12 JULY 1890, Page 15



Sin,—As the reviewer in your issue of July 5th seems not -entirely satisfied with his own expression of criticism on Miss Stephen's "Quaker Strongholds," may I venture, with real diffidence, to add what occurred to my own mind on reading that impressive plea for simple sincerity in religion ?

Granted at once, toto corde, that it is better to be a sincere -"

Friend" than a hypocrite of any denomination whatever, yet Miss Stephen does not explain why a sincere member of the Church of England should have come to adopt the view that such commands, or at least requests, of our Lord as are plainly recorded in Matt. xxviii., 19, Luke xxii., 19, and I. Cor., xi., 24, are "more honoured in the breach than the 'observance," nor why abuse of an institution is better remedied by disuse than by right use.

Let it not be thought for a moment that I deny or under- value the "sweet reasonableness" which, while not a distinc- tive Quaker tenet, has yet been, to the shame of some other Christians, so sadly often distinctive of Quaker practice. But the apparent assumption of knowing better what and whether any bonds of symbolism will promote Christian fellowship, than did our prescient Master, when, as almost all Christians agree, he instituted the abiding pledges of baptism and the Eucharist, —this, I weuld urge in all Christian tenderness and humility, does deserve the deepest consideration, and, if possible, the fullest exposition, from so earnest a writer as Miss Stephen.—I am, Sir, &c., A SINCERE INGO:TIBER.