18 AUGUST 1900, Page 14

[TO THE EDITOR OP THE " SPECTATOR. "] SIR,—Mr. Mallet (Spectator,

August 11th) is mistaken in supposing that there ever was a " Society of Christian Socialists " eo nomine. There was a " Society for Promoting Working Men's Associations" consisting of a "Council of Promoters " and of a " Central Board." The functions of the Council were, amongst others, " to diffuse the principles of co-operation, as the practical application of Christianity to the purposes of trade and industry." The Council published " Tracts on Christian Socialism " and " Tracts by Christian Socialists," and amongst other lectures one on " Christian Socialism and its Opponents." The first tract, by Mr. Maurice (reprinted by the Christian Social Union), began by asserting the belief that " Christianity is the only founda.

tion of Socialism," and that " a true Socialism is the neces- sary result of a sound Christianity." The promoters included from time to time, no doubt, not only members of different religious bodies, but at least one who specifically belonged to none. But there were also promoters who never called them- selves " Christian Socialists." As respects the " Christian Social Union," I too regret that it professes to be confined to members of the Church of England, and (as the chair- man of the London branch is aware) that its Committee does not include members of other religious bodies. But the name of the Bishop of Durham as its President is a guarantee that it cannot be governed in any sectarian spirit, and, as a matter of fact, not only members of other religious bodies, but those who do not belong to any, have been invited to address its meetings on social subjects, and have so addressed them, whilst its leading clerical members, Canon Scott Holland, Canon Gore, Mr. Percy Dearmer, and others, are found frequently working in social matters with Christians of other denominations and non-Christians. Indirectly, thus the Union may be said to reach already to the breadth of its