
invention of the Devil or not; whether Art is a Crime or only an
Absurdity; whether Clergymen ought to be multiplied, or exterminated by
arsenic, like rat; whether in general we are getting on, and if so where
we are going to; whether it's worth while to ascertain any of these
things; whether one's tongue was ever made to talk with or only to taste
with._-JOHN RUSKIN.

When our day is done, and men look back to the, shadows we have left
behind us, and there is no longer any spell of personal magnetism to
delude right judgment, I think that the figure of Dean Inge may emerge
from the dim and too crowded tapestry of our period with something of
the force, richness, and abiding strength which gives Dr. Johnson his
great place among authentic Englishmen.

His true setting is the Deanery of St. Paul's, that frowning and
melancholy house in a backwater of London's jarring tide, where the
dust collects, and sunlight has a struggle to make two ends meet, and
cold penetrates like a dagger, and fog hangs like a pall, and the blight
of ages clings to stone and brick, to window and woodwork, with an
adhesive mournfulness which suggests the hatchment of Melpomene. Even
the hand of Grinling Gibbons at the porch does not prevent one from
recalling Crabbe's memorable lines:

     Dark but not awful, dismal but yet mean,
     With anxious bustle moves the cumbrous scene;
     Presents no objects tender or profound,
     But spreads its cold unmeaning gloom around.

Here in the midst of overshadowing warehouses--and until he came hither
at the age of fifty-one few people in London had ever heard his name, a
name which even now is more frequently pronounced as if it rhymed with
_cringe_, instead of with _sting_--here the Dean of St. Paul's, looking
at one moment like Don Quixote, at another like a figure from the pages
of Dostoevsky, and flitting almost noiselessly about rooms which would
surely have been filled for the mind of Dickens with ghosts of both
sexes and of every order and degree; here the great Dean faces the
problems of the universe, dwells much with his own soul, and fights the
Seven Devils of Foolishness in a style which the Church of England has
not known since the days of Swift.

In appearance he is very tall, rigid, long-necked, and extremely thin,
with fine dark hair and a lean grey clean-shaven face, the heavy-lidded
eyes of an almost Asian deadness, the upper lip projecting beyond the
lower, a drift of careless hair sticking boyishly forward from the
forehead, the nose thin, the mouth mobile but decisive, the whole set
and colour of the face stonelike and impassive.

In repose he looks as if he had set himself to stare the Sphinx out of
countenance and not yet had lost heart in the matter. When he smiles, it
is as if a mischievous boy looked out of an undertaker's window; but the
smile, so full of wit, mischief, and even gaiety, is gone in an instant,
quicker than I have ever seen a smile flash out of sight, and
immediately the fine scholarly face sinks back into somnolent austerity
which for all its aloofness and immemorial calm suggests, in some
fashion for which I cannot account, a frozen whimsicality.

Few public men, with perhaps the exception of Samuel Rogers, ever cared
so little about appearance. It is believed that the Dean would be
indistinguishable from a tramp but for the constant admonishment and
active benevolence of Mrs. Inge. As it is, he is something more than
shabby, and only escapes a disreputable appearance by the finest of
hairs, resembling, as I have suggested, one of those poor Russian
noblemen whom Dostoevsky loved to place in the dismal and sordid
atmosphere of a lodging-house, there to shine like golden planets by the
force of their ideas.

But when all this is said, and it is worth saying, I hope, if only to
make the reader feel that he is here making the acquaintance of an
ascetic of the intellect, a man who cares most deeply for accurate
thought, and is absorbed body, soul and spirit in the contemplation of
eternal values, still, for all the gloom of his surroundings and the
deadness of his appearance, it is profoundly untrue to think of the Dean
as a prophet of pessimism.

When he speaks to one, in the rather muffled voice of a man troubled by
deafness, the impression he makes is by no means an impression of
melancholy or despair; on the contrary it is the impression of strength,
power, courage, and unassailable allegiance to truth. He is careless of
appearance because he has something far better worth the while of his
attention; he is aloof and remote, monosyllabic and sometimes even
inaccessible, because he lives almost entirely in the spiritual world,
seeking Truth with a steady perseverance of mind, Goodness with the full
energy of his heart, and Beauty with the deep mystical passion of his
soul.

Nothing in the man suggests the title of his most popular book
_Outspoken Essays_--a somewhat boastful phrase that would, I think, have
slightly distressed a critic like Ste.-Beuve--and nothing, except a
certain firm emphasis on the word _truth_, suggests in his conversation
the spirit that shows in the more controversial of his essays. On the
contrary, he is in manner, bearing, and spirit a true mystic, a man of
silence and meditation, gentle when he is not angered, modest when he is
not challenged by a fool, humble in his attitude to God if not to a
foolish world, and, albeit with the awkwardness inevitable in one who
lives so habitually with his own thoughts and his own silence, anxious
to be polite.

"I do not like being unpleasant," he said to me on one occasion, "but if
no one else will, and the time requires it--"

It is a habit with him to leave a sentence unfinished which is
sufficiently clear soon after the start.

In what way is he unpleasant? and what are those movements of the time
which call in his judgment for unpleasantness?

Of Bergson he said to me, "I hope he is still thinking," and when I
questioned him he replied that Bergson's teaching up to this moment
"suggests that anything may happen."

Here you may see one of the main movements of our day which call, in the
Dean's judgment for unpleasantness--the unpleasantness of telling people
not to make fools of themselves. Humanity must not go over in a body to
Mr. Micawber.

Anything may happen? No! We are not characters in a fairy tale, but men
of reason, inhabiting a world which reveals to us at every point of our
investigation one certain and unalterable fact--an unbroken uniformity
of natural law. We must not dream; we must act, and, before we act, we
must think. Human nature does not change very greatly. Bergson is apt to
encourage easy optimism, to leave the door open for credulity,
superstition, idle expectation; and he is disposed to set instinct above
reason, "a very dangerous doctrine, at any rate for _this_ generation."

What is wrong with this generation? It is a generation that refuses to
accept the rule and discipline of reason, which thinks it can reach
millennium by a short cut, or jump to the moon in an excess of emotional
fervour. It is a generation which becomes a crowd, and "individuals are
occasionally guided by reason, crowds never." It is a generation which
lives by catchwords, which plays tricks, which attempts to cut knots,
which counts heads.

What is wrong with this generation? Public opinion is "a vulgar,
impertinent, anonymous tyrant who deliberately makes life unpleasant for
anyone who is not content to be the average man." Democracy means "a
victory of sentiment over reason"; it is the triumph of the unfit, the
ascendancy of the second-rate, the conquest of quality by quantity, the
smothering of the hard and true under the feather-bed of the soft and
the false.

     Some may prefer the softer type of character, and may hope that it
     will make civilisation more humane and compassionate. . . .
     Unfortunately, experience shows that none is so cruel as the
     disillusioned sentimentalist. He thinks that he can break or ignore
     nature's laws with impunity; and then, when he finds that nature
     has no sentiment, he rages like a mad dog and combines with his
     theoretical objection to capital punishment a lust to murder all
     who disagree with him.

Beware of sentiment! Beware of it in politics, beware of it in religion.
See things as they are. Accept human nature for what it is. Consult
history. Judge by reason and experience. Act with courage.

As he faces politics, so he faces religion.

He desires to rescue Christianity from all the sentimental vulgarities
which have disfigured it in recent years--alike from the aesthetic
extravagances of the ritualist and the organising fussiness of the
evangelical; to rescue it from these obscuring unessentials, and to set
it clearly before the eyes of mankind in the pure region of thought--a
divine philosophy which teaches the only true science of life, a
discipline which fits the Soul for its journey, "by an inner ascent," to
the presence of God. Mysticism, he says, is the pursuit of ultimate,
objective truth, or it is nothing.

Christianity demands the closest attention of the mind. It cannot be
seen at a glance, understood in a moment, adopted by a gesture. It is a
deep and profound philosophy of life. It proposes a transvaluation of
values. It insists that the spiritual life is the only true life. It
sets the invisible above the visible, and the eternal above the
temporal. It tears up by the roots the lust of accumulation. It brings
man face to face with a choice that is his destiny. He must think, he
must decide. He cannot serve both God and Mammon. Either his life must
be given for the imperishable values of spiritual existence or for the
meats that perish and the flesh that will see corruption. Let a man
choose. Christianity contradicts all his natural ideas; but let him
think, let him listen to the voice of God, and let him decide as a
rational being. Let him not presume to set up his trivial notions, or to
think that he can silence Truth by bawling falsehood at the top of his
voice. Let him be humble. Let him listen to the teacher. Let him give
all his attention to this great matter, for it concerns his soul.

Here again is the aristocratic principle. The average man, until he has
disciplined his reason to understand this great matter, must hold his
peace; certainly he must not presume to lay down the law.

When we exclaim against this doctrine, and speak with enthusiasm of the
virtues of the poor, Dr. Inge asks us to examine those virtues and to
judge of their worth. Among the poor, he quotes, "generosity ranks far
before justice, sympathy before truth, love before chastity, a pliant
and obliging disposition before a rigidly honest one. In brief, the less
admixture of intellect required for the practice of any virtue, the
higher it stands in popular estimation."

But we are to love God with all our _mind_, as well as with all our
heart.

Does he, then, shut out the humble and the poor from the Kingdom of God?

Not for a moment. "Ultimately, we are what we love and care for, and no
limit has been set to what we may become without ceasing to be
ourselves." The door of love stands open, and through that doorway the
poor and the ignorant may pass to find the satisfaction of the saint.
But they must be careful to love the right things--to love truth,
goodness, and beauty. They must not be encouraged to sentimentalise;
they must be bidden to decide. The poor can be debauched as easily as
the rich. Many are called, but few chosen.

His main protest is against _the rule_ of the ignorant, the democratic
principle applied to the _amor intellectualis Dei_. Rich and poor,
learned and ignorant, all must accept, with humility, the teaching of
the Master. Plotinus, he points out, was the schoolmaster who brought
Augustine to Christ. The greatest of us has to learn. He who would teach
should be a learner all his life.

In everything he says and writes I find this desire to exalt Truth above
the fervours of emotionalism and the dangerous drill of the formalist.
Always he is calling upon men to drop their prejudices and catchwords,
to forsake their conceits and sentiments, to face Truth with a quiet
pulse and eyes clear of all passion. Christianity is a tremendous thing;
let no man, believer or unbeliever, attempt to make light of it.

It is not compassion for the intellectual difficulties of the average
man which has made Dr. Inge a conservative modernist, if so I may call
him. Sentiment of no kind whatever has entered into the matter. He is a
conservative modernist because his reason has convinced him of the truth
of reasonable modernism, because he has "that intellectual honesty which
dreads what Plato calls 'the lie in the soul' even more than the lie on
the lips." He is a modernist because he is an intellectual ascetic.

When we compare his position with that of Dr. Gore we see at once the
width of the gulf which separates the traditionalist from the
philosopher. To Dr. Gore the creeds and the miracles are essential to
Christianity. No Virgin Birth, no Sermon on the Mount! No Resurrection
of the Body, no Parable of the Prodigal Son! No Descent into Hell, no
revelation that the Kingdom of Heaven is within! Need we wonder that Dr.
Gore cries out despairingly for more discipline? He summons reason, it
is true, but to defend and explain creeds without which there is no
Christianity.

To Dr. Inge, on the other hand, it is what Christ said that matters,
what He taught that demands our obedience, what He revealed that
commands our love. Christianity for him is not a series of extraordinary
acts, but a voice from heaven. It is not the Christ of tradition before
whom he bows his knee, but the Christ of history, the Christ of faith,
the Christ of experience--the living and therefore the evolving Christ.
And for him, as for the great majority of searching men, the more the
mists of pious _aberglaube_ lift, the more real, the more fair, and the
more divine becomes the Face of that living Christ, the more close the
sense of His companionship.

A friend of mine once asked him, "Are you a Christian or a
Neoplatonist?" He smiled. "It would be difficult to say," he replied.
He was thinking, I am sure, of Troeltsch's significant prophecy, and
warning, that _the Future of Christian philosophy depends on the renewal
of its alliance with Neoplatonism_.

Let no man suppose that the intellectual virtues are outside the range
of religion. "Candour, moral courage, intellectual honesty, scrupulous
accuracy, chivalrous fairness, endless docility to facts, disinterested
collaboration, unconquerable hopefulness and perseverance, manly
renunciation of popularity and easy honours, love of bracing labour and
strengthening solitude; these, and many other cognate qualities," says
Baron von Huegel, "bear upon them the impress of God and His Christ."
What Dr. Inge, who quotes these words, says of Plotinus declares his own
character. He speaks of "the intense honesty of the man, _who never
shirks a difficulty or writes an insincere word_."

But though he is associated in the popular mind chiefly with modernism,
Dr. Inge is not by any means only a controversial theologian. Above and
beyond everything else, he is a mystic. You may find indications of this
truth even in a book like _Outspoken Essays_, but they are more numerous
in his two little volumes, _The Church and the Age_ and _Speculum
Animae_, and of course more numerous still in his great work on
Plotinus[5]. He is far more a mystic than a modernist. Indeed I regard
him as the Erasmus of modernism, one so sure of truth that he would
trust time to work for his ideas, would avoid fighting altogether, but
certainly all fighting that is in the least degree premature. The two
thousand years of Christianity, he says somewhere, are no long period
when we remind ourselves that God spent millions of years in moulding a
bit of old red sandstone.

[Footnote 5: "I have often thought that the unquestionable inferiority
of German literature about Platonism points to an inherent defect in the
German mind."--_The Philosophy of Plotinus_, p. 13]

     Meanwhile we have our cocksure little guides, some of whom say to
     us, "That is primitive, therefore it is good," and others, "This is
     up-to-date, therefore it is better." Not very wise persons any of
     them, I fear.

And again, writing of Catholic Modernism in France:

     We have given our reasons for rejecting the Modernist attempt at
     reconstruction. In the first place, we do not feel that we are
     required by sane criticism to surrender nearly all that M. Loisy
     has surrendered. We believe that the Kingdom of God which Christ
     preached was something much more than a platonic dream. We believe
     that He did speak as never man spake, so that those who heard Him
     were convinced that He was more than man. We believe, in short,
     that the object of our worship was a historical figure.

I will give a few extracts from _Speculum Animae_, a most valuable and
most beautiful little book, which show the true bent of his mind:

     On all questions _about_ religion there is the most distressing
     divergency. But the saints do not contradict each other.

Prayer . . . is "the elevation of the mind and heart to God." It is in
prayer, using the word in this extended sense, that we come into
immediate contact with the things that cannot be shaken.

Are we to set against such plain testimony the pessimistic agnosticism
of a voluptuary like Omar Khayyam?

     _There was the Door to which I found no Key_. . . .

May it not be that the door has no key because it has no lock?

The suggestion that in prayer we only hear the echo of our own voices is
ridiculous to anyone who has prayed.

The life of Christ was throughout a life of prayer. Not only did He love
to spend many hours in lonely communing with His Father, on the
mountain-tops, which He was perhaps the first to love, and to choose for
this purpose, but His whole life was spent in habitual realisation of
God's presence.

Religion is caught rather than taught; it is the religious teacher, not
the religious lesson, that helps the pupil to believe.

What we love, that we see; and what we see, that we are.

We need above all things to simplify our religion and our inner life
generally.

We want to separate the essential from the nonessential, to concentrate
our faith upon the pure God-consciousness, the eternal world which to
Christ was so much nearer and more real than the world of external
objects.

Christ meant us to be happy, happier than any other people.

It is because he is so profoundly convinced of the mystical truth of
Christianity, because he has so honestly tried and so richly
experienced that truth as a philosophy of life, it is because of this,
and not out of a lack of sympathy with the sad and sorrowful, that he
opposes himself to the obscurantism of the Anglo-Catholic and the
emotional economics of the political reformer.

"The Christian cure," he says, "is the only real cure." The socialist is
talking in terms of the old currency, the currency of the world's
quantitative standards; but Christ introduced a new currency, which
demonetises the old. Spiritual goods are unlimited in amount; they are
increased by being shared; and we rob nobody by taking them. He believes
with Creighton that "Socialism will only be possible when we are all
perfect, and then it will not be needed."

In the meantime, "Christianity increases the wealth of the world by
creating new values." Only in the currency of Christ can true socialism
hope to pay its way.

We miss the heart and centre of his teaching if we forget for a moment
that it is his conviction of the sufficiency of Christ's revelation
which makes him so deadly a critic both of the ritualist and the
socialist--two terms which on the former side at least tend to become
synonymous. He would have no distraction from the mystery of Christ, no
compromise of any kind in the world's loyalty to its one Physician.
Simplify your dogmas; simplify your theologies. Christ is your one
essential.

I have spoken to him about psychical research and the modern interest in
spiritualism. "I don't think much of _that!_" he replied. Then, in a
lower key, "It was not through animism and necromancy that the Jews came
to believe in immortality." How did they reach that belief? "By thinking
things out, and asking the question, Shall not the Judge of all the
earth do right?"

The answer is characteristic. Dr. Inge has thought things out;
everything in his faith has been thought out; and the basis of all his
thinking is acceptance of absolute values--absolute truth, absolute
goodness, absolute beauty. No breath from the class-rooms agitated by
Einstein can shake his faith in these absolutes. His Spirit of the
Universe is absolute truth, absolute goodness, absolute beauty. He is a
Neoplatonist, but something more. He ascends into communion with this
Universal Spirit whispering the Name of Christ, and by the power of
Christ in his soul addresses the Absolute as Abba, Father.

No man is freer from bigotry or intolerance, though not many can hate
falsity and lies more earnestly. The Church of England, he tells me,
should be a national church, a church expressing the highest reach of
English temperament, with room for all shades of thought. He quotes
Dollinger, "No church is so national, so deeply rooted in popular
affection, so bound up with the institutions and manners of the country,
or so powerful in its influences on national character." But this was
written in 1872. Dr. Inge says now, "The English Church represents, on
the religious side, the convictions, tastes, and prejudices of the
English gentleman, that truly national ideal of character. . . . A love of
order, seemliness, and good taste has led the Anglican Church along a
middle path between what a seventeenth century divine called 'the
meretricious gaudiness of the Church of Rome and the squalid slutterny
of fanatic conventicles.'"

Uniformity, he tells me, is not to be desired. One of our greatest
mistakes was letting the Wesleyan Methodists go; they should have been
accommodated within the fold. Another fatal mistake was made by the
Lambeth Conference, in its insistence on re-ordination. Imagine the
Church of England, with two Scotch Archbishops at its head, thinking
that the Presbyterians would consent to so humiliating a condition! An
interchange of pulpits is desirable; it might increase our intelligence,
or at least it should widen our sympathy. He holds a high opinion of the
Quakers. "Practical mystics: perhaps they are the best Christians, I
mean the best of them."

Modernism, he defines, at its simplest, as personal experience, in
contradistinction from authority. The modernist is one whose knowledge
of Christ is so personal and direct that it does not depend on miracle
or any accident of His earthly life. Rome, he thinks, is a falling
power, but she may get back some of her strength in any great industrial
calamity--a revolution, for example. Someone once asked him which he
would choose, a Black tyranny, or a Red? He replied "On the whole, I
think a Black." The friend corrected him. "You are wrong. Men would soon
emerge from the ruins of a Red tyranny, but Rome never lets go her power
till it is torn from her."

His contempt for the idea of reunion with Rome in her present condition
is unmeasured. "The notion almost reminds us of the cruel jest of
Mezentius, who bound the living bodies of his enemies to corpses." It is
the contempt both of a great scholar and a great Englishman for
ignorance and a somewhat ludicrous pretension. "The _caput orbis_ has
become provincial, and her authority is spurned even within her own
borders." England could not kneel at this Italian footstool without
ceasing to be England[6].

[Footnote 6: "There are, after all, few emotions of which one has less
reason to be ashamed than the little lump in the throat which the
Englishman feels when he first catches sight of the white cliffs of
Dover."--_Outspoken essays_, p. 58.]

"A profound reconstruction is demanded," he says, "and for those who
have eyes to see has been already for some time in progress. The new
type of Christianity will be more Christian than the old, because it
will be more moral. A number of unworthy beliefs about God are being
tacitly dropped, and they are so treated because they are unworthy of
Him."

He sees the future of Christianity as a deep moral and spiritual power
in the hearts and minds of men who have at length learned the value of
the new currency, and have exchanged profession for experience.

But this Erasmus, far more learned than the other, and with a courage
which far exceeds the other's, and with an impatience of nature, an
irritability of mind, which the other seldom knew, is nevertheless
patient of change. He does not lead as decisively as he might. He does
not strike as often as he should at the head of error. Perhaps he is
still thinking. Perhaps he has not yet made up his mind whether "Art is
a Crime or only an Absurdity," whether Clergymen ought to be multiplied
or exterminated, whether in general we are getting on, and if so where
we are going to.

I feel myself that his mind is made up, though he is still thinking and
still seeking; and I attribute his indecision as a leader, his want of
weight in the affairs of mankind, to one fatal deficiency in his
mysticism. It is, I presume to suggest, a mysticism which is separated
by no gulf from egoism--egoism of the highest order and the most
spiritual character, but still egoism. In his quest of God he is not
conscious of others. He thinks of mankind with interest, not with
affection. Humanity is a spectacle, not a brotherhood.

When one speaks to him of the confusion and anarchy in the religious
world, and suggests how hard it is for the average man to know which way
he should follow, he replies: "Yes, I'm afraid it's a bad time for the
ordinary man." But then he has laid it down, "There is not the
slightest probability that the largest crowd will ever be gathered in
front of the narrow gate." Still one could wish that he felt in his
heart something of the compassion of his Master for those who have taken
the road of destruction.

He attaches great importance to preaching. He does not at all agree with
the sneer at "preaching-shops." That is a convenient sneer for the
younger generation of ritualists who have nothing to say and who perform
ceremonies they don't understand; not much meaning _there_ for the
modern man. No; preaching is a most important office, although no other
form of professional work is done anything like so badly. But a preacher
who has something to say will always attract intelligent people.

One does not discuss with him the kind of preaching necessary to convert
unintelligent people. That would be to take this great philosopher out
of his depth.

As for the Oxford Movement, he regards it as a changeling. His
grandfather, an archdeacon, was a Tractarian, a friend of Pusey, a
scholar acquainted with all the doctors; but he was not a ritualist; he
did not even adopt the eastward position. The modern ritualist is hardly
to be considered the lineal descendant of these great scholars.
"Romanticism, which dotes on ruins, shrinks from real restoration . . . a
Latin Church in England which disowns the Pope is an absurdity."

No, the future belongs to clear thinking and rigorous honesty of the
intellect.

Dr. Inge began life as the fag of Bishop Ryle at Eton--the one now
occupying the Deanery of St. Paul's; the other the Deanery of
Westminster, both scholars and the friendship still remaining. He was a
shy and timorous boy. No one anticipated the amazingly brilliant career
which followed at Cambridge, and even then few suspected him of original
genius until he became Lady Margaret Professor of Divinity in 1907. His
attempts to be a schoolmaster were unsuccessful. He was not good at
maintaining discipline, and deafness somewhat intensified a nervous
irritability which at times puts an enormous strain on his patience. Nor
did he make any notable impression as Vicar of All Saints', Ennismore
Gardens, a parochial experience which lasted two years. Slowly he made
his way as author and lecturer, and it was not until he came to St.
Paul's that the world realised the greatness of his mind and the
richness of his genius.

As a correction to the popular delusion concerning his temperament and
outlook, although, I must confess, there is something about him
suggestive of a London Particular, I will quote in conclusion a few of
the many witty epigrams which are scattered throughout his pages,
showing that he has a sense of humour which is not always discernible in
those who would laugh him away as an unprofitable depressionist.

     The clerical profession was a necessity when most people could
     neither read nor write.

     Seminaries for the early training of future clergymen may indeed be
     established; but beds of exotics cannot be raised by keeping the
     gardeners in greenhouses while the young plants are in the open
     air.

     It is becoming impossible for those who mix at all with their
     fellow-men to believe that the grace of God is distributed
     denominationally.

     Like other idealisms, patriotism varies from a noble devotion to a
     moral lunacy.

     Our clergy are positively tumbling over each other in their
     eagerness to be appointed court-chaplain to King Demos.

     A generation which travels sixty miles an hour must be five times
     as civilised as one which only travels twelve.

     It is not certain that there has been much change in our
     intellectual and moral adornments since pithecanthropus dropped the
     first half of his name.

     I cannot help hoping that the human race, having taken in
     succession every path except the right one, may pay more attention
     to the narrow way that leadeth unto life.

     It is useless for the sheep to pass resolutions in favour of
     vegetarianism, while the wolf remains of a different opinion.

     After the second century, the apologists for the priesthood are in
     smooth waters.

     Not everyone can warm both hands before the fire of life without
     scorching himself in the process.

     It is quite as easy to hypnotise oneself into imbecility by
     repeating in solemn tones, "Progress, Democracy, Corporate Unity,"
     as by the blessed word Mesopotamia, or, like the Indians, by
     repeating the mystic word "Om" five hundred times in succession.

     I have lived long enough to hear the _Zeitgeist_ invoked to bless
     very different theories.

     . . . as if it were a kind of impiety not to float with the stream, a
     feat which any dead dog can accomplish. . . .

     An appendix is as superfluous at the end of the human caecum as at
     the end of a volume of light literature.

     The "traditions of the first six centuries" are the traditions of
     the rattle and the feeding bottle.

In speaking to me last year of the crowded waiting-lists of the Public
Schools, he said: "It is no longer enough to put down the name of one's
son on the day he is born, one must write well ahead of that: 'I am
expecting to have a son next year, or the year after, and shall be
obliged if--' The congestion is very great, in spite of the increasing
fees and the supertax."

Much of his journalism, by the way, has the education of his children
for its excuse and its consecration--children to whom the Dean of St.
Paul's reveals in their nursery a side of his character wholly and
beautifully different from the popular legend.

There is no greater mind in the Church of England, no greater mind, I
am disposed to think, in the English nation. His intellect has the range
of an Acton, his forthrightness is the match of Dr. Johnson's, and his
wit, less biting though little less courageous than Voltaire's, has the
illuminating quality, if not the divine playfulness, of the wit of
Socrates.

But he lacks that profound sympathy with the human race which gives to
moral decisiveness the creative energy of the great fighter. A lesser
man than Erasmus left a greater mark on the sixteenth century.

The righteous saying of Bacon obstinately presents itself to our mind
and seems to tarry for an explanation: "The nobler a soul is, the more
objects of compassion it hath."




FATHER KNOX

     KNOX, REV. RONALD ARBUTHNOTT; b. 17th Feb., 2888; 4th s. of the Rt.
     Rev. E.A. Knox, Bishop of Manchester. Ethuc.: Eton (1st
     Scholarship); Balliol College, Oxford (1st Scholarship). Hertford
     Scholarship, 1907; Second in Honour Moderations, 1908; Ireland and
     Craven Scholarship, 1908; 1st in Litt. Hum., 1910; Fellow and
     Lecturer at Trinity College, Oxford, 1910; Chaplain, 1912;
     Resigned, 1917; received into the Church of Rome, September, 1917.

[Illustration: FATHER KNOX]




CHAPTER III

FATHER KNOX


_Our new curate preached, a pretty hopefull young man, yet somewhat raw,
newly come from college, full of Latine sentences, which in time will
weare off._--JOHN EVELYN.


There is a story that when Father Knox was an undergraduate at Oxford he
sat down one day to choose whether he would be an agnostic or a Roman
Catholic. "But is there not some doubt in the matter?" inquired a friend
of mine, to whom I repeated the tale. "Did he really sit down and
choose, or did he only toss up?"

The story, of course, is untrue. It has its origin in the delightful wit
and brilliant playfulness of the young priest. Everybody loves him, and
nobody takes him seriously.

Few men of his intellectual stature have been received with so little
trumpet-blowing into the Roman Catholic Church, and none at all, I
think, has so imperceptibly retired from the Church of England. For all
the interest it excited, the secession of this extremely brilliant
person might have been the secession of a sacristan or a pew-opener. He
did not so much "go over to Rome" as sidle away from the Church of
England.

But this secession is well worth the attention of religious students. It
is an act of personality which helps one to understand the theological
chaos of the present-time, and a deed of temperament which illumines
some of the more obscure movements of religious psychology. Ronnie Knox,
as everybody calls him, the eyes lighting up at the first mention of his
name, has gone over to the Roman Catholic Church, not by any means with
a smile of cynicism on his face, but rather with the sweat of a struggle
still clinging to his soul.

He is the son of an Anglican bishop, a good man whose strong evangelical
convictions led him, among many other similar activities, to hold
missionary services on the sands of Blackpool. His mother died in his
infancy, and he was brought up largely with uncles and aunts, but his
own home, of which he speaks always with reverence and affection, was a
kind and vigorous establishment, a home well calculated to develop his
scholarly wit and his love of mischievous fun. Nothing in his
surroundings made for gloom or for a Calvinism of the soul. The
swiftness of his intellectual development might have made him sceptical
of theology in general, but no influence in his home was likely in any
way to make him sceptical of his father's theology in particular.

He went to Eton, and the religion in which he had been brought up stood
the moral test of the most critical years in boyhood. It never failed
him, and he never questioned it. But when that trial was over, and after
an illness which shook up his body and mind, he came under the influence
of a matron who held with no little force of character the views of the
Anglo-Catholic party. These views stole gradually into the mind of the
rather effeminate boy, and although they did not make him question the
theology of his father for some years, he soon found himself thinking of
the religious opinions of his uncles and aunts with a certain measure of
superiority.

"I began to feel," he told me, "that I was living in a rather provincial
world--the world described by Wells and Arnold Bennett."

This restlessness, this desire to escape into a greater and more
beautiful world, pursued him to Oxford, and, for the moment, he found
that greater and beautiful world in the life of Balliol. Bishop Ryle, a
good judge, has spoken to me of the young man's extraordinary facility
at turning English poetry at sight into the most melodious Greek and
Latin, and of the remarkable range of his scholarship. He himself has
told us of his love of port and bananas, his joy in early morning
celebrations in the chapel of Pusey House, his tea-parties, his delight
in debates at the Union, of which he became President, and of his many
friendships with undergraduates of a witty and flippant turn of mind.
Like many effeminate natures, he was glad of opportunities to prove
himself a good fellow. In spite of no heel-taps when the port went
round, he won the Hertford in 1907, the Ireland and Craven in 1908, and
in 1910 took a first in Greats.

He became a Fellow and Lecturer of Trinity College for two years, then
its Chaplain for five years, and, after leading a life of extravagant
and fighting ritualism as an Anglican priest, at the end of that period,
1917, he retired from the Church of England and was received into the
Church of Rome.

The consolations of Anglo-Catholicism, then, were insufficient for the
spiritual needs of this scion of the Low Church.

What were those needs?

Were they, indeed, _spiritual_ needs, as he suggests by the title of his
book _A Spiritual AEneid_, or _aesthetic_ needs, the needs of a
temperament?--a temperament which used wit and raillery chiefly as a
shield for its shrinking and quivering emotions, emotions which we must
take note of if we are to understand his secession.

He was at Eton when a fire occurred in one of the houses, two boys
perishing in the flames. He tells us that this tragedy made an
impression on him, for it fell at a time in his life when "one begins to
fear death." Fear is a word which meets us even in the sprightly pages
of _A Spiritual AEneid_, a volume perhaps more fitly to be termed "An
AEsthetic Ramp."

He loved to dash out of college through the chill mists of a November
morning to worship with "the few righteous men" of the University in the
Chapel of Pusey House, which "conveyed a feeling, to me most
gratifying, of catacombs, oubliettes, Jesuitry, and all the atmosphere
of mystery that had long fascinated me."

He tells us how his nature "craved for human sympathy and support," and
speaks of the God whom he "worshipped, loved, and feared." He prayed for
a sick friend with "both hands held above the level of my head for a
quarter of an hour or more." He was a Universalist "recoiling from the
idea of hell." He believed in omens, though he did not always take them,
and was thoroughly superstitious. "The name of Rome has always, for me,
stood out from any printed page merely because its initial is that of my
own name." "At the time of my ordination I took a private vow, which I
always kept, never to preach without making some reference to Our Lady,
by way of satisfaction for the neglect of other preachers." He was a
youth when he took the vow of celibacy. He had the desire, he tells us,
to make himself thoroughly uncomfortable--as Byron would say, "to merit
Heaven by making earth a Hell." His superstitions were often ludicrous
even to himself. On one occasion in boyhood, he was trying to get a fire
to burn: "Let this be an omen," he said. "If I can get this fire to
burn, the Oxford Movement was justified."

A visit to Belgium hastened the inevitable decision of such a
temperament:

     . . . the extraordinary devotion of the people wherever we went,
     particularly at Bruges, struck home with a sense of immeasurable
     contrast to the churches of one's own country. . . .

He did not apparently feel the moral contrast between Belgian and
English character.

     . . . The tourist, I know, thinks of it as _Bruges la Morte_, but
     then the tourist does not get up for early Masses; he would find
     life then . . . he can at least go on Friday morning to the chapel of
     the Saint Sang and witness the continuous stream of people that
     flows by, hour after hour, to salute the relic and to make their
     devotions in its presence; he would find it hard to keep himself
     from saying, like Browning at High Mass, "This is too good not to
     be true."

Might he not perhaps say with another great man, "What must God be if He
is pleased by things which simply displease His educated creatures?" In
a country where the churches were once far more crowded than in Belgium,
I was told by a discerning man, Prince Alexis Obolensky, a former
Procurator of the Holy Synod, that all such devotion is simply
superstition. He said he would gladly give me all Russia's spirituality
if I could give him a tenth of England's moral earnestness. And he told
me this story:

     A man set out one winter's night to murder an old woman in her
     cottage. As he tramped through the snow with the hatchet under his
     blouse, it suddenly occurred to him that it was a Saint's Day.
     Instantly he dropped on his knees in the snow, crossed himself
     violently with trembling hands, and in a guilty voice implored God
     to forgive him for his evil intention. Then he rose up, refreshed
     and forgiven, postponing the murder till the next night.

Undoubtedly, I fear, the devotion of priest-ridden countries, which
evokes so spectacular an effect on the stranger of unbalanced judgment,
is largely a matter of superstition; how many prayers are inspired by a
lottery, how many candles lighted by fear of a ghost?

But Father Knox, whose aesthetic nature had early responded with a vital
impulse to Gothic architecture and the pomp and mystery of priestly
ceremonial, felt in Bruges that the spirit of the Chapel of the Sacred
Blood must be introduced into the Church of England "to save our country
from lapsing into heathenism." What, I wonder, is his definition of that
term, heathenism?

Bruges had a decisive effect, not only on his aesthetic impulses, but on
his moral sense. His conduct as an Anglican priest was frankly that of a
Roman propagandist. I do not know that any words more damning to the
Romish spirit have ever been written than those in which this most
charming and brilliant young man tells the story of his treachery to the
Anglican Church. Of celebrating the Communion service he says:

     . . . my own principle was, whenever I spoke aloud, to use the
     language of the Prayer Book, when I spoke _secreto_, to use the
     words ordered by the Latin missal.

He said of his propaganda work at this time:

     The Roman Catholics . . . have to serenade the British public from
     the drive; we Anglican Catholics have the _entree_ to the
     drawing-room.

His enthusiasm for the Roman service was such that in one place

     I had to travel for three quarters of an hour to find a church
     where my manner of celebrating, then perhaps more reminiscent of
     the missal than of the Prayer Book, was tolerated even in a Mass of
     Devotion.

     About this time I celebrated at a community chapel. One of the
     brethren was heard to declare afterwards that if he had known what
     I was going to do he would have got up and stopped me.

At the conclusion of one of his celebrations abroad, an Englishman in
the congregation exclaimed, "Thank God that's over." After his first
sermon in Trinity Chapel, an undergraduate ("afterwards not only my
friend but my penitent") was heard to declare excitedly:

"Such fun! The new Fellow's been preaching heresy--all about
Transubstantiation."

Such fun! This note runs through the whole of _A Spiritual AEneid_. A
thoroughly undergraduate spirit inspires every page save the last.
Religion is treated as a lark. It is full of opportunities for plotting
and ragging and pulling the episcopal leg. One is never conscious, not
for a single moment, that the author is writing about Jesus of Nazareth,
Gethsemane, and Calvary. About a Church, yes; about ceremonial, about
mysterious rites, about prayers to the Virgin Mary, about authority, and
about bishops; yes, indeed; but about Christ's transvaluation of values,
about His secret, about His religion of the pure heart and the childlike
spirit, not one single glimpse.

Now let us examine his intellectual position.

In the preface to _Some Loose Stones_[7], written before he went over to
Rome, he explains his position to the modernist:

     . . . there are limits defined by authority, within which theorising
     is unnecessary and speculation forbidden.

     But I should like here to enter a protest against the assumption
     . . . that the obscurantist, having fenced himself in behind his wall
     of prejudices, enjoys an uninterrupted and ignoble peace.

     The soldier who has betaken himself to a fortress is thereby in a
     more secure position than the soldier who elects to fight in the
     open plain. He has ramparts to defend him. But he has, on the other
     hand, ramparts to defend. . . . For him there is no retreat.

     The whole position stands or falls by the weakest parts in the
     defences; give up one article of the Nicene Creed, and the whole
     situation is lost; you go under, and the flag you loved is forfeit.

[Footnote 7: An answer to the volume called _Foundations_.]

And yet:

     I can feel every argument against the authenticity of the Gospels,
     because I know that if I approached them myself without faith I
     should as likely as not brush them aside impatiently as one of a
     whole set of fables.

They would be fables to him unless he approached them with faith. And
what is faith? He tells us in the same preface: "Faith is to me, not an
intellectual process, but a divine gift, a special privilege."

It is fair to say that he would now modify this definition, for he has
told me that it is a heresy to exclude from faith the operations of the
intellect. But the words were written when he was fighting the battle of
the soul, written almost on the same page as that which bears these
words:

     You have not done with doubt, because you have thrown yourself into
     the fortress; you are left to keep doubt continually at bay, with
     the cheerful assurance that if you fail, the whole of your
     religious life has been a ghastly mistake . . .

for this reason, they have, I think, a notable significance.

Is it not probable that Father Knox has thrown himself into a fortress,
not out of any burning desire to defend it, but solely to escape from
the enemy of his own soul? Is it not probable that he was driven from
the field by Fear rather than summoned to the battlements by Love?

I find this inference justified in numerous ways, and I do not think on
the whole that Father Knox himself would deny it. But chiefly I find it
justified by the form and substance of his utterances since he became a
Roman Catholic--fighting and most challenging utterances which for me at
any rate are belied, and tragically belied, by a look in his eyes which
is unmistakably, I am forced to think, the look of one who is still
wrestling with doubt, one, I would venture to hazard, who may even
occasionally be haunted by the dreadful fear that his fortress is his
prison.

On the day that Newman entered that fortress the triumphant cry of St.
Augustine rang in his ears, _Securus judicat orbis terrarum_; but later
came the moan _Quis mihi tribuat_, and later still the stolen journey to
Littlemore and that paroxysm of tears as he leaned over the lych-gate
looking at the church.

Not long ago I went one Sunday evening to Westminster Cathedral. It was
winter, and the streets of tall and sullen houses in that gloomy
neighbourhood were darkening with fog. This fog crept slowly into the
cathedral. The surpliced boy who presented an alms-dish just within the
doors was stamping his feet and snuffling with cold. The leaves of
tracts and pamphlets on the table blew up and chattered in the wind
every time the door was thrust open.

The huge building was only half filled, perhaps hardly that. Through the
fog it was not easy to see the glittering altar, and when three priests
appeared before it their vestments so melted into the cloth that they
were visible only when they bowed to the monstrance. The altar bell rang
snappishly through this cold fog like the dinner bell of a boarding
house, and in that yellow mist, which deepened with every minute, the
white flames of the candles lost nearly all their starlike brightness.
There seemed to be depression and resentment in the deep voices of the
choir rumbling and rolling behind the screen; there seemed to be haste,
a desire to get it over, in the nasal voice of the priest praying almost
squeakily at the altar.

People were continually entering the cathedral, many of them having the
appearance of foreigners, many of them young men who looked like
waiters: one was struck by their reverence, and also by their look of
intellectual apathy.

Father Knox appeared in the pulpit, which is stationed far down the
nave, having come from his work of teaching at Ware to preach to the
faithful at Westminster. He looked very young, and rather apprehensive,
a slight boyish figure, swaying uneasily, the large luminous eyes, of an
extraordinary intensity, almost glazed with light, the full lips, so
obviously meant for laughter, parted with a nervous uncertainty, a wave
of thick brown hair falling across the narrow forehead with a look of
tiredness, the long slender hands never still for a moment.

I will endeavour to summarise his remarkable sermon, which was delivered
through the fog in a soft and throaty voice, the body of the preacher
swaying monotonously backward and forward, the congregation sitting back
in its little chairs and coughing inconveniently from beginning to end.
It was the strangest sermon I have listened to for many years, and all
the stranger for its unimpassioned delivery. He spoke of the Fall of Man
as a certainty[8]. He spoke continually of an offended God. Between
this offended God and His creature Man sin had dug an impassable chasm.
But Christ had thrown a bridge, from heaven's side of that chasm, over
the dreadful gulf. This is why Christ described Himself as the Way. He
is the Way over that chasm, and there is no other.

[Footnote 8: "It is a very singular and important fact that, from the
appearance in Genesis of the account of the creation and sin and
punishment of the first pair, not the faintest explicit allusion to it
is subsequently found anywhere in literature until about the time of
Christ. . . . Jesus Himself never once alludes to Adam, or to any part of
the story of Eden."--ALGER.]

But Christ also described Himself as a door. What is the definition of a
door? It is not enough to say that a door is a thing for letting people
in and letting people out. It is a thing for letting _some_ people in,
and for shutting other people out.

To whom did Christ entrust the key of this door? To St. Peter--to the
disciple who had denied Him thrice. What a marvellous choice! Would you
have thought of doing that? Should I have thought of doing that? Would
any theologian have invented such an idea? But that is what Christ did.

And ever since, St. Peter and his successors have held the keys of
Heaven and Hell, with power to loose and bind. What? you exclaim, were
the Keys of Heaven and Hell entrusted to even those Popes who lived
sinful lives and brought disgrace on the name of religion? Yes. To them
and to no others in their day. Whatever their lives may have been at
other moments, when they were loosing and binding they were acting for
St. Peter, who stood behind them, and behind St. Peter stood Jesus
Christ.

Such in brief was the sermon delivered that Sunday evening to the
faithful in Westminster Cathedral by one of the wittiest men now living
and one of the cleverest young men who ever came down from Oxford with
the assurance of a great career before them.

How is it that he has come to such a pass?

I feel that he is in part whistling to keep up his courage, but in chief
forcing himself to utter an extreme of traditional belief in order to
destroy the last vestige in his mind of a free intellectual existence.
Auto-suggestion has a power of which we only begin to know the first
movements.

The man who has said that he would not choose as the battleground of the
Christian religion either "the credibility of Judges or the edibility of
Jonah," the man who is blest with an unusual sense of humour and
intellectual subtlety of a rare order, is here found preaching a
theology which is fast being rejected by the students of Barcelona and
is being questioned even by the peasants of Ireland. What does it mean?
Is it possible to understand such a perversion of mind?

His intellectual position, as he states it, is a simple one--for the
present.

He asks us, Is Truth something which we are ordered to keep, or
something which we are ordered to find?

Is our business holding the fort? Or is it looking for the Pole?

The traditionalist can say, "Here is the Truth, written down for you and
me in black and white; I mean to keep it, and defend it from attack;
will you rally round it? Will you help me?"

He shows you the modernist wandering in the wilderness of speculative
theology looking for the Truth which the traditionalist, safe, warm, and
secure of eternal life, keeps whole and undefiled in his fortress.

It is like a fairy tale.

How simple it sounds! But when Father Knox looks in the glass does he
not see its staring fallacy?

Did he keep the Truth of his boyhood--the Truth of his father's church?
Did he not go outside the fortress of Evangelicalism and seek for Truth
in the fortress of Anglo-Catholicism? And here again, did he not break
faith, and once more seek Truth outside its walls? If Truth is not
something to be found, how is it that he is not still in the house of
his fathers?

Does he fail to see that this argument not merely explains but
vindicates the rejection of Christ by the Jews? They had their
tradition, a tradition of immemorial sanctity, perhaps the noblest
tradition of any people in the world.

Does he not also see that it destroys the _raison d'etre_ of the
Christian missionary, and would reduce the whole world to a state of
what Nietzsche called Chinaism and profound mediocrity?

Every religion in history, from the worship of Osiris, Serapis, and
Mithras to the loathsome rites practised in the darkness of African
forests, has been handed down as unquestionable truth commanding the
loyalty of its disciples. What logic, what magic of holiness, could
destroy a false religion if tradition is sacrosanct and all innovation
of the devil?

The intellectual duty of a Christian, Father Knox lays it down, is "to
resist the natural tendencies of his reason, and believe what he is
told, just as he is expected to do what he is told, not what comes
natural to him."

Such a proposition provokes a smile, but in the case of this man it
provokes a feeling of grief. I cannot bring myself to believe that he
has yet found rest for his soul, or that he can so easily strangle the
free existence of his mind. His present position fills me with pity, his
future with apprehension.

He is one of the modestest of men, almost shrinking in his diffidence
and nervous self-distrust, an under-graduate who is mildly excited about
an ingenious line of reasoning, a wit who loves to play tricks with the
subtlety of a curiously agile brain, a casuist who sees quickly the
chinks in the armour of an adversary. But with all his boyishness, and
charm, and humility, and engaging cleverness, there is a light in his
eyes too feverish for peace of mind. I cannot prevent myself from
thinking that his secession, which was something of a comedy to his
friends, may prove something of a tragedy to him.

He seems to me one of the most pathetic examples I ever encountered of
the ruin wrought by Fear. I think that the one motive of his life has
been a constant terror of finding himself in the wrong. The door, which
for Dr. Inge has no key, because it has no lock, is to Ronald Knox a
door of terror which opens only to a single key--and a door which as
surely shuts out from eternal life the soul that is wrong as the soul
that is wicked. He must have certainty. He dare not contemplate the
prospect of awaking one day to find his religious life "a ghastly
mistake."

At the cross roads there was for him no Good Shepherd, only the dark
shadow of an offended God. He ran for safety, for certainty. Has he
found them?

It may be that the last of his doubts will leave him, that the iron
discipline of the Roman Church and the auto-suggestion of his own
earnest passion for inward peace, may deliver him from all fear, all
uneasiness, and that one day, forsaking the challenging sermon and the
too violent assertion of the Catholic faith, he may find himself sitting
down in great peace of mind and with a golden mellowness of spirit to
write an _Apologia pro Vita Sua_ more genial and less shallow than _A
Spiritual AEneid_.

Such a book from his pen would lack, I think, the fine sweetness of
Newman's great work, but it might excel all other books of religious
autobiography in charming wit and endearing good humour. The Church of
Rome has caught in him neither a Newman nor a Manning. It has caught
either a Sydney Smith or a Tartar.

He has too much humour to be a bigot, and too much humanity to be
satisfied with a cell. For the moment he seems to embrace Original Sin,
to fling his arms round the idea of an offended God, and to shout at
the top of his voice that there is no violence to his reason and to his
common sense which he cannot contemplate and most gladly accomplish, in
the name of Tradition; but the pulses cool, the white heat of enthusiasm
evaporates, fears take wing as we grow older, and whispers from the
outer world of advancing and conquering men find their way into the
oldest blockhouse ever built against the movements of thought.

"Science," says Dr. Inge, "has been the slowly advancing Nemesis which
has overtaken a barbarised and paganised Christianity. She has come with
a winnowing fan in her hand, and she will not stop till she has
thoroughly purged her floor."

I am sure Ronald Knox was never meant to shut his eyes and stop his ears
against this movement of truth, and I am almost sure that he will
presently find it impossible not to look, and not to listen.

And then . . . what then?




DR. L.P. JACKS

JACKS, LAWRENCE PEARSALL, Principal of Manchester College, Oxford, since
1915; Professor of Philosophy, Manchester College, Oxford, since 1903;
Editor of the _Hibbert Journal_ since its foundation, 1902; b.
Nottingham, 1860; m. 1889 Olive Cecilia, d. of late Rev. Stopford
Brooke. Educ.: University School, Nottingham; University of London
(M.A., 1886); Manchester College; Goettingen; Harvard, U.S.A.; Hon. M.A.,
Oxford; Hon. L.L.D., Glasgow; Hon. D.D. Harvard; entered Ministry as
assistant to Rev. Stopford Brooke, in Bedford Chapel, 1887; subsequently
at Renshaw Street Chapel, Liverpool, and the Church of the Messiah,
Birmingham.

[Illustration: Dr. L.P. Jacks]




CHAPTER IV

DR. L.P. JACKS


_As an excellent amateur huntsman once said to me, "If you must
cast, lead the hounds into the belief that they are doing it
themselves_."--JOHN ANDREW DOYLE.

One of the great ladies of Oxford was telling me the other day that she
remembers a time when friends of hers refused, even with averted eyes
and a bottle of smelling salts at the nose, to go down the road where
Mansfield College had presumed to raise its red walls of Nonconformity.

To-day Manchester College, the seat of Unitarianism, stands on this same
dissenting road, and thither the ladies of Oxford go up in great numbers
to listen to the beautiful music which distinguishes the chapel service,
the chapel itself already beautiful enough with windows by Burne-Jones.

On the altar-cloth of this chapel are embroidered the words, GOD IS
LOVE. No tables of stone flank that gentle altar, and no panelled creeds
on the walls challenge the visitor to define his definitions. The
atmosphere of the place is worship. The greatest of all Christ's
affirmations is reckoned enough. God is love. No need, then, to
add--Therefore with Angels, and Archangels, and all the Company of
Heaven . . .

The Principal of Manchester College is Dr. L.P. Jacks, the Editor of
_The Hibbert Journal_, the biographer of Stopford Brooke and Charles
Hargrove, author of _Mad Shepherds_, _Legends of Smokeover_, and other
books which have won the affection of many readers and the praise of no
few scholars. He is a man of letters, a man of nature, and a mystic.

His face bears a strange resemblance to the unforgettable face of that
great Unitarian, James Martineau, whom Morley calls "the most brilliant
English apologist of our day"; it lacks the marvellous sweetness of
Martineau's expression, but has a greater strength; it does not bear
witness to so sure a triumph of serenity, but shows the marks of a
fiercer battle, and the scars of deeper wounds. It is the masculine of
the other's feminine.

Like Martineau's the head with its crown of white hair is nobly
sculptured, and like Martineau's the ivory coloured face is ploughed up
and furrowed by mental strife; but whereas Martineau's is eminently the
indoors face of a student, this is the face of a man who has lived out
of doors, a mountaineer and a seafarer. Under the dense bone of the
forehead which overhangs them like the eave of a roof, the pale blue
eyes look out at you with a deep inner radiance of the spirit, but from
the midst of a face which has been stricken and has winced.

Something of the resolution, the deliberateness, the stern power, and
the enduring strength of his spirit shows itself, I think, in the short
thickset body, with its heavy shoulders, its deep chest, its broad firm
upright neck, and its slow movements, the movements as it were of a
peasant. Always there is about him the feeling of the fields, the sense
of nature's presence in his life, the atmosphere of distances. Nothing
in his appearance suggests either the smear or the burnish of a town
existence.

It is not without significance that he has gone farther afield from
Oxford City than any other of its academic citizens, building for
himself a home on a hill two miles and more from Magdalen Bridge, with a
garden about it kept largely wild, and seats placed where the eye can
travel farthest.

This man, who is so unpushing and self-effacing, makes a contribution to
the Christian religion which deserves, I think, the thoughtful attention
of his contemporaries. It can be set forth in a few words, for his faith
is fastened in the conviction that the universe is far simpler than
science--for the moment--would allow us to think.

Let me explain at the outset that Unitarianism admits of a certain
diversity of faith. There are Unitarians who think and speak only of
God. There are others who lay their insistence on the humanity of Jesus,
exalting Him solely as the chief est of teachers. There are others who
choose to dwell on the uniqueness of Jesus, who feel in Him some
precious but quite inexpressible, certainly quite indefinable, spell of
divinity, and who love to lose themselves in mystical meditations
concerning His continual presence in the human spirit. Dr. Jacks, I
think, is to be numbered among these last. But, like all other
Unitarians, he makes no credal demands on mankind, save only the one
affirmation of their common faith, with its inevitable ergo: God is
Love, and therefore to be worshipped.

Robert Hall said to a Unitarian minister who always baptised "in the
Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost," attaching a
very sacred meaning to the words, "Why, sir, as I understand you, you
must consider that you baptise in the name of an abstraction, a man, and
a metaphor." More simple was the interpretation of a Japanese who, after
listening with a corrugated brow to the painful exposition of a recent
Duke of Argyll concerning the Trinity in Unity, and the Unity in
Trinity, suddenly exclaimed with radiant face, "Ah, yes, I see, a
Committee."

Dr. Jacks leaves these perplexities alone. For him, God is the Universal
Spirit, the Absolute Reality immanent in all phenomena, the Love which
reason finds in Goodness and intuition discovers in Beauty, the Father
of men, the End and the very Spirit of Evolution. And Jesus, so far as
human thought can reach into the infinite, is the Messenger of God, the
Revealer both of God's Personality and man's immortality, the great
Teacher of liberty. What else He may be we do not know, but may discover
in other phases of our ascent. Enough for the moment of duration which
we can human life to know that He unlocks the door of our prison-house,
reveals to us the character of our Father which is in Heaven, and the
nature of the universe in which we move and have our being.

If this should appear vague to the dogmatist who finds it impossible
either to love God or to do the will of Christ without going into the
arithmetic of Athanasius, and reciting an unintelligible creed, and
celebrating in Christian forms the rites of those mystery religions
which competed with each other for the superstition of the Greco-Roman
world in the third century, he will find no vagueness at all in Dr.
Jacks's interpretation of the teaching of Jesus. He may perhaps find in
that interpretation a simplicity, a clarity, and a directness which are
not wholly convenient to his idea of a God Who repents, is angry, and
can be mollified.

Whether Jesus was born of a Virgin or not, whether He raised dead bodies
to life or not, whether He Himself rose from the grave with His physical
body or not, certain is it, and beyond all dispute of every conceivable
kind, that He taught men a way of life, that He brought them a message,
that He Himself regarded His message as good news.

How carelessly men may think in this matter is shown to us rather
strikingly in a page of _Some Loose Stones_, a book to which reference
has already been made. After writing about dogma, and endeavouring to
show that the traditionalist is on firmer ground than the modernist,
because he can say, "Here is the Truth," while the modernist can only
say, "We will tell you what the truth is when we have found it,"
suddenly, with scarcely a draw of his breath, Father Knox exclaims:

     The real trouble is that they (the modernists) have got hold of the
     wrong end of the stick, that they have radically misconceived the
     whole nature of the Christian message, which is, to be one for all
     minds, for all places, for all times.

Note that word _message_. What confusion of thought!

The message of Christ is one thing; paganised dogma concerning Christ is
another. The message of Christ does indeed remain for all minds, for all
places, for all times, inexhaustible in its meaning, unalterable in its
nature; the dogmas of theology, on the other hand, demand Councils of
the Church for their definition, and an infallible Pope for their
interpretation. They change, have changed even in the unchangeable
Catholic Church, and will change with every advance of the positive
sciences and with every ascent of philosophy towards reality; but the
message stands, plain to the understanding of a child, yet still
rejected by the world. Christianity, as Dr. Jacks says, has been more
studied than practised.

How far quarrelling theologians and uncharitable Churches are
responsible for that rejection, let the conscience of the traditionalist
(if he happen to know history) decide.

As for the message, here is a reading of it by a Unitarian--a reading, I
venture to say, for all minds, for all places, for all times--a reading
which stands clear of controversial theology, and which, in spite of its
profundity, is a message for the simple as well as for the learned.

Christianity is man's passport from illusion into reality. It reveals to
him that he is not in the world to set the world right, but to see it
right. He is not a criminal and earth is not a Borstal Institution.
Nature is the handiwork of a Father. Look deeply into that handiwork and
it reveals a threefold tendency--the tendency towards goodness, the
tendency towards beauty, the tendency towards truth. Ally yourself with
these tendencies, make yourself a growing and developing intelligence,
and you inhabit spiritual reality.

Study the manner of Jesus, His attitude to the simplest and most
domestic matters, the love He manifested, and the objects for which He
manifested that love. These things have "a deeper significance than our
pensive theologies have dared to find in them. . . . They belong not to the
fringe of Christianity but to its essence." Christ loved the world.

His religion, which has come to stand for repression founded on an
almost angry distrust of human nature, is in fact "the most encouraging,
the most joyous, the least repressive, and the least forbidding of all
the religions of the world." It does not fear the world, it masters it.
It does not seek to escape from life, it develops a truer and more
abundant life. It places itself at the head of evolution.

There are points on its path where it enters the shadows and even
descends into hell, for it is a religion of redemption, the religion of
the shepherd seeking the lost sheep, but "the end of it all is a
resurrection and not a burial, a festival and not a funeral, an ascent
into the heights and not a lingering in the depths."

     Nowhere else is the genius of the Christian Religion so poignantly
     revealed than in the Parable of the Prodigal Son, which begins in
     the minor key and gradually rises to the major, until it culminates
     in a great merry-making, to the surprise of the Elder Son, who
     thinks the majesty of the moral law will be compromised by the
     music and dancing, and has to be reminded that these joyous sounds
     are the keynotes of the spiritual world.

Dr. Jacks well says that we should be nearer the truth if, instead of
thinking how we can adapt this religion to the minds of the young, we
regarded it as "originally a religion of the young which has lost some
of its savour by being adapted to the minds of the old."

Then he reminds us that it was "in the form of a person that the
radiance of Christianity made its first appearance and its first
impression on the world." A Light came into the world.

The Jesus of history drew men to Him by an inward beauty. His serenity
gave the sick and the suffering an almost riotous confidence that He
could heal them. His radiance attracted children to His side. He was
fond of choosing a child for the sublimest of teachings. He made it
clear that entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven is easiest to those who
are least deluded or enchained by appearances, and hardest to those
whose hearts lie in their possessions. The Kingdom of Heaven signifies
freedom.

He was the great teacher of the poverty of riches, and the wealth of
nothingness. He knew as no other had ever known, and saw as no other had
ever seen, the symbolism of nature. Always His vision pierced behind the
appearance to the thing in itself. He loved "the reality that abides
beyond the shadows." He directed our spiritual vision to this reality,
telling us that the soul makes a natural response "to a world built on
the same heavenly pattern with itself and aglow with the same immortal
fire." He taught that joy is a thing of the spirit. He made it plain
that loss, disillusion, and defeat are the penalty of affections set on
the outside of things. The materialist is in prison.

He did not condemn the earth; He taught that its true loveliness is to
be discerned only by the spiritual eye. For Him the earth was a symbol,
and the whole realm of nature a parable.

     I cannot but think that we are never further from the genius of the
     Christian religion than when we treat this luminous atmosphere as
     though it were a foreign envelope, of little account so long as the
     substance it enshrines is retained intact. Without it, the
     substance, no matter how simple or how complex, becomes a dry
     formula, dead as the moon.

     Losing the radiance we lose at the same time the central light from
     which the radiance springs, and our religion, instead of
     transforming the corruptible world into its incorruptible
     equivalents, reverts to the type it was intended to supersede and
     becomes a mere safeguard to the moral law.

Nothing can allay our present discords and the long confusions of the
world, short of "those radiant conceptions of God, of man, of the
universe, which are the life and essence of Christianity."

"Liberty," says Edouard Le Roy, "is rare; many live and die and have
never known it." And Bergson says, "We are free when our acts proceed
from our entire personality, when they express it, when they exhibit
that indefinable resemblance to it which we find occasionally between
the artist and his work."

This, I think, is what Dr. Jacks means when he speaks of Christianity
bestowing liberty--a new mastery over fate and circumstance. It calls
forth not only the affection of a man, and not only the intelligence of
a man, but the whole of his intuitions as well. The entire personality,
the entire field of consciousness, the entire mystery of the ego, is
bidden to throw itself upon the universe with confidence, with
gratitude, with love unspeakable, recognising there the act of a
Fatherhood of which, in its highest moments, the soul is conscious in
itself.

Thus is man made free of illusion. No longer can the outside of things
deceive him, or the defeats of the higher by the lower deject, much less
overwhelm him. He sees the reality behind the appearance. He dwells
with powers which are invisible and eternal--with justice, with virtue,
with beauty, with truth, with love, with excellence. More to him than
any house built with hands, more, much more even than the habitation of
his own soul, is the invisible life of that soul, its delight in beauty,
its immediate response to truth and goodness, its longing for the flight
of the One to the One, its almost athletic sense of spiritual fitness.

Dr. Jacks will have no element of fear in this religion. He finds no
room in the universe for an offended God. Belief in God can mean nothing
else but love of God. All our troubles have come upon us from the
failure of the Church to live in the radiant atmosphere of this belief,
to make belief a life, a life that needs no dogmas and expresses itself
by love.

But this was not to be. The Church cultivated fear of God, and could not
bring itself to trust human nature.

     Belief passed into dogma; the mind of man was put in fetters as
     well as his body; the Church built one prison and the State
     another. . . . All this was closely connected with the idea of the
     _potentate_ God which Church and State, in consequence of their
     political alliance, had restored, against the martyr protest of
     Jesus Christ.

But how should man be treated? Here it is that Dr. Jacks makes a most
valuable suggestion:

     Treat man, after the mind of Christ, as a being whose first need is
     for Light, and whose second need is for government, and you will
     find that as his need for light is progressively satisfied, his
     need for government will progressively diminish.

     Is it not a significant fact that while the churches are
     complaining of emptiness, the schools, the colleges, the
     universities, are packed to overflowing?

Dr. Jacks has asked quite recently a Frenchman, a Swede, a Dutchman, an
American, a Chinaman, and a Japanese, "What is the leading interest in
your country? What do your people really believe in?" The answer in each
case was, "Education."

When he varied his question, and asked, "What have you learnt from the
war?" the answer came, "We have learnt our need of education."

     Some would prefer them to have said: "We have learnt our need of
     Christianity." But is it not the same thing? In grasping the vast
     potentialities of the human spirit, and that is what this hunger
     for education means, have they not grasped an essential
     characteristic of the Christian religion and placed themselves at
     its very growing point?

Education is Light, and Light is from God.

Dr. Jacks believes that a movement has begun which, "if it develops
according to promise, will grow into the most impassioned enterprise so
far undertaken by man."

     The struggle for _light_, with its wide fellowships and high
     enthusiasms, will displace the struggle for _power_, with its mean
     passions, its monstrous illusions, and its contemptible ideals.

     The struggle for power will end, not, as some predict, in
     universal revolution, which would merely set it going again in
     another form, but by being submerged, lost sight of, snowed under,
     by the greater interests that centre round the struggle for light.

     I say these things will happen. But they will not happen unless men
     are sufficiently resolved that they shall.

Let the reader remember that those who now flock to the schoolmaster are
less likely than men of the previous generation to fall into the pit of
materialism. They begin at a point which the previous generation did not
believe to exist--a visible world reduced by positive science to the
invisible world of philosophy. They confront not a quantitative
universe, but a qualitative. They almost begin at the very spirit of
man; they cannot advance far before they find themselves groping in the
unseen, and using, not the senses given to us by action, but the eyes
and ears of the understanding by which alone the soul of man can
apprehend reality. Even the Germans have gone back to Goethe.

This, then, is the contribution which Dr. Jacks makes to modern thought.
We are to consider man as a creature of boundless potentiality, to
realise that his first need is for light, and to define that mystic
all-important word in terms of education. Christianity was not concerned
with the moral law; it was concerned with the transcending of all law by
the spirit of understanding.

I need not guard myself against the supposition that so true a scholar
is satisfied with the system of education which exists at the present
time. Dr. Jacks looks for a reform of this system, but not from the
present race of politicians.

"How can we hope to get a true system of education from politics?" he
asked me. "Is there any atmosphere more degrading? Plato has warned us
that no man is fit to govern until he has ceased to desire power. But
these men think of nothing else. To be in power; that is the game of
politics. What can you expect from such people?"

He said to me, "Men outside politics are beginning to see what education
involves. It involves the whole man, body, mind, spirit. I do not think
you can frame an intelligent definition of education without coming up
against religion. In its simplest expression, education is a desire to
escape from darkness into light. It is fear of ignorance, and faith in
knowledge. At the present time, most people have escaped from darkness
into twilight; a twilight which is neither one thing nor the other. But
they will never rest there. The quest of the human spirit is Goethe's
dying cry, Light--more Light. And it is from these men that I look to
get a nobler system of education. They will compel the politicians to
act, perhaps get rid of the present race of politicians altogether. And
when these humble disciples of knowledge, who are now making heroic
efforts to escape from the darkness of ignorance, frame their definition
of education, I am sure it will include religion. The Spirit of Man
needs only to be liberated to recognise the Spirit of God."

Most people, I think, will agree with Dr. Jacks in these opinions; they
are intelligent and promise a reasonable way out of our present chaos.
For many they will shed a new light on their old ideas of both religion
and education. But some will ask: What is the Unitarian Church doing to
make these intelligent opinions prevail?

Dr. Jacks confesses to me that there is no zeal of propaganda in the
Unitarian communion. It is a society of people which does not thrust
itself upon the notice of men, does not compete for converts with other
churches in the market-place. It is rather a little temple of peace
round the corner, to which people, who are aweary of the din in the
theological market-place, may make their way if they choose. It is such
a Church as Warburton, to the great joy of Edward FitzGerald, likened to
Noah's family in the Ark:

     The Church, like the Ark of Noah, is worth saving; not for the sake
     of the unclean beasts that almost filled it and probably made most
     noise and clamour in it, but for the little corner of rationality
     that was as much distressed by the stink within as by the tempest
     without.

It is significant of the modesty of the Unitarian that he does not
emerge from this retirement even to cry, "I told you so," to a Church
which is coming more and more to accept the simplicity of his once
ridiculed and anathematised theology.

"You must regard modernism," I said to Dr. Jacks on one occasion, "as a
vindication of the Unitarian attitude."

He smiled and made answer, "Better not say so. Let them follow their own
line."

No man was ever less of a proselytiser. In his remarkable book _From
Authority to Freedom_, in which he tells the story of Charles Hargrove's
religious pilgrimage, he seems to be standing aside from all human
intervention, watching with patient eyes the action of the Spirit of God
on the hearts and consciences of men. And in that little masterpiece of
deep thought and beautiful writing, _The Lost Radiance of the Christian
Religion_, from which I have made most of the quotations in this
chapter, one is conscious throughout of a strong aversion from the field
of dogma and controversy, of deliberate determination of the writer to
keep himself in the pure region of the spirit.

Christianity, he tells us there, has seen many corruptions, but the most
serious of all is not to be found in any list of doctrines that have
gone wrong:

     We find it rather in a change of atmosphere, in a loss of
     brightness and radiant energy, in a tendency to revert in spirit,
     if not in terminology, to much colder conceptions of God, of man,
     and of the universe.

"As man in his innermost nature is a far higher being than he seems, so
the world in its innermost nature is a far nobler fabric than it seems."
To discover this man must live in his spirit.

     "God," said Jesus, "is Spirit," and it is a definition of God which
     goes behind and beneath all the other names that are applied to
     Him.

     The spirit is love; it is peace; it is joy; and perhaps joy most of
     all. It is a joyous energy, having a centre in the soul of man.

     It is not a foreign principle which has to be introduced into a man
     from without; it belongs to the substance and structure of his
     nature; it needs only to be liberated there; and when once that is
     done it takes possession of all the forces of his being, repressing
     nothing, but transfiguring everything, till all his motives and
     desires are akindle and aglow with the fires and energy of that
     central flame, with its love, its peace, its joy.

A man who sees so deeply into the truth of things, and lives so
habitually at the centre of existence, is not likely to display the
characteristics of the propagandist. But the work of Dr. Jacks at
Manchester College may yet give not only this country but the world--for
his students come from many nations--a little band of radiant
missionaries whose message will repel none and attract many.




BISHOP HENSLEY HENSON

     DURHAM, Bishop of, since 1920; Rt. Rev. Herbert Hensley Henson; b.
     London 8th Nov., 1863, 4th s. of Late Thomas Henson, Broadstairs
     Kent, and Martha Fear; m. 1902 Isabella Caroline, o.d. of J.W.
     Dennistoun of Dennistoun, N.B. Educ.: Privately and at Oxford.
     First Class Modern History; Fellow of All Soul's College, Oxford,
     1884-91, reelected 1896; B.D. 1898; Hon. D.D. Glasgow, 1906;
     Durham, 1913; Oxon, 1918; Head of the Oxford House, Bethnal Green,
     1887-88; Vicar of Barking, Essex, 1888-95; Select Preacher at
     Oxford, 1895-96, 1913-14; Cambridge, 1901; Incumbent of St. Mary's
     Hospital, Ilford, 1895-1900; Chaplain to Lord Bishop of St.
     Alban's, 1897-1900; Canon of Westminster Abbey and Rector of St.
     Margaret's, 1900-12; Sub-Dean of Westminster, 1911-12; Dean of
     Durham, 1912-18; Bishop of Durham, 1918-20; late Hon. Professor of
     Modern History in Durham University; Proctor in Convocation,
     1903-18.

[Illustration: BISHOP HENSLEY HENSON]




CHAPTER V

BISHOP HENSLEY HENSON

     _He early attained a high development, but he has not increased it
     since; years have come, but they have whispered little; as was said
     of the second Pitt, "He never grew, he was cast_."--WALTER BAGEHOT.


Rumour has it that Dr. Henson is beginning to draw in his horns. Every
curate who finds himself unable to believe in the Virgin Birth, so it
said, feels himself entitled to a living in the diocese of Durham. They
flee from the intolerant zealotry of the sacerdotal south to the genial
modernism of the latitudinarian north.

But the trouble is, so rumour has it, these intelligent curates prove
themselves but indifferent parish priests. Dr. Henson has to complain.
The work of the Church must be carried on. Evangelicalism seems a better
driving force than theology. Dr. Henson has to think whether perhaps . . .

One need not stop to ask if this version is strictly true. The fact
seems to emerge that the Bishop of Durham, one of the ablest intellects
in the Church of England, and hitherto one of the strongest pillars of
modernism, is beginning to speak theologically with rather less
decision.

Let us at least express the pious hope that the Dean of Durham, Dr.
Welldon, has had nothing to do with it. A greater man than Dr. Henson, a
greater scholar and a profounder thinker, has spoken to me of this new
movement in the Bishop's mind with a deep impersonal regret. Modernism
will go on; but what will happen to Dr. Henson? "A man may change his
mind once," he said; "but to change it twice--"

The words of Guicciardini came into my mind, "The most fatal of all
neutralities is that which results not from choice, but from
irresolution."

There is much to be learned, I think, from a study of Dr. Henson's
personality. He stands for the moment at a parting of the ways, and it
will be interesting to see which road he intends to take; but the major
interest lies in his abiding psychology, and no change in theological
opinions will affect that psychology at all. Attach to him the label of
"modernist" or the label of "traditionalist," and it will still be the
same little eager man thrusting his way forward on either road with
downward head and peering eyes, arguing with anyone who gets in his way,
and loving his argument far more than his way.

When he was at Oxford, and was often in controversial conflict with Dr.
A.C. Headlam, now Regius Professor of Divinity, Dr. Hensley Henson
earned the nickname of Coxley Cocksure. Never was any man more certain
he was right; never was any man more inclined to ridicule the bare idea
that his opponent could be anything but wrong; and never was any man
more thoroughly happy in making use of a singularly trenchant intellect
to stab and thrust its triumphant way through the logic of his
adversary.

It is said that Dr. Henson has had to fight his way into notice, and
that he has never lost the defect of those qualities which enabled him
so victoriously to reach the mitred top of the ecclesiastical tree. He
has climbed. He has loved climbing. Perhaps he has so got into this
bracing habit that he may even "climb down," if only in order once more
to ascend--a new rendering of _reculer pour mieux sauter_. I do not
think he has much altered since he first set out to conquer fortune by
the force of his intellect, an intellect of whose great qualities he has
always been perhaps a little dangerously self-conscious.

Few men are more effective in soliloquy. It is a memorable sight to see
him standing with his back to one of the high stone mantelpieces in
Durham Castle, his feet wide apart on the hearth-rug, his hands in the
openings of his apron, his trim and dapper body swaying ceaselessly from
the waist, his head, with its smooth boyish hair, bending constantly
forward, jerking every now and then to emphasise a point in his
argument, the light in his bright, watchful, sometimes mischievous eyes
dancing to the joy of his own voice, the thin lips working with pleasure
as they give to all his words the fullest possible value of vowels and
sibilants, the small greyish face, with its two slightly protruding
teeth on the lower lip, almost quivering, almost glowing, with the
rhythm of his sentences and the orderly sequence of his logic. All this
composes a picture which one does not easily forget. It is like the
harangue of a snake, which is more subtle than any beast of the field.
One is conscious of a spell.

The dark tapestried room, the carved ceiling, the heavy furniture, the
embrasured windows, the whole sombre magnificence of the historic
setting, quiet, almost somnolent, with the enduring memories of Cuthbert
Tunstall and Butler, Lightfoot and Westcott, add a most telling vivacity
to the slim and dominating figure of this boylike bishop, who is so
athletic in the use of his intellect and so happy in every thesis he
sets himself to establish.

It is an equally memorable sight to see him in his castle at Bishop
Auckland in the role of host, entertaining people of intelligence with
the history of the place, showing the pictures and the chapel,
exhibiting curious relics of the past--a restless and energetic figure,
holding its own in effectiveness against men of greater stature and more
commanding presence by an inward force which has something of the tang
of a twitching bow-string.

So much energy would suggest a source of almost inexhaustible power. But
that is perhaps the greatest disappointment of all in the Bishop's
psychology. In the case of Dr. Inge one is very conscious of a rich and
deep background, a background of mysticism, from which the intellect
emerges with slow emphasis to play its part on the world's stage. In the
case of Bishop Ryle one is conscious behind the pleasant, courtierlike,
and scholarly manner of a background of very wholesome and unquestioning
moral earnestness. But in Dr. Henson one is conscious of nothing behind
the intellect but intellect itself, an intellect which has absorbed his
spiritual life into itself and will permit no other tenant of his mind
to divert attention for a single moment from its luminous brilliance,
its perfection of mechanism.

One may be quite wrong, of course; one can speak only of the impression
which he makes upon oneself and perhaps a few of one's friends; but it
would almost seem as if he had ever regarded Christianity as a thesis to
be argued, not a religion to be preached, a principle to be enunciated,
not a practice to be extended, a tradition to be maintained, not a
passion to be communicated.

Yet his sermons, which a great Anglo-Catholic declared to me with a
mocking mordancy to be full of "edification," do often enter that region
of religion which seems to demand an appeal to the emotions; moreover,
it is not to be thought for a moment that the Bishop is not deeply
concerned with all moral questions, that he is in the least degree
indifferent to the high importance of conduct. But for myself these
excursions, earnest and well-intentioned as they are, proclaim rather
the social energy of the good citizen than the fervent zeal of an
apostle on fire with his Master's message. The evangelicalism of the
Bishop has taken, as it were, the cast of politics, and he enters the
pulpit of Christ to proclaim the reasonableness of the moral law with
the alacrity of the lecturer.

This is what makes him so interesting a study for those curious about
the workings of religious psychology. Here is a thoroughly good man, as
fearless and upright as any man in the kingdom, a figure among scholars,
a power among organisers, a very able, sincere, and trenchant
personality, who has thrown the whole weight of all he has to give on
the side of Christianity, but who, for some reason, in despite of all
his hard work and unquestionable earnestness, does not convey any idea
of the attraction of Christ.

It makes one doubt, not that the Bishop has reserved his feelings for
another affection, but whether he has any feelings to bestow. One thinks
that he has drawn up and concentrated so effectually all the forces of
his personality into the intellect that it is now impossible for him to
see religion except as an intellectual problem. One thinks, too, that he
has never dreamed of converting other people to his views, but only of
arguing them out of theirs. Yet, after all, there are more ways of
converting the world than beating a drum.

I am certain, however, that he could easier convince a socialistic
collier or a communistic iron-moulder of the absurdity of his economics
than persuade either the one or the other of the spiritual satisfaction
of his own religion. Perhaps religion presents itself to the Bishop, as
it does to a great number of other people, as a consecration of moral
law, and clearly moral law is something to be established by reason, not
commended by appeals to the sentiments; not for one moment, all the
same, would he countenance the famous cynicism of Gibbon--"The various
modes of worship, which prevailed in the Roman world, were all
considered by the people as equally true; by the philosophers as equally
false; and by the magistrate as equally useful"--for no man sees more
clearly the permanent need of religion in the human spirit, and no man
is more sincerely convinced of the truth of the Christian religion. But
he brings to religion, as I think, only his intellect, and so he has
intellectualised its ethic, and has left its deepest meaning to those
who possess, what he has either always lacked or has forfeited in his
intellectual discipleship, the qualities of mysticism.

One might almost say that he has intellectualised the Sermon on the
Mount, dissected the Prodigal Son as a study in psychology, and taken
the heart out of the Fourth Gospel.

His usefulness, however, is of a high order. With the sole exception of
Dean Inge, no front bench Churchman has displayed a more admirable
courage in confronting democracy and challenging its Materialistic
politics. Moreover, although he modestly doubts his effectiveness as a
public speaker, he has shown an acute judgment in these attacks which
has not been lost upon the steadier minds in the Labour world of the
north. Perhaps he has done as much as any man up there to convince an
embittered and disillusioned proletariat that it must accept the
inevitable rulings of economic law.

His courage in this matter is all the more praiseworthy because he seems
to be convinced, to speak in general terms, that the religion of Christ
is now rejected by the democracy. It needs, therefore, great strength of
mind to face a body of men who have lost all interest in his religion,
and to address them not only as economist and historian but as one who
still believes that Christianity bestows a power which sets at defiance
all the worst that circumstance and condition can do to the soul of man.

In these addresses he puts aside the materialistic dreams of the social
reformer as impractical and dangerous.

     Ideal reconstructions of society, pictures of "The Kingdom of God
     upon earth," to use a popular but perilous phrase, are not greatly
     serviceable to human progress. They may even turn men aside from
     the road of actual progress, for the indulgence of philanthropic
     imagination neither strengthens the will in self-sacrifice, nor
     illumines the practical judgment.

His argument then leads him to question the justification of the social
reformer's oratory. "Let us be on our guard," he says, "against
exaggeration."

     I am sure that great harm is being done at the present time by the
     reckless denunciation of the existing social order, often by men
     who have no special knowledge either of the history of society, or
     of the present situation. Hypnotised by their own enthusiasm, they
     allow themselves to use language which is not only altogether
     excessive, but also highly inflammatory. I am bound honestly to say
     that I think some of the clergy are great offenders in this
     respect. Having created or stimulated popular discontent by such
     rhetorical exaggeration, they point to the discontent as itself
     sufficient proof of the existence of social oppression. They are
     immersed in a fallacy.

With boldness he carries the war into the camp of his enemies:

     There is much food for thought in the notorious fact that the
     critics of existing society, so far from being able to count upon
     the popular discontent, are compelled to organise an elaborate
     system of defaming propaganda in order to induce the multitude to
     believe themselves oppressed.

He charges the social reformer with an immoral idealism. The worker is
encouraged to prolong his work, is taught that he may with perfect
justice adopt the policy of ca' canny, seeing that his first duty is,
not to his master, but to his wife and children.

"Imagine the effect on character," cries the Bishop, "of eight hours'
dishonesty every day, eight hours of a man's second or third best, never
his whole heart in his job! And this is called idealism!"

     If industrialism were swept away, and some form of Socialism were
     established, the success of the new order, as of the old, would
     have to turn on the willingness of the people honestly to work it.
     It hardly lies in the mouths of men who are labouring incessantly
     to obstruct the working of the existing order, to build an argument
     against it on the measure of their success in making it fail. There
     are confessedly many grave evils in our industrial system, but
     there are also very evident benefits. It is, like human nature
     itself, a mingled thing. Instead of exaggerating the evils, the
     wiser course would surely be to inquire how far they are capable of
     remedy, and then cautiously--for the daily bread of these many
     millions of British folk depends on the normal working of our
     industrial system--to attempt reforms. Reckless denunciation is not
     only wrong in itself, but it creates a listless, disaffected
     temper, the farthest removed possible from the spirit of good
     citizenship and honest labour.

In these quotations you may see something of the Bishop's acuteness of
intellect, something of his courage, and something of his wholesome good
sense. But, also, I venture to think, one may see in them something of
his spiritual limitations.

For, after all, is not the Christian challenged with an identical
criticism by the champions of materialism?

Why can't he leave people alone? Who asks him to interfere with the
lives of other people--other people who are perfectly contented to go
their own way? Look at the rascal! Having created or stimulated
spiritual discontent by rhetorical exaggeration, he points to the
discontent as itself sufficient proof of the dissatisfaction of
materialism! Out upon him, for a paid agitator, a kill-joy, and a
humbug. Let him hold his peace, or, with Nietzsche, consign these
masses of the people "to the Devil and the Statistician."

Might it not be argued that the Bishop's attitude towards the social
reformer bears at least a slight family resemblance to the attitude of
the Pharisees towards Christ, and of the Roman Power to the earliest
Christian communities? May it not be said, too, that nothing is so
disagreeable to a conservative mind as the fermentation induced by the
leaven of a new idea?

Never does dissatisfaction with the present condition of things appear
in the Bishop's eyes as a creation of the Christian spirit, an extension
of that liberalising, enfranchising, and enriching spirit which has
already destroyed so many of the works of feudalism. But he faces the
question of the part which the Church must play in the world; he faces
it with honesty and answers it with shrewdness--

     What then is the role of the Church in such a world as this? Surely
     it is still what it was before--to be the soul of society, "the
     salt of the earth." If we, Christ's people, are carrying on, year
     in and year out, a quiet, persistent witness by word and life to
     "the things that are more excellent," the unseen things which are
     eternal, we too shall be "holding the world together," and opening
     before society the vista of a genuine progress. This is the supreme
     and incommunicable task of the Church; this is the priceless
     service which we can render to the nation.

The position is defensible, for it is one that has been held by the
saints, and dangerous indeed is the spirit of materialism in the region
of social reform. But does not one miss from the Bishop's attack upon
the social reformer something much deeper than successful logic,
something which expresses itself in the works of other men by the
language of sympathy and charity, something which hungers and thirsts to
shed light and to give warmth, something which makes for the eventual
brotherhood of mankind under the divine Fatherhood of God?

Some such spirit as this, I think, is to be found in the writings of Mr.
R.H. Tawney, who, however much he may err and go astray in his
economics, cherishes at least a more seemly vision of the human family
than that which now passes for civilisation. Is it not possible that the
day may come when a gigantic income will seem "ungentlemanly"? Is it not
a just claim, a Christian claim, that the social organisation should be
based upon "moral principles"?

     Christians are a sect, and a small sect, in a Pagan Society. But
     they can be a sincere sect. If they are sincere, they will not
     abuse the Pagans . . . for a good Pagan is an admirable person. But
     he is not a Christian, for his hopes and fears, his preferences and
     dislikes, his standards of success and failure, are different from
     those of Christians. The Church will not pretend that he is, or
     endeavour to make its own Faith acceptable to him by diluting the
     distinctive ethical attributes of Christianity till they become
     inoffensive, at the cost of becoming trivial.

     . . . so tepid and self-regarding a creed is not a religion.
     Christianity cannot allow its sphere to be determined by the
     convenience of politicians or by the conventional ethics of the
     world of business. The whole world of human interests was assigned
     to it as its province (_The Acquisitive Society_).

It must not be supposed that the Bishop has no answer to this criticism
of his attitude. He would say, "Produce your socialistic scheme, and I
will examine it, and if it will work and if it is just I will support
it; but until you have found this scheme, what moral right do you
possess which entitles you to unsettle men's minds, to fill their hearts
with the bitterness of discontent, and to turn the attention of their
souls away from the things that are more excellent?"

On this ground, the ground of economics, his position seems to me
unassailable; but it is a position which suggests the posture of a
lecturer in front of his black-board rather than that of a shepherd
seeking the lost sheep of his flock. If the socialist must think again,
at least we may ask that the Bishop should sometimes raise his crook to
defend the sheep against the attack of the robber and the wolf. If the
sheep are to be patient, if they are not to stray, if they are not to
die, there must be food for their grazing.

But the Bishop, at the very roots of his being, is conservative, and the
good qualities of conservatism do not develop foresight or permit of
vision. He would stick to the wattled cotes; and I think he would move
his flock on to new pastures as seldom as possible. This will not do,
however. The social reformer tells the Bishop who thinks democracy has
rejected religion that "the hungry sheep look up and are not fed." The
roots of the old sustenance are nibbled level to the ground, and the
ground itself is sour. If socialism is wrong, let the Bishop tell us
where lies a safer pasture.

One seems to see in this thrusting scholar and restless energetic
prelate a very striking illustration of the need in the Christian of
tenderness. Intellect is not enough. Intellect, indeed, is not light; it
is only the wick of a lamp which must be fed constantly with the oil of
compassion--that is to say, if its light is to shine before men. The
Bishop dazzles, but he does not illumine the darkness or throw a white
beam ahead of heavy-laden and far-journeying humanity on the road which
leads, let us hope, to a better order of things than the present system.

Whether such a man calls himself traditionalist or modernist does not
greatly matter. One respects him for his moral qualities, his courage,
and his devotion to his work; one honours him for his intellectual
qualities, which are of a high and brilliant order; but one does not
feel that he is leading the advance, or even that he knows in which
direction the army is definitely advancing.




MISS MAUDE ROYDEN


ROYDEN, AGNES MAUDE, Assistant Preacher at the City Temple, 1918-20;
Founder with Dr. Percy Dearmer of the Fellowship Services at Kensington;
b. 1876, y.d. of late Sir Thomas Royden, 1st Bart. of Frankby Hall,
Birkenhead. Educ.: Cheltenham Ladies' College; Lady Margaret Hall,
Oxford. Worked at the Victoria Women's Settlement, Liverpool, for three
years and then in the country parish of Luffenham; Lecturer in English
Literature to the Oxford University Extension Delegacy; joined the
National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies, 1908; on Executive
Committee, 1908; Edited the _Common Cause_ till 1914; wrote and spoke
chiefly on the economic, ethical, and religious aspects of the Women's
Movement; resigned executive, 1914.

[Illustration: MISS MAUDE ROYDEN]




CHAPTER VI

MISS MAUDE ROYDEN

     . . . _their religion, too (i.e. the religion of women), has a mode
     of expressing itself, though it seldom resorts to the ordinary
     phrases of divinity.

     Those "nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and of love," by
     which their influence is felt through every part of society,
     humanising and consoling wherever it travels, are their theology.
     It is thus that they express the genuine religion of their minds;
     and we trust that if ever they should study the ordinary dialect of
     systematised religion they will never, while pronouncing its harsh
     gutturals and stammering over its difficult shibboleths, forget
     their elder and simpler and richer and sweeter language._--F.D.
     MAURICE.


Pushkin said that Russia turned an Asian face towards Europe and a
European face towards Asia.

This acute saying may be applied to Miss Royden. To the prosperous and
timid Christian she appears as a dangerous evangelist of socialism, and
to the fiery socialist as a tame and sentimental apostle of
Christianity. As in the case of Russia, so in the case of this
interesting and courageous woman; one must go to neither extremity,
neither to the _bourgeoisie_ nor to the _apacherie_, if one would
discover the truth of her nature.

Nor need one fear to go direct to the lady herself, for she is the very
soul of candour. Moreover, she has that charming spirit of friendliness
and communication which distinguished La Bruyere, a philosopher "always
accessible, even in his deepest studies, who tells you to come in, for
you bring him something more precious than gold or silver, _if it is the
opportunity of obliging you_."

Certainly Miss Royden does not resemble, in her attitude towards either
God or the human race, that curious _religieuse_ Mdme. de Maintenon, who
having been told by her confessor in the floodtime of her beauty that
"God wished her to become the King's mistress," at the end of that
devout if somewhat painful experience, replied to a suggestion about
writing her memoirs, "Only saints would find pleasure in its perusal."

Miss Royden's memoirs, if they are ever written, would have, I think,
the rather unusual merit of pleasing both saints and sinners; the saints
by the depth and beauty of her spiritual experience, the sinners by her
freedom from every shade of cant and by her strong, almost masculine,
sympathy with the difficulties of our human nature. Catherine the Great,
in her colloquies with the nervous and hesitating Diderot, used to say,
"Proceed; _between men_ all is allowable." One may affirm of Miss Royden
that she is at once a true woman and a great man.

It is this perfect balance of the masculine and feminine in her
personality which makes her so effective a public speaker, so powerful
an influence in private discourse, and so safe a writer on questions of
extreme delicacy, such as the problem of sex. She is always on the
level of the whole body of humanity, a complete person, a veritable
human being, neither a member of a class nor the representative of a
sex.

Perhaps it may be permitted to mention two events in her life which help
one to understand how it is she has come to play this masculine and
feminine part in public life.

One day, a day of torrential rain, when she was a girl living in her
father's house in Cheshire, she and her sister saw a carriage and pair
coming through the park towards the house. The coachman and footman on
the box were soaking wet, and kept their heads down to avoid the sting
of the rain in their eyes. The horses were streaming with rain and the
carriage might have been a watercart.

When the caller, a rich lady, arrived in the drawing-room, polite wonder
was expressed at her boldness in coming out on such a dreadful day. She
seemed surprised. "Oh, but I came in a closed carriage," she explained.

This innocent remark opened the eyes of Miss Royden to the obliquity of
vision which is wrought, all unconsciously in many cases, by the power
of selfishness. The condition of her coachman and footman had never for
a moment presented itself to the lady's mind. Miss Royden made
acquaintance with righteous indignation. She became a reformer, and
something of a vehement reformer.

The drenched carriage coming through a splash of rain to her home will
remain for ever in her mind as an image of that spirit of selfishness
which in its manifold and subtle workings wrecks the beauty of human
existence.

Miss Royden, it should be said, had been prepared by a long experience
of pain to feel sympathy with the sufferings of other people. Her mind
had been lamentably ploughed up ever since the dawn of memory to receive
the divine grain of compassion.

At birth both her hips were dislocated, and lameness has been her lot
through life. Such was her spirit, however, that this saddening and
serious affliction, dogging her days and nights with pain, seldom
prevented her from joining in the vigorous games and sports of the
Royden family. She was something of a boy even in those days, and pluck
was the very centre of her science of existence.

The religion of her parents suggested to her mind that this suffering
had been sent by God. She accepted the perilous suggestion, but never
confronted it. It neither puffed her up with spiritual pride nor created
in her mind bitter thoughts of a paltry and detestable Deity. A pagan
stoicism helped her to bear her lot quite as much as, if not more than,
the evangelicalism of Sir Thomas and Lady Royden. Moreover, she was too
much in love with life to give her mind very seriously to the
difficulties of theology. Even with a body which had to wrench itself
along, one could swim and row, read and think, observe and worship.

Her eldest brother went to Winchester and Magdalen College at Oxford;
she to Cheltenham College and Lady Margaret Hall at Oxford. Education
was an enthusiasm. Rivalry in scholarship was as greatly a part of that
wholesome family life as rivalry in games. There was always a Socratic
"throwing of the ball" going on, both indoors and out. Miss Royden
distinguished herself in the sphere of learning and in the sphere of
sports.

At Oxford the last vestiges of her religion, or rather her parents'
religion, faded from her mind, without pain of any order, hardly with
any consciousness. She devoted herself wholeheartedly to the schools. No
longer did she imagine that God had sent her lameness. She ceased to
think of Him.

But one day she heard a sermon which made her think of Jesus as a
teacher, just as one thinks of Plato and Aristotle. She reflected that
she really knew more of the teaching of Plato and Aristotle than she
knew of Christ's teaching. This seemed to her an unsatisfactory state of
things, and she set herself, as a student of philosophy, to study the
teaching of Jesus. What had He said? Never mind whether He had founded
this Church or that, what had He said? And what had been His science of
life, His reading of the riddle?

This study, to which she brought a philosophic mind and a candid heart,
convinced her that the teaching should be tried. It was, indeed, a
teaching that asked men to prove it by trial. She decided to try it, and
she tried it by reading, by meditation, and by prayer. The trial was a
failure. But in this failure was a mystery. For the more she failed the
more profoundly conscious she became of Christ as a Power. This feeling
remained with her, and it grew stronger with time. The Christ who would
not help her nevertheless tarried as a shadow haunting the background of
her thoughts.

There was a secret in life which she had missed, a power which she had
never used. Then came the second event to which I have referred. Miss
Royden met a lady who had left the Church of England and joined the
Quakers, seeking by this change to intensify her spiritual experience,
seeking to make faith a deep personal reality in her life. This lady
told Miss Royden the following experience:

One day, at a Quakers' meeting, she had earnestly "besieged the Throne
of Grace" during the silence of prayer, imploring God to manifest
Himself to her spirit. So earnestly did she "besiege the Throne of
Grace" in this silent intercession of soul that at last she was
physically exhausted and could frame no further words of entreaty. At
that moment she heard a voice in her soul, and this voice said to her,
"Yes, I have something to say to you, _when you stop your shouting_."

From this experience Miss Royden learned to see the tremendous
difference between physical and spiritual silence. She cultivated, with
the peace of soul which is the atmosphere of surrender and dependence,
silence of spirit; and out of this silence came a faith against which
the gates of hell could not prevail; and out of that faith, winged by
her earliest; sympathy with all suffering and all sorrow, came a desire
to give herself up to the service of God. She had found the secret, she
could use the power.

Her first step towards a life of service was joining a Women's
Settlement in Liverpool, a city which has wealth enough to impress and
gratify the disciples of Mr. Samuel Smiles, and slums enough to excite
and infuriate the disciples of Karl Marx. Here Miss Royden worked for
three years, serving her novitiate as it were in the ministry of mercy,
a notable figure in the dark streets of Liverpool, that little eager
body, with its dragging leg, its struggling hips, its head held high to
look the whole world in the face on the chance, nay, but in the hope,
that a bright smile from eyes as clear as day might do some poor devil a
bit of good.

She brought to the slums of Liverpool the gay cheerfulness of a
University woman, Oxford's particular brand of cheerfulness, and also a
tenderness of sympathy and a graciousness of helpfulness which was the
fine flower of deep, inward, silent, personal religion.

It is not easy for anyone with profound sympathy to believe that
individual Partingtons can sweep back with their little mops of
beneficence and philanthropy the Atlantic Ocean of sin, suffering, and
despair which floods in to the shores of our industrialism--at high tide
nearly swamping its prosperity, and at low tide leaving all its
ugliness, squalor, and despairing hopelessness bare to the eye of
heaven.

Miss Royden looked out for something with a wider sweep, and in the year
1908 joined the Women's Suffrage Movement. It was her hope, her
conviction, that woman's influence in politics might have a cleansing
effect in the national life. She became an advocate of this great
Movement, but an advocate who always based her argument on religious
grounds. She had no delusions about materialistic politics. Her whole
effort was to spiritualise the public life of England.

Here she made a discovery--a discovery of great moment to her subsequent
career. She discovered that many came to her meetings, and sought
personal interviews or written correspondence with her afterwards, who
were not greatly interested in the franchise, but who were interested,
in some tragic cases poignantly interested, in spiritual
enfranchisement. Life revealed itself to her as a struggle between the
higher and lower nature, a conflict in the will between good and evil.
She was at the heart of evolution.

It became evident to Miss Royden that she had discovered for herself
both a constituency and a church. Some years after making this discovery
she abandoned all other work, and ever since, first at the City Temple
and now at the Guildhouse in Eccleston Square, has been one of the most
effective advocates in this country of personal religion.

She does not impress one by the force of her intellect, but rather by
the force of her humanity. You take it for granted that she is a
scholar; you are aware of her intellectual gifts, I mean, only as you
are aware of her breeding. The main impression she makes is one of full
humanity, humanity at its best, humanity that is pure but not
self-righteous, charitable but not sentimental, just but not hard, true
but not mechanical in consistency, frank but not gushing. Out of all
this come two things, the sense of two realisms, the realism of her
political faith, and the realism of her religious faith. You are aware
that she feels the sufferings and the deprivations of the oppressed in
her own blood, and feels the power, the presence, and the divinity of
Christ in her own soul.

It is a grateful experience to sit with this woman, who is so like the
best of men but is so manifestly the staunchest of women. Her face
reveals the force of her emotions, her voice, which is musical and
persuasive, the depth of her compassion. In her sitting-room, which is
almost a study and nearly an office, hangs a portrait of Newman, and a
_prie-Dieu_ stands against one of the walls half-hidden by bookshelves.
She is one of the few very busy people I have known who give one no
feeling of an inward commotion.

Apart from her natural eloquence and her unmistakable sincerity, apart
even from the attractive fullness of her humanity, I think the notable
success of her preaching is to be attributed to a single reason, quite
outside any such considerations. It is a reason of great importance to
the modern student of religious psychology. Miss Royden preaches Christ
as a Power.

To others she leaves the esoteric aspects of religion, and the
ceremonial of worship, and the difficulties of theology, and the
mechanism of parochial organisation. Her mission, as she receives it, is
to preach to people who are unwilling and suffering victims of sin, or
who are tortured by theological indecision, that Christ is a Power, a
Power that works miracles, a Power that can change the habits of a
lifetime, perhaps the very tissues of a poisoned body, and can give both
peace and guidance to the soul that is dragged this way and that.

One may be pardoned for remarking that this is a rather unusual form of
preaching in any of the respectable churches. Christianity as a unique
power in the world, a power which transfigures human life, which tears
habitude up by the roots, and which gives new strength to the will, new
eyes to the soul, and a new reality to the understanding; this, strange
to say, is an unusual, perhaps an unpopular subject of clerical
discourse. It is Miss Royden's insistent contribution to modern
theology.

She tells me that so far as her own experience goes, humanity does not
seem to be troubled by intellectual doubts. She is inclined to think
that it is even sick of such discussions, and is apt to describe them
roughly and impatiently as "mere talk." Humanity, as she sees it, is
immersed in the incessant struggle of moral evolution.

There is an empiricism of religion which is worth attention. It
challenges the sceptic to explain both the conversion of the sinner and
the beauty of the saint. If religion can change a man's whole character
in the twinkling of an eye, if it can give a beauty of holiness to human
nature such as is felt by all men to be the highest expression of man's
spirit, truly it is a science of life which works, and one which its
critics must explain. The theories of dogmatist and traditionalist are
not the authentic documents of the Christian religion. Let the sceptic
bring his indictment against the changed lives of those who attribute to
Christ alone the daily miracle of their gladness.

What men and women want to know in these days, Miss Royden assures me
out of the richness of her great experience, is whether Christianity
works, _whether it does things_. The majority of people, she feels sure,
are looking about for "something that helps"--something that will
strengthen men and women to fight down their lower nature, that will
convince them that their higher nature is a reality, and that will give
them a living sense of companionship in their difficult lives--lives
often as drab and depressing as they are morally difficult.

Because she can convey this great sense of the power of Christianity,
people all over the country go to hear her preach and lecture. She is, I
think, one of the most persuasive preachers of the power of Christianity
in any English-speaking country. It is impossible to feel of her that
she is merely speaking of something she has read about in books, or of
something which she recommends because it is apostolic and traditional;
she brings home to the mind of the most cynical and ironical that her
message, so modestly and gently given, is nevertheless torn out of her
inmost soul by a deep inward experience and by a sympathy with humanity
which altogether transfigures her simple words.

It must be difficult, I should think, for any fairminded sceptic not to
give this religion at least a practical trial after hearing Miss
Royden's exposition of it and after learning from her the manner in
which that experiment should be carried out. For she speaks as one
having the authority of a deep personal experience, making no dogmatic
claims, expressing sympathy with all those who fail, but assuring her
hearers that when the moment comes for their illumination it will come,
and that it will be a veritable dayspring from on high. Earnestness is
hers of the highest and tenderest order, but also the convincing
authority of one who has found the peace which passes understanding.

She has spoken to me with sympathy of Mr. Studdert-Kennedy, whose
trench-like methods in the pulpit are thoroughly distasteful to a great
number of people. It is characteristic of Miss Royden that she should
fasten on the real cause of this violence. "I don't like jargon," she
said, "particularly the jargon of Christian Science and Theosophy. I
love English literature too much for that; and I don't like slang,
particularly slang of a brutal order; but I feel a deep sympathy with
anybody who is trying, as Mr. Studdert-Kennedy is trying, to put life
and power into institutionalism. It wants it so badly--oh, so very
badly--life, life, life and power."

Of one whose scholarship greatly impresses her, and for whose spiritual
life she has true respect, but whose theology fills her soul with dark
shadows and cold shudders, she exclaimed, as though it were her own
fault for not understanding him, "It is as if God were dead!"

Always she wants Christianity as life and power.

She remains a social reformer, and is disposed to agree with Bishop Gore
that the present system is so iniquitous that it cannot be
Christianised. She thinks it must be destroyed, but admits the peril of
destructive work till a new system is ready to take its place.

Yet I feel fairly certain that she would admit, if pressed with the
question, that the working of any better system can depend for its
success only upon a much better humanity. For she is one of those who is
bewildered by the selfishness of men and women, a brutal, arrogant,
challenging, and wholly unashamed selfishness, which publicly seeks its
own pleasures, publicly displays the offending symbols of its offensive
wealth, publicly indulges itself in most shameful and infuriating
luxuries, even at a time when children are dying like flies of
starvation and pestilence, and while the men of their own household, who
fought to save civilisation from the despotism of the Prussian theory,
tramp the streets, hungry and bitter-hearted, looking for work.

On her mind, moving about England at all times of the year, the reality
of these things is for ever pressing; the unthinkable selfishness of so
many, and the awful depression of the multitude. She says that a system
which produces, or permits, such a state of things must be bad, and
radically bad.

There are moments, when she speaks of these things, which reveal to one
a certain anger of her soul, a disposition, if I may say so with great
respect, towards vehemence, a temper of impatience and indignation which
would surely have carried her into the camp of anarchy but for the
restraining power of her religious experience. She feels, deeply and
burningly, but she has a Master. The flash comes into her eyes, but the
habitual serenity returns.

I think, however, she might be persuaded to believe that it is not so
much the present system but the pagan selfishness of mankind which
brings these unequal and dreadful things to pass. The lady in the closed
carriage would not be profoundly changed, we may suppose, by a different
system of economics, but surely she might be changed altogether--body,
soul, and spirit--if she so willed it, by that Power which has directed
Miss Royden's own life to such beautiful and wonderful ends.

Nevertheless, Miss Royden must be numbered among the socialists, the
Christian socialists, and Individualism will be all the better for
asking itself how it is that a lady so good, so gentle, so clear-headed,
and so honest should be arrayed with its enemies.

I should like to speak of one memorable experience in Miss Royden's
later life.

She has formed a little, modest, unknown, and I think nameless guild for
personal religion. She desires that nothing of its work should get into
the press and that it should not add to its numbers. She wishes it to
remain a sacred confraternity of her private life, as it were the lady
chapel of her cathedral services to mankind, or as a retreat for her
exhausted soul.

Some months ago she asked a clergyman who has succeeded in turning into
a house of living prayer a London church which before his coming was
like a tomb, whether he would allow the members of this guild, all of
whom are not members of the Church of England, to come to the Eucharist.
He received this request with the most generous sympathy, saying that he
would give them a private celebration, and one morning, soon after dawn,
the guild met in this church to make its first communion. No one else
was present.

Miss Royden has told me that it was an unforgettable experience. Here
was a man, she said, who has no reputation as a great scholar, and no
popularity as an orator; he is loved simply for his devotion to Christ
and his sympathy with the sorrows of mankind. Yet that man, as no other
man had done before, brought the Presence of God into the hearts of that
little kneeling guild. It was as if, Miss Royden tells me, God was there
at the altar, shining upon them and blessing them. Never before had she
been more certain of God as a Person.

It is from experiences of this nature that she draws fresh power to make
men and women believe that the Christian religion is a true philosophy
of reality, and a true science of healing. She is, I mean, a mystic. But
she differs from a mystic like Dean Inge in this, that she is a mystic
impelled by human sympathy to use her mysticism as her sole evangel.




CANON E.W. BARNES

     BARNES, Rev. ERNEST WILLIAM, M.A., Sc.D., F.R.S., F.R.A.S.; Canon
     of Westminster since 1918; b. 1 April, 1874; e.s. of John Starkie
     Barnes; m. 1916, Adelaide Caroline Theresa, o.d. of Sir Adolphus W.
     Ward; two s. Educ.: King Edward's School, Birmingham; Trinity
     College, Cambridge (Scholar). Bracketed 2d Wrangler, 1896;
     President of the Union, 1897; First Class First Division of the
     Mathematical Tripos, Part ii., 1897; first Smith's Prizeman, 1898;
     Fellow of Trinity College, 1898-1916; M.A., 1900; Ordained, 1902;
     Assistant Lecturer Trinity Coll., 1902; Junior Dean, 1906-8; Tutor,
     1908-15; Master of the Temple, 1915-19; Examining Chaplain to
     Bishop of Llandaff, 1906-20: a Governor of King Edward's School,
     Birmingham, 1907; F.R.S., 1909; Select Preacher, Cambridge, 1906,
     etc., and Oxford, 1914-16; Fellow of King's College, London, 1919.

[Illustration: CANON E.W. BARNES]




CHAPTER VII

CANON E.W. BARNES


     _True religion takes up that place in the mind which superstition
     would usurp, and so leaves little room for it; and likewise lays us
     under the strongest obligations to oppose it.--BISHOP BUTLER.

     Socrates looked up at him, and replied, Farewell: I will do as you
     say. Then he turned to us and said, How courteous the man
     is!--PLATO._


In this able and courageous Doctor of Science, who came to theology from
mathematics, a great virtue and a small fault combine to check his
intellectual usefulness. His heart is as full of modesty as his mind of
tentatives.

He is possessed by a gracious nature, and could no more think of raising
his voice to shout down a Boanerges than he could dream of lifting an
elbow to push his way through a press of people bound for the limelight.
It is only a deep moral earnestness which brings him into public life at
all, and he endeavours to treat that public life not as it is but as it
ought to be.

In "the calmness and moderation of his sentiments," in his dislike of
everything that is sensational, and of all "undue emphasis," he
resembles Joubert, who wanted "to infuse exquisite sense into common
sense, or to render exquisite sense common."

Modesty might not so hamper the usefulness of Canon Barnes if he knew a
little less than he does know, and was also conveniently blind to the
vastness of scientific territory. But he knows much; much too much for
vociferation; and his eyes are so wide open to the enormous sweep of
scientific inquiry that he can nowhere discern at present the ground for
a single thesis which effectually accounts for everything--a great lack
in a popular preacher.

I am disposed to deplore the degree both of his modesty and his
scholarship, for he possesses one of the rarest and most precious of
gifts in a very learned man, particularly a mathematician and a
theologian, namely, the gift of lucid exposition. Few men of our day, in
my judgment, are better qualified to state the whole case for
Christianity than this distinguished Canon of Westminster Abbey, this
evangelical Fellow of the Royal Society, who is nevertheless prevented
from attracting the attention of the multitude by the gracious humility
of his nature and the intellectual nervousness which is apt to inhibit
his free utterance when he approaches an audience in the region of
science.

What a pity that a clergyman so charming and attractive, and yet so
modern, who understands the relativity of Einstein and who is admirably
grounded in the physical sciences, should lack that fighting instinct,
that "confidence of reason," which in Father Waggett, an equally
charming person, caught the attention of the religious world thirty or
forty years ago.

His mind is not unlike the mind of Lord Robert Cecil, and it is curious
that even physically he should at certain moments resemble Lord Robert,
particularly in his walk and the almost set expression of his eyes. He
is tall and thin, and has the same stoop in the shoulders, moving
forward as if an invisible hand were pressed against the back of his
neck, shoving him forward by a series of jerks; and he seems to throw,
like Lord Robert, a particular sense of enjoyment into the motion of his
legs, as though he would get rid of all perilous swagger at that, the
less harmful end of his two extremities--the antipodes of his reason.
Like Lord Robert, too, he has a most pleasant voice, and a slow
deliberate way of speaking, and a warm kindly smile which fades at the
first movement of serious thought, leaving the whole pale face, even the
dark eyes under their heavy brows, almost deathlike in immobility. One
seems to see in such moments the spirit withdraw from the surface of
things to take up its duty at the citadel of the intellect.

The same conflict between temperament and purpose which has prevented
Lord Robert Cecil from taking his place at the head of a Government
prevents Canon Barnes from advancing at the head of modern Churchmen to
the rich future of a depaganised and wholly rational Christianity. His
heart says "Fight," but his reason says "Watch." Fighting is
distasteful; watching is congenial. Besides, while one is watching one
can review all the hypotheses. A man who is not careful in destroying a
fallacy may damage a truth.

But let us be grateful for his public utterances, which show a high
spirit, a noble devotion, an enviable range of culture, and, for the
discerning at least, tell the true time of day. It is one of the
encouraging signs of the period that such distinguished preaching should
have made a mark. Moreover, he is yet three years from fifty, with a
mind so hospitable to growth that it has no room for one of those
prejudices which are the dry-nurses of old age. Those who love truth die
young, whatever their age. Canon Barnes may yet give the Church a proof
of his power to lead--a Church at present aware only of his power to
suggest.

He considers that we are living in a time of revolution, and, judging by
historic precedents, particularly the Renaissance, he thinks we are now
in the second stage of our revolution, which is the most difficult of
all. First, comes the destruction of false ideas--a bracing time for the
born fighter; second, comes the tentative search for new ideas--an
anxious time for the responsible philosopher; third, comes the preaching
of these new ideas with passion--the opportunity of the enthusiast.
Happy were the divines of the seventeenth century!

We, however, are in the second stage.

This is not a period for new ideas: it is a period of searching for the
best idea. He who rushes forward with an untried new idea may be more
dangerous than he who still clings, in the Name of Christ, to an old
idea which is false. We must be quite certain of our ground before we
advance with boldness, and our boldness must be spiritual, not muscular.

Modernism has fought and won the battle of verbal inspiration. No man
whose opinion counts in the least degree now holds that the Bible was
verbally inspired by God. It is respected, honoured, loved; but it is no
longer a fetish. In ceasing to be a superstition, and in coming to be a
number of genuine books full of light for the student of history, the
Bible is exercising at the present time an extraordinary influence in
the world, a greater influence perhaps on thoughtful minds than it ever
before exercised.

The battle which modernism is now fighting over this collection of books
concerns the Person of Jesus and the relative value of the gospels which
narrate His life, and in the case of the Fourth, endeavour to expound
His teaching. This great battle is not over, but it looks as if victory
will lie with the more moderate school of modernists. Outside very
extreme circles, the old rigid notions concerning the Person of Jesus
are no longer held with the passion which gave them a certain noble
force in the days before Darwin. There is now a notable tell-tale
petulance about orthodoxy which is sometimes insolent but never
effective.

Ahead of this battle, which the present generation may live to see
fought out to a conclusion, lies a third struggle likely to be of a more
desperate character than its two forerunners--the battle over
Sacramental Christianity. Already in France and Germany the question is
asked, Did Jesus institute any sacraments at all? But even in these two
countries the battle has not yet begun in real earnest, while over here
only readers of Lake and Kennedy are dimly aware of a coming storm. That
storm will concern rites which few orthodox Christians have ever
regarded as heathen in their spirit, though some have come to know they
are pagan in origin.

It is not wise to ignore this future struggle, but our main
responsibility is to bear a manful part in the struggle which is now
upon us.

There are three types of modernists. There is, first of all, the
Liberal, who regards Christianity as a form of Platonism resting on the
idea of absolute values. This is dangerous ground: something more is
required. Then there is the evangelical modernist, who accepts almost
everything in the Higher Criticism, but holds to Christ as an
incarnation of the Divine purpose, an incarnation, if you will, of God,
all we can know of God limited by His human body, as God we must suppose
is not limited, but still God. And, finally, there is the Catholic
modernist, who believes in a Church, who makes the sacraments his centre
of religion, and exalts Christianity to the head of all the mystery
religions which have played a part in the evolution of the human race.
This is not likely to be the prevailing type of modernism.

It looks as if the main body of modern opinion is moving in the
direction followed by the second of these schools--the evangelical. Here
is preserved all that great range of deep feeling and all that fine
energy of unselfish earnestness which have given to Christianity the
most effectual of its impulses. A man may still worship Christ, and
still make obedience to the Will of Christ the chief passion or object
of his existence, although he no longer believes that Jesus was either
born out of the order of nature or died to turn away the vengeance of
God from a world which had sinned itself beyond the reach of infinite
love.

Like Goethe, such a man will say: "As soon as the pure doctrine and love
of Christ are comprehended in their true nature, and have become a
living principle, we shall feel ourselves great and free as human
beings, and not attach special importance to a degree more or less in
the outward forms of religion."

The critics of modernism do not seem able, for some reason, to grasp a
truth which has been apparent all down the ages, a truth so old that it
is almost entitled to be regarded as a tradition, and so widely held
that it is almost worthy to be called catholic, namely, the truth that
Jesus loses none of His power over human history so long as He abides a
living principle in the hearts of individual men. So long as He
expresses for mankind the Character of God and reveals to mankind the
nature of God's purpose, so long as men love Him as they love no other,
and set themselves to make His spirit tell, first in their lives and
after that in the world about them, does it greatly matter whether they
speak of His divinity or His uniqueness, whether they accept definitions
concerning Him (framed by men in the dark ages) or go about to do His
will with no definitions in their mind at all beyond the intellectual
conviction that here is One who spoke as no other man has spoken since
the creation of the world?

Canon Barnes, who disowns the name of modernist, but who is the very
opposite of an obscurantist in his evangelicalism, is careful to insist
upon a _rational_ loyalty to Christ. I tried one day to tempt him on
this head, speaking of the miraculous changes wrought in men's lives by
religious fervour pure and simple; but it was in vain. He agrees that
religious fervour may work such miracles: he is the last man in the
world to dismiss these miracles as curious and interesting phenomena of
psychology; but he insists, and is like a rock on this matter, that
emotional Christianity is not safe without an intellectual background.

He makes me feel that his modernism, if I may presume to use that term,
is an evangelical desire of his soul to give men this intellectual
background to their faith. He wants, as it were, to save their beliefs
rather than their souls. He regards the emotionalist as occupying
territory as dangerous to himself and to the victory of Christianity as
the territory occupied by the traditionalist. Both schools offend the
mind of rational men; both make Christianity seem merely an affair of
temperament; and both are exposed to the danger of losing their faith.

To convert the world to the Will of God, it is essential that the
Christian should have a rational explanation of his faith, a faith
which, resting only on tradition or emotion, must obviously take its
place among all the other competing religions of mankind, a religion
possessing no authority recognised by the modern world.

The modern world rightly asks of every opinion and idea presented to its
judgment, "Is it true?" and it has reason on its side in being sceptical
concerning the records of the past. If not, there are religions in the
world of an antiquity greater than Christianity's, whose traditions have
been faithfully kept by a vaster host of the human race than has ever
followed the traditions of Christianity. Is it to be a battle between
tradition and tradition? Is age to be a test of truth? Is devotion to a
formula to count as an argument?

The emotionalist, too, is no longer on safe ground in protesting his
miracles of conversion. The psychologist is advancing towards that
ground, and advancing with every theory of supernatural evidence
excluded from his mind. The psychologist may eventually be driven to
accept the Christian explanation of these phenomena; but until that
surrender is made the emotionalist will not be the power in the world
which he ought to be. His house, too, must be founded upon a rock.

Let us not be afraid of examining our faith, bringing our minds as well
as our hearts and our souls to the place of judgment.

I will give here a few quotations from the utterances of Canon Barnes
which show his position with sufficient clearness.

     We all seek for truth. But, whereas to some truth seems a tide
     destined to rise and sweep destructively across lands where Jesus
     reigned as the Son of God, to me it is the power which will set
     free new streams to irrigate His Kingdom.

     As is obvious to everyone, all the Churches realise, though some do
     not acknowledge, the necessity of presenting the Christian Faith in
     terms of current thought.

     We have seen the urgent need of a fuller knowledge of the structure
     of the human mind if we would explain how Jesus was related to God
     and how we receive grace from God through Christ.

     I am an Evangelical; I cannot call myself a modernist. I have
     welcomed the intervention of those who, disclaiming any knowledge
     of scholarship or theology, have in simple language revealed the
     power of Christ in their lives. For theory and practice,
     speculation and life, cannot be separated. We cannot begin to
     explain Jesus until we know how men and women are transformed by
     the love of Christ constraining them.

     Those to whom religion is external and worship formal are of
     necessity pretentious or arid in speaking of such matters as the
     Person of Christ or the value of creeds.

     We do not affirm that the Lord's Person and work have been central
     in Christianity in the past. There is much to be said for the view
     that they were, from the end of the second century to the close of
     the Middle Ages, concealed beneath alien ideas derived from the
     mystery religions; that the Reformation was the hammer which broke
     the husk within which, under God's providence, the kernel had been
     preserved during the decline and eclipse of European civilisation.

     . . . as religion grows in richness and purity, Jesus comes to His
     own.

     Reason and intuition combine to justify the belief that our Lord
     had a right understanding of what man can become.

     We say that man is not only a part of the evolutionary process. His
     highest attributes must serve to show its purpose. They reveal the
     nature and the end of God's plan.

     . . . as man develops in the way predestined by God, he will
     continually approach the standard set by Jesus. Jesus will ever
     more completely draw men and inspire them because they will more
     fully understand that He explains them to themselves.

     The present degradation of human life is due to man's refusal to
     accept Christ's estimate of its values and duties. It will endure
     so long as the work and Person of Christ are refused their right
     place in human thought and aspiration.

     Jesus still lives, great and unexplained.

From these quotations it will be seen that Canon Barnes is not searching
the documents of Christianity for a new hypothesis, but rather for a new
understanding by which he may be able to present the historic power of
Christianity in terms of modern thought. Jesus remains for him the
central Figure of evolution. "Human thought," he declares, "as moulded
by developed aspirations and accumulated knowledge, will not sweep past
Jesus but will circle round Him as the centre where God revealed
Himself."

Perhaps we shall best understand the position of Canon Barnes if we see
him, neither on this side nor on that of the warring controversy, but
rather among the entire host of Christianity, warning all schools of
thought, all parties, all sects, that they must prepare themselves for
the final strife which is yet to come, that great strife, foreseen by
Newman, when the two contrary principles of human life, the Good and the
Evil, shall rush upon each other contending for the soul of the world.
Christianity must become united and strong at its centre, if it is to
withstand this onslaught.

He is not to be thought of as one who would adapt religion to the needs
of the day, but as one who believes that, thoroughly understood,
religion is adequate to the needs, not only of our day, but to the needs
of all time. For to Canon Barnes, religion is simply the teaching of
Christ, and Christ is the revelation to man of God's nature and purpose.
He would simplify dogma in order to clarify truth. He would clarify
truth in order to enlarge the opportunities of Christ. He would call no
man a heretic who is not serving the devil. None who seeks to enter the
Kingdom will ever be hindered by this devout disciple of truth in whose
blood is no drop of the toxin of Pharisaism.

You may see the intellectual charity of the man in his attitude towards
other teachers of our time whose views are opposed to his own. Of Dean
Inge he has spoken to me with almost a ringing enthusiasm, emphasizing
his unbounded force, his unbounded courage; and of Bishop Gore with the
deepest respect, paying reverent tribute to his spiritual earnestness;
even the Bishop of Zanzibar provokes only a smile of the most cheerful
good humour.

He inclines quietly towards optimism, believing in the providence of God
and thinking that the recent indifference to religion is passing away.
Men are now seeking, and to seek is eventually to find. This seeking, he
observes, is among the latest utterances of theology, a fact of
considerable importance. To keep abreast of truth one must neither go
back nor stand still. Men are now not so much swallowing great names as
looking for a candle.

Not long ago he paid a visit to a favourite bookshop of his in
Cambridge, and inquired for second-hand volumes of theology. "I have
nothing here," replied the bookseller, "that would interest you. The
books you would like go out the day after they come in, sometimes the
same day." Then pointing to the upper shelves, "But I've plenty of the
older books"; and there in the dust and neglect of the top shelves Canon
Barnes surveyed the works of grave and portentous theologians who wrote,
some before the days of Darwin, and some in the first heyday of
Darwinism. He said to me, "Lightfoot is still consulted, but even
Westcott is now neglected."

He spoke of two difficulties for the Church. One is this: her supreme
need at the present time is men for the ministry, the best kind of men,
more men and much better men, men of learning and character, able to
teach with persuasive authority. It is not the voice of atheism we hear;
it is the voice of the Church that we miss. But, as Bishop Gore claims,
most of the theological colleges are in the hands of the
traditionalists, and the tendency of these colleges is to turn out
priests rather than teachers, formalists rather than evangelists. Such
colleges as represent the evangelical movement are, thanks to their
title deeds, largely in the hands of pious laymen not very well
educated, who adhere rigidly to a school of thought which is associated
in the modern mind with an extreme of narrowness. Thus it comes about
that many men who might serve the Church with great power are driven
away at her doors. Something must be done to get men whose love of truth
is a part of their love of God.

The second difficulty concerns the leadership of the Church. Bishops
should be men with time to think, able when they address mankind to
speak from "the top of the mind"; scholars rather than administrators,
saints rather than statesmen; but such is the present condition that a
man who is made a bishop finds himself so immersed in the business of a
great institution that his intellectual and spiritual life become things
of accident, luxurious things to be squeezed into the odd moments, if
there are any, of an almost breathless day. This is not good for the
Church. The world is not asking for mechanism. It is asking for light.
It is, indeed, an over-organised world working in the dark.

Canon Barnes, however, is not concerned only with the theological
aspects of Christianity. For him, religion is above all other things a
social force, a great cleansing and sanctifying influence in the daily
life of evolving man. One may obtain a just idea of his mind from a
pronouncement he made at the last conference of Modern Churchmen:

     We cannot call ourselves Christians unless we recognise that we
     must preach the Gospel; that we must go out and labour to bring men
     and women to Christ.

     The Kingdom of God is a social ideal.

     Modern Churchmen cannot stand aloof from intellectual, political,
     and economic problems.

     To bring the Gospel into the common life, to carry the message and
     sympathies of Jesus into the factory, the street, the house, is an
     urgent necessity in our age.

He sees Christianity, not as an interesting school of philosophy, not as
a charming subject for brilliant and amicable discussions, but as a
force essential to the salvation of mankind; a force, however, which
must first be disentangled from the accretions of ancient error before
it can work its transforming miracles both in the heart of men and in
the institutions of a materialistic civilisation. It is in order that it
should thus work in the world, saving the world and fulfilling the
purposes of God, that he labours in no particular school of the Church,
to make the reasonableness of Christ a living possession of the modern
mind.

Supreme in his character is that virtue Dr. Johnson observed and praised
in a Duke of Devonshire--"a dogged veracity."




GENERAL BRAMWELL BOOTH


BOOTH, W. BRAMWELL, General of the Salvation Army since 1912; e.s. of
late General Booth; b. Halifax, 8 March, 1856; m. 5882, Florence
Eleanor; two s. four d. Educ.: Privately. Commenced public work 1874;
Chairman of the S.A. Life Assurance Society and the Reliance Bank; Chief
of Staff, Salvation Army, 1880-1912. Publications: _Books that Bless;
Our Master; Servants of All; Social Reparation; On the Banks of the
River; Bible Battle-Axes; Life and Religion;_ and various pamphlets on
Social and Religious Subjects.

[Illustration: GENERAL BRAMWELL BOOTH]




CHAPTER VIII

GENERAL BRAMWELL BOOTH


     . . . _for the generality of men, the attempt to live such a life
     would be a fatal mistake; it would narrow instead of widening their
     minds, it would harden instead of softening their hearts. Indeed,
     the effort "thus to go beyond themselves, and wind themselves too
     high," might even be followed by reaction to a life more profane
     and self-indulgent than that of the world in general._--EDWARD
     CAIRD.


Because General Booth wears a uniform he commands the public curiosity;
but because of that curiosity the public perhaps misses his considerable
abilities and his singular attraction. His worst enemy is his frogged
coat. Attention is diverted from his head to his epaulettes. He
deserves, I am convinced, a more intelligent inquisitiveness.

To begin with, he is to be regarded as the original founder of that
remarkable and truly catholic body of Christians known as the Salvation
Army. His picturesque father and his wonderful mother were the humanity
of that movement, but their son was its first impulse of spiritual
fanaticism. The father was the dramatic "showman" of this movement, the
son its fire. The mother endowed it with the energy of a deep and
tender emotion, the son provided it with machinery.

It was Mr. Bramwell Booth, with his young friend Mr. Railton abetting
him, who, discontented with the dullness and conservatism of the
Christian Mission, drove the Reverend William Booth, an ex-Methodist
minister preaching repentance in the slums, to fling restraint of every
kind to the winds and to go in for religion as if it were indeed the
only thing in the world that counted. William Booth at that time was
forty-nine years of age.

Again, it was Mr. Bramwell Booth, working behind the scenes and pulling
all the strings, who edged his father away from concluding an alliance
with the Church of England in the early eighties. Archbishop Benson was
anxious to conclude that alliance, on terms. The terms did not seem
altogether onerous to the old General, who was rather fond of meeting
dignitaries. But Mr. Bramwell Booth would hear of no concession which
weakened the Army's authority in the slums, and which would also
eventually weaken its authority in the world. He refused to acknowledge
any service or rite of the Church as _essential_ to the salvation of
men. If the Lord's Supper were essential the Army would have it; but the
Army had proved that no other power was necessary to the working of
miracles in the souls of men beyond the direct mercy of God acting on
the centre of true penitence. He was the uncompromising protagonist of
conversion, and his father came to agree with him.

Neither the old General nor his inspired wife, admirable as revivalists,
had the true fire of fanaticism in their blood. They were too
warm-hearted. That strange unearthly fire burns only to its whitest
heat, perhaps, in veins which are cold and minds which are hard. It does
not easily make its home in benevolent and philanthropic natures,
certainly never in purely sentimental natures. I think its opening is
made not by love but by hatred. A man may love God with all his heart,
all his mind, and all his soul, without feeling the spur of fanaticism
in his blood. But let him hate sin with only a part of his heart, mind,
and soul, and he becomes a fanatic. His hatred will grow till it
consumes his whole being.

One need not be long in the company of General Bramwell Booth to
discover that he has two distinct and separate manners, and that neither
expresses the whole truth of his rational life. At one moment he is full
of cheerful good sense, the very incarnation of jocular heartiness, a
bluff, laughing, rallying, chafing, and tolerant good fellow,
overflowing with the milk of human kindness, oozing with the honey of
social sweetness. At the next moment, however, the voice sinks suddenly
to the key of what Father Knox, I am afraid, would call
unctimoniousness, the eyelids flutter like the wings of a butterfly, the
whole plump pendulous face appears to vibrate with emotion, the body
becomes stiff with feeling, the lips depressed with tragedy, and the
dark eyes shine with the suppressed tears of an unimaginable pathos.

In both of these moments there is no pretence. The two manners represent
two genuine aspects of his soul in its commerce with mankind. He
believes that the world likes to be clapped on the shoulder, to be
rallied on its manifest inconsistencies, and to have its hand wrung with
a real heartiness. Also he believes that the heart of the world is
sentimental, and that an authentic appeal in that quarter may lead to
friendship--a friendship which, in its turn, may lead to business.
Business is the true end of all his heartiness.

It is in his business manner that one gets nearer to the innermost
secret of his nature. He is before everything else a superb man of
business, far-seeing, practical, hard-headed, an organiser of victory, a
statesman of the human soul. You cannot speak to him in this practical
sphere without feeling that he is a man of the most unusual ability.

He can outline a complicated scheme with a precision and an economy of
words which, he makes you feel, is a tribute to your perspicacity rather
than a demonstration of his own powers of exposition. He comes quicker
to the point than nine men of business out of ten. And he sticks to the
main point with a tenacity which might be envied by every industrial
magnate in the country.

Moreover, when it comes to your turn to speak he listens with the whole
of his attention strung up to its highest pitch, his eyes wide open
staring at you, his mouth pursed up into a little O of suction, his
fingers pressing to his ear the receiver of a machine which overcomes
his deafness, his whole body leaning half across the table in his
eagerness to hear every word you say.

No sentiment shows in his face, no emotion sounds in his voice. He is
pure mind, a practical mind taut with attention. If he have occasion in
these moments to ring the bell for an adjutant or a colonel, that
official is addressed with the brevity and directness of a manager
giving an order to his typist. Instead of a text over his mantelpiece
one might expect to find the commercial legend, "Business Is Business."

Here, as I have said, one is nearer to the truth of his nature, for
General Booth is an organiser who loves organisation, a diplomatist who
delights in measuring his intelligence against the recalcitrance of
mankind, a general who finds a deep satisfaction of soul in moving
masses of men to achieve the purpose of his own design.

But even here one is not at the innermost secret of this extraordinary
man's nature.

At the back of everything, I am convinced, is the cold and commanding
intensity of a really great fanatic. He believes as no little child
believes in God and Satan, Heaven and Hell, and the eternal conflict of
God and Evil. He believes, too, as few priests of orthodox churches
believe, that a man must in very truth be born again before he can
inherit the Kingdom of Heaven; that is to say, before he can escape the
unimaginable agonies of an eternal dismissal from the Presence of God.
But more than anything else he believes that sin is hateful; a monstrous
perversion to be attacked with all the fury of a good man's soul.

There is violence in his mind and violence in his religion. He believes
in fighting the devil, and he delights in fighting him. I will not say
that there is more joy at Salvation Army Headquarters over one poor
miserable brand plucked from the burning than over ninety and nine
cheques from wealthy subscribers; but I am perfectly confident that the
pleasure experienced at the sight of all those welcome cheques has its
rise in the knowledge that money is power--power to fight the devil.

No man of my knowledge is so strangely blended as this genius of
Salvation Army organisation. For although he is first and foremost a
calm statesman of religious fervour, cool-headed, clear-eyed, and
deliberative, a man profoundly inspired by hatred of evil, yet there are
moments in his life of almost superhuman energy when the whole structure
of his mind seems to give way, and the spirit appears like a child lost
in a dark wood and almost paralysed with fear. Not seldom he was in his
father's arms sobbing over the sufferings of humanity and the hardness
of the world's heart, mingling his tears with his father's. Often in
these late days he is in sore need of Mrs. Bramwell Booth's
level-headed good sense to restore his exhausted emotions. And
occasionally, like Lord Northcliffe, it is wise for him to get away from
the Machine altogether, to travel far across the world or to rest in a
cottage by the sea, waiting for a return of the energy which consumes
him and yet keeps him alive.

It is possible to think that this formidable apostle of conversion is
himself a divided self. His house of clay, one might almost suggest, is
occupied by two tenants, one of whom would weep over sinners, while the
other can serve God only by cudgelling the Devil back to hell with
imprecations of a rich and florid nature. This stronger self, because of
its cudgel, is in command of the situation, but the whimpering of the
other is not to be stilled by blows which, however hearty and
devastating, have not yet brought the devil to his knees.

It is interesting to sit in conversation with this devoted disciple of
evangelicalism, and occasionally to lift one's eyes from his face to the
portrait of his mother which hangs above his head. The two faces are
almost identical, hauntingly identical; so much so that one comes to
regard the coachman-like whiskers clapped to the General's cheeks as in
the nature of a disguise, thinking of him as his mother's eldest
daughter rather than as his father's eldest son. There is certainly
nothing about him which suggests the old General, and his mind is much
more the mind of his mother--one of the most remarkable women in the
world's history--than the mind of his father.

Catherine Booth was a zealot and at the heart of her theology a hard
zealot. She believed that the physical agony of disease was a part of
God's discipline, and that humanity is called upon to bear that fierce
fire for the purification of its wicked spirit. She never flinched in
confronting the theology of Methodism. She was in practice the tenderest
of women, the most compassionate of missionaries, the most persuasive
orator of the emotions in her day; but in theory she was as hard as
steel.

Her husband, on the other hand, who threw Jehovah's thunderbolts across
the world as if he liked them, and approved of them, and was ready for
any further number of these celestial missiles, of an even vaster
displacement, was in his heart of hearts a wistful believer in
everlasting mercy. Few men have been born with a softer heart. He
sometimes wondered whether in framing the Regulations of the Salvation
Army he had not pressed too hard on human nature. To the horrified
scandal of his son, he even came to question, if only for a passing
moment, the ordinance which forbids tobacco to the Salvationist.

He used to say in his old age, ruminating over the past, "Our standard
is high. Our demand is hard; aye, very hard. Yes, we don't mince matters
in soul-saving. We demand the whole of a man, not a little bit of him,
or three-fourths of him, or two-thirds of him; we demand every drop of
his blood and every beat of his heart and every thought of his brain.
Yes, it's a hard discipline--hard because the standard is so high. I
hope it is not too hard."

His son has never once, so far as my knowledge goes, questioned even the
extremest of Salvation Army Regulations. The more extreme they are, the
more they please him. It is one of his many good sayings that you cannot
make a man clean by washing his shirt. His scrubbing brush is apt, I
think, to remove some of the skin with the dirt. He believes without
question that the only human test of conversion is the uttermost
willingness of the soul to be spent in the service of soul-saving. If a
man wishes to keep anything back from God, his heart is not given to
God. He is no emotionalist in this matter. He uses emotion to break down
the resistance of a sinner, but when once the surrender is made reason
takes command of the illumined soul. He was asked on one occasion if he
did not regard emotion as a dangerous thing. "Not when it is organised,"
was his reply.

The only concession he seems willing to make to the critics of the
Salvation Army is in the matter of its hymns. He confesses that some of
those hymns are crude and unlovely; but examine this confession and you
find that it is only the language which causes him uneasiness. Approach
him on the subject of dogma, the dogma crudely expressed but truthfully
expressed in the worst of those hymns, and he is as hard as Bishop Gore
or Father Knox.

He has been too busy, I think, to hear even a whisper from the field of
modernism, though exaggerated rumours of what is taking place in that
field must occasionally reach his ear and confirm him in his
obscurantism.

Perhaps it is all to the good that he should be thus wholly uninterested
in the speculations of the trained theologian. He has other work to do,
and work of great importance, with few rivals and no helpers. By the
machine which he controls so admirably, men and women all over the
world, and usually in the darkest places of the world, are turned from
living disastrous lives, lives which too often involve the suffering of
children, and encouraged and braced up to lead lives of great beauty and
an extreme of self-sacrifice.

He does well, I think, to stick with the unwavering and uncompromising
tenacity of a fanatic to that centre of the Christian religion from
which was derived in the first two centuries of its great history almost
all impetus which enabled it to escape from Judaism and conquer the
world. It is still true, and I suppose it will remain true to the end of
time, that man born of a woman must be born again of the spirit if he is
to pass from darkness into light. This, after all, is the whole thesis
of Salvationism, and if General Booth wavered here the Army would be
scattered to the winds. As for his definitions of light and darkness, at
this stage of the world's journey we need not be too nice in our
acceptance of them.

But there remains the important question of Salvation Army methods.

It seems to me that here a change is desirable, not a radical change,
for many of those methods are admirable enough, particularly those of
which the public too seldom hears, but a change all the same, and one
deep enough to create fresh sympathy for this devoted movement of
evangelical Christianity.

I think it is time to stop praying and preaching at street corners, to
mitigate the more brazen sounds of the Army band, and to discountenance
all colloquialisms in Salvationist propaganda. I do not wish, God
forbid, to make the Army respectable; I wish it to remain exactly where
it is--but with a greater quietness and a deeper, more personal sympathy
in its appeal to the sad and the sorrowful.

General Booth is not the man to make these changes, but his wife is a
woman who might. In any case they will be made. Time will bring them
about. Then it will be seen, I think, that the Salvation Army is one of
the most powerful agencies in the world for spreading the good news of
personal religion among the depressed millions of the human race. For
even at this present time the lasting work of the Salvationist, the work
which makes him so noble and so useful a figure in the modern world, is
not accomplished by pageantry and tub-thumping, but by the intimate,
often most beautiful, and very little known work of its slum officers,
particularly the women.

Finally, concerning the General, he is in himself a telling witness to
one of the mysterious powers of the Christian religion. For he is surely
by temperament one of the most unstable of minds, and yet by the power
of religion he has become a coherent personality of almost rigid
singleness of purpose. In conversation with him one cannot help feeling
that he is jumpy and excitable; every movement of his extremely mobile
face suggests a soul of gutta-percha stretched in all directions by the
movements of his brain, and twitching with every thought that crosses
his mind; but at the same time one is aware in him of a power which is
never deflected by a hair's breadth from the path of a single purpose,
and which holds him together with a strength that may be weakened but
that can never be broken.

His supreme value for the student of religion is to be found in the
explanation of this unifying power. In spite of intellectual
shortcomings which might seem almost to exclude him from the serious
attention of educated people, he stands out with a marked emphasis from
the company of far abler men by reason of this power--this sense of
unusual vigour and abnormal concentration of strength. And the
explanation of this power, which unifies an otherwise incoherent
personality, is to be found, I am quite confident, in his burning hatred
of iniquity.

As a boy, like the poet Gray and the late Lord Salisbury, he suffered a
good deal of bullying, and thus learned at school something beyond the
reach of the Latin Grammar, namely, the brutality of human nature. He
has never forgotten that discovery. Indeed, his after-life has widened
and intensified that early lesson. Sin is brutality. It is selfishness
seeking its low pleasure and its base delight in vilest self-indulgence
involving the suffering of others, sometimes their profoundest
degradation, even their absolute destruction. Particularly did he
experience this burning conviction when he came to understand the
well-nigh inconceivable brutality of sexual vice. I believe that it was
a poor harlot in the slums of London who first opened for him the door
of fanaticism.

He had longed as a schoolboy to hit back at his tyrants, and now in the
dawn of manhood that long repression made its weight felt in the blows
he showered on the face of evil. For a year or two he was a wild man of
evangelicalism, leading attacks on evil, challenging public attention,
seeking imprisonment, courting martyrdom. It was from the flaming
indignation of his soul that Mr. Stead took fire, and led a crusade
against impurity which shocked the conscience of the eighties. But so
deep and eternal was this hatred of evil, that General Booth soon came
to see that he must express it in some manner which would outlive the
heady moments of a "lightning campaign." He settled down to express that
profound abhorrence of iniquity in terms of organisation. Tares might be
torn suddenly from the human heart, but not the root of evil. If he
could not kill the devil, at least he could circumvent him.

Such intense hatred of evil as still consumes his being is not popular
in these days, and may perhaps be regarded as irrational. But we should
do well to remind ourselves that while those who regard evil merely as a
vestigial memory of human evolution do little or nothing to check its
ravages, men like General Booth, and the men and women inspired by his
abhorrence, save every year from physical and moral destruction
thousands of unhappy people who become at once the apostles of an
extreme goodness.

Such evidences of mediocrity as exist in the Salvationist are purely
intellectual; morally and spiritually he is in the advance guard of the
human race.




DR. W.E. ORCHARD

ORCHARD, Rev. WILLIAM EDWIN, Minister of the King's Weigh House Church,
Duke Street, W., since 1914; b. 20 Nov., 1887; e.s. of John Orchard,
Rugby; m. 1904, Anna Maria (d. 1920), widow of Rev. Ellis Hewitt of
Aldershot. Educ.: Board School; private tuition; Westminster College,
Cambridge. Ordained, Enfield, 1904, B.D., London, 1905; D.D., London,
1909.

[Illustration: DR. W.E. ORCHARD]




CHAPTER IX

DR. W.E. ORCHARD

     _O, you poor creatures in the large cities of wide-world politics,
     you young, gifted, ambition-tormented men, who consider it your
     duty to give your opinion on everything that occurs; who, by thus
     raising dust and noise, mistake yourselves for the chariot of
     history; who, being always on the look-out for an opportunity to
     put in a word or two, lose all true productiveness. However
     desirous you may be of doing great deeds, the profound silence of
     pregnancy never comes to you. The event of the day sweeps you along
     like chaff, while you fancy that you are chasing it_.--NIETZSCHE.


Until quite the other day I looked upon Dr. Orchard as a person unique
in his generation. But I am now told by an authority in the
nonconformist world that there are "two others of him"--one, I think, in
Birmingham, the second in Clapham.

I am still permitted to think, however, that to Dr. Orchard belongs the
distinction of being the first person of this erratic trinity, and
therefore we may still regard him with that measure of curiosity which
is the tribute paid by simple people to the eccentric and the abnormal.

But let me warn the reader against expectations of an original genius.
Dr. Orchard does not create; he copies. His innovations are all made
after visits to the lumber-room. It is by going back such a long
distance into the past that he startles, and by coming round full circle
that he appears to surprise the future.

But where originality is rare, eccentricity must not be discounted.

Dr. Orchard is a ritualist in the midst of nonconformity; the first Free
Churchman, I believe, to entertain exalted ceremonial aspirations, and
to kneel for his orders at the feet of an orthodox bishop. One might
almost hazard the conjecture that he remains in the Congregationalist
Communion, as so many Anglo-Catholics remain in the Establishment,
solely to supply the fermentation of an idea which will shatter its
present constitution. One thinks of him as a repentant Cromwell
restoring "that bauble" to its accustomed place on the table of
tradition.

In his heart of hearts he would appear to be a fervent institutionalist,
a lover of ceremonial, and a convinced sacerdotalist. To hear him use
the word Catholic is to make one understand how the Church of Rome
dazzles certain eyes, and to hear him claim that he is in the
apostolical succession is to make one realise afresh how broad is the
way of credulity.

One may understand his dislike of the hideous and pretentious
architecture which disgraces non-conformity, and sympathise with his
desire for more beautiful services in nonconformist chapels; but it is
not so easy, while he remains a nonconformist, to understand, or to
feel any considerable degree of sympathy with, his tendency towards
practices which are the very antithesis of the nonconformist tradition.

All the same he is a person of whom we should do well to take at least a
passing notice, for he witnesses, however extravagantly, to a movement
in the Free Churches which is not likely to lose momentum with the next
few years--a movement not only away from sectarian isolation but towards
the idea of one catholic and apostolic Church. There is certainly unrest
in the Free Churches, and Dr. Orchard is a straw which helps us to
understand if not the permanent direction of the wind, at least the fact
that there is a breeze blowing in the fields of religious freedom.

Not long ago I asked one of the greatest figures in the Anglican Church
what he thought of Dr. Orchard. He replied by raising his eyebrows and
exclaiming rather disdainfully: "A ritualistic Dissenter! What is it
possible to think of him?" I said that he attracted a good many people
to his services in the King's Weigh House Church, and that I had heard
Mrs. Asquith was sometimes a member of his congregation. "_That_,"
answered the dignitary, "would not make me think any higher of Dr.
Orchard."

For many people, it must be confessed, he is a slightly ludicrous
figure. He presents the spectacle of a sparrow stretching its wings and
opening its beak to imitate the eagle of catholic lecterns. And he has a
singularly nettling manner with some people which must add, I should
think, to this unpopularity. He seems sweepingly satisfied with himself
and his opinions, which are mostly of a challenging nature. He does not
discuss but attempts to browbeat. His voice is an argument, and the
expression on his face and the fire in his eyes suggest the street
corner. He would have greatly distressed a man like Matthew Arnold, for
the only method against such didactics is to send for the boxing gloves.

All the same he is a man of no little force, perhaps a scattered and
dispersed force, as I am inclined to think; and he is a fighter whose
blows, if not a teacher whose opinions, are more worthy of attention
than his sacerdotal pretensions might lead one to suppose.

In appearance he may be compared with Dr. Clifford, but Dr. Clifford
reduced to youthfulness and multiplied by an infinite cocksureness; a
small, eager, sandy-haired, clean-shaven, boyish-looking man, with
light-coloured eyes behind shining spectacles, the head craning forward,
the body elastic and restless with inexhaustible energy, the whole of
him--body, mind, and spirit--tremulous with a jerkiness of being which
seems to have no effect whatever on his powers of endurance.

One misses in him all feeling, all tone, of mellowness. His mind, at
present, shows no lightest, trace of the hallowing marks of time; it
suggests rather the very architecture he takes so savage a pleasure in
denouncing--a kind of mock Gothic mind, an Early Doulton personality.
He has a thin voice, rather husky, and a recent accent.

In his most vigorous moments, when he is bubbling over with epigrams and
paradoxes, ridiculing the dull people who do not agree with him, and
laughing to scorn those who think they can maintain the Christian spirit
outside the mysterious traditions of the Catholic Church, or when he is
describing a recent church as a Blancmange Cathedral, and paraphrasing
an account, given I think by Mr. James Douglas, of the building of a
certain tabernacle in London--first it started out to be a Jam Factory,
then a happy idea occurred to the builder that he should turn it into a
Waterworks, then the foreman suggested that it would make an ideal
swimming-bath, but finally the architect came on the scene and said,
"Here, half a minute; there's an alteration wanted here; we're going to
make it into a church"--at such moments, Dr. Orchard might be likened to
a duo-decimo Chesterton--but a Chesterton of nonconformity. For he is a
little crude, a little recent; a mind without mellowness, a spirit
without beauty, a soul which feeds upon aggression.

He makes an amusing figure with a black cloak wrapped round his little
body in Byronic folds, and a soft hat of black plush on his head, a
Vesta Tilley quickness informing both his movements and his speech, as
he nips forward in conversation with a friend, the arms, invisible
beneath their cloak, pressed down in front of him, his body leaning
forward, his peering eyes dancing behind their spectacles.

Nevertheless, those who most find him only amusing or worse still
thoroughly dislikeable, who are antipathetic to the whole man, and who
thus cannot come at the secret of his influence, must confess that there
is nothing about him either of the smooth and oily or of the adroit and
compromising. He is the last man on earth to be called an opportunist.
This is in his favour. His aggressiveness must put all but the toughest
against him. He is tremendously in earnest. It would be difficult I
think to exceed his sincerity.

But not to mind whose toes one may tread on is hardly in the style of
St. Francis; and, after all, it is possible to be tremendously earnest
about wrong things, and consumingly sincere in matters which are not
perhaps definitely certain to advance the higher life of the human race.
Humility is always safest; indeed, it is essential to all earnestness
and sincerity, if those energies are not to repel as many as they
attract.

Dr. Orchard's manner, which can be extraordinarily nettling in
conversation, as I have suggested, is evidently of a very soothing
character in the confessional--if that is the proper term. He has a
remarkable following among women, and it is said that "if he put a brass
plate on his door and charged five guineas a time" he might be one of
the richest mind-doctors in London. He himself declares that his real
work is almost entirely personal. I have heard him speak with some
contempt of preaching, quoting the witticism of a friend that "Anglican
preaching is much worse than it really need be," or words to that
effect. He likes ceremonial and private confidence. He has the instincts
of a priest.

His patients appear to be the wreckage of psychoanalysis. It is said
that "half the neurotics of London" consult him about their souls. I
have no idea of the manner in which he treats these unhappy people, but
I am perfectly sure that he gives them counsel of a healthy nature.
There is nothing about him which suggests unwholesomeness, and much that
suggests sound strength and clean good sense. Also among his penitents
are numerous shopgirls who have lost in the commercial struggle whatever
piety they possessed in childhood and in their craving for excitement
have gone astray from the path of safe simplicity--gambling on horse
races and often getting into serious trouble by their losses. Dr.
Orchard may be trusted to give these weak, rather than erring daughters
of London, advice which would commend itself to the Free Church Council,
for with all his sacerdotal aberrations the basis of his moral life is
rooted in Puritanism.

It is an entirely good thing that there should be a minister of religion
in London who attracts people of this order, particularly a minister
whose moral notions are so eminently sane and so steadily
uncompromising. London is stronger and less disreputable for Dr.
Orchard's presence in its midst--no doubt a very vulgar, degrading, and
trivial midst, but all the same a great congestion of little people, one
where the solemn note of the old morality sounds all too seldom across
the tinkle of bells in the caps of so many fools.

This moral influence, however, may appear questionable in the eyes of
strong-minded and unsentimental people. Would he exercise such personal
power, it may be asked, if he were not regarded as a "novelty," if the
eccentricity of his position in the nonconformist world had not so
skilfully advertised him to a light and foolish generation ever ready to
run after what is new? Of an Anglican clergyman's popularity I have
heard it said, "Who could not fill a church with the help of the band of
the Grenadier Guards?"

I should not like to answer this question, and yet I do not like to pass
it by. Antipathetic as I find myself to Dr. Orchard, it would not be
just to imply that the power of his personal influence is not a great
one, and one of an entirely wholesome nature. It seems to me, then, that
the nature of that which attracts the unhappy to seek his counsel is of
small moment in comparison with the extent and beneficence of his good
counsel. The fact that he does help people, does save many people from
very unhappy and dangerous situations, is a fact which gives him a title
not only to our respect, but to our gratitude.

Perhaps it is his knowledge of all this petty misery and sordid
unwholesomeness which makes him disposed at times, in spite of an almost
rollicking temperament, to take dismal and despairing views of the
religious future.

I have heard him say with some bitterness that people do not know what
Christianity is, that it has been so misrepresented to them, and so
mixed up with the quarrels of sectarianism, that the heart of it is
really non-existent for the multitude. He speaks with impatience of the
nonconformist churches and with contempt of the Anglican church. We are
all wrong together. Organised religion, he feels, is hanging over the
abyss of destruction, while the nation looks on with an indifference
which should complete its self-contempt.

His quarrel, however, is not only with the churches, but with the nation
as well. He regards the system under which we live as thoroughly
unchristian. It is the system of mammon--a system of frank, brutal, and
insolent materialism. Why do we put up with it?

His religious sense is so outraged by this system of economic
individualism that he bursts out with irritable impatience against those
who speak of infusing into it a more Christian spirit. For him the whole
body of our industrialism is rotten with selfishness and covetousness,
the high note of service entirely absent from it, the one energy which
informs it the energy of aggressive self-seeking. Such a system cannot
be patched. It is anti-Christian. It should be smashed.

He plunges into economics with a good deal of vigour, but I do not think
he has thought out to its logical conclusion his thesis of guild
socialism. Perhaps his tone is here more vehement than his knowledge of
a notoriously difficult science altogether justifies.

He opposes himself to the evolutionary philosophy of the nineteenth
century, and is ready to defend the idea of a Fall of Man. His
contribution to theology is a quibble. The old dogmas are to stand: only
the language is to be adjusted to the modern intelligence. You may
picture him with drawn sword--a sword tempered in inquisitorial
fires--standing guard over his quibble and ready to defend it with his
spiritual life.

His opinions are apt to place him among minorities. He was against the
War, and during that long-drawn agony attracted to himself the mild
attention of the authorities. I believe he likened the great struggle to
a battle between Sodom and Gomorrah. However, he was careful not to go
so far as Mr. Bertrand Russell. As he himself says, "I don't mind dying
for Jesus Christ, but not for making a silly ass of myself."

He occasionally writes reviews for _The Nation_, and has published a
number of uneventful books. His writing is not distinguished or
illuminating. With a pen in his hand he loses all his natural force. He
writes, I think, as one who feels that he is wasting time. Like Mr.
Winston Churchill, he diverts his leisure with a paintbrush.

One is disposed to judge that the mind of this very fiery particle is
too busy with side-issues to make acquaintance with the deeper mysteries
of his religion. When he complains that people do not know what
Christianity is, one wonders whether his own definition would satisfy
the saints. He is a fighter rather than a teacher, a man of action
rather than a seer. I do not think he could be happy in a world which
presented him with no opportunities for punching heads.

Matthew Arnold, quoting from _The Times_ a sentence to the effect that
the chief Dissenting ministers are becoming quite the intellectual
equals of the ablest of the clergy, referred it to the famous Dr. Dale
of Birmingham, and remarked: "I have no fears concerning Mr. Dale's
intellectual muscles; what I am a little uneasy about is his religious
temper. The essence of religion is grace and peace."

But Dr. Orchard, we must not fail to see, is quite genuinely exasperated
by the deadness of religious life, and is straining every nerve to
quicken the soul of Christ's sleeping Church. This discontent of his is
an important symptom, even if his prescription, a very old one, gives no
hope of a cure. He is popular, influential, a figure of the day, and
still young; yet his soul is full of rebellion and his heart is swelling
with the passion of mutiny. Something is evidently not right. Quite
certainly he has not discovered the peace that passes understanding.

But perhaps Dr. Orchard will never be satisfied till all men think as he
thinks, and until there is only one Church in the world for the
expression of spiritual life, with either Bishop Herford or himself for
its pope.

In the meantime he is too busy for the profound silence. The event of
the day sweeps him before it.




BISHOP TEMPLE

Manchester, Bishop of, since 1921; Temple, Rev. William, M.A.; D. Litt.;
President Life and Liberty Movement; Canon Residentiary of Westminister,
1919-21; Editor of _The Challenge_, 1915-18; Hon. Chaplain to the King,
1915; b. The Palace, Exeter, 15 Oct., 1881; s. of Late Archbishop of
Canterbury; in. 1916, Frances Gertrude Acland, y.d. of F.H. Anson, 72
St. George's Square, S.W. Educ.: Rugby (Scholar); Balliol College,
Oxford (Exhibitioner) First class Classical Mods., 1902; 1st class Lit.
Hum., 1904; President Oxford Union, 1904; Fellow and Lecturer in
Philosophy, Queen's College, Oxford, 1904-1910; Deacon, 1908; Priest,
1909; Chaplain to Archbishop of Canterbury, 1910; President of the
Workers Educational Association; Headmaster, Repton School, 1910-14;
Rector of St. James's Piccadilly, 1914-18.


[Illustration: BISHOP TEMPLE]




CHAPTER X

BISHOP TEMPLE

     . . . _faint, pale, embarrassed, exquisite Pater! He reminds me, in
     the disturbed midnight of our actual literature, of one of those
     lucent match-boxes which you place, on going to bed, near the
     candle, to show you, in the darkness, where you can strike a light:
     he shines in the uneasy gloom--vaguely, and has a phosphorescence,
     not a flame. But I quite agree with you that he is not of the
     little day--but of the longer time_.--HENRY JAMES.


The future of Bishop Temple is of more importance to the Church than to
himself. He is one of those solid and outstanding men whose decisions
affect a multitude, a man to whom many look with a confidence which he
himself, perhaps, may never experience.

He cannot, I think, be wholly unaware of this consideration in forming
his judgments, and I attribute, rather to a keen and weighty sense of
great responsibility than to any lack of vital courage, his increasing
tendency towards the Catholic position. One begins to think that he is
likely to disappoint many of those who once regarded him as the future
statesman of a Christianity somewhat less embarrassed by
institutionalism.

It is probable, one fears, that he may conclude at Lambeth a career in
theology comparable with that of Mr. Winston Churchill in politics. Born
in the ecclesiastical purple he may return to it, bringing with him only
the sheaves of an already mouldering orthodoxy.

On one ground, however, there is hope that he may yet shine in our
uneasy gloom with something more effective than the glow of
phosphorescence. He is devoted heart and soul to Labour. Events, then,
may drive him out of his present course, and urge him towards a future
of signal usefulness; for Labour is a force which waits upon
contingency, and moves as the wind moves--now softly, then harshly, now
gently, then with great violence. Those who go with Labour are not like
travellers in the Tory coach or the Liberal tram; they are like
passengers in a balloon.

I do not mean that Bishop Temple will ever be so far swept out of his
course as to find himself among the revolutionaries; he carries too much
weight for that, is, indeed, too solid a man altogether for any lunatic
flights to the moon; I mean, rather, that where the more reasonable
leaders of Labour are compelled to go by the force of political and
industrial events, William Temple is likely to find that he himself is
also expected, nay, but obliged to go, and very easily that may be a
situation from which the Lollard Tower of Lambeth Palace will appear
rather romantically if not altogether hopelessly remote.

His career, then, like Mr. Winston Churchill's in politics, is still an
open event and therefore a matter for interesting speculation. This
fair-haired, fresh-faced, and boylike Bishop of Manchester, smiling at
us behind his spectacles, the square head very upright, the broad
shoulders well back, the whole short stocky figure like a rock,
confronts us with something of the challenge of the Sphinx.

One of the chief modernists said to me the other day: "Temple is the
most dangerous man in the Church of England. He is not only a socialist,
he is also Gore's captive, bow and spear." But another, by no means an
Anglo-Catholic, corrected this judgment. "Temple," said he, "is not yet
hopelessly Catholic. He has, indeed, attracted to himself by his
Christlike attitude towards Nonconformists the inconvenient attentions
of that remarkable person the Bishop of Zanzibar. His sympathies with
Labour, which are the core of his being, are sufficient reason for
----'s mistrust of him. I do not at all regard him as dangerous. On the
contrary, I think he is one of the most interesting men in the Church,
and also, which is far more important, one of its most promising
leaders."

So many men, so many opinions. Strangely enough it is from an
Anglo-Catholic who is also a Labour enthusiast that I hear the fiercest
and most uncompromising criticism of this young Bishop of Manchester.

"All his successes have been failures. He went to Repton with a
tremendous reputation; did nothing; went to St. James's, Piccadilly, as
a man who would set the Thames on fire, failed, and went to Westminster
with a heightened reputation; left it for the Life and Liberty
Movement, which has done nothing, and then on to Manchester as the
future Archbishop of Canterbury. What has he done? What has he ever
done?

"He can't stick at anything; certainly he can't stick at his job--always
he must be doing something else. I don't regard him as a reformer. I
regard him as a talker. He has no strength. Sometimes I think he has no
heart. Intellectual, yes; but intellectual without pluck. I don't know
how his brain works. I give that up. I agree, he joined the Labour
movement before he was ordained. There I think he is sincere, perhaps
devoted. But is there any heart in his devotion? Do the poor love him?
Do the Labour leaders hail him as a leader? I don't think so. Perhaps
I'm prejudiced. Whenever I go to see him, he gives me the impression
that he has got his watch in his hand or his eye on the clock. An
inhuman sort of person--no warmth, no sympathy, not one tiniest touch of
tenderness in his whole nature. No. Willie Temple is the very man the
Church of England _doesn't_ want."

Finally, one of those men in the Anglo-Catholic Party to whom Dr. Temple
looks up with reverence and devotion, said to me in the midst of
generous laudation: "His trouble is that he doesn't concentrate. He is
inclined to leave the main thing. But I hear he is really concentrating
on his work at Manchester, and therefore I have hopes that he will
justify the confidence of his friends. He is certainly a very able man,
very; there can be no question of that."

It will be best, I think, to glance first of all at this question of
ability.

Dr. Temple has a notable gift of rapid statement and pellucid
exposition. One doubts if many theologians in the whole course of
Christian history have covered more ground more trippingly than Dr.
Temple covers in two little books called _The Faith and Modern Thought_,
and _The Kingdom of God_. His wonderful powers of succinct statement may
perhaps give the impression of shallowness; but this is an entirely
false impression--no impression could indeed be wider of the mark. His
learning, though not so wide as Dean Inge's, nor so specialised as the
learning of Canon Barnes, is nevertheless true learning, and learning
which has been close woven into the fabric of his intellectual life.
There are but few men in the Church of England who have a stronger grip
on knowledge; and very few, if any at all, who can more clearly and
vividly express in simple language the profoundest truths of religion
and philosophy.

In order to show his quality I will endeavour to summarise his arguments
for the Existence of God, with as many quotations from his writings as
my space will permit.

"It is not enough to prove," he says, "that some sort of Being exists.
In the end, the only thing that matters is the character of that Being."
But how are we to set out on this quest since "Science will not allow
us a starting point at all"?

He answers that question by carrying the war into the scientific camp,
as he has a perfect right to do. "Science makes one colossal assumption
always; science assumes that the world is rational in this sense, that
when you have thought out thoroughly the implications of your
experience, the result is fact. . . . That is the basis of all science; it
is a colossal assumption, but science cannot move one step without it."

     Science begins with its demand that the world should be seen as
     coherent; it insists on looking at it, on investigating it, till it
     is so seen. As long as there is any phenomenon left out of the
     systematic coherence that you have discovered, science is
     discontented and insists that either the system is wrongly or
     imperfectly conceived or else the facts have not been correctly
     stated.

This demand for "a coherent and comprehensive statement of the whole
field of fact" comes solely from reason. How do we get it? We have no
ground in experience for insisting that the world shall be regarded as
intelligent, as "all hanging together and making up one system." But
reason insists upon it. This gives us "a kinship between the mind of man
and the universe he lives in."

Now, when man puts his great question to the universe, and to every
phenomenon in that universe, _Why?_--Why is this what it is, what my
reason recognises it to be? is he not in truth asking, What is this
thing's purpose? What is it doing in the universe? What is its part in
the coherent system of all-things-together?

     Now there is in our experience already one principle which does
     answer the question "Why?" in such a way as to raise no further
     questions; that is, the principle of Purpose. Let us take a very
     simple illustration. Across many of the hills in Cumberland the way
     from one village to another is marked by white stones placed at
     short intervals. We may easily imagine a simple-minded person
     asking how they came there, or what natural law could account for
     their lying in that position; and the physical antecedents of the
     fact--the geological history of the stones and the physiological
     structure of the men who moved them--give no answer. As soon,
     however, as we hear that men placed them so, to guide wayfarers in
     the mist or in the night, our minds are satisfied.

Dr. Temple holds fast to that great word that infallible clue, Purpose.
He is not arguing from design. He keeps his feet firmly on scientific
ground, and asks, as a man of science asks, What is this? and Why is
this? Then he finds that this question can proceed only from faith in
coherence, and discovers that the quest of science is quest of Purpose.

To investigate Purpose is obviously to acknowledge Will.

     Science requires, therefore, that there should be a real Purpose in
     the world. . . . It appears from the investigation of science, from
     investigation of the method of scientific procedure itself, that
     there must be a Will in which the whole world is rooted and
     grounded; and that we and all other things proceed therefrom;
     because only so is there even a hope of attaining the intellectual
     satisfaction for which science is a quest.

Reason is obliged to confess the hypothesis of a Creative Will, although
it does not admit that man has in any way perceived it. But is this
hypothesis, which is essential to science, to be left in the position of
Mahomet's coffin? Is it not to be investigated? For if atheism is
irrational, agnosticism is not scientific--"it is precisely a refusal to
apply the scientific method itself beyond a certain point, and that a
point at which there is no reason in heaven or earth to stop."

     To speak about an immanent purpose is very good sense; but to speak
     about a purpose behind which there is no Will is nonsense.

People, he says, become so much occupied with the consideration of what
they know that they entirely forget "the perfectly astounding fact that
they know it." Also they overlook or slur the tremendous fact of
spiritual individuality; "because I am I, I am not anybody else." But
let the individual address to himself the question he puts to the
universe, let him investigate his own pressing sense of spiritual
individuality, just as he investigates any other natural phenomenon, and
he will find himself applying that principle of Purpose, and thinking of
himself in relation to the Creator's Will.

If there is Purpose in the universe there is Will; you cannot have
Purpose or intelligent direction, without Will. But, as we have seen,
"to speak about an immanent will is nonsense":

     It is the purpose, the meaning and thought of God, that is immanent
     not God Himself. He is not limited to the world that He has made;
     He is beyond it, the source and ground of it all, but not it. Just
     as you may say that in Shakespeare's work his thoughts and feelings
     are immanent; you find them there in the book, but you don't find
     Shakespeare, the living, thinking, acting man, in the book. You
     have to infer the kind of being that he was from what he wrote; he
     himself is not there; his thoughts are there.

He pronounces "the most real of all problems," the problem of evil, to
be soluble. _Why is there no problem of good?_ Note well, that "the
problem of evil is always a problem in terms of purpose." How evil came
does not matter: the question is, Why is it here? What is it doing?
"While we are sitting at our ease it generally seems to us that the
world would be very much better if all evil were abolished. . . . But would
it?"

     Surely we know that one of the best of the good things in life is
     victory, and particularly moral victory. But to demand victory
     without an antagonist is to demand something with no meaning.

     If you take all the evil out of the world you will remove the
     possibility of the best thing in life. That does not mean that evil
     is good. What one means by calling a thing good is that the spirit
     rests permanently content with it for its own sake. Evil is
     precisely that with which no spirit can rest content; and yet it is
     the condition, not the accidental but the essential condition, of
     what is in and for itself the best thing in life, namely moral
     victory.

His definition of Sin helps us to understand his politics:

     Sin is the self-assertion either of a part of a man's nature
     against the whole, or of a single member of the human family
     against the welfare of that family and the will of its Father.

But if it is self-will, he asks, how is it to be overcome?

     Not by any kind of force; for force cannot bend the will. Not by
     any kind of external transaction; that may remit the penalty, but
     will not of itself change the will. It must be by the revelation of
     a love so intense that no heart which beats can remain indifferent
     to it.

All this seems to me admirably said. It does at least show that there
are clear, logical, and practical reasons for the religious hypothesis.
The mind of man, seeking to penetrate the physical mysteries of the
universe, encounters Mind. Mind meets Mind. Reason recognises, if it
does not always salute, Reason. And in this rational and evolving
universe the will of man has a struggle with itself, a struggle on which
man clearly sees the fortunes of his progress, both intellectual and
spiritual, depend. Will recognises Will. And surveying the history of
his race he comes to a standstill of love and admiration before only one
life--

     a life whose historic occurrence is amply demonstrated, whose moral
     and spiritual pre-eminence consists in the completeness of
     self-sacrifice, and whose inspiration for those who try to imitate
     it is without parallel in human experience.

Love recognises Love. "I am the Light of the World."

I will give a few brief quotations from Dr. Temple's pages showing how
he regards the revelation of the Creative Will made by Christ, Who "in
His teaching and in His Life is the climax of human ethics."

     Love, and the capacity to grow in love, is the whole secret.

     The one thing demanded is always the power to grow. Growth and
     progress in the spiritual life is the one thing Christ is always
     demanding.

     He took bread and said that it was His body; and He gave thanks for
     it, He broke it, and He gave it to them and said, "Do this in
     remembrance of Me." . . . Do what? . . . The demand is nothing less
     than this, that men should take their whole human life, and break
     it, and give it for the good of others.

     The growth in love, and the sacrifice which evokes that growth in
     love, are, I would suggest the most precious things in life. Take
     away the condition of this and you will destroy the value of the
     spiritual world.

One may form, I think, a true judgment of the man from these few
extracts.

He is one who could not move an inch without a thesis, and who moves
only by inches even when he has got his thesis. His intellect, I mean,
is in charge of him from first to last. He feels deeply, not sharply. He
loves truly, not passionately. With his thesis clear in his mind, he
draws his sword, salutes the universe, kneels at the cross, and then,
with joy in his heart, or rather a deep and steady sense of well-being,
moves forward to the world, prepared to fight. Fighting is the thing.
Yes, but here is neither Don Quixote nor Falstaff. He will fight warily,
take no unnecessary risk, and strike only when he is perfectly sure of
striking home.

You must not think of him as old beyond his years (he is only a little
over forty) but rather as one who was wise from his youth up. He has
never flung himself with emotion into any movement of the human mind,
not because he lacks devotion, but because he thinks the victories of
emotion are often defeats in disguise. He wishes to be certain. He will
fight as hard as any man, but intelligently, knowing that it will be a
fight to the last day of his life. He is perhaps more careful to last
than to win--an ecclesiastical Jellicoe rather than a Beatty. Nor, I
think, must one take the view of the critic that he has never stuck to
the main point. Every step in his career, as I see it, has been towards
opportunity--the riskless opportunity of greater service and freer
movement.

I regard him as a man whose full worth will never be known till he is
overtaken by a crisis. I can see him moving smoothly and usefully in
times of comparative peace to the Primacy, holding that high office with
dignity, and leaving behind him a memory that will rapidly fade. But I
cannot see him so clearly in the midst of a storm. A great industrial
upheaval, for example, where would that land him? The very fact that one
does not ask, How would he direct it? shows perhaps the measure of
distrust one may feel in his strength--not of character--but of
personality. He would remain, one is sure, a perfectly good man, and a
man of intelligence; but would any great body of the nation feel that it
would follow him either in a fight or in a retreat? I am not sure. On
the whole I feel that his personality is not so effective as it might
have been if he had not inherited the ecclesiastical tradition, had not
been born in the episcopal purple.

By this I mean that he gives me the feeling of a man who is not great,
but who has the seeds of greatness in him. Events may prove him greater
than even his warmest admirers now imagine him to be. A crisis, either
in the Church or in the economic world, might enable him to break
through a certain atmosphere of traditional clericalism which now rather
blurs the individual outline of his soul. But, even with the dissipation
of this atmosphere, one is not quite sure that the outline of his soul
would not follow the severe lines of a High Anglican tradition. He does
not, at present, convince one of original force.

Yet, when all doubts are expressed, he remains one of the chief hopes of
the Church, and so perhaps of the nation. For from his boyhood up the
Kingdom of God has meant to him a condition here upon earth in which the
soul of man, free from all oppression, can reach gladly up towards the
heights of spiritual development.

He hates in his soul the miserable state to which a conscienceless
industrialism has brought the daily life of mankind. He lays it down
that "it is the duty of the Church to make an altogether new effort to
realise and apply to all the relations of life its own positive ideal of
brotherhood and fellowship." To this end he has brought about an
important council of masters and men who are investigating with great
thoroughness the whole economic problem, so thoroughly that the Bishop
will not receive their report, I understand, till 1923--a report which
may make history.

As a member of the Society of Spirits, he says, "I have a particular
destiny to fulfil." He is a moral being, conscious of his dependence on
other men. He traces the historic growth of the moral judgment:

     The growth of morality is twofold. It is partly a growth in
     content, from negative to positive. It is partly a growth in
     extent, from tribal to universal. And in both of these forms of
     growth it is accompanied, and as a rule, though my knowledge would
     not entitle me to say always, it is also conditioned by a parallel
     development in religious conviction.

     We are all aware that early morality is mainly negative; it is the
     ruling out of certain ways of arriving at the human ideal, however
     that is to be defined, which have been attempted and have been
     found failures. Whatever else may be the way to reach the end,
     murder is not, theft is not, and so on. Thus we get the Second
     Table of the Decalogue, where morality commits itself to
     prohibitions--this is not the way, that is not the way; then
     gradually, under the pressure of experience, there begins to emerge
     the conception of the end which makes all this prohibition
     necessary, and which these methods when they were attempted failed
     to reach.

And so we come at last to "the Kingdom of God as proclaimed by Christ,
and the supreme law of ethics, the demonstrably final law of ethics, is
laid down--Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself."

     Of course the words come from the Old Testament. Some critics used
     to say: "You will find in the Rabbis almost everything, if not
     quite everything, which you find in the teaching of Christ." "Yes,"
     added Wellhausen, "and how much else besides." It was the singling
     out of this great principle and laying the whole emphasis upon it
     that made the difference.

To a man who believes that Christ came to set up the Kingdom of God,
clearly neither the Conservative nor Liberal Party can appeal with any
compelling force of divinity. How far the Labour Party may appeal must
depend, I should think on the man's knowledge of economic law. As Dean
Inge says, Christ's sole contribution to economics is "Beware of
covetousness"--an injunction which the Labour Party has not yet quite
taken to its heart. But Dr. Temple has a right to challenge his clerical
critics for Christ's sanction of the present system, which is certainly
founded on covetousness and produces strikingly hideous results.

His theological position may be gathered from the following reply which
he made, as a Canon of Westminster, to a representative of the _Daily
Telegraph_ nearly two years ago. I do not think he has greatly changed.
He was asked how far the Church could go in meeting that large body of
opinion which cannot accept some of its chief dogmas. He replied:

     I can speak freely, because I happen to hold two of the dogmas
     which most people quarrel about--the virgin birth and the physical
     resurrection. There are other heresies floating about! One of our
     deans is inclined to assert the finitude of God, and another to
     deny anything in the nature of personality to God or to man's
     spirit! Rather confusing! Philosophic questions of this kind,
     however, do not greatly concern mankind. To believe in God the
     Father is essential to the Christian religion. Other doctrines may
     not be so essential, but they must not be regarded as unimportant.
     Personally I wish the Church to hold her dogmas, because I would do
     nothing to widen the gulf which separates us from the other great
     Churches, the Roman and the Eastern. The greatest political aim of
     humanity, in my opinion, is a super-state, and that can only come
     through a Church universal. How we all longed for it during the
     war!--one voice above the conflict, the voice of the Church, the
     voice of Christ! If the Pope had only spoken out, with no reference
     to the feelings of the Austrian Emperor!--what a gain that would
     have been for religion. But the great authentic voice never
     sounded. Instead of the successor of St. Peter we had to content
     ourselves with the American Press--excellent, no doubt, but hardly
     satisfying.

     Let me tell you a rather striking remark by an Italian friend of
     mine, an editor of an Italian review, and not a Roman Catholic. He
     was saying that every Church that persisted for any time possessed
     something essential to the religion of Christ. I asked him what he
     saw in the Roman Church that was essential. He replied at once,
     "The Papacy." I was surprised for the moment, but I saw presently
     what he meant. The desire of the world is for universal peace,
     universal harmony. Can that ever be achieved by a disunited
     Christendom? The nations are rivals. Their rivalry persisted at the
     Peace Conference, disappointing all the hopes of idealists. Must it
     not always persist, must not horrible carnage, awful desolation,
     ruinous destruction, and, at any rate, dangerous and provocative
     rivalries, always dog the steps of humanity until Christendom is
     one?

       *       *       *       *       *

     Personally, I think reunion with Rome is so far off that it need
     not trouble us just now; there are other things to do; but I would
     certainly refrain from anything which made ultimate reunion more
     difficult. And so I hold fast to my Catholic doctrines. But I tell
     you where I find a great difficulty. A man comes to me for adult
     baptism. I have to ask him, point by point, if he verily believes
     the various doctrines of the Church, doctrines which a man baptised
     as an infant may not definitely accept and yet remain a faithful
     member of Christ's Church. What am I to say to one who has the
     passion of Christian morality in his heart, but asks me whether
     these verbal statements of belief are essential? He might say to
     me, "It would be immoral to assert that I believe what I have not
     examined, and to examine this doctrine so thoroughly as to give an
     answer not immoral would take a lifetime. Am I to remain outside
     the Church till then?" Here, I think, the Church can take a step
     which would widen its influence enormously. No man ought to be shut
     out of Christ's Church who has the love of God and the love of
     humanity in his heart. That seems to me quite clear. I don't like
     to say we make too much of the creeds, but I do say that we don't
     make half enough of the morality of Christ. That's where I should
     like to see the real test applied.

     What I should like to see would be a particular and individual
     profession of the Beatitudes. I should like to see congregations
     stand up, face to the East, do anything, I mean, that marks this
     profession out as something essential and personal, and so recite
     the Beatitudes. There might be a great sifting, but it would bring
     home the reality of the Christian demand to the heart and
     conscience of the world. After all, that's our ideal, isn't
     it?--the City of God. If we all concentrated on this ideal,
     realising that the morality of Christ is essential, I don't think
     there would be much bother taken, outside professional circles,
     about points of doctrine.

Then, writes the interviewer, arose the question of fervour. "Can the
City of God be established without some powerful impulse of the human
heart? Can it ever be established, for example, by the detached and self
satisfied intellectual priggishness of the subsidised sixpenny review,
or by the mere violence of the Labour extremist's oratory? Must there
not be something akin to the evangelical enthusiasm of the last century,
something of a revivalist nature? And yet have we not outgrown anything
of the kind?

"To Canon Temple the answer presents itself in this way: Rarer than
Christian charity is Christian faith. The supreme realism is yet to
come, namely, the realisation of Christ as a living Person, the
realisation that He truly meant what He said, the realisation that what
He said is of paramount importance in all the affairs of human life.
When mankind becomes consciously aware of the Christian faith as a
supreme truth, then there will be a realistic effort to establish the
City of God. The first step, then, is for the Church to make itself
something transcendently different from the materialistic world. It must
truly mean what it says when it asserts the morality of Christ. Blessed
are the poor in spirit, the meek, the merciful, the pure in heart, the
peacemakers. The fervour is not to be born of an individual fear of hell
or an individual anxiety for celestial safety, but of an utterly
unselfish enthusiasm for the welfare of the world."

I should give a false impression of this very interesting man, who is so
sincere and so steadfast, if I did not mention the significant fact of
his happiness. He has always struck me, in spite of his formidable
intellect and a somewhat pedagogic front and the occasional accent of an
ancient and scholarly ecclesiasticism, as one of the happiest and most
boy-like of men--a man whose centre must be cloudlessly serene, and who
finds life definitely good. His laughter indeed, is a noble witness to
the truth of a rational and moral existence. His strength is as the
strength of ten, not only because his heart is pure, but because he has
formulated an intelligent thesis of existence.

He has pointed out that the Pickwick Papers could not have been produced
in any but a Christian country. "Satire you may get to perfection in
pagan countries. But only in those countries where the morality of
Christ has penetrated deeply do you get the spirit that loves the thing
it laughs at."




PRINCIPAL W.B. SELBIE

SELBIE, Rev. WM. BOOTHBY, M.A.; Principal of Mansfield College, Oxford,
since 1909; b. Chesterfield, 24 Dec., 1862; e.s. of late Rev. R.W.
Selbie, B.A. of Salford; m. Mildred Mary, 2d d. of late Joseph Thompson,
J.P., LL.D., of Wilmslow, Cheshire; two s. one d. Educ.: Manchester
Grammar School; Brasenose and Mansfield Colleges, Oxford; incorporated
M.A., at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, 1904; Hon. D.D. Glasgow, 1911.
Lecturer in Hebrew and Old Testament at Mansfield College, Oxford,
1889-90; Minister Highgate Congregational Church, London, 1890-1902;
Emmanuel Congregational Church, Cambridge, 1902-1909; Editor of the
_British Congregationalist_, 1899-1909; Lecture in Pastoral Theology at
Cheshunt College, Cambridge, 1907-1909; Chairman of Congregational
Union, 1914-1915; President of National Free Church Council, 1917.

[Illustration: PRINCIPAL W.B. SELBIE]




CHAPTER XI

PRINCIPAL W.B. SELBIE

     _I make not therefore my head a grave, but a treasure of knowledge;
     I intend no Monopoly, but a community in learning; I study not for
     my own sake only, but for theirs that study not for themselves.

     I envy no man that knows more than my self, but pity them that know
     less. I instruct no man as an exercise of my knowledge, or with an
     intent rather to nourish and keep it alive in mine own head, then
     beget and propagate it in his; and in the midst of all my
     endeavour, there is but one thought that dejects me, that my
     acquired parts must perish with my self, nor can be Legacied among
     my honoured Friends_.--SIR THOMAS BROWNE.


Mansfield College, Oxford, has been happy in its Principals. Dr.
Fairbairn created respect for Nonconformity in the very citadel of High
Anglicanism; Dr. Selbie has converted that respect into friendship.
There is no man of note or power at Oxford who does not speak with real
affection of this devoted scholar, who has been dubbed up there "an
inspired mouse."

He is a little man, with quick darting movements, a twinkling bright
eye, an altogether unaggressive voice, and a manner that is singularly
insinuating and appealing. As it is impossible to think of a blustering
or brow-beating mouse, or a mouse that advances with the stride of a
Guardsman and the minatory aspect of a bull-terrier, so it is impossible
to think of Dr. Selbie as a fellow of any truculence, a scholar of any
prejudice, a Christian of any unctimoniousness. Mildness is the very
temper of his soul, and modesty the centre of his being.

He is a Hebrew scholar who has advanced into philosophical territory and
now is pushing his investigations into the field of psychology. Modest
and wholly unpretentious he sets up as no original genius, and is
content with his double role of close observer and respectful critic. He
is rather a guide to men than a light. He has nothing new to say, but
nothing foolish. His words are words of purest wisdom, though you may
have heard them before. You feel that if he cannot lead you to the
Promised Land, at least he will not conduct you to the precipice and the
abyss.

Above everything else he is a scholar who would put his learning at the
service of his fellow-men. Education with him is a passion, a part of
his philanthropy, a part of his religion. It is the darkness of man, not
the sinfulness of man, that catches his attention. He feels that the
world is foolish because it is ignorant, not because it is wicked. And
he feels that the foolishness of the world is a count in the indictment
against religion. Religion has not taught; it has used mankind as a
dictaphone.

He has spoken to me with great hope and confidence of the change which
is coming over the Church in this matter of religious teaching. Dr.
Headlam, the Regius Professor of Divinity, has lighted a candle at
Oxford which by God's grace will never be put out. There is now a fairly
general feeling that men who enter the ministry must be educated not to
pass a test or to prove themselves capable of conducting a service or
performing as rite, but educated as educators--apostles of truth,
evangelists of the higher life.

Religion, according to Dr. Selbie, is something to be taught. It is not
a mystery to be presented, but an idea to be inculcated. The world has
got to understand religion before it can live religiously.

But all education stands in sore need of the trained teacher. Our
teachers are not good enough. They may be very able men and women, but
few of them are very able teachers. The first need in a teacher is to
inspire in his students a love of knowledge, a hunger and thirst after
wisdom. But, look at our schools, look at our great cities, look at the
pleasures and recreations which satisfy the vast masses of the
population! As a nation, we have no enthusiasm for education. This is
because we have so little understanding of the nature and province of
education. We have never been taught what education is.

With his enthusiasm for education goes a perfervid spiritual conviction
that intellect is not enough. He tells the story of an old Scots woman
who listened intently to a highly intellectual sermon by a brilliant
scholar, and at the end of it called out from her seat, "Aye, aye; but
yon rope o' yours is nae lang enough tae reach the likes o' me."
Something much more mysterious and much more powerful than intellect is
necessary to change the heart of humanity; but when love and knowledge
go hand in hand there you get both the great teacher and the good
shepherd. Knowledge without love is almost as useless to a teacher as
love without knowledge.

In his study at Mansfield, a large and friendly room book-lined from
floor to ceiling, with a pleasant hearth at one end of it, where he
smokes an occasional pipe with an interrupting fellow scholar, but where
he is most often to be found buried in a great book and oblivious of all
else besides, this little man with the darting eyes and soft voice is
now invading, with sound good sense to save him from nausea or
contamination, the region of morbid psychology.

He would perfectly agree with Dr. Inge's characteristic statement, "The
suggestion that in prayer we only hear the echo of our own voices is
ridiculous to anyone who has prayed"; but he is, I think, much more
aware of the power and extent of this suggestion than is the Dean of St.
Paul's, and therefore qualifies himself to meet the psychologists on
their own ground.

He has confessed to me that in reading Freud he had to wade through much
almost unimaginable filth, and he is driven to think that Freud himself
is the victim of "a sex complex," a man so obsessed by a single theory,
so ridden by one idea, that he perfectly illustrates the witty
definition of an expert--"an expert is one who knows nothing else." All
the same, Dr. Selbie assures me that his studies have been well worth
while, that modern psychology has much to teach us of the highest value,
and that religion as well as medicine will more and more have to take
account of this daring science which advances so swiftly into their own
provinces.

So far as my experience goes no man of the first rank in Anglican
circles is preparing himself for this inevitable encounter with anything
like the thoroughness of Dr. Selbie, a nonconformist.

He makes it a rule never to interfere with the troubles of another
communion; but I do not think I misrepresent him when I say that he
regrets the immersion of the Church of England in questions of
theological disputation at a time when the true battle of religion is
shifting on to quite other ground.

Not many people in Anglo-Catholic circles realise perhaps that to the
educated nonconformist all this excitement about modernism seems
strangely old-fashioned. Long ago such matters were settled. The scholar
nonconformist is no longer concerned with dogmatic difficulties; he has
abandoned with the old teleology the old pagan theology, and now,
believing in an immanent teleology, in an evolution that is creative and
that has direction, believing also that Christ is the incarnation of
God's purpose and the revelation of His character, he is pressing
forward not to meet the difficulties of to-morrow, but to equip himself
for meeting those difficulties when they arise with real intelligence
and genuine power.

"If medicine," said Froude, "had been regulated three hundred years ago
by Act of Parliament; if there had been Thirty-Nine Articles of Physic,
and every licensed practitioner had been compelled, under pains and
penalties, to compound his drugs by the prescriptions of Henry the
Eighth's physician, Doctor Butts, it is easy to conjecture in what state
of health the people of this country would at present be found."

Christendom does not yet realise how greatly, how grievously, it has
suffered in spiritual health by having sent to Coventry or to the stake
so many theological Simpsons, Listers, and Pasteurs simply because they
could not rest their minds in the hypotheses of very ill-educated men
who strove to grapple with the highest of all intellectual problems at a
time when knowledge was at its lowest level.

It will perhaps rouse the vitality of the Church when it finds twenty or
thirty years from now that the great protagonists of Christianity in its
future battles with science and philosophy are drawn from the ranks of
nonconformity.

Dr. Selbie is certainly preparing his students for these encounters, and
preparing them, too, with an emphasis on one particular aspect of the
old theology, and a central one, which the apologists of more orthodox
communions have either overlooked or find it convenient to ignore.

One of his first postulates is that man inhabits a moral universe, and
from this postulate he has no difficulty in moving forward not only to
contemplate the hypothesis of immortality, but to confront the
difficulty of punishment for sin. In a little book of his called _Belief
and Life_ he has the following passages:

     In the long last men cannot be persuaded to deny their own moral
     nature, and they will not be content with a theory of the universe
     which does not satisfy their sense of right.

And because of this very sense of right they entertain no soft and
sentimental notions concerning the universe:

     They believe in judgment, in retribution, and in the great
     principle that "as a man sows, so shall he also reap." They
     therefore require that room shall be found in the scheme of things
     for the working out of this principle. They recognise that such
     room is not to be found in this present life, and so they accept
     the fact that God hath set eternity in our hearts, and that we are
     built on a scale which requires a more abundant life to complete
     it.

     In corroboration of their faith, it may be said, as John Stuart
     Mill used to argue, that wherever belief in the future has been
     strong and vivid, it has made for human progress. There is no doubt
     that the deterioration of religion and the more material views of
     life so prevalent just now are due to the loss of faith in the
     future.

Religion, he says, can never live or be effective within the narrow
circle of time and sense. Nevertheless he has the courage to say: "The
future life, like the belief in God, is best treated as an hypothesis
that is yet in process of verification."

But this hypothesis explains what else were inexplicable. It works. And,
confronting the hypothesis of immortality, he insists that a future life
must embrace retribution. "As a man sows, so shall he also reap."
Immortality is not to be regarded as a sentimental compensation for our
terrestrial experience, but as the essential continuity of our spiritual
evolution. "For many, no doubt, it will mean an experience of probation,
and for all one of retribution."

He sees clearly and gratefully that "the moral range of the work of
Christ in the human soul, His gifts of grace, forgiveness, and power,
lift men at once on to the plane of the spiritual and fill their
conception of life with a new and richer content." But he does not shut
his eyes to the fact of the moral law, and with all the force of his
character and all the strength of his intellect he accepts "the great
principle that as a man sows, so shall he also reap."

In this way Dr. Selbie prepares his students, not only to meet the
intellectual difficulties of the future, but to stand fast in the
ancient faith of their forefathers that the moral law is a fact of the
universe. He helps them to be fighters as well as teachers. They are to
fight the complacency of men, the false optimism of the world, the
delusive tolerance of materialism. There is no need for them to preach
hell fire and damnation, but throughout all their preaching, making it
a real thing and a thing of the most pressing moment, must ring that
just and inevitable word, Retribution. In a moral universe, selfishness
involves, rightly and inevitably, suffering--suffering self-sown,
self-determined, and self-merited.

He is the last man in the world from whom one would expect such teaching
to emanate. He seems, in his social moments, a scholar who is scarcely
aware of humanity in his delicious pursuit of pure truth, a man who
inhabits the faery realm of ideas, and drinks the milk of Paradise. But
approach him on other ground and you find, though his serenity never
deserts him, though he is always imperturbable and unassertive, that his
interest in humanity and the practical problems of humanity is as vivid
and consuming as that of any social reformer.

There, in Oxford, among his books, and carrying on his duties as
Principal of Mansfield College, Dr. Selbie, back from holidays spent in
watching the great working world and listening to the teachers of that
world, finds himself not alarmed, but anxious. The voice of religion, he
feels, is not making itself heard, and the voices of churches are making
only a discord. Men are going astray because they have no knowledge of
their course, and the blind are falling into the ditch because they are
led by the blind. How is this dangerous condition of things to be
remedied?

He replies, By the teachers.

What we need at this hour above all other needs is the great teacher,
one able to proclaim and explain the truths of religion, and filled with
a high enthusiasm for his office. We need, he tells me, men who can
restore to preaching its best authority. At the present time preaching
has fallen to a low ebb because it is despised, and it is despised
because it has lost the element of teaching. But let men recover their
faith in the moral law, let them see that retribution is inevitable
justice, let them realise that the life of man is a progress in
spiritual comprehension, let them understand that existence is a great
thing and not a mean thing, and they will feel again the compulsion to
preach, and their preaching, founded on the moral law and inspired by
faith in the teaching of Christ, will draw the world from the
destructive negations of materialism, and wake it out of the fatal
torpors of dull indifference.

Happy, I think, is the church which has such a teacher at the head of
its disciples. Though its traditions may not reach far back into the
historic twilight of ignorance, the rays of the unrisen sun strike upon
its banners as they advance towards the future of mankind.




ARCHBISHOP RANDALL DAVIDSON

CANTERBURY, Archbishop of, since 1903; Most Rev. Randall Thomas
Davidson, D.D., D.C.L., LL.D.; Prelate of the Order of the Garter,
1895-1903; G.C.V.O., cr. 1904; Royal Victorian Chain, 1911; Grand Cross
of the Royal Order of the Saviour (Greece), 1918; Grand Cordon de
l'Ordre de la Couronne (Belgium, 1919); First class of the Order of St.
Sava (Serbia), 1919; b. 7 April, 1848; s. of Henry Davidson, Muirhouse,
Edinburgh, and Henrietta, d. of John Swinton, Kimmerghame; m. Edith, 2d
d. of Archbishop Tait of Canterbury, 1878. Educ.: Harrow; Trinity
College, Oxford (D.D.), Curate of Dartford, Kent, 1874-77; Chaplain and
Private Secretary to Archbishop Tait of Canterbury, 1877-82; to
Archbishop Benson, 1882-3; Examining Chaplain to Bishop Lightfoot of
Durham, 1881-83; Sub-Almoner to Queen Victoria, 1882; one of the six
preachers of Canterbury Cathedral, 1880-83; Dean of Windsor and Domestic
Chaplain to Queen Victoria, 1883-91; Clerk of the Closet to Queen
Victoria, 1891-1901; to H.M. the King, 1905-3; Trustee of the British
Museum from 1884, Bishop of Rochester, 1891-95; Bishop of Winchester,
1895-1903.

[Illustration: ARCHBISHOP RANDALL DAVIDSON]




CHAPTER XII

ARCHBISHOP RANDALL DAVIDSON

     _Let us be flexible, dear Grace; let us be flexible!_--HENRY JAMES.

     . . . _the Archbishop recalled both to the gravity of the
     issue_.--LORD MORLEY.


Because of his great place and his many merits, both of heart and head,
and also because his career raises the question I desire to discuss in
my Conclusion, I have left the Archbishop of Canterbury to the last of
these brief studies in religious personality.

More admirably, I think, because more entirely, than any of the other
men I have attempted to study, Dr. Davidson sums up the virtues of
Anglicanism. He stands, first and foremost, for order, decency, and good
temper. If he has a passion it is for the _status quo_. If he has a
genius it is for compromise. Lord Morley, who knows him and respects
him, describes him as "a man of broad mind, sagacious temper, steady and
careful judgment, good knowledge of the workable strength of rival
sections." Pre-eminently the Archbishop is a practical man.

I know not out of how many crises he has contrived, both as a fisher of
men and a good shepherd, to lift the Church of England by hook or by
crook.

When he was a youth a serious accident threatened to destroy his health
and ruin his prospects. A charge of gunshot struck him at the bottom of
the spine. The shot still remain in his body, and every autumn he is
visited with an attack of quasiperitonitis which reduces him to a sad
state of weakness. For long weeks together--once it was for a whole
year--his diet is restricted entirely to milk foods.

In spite of this grave disability, I am inclined to doubt if there is a
harder worker in any church of the world. Dr. Davidson's knowledge of
the Church of England, not only in these British Islands but in every
one of the Dominions, is a knowledge of the most close and intimate
nature. He knows the names and often the character of men who are
working in the remotest parishes of the uttermost parts of the Empire.
He knows also their thousand difficulties and is often at pains to
relieve their distresses. This devotion has an ideal origin. He has
cherished the dream all his life that the Church of England, so sane, so
moderate, so sensible, and so rightly insistent on moral earnestness,
may become, with the growth and development of the British Commonwealth,
the greatest of all the Christian Churches--greater, more catholic, than
Rome.

To this end he has worked with a devotion and a strain of energy which
only those immediately about him can properly appraise.

Such is the exhaustion of this labour that when he can find time to take
a day off he spends it in bed.

His policy has always been to keep men reasonable, but with no ignoble
idea of living a quiet life. His powers of persuasion, which have
succeeded so often in making unreasonable men temporarily reasonable,
have their source in the transparent sincerity of his soul. No one who
encounters him can doubt for a moment that the Primate is seeking the
good of the Church of England, and seeking that good because he believes
in the English Church as one of the great spiritual forces of
civilisation. No one, I mean, could think that he is either temporising
for the sake of peace itself or that his policy of moderation masks a
secret sympathy with a particular party. Clear as the sun at noon is the
goodness of the man, his unprejudiced devotion to a practical ideal, and
his unselfish ambition for the reasonable future of the great Church of
the English nation.

He gives most of us the feeling of a very able man of business, an ideal
family solicitor; but there is a quite different side to this character.
He is by no means a mystic, as that word is usually understood, but he
is a man who deeply believes in the chief instrument of the mystic's
spiritual life, that is to say, in prayer. He is not a saint, in the
general acceptance of that term, but his whole life is devoted with an
undeviating singleness of aim to effecting the chief ambition of the
saint--a knowledge of God in the hearts and minds of men. Because he
believes that the best method of achieving that consummation, having
regard to the present level of human intelligence, is by moderate
courses, one must not think that he is lukewarm in the cause of
religion. With all the force of his clear and able mind, he believes in
moderation. Anything that in the least degree savours of extravagance
seems to him impolitic. He does not believe in sudden bursts of
emotional energy; he believes in constant pressure.

In my intercourse with him I have found him eminently sane and judicial,
cold towards excessive fervour, but not cold at all towards ardent
faith, inclined perhaps to miss the cause of spiritual impatience,
constitutionally averse from any understanding sympathy with religious
ecstasy, but never self-satisfied, intolerant, or in the remotest
fashion cynical. Always he expresses his views with modesty, and
sometimes with healthy good-humour, disposed to take life cheerfully,
never moved to mistake a molehill for a mountain, always quietly certain
that he is on the right road, whatever critics may care to say about his
pace.

It is perhaps unreasonable to expect height and depth where there is
excessive breadth. The Archbishop might make a bad captain, but he could
have few rivals as an umpire. He is an admirable judge if an indifferent
advocate.

His grave earnestness is balanced by a conviction that humour is not
without a serious purpose. He looks upon life in the average, avoiding
all abnormality, and he sees the average with a genial smile. He
thoroughly appreciates the oddities of English character, and would ask
with Gladstone, "In what country except ours (as I know to have
happened) would a Parish Ball have been got up in order to supply funds
for a Parish Hearse?"

His attitude to the excitements and sensations of the passing day may be
gathered from a simple incident. During the most heady days of the War,
that is to say, days when people made least use of their heads, I
encountered him at the country-house of a well-known statesman. One
morning, while we were being lined up for a photograph, the boar-hound
of our host came and forced himself between the Archbishop and myself.
"What would the newspapers say," exclaimed the Archbishop in my ear, "if
they knew that his name is--_Kaiser_!"

In this manner he regards all sensational excitement of every kind. When
people are tearing their hair, and the welkin rings with such
affrighting cries as Downfall and Crisis, the Archbishop's rather solemn
and alarmed countenance breaks up into a genial smile. It is when people
are immovable in otiose self-satisfaction, when the air is still and
when lethargy creeps over the whole body of humanity, that the face of
Dr. Davidson hardens. There is nothing he dreads more than apathy,
nothing that so stimulates his policy of constant pressure as inertia.
Ndengei, the supreme deity of the Fiji Islands, the laziest of all the
gods, has the serpent for his effigy. "The Devil tempts the busy man,"
says a Turkish proverb, "but the idle man tempts the Devil."

One of those who has worked with the Archbishop for many years, although
his views are of a rather extreme order and his temperament altogether
of the excessive kind, said to me the other day, "When Randall Davidson
went to Canterbury, I told those who asked me what would be the result
of his reign. He will leave the Church as he found it. I was wrong. He
has done much more than that." He went on to say that there was now a
far greater charity between the different schools than existed at the
beginning of the century, and that if unity had not been attained, at
least disruption had been avoided.

One of the most eloquent and far-sighted of the Evangelicals puts the
matter to me in this fashion: "It is possible that fifty years hence men
may ask whether he ought not to have been constructive; but for the
present we, his contemporaries, must confess that it is wonderful how he
keeps things together."

"Pull yourself together!" was the admonition addressed to a somewhat
hilarious undergraduate. "But I haven't got a together," he made answer.

If it be true that a house divided against itself cannot stand, then we
must admit that Dr. Randall Davidson is not merely one of the Church's
greatest statesmen, but a worker of miracles, a man whom we might expect
to take up serpents and drink any deadly thing.

But it will be safe to keep the Archbishop's reputation in the region of
statesmanship.

The reader, I hope, will not think me either pedantic or supercilious if
I insist that no word is more misused by the newspapers, indeed by the
whole modern world, than this word statesmanship. It is a word of which
the antonym is drifting. It signifies steersmanship, and implies
control, guidance, direction, and, obviously, foresight. Now, let us see
how this word is used by those who are supposed to instruct public
opinion.

The settlement of the Irish Question was hailed as a triumph of British
statesmanship. One of the Sunday newspapers of the higher order
acclaimed Mr. Lloyd George as the greatest statesman in the history of
England and perhaps the greatest man in the world. But it needs only a
little thought, only a moment's reflection, to realise that this welcome
settlement was a triumph, not of statesmanship, but of murderous
brutality. There would have been no paens if there had been no volleys,
no triumph if there had been no violence.

Statesmanship was defeated in the eighties, and those who defeated it,
those who exalted prejudice and racialism and intolerance above
rationality and foresight, are now among those whom the world salutes as
immortal statesmen. In truth, they have bowed the knee to violence.

By the same power, and not by reason, the Government extended the
franchise to women. Statesmanship held firmly on the contrary course
till the winds of violence rose and the rain of anarchy threatened to
descend in a flood of moral devastation.

Look closely into the great achievements of the Washington Conference
and you will find that the nations are not voluntarily seeking the
rational ideal of peace, but are being driven by urgent necessity into
the course of reason. Statesmanship would have disarmed the world before
1914. It was only after 1918 that the spectre of Universal Bankruptcy
drove the poor trembling immortals who pass for statesmen to embrace
each other as heroes in search of an ideal. Humanity has achieved
nothing noble or glorious in the last thirty years; it has been driven
by the winds of God into every haven which has saved it from shipwreck.

With a clear understanding of the meaning of the word statesmanship, one
may ask with some hope of arriving at an intelligent answer whether
Randall Davidson is a great statesman.

Under his rule a divided and distracted Church has held together; but
religion has gone out of favour. During his reign at Lambeth there has
been a sensible movement towards reunion; but the nation is
uninterested. If the Romanists have been less rebellious, the
Evangelicals have lost almost all their zeal. If the Church still
witnesses to the truth of Christianity, it is with all her ancient
inequalities thick upon her, turning her idealism to ridicule, and in
the midst of a nation which has become steadily more and more
indifferent to the Church, more and more cynical towards religion.

If there is peace in the Church, there is little of that moral
earnestness in the life of the nation which in past times laid the
foundations both of English character and of English greatness. We are
becoming swiftly, I think, a light and flippant people, the only
seriousness in our midst the economic seriousness of our depressed
classes. It is not to any other class in the community that the zealot
can address himself with an evangel of any kind. Only where a sense of
bitterness exists, a sense of anger and rebellion, can the idealist in
these dangerous times hope for attention.

The Bishop of Manchester preached some few weeks ago a sermon to the
unemployed of that city. He was asked at the end of his sermon if the
workers could get justice without the use of force. He replied, "It all
depends what you mean by force." And at that the congregation shouted,
"Murder." They were to have concluded the service with the hymn, "When
wilt Thou save Thy people?" Instead, it concluded with the singing of
"The Red Flag."

Now let us ask ourselves what might have been the course of religious
history during the last twenty years if Dr. Randall Davidson, instead of
contenting himself with composing clerical quarrels, had used his high
office to control the Church and to steer it in the direction of greater
spiritual realism.

Suppose, for example, that after presiding over a conference of warring
Churchmen, he had turned to one of the champions of a party, and had
said to him, in the manner of a true spiritual father, "I have
something to ask of you. What was the first command of our Risen Lord to
the apostle Simon Peter?" He would have been obliged to answer, "Feed My
lambs." "And the second command?" And he would have been obliged to say,
"Feed My sheep." "And the third command?" And again he would have been
obliged to say, "Feed My sheep." Then, what had they all said if the
Primate had turned to both sides and admonished them in these words, "My
brothers in Christ, I think there would now be no disputation among you
if instead of concerning yourselves with the traditions of men you had
rather given yourselves entirely to obeying the commandment of our Risen
Lord"?

But the question would remain, With what food is the flock to be fed?

Is it possible to give an answer to this question which will not open
again the floodgates of controversy? If that is so, then those of us who
acknowledge the moral law had better abandon Christianity altogether,
and set ourselves to construct a new and unifying gospel of ethics from
the works of the moralists. For the world is torn asunder by strife, and
contention is the opportunity of the wolves. Humanity has begun to
apprehend this truth. It has begun to find out that disarmament is
practical wisdom; and now it is beginning to wonder whether counsels of
perfection may not serve its domestic interests with a higher efficiency
than the compromises effected by unprincipled politicians. It is in the
mood to listen to a teacher who speaks with authority; but in no mood
to listen to a war of words.

If religion cannot speak with one voice in the world, it had better
adjourn, like the plenipotentiaries of Sinn Fein and the representatives
of the British Government, to a secret session. It must come to an
understanding with itself, an agreement as to what it means, before
mankind will recover interest in its existence.




CHAPTER XIII

CONCLUSION

     _The fashion of this world passes away, and it is with what is
     abiding that I would fain concern myself._--GOETHE.

     _The breadth of my life is not measured by the multitude of my
     pursuits, nor the space I take up amongst other men; but by the
     fulness of the whole life which I know as mine._--F.H. BRADLEY.

     _We are but at the very beginning of the knowledge and control of
     our minds; but with that beginning an immense hope is dawning on
     the world._--"THE TIMES."

     _The Ideal is only Truth at a distance._--LAMARTINE.


It is curious, if Christianity is from heaven, that it exercises so
little power in the affairs of the human race.

Far from exercising power of any noticeable degree, it now ceases to be
even attractive. The successors of St. Paul are not shaping world policy
at Washington; they are organising whist-drives and opening bazaars. The
average clergyman, I am afraid, is regarded in these days as something
of a bore, a wet-blanket even at tea-parties.

Something is wrong with the Church. It is impious to think that heaven
interposed in the affairs of humanity to produce that ridiculous mouse,
the modern curate. No teacher in the history of the world ever occupied
a lower place in the respect of men. So deep is the pit into which the
modern minister has fallen that no one attempts to get him out. He is
abandoned by the world. He figures with the starving children of Russia
in appeals to the charitable an object of pity. The hungry sheep look up
and are not fed, but the shepherd also looks up from his pit of poverty
and neglect, as hungry as the sheep, hungry for the bare necessities of
animal life.

This is surely a tragic position for a preacher of good news, and a
teacher sent from God.

If the Christian would know how far his Church has fallen from power,
let him reflect that, even after the sorrow and desolation of a world
conflict, there is no atmosphere in Europe rendering the savagery of
submarine warfare unthinkable--utterly unthinkable to the conscience of
mankind.

Mr. Balfour and Lord Lee make a proposal to end this devilish warfare;
the French oppose; newspapers open a crusade, here against France, there
against Great Britain; the vital interests of humanity are at stake; the
door will either be opened to disarmament or closed against peace for
another fifty years; and Christ is silent--the Church does not lift even
three fingers to bless the cause of peace.

Why is the Church so powerless? Why is it she has so fatally lost the
attention of mankind?

Is it not because she has nothing to give, nothing to teach? Morals are
older than Christianity, and sacramental religions as well. Men feel
that they cannot understand the immense paraphernalia of religion and
its unnatural atmosphere of high mystery; it is so tremendous a fuss
about so very small a result. If God is in the Church, why doesn't He do
more for it, and so more for the world? The revenues of religion are
still enormous. What do they accomplish?

Men who think in this way are not enemies of religion, any more than the
Jews who came to Jesus were enemies of Judaism. They deserve the respect
of the Church. Indeed, it is in finding an answer to their challenge
that the Church is most likely to find a solution to her own problem.
But that answer will never be found if the Church seeks for it only in
her documents. There is another place in which she must look for the
truth of Christ, a truth as completely overlooked by the modernist as by
the traditionalist: it is in the movements of the soul, in the world of
living men.

I believe that there are more evidences for the existence of Christ in
the modern world than in the whole lexicon of theology. I believe it is
more possible to discern His features and to feel the breath of His lips
by confronting the discoveries of modern science than by turning back
the leaves of religious history to the first blurred pages of the
Christian tradition. I believe, indeed, that it is now wholly impossible
for any man to comprehend the Light which shone upon human darkness
nearly two thousand years ago without bringing the documents of the
Church to the light which is shining across the world at this present
hour from the torch of science.

"Why seek ye the living among the dead?"

For twenty years I have followed this clue to the meaning of Christ and
the nature of His message. I have seen Darwinism, the very foundation of
modern materialism, break up like thin ice and melt away from the view
of philosophy. I have seen evolution betray one of its greatest secrets
to the soul of man--an immanent teleology, an invisible _direction_
towards deeper consciousness, an intelligent _movement_ towards greater
understanding. And I have seen the demonstration by science that this
visible and tangible world in its final analysis is both invisible and
intangible--a phantasm of the senses.

I may be allowed perhaps to recall the incident which first set me to
follow this clue.

One day, when he was deep in his studies of Radiant Matter, Sir William
Crookes touched a little table which stood between our two chairs, and
said to me, "We shall announce to the world in a year or two, perhaps
sooner, that the atoms of which this table is composed are made up of
tiny charges of electricity, and we shall prove that each one of those
tiny electrons, relative to its size, is farther away from its nearest
neighbour than our earth from the nearest star."

I have lived to see this prophecy fulfilled, though its implications are
not yet understood.

The Church does not yet realise that physical science, hitherto regarded
as the enemy of religion and the mocker of philosophy, presents us now
with the world of the transcendentalists, the world of the
metaphysicians, the world of religious seers--a world which is real and
visible only to our limited senses, but a world which disappears from
all vision and definition directly we bring to its investigation those
ingenious instruments of science which act as extensions of our senses.

Every schoolboy is now aware that a door is solid only to his eyes and
touch; that with the aid of X-rays it becomes transparent, the light
passing through it as water passes through network, revealing what is on
the other side. Every schoolboy also knows that his own body can be so
photographed as to reveal its skeleton.

But the Church has yet to learn from M. Bergson the alphabet of this new
knowledge, namely, that our senses and our reason are what they are
because of a long evolution in _action_--not in pure thought. We have
got our sight by looking for prey or for enemies, and our hearing by
listening for the movement of prey or of enemies. Our reason, too, is
fashioned out of a long heredity of action, that is to say an immemorial
discipline in an existence purely animal. So powerful is the influence
of this heredity, so real seems to us a physical world which is not
real, so infallible seem to us the senses by which we fail to live
successfully even as animals, that, as Christ said, a man must be born
again before he can enter the Kingdom of God--that is to say, before he
can behold and inhabit Reality.

At the head of this chapter I have set a quotation from a leading
article in _The Times_ on the recent lectures of M. Coue. It is now
eighteen years ago, treading in the footsteps of Frederic Myers, that I
discussed with some of the chief medical hypnotists in London and Paris
the phenomena of mental suggestion. It was known then that
auto-suggestion is a force of tremendous power. It was stated then that
"an immense hope is dawning on the world," but not then, not even now,
is it realised that this awkward term of "auto-suggestion" is merely a
synonym for the more beautiful and ancient words, meditation and prayer.

We know now that a man can radically change his character, can uproot
the toughest habits of a lifetime, by telling himself that his will is
master in his house of life[9]. And we think that we have made this
discovery, forgetting that Shakespeare said "The love of heaven makes us
heavenly," and that Christ said, "Blessed are they which do hunger and
thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled," and "All things,
whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive," or, as
Mark has it, "What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that
ye receive them, and ye shall have them," and "According to your faith
be it unto you."

[Footnote 9: At Nancy even a lesion has been cured by suggestion.]

With our present knowledge of the universe and of the human mind, it is
at last possible for us to perceive in the confused records of the New
Testament the nature of Christ's teaching. He loved the world for its
beauty, but He penetrated its delusions and breathed the air of its only
reality. "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon the earth . . . but lay
up for yourselves treasures in heaven . . . for where your treasure is,
there will your heart be also." "What is a man profited, if he shall
gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in
exchange for his soul?" "If thou canst believe, all things are possible
to him that believeth." "He that hath ears to hear let him hear."

His world was always the world of thought. The actual deed of sin was
merely a physical consequence; the cause was spiritual: it was an evil
thought; to harbour an evil thought is to commit the sin. He looked into
the hearts of men, into their thoughts, and there only He found their
reality. All else was transitory. All else would see corruption and die.
The flesh profiteth nothing. But the thought of a man--that is to say
the region now being explored by the psycho-analyst, the
psycho-therapeutist, and the psycho I know not what else--this was the
one region in which Jesus moved, the region in which He proclaimed his
transvaluation of values, a region of which He was so complete a master
that He could heal delusion at a word and disorder by a touch.

One does not perhaps wholly realise, until one has read the muddied
works of modern psychology, how sublime was the soul of Jesus. It might
be possible to infer His divinity from the simplicity of the language
and the white purity of the thought with which He expressed truths of
the profoundest significance even in regions where so many fall into
unhealthiness. "No man can serve two masters"--is not that the teaching
of the modern hypnotist in dealing with "a divided self"? "Set your
affections on things above"--is not that the counsel of the sane
psycho-analyst in treating a diseased mind? "Ask, and it shall be given
you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto
you"--is not this the message of M. Coue, the teaching of
auto-suggestion?--that teaching which makes us say at last that "an
immense hope is dawning on the world."

And, in sober truth, we may indeed believe that this immense hope is
dawning on the world; the hope that mankind may recognise in Jesus, Who
called Himself the Light of the World, the world's great Teacher of
Reality.

Here we approach that unifying principle which was the object of our
quest in setting out to explore the chaos of opinion in the modern
Church.

Is it not possible that the Church might see the trivial unimportance of
all those matters which at present dismember her, if she saw the supreme
importance of Christ as a Teacher? Might she not come to behold a glory
in that Teaching greater even than that which she has so heroically but
so unavailingly endeavoured to make the world behold in the crucified
Sacrifice and Propitiation for its sins?

Is there not here the opportunity of an evangel, the dawning of an
immense hope on the world?

But let the Church ask herself, before she abandons her labour of
expounding doctrines concerning the Person of Christ, whether she is
quite clear as to the teaching of Jesus. "Not every one that saith unto
Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven; but he that
doeth the will of My Father which is in heaven."

Read St. Mark, the earliest, the least corrupted, of the narratives. It
is a declaration of a new power in human life, and a record of its
achievements. It is this, and nothing else. The one great word of that
gospel is Faith--not faith in a formula or an institution, but faith in
the absolute supremacy of spirit. Faith in spirit means power--power
over circumstance, power over matter, power over the heredity of our
animal origin. Jesus not only sets men free from the prison-house of
material delusion, as Plato and others sought to do; He teaches them the
way in which alone they can exercise spiritual dominion.

There were two things to which He set no limits: one, the love of God,
and the other, the power of Faith.

Let all the schools in the Church revise their definition of the word
_faith_, and unity will come of itself. Faith, as Jesus employed that
term, meant _making use of belief_--belief that the spiritual alone is
the real. Faith is the action of the soul. It is the working of a
power. It is mastery of life.

Let the Church realise that Jesus taught this power of the soul. Let her
begin to exercise her own spiritual powers. And then let her understand
that she is in the world to teach men, to lead the advance of evolution,
to educate humanity in the use of its highest powers.

A knowledge of the sense in which Jesus employed the word Faith is the
clue to the recovery of Christian influence.

This is the suggestion which I venture to submit to the Church, at a
moment in history when the harsh and brutal spirit of materialism is
crushing all faith out of the soul and leaving the body no tenant but
its appetites.

I do not think any observant man can deny that the whole "suggestion" of
the modern world is of an evil nature, that is to say, of a nature which
fastens upon the mind the delusions of the senses, making it believe
that what it sees is reality, persuading it that the gratification of
those senses is the end and object of existence. The wages of this
suggestion is death--the death of the soul.

How far the world is gone from sanity, and how clearly science endorses
Christ's teaching, may be seen in the modern craze for unhealthy
excitement, and in the medical condemnation of that morbid passion. A
well-known doctor in London, Sir Bruce Bruce-Porter, has lately
condemned Grand Guignol as intensifying the emotion of fear or
anxiety--"Take no heed"--and has declared anger, or any violence of
feeling, to be a danger--"Love your enemies"--pointing out that "the
experiment of inoculating a guinea-pig with the perspiration taken from
the forehead of a man in a violent temper has resulted in the death of
the guinea-pig with all the symptoms of strychnine poisoning."

Science is the one voice that condemns in these days the self-destroying
madness of a world set on seeking to live habitually in the lower life.
Sometimes journalism may light a candle of reason in our darkness, as
when _The Times_ recently pointed out in a leading article that the
half-humorous interest of the world in the murderer Landru had its rise
in a profound instinct of the human spirit, namely, that horror must be
laughed at if it is not to be feared--to fear it is to be overwhelmed by
it. This instinct is "an unconscious refusal to believe in the ultimate
reality of evil; it is the predecessor of the scientific spirit which
says that evil is something to be overcome by understanding it."

Out of such a lethargy as that which now holds her captive, I do not
think the Church can be roused except by the trumpets of war. Let her,
then, consider whether there is not here, in this world of false values,
of low ambitions, of mean pleasures, of dark materialism, and of
perilous superstitions, a world to be fought, as the doctors fight it,
and the best kind of newspapers, if only for the sake of posterity, a
world against which it is good to oppose oneself--the Children of Light
against the Children of Darkness.

What is the good news of Christianity if it is not the news that "the
spiritual alone is the real," that there is freedom for human life and
mastery for the human soul, that faith in the spiritual is power over
the material? Even in the tentative form which M. Bergson uses to reveal
the reality of the spiritual world there is such joy that one of his
interpreters can exclaim:

     Here we are in these regions of twilight and dream, where our ego
     takes shape, where the spring within us gushes up, in the warm
     secrecy of the darkness which ushers our trembling being into
     birth. Distinctions fail us. Words are useless now. We hear the
     wells of consciousness at their mysterious task like an invisible
     shiver of running water through the mossy shades of the caves. I
     dissolve in the joy of becoming. I abandon myself to the delight of
     being a pulsing reality. I no longer know whether I see scents,
     breathe sounds, or smell colours. Do I love? Do I think? The
     question has no longer a meaning for me. I am, in my complete self,
     each of my attitudes, each of my changes. It is not my sight which
     is indistinct or my attention which is idle. It is I who have
     resumed contact with pure reality, whose essential movement admits
     no form of number.

How much greater the joy of him who knows that Reality is God, and that
God is Father.

     The open secret flashes on the brain,
     As if one almost guessed it, almost knew
     Whence we have sailed and voyage whereunto.

Let us suppose that the whole Church of Christ was engaged in teaching
men this high mystery, this open secret, that all such great
associations as the Christian Students' Movement, the Adult Sunday
School Movement, the World Association for Adult Education, and all the
numerous Missionary Societies throughout the whole earth--let us suppose
that the entire Church of Christ was at work in the world teaching
Christ's teaching, _educating_ men, bringing it home to the heart and
mind of humanity that "life is mental travel," that it is in our
thoughts we live and by our thoughts we are shaped, that flesh and blood
cannot inherit the Kingdom of God, that all terrestrial values are
radically false, that to hunger and thirst after anything is to get it,
that the power of "the dominant wish" is our fate, that in love alone
can we live to the full stature of our destiny, that the Kingdom of God
is within us, that the engine of faith has not yet been exerted by the
whole human race in concert, that conquests await us in the spiritual
world before which all the conquests of the material world will pale
into insignificance, that we are spirits finding our way out of the
darkness of an animal ancestry into the Light of an immortal inheritance
as children of God; let us suppose that this, and not dogma was the
Voice of the Church; must we not say that by such teaching the whole
world would eventually be rescued from our present chaos and in the
fulness of time be born again into the knowledge of spiritual reality?

I believe it is only when a man realises that in its final analysis the
whole universe is invisible, and ceases to think of himself as an animal
and becomes profoundly sensible of himself as a spirit, and a spirit in
communion with a spiritual reality closer than hands and feet, that it
is possible for him to fulfil the two great commandments on which hang
all the Law and the Prophets. And without that fulfilment there must
always be chaos.

If the Church will not teach the world, modern science will inspire
philosophy to take up anew the teaching of Plato, and the world will go
forward into the light, but with no creative love in its soul to save it
from itself. "If therefore," said Christ, "the light that is in thee be
darkness, how great is that darkness."





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