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Full text of "James Hope Moulton"

JAMES HOPE MOULTON 




P/ioto by J. Porur, Manchester. 



> 




JAMES HOPE MOULTON 



BY HIS BROTHER 



With a Foreword by the 

RIGHT REV. BISHOP RYLE 

Dean of Westminster 




LONDON 

THE EPWORTH PRESS 
J. ALFRED SHARP 



First Edition, 1919 



TO 

HAROLD AND HELEN 

IS DEDICATED THIS 
ATTEMPTED RECORD 

OF A 
SACRED LEGACY 



PREFACE 

THERE are certain obvious drawbacks 
attaching to Memoirs, or Appreciations, 
written by relatives ; and no one IB more 
conscious of that fact than I am. The 
only plea I would put forward in extenua- 
tion is that a greater drawback would 
have been risked if the book had not been 
written by me namely, that it might 
not have been written at all ! And so I 
risk the drawbacks rather than leave my 
brother's many friends without any record, 
however imperfect, of his life or estimate 
of his personality and influence. 

I have not attempted anything in the 
way of a detailed chronicle, partly because 
it would have been practically impossible 
to do so, and partly because it would have 
served no particularly good purpose if 
it had been done. I have chosen rather 

7 



8 PREFACE 

to attempt, with such detachment as I 
could achieve, an estimate of his life, 
work, and disposition ; and I have tried 
to supplement, and where necessary to 
correct, my own vision by that of those 
who saw him from other angles. When all 
is said and done it is a question of angles : 
there is no divergent evidence as to fact. 
A wondrous unanimity, a glowing uni- 
formity, pervades all the many tributes 
paid to him in East and West ; and when 
they have been poured into the common 
stock of memories, those of the inner 
circle have recognized in the tribute from 
the outer circle the same James Hope 
Moulton that they saw in the more intimate 
life of the home. Indeed, to him the 
world was an extended home, and the race 
a wider brotherhood ; and he was what 
he was because this was so. 

I would express my deep sense of in- 
debtedness to the Dean of Westminster 
for his generous appreciation of my brother. 
Dr. Ryle conducted the funeral service 
of the father ; it is fitting that words 



PREFACE 9 

of his should accompany the memorial to 
the son his pupil and friend. I would 
also tender grateful thanks to Sir J. G. 
Frazer for permission to quote from private 
letters written to his friend. Dr. Rendel 
Harris and Dr. A. S. Peake have, as usual, 
been suggestive, helpful, tender have been, 
that is to say, themselves. My brother 
was indeed to be congratulated on the 
inner circle of his friends. 

May, 1919. 



CONTENTS 

PAGE 

FOREWORD - -13 

I 
RICHMOND 

THE FAMILY STOCK - - 17 

EARLY LIFE - 24 

II 
CAMBRIDGE 

SCHOOLDAYS AT THE LEYS - 30 

UNIVERSITY LIFE AND INFLUENCE - 35 
EARLY MINISTERIAL CAREER - 51 

III 
MANCHESTER 

THE NEW SPHERE - 59 

PHASES OF SCHOLARSHIP - - 65 

ii 



12 CONTENTS 

MANCHESTER -(continued.) 

PAGE 

THE METHODIST PREACHER - 86 

THREE CHARACTERISTICS HUMILITY, 

MORAL PASSION, RECONCILIATION 92 

THE WAR - - 111 

IV 
INDIA 

THE CALL - - 133 

SOME ASPECTS OF THE TOUR - 145 

FACE TO FACE WITH PARSISM - - 180 

THE END - - - + m - 191 



J. HOPE MOULTON'S death has made this 
life poorer through the loss of a devoted 
scholar and student, a fine character, and 
a strong and forcefiil influence. 

My recollection of him goes back to 
the early days when he was a young and 
enthusiastic scholar at King's College, 
Cambridge. I made his acquaintance soon 
after he came into residence, and I re- 
member being greatly impressed by his 
earnestness of purpose, his splendid dili- 
gence, and his sympathy with different 
aspects of College life. He was a keen 
athlete, a fine runner, and an ardent 
lacrosse player. He was a good classical 
scholar, and threw himself into the special 
study of philology and of Sanskrit with 
glorious energy. 

More especially, I can recall the interest 

13 



14 FOREWORD 

which he always showed in the Sunday 
afternoon gatherings which used to be held 
in my rooms, and at which the presence 
and conversation of Dr. Westcott (after- 
wards Bishop of Durham) were an especial 
attraction. Moulton was always an eager 
and earnest debater. He was at that 
time deeply interested in modern social 
questions. He amused us sometimes by 
his impatience with any appeals and 
references to the thought or usage of 
earlier centuries of Christendom. 

He was a diligent student of the New 
Testament in the Greek Later on, he 
did some minute and most laborious work 
over the references in the Revised Version 
of the Bible. Whatever he took up he 
threw into it intense seriousness of devotion. 

I watched with deep regard and admira- 
tion his steady advance into the front rank 
of modern New Testament philologists ; 
and the enthusiasm of his investigations 
into Oriental religious thought has been 
the means of inspiring many a younger 
Stude - 



FOREWORD 15 

I may say I had a very great affection 
for him. He was always occupied in 
things that mattered ; always full of 
interested and eager inquiry about things 
religious. His love for his father wag, 
moreover, one of the most attractive 
features in his character. I felt there was 
nothing he would not do to please or help 
that great and good man, the late Head 
Master of the Leys School. 

H. E. RYLE. 



James Hope Moulton 

i 

RICHMOND 

The Family Stock 

IT was well within sight of the buildings of 
Richmond College that the life of James 
Hope Moulton took its first beginning on 
October 11, 1863. He came of a stock 
so saturated with Methodist traditions 
that it seemed to belong to the fitness 
of things that he should have been born 
under the shadow of a great Methodist 
institution. Right back to the ministry 
of Wesley himself there had been a direct 
succession of preachers in the family, which 
started with John Bakewell, the writer of 
the justly famous hymn, ' Hail, thou 

once despised Jesus ! ' When Bakewell 

17 B 



18 JAMES HOPE MOULTON 

removed from Derbyshire to Greenwich 
he had as an assistant master in his school 
a brilliant young Irishman named James 
Egan ; and in that home Wesley was an 
honoured and frequent guest. He quickly 
realized the existence of a close attach- 
ment between Mr. Egan and the clever 
daughter of his friend ; and with all the 
authority which was so readily conceded 
to him by his devoted followers he said 
to Mr. Bakewell, ' Let the young people 
marry ; hand the school over to them, 
and go thou and preach the gospel.' He 
himself joined this gifted couple in holy 
matrimony. John Bakewell went forth 
to preach, dying at the age of ninety- 
eight in full possession of his faculties ; 
and the Egans took on the school. It was 
their daughter who married the first William 
Moulton, who, although a Churchman by 
upbringing, came under strong religious 
conviction among the Methodists and 
ultimately entered the Methodist ministry 
in 1794. Three of his sons followed him 
into that same fellowship, of whom James 



RICHMOND 19 

Egan Moulton was the eldest ; and he 
is the one who concerns us here, for he 
was the father of Dr. W. F. Moulton, of 
The Leys ; Dr. J. E. Moulton, of Sydney, 
N.S. W. ; the Right Hon. Lord Moulton of 
Bank, K.C.B.; and Dr. R. G. Moulton, of 
Chicago the father and three uncles of 
James Hope Moulton. 

On his mother's side there was the same 
devotion to the cause of Methodism, al- 
though the connexion was not so long- 
standing. Samuel Hope was a member 
of a clan famous over the border, and of 
that branch of the clan which had risen 
to great distinction in Liverpool. But 
convictions are awkward things, and Samuel 
Hope relinquished the prospect of a fine 
position in the family bank in Liverpool, 
faced the social ostracism which was so 
often the Methodist's lot in those days, 
and took up a career which meant a life 
of comparative poverty to the end. He 
rose to an honoured place in the Church 
of his choice, becoming what was prac- 
tically the General Secretary for the Home 



20 JAMES HOPE MOULTON 

Missions, and ultimately retiring to Guern- 
sey with shattered health after leading a 
forlorn hope in a south country town, where 
he saved Methodism from collapse at the 
cost of his own life. He died a year after 
he reached the peaceful island home in 
the sixty-third year of his age, and the 
fortieth of his ministry figures destined 
to reappear in the epitaph of the distin- 
guished son-in-law whom he never knew. 
The fact of the Rev. James Egan Moulton 
being sent in 1853 as superintendent to 
the Guernsey Circuit, where Mrs. Hope 
and her family continued to reside, brought 
together two young people who, after an 
engagement of six years a length of 
time necessitated by Methodist rule 
entered into a hallowed union and set up 
that 

happy home where two in heart united 
In holy faith and blessed hope are one, 
Whom death a little while alone divideth 
And cannot end the union here begun. 

The facts of earlier family history have 



RICHMOND 21 

been dwelt upon because they seem to 
predestinate my brother to the course 
which afterwards he chose. And when 
on his marriage the Osborn and Keeling 
strains came into the family to reinforce 
those of the Moultons, Hopes, Fiddians, 
and Egans, there was formed a Methodist 
heritage extensive and rich in all those 
things which go to make up well-being. 

Amid the absorbing interests, the crowd- 
ing cares, the multiplied distinctions which 
came upon him in later years, Dr. W. F. 
Moulton never lost the aroma of those 
Richmond days which constituted the first 
epoch of his ministerial life, and which 
have their intimate relation to this sketch 
as constituting the first sphere of my 
brother's life. On the first draft of the 
'stations' for 1858, William F. Moulton 
was down for Blackburn, but Benjamin 
Hellier, of sainted memory, contended 
that one who had won such distinction 
at London University in classics, mathe- 
matics, and Hebrew, was meant by Pro- 



22 JAMES HOPE MOULTON 

vidence to be a tutor, and the Conferern r 
took that view, sending him as assistant 
to Mr. Hellier at Richmond. For four 
years he occupied those rooms in the 
central tower of the college buildings 
which have sheltered so many men before 
and since who have been assistant tutors 
at that college before going out to careers 
of usefulness and distinction in the wider 
spheres of Church life. In 1862 came his 
ordination, at which the candidate stand- 
ing next to him was Peter Mackenzie a 
juxtaposition which speaks volumes for 
the true catholicity of the Methodist 
ministry and then his marriage and settle- 
ment in a home of his own. The years 
that followed were years of supreme happi- 
ness both at home and outside. He loved 
his work, and those for whom he worked 
showed show to this day grateful appre- 
ciation of his efforts. Amid all the stress 
of college work he was untiring in his 
pulpit ministrations, and an entry in his 
diary during 1862 reads as follows : 4 For 
the third time in three months I had to 



RICHMOND 23 



walk twenty-three miles on Sunday, preach* 
ing three times ; but 1 am all the better 
for it.' He was supremely happy in his 
friendships, and much might be said as to 
the close intimacy with the families of 
Mr. Barrett, who was Governor for most 
of the time, and Mr. Hellier ; and this 
intimacy belongs to the life of two genera- 
tions, for while the tutors cherished a 
warm esteem for each other there was a 
happy cameraderie between the children ; 
and in all this fellowship the students 
belonged to both groups honouring their 
tutors and spoiling their children ! We 
have a sketch in our possession by Miss 
Hellier representing the ' Molten Images ' 
in a perambulator, and Mr. Hugh Price 
Hughes wheeling it. This cannot be his- 
torically true, for the interval of three 
years between us renders it unlikely that 
we should occupy that chariot at one and 
the same time ; but it is near enough to 
the fact. I once had the audacity to 
refer to the sketch at a public meeting 
during Mr. Hughes's Presidency. As soon 



24 JAMES HOPE MOULTON 

as the not unnatural laughter had subsided 
he ejaculated, ' Well, that only shows how 
soon I began to push my brethren forward ! ' 
For an impromptu that would be hard to 
beat. 

Another reminiscence of those years 
calls for special mention in this particular 
year (1918-9), for it was in my father's 
study that Dr. Stephenson in 1868 first 
unfolded his ideas as to what became 
afterwards the Children's Home, and re- 
ceived the encouragement, guidance, and 
unwavering support from his tutor which 
counted for much in confirming him in his 
purpose. 

Early Life* 

It was amid such surroundings and under 
such influences that James Hope Moulton 
grew up as a boy. There are current 
certain legends that my gifted brother 
lisped Greek at three, and passed from 
accidence to syntax before he was five ; 
and although no one is asked to accept 
these as sober statements of fact, they are 



RICHMOND 25 

at any rate suggestive of the truth. He 
was no infant prodigy ; on the contrary, 
he was a very human being from the first : 
but, nevertheless, the instinct for studious- 
ness and the acquisition of learning mani- 
fested itself unusually early, and became 
richly fruitful at an age when the majority 
of boys have found no time to be serious, 
save concerning sport. He had the price- 
less advantage of good eyesight, the lack 
of which had debarred his father from all 
games, and he took his full share in any 
form of recreation. Quite early he showed 
predilections in two directions where after- 
wards he manifested more or less out- 
standing ability. One was preaching ; and 
never in later years did he address more 
decorous congregations than those chairs 
which constituted his congregation in our 
Richmond dining-room on Sunday after- 
noons in the early seventies. The other was 
music ; and before he left Richmond, aged 
eleven, he had composed an oratorio on 
the subject of Jonah, which contained 
among other numbers a bass solo delivered 



26 JAMES HOPE MOULTON 

by the prophet from within the whale- 
an effect quite worthy of Wagner ! His 
schooling in those early days was in the 
hands of Mr. Edward Rush, the father of 
Mr. C. E. 0. Rush, the tutor so dearly 
beloved by successive generations of Cliff 
College men. In his Northampton days 
Mr. Rush had taught our two uncles, and 
both of them are ready to bear witness 
to his great ability as a teacher. Now at 
Richmond and later, for a short period, 
at The Leys the next generation were 
under him, and two of our school- 
fellows there were Sidney Rupert Hodge, 
who afterwards came on to The Leys, and 
Mr. W. Vogel Goad. 

But in 1874 there came an upheaval. 
For several years much earnest considera- 
tion had been given to the question of 
higher education in Methodism, and the 
problem of how best to retain the young 
people of our privileged families. The 
removal of ecclesiastical tests from the 
universities gave a great impetus to the 
movement, for it meant facing the question, 



RICHMOND 27 

' How can we secure for the sons of 
Methodism the advantages of the ancient 
universities without endangering their 
attachment to the Church of their fathers ? ' 
While all agreed that something must 
be done, there was considerable difference 
of opinion as to the line which should be 
taken. Some were in favour of the founda- 
tion of a public school, others of a Methodist 
hostel in connexion with the Univer- 
sity. Ultimately the committee reported 
in favour of a school, the Conference 
accepted its findings, and at Camborne, 
in 1874, Dr. W. P. Moulton was designated 
as the first head master of the school that 
was to be. He had been associated with 
the inquiry from the first ; he was con- 
vener of the committee appointed to report 
upon the matter; and yet, such was his 
innate modesty that until a few weeks before 
Conference he had no idea that he would 
ever be brought into close relationship 
with the school. Indeed, at the previous 
Conference, when presenting his report, 
he laid down that the post must be made 



28 JAMES HOPE MOULTON 

attractive enough to secure the services 
of a first-class man ; and all the time he 
was unconscious that his Church was looking 
to him as most likely to meet the very 
requirements which he himself had out- 
lined. We find him writing to Dr. West- 
cott in the autumn of 1874 : ' For myself, 
I shall go as a matter of obedience. I don't 
think I am the man for such responsibilities, 
and no allurement would have induced 
me to undertake them. Now, however, 
I am pledged, not indeed to succeed, but 
to do my best.' His brethren had desig- 
nated him, and he went in January, 1875. 

The Richmond days were ended, and 
with them the preparatory period of J. H. 
Moulton's life. What follows falls naturally 
into three main periods, each with its own 
geographical centre, and each closed with 
a great sorrow. Firstly, Cambridge the 
formative period, 1875 to 1902 ; secondly, 
Manchester the citizen period, 1902 to 
1915 ; thirdly, India the missionary 
period, 1915 to 1917. Of course there are 
phases of his life and experience which do 



RICHMOND 29 

not belong exclusively to any one period. 
Such matters cannot be shut up in water- 
tight compartments. But for general pur- 
poses this differentiation will hold good. 




Scltootdays at The Leys 

IN the natural course of things, being 
just about twelve years of age, James 
Hope Moulton formed one of that little 
group of boys that gathered at The Leys 
for the opening of its first term, and there 
he stayed until he entered the university 
on his nineteenth birthday. It was at 
the school that he laid the foundations for 
his later achievements in scholarship ; it 
was there that he formed his friendships, 
which were of a very lasting character ; 
and it was there that he first felt and 
gave himself up to those spiritual drawings 
which afterwards became the ruling factor 
in his life. No one could possibly have 
thrown himself more heartily into the life 



CAMBRIDGE 31 

of an institution than he did. Things 
literary, scholastic, athletic, musical, re- 
ligious, scientific, social all claimed and 
won a place in his scheme of life, and all 
received a measure of enthusiastic atten- 
tion ; but it was those among them which 
were the most serious which attracted him 
the most, and it would not be too much 
to say that in the best sense he took 
serious views of life unusually early. He 
only accomplished what he did accomplish 
by dint of strenuous and unremitting 
application, and thereby he laid the only 
possible foundation for the abounding 
service of later years. There conies to 
mind a striking indication of the trend of 
disposition, the more significant because 
so largely unconscious on his part. When 
he was fifteen he began sending contri- 
butions to the Leys Fortnightly, the maga- 
zine of his school. It is immaterial that 
the subject was * Milton's Minor Poems,'* 
though that may be reckoned as an un- 
usual type of subject for the first printed 
* See p. 197 for the reappearance of the subject. 



32 JAMES HOPE MOULTON 

effort of a boy of fifteen. What does 
matter is that this, like all his contributions 
to thai magazine, bore the signature Ar AN.* 
At an age when to so many the world is 
a playground and life a game, he intuitively 
dropped upon a nom-de-plume betokening 
strenuousness of effort ; and he remained 
AT AN to the end. On the football-field and 
on the track he ran fast, very fast ; in the 
sanctuary he sang lustily, very lustily ; 
on the cricket-field he bowled very fast, 
with a curious action which made things 
awkward on a bad wicket and with a 
hostile umpire. At lacrosse, of which 
he was very fond, he could race round 
most of the ' fields,' and sometimes, per- 
haps, used his speed when it would have 
been better to pass the ball. Wherever 
he was and whatever he was doing he was 
intense and strenuous about it all ; he 
played many things very many, anything, 
indeed, that came his way but he never 
played at anything, and this note was 

* Pronounced Agan. ArAN, 'Adv., very muck : 
strongly affirmative.' Liddell and Scott. 



CAMBRIDGE 33 

characteristic of him throughout his life. 
Indeed, one kind and discerning friend, a 
aeasoned Anglo-Indian who entertained 
him several times at Bombay in 1915-7, 
considers that, had there been less pace 
and more deference to the obstacles pre- 
sented by the trying Indian climate, he 
might have lived through the strain of one 
more day in that open boat, and have 
landed at Calvi with his dearly loved 
friend, so much his senior. 

It was only to be expected that his religious 
life would manifest the same characteristic 
of intensity and etrenuousness, but not 
perhaps that this would manifest itself 
quite as early as it did. Two entries 
in his diary for the winter of 1877, when 
he was just fourteen, reveal a degree of 
deep spiritual longing not often to be met 
with at that age ; and it is noticeable that 
in his voluminous diaries, crammed full 
of the incidents, great and small, for forty 
years of his life, the only field where he 
makes frequent pauses for reflection is 
that of inward religion. On October 11 

c 



34 JAMES HOPE MOULTON 

he writes : ' This is not only my birth- 
day but the third anniversary of my 
spiritual birth.' And on November 25 : 
' L have had a great joy, in common with 
the angels of God above. God has granted 
me that inexpressible privilege of being 
an instrument in His hands for the salvation 

of . It is the first time I have felt 

the peculiar joy of being instrumental 
in bringing a fellow creature to the full 
knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus.' 
Even two years prior to these entries his 
diaries far less full and sustained are 
punctuated with heartfelt and passionate 
desires for the salvation of individuals 
mentioned by name. In this also the 
child was the father of the man ; and those 
who knew him only as a scholar, and 
perhaps feared him as a critical scholar, 
knew only part of his nature, and possibly 
never guessed that such a passion for 
evangelism could be united with profound 
learning in the fields of grammar and 
comparative religion. Already ho was 
looking; out with wistful earnestness to- 



CAMBRIDGE 35 

wards the mission field ; for on one of the 
many occasions when the Rev. David 
Hill visited the school I find an entry 
June 28, 1881 in a diary : ' Talked with 

*/ 

Mr. Hill about my missionary wishes.' 
In December, 1881, he preached his first 
sermon, one Sunday afternoon, in the 
little Wesleyan Chapel at Waterbeach, 
the village which will always be remem- 
bered as the sphere of C. H. Spurgeon's 
first pastorate. Strange to say, those 
diaries, which are so full of details of mis- 
cellaneous doings, omit to mention the 
text taken on that interesting occasion ; 
but inferences from other passages would 
point to its having been Heb. ii. 1. 

University Life and Influence 

His academic distinctions had already 
begun. In the London matriculation list 
in June, 1881, his name appeared sixth 
in the Honours list ; and in January of 
the following year he won a 70 open 
scholarship in Classics at King's College, 
Cambridge. The double lines of academic 



36 JAMES HOPE MOULTON 

honour went on side by side through the 
B.A. and M.A. stages, but in the end the 
London D.Lit stood without any corres- 
ponding Cambridge degree to balance it ; 
for although three other universities con- 
ferred upon him the Doctorate of Divinity, 
the fact of his being a Nonconformist 
constituted a statutory bar to his receiving 
a similar distinction from his own uni- 
versity a disability recently and reluctantly 
removed in the teeth of bitter clerical 
opposition. 

It was during that period of strenuous 
study that another influence came into 
his life which counted for yet more, but 
about which little must be said, partly 
because so much might be said. In 1884 
there came as Superintendent of the Cam- 
bridge Circuit the Rev. G. R. Osborn, the 
son of the famous Dr. Osborn, who had 
been the colleague of Dr. W. R Moulton at 
Richmond. The friendship which rapidly 
grew up between the brilliant young classic 
and Mr. Osborn' s elder daughter ripened 
eventually into a union of uninterrupted 



CAMBRIDGE 37 

blessedness and joy which lasted for twenty- 
five years ; and although Methodist rules 
necessitated a somewhat lengthy engage- 
ment, as in his father's case, J. H. Moult-on 
worked on under a new inspiration from 
1886. 

In November, 1882, Moody and Sankey 
conducted their memorable mission in 
Cambridge, and my brother's diaries con- 
tain warm appreciations of their meetings. 
He was present at that meeting when, for 
the only time in his career, the great evan- 
gelist was refused a hearing by an audience 
of rowdy and reckless undergraduates ; he 
was also present two nights later when the 
evangelist had his revenge gracious and 
holy upon an audience hushed and submis- 
sive, scores of whom surrendered to Christ 
while Sankey sang ; Sowing the Seed ' in his 
own inimitable fashion. My brother's fellow 
collegian, A. C. Benson, has described the 
impression left by those missioners on 
his own mind and heart in a remarkable 
passage in The House of Quiet; and the 
description is of lasting value, as revealing 



38 JAMES HOPE MOULTON 

the nature of the impact of such preaching 
upon one brought up in so different a 
religious environment. The son of the 
Wesleyan Manse naturally felt himself 
more at home in such services than the 
Anglican Etonian. He always looked back 
to that mission as to an occasion of singular 
spiritual power and awakening, and while 
he would have given a cordial assent to 
Benson's striking analysis of Moody 's method 
of appeal, he would not have stopped short 
where he did, for to him the man who 
could thus ' probe the secrets of the inner- 
most heart ' was the man who could best 
bring him ' out into a place of liberty with 
the tenderness of a true father in God.' 

To many it may have been a foregone 
conclusion that he would cuter that 
ministry where so many of his relatives 
Iwcl found their vocation, but no one who 
knew him could imagine his being in- 
fluenced by such considerations il an 
effectual calling 1 had been absent. ll< 
entered that ministry not because they 
had done so, but because the same spirit 



CAMBRIDGE 39 

which had made them preachers of the 
gospel filled him ; and for that reason, 
and for no other, he had no choice but to 
go. During the spring and early summer 
of 1886 he went through the ordinary 
tests demanded of all aspirants to the 
Methodist ministry, whether gifted and 
privileged or not. The Circuit, the Dis- 
trict, the Connexion, all have their par- 
ticular organs for testing candidates ; and 
through all the tests he emerged as might 
be expected, conspicuously successful. The 
London Conference of 1886 designated him 
as assistant to his father at The Leys, in 
succession to the Rev. Edward Brentnall, 
who had occupied the position for three 
years, and in this post lie remained until 
he went to Manchester in 1902, although 
after Dr. Moult oil's death in 1898 the nature 
of his appointment somewhat altered. 

This composite post ministerial, educa- 
tional, and quasi-academic -was a mng- 
niiiccnl opening lor him ; and, it may (< 
addrd, for others as \\oll, for James Hope 
Aloulton always gave what he got, and 



40 JAMES HOPE MOULTON 

only got in order that he might give, of the 
riches of learning. It is doubtful whether 
he realized the advantageousness of the 
situation at the time. He would some- 
times look out wistfully at wider fields, 
wondering whether he was doing the best 
with his life by staying at The Leys. 
4 Here I am,' I remember his once saying 
to me, ' nearly forty, and have not done a 
thing ! Why, father was on the New 
Testament Revision Company before he 
was thirty-six ! ' But it is easy to see- 
especially so for him now that that forma- 
tive period was of priceless value, and that 
the rich and brilliant usefulness of the 
later career was conditioned by it. It is 
probably not claiming too much to say 
that incessant collaboration with his father 
was in itself a liberal education. His 
yearning for Christian service at home, 
his passion for Foreign Missions, his ever- 
deepening devotion to Greek Testament 
study these and the many other factors 
in his spiritual make-up were distinctly 
traceable to the fact of his having enjoyed 



CAMBBIDGE 41 

peculiarly close association with his father 
at just the most susceptible period of his 
mental development. So far as his school 
duties were concerned, there is no small 
degree of truth in the frankly expressed 
opinion of one who knew him intimately 
and loved him warmly, that he was not a 
great schoolmaster, on the ground that 
' his primary interest was not in the boys 
he taught but in what he taught them.' 
When he had to do with pupils like Percy 
B. Haigh,F. W. Hasluck, Harold Mattingly, 
and others, whose brilliance as schoolboys 
has been fully sustained in their later 
careers, then the double interest in the 
boys and the subjects made his work a joy 
to him ; but it must be admitted that on 
the ordinary school mastering side he was 
not in his element, that the normal duties 
were somewhat of a burden to him, and 
that had it not been for the conditions 
amid which his life was passed and the 
very happy relations with his colleagues, he 
would have felt the burden intolerable. 
Once he received a tempting offer to 



42 JAMES HOPE MOULTON 

change his sphere during his father's life- 
time. His old college tutor at King's, J. E. C. 
Welldon now Dean of Durham, formerly 
Bishop of Calcutta, and afterwards Dean 
of Manchester was for a few years head 
master of Harrow, and he? earnestly but 
unsuccessfully urged him to come and take 
up a fifth-form mastership there. 

In a warmly appreciative notice in the 
Manchester Guardian, Bishop Welldon refers 
to this offer, and puts down the refusal 
to the conflicting claims of scholarship 
and schoolmastering, adding that possibly 
my brother was right in deciding that if 
he was to do his best work it must be under 
other conditions than those of school 
teaching. Yes, he was right, but that was 
not his primary reason for acting as he 
did. A Harrow mastership would not 
have been compatible with the sphere 
which he had deliberately ehosen for himself, 
thai of the Methodist ministry, ;m<l he was 
not disposed to relinquish thai lor ,-my of 
the blue ribbons of (he t eaehiim profession. 
Of course it may be said (hat CnnitTcnce 



CAMBRIDGE 43 

would probably have placed no barrier 
in the way, and would have regarded 
him as a minister without pastoral charge ; 
but he had a true and certain intuition as 
to the difficulties involved. However fair 
and generous the head master would have 
been to him, there is little doubt that the 
major portion of the Harrow constituency 
would have felt itself affronted by the 
appointment of a Dissenting minister to 
the staff a layman might have escaped 
notice to a degree that would not have 
been the case with an avowed Agnostic. 
Sooner or later the position would have 
been intolerable, and it was probably best 
for all concerned that the offer was not 
accepted. As it was, he continued for 
sixteen years in a post which, although 
less distinguished than that which might 
have been his, was one of great usefulness, 
and afforded him singular advantages. 

After all, Cambridge *s Cambridge, and 
the two great anrirnl university towns 
have a charm and interest peculiarly their 
own. In that life James Hope Moulton 



44 JAMES HOPE MOULTON 

took hie full share, both in respect of what 
he gave and what he received. In his 
diary there occurs almost every week the 
phrase c Hurried back to . . . ' ; and this 
is typical of the life he led. He lectured 
on the subjects comprised in Section E* 
of the Classical Tripos, Part II ; he lectured 
at Girton and Newnham ; and all the time 
he was taking a large amount of teaching 
at The Leys, partly to relieve his father 
and partly in pursuance of his own duties 
as a member of the teaching staff. But 
no one was more alive than he was to the 
advantages afforded by Cambridge for 
self -improvement, and certainly no one 
was ever less disposed to regard the 
Tripos as finally concluding the period of 
acquisition. He availed himself to the 
full of the friendship of Prof. E. B. Cowell, 
the great Orientalist, and continued to 
study under his direction those subjects 
which afterwards became the sphere of so 
much of his published work. Prof. Cowell 
was undoubtedly one of the great inspiring 
* Centring in Philology. 



CAMBRIDGE 46 

influences of his life during this formative 
period, and he was never tired of expressing 
his sense of obligation and affection to his 
friend and teacher.* The Professor's house 
was conveniently near to The Leys, and the 
most fruitful periods of instruction were 
not those spent in the lecture-room at 
stated times but the hours spent in the 
study of one who poured out his stores 
of learning without stint, and was delighted 
to find one who was both willing and able 
thus to receive, without any of the limita- 
tions which are inevitably associated with 
an examination syllabus. 

His college also remained for him a centre 
of stimulating intellectual intercourse with 
which he kept up his intimate relations 
after he ceased to reside in the college 
buildings. King's College has always had 
the reputation of being somewhat of an 
intellectual aristocracy, largely because of 
its having been for long the one college 
at Cambridge which refused to take men 
who were not intending to read for 
* See below, pp. 185, 181, 



46 JAMES HOPE MOTJLTON 

an Honours Degree. Consequently, the 
number of members has never been 
conspicuously large, but the average of 
distinction has been conspicuously high. 
Among those who were my brother's con- 
temporaries there stand out the names 
of Arthur C. Benson, now Master of 
Magdalene College ; Montague Rhodes 
James, now Provost of Eton ; G. Lowes 
Dickinson, journalist, historian, philosopher; 
W. R. Inge, the Dean of St. Paul's ; and 
numbers of others who also have taken 
distinguished positions in Church and State. 
It was, perhaps, to be expected that a 
degree as good as his a high first-class 
in both parts of the Tripos should lead 
to a Fellowship even amid the keen com- 
petition of such a college as King's, and in 
1888 he was elected to the much coveted 
honour. Among the testimonials sent in 
to the electors was the following from 
Dr. Peile, the great philologian, and it sheds 
interesting light upon the nature of his 
work at that early period : 

' The character of the work is distinctly 



CAMBRIDGE 47 

good very sound and thorough. He binds 
himself to a rigorous observance of phonetic 
law and never evades it ; the essay is 
scientific from the latest philological stand- 
point. . . . He has shown certainly a 
capability of original investigation. He 
belongs to a small number about five 
of students in Section E since 1882 who 
seem to me to stand out from the rest as 
qualified to do good independent work 
in comparative philology . . . Moulton's 
work shows no common grasp and attain- 
ment in a man of his standing.' 

At the time during which he was closely 
connected with the college it enjoyed the 
exceptional advantage of having Dr. West- 
cott as a ' Professorial Fellow,' as well as 
Professor H. E. Ryle, who was a King's 
man, and had been elected to a Fellowship 
in the ordinary course. The influence 
of these two outstanding scholar-saints 
counted for much, specially unred con- 
ditions where there were many temptations 
to lead the unformed and aspiring intel- 
lectual to assume that among men of 



48 JAMBS HOPE MOULTON 

intellect the Christian Faith no longer 
exercised any authority ; for no one could 
make that assumption with two such 
examples witnessing daily in the college 
to the contrary. Every Sunday afternoon 
during term-time there were meetings held 
in Professor Ryle's rooms for religious 
discussion, which could not fail to be 
stimulating even if somewhat disconcert- 
ing for the junior who had to read a paper 
in the presence both of his fellow under- 
graduates and of these outstanding pro- 
fessors. In his tribute to Bishop Westcott 
in the London Quarterly Review* my 
brother refers to these gatherings. ' I 
was the victim twice, and on the first 
occasion cheerfully undertook to give an 
account of Methodism within the allotted 
time. It was amusing to see the interest 
and curiosity of my fellow undergraduates, 
to whom I spake like a traveller from 
Tibet. I had to stand fire for nearly an 
hour, explaining to the best of my power 
the difference between a class-leader and 



CAMBRIDGE 49 

an archdeacon ; and answering other ques- 
tions betraying greater or less degrees 
of ignorance. Westcott's obiter dicta were 
deeply interesting, showing as they did 
his characteristic power of sympathetic 
insight into the religious position of Free 
Churchmen. ... I had been emphasizing 
our doctrine of the priesthood, and West- 
cott remarked that if we believed all 
Christians to be priests we ought to have 
an ordination service for them. ... If 
we Methodists took kindly to ritual, no 
doubt the service for the recognition of 
new members would have done something 
in the direction of Dr. Westcott's sug- 
gestion. 5 

But although he seemed to be so much 
immersed in the things of scholarship he 
remained a very human being, and alto- 
gether far removed from the academic 
recluse interested in nothing but the world 
of scholarship. He retained his interest 
in games, certain games, and he continued 
to play them with zest ; and it was perhaps 
characteristic of his strenuous disposition 

D 



50 JAMES HOPE MOULTON 

that he did not take much interest in 
games except in so far as he could par- 
ticipate in them himself. It was only 
on very exceptional occasions that he was 
to be found watching games of any kind : 
active employment was what he asked for 
in every field of life. His love for rnusic- 
which had found early expression in the 
oratorio fragment on the subject of Jonah , 
before he was twelve developed into a 
great enthusiasm, though here again (ho 
same characteristic manifested itself in a 
greater desire to be a participator than a 
mere listener. To the very end it was the 
choral work in which he had taken part 
that counted most to him, rather than the 
instrinsically greater work which he had 
only heard from outside ; and the same 
was true in respect of those orchestral 
works in which as a 'cellist he had played 
his part. This disposition would by itself 
have rendered the elaborate services of the 
Church of England distasteful to him, even 
if there had been no other considerations. 
A musical service performed for him, instead 



CAMBRIDGE 51 

of one iii which he could take his share, 
would have had little attraction for him ; 
and the ' paid quartet ' regime so pre- 
valent in America would have been 
anathema. The result was that he entered 
with extreme heartiness into all services 
at which he was present ; and if he sang 
with a vehemence which was open to 
criticism both in respect of the well-being 
of his own voice and the blending with 
other voices, it was at any rate an outward 
expression of an earnest enthusiasm which 
Avas adequately described by AT AN in this 
field as in others. 

Early Ministerial Career 

And what about his relation to his 
Church during the sixteen years from 
1886 to 1902 ? From what has been 
already said it will be abundantly clear 
that nothing, however alluring, would be 
allowed to thrust that into the background. 
Much of his teaching at The Leys was 
in Bible subjects, and in addition to that 
there was much of the pastoral relation- 



52 JAMES HOPE MOULTON 

ship to the boys which gave him the oppor- 
tunity of making more of a contribution to 
Church life than could be tabulated at the 
moment. Then he was preaching most 
Sundays either at the school or in the 
Circuit, and the scholar who was spending 
Saturday evening studying the mysteries 
of Sanskrit with Prof. Cowell would, as 
likely as not, be expounding the precepts 
of the gospel on Sunday evening to a 
handful of villagers on the far side of the 
Circuit. It was this blend of 'the study 
and the street ' which kept him so fresh, 
and saved his scholarship from having the 
slightest suspicion of mould and mustiness. 
Then there was the work involved in the 
guidance of the Probationers of the Church. 
For years his father had had charge of this 
work, and now the son came in, first as 
assistant and then as successor. Judging 
a priori it might perhaps be expected that 
one so able and learned himself would prove 
unsympathetic towards beginners, and over- 
disposed to view matters from a purely 
intellectual point of view ; but this did 



CAMBRIDGE 53 

not prove to be the case with him any more 
than with his father ; and there are hun- 
dreds of men in the Wesleyan Methodist 
Church to-day who speak with gratitude 
of what they owe both to father and son 
while passing through their period of 
probation. 

In February, 1898, the whole aspect of 
things changed, for with tragic suddenness 
Dr. W. F. Moulton passed away. About 
two years previously he had received 
a sharp warning that there are limits to 
the extent to which an able and unselfish 
worker may spend himself for others, and 
for several months he had been laid aside. 
Gradually he came back again to the old 
activities, though with the recognition that 
never again must life be for him the stress- 
ful rushing existence which it had been 
before. But even this modified condition 
of service proved too much for him ; and 
one Saturday afternoon, when returning 
from a visit to one of his masters who was 
ill, he sat down on the steps of the bridge 
over the river behind The Leys, and in ten 



54 JAMES HOPE MOULTON 

minutes he had passer! over not that river 
but another. 

The association between him and his 
elder son in both public and private work 
had been so peculiarly close that this 
bereavement meant to my brother very 
much more than an acute personal loss. 
It meant the closing of an epoch in his 
life ; for although he remained at the 
school until 1902, in happy association with 
his friend of many years, the Rev W. T. A. 
Barber, who was appointed by the gover- 
nors to the vacant head-mastership, it was 
necessarily in an altered capacity ; and 
there was always present the consciousness 
that the supreme reason for his remaining 
there had come to an end. When, there- 
fore, he was designated for the position 
of tutor at Didsbury College in 1902, he 
left the old familiar scenes for a new sphere 
more congenial in itself and more thoroughly 
suited to his special gifts. It could not 
be without deep regret that he would 
leave the spots so full of hallowed mem- 
ories ; and Cambridge itself had its own 



CAMBRIDGE 55 

unique attractions. But Manchester pre- 
sented a sphere for work which was free 
from the limitations and disqualifications 
which belonged to an order so largely 
dominated by tradition ; and the prospect 
of training ministers instead of teaching 
schoolboys afforded ample compensation 
for the loss of other things. At Cambridge 
his Nonconformity would have remained 
to the end of the chapter a disqualifica- 
tion and a reproach in actual fact, even if 
in theory there was a fair field and no 
favour. It will take generations to exor- 
cise from Oxford and Cambridge that 
spirit which is far more ready to give the 
right hand of fellowship to the free- 
thinker than to the Nonconformist preacher. 
How this strikes the outsider is shown in 
the concluding paragraph of a discerning 
notice of his Prolegomena, in the Cam- 
bridge Review, May 24, 1906 : ' It is now 
three or four years since Dr. Moulton 
left Cambridge, followed very shortly by 
Mr. Rendel Harris. They are serving 
each his own denomination in little colleges 



56 JAMES HOPE MOULTON 

outside great cities, but Cambridge has 
lost them. Curious how little effort was 
made to keep them ! More curious that 
the theological chairs of the university are 
not available for scholars of such gifts ! 
Does the system which requires their 
exclusion really help the advancement 
of learning ? ' But, for the time being, 
to quote from a letter to my brother 
from Dr. J. G. Frazer : ' There is no 
standing up against the country parson 
when he arises in his might, smites the 
local don under the fifth rib, bumps his 
head (I mean the don's head) against a 
wall, and departs in triumph leaving us 
prostrate.' Nevertheless, it is very doubt- 
ful whether the new age will tolerate such 
things much longer, and the first steps have 
been taken in the direction of fairer treat- 
ment. 

A new university started free from these 
shackles, and there was neither the power 
nor the desire to give preferential treat- 
ment to any one form of Church allegiance. 
As my brother playfully reminded the 



CAMBRIDGE 57 

Bishop of Ripon when he came to bring 
fraternal greetings to the Bradford Con- 
ference of 1910 : ' We have in the Univer- 
sity [of Manchester] a Theological Faculty 
which has been an object lesson of a very 
valuable character. We sit side by side 
representing all the Churches, and the 
only "faculty' we have so the Vice- 
Chancellor says, and he ought to know is 
that we never quarrel. We have never 
had any division in which any one could 
tell from the voting which were Anglican 
and which Free Church. It is, of 
course, the Bible around which we are 
mostly gathered, and it is a broad prin- 
ciple with us that nothing shall be said that 
may offend the religious opinions of any 
student there. In my own New Testament 
class I have students from the High Church 
College and from the Presbyterian Colleges, 
and it has never occurred to us what are 
the differences between the Churches.' 
The very fact that he later served a term 
of two or three years as Dean of the Faculty 
emphasizes the difference between the 



58 JAMES HOPE MOULTON 

spirit of the new and the old universities 
whore matters of religions allegiance wen- 
concerned; and although in his momonis 
of loneliness later he talked of retiring to 
Cambridge, it was to the Cambridge of 
hallowed associations both of life and 
death, for there his much loved girl Hope 
was buried, as well as his father and 
mother rather than to Cambridge as a 
sphere of work. As his friend, E. E. Kellett, 
puts it : ' Cambridge gave him his learning, 
but Manchester was to give him the chance 
to use it.' 



Ill 

MANCHESTER 

The New Sphere 

IT was in every way fortunate for my 
brother that when the way opened for 
his appointment to a college tutorship 
it should have been at Manchester. None 
of the other centres could have given him 
the same many-sided opportunities and 
the blend of the University with the 
denominational College. Richmond was too 
isolated, while at Leeds and Birmingham 
the Universities were then very far from 
occupying the positions which they hold 
to-day. Manchester alone among the 
modern Universities of England had attained 
to a maturity and a completeness of equip- 
ment worthy of a great industrial centre. 
In addition to these intellectual interests 

59 



60 JAMES HOPE MOULTON 

there were the problems and possibilities 
of a great city, which appealed powerfully 
to one whose interest in politics was so 
wrapped up with his passion for social 
reform. Here was a chance of doing, 
in some degree, the very things about 
which he had often spoken, and of bringing 
down his politics also 'from the study to 
the street.' 

It was as a Methodist preacher that be 
came to Didsbury, and his work in the 
Methodist ministry always occupied the 
first place in his regard, as indeed it took 
precedence of the academic and the political 
in point of time. For years the post of 
theological tutor at the Wesleyan College, 
Didsbury, had been occupied by the Rev. 
Dr. Marshall Randies, and that of classical 
tutor by the Rev. Dr. R. Waddy Moss. 
With the retirement of Dr. Randies in 
1902, there was a partial redistribution 
of work, Dr. Moss taking the tutorship 
in theology, and James Hope Moulton 
New Testament exegesis, classics and other 
kindred studies. A college such as Dids- 



MANCHESTER 61 

bury furnishes boundless possibilities for 
the tutor who is prepared to expend his 
very best on his men. The relations can 
be very close ; they can be professional and 
little more ; and it is safe to say that men 
can discern very easily whether a tutor is 
out to deliver lectures or to teach. No one 
could fail to see that J. H. Moulton had a 
very strong sense of the importance of 
his subjects, and he taught them with all 
the earnestness of one who was convinced 
that minute matters of grammar and of 
exegesis carried great significance. In so 
doing he presented to his men a living plea 
for painstaking accuracy, at a period of 
mental development when the temptation 
to cheap and shallow generalizations might 
very well be strongly felt. One of his men 
-the Rev. Wilbert F. Howard, M.A., B.D., 
who has accepted the important and diffi- 
cult task of continuing his unfinished 
Grammar of New Testament Greek has 
described* the Didsbury side of my brother's 
life far better than I could possibly do, 
* In the Methodist Recorder. 



62 JAMBS HOPE MOTJLTON 

and 1 will content myself with passing on 
his generous appreciation :- 

'Dr. Moulton's death has left a gap in 
the front rank of the world's scholars, and 
hosts of friends all over the world are 
mourning him. But we old Didsbury men 
claim him as our own possession. We 
knew him as no others could. From the 
day he came amongst us he was one of 
ourselves, and we were proud of this 
giant of learning, who was not ashamed to 
call us brethren. It is impossible to think 
of Didsbury without him. And though 
we know all about the many parts he filled 
elsewhere, we cannot think of him apart 
from Didsbury. After all, it was as Dids- 
bury tutor that he came to his own in 
Methodism and was recognized for the 
man he was and what a man ! 

' Even at first we dimly knew that his 
scholarship was a miracle of memory and 
understanding and flawless accuracy, and 
this was years before great universities 
tumbled over one another in their eagerness 
to heap their honours upon him. But that 



MANCHESTER 03 

was not why we made a hero of him. 
We honoured the scholar, we reverenced 
the saint, and we loved the man. One 
remembers the instinctive reverence of the 
subdued voice with which, in critical dis- 
cussions, he always named the name of 
Christ ; one calls to mind also his sensitive- 
ness for the feelings of the slow and stupid. 
He was too fine a gentleman ever to make 
a man look ridiculous before a roomful 
of fellows. His utter disinterestedness, no 
less than his humility, gave us a new 
insight into ministerial honour. Of course, 
he was very human. He had his foibles 
and mannerisms, at which we smiled and 
loved him none the less. But there was 
never a suggestion of pomposity or pedantry, 
for he had the simplicity of a child and the 
purity of a Galahad. How vehement he 
was in his crusading temper ! He was a 
very impetuous saint, and, with all his 
pre-War pacifism, he was truly a leader 
in Christ's Church militant here on earth. 
' His class-room was never dull. Who 
an forget that ocular demonstration with 



64 JAMES HOPE MOULTON 

the aid of the poker to distinguish between 
the various kinds of aorist ? One never 
knew whether some gem in the text would 
be given a setting of fine gold extracted 
from some Egyptian rubbish-heap, or 
whether a passing reference would discover 
the intimate connexion between compara- 
tive religion and some half -forgotten nursery 
rhyme. The staid and stodgy may shake 
their heads at his unconventional methods, 
but this I do know, that, with many other 
things, we learnt a great deal of Hellenistic 
Greek, and always for the enrichment of 
the soul. Dr. Moulton, alone of all teachers 
whom I have known, had the power of 
breathing life into the dry bones of 
grammar. 

' To think that no fresh generation of 
Didsbury men will watch that tall, athletic 
figure striding with elastic step along the 
west corridor, or sit at his feet in that 
upper room while he eagerly unfolds to 
thorn the Script mvs, or hear the shrill 
exclamation when a misplaced accent is 
detected in Westcott and Hort, or hearken 



MANCHESTER 65 

to those obiter dicta that reveal the insight 
of genius ! 

' How patient he was, and what kindness 
he lavished on us ! All his Didsbury geese 
were swans, of course, but that was only 
part of his abounding charity which 
believed all things and hoped all things. 
Very many of his old students at home 
and abroad are now lamenting an inspiring 
teacher, and, still more, their best friend.' 

Phases of Scholarship 

His work at the college thus lay entirely 
along the line of his own tastes and pre- 
dilections. His intimate association with 
his father had led him at an early period 
to accustom himself to look for substantial 
contributions to exegesis from the side 
of grammar, and two considerations helped 
to accentuate that disposition. One was 
the fact that his father's edition of Winer's 
Vmnimar of New Testunwnl Ureek needed 
to be re-cast and in a great degree re- 
written a task which the father had 
hoped to undertake, but which was left 

E 



66 JAMES HOPE MOULTON 

as a sacred legacy to the son. Upon this 
he had already been engaged for several 
years, and the fruit of his labours appeared 
in December, 1905, with the publication 
of the Prolegomena, the first instalment 
of ' A Grammar of New Testament Greek, 
based upon W. F. Moulton's edition of 
G. B. Winer's Grammar.' The other con- 
sideration was the discovery of the papyri. 
Deissmann'fi Bible Studies, which first 
appeared in 1895, called the attention 
of scholars to the identity of the Greek of 
the New Testament with that of the 
common people as reflected in the papyri, 
and thereby opened out a new field of 
investigation. These two considerations 
led James Hope Moulton to devote more 
and more time to that field of study, with 
results which soon became manifest in 
a wider circle than that of a denomina- 
tional college. In 1908 he was appointed 
Greenwood Professor of Hellenistic Greek 
and Indo-European Philology at Manchester 
University, au appointment which was 
doubtless due in great measure to the 



MANCHESTER 67 

impression produced on the world of 
Biblical scholarship by the Prolegomena. 
It was recognized that here was an expert 
of no mean order, and it is noticeable that 
t he recognition was not confined to England. 
Albert Thumb said of the book : c We have 
nothing to equal it in German,' and Har- 
nack spoke of the author as ' our foremost 
expert ' in New Testament Greek no small 
praise from one so distinguished for his 
own scholarship, and known not to be over- 
partial to non-German work. Indeed, so 
profound was my brother's scholarship 
that even a Cambridge paper, writing of 
him after his death, spoke of him as having 
been trained in Germany a striking 
example of that deplorable disposition to 
ask, ' Can anything good come out of 
England without German aid ? ' 

As to his work in the field of papyrology 
little need be said here, for the subject 
has become fairly familiar, and it would 
not be an overstatement to say that, so 
lar as this country is concerned, no one 
had a larger share than himself in that 



68 JAMES HOPE MOULTON 

familiarization ; and his book, 'From 
Egyptian Rubbish-heaps, has presented the 
subject in a form which can be under- 
stood by those who have no knowledge of 
the subject, or even of Greek. It was a 
mil satisfaction to his democratic soul 
to find that the Greek of the New Testa- 
ment 'the language of the Holy Ghost,' 
as it had been called was in reality just 
the language of the common people; and 
he revelled in searching from the various 
papyrus collections for material which 
would be of service for the better under- 
standing of the language of the New Testa- 
ment. The bulk of his researches are 
embodied in the Vocabulary of New 
Testament Greek, which he commenced 
in collaboration with Prof. Milligan, of 
Glasgow, the son of ' Milligan of Aberdeen,' 
who had been our father's colleague on 
the Revision Company and collaborator 
in the Commentary on John's Gospel 
in Scharfs Commentary. Only two parts 
out ol eight hud been published before 
my brother .started for India, and his 



MANCHESTER 69 

friend will be left to complete the work 
by himself. As to the future of that 
branch of study, he was perfectly prepared 
to believe that the later yield from Egypt 
and elsewhere would not be commensurate 
with the earlier, partly because the As- 
souan dam tended to alter the climate of 
Egypt to so great a degree that the papyri 
were not so likely to survive. c 1 do not 
think,' he writes to Dr. Rondel Harris on 
July, 1910, that papyrology will take 
us much further. New papyrus collections 
will only add details now.' But there is 
no doubt as to the supreme value of the 
contributions already made from that 
source. 

I have no claim to speak of the inner 
quality of my brother's work, but I have 
before me an estimate written by one 
who has an authority in that field second 
to none. In the Theologische Literatvr 
Zeitung for April, 1906, Deissmann reviewed 
the book, and there are passages in his 
review which may fittingly find a place 
in this memoir, in that they are not merely 



70 JAMES HOPE MOTJLTON 

the estimate of a book, but also the 
appreciation of a scholar by a scholar 
and such an one. 

' James Hope Moulton's Prolegomena 
to the Grammar of N.T. Greek comes before 
me at the same moment as the announce- 
ment of a third German N.T. Grammar : 
the Philologica Sacra is flourishing ! As 
heir of his late father W. F. Moulton's 
work, whose English edition of the Winer 
Grammar had for nearly forty years 
exercised a favourable influence on exegetical 
studies in England and America, the 
younger Moulton modestly introduces him- 
self ; and his mother, now advanced in years, 
who forty years ago had drawn up for 
her husband, as now for him, the compre- 
hensive index of Biblical references, sym- 
bolizes for us the personal continuity 
between the older and the younger genera- 
tion of grammarians. The son has in- 
herited before all things the epw? of the 
research student, the zeal for scientific 
discovery combined with warm love for 
the N.T. He has further inherited the 



MANCHESTER 71 

solid foundation of the Winer-Moulton 
book itself. But it is all his own that he, 
equipped with modern Hellenic scholar- 
ship, has built on this foundation an 
entirely new work. The grammar proper 
he does not here provide ; that is to follow 
in Vol. II : in Vol. I, before the schoolroom 
door is opened he gives us with a smile 
the paper bag of almonds and raisins ! 
The title ' Prolegomena ' is distinctive for 
the character of the first volume; with 
intentional avoidance of systematic tension 
and closeness, the nine chapters he gives 
us are intended to reveal in a series of 
specially striking phenomena of language 
the general character of the Hellenistic 
world-speech, and the historical position of 
the N.T. language within that world-Greek. 
What the learned doctrinaire will carp at 
as a short-coming in the special character 
of the first volume, is for the reader, and 
especially for the young reader, a great 
advantage. The notion that a grammar 
can only be solid if it is tedious, is alto- 
gether destroyed by these Prolegomena. 



72 JAMES HOPE MOULTON 

One can really read Moiilton ; we are not 
stifled in the dense atmosphere of exegetical 
wranglings, nor drowned in a flood of 
quotations. Everywhere the main facts 
and the main problems are keenly perceived 
and clearly formulated. And a great im- 
pression may be the permanent result of 
this remarkable investigation which ad- 
vances science at many points, that the 
N.T., treated linguistically, stands in the 
liveliest connexion with its Hellenistic 
surroundings. 

' While earlier grammatical treatment 
of our sacred Book was mainly governed 
by the sense of its contrast with the world 
around, the newer method which is weighed 
and adopted more energetically by Moulton 
than by his German predecessors, em- 
phasizes mainly the contact with that 
world. As to the degree to which 
Semitisms exist, the case is not yet closed ; 
a large number of mistakes in earlier 
exegetes depend on the failure to realize 
that the popular vernacular in Greek and 
' not-Greek ' has many points in common, 



MANCHESTER 73 

that .accordingly many turns which as- 
tonish the Atticist of the schools and 
Hebraist, which lie triumphantly fastens 
on as Semitisms, are not always Semitisms, 
but often international vulgarisms, which 
do not support the isolation of " N.T. 
philology' . . . The comparison of the 
papyri and inscriptions that have been 
used shows the wide reading of the author, 
and helps to make the N.T. available for 
papyrus study and epigraphy. Admirable 
also is the accuracj^ of the printing and 
the beautiful get-up ; the only thing to 
oppress us is the praise of a German who 
was accidentally made aware of the papyri, 
and saw there what anybody else would 
naturally have seen. 

' ADOLF DEISSMANX. 

4 There are only two things I know/ 
he once said in a lecture ; ' but I have 
tried to know them well. 3 If New Testa- 
ment Greek was one, then comparative 
religion or one specific tract of that 
great continent was the other. It is easy 



74 JAMES HOPE MOIJLTON 

enough to see the course of his mental 
development. At first classics and mathe- 
matics ran fairly level, as they had done 
with his father ; then classics forged ahead, 
and absorbed his whole attention. But 
the philological side of classics attracted 
him pre-eminently, and in Part II of the 
Classical Tripos he specialized in Philology, 
which brought him into close touch with 
Prof. E. B. Cowell, Dr. John Peile, Mr. 
R. A. Neil, and, later, with Dr. Williams 
Jackson and Bishop Casartelli of Sal ford, 
through whom he came into that deep 
interest in Iranian studies which charac- 
terized him to the very last. Thus while 
Greek Testament studies retained their 
first place in his regard, owing to home 
training and the career to which he felt 
himself called, independently of their 
intrinsic interest, he was perhaps quite 
as conspicuously an expert in matters per- 
taining to Zoroastrianism and the literature 
of Persian religion ; and it was Zoroas- 
trianism which was the subject of his 
Hibbert Lectures in 1912. There was 



MANCHESTER 75 

awaiting him on his return an invitation 
to give the Schweich Lectures in 1918 : 
and probably some phase of comparative 
religion would have been his subject. 

Writing to his friend, Prof. Peake, in 
1904, he describes the course of the develop- 
ment of his studies : ' My work has been 
slowly shifting its centre of gravity for 
years. T was, of course, a comparative 
philologist at Cambridge, a classic mostly 
for teaching purposes, a N.T. student 
from the grammar side as inheriting Winer 
and disposed toward the language study, 
and a Zendist as a philologue originally, 
finally a disciple of Frazer from the growing 
taste for comparative religion. My orbit 
was consequently as incalculable as that 
of a quadruple star. Here [i.e. at Didsbury 
College], of course, the N.T. at once became 
almost my sole concern, and the path 
became a circle, with perturbations from 
Frazer and some surviving Zend work. . . . 
As far as I can see this new development 
would (to pursue the metaphor) eliminate 
the perturbations and make the orbit a 



76 JAMES HOPE MOULTON 

simple ellipse with N.T. grammar (or 
grammatical exegesis) and comparative 
religion as its foci.' 

During his life at Manchester, James 
Hope Moulton found another centre of 
congenial activity the John Rylands 
Library. Shortly after his advent i?i Man- 
chester he had been appointed to a seat on 
the council of governors in succession to 
the Rev. Dr. Randies ; and throughout 
his thirteen years at Didsbury College 
he took very personal inter* -si in that 
institution. He frequented it both as 
reader and as governor ; and it was pro- 
bably because he was the former that 
he took so seriously his duties and privileges 
as the latter. To him it would seem no 
exaggeration or misuse of terms to speak 
of the mission of the John Rylands Libra i 
for to him the library was a personality 
clearly marked, and entrusted with no 
ordinary responsibilities in respect of the 
world of scholarship. His friend, Mr. 
Henry Guppy, the gifted librarian, has 
always been keenly responsive to the 



MANCHESTER 77 

movings of the minds of others where the 
interests of the world of letters are con- 
cerned, and projects which suggested them- 
selves to my brother always found in Mr. 
Guppy a sympathetic listener. As a store- 
house and a school of scholarship the John 
Hylands Library counts for very much ; 
and more than ever now that Dr. Rendel 
Harris is installed there as guide to those 
engaged in palaeographical studies. How 
his friend would have greeted such an 
appointment ! With what mutual joy and 
profit would they have forgathered there ! 
But it was not to be. 

On one subject and on one only was he 
both ignorant and impenitently ignorant. I 
should scruple to say that were it not that 
he so often avows the fact himself, and 
unblushingly declares that he had no 
interest in philosophy and no use for it 
in his scheme of thinking and living. Pro- 
bably he did himself less than justice in 
this respect ; for, after all, philosophy is 
but the science of living, and although he 
may not have arrived at his ruling prin- 



78 JAMES HOPE MOTTLTON 

ciples of life by way of the categories of 
formal philosophical theory, there was very 
clear thinking at the back of his life and 
work. To him it seemed as though philo- 
sophy were altogether concerned with specu- 
lation and with metaphysical hair-splitting, 
which to his intensely practical nature 
seemed solemn trifling. Of course he was 
wrong ; all his best friends recognized 
that it was a distinct limitation of his 
qualities ; and what is more, one is half 
disposed to believe that his extremely 
tolerant disposition would have given a 
cordial recognition of the value of philoso- 
phical thought if soberly and coherently 
placed before him, provided always that 
no demand was made upon him to think 
along similar lines. That he was con- 
stitutionally disinclined towards speculative 
and metaphysical thought as contrasted 
with the practical, is made abundantly 
clear by his views on several subjects. 
The Epistle of James interested him more 
than the writings of John the one instance 
oi wide deviation from the Biblical views 



MANCHESTER 79 

of his father. Parsisni attracted him in 
a way in which Buddhism and Hinduism 
never did ; evangelicalism kindled his 
warmest sympathies, while sacerdotalism 
left him either cold or irritated ; and while 
he had too much good taste and was far 
too sound a thinker to echo the famous 
prebendary's dictum, ' Hang theology ! 
Let us get to religion ! ' he had more than a 
little mental sympathy with the disposition 
that lay at the back of that outburst of 
revolt. As his friend, Dr. Giles, the Master 
of Emmanuel, sententiously puts it : 'As 
a Christian minister no doubt Dr. Moulton's 
first interest was in Christianity, not in 
theology, which is not the same thing.' 

But what was most conspicuous in all 
his work was his uncompromising loyalty 
to truth. No considerations of hallowed 
associations or great traditions were allowed 
to stand in the way of a change of position 
if the facts demanded it. When his 
father's edition of Winer was produced 
it was a fundamental axiom that New 
Testament Greek had the three characteris- 



80 JAMES HOPE MOULTON 

tics of being Hebraistic Greek, colloquial 
Greek, and late Greek ; and when my 
brother wrote his useful manual for students 
of the subject in 1895, he started from that 
position. But in the Expositor for Jammrv, 
1904, referring to this fact, lie says : ; In a 
second edition just published the first of 
these elements has to disappear, and when 
66 common ' has been substituted r or col- 
loquial, it is soon made clear (lu>t the 
addition of " late ' makes little difference 
to the definition. 1 On another point- 
that of ' translation ' Greek he is just 
as ready to reconsider his position. ' I 
am not disposed nowadays,* 5 he writes to 
Dr. Rendel Harris in 1913, ' to minimize 
translation Greek as 1 d : d in my early 
fervour.' 

This is quite consistent with a proneness 
an excessive proneness, according to 
some of his best scholar friends to coquette 
with the most recent suggestion as to author- 
ship, or emendation of the text. Take 
Prise-ilia as an example ! Possibly it was 
part of his chivalrous nature, this willing- 



MANCHESTER 81 

ness to give the latest adventurous growth 
a chance to prove its utility. So he intro- 
duced Priscilla on every possible occasion 
to the elect fellowship of the scholarly world 
as the authoress of the Epistle to the 
Hebrews, and, together with Harnack 
and A. S. Peake, gave the good lady letters 
of recommendation ! But having done that 
much for her he left her to fend for herself 
and justify her existence. 

Perhaps there was nothing which as- 
tonished the outsider more than the fact 
that J. H. Moulton's work was always 
interesting and usually piquant. To adapt 
the famous phrase of Junius, learning and 
dullness have so often and so long been 
received for synonymous terms that the 
reverse of the proposition has grown into 
credit, and every man who makes himself 
interesting to the crowd is taken to be 
one of little learning. It was no small 
achievement of my brother's that he made 
it clear that the profoundest scholarship 
could be expressed in a form which was 
interesting and arresting. Deissmann says 



82 JAMES HOPE MOULTON 

of his Prolegomena : ' Dr. Moulton is never 
wearisome ' ; and a reviewer in the Dublin 
Review sa}'8 of the book that it ' might 
be described as the most amusing and 
lively grammar ' ever produced ; and he 
goes on to say that c Dr. Moulton shares 
with Dr. Rendel Harris, among New Testa- 
ment scholars, a certain irrepressible gaiety 
which from time to time relieves the 
dullness of optatives and aorists, or sticho- 
metrics and Syriac fragments, as the case 
may be.' One would have thought, for 
instance, that the dative case did not 
afford much scope for entertainment or 
for any language but that of the strictest 
propriety ; but the professor who was 
capable of using the special idioms of Mrs. 
Gamp to illustrate a point in his Prolego- 
mena was perfectly capable of viewing a 
Greek case as a human being with a per- 
sonality. Thus there is to be found in 
his inaugural lecture at Manchester Univer- 
sity this very characteristic passage, wh'rli 
will serve as an illustration of how he 
wrapped up the conclusions of peculiarly 



MANCHESTER 83 

painstaking and accurate scholarship in 
an attractive garb : 

4 In the first century A.D. we find the 
dative very much alive. It was used so 
freely that it ultimately ceased to be useful, 
and died as we might say of fatty degenera- 
tion. A case that coiild mean almost 
anything could not be trusted out alone ; 
and we cannot be surprised that nursemaid 
in and nursemaid with frequently shirked 
their proper work and meddled with each 
other's province in attending to their 
troublesome charge. ' 

How this struck his hearers in the 
lecture-room is picturesquely described 
by 'P. V. B.' in an extremely tender and 
discerning appreciation in The Young Men 
of India, just after my brother's death. 

' It was only a few months ago that I 
saw an announcement in Bombay of a 
public lecture by Prof. Moulton. I had 
often run across his name in books and in 
conversation, had seen some of Iris writings, 
and had listened often to admiring com- 
ments on his scholarship and hi 



84 JAMES HOPE MOTTLTON 

I knew that he had an extraordinary 
record of achievement and could string 
a small alphabet of letters after a name 
that was in itself a title of distinction. 
I had looked him up in Who's Who, found 
a record bristling with doctorates, German, 
Scotch, and English, and learned that he 
was known as an outstanding figure by 
the scholars of three continents. What 
an alarming person, I thought, to meet or 
listen to ! 

' The subject of the lecture was, if 
possible, more alarming than the lecturer. 
It had to do with certain characteristics 
of the language and letters of the early 
Iranians. But I resolved on an effort to 
appear knowing, and in the hope that some 
at least of the discourse would prove com- 
prehensible, plucked up courage and went. 
What a surprise ! The lecturer seemed an 
incarnate joint-violation of all the rules by 
which the ordinary notion of the scholar 
is constructed. Of the ponderousness, the 
pedantry, the involution of thought and 
speech, the spectacled adherence to a 



MANCHESTER 85 

musty manuscript, the terror of being 
popular, the high disdain of common 
interests and feelings, the speaker showed 
not a trace. The lecture was a straight- 
forward talk in the gracefully pure and 
simple language of a genuine classicist 
on things which were to the speaker plainly 
saturated with personality. It was 
astonishing how he could convert philology 
into an adventure of the spirit among 
kindred souls who lived and wrote three 
thousand years ago. A dull black and white 
page of Zend or Sanskrit characters seemed 
to transform itself under his eye into some- 
thing rich and strange, with its text all 
illuminated in a far more living way than 
the best of old-time monks would have been 
equal to. To him, without any mistake, 
language was "fossil poetry." Scholarship 
was not, as it is for many, a process of 
squeezing the heart dry to serve a tyrannous 
intellect ; it was rather a process in which 
the heart breathed life and beauty into the 
dead facts which the intellect gathered. 
It was his sympathy and rare humanity 



86 JAMES HOPE MOTJLTON 

that always served as his best commentary. 
Words were a kind of coins, minted of the 
very substance of the soul, and every 
subtle shifting of meaning had its counter- 
part in the history of the mind.' 

The Methodist Preacher 

Throughout his life in Manchester, 
crowded with manifold activities in many 
directions and with honours falling thick 
and fast upon him, while no one could 
call him a typical Methodist preacher, 
nevertheless he ira* a Methodist preacher 
!>y choice, and conviction, as well as tra- 
dition. His was not a typical case, 
partly because it had never been his lot 
to occupy the position of a circuit minister, 
seeing that he had, like his father, been 
sent straight into educational w r ork, and 
had lost that experience so full of joys 
even if compassed about \\ifh difficulties 
and trials which forms the central fact 
of Methodist life. Tt was a loss io him, 
whether he realised it or not; but such 
was his power of sympathy that he never 



MANCHESTER 87 

allowed that to prevent him from entering 
fully into the lot of his brethren, and the 
typical circuit minister found a generous 
and helpful friend in the professor, and in 
other ways he bore his share of connexional 
responsibility. For some considerable time 
ho was Secretary for the East Anglian 
District ; for many years, as colleague 
to his father and then as his successor, he 
was in charge of the Probationers' Examina- 
tion work ; and, especially after he became 
tutor at Didsburv, he had a heavy share 

%/ ' / 

of committee work on behalf of his Church. 
The Church showed its appreciation of 
his worth by electing him, in 1904, as a 
member of the Legal Hundred, which in 
strict theory constitutes the Methodist 
Church in the eves of the law ; and doubt- 
less had he been spared, he would have 
risen to a still higher station in the Church 
of his fathers. 

Tt may be said of him that in general 
his position in Church matters was that of 
a radical reformer strongly tinged with 
conservatism a blend which was marked 



88 JAMES HOPE MOULTON 

in Hugh Price Hughes, and in other 
leaders since his day. Any one who had 
an adequate policy for rendering the 
ministry of the Church more efficient 
would find in him a keen sympathiser, and 
he was more ready than most to give a 
promising scheme a chance of justifying 
itself, instead of seeing only the lions in 
the path. He was not heedless and im- 
petuous in counsel, but his leaning was 
distinctly towards the disposition that is 
willing to make a venture in the hope of 
its proving a gain, than towards that which 
is too cautious to move for fear of making 
a loss. But when it came to a matter of 
personal tastes he showed himself strongly 
conservative. The new hymn-book was 
a case in point. I doubt whether he ever 
quite forgave the committee for certain 
of its omissions, especially in respect of 
hymns from the old book that were rejected. 
Two cases come to mind as I write Bishop 
Heber's touching reverie, 4 The winds were 
howling o'er the deep,' and W. M. Bunting's 
4 Blest Spirit, from the Eternal Sire.' The 



MANCHESTER 89 

former he frequently gave out, and used 
with a great power in one of his sermons ; 
but probably he would have the majority 
of the Church against him on the question 
of its place in a collection of hymns. As 
to the second it will always remain a mystery 
why, because of one word, perhaps the 
finest of all our hymns on the Holy Spirit 
at any rate one that contains the two finest 
verses should have been denied a place ; 
and it was characteristic of my brother that 
on the Sunday evening prior to the intro- 
duction of the new book he chose his 
hymns entirely from the category of the 
rejected. 

To some within the borders of his Church 
he was somewhat of a puzzle, for they did 
not know r quite where to place him. The 
higher critic they knew, and the evangelist 
they knew, but what manner of man was 
this who seemed 1 o blend the parts ? 
Some probably thought the more kindly 
of views other than their own because 
James Hope Moulton held them. Others 
who would have liked to challenge him 



90 JAMES HOPE MOULTON 

came to view the situation in much the 
same light as the cardinal who was in- 
structed to tackle Lord Acton and thought 
better of it. One thing is very certain, 
and that is that no views as to the literary 
history or formation of the Bible narrative 
impaired his faith in the truth of the, 
religion there enshrined, or gave airy note 
of hesitancy to his proclamation of the 
supreme efficacy of the gospel, in chapel 
or in street, from platform or from press, 
for those at 1 1.0 me and those in far-off lands. 
Yes ; those in far-off lands bulked large 
in his thoughts and sympathies, and no 
department of Church work was nearer 
to his heart than foreign missions. More 
will have to be said about this later, but 
it cannot be left out of the consideration 
of his share in the activities of his Church. 
It was probably a phase of the chivalry of 
his nature. The very fact of all these 
millions being ' down/ and through no 
fault of their own, at onee enlisted his 
sympathies. Few things in his life moved 
him like the Edinburgh Conference, and 



MANCHESTER 91 

nothing at those memorable meetings moved 
him more than a prayer from the lips of 
Dr. Karl Kuinm, in which he recounted 
a long list of names of African tribes 
utterly unknown to most of us, but burnt 
in upon his heart till he needed no printed 
page to record them. ' The A as large as 
France without a missionary ; the B as 
large as Russia without a missionary ; 
the C as large as Britain without a mis- 
sionary ' ; and so past counting, with the 
grim fact overhanging all this agonized 
pleading, that Islam stands waiting to 
devour, and that we are powerless to rescue 
when once her laws have seized the heathen 
we might have saved. * Is it nothing to you, 
() ye that pass by ye that hear the 
Name that is above every name, and profess 
allegiance to Him who bade us count it 
our supreme object in life to bring His 
kingdom near ? " * 1 1 was therefore not 
at all sin-prising that he should have 
opposed, the spending of a quarter of the 

* From fc Sonic Rejections on the Edinburgh 
Conference,' published in the Methodist, Recorder. 



JAMES HOPE MOTJLTON 

Twentieth Century Fund upon a Church 
House in London, and that he should have 
given vent to his feelings when speaking at 
the annual meeting of the Missionary Society 
at City Road for which he received due 
and solemn castigation at the hand^ of 
certain high priests of official Methodism ! 

Three Main Characteristics Humility, 
Moral Passion, Ministry of Reconciliation. 

A life such as that of my brother, more 
full of influence than of incident at any 
rate, the incident that lends itself to 
chronicles is better grasped from a sum- 
mary of impressions than from a record of 
occurrences ; and this will perhaps bo 
the most suitable point at which to try 
to gather up his characteristics as a 
man and as a worker. Vor it was the 
Manchester period which was the central 
epoch of his life from every point of view. 
Cambridge was formative, and as such wan 
of priceless value ; India was sacrificial, 
and as such was rich in. fragrance ; bul 
Cambridge prepared for Manchester, and 



MANCHESTER 93 

out of Manchester came India. He was his 
best and did his best in Manchester, and to 
describe him as he was at Manchester is 
to describe him in the truest sense. 

It would not be fanciful to describe him 
in terms of the Beatitudes, for it was the 
non-aggressive virtues which counted for 
most with him, and manifested themselves 
most conspicuously in his own character. 
To say this is not in any way to go back 
upon what has alread}^ been said as to his 
vehement f orcefulness. He remained AF AN 
to the end, but never was there a trace 
of self-seeking about his aggressiveness, 
and it is in his selflessness that he recalls 
the Beatitudes. He was always in the 
limelight much more than he would have 
chosen had he been able to choose but it 
was always in the interests of others, and 
it brought no satisfaction to him that 
thousands applauded him, unless their doing 
so indicated their willingness to espouse 
the cause which he was advocating. 

His disposition may be summed up 
in three characteristics which themselves 



94 JAMES HOPE MOULTON 

practically embody the whole of the great 
category humility, moral passion, and 
reconciliation. 

To speak of his humility is to use the 
word which comes nearest to the fact, 
though it is far from being adequate. 
People were more often astonished at 
what he was not than at what he was. 
They expected to find a ponderoiis pundit, 
and they found a simple comrade. A 
leading article in the Manchester Guardian 
gave expression to this when it pointed out 
that he ' carried his weight of learning 
with all the simplicity of a child.' There 
was no aloofness about him ; and if he 
was set upon a pedestal it certainly was 
not one of his own erecting. His very 
style of writing and of speech, by its free- 
dom and unconventionalities made- for 
comradeship, for it carried with it nothing 
of the exclusiveness of a caste or the 
assertiveness of privilege. Of course thnv 
were many people who shook their heads 
and muttered concerning want of dignity, 
just as there are those who will prate about 



MANCHESTER 95 

the dignity of the pulpit until it drops, from 
sheer respectability, into inanition ; but 
when a scholar of international standing 
dared to be interesting he not only followed 
the bent of his own nature but he also 
helped to break down a fetish and to help 
then* by lesser men than himself. 

Another phase of his humbleness of 
mind was seen in his readiness to recognize 
worth in others and obligation to others. 
There was no patronizing sense of 
superiority in his relations with those less 
gifted than himself. If his companion 
happened to belong to a totally different 
walk of life he would not be long in finding 
a point of contact, and he would delight 
in the opportunity to enlarge his own 
knowledge of life in another sphere, for 
of him Chaucer's words held good : 

Gladly would he learn and gladly teach. 

If it were some beginner- in a branch of 
study where he was an expert, there would 
be poured out lavishly all the wealth of 
know lodge, without any more demonstra- 



96 JAMES HOPE MOULTON 

tion than would belong to a conversation 
about a subject interesting to both of them. 
Never did he make smaller men ' feel 
small,' unless it might be when there was 
some element of pretentiousness which 
needed to be corrected. And if he was 
humble with his fellow men, how much 
more so was he with his God ! His was 
not the fawning, self -depreciatory humility 
which sometimes seems to carry with 
it no small flavour of affectation. It was 
rather the humility which expresses itself 
in magnifying the need for God, and the 
whole-hearted desire that God should do 
His perfect work in him and through him. 
In one of his last letters from India he 
enclosed, scribbled upon a half -sheet, some 
verses which, apart from intrinsic worth- 
perhaps I am not impartial are interesting 
as reflecting his character on this side 
with singular felicity. He wrote them at 
Bangalore, where he had been deeply moved 
by the privilege of lecturing for a few weeks 
to what lie styles ; a black Didsbury. 1 



MANCHESTER 97 

AT THE CLASSROOM DOOR 

Lord, at Thy word opens yon door, inviting 
Teacher and taught to feast this hour with Thee ; 

Opens a Book where God in human writing 

Thinks His deep thoughts, and dead tongues 
live for me. 

Too dread the task, too great the duty calling, 
Too heavy far the weight is laid on me ! 

O if mine own thought should on Thy words falling 
Mar the great message, and men hear not Thee ! 

Give me Thy voice to speak, Thine car to listen, 
Give me Thy mind to grasp Thy mystery ; 

So shall my heart throb, and my glad eyes glisten, 
Rapt with the wonders Thou dost show to me. 

In the second place it would not be an 
exaggeration to say that he was one of those 
that hunger and thirst after righteousness, 
both in respect of private conduct and 
public advocacy. He was alwa}^s a poli- 
tician, and an eager one ; his diaries during 
his teens show that clearly enough. But 
the aggressiveness of his Liberalism was 
the result of a strong conviction that its 
principles made for social righteousness. 

G 



98 JAMES HOPE MOULTON 

He may have been one-sided, and have 
done less than justice to the Tory ; few 
politicians, indeed, escape that temptation. 
But because he was honestly of opinion 
that Toryism was out for the safe-guarding 
of vested interests at the expense of the 
well-being of the many, and was indifferent, 
relatively speaking, to their interests, he 
fought it. If any one replied that the 
Liberal candidate had no more passion for 
social righteousness than the Tory, his 
reply would be, * So much the worse for him, 
seeing that he sins against a clearer light ; 
nevertheless his policy makes for better 
things.' 

His passion for social righteousness found 
many manifestations, some positive, some 
negative. Few institutions elicited more 
of his enthusiasm than the Manchester and 
Salford Mission, under the magnificent 
leadership of his friend, the Rev. S. F. 
Collier. The ruling characteristics of that 
mission are far too well-known to call for 
any description : for it is recognized through- 
out the city as a great force making for 



MANCHESTER 99 

social righteousness, even by those who 
take no stock in its religious purposes and 
agencies. But to one who not only shared 
its social enthusiasms and visions, but 
also looked to its spiritual life as the only 
far-reaching agency by which these things 
could be brought about, it was a centre 
of attraction second to none, and worthy 
of unstinted service and devotion. By 
advocacy, counsel, and gift he was always 
read}' to help Mr. Collier, for whose work 
and character he had a boundless admira- 
tion, and he was seldom absent from the 
anniversary platform. Shortly after his 
advent in Manchester he took up a piece 
of work at the Mission which awakened 
a keen and widespread interest. It was 
a time when the influence of the Clarion 
was peculiarly potent, and it was felt that 
steps ought to be taken to counteract 
that influence, not by criticism and attack, 
but by a vigorous, well-informed, con- 
vincing presentation of the Christian Apolo- 
getic on its positive side. Mr. Collier 
and my brother organized a course of 



100 JAMES HOPE MOTJLTON 

Sunday afternoon lectures on ' What is 
Christianity ? ' the lectures being given 
from many different points of view by 
experts in their own field, the lecture being 
followed by a question hour. For upwards 
of two years this procedure was followed, 
and a popular apologetic constructed which 
was of a character to reinforce waverers 
and convince well-disposed doubters, as 
well as to give to believers stronger grounds 
for their faith. Had he been allowed to 
return to this country nothing would 
have given him greater satisfaction than to 
find himself in one way or other associated 
with Mr. Collier in the Mission, pending 
the reopening of Didsbury, and in his 
letters from India he frequently referred 
to that as being the course which he would 
prefer to follow if he had his way. And 
the motive at the back of it all was his 
strong sense that in its various activities, 
evangelistic, social, educational, recreative 
and industrial alike, the Mission was bringing 
in righteousness, the * rightness ' of relation- 
ships for which the gospel stands, as the 
remedy for the social ills of mankind. 



MANCHESTER 101 

But his keen sympathy with the positive 
work of the Mission was not his only 
contribution to the ideals of social right- 
eousness in his city. He was always 
ready to speak on temperance platforms 
when he could snatch time to do so, and 
he was an active member of the great 
temperance societies. When a crusade was 
inaugurated against the proposal to choose 
a brewer as Lord Mayor of Manchester 
he was in the thick of the fight at once. 
He had no tolerance whatever for the 
liquor trade, because it had no compassion 
for the sorrows of mankind, and it seemed 
to him to be an intolerable affront to the 
community that an active participant in 
that heartless and anti-social trade should 
be elevated to the position of Manchester's 
chief citizen. He brought in no per- 
sonalities and suggested no personal un- 
worthiness on the part of the proposed 
Lord Mayor, but he maintained that his 
trade disqualified him for such an office, 
and that no one who was involved in such 
a trade could adequately and impartially 



102 JAMES HOPE MOULTON 

deal as chief magistrate with crime so 
largely the result of that baneful trade. 
Of course they were beaten. Such efforts 
seldom succeed, for the forces against 
them are enormously powerful ; but they 
bore their witness, they cleared their con- 
science, and they sowed their seed. 

A chivalrous sympathy with the dis- 
tressed and the wronged was one of the 
most outstanding notes in James Hope 
Moulton's make-up. To a cry of distress 
he was always responsive, and fearless 
knight-errantry always characterized him. 
Even in his early diaries his estimates of 
people are characterized by generosity 
and appreciativeness at an age when the 
critical faculty is usually aggressive and 
infallibility most pronounced ; and in later 
life he was ever ready to afford chivalrous 
help to a worker with whose methods he 
himself might not be in sympathy, but 
who was being blessed to others. Political 
oppression, whether of the countryside 
Nonconformist at home or of the man 
of colour by the Anglo-Indian abroad, 



MANCHESTER 103 

roused his anger almost to the point of 
fierceness ; and the sense of fellowship with 
the victims of squire and parson tyranny 
as he knew it in East Anglia was always 
present with him. 

Of course he had the defects of his 
qualities most people have. His pupil, 
Mr. Howard, whose discerning apprecia- 
tion I have already quoted, points out that 
' he was the Rupert rather than the Crom- 
well of debate,' and that ' his enthusiasm 
often outran his judgement.' But the par- 
allel of the battle of Naseby must not be 
pressed too far. Rupert chased the few, 
and returned to find that the day had been 
lost and the main body of his army routed. 
J. H. Moulton had far too much sound 
sense to allow him to commit that blunder. 
He sometimes gave the impression of 
having seen only one side of a question 
and of having pressed it for more than 
it was worth, and certainly he often failed 
to make sufficient allowance for difficulties 
in the path of reform. But that was due 
partly to a sense of moral issues which 



104 JAMES HOPE MOULTON 

blocked out all else from his vision, and 
partly to a sanctified optimism which 
'hoped all things.' And in Church life 
there is normally such a vast preponderance 
of those whose disposition is to magnify 
difficulties, that there is a great ministry 
open for the man who is big enough to 
look right over the obstacles which block 
the view of smaller men and see the goal. 
In the third place he most certainly 
came into the category of c Blessed are the 
peacemakers,' not because he was a some- 
what outspoken pacifist prior to the war, 
but because he was conspicuously entrusted 
with a ministry of reconciliation. It may 
seem strange that one who was so pro- 
nounced in his advocacy should have 
been so universally relied upon to act as 
an intermediary between divergent interests 
and bodies of opinion, but so it was. Hia 
life was a kind of hospitable salon in which 
all kinds of opinions and interests with 
certain well-marked exceptions met with- 
out jostling, and undoubtedly with no 
small degree of mutual advantage. 



MANCHESTER 105 

To him was given a ministry of recon- 
ciliation : 

(i) Between Scholarship and Evangelism, 
as has already been pointed out ; and in 
so acting he achieved no small good for 
both interests, in that the vision of each 
was enlarged, and grounds for ill-will 
lessened, by his having shown that the two 
could be united in one personality. When 
Sheffield University inaugurated a special 
service to be conducted at the opening 
of each academic year, the preacher being 
alternately from the ranks of the Church of 
England and the Free Churches, he was the 
first Nonconformist chosen. If ever a man 
might be pardoned for being academic it 
would be on such an occasion as that ; 
but J. H. Moulton was not academic. 
To him it was an occasion for a gospel 
sermon, and he took as his text ' I came 
not to call the righteous but sinners.' 

(ii) Between Churches. He was the in- 
timate friend of a host of Anglican dig- 
nitaries, and he was in the confidence of 
most leaders of Nonconformity ; and he 



106 JAMES HOPE MOULTON 

used these privileges, as his father had 
done before him, in the interests of achieve- 
ing a better mutual understanding between 
those who differed. The secret of his 
healing influence is not far to seek. The 
Bishop of Manchester, in a personal letter 
which I am sure he will not mind my 
quoting, says of him : ' He could always see 
an opponent's point of view, and his own 
position rested on a basis of justice that 
was quite convincing.' It is a beautiful 
tribute, and covers a vast deal of ground. 
He worked hard and with ultimate success, 
on what came to be known as the Manchester 
Concordat, as to an educational settlement 
which would satisfy the legitimate aspira- 
tions of both sides. He took a prominent 
part in the promotion of united open-air 
services in the Manchester parks ; and 
when replying at the Bradford Conference 
to the Bishop of Ripon and the Vicar of 
Bradford (Archdeacon Gresford Jones), who 
brought an address of welcome, he con- 
vulsed the assembly by describing how he 
and the Bishop were joint owners of three 
harmoniums which ' were not settled on any 



MANCHESTER 107 

model deed or anything approaching to 
it.' In that same speech he referred to 
the Edinburgh Conference, saying how the 
one great thing that laid hold upon his 
imagination was the possibility of so many 
joining together on things common to all, 
and there was not one sign of embarrass- 
ment, except that no one of them seemed to 
be able to put all he desired to say within 
the allotted time. Such were the activities 
with which he loved to busy himself, and 
it was but fitting that his last long conversa- 
tion with Dr. Rendel Harris on the ill-fated 
City of Paris was on the subject of Free 
Church Union, and that his very last hours 
before the disaster were devoted to planning 
a concordat on that subject which might 
go out over their joint signatures. 

( iii) Between Religions. He believed with 
all his heart in the fact of that ' light which 
light eth every man coming into the world,' 
and was prepared to believe that every 
great faith which had obtained a sub- 
stantial hold upon the hearts of men had 
done so by virtue of some contribution 



108 JAMES HOPE MOULTON 

entrusted to them on behalf of the religious 
inheritance of the world ; and he would 
maintain that this position was in no sense 
derogatory to Christianity, whose unique 
claim was that ' all things were summed up 
in Christ. 5 No one can read his writings 
on Zoroastrianism without being struck 
by the generous estimate which he formed 
of that faith, and the genuine and tender 
regret with which he noted the divergence 
between belief and practice in modern 
Parsism. In short, his treatment of non- 
Christian religions always took the form 
of what the Rev. A. H. Lowe excellently 
describes in a review of The Treasure of 
the Magi as ' tolerant polemic,' due weight 
being allowed to each factor. It is 
6 polemic ' in that it is criticism firm and 
searching ; but it is ' tolerant ' in that there 
is the fullest disposition to give recog- 
nition to all that is worthy in another 
camp. 

(iv) Between Men of all Types. His cor- 
respondence and his personal intercourse 
were as varied as his father's had been, 



MANCHESTER 109 

and often it was with those whose opinions 
were poles apart from his own. When, for 
instance, Dr. J. G. Frazer was considering 
the pros and cons of going to Manchester, 
he wrote repeatedly and at great length 
to his friend, and said, 'Your friendship 
is one of the attractions of Manchester 
for me,' following a recognition of the 
widest divergence of views and the certain 
fact that ' we shall not convince each other.' 
This intermediate position is not an easy 
one to occupy. It requires strong con- 
victions and keen perceptions if there is 
not to be a disposition to surrender too 
much for the sake of moderate agreement. 
But the man who is strong enough to hold 
his own, and intelligent enough to enter 
into the thoughts and feelings of another, 
has a fine ministry before him; and even 
if he never succeeds in bringing a single 
disputant round to his way of thinking, he 
will have rendered no small service in 
widening some one's vision and thought. 
Of course, when it came to intercourse 
with his two outstanding friends, Dr. Rendel 



110 JAMES HOPE MOULTON 

Harris and Dr. A. S. Peake, there was no 
question of composing differences or recon- 
ciling opposites, but of each contributing 
some fresh modicum of light upon the way 
which they were walking in common. 

In the columns of the Classical Review 
there appeared, over the signature of Dr. 
A. S. Peake, an appreciation that is full 
of the love that is not blind, but loves all 
the more because it sees everything ; and 
in the following sentences he sums up his 
friend : 

' Straight, clean, magnanimous, generous, 
unselfish, and free from littleness and 
jealousy, he was a friend and colleague 
in whom one could wholly trust; virile 
in character and of irreproachable integrity, 
he was womanly in his tenderness, full of 
sympathy for the suffering and gentleness 
to the weak. His ample and varied learn- 
ing raised no barrier between him and 
the illiterate, and the ministiy he delighted 
to render them was neither spoiled by 
condescension nor chilled by aloofness. 
He could, and sometimes did, hit hard in 



MANCHESTER 111 

controversy, but never below the belt. He 
had, like the rest of us, his intellectual 
limitations. In his case it was especially 
his unsympathetic attitude towards philo- 
sophy, and perhaps one might add an 
occasional tendency to fancifulness in his 
treatment of history. But his range was 
wide, and on his own ground he was a great 
master.' 

The War 

The European war, which was destined 
first to rob my brother of his eldest son 
and then to bring to a premature end his 
own life, was a cause not only of the 
deepest sorrow to him but of intellectual 
perplexity. For years he had strongly upheld 
the Quaker position with reference to 
war, and he was a vice-president of the 
Peace Society. With all the vehemence 
of an idealist he denounced not only war 
and war-makers, but also those whom he 
regarded as scare-mongers, because they 
held that Germany meant ultimately to 
fight us, and that our duty was to be ready. 



112 JAMES HOPE MOULTON 

In the earlier months of 1914 he had en- 
gaged in a literary duel with Mr. Coulson 
Kernahan in the Wesleyan Methodist Maga- 
zine on the subject of National Armaments, 
and more especially on compulsory national 
service. He maintained that 6 in war and 
preparation for war we turn our backs 
on Christ,' that ' no Christian can con- 
sistently support conscription' ; and it is 
abundantly clear that he disbelieved in 
the German determination to force on a 
conflict. But it came, and in its coming 
forced many people, my brother amongst 
them, to reconsider their position. There 
was no need to reconsider his position 
as to war in general, or as to the crime of 
provoking war ; but the facts of the case 
forced him to realize that here was an 
issue whole hemispheres removed from the 
doubtful ethics and sordid aims which 
were mixed up with the South African 
War. He was in America when war broke 
out, and had no chance of making altera- 
tions or additions when the articles were 
reprinted, though on his return he did add 



MANCHESTER 113 

a postscript which appeared in further 
issues. He admitted, as he was bound to 
do, that his opponent had proved to be 
the truer prophet, and he urged that the 
ease with which the German military 
party led the whole nation into war-fever 
was due to the very national service 
against which he declaimed a neat exploit 
in dialectics, if nothing else ! But he was 
forced to realize that there was something 
to be reckoned with that he had left out 
of account. Granting that war is un- 
Christian and anti-Christian, what is to be 
the attitude of Christian people when 
an arrogant military power sets out to 
achieve world-hegemony by force, and 
begins by devastating, under the law of 
military necessity, a neighbouring country 
whose liberties it had sworn to protect ? 
Nothing either in his sermon published 
by the Peace Society or in his contribu- 
tions to the pamphlet, The Black Hour, 
had any vital bearing upon the new situa- 
tion, and he evidently felt it was so. He 
declared that he had not changed his 

H 



114 JAMES HOPE MOTJLTON 

views, and that was true ; but he very 
oon came to realize that a codicil was 
required to his last will and testament con- 
cerning war in the event of nations being 
thrown against their will into defensive 
warfare. At the Ministers' Fraternal in 
Manchester on October 20, he spoke on 
' Christianity and Defensive Warfare,' and 
the address was published afterwards in 
the London Quarterly Review. It is very 
clear to any reader of that address that he 
was being torn in two between antagonistic 
forces. On the one side was the Quaker 
view of war, to which he had practically 
given his adherence for years, and to which 
he was the more closely bound by reason 
of his unqualified admiration for the Quaker 
contribution to religious and social life. 
On the other side was the consciousness 
that ' there is something instinctive within 
us that bids us interfere when a big bully 
is murdering a helpless child,' and that 
4 if the New Testament leaves no room at 
all for defence against a violent and un- 
provoked attack, must we not say that 



MANCHESTER 115 

its code is defective in practical applica- 
bility to the conditions of an imperfect 
world ? ' In other words, a Jesus who made 
no call for the chivalrous championship 
of the oppressed and had no perception 
of practical issues was not, to him, the 
Jesus of the New Testament, whatever 
baldly literal interpretation of isolated 
texts might suggest ; and this address 
reveals the idealism of the earlier utter- 
ances, reinforced by candid common sense. 
* War is from first to last un-Christian ' : 
there we have the idealist. ' But while on 
the one side it takes two to make a quarrel, 
it is also true that if one party determines 
to use violence the other party may have 
to choose between resistance and extermina- 
tion ' : there we have practical common 
sense. While nothing would induce him 
to say anything, or permit anything to 
be said unchallenged in his presence, dis- 
respectful to the Quaker attitude, his own 
position came to be, as he put it in one 
of his letters from India, that if lie agreed 
with the war he had no right or would 



116 JAMES HOPE MOULTON 

have had none if he had been of military 
age to allow any one else to do his sham 
of the fighting for him : it' he did not 
agree with the war, then he had no right 
to avail himself of the services rendered 
by the Navy, and had better betake himself 
elsewhere. It is hard to get away from 
the logic of that dilemma, and his pilgrim- 
age from sheer idealism to this blend of the 
idealistic and the practical is both interest- 
ing and characteristic. 

As the issues involved are living ones 
for us all at the present moment it may be 
worth while to quote in full from some 
of his letters at the time. His letters 
from America during the early months of 
the war betray sore puzzlement as to the 
facts of the case and the interpretation 
to be put on them. Writing on August 
8, 1914, from Mr. W. R. Moody's hospitable 
home at Northfield, Mass., he says: 

'The fact that he [Lord Morley] did 
resign makes me feel that there were 
responsible persons of the front rank who 
thought it feasible to decline Germany's 



MANCHESTER 117 

challenge. On the information that got 
over here it was clearly impossible. Wil- 
helm cynically tore up treaties, attacked 
a little neutral power he had promised 
to respect, and they appealed to us. We 
bade him behave himself as a civilized 
person, and he declared war, as he would 
have done later if he had polished off 
France and Russia. Since it is at present 
hopeless to get more than one in a thousand 
to take our Quaker view, it seemed that to 
accept Wilhelm's challenge was the only 
possibility : it was a matter of absolute 
self-defence against the cynical and barbaric 
aggression of a militarist who regarded 
treaties as mere sentimentality to quote 
Ralph's German instructor when R. chal- 
lenged him about the strategic railways 
massed on the frontier of Belgium.' 

That he was not altogether easy at having 
thus receded from the full Quaker position 
is constantly apparent ; and yet his sound 
practical common sense always brought him 
round to the conclusion that there was no 



118 JAMES HOPE MOULTON 

other course open for us, and that if that 
was the case, then the whole body of 
citizens was involved. 

'September 29, 1914. 
' I still feel very strongly that unless 
nations do take the Quaker, that is the 
Christian, view, we had no alternative but 
to step in. But I want to step out as 
soon as ever we can make Germany yield 
to terms which it seems to me she might 
accept without losing her self-respect.' 

The time had not yet come when Ger- 
many was to stand pilloried for infamy 
unparalleled in the history of warfare ; 
and it is very certain that his tender and 
chivalrous nature would have boiled over 
with indignation at the atrocities which 
have been steadily coming to light. He 
wanted to think the best of a people whose 
scholars he esteemed so highly, the people 
to which his dear friend Adolf Deissmann 
belonged. But in this same letter he shows 
that his forbearance was being strained 
almost to breaking point. 



MANCHESTER 119 

' But all the idealist pictures of German 
unselfishness and of the wickedness of 
all the other nations in attacking her come 
badly to grief among the ashes of the 
Louvain libraries and the shattered walls 
of Rheims. And what is worse still, there 
are those intolerable outrages on helpless 
women and children, which it is 110 use 
for American commissions to deny just 
because the members of them have not 
seen them. My boy has talked with 
victims of them, and I suppose a woman 
who has got sabre slashes on her legs from 
a German soldier is a sufficiently difficult 
thing to explain away. It is frightfully 
difficult for those who wish well to the 
German people and to wish well of course 
in the first place means to wish that the 
devil may be cast out of them.' 

A later letter gives the conclusion of 
the whole matter so far as he was concerned, 
in terms eminently characteristic of his 

disposition : 

'July 6, 1916. 

' Of course 1 feel that being forced to 



120 JAMES HOPE MOULTON 

accept the war as a hideous necessity the 
alternative of failing Belgium being too 
appallingly selfish to be thought of I 
couldn't leave other people to do the dirty 
work. At Ralph's age I must have left 
them free to put me in the firing hue, and 
prayed God that I might be a casualty 
before my gun found a billet.' 

Before that letter reached us, Ralph 
had gone up to the firing line, and in two 
days been a casualty. 

After the death of his son he manifests 
not bitterness that was foreign to him 
but the sense that this was a life-and-death 
struggle against savagery, to be carried 
through in the interests of all that was holy. 
His first letter after he received the news 
sounds a note not heard before : 

' Strange that I who wrote as I did about 
war two and a half years ago should now 
be proud as well as heart-broken for a son 
who has given his life for his country ! 
We pacifists made one huge mistake : 
we didn't realize how fearfully evil militar- 



MANCHESTER 121 

ism is, and thought Germany was relatively 
sane. That we grappled with the wild 
beast in defence of humanity I cannot but 
approve even now.' 

But there was another aspect of the 
case which he had to face. He was not 
only a private citizen and a Christian 
minister, but he was a vice-president 
of the Peace Society ; and there were those 
who were not slow to challenge the com- 
patibility of his utterances with his position 
in the society. 

In a letter, dated January 15, 1915, to 
his favourite newspaper, the Westminster 
Gazette, he put his position cogently to 
meet criticism from two different sides : 

' I have the honour of being a vice- 
president of the Peace Society, which cer- 
tainly holds that " war is inconsistent with 
Christian principles." But I have not 
felt any obligation to resign my connexion 
with the society, since I do not think its 
principles forbid such warfare as we are 
waging now. Of course, that is a matter 



122 JAMES HOPE MOULTON 

which could only be decided by a mass 
meeting of its members, which has not 
been called ; my own interpretation may 
quite possibly contravene that of the 
majority. I take it the present war is 
for us one of sheer self-defence, and even 
something still more altruistic the defence 
of the weak who trusted our promise. A 
nation of convinced Christians would have 
acted for a generation past in such a way 
that the present situation could not have 
arisen. But it is obvious that idealist 
action is only possible in a community, 
every member of which is capable of 
following out all its implications. To refuse 
to fight, even in self-defence, and to accept 
even such consequences as Belgium shows 
to-day, would undoubtedly in the long 
run produce a spiritual victory like that 
of the early Church, which, by readiness 
to die and resolute denial of force, ultimately 
conquered the Roman Empire. Those who 
could take so heroic a line just now are 
few, and some even of them are hampered 
by the reflection that such action involves 



MANCHESTER 123 

refusal to help others who are not prepared 
to accept its consequences. A practical 
pacifist under present circumstances is 
driven, I believe, to accept the war and 
take whatever part he can therein, refusing 
to let proxies do the dangerous work if 
he is of military age. Meanwhile he strives 
to keep the door open for peace, provided 
it is not a mere truce, and to prepare the 
way for a genuine friendship between the 
peoples of England and Germany when 
this nightmare has passed. Since the 
Treitschke doctrine makes force justify 
itself by success, there is room for hope 
that failure may ipso facto discredit it in 
the minds of those reasonable and Christian 
Germans who are still hypnotized by it.' 

Quite soon in the conflict he had to 
realize how bitter a cleavage the war was 
to make between him and his friend Adolf 
Deissmann of Berlin. For to him, Deiss- 
mann was not merely a fellow student 
in the same field of learning ; he was a 
much loved friend, and the friendship 



124 JAMES HOPE MOULTON 

lasted to the end. Like the rest of the 
German professors, Deissniann took the 
fierce anti-British position, but in a country 
where both pastors and professors are the 
paid servants of the State, it was perhaps 
impossible for him to be otherwise, so far 
as any outward expression was concerned. 
For a considerable time a correspondence 
was carried on through a mutual friend, a 
Dutch professor ; and it was in one of 
these letters that Deissmann wrote : ' In 
the 1870 war Germany fought and won, 
and that was the beginning of her end. 
In this struggle Britain will win, and that 
will be the beginning of her end.' The 
sinking of the Lusitania roused my brother 
to a great fury, as it well might ; and in 
the postscript to his War Time Paper on 
' British and German Scholarship, 5 he 
wrote : ' By these crimes official Germany 
has shown that there is no longer a con- 
science to appeal to ; and if it proves 
that German civilians, including the pro- 
fessors, applaud these deeds, or even 
abstain from denouncing them, we must 



MANCHESTER 125 

feel that the gulf between Germany and 
the civilized world, first opened at Louvain 
and Rheims, has become too wide for us 
to bridge until time and God's Spirit have 
brought contrition.' To his friend he wrote 
with great frankness : ' It will be hard to 
be civil to any Germans until they have 
disavowed the LusitamaS To this there 
came no reply ; and if we reverse the 
situations and put ourselves in his place 
we are bound to recognize that no reply 
of a satisfactory character could be ex- 
pected, or, if written, would have passed 
the Censor. But two extracts from his 
c Protestant Weekly Letter,' which Deiss- 
mann sent me himself, through a Swiss 
intermediary, show how warm was the 
attachment notwithstanding the war. One 
is dated Berlin, June 5, 1915. 

c There is no scholar, British or American, 
with whom, on account of long years of 
study in the same field, I am more befriended 
than with Dr. Moult-on. For a consider- 
able length of time both of us have tried 



126 JAMES HOPE MOTJLTON 

to find a place for the Greek of the Apostles, 
i.e. its proper historic and linguistic setting, 
and a lively correspondence found ita 
supplement through repeated visits to 
England, the last one taking place three 
years ago, when, at the invitation of the 
University I spent a week -end in Manchester 
and had the pleasure to be the guest of 
Dr. and Mrs. Moulton in their charming 
home. Gradually, when in the course of 
years our esteem for each other grew, and 
a far-going agreement in theological and 
political questions showed itself, our close 
scientific relations deepened into a warm 
personal friendship, which even the terrible 
war could not destroy, although each of 
us with firm conviction stands for the cause 
of his own country, and although the 
communications between Manchester and 
Berlin naturally have come to a standstill. 
. ... In the case of my correspon- 
dence with Prof. Moulton the zig-zag 
made was transatlantic . . . my thoughts, 
however, have never taken such a 
zig-zag course ; during all these criti- 



MANCHESTER 127 

cal days of woe and trouble, and in 
deep sorrow over the conflict between 
European powers, I have thought of my 
true friend in Manchester. His whole- 
hearted patriotism was no secret to me, 
and he in turn knew that I was ready, if 
necessary, to suffer and die for my country. 
But the mutual trust did not grow less 
on that account.' 

This letter, which in the main had dealt 
with complaints as to ill-treatment of 
German missionaries from the Cameroons 
aa they passed through Liverpool, closed 
with a reference to my brother's eldest 
on, Ralph, who ' had entered the ranks of 
the British army as a volunteer. The high 
regard in which I have always held my 
friend has thereby only been increased 
and transferred upon the son as well. The 
man who with clean heart and pure motives 
is willing to lay down his life for his country 
is entitled to the highest esteem even from 
his political enemy ; and I am confident 
that the more sons from England's best 



128 JAMES HOPE MOULTON 

families enlist as soldiers in the army of 
a country which has thus far carried on 
more wars and shed more blood in Europe, 
Asia, and America than any other nation 
in the history of the world, the quicker 
it will develop into a peace-loving and 
peace-promoting state. The world would 
utter a sigh of relief if with compulsory 
military service in England would go along 
the general conviction of the terribleness 
of war, as it has become part of our flesh 
and blood, and for this reason makes a 
frivolous offensive war impossible. 5 

The indictment of our past record in 
respect of war is historically sound, unless 
Spain ought to be placed at the head of 
the list ; and many of us hold that in 
a country equipped ivith effective democratic 
institutions a citizen army is less likely to 
be aggressively warlike than a professional 
army. But Dr. Deissmann is doing us 
injustice in the inference suggested in 
the last paragraph that our pugnacity 
promoted this war ; for the testimony 



MANCHESTER 129 

of Prince Liclmowsky may be taken as 
having once and for all disposed of that 
allegation. Indeed one great question-mark 
might with propriety be placed over the 
whole paragraph, suggesting as it does the 
picture of poor innocent, pacific Germany 
involved in the terrors of war through the 
fire-eating propensities of the Anglo-Saxon ! 
That one so transparently sincere should 
have been able to write thus only shows 
how completely the whole nation was 
fooled by its militarist leaders and their 
agents : and the subsequent events consti- 
tute the nemesis on that campaign of lying. 
On May 14, 1917, Deissmann writes : 
' I received from Switzerland and Holland 
the news that my most trusted personal 
friend in England, who, also as a specialist, 
was very much valued by me, Prof. J. H. 
Moulton, of Manchester University, lost 
his life at the beginning of April, through 
the destruction of his ship when sailing 
through the forbidden zone on his way 
from India. The last letter which I re- 
ceived from him, dated February, 1917, 



130 JAMES HOPE MOULTON 

told me of his intentions to return to 
England from India. The brave man faced 
without illusion the chance of the death 
which, in fact, he has met. A flood of 
heavy thoughts came over me as I received 
this news. I hope to say more when I 
have received particulars, but at first 
all other things are eclipsed behind the 
sense of irreparable loss both for scholar- 
ship and for the circle of his friends. I 
have therefore given, on May 9, at the 
opening session of the New Testament 
Seminar at Berlin, a memorial address, 
paying tribute to his work and to that of 
Prof. Gaspare Rene Gregory, who has 
fallen in France for the German cause, a 
memorial which, in the distressing strife 
of nations turned enemies, was due to a 
feeling which was in spite of the war 
the outcome of respectful love which 
escapes the grave.' 

It would be easy to insert marks of 
exclamation and interrogation at places in 
these letters also as, for instance, at the 



MANCHESTER 131 

reference to the 'forbidden zone,' and the 
linking together of the death of a soldier on 
the field and the murder of a civilian by 
torpedo outrage. Patriotism is a strange 
thing, terribly prone to distort the vision 
and warp the judgement even of the best, 
and perhaps ive did not always see and judge 
the things of ourselves and our enemies 
with perfect fairness during that time of 
strain and stress. But one thing is very 
clearly marked in these letters the fact 
of a loving and tender nature, capable of 
friendship to an uncommon degree, and 
able to retain that friendship even amid 
the bitterest international struggle the 
world has ever known. 

One of the last letters my brother ever 
received from his friend was characteristic. 
Deissmann had been deducing, with more 
cogency to himself than to those not his 
fellow countrymen, a promise of German 
victory out of a passage in the sixth chapter 
of the Apocalypse. I do not know whether 
my brother took him to task for his inter- 
pretation, but within a short time there 



132 JAMES HOPE MOULTON 

canie back from Berlin the following mis- 
sive: 

' 13-1-15. 

6 And I heard a great voice out of heaven 
saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is 
with men . . . and they shall be His 
people . . . and God shall wipe away all 
tears from their eyes ; and there shall be 
no more death . . . And He that sat upon 
the throne said, Behold, I make all 
things new ... I am the Alpha and the 
Omega. A. D. 

e Dr. James Hope Moult on, 
6 Manchester. 5 

That was all, but it was much. It was 
the avowal by a devout soul of a conviction 
that God alone could unravel the tangle 
of human relationships and bring order 
out of chaos : and after all there is more 
hope of ultimate right mindedness in an 
enemy who places his faith sincerely there 
than in a fellow countryman who leaves 
God out. It cannot be that in the end, 
when all know even as they are known, 
Adolf Deissmann and James Hope Moulton 
will be in opposing camps. 



IV 
INDIA 

The Call 

JUNE, 1915, found my brother over- 
whelmed with a great sorrow. His wife, 
with whom he had spent close upon twenty- 
five years of singularly happy married 
life, was slightly ailing, as it seemed, and 
on expert advice an operation was decided 
upon. Satisfactory recovery seemed to 
be made, and there was nothing to suggest 
complications until suddenly, on June 7, 
new sj^mptoms made their appearance, 
her condition became rapidly worse, and 
in a few days she passed away. There is 
no call to dwell upon such matters here. 
Those who have experienced such bereave- 
ments will understand, and those who have 

not experienced them will not understand 

133 



134 JAMES HOPE MOULTON 

for all that might be said ; and there are 
in life both joys and sorrows too sacred 
for many words. 

Immediately after the funeral my brother 
came on to us at Cliff College, whither the 
children had preceded him within a few 
hours of their mother's death. It was on 
the following Sunday he received the letter 
from Dr. J. N. Farquhar inviting him to 
make the Indian tour. For my own part 
I cannot regard it as other than an inter- 
position of a kindly and tender Providence 
that, just at the time when the very light 
of life seemed to have gone out, there 
should have come to him that which was 
bound to divert his thoughts into a new 
channel ; and while in no sense thrusting 
into the background the ever-present sense 
of tragic loss, to preclude the brooding 
which could only have made it more 
tragic still. A passionate grief found itself 
alongside of a passionate call to living 
service, and the two acted and interacted 
as a work of grace on his mind and heart. 

For ' Foreign Missions ' was to him no 



INDIA 135 

mere section of his Church's activities to 
be taken or left according to personal 
predilection ; it was the very reason for 
the Church's existence and the condition 
of the Church's vitality. Therefore, at 
the risk of harking back to what has already 
been suggested, and of making a con- 
siderable digression, it will be worth 
while at this point to dwell upon the growth 
of so important a phase of his religious 
thinking. 

Any estimate of his attitude to such 
matters must begin with Prof. E. B. Cowell 
and his influence ; for although the mis- 
sionary atmosphere of our up-bringing and 
the inspiration that came with the visits of 
Dr. Egan Moulton, David Hill, William 
Goudie, J. A. Elliott, and others straight 
from the field, were calculated to awaken 
and quicken a living interest in world 
evangelization, when it came to deep 
thinking on comparative religion as a 
factor in missionary psychology and practice, 
it was Cowell to whom he owed as much as 
to any, and more. In the fifties of last 



136 JAMES HOPE MOULTON 

century Cowell had taught Persian to his 
friend Edward Fitzgerald at Oxford and 
had urged him to translate Omar Khay- 
yam. In 1856 he took up a professorship 
at Calcutta University, returning to Eng- 
land in 1864, and was elected to the new 
professorship of Sanskrit at Cambridge- 
in 1867, a post which he retained until his 
death in 1903. All these years, during 
which he was accumulating ever increasing 
stores of learning concerning Eastern re- 
ligions, he remained a simple, convinced, 
humble believer in the faith which is in 
Christ Jesus ; and it is easy to see distinct 
traces of his influence upon the eager 
young classical student who specialized 
in his own section of the Tripos. It was 
fitting that my brother should have written 
a review of the memoir of his master and 
friend ;* and in that review he makes 
quotations which, had there been no 
' setting,' might perfectly well have been 
taken for expressions of his own opinions. 
For instance, Cowell ' writes from India 

* London Quarterly Revieiv, January, 1905. 



INDIA 137 

of his reading the story of the Madagascan 
martyrs, and passing it on to his students, 
to whom he expounded his conviction that 
"as the attacks seem to thicken against 
the external evidences of Christianity, the 
internal evidences are only more and more 
strengthened." . . . We read how he would 
take voluntary classes in the New Testa- 

K> 

ment at his house, or in a room near the 
college, attended by earnest and intelligent 
men, with whom he would of ten v spend 
long hours in private, talking over their 
difficulties of belief and leading them 
persuasively to Christ. The testimonies 
which followed him on his return to England 
showed eloquently how many men were 
brought to know the Saviour by his teach- 
ing and example. Thirty years afterwards 
we find him writing at length on a Sunday 
afternoon to one of these old pupils, and 
expressing in beautiful words the serenity 
of an old man's faith. His catholic spirit 
is well shown in a letter to his mother from 
India. " You would have been a little 
startled," he writes, "at a letter I wrote 



138 JAMES HOPE MOTTLTON 

to a Babu lately, whom I have helped by a 
recent correspondence in settling some 
Unitarian difficulties. He wanted to know 
the differences between Church and Dissent. 
I told him they belonged to the region of 
feeling not conscience. Those who by 
temperament admired antiquity and system 
and held by the aristocratic part of our 
constitution, would prefer the Church ; 
while the lovers of change and reform 
and the democratic principle would, as 
a rule, prefer Dissent. To my mind, 
any hymn-book or missionary history is 
a convincing proof that the Spirit's influ- 
ence is diffused on each \ ' Would it not 
be easy to imagine James Hope Moult on 
having written such words ? Is it fanciful 
to see in such a friendship at a formative 
period a powerful influence which w r ent 
out far beyond philology and scholarship, 
and invited exploration of the roads by 
which the human heart has set out to 
find an unknown God unknown although 
not far from any one of us ? Thus, uncon- 
sciously, the hours spent on Section E of 



INDIA 139 

the Classical Tripos, Part II, were destined 
to bear fruit in a field far enough removed 
from the purely academic ; and the fact 
of Prof. E, B. CowelPs direct and demon- 
strable influence upon my brother in 
these respects must constitute my defence 
for having thus dwelt upon him and his 
personality. 

The nature of the invitation to visit 
India may be gathered from Dr. Farquhar's 
' Foreword ' to The Treasure of the Magi, 
which my brother wrote while in India, 
and which was indeed part of the pro- 
gramme and purpose of the visit : 

' In the autumn of 1915, on the invitation 
of the Indian National Council of the 
Y.M.C.A., three scholars from England, 
Dr. T. R. Glover of Cambridge, Dr. James 
Hope Moulton of Manchester, and Pro- 
fessor George Hare Leonard of Bristol, 
went out to spend a year in India. The 
plan was that these men, who were dis- 
tinguished alike for their writings and for 
their close contact with the student world, 



140 JAMES HOPE MOULTON 

should spend this year in studying some 
of the problems of education and of religion 
in India, getting time for making friend- 
ships with Indians, and at the same time 
doing some lecturing and writing. And 
whilst each was asked to travel for part of 
the time in order to see something of 
India and to visit the missions of his own 
Communion, he was also invited to spend 
several months in a single community, in 
order to have time for closer study and for 
the forming of closer friendships. It was 
hoped that books of considerable value 
might result from this close contact of 
English thinkers with the religious thought 
of India. All did excellent service by 
lecturing to mixed aiidiences in various 
centres and by teaching groups of Christian 
students ; and they were eve^where wel- 
comed with the deep respect which scholar- 
ship meets in India and with great- 
cordiality. Even more significant than 
this interest which their lectures stirred 
up were the friendships which they made 
with Indians and which they valued 
very greatly. 



INDIA 141 

4 To Dr. Moult on the invitation was full 
of attractiveness. He was always a mis- 
sionary enthusiast, and he was thrilled 
by the prospect of seeing the field for him- 
self. For years he had studied the religion 
of the Parsis, and now there opened out 
before him the opportunity of personal 
intercourse with them. Under ordinary 
conditions it would not have been possible 
to entertain the proposition on account of 
other duties ; but the war had so affected 
all theological colleges that a prolonged 
absence could be contemplated as not 
involving of necessity any serious inter- 
ruption of his normal work. ... He had 
been invited to go to India largely that he 
might use his ripe Iranian scholarship 
in lecturing to the Parsis on Zoroastrianism, 
and he received from that community 
everywhere proofs of the warmest possible 
friendship and regard and of the keenest 
interest in his teaching. ... At the time 
when he decided to go to India Dr. Moulton 
agreed to prepare the volume which is 
herewith published. His Iranian studies 



142 JAMBS HOPE MOtTLTON 

had already given him all the scientific 
preparation required, while the experience 
he was about to have among Parsis would 
give that intercourse with those who profess 
Zoroastrianism which is required in order 
to fulfil the condition laid down for the 
volumes of this series in the Editorial 
Preface.' * 

It will make clearer the motive and spirit 
of the whole enterprise if one paragraph 
from that Editorial Preface to which Dr. 
Farquhar refers be quoted ; for it presents 
in a few words the conceptions of those 
far-seeing men who were planning this new 
type of approach to the non-Christian 
mind ; and although it refers not to one 
book but to the whole series, yet it does 
expound the spirit in which my brother 
went out to India and in which he wrote 

* The Series to which The Treasure of the Magi 
belongs is entitled The Religions Quest of India 
(Oxford University Press), and is edited by Dr. 
J. N. Farquhar, Literary Secretary, National 
Y.M.C.A. Council, India and Ceylon ; and Dr. 
H, D. Griswold, Secretary of the Council of the 
American Presbyterian Mission in India. 



INDIA 143 

the book which he completed just before 

he left. 

i 

* They [the writers of the several volumes] 
seek to set each form of Indian religion 
by the side of Christianity in such a way 
that the relationship may stand out clear. 
Jesus Christ has become to them the light 
of all their seeing, and they believe Him 
destined to be the Light of the World. 
They are persuaded that sooner or later 
the age-long quest of the Indian spirit for 
religious truth and power will find in Him 
at once its goal and a new starting-point, 
and they will be content if the preparation 
of this series contributes in the smallest 
degree to hasten this consummation. If 
there be readers to whom this motive 
is unwelcome, they may be reminded that 
no man approaches the study of a religion 
without religious convictions, either positive 
or negative : for both reader and writer, 
therefore, it is better that these should be 
explicitly stated at the outset. Moreover, 
even a complete lack of sympathy with 



144 JAMES HOPE MOULTON 

the motive here acknowledged need not 
diminish a reader's interest in following 
an honest and careful attempt to bring 
the religions of India into comparison 
with the religion which to-day is 
their only possible rival, and to which 
they largely owe their present noticeable 
and significant revival. 5 

From what has already been said as 
to the general character of his disposition, 
moral, intellectual, and spiritual, it will 
be recognized at once that no one could be 
better fitted for such a mission than James 
Hope Moulton. His evangelical passion, 
enriched by open-mindedness and chival- 
rous sympathy, made him the man for the 
task, and the task the very thing for him 
especially at such a juncture. This view 
was cordially taken by those under whose 
direction he had been working, whether in 
the Church or the University. His decision 
was rapidly arrived at, and endorsed by 
those to whom it was submitted. Three 
summer months were closely filled up with 



INDIA 145 

preparations of various kinds : arrange- 
ments were made for Harold and Helen, 
the two younger children, to make their 
home with us at such times as they were 
not at school Ralph was already in 
khaki and in October he sailed from 
Marseilles for Bombay, and we never saw 
him again. 

b ' Some Aspects of the Tour 

It is neither possible nor necessary to 
describe the course of such a tour ; but 
there are many of its phases which may 
with advantage be singled out as shedding 
light upon both his character and his 
influence. He wrote home voluminous 
letters which went the round of about 
eight relatives and intimate friends. These 
letters total up to nearly a million words 
in all ; and from these it is easy to gather 
his impressions as to what he met with, 
although they are not for the most part 
very quotable, neither would they present 
a very clear idea of an itinerary except 
to such as were prepared to go through 



146 JAMES HOPE MOULTON 

them with a large scale map ready to 
hand. 

Although Bombay was his first objective, 
and in a sense his main sphere of service 
during the tour owing to its being the 
strongest centre for Parsism he was not 
by any means shut up to that one sphere. 
We find him visiting the historic scenes 
at Lucknow and Delhi, and rejoicing in the 
history daily made in the great mission 
centres of Medak and Nizamabad. He 
spent a considerable time at Bangalore 
and Coimbatore, stayed at Government 
House, Ootacamund, visited Poona, crossed 
to Ceylon, planned a flying visit to Madras 
whereby hangs a tale and repeatedly 
returned to Bombay for a greater or less 
period. It was a strenuous time, and all 
those characteristics which have already 
been referred to as marking his Cambridge 
life what may be called the AFAN note 
reappear on the Indian field with more 
serious results. Dr. Mackichan, the Prin- 
cipal of Wilson College, Bombay, and more 



INDIA 147 

recently Moderator of the United Free 
Church of Scotland, whose generous hos- 
pitality my brother repeatedly enjoyed, 
and to whom he was indebted for many a 
kindness, told me that he was appalled 
to note the change for the worse that had 
taken place in his general aspect between 
his first and his last visit to Wilson College ; 
and he went so far as to give it as his 
opinion that had he spared himself and 
made more allowance for Indian conditions 
and Indian climate he would have been 
in a position to put up a stronger fight 
against exhaustion in the hour of need. 
He travelled sixteen thousand miles in 
seventeen months under the trying con- 
ditions of Indian travel ; he was constantly 
preaching, lecturing, and speaking at 
conferences, and as constantly writing 
articles for various publications in India, 
England, and America. Amid it all he 
accomplished the difficult feat of con- 
centrating his mind sufficiently upon a 
highly technical subject to be able to write 
what was characterized by an expert as a 



148 JAMES HOPE MOULTON 

brilliant book, The Treasure of the Magi, 
the whole of which was written in the first 
instance upon the backs of letters, &c., 
which is suggestive as to the conditions 
under which it saw the light. 

All this hustle was not only tempera- 
mental, it was the outcome of an ever- 
present sense of duty to be fulfilled and 
opportunity to be seized. One of the last 
sermons he preached in India was from the 
words ' I must,' and it was characteristic 
of him that he should take such a theme, 
for to him the whole visit was not a tour 
but a mission, ' Does anything matter 
now,' he writes, ' save to do what one can 
to advance the coming of the Kingdom 
where none shall hurt or destroy ? ' 

And what was the disposition that lay 
behind all this restless activity and tireless 
devotion to duty ? For one thing there 
was an unquenchable optimism that grew 
out of the very centre of his gospel. There 
is not only poetry but vision in the choice 
of the text for his first sermon on Indian 
soil : ' It was now dark, and Jesus had 



INDIA 149 

not yet come/ All the three ideas en- 
shrined in the simple statement of fact 
which is at the same time the enunciation 
of a philosophy of missions the need 
of the heathen world, the sense of a better 
day to come, and the ground of the hope 
these in one form or other constituted 
his basis of appeal. He would have none 
of Kipling's familiar dictum concerning 
East and West never meeting so true of 
the ordinary things of human experience 
and yet so false in face of the applicability 
of the gospel to both Jew and Greek, 
bond and free. c I want,' he writes, ' to 
miss nothing of the Spirit which shines 
in many dark places, for I am sure that 
the first great Christian missionary was 
right when he declared that God had never 
left Himself without witness. But I shall 
not pretend to think that these are anything 
but broken lights of Him who came to 
bring the dawning of the perfect day.' 

But with all his optimism he was far 
too sane and well-balanced to allow any 
of his preconceptions to block out of sight 



150 JAMES HOPE MOULTON 

the stern facts of the case and to imagine 
that the difficulties were either non-existent 
or due to sheer perversity and culpable 
blindness. His letters reveal him as con- 
stantly on his guard against that kind of 
intellectual oxclusiveness which has got no 
use for those who think and speak in an 
idiom differing from his own. He found 
himself in India face to face not only with 
heathenism but with types of Christian 
expression to which he was a total stranger 
and not altogether a sympathetic one by 
nature. It was this very fact, doubtless, 
which led him to write one of those self- 
revealing passages concerning himself which 
betoken his real greatness. Speaking of 
certain Conventions into which he had been 
drawn, not altogether willingly, he writes : 
' My experience of them is small, but I 
am going to do my best to profit in this 
to which I have come. I know I am in 
great danger of being supercilious towards 
things which do not quite coincide with 
my own angle, and these meetings may 
be a wholesome discipline. So far as I 



INDIA 151 

can analyse my own instincts, my feeling 
towards the " Keswicky ' is very much 
like that which nearly always finds things 
that jar when I go to an Anglican service ; 
and then I get angry with myself because 
of the difficulty of formulating reasonably 
the things I don't like. As often as not, 
my intellectual power of seeing two sides 
of a question a power which I am glad 
to believe grows with the years tells me 
that there is something to be said for the 
things that rub me up the wrong way. 
And then it becomes hard to acquit myself 
of mere hauteur ! ' A trained thinker who 
was possessed of such a spirit of humility and 
teachableness, could not fail to learn from 
every source whether Keswick or Bombay 
or Benares ; and, what counts for yet 
more, it is that spirit which is calculated 
to impress itself most deeply upon those 
who are to be the scholars of to-morrow. 

It was fitting that James Hope Moulton's 
first direct introduction to the mission 
field should have been by a way of approach 



152 JAMES HOPE MOTJLTON 

which had for its first objective the student 
life of the country, for he had long recog- 
nized that the most fruitful type of mission- 
ary work was that which strove to build 
up a native evangelism through the impact 
of the best student life of the West upon the 
student life of the East. I have before me 
as I write two articles which he contributed 
to the Methodist Recorder of January 9, 
1896, and January 9, 1908, both of them 
dealing with meetings of the World Con- 
ference of the Student Missionary Union, 
Liverpool being the place of meeting on 
each occasion. It is impossible to escape 
from the sense of urgency which possessed 
him on this matter of world-evangelization 
as the primary responsibility of the Church, 
and his heart was strangely warmed by 
the sheer fact of such assemblies of student 
life for such a purpose, altogether apart 
from any particular line of advocacy 
adopted. 

And now, through the far-sighted Chris- 
tian statesmanship of the Y.M.C.A., lie 
finds himself, as it were, in the thick of a 



INDIA 153 

student movement, prepared to give of 
his best to it, and, unconsciously to himself, 
called to contribute to its efficiency not 
only by what he knew, but also by what 
he was ! A dogmatic assertive apologetic, 
however sincere and convinced, was not 
half so likely to win the assent of the 
thoughtful man of the East as the humble 
and teachable spirit which, while certain 
of its own ground, is so abundantly willing 
to believe the best of other phases of 
thought ; and one is quite prepared to hear 
of the warm expressions of gratitude which 
poured upon him from all sides for an 
apologetic which made more certain the 
message of every worker. 

He went out full of deep sympathy 
with missionaries and their work ; but he 
came away with the sense that our highest 
appreciations fall miserably short of the 
merits of the case. He was stirred to the 
depths of his being by the heavenly 
strategy, the selfless heroism, the unfalter- 
ing fidelity of the men and women on the 
foreign field, as he saw it ; and the triumphs 



154 JAMES HOPE MOTJLTON 

of the gospel as he saw them at Nizamabad, 
at Medak, at Benares, and many other 
centres thrilled him through and through. 

It was entirely characteristic of his 
outlook upon the world that the work of 
the Rev. C. P. Cape among the Doms of 
Benares should have come peculiarly near 
to his heart ; and to his chivalrous nature 
the very fact of this work being done at 
all constituted a veritable Christian apolo- 
getic. ' The Doms,' he writes, ' are the 
municipal scavengers, for whom Hinduism 
can find no footing in the temple. The 
Donis must be enumerated in the census 
as Hindus, and so swell the superiority of 
the Hindu over the Moslem. But though 
I have seen a temple where dogs are 
encouraged to enter, the Dom is admitted 
to none. He is a hereditary thief and an 
easy prey to the drink-fiend. Even Govern- 
ment harries him. Let an undiscovered 
theft have taken place in a Dora's neigh- 
bourhood, the police will seek the Dom who 
has the largest record of convictions 
and send him to prison to encourage 



INDIA 165 

the rest ! What was the use of trying 
to escape from crime ? Every man's hand 
was against him, and he might as well 
be hanged for a sheep as a lamb. . . . Could 
man sink lower ? Could any power on 
earth uplift such men ? Most certainly 
not. Hinduism was content to draw back 
its garment's hem for fear of defilement. 
Government alternately put them in jail 
and moved them on. Why not try educa- 
tion ? Educate a Dom ! Open a night- 
school for the monkeys ! But the fact 
is that to-day the Doms are not in prison, 
nor in the drink-shop. They have got 
a new hope. Somebody has touched them, 
and virtue has gone out from Him. It is 
just the old, old story, but it is a New Song, 
quite different from its myriad predecessors 
in the angel's music-rolls. My readers 
know how it is done. A man who has 
let the love of Christ embody itself in him 
goes to the hopeless and degraded, and 
there is a new creation at once.' 

The sequel to this work of grace deserves 
to be told although it does not actually 



156 JAMBS HOPE MOTTLTON 

belong to my brother's life. The story 
is given by the Rev. William Goudie in The 
East and the West as follows : 

e The Doms are the scavengers of the city, 
and many of them who at the missionary's 
request enlisted to serve with the Indian 
army in France have won strong commen- 
dation from British officers who have 
seen their work. It was a great risk to 
send such men into such conditions un- 
shepherded, and a young teacher of their 
own tribe was found who, it was hoped, 
might be able to go with them. He had 
been taught in the mission school, he wore 
the decent clothes of his new profession, 
and lived in some comfort. He was willing 
to go. ** But," said the missionary, " you 
must lay aside those clothes, dress as your 
father dressed, and go among the scavengers 
as a scavenger." "Then I will go as a 
scavenger," he said ; and so he went, 
following, in his own life and station, 
another who humbled Himself and took 
upon himself the form of a servant.' 

To the missionaries my brother's visit 



INDIA 157 

was no small encouragement and inspi- 
ration, as is shown by a large number 
of letters. Apart from the specific value 
of his teaching and the inspiration of his 
fellowship there is little doubt that with 
his world-wide distinction he helped to 
strengthen the status of the workers and 
the work with which he associated him- 
self. It was less easy for the supercilious 
to sniff contemptuously at the plain man's 
message of salvation when that same 
message was proclaimed with the backing 
of so great intellectual attainments. And 
to the jaded and depressed it was something 
and no mean something either that 
such an one cared, and cared sufficiently, 
to make their anxieties and burdens his 
own. 

There once came into the range of vision 
a possibility of his settling down at least 
for a time in India. It would be too much 
to say that it ever got bej^ond the stage 
of a bare possibility, but the very fact of 
the proposition being made at all is interest- 
ing and significant, for it centred in the 



158 JAMES HOPE MOULTON 

suggestion that he should take the principal- 
ship of the Hindu College at Benares, the 

nucleus of the new Hindu University. 

. 

The post had been offered to Prof. G. H. 
Leonard, one of his associates in the Indian 
tour, who had been compelled to decline 
it on the ground of obligations at home. 
They then turned to my brother and 
informally approached him through an 
intermediary ; would he consider it if he 
were asked ? The answer, so far as this 
sketch is concerned, had best be given in 
his own words as contained in a letter 
dated May 14, 1916, for the passage is a 
self-revealing one on other things than 
the matter immediately on hand : 

c You will see at once why I did not 
simply say to Saunders,* " Of course, 
the idea is impossible." It may be I am 
more inclined to-day than yesterday to 
say it is. But it is like one o'.her audacious 
proposal that came to me nearly thirty 
years ago when Welldon asked me to 
take a mastership at Harrow a thing that 

* Indian Secretary of the Y,M,C,A, 



INDIA 159 

one felt to be impossible, and yet too 
important in its openings to be pushed 
aside without the most conscientious in- 
vestigation. I have written home . . . 
and here I have talked to a committee of 
contiguous W.M.S. men . . . and have put 
to them all one question : What do you 
think is the missionary value of such an 
appointment, supposing they will take me 
on my own terms ? Those terms would 
be expressed something like this : "I 
should undertake to act like a gentleman 
and a Christian, and take no unfair advan- 
tage from my position. But I must be 
as free to let all people know my religion 
as you are with yours. I cannot be 
muzzled in preaching ; I must be free to 
expound Christianity as well as other 
religions in my lectures with absolute 
fairness to all ; I must be allowed to offer 
voluntary expositions of the Bible. If 
you like to take me on these terms 
well and good ; if you don't and I don't 
expect you will I go back to work at 
home with a strong sense of relief, which 



160 JAMES HOPE MOULTON 

I should feel as strongly if you made it 
Rs. 12,000 instead of Rs. 1,200 a month 
(and house). I am willing to make a 
big sacrifice if I can be quite sure I can 
really serve India. But if I am going to 
be hampered by a Board that will not 
trust me, I no longer feel constrained to 
make the sacrifice." Of course, coming 
here would mean a very poor chance for 
my Greek work; Sanskrit and Hinduism 
would demand much of my time, teaching 
and administration more. No salary would 
compensate for that. What it would mean 
to be separated from my children I need 
not try to say. And if missionary value 
is to be the test, I have to put in the other 
scale the evident fact that experience of 
India should make my service of missions 
at Didsbury probably quite equal to any- 
thing I could do under such conditions. 
That's the case in a nutshell. . . . My 
missionary friends are surprisingly unani- 
mous, while careful to premise that they can 
only speak from the South Indian con- 
ditions, where Hinduism is much more 



INDIA 161 

cast-iron (should I say caste-iron ?) than 
in the North. Dr. Skinner said that if 
they would accept me on my own terms 
he would say ' Go.' But like all the rest 
he felt the overwhelming improbability 
that they would capitulate so far, in spite 
of the astounding fact that they have 
already asked a Christian minister. And 
even if they bound themselves to give me 
a free hand, it would be no guarantee 
that they wouldn't start a cabal as soon 
as I said or did something they did not 
approve, which wouldn't be long, even 
though Mrs. Besant and her Theosophist 
Principal Arundale are out of it. 5 

It is easy enough to see now that there 
was no possible chance of the conditions 
being bearable for both sides if the invita- 
tion were given which it was not ; and 
I have only referred to it at length because 
it is a tribute to his scholarship that he 
should have been considered desirable, 
and to his open-mindedness that he should 
have been considered possible for such a 
post. The view he expresses in the above 

L 



162 JAMES HOPE MOULTON 

letter is indubitably sound, and reveals 
a man who, while he had his ' eyes lift 
up to heaven, the best of books in his hand, 
the law of truth writ upon his lips, and the 
world as cast behind him,' had his feet on 
solid earth and faced the facts of the 
situation. The project so far as he was 
concerned came to nothing, but there is 
every reason for satisfaction that the idea 
should have been mooted. 

It is interesting to note that in a sense 
the situation had been thought out for 
him some years before on another but 
somewhat parallel field. Of all his cor- 
respondents none counted for more to him 
than Dr. J. G. Frazer,* whose researches 
in Comparative Religion and cognate sub- 
jects have given to the author of The 
Golden Bough a unique position in the 
esteem of the scholarly world. No 
difference of religious faith set up any 
barrier between them, and their corre- 
spondence was of a very constant and 
intimate character. My brother seemingly 

*Now Sir J. G. Frazer. 



INDIA 163 

kept every line that Dr. Frazer wrote him, 
for I have found in the bulky case filled 
with his letters, post cards on such im- 
material things as invitations to lunch ! 
It is evident that the great investigator 
found no small comfort and encourage- 
ment in the unfeigned interest and sym- 
pathy of so competent a scholar, who 
approached the question from so different 
an angle ; and probably nay, certainly 
he thought all the better of him for his 
loyalty to a faith which he had found 
true and satisfying. Amid all the dis- 
couragement which naturally came to 
the victim of shallow and undiscerning 
reviews of pioneer work, which was simply 
out of reach of the understanding of most 
of the reviewers, Dr. Frazer would turn 
to the Wesleyan professor and write with 
great frankness and warmth ; and I need 
no letters of my brother's to tell me what 
kind of reply he would send. 

A letter quoted above (p. 109), refers 
to the proposal that Dr. Frazer should come 
to Manchester as Professor of Comparative 



164 JAMES HOPE MOULTON 

Religion ; and another letter, dated April 
10, 1904, goes into the question at con- 
siderable length. I quote it at length 
because it gives, twelve years beforehand, 
the soundest grounds for the decision at 
which my brother arrived with reference 
to the Benares proposition. Dr. Frazer 
writes as follows : 

' As to Manchester, about which you 
speak so kindly, I was asked whether I 
should be willing to accept the chair of 
Comparative Religion if it were offered to 
me, and I said I might do so on certain 
conditions. But I am in two minds about 
it. I have begun to doubt whether, with 
my views on religion in general and 
Christianity in particular, it would be 
right for me to accept a teaching post in a 
Theological Faculty instituted by Christians 
for Christians, in particular for men train- 
ing for the Christian ministry. How does 
it strike you ? Please tell me quite frankly 
as a friend. What would you do yourself 
in a similar position, e.g. if you were asked 



INDIA 165 

to lecture on religion to Buddhists and 
Mohammedans with an implied stipulation 
that you should say nothing that should 
hurt their feelings as Buddhists and Moham- 
medans, and nothing that should reveal 
that you were a Christian ? Would you 
accept a teaching post on such terms ? 
I have grave doubts whether I can do so. 
The case would be quite different if the 
chair were established independently of any 
Theological Faculty, and to teach the subject 
simply as a branch of knowledge, uncon- 
nected with any creed, like mathematics 
or astronomy. To make the supposed 
parallel complete, the chair of religion 
offered to you should be established and 
endowed by Buddhists and Mohammedans 
for the training of their respective clergy, 
and you should be asked to take their 
money and train them for their work as 
Buddhist and Mohammedan priests, while 
promising implicitly never to drop a hint 
that you regarded Buddhism and Moham- 
medanism as false. I begin, I think, to 
foresee your answer, and my own. But 



166 JAMES HOPE MOULTON 

please write to me fully and frankly on 
the subject. I shall regard it as a real 
act of friendship if you do.' 

I wonder whether my brother ever re- 
called this correspondence when he came to 
face a situation which had so many points 
of similarity and upon which his loyalty 
to principle led him to a decision along 
the same line as that arrived at by his 
friend whose religious position differed so 
much from his own. But there is no 
doubt that Frazer at Cambridge and 
Moulton in India acted alike under the 
guidance of the same Spirit of Truth, 
however differently they might have 
defined that Spirit. There is a light that 
lighteth every man coming into the world. 

It would be unfair both to him and to 
others to attempt to give any estimates 
he formed concerning Indian thought, 
and especially religious thought, as a 
whole. He was the very last man to 
indulge in the shallow and pretentious 
egotism which, after a hurried tour of 
inspection on a wide field, and under the 



INDIA 167 

guidance of avowed partisans, sits down 
to write ' The Truth about - - ! ' He 
formed his own impressions and expressed 
them frankly and emphatically in his 
letters home ; but there is a difference 
between the informal home letter and 
pronouncement of the printed page which 
goes out to the public as a considered 
judgement! Probably he would have sat 
down to frame some such considered judge- 
ment on all the facts as he had gathered 
them, had he ever been allowed to reach 
home ; and possibly his judgement would 
have carried weight just because it came 
from one who was well-informed and well- 
equipped and sympathetic,and yet detached. 
But he would have been the first to lay 
down that any such reasoned estimate 
on the whole question of Christianity 
in India could only be formed under 
conditions more favourable to consecutive 
thought than the rush of a mission tour. 
It will not be claiming too much for 
James Hope Moulton to say that his 
open-mindedness constituted no mean 



168 JAMES HOPE MOULTON 

qualification for usefulness in India. The 
Englishman is always accused sometimes 
unjustly of insular prejudice ; and cer- 
tainly there is no doubt that as a nation 
we are not particularly ready to be intel- 
lectually sympathetic towards other bodies 
of thought than our own. We are not 
necessarily harsh towards them, but we 
are reserved and somewhat exclusive ; and 
between the two minorities of those who 
will look at nothing new and those who will 
coquette with anything because it is new, 
there is the great average mass of intelligent 
people who are dominated to such an extent 
by a kind of intellectual conservatism 
that they are relatively slow to give 
adequate recognition to ideas which come 
out of a camp so far removed from their 
own. James Hope Moulton went out 
equipped with strong and well-tested 
convictions on many subjects religious, 
ethical, political ; but also with a scholar's 
aptitude to learn and readiness to revise 
opinions in face of further evidence. And 
in this case it was the evidence which 



INDIA 169 

told him that what held good of one 
civilization did not necessarily hold good 
of another. His religious faith he knew 
to be for all Jew and Greek, bond and 
free alike ; but he very soon learned that 
his political faith could not be applied 
as it stood to India without very serious 
danger. The eager Home Ruler recog- 
nized, for instance, that the principle which 
in home politics had been the very pole- 
star of his thinking would in India have 
worked out in the direction of the oligarchic 
tyranny of the Brahmin, narrow, prejudiced, 
unequal, and in every way antagonistic 
to that conception of popular self-govern- 
ment which was so dear to him. In like 
manner on the difficult questions of religious 
education such matters, for instance, as 
the conscience clause and concurrent endow- 
ment he fully recognized that were he 
called upon to act in India it would be 
along very different lines from those which 
he would unhesitatingly follow in England. 
His voluminous ' circular letters ' from 
India are very self -revealing in a great 



170 JAMES HOPE MOULTON 

many directions, and nowhere more than 
in this. 

His ' interim judgements ' are moderate, 
discerning, and very much along the line 
of what we have learned from our most 
far-seeing missionaries. He was unfavour- 
ably impressed with the pliability of the 
Hindu, as with the credulity which will 
swallow c camel miracles of his own, and 
strain out the gnats of the gospel stories ' ; 
and his thinking appeared inconsequent 
to the Westerner ; but there is always the 
readiness on my brother's part to admit 
that his judgements were those of the visitor 
and only given as showing how things 
impressed him. But the conclusion of 
the whole matter is always the same to 
him from whichever side he approaches it- 
the hopeless darkness of heathenism un- 
illumined by the gospel. ' The incom- 
parable elevation of their creed [i.e. that 
of the Parsis] above the Moslem's helps 
them no more to be worthy of it than does 
Islam's superiority over Hinduism help 
Moslems to behave better than the Hindu. 



INDIA 171 

It is staring one in the face that without the 
touch of Christ the purest Theism is helpless. 
It reminds me of what J. A. Hutton put so 
finely at the Foreign Missionary Anniversary 
in the Albert Hall last April the Kaiser 
talks much of Oott but never of Christies; 
and with the Christ interpretation thrust 
into the background, Gott can sink to a 
mere war-demon.' 

On one occasion, and one only, I believe, 
during his sojourn in India did he come 
into any serious conflict with native 
opinions. He had been booked for a 
term's lecturing at Madras during the later 
part of 1916, and that visit was anticipated 
with great interest both by himself and 
by the Wesley an Mission at which he was 
to live. But, unfortunately, a passing 
reference in one of his Methodist Recorder 
articles to a certain Hindu goddess as a 
she-devil, was promptly transmitted it 
is easy to see by whom to India, and was 
used to inflame opinion against the Western 
professor, and incidentally against the 
Wesleyan missionaries who were to be his 



172 JAMES HOPE MOULTON 

hosts. These crafty Brahmins succeeded 
in persuading the Maharajah that this insult 
to the particular object of his devotion was 
a studied insult to himself, and there was 
no difficulty in creating an amount of 
feeling which rendered it unwise to carry 
out the plan as arranged : indeed, there 
were hints of possible violence, and also 
representations to the Government as to 
breach of religious non-interference ! That 
one so open-minded and so generous to other 
bodies of opinion than his own should have 
been subjected to this humiliation was 
extraordinary, and to my brother it was 
extremely painful, especially because at 
one time there seemed to be a reason to 
fear lest the mission might be compromised 
and brought into difficulty thereby. Event- 
ually means were found whereby the 
mind of the Maharajah was disabused of 
the idea of any failure of respect to himself, 
and the episode was closed by a letter 
from His Highness to the Rev. D. A. 
Rees, which deserves to be quoted for its 
beautiful spirit : ' His Highness asks me 



INDIA 173 

to say in reply that he much appreciates 
the sentiments which prompted you to 
write him. His Highness has always recog- 
nized that the Christian missionaries in 
India, with all their loyalty to the teachings 
and principles of their religion, have been 
scrupulous in treating with respect the 
religious convictions of others ; and he 
asks me to assure you that the incident 
to which you refer cannot, for the above 
reason, affect the friendly relations which 
have always existed between himself and 
the various missionary bodies working 
with so much self-sacrifice among the 
people of his State. In view of the sincere 
expressions of regret which are contained 
in Dr. Moulton's letter to you, His Highness 
will gladly treat the whole episode as for- 
gotten so far as he himself is concerned.' 
For thought and expression this could 
hardly be excelled ; and to my brother 
it came as an unspeakable relief. It was 
bad enough to be pilloried as a mischief- 
maker when he was by nature so much 
the opposite ; but to him it was still 



174 JAMBS HOPE MOULTON 

worse that the situation should work out 
not only to his inconvenience but to the 
possible detriment of the very work which 
was so dear to him. 

During the early part of August, 1916, 
my brother was touring, and returned to 
Bombay on the 16th, to receive the sad 
news of his son's death at the front one 
of those tragic disappointments to high 
hopes of which the war was so full. Ralph 
possessed no small amount of inherited 
ability ; and if he did not do as well in 
his Tripos as might have been expected, 
it was not from lack of ability, but from a 
fatal inclination to interest himself in 
many fields of study instead of concen- 
trating upon a course. He showed his 
real quality by winning the Whewell 
Scholarship for International Law in the 
autumn of 1914. During the long vacation 
of 1913 and 1914 he had spent his time 
abroad for the purpose of acquiring French 
and German, and he was in Germany- 
at Speyer when war was declared. He 
was inarched to the frontier, leaving 



INDIA 175 

behind him all his papers, books every- 
thing, indeed, but what he could carry 
and bringing away with him moreover a 
deep abhorrence of the Germans, not for 
any petty discomforts which he had to 
bear, but for the nameless abominations 
which made themselves manifest from the 
first. After considerable delay he reached 
England, and a few weeks later was in 
training, his commission reaching him the 
same morning as the announcement that 
he had won the Whewell. For some 
reason or other he was kept in training in 
England for upwards of eighteen months, 
and it was June, 1916, before he crossed to 
France. He was six weeks behind the 
lines, then went up to the fighting line, 
and on the second night was laid low with 
a piece of shrapnel which tore a rough 
gash right through his pocket-book and 
Greek Testament in his breast pocket. 

It is curious indeed that a letter should 
subsequently come from my brother dated 
August 9, commencing with the words, 
c A dream of bad news about Ralph. I 



176 JAMES HOPE MOULTON 

am thankful that my waking hours are 
not more afflicted with what is so easy a 
possibility.' For the ninth was the very 
day when the first telegram reached us that 
Ralph was missing ! We sent no message 
out to India until the fourteenth, and that 
was not received until a day or two later 
owing to my brother's absence from 
Bombay. When he did receive it he wrote 
a letter which I will give at length in 
preference to using any words of my own, 
the more so as he quotes largely from 
Ralph's last letter to him. 

'Y.M.C.A., GIRGAUM, 

' Thursday, August 17. 



4 It is very, ve^ hard to start my journal 
again; but it has been harder still to prepare 
a lecture on the Later Avesta, and I must 
find a few minutes' relief talking about 
him. I really have in a sense been expect- 
ing this blow ever since I knew he had 
gone. Did any of you happen to see a 
paper of mine on James's doctrine of 
Prayer in the Expository Times, written 



INDIA 177 

in that blessed little Easter holiday at 
Hathersage, which marked the end of the 
old happiness ? I pictured two mothers, 
equally godly, sending their boys to the 
war, one with a radiant certainty that he 
would return, and the other with " Father, 
if it be possible ... I never had that 
certainty, or anything like it, though I 
was never tempted to a morbid anticipa- 
tion of the blow before it fell. The dear 
boy himself cheered me in that memorable 
ten minutes we got coming back from 
Bramhall, on August 29 last year. He 
told me how his mother's passing had 
affected his inner life ; and he said he 
believed he would come back. It depended 
upon whether there was work for him here, 
and that depended on his own worthiness ; 
it was all a question of his personal fitness. 
That was part of the old introspectiveness 
coming up again, but it was being replaced 
very rapidly by a saner and brighter 
outlook. His letters to me have shown a 
very happy development throughout this 
year. It reached its climax in the letter 

M 



178 JAMES HOPE MOTJLTON 

which he wrote two days after crossing. 
You would like to read it, and it is com- 
forting to write it down. After some 
prefatory words, he goes on : 

'" There is no news at all that I can tell 
you. I am more glad than I can say to 
have come out at once from the Base. 
I had made up my mind to having to stay 
there for further training. But thanks to 
the fact that I was coming out to my own 
battalion I was let off that. A great deal 
will be expected of me. There is a great 
deal quite new to learn I ought really 
to be reading things up now or poring over 
a map. And what is more important by 
far, there is such a moral standard to rise 
to. I am not at all afraid. I don't think 
I shall be in action. I am curiously 
unable to understand the men who are 
suffering from fright before action ; it 
seems to be a feeling which isn't in me, 
at least as yet ; if I should crumple up 
under heavy fire I do not know. But I 
have to keep on a high enough level to 
keep awake all the time, and cool, and 



INDIA 179 

strong ; and to make the men see they have 
got to do what they are told to when under 
fire with men to whom one is quite new 
takes some doing. The problem of being 
sensible is with me a moral, not, as it 
looks, an intellectual one. I have the 
faculties, only I can't bring them to bear 
unless I am in the best of moral training. 
I am extremely happy, and not at all 
hysterical, sentimental, or even excited. 
But I believe I shall be equal to the task. 
It is a great thing for me, who have always 
suffered (to use an accurate technical 
metaphor) from running too much with 
the clutch out a great thing for me to 
be leaving so soon, and taking such a 
short time for a test which will really set 
me on my feet and show me where I stand. 
I hate writing such an egotistic letter, 
but I can't send news, and T want to let 
you know from the beginning what I feel 
like. I shan't be able to write so much 
later. I shall be too busy, or too tired." 

' I cannot realize it now in the least ; 
and it will be just a long dull consciousness 



180 JAMES HOPE MOULTON 

of a lose, the magnitude of which the past 
year has indefinitely increased. That has 
really been the history of the even greater 
loss with me, and I don't think time 
hat done anything with it. I feel it now in 
juat exactly the way I felt it a year ago. 
That is, I can be quite calm, and talk and 
think of other things, as I have had to do 
even to-day. But all the time there is a 
void that aches and aches, even while I 
am talking gaily. In such a way, I take 
it, the successive losses as life goes on 
make us readier for the next abiding-place 
in the endless journey, into which my brilliant 
and noble boy has gone before his wistful 
father.' 

No wonder that his dear friend, Dr. 
Rendel Harris, should speak eight months 
later of ' superior spiritual attractions ' 
aa a factor in weakened power of resistance 
in that open boat. 

Fact to Face with Parsism. 
Had the invitation from the Y.M.C.A, 



INDIA 181 

come for work along ordinary missionary 
lines it would have been welcome to one 
whose outlook on the world was such as 
his was, but it is unquestionable that the 
call to go and see Parsism at first hand 
and to represent the case for the gospel to 
Parsis, gave the invitation an immensely 
added attractiveness ; and it may be 
claimed without undue partiality that no 
one else had his qualifications for that 
particular piece of work. His interest 
in the religion of Zoroaster and the Magi 
was of no recent growth. As has already 
been shown, it originated in his Sanskrit 
studies under Prof. Cowell, and rapidly 
developed with his increased attention to 
Comparative Religion. As early as 1890 
1 find an entry in his diary referring to 
his having addressed an audience of working 
men on Zoroastrianisin, and prior to that 
he had given addresses to the Wesley 
Society and to the St. John's College 
Theological Society on aspects of the 
subject. On coming to Manchester h* 
purgued his studies further and further 



182 JAMES HOPE MOULTON 

in that direction, and in 1912 he was recog- 
nized to such an extent as an authority 
that he was invited to give the Hibbert 
Lectures at Oxford and London during 
that year on ' Early Zoroastrianism.' 
During the previous year he had issued a 
little volume on Early Religious Poetry of 
Persia, containing not only learned exposi- 
tion but a number of original translations 
both in prose and verse, and had dedicated 
the volume : ' In Piam Memoriam, Edvardi 
Byles Co well.' He therefore came to the 
task mapped out for him by the Y.M.C.A. 
leaders not only with knowledge and with 
zest, but with a status and a reputation 
which was known to those whom he was 
to address. How high this reputation was 
is shown by the fact that eight lectures on 
The Teaching of Zarathmstra, given by 
him in Bombay to Parsis, were published 
both in English and in Gujerati by those 
to whom they were addressed, on their 
own initiative. No more eloquent tribute 
both to his knowledge and to his fairu 
can be imagined a situation which could 



INDIA 183 

only be paralleled here if a Hindu scholar 
came to lecture at the Church House on 
the historical and philosophical basis of 
the Apostolical Succession, and the Bishops 
of the Upper House of Convocation asked 
to be allowed to publish the lectures ! 

On many grounds it was necessary for 
him to walk warily in his intercourse 
with the Parsis. For one thing, there 
was the constant risk lest fraternization 
and appreciation in that sphere should 
lead narrow and shallow though sincere 
Christians to imagine that he belittled the 
great points at issue between the Christian 
religion and other faiths. A case in point 
arose immediately on his arrival in India. 
Let him tell it in his own words, as he 
described the situation in a home letter. 
' Meanwhile came a sensation. Friday 
evening's paper contained the news of 
the death of the biggest Parsi in India, 
Sir Pherozeshah Mehta, Vice-Chancellor 
of the University. T saw at once that I 
must move heaven and earth to get well 
into the funeral ceremony, which was 



184 JAMES HOPE MOULTON 

likely to be an opportunity I might not 
surpass if I stayed in India twenty years. 
So I wrote a note to Dr. Modi, who lives 
right away in Kalaba, the eastern end of 
the great bay. Dr. Mackichan sent it off 
by one of his " boys," who brought back 
a kind reply and a card inscribed with 
Gujerati, which was to open sesame on 
Saturday morning. . . . By 8. 15 I was off 
in my topee and tussore suit, worn for the 
first time. I was soon on the path up 
which the bearers bring the corpses, passed 
a gate inscribed with an English warning 
against all non-Parsis, and presently found 
a custodian to whom I presented my card. 
He and his colleague were extremely 
obliging. They took me right over the 
lovely gardens, showed me the model of 
the towers, and explained how the corpse- 
bearers lay the body on the place prepared 
for it, strip off the white covering, and 
leave the tower. I saw the five towers 
one quite small, one only kept for a particular 
family, two big ones appropriated to two 
sects into which the Parsis split generations 



INDIA 185 

ago on the momentous question of the 
right time for intercalating to put the 
calendar right ! And round the top of the 
tower nearest to me the vultures were 
sitting expectant. It was the morning 
hour of funerals, the other hour being 
about 5 p.m., and these pleasing big 
birds know the time of day ! Meanwhile, 
two small funerals came up and enabled 
me to see the ritual. First came the six 
bearers, carrying the body on an iron bier, 
covered with a cotton sheet. They are 
clothed in white cotton. Since they are 
on a job that involves the worst kind of 
pollution, they have to be put through 
special purification, and anyhow are a 
despised caste. Their clothes and the 
coverings are, of course, specially polluted, 
and have to be " destroyed " in theory ! 
How to destroy them ? Fire, earth, and 
water must not receive them obviously, 
and they are put in a receptacle and left. 
But since there are four or five funerals 
every day, the accumulation of clothes 
would be tremendous. So I understand 



186 JAMES HOPE MOULTON 

there is a private rule by which the clothes 
may be used again after exposure to the 
sun. If the pollution were microbic an 
hour in this sun would soon destroy it. 

4 After quite an hour of interesting talk 
. . . Dr. Modi arrived, a short, white- 
clad, white-bearded man of 61, with the 
white turban that marks the priest. He 
was very cordial. He took me off through 
the garden, and we watched the coining 
of the big procession. They were so many 
that the front came quite close up to the 
bearers there ought to be an interval of 
several feet. They walk two by two, 
each pair linking together by holding the 
two ends of a handkerchief. Great num- 
bers of non-Parsis came to pay honour 
to this very distinguished man, but they 
all stopped at the gate and went back. 
The others followed to a place close up 
to the tower (out of sight for me), and 
there the face of the dead man wan exposed 
and they filed past to see it. 'Then it 
was taken into the touer where only the 
bearers go. 1 heard the clang of the iron 



INDIA 187 

gate. The mourners had gathered in the 
lovely garden where Dr. Modi and I had 
been sitting. They all turned towards 
the tower, and repeated from their prayer- 
books the series of Avestan texts which 
Dr. Modi went over with me. They then 
dispersed, washed hands and face and 
went away.' 

I have quoted this in full because it 
has an intrinsic interest of its own, apart 
from its personal element ; and probably 
few Westerns have had quite such a 
privileged position. But within a short 
time there was an indignant letter in an 
Indian newspaper repeated, I believe, in 
an English religious paper about a clergy- 
man who no sooner landed than he dis- 
carded clerical dress and took part in 
a Parsi religious service ! It is very clear 
that the reference was to James Hope 
Moulton ; and in a sense the facts were 
accurate, though the inference was totally 
false. As Dr. T. R. Glover drily remarked 
in the ('(ftttb/'idge Review, 'There must be 
more reasons than one for discarding 



188 JAMBS HOPE MOTJLTON 

European clerical dress as soon as one can 
after landing in Bombay, if one had not 
been able to before.' 

Further, there was the constant risk 
lest he should be drawn into party con- 
troversy on the matters which divide 
Parsis. When he arrived there was wait- 
ing for him an invitation to address the 
Iranian Association, which represented what 
may be called the Radical wing, and which 
is therefore an object of suspicion to the 
orthodox and the Conservative sect ion. 
Dr. Modi told him that already some of 
these advanced men had been appealing 
to the authority of the Western scholar 
in support of their contentions ; and, of 
course, there was unquestionably a Radical 
tendency in my brother's make-up 6 some 
out-crop of original sin,' as he playfully 
called it which predisposed him in favour 
of the Progressives on every issue, Eastern 
and Western, ecclesiastical and political 
alike. But he recognized the importance 
of not allowing himself to be claimed at 
the outset as a party champion, for that 






INDIA 189 

would have impaired grievously his chance 
of usefulness ; and he readily undertook 
to postpone any address to a sectional 
association until he had several times 
addressed the orthodox c centre.' In th 
end the lectures above referred to were 
translated into Gujerati by one sect and 
published with annotations by the other 
an interesting manifestation upon an 
entirely new field of that ministry of 
reconciliation which had so evidently been 
committed to him. 

It is not at all easy to arrive at any very 
definite idea as to the value of his work 
among Parsis. His lectures evidently awak- 
ened wide and intelligent interest on the 
part of a community which has exercised 
an influence altogether out of proportion 
to its numbers only about 200,000 in 
all throughout India. Any who gathered 
the impression that J. H. Moulton had 
gone to India to conduct a mission to 
Parsis were bound to be disappointed in 
respect of any visible results from the 
visit, and undoubtedlv there had been some 



190 JAMES HOPE MOULTON 

ill-considered references to his tour which 
might well have awakened some such 
expectations as to definite conversions. 
But it is safe to say that any such frontal 
attack would have been fatal to his in- 
fluence upon his hearers, who would have 
resented the suggestion that it was neces- 
sary to send a missionary from the West 
to evangelize them, of all peoples in the 
East. His task rather lay in the direction 
of expounding to them the nature and the 
implications of their own faith, as they 
presented themselves to a Western mind ; 
and with great faithfulness he performed 
his task. With the utmost frankness he 
warned them of the Agnosticism to which 
so many of them leaned ; and his very 
exposition of the essence of Zoroastrianism 
constituted on the one hand an appeal 
to them to be worthy of a great spiritual 
inheritance, and on the other a demonstra- 
tion of inevitable limitations of that and 
every other faith, except one. It was a 
type of evangelism which would not have 
commended itself to some, but it was the 



INDIA 191 

type best fitted for the peculiar field in 
which he was working, and although it 
is impossible to form any estimate as to 
its immediate effects, it is not difficult 
to see in such advocacy the foundation 
for the more direct evangelism of a later 
period. 

The End 

Throughout my brother's later months 
in India there had been a blended fear 
and desire in respect to his home-coming. 
How much he longed to see those dear to 
him in England is very clear from his 
letters, especially at every point where a 
postponement became necessary ; and yet 
his work, his mission, always came first. 
c I thought I was going to see your dear 
faces in a few weeks, and that cup of joy 
has been dashed from my lips. But I 
can see clearly that it is best. I am very 
unlikely to see India again. I have got 
the ear of a great many people, and can 
tell them sometimes what it is good for 
them to know. I ought not to leave this 



192 JAMES HOPE MOULTON 

world of opportunity lightly, and the 
cutting off of my work at home seems to be 
a Providential indication ' (June 12, 1916). 
But alongside of that wistful longing for 
home there was the dread consciousness 
that home was no longer there for him, 
in the sense in which he had known it. It 
will be remembered that it was only a few 
months after his wife's death that he left 
for India, and he dreaded the prospect of 
settling down in the old spot with so much 
to remind him of one who was there no 
longer in visible form. Writing to Dr. 
Rendel Harris, he says : ' I shall have to 
work very hard to keep myself from 
becoming a recluse when I get home, 
except for the intolerableness of that 
house, which may drive me to fill it with 
voices to drown somewhat the silence 
eloquent in every room. Time does so 
little to temper the dread of that home 
that is home no more,' 

By the time that he left India in March, 
1917, he was weary and worn. He had 

f *j 

worked very hard, and as already has been 



INDIA 193 

noted, he had not made sufficient allowance 
for the trying character of the Indian 
climate. But the voyage, and the fellow- 
ship on shipboard with Dr. Rendel Harris, 
much revived him. He had hoped to 
have his friend in India with him for 
a time, but the sinking of the City of 
Birmingham on Dr. Harris's outward 
voyage, thwarted that, for he got no 
further than Egypt. After numerous 
letters and cables had been exchanged 
half of which never reached their destina- 
tion they met at Port Said, and had a 
week's happy intercourse together before 
the tragedy came. They knew full well 
that on leaving Port Said they passed into 
a danger-zone, because the enemy could 
operate so easily and effectively from the 
Syrian coast. One day they passed a 
raft, and a life-buoy, and a dead body in 
a life-belt, which was a reminder of what 
was a possible fate for them any hour of 
the day or night. 

* * * * * 

There is no good purpose to be served 

N 



194 JAMES HOPE MOULTON 

by recalling the details of the tragedy. 
The last four and a half years have seen 
so many such occurrences that what needs 
to be said is only too familiar, and the rest 
may with advantage remain unsaid. I 
will content myself with quoting the 
characteristic letter with which Dr. Rendel 
Harris made us acquainted with the facts. 

* GRAND HOTEL, AJACCIO, CORSICA, 

4 April 14, 1017. 

You will have received the sad news 
of my first telegram, and will have been 
waiting and watching for the further 
information with regard to the passing 
over of your beloved. 

' I am not able to write a great deal, 
and much of what I would say must wait 
until I return, first of all because we were 
strongly advised not to communicate any 
details as to the passage of our unfortunate 
vessel, and second because it is too painful 
to recall in detail the horrors of the days 
of exposure and collapse. I think that 
what operated in his case to diminish his 
power of resistance was, first of all, physical 



INDIA 195 

weakness, which had shown itself on the 
way home from India in a violent outbreak 
of boils on the face and neck, causing him 
much pain and inconvenience but on the 
other side he succumbed to superior 
spiritual attractions which he felt a long 
time before the ship was struck. He 
talked about his dear ones in Johannine 
language as going over to prepare places 
for one another, and the spiritual tension 
was evidently stronger than even strong 
language expressed. Those on the other 
side stood to him Christ-wise, saying 
Christ's words and doing Christ's deeds 
to him as they had done to one another. 
Under these circumstances it is not strange 
that he should have collapsed, but he 
played a hero's part in the boat. 

' He toiled at the oar till sickness over- 
came him : he assisted to bale out the 
boat and to bury (is that the right word ?) 
the bodies of those who fell. He said words 
of prayer over poor Indian sailors, and 
never, never complained or lost heart 
for a moment through the whole of the 



196 JAMES HOPE MOTJLTON 

three days and more of his patience, though 
the waves were often breaking over him 
and the water must have often been up 
to his middle. He passed away very 
rapidly at the end, and was gone before I 
could get to him. His body was lying on 
the edge of the boat, and I kissed him for 
you all and said some words of love which 
he was past hearing outwardly. There 
was no opportunity to take from his body 
anything except his gold watch, and one 
or two trifles, which are in my keeping. 
I could not search him for papers, indeed, 
I doubt if he had brought any with him 
from the ship. 

' During the whole of the voyage his 
mind was marvellously alert and active. 
He talked and read and wrote incessantly 
and preached on the Sundays. On the 
way home he had read the whole of the 
Odyssey in the small Pickering edition ; 
and amongst his first remarks to me was his 
opinion as to the disparity of the twenty- 
third book with the rest of the poem. 

' One strange and beautiful experience 



INDIA 197 

we shared together with Major of 

the Abyssinian Embassy, who was return- 
ing to England. We developed literary 
sympathies, and one day the conversation 
turned on " Lycidas." The major knew it 
by heart so did J. H. M., or almost 
by heart. I was a bad third in the recita- 
tion, and when we halted for a passage 
J. H. M. ran to his cabin and brought his 
pocket copy of Milton to verify doubtful 
words with. How little we suspected what 
was the meaning of our exercise ! They 
laughed at my delight over the sounding 
sentences, and I had to explain that it 
made my blood tingle : but we did not 
know that the amber flow of that Elysian 
speech had become once more sacramental, 
and that we were really reciting the liturgy 
of the dead, that " Lycidas, your sorrow, is 
not dead, sunk though he be beneath the 
ocean floor." He had his own " solemn 
troop " and his own " sweet society ' to 
make him welcome. 

' It is one of our Lord's sayings that one 
shall be taken and another shall be left, 



198 JAMES HOPE MOULTON 

and the words lie dormant in meaning long 
spaces of time then rise up and smite us 
in the face. Why was one taken and the 
other left ? Why did that fatal, that 
* perfidious bark ' discriminate between 
the " sacred head that it sunk low ' and 
the one which was so much whiter to the 
harvest ? But for questions like these 
there is no answer yet. I would tell you 
more if I could, but this is all I can say at 
this present. 

'With deep sympathy, 
'Your friend and his, 

'p.p. RENDEL HARRIS, 
* G. O. INNES. 

' P.S. Manu med : I am so glad to have 
been with him these days : to have had 
him to myself, at his very best. So 
Johannine, and so Pauline ! " How Pauline 
we have become ! ' he said to me ; and 
twice over he quoted some great lines from 
Myers' "St. Paul," to add to the ordinary 
Corinthian quotations.' 

That characteristic letter evokes many 



INDIA 199 

reflections. How strange a coincidence 
that it should be ' Lycidas ' that occupied 
his thoughts on the voyage ' Lycidas,' 
which was the subject of the first article 
which, as a schoolboy, he wrote for his 
school magazine, and which was to be 
so tragically appropriate to his condition 
within a few hours ! But perhaps stranger 
still is the coincidence afforded by the 
closing stanzas of his own poem on 
Vasco di Gama, to which was awarded 
the Chancellor's Medal in 1885 : 

So o'er the bosom of the unknown ocean 

Youth spreads her sails before the springing wind, 

Instinct with something of a heavenly motion 

To seek the glory she has left behind, 

And to a world of wandering men and blind 

To bring the light of the supernal Day. 

What though the dark clouds threaten ? There 

hath shined 

On the wild waves a star whose kindly ray 
Shall break the gloom, and guide her onward in her 

way. 

Alas ! and many in those black depths have ended 
Their reckless course, from the wished haven far, 
By the hoarse requiem of the storm attended 
\Vhile angels wept their ruin. But the war 



200 . JAMES HOPE MOULTON 

Saw the sea stilled, and where the victors are 
Flame yet the radiant trophies that they won 
From their unstoried voyage, and the Star 
Lit their path, brightening till their toil was done. 
Then rent the clouds, and reigned, the One, the 
Eternal Sun. 

Thus closed abruptly a life of singular 
richness and usefulness, crowded with 
activities and full of promise as to greater 
things ahead. Such a tragedy adds but 
one more to the melancholy catalogue 
with which we have of late learned to 
become only too familiar : and there it 
must be left. But his memory will ever 
continue fresh and green in the minds and 
hearts of those who knew him ; and his 
record will remain not only in the printed 
page that bears his name, but in the 
ministry of all those who in one sphere or 
another were led by him to love truth for 
its own sake, to love men and women for 
their own sake, and to pour out life as a 
sacrificial offering for God's own sake. 
And no such life, be it long or short, is 
spent in vain. 

Printed in Great Britain by Jarrold 6- Sons, Ltd., Norwich. 





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