SIR,—If I may reply once more to Mr. Tresidder, I
should like to take up his point that, " I took his thesis to .l4e that there is something in Christianity, its doctrine of mane and
his destiny, which makes for toleration as the sparks fly upward." That is exactly what I wanted to suggest, except that I used the word Liberty rather than Toleration. , (I think they do not mean the same thing, but to discuss the exact shade of difference here would be to introduce a very pro- tracted red herring into the discussion.) The necessity of Liberty is a vital implication of the Christian doctrine of . man as it is laid down in the Gospels. Perhaps it can be put most briefly hi a series of propositions :
1:. Man is an immortal child of God.. His business is to realise his sonship, and to work out its implications for life in the world. His immortality confers on him a Divine Right.
2. This he does by the fullness of his reaction to the life of Christ; the Incarnate Lord.
3: But in this he 'must be free, for if his 'reaction is forced, "it is valuelesS.
-4. Man is a social animal, and the Christian life is a life
of 'fellowship. Hence, the maintenance of society is a
Christian necessity, and behind the State there is a . Divine Right.
5. This double Divine Right sets up a tension. .fEhis tension Christianity resolves by its doctrine that -only through, the life of self-sacrifice can a man truly realise and express >himself.
. It is, of course, true that over and over again certain leaders of the Church have failed to live up to, the Christian doctrine of man which they should have held, taught, and practised. Knox and !the Inquisitors—beloved of Mr. Tresidder—Were flagrant examples of this. But it is not true to say that this whole idea " got lost for about fifteen- centuries." The libertarian tradition has never died, and an endless succession of Christian thinkers have always held and taught it, of which John of Salisbury, all the Schoolmen, Erasmus, More, Fisher, were conspicuous examples. The necessity of Liberty and the consequent refusal of all dictatorship are essential corollaries of the Christian belief in the Fatherhood of God and the Immortality of the Soul ; and hence the Christian has a Perfectly clear and definite answer to all the pretensions of individual or collective dictatorship. Has Mr. Tresidder ?—