THE ATHANASIAN CREED.
[TO THE EDITOR OF THE "SPECTATOR."]
Silt, —One cannot but admire the earnestness with which Mr. McColl and others fight for the Athanasian Creed, and their un- willingness to let go anything that helps, as they think, to keep up the belief in our Lord's Divinity. Yet in following this con- troversy, I have wondered that they did not see that anathemas and damnatory clauses are only reasonable under a recvnised Church authority. They were first brought to bear on men in times when the right of the Church to settle questions of doctrine was generally admitted. Conviction of truth was then based on the fact that the Church so taught, and when men did not be- )a■ lieve, it was with the misgiving of a child who sets up his own judgment against that of his father.
But now this is no longer the rule, except among the Catholics. And to tell men, who have no other measure for truth than their own personal conviction, that they will be damned if they do not believe a thing that they cannot see to be true, has a great tendency to make them angry, but no tendency to convince them. It shocks their moral sense, and leads to a distinct dislike of whoever so unfairly condemns them. Recognised authority, looked up to as infallible and revered, as being divinely appointed, is the necessary complement of Creed, subscription, and anathemas. To use them without this is like acting " Hamlet" with the part of Hamlet