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Full text of "The Modern churchman"

Published on the 15th of the month. 



Al 



Vol. XII., No. 9. 



DECEMBER, 1922. 



THE 



MODERN 
CHURCHMAN 

A monthly Magazine to maintain the cause of 

TRUTH, FREEDOM, and COMPREHENSIVENESS 

in the Anglican Communion, 



EDITOR : H. D. A. MAJOR, B.D. 



\& P 



CONTENTS 

If and Peradventure. The Editor 
A Century of Anglican Theology 

C. C. J, Webb, M.A., Hon. LL.D. 
The Prophetic Ministry of the New Reformation 

R, Meiklejohn, B.D., LL.B. 
The Advent Hope . . 

English Poetry and the War, H, G. Mulliner, B.A. 
Book Notices: 

Genesis and the Chinese 

Early Christianity . . 

The Gospel of the Manhood 

An Ambiguous Manifesto 

A Much-Needed Book 

Wholesome Words 

Correspondence : 

The Lord of Thought . . 

The Other Side of Hinduism 

The Church in the West Indies 

Unity in China- . . . 

The Brahmo-Somaj and Christianity 

Dr. Harris's ' Creeds or no Creeds ' 

A Book for Parents and Teachers 

A Revised Canon of the Scriptures 

The Virgin-Birth 

Emigrants and Honorary Clergy 



JUL23 1924 



481 



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504 
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519 
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521 
523 
524 
525 

526 
526 
527 
529 
530 
531 
533 
533 
534 
535 



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THE 

MODERN CHURCHMAN 

By identifying the new learning with heresy, you make 
orthodoxy synonymous with ignorance. Erasmus. 

A State without the means of change is without the 
means uf its conservation. Edmund Burke. 

No. 9. DECEMBER, 1922. VOL. XII. 

IF AND PERADVENTURE 

By the EDITOR. 

TWO recent novels, one of which in nine months has run 
through twenty-three editions, raise issues with which 
Modernists are concerned. 

In // Winter Comes we hear the hero of the tale and he is 
a real hero Mark Sabre, saying : 

' All are looking for something. You can see it in half the faces 
you see. Some wanting, and knowing they are wanting something. 
Others wanting something, but just putting up with it, just content 
to be discontented. You can see it. Yes, you can. Looking for 
what? Love? But lots have love. Happiness? But aren't lots 
happy? But are they? 

* It goes deeper than that. It's some universal thing that's 
wanting. I think it's something that religion ought to give, but 
doesn't. Light? Some new light to give every one certainty in 
religion, in belief. Light? 1 ' (p. 84). 

And again : 

* I said to him, " What's the remedy, Sabre? " He said to me, 
" Hapgood, the remedy's the old remedy. The old God. But it's 
more than that. It's Light : more Light. The old revelation was 
good for the old world, and suited to the old world, and told in 
themes of the old world's understanding. Mystical for ages steeped 
in the mystical ; poetic for minds receptive of nothing beyond story 
and allegory and parable. We want a. new revelation in terms of the 
new world's understanding. We want light, light ! Do you suppose 
a man who lives on meat is going to find sustenance in bread and 
milk? Do you suppose an age that knows wireless and can fly is 
going to find spiritual sustenance in the food of an age that thought 
thunder was God speaking? Man's done with it. It mean's nothing 
to him. He turns all that's in him to get all he wants out of this 
world and let the next go hang . . . But I tell you, Hapgood, that 
plumb down in the crypt and abyss of every man's soul is a hunger, 
a craving for other food than this earthly stuff. And the churches 
know it, and instead of reaching down to him what he wants light, 
light instead of that, they invite him to dancing and picture shows, 



482 THE MODERN CHURCHMAN 

and you're a jolly good fellow . . . Why, man, he can get all that 
outside the churches and get it better. Light, light ! He wants 
light, Hapgood. And the padres come down and drink beer with 
him, and watch boxing matches with him, and sing music-hall songs 
with him, and dance and jazz with him, and call it making Religion 
a Living Thing in the Lives of the People. Lift the hearts of the 
people to God, they say, by shewing them that religion is not in- 
compatible with having a jolly fine time. And there's no God there 
that a man can understand for him to be lifted to. ... A man would 
not care what he had to give up if he knew he was making for some- 
thing inestimably precious. But he doesn't know. Light, light . . . 
that's what he wants; and the longer it's withheld the lower he'll 
sink. Light ! Light ! ' (pp. 255-6). 

The meaning of this is clear enough. Mark Sabre feels 
deep down the need of religion, and he also feels the incredi- 
bility and the impossibility of religion as presented to him in the 
traditional form. The fact that the padres sugar their pill with 
the sweets of popular amusements and popular manners does 
not make it any more palatable or possible for him to swallow 
it. He feels the need of religion, but he insists on reality in 
religion. The old religion must somehow be brought up-to- 
date. Light and certainty are what he demands. 

We turn now to the other novel Peradventure, by Robert 
Keable. This book has been compared to Mrs. Humphry 
Ward's Robert Elsmere. It is slighter, but it has need to be. 
The twentieth century novel reader is intellectually and morally 
lighter than the nineteenth. 

Its hero, Paul Kestern a religious, emotional, young man 
passes through a series of religious phases. He begins by 
being an enthusiastic, whole-hearted Evangelical. Next he 
becomes an ardent Ariglo-Catholic, and very nearly enters the 
Roman Church. He pursues his spiritual pilgrimage, and 
when the story ends he has discarded institutional Christianity 

its dogmatic system and its conventional ethical standards 

have ceased to have any authority for him. His last Gospel 
seems not to be the Gospel of the Cross, but the Gospel of 
Beauty. At least, it is a Gospel which is not world-renouncing. 
It is the Gospel of the humanist ; certainly it is not the Gospel 
of the monk. It is a Gospel which finds its heaven here and 
now and troubles not about the hereafter. The best expres- 
sion of it in the author's words is as follows : 

* A gospel that origins and ends don't matter and that we ought 

to be influenced by them not at all ; that God is veiled, but the veil 

is good ; that we are kin to all that is; that barriers are of our own 



IF AND PERADVENTURE 483 

making ; that the urge of life within us is our guide ; and that 
moralities and revelations and false spiritualities have themselves 
made sin. And . . . that the true spiritual life consists in the pursuit 
of learning, experience, and beauty, according to vocation, without 
fear and for themselves alone ' (pp. 300-1). 

A nobler and more philosophical expression of it is found 
in a citation from Richard Lewis Nettleship. He wrote : 

* The only strength for me is to be found in the sense of a personal 
presence everywhere, it scarcely matters whether it be called human 
or divine. . . . Into this presence we come, not by leaving behind 
what are usually called earthly things, or by loving them less, but 
by living more intensely in them, and loving more what is really 
lovable in them ; for it is literally true that this world is everything 
to us, if only we choose to make it so, if only we " live in the 
present" because it is eternity. 1 

Another aspect of it is expressed in a letter of the poet 
Keats : 

' I am certain of nothing but of the holiness of the heart's affec- 
tions, and the truth of imagination.' 3 

Another aspect of it is expressed in Matthew Arnold's 
Memorial Verses on Goethe : 

' He said the end is everywhere, 
Art still has truth, take refuge there.' 

Paul Kestern's final religion seems at first sight to have 
advanced little beyond that of the writer of Eccles'iastes 
(200 B.C.). It might be summed up in the words of the 
Preacher : 

' Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth ; and let thy heart cheer 

thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine heart, 

and in the sight of thine eyes : but know thou, that for all these 

things God shall bring thee into judgment.' 

Peradventure is Eccles'iastes brought up-to-date, but by the 
omission of that sinister sting of ' judgment to come ' which 
protrudes through its cheery invitation to present enjoyment. 3 
Yet we must be careful not to do Robert Keable's hero an 
injustice. He is preaching not merely a Gospel of Beauty and 
of Enjoyment. His is a Gospel which includes high en- 
deavour and noble service it is the Epicureanism of Epi- 
curus, not of some of his disciples, but so far as God is con- 
cerned, Paul Kestern knows nothing for certain. It is all 
summed up by the title : Peradventure. 

1 Lectures and Memories, Vol. I, p. 72. 2 Letters, Nov. 22, 1817. 

3 Some of our O.T. critics think these admonitory passages were inter- 
polated by a later hand. 



484 THE MODERN CHURCHMAN 

Thus, indirectly, Robert Keable's book answers the demand 
of A. J. M. Hutchinson's hero. Mark Sabre demands certainty 
in religion. Paul Kestern has come to the conclusion that 
there is no such thing as certainty in religion : it is all a perad- 
venture. Is there, then, no way of reconciling these two? 
There most certainly is. We find ourselves in agreement with 
both of them. Robert Keable is right in this : the existence of 
God is a great peradventure. We cannot prove it to demonstra- 
tion. A future life is a great peradventure. We cannot 
prove it to demonstration, and so with all the great moral and 
spiritual values they are like Bank of England notes, their 
value depends upon an ' if/ Whilst England is England 
the Bank of England notes are all right, and whilst the King- 
dom of Heaven is a reality the moral and spiritual values are 
all right but there is an ' if/ We must admit that. 

Yet we are altogether with Mark Sabre. We cannot do with 
obscurantism in our religion. A religion which we feel is 
based on false science, doubtful history, dubious arguments 
is a religion that can give us but little support and 
strength. It cannot carry us victorious through seductive 
temptation; it cannot inspire us with a hope full of immor- 
tality; it cannot give us inner strength, and joy, and peace. 
We must have certainty in our religion yes, and we must 
have light. To have a religion which fears the light ; a religion 
which cannot bear looking into; well that sort of religion is 
a religion to be ashamed of : it is not the kind of religion to 
which a modern-minde'd man can be loyal. This is quite evi- 
dent. Many men and women to-day have done with the 
Church because it seems unable to give them the religion which 
they need and know they need. They want light and they 
get obscurantism : they want certainty and they are offered 
credulity. Yet is not this a necessity when Robert Keable 
expresses the whole religious position by the word Peradven- 
ture? Not at all. The Christian Religion "is a Peradventure 
with the emphasis not on the per but on the adventure : it is in 
fact a great adventure. It is a working hypothesis. You 
begin with an uncertainty, but as you advance on the right 
road you advance in assurance. The situation gradually 
clears up. St. Paul himself recognised this element of un- 
certainty. In writing to the 'Corinthians, he said : ' Here we 



IF AND PERADVENTURE 485 

see through a glass darkly ' or as some would translate it : 
1 Here we see in a mirror in a riddle ' ; but in the last extant 
letter he wrote, he says this : ' I know Him in whom I have be- 
lieved, and I am persuaded that He is able to guard that which 
I have committed unto Him against that day/ (II Tim. i, 12.) 
The Christian Religion is a call to noble endeavour, to high 
adventure for God : the call of faith comes to men as it came 
to Abraham, who went out not knowing whither he went. He 
heard God's call : the call of the spiritual world ; the call 
of whatsoever things are just, pure, lovely, and of good report; 
the call of that God whose nature he shared and who was cal- 
ling him to be with Him and to serve Him. If that call be 
obeyed, that spiritual world from which it came becomes 
clearer. Assurance grows and ' the called of God ' advance 
towards certainty. Hence the Christian life because it is not 
a static thing, but a dynamic thing ; a progress, not a stand-still ; 
begins with uncertainty but ends with certainty that is if it 
be lived in loyalty to the Divine Will. But the certainty which 
it progressively imparts 'comes through life not through logic' ; 
it comes through experience not through argument. Argument 
does not take us very far. 

* Myself when young did eagerly frequent 
Doctor and saint and heard great argument 
About it and about, but ever more 
Came out by the same door wherein I went.' 

It is this attitude, the recognition that we are living by 
a working hypothesis, that we cannot claim absolute certainty, 
though we ought to be advancing towards it, which is certainly 
a distinctive note of Modernism. It is summed up for us in 
Dr. Illingworth's golden saying : 

' The Christian Religion refuses to be proved first and practised 

afterwards, its practice and its proof go hand in hand.' 

But when we speak of the Christian Religion, let us be sure 
what we mean by the Christian Religion. It is the religion of 
Jesus Christ Himself the religion of the Lord's Prayer, the 
religion of the Beatitudes, the religion of the Two Great 
Commandments which bid us love God and our neighbour 
whole-heartedly. It is not much, if any, of the dogmatic and 
ecclesiastical impedimenta of the Churches which we can hope 
to prove by Christian faith and Christian endeavour : it is only 
the very essence of the Gospel but that is enough. 



486 THE MODERN CHURCHMAN 

A CENTURY OF ANGLICAN THEOLOGY 

in relation to the general movement of 
European Thought* 

By C. C. J. WEBB, M.A., Hon. LL.D., Oriel Professor of the 
Philosophy of the Christian Religion, Oxford. 

II. 

These papers are specially concerned with the last hundred 
years : but in dealing with the thought of any period, it is always 
necessary to cast one's eye upon that of the preceding period 
also; and I will accordingly ask your attention to a few re- 
marks about some general tendencies of European thought 
during the age embracing the later eighteenth and earlier nine- 
teenth centuries, the age which was signalized by the Declara- 
tion of American Independence, the French Revolution and 
the career of the great Napoleon. 

An English scholar of the seventeenth century, William 
Cave, in writing a History of Ecclesiastical Literature, gave to 
the successive ages with which he was called upon to deal, 
names indicative of what is most memorable in each : thus he 
calls the first century of our era the Saeculum Apostolicum, 
the fourth the Saeculum Arianum, the thirteenth the Saeculum 
Scholasticum, the sixteenth (the last with which he deals) the 
Saeculum Reformatum, and so with the rest. An author I 
quoted in my last lecture, Mark Pattison, has suggested that 
on the same principle the eighteenth century might well be 
called the Saecidum Rationalisticum. My first task will be to 
call your attention to the tendency to what is called Rationalism, 
here noted as characteristic of that century, as a preface to an 
account of a reaction against it which, felt all over Europe in 
one shape or another, is represented in Anglican theology by 
the Evangelical movement, a movement which at the date from 
which my survey is supposed to start a hundred years ago 
had indeed to some extent spent its first force, but was still 
probably the most vital spiritual power in the religious life of 
the Church of England. 

^Delivered as lectures to Clergy of the Diocese of Oxford, 1921. 



A CENTURY OF ANGLICAN THEOLOGY 487 

In every age in which the passion for knowledge is alive, 
we may expect to find some one science or group of sciences 
dominant, by which the best intellect of the time is attracted 
and by which the view of the world taken by cultivated men is 
coloured. The dominant intellectual interest of the seventeenth 
and earlier eighteenth centuries may, I think, be said to have 
been the interest of mathematical science. This was the age 
of Galileo, of Descartes, of Pascal, of Newton, of Leibnitz, all 
of them men of great mathematical genius. Now it was natural 
that this dominant intellectual interest of the time should show 
itself in a widespread passion for that clearness and distinction 
which belong especially to mathematical ideas; and in a ten- 
dency to leave out of account whatever in experience may seem 
to be incapable of being set out in the clear, consecutive and 
convincing form which is proper to mathematical proof. The 
chief philosophers of the period from Bacon to Leibnitz we 
find accordingly dreaming of a presentation of moral and meta- 
physical truth after a mathematical fashion which, by the use 
of precise definitions and the observation of such an ordered 
system of thinking as we find in Euclid, should lead to ethical 
and metaphysical conclusions as certain and as capable of win- 
ning universal assent as the conclusions of arithmetic and geo- 
metry. These elements of reality, and especially those elements 
of human life which do not readily emerge into the full light 
of consciousness, are in such a period in danger of being neg- 
lected. The State, for example, is thought of as deliberately 
made by a social contract, rather than, after a fashion more 
familiar to us, as, like an organism, ' growing secretly/ It is 
attempted to make religion reasonable by the omission or, at 
least, relegation to the background of what is paradoxical and 
remote from ordinary ways of thinking such as, for example, 
the doctrines of the Trinity in the Godhead, or of salvation by 
the blood of Christ's atoning sacrifice. Morality is, indeed, 
brought into prominence relatively to religion because, in con- 
trast with the mystery of religious dogmas and their failure to 
win acknowledgment outside a restricted circle, the intuitions 
of conscience are comparatively clear, and the main principles 
of distinction between right and wrong are generally accepted. 
There is everywhere a tendency to attend to what is done openl) 



4 88 THE MODERN CHURCHMAN 

in the full light of consciousness and a corresponding tendency 
to disregard in comparison with this those dark roots of ex- 
perience in the subconscious and unconscious regions of 
spiritual life, which we are in our days rather in danger of over- 
emphasizing than of forgetting. 

It must not, of course, be overlooked that during all the 
period, throughout which a certain neglect of these dark roots 
of spiritual experience was dominant, there were witnesses to 
the importance of the consideration of them. At the very begin- 
ning of it, in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth century, 
there were great mystics with a profound sense of these : the 
greatest names among them were those of a Roman Catholic, 
the Spanish Carmelite, St. John of the Cross, and a Lutheran, 
the Silesian shoemaker, Jakob Boehme. A century after the 
latter's death, a great Anglican, William Law, the author of 
what is, perhaps, among devotional books written by members 
of the Church of England, the one which can most plausibly 
be described as a work of genius, I mean The Serious Call, a 
saint and a thinker, and one of the best prose writers of his day, 
introduced into this country the doctrines of Boehme, or, as he 
was generally called in England, Behmen. Somewhat later, a 
very different man, also a great Anglican, Joseph Butler, Bishop 
of Durham, insisted in his famous Analogy on the point that 
what is generally called Deism the belief, widely held in his 
day, that a thoughtful survey of Nature might lead to a belief 
in a wise and good God, unembarrassed by the difficulties which 
beset the doctrines of -historical Christianity would after all 
not fulfil its promises just because it ignored the difficulties 
for example, the waste of life involved in the course of what 
men had not then learnt to call the ' struggle for existence '- 
which would perplex any thorough-going seeker for God in the 
facts of nature, no less than the mysteries of revelation per- 
plexed the enquirer into the doctrines of Christianity. Even 
among the great mathematical thinkers themselves, there were 
not lacking signs of protests against the rationalism which con- 
centration on mathematical and physical studies had fostered. 
Thus we have Pascal's saying that the heart has its reasons 
which the reason does not know. And if rationalism, fostered by 
mathematical and physical studies, led, as it doubtless did, to 



A CENTURY OF ANGLICAN THEOLOGY 489 

neglect of the region of spiritual life which lies below the thresh- 
hold of consciousness, one of the greatest mathematicians and 
philosophers of the age, Leibnitz, was led by his interest as a 
mathematician in the thought of continuity to insist upon the 
existence of such a subconscious region, continuous with our 
conscious life ; and so to point the way in which, in latter days, 
so many psychologists have followed him in the exploration of 
this obscure background from which our conscious life seems 
to emerge, as the islands in the sea are in truth peaks of sub- 
marine mountain ranges overtopping the level below which the 
greater part of the chain is permanently sunk. 

There were, however, more or less isolated exceptions to 
the general rule that, during the seventeenth and eighteenth 
centuries, it was what was clear and distinct and orderly and 
able to give a good account of itself before the tribunal of good 
sense and calm judgment that appealed to the general temper 
of the time. What is mysterious, strange, weird, inexpressible 
in language has little attraction for those imbued with the 
rationalistic temper; at the best it might amuse an idle hour. 
* Enthusiasm ' is with them a term of reproach, suggesting only 
extravagance and a want of self-control. But no one familiar 
with the history of ideas will be surprised to find that as the 
Saeculum Rationalisticum (to use Pattison's name for the 
period) went on, there began to reveal itself side by side with 
this exclusive delight in what can be clearly and distinctly con- 
ceived, with this tendency to limit the sphere of Reason to what, 
being highly abstract, most easily permits itself to be thus clearly 
and distinctly conceived (for example, the quantities and mag- 
nitudes studied by mathematicians), with this comparative neg- 
lect of the obscure and the subconscious as being irrational 
rather than as being provocative of more hardy attempts of 
Reason to master the less amenable material which they offered 
to its consideration, an exactly opposite tendency. This was 
a tendency to insist on the supreme value of feeling or senti- 
ment, and brought about at last a real danger that all care for 
what is rational or sensible should be submerged by a flood of 
emotion. This tendency manifested itself first in a succession 
of religious movements with a strongly-marked emotional side 
in the Protestant world in Pietism, Moravianism, Methodism, 



490 THE MODERN CHURCHMAN 

and in the Roman Catholic Church in the rise of the devotion of 
the Sacred Heart, originating in the visions of a French nun 
of the late seventeenth century, the Blessed Marie-Marguerite 
Alacoque, the imagery connected with which devotion reminds 
us so closely of that to be found in the hymns produced by 
the more or less contemporary movements in the Protestant 
Churches. 

At last this tendency, which I may call for short ' senti- 
mental/ without implying by that word any criticism of it, but 
only that it lays its principal stress upon feeling as contrasted 
with reason; this ( sentimental ' tendency revealed itself as a 
great intellectual force in Jean Jacques Rousseau. There is to 
be found in Lord Morley's book upon Rousseau a very interest- 
ing account of his far-reaching influence upon every depart- 
ment of the spiritual life of Europe. I will here confine myself 
to the theological aspects of this influence, before coming to 
exhibit the Evangelical movement in the Church of England as 
the Anglican representation of the tendency for which Rous- 
seau stands in the general history of European thought. And I 
will also add to what I have to say about Rousseau himself 
something about certain developments of his principles which 
we may associate respectively with the French Revolution, for 
which Rousseau did so much to pave the way : with the moral 
philosophy of Kant, upon which Rousseau exercised, as Kant 
tells us, in a certain way a decisive influence : and with the 
work of the poet Goethe in the next generation. To both these 
developments something corresponding may be observed in 
the Evangielicalism which in Anglican theology reflects the 
whole movement of which Rousseau is in general literature the 
central figure. 

The contrast between the civilized state and a state of 
nature which might be supposed to lie behind it was a very old 
one; but it had not always been understood in the same way. 
The English philosopher Hobbes in the seventeenth century 
had described the state of nature as 'poor, nasty, solitary, 
brutish, short' in other words, as a mere animal existence. 
Rousseau and his followers were, on the other hand, disposed 
to regard it as better than civilization had come to be. Hence the 
new movement ran counter to the preference which, in the pre- 



A CENTURY OF ANGLICAN THEOLOGY 491 

ceding age, the Age of Rationalism, as I called it, men generally 
felt for what is cultivated and civilized over what is undomesti- 
cated and wild ; and we may note that this might seem to bring 
it into line with the theological tradition which had regarded 
the history of civilization as beginning in a fall from innocence, 
and had refused to allow that human nature could expect to 
attain perfection by making the best of its own resources, and 
asserted its absolute need of a supply from without of super- 
natural grace. The tradition, although out of sympathy with 
the prevailing tone of the Age of Rationalism with its confid- 
ence in Reason, its satisfaction with the gifts of civilization, 
was by no means new. It had indeed during that period been 
especially emphasized by the Calvinists in the Protestant 
Churches and by the Jansenists in the Roman Catholic Church 
in opposition to what seemed to them the acquiescence of 
Arminians and of Jesuits in the prevailing tendency to exalt 
unduly the native powers of humanity and the value of what 
was achieved by these alone. But this theological tradition was 
in opposition to this prevailing tendency, and the comparative 
depreciation of the results of civilization by Rousseau might, as 
I said, seem to reinforce it in so far as this also saw in the 
actual history of civilization the story of a corruption rather 
than of an improvement. But it could not be said that its em- 
phasis on the need of divine grace or its requirement of the 
conviction of sin as the first step to be taken in the spiritual life 
was reinforced by the new philosophy. Rather that philosophy 
was marked by reticence upon and a trust in the native instincts 
of that human heart which the sterner schools of theology had 
regarded as ' desperately wicked/ Despite this great differ- 
ence, however, between the tradition of Christian theology and 
the teaching associated with the name of Rousseau, it is here 
(as Lord Morley points out in the book to which I have already 
referred) that he was a pioneer of religious revival. Voltaire 
and the deists of the generation before Rousseau had believed 
in a God (you may still see at Ferney the church which, as the 
inscription on its portico proclaims, Deo Erexit Voltaire) whom 
it was indeed reasonable and right to honour, but with whom 
no intimate communion was to be enjoyed. Rousseau's con- 
ception of God may indeed have been no less vague : but God 



492 THE MODERN CHURCHMAN 

was for him an object of ecstatic emotion. He could lie mur- 

A A 

muring O Grand Eire, Grand Eire, rapt in feelings of adora- 
tion which would have been foolishness to Voltaire. Appear- 
ing when and where it did, this new kind of piety showed that 
one must either pass beyond the cold deism of Voltaire to the 
open atheism of some of the Encyclopaedists, or with Rousseau 
to a more intimate realization in feeling of a Divinity which, 
as a mere inference from the order of nature, was rapidly fading 
from men's view. Rousseau stands for the sentiment of God, 
as he does also for the sentiment of Nature, but rather for senti- 
ment in both cases than for effort to know either. Thus the two 
great contemporaries, born in the same year, 1770, the German 
philosopher Hegel and the English poet Wordsworth alike 
pre-suppose Rousseau, but pass beyond him in an effort to know 
what Rousseau did but feel. 

The great French Revolution (which was not only a French 
Revolution) may be from one point of view regarded as the 
explosion of the combined forces of Rationalism and its oppo- 
site and successor, Sentimentalism forces typified respectively 
by two great writers, Voltaire and Rousseau. Rationalism, -with 
its emphasis on clear and distinct understanding, its neglect 
of obscure processes of growth and development, its corres- 
ponding indifference to tradition, had undermined genuine be- 
lief in the political and religious traditions which were em- 
bodied in the structure of Church and State. But by itself 
Rationalism was too careless of sentiment in general to afford 
a substitute for the sentiments which the traditional order of 
society had created. It was, on the whole, aristocratic, for clear 
and distinct understanding is plainly for the few and not for the 
common mass of men; it did not therefore aim at disturbing 
the ideas of the people at large, who were perhaps only to be 
kept in order by the help of superstitious beliefs in rewards and 
penalties supposed to be entailed by obedience or disobedience 
to laws whose true ground they could not be' expected to appre- 
ciate. The Rationalist's very lack of sympathy with the dogmas 
of the established religion made him powerless, and not very 
desirous, to disturb their hold over those who were not guided 
by reason. 

The Sentimentalism of Rousseau, though in a way the very 



A CENTURY OF ANGLICAN THEOLOGY 493 

opposite of this Rationalism, came in to complete what it had 
left incomplete. Just as the sentiment of Nature, of man's 
natural equality, was able to take the heart out of an interested 
belief in aristocratic superiority which Rationalism had already 
deprived of any convincing sanctions, so too the sentiment of 
undogmatic religion was able to touch with a certain enthusiasm 
the alienation of men from an established system in the truth 
of the principles underlying which they themselves, and not 
only they but even many of the official representatives of the 
established system itself, had ceased to have any convinced be- 
lief. An order of society, then, in Church and State alike, which 
neither in belief nor yet in feeling had a serious faith in itself, 
was bound to go down before the rationalistic belief in an ab- 
stract theory to which the traditional institutions by no means 
corresponded, as soon as this belief in the abstract theory was 
reinforced by the sentiment for human equality and the com- 
mon nature of man, in which high and low were alike. We must 
think, then, of Rousseau's teaching for our present purpose to- 
gether with the revolutionary consequences of that teaching, 
consequences which were dependent upon an abstract theory of 
human equality, a sentiment for the common nature of man, 
which led to impatience with the historical institutions which 
had produced distinctions whether social, national or racial 
among those who shared in that nature, and which it was thought 
must be swept away or, at any rate, allowed to decay and left 
to die if that common nature was to attain to its full natural 
expression. 

I said that there were other developments of Rousseau's 
teaching on which I wished to say a word before proceeding to 
show how the Evangelical movement in Anglican theology re- 
flected this Sentimentalist movement developments which I 
associated with the names of Kant and Goethe respectively. 

Kant tells us himself that he was by natural bent a scientific 
enquirer or researcher, and began by despising the common folk 
who had no part in the pursuit of learning and knowledge to 
which his own life was devoted; but that he was convinced by 
the study of Rousseau to abandon this overwhelming estimate 
of the dignity of his own special vocation and to learn rever- 
ence for the common humanity which binds us to all, whether 



494 THE MODERN CHURCHMAN 

high or low, who possess the simple consciousness of duty, as 
distinct from and, it may be, opposed to, inclination. It is, how- 
ever, to be noted that this sense of a common humanity takes 
in Kant, in accordance with the peculiarity of his personal char- 
acter, the form of an austere respect for duty rather than the 
form of benevolent sentiment ; yet we have his own word for it 
that the great master of sentiment, Rousseau, was his master 
here : and it is not without significance that, as the movement 
which culminated in Rousseau had, before Rousseau's day, 
taken a religious form in the Pietism of Germany (of which 
our English Methodism and, through Methodism, our English 
Evangelicalism, were direct decendants), it was in a Pietistic 
household that Kant had been brought up, and an eminent Pie- 
tistic clergyman had been the first person of superior position 
to interest himself in the saddler's boy who was to become the 
most illustrious thinker of modern times. And though there 
remained very little of the Pietist in the mature Kant, either as 
regards opinion or as regards sentiment, yet the depth and 
strength of his moral experience, the witness of which no diffi- 
culty in reconciling the freedom which it required with the deter- 
minism no less decidedly postulated by our scientific investi- 
gations could avail to make him doubt for a moment, may well 
have owed something to what his schoolfellow, the classical 
scholar Ruhnken, writing to Kant after both had become 
famous, calls ' that harsh, yet useful and by no means to be re- 
gretted, discipline which we underwent from the fanatics/ 

The poet Goethe indeed considered it Kant's great service, 
by his insistence on duty rather than on feeling, to have lifted 
his cultivated countrymen from the slough of sentimentality 
into which, to a great extent under the influence of Rousseau's 
writings, they had been sinking. This sentimentality had taken 
in the second generation a profoundly pessimistic form in 
English literature we may take the poet Byron as the type 
of this development and Goethe, who had known by ex- 
perience the sense of dissatisfaction and despair which it en- 
gendered, had purged himself of it by writing the Sorrows of 
Werther, a story of love and suicide, suggested by the actual 
life and death of a young contemporary of his own under the 
influence of an indulged melancholy of this kind, induced in 



A CENTURY OF ANGLICAN THEOLOGY 495 

his case by a hopeless passion for another man's wife. We must 
remember, then, that we must associate with the general ten- 
dency of thought and feeling to which I have attached the name 
of Rousseau, and which I propose to show you was echoed in 
Anglican theology by the Evangelical movement, not only the 
sentiment of Rousseau himself for Nature and for a God im- 
manent in Nature, but also the indifference to history which was 
so markedly manifested both in the political ideals of the revo- 
lutionary period and in the moral philosophy of Kant. For 
Kant dwells upon our common nature as rational beings, and 
the duty which belongs to us as such, and takes little account 
of the different standards characteristic of different stages of 
historical nationalities; or again, of the historical process 
through which men have been brought to a realization of their 
common humanity or the conscience has been matured to the 
point at which it would respond to Kant's teaching about the 
' categorical imperative ' or unconditional command of duty. And 
besides this again we have to remember, as a feature of the 
general tendency which the Evangelical movement represents 
in Anglican theology, that vivid realization of the disappoint- 
ment and vanity of life which is so often caused by reaction 
from highly-strung sentiment, and which obtained literary em- 
bodiment in Goethe's Sorrows of W erther as well as in much 
of the poetry of Byron. 

Let us now turn at last to the Evangelical movement in the 
Church of England, and see how the various features of the 
great spiritual movement of the age are there represented. 

It is obvious, in the first place, that this Evangelicalism re- 
acts against the rationalism of the period in which it arose by 
its emphasis on feeling, on the heart. ' Lord/ says the poel 
of the movement, ' it is my chief complaint, that my love is 
weak and faint.' A new stress is laid on conversion, less as a 
changed course of conduct than as a conscious difference of atti- 
tude towards God; sacramental incorporation into the Church 
and intellectual conviction of the truth of Christianity are second- 
ary to the first-hand experience which is attested by the crushing 
sense of sin, the personal response to the offer of salvation, the 
inward assurance of pardon, which marked the stages of the 
spiritual drama of the individual sinner's reconciliation to God 



496 THE MODERN CHURCHMAN 

in Christ. It would, of course, be absurd to suppose that these 
things were unknown before the end of the eighteenth century, 
or are only found in those whom one would call Evangelicals in 
theology. But unquestionably these things stand out for 
Evangelicalism, as they do not for other forms of Christian 
piety, as the distinctive features of the religious life; unques- 
tionably there was, at the period of which I am speaking, a re- 
discovery of their importance in which we cannot but recognize 
the form taken by the sentimental revolt against rationalism in 
the minds of those children of the age for whom religion, rather 
than science or art or politics, was the principal interest of life. 
I have already quoted some lines of Cowper, the sweetest 
singer of English Evangelicalism. Do we not see in his sad 
despair, to which he gave such memorable and terrible ex- 
pression in his poem of the Castaway, something akin to the 
ungliickliche Bewusstsein, ' the unhappy consciousness ' as the 
philosopher Hegel was afterwards to call such states of mind, 
which brought into fashion such suicide as that of Jerusalem, 
the original of Goethe's Werther, and which breathes in the 
pages of Senancour's Obermann (the deep impression made by 
which our Matthew Arnold has commemorated in two well-known 
poems, In Memory of the Author of Obermann and Obermann 
Once More), or again in those of the Rene of the great French 
prose poet Chateaubriand? There is indeed a true kinship 
between the gentle recluse of Olney and these sad spirits, but 
yet, even though the disordered intellect of Cowper fastening on 
the fearful dogma which he had learned from his Calvinistic 
teachers made him in theory the most hopeless of them all, his 
sincere piety in fact touches his melancholy with a sort of gentle 
radiance which that of his less religious fellows lacks : 
' Sometimes a light surprises 

The Christian when he sing's : 

It is the Lord who rises 

With healingf in his wings.' 

To the Evangelical, in the famous phrase of Newman, who in 
his Apologia fully acknowledges his debt to the Evangelical 
teaching under which he received his earliest religious impres- 
sions, the ' two, and two only, supreme and luminous self- 
evident beings ' were himself and his Creator. A certain indi- 
vidualism of outlook arising from preoccupation with the inner 




A CENTURY OF ANGLICAN THEOLOGY 497 

drama of one's own spiritual life is another feature in which 
Evangelicalism reflects the character of the great movement of 
which Rousseau is the literary protagonist; and with this 
individualism of outlook goes a lack of interest in the indi- 
vidual's historical setting and antecedents, and a consequent 
general lack of historical perspective which, as we have already 
seen, characterized the political ideals of the Revolution and 
the moral philosophy of Kant, and which is no less evident in 
some conspicuous features of Evangelical theology; for in- 
stance, in its tendency to isolate the Scriptures, to disparage the 
authority of ecclesiastical tradition, and to belittle the mediation 
of the Church. 

Such individualism of outlook must not, however, be re- 
garded as implying egoism or selfishness. No doubt selfish- 
ness may have sometimes clothed itself in the forms of Evange- 
lical piety as in other disguises which lay ready to its hand, but 
the natural result of Evangelical individualism was not selfish- 
ness but rather a passionate love of individual souls. The 
great outburst of missionary zeal which marked the beginning 
of the nineteenth century, the abolition of the slave-trade, the 
Factory Acts, associated respectively with the names of Carey 
and Martyn, of Wilberforce and of Shaftesbury are a sufficient 
proof of this. No movement has been richer in works of prac- 
tical philanthropy than Evangelicalism. And here too once 
more it is true to the general character of the wider movement 
with which it is historically connected, while touching it with a 
religious fervour which it has elsewhere sometimes lacked. We 
have seen how the study of Rousseau converted Kant to a re- 
spect for all men, simple as well as learned, which found ex- 
pression in his ethical doctrine that we are ' to treat humanity 
in our own person, or in that of another, always as an end and 
never merely as a means ' ; and we have seen, too, how the 
same Rousseau's teaching fired the zeal of the French revolu- 
tionaries for the rights of man. The politics of English Evange- 
licalism were marked by a characteristically English sobriety 
and conservatism which had little in common with the violence 
and radicalism of continental republicanism ; but the two were 
less apart in their ultimate inspiration than their respective fol- 
lowers would have readily allowed. And indeed it is not at all 



498 THE MODERN CHURCHMAN 

my intention to suggest in this account of the relation of 
Evangelicalism to the European movement with which I have 
brought it into connexion, that its kinship with that movement 
was something of which Evangelicals or their leaders were for 
the most part aware. The names of Rousseau and of Kant 
would to the majority of them have been the names of danger- 
ous enemies of the truth they prized; the former would have 
been familiar, but execrated; the latter unfamiliar but, so far 
as known, thought of as belonging to a world outside the circle 
of those who shared an experience which was to them the one 
pearl of great price, and which they were too apt to think in- 
separable from certain ways of thinking and speaking which 
they had come to regard as its necessary tokens and evidences. 
But I have already pointed out in my first lecture that the 
isolation characteristic of Anglican theology often comes out 
in the fact that it echoes world movements without intending 
to do so or being aware that it does so. We shall see this illus- 
trated again in the history of the next great movement, that 
which has often been named the Oxford Movement, because it 
is at Oxford that it first found an articulate voice in The 
Christian Y ear and the Tracts for the Times. 



THE PROPHETIC MINISTRY OF THE 
NEW REFORMATION 

By the Rev. R. MEIKLEJOHN, B.D., LL.B. 

IT is a significant fact that the pulpit has, in these latter days, 
ceased to dominate the minds of men. It may be questioned 
if it even seriously influences them, except perhaps in a few 
specially favoured places, where preachers of personality and 
power may still be found. The age of sermons has passed away 
and the age of ceremonies has succeeded it. The multitudes 
no longer sit at the feet of the prophet, thrilled by his impas- 
sioned earnestness, moved by the manifestly divine quality of 
his message. They have now no splendid vision of God, no 
true appreciation of the grandeur of human life. They are no 
longer stirred by deep emotions or attracted by high ideals. 
They are possessed of no definite religious convictions, they are 
capable of no sustained spiritual effort. The cause of this dis- 



THE PROPHETIC MINISTRY 499 

tressful condition is sufficiently obvious even to the most casual 
observer. The prophetic line is extinct. There is no one whose 
teaching is of authority. The great mass of the accredited 
teachers of religion is infected with Scribism. Where there is 
no vision the people perish. 

The fact is to be regretted, for even the most hardened 
sacerdotalist can scarcely deny to the ministry of the Word a 
co-equal dignity with the ministry of the Sacraments. And in- 
deed, whatever theoretic equality may exist, it is an indubitable 
fact that the prophet has always exercised an incomparably 
greater influence upon the minds of men than has the priest. 
Those priests who have most moved their contemporaries have 
done so, not by the splendid pageantry of their services, not by 
the solemn symbolism of their altars, but by the moving inspira- 
tion of their spoken word. They have achieved success only in 
so far as they have merged the priestly in the prophetic office, 
only when they have deliberately sacrificed the sacerdotal vest- 
ment, and with it the sacerdotal mind, for the raiment of earners 
hair and the mind of the man of God. 

The gradual process by which the prophet is being elimi- 
nated, the slow decay of the preaching ministry, will, unless it 
is speedily arrested, prove fatal to the vital and vitalizing life 
of the Church. The prophetic mind is creative; the priestly 
mind is merely imitative. The prophet strives to make all 
things new ; the priest is restrained by the icy grip of the dead 
hand reaching out from a dark and distant past. The prophet 
pursues a great ideal with unswerving directness, deathless 
courage, and unquenchable hope ; the priest runs round in hope- 
less circles like the traveller lost in the desert. It is in the re- 
vival, therefore, of the prophetic office that the salvation of 
the Church is to be found. It is by diligent study and per- 
suasive preaching, rather than by sumptuous services and sen- 
suous music that the clergy of the Church must regain their 
hold upon the men of the world. The ministry of the Word 
must come into its own, or the Church, as a human institution, 
will cease to exist. 

Unfortunately the party which is now dominant in the eccle- 
siastical world tends to minimize the importance of sound and 
effective preaching. High Anglicanism is almost exclusively 
interested in the magnification of the sacramental idea. The 



500 THE MODERN CHURCHMAN 

altar, rather than the pulpit, is the centre of its universe. The 
service of the sanctuary is to its clergy the great duty of their 
lives. The sermon is a matter of minor importance. 

Such is the attitude of the most influential party in the Eng- 
lish Church at a time when, more urgently than ever before, 
the world is seeking for spiritual leadership. It might perhaps 
be imagined that, through the default of High Anglicanism, the 
party which stands at the opposite pole of the ecclesiastical 
world would supply the pressing need of a preaching ministry. 
Evangelicalism has never been sacerdotal or excessively sacra- 
mental, and has always cherished the prophetic tradition and 
honoured the prophetic office. A hundred years ago the Evange- 
licals were, perhaps, the strongest force within the Church. The 
Wesleyan revival had been their inspiration, and within the 
limitations of the Establishment they had adopted something 
of the Wesleyan method and achieved much of the Wesleyan 
success. If their clergy preached almost exclusively upon one 
Christian doctrine, determining, with St. Paul, to know only 
Christ and Him crucified, they preached with an impassioned 
sincerity and conviction, which impressed their age no less by 
its earnestness than by its novelty. But the brilliant promise of 
the youth of Evangelicalism has not been fulfilled in its 
maturer years. The reason is not far to seek. Biblical criticism, 
the product of the inquiring mind of the nineteenth century, 
shattered its belief in the literal truth of the Divine Word ; and 
it was upon the literal truth of the Divine Word that the preach- 
ing power of Evangelicalism depended. It was not so much 
disturbed by the destructive criticism of the Old Testament, 
though that was sufficientlv alarming ; but it was grievously dis- 
tressed when of logical necessity the same process of literary 
investigation was applied to the New. It was willing, under 
pressure, to be sceptical about the whale's capacity to swallow 
Jonah ; it refused absolutely to face the far profounder problem 
which centred round the personality of Jesus of Nazareth. And 
so, because it failed to perceive the trend of modern thought, 
it failed, despite its manifest prophetic qualities, to grip the 
modern mind. 

The writer is strongly persuaded that the prophetic ministry 
of the future will be the, product of the third and greatest party* . 



THE PROPHETIC MINISTRY 501 

within the English Church. A modern writer has not unjustly 
observed that ' it is probable that no real revival of religion will 
take place amongst us till the Church has escaped from the 
backwash of the two great ecclesiastical movements of the nine- 
teenth century, the Evangelical and the Tractarian, and re- 
sumed its normal position on the religious curve/ The Liberal 
Party, whose great tradition goes back to the school of Falk- 
land, Hales, Chillingworth and the Cambridge Platonists, is at 
last coming into its own. Liberalism, in the last century, tended 
to further that normal growth in theological science and that 
normal development of ecclesiastical polity which Evange- 
licalism and Tractarianism had almost succeeded in arresting. 
It was manifesting a friendliness for Dissent, which sought to 
reverse the historic blunders of the seventeenth century. It was 
enthusiastic for the wide application of the principles of Christ 
to every national, social, and industrial interest. It exhibited a 
willingness to investigate, in an open, fearless manner, the new 
problems which the development of scientific and literary criti- 
cism was disclosing. But it formed no great party and inaugur- 
ated no far-reaching movement. It was the conviction of very 
many thinking English Churchmen; but it was a conviction felt 
rather than expressed, a habit of thought and life rather than a 
definite statement of opinion and belief. Liberalism was arti- 
culate only in the few ; and those few had to bear the suspicions 
of unprogressive, and the almost vindictive hatred of reaction- 
ary Churchmen. It is the habit of the world, especially of the 
ecclesiastical world, to stone its prophets. 

It was the defect of the Liberal party of the nineteenth 
century that it was not only thus unorganized, but that it was, 
to a very considerable extent, academic, and remote from the 
turmoil and confusions of modern religious life. With a few 
noteworthy exceptions, the great Liberal divines of the nine- 
teenth century were not unlike the great Latitudinarian philo- 
sophers of the seventeenth. They were men of books rather 
than of affairs, leaders in thought rather than captains in action. 
But now, in the present century, Liberalism has emerged from 
the peaceful seclusion of the study to proclaim its gospel in the 
highways and byways and market places of the modern world. 
The long years of preparation have come to an end. The torch 



502 THE MODERN CHURCHMAN 

of learning has been handed on to a younger, more active, more 
enthusiastic generation. Liberalism is massing its ranks and is 
going forth into the battle and the shouting and the dust. It is 
beginning to blaze the trail for mankind to follow into the King- 
dom of God. 

From this younger Liberal party there will arise, within a 
decade or less, a new prophetic school. Through the labours of 
this school, the ministry of the Word will be restored to its 
rightful importance and endued with an effectiveness which, ex- 
cept in isolated instances, it has never possessed before. The 
new prophetic school will be strongly institutional, but it will 
always think of the institution in which the Spirit of Christ is 
embodied, and by which it is expressed, as the Kingdom rather 
than as the Ch^lrch. It will proclaim a conception of the King- 
dom infinitely wider than any existing conception. It will aim 
at an ideal infinitely more spacious and comprehensive than the 
existing ideals of mutually hostile and conflicting denomina- 
tions. It will seek to break down all walls of partition and to 
achieve, amid a diversity of forms and ceremonies and govern- 
ments, that unity of spiritual aim and effort for which Christen- 
dom has always so wistfully yearned and which it has never 
been able to accomplish. It will set its face like flint against 
those who imagine they are serving the God of all mankind by 
perpetuating old and out-worn prejudices or by fomenting nar- 
row and bigoted fanaticisms. 

And yet, since any preaching ministry which is to touch the 
hearts of men must be mystical, the new prophetic school will 
possess the mystical quality. All the great prophets of the past 
have been mystics. They have sought, not only to regenerate 
societies, but to bring individuals into direct and immediate 
touch with God. That is why they have always assessed sacer- 
dotalism at its proper value, and have been more than contemp- 
tuous of the blood of bulls and of goats. The prophet of the 
future will adopt the same method and pursue the same end. 
He will teach his disciples a mature and not a primitive, a 
mystical and not a magical, religion. He will proclaim God 
if we may adapt the words of the Dean of St. Paul's to our 
context 'not as an object, but as an atmosphere. His creed 
will be simplified and intensified. He will preach the power 



THE PROPHETIC MINISTRY 503 

and vitality and intimacy of that spiritual presence, which St. 
Paul called Christ. He will tell men that the Christ of experi- 
ence is at once their moral ideal and the power that transforms 
them according to that ideal ; that the normal development of 
religion culminates in that experience of complete harmony with 
a loving and wise spiritual Power, which St. Paul expresses in 
the simple word : ' For me to live is Christ.' 1 

And, finally, the preaching of the new prophetic school will 
be effective, not only because it will proclaim that moral unity 
for which Christendom longs, not only because it will satisfy, 
simply and directly, the desire of the human heart for God, 
but because it will offer to the inquiring mind a rational pre- 
sentation of the fudamental truths of religion. It is the common 
assertion of the opponents of Liberal Christianity that its 
methods are merely destructive, that, in a sceptical spirit, it 
remorsely seeks to destroy the idea of the Christian Church, 
to mutilate beyond recognition the Christian Bible, and to evac- 
uate of all doctrinal significance the Christian Creeds. The 
assertion is simply untrue. Every Liberal Churchman knows 
that the work to which he is pledged is constructive; that he 
seeks to enlarge the idea of the Christian Church, to re-discover 
the essentially spiritual teaching of the Christian Bible, and to 
re-interpret Christian dogma in a manner which shall confirm 
rather than weaken belief. It is the traditional Church, har- 
dened and fossilized; it is the unexamined and unexplained 
Bible, invested with an impossible, fictitious sanctity; it is the 
stereotyped Creed, placed under an irrational, priestly tabu, 
that repels the thoughtful mind of the present age. The new 
preaching will derive no small part of its power from a frank 
and courageous recognition of these facts. Only when the 
broken ruins of collapsed beliefs are removed can the work of 
reconstruction be begun. 

Already is appearing, surely and unmistakably, the dawn of 
a better day. Like the prodigal, wretchedly poor, desperately 
unhappy, disgusted with past follies, sickened with the futilities 
of a present aimless existence, humanity is coming to itself. In 
a little while the new prophetic line will arise to lead it back 
to God. 

1 Inge, Truth and Falsehood in Religion, p. 89. 



504 THE MODERN CHURCHMAN 



THE ADVENT HOPE* 

I. 

PHE prayers and Scriptures and hymns at our church ser- 
1 vices for Advent are arranged to remind us of Christ's 
return in glory to judge the quick and the dead. Yet it must be 
confessed that we do not think of this return of Christ as our 
forefathers did. A modern historian asserts that the Return of 
Christ has ' ceased to arouse any emotional interest.' 2 Certainly 
we do not ask : When will this return of Christ to earth take 
place ? And if people tell us that, as a result of their study of 
Scripture and their observation of the signs of the times, we 
may expect the return of Christ in the year 1923, or 1924, we 
listen with a certain bored politeness, but wonder in our hearts 
how they can possibly think as they do. And what is our reason 
for this ? Is it that we are convinced that of that day and that 
hour knoweth no one, neither the angels in heaven, neither the 
Son, but the Father only ' ? (Mk. xiii, 22 ; Mt. xxiv, 36, and Acts 
i, 7). No, it is because we have given up all hope of its ever 
taking place at all. That I believe to be the case with the vast 
majority of the educated classes of this country. As for our un- 
educated classes and they are a diminishing multitude only 
a very limited number of them hold fast the Advent Hope in 
its traditional form. The form, I mean, in which it is presented 
for instance in Thomas of Celano's magnificent hymn : 
'Dies irae, dies ilia 
Solvet saeclum in favilla.' 

or in Charles Wesley's triumphant paen : 

' Lo ! He comes with clouds descending 

Once for favoured sinners slain, 

Thousand thousand saints attending 

Swell the triumph of His train, 

Alleluia ! Alleluia ! 
Christ appears on earth again.' 

The fact that such a propaganda as 'Millions now living 
will never die ' some of you have no doubt seen the booklet 3 - 

1 A sermon preached on the First Sunday in Advent, in St. Mary-the- 
Virgin, Oxford, to junior members of the University, by the Rev. H. D. A. 
Major, B.D. 2 Prof. Bury : The Idea of Progress, p. 351. 

3 Millions now living will never die, by Judge Rutherford, 128 pp?, i/- 
post free ; pub. International Bible Students' Association. 



THE ADVENT HOPE 505 

can gain adherents to-day few perhaps in England, yet many 
more in America seems to some of us modern Christians 
amazing; yet let us not forget that this crude and dramatic 
eschatology constituted the Advent Hope of the whole Christian 
Church until quite modern times. It was the hope with which 
St. Paul bade the Thessalonian Christians comfort themselves; 4 
and so far as we can tell, it was the conviction of all the primi- 
tive apostles, and possibly of all the New Testament writers, 
with the exception perhaps of the author of the Fourth Gospel 
and First Epistle, which are called John's. Yet for us the arch- 
angel's trump, the return of Christ seated on the clouds, the 
rising of the dead from their graves, the assembling of all 
humanity for judgment before the great white throne things 
which the Christian Church has expected for eighteen hundred 
years with a mingled thrill of exultation and terror have passed 
away under the influence of modern critical research and the 
modern scientific outlook. I need not say that there may be 
serious loss in this exit; for the expectation of this dramatic 
close of human history on this planet was bound up in the minds 
of many with belief in the providence and rulership of God : 
it brought home to them their personal accountability to God; 
it caused them to realize the transitory character of human his- 
tory, and the valuelessness of human success and mundane 
prosperity, unless that prosperity and success were the reward 
of moral action and had set on them the seal of the final 
righteous judgment of God. 

With the abandonment of the traditional view, Christ's Ad- 
vent, from being the Church's Hope, has become the Church's 
Problem. Academic Church circles have rung with the voices 
of the disputants in the eschatological controversy and the dis- 
cussion of the question : Did Jesus Himself actually teach 
these things, or did they come into the primitive Gospel and 
into the primitive Church not from Jesus Himself, but from the 
Jewish apocalyptists and those Jewish Christians whose eschato- 
logical expectations were mainly instrumental in leading them 
to accept Jesus as the Messiah? 5 I would urge that in this 

4 I Thess., iv, 18. 

5 See, for the most recent contributions to this controversy, The Lord of 
Thought, by L. Dougall and C. W. Emmet (1922). 



506 THE MODERN CHURCHMAN 

matter the most important issue is not whether Jesus voiced the 
Advent Hope in eschatological language, and taught it in the 
form in which it appears in the Jewish Apocalypses, but whether 
He did not include in that conception important elements un- 
known to contemporary Judaism. For example, it is certain that 
the Advent Hope which Jesus taught was divorced from 
nationalism, while the apocalyptists were wedded to it. 

II. 

Concurrently with the weakening of belief in the traditional 
Advent Hope, there was growing up in the eighteenth and nine- 
teenth centuries, especially in France, England and Germany,, 
a belief in human progress. An admirable account of the origin 
and progress of the idea of progress appeared from the pen 
of Professor Bury in 1920. The growth of the idea of progress, 
as he points out, has been closely connected with the growth 
of modern science (particularly biological science), with the 
growth of rationalism, and with the struggle for political and 
religious liberty. 6 

It was this idea of progress which the Dean of St. Paul's 
attacked so fiercely in his Romanes Lecture of 1920 as a popu- 
lar but discredited idol, although Mr. A. J. Balfour (now Lord 
Balfour) some thirty years ago had in an address delivered at 
Glasgow expressed serious doubts as to whether the belief was 
soundly based. However, it is not surprising that men came to 
believe in it, when those who were regarded as great leaders of 
thought in the nineteenth century were so sure of it, e.g. Darwin, 
wrote : 

' All corporeal and mental environments will tend to progress 
towards perfection.' 7 

Herbert Spencer wrote : 

* Progress is not an accident, but a necessity. What we call evil 
and immorality must disappear. It is certain that man must become 
perfect. 8 

And again : 

' Always towards perfection is the mighty movement towards a 
complete development and a more unmixed good. . . . Even in evils 
the student learns to recognise only a struggling beneficence. But 
above all he is struck with the inherent sufficing-ness of thing's.' 9 
6 See Bury : The Idea of Progress, p. 348. 7 Cited by Bury, p. 336. 

8 Cited by Ing-e : Outspoken Essays, 2nd series (1922), p. 163. 
9 Bury cited, p. 340. 



THE ADVENT HOPE 507 

That trenchant controversialist, Professor Huxley, was able to 
discern in man's 

' Long- progress through the past, a reasonable ground of faith in 
his attainment of a nobler future.' 

But one must add that these optimistic hopes of an earthly 
paradise were not shared by all the great thinkers of the period. 
We have noted the doubts of Mr. Balfour but he was not 
alone. Hermann Lotze did not anticipate the Millenium, and 
that because of the constitution of human nature; moreover, 
the kind of paradise predicted did not attract him. He wrote : 

* Never one fold and one shepherd, never one uniform culture for 
all mankind, never universal nobleness. Our virtue and happiness 
can only flourish amid an active conflict with wrong. If every 
stumbling 1 block were smoothed away, men would no longer be like 
men, but like a flock of innocent brutes, feeding on good things 
provided by nature as at the very beginning of their course.' 10 

And von Hartmann revived the idea of J. J. Rousseau 'that 
civilization and happiness are mutually antagonistic, and that 
progress means an increase of misery/ 11 But these were voices 
crying in the wilderness or like the disquieting and ineffective 
utterance of Micaiah, the son of Imlah, faced by Ahab's four 
hundred prophets. Biological research, scientific invention, tne 
accumulation of material wealth, the spread of popular educa- 
tion, the advance of rationalism, the growing popularity of de- 
mocratic and socialist ideals, all in their particular way contri- 
buted to assist the belief in progress. With few exceptions, all 
were awaiting the inevitable advent of a mundane society in 
which disease would be non-existent, poverty abolished, crime 
eliminated, war impossible, the ape and tiger as well as the 
primitive donkey in man all worked out, and the span of human 
life prolonged. 12 

This cheerful expectation of a terrestrial Utopia more than 
compensated most educated people for the loss of the traditional 
Advent Hope ; but then there came the War, the most terrible 
and sanguinary that human history has known, followed by the 
revolting horrors of Russian Bolshevism, Irish Terrorism and 
Greek and Turkish barbarism, and the idea of human progress 

10 Cited by Bury, p. 343, Microcosmus, Bk. VII, 5, E.T., p. 300. 

L1 Bury, op. cit., p. 344. 
12 See also Inge's Outspoken Essays (2nd series), p. 163. 



5 o8 THE MODERN CHURCHMAN 

was shattered in the minds of many. The aged Victorian in 
many cases became a pessimist, and the young Georgian, with 
a keen appetite for enjoyment, preferred to utilize the present 
to the best of his ability, and give as little thought as possible 
to a quite unpredictable future. Max Beerbohm's caricature 
exactly presented the contrast between the Victorian and Geor- 
gian outlooks. A comfortable Victorian with side-whiskers sees 
in the future a magnified image of himself. A slim young Geor- 
gian wearing a mourning band sees only a great note of inter- 
rogation. Probably of the two outlooks, the Georgian is more 
wholesome than the Victorian. To be an agnostic is better than 
to be a materialist and a determinist, although it is not so com- 
fortable. It is better to be quite uncertain about progress than 
to believe that it is a sort of mechanical necessity; that pro- 
gress in material things means real progress; and that an in- 
crease in scientific knowledge can achieve alone a desirable and 
stable civilization. A satirist has said that the American idea 
of progress is acceleration. But what are our triumphs in elec- 
tricity really worth when, as another satirist has said, they ' seem 
to convey us with unparalleled rapidity from over-crowding and 
vice in Battersea to over-crowding and vice in Hoxton/ 1 ' 

Huxley in his later years came to take a less sanguine view 
of human progress when he recognized clearly that real pro- 
gress depended upon the ethical development of mankind. It 
appeared to him that man's moral nature, which is very feeble 
and fluctuating, is faced by terrible odds, and that in the course 
of history it had gone down with painful frequency. He wrote : 

' I know of no study which is so> saddening as that of the evolution 
of humanity. . . . Man is a brute, only more intelligent than other 
brutes. ' ' The theory of evolution encourages no millenial anticipa- 
tions.' ' Social progress! means the checking of the cosmic process 
at every step and the substitution for it of another which may be 
called the ethical process.' 14 

I believe most of us are coming round to this view. We have 
parted with the Christian Advent Hope in its traditional form ; 
we have also parted with the optimistic Spencerian faith in 
inevitable human progress. 

13 E. J. Bicknell : The Christian Idea of Sin, p. 107. 
14 Cited by Bury, op. cit., pp. 344-5. 



THE ADVENT HOPE 509* 



III. 

What remains for us as we face the future? Only a great 
note of interrogation ? No ; there remains the ideal of the com- 
ing of the Kingdom of God on earth. This differs widely from 
the nineteenth century idea of progress. It is essentially and 
fundamentally moral and spiritual. It is based on faith in a 
Divine Providence, a Divine Over-ruling and a Divine Ideal 
for humanity, and that faith, as Lord Balfour's recent lecture 
at Glasgow indicates, has strong arguments to support it. In 
order to believe in a possible Kingdom of God on earth, it is 
first needful to believe in a Kingdom of God in heaven; in 
other words, to believe in a spiritual world. 'Thy Kingdom 
come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. 5 Next it is 
needful to believe in co-operation with this spiritual world, and 
to realize that all hope of the Kingdom of God coming on earth 
depends on man's co-operation with this spiritual world. In 
other words, to believe in the Kingdom of God we must believe 
in God, and the need for God's strength and help gained by 
communion with Him if the Kingdom of God is to come at all 
in this world. Canning, the statesman, dealing with a political 
situation, exclaimed : ' I call in the new world to redress the 
balance of the old.' So if the Kingdom of God is to come on 
earth, it is needful to secure the help and inspiration and 
strength and self-sacrifice which alliance with the Kingdom of 
God in heaven can alone secure ; in other words, sane and life- 
giving relations with the Eternal. It is this alliance, this co- 
operation, which the' Gospel of Christ advocates and conse- 
crates, and wherever and whenever it has been in some measure 
realized, there the Kingdom of God has begun to come. What 
that has meant and may mean we can find delightfully and truth- 
fully presented in a book now, alas ! too little read, The Gifts 
of Civilization, by R. W. Church, Dean of St, Paul's. There 
you will find neither pessimism nor gloom, nor feeble optimism 
and sentimentality, but a picture of civilization seen with the 
eyes of Christian faith ; and in the present season of moral de- 
jection and loss of ideals, our personal salvation and the sal- 
vation of society depend on our seeing that vision. You re- 



5io THE MODERN CHURCHMAN 

member the scene in the Pilgrim's Progress, when Evangelist 
meets with Christian : 

' Then said Evangelist, pointing with his finger over a very wide 
field, Do you see yonder 1 wicket-gate? The man said, No. Then said 
the other, Do you see yonder shining light? He said, I think I do<. 
Then said Evangelist, Keep that light in your eye, and go up directly 
thereto. ' 

Professor McDougall, in his little book on National W el- 
fare, writes : 

' One factor alone can secure our future and save us as a people 
from the fatal decline, and may even secure for us a continued pro- 
gress' in all that makes the worth of human living. 

' It is the increasing knowledge of human nature and of human 
society, and of the conditions that make for or against the flourishing 
of human nature and society. . . . Fortunately, there is widely dif- 
fused a belief in the value of science and of its application to human 
life. Many keen workers are adding to the sum of knowledge, and 
we are learning to be guided by it. Therein lies our hope for the 
future ' (p. 174). 

I am sure I do believe in the value of science as a factor in 
bringing in the Kingdom of God on earth a very important 
factor but unless science can be united to the Vision of God 
and it must be God as unveiled in Christ, seen in Christ's love 
and sacrifice it cannot prevail to save human society ; and the 
Vision of God although many of our scientists have had it- 
was not the gift of science unless we extend the meaning of 
that term much beyond what it usually includes. 

There is something which takes place within us which Plato 
called the turning of the soul towards the light: that is the 
first step towards the coming of the Kingdom of God, first in 
ourselves and then in the world. The dialogue of Jesus with 
Nicodemus in the Fourth Gospel emphasizes this : 

* Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again (or 

from above) he cannot see the Kingdom of God. . . . Marvel not that 

I said unto thee, Ye must be born again (or from above) ' (iii, 3,8). 

The late Professor Henry Drummond commented thus on 
these words, and I wish to conclude with his comment, for it 
suggests a vital question addressed to each one of us, which 
makes the coming of the Kingdom of God a personal matter : 

* Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. Marvel 
not as though it were incredible : marvel not as though it were im- 
possible : marvel not as though it were unnecessary : that ye must 
be born again but marvel if you are : marvel if you are not : marvel 
that it may be to-day. ' 



WAR POETRY 51 



SOME REFLECTIONS ON ENGLISH 
POETRY AND THE WAR 

By H. G. MULLINER, B.A., Hertford College, Oxford. 

I. 

HEROIC verse has from all time been associated with the 
art of war. Mr. Binyon writes in Oxford in War Time : 

' But immortal verse 

Is now exchanged for its! immortal theme, 
Victory ; proud loss ; and the enduring mind. ' 

As it ever has been so it was in the late war ; but only in a 
few minds and they the less remarkable, and only for a short 
time and that at the beginning. Rupert Brooke will at once 
occur to all as an example of this, and especially those great 
lines commencing : 

' Now God be thanked who* matched us with this hour 
And caught our manhood and wakened us from sleeping. ' 

and the fine sentiment of The Soldier : 

' If I should die think only this of me : 

That there's some corner of a foreign field 
That is for ever England. ' 

No one else expressed so well the spirit of August, 1914, 
as it was felt by those many in whom patriotism had not died 
and in whom fear had not brought disillusionment. In the 
same key there ar,e the gentle lyrics of farewell, such as 
W. N. Hodgson's Ave, Mater, atque vale addressed to Eng- 
land, and Mr. Nichol's Farewell to a place of comfort. This 
is the last verse of that poem : 

' O bronzen pines, evenings of gold and blue, 
Steep mellow slope, brimmed twilit pools below, 
Hushed trees, still vale dissolving in the dew, 
Farewell ! Farewell ! There is no more to do. 
We have been happy. Happy now I go.' 

Grenfell and Hodgson carried the same spirit to France. The 
former's Into Battle contains much that is beautiful. Take 
these two verses : 

' The blackbird sings to him, " Brother, brother, 

If this be the last song you shall sing, 
Sing well, for you may not sing another, 
Brother, sing." 

In dreary, doubtful, waiting hours, 

Before the brazen frenzy starts, 
The horses show him nobler powers ; 

O patient eyes, courageous hearts.' 



512 THE MODERN CHURCHMAN 

Hodgson in Back to Rest is unique in writing : 
' Now when the fight is ended 
We know that it was g'ood.' 

Only in the early days of the war was the idealism of the poet 
sufficient to produce such a thought. More typical are such 
poems as Tennant's Home Thoughts from Laventie, which 
sang of the countryside left behind. The first poem from 
the front in The Times has such a subject. These poets stand 
alone. They are amongst those to whom the war brought 
immediate action. They do not stop, even if they cared, to 
sing of Right, Liberty, Honour, or of political themes. The 
subjects are as personal to the poets as their methods of 
treating them. Their poetry is heroic, charming, sometimes 
beautiful. There is nothing striking in its form or original 
in its technique. What distinguishes it from so much of the 
third-rate verse is its mastery of words, its simplicity, its 
sincerity and refinement of sentiment. 

The war aroused patriotism and patriotism produced poetry. 
The files of The Times for the first six months of the war give 
very varied examples of this early patriotic verse. On the 
whole, it may be said not unkindly, that such verse was inevit- 
able, and shows it. They are poems, not of reflection but of 
emotion, both personal and national. Even on August 6th 
the hate of the Kaiser and the purity of England was a poet's 
theme. But in some there is a higher inspiration. Sir Henry 
Newbolt sang of the war as he sang of Clifton. He represents 
the flower of that fine idealism which is to be found in our 
maligned public schools. He assumes that idealism, portrays 
it, and appeals to it as Mr. Kipling often appeals to the 
simpler sentiments of Britishers. This is seen in the last verse 
of Newbolt's beautiful poem, The Vigil, published on August 

5th : So shalt tho>u when morning comes 

Rise to conquer or to fall, 
Joyful hear the rolling drums, 
Joyful hear the trumpets call. 

Then let Memory tell thy heart; 

ff England! what thou wert, thou art! " 
Gird thee with thine ancient might, 
Forth ! and God defend the Right ! ' 

Whether intentionally or not it seems nearly identical in spirit 
with the famous picture with the same title. It is indeed 



WAR POETRY 



Victorian, but it is the product of sincere faith in the ideals 
of the great Victorians. 

' Drink to our fathers who begot us men, 

To the dead voices that are never dumb ; 
Then to the land of all our loves, and then 
To the long parting, and th age to come. ' 

There is perhaps little finer of its ' artistic kind ' than his 
Volunteer, which is so much truer to the spirit of the day than 
Herbert Asquith's more stately and detached poem. 

Similar to these poems, though less vigorous in style, are 
those of Mr. Noyes. Mr. Kipling contributed For All We 
Have and Are. In common with the other writers of this class 
he appeals to the moral ideals of the public, but there is also 
in his writings a critical vein which he shares with the realists. 
In Mesopotamia, /p//, and in some of his Epitaphs he turns 
against the authorities whose slothfulness left to die ' the eager 
and whole hearted whom we gave/ In Natural Theology he 
turns again on those who blame God for a war, inevitable in 
a society which spends money on armies and fleets. Generally 
Mr. Kipling appeals to reason and sentiment rather than to 
emotion. In some of his Epitaphs there is a bitter realism 
similar to Mr. Sassoon's : 

4 If any mourn us in the workshop, say 
We died because the shift kept holiday.' 

There were many poems in The Times dealing with politi- 
cal themes. Many were addressed to our Allies. Lines such 
as ' Reveals within her milk-white breast, the blood-red heart 
of war/ in Heart of Italy, are barely commendable, and it is 
felt that only political reasons could justify such international 
courtesies in bad verse. To the Empire there are many poems. 
Indian soldiers are exhorted ' Into their hearts, my brothers, 
drive home, drive home the steel ' ! 

The Public School man and, above all, the home folk, might 
accept with gladness the refined idealism of Sir Henry New- 
bolt. But it was another matter when one writer published 
some Marching Songs for soldiers. One of them, to the tune 
of John Brown's Body, has this third verse : 

1 The shrines of God Almighty are shattered with shells ; (ter) 
But the Kaiser's got to pay. 

Chorus : Glory, Glory, Hallelujah ' (ter). 



5 i4 THE MODERN CHURCHMAN 

It can be agreed that they were ' in the simplest words/ but it 
cannot be agreed with The Times leader that ' if the soldiers 
choose to sing them they are well worthy of the honour.' In 
fact, as a correspondent pointed out, what the troops were 
really singing was : 

1 Send out the Army and the Navy, 
Send out the rank and file, 

(Have a banana.) 
Send out the brave Territorials, 
They easily can run a mile. 

(I don't think.) 
Send out the boys of the girls' brigade, 

They will keep old England free ; 
Send out my mother, my sister, and my brother, 
But for goodness' sake don't send me.' 

To this age it seems undoubtedly true, as the same leader 
pointed out, that f a joke in the face of death is something finer 
than a heroic attitude, and we believe a joke can be kept up 
longer than the attitude. 5 

Between the ordinary soldier refusing the heroics, which 
some would have given him to sing, in emulation of Deutsck- 
land uber Alles, and the realist poet profoundly distrusting 
all Victorian (sic) idealism, there is something in common. 
tThere is the same fear of cant phrases and of their hardening 
effect, and further, there is a sense of the inadequacy of the 
words to express his understanding of life, and a lurking sus- 
picion that they are not too closely related to the real facts. As 
for the spirit of hate with which some would have inspired him, 
he ignored it : 

4 Oh, oh, oh, it's a lovely war ; 

What do you want with eggs: and 'am, 
When you've got plum and apple jam. ... * 

i 

Food was more interesting than hate. Besides, he had with his 
foes a community in suffering and obedience. And so Sorley, 
though it is probably an early poem : 

' When it is peace, then we may view again 
With new-won eyes each other's truer form 
And wonder. Grown moire loving-kind and warm 
We'll grasp firm hands and laugh at the old pain, 
When it is peace. But until peace, the storm 
The darkness and the thunder and the rain. ' 



WAR POETRY 515 



II. 

Turning to the younger poets, the transition to the realistic 
school can be made by considering the poems of Mr. Geoffrey 
Dearmer. He went out to Gallipoli, and very early in From 
* W ' Beach, he wrote this : 

' Celestial Gardeners speed the hurrying day 

And saw the plains of night with silver grain, 
So shall this transient havoc fade away 
And the proud cape be beautiful again.' 

But later he wrote a poem, 7^ he Dead Turk : 

* Dead, dead and dumbly chill. He seemed to lie 
Carved from the earth, in beauty without stain. 
And suddenly 

Day turned to night, and I beheld again 
A still centurion with eyes ablaze 
And Calvary re-echoed with his cry 
His cry of stark amaze.' 

If we mistake not, the first belief in the transiency of war's 
effect gave place to a sense of the incomprehensible wrong of 
war. Dearmer is a lover of Keats, as the style of the first quo- 
tation may suggest. Yet like most moderns he fears above all 
what he called ' tattered sentiment/ The war palls on him in 
its horror. He feels acutely with the pain of others, and yet he 
seeks the beautiful within it all. It is this conflict which makes 
much of his poetry live, and it is to be found most attractively 
in his Turkish Trench Dog. In his Sentinel he turned to 
portray the psychology of being under fire, and it is significant 
that while he describes the fear of one man, the sentinel, like 
the sentinel of Pompeii, remains immovable, the symbol of 
strength and triumph. The object of the war-poet is, in his 
words, to ' conjure heaven from the surrounding hell.' So he 
attempts, but his poems have more pathos than joy. What he 
can never forget is : 

* the iron bitterness and keen 
Of voices ever clamouring farewell.' 

It is not surprising, then, that there were others to whom 
the portrayal of the realities of war, its pity and its horror, 
seemed more the poet's task. 

* For we are poets 
And shall tell the truth.' 

as one wrote in a bitter poem. But best of all has this been 
expressed by the greatest of these poets, Wilfrid Owen. In 



516 THE MODERN CHURCHMAN 

his Apologia pro poemate meo he writes of seeing God through 
mud, of the laughter, and the fellowship, and the beauty, pre- 
sent even in France, and then he concludes : 
* Nevertheless except you share 

With them the sorrowful dark of hell, 
Who'se world is but the trembling- of a flare, 
And heaven but as the highway of a shell, 

You shall not hear their mirth. 

You shall not come to think them well content 
By any jest of mine. These men are worth 
Your tears ; you are not worth their merriment. ' 

How great is the change in method and style between the 
poets of to-day and those of yesterday will be appreciated if 
we contrast two passages ; one an extract from Byron's Bride of 
Abydos and the other Cameron Wilson's poem A Soldier. 
Selim is shot dead in the presence of his beloved just as he is 
about to escape in a boat ; and this is how Byron portrays it : 
' There as his last step left the land 

And the last death blow dealt his hand 

Ah, wherefore did he pause to look 
For her, his eyes but sought in vain ? 

That pause, that fatal gaze he took, 

Hath doom'd his death or fix'd his chain. 

Sad proof in peril or in pain 

How late will lovers' hope remain ! 

His back was to the splashing spray; 

Behind but close his comrades lay, 

When at the instant hissed the ball 

' So may the foe of Giaffir fall ! ' 

Whose voice is heard ? Whose carbine rang ? 

Whose bullet through the night air sang, 

Too nearly, deadly aimed to err? 

" 'Tis thine Abdulla' s murderer ! " 

Wilson's A Soldier : 

1 He laughed. His blue eyes searched the morning, 
Found the unceasing song of the lark 
In a brown twinkle of wings, far out. 
Great clouds, like galleons, sailed the distance. 
The young spring day had slipped the cloak of dark 
And stood straight up and naked with a shout. 
Through the green wheat like laughing schoolboys, 
Tumbled together the yellow mustard flowers unchecked. 
The wet earth reeked and smoked in the sun. . . . 
He thought of the waking farm in England. 
The deep thatch of the roof all shadow fleck'd 
The clank of pails at the pump . . . the day begun. 
" After the war . . . . " he thought, His heart beat faster 
With a new love for things familiar and plain. 
The Spring leaned down and whispered to him low 
Of a slim brown-throated woman he had kissed . . . 



WAR POETRY 517 



He saw in sons which were himself again 
The only immortality that man may know. 

And then a sound grew out of the morning 

And a shell came moving a destined way, 

Thin and swift and lustful, making its moan. 

A moment his brave white body knew the Spring, 

The next, it lay 

In a red ruin of blood and guts and bone. 

Oh nothing was tortured there. Nothing could know 
How death blasphemed all men and their high birth 
With his obscenities. Already moved 
Within those shattered tissues, that dim force, 
Which is the ancient alchemy of Earth, 
Changing him to the very flowers he loved. 

' Nothing was tortured there.' Oh, pretty thought ! 
When God Himself might well bow down His head 
And hide His haunted eyes before the dead/ 

The difference between these two poems is obvious. [The 
restrained rhythm, the sober metre of Wilson fits his theme. 
The rhetorical questions and moral asides of Byron jar. What 
Wilson loses in the formlessness of his poetic thought, he seems 
to overcome by emotional unity and balance. 

But in Mr. Gibson's poems the use of contrast (so prominent 
in A Soldier) gives way to simple narration. The Bayonet is 
an example of an extreme type : 

' This bloody steel 

Has killed a man. 
I heard him squeal 
As on I ran. 

' He watched me come 
With wagging head. 
I pressed it home 
And he was dead. 

' Though clean and clear 

I've wiped the steel, 
I still can hear 

That dying squeal.' 

And Mad : 

' Neck deep in mud 

He mowed and raved 
He who had braved 
The field of blood 

And as a lad 

Just out of school 

Yelled " April Fool ! " 
And laughed like mad.' 



Si8 THE MODERN CHURCHMAN 

It is to be noted in these two poems that the metre, rhyme, 
and rhythm are perfectly straightforward. The words are 
colourless and description is restrained. Despite their sub- 
jects they are very short. There is not the slightest emotional 
significance. And if realism must, as I hold it must, include 
the emotional content of a scene, then these poems can only be 
called realistic in a limited sense. At times they seem to be 
bathos. But whether that bathos is in the poem itself or is the 
result of the mental make-up of the reader, which would natur- 
ally inhibit the visualisation of so repellent an incident this 
is a question which it is hard to answer. But they are remark- 
able poems regarded historically because they are clearly the 
product of that mind of unfeeling realism which was acquired 
by so many in France. Either acquired because self-interest 
killed pity, or as with Mr. Gibson, because the pity was so great 
that no words could adequately express it a point worked out 
in Owen's Insensibility. 

There is a poem, Break of Day, by Mr. Sassoon which is 
suggestive. He describes a soldier, trying to sleep in a trench 
and waking to remember : 

' Zero's at nine; how bloody if I'm done in 
Under the freedom of that morning 1 sky ! ' 

He sleeps again and dreams of England, of a Sussex lane, of 
a hunt in the Big Wood ; the old horse ' stretches down his neck 
to crop the green.' And then asterisks and a concluding line, 
' Hark ! there's the horn : they're drawing the big wood.' The 
antithesis is marked clearly between the life in the trenches 
and at home, but where one expects a synthesis there are 
asterisks. In other poems of this school one finds the same 
unresolved antithesis and contentment to describe conflict. 
Asterisks are the confession and the symbol of this failure to 
achieve a synthesis. 

As Mr. Sassoon's Counter Attack is more detached and less 
introspective than Mr. Nichol's Assault, so Wilfred Owen in the 
Strange Meeting is more detached than either. It is the most 
remarkable of all our War poems. He pictures himself meet- 
ing the man he has killed ; the dead man speaks to him as one 
who has shared his prof oundest ideals for humanity ; and from 
within the setting of war the poem rises to conceptions that tran- 
scend it. Owens' other poems include The Sentry, Dead Beat* 



WAR POETRY 51O 



Mental Cases, Disabled, and will by their titles give some indi- 
cation of the trend of the poet's thought. With much strength 
and delicacy of feeling and an original use of consonantal 
rhymes, he achieves poems of great attraction and possibly of 
lasting worth. These poems are marked by an emotional 
unity. 

What has been written in this article will indicate the kind 
of poetry life on the battlefield inspired. My next article will 
deal with the real attitude to the war of those poets who fought 
in it. 

BOOK NOTICES 

GENESIS AND THE CHINESE* 

The work of the Bible Society in China is invaluable. In its absence 
missionaries would be crippled and the Chinese Church be without its Book, 
or, on the other hand, there would be as many different versions as there 
are denominations at work. For good or for ill, by their constitutions the 
Bible Societies may only issue their excellent versions without note or 
comment. This enables Christians of varying, even antagonistic views, 
to co-operate harmoniously in the preparation and distribution of the 
Scriptures, but like al] compromises it has disadvantages. In this instance 
it means that portions of the Old and New Testaments are distributed 
amongst a people who have neither our tradition nor our perspective, and 
who may therefore obtain inaccurate ideas of our religion. The Bible 
Society does its duty in the Mission Field admirably, but its work needs 
supplementing by others who have greater freedom. 

Take for instance the book of Genesis, which is disseminated by the 
thousand in China. Here we have a book which, read by a modern 
Chinese student, may very easily make him an enemy of our Faith, on the 
ground that the scientific knowledge of to-day controverts the truth of its 
statements. The Creation, the making of Adam and Eve, the Tower of 
Babel, the Flood and so on these fascinating stories are pictures to us 
portraying God. To a modern educated Chinese, who never has our back- 
ground and traditional sympathy, it is not God who is visible in the picture, 
but a series of false notions. 

Bishop Norris, of the S.P.G., Peking, has just issued in Chinese, a 
useful Introduction to Genesis i xi, adapted from The Early Narratives 
of Genesis, by the Rt. Rev. H. E. Ryle, D.D. Its purpose is to show the 
educated Chinese what is the modern Christian attitude towards these 
chapters. His preface says : 

' This little book is an attempt to make the early chapters of Gene- 
sis really helpful, and yet not misleading to Chinese readers. The 
book of Genesis is one of the most widely circulated ' portions ' issued 
by the Bible Societies, presumably on the ground that it gives a true 
and accurate account of the ' beginning ' of the world and of the 
human race. Circulated as it is without note or comment, I cannot but 
feel that it will constitute a grave danger to the Church of the future, 
unless we try to set it in its true light, as containing Hebrew tradi- 

1 Published by the S.P.C.K., price 10 cents. 



520 THE MODERN CHURCHMAN 

tions, selected and preserved under the guidance of God's Holy Spirit, 
because in this form they had a lesson of the highest value for the 
Jewish race and for all mankind. 

* That the " conflict of science and religion " should have taken 
place in the West was inevitable, because " religion " was crystallised 
by centuries of " literal interpretation," if not of " verbal inspiration 
theory," when the science; of the nineteenth century came into exist- 
ence. The results of that conflict were often deplorable ; they would have 
been far worse but for the firm hold that had been taken during cen- 
turies of faith by the deeper truths that underlay" religion." The same 
conflict need never at least in the old form take place in China, if 
teachers are wise. But if they are not, it will not only take place and 
that soon, but its results in young Churches full of recent converts 
will surely be dangerous indeed. Bishop Ryle in the preface to his 
little book wrote thus: " The old position is no longer tenable. A 
new position has to be taken up at once, prayerfully chosen and hope- 
fully held." If that was true twenty-five years ago in England, it is 
doubly true to-day in China, where the apparent possibility of holding 
the old position for a few more years is more than outweighed by the 
present opportunity for taking up the new position, " prayerfully 
chosen," and to be " hopefully held." 

Amongst the young Christians of China are many who have been 
brought up in the modern interpretation, but who are constantly meeting 
on the one hand, with the hostile criticism of educated non-Christians, and, 
on the other, with the hostility of missionaries and Christians of the older 
school. To such as these Bishop Norris's book should be especially wel- 
come. More such works are needed and no doubt will soon be produced 
by the fine body of scholarly young missionaries and educated young 
Chinese who are rapidly undertaking larger responsibilities in the Church. 

W. E. SOOTHILL. 

EARLY CHRISTIANITY.* 

The first volume of this gigantic work was reviewed by Mr. Creed in 
this magazine in December, 1920. The second volume is, in my opinion, 
more valuable than the first. The editors have been assisted by such emi* 
nent authorities as Mr. Cadbury, Mr. Emmet and Professor Burkitt. A 
composite work like this lacks the completeness and rotundity of a great 
book by a single author. There is a want of proportion, and also lacunae 
and inconsistencies. But it has the advantage that each section is by a 
specially qualified writer, and various views can be set forth in succession 
and placed side by side. 

The first chapter, on Greek and Jewish methods of writing history, is 
fundamental. One wishes it could have been even more complete than it 
is, for there is, in English, no really thorough and satisfactory treatment 
of the subject, though Professor Bury's work on the Greek historians is 
valuable. Until we know the purpose of a writer, and what literary tradi- 
tions he follows, we read him with half-shut eyes. There is much in this 
volume in regard to the purpose of the writer of Acts, but perhaps sufficient 
stress is hardly laid on the consideration that the purpose of a writer may 
be quite unconscious. Whether he puts on coloured spectacles or not, he 
yet sees everything in a light of his own. 

In Professor Burkitt' s chapter on the use of Mlark in the Gospel of 
Luke, we again touch bed-rock. For as Luke treats Mark's narrative, 

*TJie Beginnings of Christianity Part I, The Acts of the Apostles. By F. J. FOAKES 
JACKSON and KIRSOPP LAKE. Vol. II, Prolegomena and Criticism. (Macmillan and Co.) 



BOOK NOTICES 521 



which he had before him, so he is likely to treat other documents. But 
Luke is elusive. He has so much literary skill, in addition to the dramatic 
power which strikes every reader, that he constantly baffles the critic. A 
clear result which Mr. Burkitt reaches is that it is difficult, or even impos- 
sible, to get beyond Luke to his sources by a mere analysis of his narrative. 
Some critics have a way of thinking that when a narrative is flat and point- 
less it is untrustworthy ; but Mr. Burkitt is nearer the mark when he points 
out that these qualities are just what may be expected in a spectator's 
reminiscences. The point of a tale is very often contributed by literary 
skill. 

The question whether Luke, the friend of St. Paul, is the author of Acts 
is discussed from both sides, and at great length. Most readers will con- 
sider that * the ayes have it.' Undue stress is sometimes laid on an argu- 
ment, on the other side, that the author often misunderstands St. Paul, 
and very imperfectly appreciates him. The fact seems to be that the two 
men were of very different characters ; and however much Luke may have 
admired his great friend, he could not fathom his depths. He certainly 
was no Boswell. 

To English and American readers one of the mo'St interesting chapters 
will be Mr. Hunkin's on British work on the Acts. The writer sets forth 
with much clearness and learning the merits of a great succession of Eng- 
lish writers, from Dean Co-let to Bishop Lightfoot, who have dealt with 
the subject. Their books shew little of the brilliant theorizing of the great 
German critics, but they are marked by sound judgement and wise caution. 
Much of their work has a permanent value. In one field, that of archae- 
ological illustration, they have been especially active and useful. Lewin, 
Howson, James Smith and especially Ramsay, have done much to make 
the background of the drama of St. Paul's life clear to us. This laborious 
and illuminative toil ought never to< be overlooked. 

In an appendix are considered two literary analogies, the story of St. 
Francis of Assisi, by Mr. G. G. Coulton; and the story of Margaret Catch- 
pole, by the Editors. In 1889 I inserted in Exploratio Evangelica a long 
note (pp. 174 6) on the parallel between the Go<spel story and that of St. 
Francis. I am glad that Mr. Coulton has worked out this moist instructive 
analogy in more detail, and with far greater knowledge of medieval life. 
But I think we might have dispensed with Margaret Catchpole, who really 
helps us very little, and brings in a heap of irrevelant matter. It is a pity 
that the learned editors did not, instead, give a brief summary of the most 
illuminating" work of Dr. Edwin Abbott on the Miracles of St. Thomas of 
Canterbury. This would have been far nearer to the point. 

This great introduction to the book of Acts will certainly be of much 
value in theological colleges and to the educated English and American laity 
(are they diminishing: in number?) who are deeply interested in the origins 
of the Christian religion. Though the authors; write in America, they 
were brought up among us, and they do- not give way to the prevalent 
American (and Scottish) notion, e Germania sola lux. P. GARDNER. 

THE GOSPEL OF THE MANHOOD.* 

Dr. Skrine's book may perhaps best be regarded as an expansion of, 
and commentary upon a great sentence of Dr. R. C. Moberly's : ' He 
(Christ) is, then, not so much God and man, as God in, and through, and 
as man.' (Atonement and Personality, p. 96.) We are to learn the Divi- 

*The Gospel of the Manhood. By JOHN HUNTLEY SKRINE, D.D. (Skeffington, 1922. 
Price 5/- net.) 



522 THE MODERN CHURCHMAN 

nity of Christ by a study of his Humanity, and there is no other way. 
' Masked words in lieu of truth ' will not help us, and those who pin their 
faith to the formula : * Jesus Christ is the Son of God ' are challenged to 
think out and explain to others the implications of their creed. 

The words attributed to the risen Christ at the close of the first Gospel : 
' Lo ! I am with you all the days,' are to be regarded as no mere rhetorical 
expression of Christian experience, but as the very pith and marrow of a 
true faith. Jesus of Nazareth was not brought to nothingness by death. 
Unless He who became a man has not remained a man, Christ can profit 
us nothing. The Gospel of the Manhood is the good news, received, wel- 
comed, and acted upon, that it is with a Man that we have to do. ' His 
human heart is not gone from Him, but contrariwise has widened to the 
compass of all human hearts.' He is the same yesterday, to-day and for 
ever, or rather, different only in this, that the range of His influence as a 
Man is now one with the boundless sweep of the activity of God. ' The 
human becomes infinite is not this the Divine? ' 

Dr. Skrine shews throughout the scholar's passion fof reality. He will 
probe a dogma relentlessly in order to reach the fundamental truth which 
justified its formulation. And that fundamental truth, to be truth, must be 
capable of adequate expression in the simplest terms, and must find a 
spontaneous response in the life experience of the ordinary Christian. 
We speak readily enough of the dogma of our Lord's sinlessness. But 
the conception is negative and therefore lacking in dynamic effect. Say 
rather: * Christ is the Living One,' the transmitter of divine life to men, 
and then test the truth of every doctrine, the worth of every institution, 
by the measure in which the doctrine or the institution serves as a vehicle 
for that life's transmission. This is the author's own method. He will 
have us think of the Atonement as the inflowing 1 of the divine life of Jesus 
into the lives of those whom He seeks to save, since in the last resort life 
and At-onement, or fellowship with God, are interchangeable terms. 

So, too, the Resurrection is important, primarily for this, that it re-es- 
tablished personal, life-giving intercourse between Jesus and His friends. 
But what was the essential character of this empowering fellowship between 
Master and disciple, and by what means was it maintained? In seeking 
an answer to this question, Dr. Skrine makes use of a modern terminology, 
and adduces the phenomena of telepathy, or to use his own word, 
'Thought-conference,' as helpful towards a right interpretation of Chris- 
tian experience. The truth of central importance is that the mind and 
thoughts of Jesus of Nazareth are as much at the disposal of the twentieth 
century Christians as of Peter and John, and that his method of com- 
munication with us to-day is essentially unchanged. The Christian doc- 
trine of the Holy Spirit is valuable only as it expresses unflinchingly the 
truth of the Abiding Manhood. The Lord is the Spirit. The Spirit who 
directs, controls, empowers, is the Spirit of Jesus. Unless that be recog- 
nised the Gospel of the Manhood will fail of its full effect. 

But what bearing has this Gospel of the Manhood, this doctrine of a 
life-imparting, human Christ upon the pressing problems of the day? What 
are the true principles of reconstruction, whether of Creed or Church, what 
the rightful terms of reunion, what the means whereby the saving truth 
of Christianity can be brought home to those we call the masses? In ap- 
proaching these problems, Dr. Skrine applies his main principles with 
dauntless consistency. The truth of a creed may be tested by the measure 
in which it serves as an instrument of life to those who hold it. The work 
of a church may be judged by its ability to create the life of Christ in its 
adherents, and the ultimate test of a church's right to the name is found 



BOOK NOTICES 523 



not in the form of its government nor the formal correctness of its creed, 
but rather in the nature of its fellowship with the living Christ. 

To' this living Christ, who is vitally concerned with all our problems, 
every question must be referred. Certainly it is the Christian way, and 
nothing is beyond the scope of His interest. If women seek the priest- 
hood, the appeal is not to tradition but to Christ, * a Christ greater than the 
Christ of Galilean days. ' He it is with whom we have to do, and He it is 
this Jesus not of long ago but of now who can * speak to the condition ' 
of the ordinary man. Our doctrine must not be divorced from experience. 
Framers of philosophic systems may be few, but the simple and unlearned 
1 is philosopher enough to be unable to think a doctrine which cannot make 
its way into the little circle of ideas which is his narrow knowledge of the 
world he lives in.' Here is a challenge offered to Modernist and Tradi- 
tionalist alike, and we shall agree that Dr. Skrine is right in his assertion 
that in the Gospel of the Manhood we have that which may carry conviction 
to all sorts and conditions of men. The book is an appeal to the Church to 
think ' growing thoughts of God and man,' to discard the all too common 
attitude of ' woodenness ' in face of new needs, to realise that it is less 
' the steadfastness than the adventurousnessi of faith ' which is the demand 
of our day, and, above all, to discover and fearlessly to proclaim a doctrine 
of Christ life-giving for both mind and will. W.M.P. 

AN AMBIGUOUS MANIFESTO* 

This collection of essays with an Introduction by Bishop Gore and an 
Epilogue by Mr. G. K. Chesterton is an interesting sign of the times. 
Christian socialism, it would appear, is raising its head again after the 
slump in idealism which we have experienced since the war. Bishop Gore 
outlines the social philosophy of the writers when he says : 

* They hold that our present industrial society rests upon a rotten 
foundation ; and that what is needed to remedy the manifest " sick- 
ness " of our "Acquisitive Society" is something much more than 
particular social reforms. There is needed the substitution of a true 
idea or principle of Society that is of Socialism in some sense 
for the false ' (p. 9). 

The * rotten foundation ' above alluded to is likely to have a con- 
siderable lease of life, however, being what it is, i.e. ungenerate human 
nature. Probably where the idealists err is in their lack of psychological 
insight ; the majority of men are not rational, still less doctrinaire. Never- 
theless, it is well to have ideals formulated. 

Mr. Widdrington, whose essay seems to us the best thing in the book, 
finds in the old conception of the Kingdom of God a sufficient formulation 
of the spiritual, moral, and social ideal. It has to be admitted that the 
phrase is ceasing to mean much to the plain citizen : to him it seems like 
one of those hallowed yet commercially worthless pieces of currency which 
the Musical-Bank-Managers were in the habit of passing on the Ere- 
whonian public. 

Mr. Widdrington makes a vigorous attempt to bring the idea back 
into the sphere of realities, reminds us of its history in the past, and 
emphasises its necessity for the present if we are to emerge from the 
difficulties, ethical, social, and religious, which surround us. Being trans- 
lated into necessarily general language, the idea now signifies^ that * Chris- 
tian living postulates the background of a common life in which Christian 
values are embodied ' (p. 92). In other words the days of individualism 
* The Return of Christendom. By a Group of Churchmen. (Allen and Unwin ; 7/6 net.) 



524 . THE MODERN CHURCHMAN 

in religion are past, for if religion, cannot work a fundamental change in, 
our social and economic environment, that environment will eliminate 
religion. 

There seems to be need of nothing less than another Reformation ' in 
comparison with which the Reformation of the sixteenth century will seem 
a small thing (p. 108) ; and a revised theology of the Kingdom would 
purge the Church of that plausible insincerity which masquerades as 
4 spiritual religion,' (p. no). We read, too, in a footnote (p. 95) that it 
will ' purge the Church of associations with the modern equivalents of 
Mystery Cults, Neo^Platonism, &c.' 

We do not anticipate that observations of this kind will render the 
new propaganda attractive in those circles! to which the term * catholic ' 
is commonly attached, and possibly it may have been with the idea of 
reconciling pietistic readers to the somewhat uncompromising utterances 
of Mr. Widdrington that two or three essays of a mo-re palatable nature 
have been included in this collection. The Rev. L. S. Thornton, and the 
Rev. Paul Bull, write respectively on * The Necessity of Catholic Dogma,' 
and ' The Kingdom of God and the Church to-day. ' Mr. H. H. Slessor, 
too, contributes an essay with the reassuring title : * The Return of 
Dogma.' 

At the same time, while fully appreciating the quality of these con- 
tributions and the motives which included them, we cannot but doubt the 
wisdom o>f mixing up the sheep and the goats in this way. As it stands, 
this volume will meet with little unqualified approbation. One section of 
the religious public will be scandalised by Mr. Widdrington' s candid 
polemic, while another section . will wonder whether it is not being led 
back into the theological labyrinth when it reads passages like the fol- 
lowing from Mr. Thornton : 

' Nature had failed ; nothing could help it but a new creative act 
of God, or rather a series of acts unmistakably supernatural in 
character. So the Son of God became Man and was born of a 
Virgin, worked miracles upon earth, lived and died and rose from 
the dead, taking again His body and ascending into heaven. So, 
too<, on the basis of these redemptive acts He instituted the Catholic 
Church, pouring His Spirit into it and so 1 creating in it a new centre 
of world-wide fellowship' (p. 71). 

We cannot but feel that a new ' Kingdom of God ' theology (if we may 
be allowed the term), while resisting the temptation to* indulge in nega- 
tions, would be well-advised to lay down its rule of faith in other terms 
than these outlined by Mr. Thornton. If the New Reformation is to 
follow its sixteenth-century predecessor in burdening itself with a mass 
of disputable history and antiquated philosophy, its effectiveness as a 
spiritual force is likely to be compromised. We urge these reflections upon 
Mr. Widdrington and those who think with him. 

In closing this notice we desire to commend the two admirable essays 
of Mr. Reckitt on * The Moralization of Property ' and * The Idea of 
Christendom in Relation to Modern Society.' J. C. H. 

A MUCH-NEEDED BOOK.* 

Those who have had anything to do with schoolboys or remember their 

own schooldays, will be aware of the strange gaps in the body of historical 

information possessed by the more or less intelligent adolescent. A certain 

amount of Greek and Roman history (nothing of course of the decline and 

* A Short History of our Religion, by D. C. Somervell. (Bell and Sons ; 6/- net.) 



BOOK NOTICES 



525 



fall of the Roman Empire), some scraps of Hebrew mythology and history, 
some slig-ht knowledge of mediaeval England (none of mediaeval Europe)* 
and a rather more comprehensive acquaintance with the Stuart and 
Hanoverian periods. These fragments co-exist in a more or less discon- 
nected fashion, and thusi profit little, or less than they ought. 

Mr. Somervell, who is himself a schoolmaster, does not attempt to 
supply us with an universal history ; but in something over three hundred 
pages he gives us a history of Christianity from its pre-natal origins 
among the Hebrews and Greeks, down to the present day. The work 
strikes us as being extraordinarily well done. The style is lively, the 
matter interesting, and a plain tale is told without pedantry, without ob- 
scurity, and, we may add, without obscurantism. The book, too, is 
remarkably comprehensive ; a glance at the eighteen-page index, which 
is almost entirely composed of names of persons, indicates the scope of the 
volume. Here the fascinated schoolboy or schoolgirl will read about that 
neglected period between the Old and New Testaments, about the founda- 
tion of the Holy Roman Empire and the first dawn after the night of the 
dark ages, about those bold mediaeval thinkers, like Abelard and Anselm, 
who created the Scholastic theology, about Loyola and his Spiritual Exer- 
cises, and so on ; and, above all, they will learn something of the history of 
ideas, not to speak of the history of institutions. 

An additional advantage is that the book is very cheap ; 6/- now-a-days 
is a small price, to pay for so much material. We can only hope that the 
sales will equal the merit of this admirable work. J. C. H. 



WHOLESOME WORDS-* 

These six short lectures contain, much excellent matter. Theirs is that 
spiritual and yet rational temper which characterises, or used to charac- 
terise, English religion the temper of the Cambridge Platonists so widely 
sundered from both superstition and legalism. Whichcote or John Smith 
might have written the following : 

* Things have their highest value in so far as they are symbols 
of something beyond, which we feel to be our true home, and where 
lies at once our source and our destiny . . .Religion is the turning 
our face to the light, where we behold a world infinite in value, 
infinite in glory, infinite in life, to which the path leads from our own 
inner self ' (p. 14). 

Besides passages such as the above, many .striking sayings occur : 

1 It is the life that is maintaining a lie that grows old and 
weary ' (p. 10). 

' We reach the highest note of praise in ' We thank Thee for Thy 
great glory ' (p. 63). 

' We lose the condition of knowledge just as we become knowing ' 

(P- I?)- 

* The Jew who has enriched the world is not Solomon in all his. 

glory ' (p. 58). 

' The humanity of Christ, where it was not marvellous, was treated 
as a disguise rather than a revelation ' (p. 19). 

We have noted one passage where we think Mr. Simms is liable to 
be misunderstood. He says (p. u) that the danger of identifying God 
with something less than the highest ' is one to which ' the uncritical andi 
* Christianity To-day. By the Rev. A. E. N. SIMMS. (Griffiths ; 3/- net.) 



526 THE MODERN CHURCHMAN 

unlearned ' are specially exposed. No doubt there is a truth here. Yet, 
on the other hand, it is not the critical and unlearned who are the most 
sure of escaping- this dang-er. As St. Anselm said, ' there is many an old 
woman who knows more of the love of God than do the theologians.' 
Spinoza, too, that religious genius, told his pious landlady at the Hague 
that if she sought God in her own way she would find Him. ' Blessed are 
the unsophisticated, for they shall know God,' might be another beatitude. 

J. C. H. 



READINGS FROM THE APOCRYPHA. By E. H. Blakeney, M.A. (Texts for 
Students, No. 28). London, S.P.C.K. Price, i/- paper covers ; 1/6 
cloth boards. 

This volume contains about fifty representative pieces selected from the 
Apocrypha, with a brief historical introduction, notes, and index. The 
text is eclectic: while it is based on the A.V., it has been changed 
in a good number of places, wherever the old translations were plainly at 
fault. The book is handsomely printed, in large type, and can easily be 
slipped into the pocket. 



CORRESPONDENCE 

THE LORD OF THOUGHT. 

To THE EDITOR OF The Modern Churchman. 
SIR, 

May I be allowed one word of comment on the excellent review of 
The Lord of Thought in your last issue? Mr. Pryke finds the main 
objection to the theory that Christ rejected the Apocalyptic outlook in the 
saying, ' of that day or that hour knoweth no one,' &c. I agree with 
him that the saying is authentic, but if he will look again at my discussion 
of Mark xiii he will find the suggestion that originally these words 
applied to the fall of Jerusalem, though of course in their present setting 
they refer to the Parousia. The question asked of Christ (according to 
Mark and Luke) had to do with the destruction of the Temple, and the 
original elements in the discourse (including the words quoted by Mr. 
Pryke) may be held to have been solely an answer to this question. In 
subsequent tradition additions were made which turned it into a pre- 
diction of a Second Coming of the Son of Man. 

C. W. EMMET. 

THE OTHER SIDE OF HINDUISM. 

SIR, 

In Mr. Greaves' s paper on ' Hinduism,' which appears in this year's 
Oxford Conference Number of the Modern Churchman, there is one sen- 
tence which seems to me to merit careful attention. He writes : 

' Speaking broadly, Hindus are often about as far in advance of 
the Hinduism they profess as are nominal Christians behind the 
Christianity which they are supposed to obey.' (p. 410). 

Now if this is true (and certainly my own experience, which during 
the last three years hasi brought me into daily contact with young Hindu 
students, confirms its truth), then it seems to me that this suggests that 



CORRESPONDENCE 527 

*" ' ' T. I-JI- - - --_._" - -- - - - - -_-.- ,_, - . 

there may be more of value in Hinduism than would be gathered from 
the general tone of Mr. Greaves' paper. For if the fruits of a religion, 
as seen in the lives of its adherents, are on the whole better than its tenets 
would lead us to expect, it may be that the explanation is, that these tenets 
have not been perfectly understood by us. Especially is this the case with 
a religion the fundamental axioms of which are so unfamiliar, not to say 
unthinkable, as those of Hinduism are to the normal Western mind. The 
sense of bewilderment, if not of repulsion, which is generally produced by 
our first contact with the ideas; of Karma, Maya, Reincarnation, and the 
other corallaries of Oriental Pantheism is liable to deaden our powers ot 
reasonable appreciation, and to pervert the fairness of our judgment. 

Yet there are certainly many Christians, with a long and intimate 
knowledge of Hinduism, who, while by no means blind to its grievous 
defects and errors, yet show ai much larger appreciation of its merits than 
is suggested in Mr. Greaves' article. I would venture to hope that your 
readers will not dismiss Hinduism as a mere valueless system of super- 
stition until they have read some o<f the sympathetic (and yet discriminating) 
studies recently published, such as those by Mr. Sinclair Stevenson or Dr. 
Sydney Cave. The former, in ' The Rites of the Twice^Born ' and * The 
Heart of Jainism,' has given us two delightful pictures of Hinduism (and 
its cousin, Jainism) in daily life and worship ; while the latter, in his 
* Redemption, Hindu and Christian,' takes us with insight into the deeper 
realms of philosophy and theology. Both these writers (together with 
many others among Christian Missionaries) show that generous attitude 
towards non-Christian thought and experience, to> which Dr. Percy Gardner 
referred with commendation in his Presidential Address at the Oxford 
Conference; an attitude which it ought to be the special privilege of 
Liberal Churchmen to safeguard and cherish. 

And in the case of Hinduism, the warm appreciation which its sacred 
books have evoked from Western scholars and thinkers, such as Max 
Miiller and Schopenhauer, Deussen and Royce, should surely suggest to 
every lesser student that here is a religion which he will do well to study, 
not only with sympathy, but with humility and respect. 

E. C. DEWICK. 
ST. PAUL'S COLLEGE, 

CALCUTTA. 

November jth, 1922. 

THE CHURCH IN THE WEST INDIES. 
SIR, 

I am sending you herewith a copy of the Pastoral Letter of the Bishops 
of our Province, and a copy of their Resolutions assembled in Synod. As 
these documents are, I imagine, typical utterances of missionary Bishops, 
I think it worth while to make some observations upon them from a 
Liberal standpoint. 

The scope and subjects dealt with in the Pastoral its narrowly con- 
fined range will come as something of a shock to the regular reader who 
has been studying the articles on Missionary Problems lately in the 
Modern Churchman, or who has come fresh from this year's Confer- 
ence. To use your own phrase, ' they do not know that things are 
shaken and still paddle boats in ecclesiastical back-waters. ' Their ap- 
parent busy preoccupation with diocesan problems, their ambiguous lan- 
guage and attention to ecclesiastical detail will deceive nobody. Did none 
of them recollect Archbishop Tait's words, written in 1877 : ' I am some- 



528 THE MODERN CHURCHMAN 

times dispirited by thinking- how the energies of the Bishops and clergy, 
which might by God's blessing- produce isuch great results, are wasted 
by being 1 diverted to paltry and miserable questions . . . what might not 
the Church do if discarding 1 . . . disputes! about anise and cummiri 
the clergy would place themselves at the Head of the Christian Progress 
of the Age.' 

By what standard and test is this constitution of the Anglican Bishops 
of the West Indies, sent forth with authority after due consideration, to 
be judged and valued as giving helpful guidance for the times ? I answer 
in the words of Dr. H. Rashdall (quoted in Review, Modern Churchman,. 
May, 1922, p. 10; from Jesus , Human and Divine/ pp. 78-79). 

' I do not hesitate to say that one of the greatest needs perhaps 
the greatest need of the Church to-day is an improvement in the 
education of the clergy, and a changed attitude towards intellectual 
questions not only of the clergy but of the religious laity. Without 
that: not all the devotion of the laborious parochial clergy, not all 
the subscriptions of the benevolent laity, &c., will avail to make the 
Church hold its own and do its work in the world of to-day. ' 

Having reflected upon these striking words the thoughtful man care- 
fully reading the Pastoral Letter and resolutions will feel distinctly un- 
happy and disturbed. If he had an inside and first-hand knowledge of 
the leading problems that trouble and perplex the Dioceses of the West 
Indian Province he will be puzzled to assign a reason for the ominous 
silence upon so many of them. It may be paradoxical, but a later age 
will value these documents for their notable omissions. Thus there is no 
message of Christian leadership upon the Colour Problem which year by 
year is becoming a more intricate problem and further disturbing the 
counsels, peace, and good fellowship of the West Indian Church. Nothing* 
is said as to the reasons, no doubt very good ones, which have prompted; 
the almost universal though tacit abandonment of a coloured or native 
ministry. A Church that is responsible in some cases for five races of 
people, whose crying need is a distinctive Liturgy and Revised Services, 
has the alternative of having, if the Bishop in question approves, the 1549 
Liturgy. And indeed reactionary thought is the basis for many of the 
conclusions and recommendations of the Bishops. 

It has been said that the present Bishop of London does all his reading 
in his motor-car, but perhaps this is apocryphal ; at all events some of 
the istatements of the Bishops which amount only to assertions 1 and there- 
fore call for suspension of judgment give one pause rather uneasily. 
They seem ignorant of Dr. Headlam's Bampton Lectures; they do not 
seem to know of the difference of opinion on ' The Relation of Baptism 
to Confirmation, ' between, for instance, Dr. Darwell Stone and Canon 
A. J. Mason; the New Psychology has not it appears reached them. 
Archdeacon Charles, it appears, has laboured in vain even to secure a 
hearing on the subject of Divorce. Everything is assumed and taken, for 
granted though Bishop Gore and an authority like Professor G. H. Box, 
D.D., are unable to agree between themselves in a joint book on the 
subject. 

The Bishops speak much of the Lambeth Conference. The Bishop of 
Durham, Dr. Henson, closes his book on Anglicanism (Macmillan, 1921) 
with a chapter on the Conference. His gaitered brethren from overseas 
may note that on p. 245 he says : * Unanimity ceases to be morally im- 
pressive when it appears to be the result of calculating diplomacy. ' With 
some dryness of tone he further adds (p. 246), * A missionary Bishop has 



CORRESPONDENCE 529 

to be chosen for reasons which have no special relevance to the case of 
a Bishop in England. Physical vigour and great ardour of devotion are 
indispensable in the o<ne case ; there are other qualities which might seem 
not less indispensable in the other. Zeal is rarely allied with learning, 
dispassionateness, and the love of justice. These, however, are the pri- 
mary requisites, when such questions as those which engage the attention 
of Bishops in Conference are being discussed.' 

A CARIBBEAN MISSIONARY. 

[We regret that we have no space for the Pastoral and Resolutions. 
The following quotation from R. 13 will suggest that the Church in Eng- 
land is not so clericalist as some of her daughter churches : 

' We do further declare that the conduct of public worship is 
committed by the constitution of the Church of Christ to the Bishop 
and his clergy, to whom in such matters the allegiance of all the 
faithful laity is due,' ED. M.C.] 

UNITY IN CHINA. 

SIR, 

It is a great encouragement to us out here to see soi much evidence of 
interest in missionary problems in the Modern Churchman. Since I sent 
you the article which appeared in the May issue, the National Christian 
Conference representing practically all Protestant missionary bodies in 
China has been held in Shanghai. This Conference is held every ten 
years and this is the first time that Chinese delegates have attended in 
equal numbers with foreign missionaries. Moreover, the Chairman of the 
Conference was a Chinese, Dr. C. Y. Cheng, the Chairman of the Chinese 
Home Missionary Society and Secretary of the ' China for Christ ' move- 
ment. 

The particular point of interest for us is the fact that an attempt was 
made to introduce for acceptance a doctrinal statement of a narrow and 
exclusive type, and that wiser counsels saved the harmony of the con- 
ference. The proceedings of the conference may be summed up as fol- 
lows : 

(a) Preparations were made for many months beforehand by 
appointing five ' Commissions ' of investigation, which made their re- 
ports to the conference, these reports being adopted as resolutions. 

(b) A resolution was adopted by rising vote and the singing of the 
Doxology, in place of the suggested doctrinal statement. 

(c) A National Council of one hundred members half Chinese and 
half foreign was appointed, representing the following bodies : 
Anglican, Baptist, Congregational, Presbyterian, United Church, 
Lutheran, Miethodist, China Inland Mission, Y.M.C.A., Y.W.C.A., 
Christian and Missionary Alliance, Independent Churches, Colleges, 
National Organisations, Literature Organisations, Others, General. 

(d) A resolution on the subject of industrial questions was passed. 
The spirit of the Conference was well expressed by Dr. Liu, of the L.M.S. 

in Peking, in the striking phrase that the Chinese Church of the future 
' shall teach her members to agree to differ, but resolve to love. ' Reso- 
lution (b) makes clear the position of the Conference and the function of 
the National Council. The principal points in it are as follows : 

' We, the members of the Conference, joyfully confess our faith in, 
and renew our allegiance to, God the Father Almighty, Jesus Christ 
His Son our Lord and Saviour, who loved us and gave Himself for 



530 THE MODERN CHURCHMAN 

our sins, and the Holy Spirit the Lord and,' Giver of Life : and acknow- 
ledge our loyalty to the Holy Scriptures as the supreme guide of faith 
and conduct and to the fundamental Christian beliefs held by the 
Churches to which we severally belong . . . The Conference . . . 
recognizes that the authority to determine what are the essential affir- 
mations of the Christian faith lies with the several Churches of which 
those attending this Conference are members. Any National Christian 
Council which may be appointed by this Conference will not be in any 
sense a Church Council ... It will be an advisory body which will 
seek to carry forward the work of this Conference and to bring the 
representatives of the different Churches and missions in China to- 
gether in order that they may mutually enrich one another through 
common counsel, and will take action in matters of common interest 
only when it has reason to believe that the action taken will be in 
accordance with the wishes of the co-operating bodies.' 

The resolution on the subject of industrial questions is worth quoting : 

* In view of the importance of industrial problems^ and of the 
present state of public opinion in China, be it resolved tnat this Con- 
ference expresses its endorsement of the following standards for in- 
dustrial labour : 

(a) No employment of children under twelve years of age. 

(b) One day's rest in seven. 

(c) The safeguarding of the health of the workers, by limiting 

hours, by the improvement of sanitary conditions, by the 
installing of safety devices. 

That this Conference directs! the National Council to give these 
standards the widest publicity. And that this Conference calls upon 
Christian organisations throughout the country to endorse these 
standards and to take action to see that they are brought intoi force 
in China as soon as possible.' 

I would venture to claim that, if the National Council fulfils its 
' promise,' a Christian Church may be established in China which will be 
an example of unity of spirit to the world. And if it carries out its 
instructions in regard to' industrial problems it will be a great factor in 
moulding the life of a united republic of China. F. E. A. SHEPHERD. 

Boone University, Wu Chang, China, 

THE BRAHMO-SOMAJ AND CHRISTIANITY. 
SIR, 

After reading the article in the July issue on ' Christianity and the 
Religions of Asia,' I turned up a letter which I received in 1904 from 
Mr. Mozoomdar, a member of the Brahmo-Somaj, who believed himself 
to be as truly called by the Lord Jesus as was St. P'aul. His book, The 
Oriental Christ, is in Dr. Williams' Library ; I presented it to that in- 
stitution after careful reading and frequent lending, so anyone who cares 
to read the account of his conversion and his exposition of the life of 
Jesus, as he understood it, can borrow it from this library. 

He expressed to me in one of his letters his ardent desire to see the 
Kingdom of Christ triumphant in India. Of course he did not mean that 
he identified the Kingdom with any particular ecclesiastical organisation. 
In a letter written from t^e Himalayas, dated June isth, 1904, he wrote : 



CORRESPONDENCE 531 

' Our central aim and aspiration is after the Spirit of God and Him alone. 
But, nevertheless, our relationship to His eternal Son is most tender and 
personal. We realize further that but for the revelation of the Father's 
nature as made by Christ Jesus, the image of God would be a blurred and 
fragmentary one ! Here our agreement is perhaps complete. But what 
that revelation truly was is a matter in which we Easterns might claim 
a voice. Our old religious traditions and the trend of our whole spiritual 
culture point to unity with the Christ-Ideal which St. John the Evangelist 
set forth, as none before or after him has ever done.' 

Mr. Mozoomdar has now passed out of our earthly limitations, and I 
have lost touch with the present members of the Brahmo-Somaj, and I 
do not know how far they resemble Mir. Mozoomdar in their fervent de- 
votion to the Person and ideals of our' Lord Jesus Christ. 

If any one would care to borrow Mr. Mozoomdar's book, The Spirit 
of God, I shall be pleased to lend it on application, with gd. to cover 
postage. H. A. DALLAS. 

INNISFAIL, CRAWLEY, SUSSEX. 

DR. HARRIS'S CREEDS OR NO CREEDS. 
SIR, 

Having read Dr. Harris's Creeds or No Creeds in extenso, I am ven- 
turing to send you a few quotations and remarks : 

' It is a great venture of faith, possible only by the help of grace, 
to* believe that the Almighty Ruler of the Universe has humbled Him- 
self to become man in the P'erson of Jesus of Nazareth, and to die 
upon the Cross ' (p. 21). 

' The idea of God dwelling in man (which is what is meant by 
Immanence) and that of God becoming man (which is what is meant 
by Incarnation) are radically distinct, and indeed contradictory ' (p. 

145)- 

' That the Awful and Omnipotent Creator of all things, King of 

the Ages . . . out of love for sinners should deign to take their 

nature upon Him, to work for years as a village carpenter ' (p. 267). 

' He (Jesus) Who on earth had lived as a mere village carpenter * 

(p. 280). 

' In the Person of His Incarnate So<n (i.e. in His own Person), 
He hungered, thirsted, &c.' (p. 341). 

* God entire the whole substance of God became man in the 
Person of His Eternal Son, and (as man) suffered and died for us ' 
(P- 344, cf. p. 340). 

' God is a perfect society of persons . . . each Person of the Trinity 
gives Himself wholly and unreservedly in love to each of the others, 
and loses Himself in order to find Himself again in the others ' (p. 348). 

' The Logos became incarnate as Jesus of Nazareth ' (p. 366). 
It seems to me that a plain man, comparing the above passages, would 
find it very difficult to derive an intelligible and consistent theology from 
them, while a theologian might suspect Dr. Harris of being a Patripassian, 
or an Apollinarian, or both. In his anxiety to avoid dividing the Sub- 
stance he confounds the Persons, and then lapses into popular Tritheism. 
To prove the distinct Personality of the Spirit he gives six references to 
Acts (p. 40). In four of these we have * The Holy Spirit said ' ; in i6 6 , 
' hindered by the Holy Spirit ' ; in 19% * did ye receive Holy Spirit (no 
article) ? ' 



532 THE MODERN CHURCHMAN 

The following are miscellaneous specimens of Dr. Harris's thought : 

' If at first sight any of the circumstances of the post-Resurrection 
appearances (such as the handling and the eating) seem to imply that 
His body still consisted of natural flesh and blood, these must be under- 
stood to' have been the result of a temporary accommodation to earthly 
conditions for evidential purposes ' (p. 124). 

Is there not a suggestion of pious fraud in this? I am reminded of 
Dummelow's comment on Luke 24 26 , which I believe is quoted by Dr. 
Harris : 

' Probably our Lord was in heaven during the Forty days, descend- 
ing to earth for occasional interviews.' 

' At the last Great Assize, He will not, like other men, stand be^- 
fore the judgment seat of God to be judged, but will Himself sit upon 
the tribunal, and assign to the whole human race, and to the evil 
spirits, their eternal recompense' (p. 219). 

Dr. Harris does not tell us how long the Judgment Day will last. 

' All the fundamental doctrines of science are based upon faith, not 
evidence ' (p. 242). Scientific men, please note. 

* When we see God face to face in heaven, and . . . drink of His 
essence ' (p. 25$). 

I suppose there are people to whom such language is grateful and com- 
forting. Is the essence ' whole and indivisible '? 

' " Flesh and blood," in their natural and unglorified condition, 
cannot inherit the Kingdom of God ' (p. 274). 

What is glorified blood like? 

* The strange thing is that they (Modernists) do not perceive that, 
if the Incarnation is a fact, the conception of Jesus, 'whether His 
mother was a virgin or not, was a divine miracle ' (p. 291). 

I thought this was just what Modernists do perceive, and many Tradi- 
tionalists do not. 

At the end of the book Dr. Harris quotes : 

' Two most distinguished scholars, Dr. Foakes-Jackson and Dr. 
Lake, who until recently were prominent in the Modernist movement, 
have now abandoned it, and have passed upon it strictures similar to 
my own, but much more severe ' (p. 359). 

The plain man is left tq infer that they are now strong Traditionalists. 
Is this honest? 

The Bishop of Lichfield, in his preface to the book, says : ' I hope that 
it will be widely read, and (seeing that the author is the last to fear criti- 
cism) acutely criticized. Its purpose is to find and to establish the Truth 
as it is in Jesus.' With what Dr. Harris says about disinterested love of 
truth (pp. no 11) all Modernists will agree; and they will admire his 
piety, his learning, and his immense industry. Yet I cannot help feeling 
that he writes as an advocate, and not as a truth-seeker. And he deepens 
my melancholy conviction that between his mind and that of the average 
Modernist there is a great gulf fixed, which at present nothing can bridge. 
If this letter isi not too long, I should like to add a few words from Canon 
Barnes's review in the Church Family Newspaper : 

' English Modernism, though Dr. Harris does not realize the fact, 
is becoming constructive and it is showing that the Christian faith, 
when set in the framework made by modern knowledge, has all its old 
beauty and spiritual power, combined with an intellectual strength un- 
suspected by many of its critics.' T. F. ROYDS, B.D. 



CORRESPONDENCE 533 



A BOOK FOR PARENTS AND TEACHERS. 
SIR, 

I wish to commend to the notice of readers interested in the education 
of the young- a book which appears to me to be of more than ordinary 
value in this connection : The Mysteries of Life, by Stanley De Brath, 
M.Inst.C.E., late Headmaster, Preston House Preparatory School, East 
Grinstead (Allen and Unwin, Ltd., 5/-). 

Although written originally for the young- and those who train them, 
its value and interest is by no means limited to these readers. The author 
combines a thoroughly modern outlook on nature, human life, and divine 
revelation, with a sane and reverent conservatism. In addition to> a wide 
range of knowledge, he also possesses insight into the significance 
underlying phenomena, tradition, and history ; appreciation of relative 
values is a marked feature of the book, the style is lucid and attractive. 
The volume covers such subjects as ' The Mystery of the Body,' * Human 
Evolution,' ' The Mystery of Sex,' ' Revelation of God.' Under the latter 
heading the survey of the Bible is illuminating, and will be specially 
appreciated by modern Churchmen. 

The subjects which require delicate handling are treated with admirable 
discretion ; the tone of the whole is both rational and Christian. 

If such teaching were given mo-re widely youths would leave school 
with a more reasonable faith and a healthier moral sense. 

H.A.D. 



A REVISED CANON OF THE SCRIPTURES. 

SIR, 

Professor Adolf Harnack has, I believe, recently declared his opinion 
that it is time that the Old Testament should be cut out of the Canon. 
Few will follow the learned professor in such a course. But is it not 
time to consider the desirability of overhauling and revising the Canon 
as it has come down to us from early times? Much might be said for 
removing from the Old Testament Canon such books as Esther, Daniel 
and Canticles to say nothing of some of the Psalms, portions of Judges 
and Joshua, and the Chronicles and relegating them to the Apocrypha. 
Meanwhile, Maccabees I and the Wisdom books of the Apocrypha might 
have a place in the Old Testament collection. The New Testament, no 
doubt, stands on a different footing; but II Peter, beautiful as much of 
it is, could hardly be included in a revised Canon of the New Testament, 
and it seems probable that Jude should find its home in the revised and 
enlarged Apocrypha. The question, ' What is to be done with the Apoc- 
alypse ' ? is difficult to answer : its position in the Canon was long- 
disputed. 

One thing seems clear : if any revision were attempted, some effort 
should be made to put the various books of the Bible in an approximately 
correct chronological o<rder. If the Pauline epistles were chronologically 
arranged, students would get a far surer understanding of Pauline thought 
in its vigorous development. It is very unsatisfactory, as things are, 
to find the two epistles to the Thessalonians printed after Romans and 
Corinthians; and equally so to find the Apocalypse at the close of the 
New Testament while the fourth Gospel remains where it now is. 

E. B. H. 



534 THE MODERN CHURCHMAN 



SIR THE VIRGIN-BIRTH. 

In a recent lecture on the Incarnation first published in the Church 
Times, and afterwards in a small volume entitled Foundations of Belief, 
Canon Vernon Storr deals in a brief but striking manner with the story 
of the Virgin-birth. He removes or attempts to remove the burden of 
proving the truth of the story from those who believe it, and casts it on 
those who disbelieve it. 'If,' he says, 'the story is not true adequate 
evidence must be produced to show how the story arose. ' 

This is a bold challenge. 

And he then asks the question, ' Whether the story could have arisen 
spontaneously in Jewish soil? ' and answers it in the negative. 

I venture to think that there was no time more likely than the latter 
half of the first century, and no place more likely than Palestine, for such 
a story to have arisen spontaneously. 

We must bear in mind that at the time the story arose, the stupendous 
miracles of our Lord's bodily resurrection, and of his bodily ascension into 
Heaven had only recently taken place, and were believed by all members 
of the Christian Church to be literally true. It was a time of great 
religious excitement and tension. It would then not have been thought at 
all unreasonable to suppose that He who passed out of the world in this 
abnormal and miraculous manner should also* have entered it in an abnor- 
mal and miraculous manner. At any rate, it would have been easier to 
think this: of him than of any other person. This thought, if it existed, 
may have remained hidden in the mind for a long time before it was 
expressed, though it would be ready for expression asi soon as the neces- 
sary stimulus was supplied. 

It should also be remembered that in, Jewish History stories of births 
which were miraculous or at least abnormal were not uncommon. It was 
recorded of Isaac, of Jacob and Esau, of Joseph, of Samson, of Samuel, 
and of John the Baptist that they were all born of mothers who were 
past the age of child-bearing, or were barren, and that their births were 
due to the intervention of angels of Jahweh, or took place as the result 
of the special intervention of Jahweh' s answer to* prayer. 

Were the stories of these births absolutely and literally true or did 
they grow spontaneously on Jewish soil? 

If the latter alternative be accepted, we have the clearest evidence of a 
tendency in Jewish thought to> attribute to the births of prominent per- 
sonages abnormal or miraculous incidents, so that at the time when the 
story of the virgin-birth was first published abroad there were hearers 
ready to accept it. They would receive the news with a bias in its favour 
rather than with impartial minds. 

As to the circumstances in which the story was invented, if it were 
invented, it is impossible to dogmatise. It is not necessary to affirm 
that a sober-minded Jewish Christian learned in the law and the prophets 
deliberately constructed it out of his imagination and then published it 
abroad as true. On the contrary, it is easy to- suppose that it arose 
quite spontaneously. A casual remark possibly misunderstood made in 
the presence of a few enthusiasts may have been the origin of a rumour 
which spread at first slowly but at length obtained general credence. 

I do not claim to have solved the question of the origin of the story of 
the Virgin-Birth. I am not competent to discuss it in all its bearings, but I 
confidently submit that I have said enough to show that the story may have 
' arisen spontaneously in Jewish soil.' 



CORRESPONDENCE 535 

I will only add one remark. If it did so arise, it is unlikely that 
it arose during- the life-time of Mary, as it could have been contradicted 
by her if it had not been true. This; accounts for its late origin. On 
the other hand, if the story be true, I cannot understand why Mary 
did not made it known at an earlier date. It is said that she kept it secret 
from motives of delicacy. I wish some women of hig-h character would 
express their fully-considered opinion on this point. They would be the 
best judg-es. W. WHITWORTH. 

1 8 Essex Villas, 

Kensington, W ( .8. 

[We believe Miss Maude Royden has done so publicly, but are unable to 
g-ive the reference. Surely the supreme difficulty is to account for 
words and actions of the Virgin-Mother recorded in the Synoptic 
Gospels, which suggest not that she was keeping- secret the fact of 
the miraculous birth, but that she was ignorant of it. ED. M.C.] 

SlR EMIGRANTS AND HONORARY CLERGY.. 

An article in the Modern Churchman for May drew attention to a 
clamant need when it pointed to the great numbers of emigrants from 
our shores to the Dominions, and to the small provision for preventing" 
their loss o-f all organised religious life. It proposed a bold policy to meet 
the need, viz. the ordaining the: most suitable among- them to be voluntary 
clergy, who might carry on their secular occupations as emigrants while 
securing, as far as opportunity goes, the religious needs of those around 
them in their new homes. Such a proposal deserves consideration, but 
many may feel that the more it is considered the mo-re serious the objec- 
tions to it become. I do not intend to enter upon these, but rather to 
ask if better results might not be gained by simpler and less revolutionary 
means. I propose two reforms ; one an old proposal, the other a new one, 
neither of which would be sufficient alone, though each in itself would be 
valuable and would serve many purposes. They would supplement one 
another, and taken together might go far to meet the; need of emigrants, 
and a good many other needs felt in the Church besides. 

1. The Diaconate provides for a life in Orders which admits at the 
same time of civil occupation and spiritual service ; and its abeyance, 
save as a stepping stone to Priesthood, is a loss of many opportunities. 
Its revival as a permanent status might turn these to account. A number 
of permanent Deacons sent out among the thousands emigrating, would 
go far to meet their need, while other pressing needs would also be met 
by the revival of the Diaconate for men to whom the Priesthood is not 
an end in view, and to whom it should not be opened. The union of small 
parishes in the country, and the better service of poor parishes in towns, 
would often become practicable, where this is not so now, if two* or three 
permanent Deacons served under the direction of one responsible incum- 
bent in full Orders, while supporting themselves, and giving only a part of 
their time to religious duties. And in this way scope for very valuable 
service might be given to many men whose education or mental qualifica- 
tions are inadequate for, or whose ties and obligations preclude them 
from, full Orders and the entire consecration of their lives. 

2. But this alone would not provide what is needed. There must be 
coupled with it a second reform which quite independently is much to be 
desired. And the second might also help our emigrants, while it would 
help in many ways beside. This consists of Bishops gwing commission 
limited alike in time and place, to men found fit to undertake some service 



536 THE MODERN CHURCHMAN 



under 1 particular 1 conditions only. Ordination confers a commission which 
is permanent and universal : what is wanted is that side by side with this 
there should be a commission which is strictly ad hoc and terminable. 

An important example of the great value such a restricted commission 
might have is to be seen in Confirmation. At present this is a burden 
too great for many Bishops to> bear, and Bishops Suffragfan or Bishops 
Coadjutant are costly and unsatisfactory expedients for getting over the 
difficulty. The Bishop who tries to do his duty without them finds fatigue 
and istaleness result inevitably from continual confirming, which seriously 
lessen the value of his service. His time for other duties becomes insuffi- 
cient, and those confirmed receive less help than they might. But in 
every Diocese there are a score or two of the Clergy who, if commissioned 
to do SO', might administer confirmation, each in a few assigned centres 
for the current season om the Bishop's behalf; and being personally fitted 
for such service they would render it with great advantage to the laity 
concerned, to the. Bishop, and it may be added to themselves, since it 
does a man good to call his latent powers into use. The administration 
of Confirmation by the Priesthood has longf since been the practice in the 
Eastern Church, and that of Baptism by Priests and others is everywhere 
admitted. Yet Baptism is undoubtedly the greater moment than Con- 
firmation which is the seal set to complete it ; and at one time Baptism 
was usually undertaken by the Bishop. There is therefore no room for 
objection on the ground of order; and the magnitude of the benefit that 
mig-ht result should over-ride mere habit. 

Similar commissions ad hoc might well be given, where there is 
occasion, by Bishops to permanent Deacons, to celebrate the other 
sacrament. In some sparsely populated region of an outlying Dominion 
such a Deacon working his own land mig-ht gather around him at inter- 
vals Christian people beyond the reach of a Priest for the time being-, 
and be authorised to act then and there as the Bishop'' s Commissary in 
consecrating" and administering- the Holy Communion. This sacrament 
is the act of the Church ; and it would be just as much by the authority 
of the Church mediated through the Bishop if his commission were a 
restricted one given to a Deacon for particular purpose as it is when a 
general one is given in conferring- Priests' Orders. Of course the consent 
of the Church would be given in the initiation, of such a reform of practice ; 
and no Bishop would be entitled to give ad hoc commission except for 
service within his Diocese and during the time in which he himself 
maintained it. Here 'again there mig-ht be found good occasion for such 
action in small grouped parishes, or in large under-staffed ones at home. 

There is plenty of precedent for Episcopal Commission, ad hoc only, 
in a number of other directions; e.g. in the matter of institutions and 
inductions, in the appointment of Surrogates for the issue of marriage 
licences, and in the consecration, of churches and churchyards, not to 
mention: the varied duties of Bishops Suffragan, who, in spite of their 
Episcopal Order, depend on special commission from their Diocesan. The 
reform here asked for would therefore be no more than an extension of 
existing usage in fresh directions. And so many facts of experience 
suggest that a bold extension of such ad hoc commission by Episcopal 
authority to suitable men, for service: beyond their ordinary range, whether 
as Deacons or Priests, might prove of the greatest value to the religious 
life of the Church, that perhaps the Modern Churchman may be able to 
secure wide consideration for it. E. P. BOYS-SMITH. 

HORDLE VICARAGE, 
BROCKENHURST. 




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